Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

‘I am everywhere’

today is shaping up to be a bad day at work. a red sky in the morning. so keep your head down, or keep it up.
until then, more reggae, more movie. Spencer saw it. he said he liked it.


low hills

big skies.


tonight was a strange night.
Villanova beat Pittsburgh on some straight bullshit, but that wasn’t the worst of it. no, just a strange night at a bar, is all.
and that’s it. that’s all. I am listening to this song again. a freight train is moving through town. I always think to grab hold as it moves away.

my Final Four is Fucked

I’m not really in the mood to crack a newspaper. and read something like, I don’t know, something like this: Geithner making a depressingly reasoned argument for the federal regulation of a bunch of obscure, highly profitable financial markets, that  House minority leader John Boehner will denounce as infringements upon the very idea of American Democracy. even though no one wants it to happen. I don’t think anyone actually wants the government to expand, or to listen to a braying jackass like John Boehner talk. but these things, well. 
the market is so fucking big, so unruly, that things can get out of hand in it if checks, if reasonable safeguards are not in place. when there aren’t, many greedy, stupid assholes will make too many bad bets and create a tidal wave of shit. a Shit Tsunami. and someone’s gotta be called in to lifeguard that foul wave pool. oh yes: this is the life of the future employee in the federal bureaucracy created to keep an eye on the market: lifeguards on a sea of poo.

but what about hoops?
but right now, I’m not into reading about that, that which I know is in the paper. I’m not. because this is serious business, and there’s five bucks at stake: two of my picks lost. Memphis to Mizzou, and Duke to Villanova. that second was admittedly fun to watch. they’re so fuckin’ detestable, Duke is, for some reason. but I’ve got one through to Saturday (Pitt) and two still alive (Louisville and Oklahoma).
jesus. if Oklahoma gets past Syracuse and UNC, they’re gonna win the whole tournament. and Louisville need only stomp the living fuck out of Arizona before beating Michigan State. and that was some dumb shit, in retrospect, picking Oklahoma. but it could still happen.

still, with the movie?
this movie, ‘The Harder They Come’, I watched parts of it again today. the musical parts. the movie is interspersed with live takes of music, in a documentary style. the camera just happens to be in the room; nothing’s been rehearsed. in one scene, the poor-boy doomed hero protagonist is in love with the warden of a baptist preacher, so he follows her to church service.
and a second preacher, he delivers a sermon. and it’s an actual sermon, and then the camera records a hymnal where the entire congregation gets down for about five minutes. sweating, and electric guitars and organs, and breaks and faints. it’s really well done. and the music, it’s really fucking great, man, I’m not telling you any lies.

some unlucky jerk got hit by a car just outside my door tonight, and killed. on this road Avon they just installed, just tore up the street and slowed traffic for a whole week to put in lights for a crosswalk. pedestrians can trigger to stop traffic. it’s great. and then this happens.

got a t-shirt at the baseball game tonight

it’s bright orange.

watched a movie tonight called ‘The Harder they Come’. Jamaican crime film. I thought it was gonna be, well. gonna be awful, but I was surprised. has it’s melodramatic moments, but it’s actually quite self-aware and fresh for a movie made almost 40 years ago. though I could barely understand what those motherfuckers were saying half the time. and god bless america, but the music is really good.

I watched the Jim Cramer bit on the Daily Show. that shit was as trainwreck. hard to watch. the kind of interview that makes the viewer uncomfortable.
a major criticism of the network this trained ape, Cramer, works for is that it is in bed with the people they’re supposed to be reporting on. I’m not going to pretend that I watch a lot of CNBC, but I will say that the few times that I have watched it makes me angry.
no, really: have you ever seen ‘Squawk Box’? it’s a lot of yelling, done by a bunch of B-team traders who now work as analysts, and airhead news anchors who serve as their referees. and this is a guarantee: they’re always talking about bullshit, making prognostications that inevitably turn out wrong. because almost all of those fuckers didn’t see the tidal wave coming. none of em expected they’d soon have to explain to middle America why untangling some rich asshole’s credit default swaps was now a matter of national emergency.
but that’s an entirely different criticism  of CNBC’ than the one that Jon Stewart was dressing down Mad Dog Jim Cramer about. Stewart was talking about the network’s perceived cheerleading for the market.
… I don’t think there’s any question that CNBC cheerleads for the market. how are you supposed to expect access, information from these companies unless you’re portraying them in a positive light?
it’s like how cops reporters have to build familiarity, a sense of trust with the police departments they work with if they hope to get information. but on a much larger scale, with entities that deal entirely with accumulating wealth. 
but imagine if CNBC’s editorial direction was run by a group of committed Marxists. holy shit. I’d watch it for the entertainment value alone every day. 

and what’s this I’m reading right now about Treasury Secretary and doe-eyed pansy Timothy Geithner and a proposal to expand government oversight of the financial sector?
this is it, girls. where we separate the men from the capitalists.
yes. I like that last line because I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean, either.
so. tomorrow morning I am going to guzzle coffee and read about this wonderful involuntary reckoning with consumption and debt.

that’s what student loans and a public education will get you

for whatever reason, I was clicking around on the Young America’s Foundation Web site last night. it’s the kind of organization that puts together a lot of Ann Coulter speaking engagements, if you get my drift.
anyway, they have a list of the country’s top conservative colleges. meaning, colleges with ideological bent to the right. the listed colleges  … “avoid trends in academe by continuing to study Western Civilization instead of straying toward the study of Marxism, feminism, sexuality, postmodernism, and other distractions that do not give students a complete understanding of our country, our culture, and its founding principles.” right.

so I was talking to your boy Phil the other day, and he said,
“you know, there’s a special bond formed between people when all you do is sit around an apartment that should be flushed out with a firehose, smoking reefer and playing pickup basketball during the day, and getting boozed up at night.” he paused. “and that went on for a solid twelve or thirteen months.”
he’s right, it did. when you strip away the book-learning, that was my college experience, at least for the last year or two.
now. if that’s how you remember college, imagine going to school at one of these places instead.

edit: no more link.

lets talk about the pope

the pope is in Africa for the first time. this story is fascinating. the pope puts out a couple of fires about witch hunts, right after he explains to gathered reporters that condom use is actually spreading HIV infection.
see, some peoples in sub-saharan Africa have mixed their Christian faith with native animism and belief in sorcery. and then some of those people blame children and the elderly for problems and ills, and then they torture, sometimes kill them. this is an easy call. good one, pope.
but then the leader of the Catholic Church sticks to a tenant that life begins at conception, so much that blocking fertilization and fluid exchange with a latex wrapper is considered a sin.
the only real way to avoid AIDS, he says, is not to have sex. you hear that, millions of people living on $2.50 a day with slim hopes of improving living conditions?  you don’t even get sex anymore. and it’s because the mystic octogenarian who has been celibate his entire life says the Bible don’t allow it.
he is terrifying and amazing. he is looney tunes. fuck him.  he is, the pope.

Villanova’s got Duke coming up. Big East vs. ACC. I have Duke winning this, but I don’t want that to happen.
tomorrow, I’ve got Xavier over Wisconsin, Syracuse over Arizona State, and Michigan State over USC. they fucking better.

at what point does it become my bed?

I had a mixed day with the bracket.
I watched a lot of hoops today. a whole lot of hoops today. early, it was at the sports editor’s house with a few other people. sports editor and his wife just became three. their son is 11 days old. 11 days! he’s amazingly small. eats, sleeps, poops.
it’s unbelievable how calm sports editor is through all of this. though, I guess he’s 25, and it’s time to grow up, start having kids. I’m 25, though, and that’s not coming along any time soon. I am a bit of a late bloomer.
sports editor and his wife have a close friend who I had lunch with once, a while back, and nothing came of it. she was there today. I see her at these sports editor functions all the time, and I don’t know what the deal is, but feels like there’s tension between her and I. like we got beef.
anyway. Temple let me down. so did Utah. and that’s some bullshit about West Virginia.
but Wisconsin over Florida State and Siena over Ohio State got me back in it. and so did Cleveland State over Wake Forest. I picked that, because Cleveland State’s in the Horizon League with Valpo, and they won the league championship over Butler in Hinkle Fieldhouse, and that’s impressive. and because, more importantly: fuck the ACC.
that kid was so tiny. but he’s in good hands.

I should ask for a fade
I’m at the point where every day is flirting with the idea of a haircut. that’s heavy.

“oh fuck, somebody called the cops”
my neighbors downstairs have been calling the landlord and complaining about the late-night noise from the neighbors upstairs. so now the neighbors upstairs are on his shit list, and he’s not going to renew her lease, and he wants her out early if he can get her out early, and he called me and told me all of this in a ten-minute telephone call. it was fucking weird, man. like he called and wanted to gossip about it. it just went on and on.
and though I have never called to complain about them (though they may deserve it) I feel some sort of responsibility in this. which sucks. calling the landlord is like calling the cops. it just, eh. you don’t want to do it without justification.

the eyes and lips

in the second round
I’ve got Louisville over Siena.
Utah over Cleveland State.
West Virginia beating Kansas, which you know, could happen.
Boston College losing to Michigan State.

then Connecticut over Texas A-and-emmm-oh fuck it. this is taking too long, and no one gives a shit about this anyway. so here’s my final four:
Louisville, Pitt, Memphis and Oklahoma. Louisville over Pitt for the championship. woo!

my apartment is a fucking mess. I got some dishes to do, I need to mail something to my landlord, it smells like ass in here. lets crack a window.
how the hell did I ever get so much shit? I don’t need about 80 percent of it.
with that in mind, the thrift store is about to be in luck. because this place could use a scrubdown, and I definitely don’t more than five towels … 
just heard what sounded like a bunch of gunshots southwest of here. seven. three from one gun, then about ten seconds, and then four from another. now, my ears are open, because who knows what the hell that was, maybe a car backfiring, but you’ll get your confirmation from whether or not the police come out. … and here they are. took them, I’d say, three minutes.
Charlottesville is quiet at night, and you can hear an automobile coming a long way off. my apartment is above a long street, a thoroughfare running north to south on the east side of town, and you can hear individual cars coming and going as they come south over the bridge. so, in the event there’s a surprise police party anywhere in a half a mile of here, I can track the emergency response time from my window. 
and now the sirens are out, and it is loud. ambulance sirens. Crown Vics without their lights on are speeding up Avon Street to whatever’s happened.
I should take feverish, incomprehensible notes on this response time stuff and present it during a public forum at a city council meeting. read a rambling statement of findings from a tightly-packed sheet of paper with no paragraph breaks. quote the preamble to the Constitution. become That Guy.
and now, now the ambulance is leaving. you can tell it’s an ambulance by its siren, and the direction in which the siren is traveling: toward the hospital. I hope nothing stupid has happened. it’s bound to be something stupid. stupid, as in senseless.

the Pogues were great. had a good time.

it’s the most wonderful time of the year

I’m watching an ESPN Phone Report from NFL reporter Chris Mortensen. it’s about the Jay Cutler situation in Denver.
oh. oh, I’m sorry. you don’t know what ‘the Jay Cutler situation in Denver’ is? well, here, read about half of this and try not to laugh. it’s like reading satire.

so lets follow along as I fill out my bracket. I am fairly confident that I know more about college basketball than anyone who reads this regularly (those of you that I know of) and that includes my brother. because fuck him, that’s why.
this is some serious bullshit, too, because this is going in the esteemed Office Pool. I won the motherfucker last year, but it was run by one of the sports stringers, and he’s kind of a burnout, and I don’t think he ever paid me out in full. this year, though, it’s in the hands of someone slightly more responsible. I could make some serious scratch ($30) if I win. and then I’m putting all of that on black. so.

the Midwest
Louisville over whichever poor bastards win the right to step in front of them.
Siena over Ohio State, because I hate Ohio State.
Utah over Arizona, because Arizona is awful.
Wake Forest having a bad game (it could happen!) and losing to Cleveland State.
West Virginia stomping Dayton.
North Dakota State losing bad to Kansas, after making the tournament in its first year of eligibility (neat!).
Boston College over USC.
and Michigan State over Roger Morris. 

and then West
UConn over UT-Chattanooga, the poor sons of bitches.
Texas A&M over Brigham Young, because, because I don’t know. I know nothing about these teams.
Purdue and MY MAN Robbie Hummel of Valparaiso, Indiana over Northern Iowa.
Washington over Mississippi State, because they had better. Miss got in by winning the SEC tournament, and the SEC is awful.
Marquette losing because they can’t help it anymore to Utah State, who apparently won 30-some games. is that right?
Cornell losing to Mizzou.
California to Maryland.
and Memphis throwing down some highlight reel shit against Cal State Northridge.

but oh, there’s more, the East
Pittsburgh over Eastern Tennessee Sate.
Oklahoma State over Tennessee, because Tennessee blows.
Florida State losing to Wisconsin, because I hate Wisconsin, a team whose style of play is bland and uninspiring. just like that state. but it sometimes works. and you know what, Bo Ryan gets way too much credit as a coach. they’re a 12 seed. they lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship semis, for christ’s sake, in a stale fart kind of way. the selection committee let them in because, “ehh, fuck it, let’s go get lunch.”
Xavier over Portland State.
VCU over UCLA, because VCU is actually pretty good, and UCLA is having a reloading year.
American getting a mudhole stomped in that ass by Villanova, for two reasons: my co-worker’s brother in law is American’s starting forward, and there’s no way that’s a good stat; and they’re playing in Philadelphia, and that’s not even fair.
Texas past Minnesota, because Minnesota sucks less than Tennesse but much more than Wisconsin does.
and Duke over Binghamton.

and then, to end, the South
UNC over Radford.
LSU losing to Butler, because Butler’s better than an 8 seed easy.
Illinois over Western Kentucky.
Gonzaga over Akron.
Temple losing to Arizona State.
Syracuse over Stephen F Austin … where the hell is that place?
it’s in Nacogdoches. I just looked it up.
Michigan losing to Clemson, because fuck them, that’s why.
and Oklahoma blowing out Morgan State.

and, that’s where I’ll leave it, because this is getting kind of long. I’ll finish it later.
update: later means Wednesday night.

we’re all listening

taft in 08

more on that Shorpy tip. it’s really neat, I’m telling you.

movies! again!
just saw ‘Watchmen’.
it looked great, and all sorts of things exploded. there’s also a lot of full frontal male nudity, obviously for the ladies. the movie had its moments. I once read that ‘Watchmen’ the graphic novel was called unfilmable. well. they filmed it. and I’d give it a B minus.
right now, ‘Doom’ is on TNT. if I recall, I also gave ‘Doom’ a B minus when I reviewed it for the Indiana Daily Student. my reasons were all my own!
anyway, ‘Doom’ has Rosamund Pike in it. the only other film I can name off the top of my head I’ve seen Rosamund Pike in was the latest adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. that movie starred Keira Knightley, who looks like she can dislocate her jaw. I guess some dudes might go in for that, haw haw haw.
Knightley was also in a movie called ‘Atonement’ with James McAvoy. I didn’t see this, but someone overlaced clips from it with ‘Moonlight Mile’ by the Stones, which I was trying to find on Youtube once. I think that’s all I’ll need, instead of actually seeing the movie. but it’s a very nice song, for when you get lovestruck and are liable to walk into traffic. and the chorus is great.
McAvoy co-starred with Forest Whitaker in ‘The Last King of Scotland’, in which Whitaker brought his A-game as Idi Amin and won an Oscar. Whitaker’s ass has been in a lot of good movies (and even in ‘Bloodsport’) so maybe the Academy was throwing him a bone because he’s so accomplished, in the same way that Scorcese won Best Director for ‘The Departed’. or maybe not. but Whitaker, an 1980s workaholic, was in ‘Platoon’, which was a real ensemble movie. your boy Johnny Depp was in ‘Platoon’, and later this year he’ll be John Dillinger in ‘Public Enemies’, which I’m looking foward to, but a few years after ‘Platoon’ he met director Tim Burton and starred in Burton’s ‘Ed Wood’, which I’ve never seen. I don’t really know much about Ed Wood the director on his own, and I’m not particularly drawn to learn more. but that’s okay, that’s what we’ve got IMDB for.
because, see, Terrence Howard was in ‘Ed Wood’, too, and he, coincidentally, was in ‘Frost/Nixon’, which came out this past year. I’ve meant to see this film, but I’ll be real, it’s not too high on my Netflix queue either. I tend to aim for lower fare. samurai flicks and Greek myths retold in claymation.
and you know who else was in ‘Frost/Nixon’? Kevin Bacon. oh yes.
that’s six degrees. go ahead and count it.  and then give me a dollar.

tonight was a great night for hoops. looking back on today, I feel like I got nothing done. but no, I did. even if most of it was done in front of a television. the Big East tournament is always great to watch. in the petty, overmarketed world of college sports allegiances, I’m supposed to pay more attention to the Big Ten, but when my team sucks (and oh do they ever) I turn elsewhere. and so, tomorrow it’s Syracuse — six overtimes Syracuse — and west by god, and all I have to do is  drop off a bunch of old clothes at Goodwill and write up my taxes.

I hope his ass dies of lung cancer so I can get some sleep
out of the window to my left and farther up the building, my neighbor’s boyfriend is sticking his head out of their window to smoke. does he see me? I think he does.
oh boy, is this awkward.