Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Hotel Rwanda

The genocide that happened 10 years ago (how scary is that?) is a sad reminder of how useless politicians can be.

After I learned about the Holocaust when I was young, I remember asking my father why no one just sent together a bunch of troops and stopped the whole thing. I don't remember what answer he gave me but it didn't satisfy me. I just couldn't understand.

Then, years later, when I watched Schindler's List, I remember thinking to myself, "What they say about history is right. We study the past so as not to repeat the same mistakes we've made."

The genocide (and this movie) reminds us that that's all a bunch of bullshit.

It's all about circumstance and opportunity.

Post-Somalia? You're screwed.

No oil? We don't care.

That something so horrible and massive as genocide was allowed to occur, even when the world knew it was happening, is just plain unacceptable.

It's frightening because it means that, no matter how bad things are and how horrible things seem, we can no longer rely on the old axiom of hope: "Someone will come. Someone will help me."

Hotel Rwanda

A great performance by Don Cheadle.

Someone once told me that this movie was Schindler's List in Rwanda.

Not quite.

Both are good movies, both deal with genocide, both feature great lead roles, —but that's about it.

Schindler is way more graphic and makes you feel as close as can be to the horrors that happened during the Holocaust. I don't know if this is a bad thing, but I started reading We Regret to Inform you..., that book on the Rwandan genocide, a few months ago. That gave me a pretty good idea of the horrible things that happened.

Hotel tries to convey this, and to someone who isn't too familiar with the story, it might've succeeded. The scene where Cheadle gets out of the car and sees all the bodies in the road are meant to convey what I'm talking about.

But I just didn't feel the punch that I felt from other things I've read about Rwanda. And I read them, so there were no visuals, which makes it harder to create an emotional response in a person (I think).

So basically the only negative thing I have to say about this movie is that it felt like a "lite" version of the truth—which is horrible considering the mass appeal of the movie and the opportunity it had to make this story well known to millions of people (something it still managed to do).

It could've been another Schindler's List, which would've made it an unbelievably good movie (which it still is, I don't know about "unbelievably") with a powerful message about history.

Which would've been a a good thing. But this movie just wasn't ambicious enough—the creators and directors decided to just make a movie "about the genocide" instead.

Which is a shame.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ogden Dunes

Went there this past weekend on a whim/drive with Mindy. It was a pleasant surprise amidst all the industrial-looking structures (they didn't just look industrial, it was a freaking steel mill) in the area. But we managed to find this tiny little place right on the water called Ogden Dunes. It's a small, residential community that has a pretty interesting history to it, which I found out about later.

It was very peaceful, it was a nice day out, and it was nice to be on the beach in the middle of winter and have it feel like early fall.

It was so quiet too, all you could hear was the far-off sound of a train horn. It reminded me of Walden Pond.

If you live around here check it out. I can't wait to go back in the summer and take a dip.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Warren Buffett

Just finished the fine biography by Roger Lowenstein, Buffett. I highly recommend this book.

I had no idea that Buffett was such an interesting, multi-layered character. All I knew about him was that he made himself rich as the world's most successful stockpicker.

Even if you have no interest in finance (why wouldn't you?), you should check this book out.

Frey is the new Blair Witch?


Let me explain.

Years ago when Blair Witch came out, it caused a huge uproar because of it's unique marketing strategy that focused on the web and kept things small, grass root. Because of that strategy, many people saw the movie believing it was real - that it was more of a documentary than a bunch of kids making a movie for kicks.

I, for one, was not one of them, unfortunately. I always wanted to know what it would've been like to watch that (especially the ending!) and think it was real the whole time.

How fucking scary.

By the time I got to see it, it had blown up and everyone knew "the truth." The sequel, it bears noting, was actually pretty good - it did a good job of coming up with a new, creative way of continuing the franchise while bringing in a fresh element to the story.

Anyway, James Frey is the new Blair Witch. I read his two books thinking they were completely factual. They were freakin' awesome. I disregarded the scattered questions popping up about the veracity of the story (before it hit the smoking gun) from random sources: author interviews, friends of junkies.

A lot of them had the same sentiment: It just didn't seem plausible to them.

Not that he spent time in jail or that he bumped over a cop. They just felt that, in their experience with addicts, someone with the type of personality like the one in the book couldn't quit like that.

I shooed off these comments saying that Frey was too intense for them, too smart, too strong.

The man's books got to me big time. It had nothing to do with addiction and more to do with style and personality. The personality in the books was incredibly powerful to me.

But now the bubble has burst and I'm now "in the know," the way I was for Blair Witch. Would I recommend someone read these books now that all this has come out? No. You won't get what I got, not even close. It's impossible to go back.

Blair Witch can still be appreciated even after you know, but these books just ring hollow now that the person in them, he who supposedly wrote the pages, no longer exists.

If you want to be entertained I suggest you go back and rent the two Blair Witch movies and enjoy them.

Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room

I had totally forgotten about the trial until I watched this movie and, at the very end, it said that they were to go on trial in January of 2006. The next day it was all over the news about jury selection and all that business.

It's a great portrait of greed and the late 90s euphoria that so many were feeling.

There was one part that seemed especially on point: at a stockholders meeting, Kenneth Lay unveils a sign that changes from "Enron, world's best energy company" (or something similar) to "Enron, world's best company."

At that point it was easy to figure out that these guys had grown to big for their own bridges. Their yearning to achieve such an unrealistic goal left them with unreal profits and eventually brought the whole thing down.

Well worth it.

King Kong

Went to see it last night, glad I did go to the theater for this one, it's made for it.

As for the movie - it's OK. It's pretty exciting but it's also pretty long. There are some scenes that are there clearly as eye candy. The dinosaur chase is really irrelevant and some reviewer said it best when he said it was like Peter Jackson was saying "Look at my dinosaurs."

The acting was good, except that last line that Jack Black utters, "No...it was beauty that killed the beast."

I think I heard a collective groan in the audience, though it was probably just me.

There was a little kid sitting behind me the whole time talking really loud and the lights weren't turned all the way down until some 20 minutes into the movie, and that was annoying.

Poor kid though, he kept asking if that was King Kong (Kong doesn't show up until around minute 35). Plus, this was NOT the type of movie you take your kid to. Mindy freaked out at the tribespeople on Skull island, and they were pretty disturbing. There were also very much like the creatures from LOTR.

A lot of things were.

I don't understand why Peter Jackson was so into making this movie and still left some of the awful, cheesy parts in. If this is your life's passion, you'd think you would try to avoid that stuff.

King Kong though, was awesome. Never for a minute looked fake, which I can't say for the last two Matrix movies, Spiderman, and Hulk.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Flaw of Democracy

This is what happens when the majority want things that aren't kosher to the rest of the world.

How do you attack it when it's the direct result of democracy, the very thing you seem to be espusing throughout the world?

Coco Crisp trade

I don't understand why Cleveland wants to make this move and the Jason Michaels-to-Philly move.

They'd give up their CF, a backup C, and two good relievers (Riske, Rhodes) for: An unproven but potentially similar LF with less power (Michaels), a reliever with injury issues who has had success in the past (Mota), a top notch 3B prospect (Marte), and a catching prospect with power.

Why make any of these moves?

Crisp is a fan favorite. Are they getting that much better?

No. And they're diluting their once-strong bullpen (Howry is gone already).

It just seems like they're too excited about Marte and it's the driving force behind this deal.

MLB inflation

Not so much of salaries, but of personnel needs.

Take this excerpt from an article by John Donovan talking about urgent needs teams have:

A center fielder for the White Sox

It's hard to pick on a team as loaded as the Sox, who are easily better than they were last season when they won 99 regular-season games (more than anyone in the American League) and that little postseason tournament everyone gets so excited about. But, despite all of GM Kenny Williams' upgrades, the position where the Sox probably are worse is center field. Williams swapped last year's starter, Aaron Rowand, to get DH Jim Thome, leaving the spot to prospect Brian Anderson, who had wrist surgery in November. Anderson batted .176 in 34 at-bats with the White Sox last season after posting a respectable .829 OPS at Class AAA and is rated by Baseball America as the organization's second-best prospect (closer Bobby Jenks is No. 1). The Sox are really good, so good that they can carry an unproven youngster as an everyday player. But with the ever-pressing Williams in charge, and the Indians charging, the Sox won't want to carry Anderson for too long.

They won't want to carry Anderson for too long? The sentence that gets to me is "The Sox are really good, so good that they can carry an unproven youngster as an everyday player." This is why his whole argument carries no weight. He says it himself.

It used to be you could have a player on your team who was a defensive wiz and nothing else (Ozzie Smith), but these days everyone has to have an offensive edge. This is a mentality of more more more. If you don't hit .280 or hit more than 20HRs, then you don't belong in the lineup, especially if you're the defending champs.

This is rubbish. Unless everyone wants to be the Yankees and the Red Sox (and by that I mean they'll be efficient and have a budget), then you have to take some chances.

And the White Sox aren't even taking that big of a chance.

Check out their lineup:

Podsednik LF Speed speed speed, runs scored, stolen bases, creates chaos at the top
Piercynski C (16HRs, 71RBIs)
Iguchi 2b (15HRs, 71RBIs, 74 R, 15 SBs. small ball guy, good contact)
Dye RF (31HRs, 86 RBIs, cannon arm)
Crede 3B (Gold glove Defense, 22HRs)
Konerko 1B (MVP of the team, 40HRs, 100RBIs)
Uribe SS (16HR, 71 RBIs, great defense)

That is a VERY good offensive team. Oh but wait, you have Jim Thome at DH too.

That leaves one position with a big question mark. ONE.

What numbers we do have for that position are minor league numbers. Let's look at them:

.295 AVG, .360 OBP, 16HRs, 57RBIs, 71R, 4SB, 44/115 BB/K ratio.

We can say he can hit pretty good (lifetime .300 hitter in the minors), he's got some, but not a lot, of pop. He won't steal bases. He's a very good defender (scouting reports, Baseball America ranked him the Sox's best defensive ourfielder). How much of a risk are you taking REALLY by playing him?

Not a lot, I say, especially at that price.

And he's been rated as the White Sox's second-best prospect by Baseball America. If you really can't have ONE risky bet (if you call this being risky) in your whole lineup then you know that the Steinbrenner effect really has permeated all of baseball, which sucks because it means guys who might start on lesser-quality teams won't get that chance, they'll be kept in AAA for "insurance" in case something happens to a starter.

It's all driven by an irrational fear, not a sense of wanting to be prepared.

OK, LAST time for real

So Frey went on Oprah last night to get his punishment.

I can see the producers calling him up and asking him to go on live so that they can "get it all cleared up once and for all."

Frey knew what that meant. Everyone did: Oprah got made a fool of and someone had to be the fall guy. No one, and I mean NO ONE tarnishes the Oprah name.

So it was Frey who was to go on stage and take a fall. Did he want to? Probably not, he knew he was just going to be the fall guy for Oprah, but what was he supposed to do? Say no? That would've been even worse. Oprah made him and Oprah was going to take it all back for the sake of her name, brand, and business.

So all Frey could do was breathe in, breathe out, and walk out there and take it as best he could.

How do I feel about him now? It makes sense. People (former addicts) were rumbling about how the book didn't ring true WAY before the smoking gun report. And when I listened to him talk and saw pictures it just didn't look right. He doesn't look like the guy from the book: not a badass, not confident, not bright as hell. After all this he seems more of an insecure rich kid with a dorky slant that just wanted to be cool.

Still though, I have to say, his two books floored the hell out of me and I'm glad I got to read them while they were still "real."

It's the Blair Witch effect, only this time I got to experience it as an ignorant, not in-the-know person, which I enjoyed.

After all, once you know, there's no going back.


Here's one that actually got me to click on it...believe it or not:

Being late all the time is disrespectful. Show your respect and punctuality with...

It was for a site that sells replica Rolex watches.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

More on basketball Ego-trips

So I was at the gym again watching some pick-up games and guess what? It's worse than I originally thought.

Every pick-up game has one, and in this game it was a smallish black guy that looked to be about 20. He wasn't overly big, he actually looked small, but the guy was fast.

fast the way that just jumps out at you out of nowhere. He walked up and down the court whenever he had the ball. Then, suddenly, he blazed by his defenders and threw the ball up. A good scorer.

But this guy's ego was just as fast. He did not defend. I can't stress this enough. The guy just didn't see the need for it. He would walk up the court, even when the ball was already being shot on the other end. And he just walked up towards it, like any action that took place on that side of the court was an annoyance, unnecessary.

"Why do they have to shoot too?"

His signature move?

He would scoot by his defender, release the ball for an easy layup, and then the show would start. He immediately breaks and violently turns towards the direction he should be defending. It's a common move - many a defenders do it to get back to the other end and start defending as soon as possible. This guy did the first part, and it looked good, he looked like he was hustling - a true Barry Sanders moment of humility.

But if you began following the ball at that point you missed the rest of his little show. He slowed to a jog, then to a walk, and - before reaching the halfcourt line - he was walking again. Watching the action taking place on the other side of the court as if he was a small child watching his 4th hour of cartoons.

And it pissed me off like nothing else. I rolled my eyes and went "Pshhh!" but I don't think anyone saw or heard me, unfortunately.

This upsets me so much that it makes me wonder what kind of unresolved issues I may have that cause this rage in me when someone else that has nothing to do with me does or doesn't do something.

I wonder.

Investing and Baseball

I'm reading a whole bunch on value investing and Graham and Buffett and it's all very difficult to believe. That Wall Street and professional investor are "miscalculating" or overpaying for a business, when this is their job, is astounding.

To think that I, an individual investor, could do better seems a little ridiculous.

But read the literature, that's exactly what it says.

I wouldn't believe it either but I have experience with this phenomenon: baseball.

I follow baseball as religiously as Buffett followed companies' financial statements. I'm not exaggerating here, that's how absorbed I am in the whole process. And many times I've wondered to myself, "What is that GM thinking?"

I know this may come across as just another fan second-guessing management. I kook who thinks he can do better. A guy who knows nothing, claims to know everything, and demands a trade after every strikeout or homerun allowed. Basically, that I could come across as a Red Sox fan.

But I’m not, and on this you’ll just have to take my word.

I know this stuff, and a lot of the same things that happen in the market happen in baseball when GMs pick players for their team. Essentially, they’re trying to amass a portfolio that will yield high returns at the lowest possible cost (although some disregard cost, which isn’t always successful).

Some GMs just make plain mistakes. Mistakes that seem fat too egregious to fall under the category of “it happens to the best of them.” GMs are at the mercy of public opinion, of rabid fans, of their bosses.

The same can be said for the market and a company’s stockholders.

But as an individual investor, all you have to do is keep your emotions in check, do your homework, and be smart about it.

I believe what the investment literature says about me being able to beat the market. Being able to beat professional money managers. Why not? Once I get the knowledge and experience in the investment world, I’ll be on my way.

I’ve said this to myself countless times, but it merits saying again: Baseball has taught me a lot, it has allowed me to understand, via the creation of parallel situations, many of the things that are worth learning and believing in the real world.

Because of it I can and will do better than I would’ve otherwise.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Brokeback Revisted

I've been railing on this movie for all the awards and gushing it has received when, to me, it seems like just an OK movie. I've been hearing and reading a lot more about it recently and so I've decided to add a bit more.

A movie should stand on it's own merits. I shouldn't have to think about it for weeks or read about it or listen to speeches about it in order to enjoy it. I enjoy it more today, after all this post-viewing exposure, than I did right after I watched it.

It's about living in a certain place and having certain feelings that aren't compatible with that place. It's about love and it's own impossibilities. It's about happiness.

But the movie didn't make me feel these things strongly enough for me to feel, rather than just know that's what it was about.

It just didn't connect with me on an emotional level. Only at the end, when he goes into the other guy's house, did I feel anything (compassion and sadness) for them. I understand it's hard when one of the characters is innately quiet and non-expressive—this makes it tough to get emotions across to the viewer.

But still.

Yes it's a good movie. Does it deserve all the hoopla and awards it may get? I still don't think so.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Baskteball inflates egos

When people play basketball they think they are the hottest shit in the world. It makes me so mad that sometimes I'll jump in (pick-up basketball) and play with them. I'm not great, but I can defend these chumps who think they're the next Kobi Bryant (though in reality they're probably closer than they know).

It's great because they can't play their usual game of show off. They have to work hard to score and they have to actually defend (gasp!) so that the tall white kid who isn't that great won't score too many points.

They get so pissed off and call fouls when there really aren't any. They find it insulting for someone to actually defend them hard, as if to say "What are you doing man? This is b-ball, you're s'posed to be scoring, not defending!"

On the offensive side of things, I run around like a maniac. Run up and down the court. if they don't run with me, I get layups. When I play, the satisfaction of playing hard gets me through. But afterwards, the feeling of bringing down these Chumps' false ego delights me even more.

Long live hard defense in pick-up games and no whining and no trash talking and a general atmosphere of Barry Sanders-like success.

All hail

Cuba will play in WBC

Slutskaya in seventh heaven with record European win


Too bad her name is still "Slutskaya"

Skiles and the Bulls

Forget about the incident with Antonio Davis going into the stands two nights ago at the United Center because his wife has a big mouth—something far more important happened on the court.

The Bulls showed heart.

And they won.

After repeated scoldings by both the coach and the Gereral Manager, the Bulls finally fought back when they were being disrespected in their own house. Chris Duhon thought he got fouled hard so he got up and pushed back, finally proving that this team can actually be pushed too far.

This is what Skiles has wanted to see ever since the Pistons were in town and Rasheed Davis was laughing all over the court. I was at that game and, while I didn't realize the Bulls were being mocked on the court, one thing I could see was the scoreboard. It was a rough night for Bulls fans.

But maybe this marks the start of the return of last year's Bulls. Maybe.

Gordon scored over 30 points.
Hinrich was good.
Nocioni was a rock (as usual)
Deng is coming along.
Even Chandler came up with some big blocks.

Now it's time to go on a roll.

As for the Davis incident, coach Skiles said it best: He never sees what's going on in the stands, he's too busy focusing on the game.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ricky Martin like "the golden shower"

No this is not a spam post, apparently this is what he told Blender:

"I love giving the 'golden shower.' I've done it before in the shower. It's like, so sexy, you know, the temperature of your body and the shower water is very different." Ricky went on to say, "I'm open to everything. There are moments for soft, gentle sex. And there are moments for a good spank in the butt."

I'm all for a little spanking action, but what the hell is he talking about? I'm hoping he just doesn't know what the hell a golden shower is. Who the fuck let him put this in a magazine??

And he wonders why this is a problem vis-a-vis his charity work with kids?

"Oh hi Billy, yes life sucks, but here I will help you and shower you with warmth. That's right, come'ere, that's right...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"


From a great article on the Bulls:

"We have a bunch of guys who basically have to decide if they want to be sort of the typical NBA player, which nowadays is more of an excuse-maker and a blamer and has his agent telling him how great he is," Skiles said. "There's not a lot of realism in that."

Paxson is right, and I'm glad our GM and coach have the balls to speak the truth on this, I just hope the players listen and take heart to the only people telling them the truth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Michael J Fox

Yes, he actually issick.

I've been hearing for years about how he was beating whatever disease it is he's got and how it caused him to leave whatever show it was he was on a few years back.

But I never understood, I never saw any evidence of any kind of disease. No twitching, no wincing, no sudden outbursts of movement.

Until tonight, while watching Boston Legal. It's painfully obvious. He does his best, as he's probably been doing for years, but whatever it is is just too strong right now - it can no longer fool anyone, not even someon like me that has no idea what to look for.

I felt horrible watching him onscreen as he tried to pretend his character meant to turn in such a way to make a point or create an effect, when what it was was just his disease crying out for the recognition it's been denied for so long.

Michael J Fox is one hell of a fucking trooper.

Monday, January 16, 2006

God mad at America

According to the Mayor of New Orleans

You think he's still pissed with the germans?


AP Poll: Blacks Likelier to Celebrate MLK

CNN messes up, just a little


He was just one word off...but it was a big one

TV bad for sex

According to this study:

A study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples who have a TV set in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.

Unless you're watching Taboo


From the Sun Times:
''The plan was to get them off us a little bit,'' Grossman said of the Panthers' amped-up defense. ''We wanted to stretch the field a little bit, loosen them up, and then start getting the run going.''

The strategy looked better on the chalkboard than on the Soldier Field turf.

That's all I could find about why the Bears didn't do what they said they were going to do (which is what got them this far in the first place): run the football.

yeah the defense sucked, but that's because two guys fell down, resulting in two TDs.

Peanut Tillman will be fires this week, I guarantee it. I called it after the play where he tried to intercept instead of bat the ball away at the one yard line. He sucked so bad yesterday it's crazy.

Why this isn't being talked about more in the media is beyond me, but it seems to me like they tried to alter their gameplan to counter whatever preparations the other team made before the game.

Basically, it feels like they used this kind of logic:

- We are a running team, the other team knows that
- They will be preparing to meet a running team
- If we bring a passing game to them instead, they will be unprepared
- We may catch them unawares if we switch to a passing game.
- Let's pass like crazy then

It sounds logical if you're a six-year old, since they forgot these other two maxims:

- We suck at passing the ball
- We have a very good running game


Friday, January 13, 2006


You always wanted to use your penis as a billiards cue.

I mean, haven't we all?


I feel your pain.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Chocolate-covered pretzels taste exactly like Chiqui cookies.


Finally got some more Lost last night, after almost a month without it. It was a good one, we now see what the "monster" is and things keep on moving forward.


I still keep waiting to feel the way I did during the first season. Maybe kayla is right, maybe it has to do with the commercials...


Wanna hold a brick on your dick? Try Soft Cialis Tabs (Warning don't try...

Ummm...ouch. I'll stick with my 5-pound dumbell, thank you very much.


I am DONE talking about all this. I'm all talked out. I caught some of King last night and it was a little disappointing: Frey is so quiet and calm and colorless. No sign of any kind of remnant of the person in the books.

I wish some of his former Mob connections would just squash all this in a flurry of gunfire and chaos.

THAT would be good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sony Ereader

I drool in your prescence.....

All hail the Ereader....

It plays MP3s too...

i drool....


More Frey Drama

Now it's being reported that the publisher, Random House, will offer readers a full refund if they bought his book, A Million Little Pieces, but only to those who bought it directly from the publisher.

It's very weird because this comes on the day that Frey will appear on Larry King, and it makes you wonder if he's going to apologize, continue to deny, or what.

This refund business certainly smells like they admit there was some wrongdoing on Frey's part.

They're all losers!

Yesterday I was walking along Grand avenue downtown when we noticed a HUGE line of people going all the way around the block. It looked like some sort of picket line or something but it was actually a line to get into Rock Bottom, a restaurant.

We were all curious, and then we got closer and someone noticed it: all of the people were, how you say, el chunko.

Turns out it was auditions for The Biggest Loser, a weight-loss reality show.

A show I've seen and enjoyed, but these people were all tine compared to the people on the show (except for one gentleman in red, whew that was a big boy!) I've seen.

And they call this city the fattest in AMerica? Stupid methodology is what did it. WHy not just put people on a scale and add it up?

Frey to appear on Larry King tonigh

To talk about the recent hoopla

I'll record it, Lost is on

I'm still undecided on this whole matter

Walker at 2B

Finally someone in the media decides to cover this story. It took them long enough and I've been whining about it for a while.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Frey Drama part II

Finally got onto his website, BigJimIndustries, and there is an all out flame war going on in the forum. Some are attacking, others defending, it's pretty crazy. As for Frey, he's simply posted the letter sent to him by TSG.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that, while he may have embellished a bit, we also have to remind ourselves that Frey did have that judge friend of his who may have expunged a bunch of his records as a favor, which means it's impossible to get ALL documentation, especially after so many years have passed.

Not sure where I am on this issue yet, but I don't think I'll be on either side yelling to the other, that's for sure.

They're both great books, read them, enjoy them, and read up as much as you can.

If you can't deal with the embellishment, then go to his website and flame him out.

James Frey Drama

Check out The Smoking Gun's story on James Frey and how they believe they have proof that he embellished or even made up a lot of the material in his memoir, A Million Little Pieces.

It's an interesting read, they obviously did a lot of investigating and researching to get their information, but what scares me off is the malicious tone of some of the things they've got there. Taking jabs at his "crackhead girlfriend" when the girl has gone and committed suicide - that's just not very cool.

It doesn't give the story the tone that I think they would like, it allows you to see their true motive: to bring a person down who is really enjoying a lot of success right now.

What if some of the stuff is embellished? Well, from all the things I've seen, it's clear a lot of it has been. Frey admits as much. But how much is too much in the memoir genre?

If this book hadn't affected so many people (as it did me, as well as the sequel), it probably wouldn't be an issue. But a lot of people are now invested in this story and in the author, and these allegations could bring all of that down.

Which is what The Smoking Gun looks to be trying to pull off here.

They should've stuck with the journalistic tone they have at the start, that would've been more effective, more trustworthy, and less like something out of the enquirer.

I'm trying to get onto Frey's website to see what he's got on there about all of this but it's pretty congested, looks like a whole bunch of people are knocking on the door looking for answers.

Patterson Traded

Finally the Cubs trade him to Baltimore and this is what he has to say:

"I'm a guy who can get on base, and if I can steal bases and get into scoring position, that would really help the team," Patterson said.

Ummm...sorry to burst your bubble there Corey. But a .293 career OBP indicates that you are NOT someone who can get on base. Good luck in Baltimore

Brokeback Mountain

I was well aware of the buzz surrounding this movie - it was the main reason I decided to go see it. That and Ang Lee being the director.

So I went to see it and, now that I see all the additional awards this movie is racking up, I can't seem to figure out why.

It's an OK movie, a decent story, the acting is good (especially Michelle Williams), and the cinematography is pretty good too. But it's not as fantastic as all this buzz makes it out to be.

Actually, I think I do. There's nothing else about this movie that could be causing so much of a fuss - it has to be the issues the movie touches on.

One actor who simultaneously has another movie out (casanova) where he plays his usual, womanizing self. The other actor is a lesser-known, but also "cute" guy.

And in this movie they make out and have sex in what has to be one of the weirdest "love" scenes I've ever seen. It's not even a love scene, it's a sex scene. The same way pornography gets ridiculed for it's flimsy (if any) storylines that lead to sexual romps, so too should this movie be reprimanded. It seems gratuitous to me.

And it also seems that people are pushing it because it throws a controversial subject at the conservative viewpoint.

I'm all for bashing conservatives on certain things, but when it too becomes gratuitous, just for the sake of bashing - it ceases to mean anything to me. And in the context of a movie - I don't think there's any room for it.

It's a decent movie, sure, but before you go out and see it you should be aware of why there is so much of a buzz out there for it.

Different Voice

Even though this may sound weird, it's true. Since I've switched over here from the old blog, I feel like my voice has changed in the things I've written. It has something to do with exposure. I know more people will read my stuff here, whereas before, no one really did.

It's weird, but I hope to adjust quickly.

Cloudy Days

We had a string of cloudy days finally broken up yesterday with a gorgeous day. Now it's back to dreary gray clouds. I can see how it is that seasonal affective disorder comes about.

it sucks

Headline on Yahoo's front page

Sharon emerging from coma; moves hand, leg

An hour ago it was just the hand...looks like he's progressing nicely

Yahoo Sports messes up

This story looks like was written by Ryan Sandberg, but they messed up and posted it under Steve Kerr's name, an NBA analyst and former Bull.

It looks silly as hell, especially at the end where, after talking about Hall of Fame baseball candidates, his profile tells us he's an NBA analyst.

Hee hee

Cubs' 2B job

I don't understand why, as it stands now, Neifi Perez will be the starting 2B. Hendry has been trying to add more offense to the lineup this offseason, getting Jaque Jones and flirting with Miguel Tejada, and starting Perez at 2B isn't in line with that thinking.

Not that I don't think it's a good idea to focus on defensive prowess for once, instead of more homeruns. But I wonder why it's such an easy decision for Hendry (and for the media, who isn't talking about this at all) to put him and Hairston at 2B and to trade 2B Todd Walker.

Walker can hit .280 15-20HRs and draws plenty of walks. He's a great OBP guy who could hit 2nd in the lineup behind Pierre. He's lefthanded too.

But apparently Hendry wants defense. It's why Cedeno will start at SS, even though he's never hit for more than a season in the minors. I like him there, I think defense should be an important part of such an important position. But it's strange how easily he's letting go of a valuable player like Walker, especially when he's making only 2.5 million dollars - an option you just exercised at the end of the past season.

Weird, isn't it?

Also weird: why not start Hairston? He's faster, a better offensive player, and can probably steal more bases. Again, a good option for 2B.

Neifi surprised me last season, but he can't do what he did again this year, of that I'm sure.

It should be:

Pierre - CF
Walker/Hairston 2B
Lee - 1B
Ramirez - 3B
Jones - RF
Murton - LF
Barrett - C
Cedeno - SS

Saturday, January 7, 2006

The Big Chill

I had never seen this movie before, it's old, and I was surprised.

For some reason (I think it was the amount of good actors in it, plus the title) had me thinking it was some kind of bank-robbery movie (a la Ocean's Eleven). I was pleasantly surprised to find it was about a group of friends, reunited after a long separation caused be just living their lives, and how they used to feel about the world compared to how they do now.

The story is great, any generation can relate to the feelings that are dealt with. But what I liked most about this movie is how subtle it is. It's a dialogue movie, yet the actors let their performances speak for themselves - they aren't trying to overdo any of it. Instead, they stick to the dialogue and let everything unfold.

This subtlety makes it feel real and it lets you know how close this group of friends really is, the way you and your friends probably understand each other without having to spell everything out.

Even better, it was a present from Mindy, so I get to keep it!

Friday, January 6, 2006

Chicago, she is fat

Fattest city in America.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Whoa, Skiles a wild man

Turns out coach Skiles was a Wild man in his younger days. Jail, drunken driving, marijuana possession - he had it all.


rested Penis rouse

Beautiful russian convulsibility girls here and!!

Both winners

Wednesday, January 4, 2006


meritorious oil for penis

I have no idea with this one

meritorious? Sounds like some title from that author in Quills, what was his name?


This is the type of shit that pisses me off:

I get to Subway (this one is Indian-owned, like the one near my apartment) and I stand behind a black girl with a wide ass that is ordering a sandwich. She’s being very short and bossy with the woman (bordering on rude, but not yet). I’m standing back there thinking, “Why does she have be so rude and attitudy?”

But I say nothing. The other Subway woman sees me and asks what I want.

“What can I get for you sir?” in that accent that Ghandi uses in that movie

“I’ll have a-” and she’s turning back to do something else, outside of hearing-me range. So I stop.

She lazily does whatever she needs and comes back. She’s fat, and looks like what Chris Farley would look like if he was Indian and a woman and a boring as hell kind of person. And she asks again:


“I’ll have an Italian BMT, SIX INCHES, ON ITALIAN.” I actually say it loud and slow like that. I know from experience.

She looks at me dead in the eye and blinks, “Huh?”

Which is surprising because the two workers there don’t seem to have the English language down at all, yet this idiosyncratic part of Americana comes off natural as hell.

I get pissed off immediately and repeat the order, feeling like a fool for having felt sympathetic towards her when the black girl was being direct with her.

I pay and leave and, like it always happens with me, I realize what I should’ve done:


“Huh? What?”

“Scuse me ser?”


“Ser, doo yoo want a sanwitch or no?”


And so on, but it’s right next to my work and I know I’ll have to go back at some point and I’m not ready for the consequences of my actions, hilarious though they might sound to me (and probably only me) now.

Cubs.com writer

I'm not going to mention her by name because I don't want to make it personal, but she really is not taking advantage of the job she has. Her answers to email questions are short and don't include common information that is out there. Stuff she should know but doesn't seem to. I've had an issue with it for while now, thinking what a bang-up job I would be doing if I had the job.

But I don't. So I do this instead.

Today they put up an analysis of the starting rotation:

That leaves Zambrano, Maddux, Prior, Glendon Rusch and Jerome Williams as the likely starters to open the 2006 season. At least one of them should win 18 games this year.

Huh? At least one of them should win 18 games this year? Really? What kind of crap is that? It makes no sense to put something like that in there. It sounds like someone's entry on a wannabe Cub-reporter Blog of some kind.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...but not on freakin' Cubs.com

Consider the Lobster Reviewed...Finally

The NY Times book review finally reviews his latest book.

Here are my favorite parts:

Mr. Wallace is capable of writing about things like metaphysics and the politics of the English language with the same verve and irreverence he brings to matters like the pornography industry and the cooking of lobsters

this collection trains Mr. Wallace's acute eye not inward at the solipsistic terrain of people's minds, but outward at the world - at politicians, at writers, at ordinary and oddball individuals of every emotional stripe. Like his best fiction, it reminds the reader of both his copious literary gifts and his keen sense of the absurdities of contemporary life in America at the cusp of the millennium.

I guess the only problem I have with the review is that Kakutani constantly has to tell us what she didn't like about his previous works. Even though I get what she's doing (trying to show some sort of progress on Wallace's part), I still think it detracts a bit from the book she's reviewing.

Loaded sentence in NY Times

It actually sounds like something out of the Onion:

Wives, sons, daughters and friends of miners comforted one another and turned to God for help as time ticked by without any sign of life down below.

It's from an article about the coal-mine accident.

An AP article saying that the people "turned to God for help"? Sounds odd to me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006


Now that I'm no longer at work (it was my first day, I couldn't post much), I can talk more about what I thought of Munich.

The controversy surrounding this movie (Spielberg portraying Arabs positively or Jews negatively) kind of ruined part of it for me. I was kind of paying attention to certain things to see if there was anything indeed controversial.

Did I find anything? Yes.

The Jews in the movie die horrible deaths. All the deaths suck, mind you, but the way the guys who got kidnapped are portrayed as dying (especially the guy that gets shot in the cheek) is just brutal. The scene where the woman gets killed is horrible too, but most of the Arabs die by explosions or bullet wounds that aren't anywhere near the gore factor produced by the cheek scene.

I hate to be talking so much about the one scene but I can't remember the way some of the other guys died.

The point being that this gore was awful graphic and it really affected me a lot, I think it was worse than Schindler's List.

But regardless of all that, and here is the genius behind the movie, it's still a fantastic movie.

My favorite scene is when Avnar and the Arab guy are having a conversation, without knowing who Avnar was, and he says, "Home is everything." That scene was genius.

It's a great movie.


Check out Pandora, a kind of personal jukebox that lets you listen to the kind of music you like, then plays other artists that you may like, based on your specific selections. It's pretty sweet.

Quick Reviews

Munich: Really good, powerful, extremely graphic, probably more so than Schindler's List (I know, incredible)

Brokeback Mountain: Eh, not bad, but not fantastic