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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fantasy Baseball 2007

Thanks to The Affable American, I'm playing Fantasy Baseball again! It's a 12-team semi-keeper match-up league with 7 offensive and 7 pitching stat categories. We had the draft last night leaving me with this team which I'm cautiously optimistic about:

C Kenji Jojhima
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Freddy Sanchez
SS Jose Reyes
3B Alex Rodriguez
IF Derek Jeter
OF Jason Bay
OF Rauuuuuuul Ibanez
OF Brad Hawpe
UTIL Travis Hafner

SP Jeremy Bonderman
SP Dan Haren
SP Curt Schilling
SP Dave Bush
SP Kelvim Escobar
RP Billy Wagner
RP Todd Jones
P Jake Westbrook

BENCH
Mike Piazza
Chris Burke
B.J. Upton
Chris Young
Troy Tulowitzki
Dustin Hermanson
Jonathan Broxton

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Children of Men

Film #16 on my '07 watch list was Children of Men.

My NetFlix rating: 3 3/4 stars
Jamie says: The future's so bleak, I gotta wear shades
RIYL: 1984, Brave New World

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Film #15 on my '07 watch list was An Inconvenient Truth.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: All those glaciers melting does look pretty inconvenient. Seriously though, how the hell did Bush get elected over Gore? Sigh...
RIYL: The environment, Al Gore as a street-wise pimp with a hybrid pimp-mobile.

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Monday, March 26, 2007

US Guys

Book #9 was New York Times correspondant Charlie LeDuff's US Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man.

US Guys is a collection of stories based on LeDuff's experience as an immersive journalist a la Hunter S. Thompson or George Plimpton. LeDuff embarks on a series of adventures loosely constructed around finding the heart of what it means to be a real American man in today's society. LeDuff's writing is enjoyable, but the fascinating series of topics here is the highlight. The stories include:

  • Tulsa, OK - Charley Murphy (no not that Charlie Murphy) and the hunt for Pretty Boy Floyd's getaway driver's hidden stash
  • Oklahoma City, OK - The gay rodeo
  • Amarillo, TX - Trying out for the Arena Football 2 league (which include local boys the Everett Hawks).
  • Oakland, CA - Fight Club with a motorcycle gang!! Yeah!
  • Black Rock City, NV - Debunking Burning Man
  • Coos Bay, OR - Performing as a circus clown
  • Crow Agency, MT - Re-enacting Little Big Horn
  • Detroit, MI - Investigating a murder in 8-mile
  • New York, NY - Becoming a male model during Fashion Week (think Bruno)
  • Cleveland, TN - Inside a Pentecostal church (think Borat)
  • Miami, FL - Betting with old dudes at a horse track

Much of what's in the book was also film for Only In America, which in theory runs on the Discovery Times network though I've yet to find them actually airing an episode. Anyone ever see it or know if it's still on?

RIYL: Palahniuk's Stranger Than Fiction

Metacritic reviews


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Back to the Final Four!

Thank you Lee Humphrey!


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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Syriana

Film #14 of '07 was Syriana.

My NetFlix rating: 3 1/2stars
Jamie says: Dependency on foreign oil is bad, mmmkay.
RIYL: Traffic, Mother Jones

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

McDonald's vs. The OED

From the pathetic corporate maneuver of the day file: McDonald's seeks to redefine 'McJobs'. Apparently ol' Ronald doesn't dig the definition as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector." Shouldn't the McXecutives be spending their time inventing new hamburgers or something?


McLame

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gators at the White House

All politics aside, this is pretty sweet. The Gators got to visit the White House yesterday to celebrate their football National Championship. You can find a transcript of the whole ceremony here, but here were some of the highlights for me:

"I particularly like the story of the two quarterbacks, Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. First of all -- (applause.) Where's Tebow? There he is. It's like the guy is trying to bring the single wing back, you know? " -- George W. Bush

"I appreciate your defense. I clearly remember linebacker Earl Everett. (Applause.) I've seen that face before. (Laughter.) So has the whole country. You might remember, Everett lost his headgear. He didn't lose his head -- (laughter) -- but he lost his headgear and he went on to make a great tackle in a key moment. That's called tough defense, hard-nosed defense." -- George W. Bush

"It didn't take Urban Meyer long. Like, the guy shows up, the next thing he knows, he's at the White House. (Laughter.) Whoever hired him, good choice." -- George W. Bush

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New Kicks

Just got my sweet new custom kicks in the mail courtesy of RbkCustom, a Reebok web-site where you can design your own shoes. Overall I'm really impressed with the service. The final product look just like what I designed on the site, the turnaround time was excellent and it only cost about $90 all-in (about the same as you'd pay for a standard pair at a shoe store). Pretty sweet.

Here's what they look like. Love that Gator orange and blue.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Fiskadoro

Book #8 of my '07 reading list was Denis Johnson's Fiskadoro.

This is usually where I say a little bit about what the book's about, but honestly I'm still not so sure I've figured this one out. The New York Times review sort of explains it, but words like post-apocalyptic and hallucinogenic and William S. Burroughs probably get you into the right ballpark. From poking around the internets Fiskadoro seems to be Johnson's least accessible work, so if I had it to do over again I'd probably start with Jesus' Son instead.

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This American Life - Seattle

We recently went to the This American Life Tour show at the Paramount. Seattlest has a good review of the show here here. A few of the stories and some of the Mates of State songs we saw were included in this week's broadcast, a podcast of which can be found here. I highly recommend at least checking out David Rakoff's excellent story.

The tour was also pimping the new TV version of the show which will be running on Showtime. The show looks really good, so we are now full-on Showtime subscribers (anything else on there worth watching?).


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Ninja Warrior

Jarett turned me on to G4's Ninja Warrior today. It's sorta like MXC only ten times better.


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Vigeland Revisited

Boing Boing recently ran this link about an anti-nudist activist who covered up the statues in Oslo's Vigeland Park. Found it especially interesting since we just visited the park last summer. I thought the statues were tastefully done, but I guess to each his own. You can find my Flickr shots here and much more statue pr0n here.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

300

Film #13 of '07 was 300.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars for the fight scenes, 2 stars for everything else
Jamie says: SPARTANS!!!! Sans the first half hour or so this movie is pretty sweet.
RIYL: Glory, Braveheart, Sin City

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Strangers With Candy

Film #12 of '07 was Strangers with Candy.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: Somewhat disappointing adaptation of one of my favorite-ist teevee shows ever. Pro: Most of the original cast plus sweet cameos by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, and David Rakoff(!!). Con: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air mom-like replacement of Jeri's brother Derrick and the replacement of Orlando with Megawatti.
RIYL: Amy Sedaris, Colbert Nation

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters

One word: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!....!!!!!...!!...!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2007 Mariners Commercials

The 2007 Mariners Commerical are posted. They aren't as funny as previous years, but they're still pretty good. My favorite at the moment is 'Double Play Twins' but 'Rauuuuul' is pretty good too.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gators #1 Seed

Congrats to Dem Gator Boys for the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Back-to-back?

"They are at championship level basketball right now. They are a well-oiled machine." -- Stan Heath Arkansas coach
And what's up with the NIT snubbing the Huskies? Weak.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

White Noise

Book #7 on my list this year was Don DeLillo's modern classic White Noise.

White Noise is a tour-de-force novel about modernity and mortality. It is also the second DeLillo book I've read (Mao II being the first). It's amazing to realize this novel was published in 1985 given that it feels like a book spawned out of the internet age. The front flap bills it as 'A brilliant satire of mass culture and the numbing effects of technology", but who other than maybe Bill Gates and the dude who invented the VCR was numbed by technology way back in '85? DeLillo clearly has a knack for predicting trends well ahead of their time. Reading back through my old review of Mao II (published in '91) I was reminded of that book's allusions to terrorism and how shockingly current I found it to be 14 years after its release. Impressive stuff and great literature to boot.

New York Times book review
Wikipedia entry

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Jesus Camp

Film #11 of '07 was Jesus Camp.

From the in that case sign me up department: "You can learn as much about the Catholic Church from Nacho Libre as you can learn about evangelicalism from Jesus Camp"-- Ted Haggard

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: Scariest movie I've seen in a long time.
RIYL: Hell House, Children of the Corn, Oscar award nominated documentaries

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reno 911: Miami

Film #10 of '07 was Reno 911: Miami.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: Straight-forward adaptation of the TV series ends up feeling like a funny episode stretched a bit too long. Does have quality appearances by UCB's Ian Roberts and Patton Oswalt though!
RIYL: Cops in short shorts. Improv Cops

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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I Love You More Than You Know

Book #6 on my list this year was Jonathan Ames' I Love You More Than You Know, a collection of essays published between 1998 and 2005.

This is a anthology that's very hit-or-miss. There are a few great pieces like the superb "Everybody Dies in Memphis" (previously published in The Insomniac Reader) and "I Called Myself El Cid", but there are also some self-absorbed clunkers like "'Tis the Season for Halitosis" and "My Wiener is Damaged". Taken on the whole it's a decent read although I found it a bit disappointing in comparison to the other Ames works I've read.

I do have to give Ames kudos though for this hilarious insight addressing the current plethora of Jonathan writers, a coincendence that I'm sure has thrown more people than just me for a loop:

"So I've destroyed my name with the things I've written, and what's made it worse is that there are so many young writers named Jonathan, with whom by comparison I suffer terribly, furthering the damage I've already done to myself. There's Franzen, Lethem, Dee, a Brit named Coe, and this new young writer Safran Foer...I have to say with all these Jonathans running around, it's like we're the Brothers Karamazov, and I see myself as the sickly, subnormal brother who is always wandering off into the black Russian forest and is found screwing sap holes in trees." -- Jonathan Ames "Self-Sentenced My Life as a Writer the Last Few Years"

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