Nov 30, 2011

Holiday Films in the Cornfield

I'm being ultra-lazy today by making you do all the hard work for me.

We have a little internet radio show, and the initial idea was that it was going to be about 50% baseball and 50% other things that interest us.  Movies, TV, food, booze, etc...

But we love baseball so much that it often becomes difficult for us to include the other things we love.  Back before Halloween, we did a special show where we only talked about horror flicks.  No baseball talk at all. It was loads of fun.

In the coming weeks, we are going to incorporate more topics like food and booze as we see fit, but specifically we are planning a Holiday film episode a few weeks down the pike.  Just Holiday film reviews. And here's the thing...I don't know that many Holiday films off the top of my head.  Here's what I got:
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • White Christmas
  • Holiday Inn
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Elf
  • Love Actually
  • A Christmas Story
  • A Christmas Carol (or any of the remakes)
That's all I can really think of.  I left out some that I didn't enjoy like The Santa Clause or Jingle All the Way.  I left out others that I did enjoy that I don't really consider Holiday films like Home Alone or Die Hard. Just because a film is set during the holidays, doesn't make it a Holiday film.  (Although one could make an argument for Home Alone)

So I'm asking you, dear reader, what is a really good Holiday film that I need to see and enjoy?  I'm looking for some suggestions so I can add them to my list and maybe review a couple of them during that show I mentioned previously.

And if Christmas isn't your bag, and your faith's holiday has a good flick, throw that in as well.  That's why I refer to them with the PC-tag "Holiday" instead of Christmas.  But, for the life of me, I can't think of one Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Yalda, etc... film.  So if you know of any, this is the place to enlighten me.

Nov 29, 2011

Movie Review: The Shrine (2010)

Just because we are done with the Halloween season, doesn't have to mean I'm done with horror flick. Nope, I watch those year-round. The latest and one of the greatest is this nasty little flick called The Shrine that I found on Netflix.

The film starts off with a young man who appears to be ritualistically killed by satanists or something.  It's a great opening that brings back memories of those old 60's and early 70's Hammer films, the non-vampire ones. Actually, the entire movie is like a love letter to those old satanist cult films that I loved so much as a kid.

A journalist and her two friends go to Poland to see if they can solve the mystery of the missing young man who was killed in the opening scene.  They find a backwards town that could have existed at just about any point in time, but would have fit right in with those Hammer flicks I mentioned. And the townfolk don't want these Americans nosing around in their business.  But there is this weird stationary fog that has settled over a part of the forest and they want to investigate it, so they do.

What they find is a creepy ass demon statue holding a human heart. Then shit starts to get real, or unreal to be more specific. I'm not going to give any spoilers because I don't want to ruin it for you if you intend on watching it, but the film really kicks into high gear after that.

Oh, and the filmmakers decided against giving us subtitles for the parts in Polish. This way we, the viewers, are as much in the dark as the American characters in the film. It's unsettling in a great way.

It's one of those small horror flicks that actually exceeded my expectations.  Nothing historic, you understand.  But it's pretty damn good.  Check it!

Nov 28, 2011

Green Man

I'm always looking for Green Man images for my blog and what-not.  I just dig it.  So my buddy, ever the thoughtful dude himself, sent me one that he found online somewheres that I can use during the holiday season.

Look for this one to be incorporated here sometime soon.

UPDATE: image credit Anne Stokes

Pretty cool, eh?

Ho ho ho, Holidude!

Nov 23, 2011


To these things, I give the thanks:
  • Our four cats. Gogo, Wolowitz, Bootsy and Bennington.  They make us so happy nearly every day. I say "nearly", because happiness doesn't just happen every day. Sometimes they puke on the carpet and you step on it with your bare feet. Those days aren't so great.
  • Jim Beam. I love me some bourbon, and I love me some classy bourbons. But most times, I just want some plain old Jim Beam. Filet mignon is awesome, but a lot of times you'd rather just have a great burger.  Jim Beam is that great burger. You know what I mean.
  • Baseball. I've been enjoying this off-season of baseball nearly as much as the regular season.  Having the weekly radio show certainly helps. Being a fan of a team that you know is gonna spends some money to ensure a quality product is out on the field every day is an even bigger help. 
  • Cooking. It both excites and calms me. I was a indifferent chef for most of my life, but now I try to inspire myself in the kitchen at least 4 or 5 times a week. Good for me, good for Gia, good for our health. It might be a more recent passion than booze or baseball for me, but it's just as important.
  • The Internet. Without it, I wouldn't be watching Breaking Bad or Mad Men on Netflix, boring y'all with this here blog of mine, wasting time on Twitter or playing silly games. I also wouldn't be finding as many cool recipes or friends or opportunities for...whatever. I never want to be unplugged again.  Except for the times when I don't wanna be plugged in. Again, you know what I mean.
  • Tom Waits. I wasn't a big fan growing up, but I've really come to appreciate the man and his music.  Whenever I'm feeling particularly down or up, Tom centers me.  I dig that.
  • My family. This is the extended family I'm talking about.  My family, Gia's family, our friends, our friends' families.  It's all family to me. They are...the best.
  • All y'all. That, according to a Southern friend of mine, is the plural of y'all. Which, of course, is a plural expression. "You all". Hey, I don't try to make or break any rules.  But all y'all are pretty damned special, and I appreciate the hell outta you.
  • My Gia. She is my world.
That's enough for now. I've got a lot more to be thankful for, but I'll save that for another time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

Make it your own.  Fly your turkey freak flag.

Nov 21, 2011


Turned 45 this past Friday.  Yeah.

Celebrated with Gia and our friends in NYC on Saturday with the following agenda:
  • Biscuits and coffee from Donna Bell's Bake Shop in Hell's Kitchen.  Both were outstanding.  I had bacon, blue cheese and parsley biscuit, naturally. Gia went with the pimento cheddar and chive variety. Each was the size of a baby's head.  The service at the joint? Not so outstanding.  We ordered 4 biscuits, a muffin and four coffees and we got 3 biscuits, the wrong muffin, 3 coffees and a 15-minute wait for them to brew the last cuppa. The place is tiny, but c'mon...they need to work on that.
  • Breakfast pitcher of beers (and bourbon) at Rudy's Bar & Grill.  The best dive bar in NYC.  We got there around 11:30AM, so the alcohol was indeed of the breakfast variety. I don't know what time they opened, but our bartender's shift ended at noon. And I've closed the joint past 4AM in the past.  I think they pretty much close for a couple of hours, and start all over again. My kinda joint.
  • Took a walk downtown and stopped at a crummy Irish chain pub because one of us needed to pee. Wasn't me, by the way.  Didn't stop us from ordering a round of Lutaks. We miss you, big guy!
  • We got hungry again, so we headed over to a sandwich shop on Broadway called No. 7 Sub attached to the Ace Hotel.  Gia had done a mess of research about the best sandwiches in NYC, and this place consistently popped up.  And they were awesome.  I had a brisket hero with Chinese mustard, pickled jalepenos (replacing the mushrooms) and parsley.  Gia went with the broccoli hero with Lychee Muchim, Ricotta Salata, and Pine Nuts.  Equally as awesome.  They are strictly a takeout joint, so we took our food to the lobby of the Ace Hotel which was an odd, wonderful experience.  Drinks were ordered at the Breslin Bar located in the hotel, and we sat down for a nice meal.  Did I mention the lobby was an odd experience? Packed to the gills with guests of the hotel and transients like us.  Drinks were being had, job interviews conducted, seemingly lots of work going down...all this on a Saturday afternoon. Weird, but it was a great place to people-watch.
  • Our friends had to go home at this point, so Gia and I trudged on without them.  First to some local bar whose name I don't recall.  We were headed to the Flatiron Lounge, but it was still 15 minutes away from opening.  So we ducked into this joint.  Met some really interesting people there as well.  But the Flatiron Lounge was the real gem.  Great cocktails served with absolute precision by knowledgeable mixologists.  A real treat. 
We kinda called it quits after that.  Headed back to Penn Station for the train ride home.  There were a couple of more bars mixed in there, one at Penn while we waited for our choo-choo and one near our home.  By 10PM, 12 hours after we got to the city, I was done.  And feeling it very much the next day.  I can't party like I used to.

The title of the blog post says it all.


Nov 17, 2011

On Human Error

Go here to read Michael Lewis' (of Moneyball fame) great Vanity Fair article on Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman.  It's utterly brilliant.  The power and often failure of human intuition and reasoning. Good stuff.

Here's an excerpt:
In 1983—to take just one of dozens of examples—they had created a brief description of an imaginary character they named “Linda.” “Linda is thirty-one years old, single, outspoken, and very bright,” they wrote. “She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations.” Then they went around asking people the same question:
Which alternative is more probable?
(1) Linda is a bank teller.
(2) Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.
If you answered (2), aren't alone. In a poll conducted, 85% of respondents agreed with you.  Once you really think about it, you will realize why that isn't the correct answer.  Or just read the article to get smarterer.

See? It ain't only sandwiches and baseball here. 

PS - But if you NEED the sandwich stuff, here it is. You are welcome.

Nov 16, 2011

Get Thee to the Greek

Don't live a stone's throw from half a dozen greek joints where you can get a tasty, authentic gyro?

I feel sorry for you.

BUT...Fugs1 (aka Bill Mangini) is here for the rescue!

Well, not here...over there.  With a recipe for homemade gyro sandwiches.  Including a recipe for the Tzatziki sauce that goes with it.  Yum!

Check it!

Nov 15, 2011

Over there now

I'm not here, and probably won't be for the rest of the week. Well, I'm here, but not here...ya know. 

Instead, I'm over there...talking about sandwiches.

Today: The Best Cuban Sandwich Ever!  Check it!

Nov 14, 2011

Sandwich Week: Simmer, Sip, Share

It's late on Sunday night as I type this, and I've had a rather sudden urge to write about my favorite food.

The sandwich.

A hero, a roll, a slice of pita or maybe just two pieces of bread. And something to put inside that bread.  That's what I like.  Gimme, gimme, gimme a great sandwich.  And don't be half-ass about it.  If it's gonna be tuna salad or egg salad, jazz it up a bit.  If you want to make it as simple as bologna, how about fried bologna?  All I'm saying is that I just don't want something hastily thrown together.  I need some thought put into it.

This coming Friday is my birthday, and Gia wanted to know what I wanted.  And, like every year, I have no response to that.  I don't really need or want any kind of gift.  I don't pine for objects I don't have.  If I want something bad enough, I don't wait for someone to buy it for me.  That's just been a part of my DNA forever.

So this year, I asked her to research the best sandwiches to be had in NYC.  I'm taking the day off and we are going to head in early for breakfast at this bakery I've been dying to try.  Then walk around some, maybe do some shopping, maybe have a beer someplace before heading to the sammich joint late in the afternoon to see what we see.

That's what I want to do on my birthday.  Have an incredible sandwich experience.  Insert gay joke from Slyde here.  Yeah...he's THAT obvious. we've got this food blog called Simmer, Sip, Share going on as well. I've been a little lax with posting over there lately.  So I've decided to make it Sandwich Week over there.  I'm going to post once a day about a great sandwich that I've made or enjoyed.  I encourage everyone who contributes to the blog (you know who you are) to join in on the fun, if they so wish.

Let's start off the week with this bad boy:

Yeah...that's a paper plate. Deal with it...

Looks delicious, right? Wanna know what it is? Well, you'll have to go here to find out. Heheheh.

Welcome to Sandwich Week!

Nov 11, 2011


This is my few favorite thing in my reader: Nature Wants to Eat You.

Tigerfish will fuck you up!

It's a Tumblr site, and a fairly new one. So there isn't a lot to peruse just yet. But what is in there will haunt your nightmares forever.  THIS is why I sometimes hate nature.  Because nature can have "great big fangs".

"Look at the bones, man!"

PS - Happy 11/11/11. Let's all do a shot of something at 11:11:11 PM, okay?  Hell, let's do one at 11:11:11 AM for that matter! SHOTS!

Nov 10, 2011

5 Years Ago: The Verdant Dude Archives

Got to thinking about this today from a post Alex Belth put up over at Bronx Banter. It's about the night I met Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. And, um, told Sarah Jessica Parker that I loved her. Ugh.  Read on, good fellows...

"Aww...that's so sweet!"
Sep 19, 2006 by B.E. Earl

Slyde's tale of his trip to NYC to see Martin Short's Broadway show made me think of my favoritist Broadway experience. Hang onto your socks...this is gonna be a long one. And I've told this story before (on Slyde's blog, I think) in short form so it may be repetitive. Oh well. Deal with it, beee-yatchs!

Now, I'm not a Broadway guy. I'd much prefer to hand over 10 bucks at the local movie theater to see a good film than sit through a Broadway play. Sometime, just sometimes, it's really worth it. This one time was more than worth it.

Before "The Producers" came out and became such a huge mega-hit, I had heard that it was being adapted for Broadway. I was/am a huge Mel Brooks fan so I was instantly interested. I also needed something to buy for my girlfriend at the time for Christmas.

So I went online to pre-buy tickets for the earliest show possible. There really wasn't a buzz for it yet as most folks didn't know it was coming. It wasn't Opening was actually the first "rehearsal" night in Manhattan, happening a few weeks prior to the official Opening Night. Cool.

When my friend Cristina found out about it, she asked me to try to score tix to the same show...which I did. Somehow I managed, three days later, to get the two seats right next to me and my girlfriend for her and her husband. Like I said...this was all pre-buzz, but I still found it odd that I could get those.

Anyway, we get to Manhattan some months later for the show and we do the dinner thing at Carmine's, drinks somewhere else before rolling to the show. The lobby was packed and we ordered drinks and settled in towards the rear of the lobby...back by the emergency exits. That's when we hear someone knocking on one of the exit doors to get in.

We didn't know what to do. Should we let someone into a sold-out first night performance of the show? After weighing our options we decided to open the doors. It was Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft! 


They thanked us and we shook hands (I think I actually hugged her and she gave me a little kiss on the's a blur) before they joined the party. I was dumbstruck! My friends Cristina and her husband then asked "Who was that woman with Mel Brooks?" AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! I can't stand non-movie people!

So, if that wasn't good enough (and believe me I was high for two weeks after meeting them) the show was fantastic! Mel stood in the first row and conducted comically throughout. Hysterical! But it gets better...much better.

At intermission, we went out to the lobby to get another cocktail. As everyone filed in for the second half, me and my girlfriend stayed at the bar to finish our drink. I had to go tinkle so I told her to wait there and I would be right back. I turned around and there was Sarah Jessica Parker just standing there by herself. So I turned around and smacked my girlfriend to look over there at the Big Star. She was deep in conversation with the bartender so she didn't understand what I was saying. I didn't get that she didn't understand, so I just proceeded on towards Mrs. Broderick.

There were so many things I wanted to say. Her husband was awesome in the play...tell him I said Happy Birthday (don't ask why I knew it was his birthday on that day)...I love your show...I loved "Square Pegs". So many things!

All that came out was "I love you". I wanted to die.

But Sarah Jessica Parker, to her credit, was very kind. Instead of calling Security, she put her hand on my arm and said "Awww...that's so sweet!" with a great big smile on her face. I'm a fan for life because of that moment.

Epilogue: When I left her and went to proceed to the bathroom, I realized that my girlfriend didn't follow me over to the Big Star. I know had a decision to make. Do I A) go back past Big Star and tell girlfriend about her before I pee or B) not tell her and risk her almost certain wrath? I chose option A. So I snuck around Ms. Parker and whispered to girlfriend "Now act cool, but right now the only other person in the lobby is Sarah Jessica Parker". She responded by pushing me out of the way and running over to her screaming to put her in a bear hug in what was certainly the most un-cool act of hero worship ever witnessed. My work for the evening was done. Thank you.

Nov 9, 2011

Left Hook

In the 70's, if you were a boxing fan, you were either a Muhammad Ali guy or a Joe Frazier guy.  It was that simple.  I was only a kid watching the replays of their titanic battles on Saturday afternoons on Wide World of Sports on ABC, but even I knew that.  I was an Ali guy.  The big, bold personality.  The slick as lightning footwork.  The flair, the drama...everything.  Muhammad Ali was bigger than life, and Frazier was a hard-working pug with a tremendous left hook.  Ugly to watch, but efficient as a bulldozer.  The man never floated like a butterfly in his entire life.

But, as I got older and I became more aware of the everything that went down before and during these fights, I've become more of a Frazier guy.  I'm sure he was no angel either, but the verbal abuse handed out by Ali against Frazier in that time now seems incredibly over the top and offensive.  Calling him an "Uncle Tom" before their first epic battle.  Then calling him "The Gorilla" before their third fight in the Philippines because it rhymed nicely with "Manila". These were things that hurt Frazier down deep for the rest of his life. And coming from a man who he respected and helped, both financially and otherwise, during the time he was stripped of his title in the late 60's.  It was disgusting.

There was a social and political aspect behind these fights as well.  Ali represented the younger folks.  He refused to serve in Vietnam, and lost the Heavyweight title along the way because of it.  He was hip, fun and socially relevant.  Frazier wasn't any of those things.  But he really wasn't the opposite either, as the media and Ali suggested.  He just wasn't...Ali.

And then there was Frazier's boxing style, which I characterized earlier as "ugly to watch".  Except it really wasn't.  It was actually quite amazing.  Head down, always moving forward, punches coming from everywhere, never backing down, smothering his opponent with his aggression.  Mike Tyson had a little bit of that in him.  Except that Frazier also had the wonderful left hook. One of the best weapons I've ever seen from a fighter. Quick and mean, full of bad intentions.  It was a crippling blow that seemingly came out of nowhere. 

I've still got a lot of love for boxing, especially the Heavyweights in the 70's like Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, George Foreman and, of course, Ali and Frazier.  But I also recognize it as a brutal, unnecessary sport that essentially kills these men before their times. Quite the conundrum, as some would say.

All that being said, I was much more saddened at the death of Joe Frazier earlier this week than I really expected. It was an odd left hook to the soul that I didn't see coming, naturally.

RIP, Joe.
source: NY Times

Nov 8, 2011

Twitter question

Most of you blogiots are also twidiots, and I mean no disrespect by that. I'm a twidiot too.  But I have a serious Twitter question that may or may not be awkward.

I've noticed some of you use websites/apps like Get Glue, Foursquare, Gowalla, etc... And you have them linked to your Twitter accounts. Checking in with these sites/apps (and I'm kinda guessing here) will generate a tweet to your Twitter stream.  Right?  Is that how they work?  To broadcast to the Twitterverse where you've been, what TV show you've watched, where you've eaten.  Things like that.  Again, I'm not sure exactly how they work, but that's the general drift I get from seeing the generated tweets.

I'm curious as to why you use these sites/apps.  What, exactly, are YOU getting out of it?

I mean, I can see when you've had lunch at McDonalds or breakfast at Denny's or whatever. Or that you've watched the latest episode of Glee with 75 others who've checked in. Or that you've unlocked some sticker of some sort for visiting someplace you haven't been before.

I don't really think about those tweets very much.  They show up in my timeline all the time, but it rarely interests me. As I peruse Twitter, I usually skip right past them. I'm just not sure why you want me to know that you are doing those things. Not sure what I'm supposed to do with that information.

So, again,  I'm curious as to why you are using these sites/apps.  I'm a relative noob to Twitter.  I only follow 56 feeds, and there are only 42 folks who follow me (42 people who must be bored to death with my Twitter lameness).  Maybe there is something here that I am missing with this particular piece of social media. Maybe there are some really fun and interesting reasons to use these sites/apps. I dunno. 

I honestly don't mean to put anyone down for what they are or aren't doing on Twitter.  It's not my place.  I'm just really curious about these things.  Truly.

Holla back if you care to enlighten me.  Thanks!

Nov 7, 2011

High Shelf Booze

I'm digging Eilen Jewell, the self-described Queen of the Minor Key, lately. Another Pandora discovery.  And not only because she sings about "High Shelf Booze".

But it doesn't hurt.


High Shelf Booze
Eilen Jewell

If my man asks ‘bout what I’ll do
Now that he’s turned me loose
Tell him I’ve gone to meet all the girls
And drink all that high shelf booze

The high shelf booze, the high shelf booze

You won’t catch me dead with no blues
The high shelf booze, the high shelf booze
You won’t catch me dead with no blues

I always said I’d be his slave

Before I would be his dog
But it looks like he’s got me rambling ‘round
And sleeping in a hollow log

A hollow log, a hollow log

Sleeping in a hollow log
A hollow log, a hollow log
Sleeping in a hollow log

Well it’s one man on Sunday, another on Monday

Two on Tuesday afternoon
Easy come, easy go
You won’t hear me sing no lonesome tune

Easy come, easy go

You won’t hear me sing no lonesome tune
Easy come, easy go
You won’t hear me sing no lonesome tune

Nov 4, 2011

If I were Brian Cashman

Note: Stop reading now if you aren't interested in the fantastical musings of a NY Yankee fan. It will be better for you and better for me.  Slyde...don't even bother.

Here is my off-season plans for the Yankees, now that they have extended the contract of CC Sabathia and locked up the options on Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher. It's very simple.
  • Trade Nick Swisher.  Yeah, yeah...I know they just picked up his option.  And at $10.25 million, it was a very reasonable option. Yeah, this is a world in which $10.25 million is considered reasonable.  But there is something very real to dislike about Nick Swisher.  His game, his approach to hitting, is a very patient, wonderful thing. Until it's not so wonderful. He will not swing at a pitch that is an inch outside of the strike zone.  Over the course of the season, that's a great thing that leads to a wonderfully high On-Base Percentage.  But his game is over when confronted with an umpire that allows the outside or inside pitch to be called a strike.  He is virtually useless in these contests. I, for one, would appreciate a hitter who can roll with the punches a bit more.  Mark Teixeira is a similar type of hitter, but the Yankees are paying him a fortune for a number of years.  So he ain't going anywhere.  A hitter like Nick Swisher under contract for only one year is VERY attractive to the rest of the league at that price. Go get a decent starting pitcher right now.  He doesn't have to be an 1 or 2 guy.  He shouldn't be for Nick Swisher and one year. Or maybe go for some prospects, because I have an idea about SP coming a bit later. But the Yankees can get a decent return right now for Swish.  They should do it.
  • Sign Jim Thome. My love of Jim Thome knows no bounds.  And the man can still crush right-handed pitching.  Having him as a part-time DH, along with Jesus Montero from the right side, is a great move.  And a solid long-ball threat off the bench. Yankee Stadium. Short RF porch. Jim Thome. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
  • Sign Michael Cuddyer. Or Jason Kubel. Or Josh Willingham. I don't really care. Sign one of them to play RF in the absence of Nick Swisher. All three are underrated hitters and defensive liabilities.  Sounds like Swisher to me. And all three will come with lower price tags than Nick Swisher. Not that the Yankees have to worry about money. They don't.  But with the limited SP talent available in free agency, the combination of dealing Swish for a pitcher and signing one of these guys seems like a no-brainer to me.
  • Sign Dontrelle Willis. As a lefty specialist out of the pen. Yeah, I know...he's always been a starter.  But as many analysts have pointed out already, he's no good in that role. BUT, he stymies left-handed hitters. Very, very well. This is a LOOGY you want in your pen right now.  And the Yankees can afford to give him more than the league minimum to do so.
  • Release AJ Burnett. I like the guy. Honestly, I do. But he is a sunk cost and a hopeless cause right now. His roster spot can be put to better use.  Sorry AJ. Bye.
  • Sign Yu Darvish and Hiroki Kuroda as a tandem. Darvish will be an expensive, long-term deal. The 37-year-old Kuroda will probably settle for a one or two-year deal. Pairing the young, inexperienced (in MLB terms) Darvish with the older, experienced Kuroda seems like a good idea to me. And a short-term deal for Kuroda is an ideal bridge to the two remaining Killer B's (Banuelos and Betances) in the Yankee farm system for 2013 and beyond. This is the move I'd be pushing for the most if I were Brian Cashman.
  • Re-sign Andruw Jones. Or another decent, cheap OF-type with the ability to play RF and/or LF. And be a strong right-handed hitting threat on the bench. I don't really care who it is.
So here is my Yankee Opening Day 25-man roster:

Russell Martin - C
Mark Teixeira - 1B
Robinson Cano - 2B
Derek Jeter - SS
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Brett Gardner - LF
Curtis Granderson - CF
Michael Cuddyer/someone else - RF
Jim Thome - DH/bench
Jesus Montero - C/DH
Eduardo Nunez - INF
Andruw Jones - OF
CC Sabathia - SP
Yu Darvish - SP
Hiroki Kuroda - SP
Ivan Nova - SP
Phil Hughes - SP
Corey Wade - RP
Joba Chamberlain - RP
Boone Logan - RP
Rafael Soriano - RP
Dontrelle Willis - RP
David Robertson - RP
Mariano Rivera - RP
25th spot - another corner infielder (Chavez?) or UTIL type.

Nov 3, 2011

American Horror Story

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill house, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for 80 years and might for 80 more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

You are gonna die in there...
Warning: very mild spoilers below

I've waited a few weeks to review the new FX series American Horror Story to give it time to fester in the cellar of my soul.  Because that's where this oddball horror series belongs.  In the cellar of my soul.  Festering.

That's a good thing.

In case you haven't been watching, it's about a family who have moved from Boston to LA after an affair by the husband with one of his students, and the still-born birth of their baby.  The two bring along their surprisingly frank and non-stereotypical teenage daughter with them.  She's the most "normal" one in the family, even though she suffers from depression.  The father is a psychiatrist, practicing out of his home.

They movie into an old restored mansion with a history. The house has seen so many deaths, mostly murders, that it has become a regular and popular stop on the Murder Tour.  A bus tour celebrating locations of famous murders in the LA area. don't want to live there.  Neither does this family after just a few short weeks.  But their savings are wrapped up in the house, so they are going to have to sell it before they can move on.  Hopefully while they are still alive.

Not a given.

The house some additional "residents" to speak of as well.  And not just the ghosts of the murdered former owners and their visitors.  Constance and her daughter with Down Syndrome, Addie live next door, but they seem to be tied to the house just as much as the specters.  Always walking in un-invited.  Especially Addie.  One terrifying scene had Addie crawl from under the teenage daughter's bed after grabbing her ankle and singing "Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!" on Halloween night.

Well, it was terrifying to me.

Then there is Tate.  A young disturbed man who is receiving therapy from the father in the family.  He's just as much of a fixture in the house as the overhead lights.  And he has a healthy/un-healthy romantic interest in the teenage daughter.  Something her father is not so keen on at all.  Tate's backstory hasn't been fully told yet, but somehow he is tied to the house as inextricably as Constance and Addie.

Then there is Larry Harvey, my favorite character on the show.  He's the horribly burned and disfigured former owner of the house.  He has been released from prison after murdering his entire family because of an advanced case of brain cancer.  Not sure that would happen in real life, because he is one crazy mother-fucker.  His "dream" is to become a character actor in Hollywood, but he is really around to warn the father about how the house "told him" to murder his family...and for comedic effect. Larry is a hoot.

And don't get me started on the...thing living in basement.  Or the dude in the rubber S&M suit who seems to be behind every door. Imagine an even more evil version of the Gimp from Pulp Fiction. Around every dark corner of your house.  Yeah.

This show is creepy as all hell. 


Nov 2, 2011

See ya, NCIS

Shoulda done this a long time ago, but NCIS...I'm breaking up with you.

I haven't been really enjoying it for a couple of years now, but I've been watching it out of habit. It's fucking terrible. But it was like comfort food or comfort television, if you will.  Something to put on in the background while I'm doing something else.  It's really fucking terrible.

I feel like the only reason I hung in this long was my awkward crush on Pauley Perrette.  But even she (and her character Abby) are starting to wear on my last nerves.

Last week's episode was the final straw.

They introduced a new love interest for the elderly Dr. Mallard (David McCallum), played by Cheryl Ladd.  The homicide of the week looks like it was turning into a serial killer case.  And Ducky, Dr. Mallard (get it?), was having mixed feelings about how exciting his job was. Or at least he was having mixed feelings about sharing his excitement with his new lady love.  She seemed...oddly into it.

No. They weren't going to make Cheryl Ladd a serial killer, were they? Nah. That would require several weeks of character and plot development.  Plus the modus operandi was ridiculously complicated.  Getting someone drunk, getting them to a remote location, getting them to take ecstasy, tying them up, then getting them to drink enough water to kill them because ecstasy makes you thirsty.  What?  There were way too many problems with that. 

Yet, that's exactly what they did.  And, although Mark Harmon's character did figure out that she was the killer, she basically just confessed to Ducky when he demeaned the actions of the killer.  She wanted him to be impressed by the killer, ya see? was the most ridiculous hour of television ever produced. And yet it wasn't that much worse than every other episode that I have been trudging through.  It just sucks.

Officially deleted from my DVR queue. Goodbye, NCIS. Forever.

Nov 1, 2011

Asshole Cat Part Duh

Remember when I told you about how much of an asshole this guy is?

He's only cute when he sleeps
Well, he has taken his morning routine of waking us up to entirely new levels lately.

You see, he used to just jump on us, meow, jump up by the window shade, rattle that, meow some more, knock some shit off the side table and then meow some more.

But Bootsy is the Terminator cat that is going to be the end of us all.  He's a learning asshole cat. He's actually figured out our technology.  And he's using it against us.

We have one of those iHome clock radios. You know the kind, it's got a dock to charge your iPhone or iPod on top.  Other than's pretty much a regular clock radio.  And Bootsy has figured out how to work it.

I'm serious.

He turns the radio on and off.  We adjust the volume lower, but he has figured out how to fix that issue too.  He also knows how to turn the alarm off and on. My favorite thing, and by that I mean my least favorite thing, is that he has learned how to set the alarm so that it goes off in 2 minutes.

I'm serious.

He sets the alarm for two minutes in the future.  I don't even know how to do that!  How the fuck has our cat figured out to set a fucking alarm?

He's such an asshole.