Monday, June 23, 2008

Proof that God has finally given up on us?

George Carlin lies dormant on a metal slab, waiting for his place in line at the crematorium, while Don Imus remains alive with his tongue intact. Justice?

"Kobe, tell me how my [blank] tastes" ... the new catchphrase of 2008?

You know, you never saw Joe DiMaggio rapping about Ted Williams like this ...

(Though I have no doubt Ted may have rapped about Joltin' Joe - you know, if he had the opportunity to do so.)

Sh*t, George Carlin is dead ...

If there were any legitimate reason - like many of us needed a reason - to yell out the seven dirty words in a public place, it was last night upon hearing the news that George Carlin had left the room, for good, just when we needed him the most. With much of the world around us headed to Hades in a hand basket, it would seem that the current current events would be prime real estate for Carlin, who along with Richard Pryor had been the one of the pre-eminent comic sages of the past 40 years - often vulgar, always shocking, but always making us think as much as he peed our pants with laughter. A bad heart has finally ended Carlin's perpetual riff on society, culture and everything in between. But, of course, we have so much of his material to watch and remember and reflect on for the next 40 years and more. Many of us would pay good money to hear the joint routines that Carlin and Pryor are cooking up in the big comedy club in the sky. But at least we have two events in Carlin's honor to look forward to, if that is the appropriate phrase - his now posthumous presentation as the newest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, scheduled for November at Washington's Kennedy Center; and, much sooner, whatever is going to be his public memorial service. Because when comedians die, their rites are as much roasts as anything else, and if any comic would demand that there be no tears of grief shed at his services, it would be George Carlin.

Rest in peace, motherf*****. And thanks - we needed that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sans beard: 1-0

Cubs 4, White Sox 3 ... so far, so good. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Proactive ...

So if you've been paying attention to the sidebar to the right, you will know that the Cubs have hit a bit of a bump in the road. They just got swept by Tampa Bay, which last year, or any other year, would have been a disgrace, but this year, because the Rays are actually quite good now, is just freaking ominous since they just might make the World Series, and the Cubs thus could be playing them in October. But that may be jumping the gun if this mini-slump turns into a great big fat one. Yes, Chicago is still 17 games over .500, is still in first place, in fact hasn't lost any ground since the second-place Cardinals also got swept this week by Kansas City, which is actually a disgrace because the Royals suck. Nevertheless, the Cubs may now be facing the temporary loss of their best pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, with the proverbial shoulder discomfort problem. And starting Friday they begin a series with the crosstown White Sox (eww), and this time more than civic pride is on the line.

So before things starting getting really nasty, it was time for me to play my part in the Cubs' "recovery". Now, I've tried to be proactive this season, doing everything from wearing the right hat before each game, to not watching the actual games 'cause I'm a jinx, to even eating a goat before the season started to figuratively consume the Curse that has been hanging over Wrigley Field for more than 60 years. And I grew a beard - a lucky beard that I strove not to shave off until the Cubs either won the World Series or starting tanking.

At this point, in my nervous condition, three losses in a row constitutes "tanking".

So tonight, with razor and shaving cream in hand, I took one for the team, as it were.

We'll try this look out for a while. If the Cubs stabilize, we'll see where the wind takes me. Personally, though, I feel 12 years old right now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Hey, Dad ... wanna have a catch?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Klingon bastards ...

OK, now United Airlines is joining American in this bonehead policy of charging $15 for the first bag you check when flying on one of their gas-guzzling planes. I guess that means the floodgates are now open. How much longer will it be before the airlines start billing us for bringing aboard our own food (you know, in lieu of buying the airlines' skimpy, overpriced fare), or for even pushing the flight attendant call button? And where exactly is that Star Trek transporter technology already?

Tomorrow is Saturday the 14th ...

In case you didn't get the memo, today is Friday the 13th, and you all know what that means ... we're all gonna die! Well, some of us are gonna die today, but only because, like, some of us die every day. In fact, a recent study from the Netherlands (and you know how we much we all heed those convenient "recent studies" - and everything the Dutch tell us, because, like, they're Dutch and know where to find all of the good weed) indicates that Friday the 13ths are actually fairly safe, with fewer car accidents, fires and reports of theft than on other Fridays. Granted, the reason for this dearth in mayhem may simply be that more of us keep our asses at home and in bed during that nefarious 24-hour period - but, hey, whatever gets you through the night. Now excuse me while I go back to sleep in my locked-up panic room.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


The thing that most of my friends know about me - indeed, what the friends of many of a Cubs fan know - is that as devotees of the Chicago National League Ball Club, we are pretty much always miserable. In those years when the team is out of the playoff running by the All-Star Break, we aren't happy at yet another futility-filled campaign. And in seasons such as this one when the Cubs are playing like gangbusters - well, in some ways we're in worse shape as we wait for God to suddenly notice the team and decide to set the universe back in order by allowing the bottom to fall out under Wrigley Field. So even though Chicago had the best record in baseball going into last night's action, we fans couldn't just sit back and enjoy it. Instead, we were on pins and needles, knowing that this sweet bliss couldn't last, that something that would send us back into the land of angst would eventually occur.

Last night, that "something" happened.

In the second inning of Wednesday's win against the Brave, the Cubs' leaoff hitter, Alfonso Soriano, was hit in the left hand by a errant pitch. As a result, Soriano, who leads the team in home runs and has 40 runs batted in, is on the shelf for up to six weeks.

Now, I am a Cubs fan, but I'm also a fan of baseball and a logical person. In a season that last six months and 162 games, bad crap is going to happen to every team. It's virtually impossible for a team of 25 players to get through that much time without at least one significant injury, no matter how good or bad it is. Indeed, this is Soriano's second time on the disabled list this season. He missed two weeks in April with a calf strain. During that period, the Cubs went 9-5 and average more than seven runs a game. Besides, this is why God and Branch Rickey created the modern-day farm system, and so far Chicago has had pretty good luck when it comes to reserve players. So all definitely is not lost.

So I will keep saying "tsunami" and "Emily" in my logical consciousness - but in the back of my head, I also will continue to bite my nails and wear my (current) lucky hat during the Cubs games that I of course don't watch because I'm a jinx. I figure that I can relax in October - one way or another.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maybe this explains why the Knicks and the Mets suck ...

According to the New York City Department of Health, one out of every four adult New Yorkers has genital herpes. Kind of puts a new spin on the phrase "Sex in the City," no?

Horse pucky ...

It's a damn shame that Big Brown wasn't able to seal the deal at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Lord knows that the horse racing industry could have used the pick-me-up that the first Triple Crown winner in three decades could have supplied. But one reason why most of the sport's fans and insiders aren't rending their garments over Big Brown's defeat is the fact that his butthead of a trainer also lost. And Rick Dutrow keeps finding more and more ways to make the world hate his ever-loving guts.

First it was Dutrow's shady record, both as a horse trainer and as a human being. He brazenly administered steroids to his horses, Big Brown included, even though the practice is banned in several states and frowned upon in others. Then, during the days leading up to the Belmont, Dutrow put Joe Namath to shame by calling the Triple Crown a "foregone conclusion". And now, as the bad taste of Big Brown's Belmont run remains bitter in many people's mouths, Dutrow has taken the always-popular tack of throwing his jockey, Kent Desormeaux, under the bus:

"I don't want to hurt anyone, especially Kent," Dutrow told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning in his barn at Aqueduct. "But I still don't understand what happened. I don't see the horse with a problem, so I have to direct my attention toward the ride. That's all I can come up with."

Desormeaux - the jockey who rode Big Brown to convincing victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, by the way - is pretty much universally hailed as acting in the best interests of his horse by easing him up at the end of the Belmont. That gesture, done for a horse that Desormeaux thought may have been injured, potentially could have saved Big Brown's life had he been hurt - not to mention protect the millions the bay colt will generate as the most popular stud since John Holmes. So for Dutrow to blame the jockey for the horse's defeat is, well, pretty dumb.

After slamming Desormeaux, Dutrow magnanimously went on to say that he would have no objection to the jockey taking the mount for Big Brown's next race. One would hope that Desormeaux would do the honorable thing - and tell Dutrow what he can do with his job. Something that involves matter that emerges from the other end of the horse.