Aug 29, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays...

...usually get me down. Not so with the past couple 'o days.

It seems as if it's been raining here for the past week or so now. After what seems like months of hot, dry weather we are finally getting some much needed rainfaill to make Long Island green again.

After a morning filled with phone interviews, business proposals and mindless spreadsheet crap, I met shiny new lady love out for lunch around 1-ish. Actually, she came by to pick me up in her new Mini Cooper...flash car!

See...we both took yesterday off to go for a ride and wound up in Port Jefferson for lunch. Took the scenic route the entire way there and back. It was semi-crappy out, but we still had a blast! Got some pizza and drinks for dinner and headed back to my place for some lovin'. Just a perfect overall Monday!

Back to lunch today. Afterwards, she was in a mood to see "High Fidelity" so she wanted to rent it and watch it on this rainy afternoon. Um, it's like my favorite movie evah! Duh! Of course I own it! 90% of my daily conversation comes from that film. And I'm soooo annoying to watch it with because I say all of the dialogue a half-second before it actually occurs. Chink in the armor, Ted...but I'm working on it.

She's beginning to see what makes me tick. Hope she doesn't get scared!

Uh oh, it's half past a monkey's ass...gotta go!

Aug 28, 2006


Listening to Sonic Youth tonight...enjoy!

Sonic Youth

I went away to see an old friend of mine.
His sister came over...she was out of her mind.
She said Jesus had a twin, who knew nothing about sin.
And she was laughing like crazy at the trouble I'm in.

Her light eyes were dancing. She is insane.
(Her brother says she's just a bitch. With a golden chain.)
She keeps coming closer saying "I can feel it in my
bones. Schizophrenia is taking me home"

My Future is static. It's already had it I could tuck you in.
And we can talk about it I had a dream.
And it split the scene.
But I got a hunch It's coming back to me.

Aug 26, 2006

Wooden Shoes

Saw a guy tonight who wears only those wooden Dutch shoes. I've seen him around town before and never really noticed the guy. Last week I saw him and finally noticed his footwear. I asked around and he seems to be some kind of mad genius that invented something important in the 70's.

Now he wears wooden shoes.

I need to invent something stupid/lucrative that would allow me to be weird and wear something like wooden shoes. I mean, it wouldn't be wooden shoes because we already got a guy like that. But something like a cape. Or a suit with tails. Or spats.

Something with class. Cuz I'm all about the class, kids!

Aug 23, 2006

None for me, thanks!

I hope my last post didn't give you the feeling that I don't love little Riley or that I'm a bad uncle. The opposite is true for both those statements.

She's the daughter that I will never have. I say that with absolute certainty. I don't want kids of my own and I don't believe I ever will want them. One of the first things that shiny new lady love said to me on our first date was that she never wants to have kids, and was I okay with that.

Okay with that? I almost proposed on the spot. Well, except neither of us believes in the whole marriage thing, but you get my drift. Great for some, just not me.

So, in honor of my beloved neice I am posting the lyrics to one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs which he wrote about his youngest daughter. It always reminds me of Riley Grace. Enjoy!

Delaney Talks To Statues
Jimmy Buffett, Mac McAnally, Amy Lee

Delaney talks to statues
As she dances 'round the pool
She chases cats through roman ruins
And stomps on big toadstools
She speaks a language all her own
That I cannot discover
But she knows I love her so
When I tuck her 'neath the covers

Father, daughter
Down by the water
Shells sink, dreams float
Life's good on our boat

Delaney draws me pictures
She finger paints the sand
We chase the dogs and hop like frogs
Then I do my bad handstand
She's growing up too fast for me
And asking lots of questions
Some I know the answers to
And some I'm looking for suggestions

Father, daughter
Born by the water
Surf's up, sun's down
Life in a beach town

And some of the things I've seen
Maybe she won't have to see
But there's a lot I want to pass along
That was handed down to me

Delaney talks to statues
As she dances 'round the pool
She chases cats through Roman ruins
And stomps on big toadstools
She speaks a language all her own
Just a little like her mother
And she knows I love her so
When I tuck her 'neath the covers

Father, daughter
Down by the water
Shells sink, dreams float
Life's good on our boat

Aug 22, 2006

Life of Riley Grace

Well I mentioned a few posts down that I had a long weekend. Actually it's turning into a long week, but that's besides the point.

My youngest sister is on vacation at Disney in Orlando with my nephew to celebrate the little brat's sixth birthday in a few weeks. Uncle Earl, being the great guy that he is, is stuck watching her 3-year old daughter until this Thursday when they return.

Don't get me wrong, I love my niece. Love her, love her, love her. She's is the most adorable thing and she has a way of talking that linguists can't even figure out. She's the best. She also needs more attention than ANYONE I have ever met on the planet! With most kids her age (she will be four in the fall) you can just sit them down in front of the TV with some Barbie movie crap and they will become catatonic. I'm not saying that's a good thing, in fact, quite the opposite. But sometimes you need a little "me time", man!

Not with this kid. She is constantly up your ass. "Play a game wid me", "Let's go fow a wok", "I wan you to sa-pin me" and it goes on. That's last one was spin, by the way. She can't really say words that start with "s" as they were meant to be said. Sleep becomes sa-leep, story becomes sa-tory, and smell becomes sa-mell. You get the drift? Actually, it's kinda cool. Like she invented her own form of pig latin. My sister and I have entire conversations where we substitute our "s" words for her "s" words. It's fun. Try it!

Today she is at day camp for a few hours so I can get some work done (and yet I'm typing this), and then it is beach time where she tries to swim out past anyone else. Yeah, that's fun! Especially considering my previously mentioned fear of sharks on Slyde's blog. Oh, I should mention that we are going to a bay beach, not an ocean beach so there aren't any sharks in the water. But there is seaweed and jellyfish and either touching me will induce a shark attack-like high-pitched scream! Good times!

Is it Thursday yet?

Here's a not-so-recent picture of the little rug-rat. That's not flash-induced "red-eye", by the way. That's the demon who dwells within her, and its trying to get out. Help me!

Aug 21, 2006

Victory is ours...

...victory is ours!

I want all the finest meats and breads brought to my table as we joyously celebrate this historic victory over our most ancient of foes. My men will drink the finest wine and bed the comliest wenches for Victory is ours!

I shall celebrate this day of days with grand festivals devoted to our valiant heroes, and I shall commission the building of the most opulant temple ever devoted to the Gods that walk amongst us!

Victory is ours!

PS - OK, that's the last time I will mention the Yankees historic 5-game sweep of the Red Sox for at least a few days. OK?

Thus far, thus good

After one of the longest weekends of my life (I'll explain later), it brings a smile to my face to see that the Red Sox had an even longer weekend than I.

With one more game to go this afternoon, the Yankees have crushed the hopes of the Sawx and their fans with four straight victories in Boston this weekend. Let's review some of the hi-lites for the Yanks:

- A real nice blowout to start the series on Friday afternoon.
- The longest regular-season 9 inning game in recorded history on Friday night.
- 18 (or 19) pitchers used by both teams on Friday for the double-header.
- Sal Fasano getting some time as a pinch-runner!
- Bobby Abreu reaching base safely in something like 17 or his 23 plate appearances. Not sure of the exact stats here, but it's ridiculous.
- Johnny Damon sticking it to his old team in Abreu-like fashion.
- Glorious comeback win last night with two HRs in the 10th by Giambi (5RBI last night) and Posada.
- Red Sox fans missing their last trains home. Ha! Twice! Ha Ha!

Anyway, probably ruining for the Yanks this afternoon by gloating like this, but so far the Boston Massacre 2 is going exactly as I planned it. Mwah-ha-ha!

Aug 17, 2006

A Bronx Tale

It's time to mention the great love of my life here on this hallowed site. A love that has endured decades, one that never judges me, a love as pure as the driven snow.

I'm speaking of the NY Yankees, of course. Make that the first place NY Yankees, thank you very much!

I became a Yankee fan at the ripe old age of 6. The rest of my family were Met fans, and why not? It was 1973 and the Yankees hadn't done anything of note since the early 60's and the Mets were just four short years off of their first World Series Championship. They made a truly miraculous run to the playoffs in '73 where they played the machine that was the Oakland A's in the World Series.

Having to be different, I chose to root for the A's in that series. Wise choice. At the time, my favorite player was Reggie Jackson so there was some merit to my interest in rooting against the Mets. My family couldn't stand me that year. The A's won and here was this little 6-year old asshole jumping for joy at the Met's loss.

I then made a conscious choice to become a Yankee fan. Couldn't really root for a team across the country, so why not root for the other team in New York? The Yanks were pretty terrible that next year, but they picked it up in '75 and '76 with World Series rings in '77 and '78. That was awesome! And then Thurman died and it all started to fall apart.

A lot of folks equate rooting for the Yankees to rooting for US Steel, but there has always been a sense of pride and dignity with that team...something that most sports franchises yearn for.

The Yankees begin a crucial 5-game set with the hated Red Sox on Friday afternoon. You know what I'm doing this weekend. May the baseball gods smile upon the true love of my life.

Go Yankees!

Aug 15, 2006

I'll take Manhattan

Didn't do my Monday morning Top 5 post like I said I was going to last week. It's a shame when a weekly tradition only lasts one week, isn't it? I listened to no music at all yesterday morning, in fact. Here's why:

So I was supposed to go to a simple dinner somewhere in town on Sunday night with shiny new lady love (we'll come up with a nickname soon) when she decided to kick it up a notch and head into NYC.

At first we decided to drive, but Sunday evening traffic into NYC is horrible due to all those Hampton-ites returning to the roost, so we bailed and hopped on the train. That's when things get interesting for me. Driving into the city is one thing. You have to be good. Can't drink too much because you have to drive home. Also you need to remember where you parked.

Taking the train means all bets are off, and this night...all bets were off. We started out the evening at a lovely seafood joint sitting outside on an equally lovely evening. It was one of those "early in the relationship" freaking awesome dinner dates. Even our waitress couldn't help but notice that we were gaga over each other. Fresh guacamole (sp?), awesome sampler of their four ceviche dishes, black bass in a chipolte sauce for me and a delish swordfish dish for her. Oh yeah, many beers and mojitos as well. Good stuff!

From there it was a short walk to Whiskey Blue in the lobby of the W hotel on Lexington Avenue. It's a nice, upscale hotel bar with a fantastic bartender making expensive drinks...all for little ole us! Tanqueray 10 gibsons were my beverage choice, while shiny new lady love went with vodka martinis. It was about right here when we knew it was going to be a long night.

After 3 rounds of martini lusciousness, I knew we needed to head over towards Penn Station because it was getting kinda late. But I also wasn't ready to head home and neither was she. So I suggested my favorite dive bar in Manhattan. One that I knew would still be open late on Sunday night...well early Monday morning at this point.

I pointed our cab driver over to Rudy's Bar & Grill over in Hell's Kitchen, the king of all NYC dive bars. It's one of those places that I really can't even describe. You have to go there to love it. Cheap draft beer, free hot dogs, worst bar floor in the history of bad bar floors, red tape holding together the pleather on in the booths, awesome juke box, and lots and lots of local flavor. Oooh, see what I did there? I did manage to describe it!

Anywho, in all my drunken days and nights at Rudy's I have never managed to make it to closing time at 4AM. Strike that objective off my list. At a little before 4AM (Monday morning...mind you) we finished our last PBR draft and we were whooshed out with the door getting locked behind us. I knew the next train wasn't for 45 minutes, so we had a nice leisurely stroll back to Penn and our awaiting train.

I still can't believe how many people were still out and about at that time of the morning on a Monday! I know its the city that never sleeps, but jeez there were a lot of folks! Anyway, long story short is that I blew off my work on Monday because we didn't get back to my place until after 6AM. Nothing like being out all night and seeing the sun come up before you hit the pillows. Larry Miller once joked about the 5 stages of drinking and said this "Let's be honest, if you're 19 and you stay up all night, it's like a victory like you've beat the night, but if you're over 30, then that sun is like God's flashlight." True dat...double true!

Anyway, it was one of those totally expected, absolutely magical NYC nights that seem to be getting rarer as I get older. Can't wait for the next one!

Aug 12, 2006

Great Comic Book Covers, Batman!

Hey kids! Slyde and I were in discussions the other day to come up with our Top 5 lists for greatest comic books adapted into film and also the greatest comic book storylines that we own in our collections.

Yeah, yeah...grown men with comic book collections. Deal with it. I have to say that I feel partially responsible for a large portion of Slyde's collection. When we met back in the early 90's, he was buying only a handful of comics each month. Then he came over to the dark side and started collecting dozens each month just like I was. We collected like that for years...going to conventions, meeting up at obscure hobby shops, rooting through back-issue bins. Then I stopped. Just about cold turkey, and I still don't think he has forgiven me.

Anyway, in anticippppation of our posts about the above sometime next week (hopefully), I decided to thumb through my comic book collection and post a little something about my Top 5 Comic Book Covers. I only considered super-hero stuff because there are just too many beautiful covers by Dave McKean, Glenn Fabry and others on some non-conventional titles. Nope, strictly dudes and dudettes in spandex here.

Click on the titles to see a scan of each cover. Here goes:

Top 5 Comic Book Covers (in my collection...that include superheroes)
1. Wonder Woman #199 (vol 1) - art by Jeffrey Jones. OK, not the creepy actor from Ferris Bueller's Day Off Jeffrey Jones, but the fantasy artist. So I cheated a little bit here because there are no actual heroes in tights on the cover, but I just love it so much. It is a simple little noirish cover that could go on just about any pulp magazine from the 50's. A little bondage. Scary dude hanging around in the background. Damsel in distress. It's got it all. I don't believe I ever opened this one up. I bought it solely on the basis of JJ's cover. Awesome!
2. Swamp Thing #7 (vol 1) - art by Bernie Wrightson. This one is great. Not only do you have the familiar horror style of Bernie Wrightson, but you have a cameo in the book and on the cover by Batman! This was also (I believe) Bernie's last work on Swampy. Too bad.
3. Amazing Spider-Man #300 - art by Todd MacFarlane. There may be other covers from Spider-man that were better, but this one was just so iconic. Spidey in the black suit, first appearance of Venom. All those 300's on the cover. OK...that last part sucked, but it was a real fine example of MacFarlane at the top of his game.
4. Marvel Premiere #15 - art by Gil Kane. I'm a sucker for cover art from the 1970's and this is one of my favorites. It's the first appearance of Iron Fist (one of my favorite characters) and the art by Kane is exceptional. Usually is with that guy, whether he is doing Batman or the Green Lantern. He always seemed to be on his game. Check out that dragon tat on his chest. Niiiiice!
5. Doom Patrol #121 (vol 1) - art by Joe Orlando. This one is a little harder to explain. I'm not a fan of Joe Orlando's work, generally. However, this one dealt with the death of the main characters in the Doom Patrol. Big tombstones on the cover with an awesome "You Decide" balloon to put the weight of these character's lives in your hands! This was at a time when you just didn't kill off your heroes. But the title was ending so it made great headlines back in the late 1960's. Turns out three of the four members were found to have not perished (shocked I tell you) when DC brought the team back together in the 1980's. That's alright. Still a great cover! And it was the sixties, so you know that Elasti-girl was hiding a little mini-skirt behind that stupid tombstone. Rowr!

Aug 11, 2006

The Midnight Star

't senAs some of you may have guessed, I love a good bar. Irish pub, dirty local joint, posh NYC lounge, anything with a little style and a lot of booze. That's what I like!

I live in a town on Long Island that is populated with some interesting bars. We have Irish pubs, English pubs, townie joints, cigar bars, tex-mex bars, big NYC-style upscale bars, smoky bars (which ignore the state-wide smoking ban), coffee bars, outdoor bars, upstairs bars, sidewalk cafes, and a host of sushi bars.

I love all these places. I have friends at most of them, either on the staff or just regulars that only go to one place. Don't get me wrong, I have my favorites too. There are two bars that I spend most of my time at, but I like to dabble in the fringe joints as well. Keep up my contacts with the bar weirdos, you know.

Last night one of said weirdos dropped into favorite bar #1 just around closing time to have a few beers and some shots. About 3 of each in a 20 minute period. And the so-called "shots" he drinks are mind erasers. Phew! Anyway, he couldn't figure something out with his new cell phone. He had a missed call and he wanted to see what the number was. I helped him figure it out, then he asked me to help him change the volume on his ringer. To make sure it worked, I called him with my cell phone to hear the ring. All was well.

So we usher the drunken fool out the door, and I help my friend close up the bar. It was around 1AM. Fast forward to this morning when a phone call on my cell interrupts some boring work shit I was doing around 11AM. It was the drunk from last night. You see, he must have woken up and saw a missed call on his phone and now he knows how to find out the number. He just forgot a few salient details in that it was me who showed him how, and that I had called him to check the volume on his ringer. I smiled for 15 minutes straight after that call.

God, I love this town and it's drunken denizens!

PS - The title to this post refers to a character in a movie. It was someone who loved a good bar and was referred to as The Midnight Star because "I'm always there, but I shine brightest at night". Can you name the film?

Aug 10, 2006

Way too much info...

OK, so shiny new lady love was over my apartment last night. She goes to the bathroom to powder her nose and says that I am almost out of toilet paper. I ask her to check under the sink, but tp.

Alright, so I store this in my head to make sure that I go out early to the market to buy some when I am getting my morning java and paper. I forget, of course.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Sitting at my desk doing some mindless spreadsheet work when the urge hits me to drop the kids off at the pool. Feel free to replace that last line with whatever euphemism you prefer for crapping. Mind you, I'm also IMing with a friend of mine when I tell him that I have to run and crap.

I go to the bathroom and there it is. A roll of tp with maybe two sheets left on it. What the hell am I gonna do with two sheets? Alright, I alert my friend online that I need to run to the market to pick up tp because I am nearly out. Jump into the car and head to the nearest market which happens to be this 24-hour convenience store/deli kinda place.

I find the Scott's tissues and grab two rolls and stroll to the counter. Now everyone in the joint, customers and employees, have to know that I had one on deck and I ran out of paper. I mean, nobody runs into this place for just two rolls of toilet they gotta know, right? I curb my embarrasment and pay for my goodies and I run outta there, because things are getting critical now. Ya know?

But, much to my chagrin, when I get home I find that the urge to purge has passed. CRAP! Hope this doesn't turn into a Kramer incident, if you get my Seinfeld drift. Oh yeah, my buddy on the other end of the IM says he laughed so hard at my plight that it brought tears to his eyes. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!!!

What do you think? Too much information?

Aug 9, 2006

Dyslexics of the world, untie!

I seem to get this email in cycles every few months, but I thought I would pass it on. It's amazing what the human brain can do, even with very little effort.

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55% of plepoe can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it .

Aug 8, 2006

Brad Neely Rules!

Yeah, I think I'm gonna stop with that whole "Earl on..." bullshit at the beginning of every post. It's only been a couple of days, but it was even starting to bug me.

OK, so I dig that George Washington video/song so much you would have thought that I might have looked up it's creator, Brad Neely, at some point over the past few months. Just to see if he has done anything else. Right?

Well, I just got around to it and lookee what I found. Neely has been in the limelight before. You can read the article, but lemme sum up. A few years back, Neely recorded an alternate soundtrack for the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that is available on CD (or downloaded from the web). It can be played while watching the movie with the sound muted and by all accounts it's hysterical.

Apparently, Neely was hanging out at a bar with some friends making fun of this lone dude playing pool while listening to something on his headphones. They imagined he was listening to a Harry Potter book on tape and they were substituting funny/dirty alternative dialogue amongst themselves. His friends convinced him to "do" to whole book his way, and voila! "Wizard People, Dear Readers" was born.

I haven't heard this yet, but damn if it doesn't sound like something fun for Slyde and I to do one night. I'm sure it will never happen. I mean, I've been yearning to watch The Wizard of Oz with the sound off and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album on for what seems like decades now. Heard that was a hoot too.

One of these days...

Aug 7, 2006

Earl on Washington

George Washington

Saw this on Violet Blue's (very often NSFW) blog a while back, and I watch it at least once every few days. The tune gets stuck in my brainpan in a most pleasant way.

Some things you may never have heard about our first president:
1. He had two on the vine.
2. He made love like an eagle.
3. He killed his sensei in a duel.
4. He saved children (but not the British children).

A treasure trove of info to be gleaned from this little gem. A little strong language in there, so watch the volume if you are at work.

Absolutely brilliant! I've shared this with Slyde and a bunch of others before, but it deserves to be my first ever post. Enjoy!

Earl on Mondays

Taking a tip from Jack Black and the film High Fidelity, I wanted to start a tradition here that I may or may not observe in the future. A little Top 5 of Monday morning songs that I am enjoying, along with the lyrics to one of said tunes.

No rhyme or reason to today's selection, just started off a little mellow before kickin' it in. Then I brought it back down again...there are rules to making a great mix tape. I don't follow 'em, but there are rules.

In no particular order:

Top 5 Monday morning songs
1. "Badfish" by Sublime
2. "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young
3. "Havin' a Good Time" by One Groovy Coconut
4. "Hey Bartender" by (Hed) PE
5. "Love in a Library" by Jimmy Buffett (always gonna include Bubba)

"Badfish" by Sublime

When you grab a hold of me Tell
me that I'll never be set free
I'm a parasite,
creep and crawl I step into the night.
Two pints of booze
Tell me are you a badfish too? Are you a badfish too?
Ain't got no money to spend
I know the night will never end
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Baby your a big blue whale
Grab the reef when all duck diving fails
I swim but wish I never learned
The water's too polluted with germs
I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead
Grab the reef underneath my bed
Ain't got no quarrels with god Ain't got no time to grow old
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Ain't got no quarrels with God Ain't got no time to grow old
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Aug 6, 2006

Earl on booze

Ok, so I'm a little buzzed tonight so I came here to post something both clever and funny.

Then I read Spinning Girl's latest post about her third sober anniversary. Talk about a buzz kill. Well, not quite a kill but it certainly wounded my buzz fairly well.

All I have to say is good for her. I took her quiz (from AA) and scored a grand total of 3 "yes" answers. Honestly, I was a bit afraid of taking it because I thought it would confirm that I really did have a drinking problem, but (according to the test) I may have been wrong. I didn't even lie, or convince myself that I wasn't lying. There was one question which I teetered on that could have brought me to 4, but in the end I felt honest enough to answer it as a "no".

I still think that my health would be a little better off without my current use of alcohol, but there is so much that I would miss without it. Great friends, great times, and really great booze. That's what I would miss the most...the great booze. Everything else could and would continue, but I just really, really like good booze.

Anyway, more power to you Spinning Girl. Glad you recognized a problem and were courageous enough to deal with it. Let's hope the rest of us are strong enough to follow suit, no matter what the problem is.

Aug 5, 2006

Earl on mindless web-surfing

Spent the day engaged in one of my more mindless bouts of web-surfing.

I was trying to find some minor-league statistics for a guy who played for the Columbus Confederate Yankees (oxymoron alert!) in the Southern League back in 1964-1966. Don't even ask why, but it involves a young lady that has caught my eye.

Anyway, seems as if the ole' internet hasn't quite caught up to my need for Class AA minor-league stats from before I was born. Sad. Well, not as sad as me spending an afternoon searching for said stats, but sad nonetheless.

One interesting tidbit I found is about a player named John Paciorek. He was the older brother of MLer Tom Paciorek who enjoyed a cup o' coffee in the bigs on one fateful day in 1963 for the Houston Colt 45's.

John's line in that game was as follows:

3 3 4 0 0 0 3 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.000

Due to chronic back problems, the poor guy was never to play in the major league again. But what a day!

John isn't the only player to have a go at it in the bigs for just one day. Over 1,300 players enjoy this dubious honor. The most famous is probably Archibald "Moonlight" Graham who was a character central to the book "Shoeless Joe" and the movie it was adapted from "Field of Dreams".

So carpe diem, everyone! John Paciorek certainly did!

Aug 4, 2006

Baby steps, baby steps...

Hey kids! I finally decided to joing the Blogger community and step away from the comforting shadow of Slyde. I'll still stop in from time to time on his site (, but I'll use this site to speaka my mind, whena I wanna speaka my mind. You have been warned! - Earl

Aug 2, 2006

Shark Attack!

By B.E. Earl

08/02/2006 04:20 PM EST

Hey guppies! We are currently in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave here in the Northeast. I’m spending the week house-sitting at my sister’s home while she and her family are on vacation. Unfortunately, much to my sister’s chagrin, my brother-in-law doesn’t believe in air conditioning. I mean, he’s not an atheist. He knows it exists, he just chooses to live without. So here I must make-do with a wonderfully shaded backyard complete with a fish pond, a beautiful in-ground pool and an even more beautiful cooler full o’ beer.

It’s rough, but I’m surviving. One of the things that is certainly helping is that the Discovery Channel is celebrating Shark Week with all sorts of great shark-like programming. I’ve mentioned my fascination with TDC previously, but I really become a zombie during Shark Week. I live for this shit!

I may have mentioned before that I was eight when the film Jaws came out. That is some serious shit to deal with when you are that age. Before Jaws came out, I was a normal, un-afraid kid. I swam in the ocean all the time. My folks would take the clan out to Jones Beach or Robert Moses Park and we would spend the day in the waves. After it came out, I was afraid to swim in a pool. Seriously.

Unfortunately, this is a phobia that has stayed with me all of my life. I’m still hesitant to swim in the ocean. I started to get over it a few years back when I was spending each summer vacation at a beach house on the North Carolina coast. I would swim out past the breakers and float for hours in the afternoon heat. Then while playing in the surf one day, a small hammerhead shark swam right between my sister and my brother-in-law while we all watched. This was right in the breakers! It was a small shark, probably no more than four feet or so long, but holy crap…it was right there where we were all playing in the surf!

The next morning, before the rest of the house arose, my brother-in-law took advantage of some nice early morning wind to go wind-surfing. I put on a pot of coffee and went down to the beach to watch. Soon he was so far out in the ocean that I couldn’t see him with a pair of binoculars. When he finally made it back to the beach an hour or so later, he told me that he couldn’t turn around (he is good but he still falls off a lot when he comes about) because he was being followed by a really large shark that was bigger than his 12-foot board! He had to wait it out until it the shark lost interest before he risked coming about. I would have had a heart attack right then and there!

So that was it for me. A couple of weeks ago out in Montauk, I dove into the surf once in the entire week I was there and I literally could not have run out of the ocean fast enough once I was through. I must have looked like such a pansy. 10-year old girls have more dignity about them.

My phobia, however, has only spiked my fascination with the creatures. As a kid, I read every book about sharks that I could find. I already knew about the U.S.S. Indianapolis by the time I actually saw Jaws, so I was really freaked out when Quint started telling the story. I could identify just about any type of shark just by glancing at a photo. I was obsessed.

I guess you can say that I’m still obsessed with sharks. My obsession nowadays seems to be limited, however, to occasional visits to and, of course, Shark Week on TDC. They seem to show most of the programming from previous years over and over again, but there is some new stuff here and there. Saw a great show last night about sharks in the Mediterranean Sea. Good stuff! How nice of TDC to fill an entire week’s programming to appease my appetite for real-life monsters!