Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Suzy made her first appearance and brought some treats.
I still can't believe I ate one of these. F You Hitler!
Best Picture and Best Cookie
The Grand Prize
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Final UPDATE: 12/31/08
MY LEAST FAVORITE FILM OF THE YEAR
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
OTHER BIG STINKERS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Zach and Miri Make a Porno
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
The House Bunny
City of Men
Be Kind Rewind
Quantam of Solace
ENOUGH GOOD MOMENTS TO BE A BIT BETTER THAN MEDIOCRE
Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
Tell No One
City of Ember
At the Death House Door
The Year My Parents Went on Vacation
The Last Mistress
Standard Operating Procedure
Man on Wire
The Dark Knight
Burn After Reading
Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback
Trouble the Water
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Kung Fu Panda
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
Synecdoche New York
A Christmas Tale
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
Encounters at the End of the World
Wendy and Lucy
Flight of the Red Balloon
Edge of Heaven
Let the Right One In
Up the Yangtze
Waltz With Bashir
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
TWO VERY CLOSE SECOND PLACE FILMS
MY FAVORITE FILM OF 2008
Rachel Getting Married
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Peter Gammons: Listmaker, two weekends ago Sports Illustrated reported that in 1989 you used an illegal bat while playing in the Wheaton Boys Club Spring League. What is the truth?
Listmaker: When I arrived in Wheaton in 1989, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day. I was a 10th Grader in a league with 8th-10th graders. Great Doug Mientkiewicz type defense wasn't enough. I had to bring it with the bat.
Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth being one of the greatest players in the league. We were stacked. Steve Mackinnon. Matt Wray. Richard Judy. The list goes on and on. And I did use an illegal bat. You know, for that I'm very sorry and deeply regretful.
... The culture back then, and at Wheaton Boys Club overall, was very -- I just feel that, you know, I'm just sorry. I'm sorry for that time. I'm sorry to my fans. I'm sorry for my fans in Wheaton. It wasn't until then that I ever thought about an illegal bat of any kind, and since then, I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that. Hell, once Ian Mackaye likened my softball heroics to Ted Williams! Granted, he was referring to my glove and he was a bit confused as to what Williams was known for - but still ... a punk rock legend, dude!
PETER GAMMONS: You're saying that the time period was 1989?
LISTMAKER: That's pretty accurate, yes. I might have used the bat in some pickup games in Cloverly but it was a loosey-goosey atmosphere at those games.
PETER GAMMONS: What kind of bats were you using?
LISTMAKER: Peter, that's the thing. Again, it was such a loosey-goosey era. I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty for being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions. And to be quite honest, I don't know exactly what bat I was guilty of using. I just know it was a softball bat and not a baseball bat. The ball just flew!
PETER GAMMONS: Where did you originally get the bat?
LISTMAKER: Again, at the time, you know, you have coaches, you have friends, you have parents. That's the right question today: Where did you get it?
There's many things that you can use that are banned substances. Pine tar for example. I mean, we weren't even allowed to run into the catcher at full speed in that league. You had to do what you had to do to be the best.
I'm not sure exactly what bat I used. But whatever it is, I feel terribly about it.
Going back to 1989, my friend William G started telling me about a bat that can be purchased over the counter in the WO (White Oak). In the streets it's known as "boli." It was his understanding that it would give my bat a dramatic energy boost and was otherwise harmless.
My friend and I, one more ignorant than the other, decided it was a good idea to start using it. But William was too old to play in the league I was in. I was the one with all of the pressure on me. I was a small guy you know. My greatest moment leading up to the '89 season was a game winning hit back in '85 where my teammates carried me off the field on their shoulders. It was fantastic. I needed to prove myself to the new league. As you know, I took the '88 season off after a disappointing '87 campaign. I had a lot of pressure on me. A lot. When you are top dog in an 8th-10 graders league, you've got to bring your A game.
My friend lent me his bat, but neither of us knew how to use it properly providing just how ignorant we both were. It was at this point, we decided I'd use it twice a game for about six games. And then it worked so well that it became every at-bat.
During the 1989 season, we consulted no one and had no good reason to base that decision. It was pretty evident we didn't know what we were doing. We did everything we could to keep it between us. And my friend did not provide any other players with it except for about seven of my teammates. I stopped using it in 1989 and haven't used it since even though I mostly played softball after that time and the bat would have been legal.
When I entered the league, I was a young kid even though I was one of the oldest players in the league. I was 16 years old right in the middle of 10th grade, I thought I knew everything and I clearly didn't. Like everyone else, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. The only way I know how to handle them is to learn from them and move forward. One thing I know for sure is that baseball is a lot bigger than Listmaker. And to my readers (37 second pause) thank you."
Back in the early 80's, no one worried about illegal bats. It was all about fun.
back row: (Freddie K, Tommy G, William G)
front row: a young Listmaker
I was never a star. I needed something extra.
The legal Bat Era
Unbelievably, I was once a member of the Yankees.
Check out the young Richard Judy - front row, far left.
1989: The Illegal Time
The bat in the picture was never actually used in a real game.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Jason and I traveled to Philadelphia on Friday night. After dinner with his parents and my sister, it was time for Pat's. It was Jason's first trip.
On Saturday, after a tasty brunch, it was Baltimore time. We met up with Keri. I love the end of her block. Lake Montibello! I used to see this lake everytime I went to Memorial Stadium. Hooray for Baltimore!
We went looking for The Wire, Season 2. We didn't have much luck but we did find some steam at Shipyard Rd. We didn't notice the faded sign that mentioned NO TRESPASSING: PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(photo by Jason)
The out of use bus stop.
After taking this photo, a polite older gentlemen pulled up to us in his security vehicle and politely asked us to leave. "I know you aren't taking pictures of the plant but you've got to go."
After B-more, Jason and I stopped off at Columbia Mall to pick up a new Mac for my folks. It was crazy how many early '80's memories came flooding back. The food court is still quite magical.
After dinner, Jason and I began the task of getting the computer going, transferring music, and teaching my parents how to use it. From 10 pm on Saturday night until 2 pm on Sunday, Jason and I took turns working on this huge endeavor. We only took a brief 6 hour or so break. Good times.
Jason's photos are here.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
It seems that my least favorite manager in baseball, Tony La Russa, apparently would like to think that he's friends with Huey Lewis. Hot Tub Eric sent me this link weeks ago but I'd forgotten to post it.
In the interview, La Russa was asked this question:
If you were coaching a celebrity baseball team with Huey Lewis as a weak-hitting catcher and Michael McDonald as his ace starting pitcher, would you still bat McDonald eighth and Lewis ninth, bucking convention?
La Russa responded:
The idea of hitting a position hitter ninth only works if he is a good batter. The idea is to get him on base, making your third hitter — Albert Pujols — your clean-up hitter. You turn the lineup around that way. Now, if Huey was not a good hitter, I would try to find a better hitter and still bat Michael eighth. But I refuse to believe that Huey wouldn’t be a good hitter.
Wtf? I can't comprehend this. If Huey and La Russa are friends, does this mean that I need to rethink my hatred of La Russa?
Speaking of baseball and Huey, I still can't get enough of this.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
In college, there was a British dude we knew. He, of course, was uncircumcised. We all teased him. We never did see his wanker even though I think there were occasional threats of depantsings.
A number of years ago, friends of mine were expecting their first child, a boy. A major ruckus was raised one night at O'Connor's when it was mentioned that there would be no cutting. Wha? No circumcision? But what about the cleanliness? What about the won't look like Daddy argument?
A little while later, I was won over to the side of no when I saw the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode on the subject. What barbarity! I'll never do that to my future son or sons!
With the impending arrival of Double Trouble, SHR and I have some decisions to make. She is pro-circumcision. I am on the fence.
Reasons to Cut and Why I Don't Care About Them
1. Don't you want your sons to look like Daddy?
No. Who cares? Plus, I don't plan on walking around with my Johnson hanging out all that often. Not to mention, so what if I'm cut and they aren't. I'll explain that I was savagely cut for no reason and that I didn't want to subject them to the same treatment.
2. But you're Jewish!
I'm more than ready for 5,769 years of history to end at my sons' junk.
Yes, that's true. But we don't live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The studies I've seen state that in this country, there is pretty much no difference (provided a condom is used) in the rate of STD transmission.
4. Uncut penises are harder to clean.
Fair enough. But soap can do miraculous things when used properly.
Our child healthcare expert, Latifah, showed us some pictures of the process and the aftermath. I can't believe that I might subject my sons to that. Then again, by that logic, I'd refuse to have my kids ever get shots.
The Only Reason to Cut That Makes Sense to Me
I don't want my boys to be ostracized for their lack of being circumcised. Locker rooms can be a rough place. My understanding is that the rate of circumcision these days in this country is about 50/50 so that isn't too bad. But has the uncircumcised penis reached the American mainstream yet? I almost feel like I should peruse a bunch of porn in the next few weeks for some research.
What do my 8 faithful readers think?
Check out the Penn and Teller episode here and here. For some reason, I couldn't find the second part of the episode.