Eucalyptus - Entitle yourself to our opinion
Marco Etcheverry
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May 2002 Archives

Links were checked and verified as active only in the month the Eucalyptus entry was published. Links outside the silverscreentest domain may be inactive from this archive.

May 31

Finally read the Analog story "Sidehunter" by Rajnar Vajra mentioned on May 16. It concerns a ridiculously dangerous planet filled with ravenously hungry life. The lead character is a human, altered to look like the space alien on the cover for certain advantages. She eventually uncovers a standard conspiracy to drain a species to extinction for pharmaceuticals that confer immortality. The creatures were ridiculously alien, a trait I usually don't appreciate, but since none of them where actual characters, it didn't matter. The dangers, however, were so ridiculously huge, it overwhelmed you. The story reminded me a bit of the television series 24. I have to stop an assassination, my daughter has been kidnapped, and I can't trust anyone. At some point I would have just given up with a nervous breakdown. Identifying with Jack Bauer became impossible. In the same way, the dangers in "Sidehunter" were so hostile and numerous, I couldn't even process them as hazards. At some point a kind of numbness set in with respect to threats. I'll have to commend Vajra for the creativity of the many creatures depicted. I just wish there were fewer.

May 30

Tonight at cherub choir, the fire alarm rang again. Apparently when this happened earlier in the year, some of the kids were quite upset. This time, they were calmer. The sun was still out. The kids went to the playground. The cleaning people apparently set it off accidentally.

The Washington City Paper has an article on the outing of former football player Dave Kopay by the Washington Star in 1975. Earlier in the year, the gay magazine Advocate had contacted the Twins about interviewing their players about homosexuality and got the following response:

"The copout, immoral lifestyle of the tragic misfits espoused by your publication has no place in organized athletics at any level," wrote Tom Mee, the Twins' public-relations director. "Your colossal gall in attempting to extend your perversion to an area of total manhood is just simply unthinkable." (Mee, all these years later, still dwells in that area of total manhood, as the Twins' official scorekeeper.)

There are the same Minnesota Twins that moved from Washington, D.C. 14 years earlier because the owner wanted whiter patrons. Bud Lite hasn't said a word on the subject. Most of the time he just sticks his foot in his mouth, so this is probably a good thing.

May 29

The big story now is Ken Caminiti's revelation about steroid use in baseball. Maybe I'm old and cynical, but I'm neither shocked nor disillusioned. First MLB has to decide whether steroids actually pose a problem. From a business standpoint, greater size means more home runs, which the owners would not necessarily want to discourage. But probably, to prevent future lawsuits from players who used them, performance enhancing drugs should be banned. The union would probably oppose most anti-drug policies on privacy grounds. Perhaps the issue should be approached from a cheating or integrity standpoint. Treat performance-enhancing drug use like using a corked bat or scuffing up a ball. Establish some standards under which an opponent could accuse a player, just like an altered bat or ball. Instead of an umpire, an MLB official would adjudicate. If the player is tested and found guilty, he is suspended with pay to get the drugs "out of his system". You're taking him out of the game, like an illegal bat or ball, but you aren't "punishing" him in a way the union might object to. In other words, you treat the player, not like a cheater, but like a cheating object, and remove him for the integrity of the game.

May 28

Found a hole poked in the side upholstery of my car. Right now I'm blaming it on the valet parkers at the Wyndham Baltimore.

Travels with Brick: Upstate New York and Eastern Canada

For four weeks, my father attended a conference at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and the rest of the family tagged along. We stayed in a four-room suite that I believe would normally be used by four seniors. From my window I could see a little league field. Even when I couldn't actually go to a game, I pointed my binoculars at the scoreboard and dutifully entered every final score. One star player named Conroy probably was headed for stardom as a football lineman, but at this age, all he possessed was large amounts of size and power for his age. He also had the cherubic lips and hair of someone of much greater mass. At that time, Henry Aaron did television commercials for Wheaties. In this particular case, he'd failed to eat the Breakfast of Champions and tripped miserably in the field. A heckler yelled at him,"Hey, AA-RON, get your Wheaties!" Back in Troy, Conroy failed to stretch a double into a triple. As he brushed himself off, I screamed, as an obnoxious nine-year-old,"Conroy, get your Wheaties!"

We occassionally ate at the dining hall and I had my first taste of institutional chicken. From that time I vowed to never eat institutional chicken, a promise kept years later when I went to college. While we were there, I watched the 1970 All-Star Game from the lounge, famous for Pete Rose bowling over Ray Fosse at the end.

On one weekend, we drove up to Montreal. I got heat exhaustion while visiting Expo 67 AKA Man and His World, which was still open. Leave it to me to choose a 90-degree day for my first day in Canada.

On a different weekend, we drove to Toronto and Niagara Falls via Syracuse and Watertown. We visited some friends of my mother's in Toronto that I had met back in Hawaii. Toronto hosts the World Science Fiction Convention in 2003. Niagara Falls was very spectacular and the American Falls had just started flowing after being stopped the previous year.

HarborView CondominiumMay 27

In the morning, a thunderstorm ran through Baltimore. We could see some of the closer lightning strikes outside our window to the west. After we checked out of the hotel, we took the Water Taxi, which Miranda was so excited to ride. We passed the HarborView Condominium, seen on the left, famous on Homicide: Life on the Streets as home for drug kingpin Luther Mahoney. The taxi stopped at Tidepoint where people could disembark to ride a bus to Fort McHenry. The next stop was Fells Point and Broadway Market, the building used on Homicide as the station. Riding a water vehicle in Baltimore I began to consider a Homicide-Water Rats crossover. Matthew Quinn and Alex St. Claire come to Baltimore to follow some Sydney criminals. In Charm City, Quinn hits on Ballard, Meldrick hits on St. Claire.

Lunch was the California Pizza Kitchen. The hostess seated us on a covered table in an open doorway, but not exactly outside. On a warm, but overcast day with a bit of a harbor breeze, it was a great spot for a meal. Miranda only ate the bread. Like total opposites Whitlock had a light cheese pizza, I had a five -heese. The crust was a little too spicy for me. I saved it after I'd eaten the rest of the pie. Miranda, meanwhile, was making room for some Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The young African-American men behind the counter claimed to be named Ben & Jerry. Miranda asked to see a Christmas store in the Pratt Street Pavillion. She didn't understand why such a store should be open in May.

I cut the grass after we got home. The seeds I sowed three weeks ago have sprouted in baby fine rows. Not long after I finished mowing the lawn, thunderstorms poured down again.

May 26

Sat on a panel about the poor portrayal of particular professions in science fiction. This panel had been suggested for several years by Terilee Edwards-Hewitt. The most consistent point made by the panelists was the insanely broad skills held by characters. A "scientist", if trained in biology, could easily fix a warp core failure. Also, as time progresses, professions tend to become more specialized, yet depictions of the future feature generalists. Perhaps a real futuristic conversation would go likes this:
"Son, my robot's arm is isn't working again. You're a robotic engineer. Can't you fix this?"
"Mah, haven't I told you before, I'm a cranialist. I only work on heads, not arms."

For lunch we went to City Lights at Harborplace with a group including Bill Hussar, Carol Berg and Risa and Sandy Stewart. On the way back we stopped again at the fountains both near Harborplace and at the Jacob France fountain in Hopkins Plaza. At the Harbor waterfalls and fountains, several kids waded in the water, even riding their bicycles in it. The France fountain had a few bent jet pipes, so the water sometimes shot past the border onto pavement outside the fountain itself.

Children playing in a fountain from behind a waterfall. Miranda at the Jacob France fountain.
This picture was taken from behind a waterfall. You can see through it, some kids playing in the pools beyond. Miranda at the Jacob France fountain.

Miranda in our hotel room at Balticon.May 25

Got a new toy, a digital camera. It doesn't have many fancy features, but suffices to get images onto the web quickly. There's Miranda over on the right in our hotel room, playing with dice. We ate dinner at Harborplace. Miranda wanted to see the Unicycle Lady, a street performer who juggled as well. When she began to juggle what she claimed were "razor sharp" machetes, she said,"If you don't believe these blades are sharp, step right up and I'll cut your fingers off." This scared Miranda who thought the Unicycle Lady would actually do it. We went instead to the fountain area across the street and Miranda loved it.

Once again I hosted the trivia contest as Who Wants to Win a Million Credits. For general information about rules look back at the June Archives. Six people rolled dice to join the contest when I started. After about fifteen minutes, three more folks asked to join in. After they were done, I had one more set of questions for which I had a volunteer. Instead of fake money, the prizes were old AOL CD's decorated with CD Stomper labels. Agaist a background of the Tadpole Nebula, the CD said,"Who Wants to Win a Million Credits - Balticon 36 Trivia - This Award is Only Worth the Warm Feelings It Engenders." At the bottom were the words "Credits Winner." When a contestant finished I put the value won above this line, printed on return address labels. I even had one marked "Happy Participant" for those who might have gotten knocked down to zero. Most of the players excelled either in media or written SF and leaned on the audience for what they didn't know. The audience was right everytime, except for a question asking which of four choices had never been a Balticon Guest of Honor. They thought Robin McKinley was never Balticon GOH, but in fact Charles Sheffield was the correct answer for this question. World-famous media fan Martin Morse Wooster reached the highest level - 16,000 credits and no one skunked early to fall down to "Happy Participant". The contest only took a little bit more than an hour. I spent the rest of my second hour moderating an impromptu one-man panel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, game shows, and other television topics.

Still wired, I changed clothes and headed back out to the Looney Labs room where I played Nanofictionary. My first story involved a politically aware rock star who held a concert to benefit a Kabul girl and an escaped lion from the zoo. However, it was all just a dream. In another other game, I got cards for a terrible storm, a professor and being rescued, so it automatically suggested the tale of the Seven Castaways to me. So I retold Gilligan's Island, complete with the theme song. The last game I remember involved a a starship captain traveling secretly back in time to a Cold War-era Soviet factory that manufactured nuclear weapons. Because of the captain's non-fluency in Russian, he accidentally set off a nuclear explosion. Fortunately, with intervention by the President, a war was averted.

May 24

For Balticon, I was on the panel for Death is Easy, Comedy is Hard. Among the panelists were Bud Sparhawk, Donna Andrews, Lee Gilliland and Grig Larsen. I told the awful "Boots Were Made for Walken" gag. Donna Andrews made an interesting point about a fellow mystery writer who killed 17 humans on stage in their novel, but only got complaints about the crucified cat. I think generally the panel and the audience had fun and had a few laughs. Afterwards, I complimented Stephen L. Burns on "Look Away". He says he's had only positive e-mails passed on to him by Stanley Schmidt. Clam Chowder played and it was like watching those gray rockers like Steely Dan. We're all getting old.

May 23

Like most people, I don't know what would be the big deal if an active baseball player came out of the closet. Last year Brendan Lemon, editor-in-chief of Out magazine said he was dating a star player, but not the star player of an East Coast team. At the time, Bernie Williams came to mind, but I have absolutely no evidence to back that up.

I'm feeling less harsh today about the guys who came down on Canseco. Jose may be violating the sanctity of the clubhouse by telling secrets, but let's wait for him to talk. Let those allegations come to light and let the defenders come forth. But until we actually see what Jose has to say, let's all shut up.

May 22

All three of us went downtown to the National Aquarium in Washington. Bill Simpkins, the director of the aquarium himself, took time out from his busy day to talk about the loggerhead sea turtle on display. Miranda watched the turtle for a few minutes before wandering over to see the nurse shark. Probably what she'll remember the most was the schoolgroup pressed to the glass to look at a half dozen small alligators. All but one bathed in the water, the other sat in the heat of a lamp. One kid was convinced the basking one was fake because it didn't move.

Afterwards, we had lunch in the Food Court at the Ronald Reagan Building. Miranda liked the donkeys and elephants with interesting designs on them. Miranda knows Ronald Reagan because in the book Clifford Visits the Hospital, there is a character who looks like Ronald Reagan. Everytime I read it, I always added the words,"who looked like Ronald Reagan." Naming this building after Ronald Reagan doesn't bother me, but naming the airport does. I haven't gone back there at all since the name change and it's cheaper to fly out of BWI anyway.

May 21

On this crazy day, the technician took an hour to connect me up with an additional network printer. After that, Wordperfect failed to work. When I left for home, that problem still hadn't been fixed.

Whiny blog here. He says there's been a shift in our happiness-inducing activities to things we can't control - namely television and sports. I respectfully disagree. There used to be only three networks to watch on television, now with cable there are dozens. You can even get on public access and make your own television shows. It used to be the only way to be a sports fan was to root for the local team. Now, you can be a fantasy player or be a fan of a team far away and follow them through local newspapers from the Internet and through a satellite dish. We have more control than ever. We just have to watch out for those fundamentalist fanatics and paranoid security freaks who want to take away our control.

May 20

Made it in time to the dentist this morning.

Hoshi found herself a well-muscled language text on Enterprise last week. I guess that's the male equivalent of "long-haired language text," taking on a lover to learn a language.

May 19

I had a lot of respect for Jon Saunders. As host of The Sports Reporters, he has Dick Schaap's blandness that enables his guests to shine. However, this morning, he echoed Mike Greenberg's sentiment, taking Jose Canseco to task for promising to tell all about steroid use and the icons of the game. Saunder thought Canseco belonged in the Hall of Fame until his promised tell-all book. Again, I don't know how Jose can hurt the game more by what he says than the people he accuses have hurt the game by what they did. This of course assumes that the charges are true. I don't know why reporters are so quick to condemn him when Canseco's book hasn't even come out yet. Anyway, Greenberg and Saunders have moral standards so warped, I can barely perceive their points of view.

I couldn't find anyone to go to the game with so I sold my my two $18 tickets for $20 and turned that cash around for a $35 ticket behind home plate, just a little bit to the first base side. Not really knowing the exact row, I sat a couple of rows behind an ancient biker with an Outlaws patch on his vest and an orange and black Cat-in-the-Hat hat. He took a picture of his almost equally ancient mama with Kelly Ripken.

The Tone Rangers sang the national anthem. They kept the range low that I could actually singing with them. They dressed in lime green dress shirts buttoned to the neck. All I could think was,"The Wiggles have hit middle-age!"

My seat ended up being in the disabled row. Only a couple of foul balls got even remotely near me. The Devil Rays shut out the Orioles with Steve Kent pitching four innings of one-hit relief. Greg Vaughn hit two of his four homers on consecutive days.

The weather was chilly for May, but one guy in the front row took his shirt. Amazingly, it was someone with a good enough body to show off.

The PA system played "Running with Devil" while Scott Erickson warmed up before the first pitch. I assume it had something to do with playing the Devil Rays. Jay Gibbons now walks up to the plate to "Money for Nothing". This seems rather inauspicious as if he gets paid for doing nothing.

May 18

Tracy Burns gave a party tonight for her friends from science fiction and screenplay writers groups. This group shows just how small DC is. Many years ago, Whitlock had Diane Flyer for a boss. When we turned up for a party at Diane's townhouse, Tracy was there. I already knew her from writers groups and she was there because Diane went law school with her sister. We met Missy Fisher there tonight. She is in a screenwriting group with Tracy. Missy went to high school with Jenny Ketcham, whom I know from medieval groups. Tracy had a business card for Brian Whiting on her refrigerator. Whitlock has known Brian since college. Brian had bailed out Tracy's computer. It turns out newer versions of McAfee lock up Windows 98, figuring Windows 98 is a virus.

May 17

George Alec Effinger passed away April 26 in New Orleans. This page in Locus Online links to his obituaries in the Boston Globe, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cleveland Plain Dealer and the New York Times. His most important work is generally considered to be the Arab-tinged cyberpunk novel When Gravity Fails. I met him only once at the Chicago Worldcon in 1991. He was on the panel before the expedition to Comiskey Park to dicuss baseball. The Sox played the Indians that day and George, as a native Clevelander, rooted for the Tribe. He was very nice, but a little spacy. Effinger had suffered from alcoholism for several years and eventually died from the effects. When Gravity Fails and a handful of shorter works stand as testament to his talent, unfortnately cut short my substance abuse. We could lament what might have been, but to me, he certainly had a good heart.

The cover of the June 2002 issue of Analog.May 16

Stayed home today with Miranda while she recovers from whatever she first had on Tuesday.

I haven't read the story yet, but doesn't the cover of the June Analog look like a dinosaur about to mount a space alien?

May 15

Jose Canseco is planning to tell-all in a book identifying extra-marital affairs and steroid use by other players. Baseball-Reference lists the retired players most similar to him as Gil Hodges, Willie Stargell, and Dale Murphy. By those standards, Jose is a borderline Hall of Famer. As a human being, he left something to be desired. Those who knew him personally frequently described Canseco as,"A boy who never grew up," interestingly, a characterization also applied to Pete Rose.

This morning Mike Greenberg said that if Canseco lets these secrets out of the clubhouse, then he's a lowlife. This revelation would be as surprising as finding out Bill Clinton is a womanizer and Dubya has public speaking problems. However, Greenberg feels the need to state that Jose revealing these secrets is worse than the players who commit the immoral acts. Not that Canseco wasn't guilty of those same indiscretions himself. We can give Greenberg the benefit of the doubt, because he sees this situation from the viewpoint of a reporter. Reporters control and shape information, not necessarily as propagandists, but as first editors to organize and give meaning to the chaos of life. Part of that job involves keeping certain secrets to insure future access, otherwise one would be committing professional suicide. Canseco has no such agenda. I don't know whether Jose needs the money or wants revenge, but obviously the camaraderie of his former teammates in retirement means nothing to him. But if Greenberg really believes that talking about unsavory things is worse doing those things, then he needs the Just Shut Up Award and suffers from irreparable moral perversion.

May 14

The whole family had planned to go down to The National Aquarium of Washington, D.C. to research sea turtles for Miranda's class project. I think a class presentation is a bit much for a kindergartener. Unfortunately, she got sick, so Mary stayed home and I went into work for the afternoon.

Usually when I'm in the front of the house in the evenings, I close the blinds because there's nothing to see out there. However, tonight, Venus and the crescent moon made a beautiful pair, almost like the flag of an Islamic nation.

Mike Moriarty Mike Moriarty plays back-up second base for the Baltimore Orioles. Michael Moriarty Michael Moriarty last appeared as a pitcher for the New York Mammoths in the film Bang the Drum Slowly.

May 13

I had to reschedule my dental appointment this morning when ridiculous traffic kept me from getting their on time.

Read a great story in Analog by Stephen L. Burns called "Look Away". This is not the actor who recently left Blue's Clues, but the Caucasian winner of the 2000 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel for Flesh and Silver. This story is a politically incorrect look at slavery. Maybe it's just my personal experience, but though I've been a target of hate speech, I've never been the target of a hate assault. So, the whole politically correct language debate is lost on me. Hateful words didn't inflict any lasting damage to me. Of course, I still believe offensive language exists. In polite society, you don't use the f-word just as you would not use the n-word. So, no politician or other public figure should be called to task for using the n-word in private anymore than for using the f-word in private. Ultimately, such a person ought to have plenty of other actions that reveal their nature more than just a misspoken word.

May 12

Long day today. First Miranda and I gave Whitlock her Mother's Day cards. Then we took Miranda to Rockville United Methodist Church where she sang with the Cherub Choir a special Mother's Day song,"A Mother's Day Prayer," composed by RUMC choir director Ken Dahlin. While Miranda attended Sunday School, Whitlock and I went for donuts. After Sunday school, we went to Mary's mother's house. We had lunch and met with her neighbors, Jackie and Michelle. Then we went to my parents' house, but they weren't home. Whitlock looked at my baby pictures. I watched the U.S. Men's Soccer team beat Uruguay. My parents bought one of those huge exercise balls and a small bed in the shape of a racing car for my nephew Ian. Afterwards we went to the massive Germantown soccer complex. The stadium where the Maryland Pride plays sneaks up on you because it is below parking lot level.

May 11

The only I was sure to get prompt service at Verizon Wireless was to wait at their front door the moment they opened. Wonder of wonders, I got waited on immediately. Whitlock now has a working cellphone. Waiting at Verizon Wireless is worse than waiting at the DMV. The longest time I've been in the Department of Motor Vehicles in the last 15 years was fifteen minutes.

I cut, edged and seeded the lawn this morning. In the afternoon, Miranda and I blew bubbles on the porch. We also kicked her soccer ball around and played shadow puppets with sun on the driveway. Our neighbor, Mohammed Abraham and his family, cut our grass again. I always cut it a little long. I told them I cut it this morning, but they cut our grass anyway. They're such nice people. Our lawn looks like it has a crewcut now instead of a shag. I can wait two weeks before I cut it again.

Sunderland drew with Derby to stay in the Premier League on the last day of the season. Whew!

May 10

Miranda and I have been stopped twice by law enforcement officers on 270. They didn't see her in the car seat and pulled me over for driving solo in the HOV lane. Since the last incident, I have instructed her to wave her arms around when we pass a police officer. Today, a trooper flashed it's cherry behind me. I told Miranda to wave her arms and I indicated her with a hand to the officer. He waved at me in acknowledgement and passed around me on the left shoulder. All that practice, telling her to wave her arms, finally paid off.

May 9

I'm a little less worked up about the cellphone hassle at Verizon Wireless. I still believe their service stinks. It just isn't bothering me anymore.

Remember the Oakland Athletics' 4 Aces, four can't-miss prospect pitchers who posed for the cover of Baseball America with playing cards? They were Todd Van Poppel, Kirk Dressendorfer, Don Peters, and Dave Zancanaro. Only Van Poppel and Dressendorfer played in the majors. Later, the Mets had a similarly heralded trio in Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, but all three of those played in the majors. I found an article in that listed the Mets trio as one of the Top 10 Disappointments. Among those underachievers was sprint kayaker Caroline Brunet, who failed to win gold in both Atlanta and Sydney, despite six World Championships. Sorry, hosers, I think Americans would replace Miss Brunet with Michelle Kwan.

The song "Unpretty" by TLC sounds like an anthem to me because I keep wanting to scream the words "damn unpretty".

May 8

Whitlock lost her cellphone about a month ago. About two weeks ago I went into the Verizon Wireless store in Milestone to buy a replacement. The Ericsson phone I wanted had to be mailed to us. They said I could just call in to get the phone activated. After I received the phone, I plugged it into the wall, but it never came on. I left it plugged in for two weeks and the phone still didn't come on. Tonight I went back into the Verizon Wireless store. They kept me waiting for over an hour. In the interim, I asked whether I could just talk to Tim, the technical service guy who wasn't busy helping a customer. I was told I had to wait to talk to the sales guy. The sales guy had his daughter with him who kept asking how to spell the names of the various members of 'NSync. When the sales guy finally let me talk to him, he was with me less than five minutes before sending me to Tim at technical service. Tim couldn't get the phone to work either. He didn't have any extra batteries or models of the phone available. Apparently, Verizon is no longer selling the model. Tim said he would call me when he found the model at another store. I left feeling pretty pissed. Once you get the service up and running, I haven't had any problem with Verizon Wireless. But if you have to deal with their people, customer service at Verizon Wireless really stinks.

May 7

Stomach disorders kept me home this morning. There may have been a Catcher in the Rye reference on Angel. Connor/Steven, Angel's son, befriends a junkie prostitute named Sunny. Sunny was the name of the $5 hooker Holden Caulfield hired but never slept with. Interestingly, Amber Benson got an opening credit on Buffy for what appeared to be her death show.

This morning SportsCenter framed the NBA MVP debate like an episode of Pardon the Interruption. For the errors section, Barry Melrose played Statboy. The background music was "Theater Overture," the theme I use for Silver Screen Test. It's not really my music. It comes from a CD of royalty free music that sounds like fake versions of famous themes. There's a fake Star Wars, fake Star Trek, etc. My theme is meant to sound like a Hollywood overture. It was kind of cool to hear "my" music on another show.

May 6

Some ballplayers who should have been epics:
"Ody" C. C. Sabathia
Gil "Ga" Meche
Todd Van Poppel "Vuh"
Cal "Evala" Ripken, Jr.

I don't like the anti-intellectualism evident in "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" especially the lines about watching CNN and not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran. Sort of like someone not being able to tell the difference between France and Germany. Look, Alan Jackson was expressing the emotion of a moment and some people needed the cathartic experience. However, I understand Miranda's kindergarten class will be singing it at her graduation. Like me, she's one of those who thinks there are still too many signs hanging over the bridges on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway AKA I-270. Couldn't the teachers have picked a non-specific patriotic song like "God Bless America" or "America the Beautiful"? I just think kids in a school shouldn't sing in an assembly about the very ignorance of the ordinary Americans that allows blowbacks like September 11 to take place.

May 5

Went to see Kansas City play Baltimore. On my end, the bus in Columbia arrived a half-hour late. The bus driver told the surly passengers that an accident on Route 108 held him up. He was immediately forgiven. Randy Brunk, who came to the game with me was also late because of family obligations. Today, Jerry Hairston lost a ball in the sun, despite wearing sunglasses. However, the Royals produced a number of mistakes on their own. Among them, what should have been an inning-ending double play. Chris George pitched well. Unfortunately, the team behind him didn't. I'm not much for chemistry, but a certain psychological component must be crucial to success. Kansas City didn't seem overmatched in terms of talent, but they managed a way to lose. In these days of relative parity, a team needs a manager who gets as much as he can out of his players. I don't know what a manager really does, but some succeed and others fail, regardless of the talent level. All an organization needs to do is find the ones who succeed. At the top of the seventh inning, Chip Beall called me on my cellphone. It turned out he'd called me by accident. The NAC is just a month away.

May 4

Congratulations to Catherine Asaro for winning a Nebula Award for Quantum Rose.

Went to a birthday party for Christina Hussar, who was born a few weeks before Miranda. Bingo just couldn't keep the rowdy kids occupied, especially the boys. The kids took target practice at a stand-up of Larry-boy from Veggie Tales.

May 3

I don't know if Joss Whedon is working more closely with Angel than Buffy, but the the characters on the brooding one are acting more consistently. I wish Cordelia hadn't cut Groo's hair. Sometimes you need that romance cover-look. Plus, Mark Lutz's face is a bit unusual, not traditionally pretty, and the hair would distract from that a bit.

I was out on the road during the great hour of sports covering the Pacers-Nets game and Cameron's home runs. WTEM played Fox Sports radio rather than play-by-play coverage of the Pacers-Nets game. I rooted for the Nets to win because, the Nets never win, I generally favor the favorite because all their hard work during the regular season should mean something, and I didn't want the referee's call on Reggie's jumper to affect the game.

May 2

Found a site with a Quizbowl Version of "We Didn't Start the Fire". I'm not mentioned by name, but I'm one of the them when "the Terps win CBI".

Just thinking again about Rocker/Everett slash. I guess it's creepy to consider slash of real people with real occupations, as opposed to fictional characters. Actors could be considered an exception since their real job is to be a fantasy. After watching Interview with the Vampire, you could imagine Brad Pitt/Antonio Banderas slash, not just Louis/Armand slash. However, real people slash is a little bit like stalking. Imagine Dick Cheney/Dubya slash or Bill Clinton/Al Gore slash, depending on your political affiliation. Maybe I'm just the type of person who likes to project themselves directly into a fantasy. I mean, what good is it if none of the people are you?

Oriole wives presenting a check for Camp Sunrise.May 1

This picture comes from an Orioles publication proving that they do worthwhile things in the community. This particular shot is of Orioles wives presenting a check before a game at Camden Yards for Camp Sunrise, a facility for kids with cancer. I direct your attention to the fourth woman from the left in the black leather pants. I don't pretend to be Joan Rivers, but I don't think this outfit was appropriate for this event. I believe the woman in question is Candi Ryan, wife of B.J.

The Undertow... another pointless surfing metaphor ...

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Last revised May 31, 2002
© 2001, 2002 B. Barrientos