November 7 Permalink
In the November 10-23 issue of Baseball America, Alan Schwartz writes the hundred-billionth column of how Barry Bonds has been nasty since he was in utero. The inexplicable line is:
The greatest description of him I've ever heard, and I wish I could remember who told it to me years ago, is this: "Barry Bonds was born on third base, and assumed he had hit a triple."
Somebody tell Hank Aaron he's not the major league career home run leader. Apparently, Bobby Bonds should be credited with 827 dingers - and he'll continually hitting them even though he's dead.
November 6 Permalink
Hal Clement died in his sleep on Wednesday, October 29. I never really liked his work. He recently wrote some sequel stories to Mission of Gravity that I found incomprehensible.
But as a gentleman, Hal Clement was second to none. With nary an unkind word, he strided through conventions with an energy I hope I have when I'm 81.
Back during the planning of Mythcon 1994, the planned and eventual guest of honor was Madeleine L'Engle. However, there needed to be contingency plan in case she turned us down or had to cancel at the last minute for health reasons. I proposed that Hal Clement would gladly turn up on short notice. To fantasy and science fiction conventions, he was the equivalent of Marv Albert to the Late Show and Spike Bowden to Silver Screen Test - the cheerful emergency guest.
For the smile he brought, he will be missed.
Watched the CSI: Miami episode "The Best Defense". In the main plot, two boys spending their trust fund running a bar are shot dead and a friend is also shot but remains alive. Suspicion falls first on another bar owner, but they only get him for drug possession.
Horatio turns to the survivor, the heir to a sugar empire, defended by an attorney played the always-slimy Jay Mohr. Turns out the boy wanted to open a bar himself, run by the two dead guys. When they changed their mind, he shot them. Jay decided to concont a story and shot his client himself. When CSI connects the gun to the attorney, the ruse falls apart.
In the B-plot, Duquesne's been servicing Hagen so effectively, his head's broken through the moonroof. Then Calleigh's Dad Kenwall turns up, just 60 days clean, with a public defender case. It's someone who confesses to stabbing her boyfriend with a screwdriver, but Calleigh suggests Daddy look at the evidence.
Calleigh almost crosses the line of conflict of interest, but there seems to be signs of self-defense. Hagen, the primary detective on the case, is very unhappy. Although, it eventually turns out the suspect kept stabbing even after her boyfriend went unconscious. I still think there was reasonable doubt to convince a jury that she was just too scared to stop.
Dad now wishes he had taken the plea bargain and goes off to drink. Fortunately, Hagen rescues him from driving.
November 5 Permalink
This response from Avedon Carol to Naomi Wolf:
I'm completely amazed at Wolf's apparent belief that the average college-age woman was ever brimming with sexual confidence.
What we were generally brimming with was the conviction that guys were generally trying to nail anything female, and that's why they were trying to nail us, even though we weren't that pretty, our breasts were too small or too big, our asses were huge, our hair was crap, etc.
Yeah, the same women that guys thought "knew what they were doing" to them never imagined that anyone thought they looked particularly good. Mostly they assumed that with that zit, that ass, that hair, those guys would never ask them out once/again/whatever. And 90% of what they did they were doing because they thought they had to in order to be considered desirable.
Young women have always been insecure about men and the fact that men really are trying to get into our pants doesn't change that because we are convinced it's not personal.
And we can whine all we want about Playboy, but we aren't really comparing ourselves with the Playmates, we're comparing ourselves with fashion models, who are much thinner and even more heavily airbrushed and made-up than porn models. Thank god most guys prefer porn models to fashion models - most of them look considerably more human, and considerably more female.
Men, of course, get less obnoxious as they get older, and that is probably what Ms. Wolf is noticing. Men in their 40s are not just looking to get laid, so they don't try to back you into a corner as fast.
And then men think you look fantastic and wish to hell they could make you stop whining about your big ass and your hair and whatever. (I sometimes think what men really like about porn is that it's so refreshing to see a woman just get undressed and not say something like, "Is my ass too big?")
I'm 51. I don't do what's expected of me and I don't do anything I don't want to do and men - including men who are young enough to be my own offspring - still hit on me. I don't know why they don't hit on Wolf, but she looks more conventionally "pretty" than I do and she's more than a decade younger so it can't be looks and youth alone. Maybe it's that I don't run around trying to make up reasons why porn is bad.
Or maybe they are hitting on her and they're just too subtle for her to notice, or she is still too screwed up to know when to take it personally, or some other dumb girl reason. Or maybe she just intimidates the hell out of them. God knows it can't be because they're not interested in real women, because they sure as hell are, and I still get reminders of that every time I walk out of the house...
One hopes that once one is past one's teens one begins to realize that being "well-hung" has nothing to do with it. Good god, how smart do you have to be to know that teenage girls generally decide whether they are that interested in a guy before they have any idea how well he is hung - and they don't want to hear about it from you, either.
Well-funded doesn't usually have all that much to do with it, either. Brushing your hair and standing up straight is a much more valued quality.
But of course, guys have stupid ideas of what girls are looking for, and girls have stupid ideas of what guys are looking for, and this was true long before any of us were looking at any porn.
November 4 Permalink
Sometimes the chauffeur thinks he owns the car.
Watched the new Fox series Tru Calling starring Eliza Dushku. If you watched enough post-season baseball this fall, you know the premise. Just out of college, Tru Davies gets a job at the morgue. She gets messages from the recently dead to save them and Tru travels back in time one day to the rescue.
For this episode, we got to meet her sister Meredith, a lawyer with a cocaine problem, and her brother Harrison who has a gambling problem. Her friends from college are Lindsay the girl and Cameron the guy. Tru dates Mark, her professor.
Zach Galifianakis plays Davis, the nerd at the morhue who reminds of me the host of a series on the University of Maryland channel that featured practical applications of mathematics. The show was made in the 1970s so this isn't the same guy.
Between the exposition, Tru is trying to stop the death of a dancer and bartender named Rebecca, portrayed by Callisto herself, Hudson Leick. One of the suspects is a very violent businessman portrayed by Callum Keith Rennie of Due South.
Generally, it's not stupid entertainment. On the good side, there a reasonably-sized dysfunctional family to serve the ensemble cast. On the bad side was my most shocking moment of television in the last week. Halfway through the show, Eliza Dushku says,"Earlier tonight on Tru Calling." For a moment, I thought I taped only one hour of a two hour show, but I was wrong. They must believe that their audience has a such a short attention span, they need to reminded what happened less than half an hour ago. Either that, or it's a sop to the people who just finished watching Friends and zapped over to Fox.
The show's most parodiable moment is that Tru runs everywhere. Sure, she has no car, lives in New York and was a track star in college, but it will wear on us soon. Once Tru goes to LaPlaca Land, the image of Eliza Dushku running might outlive Faith the Vampire Slayer or Missy Pantone in a bikini.
November 3 Permalink
Refinancing Day. Also fixed the downstairs toilet.
Watched the Angel episode "Life of the Party". This is sort of Lorne's episode as he hosts a Halloween party at W&H. Of course, none of the baddies are coming because they believe Angel will kill them.
Angel and Lorne suck up to a demonic Archduke. The Archduke keeps a being with a cork on his wrist that dispenses his bodily fluid.
As the party sort of heats up, the dance floor is pretty pathetic. Wesley and Fred get very drunk even though they haven't been drinking very much. Spike is uncharacteristically positive. Gunn pees everywhere to mark his territory. Angel and Eve go back to his office to do the wild thing.
Turns out Lorne is behind all this because he's had his sleep removed. Wesley and Fred go to find it while the manifestation of Lorne's sleep is a fatter, tougher Lorne. The storeroom apparently can store ennui as well. Fred returns Lorne's sleep to him by pointing an ominous delivery device at his head. Wesley and Fred establish their "friendness" as Fred has coffee with Knox.
Ben Edlund wrote this episode and it seemed to be filled with more real angst. I was reminded of a supervillain party on the Tick. Also, I was reminded of the alien spaceship that ran on the fear of its pilots.
November 2 Permalink
Went to the University of Maryland and visited Ludwig Field, the soccer facility. This would be a Division One stadium in England, if Milton Keynes is used for comparison.
My real reason or being in Terrapain Country was the 2003 ACF Fall Mid-Atlantic Tournament where I read questions along with Dwight Kidder, Tim Young and others. I stayed only half the day, but the Yahoo Quizbowl Group should have the winner.
For reading only in the morning, there were still some entertaining moments. One player called himself the Great Gazoo and another made reference to Mr. Peabody so the Baby Boomer icons are not completely dead.
Princeton achieved "The Holy Grail," answering all 20 toss-ups against American. This was the first time anyone had seen American in competition. We hope they weren't discouraged. I was told they'd already won a game at that point.
Dwight Kidder read to one team who didn't pick up additional clues of Ohio senator and flew in space and thought only on the fact of a failed 1984 Presidential bid. So instead of John Glenn, they guessed Walter Mondale. This then brought to Dwight the image of "Mondale in Space". The funniest incorrect buzz was "Robert Burns" for the correct answer of "Sappho".
Finished watching the Angel episode "Reaper". I'd expected another trip into Spike's tormented soul, complete with Drusilla, Buffy and Mom, but unfortunately, it wasn't that exciting. Instead the title character is an 18th century psycho who deconsecrated the land upon which the offices of Wolfram and Hart stand and still haunts the building.
The Reaper wants to torture Spike before sending him to Hell. Spike defeats him and the Reaper ends up in stasis in the basement. The nudity was a little Spike and later on a little Fred in the shower.
November 1 Permalink
Went to visit my mother-in-law and her visiting sister. My OOTP team signed Marshall Chamness, the reigning MVP. I'm in the process of manually inputting the schedule. After that, the last place Michigan Cougars and Vancouver Redwoods get a logo makeover. Then, the San Bernardino Stallions replace Arrowhead Credit Union Park with ChevronTexaco Field, which looks suspiciously like Cinergy Field while the Great American Ballpark was under construction beyond left-centerfield.