Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Hostylefax: Hollywood

OK, so I didn't set foot in Hollywood proper during last weekend's trip to LA. But I did spend a lot of time driving past the Sony lot. And, I had my route home disrupted by some film crew that had taken over a city block. So that's sort of Hollywood, right? Also, at a Noah's bagels, I was jostled in line by a punk-looking kid with a cell phone earpiece that was picking up an order for "The King of Queens," which is totally Hollywood.

Also I heard this story about an unnamed big-ass movie producer. One day he walks into his office in the foulest of moods, and screams for his assistant to, "Get Scotland Yard on the phone." Well, this guy is so big that he has multiple assistants, and this order is passed down the chain. Finally the person on lowest rung makes the call and sets everything up. After patching the call through, Big-ass producer screams into the phone, "You guys left my gate open today, and the dog got out. What the fuck?" Suddenly, it dawns on everyone that Big-ass producer was actually talking about his cleverly named lawn care company. One can only imagine the baffled police inspector on the other end of the line.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Thank you, Pornographers

The sight of Dikembe Mutumbo at the State of the Union speech tonight called to mind another of one of the man's other great moments in Washington. The story is recounted here, although I don't suggest clicking on the link. As legend has it, one night Mutumbo walked into a bar and called out, "Who wants to Sex Mutumbo?" There had been a web page devoted to this story, but I clicked through today and it is now a porn site. And while I imagine Mutumbo's life in college was probably something out of He Got Game (and you know what scenes I'm talking about), it is disappointing that the monument to it is gone. Also missing from the Internet is the Is Trent Lott Satan homepage. The URL wasn't memorable, so it's probably not yet a porn site.

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Monday, January 22, 2007


I Was Happy for him Until he Opened his Mouth

I found myself rooting for the Colts in the second half of Sunday's AFC Championship Game. I do like Peyton Manning, because he makes the best commercials. I figured it would be nice to see him in a Super Bowl. Also, I thought I respected Tony Dungy's perserverance in face of continued defeat as a coach. But then I read this story in the Boston Globe, which quotes Dungy four times and uses religious references in three of them. I've pulled them out for you.
  • "But they've been that way all year. They've fought back and they just give so much effort. They're such a unified group. I just have to thank the Lord. He did it in such a way that nobody would believe it. We got to give the Lord a lot of credit for giving us the strength to do it."
  • "I think it's great that we're able to show the world not only that African-American coaches can do it, but Christian coaches can do it in a way that we can still win."
  • "I came here five years ago and this was our goal. This is what [Colts' owner] Jim Irsay and I talked about. He wanted to bring a championship to Indianapolis and for me to be a part of it with the group that we have is special. I think the Lord really tested us a lot from last year."
Irsay, in his postgame speech on the field, also referenced God, which seemed to be in especially bad form. The Patriots are owned by Robert Kraft, who is famous for, among other things, endowing a Center for Jewish Life at Columbia. If I had realized that Pats-Colts was actually a religious war, I certainly would have been rooting the other way.

I'm sort of a loss now for how to go in the Super Bowl. I'm not sure supporting the Bears will be much better, given that the second quotation above is in reference to Lovie Smith, Chicago's coach. I didn't care as much about that game, so can't say for sure if he was equally God-centric in his postgame remarks. By all means be religious, but please stop talking about it in postgame interviews.

4 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at January 23, 2007 9:18 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Coach Dungy has a point attributing his victory to the good lord. How else do you explain the non-call on Caldwell in the enzone and the roughing the passer call at the end of the game?

    I am against preaching in these contexts. However, I read somewhere else that Dungy's remarks regarding "Christain Coaches" implicated more than religious life. He also is descibing an approach to the job of football coach where the game does not trump the rest of your life. I.E. a sense of perspective and priorities.

    I think that is a somewhat important message for America. We have always celebrated the Belechik's of the world for their focus and endless preparation. How do we reconcile that value with the importance of family and human dignity? This is an important issue for the American worker.

  •   Posted by Blogger Mike at January 23, 2007 10:21 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Maybe they organize their days and relate to players differently. But I don't really believe Dungy and his staff prepare, focus or care less than Belichick and his staff. Coaching in the NFL is a grind, no matter what tack you take. My guess is that the difference between what Belichick and Dungy stand for is mostly what they stress in public.

    Calling that approach "Christian," suggests something else entirely. Also, aren't protestants famous for their work ethic?

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at February 05, 2007 3:55 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Your response seems ignorant and lacking in any solid reasons for being against "preaching" as you say.

    A large part of the Christian faith is sharing that faith with others. Tony Dungee is merely giving credit to his God for things he has been blessed with.

    I don't understand the hostility toward Christianity in general.

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at February 06, 2007 5:43 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Tony Dungy did not say anything against anyone, he was speaking up for The Lord! When someone has a personal relationship with God, they worship God, they talk about God. On the other hand, some people don't talk about or worship anybody but themselves, and they take statements like Dungy's as somehow insulting. Amen Mike?

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


The Old Man and the Pharmacy

Wednesday afternoon at the pharmacy, I found myself in line behind a very old man. He stood stooped over his walker, giving the appearance that he was weighed down by his enormous 60's-style glasses, their lenses as thick as coasters. I thought he must be exceptionally plucky to be making the trip to the pharmacy alone. He was also, as it turned out, exceptionally grumpy.

As one of the pharmacists called out "Next!" the old man shifted his walker forward in preparation for what must surely have been a challenging journey to the counter. Just at that moment, a small plastic ball rolled out in front of him. It proved to belong to a three-year-old girl who had been entertaining herself with it at the counter while her mother was picking up a prescription. The little girl darted out after her ball, and I guess this must have alarmed the old man. "Do you want to do something about your child?" he bellowed at the girl's mother. The mother turned around to apologize, but her daughter was already back at her side, bouncing her ball. "There's a child there!" the old man protested to the pharmacy at large. He made his way to the free pharmacist, continuing to protest, "There's a child there!" in the tone which another customer might have employed to announce "There's a flamingo there!" Finally the little girl seemed to take it personally.

"Mom." she said,
"What is it, honey?"
"I'm not a child, Mom. I'm a kid."

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Monday, January 15, 2007


Factchecking Statboy

It's no secret that I am now a soccer fan, so I'm sort of excited that David Beckham is coming to America. This has been rumored for months, and my only regret is that he's not going to Columbus or Salt Lake City, which simply would have been brilliant. Can you imagine how the Mormons would react to Posh? And goodness, can you imagine what abuse she'd give the girls at the Columbus Nordstroms on a daily basis?

I'm not sure that his presence will get me to watch MLS, but the idea that he's washed up is a little bit premature. He's not fast anymore, but he was never fast. I watched him in the World Cup, and he can still fire in crosses and bend free kicks. Those things are still very important in within the run of play, although not necessarily as sexy as making long runs and finishing spectacularly. The American season does, however, coincide with the English Premier League's close season so maybe I'll watch him once or twice.

So we were watching PTI this afternoon, and they did a Posh Spice story. Posh will be great fodder for Tony and Mike. But today they showed a shot next to one of the other WAGs, who drew Mike Wilbon's eye. Statboy suggested that it was Page 3 girl Keeley Hazell, who he seemed to think once dated Chelsea's Joe Cole. Both of those are false. Cole did once go to a party at Hazell's house, but then had the living shit beaten out of him while he was there, which made it a big deal in the tabloids. And, also, the woman next to Posh was actually Cheryl Tweedy, who is now named Cheryl Cole because she married Ashley Cole (no relation to Joe). And anyway, the point of this post is what was in Cheryl Cole's wikipedia profile at 3 p.m. today (you have to click it).


It's not there now.

And that's one of the things I like about soccer. It's all about excess.

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Friday, January 05, 2007


A Karl Malone Story, because Why Not?

This is not the best Karl Malone story, which you can find here, but it's one that I can tell because I was there.

But back before he was hunting for little Mexican girls, he was the Lakers' locker room searching for a needle and thread. Karl Malone was an extremely superstitious player and one incarnation of that was that he wore the same pair socks -- the ones he received on the first day of training camp -- for every game. Through the course of an NBA season socks tend to obtain holes. So one morning he sat there repairing them and holding court with the reporters present. This being a late season game between two teams already locked into the playoffs, "Karl Malone Sews," was good enough to fill our notebooks.

Malone explained that his mother had taught him how to sew and it was just something he had always done. So he talked about that for awhile.
Someone, who I seem to remember as being LA Times columnist J.A. Adande asked, "Do you knit, too?"
"Nah, man," Malone said, suddenly serious. "There's a difference."

Here's a postscript to that story. The Lakers change from white socks to black in the postseason, which meant that Malone did have to change socks. L.A. lost in the finals to a little team I like to call, the Detroit Pistons. Because that is their name.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at January 06, 2007 5:49 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • The preferred method for mending socks is called "darning." The darner is better served using knitting yarn [what's generally called "thread" is, I believe, a subset of yarn. the product of a cotton mill is called yarn]. My technique was to stitch with yarn around the hole, then go warping and woofing across the hole.

    [having wrote that, I confirmed almost wfw in wikipedia]

    I believe Karl Malone is the only NBA player after whom a school of public health was named. At Columbia.

    Fritz

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Me Hunt Game, no Time for Woman's Chit Chat. You Explain Chit Chat to me.

I received a cryptic e-mail from Mike today, reading, "Just had a strange exchange with Larry the Associate [job deleted], who told me I was a very attractive man."

This was presumably a comment on Mike's new haircut. I later learned that Mike responded, "Thank you. That means a lot coming from you." Then, I guess, he fired off an email to me.

Being a man must be absolutely exhausting.

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Monday, January 01, 2007


Am I Dog Person?

My eyesight is better than Anna's. So whenever we go for drives or walks, I have taken over the job of pointing out meaty dogs. It could be a black lab on the other side of (I kid you not) Putah Creek in our arboretum. Or it could be someone walking a St. Bernard on the sidewalk as we drive along. Anna's response is, invariably, to coo about the virtues of the dog she has never met. One side effect of this behaviour is that I, somewhere along the way, convinced myself that I was a dog person. After two weeks of tending Nisa, and for a portion of that being the primary caregiver, I can report that I'm wouldn't use that term to describe myself. At least not yet. I liked Nisa and think big dogs in general are cute. But I still don't really trust them or myself around them.

Because mostly, I was nervous around Nisa. She would make a noise or turn up her nose at her food and I would be in contact with Anna immediately. "What does it mean when she sniffs?" I'd ask. Or maybe, "What does it mean that she has four legs?" I liked walking her, but felt utterly frantic at the times she would run in circles and try to get out of her collar. I loved watching PTI with her sitting next to me on the couch, or the way she followed me into the other room and napped next to me when I was borderline sick (which is to say, when, on the first night, I had awoken at every sound in fear it was Nisa barking or the manager tacking an eviction notice to the door). That was really nice. But when she was awake and moving, I was constantly tense. I worried she would eat chocolate, shit on the purple chair or bite a neighbor. Perhaps this is what parenthood is like.

I found as our stint went on, however, that when she did something bad I stopped feeling frightened and instead started to get frustrated. I think, actually, that counts as a progress. I adjusted from feeling out-of-control to believing as though I was just fucking up. Accepting the latter also meant that I believed I could control the situation. And that's something to build on.

I also think it's like parenthood, because most of what we did for two weeks was talk about her. Because she was sweet and smart. I'm told that when people were crying in our apartment, Nisa was right there to lick the tears away. That's an important skill for any family gathering. Also whenever we left, we'd lock her in the kennel with a bone we'd spread peanut butter inside. This is Nisa's favorite treat. But after a particularly busy day in which she had eaten too many peanut-butter bones, Nisa came out of the kennel and refused to give up the bone. She'd carry it with her, and, when I tried to grab it she'd gently pick it up and walk away it. As long as we couldn't give her any peanut-butter bones, she had clearly reasoned, we couldn't leave her alone. I love that story. But I can't imagine you're interested at all.

When I came home from work Saturday, I was relieved that Nisa had gone. What I find today is that I miss having her in the apartment. Actually, we've been walking up to each other at various times today pretending to pin our ears back and sniff inquisitively. Some people get dogs as practice for having kids. But our time with Nisa was practice for getting a dog. Anna told me Friday that she didn't think I was ready. She's probably right, although I have two points about that: 1. Maybe an 80-pound German Shepherd with Post Tramautic Stress Disorder isn't the best starter dog and 2. Who's ever ready to undertake any large responsibility?

The good news is Nisa emerged from our apartment none the worse for wear. I probably set her training back a month or two, though.

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1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at January 04, 2007 5:00 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Myself, I can't think of any reason why being locked up with a 90 lb, immature animal which evolved to hunt in packs, then bred to guard farms in rural middle europe would make me nervous. I'm sure there's a major literature in anthropology and evolutionary biology on this subject. As well as the co-evolution of psychology of pet ownership and pets.

    Fritz

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