Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is Nothing Sacred?

Ramblings Post #20
There are days when I'm certain I'm dreaming, that what is occurring around me has to be some sort of insanity my mind has cooked up. The things I'm seeing and hearing almost certainly can't be actually happening. But as in this case, most times it turns out that I'm wrong.

I am disgusted.

Sean Penn as Larry Fine? Maybe. Bencio Del Toro as Moe Howard? Will they be serving drinks in the theater? But seriously, what kinda drugs are they taking in Hollywood to even imagine Jim Carrey as Curly? Not Curly Joe, but Curly! Maybe Carrey as Shemp, but not in any way shape or form can he be the master of disaster, the Stooge extraordinaire. Don't get me wrong though, I liked Shemp too.

But there are some things that need to be left alone.

Curly, Moe and Larry
Quite possibly some of greatest comic actors ever

You don't repaint the Mona Lisa. You wouldn't try to rebuild Camelot. The secret to the Maxie Burger is lost to us forever.

And you don't try to remake the Stooges. My understanding is that the film currently on the boards isn't a even a biopic, but a re-imagining of the trio under modern circumstances. Are you fookaying kidding me? Is nothing in Hollywood sacred? If we've gotten to the point where somebody thinks it's a good idea to make what I expect to be only a sad attempt to recreate the magic of the Three Stooges - especially in today's potty humor, pop culture reference comedy, anti-violence environment. In what world are they hoping to pull off this minor miracle? Part of what made the very idea of who they were work is that they were just this side of living cartoons in a world with a whole lot of gray area to operate.

I'm a guy. I love the Stooges. I'm technically part of this film's target demographic. And I hate the very idea of what they're doing. Will somebody take the hint?

If we've gotten to the point where we've stopped remaking that which should be remade and started trying to recreate classics...they're trying to remake the Karate Kid, the Last Dragon, and those travesties that were the Bionic Woman, Knight Rider and Terminator...(wait, is that last one still on?) ... what we might need a bailout in Hollywood, damn Wall Street. Are they really this artistically bankrupt?

I understand the economics of Hollywood too, everybody is looking for the surefire, ace in the hole, guaranteed winner every time with all these millions on the line and with the built in appeal of the Stooges you have to figure it's a lock. But that remake of Planet of the Apes was just sad. And Speed Racer was lock too, but after they destroyed it with...well, you know. At least John Goodman got work. He was in that right?

If you're gonna remake a film, take a piece of barely remembered crap and I don't know, work some of that movie magic. Remake Leonard Part 6, I mean, could you do worse than the original? Or Half Past Dead, that critical darling. I mean the remake rights have to be going for $3 and a promise NOT to spell the original creators names correctly. I understand if you agree to remake BioDome, Pauly Shore will cut your grass for a month.

I cannot be the only one seeing the insanity here. Leave my childhood alone! don't even know what I want to drink.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bad Morning Listening

Ramblings Post #19
A few months ago I went back to regular radio for my ride into work. My ride is up Atlanta's west side of 285 and takes about 15 -20 minutes in average traffic. It used to take longer, but I discovered a shortcut that minimizes my highway time and is usually pretty devoid of traffic until I get to "le grand circuit", which is a crap shoot. I mean I've seen285 flowing smoothly and/or gridlocked at 7:35am, 8:30am, 9:30am and at any time in between. There is no rhyme or reason, no forecasting available.

And as I've said before, I never saw the need for an expensive car entertainment system until I encountered traffic on 285.

But I'm a simple guy, still. I have no TV in the headrests, or satellite radio, or iPod plug in or 10 disc CD player.... or cassette player or... even an eight track. I listen to the broadcast radio. I do have FM thanks, much. I say that because I once owned a car that only got AM. And in the morning I listen to the radio, because well, no radio is boring. And for a while I was stuck on classical because, well, because you know.

But I made the move back to regular radio, hip hop and oldies, although I still listen to NPR and all things considered on my way to class at night - to get in the right frame of mind. The mornings and after school however are a mix of Drive-time DJs, classical/jazz and contemplation. And why is the song "Do the Stanky Legg" stuck in my head? I'm considering going back to classical just because of that.

Which brings us to this little posting. How long do the DJs figure that we are actually in the car? I asked because it seems to me that a seasoned professional hired for their personality and the little group of comedians they've assembled would keep the little skits between three and seven minutes, in little neatly encapsulated little bursts of the levity or whatever it is the station is paying them to peddle. The idea being that the individual in the care wants to hear the whole bit, as opposed to part of it and since MOST people get out of the car when they get where they are going...

...okay, this is personal, since I really did want to find out who's baby it was via the paternity test the show was running. The drama had reached soap opera level with dead wives, scandalous sister in laws, infidelities, lies and deception. Then a commercial break. Then a song. Then another commercial break. Then a promo for some other shit I didn't want to hear and another commercial and damn, I'm at the office. This isn't primetime! I'm not ensconced on the couch and will sit through all the damn commercials because I now have an inane need to see if the cardboardly acted skeevy grifter really did kill the countess, or is was it her stick figure Hollywood version daughter after her already dubiously gotten gains. No, I'm in the car, I'm paying attention to signs and traffic and once I get where I'm going, I GET OUT OF THE CAR!!!

Good drive-time DJs finish each little skit before the next commercial. Bad DJs forget they are on the radio and imagine I've got a whole hour.

I don't like the bad DJs.

Barkeep. A tall glass of iced tea. I'm just in the mood.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I want to do Good....but not that good

Ramblings Post #18
That time of the season when law professors start talking about that outline that we should have started working on that second week of January - started mine during spring break before I realized my notes sucked - and a first year law student's brain starts to turn to thoughts of "what the hell did I get myself into?" But before all that happens though, I got a couple more hurdles I got to get past, starting with that other speaking thing...

The second set of oral presentations is in the books and all that's left is the mandatory fake jury duty and it's over, and I can concentrate on what are called my "substantive" courses. The classes with those one shot exams we all love. Unless of course, I did too well, in which case I get lucky enough to have something else to concentrate on and get to do it all over again. Sweet!

Really? No not really, the best 16 presenters of the first year law students get to go onto our own little version of March Madness, doing our presentations again, and if we're really good, even again, all while prepping for finals. Oral presentations are a large part of the law if you going courtroom, and helps a lot in regular presentations and the like. But this is one of those rare occasions where you want to do well, but not too well. You know, like figuring out how to get it right on the green without knowing where the green is.


So you want to good enough to get all ten of the points you get for your actual grade, but not so good that you end up having to do more work than 90% of your classmates.

I'm still trying to figure out who the judges are looking at, both of the judges (we get new ones each argument) this time told me I looked comfortable at the podium and seemed almost too casual. One said they could see me as a good litigator. I must be the world's greatest actor (missed my calling) because I was nervous as hell this second time around as well, after having invested a semester in one view of the case and then having to tear it apart on the other side, with only a week of prep time. I traded notes with my opposing council from the week before (it's allowed) and that softened the blow some, plus she used some of my stuff in her argument which the judge liked too.

But now comes the waiting for the news of how we did. You want to place fairly high, so you get all the points, but...well you know. The finals are going to be hard enough. Our Sunday afternoon tutor has already said one of my profs just "likes to mess with you"...well, she didn't use the word "mess".

I take heart because the judges are already raving about one or two people, and I'm hoping to just miss by that much. Is that wrong? Well if doing that is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Barkeep, I need one of them down the stretch dranks.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I can speak!

Ramblings Post #17
Great people don't just exist, but are made by responding to the call of extraordinary moments. Or they just happen to be a little bit better than everybody else over a long period of time. Or they...well, you get my point, there is more than one measure of greatness. Lately we've been acceding greatness to the lucky, and those who simply are, devaluing the accolade. I am not a role model. Or a hero. I'm just a guy. And I should have a Nike commercial.

It's one thing to know you messed up, as I was preparing for the oral arguments - the second part to an appellate brief - but I just knew that had lost my "swagga."

I was stuttering and mumbling words, and in the one I video taped I was shocked at how my voice actually sounds. Nobody really knows what they REALLY sound like, trust me. In your head you sound completely different. In my head my voice is a deep resonant basso that should elicit immediate submission in a listener with it's very intonation. In reality, to me, it sounds a little higher than it should and less gravely than I thought. I also appear to have a country accent.

After realizing I sound like a cross between a tenor and country-fied Pee-Wee Herman, I'd tape myself but just to see how long my material ran. I was confident I'd get it, but realistic. I talk to a few lawyer buddies, and it turns professionals might spend two days uninterrupted getting ready for something like this. Okay, theirs are usually a little longer. A little. Oh joy.

Hello? Full time job here?

So zero hour approaches and I'm hoping I don't pass out from dehydration I'm sweating so hard. I'm pacing and talking, having scrapped the bullet point concept for a prepared speech in small bites - short burst paragraphs. I must have done it ten times in lobby waiting for the process to start. This promises to be a really long ten minutes.

I was in a classroom, this pic is the Supreme Court. I'd need a diaper.

Then as though it's a blur...we start, I'm talking, and talking, and talking....then questions come, AND I KNOW THE ANSWER! And then more talking and like an hour later, five minutes have passed. Then the questions come again, and more questions, and kinda fielding them well, I don't think I addressed the court properly, I can feel the sweat inside my shirt dripping down my side in little rivulets. Then like two hours later I've got one minute left, but I'm only like 65% done! Suddenly I'm pressed for time? How did that happen?

Then it's over and I have to sit through the other three arguments. It's varied, but I think they all sound better than me...well, mostly.

The review was shocking. Both judges thought I did well? I mixed argument and case law well in a convincing matter? Good use of what? I had presence and my voice resonated? Who in the THE hell were they listening too? I wasn't perfect by any means now, but apparently I've done good enough to sound like an attorney.

And you take it where you can get it. So I only have to do it again next week....

Barkeep....A tall glass of ice water.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Office Moguls - Part 3

Ramblings Post #16
Sometimes you can only feel that you've done something wrong because karma treats you so bad. You know that feeling, when suddenly that trip you've planned coincides with a sudden downturn in cash and you get the runs, you know, somebody somewhere really is trying to tell you stay home and suffer. Well, I'm starting to wonder what I did wrong. Not that I have the runs mind you..

Somebody is buying a house. I know because I've been listening to him buy a house since his sister bought out the other half of the land from him. Let's consider how many months ago that was.

I again wonder what his job is, exactly how he manages each week not to get fired. The office mogul who sits a row over from me has been buying a house for ...let's see, how long has it been now, because seems like EVER. Now, If he were willing to pay for it, this might have only taken a few weeks, but this was man who swore he could beat the stock market, and is still trying, so house buying has become an ordeal for the rest of us.

I guesstimate he's spent two or three grand in inspection fees looking at houses. He spends hours and I mean hours looking for homes on the internet, crowing about his new find each week until those damned sellers won't want to take his money.

Okay, he usually underbids the asking price by several thousand dollars (as much as twenty five thousand), and after the inspection usually wants to lower his bid even further based on what he finds, on properties already in foreclosure and in dire need of repair. He rationalizes that he's offering cash, so they should be willing to jump at his offer. I asked him - unwisely as it usually segues into a half hour of his magic master plan - if he considers that the sellers of the properties he's obsessed with occasionally can't go down any further, having hit what they owe minus fees. Nope, he proudly announced, hadn't crossed his mind. Not his problem.

He's been frustrated by the auctions because other bid on HIS house, upset with realtors, doesn't like that he needs an agent when all he wants to do is look at a house, mad that when he finally gets something he likes the realtor seems a little annoyed by his twenty third call that day. He's mad that nobody wants to listen to his proposals for how if they just do this, then he can do that or how the lenders don't believe what he believes for value. He seems to believe that a) CASH is king and b) everybody should be willing to cut him a deal. I hear him ten times a day, "Well, I'm offering cash..."

He really wants the house where the wall is falling down. Or the one where they've stripped out the kitchen counters and painted fairies on the walls. Or for the double wide trailer no one has the title to. Or my new favorite, the one with the active sinkhole in the middle of the living room (his plan for that appears to involve the current owner giving him permission to possibly destroy the house but not hold him responsible, genius!).

Forget the homes where a little paint will make it livable, or some yard work and TLC and the house looks new again. He seems to enjoy the spots where he would have to fill in the eroding foundation. Well, it is his money. To each his own.

The problem is that he conducts all his business on company time. Six calls to the realtor, two calls his agent, five calls to the seller, and this is before he's even made a bid! And sitting a row away, I hear all of it. The people on his row I pray for, as they sit in a ringside seat to idle chatter hell.

Karma, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for anything I may have said or done...

I'm scared that once he buys something...okay, I'm not scared I know this, he's gonna teach himself to hang dry wall so he can fix it up.

Heaven help him.

Barkeep...something to keep me from laughing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's starting to get a little cloudy

Family Post #3
Sometimes, people just get old is the way the nurse explained to Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day. And I guess it's true. At least until we get that stem cell thing worked out...thanks George. And sometimes tomorrow actually comes, and then what? I guess I'll find out soon.

My grandfather has lived a full life, one of adventure and family, at once both full and yet confined mostly to the low country of South Carolina. And now apparently at ninety plus, we're not quite sure of his real age, one has to be realistic about how things are going. He's been for most of my life, well heck all of my life, pretty much a force of nature. Now, not so much.

You always knew it would be someday that they might leave you, but you just kinda figured someday was always in the future.

I never realized how orderly my life was until I tried to change it or until change came to me. We all prefer the gradual easing into new concepts, so seamlessly that we struggle to even remember how we functioned before now. But now it seems like everything is shifting at once, so many things in flux that the effect is that of a never ending earthquake tremor that you just keep hoping will end so you can get back to whatever normal is. Only earthquakes, or really in this case, life-quakes rarely leave things "normal."

Last time I saw him, he was grinning and showing off the ring tones on his new cell phone. My grandfather with a cell phone.

I worry now for Grandmother. They've been together 70 years, and I wonder if this won't be that which prematurely ends her. They seem inseparable.

Everyone in my family older than myself, I've known my whole life. And I'm not young anymore, so that statement resonates even more lately. I guess it only stands to reason as I slip onto the backside - or depending on your attitude, the good part or groove - of middle age that my parents and their parents would suffer the passage of time as well. I find it hard to believe that this wondrous consciousness just winks out of existence when the body fails us.

When I learned to drive my grandfather gave me one great piece of advice: Keep moving. It's one that I've been able to apply to more than driving. When you hit a rough patch in life, you keep moving, keep doing what you're doing no matter how little traction you seem to get, even if it's just creeping along, and like driving through a terrible patch of get to the other side where things smooth back out.

Life happens. Even when we've made other plans...but I got a whole lot of living left to do.

I talked to my brother and appears he's back on the right track. But it does make you think.

Barkeep. I know I'm not drinking...but a little moonshine from the good still.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bad Show Old Boy...

Ramblings Post #15
Sometimes it's not like riding a bike... you DO forget. It took me eight years to get my Sweet Potato Pie filling to taste my grandmothers, and I'm still working on getting the crust. But I stopped making it once a month or so last fall when law school started. So I tried in December and damned if it wasn't like I'd never made it at all. Some skills get rusty. And damned if something else didn't pick up a coat of rust. Damned passage of time.

So this morning the Black Law Students Assoc. has a little workshop for the first year's to go over their oral presentations. There aren't all that many of us Black Students there anyway, and they are helpful when they try, so them come out was big considering kids and other life responsibilities. The Workshop was kind of a dry run, so you can do it in front of somebody who will be looking to see how your actually doing and get critiqued and not just do it front of your cat. Not that the cat is an extremely bad judge of character, it's just that they're notes are usually sloppy. And I don't have a cat.

So I'm thinking I got this. I mean "used" to speak all the time, I love the crowd, I get out in front. But I hem and haw at it like I know I'm the natural and don't have to even show my skillz. I've already worked out a flow, I've seen a couple of demos, looked at the some film, you know, I'm ready coach, put me in the game! Practice? Dude, we talking about practice!

My I was feeling arrogant about the whole thing wasn't I?

Then I get up there. And damn if I don't start out smooth and cool, with that used salesman patter that makes you suddenly start thinking you could use an 83' Buick, Junior really doesn't need college, does he? Smooth tones, hands on the podium, looking confident. And then thirty seconds later...I got nothing.

It was like a blinked and bam, I suddenly realized I'm not just bullshittin', I need to know the facts and how to present them. The other folks know as much as me, if not more. I stuttered, I repeated, I talked to myself out loud, I was like it was my first time public speaking. Then I realized it was my first time public speaking in like years. I even had a twinge in my gut? WTF? I had fallen out of practice.

If this ain't about a Kool-aid drinking...

The critique was good. I needed better flow, better prep, what to ask. The ladies of the group gave me a good working over, and my flow isn't as good as I thought, my transitions are horrible... talk about ego crash and burn.

So other than this bit of fooling around, and some cooking, I'm breaking out the camera that has video capability, and damn if I'm not gonna get this heya right. Well, not too right, I just need to not look stupid.

Barkeep, do they make a drink with St. John's Wort?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Movies I love for no reason at all

Ramblings Post #14
When you run out of things to talk about in a blog, or news article or any regularly posted or updated thing, and just need to fill a void, you pull out a list. They're simple to do, you make it about damn near anything, and if you're lucky, somebody takes it as gospel and suddenly you are and AUTHORITY on something. I don't think this list is going to make me all that much of an authority, AND once I considered the amount of time I actually put into it, a regular post would have been easier.

There are movies I like, I mean really like, and for the life of me I cannot fathom why. Some of them old and dusty with era dated celluloid mildew, practically transparent in their fakery, some of them utter tripe loaded with cardboard characters, cliche ideas and cookie cutter plots to the point where you guess the next line and getting it right most of the time, and yet others well written, artfully acted and directed.

Well the last not so much, something about most "Oscar worthy" performances irk me. How hard is it embody someone with a sense of nobility and angst in a period costume? I mean the corset alone elicits half the feeling you need for a character whose life is laced with pain. But make a psychotic loon in white face paint transcend his original ink and paper incarnation - thanks Mr. Ledger - and you've done some acting. Some of the other choices the Academy has made over the years baffles me.

But I digress.

One of my favorite films of all time is Smokey and the Bandit. Yes, I an African American male love this tale of rednecks in fast cars riding through the countryside. There are parts of the movie I can quote verbatim. Big Enos and Little Enos really should be revisited as characters. One weeknight it came on TMC or Showtime at midnight (you cannot watch it on regular TV, ever!) and damned if I didn't watch it until Junior screamed "Daddy, whose going to hold your hat?"

Conversely, I also love The Princess Bride. I don't know why but I do. Something about Ingio Montoya and Fezzick, and the way the actors spoke what had to sound even to them like hilarious lines with straight faces. It comes off as a better comedy than a lot of films that try to be hard to be funny.

And I'll watch Armageddon again and again. It is utter hero worship garbage, badly written and poorly acted by a cast of actors who I've actually seen act and apparently just didn't give a damn, and I love it. And say what you want, when the character Chick's ex-wife finally tells there son that the man on TV about to try to save the world is not some "guy" but his father, you tell me it doesn't pull at your heartstrings. Sure it's cliche as hell, but damned if it doesn't still work.

I think I've admitted here, and I'm truly ashamed to say it, I can sit through the entire Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Even after it veers off and jumps from suspension of disbelief into "just go along with it because it look great and cost a fortune to shoot", I will still watch it. The "cuttlefish" scene is one of the most badly written and great to watch scenes in recent history. If Captain Jack Sparrow isn't one of movie's great characters, I don't know what the qualifications are.

I have the movie channel package on DirecTV so when I get a moment away from the books I can veg, not that Turner Classic Movies isn't my go to on a rainy Saturday morning.

Speaking of that, as far as old movies go forget Casablanca, which I do love don't get me wrong, but I also love Bogart in We're No Angels (1955), which on screen really looks so set piece fake you can feel two guys of screen drinking coffee under the sound boom. And Cary Grant is at his best in the woeful Operation Petticoat (1957) and the utterly hilarious and also horrible Arsenic and Old Lace. (1944) I shudder to think one day they'll remake the William Powell's thinly veiled ode to drinking, The Thin Man (1934) with somebody goofy, like David Spade.

Man I do love a good bad movie. I actually own most of these, but I do need to by that Burt Reynolds. I really do.

Now don't get me wrong, I can watch Ratatouille again and again, but that's actually a good film, so that doesn't count.

Barkeep, what do have that's so bad it circles back around the good?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Quick Restaurant Review - Pot and Pan

So for brunch Saturday, Schmoopy takes me to a gay Chinese diner. Wait, I'll explain.

Schmoopy, who I've known for almost a decade now, wanted to go sit and eat since this week she didn't have any issues she wanted to bounce off somebody while she thinks things through. I'm kinda of an informal adviser. She thinks she's bothering me, but she not, since the conversation is usually lively, the food is usually good, and we do actually like each other. So she'd told me about this little diner another friend of her's suggested, so I said what the heck, let's drop in. I now wonder about her other friends.

The spot is called Pot and Pan, and is in a little semi-nondescript strip mall at the corner of Piedmont and Cheshire Bridge. It's a little far north of midtown, but I should have realized the social creep of the neighborhood. So my error. It's a typical diner, small with a bar you can eat at, well used booths and tables, and cooks cooking right where you can see them. Exactly what you want in a diner. But then I started noticing the, small differences.

The clientele was unabashedly of an "alternative" lifestyle. I rarely go places where you get groups of three and four men, male-male couples, hugging, touching, being affectionate and generally having a good time. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We sat in the back and Schmoopy joked that apparently all the women were consigned to the rear tables. (Note: for the record, all the women at this time were seated in the back of the restaurant)

So our waitress comes over, and she's Chinese. I think. She was Asian descent, let's say that. Then I noticed so was the cook. And the other cook. And just about everybody else working there. And so this was the first time I had ever been in a Chinese run, apparently Chinese owned, restaurant that did not serve Chinese food. Let me find a restaurant run by Greeks that only serves Polynesian. Or a Indian Restaurant with an all Irish staff.

But despite all the outside the box thinking going on, the food was so-so. Schmoopy had eaten there before, and thought it was good, so I ventured outside of my normal "test" items. I mean if you can't scramble eggs, cook hash browns or make grits, can you really say you serve breakfast? I had waffle with eggs and bacon, and maybe I'm spoiled, but the waffle was a little overdone. The bacon was a little over crispy as well , but that's situational. The spot was busy. Schmoopy had the french toast, which more like homemade french toast than any other restaurant's french toast I've ever seen. We did however, clean our plates. That maybe because the portions weren't overgenerous either, but that may due the economy more than anything else.

Also for the record, Schmoopy did the best she could with the puppies, but she apparently doesn't like to control them.

Would I go again? Maybe. I mean it was different, and the prices were reasonable, but it wasn't a gourmet...or a least lavish... old southern country style breakfast. But it shole was inneresting, no lie.

Barkeep, the sweet tea again. With lemon. Hey, it was good.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cowboys Give Me Strength

This is a Sports Post
And if you ain't figured that out by now, I'm gonna pray for you.

I am, and have been since I was 5 years old (or maybe even earlier), a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Seriously, my family will call and check on me when the Cowboys lose too badly. Boo and Hiss all you like, but I've been with the Cowboys through Danny White, a one win season, the firing of Jimmy, and every other way professional football haters, Joe Gibbs and commie spies have tried to destroy one of the greatest teams ever to suit up and play the game.

So last night when I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if a thousand touchdown passes had been dropped, I got up and turned to SportsCenter to see what had happened.

They cut Terrell Owens? Wait, What?

At first I was struck with disbelief. The Cowboys have just released him, just like that? Did anyone tell Jerry? I mean, Jerry surely would have gotten some value - traded him for some picks, a couple of DBs, a plasma screen TV, a bag of footballs, a box of doughnuts, something? I mean this is Jerry freakin' Jones, the deal maker! Jerry is who the other owners want to be when they grow up. Wait, Jerry told him that he was cut personally? Is this really happening?

What does a future Hall of Famer, whose acting out is basically just him really really wanting to win, do to be cut and have the team willing to take a MAJOR cap hit to get it done? Was TO tapping Mrs. Jones? I can't really see a reason other than that for letting his ass go. I mean if you make it to the pros, you can take isht talk in the locker room, so I would think he could only be so divisive. These are grown men for crying out loud.

At lunch, I wasn't surprised to find ESPN was basically The Cowboys have Cut Terrell Owens Story with commercial breaks for other sports news. I think they interviewed everybody on staff including the overnight cleaning crew as to what effect this would have on every aspect of football. I kept waiting for news on a statement from the White House about the crisis in Dallas. I think they reported that ego futures had fallen on Nikkei in Hong Kong, and the global economy might not survive another such shock.

The truth of the matter is we will know shortly is if Romo really is any good.
And if the running game is all we think it is.
And if Jason Garrett is worth a damn as an offensive coordinator.

The new Texas Stadium. Apparently Jerry is trying to go in Hoodoo free.

A great receiver, even one who drops a lot of passes can hide a whole lot of problems and deficiencies just by being a threat. With TO, the 'boys were in control of their own fate until about 3 mins into the last game of the season. Without him? I dunno.

I mean let's be real. You can love who you want to, but everybody on your team wishes they played for the Cowboys. Ask'em.

Barkeep. I think I'll have my one drink now. I mean what the fuck?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our own little Banana Republic (ans)

This is a political post
This week a coup happened in of all places: our own backyard. It was no banana republic rich with natural resources, or some African quagmire with a intertribal argument going back to before we walked upright. No, this time it was the generally rich, well educated, mostly white Republican Party that got gaffled like Lower New Bumpkina or Middle West Toohotandsunnyina.

Rush Limbaugh just hijacked a major national party.

With Republican senators falling over themselves to toe his line and the supposed head of the Republican party backing down from a confrontation in the past few days, this unhinged radio personality in the last five months has taken over the leadership of one of the two parties that basically run this country. And I call it a coup because that is what it is: no one elected Mr. Limbaugh, he has taken over by sheer force of will, he is basically accountable only to himself, and yet his ideas, his rhetoric is setting the agenda for the GOP. He only needs a military cap and a little flag.

Because you see, this time it's personal.

Why? Because Obama is going to raise taxes on the rich, which means money out of Mr. Limbaugh's pocket. Will it make him destitute? At moments like this I'm reminded of the South Park episode about music downloading. Okay, Mr. Limbaugh might have to wait until next month to get that gold plated shark tank next to the pool. And he'll have to suffer with a Gulfstream 3 private jet instead of the G4. Do you know that the G4 doesn't even have a remote for it's surround sound? Oh, poor poor Mr. Limbaugh.

The supposed argument Rush has his new troops beating the brush with is that Obama will destroy Capitalism and bring in a wave of Socialism. They want him and his reforms to fail, apparently not realizing that if the reforms fail this time, so does the country. The fire of a problem is now too large to let it burn itself out, and the "conservatives" don't want to admit it. A simple round of the Republican favorite and only tool - "tax cuts" - and time just won't do it. Too much is on the brink of failure at the same time, too many elements of the economy would go by the boards and quite frankly nobody knows what would be at the other end of such an economic debacle. And only Rush, again accountable to no one, is willing to see what happens.

You see, the Republican hardliners dream of a return to the days of the Robber Baron, and the accompanying nearly unfettered power - completely breezing over the horror of child labor, terrible conditions and complete abuse of workers and extremes of poverty engendered by that age. That it could only exist when the country was a manufacturing titan doesn’t occur to them either. The sad part is Rush wouldn't last 15 minutes in a true Capitalist economy he so desperately wants. And neither would most of the folks who stand behind him. Think a curious mix of modern Russian economics and Brazil with it's shanty towns, and an economy where public safety and individual right go by the board if it affects profit.

America hasn't even come close to laissez-faire capitalism before now since the 1920s, oddly the last time this same economic catastrophe type thingy happened. And part of the reason America is the way it is the curious mix of socialism and capitalism, with dashes of religious morality thrown in that came out of that mess and allow individual success without rampant destruction. You know, the rules and way of living we've been dismantling over the past decade? Just so we could all get rich, like tomorrow?

Funny. It didn't work the first time either.

I wish El Capitan Limbaugh the best. He's gonna need it. Because the day he wakes up and realizes he's running a political Jamestown, he's gonna need all the help in the world.

Barkeep....something fruity to celebrate el captain! Can I get a little umbrella?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Separate but Together

Internet Fodder post #1
You ever see something on the internet while you're just browsing and have something to say about it, but realize that you don't have the vast forum that whoever you read has, so that you can put your word to the people's ear in such a like fashion? Well, I do. But I do have a forum, maybe not as vast or as neatly kept, and I'm going to spout off like the last person. Well, maybe not spout off, but at least say something....

Should Married Couples have separate bedrooms?

I was gazing over one of the many chat rooms found on the internet, browsing for interesting reading, and found this question. Should a married couple have his and her bedrooms? Initially it seemed like such a strange concept, but then I started reading the responses.

Some of them were interesting - such as the person who gets hot very quickly and doesn't like covers, or is very sensitive to the touch of another. The espoused on the need for a private space, and how it would foster a calm in the relationship, as well as better health and better rest. And I was like wow, I never thought of it that way. These people have articulated some very rational and well thought out reasons for how they feel. I need to think about this.

So I slept it on it.

You ever have a conversation with someone and halfway through you realize they're missing a chapter or two in the story? That they don't quite get something that should have been obvious? You know, those people. Well I thought about it, and to me it sounds like more of the rife selfishness that currently infects our society.

Since when is marriage all about the individual?

Marriage by it's very construction is a compromise. Two people coming together and functioning as a team. And you grow and adjust, taking into account the other person's likes and dislikes, anxieties and comforts, pleasures and pains . And you share a bed. Sharing a bed is one of the more important aspects of marriage, as it encourages a non-sexual intimacy; those moments of closeness that allow you really know someone. Some marriage counselors I read even suggested queen sized beds as opposed to king sized to encourage contact and interaction.

A relationship with separate bedrooms is really nothing more than roommates who sleep together.

A friend of mine once confessed to me that she was scared of losing herself, her identity, in a relationship. Part of being in a relationship IS losing that identity. Not submitting to the other person totally, but the two of you forming a hybrid composed of a compromise of each others likes and dislikes. And I think that separate bedrooms is another way to keep this person you supposedly love and want to be around for the rest of your life at an arm's length. If separate bedrooms are okay, why not separate living arrangements? And on that logic we swiftly get back to why get married at all.

I think too many of us have confused a relationship with a something else. A relationship is a commitment to some degree, particularly a marriage. That you want to be able to go to YOUR room to be away from your partner is kinda of up there with a marital pre-nup: Planning for failure. And this way is more pernicious, as the former is at best a uncomfortable precaution, the latter is active resistance to committing to a coming together.

And if you're most interested in the one than in the two, maybe you should just stay one.

Barkeep. Double shot of ...oh, hang, I'm not drinking. Kool-aid and sprite then.