Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Play that Funky Music, Dr. Whiteboy

My boss recently brought to my attention the work of Dr. Carl Winter, a professor of Toxicology here at UCD. Along with, no doubt, other projects, Dr. Winter writes songs themed on Food Safety piggybacked on popular tunes. We listened to "50 Ways to Eat your Oyster" this morning. I've perused his warning on the Norwalk Virus to the tune of "Under the Boardwalk," including the lyrics "A case of Norwalk/Out on the sea/In the bathroom of my cabin/Is where I'll be." I look forward to checking out some of his other work, including:

Don't Get Sicky Wit It
Stomachache Tonight
I Sprayed it on the Grapevine
Beware of La Vaca Loca (a la Ricky Martin)
Rat #49 (Love Potion #9)
Food Irradation (Do the Locomotion)
Clonin' DNA (Surfin' USA)

This guy is way more appealing than, say, Christian a capella groups.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Why You Don't Care about Steroids in Sports

So, 60 Minutes is reporting that certain members of the Carolina Panthers took steroids before losing Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. Meanwhile the New York Times is reporting the major league baseball's top medical advisor went to school in Guadalajara, Mexico instead of SUNY-Stony Brook, as he has claimed. The response on television and from fans seems underwhelming. People say they are tired of the steroid story, which is probably true. But that doesn't mean the media should stop reporting it.

This is a case of "eat your vegetables" in media. This story is important if only because people have a right to know on what they're spending their entertainment dollars. Further, steroids are symbolic of the shortcuts that people take to excel in American culture. And those shortcuts are trickling down into youth and prep sports and ruining people's lives. It's a real problem and certainly worthy of extended press scrutiny. Those don't want to know about 'roids are free to ignore it.

But I think are lot of those people who want who want this story to go away are fans that, by and large, don't give two shits about pro athletes. As far a fan is concerned, players exist to be cheered, booed, taunted, hit with bottles and bet upon. Maybe salary escalation and price gouging have something to do with this, but I doubt it. People attend sporting events to see people perform athletic feats. That's the way it is in the marketplace, where professional athletes are only worth the next dollar than fans will spend to see them.

7 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 30, 2005 8:37 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Wait, Mike, who are you suggesting these people (who want the steroid story to go away) care about? The steroid users who are abusing their own bodies? Are they the victims in all of this? Because then you are asking fans to care about the cheaters.

    And in case you are wondering, price gouging, arrogance, phoning it in, and salary escalation are exactly the reasons why fans dehumanize the players. Teddy Bruschi got plenty of well-wishing in New England after his stroke. That is because he plays hard and respects the fans. It is a two way street in this department.

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 30, 2005 9:06 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • If sports are about aesthetics, and steroids violate the trust, what about cosmetic surgery for actors.

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at March 31, 2005 10:10 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • No one's saying fans have to like the players that use steroids, but that isn't the same as caring. I believe Mike's point is that people seem not to care that the guy they root for is cheating, and sending himself to an early grave in doing so. I expected people to feel betrayed and to want a cleaner game, but a lot of people would just prefer not to know.

  •   Posted by Blogger Mike at March 31, 2005 1:27 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Dave: Those fans care about themselves and about having an arena to attend to drink beer and get angry about. I agree with Anna, that I thought people would care about how clean the game was. But people don't want to hear that story. They want to see home runs, crushing hits and open-field tackles. And they don't care if the guy on the field is going to die at 45.

    The NFL has thrived because of its short season and the perception that every game is life-and-death. The Bruschi outpouring is a one-shot deal, for a "lunchpail" guy on the team that won the championship faced with a shocking sort of illness. But with rampant obesity and the escalating of inherent violence, pro football takes decades off the lives of the people who play it. I love the sport, but that dark side is another people that fans really don't care about.

    And if people really cared about price gouging, then the Boston Red Sox would not have fans anymore.

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 31, 2005 3:54 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • People might want a clean game. However, wanting a clean game and being interested in the steroid story are two different things. How many Barry Bonds awkward press conferences can someone watch? Is watching Mark McGuire look totally pathetic in front of Congress captivating? Which Sports Illustrated cover is more appealing? The one about broken dreams or the new one showing Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter? Sure, you might say that this attitude is typical American hotel society nonsense. But professional sports is about entertainment. We do not want to see people torn down. If this is a public health issue, then you can report and report and report away about high school athletic programs and the like. But for the sports fan to give up the NCAA tounament to watch a bunch of people's careers go up in flames is not why people watch sports. There is enough bad stuff in all the other sections of the newspaper already.

    As for the NFL, has the players union been thwarted in their attempts to make the game safer? Are they not compensated fairly for doing what they love? Can they not walk away from the game if they do not want to be at risk, like Jim Brown, Robert Smith, and Ricky Wlliams? Did the NFL not make any changes after Korey Stringer's death? Those are the important stories to report on. Not if people freely chose an occupation with a particular sets of risk that they are well aware of at the time.

    As for price gouging, people will pay the money but get a greater right to boo if they do not get to see what they want. This is exactly what happens at Fenway. Every professional athlete implicitly agrees to this arrangement when they receive money from the public in exchange for performing in front of the public.

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 31, 2005 7:33 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • In case anyone did not realize it, the gooogle ads next to this pointing are awesomely funny.

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at April 01, 2005 3:27 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • They are, but not nearly as funny as the ads on the home page for bunny suits and finger sandwiches.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Jeff'y Sells Out

It was bound to happen. Jeff'y has surrendered to Google and moved 34 to Blogger.

I'm looking forward to the same incisive commentary on absurdist novels and odes to the subway on the tictac template. Welcome to the Blogger family.

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I Feel like a Medici

I recently commissioned some art from Sarah for the redesign (which, I swear, is coming any day now) and unlocked a treasure trove of hidden talent. Apparently Sarah is uncannily gifted when it comes to manipulating that little Paint accessory program that comes with everyone's computer. Actually she's uncannily gifted at a couple of things, which is why she's currently got two venerable New England institutions in a bidding war for the favor of her matriculation next fall, but nevermind. These are some highlights from her most recent collection--all bunnies.


Approval Bunny Posted by Hello

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Moby Bunny Posted by Hello

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My personal favorite: Trojan Bunny. Check out the Argives inside! Posted by Hello

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Monday, March 28, 2005


Who Won? Ayelet Waldman is a Fucking Lunatic Edition

In this week's Modern Love column some woman wrote about 1,000 words about how she loves her husband more than her children. This article becomes the centerpiece of the argument that writers should have to apply to some agency for the right to reproduce. I mean, what the fuck? The wedding also included the marriage of two journalists, a coupling one can only imagine will end up being measured in days.

27 March 2005
Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 0 of 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 7 of 7
Men: 5
Women: 2
Ties: 0
Disputed Results: 0

Year to Date
Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 4 of 6
Ties: 2
Disputed Results: 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 68 of 81
Men: 43
Women: 25
Ties: 7
Disputed Results: 6

3 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Anonymous KTA at March 29, 2005 5:02 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Dude, you forgot to mention that the Reverend Run (aka Run from Run DMC) officiated at the wedding featured in "Vows" this week. Unfortunately, the groom is a Yankee fan, but we can't all be perfect, can we?

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at March 29, 2005 8:09 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Well I can't speak for Mike, but I for one make a point of never reading "Vows." Occasionally I get suckered into a "State of the Unions" but usually end up yelling at the newspaper. I have readers like Katy to tell me when I missed something cool.

  •   Posted by Anonymous KTA at March 30, 2005 8:22 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • You're not missing much—"Vows" has been disappointing lately (and that "State of the Unions" thing sucks almost as much as the rest of the Styles section).

    It's worth noting, though, that my dad recommended this week's "Vows" offering. I was on the phone with my mom, and I heard yelling in the background, and then some mumbling, and my mom goes, "Dad says you should read the wedding section if you haven't already. He says it's really good." As for my dad, he claims to have gotten drunk with the justice of the peace in the other room before he married my mom, but whatever—they're still together.

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He Does Have an Unusually Sharp Beak

There's a woman in my department who's retiring early today and moving back to her native England because she says George Bush scares her.

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Caveat Carnivore

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting with sufficiently dry humor that a woman (who has asked not to be identified in any way) found two pieces of a human finger in her chili at a local Wendy's on Thursday. There's pictures of the finger and everything. They were serving that batch of chili for 5 hours before they found the finger. On the bright side, the Health Department seems to think the finger had been cooked well enough to prevent the spread of disease.

But still. Eeeew.

This is so much scarier than the breaded chicken head they found at KFC in Jersey a few years back. This is like the start of an episode of CSI.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005


FFH Endorses the Competition

FFH only just discovered that the Leavitt-Cohns have their own blog (I only just saw your comment from back in December, Marisa. Sorry!) It hasn't been updated very recently, but it features impossibly cute pictures of a black cat named Neko.

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Saturday, March 26, 2005


On the Pending Redesign

Today, Michael asked me, "Is rearranging the blog something you do to keep yourself from rearranging the furniture?"

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The Quotable Carman 11

A few months ago I turned up an old list of quotations from my hallmates on Carman 11 that I kept my freshman year. I think it was a record of things we of the Jailbait Suite had written on our dry-erase board at various points in the year. Mike points out that he apparently said nothing quotable all of freshman year. Rich is also notably absent from the list despite having no doubt said many witty things between September of 1998 and May of 99. Miranda isn't on the list, and it was her dry-erase board. Joel was on the list, but I censored his quotation. And so on. So you can see that the list isn't really representative of anything, but there's some mildly amusing stuff on it, so I'm going to share it. Mike can console himself with the knowledge that he came up with calling us the Jailbait Suite.

Ryan (at the West End): Let’s pace ourselves, it’s early yet...Let’s hold back on that order of fries. [I believe he then turned to our server and ordered two or so pitchers of Black Star].

Dave A: Who’s Ally McBeal? Is she on Dawson’s Creek?

Akil: If there’re polka dots, why aren’t there hip hop dots?

Dave A: I’ll give you mad props, whatever those are.

Ryan: So, can I get you ladies a drink?
Girl: Didn’t you serve me mashed potatoes earlier today?

Erin meant: Why don’t you look for it in Dave’s room?
Erin said: Why don’t you look for it in Zeus’ room?

Scott (hi-fiving):Tina!
Tina (hi-fiving back): Tina!

Ian(on somebody’s crush): He wants to fill ‘er full of Jew.

Q: Why couldn’t Dave A find limes at UFM?
A: He was looking for cartoon limes and forgot what real ones look like.

Scott: Leo, I’m gonna baptize you with Rock N’ Roll!
Leo: I’m gonna baptize you with Gay.

Failed pickup lines:
1) “Hey, you got the long legs and I got the long tongue. Drop the white boy!”
2) “‘Erin’ means ‘Ireland’? I thought it meant ‘Do you wanna have sex with me?’”
3) “I’ve always been fascinated by tall women, cause, you know--horizontally...”

JZ: Man, Rainbow Brite is hot! Look at those legs!

Dave F: I’m done with calculus, and the next time I enter the Math building will be when I take it over in a student revolt.

Scott: I’m a tank, man! Enh, who’m I kidding. I get buzzed when John Jay serves tiramisù.

Hyejin: Man, he was so hot I almost fainted! Like those goats.
Us: What? What goats?
Hyejin: You know, those goats that faint when they’re horny. [It was later revealed that there is a species of goat called fainting goats that faint when they’re scared.]

Trevor (after grabbing Jeff’s crotch): I’m not gay, I’m just really comfortable with my sexuality.
Jeff: Great, but do you have to be so comfortable with mine?

Hyejin: Who’s the seventh dwarf? Sleazy?
Jothi: I thought the sleazy dwarf was JZ.

Hyejin: I can’t wait to take Psych so I can unleash my psychic powers.

Dave F: Can I be a professional conversation killer? I’m, like, a black belt in this shit.

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Friday, March 25, 2005


Fun at Spring Training

I returned this morning from a three-day tour of the Oakland A's camp, spending time watching the wonder that is terrible late-inning spring baseball and suffering a terrible sunburn. Here's the blow-by-blow in highlight form.

Tuesday:
--Catch a 6:30 a.m. flight from Sacramento to Phoenix. Deciding that it's better to sleep an extra few minutes than jockey for plane position, I draw a C pass on Southwest Airlines. That means I am among the last to board, squeezing into a middle seat between two large men who sleep the whole way down. I have bought three newspapers and despite using subway fold, don't make any friends.
--We arrive at the A's complex about 10 a.m., just as the players are stretching. Papago Park, Oakland's minor league complex, is beautiful. Given that Oakland is one of the poor teams, I can only imagine what the Yankees have, probably solid gold lockers and towels that are actually $100 bills stitched together.
--Realize that I have stupidly forgotten sunscreen.
--Watch Barry Bonds press conference where he blames media for injuries. Feel surge of power course through my body.
--Radio Voice of Triple A team tells story about players forcing him to take batting practice. His response to them was, "Great. I'm glad making me feel bad about myself makes you happy." This sets the tone for the running joke of the trip.
--Spot Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball. He is writing a sequel to the book and hanging around the minor league games. His shirt is open one button too far and everything just feels awkward.
--Meet series of Sacramento-are radio guys and understand why they are on the radio.
--Go to dinner with radio voice of the triple-A affiliate and brand new PR guy. We eat at fancy sushi place, though I order generic pad thai. We comment on the way women who live in warm climates seem to walk around naked all the time. Since all three of us are in long-term committed relationships, we comfort ourselves by referring to all women in Arizona as "trogs."

Wednesday
--Attend major league camp, but receive credential that has no clubhouse access.
--A's manager Ken Macha and ESPN's Peter Gammons are discussing Texas starter Chris Young, who is 6-10 and played basketball at Princeton. I try to join conversation with cutting remark about Princeton's academic standards for basketball and am ignored.
--George Will is there as well.
--Have following exchange in press box.
Voice of River Cats: (walks over with recording equipment) Can I put this stuff down here?
Me: Sure. Watching your stuff makes me happy.
VORC: Thanks, that makes me happy.
Me: No. Making you happy makes me happy.
VORC: See, that makes me happy.
Operator of MLB.com's gamecast: Hey, why don't you guys just have a fight over who is happier?
We proceed to mock this person for both his attitude and the size of his nose for the rest of the trip.
--File stories and consider going out for dinner.
--Order room service, remove pants at 7:15 MT, do not put them on against for rest of the evening.

Thursday:
--Meet and interview Billy Beane. Immediately cease preparing for fantasy draft as I'm sure his karma will rub off on me.
--Watch low-key minor league intersquad game. Am briefly taken by female photographer and then realize that she is Tabitha Soren, formerly of MTV News. Soren is married to Michael Lewis.
--Manage to avoid sun for most of the morning.
--Eat delicious pizza lunch in downtown Scottsdale. Find myself growing impressed with life in Arizona.
--File stories in time for media dinner.

Friday
--Am dropped off at 5:45 for 7:45 a.m. flight. Phoenix airport is decent, but there is nothing to eat.
--Arrive home at 9:30 and am greeted with largely deserted town because kids are spring break, likely in Arizona. I love that.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005


April Showers--Golden Showers

The other day I asked April to pass along for me an impromptu invitation to dinner. My request was that she warn Gigi and Mona that they would be squashed around my small kitchen table and that I would be feeding them a humble lentil soup. Not content with my message, April whipped up a nifty little e-vite. Only the subject read "Pee Soup at Chez Anna." Gigi declined.

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An Observation for Holy Week

Have you noticed how no one ever says their favorite Gospel is the Book of Mark? I wonder if there is a group of St. Mark enthusiasts out there who get together to defend his Gospel. It's not that farfetched, I mean, the IT guy at work is the head of the international society for carnivorous plants.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005


My Best Friends at Work are Pregnant Goats

Now that I know that e-Scrabble is undermining the economy I no longer play it on my lunch break. I'm looking into blogging at lunch instead, though I fear this will lead to boring posts. I don't usually eat with anyone here, partly because I can't take the smell of fish sauce in the lunch room around this time of day. When it's sunny out I go around the back of CHE (my building, the Center for Health and Environment) to CEH (the Center for Equine Health) and visit with the horses and goats. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, there's a whole center for that? But this is UC Davis, where agriculture is king, and that's not nearly the weirdest stuff they have going on. The goats are my favorite. They walk funny (though this may be because they are due to make baby goats soon) and they can wag their tails. When you talk to them they make this funny noise like if Fran Drescher were a sheep. My dad tells me that goat meat is becoming a hot commodity and that many former cow farmers are making the switch. Being a vegetarian means I don't have to think about that too hard, though it does decrease my chances of overcoming my aversion to fish sauce enough to actually talk to someone during lunch.

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Monday, March 21, 2005


The Envelope Please

Anna received the "big envelope" from UC Berkeley's School of Public Health today, though in fact the envelope was actually business sized.

Upon coming home from work early after a 6:30 a.m. shift, I picked up the letter from the mailbox, saw what it was and started to open it. Remembering that it is rude to open other people's mail, I instead tried to peek through the transparent window to see if I could see anything, my heart racing. I could make out the word "pleased," though in the process managed to noticeably rip the bottom of the envelope. I called Anna at work and she told me to open in, which means I got to break the good news.

Anyway, Anna matriculates (boo-yeah) there this fall. It's a two-year program in epidemiology and biostatistics. She plans to focus on aging, which is fascinating and marketable thanks to all that Postwar schtupping. We also get something we've never had before, two years of knowing for sure what time zone we'll be living in.

3 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 22, 2005 5:01 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • We are delighted to hear about the openning of Carman 11's Department of Public Health's West Coast office. Us in the East Coast office could not be happier.

    Congratulations Anna on getting into your program and congratulations Mike on joining the club of spouses of M.P.H.'s. I can't wait for the jointly written expose on MRSA in locker rooms.

  •   Posted by Blogger Rich at March 22, 2005 3:24 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • wow, congratulations. you really should go to brooklyn though. it's a quality school as well.

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 24, 2005 6:40 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Congratulations as well.

    Remember, the definition of a public health crisis is something so bad that even an epidemiologist can find it.

    As you plan your graduate career, remember never to take a course for a grade that you don't have to.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005


Free-Floating Anniversary

Yesterday, March 19th, marked five years of Mike's and my coupledom. At least by our reckoning--unlike a wedding anniversary it's not always clear when your coupledom anniversary should fall. It's especially hard for us because we evolved into a couple over time from a couple of friends. I think most people choose a first kiss, but ours was not an auspicious first kiss, and it was followed by six months of me not speaking to Mike unless absolutely necessary i.e. "You're standing on my foot, snotnose." We chose the night of our first "date," which was really just one of many dinners at Tom's. This particular one was different because we had just announced to our friends over the course of four or five days that we were a couple.

I remember some of those announcements quite fondly. I had expected most people to be happy the way an out-of-wedlock child is when its parents get married, but I think everyone was nervous that this new development would end in breaking up the new Carman 11 family we had formed. It took Jeff about ten minutes just to believe Mike wasn't joking. Rich threatened to beat Mike up. I wasn't there personally when Mike's ex-suitemates heard, but apparently Eugene couldn't close his mouth for quite some time, and Trevor is said to have shaken his head, muttering "That girl's got problems." For some reason we were terrified of telling Form, and avoided it for so long that I think Joel actually told him for us, but now neither one of us can remember why.

Mike and I normally celebrate our anniversaries by one of us saying "Hey, wasn't our anniversary last week?" and the other one saying, "Hey, yeah. Cool." But we put on an unusually good show this time by a) remembering it b) not having work all day and c) going out. We would have gone to Tom's if we could, but we just went to Seasons, the somewhat upscale restaurant down the street from us. I had a delicious salad made from endive, goat cheese and three kinds of local beets, followed by wild mushroom risotto and sauteed brussels sprouts. Mike had crab cakes and fetuccine carbonara. We shared a half bottle of Syrah. Then we nipped across the street to the movie theater for a late showing of Be Cool, which was something alright but that something is not a movie.

In the five years since that diner date, Mike and I have weathered nine jobs, seven homes (two of them shared), umpteen business trips, three summers apart, two continents, four time zones, one terrorist attack on our city, two presidential elections (margin of error +/- 1), one cross-country drive with all our belongings in tow, four couches, one purple chair, nineteen shared hotel rooms, two strip club visits (one each), five net new friends, zero unwanted pregnancies, four weddings, one funeral, one blog and one marriage.

Not a bad start.

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Who Won? California Hailstorm Edition

Our Sunday morning game of WW? was interrupted by the pelting of hail against our windows. It brought us out the front door where we saw a bunch of our neighbors taking in the scene as well. It's a been a rainy weekend, which has been good both for watching the NCAA Tournament and great for having some actual weather to savor before we spend the next six month in sunny triple digits.

20 March 2005

Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 0 of 1
Ties: 1
Disputed Results: 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 11 of 11
Men: 5
Women: 6
Ties: 0
Disputed Results: 0

Year to Date

Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 4 of 6
Ties: 2
Disputed Results: 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 61 of 74
Men: 38
Women: 23
Ties: 7
Disputed Results: 6

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Thursday, March 17, 2005


The Poolmaster

I am running my office's NCAA pool, which is the perfect job for a nerd like me. I have already calculated everyone's score twice, once after the first session of games and against after the second. I did refrain from the mass e-mail with everyone's score on it, which really just a face saving gesture. I don't want people to know just how seriously I take this.

Unfortunately, it looks as though I will be finishing out of the money. Maybe my ESPN women's bracket challenge bracket will net me a flat-screen television or cash. I may be the only one to have filled one of those things out.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Reconsidering the Classics

HBO has started showing A League of Their Own on a pretty regular basis these days, which is fitting both because it's a great movie and because it's almost baseball season. I've always been bothered by the ending, where in the final inning of the final game of the World Series, Kit (Lori Petty) bowls over her older sister Dottie (Geena Davis) at home plate, jarring the ball loose and scoring the series-clinching run for Racine. Yesterday it hit me. Dottie blows the final play on purpose, deciding that in the end it means more to her to see Kit succeed than it does to actually win the series. Anna says that this reading means a betrayal of the principles of the film, but I disagree.

As the Racine players (which include Brearley Beaver Tea (Panto)Leoni) go apeshit with joy on the field after vanquishing Rockford, Dottie stands with manager Jimmy Duggan (Tom Hanks) on the steps watching it, a smile comes across her lips. It's reminiscient of that famous shot after the 1980 Olympic hockey game where one of the Soviet players stands on his blue line, head resting on his stick, watching the American kids jump up and down a half-smile on his face.
In addition to the patriotic triumphalism inherent in the story, some have suggested that the professionalism of the Soviets lost to the enthusiasm on the American college kids. That the CCCPers were almost a little happy to lose, just to see the passionate outpouring of the Americans.

So take Dottie. She is the league's first star, the person who put gets the cover of Life Magazine with her behind the back, do-the-splits catch of a foul ball. She is the best hitter and a team leader. She is Michael Jordan. But what she has to earn is the title "ballplayer." Only Duggan can really bestow that title. Simply by returing for Game 7 she proves to Duggan that she feels the lure of the game and understands how to be a professional baseball player. One of the things that all pro understand is that they are in the winning-and-losing business. Outcomes, therefore, are always secondary to process. Losing totally sucks, but a player understands that he or she can't control whether a shot goes in, only what type of shot that player can take. By returning to the field, Dottie proves she understands that.

That understanding puts her on a different plane than Kit, who is concerned solely with beating Dottie, with finally outshining her older sister. In their final exchange under the stands at Racine Field, Kit is the hero and Dottie is the goat. Kit is the winner, but Dottie is the ballplayer. Is that enough for Dottie? You can see some of the conflict in Davis' face. Davis never acted this well in her life.

I also don't think that it takes away from the movie. A League of Their Own is one of the great sports film and that complexity is part of it. There is an even longer rant here about the earnestness in women's sports movies that I'll leave for another time. But what you learn from Dottie in her final speech about what she'll miss is that being there everyday with her teammates and friends, going through the prepartation is what makes sports worthwhile for the participants. This is sports beyonds scores and it's a lesson that gets lost in most discussions.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 17, 2005 6:13 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • This seems like an interesting topic to respond to but I am unwilling to invest either the effort to rent "A League of their Own" or the money to subscribe to HBO. One question, do the historical circumstances play a role in this message? What you were describing seems somewhat antiquated.

    BTW: What are the odds "There is no crying in baseball makes it into the Congressional Hearings today?"

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Monday, March 14, 2005


Who Won? Married to a New Yorker Editon

WW? is a day late because of work, and for that I offer our sincerest apologies. Twice yesterday, when we were going through the announcement, Anna stopped and wondered aloud if the woman in the item had gone to Brearley. That happens pretty regularly, and occaisionally it even turns out to be right. That's sort of a thrill for me because it makes me feel famous. I like to feel famous.

Also, on a trip to College Day in San Francisco Anna ran into Emily Morris, which is worth noting because it's fun to see CU people on the West Coast.

13 March 2004

Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 1 of 1
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 7 of 9
Men: 2
Women: 4
Ties: 2
Disputed Results: 1

Year to Date

Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 4 of 5
Ties: 1
Disputed Results: 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 50 of 63
Men: 33
Women: 17
Ties: 7
Disputed Results: 6

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Saturday, March 12, 2005


In Which I Highlight Mike's Shortcomings

I would just like to point out that I had a perfectly lovely list of hot girls. That Mike did not see fit to share it with you, and that he did not compose a list of hot men, is somewhat distressing to me. Back in the day, one of the reasons I never wanted to get married is that by the time I was 15 I had despaired of finding any males my age that weren't sexist, racist homophobes. What a cruel shock to realize I married one after all. And he seemed so nice.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005


Rotisserie League, Anyone?

In honor of March Madness, the local sports radio station is doing its annual Tournament of Babes. The concept is obvious. They seed 64 women in a bracket format and then have callers pick the winners. I would link to the whole bracket, but I stoutly refuse to the join the station's "Man Club" on the basis that it is discriminatory against lesbians.

That said, months ago Anna and I put together basketball teams based purely on sex appeal. This seems as a good a time as any to unveil them.

Mike's team
Point guard: Salma Hayek
Shooting guard: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Small forward: Beyonce
Power forward: Kate Winslet
Center: Jennifer Lopez

Bench (in alphabetical order):
Linda Cardellini, of ER
Maggie Gyllenhaal, though her mother can go to hell
Keira Knightley
Eva Mendes
Audrey Tautou
Gabrielle Union, yeah motherfucker, Bring it on.
Rachel Weisz

Anna points out that I only have one Jew on my list. I like the European influence, though because I really think we'll be bombs away from the outside. My list is also all actresses, meaning that we'll be really good at drawing fouls.

Anna's team
PG George Clooney
SG Clive Owen
SF Benjamin Bratt
PF Brad Pitt
C John Kerry, yes that one.

Bench:
Eric Balfour
Pierce Brosnan
Michael Chiklis
Chow-Yun Fat
Jesse L. Martin
Michael Smith, sportswriter for ESPN.com. (Stay out of Arco Arena, motherfucker)
Jon Stewart

Anna's is clearly the most bizarre hot list ever assembled. I'm not sure what that says about me.

I'll let all you perverts out there google your own pictures.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 12, 2005 12:37 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Rumor has it the Mike played a president's tournament with family members in his youth. It was a always a tough decision if the matchup was something like Reagan v. Harding, so it was possible for some of those guys to get into the second round, but usually not out of it. Were the game played today, I think that Reagan, who used to be the worst, would advance against GW Bush.

    FD Roosevelt v. Lincoln was always a tight matchup, but FDR would always take the cup.

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Mike said: One More Reason I'm Glad I Started Using Deoderant

Gigi alerted me to a law recently passed by the County of San Luis Obispo that makes body odor a pretext for ejecting people from its libraries. After I thought about it for a while I realized it was a pretext for removing the homeless, but for a while there I though, wow, if malodor is the biggest problem facing SLO legislators, I'm going to move to Morro Bay.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Bell's Palsy for Blogs

Since I started looking at FFH from work (ON MY BREAK) I have realized that while FFH looks totally fine in my browser, Firefox, the bottom half of the sidebar is dropped all the way to the bottom of the page when viewed in Internet Explorer. As to Netscape, I don't even know what it will look like. I will eventually try to figure out a solution, probably involving another facelift for FFH, but I don't know when, so I have to ask your patience until then.

Alternatively, you could get Firefox, too. I recommend it highly, and it's free. Jeff pushed it for a long time and for a long time I ignored him, but when I had finally had it with spyware popping up all over my computer I agreed to try it, and it is sooooooooo goooooooooood.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Bad Music Alert

If I were Dave Barry, I would come out of retirement and reopen the Bad Song Contest just especially to hand out a prize to John Mayer, for "Daughters." (I don't recommend dwelling on the fact that the link I just provided you goes to some place called Love Dungeon. It's actually a copy of Barry's original Bad Song Contest column, which is funnier than this post.)

But back to more serious matters. I. Cannot. Stand. This. Song.

I don't even listen to the radio and I hear it all the time. Worst of all, it plays at the gym without fail, no matter what time of day I go trying to escape it. This is not workout music, folks. It's whiney in the extreme, mushy, drippy, pathetic, sexist, offensive to fathers, and so poorly sung as to border on atonal. Oh, please, let me show you some of the lyrics.
Fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers
Who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters, too

Thank you, John Mayer! Now that I've heard your song, I think I get it. I'm not supposed to be bad to my daughter, I'm supposed to be good! I'll get right on that. Good thing they played this piece of shit song so many times at my gym.

Dave Barry launched the Bad Song Contest mostly in response to Niel Diamond's "I Am, I Said," specifically the lyric " 'I am,' I said/To no one there/And no one heard at all/Not even the chair." He pointed out, "that this does not make a ton of sense, unless Neil has unusually intelligent furniture. ('Mr. Diamond, your BarcaLounger is on line two.')"

Now tell me if this line from "Daughters" doesn't belong in that exalted company: "Ooh, you see that skin/It's the same she's been standing in/Since the day she saw him walking away."

Mull that image over for a while.

2 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 09, 2005 4:49 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • You post failed to mention this, I was not sure if it was on purpose or out of ignorance, but Mr. Mayer won two Grammys off that song, including "Song of the Year."

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at March 09, 2005 10:36 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • It was ignorance. I don't watch the Grammys either. But that is, truly, a nauseating piece of news.

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Monday, March 07, 2005


The Big Ligeti

Last night we invited our friends Alex and April over for pasta primavera (Anna nixed In-and-Out), white russians and a screening of The Big Lebowski. This is the beginning of a two-movie exchange in which we will go to their house to savor Napoleon Dynamite. The screening was a success, especially given that despite my lowered inhibitions from a strong dose of vodka, I refrained from saying the lines along with the movie.

The joy of Lebowski is that there are always more details to notice every time you watch. Like April pointing out that in the scene in which The Dude is presented with Bunny's toe, he is wearing jellies on his feet. Anna had never noticed that Duder paints his fingernails until Alex pointed it out. I had noticed that detail, previously. In all the night was a success and I was blitzed enough to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and awaken refreshed for work at 6 a.m.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005


What's in Anna's Vocabulary?

I like to play with words, and I like to know what I'm talking about, so when I hear a new word or phrase that strikes my fancy, I tend to practice with it for a while to learn how best to use it. Therefore, at any given time I have a couple or words or phrases that I use rather more often than I should. These are some of my current catchphrases:
  • Marvelous. I picked this one up after hearing sports journalist Stephen A. Smith debate someone on the appropriateness of Serena Williams' tennis outfits. Smith's opponent (whose identity I've forgotten) suggested that Williams was making it harder for herself to be taken seriously as an athlete. Smith answered, "I don't care. I don't care. Why? Because she looks...maaaaarvelous." His hormone-laden understatement was suprisingly powerful. I only use "marvelous" with that same sleazy inflection.
  • Horizontal Bop Surprise. I picked this one up from a sports journalist, too. Mike was idling around some sportswriter message board when he stumbled upon this gem. Someone had started a thread complaining about sportswriters' hours and how his law-student girlfriend was always asleep by the time he got home from work. His post was immediately stormed by sportwriters telling him to stop bragging about being in the 0.00034% of sportswriters that have someone to sleep with. Then someone else posted the advice, "Women who have to get up at 7 in the morning love it when you wake them up with a little horizontal bop surprise."
  • Bioimmunoassay. The Ag Center holds monthly seminars, and the last one featured a speaker from the Entomology department who's developing a Bioimmunoassay for Dioxins (possibly the most poisonous stuff on the planet). I like to use the word a lot cause it makes me part of the intellectual elite.
  • Skip to the trolls, bitch. This phrase was part of my brother's analysis of the Lord of the Rings books. He said there were a lot of songs, and every time they started another one he wanted to say to Tolkien, "Skip to the trolls, bitch!" Another application: "Mike, this is a blog posting, not your memoirs. Skip to the trolls, bitch."

2 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Rich at March 06, 2005 2:42 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I object to the philosophy behind the phrase "Skip the trolls, bitch." The trolls are awesome. Unfortunately, they barely appear in the LoTR trilogy. They do make a lengthy appearance in the hobbit, though. Maybe he was referring to this book. If I was to skip any part, it would be Tom Bombadil. "Skip Tom Bombadil, bitch."

  •   Posted by Blogger Rich at March 06, 2005 2:43 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Woops, I was mistaken about your blog entry. Skip to the trolls is a good philosophy.

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Who Won? The West End Makes the Style Section Edition

This week Mike finally admitted that the style section sucks when they ran a cover story on Mary Kate Olsen's dumpster chic. Listen folks, when a bulimic takes to wearing huge baggy clothing, it has nothing to do with avoiding the display of wealth. However, the West End did make the cover, in a story about fake IDs. Apparently the 'Stend has a scanner now.

I miss the 90s.

6 March 2005


Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 0 of 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 4 of 4
Men: 2
Women: 2
Ties: 0
Disputed Results: 0

Year to Date


Gay Couples with Clear Winner: 3 of 4
Ties: 1
Disputed Results: 0
Straight Couples with Clear Winner: 43 of 53
Men: 31
Women: 13
Ties: 5
Disputed Results: 5

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Saturday, March 05, 2005


Pesticide Detection: Chemical Analysis or Bioimmunoassay?

Ha! Like we would ever interrupt our navel-gazing to answer that question.

This afternoon Mike suddenly remembered the punchline to a joke, and he really wanted to tell it to me but he couldn't remember the setup. He strained to recall the rest of the joke, but it wouldn't come, and finally he just had to spill it.

The punchline goes: "Mustard, custard--and you, ya big shit. Run, Clarence!"

I, for one, hope he never remembers the rest of the joke, because it could never, never be as funny as hearing the punchline first.

My old friend Jess (the author of the llama dialogues) used to keep a list of jokes that were funnier if you never got to the punchline. Her favorite was "Once there was a boy born with a golden screw up his ass." I later found a slightly different version of the joke in its entirety in Borges' Universal History of Iniquity, and the punch was actually pretty good. Now you'll have to read it.

5 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 06, 2005 5:29 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • This joke combines the elements of a guy goes into a bar and the rule of three.

    Oscar and Clarence go into a bar. Bartender doesn't like them because of some outward characteristic chosen by the teller; originally [actually, years ago, who knows what is original] this joke was homophobic. However, it is important that Oscar and Clarence are in fear of the strength of the bartender.

    Oscar says to the bartender, "I'd like a glass of gin."

    Bartender: We have 3 kinds of gin, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. Which do you want? You have to tell me, or I can't serve you.

    Oscar: Just a glass of gin.

    Bartender: [repeat]

    Oscar: [repeat]

    Bartender: [repeat]

    Oscar, getting angry: Listen, there are three kinds of turd, also, mustard, custard, and you you big Shit! Run, Clarence.

    Now, a man goes into a bar carrying a lobster...

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at March 06, 2005 7:57 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at March 06, 2005 9:59 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at March 06, 2005 11:15 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • What gives, Dodger? I specifically asked not to be told the setup. Now it's not funny.

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at March 06, 2005 12:43 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • As you might be able to glean from all the deleted comments, I'm having difficulty articulating that I approve of Banana encouraging people to read Borges. But I do approve.

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Friday, March 04, 2005


Let Me Tell You Something, Pendejo. Nobody Fucks with Malvolio

Thanks to a glitch somewhere in the Mondavi Center's computer, we arrived at the Will Call window to collect out tickets for Tweflth Night, only to have a patient girl tell us that the computer had heard of us, yes, but not of our tickets, and oh, there are only single seats left, did we still want to buy them?

No.

Denied Shakespeare, we sought an activity equally as uplifting. We found bowling. So we changed into jeans and drove to scenic West Sacramento, which is sort of skeevy. Capitol Bowl, abuts "Experience: The Adult Motel," whose name strains the language as well as the bounds of the good taste. We walked in (the bowling alley, not Experience) passing, I swear, Jay and Silent Bob, only to find the place crawling with teenagers. This should not have been a surprise, after all, I wiled away many a night of teenagehood sitting in bowling alleys leering at the bowling alley girls who I suspected were not quite as hot as the house party girls I had learned about from television. Anyway, Friday night is glowbowling night, which means they turn on a blacklight. I let Anna key in our names, and wound up with my scores attributed to Red. Red hit triple-digits in our second game, while Trini (Anna) turned in scores of 45 and 64, demonstrating marked improvement.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Like Living in Hobbs Again

Coinciding with the diet (I'm down to 202 pounds, which puts me about where I was during the Super Bowl freshman year) was a decision to maintain a household budget. What that actually meant was a virtual elimination of meals out, except for special occasions. That also meant that Starbucks, which I actually equate with civilization, from our day-to-day life.

When I first arrived in Davis, there was nothing more annoying to me than to hear people complain about the Starbucks phenomenon. Maybe if you're around it every day, passing four shopfronts on your walk to work from the subway, it can seem a little overbearing. But when you live in Hobbs, NM, 90 miles from Lubbock (i.e. the nearest Starbucks, which, in fact, was actually a Barnes and Noble with a coffeeshop). But now the only time Starbucks enters my life is when I fill up the thermos that Anna gave me with whole bean coffee I picked up at Mishka's (and if you've visited us, you know the joy of Mishka's) and carry it around and sit in open spaces because I live in a town committed to open space. This way I get my civilization and I'm not paying $3 for a latte multiple times per week.

And as an added aside, I am a dieter now so I know that a grande latte, my usual drink, has 200 calories.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at March 03, 2005 5:08 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • So 6'2" and 202 # calculates to a BMI of 25.9. A BMI of 24.9 is the upper bound of normal. However, according to the scolds at CDC, 64% of Americans are overweight or obese. So normal would be abnormal.

    Because there is no Starbucks on a big street in the neighborhood, BrooklynDodger does his interviews in a Tim Horton's. The regular coffee is awful, and the specialty coffees are basically warm or cold milkshakes.

    Personally, I have never understood the passionate hostility of various cosmopolites to Starbucks.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Horny Folk Visit FFH

Anna posted about the counter when it first went up, but the coolest part of was not apparent until tonight. One of the things Sitemeter tracks is what our visitors clicked on to reach FFH. Usually that means either A Writer's Life or 34. Sometimes we get random people who are cycling through blogger by hitting the "next blog" link at the top of your screen. Other times we'll show up on a search.

Today we got three random yahoo searches:
gisele oscars pregnant
spike lee oscars worst dressed
penelope cruz kissing salma hayek

So we'd like extend a warm welcome to those who have arrived here looking for hot latin porn. We would, however, like to point out that Cruz is not, in fact, Latina. Sorry.

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Parents Just Don't Understand. Or Customs Agents.

I spent a lot of my day today crawling around PubMed, which is cool, except that there were all these interesting articles that I had to pass over in order to find the ones I was looking for. I did read a few of the abstracts, though, and this was the coolest one, though of course it has disturbing implications for the careers of child drug mules. And for our baby neighbor who's about to get a little life-ruiner--er, brother.

Dad: Sophia? Did you gouge those chunks out of your brother's face?
Sophia: No.
Dad: I didn't think so.

"Intuitive" lie detection of children's deception by law enforcement officials and university students.

Leach AM, Talwar V, Lee K, Bala N, Lindsay RC.
Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Law Hum Behav. 2004 Dec;28(6):661-85.

Adults' ability to detect children's deception was examined. Police
officers, customs officers, and university students attempted to
differentiate between children who lied or told the truth about a
transgression. When children were simply questioned about the event
(Experiment 1), the adult groups could not distinguish between
lie-tellers and truth-tellers. However, participants were more
accurate when the children had participated in moral reasoning tasks
(Experiment 2) or promised to tell the truth (Experiment 3) before
being interviewed. Additional exposure to the children did not affect
accuracy (Experiment 4). Customs officers were more certain about
their judgments than other groups, but no more accurate. Overall,
adults have a limited ability to identify children's deception,
regardless of their experience with lie detection.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at March 02, 2005 4:57 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • From what I can remember from evidence class, it is not only children who are hard to evaluate, but people of all ages. Apparently in studies that I cannot cite to in Pubmed, people are very bad at figuring out from a person's speech and body language whether he is telling the truth. This is of course is somewhat disappointing given our system's attachment to evaluating witnesses under questioning in person, which is totally based on the mistaken belief that a jury of citizens makes a great lie detection device.

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