October 31, 2006
Ah, the end of Daylight Saving Time.
Sure it gets dark at like 2 p.m. now, but getting that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning made the whole thing totally worth it.
Marnie set our clocks back Saturday night, but of course the real change happened when 2 a.m. became 1 a.m. again.
With a 25-hour day that doesn't have 25 different-numbered hours, how do police reports look?
1:30 a.m.: Perp begins to stalk victim
1:55 a.m.: Victim attacked
1:05 a.m.: Victim flees to friend's house
1:15 a.m.: Victim calls 911
1:30 a.m.: Police arrive at the scene
BALTIMORE, Md. -- As a follow-up to my discovery this spring that the Air Force has cheerleaders, I would like to report that the Navy has a cheering squad too.
Sorry, no pictures.
October 30, 2006
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Was it wise to bring my wife's bronchitis-infested lungs to sit in gale force winds at M&T Bank Stadium?
But we had fun watching Notre Dame beat Navy 38-14.
In addition to losing its 43rd straight game to Notre Dame, Navy remained the nation's leader in puns given up by a military academy.
October 29, 2006
The New York Times reported this week that the New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has set a $45 flat fare from Manhattan to JFK Airport. However, the Wall Street Journal says that (when factoring in time and price), the subway is one of the best ways to get to JFK.
On the way back to Manhattan from the airport in May – this was after my Vegemite experience – Marnie & I couldn't decide whether to take the local train or wait for an express. We ended up boarding the local, arguing over whether that was wise, deciding it wasn't, and then getting off at one of the first stops to wait for the express.
And I'm glad we did, since I caught this cool view of the street sign below the elevated subway tracks. Plus, now I know, in case someone ever asks, of a beauty salon in Queens at Jamaica Ave & 94 St.
October 27, 2006
- This week's Monday Night Football game drew the highest ratings in cable TV history (beating out the 1993 episode of CNN's Larry King Live featuring Ross Perot and Al Gore debating NAFTA).
- On Tuesday, ABC's Dancing With The Stars drew about 5 million more viewers than the Fox's coverage of Game 3 of the World Series.
- To better enjoy watching sports on TV, I've always wanted to learn how to read lips. But I'm excited by this development: During Saturday's Connecticut-Rutgers game, ESPN will have a camera/microphone in the replay booth so we can hear the discussion.
- 76-year-old Pat Summerall will call this weekend's Bears-49ers game on Fox along with color analyst Brian Baldinger.
October 26, 2006
Over breakfast one morning in New Zealand this spring, I tried Vegemite on my toast. Marnie wouldn't try it, preferring instead to make a face every time I took a bite.
I had never heard of the stuff, but evidently the Australian spread became quite famous after the 1982 song "Down Under" by Men At Work:
Despite several news reports, (which inspired the above cartoon from the Melbourne Age newspaper) the United States does not have a ban on Vegemite.I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"/
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
I fully support the globalization of Vegemite.
I may even go buy a jar.
October 25, 2006
For the last seven weeks of the NFL season, the league has instituted "flex scheduling," in which NBC may air games in primetime that would normally be afternoon games on Fox or CBS. A couple weeks ago, Fox and CBS protected five games (but no more than one per weekend), leaving NBC to have its pick of the rest.
The new plan will undoubtedly help ratings, and it's also a great opportunity for a reality show on the NFL Network.
The show would focus on the folks at Fox and CBS deciding which games to protect. ("Sorry, Oakland-Detroit. You're off the island. Or you're the weakest link. Or whatever catch-phrase we've decided on for the show.")
Then we'd see the NBC team deciding which game to pluck from the other networks.
NBC must make up its mind 12 days before moving a game, making a Tuesday night reality show perfect.
Remember, there is an uptapped (undertapped?) demand for sports programming. ESPN turned NFL Draft Day from a backroom deal the public heard about only days later (which is where Major League Baseball Draft Day remains) into one of the biggest media events of the year.
October 24, 2006
I'm tempted to disable anonymous posting, because I'm curious who is leaving remarks such as this one.
My fear, though, is that I'll end up with many fewer replies if posting anonymously is not an option. Christine, for instance, regularly posts as "anonymous."
I'll leave it up to popular vote.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan Jamal McNabb threw up at the line of scrimmage during the 4th quarter of Sunday's game in Tampa Bay. He lined up behind center, then turned his head and vomited. It was pretty gross to watch.
The incident was reminiscent of the end of the 2005 Superbowl, when Freddie Mitchell reportedly had to call the plays because McNabb was unable to do so. Terrell Owens has alleged that McNabb was throwing up in the huddle.
I remain baffled that we we're still not certain what happened in that game. It was the Superbowl! There were 9 billion TV cameras capturing every move of every player. How is it possible that McNabb was throwing up and no one captured it on camera? Why does our information on this matter have to come from Mitchell and Owens? Has no one ever asked McNabb what happened?
October 23, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 20, 2006
Alexis (on the right in the picture) said she doesn't think she's as hot as Jenn Sterger, the Florida State cowgirl.
She also expressed her desire to replace ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews and scolded those who consider her to be a "no-talent pansy."
Of course, Alexis offers advice on the ongoing debate on avoiding splash-back when cooking gnocchi.
Below is the complete conversation:
In Greece, you lived in a city called Panorama. Did you find that 4x6-sized photos don't do the town justice?
Umm, it wasn't really a city. It was more like a district or a neighborhood. They called it Panorama because it overlooked all of Thessaloniki. And I would argue that pictures do it fair justice because it was ugly and polluted and there weren't any trees.
Panorama means "view" in Greek. What was your favorite thing to look at?
My big sexy husband and/or the big magnet of Brett Favre my mom mailed me. Everything else was ugly... and polluted.
Last time around, Mike had offers from teams in Greece, Turkey, South Korea, Israel, Poland and Spain — which country has the worst umbrella etiquette?
I don't know because I have only been in Greece but I'm assuming they have horrid umbrella etiquette because they generally as a population lack pedestrian skills. No such thing as the "right" side of the road on sidewalks there. Good thing it's pounded in to our heads as soon as we enter the educational system here. I got in to a lot of sidewalk fender benders.
Mike spent part of your honeymoon working out in preparation for NBA tryouts. What did you do during that time?
I worked out with him! What do you think I am? Some kind of no-talent pansy? The majority of his "working out" was playing pool basketball with other couples and we totally dominated. (So much that people didn't want to play with us after a while.) Seeing as how I was as big as all the husbands and Mike was a whole lot bigger than the other husbands, for the length of our honeymoon Wisco dominated the pool hoops scene.
Are you wearing the Seinfeld puffy shirt in this picture? (And what's with the dark hair?)
I was an 18-year-old freshman and I never watch Seinfeld. You want me to find random pictures from YOUR freshman year?!
Actually, no. During the 2005 Miami-Florida State football game, ABC captured a FSU student named Jenn Sterger doing the tomahawk chop. Brent Musberger mused that "15,000 red-blooded American men just signed up to go to Florida State next year." Musburger developed a similar fixation on you. You made it on SportsCenter a few times, but how come you didn't end up with a regular Sports Illustrated column like Jenn Sterger got?
Probably because I am not as hot as Jenn Sterger. Also people got really really annoyed with me being on TV such to the point that I'm sure ESPN was fielding "get-her-band-sweatered-butt-off-of-my-television-please" phone calls.
Jenn Sterger used her 15 minutes of fame to win photo spreads in Maxim and Playboy. How would you like to use your "fame"?
I would like to have Erin Andrews's job if I would have been able to get it from my "fame." Can you write Brent and ask him if he needs a new sideline girl? I have excellent vocal candor. Furthermore, I couldn't pose in Maxim or Playboy because I'm a wholesome midwestern girl who would prefer to be noticed for what I can earn and contribute and give with my hard work ethic and mind. However, it doesn't mean I'm not jealous that Jenn got to be in Maxim and Playboy and/or the fact that it looks like she is a size 0.
You've said that you hate the way you look "in regular pictures" and wish you looked like the Bacardi models or the Ralph Lauren models. Some people (Brent Musburger, I'm looking in your direction) might say that you already do. In any case, whom do you have more respect for, intellectually: models or sideline reporters?
I have respect for both because I would gladly be either of them. Starving yourself must take a lot of mental control. On the other hand, not exhaling a load of verbal scatology takes practice and mental ability too. One thing I learned from the whole "Mike's Fiancee" TV fiasco is never underestimate the difficulty of someones life because guaranteed it looks nothing like it is. Who knows how smart one or the other is or isn't?
You have read "Under The Banner Of Heaven." How did you feel about Mike playing for the Utah Jazz in the NBA Summer League last year?
I was freaked out because I really really like beer, like... like it a whole lot — at full strength. At this current time, however, I think I would join the Mormon Church if Mike could get a chance to play in America. Second wife? Sure ... as long as she does the cleaning and the cooking and if we're going back to old-school biblical rules I promise to beat her with a branch no wider than my thumb.
You were in the University of Wisconsin marching band, which has been in the news for allegations of hazing and sexual harassment. Did you have fun on road trips with the band?
Of course we have fun. It's like being on a bus with your bowling team, or a bunch other of your rowdy loser friends that have to hang out with you, good bad or ugly. The only road trip I didn't have fun on was the Tennessee trip that we left for the DAY after I got engaged. A lot of people had unwarranted opinions about me and my relationship with Mike and as soon as I walked on the bus I knew it was going to be a rough trip. Other than that, we always had a blast. Even the bus drivers got in to it! Our bus driver calls us to go to Club 5 with him ... we missed out on the Miss Gay Wisconsin competition this year.
What about that one time, at band camp? Do band members get illegal discounts at the Shoe Box?
There aren't any "one time at band camp" stories because the OId Man is too busy kicking our asses all the weeks of "camp." There are no shenanigans, only shin splints. Lastly, we did not get discounts at the Shoe Box.
You got into several spats with Michigan State fans over the years. What Big 10 team has the friendliest fans?
Purdue because they're the only fans I have yet to have a personal encounter with.
It can be difficult to drop gnocchi/tortellini/ravioli into a pot of boiling water without significant splash-back. Is there a way to avoid this?
Step 1: Marry Giant
Step 2: Place hand of Giant in front of pot
Step 3: Throw pasta around hand of Giant into water
Step 4: Run
October 19, 2006
October 18, 2006
October 17, 2006
Upon hearing about Marnie's psych rotation at Walter Reed, the Ham recommended that she watch the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
I hate stating the obvious, but at that moment I couldn't stop myself from saying, "You know, the book is better than the movie."
That goes without saying, right? The book is always better than the movie.
Later, I thought of an exception: Field of Dreams.
The book, "Shoeless Joe" by W.P. Kinsella, did not come close to capturing the film's dream-like imagery of the Iowa farm or the mystery surrounding the plot.
For instance, when Ray hears voices in the cornfields, this is how the book describes it and how Ray figures out what he's hearing. I'm not leaving anything out in between these two statements:
"If you build it, he will come."
He, of course, was Shoeless Joe Jackson.
At the State Fair of Texas, first place at the Big Tex Choice Awards Contest went to Shirley London for her entry, Fried Praline Perfection.
Unfortunately, Abel Gonzales Jr. failed to win a prize for his culinary invention: deep-fried Coke. It seems Gonzales uses batter with Coca-Cola substituted for water. Once crispy, it is topped with whipped cream (sorry, Ham), cinnamon (sorry Axelrod) and a cherry.
(Other runners up were deep-fried macaroni cheese and deep-fried cosmopolitans.)
This makes me think of a few things:
- Americans like fried food, okay? How else are they going to fit into XL shirts?
- Americans like fried food so much that they came up with the name "refried beans," despite the fact that the the beans are only fried once.
- The following exchange on the Simpsons:
"See Marge, I told you they could deep-fry my shirt."
"I didn't say they couldn't, I said you shouldn't."
- The following exchange on the Simpsons:
"The new fryer is here. I got it used from the Navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in 40 seconds."
"Forty seconds? But I want it now!"
October 16, 2006
There was something refreshing about the end of Saturday's Indiana-Iowa game.
After the Hoosiers beat the No. 15-ranked Hawkeyes, the fans didn't rush the field. Instead, the Indiana players climbed into the stands to celebrate with the fans.
It was fun to watch.
Then again, perhaps it came about only because of the laziness of Indiana fans these days.
Fan 1: "Woo-hoo! We won! Let's charge onto the field to hug the quarterback and high-five the defensive end!"
Fan 2: "Ugh. All the way down there? Let them come up here with us. And see if you can get them to bring the goal posts with them."
I still haven't had spaghetti rigati (despite my desire to try it sometime), but in the meantime I've discovered that I don't like soba noodles.
Soba are Japanese noodls made from buckwheat and wheat flour. I had soba for lunch last week, and I tried a few bites of a soba-based meal Adam ordered in Northampton last month.
October 13, 2006
At Sarah & Graham's wedding last weekend, Jason, the other Jason, Jared, Eric, Geoff and Corey performed "Handle With Care" by the Traveling Wilburys. Two days earlier, the group met at the Adams Street Studio for a rehearsal.
Click the picture of Eric (above) to watch.
Incidentally, the video's red tinge is because LAL was in charge of buying the light bulbs for the room and accidentally came home with a package of red bulbs. Rather than bring them back to the store, he screwed them in and insisted they were what he meant to buy all along.
After watching the video — filmed by Marnie, by the way — take a moment to view the original.
October 12, 2006
A mercenary is a soldier who takes money in return for fighting a war.
Usually, we use that term to differenciate paid contracters from our regular military.
I finished two books this week: "Company," a novel by Max Barry; and "Now I Can Die In Peace," a collection of Red Sox-related columns by Bill Simmons (aka The Boston Sports Guy, aka The Sports Guy)
"Company" would have made a great short story. Instead, it let one good gag play out for 352 pages. (What's frustrating to me is that LAL picked up the book, chuckled a few times as he scanned the first 20 so pages, and then put it down and declared: "I don't need to read the rest." He was right.)
On the other hand, the Simmons book was enjoyable all the way through. (Those who have heard my anti-Simmons rants from 1999 — when I first learned he existed — until pretty much last week will be surprised to hear me say this.)
The book is just a collection of his old columns, sure. But the footnotes provide an entertaining "Pop-Up Video"-style commentary with side stories, such as how his wife enjoys watching Albert Pujols highlights because his name is pronounced "poo holes." In fact, the running commentary on his writing is so entertaining, Marine read through the book by reading only the footnotes.
October 11, 2006
October 10, 2006
October 08, 2006
SJB reminded me last night about a common cheer at my high school's sporting events, which went like this:
got to be aggressive/
got to b-e/
To this day, I use this cheer – in my head – to remind myself how to spell the word aggressive.
The problem is that when I need to spell it, I'm not able to start the cheer mid-way through and get right to the spelling part. So I'm forced to sit there while I go through the first two line to get to the helpful part.
In a crunch, it takes longer than you might think.
October 05, 2006
While doing an Internet search to confirm that Marnie was right about Courtney Cox1 being pregnant while taping Friends2, I came across this fact:
Cox was the first person to say the word "period" on American television (to refer to menstruation). It came during a 1984 Tampax commercial.
1 That is, Courtney Cox-Arquette.
2 Marnie was indeed correct; her pregdar remains intact.
October 04, 2006
In April, I archaeologists discovered a 1,500-year-old pyramid near Mexico City. At the time, I mentioned that I could completely understand how no one found the pyramid until now.
Today, officials announced they have unearthed an Aztec altar and monolith. This time, the finding came right smack in the middle of Mexico City. Not near the city. Not in an outlying area. They found this stuff a few steps from the main square.
Again I maintain: this makes perfect sense.
Eric informed me months ago that the Brazilian Girls are not from Brazil.
But last night, while watching the group perform on the Late Show With David Letterman, I realized that the second word of the band name is a misnomer too: only one member of the quartet is even a woman.
Just about every time I turn on the TV, Marnie walks in and tells me the woman on the screen is covering up the fact that she is pregnant.
Kelly Taylor1 on 90210? Pregnant.
Jordan McDeere on Studio 60? Pregnant.
Elaine Benes2 on Seinfeld? Pregnant.
Monica Geller on Friends? Pregnant.
Pretty much at all times, Marnie is convinced that someone on the screen is pregnant. It's a skill, like being able to spot gay people.
I call it pregdar.
1 As it happens, Jennie Garth gave birth this week to her third child.
2 Twice, meaning it is even more likely that I'm watching an episode in which she was pregnant.
October 03, 2006
At the Nats game on Sunday afternoon, the team gave away free long-sleeve t-shirts.
The shirts, billed as one-size-fits-all, were "extra large."
I know we're a nation of fat people, but if a "large" shirt is too small for most people, we're in worse shape than I realized. Then again, as we've discussed, if you ever find yourself buying size triple zero, it's time to eat.
October 01, 2006
Today was Frank Robinson's 5,000th (and likely last) game as a player or coach. Already inducted into the Hall of Fame, Robinson is a baseball legend.
Still, he became known over the years for having questionable in-game managerial skills. And today, he let relief pitcher Chad Cordero bat for himself with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning with a runner on base.
I hope he finds something to do that makes him happy. And I hope the Nats win more than 71 games next year.