Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Post #11: A cup of kindness yet

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days o'auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Burns Night is coming! 25 January 2010

And be sure to vote before midniight tonight... right now it's down to Heidi Klum, Sarah Michelle Gellar, & Adriana Lima.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Post #10: Vote or Die

As it stands right now, w/ 3 1/2 days to go, Heidi Samuel (née Klum) has 2 votes, Adriana Lima has 1 vote & Sarah Michelle Gellar has 4. Stephanie... Kristen... Rachel... Erin... Joe... Dan & everyone else who hasn't cast a vote yet, we're counting on you to undo this SMG landslide so get voting! We'll be announcing the winner @ 12:01AM Eastern Time on January 1st, so vote w/in the next 3 days or forever hold your peace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Post #9: Eve & Morning

After working @ both 2nd jobs yesterday, I made it home around 6:00ish & we enjoyed a fantastic Tofurkey dinner that couldn't be beat. Stephanie made Yorkshire pudding to go w/ it & then we watched a couple X-Mas cartoons (Smurfs & Mickey's X-Mas Carol) before the season 2 finale for Lost. After the kids went to bed we enjoyed Little Women while doing the Santa stuff.Isaiah seemed to completely understand what was going on as he kept looking @ the tree & saying "ho ho ho." He was then up all night, & Stephanie woke me up @ 6:00 because she couldn't wait any longer to watch the kids open their stuff.
Solstice: Guitar, Hannah Montana video game, Grease sweatshirt
Aiden: Batman book, FIFA '09, Lost Via Domus
Isaiah: Woody doll w/ pull string, Little People school bus, dog puzzle

They seem to have had a good X-Mas, but it's certainly not over yet. We're off to Stephanie's mom's in a few minutes, some old friends of my family tomorrow evening, & then my parents' Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see Jason & make the Season 2 - Season 3 switch w/ Daye this week too. And while we're on the topic of upcoming events, the voting has fallen off a bit... a few people still need to cast their votes... so get on it! It seems like Sarah Michelle Gellar might win this year, so we certainly can't let those numbers stand.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Post #8: Happy Festivus

My parents came over last night & we watched "The Strike," the Seinfeld episode about Festivus. It was nice way to spend Festivus Eve, & after work tonight, we'll have us another Festivus dinner that can't be beat... & then the Airing of Grievances. While I'm out & about today, I may pick up an aluminum pole.... & then I may start looking into the votes o cast yours if you ahven't already (scroll down).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Post #7: The New Song... as Promised

I mentioned last week that the song was in the works. I'm done w/ grading & taking a break from my other jobs (Nicola's, Plum, & working on that little Sherlock Holmes article) to tell you all the song is finished. It's fun little number for the whole family... as long as your family includes kissing cousins... but I almost offended myself. The only real defense for this thing is 2-fold: 1) Stephanie requested a song referencing "Christmas thongs" so we can blame her & 2) it's not offensive, it's clever. Imagine it as an upbeat swing number w/ the ocal styings of someone like Dean Martin or maybe Crosby (Bing not David). Oh, & in case you forgot, here's the link to my previous holiday ditty. After you read the lyrics, don't forget to croll down and cast youur vote!

“A Swingin’ Christmas Time”

This Christmas everyone is comin’
We’ll have fun with ho ho hos
Inside our fire’s warm and hummin’
Underneath the mistletoe

In honor of the Christmas season
We’re gonna play a Christmas tune
It’s hot in here but outside it is freezin’
Santa’s smilin’ wide and comin’ soon.

We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
We’re naked underneath the tree
We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
You & you & you & you & me

So trim your tree and trim your bush
It’s time to shine your Festivus pole
Now dance around and shake your tush
We decked the mantel with an empty fishbowl

In honor of the Christmas season
A Christmas carol just for you.
Although one-on-one can be pleasin',
This holiday we'll try few-on-few

We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
We’re naked underneath the tree
We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
You & you & you & you & me

So if you want to have a Christmas to remember
Take off your shirts and make the Yule Tide gay
Or gently wrap your hands around my member,
Then go and wash your white Christmas away.

In honor of the Christmas season
We’re gonna sing a Christmas song
Drink up and let’s abandon rhyme and reason
Drop your pants and drop your Christmas thong

We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
We’re naked underneath the tree
We’re gonna have a swingin’ Christmas
You & you & you & you & me

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Post #6: The Films (part 1?)

Last year we watched White Christmas & Holiday Inn. Both are fun as Hell, but they both suck ass as far as plot & character development are concerned. Funnier, but just as shitty was last night's viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I know there are some readers of this blog who love the shit out of this film... & there is a lot of it to love, but I just don't get it. The 1st 2 Vacation movies are great, but this never did it for me. I saw it in the theater when it was new w/ my friends Marques & Melanie (I don't recall them liking it either), but I hadn't seen it since. I left the theater in December of 1989 wishing I could get my 5 bucks back. Then the other night, an ad made me laugh so I recorded it & we watched it. It's got it funny moments, but over-all, it doesn't work. The jokes are re-hashed from the 1st movie, & they really seem forced. The plot kept us asking "why doesn't he just...?" I mean, come on... trying to get ahead of the crazy pick-up truck? Staying stuck in the attic after he fell through once? The light switch? Maybe it'll be another 20 years before I go for it again. I bet the kids would like it though. (Stephanie appreciated the 3 Stooges-esque violence though.)Speaking of the kids, we watched a couple movies w/ them this week. Jingle All the Way, which is miles much better than Christmas Vacation. Of course, we watched it over the summer too as part of the Schwarzeneggerathon. Sinbad is as bad as I imagine Sinbad always is, but Arnold's comic timing is quite good. other than A different world, I don't think I've ever seen anything w/ Sinbad, & judging from his performances in Jingle All the Way & A Different World, that is a fine decision.We also had the 1st viewing of A Christmas Story. I saw it in the theater @ Fairlane Town Center when I was 9, & have loved it ever since. There's not much to say since we've all seen it a million times. I can say this about movies @ Fairlane though: as a child, I went there a few time a year. I saw Flash Gordon, Clash of the Titans, The Black Stallion, Santa Clause: The Movie, Ghostbusters, & A View to a Kill there. I've watched most of these recently, & for the most part, they hold up well. I had the same experience w/ Santa Clause: The Movie that I had w/ Christmas Vacation though. I was 11 years old & wanted my parents to get their money back. Also like Christmas Vacation, I've only seen it once since. Why was Dudley Moore famous?Last week, we watched the George C. Scott Christmas Carol. I haven't seen the Alastair Sim version in years, so my comparison is a bit flawed, but I really like the George C. Scott version a lot. I watched it on TV when it was new & it scared the shit out of me. We also had to read the script in my 7th grade English class (we also read a script for Murder She Wrote... I still don't know why), & it had a picture of the Ghost of Christmas Present w/ his robe open & the two creepy kids (Ignorance & Want) inside. That freaked me out then too. I like the Patrick Stewart version as well... & Mickey's Christmas Carol is a good animated one, but I think I'll have to check out the Alister Sim 1 if it's on this year.If we watch anything else, you can bet on it getting a post & I'll be sure to write about the television specials we watch this year too. & you need to do your part & scroll down to vote in the Visions of Ypsi Celebrity M.I.L.F. of the Year Contest!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Post #5: And the Nominees are...

The Rules:
We @ Visions of Ypsi are proud to present the 6th Annual Celebrity M.I.L.F. of the Year Contest. Before you vote, however, be sure to read the rules:
1) The nominations have been considered and narrowed down to ten (11... why 11? Because 10 was just not enough!) contestants.
2) Each reader of Visions of Ypsi is allowed one (1) vote.
3) Votes are to be posted in the comments section of this post. Votes sent via e-mail or as a Facebook post will be counted if I feel like it.
4) Giving people shit based on who they voted for is not only accepted, but encouraged.
5) All votes posted by 12:00 AM on New Years Eve will be counted.
6) Voting is closed @ 12:01 AM New Years Day.
7) Late nominations will be considered, but discouraged.
8) Those nominated but not included on this official ballot are not eligible for late nominations.
9) If a voter wishes to change his or her vote, she or he must petition the writers of Visions of Ypsi.
10) Anonymously posted votes will only be accepted if the writers of Visions of Ypsi are told who the person is who is voting anonymously. In other words, the post can be anonymous and I will protect his or her anonymity, but I want to know who is voting to ensure true single votes.
11) We @ Visions of Ypsi will only cast a vote to break a tie if said vote is necessary or if we don't like who won. If you don't like that, you can get your own Celebrity MILF of the Year Contest.
12) As always, nominees must not have been eligible last year so we're setting the cut-off dates @ August. Any celebrity to have given birth before 1 September 2009 is ineligible.

Heidi Samuel (née Klum):
This is her 2nd nomination, which suggests that Seal has been hittin' it! I wonder if they'll give this kid the scarification from which the 1st kid was spared.

Sarah Michelle Gellar:
For all the Buffy fans who couldn't stop nominating her, here's your favorite star of Beverly Hills Family Robinson all knocked up. If she wins, I'll watch the show... well, probably not.

Julie Chen:
As co-host of the CBS Early Show & of Big Brother, this nomination is the biggest thing she's accomplished in years. Her son, w/ CBS President Leslie Moonves, was born in September.

Ellen Pompeo:
When not sporting the Whole Foods bag, she apparently sporting a cup of decaf from Starbucks... along w/ starring on Grey's Anatomy, she LOVES to support the big chains that are working so hard to displace the small, local stores.

Gisele Bundchen:
Gisele is helping to raise the probability that someone whose name ends w/ "Chen" will win this year; of course, Julie Chen is countering that by being Julie Chen.

Amy Adams:
This happy exhibitionist has recovered from being dumped on "the Booze Cruise" well enough to go and get knocked up by some dude that isn't Jim Halpert.

Paula Patton:
Those of you who read her name & promptly asked, "Who is she?" can join the club. she is vaguely known for her role in Idelwild, but more importantly, the father is Robin Thicke... son of Alan Thicke... which makes this baby an honorary Seaver!

Adriana Lima:
This little Angel has been appearing in Victoria's Secret ads since 2000... including the sweet, sweet ad that featured Dylan. I hope the kid has a haggard face and grumbly voice! That's right folks, we referenced Dylan in the MILF contest... he is everywhere.

Sarah Chalke:
After her long stand as the weird looking chick on Scrubs, this Canuck played the weird looking chick who left Ted @ the alter on How I Met Your..... Her parents run an adoption agency in Vancouver helping to place Chinese babies into Canuck homes... very interesting!

Jenna Elfman:
Like Sarah Chalke, she appeared on Roseanne; also like Sarah Chalke, she is weird looking. But weird in a hotter kind of way. What's she doing now? Your guess is as good as mine. I think she might have a sit-com where she plays some older woman living w/ a bunch of younger guys or something like that. I may have her confused w/ someone else though.

Ashley Jensen:
She's on Ugly Betty now (if that's still on), but more importantly, she was on Extras w/ Ricky Gervais. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor... it's fantastic! Particularly the 1 w/ Ben Stiller & the 1 w/ Patrick Stewart. Her kid was born in October & is named Francis... after me perhaps?

Tiffani Thiessen:
This has-been was knocked up by her never-was, Brady Smith... you loved her on Saved by the Bell, you tolerated her on 90210, & now you can vote for her on Visions of Ypsi.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Post #4: Chanukah Post #1

Faithful readers may recall my previous attempts at composing holiday songs. Here's the 1st one: Here's a link to the 1 I wrote in 2007. I doesn't hold together as well as it could, but I'm no Irving Berlin. I'm also no Neil Diamond or Bob Dylan, but w/ all of these Jewish songwriters taking a turn @ X-Mas, I thought, since Chanukah starts tomorrow, it'd be a nice change of pace to go for a Chanukah tune. The canon is much smaller, & the Dreidel Song blows, but as it turns out, X-Mas tunes in the tradition of non-Christiancentric music are tough. I spent a while yesterday trying to do a little Klezmer thing, but I failed miserably. Instead, to celebrate tomorrow's start to Chanukah, check out this sweet video from The Klezmatics. With that in mind, I think I may settle for a Polka... Eastern European, but not of specifically Jewish origin. I haven't finished it yet... I'm still coming up w/ words that rhyme w/ thong.Speaking of Jewish X-Mas music, I finally got the new Dyaln CD. I have some mixed feelings about it. The review in Uncut suggested that it works neither as a Dylan album nor as a X-Mas album which is interesting & I tend to agree, but (Stephanie will completely disagree here) there is something that seems to work. He takes it more seriously that I expected, & he adds an interesting political tone to many of the songs. Particularly "Do You Hear What I Hear," "Santa Clause is Coming to Town," & "Must Be Santa." I would imagine it's only for the die-hard fans, but overall, I'm digging it. Another X-Mas album I've been liking lately is Hag's Christmas by Merle Haggard. Stephanie found it @ a garage sale last summer, but it was originally released in the early '70s. It's got all of his good blue-collar themes w/ a bit of the grungey under-belly that Dylan runs w/ on Christmas in the Heart. Of course, David Grisman's Acoustic Christmas is another 1 that is in high rotation right now... & he's another Jewish dude who released a X-Mas album. Perhaps we'd better enjoy some latkes & sufganiyah w/ our pierogies & sauerkraut tonight.
Happy Chanukah Y'all!
Oh... & keep the nominaitons coming. I will post the nominees next week.

Ellis, D

Friday, December 4, 2009

World Cup Post #1: The Draw

Group A: S. Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
France will go through as the top team w/ Mexico going through to the 2nd round as the 2nd team.

Group B: Argentina, S. Korea, Nigeria, Greece
Argentina is the obvious #1 team, but the 2nd could go in any direction. I'm pulling for Nigeria though.

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
I think England & USA will b 1 & 2, but the US could pull an upset here... then again, they could totally fuck up & watch Slovenia pass them by.

Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia
The Aussies are screwed. Both Ghana & Serbia could be the #2 team, & Germany is a lock for #1.

Group E: Netherlands, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark
The Dutch & the Danes will go through, but Cameroon could surprise people.

Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia
Italy has the easiest group; #2 could be any of these teams... none of whom will get past the 2nd round.

Group G: Brazil, Côte d'Ivoire, N. Korea, Portugal
Brazil will be #1, but #2 could go to Portugal or Côte d'Ivoire. I imagine people will assume Portugal will go through, but I have faith in The Elephants' ability to piss off Ronaldo & send him home in tears.

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Chili, Honduras
Spain will go through w/ 3 wins, & then the Swiss will probably be the 2nd team.

Things could definitely be worse for France & the USA. That said, I imagine the USA will face Gerrmany in Round 2 & crash out of the competition right then & there. Many people in the British press are calling for an England v Brazil final, but the way I see it, it looks like they would meet up in the semis if England gets past France... which I don't see happening... & Brazil gets past the Dutch... which I don't see happening. I'm picking a France v Netherlands & a Germany v Spain semi-final. At that point it's up in the air. I'd prefer Brazil to Germany in the Semis, but it doesn't look like that's how it will play out. Of course, this is all based on my scattered reading of the brackets which might very well be flawed. Here's the Wikipedia way the brackets play out, so you can go through it yourself & correct my mistakes.

Holiday Post #3: I'm a Lumberjack & I'm OK

Faithful readers will be in no way surprised to learn that we're going to Ida, MI tomorrow to get a X-Mas tree. This will mark the 7th straight year we've gotten our tree from Matthes Evergreen Farm. The place is really great. Not only do I get to participate in the manly art of cutting down a tree, but we then get to participate in the manly art of browsing the Old Ladies' Country X-Mas Craft Area (that might not be the official name... I'll have to check). They also feature a stage where local musicians perform all afternoon in the main barn (where they (the Matthes people... not the performers) also serve Hot chocolate, coffee, & snacks. There's a hay-ride, pony rides, a petting zoo, & the "Wreath Shop" where they sell home made decorations... & where the kids see Santa. It's been the same Santa dude every year, & unfortunately, I think Solstice & Aiden still actually believe he's "the real deal." I've been dropping hints for years, but they're being really stubborn about it. Speaking of Santa, the Wikipedia link to Santa suggests that in Welsh he is referred to as Siôn Corn which translates as Chimney John... so there's a fun little fact for you. Never say Visions of Ypsi doesn't give back to its readers! We're also giving back to the readers by giving y'all this link to the Christmas in Ida Festival & Parade of Lights. Over the 7 years we've been going down there, we had no idea that they had this huge festival each year. It's happening tomorrow in downtown Ida, so maybe we'll see you there.And speaking of giving back, we're still accepting nominations for the Visions of Ypsi Celebrity MILF of the Year Contest. Next week, we'll compile a list of the nominees, post the mini-bios, & start the voting. The nominees so far include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Chalke, & Adriana Lima. Alessandra Ambrosio missed the cut-off by a week & Alyson Hannigan missed it by about 6 months.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Post # 2: The Thompson Building & The Nominations

Apparently, the city plans to tear down the remainder of the building. The entire story can be found @ The Ypsi Citizen, but I'll sum up here. They told Beal he had 90 day to make the structure permanently stable. When they sent him a letter this week to encourage the repairs, he claimed it had been done. They then said the scaffolding blocking lanes of both Cross St. & River St. is certainly not a permanent solution & are now going to file w/ the Circuit Court to get the go-ahead for demolition. Of course, in other Thompson Building news, no official cause for the fire has been released yet, but accelerants were found. No one seems to want to say that they believe Beal caused the fire, but it's pretty clear that the investigation is going in that direction. In non-Thompson Building news, start making your Visions of Ypsi Celebrity MILF of the Year Contest Nominations. The preferred nomination technique is to post your nominee here in the comments section. I will, however, accept e-mail submissions if you so desire.
As far as eligibility is concerned, the nominees need to have gotten knocked up in 2009 & they need to be famous. (Female celebrities who adopted in 2009 are also eligible, but we've seen in the past that those nominees cause a tad bit of controversy.) Celebrities whose babies were born this year are only eligible if the birth occurred after on or after September 1. This allows for shortened pregnancies, but in these cases, the pregnancies wouldn't have been known before the 1st of the year. Basically, we need to ensure people who were eligible last year aren't nominated this year for the same pregnancy. To get you started w/ the process, you can look through 9 potential nominees here (followed by 8 others who were eligible last year). Here is a link to a site full of rumors, but be sure the person is actually a 2009 MILF before nominating her. In closing, traffic @ Visions of Ypsi has been light lately, so if we don't get enough nominations, I'll nominate a few myself, but I would like to stay out of the process as much as possible. Oh, & to help get you in the MILFy holiday mood, you can revisit the Contest proceedings from previous years (2007 & 2008) here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Urban Farming

After hearing all sorts of good things about the chickens from Daye et al., Stephanie has been wanting to try it. I've always been more inclined towards pigs or llamas, but this week, the Ypsi City Council approved an ordinance allowing for bee keeping. A couple of Langstroth hives in the back of the yard would be pretty sweet... get it.. sweet, you know, like honey? The main thing standing in our way is the initial start-up money. I'm not really down w/ the idea of a full on working beet farm, like Dwight, but having a few useful animals around would be a nice change of pace from all the cats/dogs/squirrels in the neighborhood. And, of course, Sherlock Holmes moved to Portsmouth when he retired from his London sleuthing & started keeping bees. Those last few stories aren't very good, but the bee-keeping stuff is pretty interesting. Why Portsmouth? Because Doyle spent time there also keeping bees (& helping to start Portsmouth FC & he actually played goalie for a little while before it became a professional side). Visions of Ypsi is proud to bring you all the soccer/Sherlock Holmes/Bee Minutiae you can handle. This also brings up a new paper topic seeing as there are no articles specifically about Holmes' beekeeping, & nothing about Holmes' relation to nature in general since a West Virginia University Philological Papers article from 1949. Weird. I imagine there are references in books though... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Post #1: What's w/ the Wig?

Embedding has been disabled for this video, but you should definitely check it out. I keep reading horrible reviews of his X-Mas album, but everything I've heard from it is great. Here's the fun 1st video from Christmas in the Heart: "Must Be Santa Clause." Check it out and enjoy the ridiculous list of reindeer names that includes (for some unknown reason) recent presidents. Not to mention, the ridiculous wig that Dylan is wearing.

In other holiday news, it might be time to start sending your nominations for the Visions of Ypsi Celebrity MILF of the Year Award, & as we're getting towards Life Day, be sure to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special. The official site has been updated since the last time I checked it out... last year I suppose. Here's the first ten minutes. You can then follow the links to watch the rest. Be sure to check out the Boba Fett cartoon & the sweet Jefferson Starship cameo... oh, & of course, Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, & the Princess Leia song @ the end.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bruce Fans are Ugly as Shit (and other things learned from at the Palace last night)

1) I felt like I was back in Niagara, what w/ the way I was the most attractive person there. I'm not trying to suggest that I'm all that, but good God! It was like an army of Da Bears guys accompanied by 55 year old strippers. I don't understand why those women feel the need to bleach their hair & accentuate their catcher's mitt faces while wearing tight leather clothes & fuck-me-boots.

2) Bruce is more than willing to sacrifice the technical stuff to rock the crowd. I never saw Jerry Garcia throw his guitar around or let audience members screw w/ it... but then again, I never saw him surf the crowd from 1/3 of the way back all the way up to the stage. I never really saw him move at all... & neither did you.

3) When playing the Palace, feel free to sacrifice the sound for the energy because the sound is shit anyway. I suppose I always knew this, I hadn't seen a concert there since Phish in the fall of 1996, so I'd forgotten how bad it is. It's like they're playing in a basketball arena or something.

4) People will buy anything. They were selling bandannas, key chains, coffee cups, & of course, shit-ass watered down beer (not to mention the Clarence Clemons' book which may or may not be any good), & people were going nuts for that shit. There was 1 cool t-shirt that I would have gotten had I had the money or been a bigger fan... it was black w/ a 70s era scruffy Bruce on it.

5) There are too many cooks in the Palace kitchen. When we pulled in, we just said we were vendors & they let us through w/o checking anything. When we had to leave & get a beer because they weren't ready for us, we got in a 2nd time the same way. When the promoter forgot about us, we weren't sure we were ever going to get in, the car battery died as we sat for over an hour waiting to get the call to set up. We got in & had to wait for another hour while they tried to figure out what to do w/ us... the chaos was fun though & worked to our advantage.

6) We sold 103 of the 120 books we brought. Apparently, the average had been about 50 before last night, so we kind of rocked it. Then, our little sticker/passes got us into a great spot neI don't think I would have been willing to shed out the cash for this show, but being on the clock was great. However, considering the damage to my ear-drums, I guess I need hazard pay... plus it was pretty late so I probably deserve a shift premium. These are the sacrifices I'm willing to make to bring books to the masses. I'm doing my part!
1. Wrecking Ball
2. Prove It All Night
3. Johnny 99
4. Hungry Heart
5. Working on A Dream

Born to Run in its entirety:
6. Thunder Road
7. 10th Ave. Freeze Out
8. Night
9. Backstreets
10. Born To Run
11. She's the One
12. Meeting Across the River
13. Jungleland

14. Working on the Highway
15. Raise Your Hand
16. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
17. Detroit Medley:
- Devil w/ a Blue Dress>
- Good Golly Miss Molly>
- Devil w/ a Blue Dress>
- C.C. Rider>
- Devil w/ a Blue Dress
18. Because the Night> Sweet Jam
19. Lonesome Day
20. The Rising
21. Badlands

22. Hard Times (Come Again No More)
23. Born in the USA
24. American Land
25. Dancing in the Dark
26. Rosalita
27. Higher and Higher

We missed the 1st song but then the next 4 songs were really strong. After the 2nd one, he shouted, "Hello OHIO!" At that point, Little Steven ran up to him laughing an explained what just happened. Bruce's response was something like this:
"FUCK! Hello MICHIGAN! I can't fucking believe I just did that. It's every rock n roll front man's worst fear. Forty fucking years of nightmares just came to an end tonight. FUCK!" He was pretty embarrassed but dealt w/ it really well. He then proceeded to ask, "Where am I?" after every song. After "Raise Your Hand," he went around collecting signs w/ song names on them & then, one by one, held them up for the band as he chose which ones to play. I'm sure it's a canned routine, but it was cool none-the-less. This was the first time they played "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" on this tour. I don't really like that song (or Bob Seger for that matter) but it was cool. He then held up a sign w/ something about Mitch Ryder on it & they went into the Detroit medley. Following the Seger tune & then closing w/ the Jackie Wilson was a cool Detroit music tribute. "Because the Night" was fantastic... I always forget he wrote that and associate it w/ Patty Smith.

The break between the set & the encore was almost non-existent. I wasn't even certain that we were watching an encore. They never left the stage. Then they went into an old Stephen Foster tune about economic and spiritual problems. It was a fantastic tune to lead into "Born in the USA" & then "American Land." I didn't know "American Land" beforehand, but I definitely dig it. "Dancing in the Dark" was fine & a woman was thrown off the stage for doin' some Courtney Cox thing. "Rosalita" was awesome, & then the Jackie Wilson song. Every single song as played w/ the intensity of an encore. I couldn't tell when it was going to end... & 3 hours straight ain't bad for those old dudes.
From our seats 1 (The woman throwin' the metal sign was dancin' like a crazy-person... and then after 5 or 6 songs left to get sick and never returned. She was w/ her twin or her girlfriend... it was hard to tell [maybe both] but they seemed to have fetal alcohol syndrome or something... strange).
Another shot from our seats

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Boss & the Big Man

Last spring, @ Nicola's books, I came across an advance of Clarence Clemons' memoir, Big Man, & wondered who would ever read such a book. I grabbed it for John, my boss @ Plum because he's a huge Springsteen fan, but I don't think even he ever read it. Fast-forward to a week & a half ago when people @ Nicola's were wondering who was going to work the "Bruce event." Here's how the conversation went:
Jack: "Who's workin' the Bruce event?"
Me: "Bruce who?" (by the way no one seemed to want to work it as it was going to be crazy w/ fans, I assumed that maybe Bruce Feiler, the Walking the Bible guy, was coming)
Jack: "Springsteen, The Boss, next week @ The Palace."
Me: "Yeah, right... seriously, Bruce who?"
Nicola: "Clarence Clemons is getting local stores to do his book events @ their concerts rather than contracting w/ a major company like Borders or Barnes & Noble. He asked us to do it."

As it turns out, the union rules @ the Palace state that only Palace employees can sell stuff, so my job is to bring the books out there, sign them over to the Palace people, hang w/ Clarence Clemons while he signs them, watch the show & then bring the extras back w/ a check for whatever sells.

Nicola: "Are you sure you want to do this? It's gonna be a pretty late night."
Me: "Um... yeah."
Nicola: "It's gonna be loud."
Me: Um...."

The most shocking thing about this is that it fell to me. I don't understand why no one else wanted to do this. I've never been a huge Springsteen fan, but I dig his politics, & everyone says his live shows are amazing... so it should be fun. Not to mention, he;'s written a few pretty decent songs too. In fact, tonight, he's apparently playing Born to Run in its entirety. I've never been a huge fan supporter of the "play an entire album" approach to live shows, but it should be cool. Even when Phil Lesh played a series of GD albums during his May '08 run @ the Warfield, when he played 2 albums a night (Grateful Dead & Anthem of the Sun; Aoxomoxoa & Live Dead; Workingman's Dead & American Beauty; & finaly Skull Fuck & Dead Set), I thought it took away from the spontaneity. Tonight should be a blast though. I'll report back tomorrow w/ a full review... pics & a set-list.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ridiculous Fans @ Soccer Games

Guy brushing his teeth @ the Chelsea v ManUre match the other day:

Some douche tries to catch Puyol's poorly hit cross:

Ryan Gigg's ability to fit into the Man U first team since I was in high school is pretty impressive, but evidently not to the elderly Arsenal fan behind him:

Perhaps it was just this woman getting her revenge on the Man U side:

A crazy Russian fan scores a PK for Spartak Moscow:

Spurs Ball Boy takes out his Spursian angst on some random Cypriot winger.

We've seen it before, but Eric Cantona goes APE SHIT!

The real issue here has got to be w/ the ref... WTF??? (not a fan situation, but worth checking out)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jon Stewart IS Glenn Beck!

Here's a fun little clip from The Daily Show the other night... enjoy. Apparently Glenn Beck's medical problems are part of a much bigger conspiracy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3 Books (Plus 2 Others)

If you've scrolled down & taken a look @ my "Chain Reading" thing anytime over the last few months, you may have noticed that it hadn't really changed since the summer. Another Country & The Cardboard Universe took me quite a while to finish... & by finish I mean finally give up on. A couple years ago, I began a project that would see me teach a different James Baldwin book every year. As it stands, I think I'm done w/ that project. Another Country was an arduous journey up a mountain of pretension... even more so than this very blog. Go Tell it on the Mountain & Giovanni's Room are absolutely brilliant. If you ever feel the need to read read Baldwin, stick to those. Go Tell it on the Mountain is a fantastic coming of age story about an African American kid realizing he's not cut out to follow in his step-father's footsteps & take over his church as he comes to terms w/ his bisexuality & agnostic questions. Giovanni's Room deals w/ the stories of a group of drunks in France in the '50s leading up to & in the aftermath of ones execution. The problem I have w/ Another Country is w/ it's melodramatic problems. They just keep coming while the over-the-top description never ends. It feels as though Baldwin had too many ideas & couldn't choose. Of course, the problem my students had w/ it was the sex. I was shocked by their united front of homophobia. Admittedly, the sex was often graphic & misogynistic, but that was the best part of the book... it's real. However, for good graphic gay sex in a good novel, stick w/ Giovanni's Room.

Christopher Miller's The Cardboard Universe suffers from many of the same problems. It's a cool premise, but it just doesn't hold up. It's written as an encyclopedia of the works of a fictitious SF writer names Phoebus K. Dank (a clear reference to Phillip K. Dick). On the surface it seems like a cool post-modern take on literary guide books. It's often funny, but it seems like a cop-out. Miller came up w/ a bunch of silly book topics and then made fun of them. Rather than actually sustaining a narrative, it reads like a SF version of Tucker Max: clever, but in the end, pretty empty. it might make for decent bathroom reading though as each entry cold be gotten through during a satisfying deuce.

Since I'm finally done w/ these, I started The Savage Detectives yesterday... Awesome! I imagine many of you have already read it, but if you haven't... do it! Roberto Bolaño lived a fascinating life, & as his works seem to be getting translated @ a rate of about 1 book per year, we should have another 6 years of cool stuff to come yet. The Savage Detectives follows a couple of struggling writers on their adventures through Central America & then Western Europe & has all sorts of auto-biographical aspects... not unlike the best of Baldwin. But it's like Baldwin meets Carlos Ruiz Zafón, w/ a little Borges & Kerouac thrown in for good measure. Where Christopher Miller falls short w/ his post-modernism, Bolaño hits the mark perfectly.
Along w/ The Savage Detectives, I've also started reading 99 Drams, a fun little book about drinking whiskey & Djbot Baghostus's Run, a strange look @ the jazz world that Dan loaned me a few weeks ago. So far, so good. More complete reviews will follow once I finish them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cub Scouts... Again

This week, Aiden & I made his rocket for the "Space Derby." It was another stellar Scouting event. Kids were being shits, talking about how the other rockets sucked, and generally running amok w/o any parental supervision. This year's leader is a lot cooler than the one we had last year though, & I think he sees us as the one family that doesn't deserve a foot in the ass each week. The other issue w/ the parents is that they rarely actually have their kids do anything. Clearly, making a rocket out of a block of wood is a bit beyond an 8 year old (it's a bit beyond me too), but we worked together & he learned about sanding & whittling, plus, he designed it & colored it himself. Of course, he then said, "I bet I'm the only kid who actually worked on it himself." I bet he was right. Some of the families may have a bigger tool collection than I do (it only makes sense... they're bigger tools), but there's no way in Hell the kids were using the electric saws. These douchey kids would certainly have injured themselves in new & exciting ways had that been the case.

Maybe part of the problem is the fact that they're choosing an activity that is too "saw oriented" for a little kid. Along w/ the saws, it also has to do w/ the mathematics of balancing it properly. On the other hand, maybe I'm just too over-protective & should let Aiden just play w/ saws. I'm sure I was doing that when I was his age.Of course, the night ended w/ tears as his rocket got it's ass handed to it by his friend's rocket (this friend is significantly less nozzly than the other kids btw... he's cool. It's the rest I don't dig... except the leader's son is usually alright too). I wish the focus was less on the competition & more on the construction & camaraderie. he can lose every single soccer game this fall & never shed a tear, but as soon as it's a one on one competition w/ his friends, the waterworks are bound to spring forth. We did have fun making it though. I think he learned a few things about the tools too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Employee ID Card

For some reason, namely: I haven't taken the time to go to the Student Center & get it done, I've put off getting a new ID card for a long, long time. My old one dates back about 9 years I suppose. I remember when I got it; I was still teaching @ WCC. I think it was my 1st semester as a Lecturer. Its time had definitely passed though. I haven't been able to get things out of storage @ the library lately which is contingent on having as updated card. W/ that in mind, I decided today would be the day because I wanted a couple of old Halloween DVDs. Of course it had nothing @ all to do w/ anything even peripherally related to academia. Looking @ the old one & the new one side by side, there are a couple glaring concerns. It looks like my hair may have gotten a little shinier & my eyes seem a little more experienced. Regardless of the hair color, it's also clear that my hair style has been ridiculous for a quite a while. You can also note that the top is cracked off of the old one after sitting in my wallet for 9 years. The final thing I need to point out is that I've apparently gotten a promotion. Maybe I need to let the union know about this loop-hole in the contract... the old one says "Lecturer;" the new one says "Faculty."
Circa 2000
Circa Today

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Honeymoon in VT

In May of 1998, after our wedding, Stephanie & I took a road trip to the Green Mountains where we stayed in a couple of B&Bs for 4 nights. The 1st 2 nights were in Northfield. While there, we made a short trip to Barre, Ben & Jerry's & then Burlington where I realized that the dude who got Lake Champlain Great Lakes funding was a tool. There's nothing great about lake Champlain... you can see across it for Christ's sake. Then we spent a couple nights in Hancock. The place in Northfield, The Northfield Inn was by far the nicer of the 2 places, but in Hancock, The Sweet Onion Inn left me w/ the better memories. The Inn was 100% vegan, & it was right on a beautiful river where we spent an afternoon skipping stones. Hancock is also right on the Eastern edge of the Green Mountain National Forest through which we took a nice drive & went for cool hike to a waterfall. The reason I'm writing about this right now though is because while in Hancock, we missed the series finale of Seinfeld; it was on again last night & got me thinking about it. While we couldn't see it then, we had to listen to the daughter of the owners of the inn get all excited because her parents were going to let her watch it. I didn't feel right asking if we could hang out in their living room & watch w/ them... but I really wanted to. instead, we went to a bar across the street & waited to see it until we got home. Stephanie's dad taped it for us so we were alright.People have spent the last 11 years suggesting that it didn't do justice to what is commonly considered the greatest sit-com of all time. Watching it again last night, I realized how much I disagree with that sentiment though. There were only a few options for ending the series; I remember everyone assuming they'd get killed off so the close call on the plane was clearly in reference to that rumor. Plus, during the near crash, we find out that George cheated in the masturbation contest... awesome! Then bringing it back to the show-w/in-a-show from a few seasons earlier is great. That even gives George's dad a chance to talk shit about NBC execs before the parade of secondary characters in the 2nd half of the show. The post-modern stuff is all throughout the episode, & the fact that the stupid "Good Samaritan law" doesn't really make much sense should be given a little lee-way since it's really just setting up the courtroom parade of characters. Besides, any episode w/ Jackie Chiles is a good episode... & he gets to find out that Terri Hatcher's tits are real!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Post; Old Music

As I was leaving the house the other day, I grabbed a CD to which I hadn't listened in years & years. It has always had a place in my heart, but for all sorts of reasons, I'd neglected it in general since about 1996. I imagine the last time I listened to it @ all was maybe 3 years ago when I happened to score a free ticket to a show at Meadowbrook. It's interesting how music that gets a lot of play 1 year can fall off of a personal radar a few years later. It's too bad too because as i have been listening to it this week, I've been reminded of how good it is. The CD in question is Travelers & Thieves, the 2nd album by Blues Traveler. When we were younger, Stephanie & I saw them more times than any other band; clearly by now we've seen the different incarnations of The Dead/Phil's band/Bob's band more, Blues Traveler will always be the one that reminds me of my college days the most. In fact, I even spend this morning, while grading, listening to some old shows on the Archive & was again blown away by their talent.

Listening this week, I realized a few things:
1) Bobby Sheehan was a monster bass player. When he died, I was already listening to them less & less, so I was rather unaffected, but back in the early '90s, I'd always been impressed by him. Now I realize my original feelings were more than just blind fandom; he was awesome. Check out his runs on "Onslaught," "Ivory Tusk," & "Support Your Local Emperor." He's all over the place playing a 2nd lead behind Popper's harmonica while Chan Kinchla & Brenden Hill hold down the beat.
2) Popper's lyrics, while sometimes a bit cheesy, are really complex. He's dealing w/ big issues, & saying some cool things; much cooler, in fact, than his ridiculous libertarian views would suggest.
3) Having listened to Travelers & Thieves, I then grabbed Save His Soul & also put in On Tour Forever. I doubt I'll go into any of the more recent stuff, but those other discs hold up really well too. On Tour Forever is a live, bonus disc that was packaged w/ only 10,000 copies of Travelers & Thieves. it 4 song long & runs nearly an hour. It also features Carlos Santana on a 20 minute version of "Mountain Cry." Of course, the studio version features Greg Allman, so that's pretty cool too.

Do yourself a favor & grab an old disc, 1 you haven't listened to in a long time, & give it another go. You'll be glad you did... I sure am.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I learned this Weekend (W/ Halloween Post #2) or Holy Shit! Miley Deleted her Twitter!

Along with that adorable little rap classic, I also learned, via Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, that those of you w/ dogs should be checking this site out, but be warned: once you see a dog dressed as a sexy nurse, you can never unsee a dog dressed as a sexy nurse. You can pimp your pet for Halloween. Make your Schnauzer sexier or your Highland Maltie as hot as a Hairless Khala w/o the need for another Brazilian. It's too bad they don't make the sexy costumes for cats though since there are so many people out there going as sexy cats already. I have yet to determine the "sexy" angle for my costume this year. Maybe "sexy sanitation worker" or "sexy manual masturbator of caged animals for artificial insemination worker." We'll see.

Speaking of masturbation, if you haven't heard, Marge Simpson will FINALLY get a spread in Playboy. I've never really been a huge fan of the show, but I've been waiting for 22 years for a glimpse of her sweet sweet body. I'm going to destroy it. like that the title of the pictorial references our favorite classic '70s porno too. I also like that they've got some sort of Farah Fawcett tribute in the new issue as well. Although, titling it "Our Angel" is a bit odd. I know Joe "used to" have the famous bathing suit poster in his room; my cousin had it too, but I never understood the appeal. By the time I was old enough to be into bathing suit photos, I guess it was just outdated. I suppose this post will have to stand in for the belated Farrah Fawcett tribute we missed on here during the MJ frenzy last summer.

Speaking of MJ, he's got a new single, I learned this from The Soup last night, hitting the airwaves on the 28th. I hope this can really revitalize his career... where's he been lately anyway?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hallowewen Post #1: Jenny's Dexter Market

After the kids' game this morning, we made out annual trip out to Jenny's Dexter Market to get pumpkins and random canned goods: salsa, jam, pickles, etc. We've been going there since 2004 & the kids have always loved it. I stumbled upon it one afternoon when taking the scenic route home from Holly's house in Howell; it's just west of Dexter @ the fork in the road where Dexter Rd. turns North towards Pinckney. The kids played in the hay-bale tunnels for a while before picking out their pumpkins, pumpkins that I made them carry back to the car for the first time. Aiden was shocked...
"Can't I get a big one?"
"Can you carry a big one?"
"You can!"
He was certainly correct about my awesome strength, but he was wrong about who was going to carry them. After we took care of that, we headed into the little shop to score cider & doughnuts & the canned stuff. Outside, Isaiah got to check out the chickens, horses, & donkeys (aka ponies) which of course was his favorite part... other than climbing the hay-bale mountain which I think made him feel like such a big kid. Jenny's is definitely a cool place, so if you're looking for a good spot to score your pumpkins, look no further than that weird fork in the road just west of Dexter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 Things Distract Me: Soccer & Teaching

It's rare that things really go wrong, but when they do, they really do. On Sunday, I had about 20 minutes between work & soccer to deuce & chill, & during that time I found out I'd been served papers regarding my car crash last summer. The guy I hit, who didn't have insurance or an injury, is suing me for $3,000. His 1994 Ford pick-up was probably worth about $800. With these factors in mind, I'm not too worried about the case, but I'd be lying if I said the time consumption & the fact that 3 grand is hanging on this didn't affect me @ all.

I found this out, freaked out for about 5 minutes, & then went to play. Even though this ridiculousness was in the back of mind my before the game started, once we started playing I forgot about it for 90 minutes. It's 1 of the 2 activities that can always help me forget my problems for a little while. Of course, afterwards, I grabbed a couple beers w/ Dan before going home to continue the earlier freak out. Soccer worked this way a few years ago too when Stephanie & I were going through our dark times. Clearly, this court case isn't as bad, but @ the moment, it's yet another distraction I don't need, & it's nice to have something to take my mind off of it once in a while.

Teaching has always worked the same way. Once I get my game face on, Skynet could be taking over & I'd still be alright. As I was just on my way back from class I realized how much I really like my job. When I get into the classroom, the problems, the distractions, the general bullshit falls aside, & I'm completely focused on what I'm doing. I was wondering how the Hell I was going to do this today w/ a 3 grand law suit in the back of my mind, but it never crossed my mind once I started talking shop. It worked the same way a few years ago too. Even when I'm sick, the classroom has some sort of recuperative thing going on. I've walked into class w/ a 102 fever, but after a few minutes, I've been focused & relatively clear. @ 103 the hallucinations start which makes for an interesting lecture, but even then it goes pretty well... then again, I wonder if the students really notice a difference. Teaching is pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Balls & Ovaries... & the Tigers: The Big Talk

On Tuesday evening, starting during the bottom of the 3rd & running through the top of the 6th inning, we had the Panthers' U10 soccer practice. It was a rainy, crappy, evening. I've always loved playing in that kind of weather, but coaching is another thing all together. Afterwards, I put the ball-bag in the trunk, we dropped another kid off @ his house, & then we headed home. Listening to the game on the radio, we heard that whoever was batting had 2 balls.

Aiden then asked? "What'd that guy on the radio just say?"

Me: "The batter has 2 balls."

Aiden: "I've got a bunch of balls!"

Me: "What do you mean by that?"

Aiden: "In my ball sack!"

Solstice: "HAHAHAHAHA"

Me: "A bunch? How many balls do you think you have?"

Aiden: "I don't know... a ton?"

Solstice: "HAHAHAHAHA"

Me: "Do you really not know?"

Aiden: "No; how should I know?"

At this point, I realized a little science was in order. I proceeded to explain the testicles, the scrotum, and semen.

Solstice: "Scrotum? We call it a ball sack or a nut sack."

Me: "Yeah, I'm aware of those phrases, but the technical term is 'scrotum' or 'scrotal sack.'"

Solstice: "Well, kids these days say ball sack."

Me: "Yes, I understand that; I'm telling you the scientific term for it. Besides, it's not like your generation coined the phrase."

Solstice: "So how come I don't have any balls?"

Me: "Are you kidding?" (I think she may have been kidding.)

Me: "Because you have ovaries."

Solstice: "What are those?"

At this point, I'm pretty sure she was fucking w/ me, but I wasn't positive so I proceeded to explain.

Me: "It's where your eggs are made."

Solstice: "I'm gonna lay an egg???"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shades of Grey: Yet Another Piece of the Puzzle Falls into Place

If you know me, you know I've never been secretive about my love for old hip-hop. By old we're talking about what I would point to as the "Golden Era of Rap," the period between Raising Hell & The Chronic. I wasn't loving Run DMC @ 1st, but when I was in 8th grade, I scored a copy of LL Cool J's underrated masterpiece, Bigger & Deffer. I saw LL on SNL in October of 1987, when he performed "Go Cut Creator Go." At the time, I had no clue that it would change my life. Afterwards, I drifted between an interest in hip hop & an interest in hair bands, but, thankfully, the hip hop won out. A few years later, I had the opportunity to see LL cool J in concert @ Joe Louis Arena. He was touring w/ a slew of smaller artists including NWA, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, De La Soul, & MC Lyte. Although the gang warfare inside the arena made us leave a little early... to the sound of police in street clothes w/ baseball bats & brooms sticks telling us to get to our cars... I was sure that was the life for me. I got heavily into the political stuff being released by the Jungle Brothers, BDP, & most specifically, Public Enemy. This influence lead my friend Marques & I to start our own group along w/ a kid from down the street whose father hooked him up w/ a small mixing "thing" so he was our DJ. I think he went by Matt D... as his name was Matt & his last name began w/ D.Why am I taking this walk down memory lane? Because last night, after a completely unrelated conversation w/ Solstice & Aiden about balls & ball sacks, she refused to believe that I was ever in a rap group. She thought there was no way in Hell I could ever have been cool enough to be in a rap group, when in fact, I was never cool enough to avoid such ridiculousness. Obviously, it's not like we had a contract... or ever actually performed, be we had dreams & we wrote a shit load of songs. I only wish I could remember a couple of them. Oh, & in case you're wondering... Marques went under the Nom de Mic, Question Marq. Mine? A Plu$$ of course. It had less to do w/ my GPA & more to do w/ the fact that we fancied ourselves some sort of PE influenced group out there spreading positivity... of course.

And check back tomorrow for "The Ball Sack Story." (Yes, it has something to do w/ the Tigers' tragic loss yesterday evening.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bless You Bonderman

We scored Tigers tix from the Schoolmasters yesterday... Don's father has a ticket package but couldn't go... so I got my 1st game of the season, Stephanie got her 1st @ Comerica Park, & Isaiah got his 1st ever. Solstice & Aiden went to a game w/ Elizabeth & Dan a month or so ago & saw Ordóñez hit a grand slam. I think Aiden was under the impression that that would happen every time. He was wrong.
here's what I learned:
* Aiden wasn't afraid to squeeze out a few tears over the final score
* Aiden was actually paying a lot of attention & asked a million questions regarding the rules & the strategy
* Isaiah loves balls... no, not those balls. I knew he was nuts for them by the way be watches soccer on TV, but even from the upper deck 1/2 way down the 1st base line, he was watching the pitches & the foul balls saying, "ba... ba... ba."
* Bonderman is a bad ass. He plunked Delmon Young w/ his very 1st pitch after then Twins hit Thames, & nearly missed Evertt & Thames a 2nd time.
* Leyland isn't afraid to go ape shit. He's usually so reserved, but after Evertt was almost hit, he refused to leave the field until after getting in both the home plate umpire's & the 1st base umpire's face for a good 5 minutes after being ejected.
* An old dude in line for beer was wearing an '84 replica jersey that said, "Bless You Boys" on it. I'd forgotten about that slogan... I never quite understood it then & it seems to make less sense now.
* Rally caps might not actually help
* Isaiah is kind of scared of Carousels
* Solstice digs baseball & seems to understand it really well
* We may need to save up for a small ticket package soon
* Ball park hotdogs might not be vegetarian, but I don't care... they go so well w/ beer & peanuts
* My early season pick of Thames was spot-on!
* Aiden has a weird disdain for all things tradition; he won't sing the song during the Stretch, not will he participate in the Mexican Wave
* People who refer to it as the Mexican Wave watch too much European soccer
Rally Caps
Drinking cheap beer
The view fro our seats
Isaiah on the carousel

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Summer Reading Program: Post #2

As the summer is clearly coming to an end, here's the 2nd batch of reviews for you.

The Invention of Morel
I found this on the Lost List & again struck gold. It's a cool Borgesesque thing about an mysterious island where a man has made this machine which will replay (in 3D & fully lifelike) moments from the island's past... particularly, moments involving a young beautiful woman. The The Baudriardian repetition is fascinating even when the story-telling (or possibly the translation) lags a little. Borges wrote the preface for this, but the story is all Bioy Casares. It's really short... you can read it in a single sitting... & you should.

Three Bags Full
I was unsure about this one, but it's fun & surprisingly clever. A flock of sheep in Ireland get smart after their shepherd reads to them every night. They then use that extra intelligence to solve his murder. W/ nods to Animal Farm, Hamlet & Sherlock Holmes, the sheep stumble through the mystery often unsure about the things that in hind-sight are quite obvious... they're sheep so there's a lot of shit they just don't get. And as it's told from their perspective, the reader is forced to see things as a smart, talking sheep might see them. I guess this is also a nod to that Tolstoy story about the horse.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I'd actually never read this before. Clearly, it's no Huck Finn, but it's fun, clever, & should be read. It definitely makes me want to reread Huck so as to make the connections between them. And, of course, Mark twain is no slouch.

Sharpe's Rifles
I rarely read historical fiction like this, & it's certainly not going to change any perceptions of the universe, but it's a fun romp through Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. I've seen the BBC films w/ Sean Bean & always like them so I gave this a go. I got the 2nd book in the series too, but I think I'll wait until next summer for that one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Depot Town Fire

I was awakened around 2:00 in the morning to the sounds of the sirens. My 1st thought was "Oh shit... another high speed chase?" The sirens continued throughout the night, & then I heard the helicopters early this morning as I was getting up. When I turned onto River St. on my way to work, I saw the the firetrucks & ambulances. I figured there had been a train accident, but soon found out that others things were afoot. We've been trying to watch the overhaul of that building all year... & for the last few years... & the changes have been hard to notice. Supposedly, a lot had been done. I've heard that there was all sorts of zoning problems, parking problems, & obviously funding problems. That said, the building was constructed in 1861 as a barracks & staging location for Michigan troops leaving for the Civil War. When they rebuild something there, I hope they're able to not only get passed the problems that have mounted over the years, but retain some sense of history. If someone ends up building a stupid 1 story story mall w/ a party store & a pizza place, I'll be more than pissed. Of course, I'll also be less than pleased if it turns out that the fire was started on purpose.Here are the news reports so far... they're all basically the same, except for the photo in The Echo.
Ann Arbor Chronicle
Detroit Free Press
Eastern Echo*
Chicago Tribune
* I kind of like the fact that The Echo seems to be the only source w/ an actual picture of the fire. It's an amazing picture too.