Friday, December 21, 2007

New Member of the Family

In my Holiday Gift List I put a life-sized snow leopard. This was representative of all the life-sized stuffed animals I wanted. I actually made a list with my sister the other day and came up with all sorts of them. Just off the top of my head I had

Tiger, Lion, Liger, Elephant (this would be hard to do), Grizzly Bear, Jaguar, Red Wolf, Wolverine, Black Rhinoscerus, Hawk, Falcon, Gorilla, Mastiff, Chupacabra,

While I'll always love every stuffed animal I ever get, I no longer need a giant tiger, because I got one for Dinosaur Present Day (featuring T-Rex). Yay!

You can't tell from the picture how big she is, but he's huge! When I first opened the box she tried to bite me for an hour, which I don't really hold against her, as they had no raw meat or beef jerky (for preservation purposes) in the box. You wonder what these people are thinking of.

Anyway, her name is Ja'Tine. I'm still working on the spelling, but I can tell you it is pronounced zha-TEEN, with a soft j sound like you would hear in fuselage or menage a trois.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Fantasy Football - the Fantasy ends

Well, what I feared came to pass.

The snowstorm ate up the Patriots, and more importantly Tom Brady, and my team could never recover. In the back of my mind I feared this all week, and maybe that brought it to pass.

Final score: ROFLsberger 104.8 - Black Dwarves 80.8

Tom Brady averages 30 points. In this game? 1.2. If he hits his average, I win. Because Brady was down, Welker did nothing. Unrelatedly, Antonio Gates did nothing. I mean, woulda coulda shoulda, but this was only the second time all season I was below 100 points. What a time to lay an egg.

To make matters worse, I made a few remarks earlier in the week about how my opponent had not congratulated me on winning the division, instead making a few catty remarks. No big deal. So, Monday afternoon, long after our playoff game was decided, as I was wallowing in my misery, he writes this post on the Message Board.


This is long overdue, but congratulations on winning the division.


All that's left is to play Ferret Freedom Alliance for 3rd place. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg

1951 - 2007

My first introduction to Dan Fogelberg came at my aunt’s wedding. One of my aunt’s friends—who was a dead ringer for Morticia Addams—was there to sing. Not only was she beautiful, but she could sing. The song she sang was “Longer Than.” However, because of some sort of timing glitch, when she was done they still weren’t ready for the wedding to start, so Morticia ended up singing the song several times. I remember thinking it funny at first, but then (having nothing else to do), I started listening to the lyrics. It really is a great wedding song.

Longer than, There’ve been fishes in the oceans
Higher than, any bird ever flew
Longer than, there’ve been stars up in the heavens
I’ve been in love with you

The imagery is simple and majestic, which is the way the music works too. The song should be nine kinds of cheesy but somehow never is.

A few years later, I somehow got locked into “Leader of the Band.” It’s funny how the more specific a story is the more it relates to people. None of the details correlated to my life yet I still felt like crying every time it would come on. I don’t know why, but even today, I would get choked up in a car if “Leader of the Band” came on the radio. Kids never know how to tell their parents what they REALLY want to say, and to see Dan get it right was an inspiring thing. There are so many great lines in the song, but this may be my favorite stanza:

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

A “Thundering velvet hand.” That’s just pure poetry. I’m not sure there is a more emotional song in the world to me.

Except maybe “Same Old Lang Syne.” In my defense, this one is more the circumstances. It was 1995, and I had to drop out of college. I was confused, not understanding what was happening, and generally a wreck. I remember as if it were yesterday packing up my last bag and walking out of my dorm room to get in a friend’s car to head to the airport. On the radio was Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne.”

In the song he runs into an old flame on Christmas Eve and they spend the evening in his car, catching up over a few drinks. It’s a beautiful song and yet it’s so sad, and there is something almost pathetic about the two. They both have lives, they are not looking to trade them to recapture that “spark” they once had, and yet….

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

I don’t even know how to describe it, although I understand a bit what he’s talking about. It’s like this feeling that there should have been more, that the past can’t have meant that much at one point and now just fumbles through your fingers. Can our lives have been that meaningless that twenty years later a great love can have no more effect on us than a sad faint longing?

But I digress. I remember keenly the very last line, because it happened literally as I was walking out the door of my dorm room, which for all I knew could have been for the last time.

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain –

At that moment, a slow sultry saxophone comes on to play the familiar notes of “Auld Lang Syne.” It is beautiful, poignant and very sad, which fits the song, Fogelberg’s music, and definitely my life at that moment. As long as I live I do not know if I will ever come up with as an effortlessly melancholy line as “the song turned into rain.”

Music should not be all doom and gloom, but sometimes we need the bittersweet sadness, and for those times in my life, I am thankful for Dan Fogelberg. Rest in Peace, Dan, and may you eventually find cheer.

[If you would like to hear these three songs, I have the videos posted over on Monkey Barn here.]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fantasy Football - the Playoffs begin

I have not updated Fantasy football in awhile.

Basically, I won the final game, thus winning my division. Of course, for all practical purposes the game did not matter. I was playing a team (ROFLsberger) with the same record going in (10-3), and we had the best records in the league by at least 2 games. No matter what happened in this game, we were both making the playoffs. Moreover, because the loser couldn't win the division, he would automatically get the wildcard slot. We have 3 divisions, and in the playoffs it looks like this:

Team #1 vs. Team #4
Team #2 vs. Team #3

Teams 1, 2, and 3 are made up of the three division winners. Meaning: We were destined to play each other two weeks in a row no matter what, as the winner would automatically be the league's best team, and the loser would get the wildcard.

Still, the team owner was quite catting and wouldn't congratulate me on the victory. Will the gods care? We'll see.

Procuring my victory (which, by the way, I won 125.3 to 113.2), I managed to set some other records too. I had the highest score in the league this year by 165 points. I won't bore you with all the statistical analysis from previous seasons, but suffice it to say that's a giant margin. Additionally, my 1656.9 points for the season (a 118.35 avg.) was 85.7 points more than anyone has ever scored during a regular season ever in the history of our league.

You'd think this would be worth a few oohs and ahhs from the league, but so far just hatred.

The worst part? It all might come for naught. The way playoffs work, you have one bad season and you're done. My entire mostly magical season, full of set records and so forth, will mean nothing if I happen to lose to ROFLsberger this weekend. Worse: I could score the best ever and still lose, as I cannot control what his squad does. Sometimes it's just a guy's week.

But I'm hoping not. I really want to beat this guy, and vanquish his gloating ass.

His big scorer is Matt Hasselback, QB for Seattle, so if you want to do voodoo, start with him. then move on to RB Marshawn Lynch, WRs Plaxico Burress, Reggie Wayne and Tory Holt and TE Jason Whitten.

I should know by Monday where I stand. I'm actually nervous.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Daemon?

I went to New Line's site ( and navigated to the Golden Compass site, and then to Daemons. They allow you to take a short quiz to "determine your daemon." I was shocked with the results; I wanted a female tiger. However, they give you the option to let friends/enemies comment on it for 12 days, so I'm putting up my Daemon, Suidan the crow, in hopes that people will disagree, or maybe that's who I'd really have. (If you don't know anything about daemons, don't worry. Just see if the animal fits what you know about me.)

EDIT: For some reason it doesn't show up, but in the bottom right hand corner is a brown blob. After you have rated the trait, click in that brown blob and it will take you to the next one.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fantasy Football update - Yikes!

I thought I was actually going to have an easy victory this week, but going into Monday Night Football, I'm 35.3 points behind! How did that happen?

The King of Jellies leads me 112.4 - 77.1 (aren't you glad I didn't make you do the math?)

Tonight he has Defensive Lineman (DL) Terrell Suggs playing for Baltimore.

I have a DL too: Kelly Gregg (also for Baltimore). Luckily, I also have Tom Brady (QB) and Wes Welker (WR) from New England.

Basically, I need the DLs to cancel each other out, while the Brady/Welker combo scores 36 points. This is not likely, but it's not impossible, either.

So start praying!

By the way, the team breathing down my game (ROFLsberger) already won their game, so if I don't win I will be tied for the best record going into next week against him. I desperately want to win my division!

Holiday Gift List

My sister asked me last night what I wanted for Festivus/Christmas/Hannakkuh/Kwaanza/Dinosaur Present Day (Featuring T-Rex)/Winter Soltice this year. (Not to mention the anniversary of my birth, on the 31st of this month.)

I thought about it and wrote some stuff down, a partial list. I feel uncomfortable writing lists because I wish people wouldn't spend so much money on presents. I would be happy if everyone got just one present for Christmas. If we were conditioned to expect that, I think we'd enjoy it more. But whatever. If people ARE going to buy me gifts, they might as well have some clue what I like, right? And even if they are not, maybe they get some ideas for people they care about.

Anyway, below is a partial list, because some of those people might be you! I'll add to if if/when I think of anything.

Hyperion's Gift List

Wireless earphones (so I can watch TV with my fans on and not disturb anyone)
Digital pen that connects to computer, so I can write my book in pen, or at least feel like I am. (here is their website:
Metal pen (like this one)
Beef Jerky (duh)
This Shirt (Just kidding. It would be sweet, though, huh?)
Life-sized Snow Leopard
Sandals from zappos (they don't sell nike, but what they do have is so amazing. you should buy all your loved ones things from zappos. You know they have free overnight shipping, right? They rock. I'm going to tell them to hire me to be a pitch-man.)
Something of the Month Club - I just like the idea of getting something each month the whole year....Anything! (Is there a beef jerky of the month club? I'm googling right now.....there is! But it's so freaking expensive! These people are MONSTERS!)

This makes me wonder...are there "of the month club" websites? Yes! I just found this one: The coolest look like the Dinner/Movie of the month. Then I just found Delightful Deliveries. They are pushing alcohol, fruit and barbecue sauce. Who wants 12 different kinds of barbecue sauce? I have to say, these things look like rip-offs, made for people trying to be trendy or who live in Oakville. On second thought, I'm going to have to scratch this request.

I'm moving on to DVDs (obviously the movies in widescreen)
TROY (The new Director's Cut)
BEN-HUR (The new edition, with the commentaries and features)

House, Seasons 1-3
Carnivale, Seasons 1-2
Deadwood, Seasons 1-3
The Wire, Seasons 2-4 (own 1)
Lost, Seasons 1-3
Arrested Development, Seasons 2-3 (own 1)
Simpsons, Any Season But #8
Dick Van Dyke Show, Seasons 1-5
My So Called Life, Season 1

I have pretty awesome taste, huh?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Journalism is a proud profession

There is a war raging in Iraq, and Afghanistan increasingly becomes a problem. The border is an issue, no matter what side of the debate you are on. The weak dollar, the stock market correction, instability in Pakistan, you name it, there are many stories out there.

So what does my local paper choose to make their front page story? It's Sunday, which means they've had time to work on this story, to develop it, highlighting what they will. Is it a thought piece on the Environment? No. The soldiers (we are right next to Fort Benning) perhaps away from their families this Christmas? No. Any of the things I mentioned above? The political race for president? No and no.

What, then?

Top story was a in-depth report on what to look for when buying a large-screen tv. Plasma vs. LCD, 720 vs. 1080 (and don't forget 1080i vs. 1080p), and of course don't forget which DVD player to get too: HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

What's worse, I read the article. I, who could not buy a TV Guide if my life depended on it, read about big-screen televisions.

I suck.

The paper sucks.

This whole country sucks.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lost opportunities

I thought of this amazing idea the other day, involving strippers and porn stars, and even though it's not the least bit dirty, I don't think I can post it here.

But you should know that if I could....I would.