Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Chair full of Bowlies

I was watching Morning Joe (on MSNBC) a few minutes ago, waiting for a computer to open up. Why would I do this when I loathe virtually all political talk shows, especially the morning ones? I'm not entirely sure. Sometimes I also watch CNN's Morning Edition or FOX and Friends for a few minutes. I think it's because of self-loathing on my part.

It might also be because of Mika Brzezinski. The woman just forever pisses me off. I don't ever agree with the Scarborough guy on anything, but he at least comes off as reasonable and affable. Not Mika. She's one angry dame, and there is nothing more infuriating than righteous anger fueled by abject ignorance.

Anyway, just now, I was watching the predictable Rush to Blame about the failed bailout vote. Shockingly, CNN and MSNBC blame Republicans in general (and Bush and McCain specifically), while FOX will blame Pelosi.

(I didn't actually see Fox, but I'd stake my life on this. And, to be fair, Pelosi took some hits on MSNBC, but only so that they could blame Republicans for being so small-minded because of her speech. Yeah, that was what actually happened. They went in there ready to vote for the bill--totally ignoring the 100-to-1 calls and emails against from voters--but then got their feelings hurt. Hey: I hate Republicans and Democrats, and would destroy them both if I could, but give me a break. That's the story you're going to go with? Sadly, watch the Left believe this, just like the Right will believe it was an inside job by Pelosi. Sigh.)

ANYWAY, the reason I am writing this post is because the panel was talking to some Lefty, hitting hard about the market tumble yesterday. The guy pointed out that the market lost 1.2 trillion dollars, or as Joe put it, twice as much as the 700 billion bailout would have cost. (Yeah, I saw the math mistake too. Ignore it and keep reading for the big finish.)

The idea that the bailout would have been (ahem) 500 billion dollars cheaper than what the market lost is so ludicrous as to ALMOST be beyond belief. I have to assume that MSNBC thinks its viewers are that dumb. Hell, maybe they believe it.

But numbers don't lie, Hyperion!

Right. They don't. But without interpretation, they can be meaningless. The spin on MSNBC (and, I'm sure, other places by tonight), is akin to the following:

You walk into the store, and see a sweet overstuffed chair you have had your eyes on. The chair sells for $600, none of which you don't have. However, for some reason it is selling for 50% off!

What do you do? You buy the chair the chair. How do you pay for it? WITH THE THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS YOU JUST SAVED!

Some of you are shaking your head right now. Some of you are trying to do math. Sadly, others are wondering where they can go get that sweet chair!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Conversation with Tracy Lynn

The following is an actual GMail Chat conversation with Tracy Lynn of Kaply Inc. I have not edited it in any way. I don't even know where to begin analyzing it. I have met quite a few bad compliment-takers in my day, but Tracy Lynn takes the cake.

9:13 PM me: TL,
Tracy: Hey, H
9:14 PM me: I have been under limited internet access lately, but one thing I have been doing is pulling up various pages when I had the laptop online, to read back at home
one of them was yours
it doesn't allow me to comment, but I have been following, best I can
And I wanted to say that I am impressed with your writing. I think it's some of the best you've done
9:15 PM Tracy: Thanks sweetie. I am doing better today, but laying low for the weekend
me: I understand
I also wanted to say:
when I was going through columns 400-500, for a recent column, this included all the askhats. some of them blew me away with how good they are. I am proud that I got to do that with you, and you should be too
9:16 PM Tracy: If you are thinking of killing yourself I am going to be VERY ANGRY
9:17 PM And I am very proud of those, as well
Tracy: Duh
I've been peeing out my ass for a week
me: can I print this last exchange in my blog?
Tracy: Yes
9:18 PM me: swagina!
Tracy: Is that your new word?
Because I hate it
me: I've had it for awhile
it's not a bad word, but it sounds like a portmanteau
Tracy: No it doesn't.
me: yeah it does
Tracy: Portmanteau sounds like portmanteau
9:19 PM me: don't be a dork
Tracy: Swagina sounds like when you tried to get me to say mango all the time
don't hate on mango
me: I like taking "Sweet" and adding it to another word, in portmanteau fashion
me: maybe Switoris?
9:20 PM Tracy: NO
It makes you sound like you are 13
me: Swacylynn
Tracy: I officially give up
me: Swinja!
Tracy: Dude, that is just sad
9:21 PM Like your lesbian bacon fixation
me: you words can't hurt me (sniff sniff)
Tracy: They can if I back them up with a tit punch\
Or a stick
9:22 PM me: you sound like my last date
Tracy: Now we have entered the realm of outright delusion
You did not have a date
9:23 PM me: boy, you really know how to perk a guy up, huh?
Tracy: Yeah, I'm afreaid that realists make the worst cheer mongers
9:24 PM me: trudat
me: that should be your new motto
9:25 PM Tracy: Dude, I think of so much shit that I am changing the about me every five minutes these days
me: I'll make it my new motto in honor of you. Getting tired of Nietzsche anyway
Tracy: Nietzsche was an asshat
me: there
9:26 PM stay swangry, okay?
Tracy: A cretinous twat
Nietzsche, not you, at the moment anyway
me: I know
Tracy: Have a good weekend


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Best Joke I've come up with this week

What did one African American blood-sucking demon hog say to the other?

(answer in comments. I promise this isn't a racist joke.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shimmering Sadness

Once upon a time her scent assaulted;

Now Sadness shimmers off her body in waves.
Her eyes see no sight to comfort,
Her lips speak no sound to heal.
Her skin seals her together,
Stopping the exsanguination of sorrow
While her soul splits at the seams.

Sadness is not learned;
It is earned.

Uncle Miltie and the Feral Dogs

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it helps you look for it in a lot more places."
~Milton Berle

I have to confess I hadn't quite gotten into the spirit of Fantasy Football this year. It's not a hangover from my '07 end of the Season Debacle; it's merely that I've been concentrating on other things, and preoccupied. However, last night something happened to get me into the swing of things.

As luck would have it, for the first time since the draft started Monday, 11 (of the 12) of us are all online at once. Sadly, the 12th guy was the one whose turn it was, so we're all kind of sitting there twiddling our thumbs.

One guy--I'll call him "Chevy,"--quips that it sure seems slow this year. (When I say quips, I mean writes on the Live Draft Message Board. You have to imagine a fast-moving space where 12 guys regularly trash each other. In fact, let that be your warning for the rest of what I'm about to reveal.)

Anyway, I shoot back at Chevrolet that maybe it's not the Draft that's slow, but him. Why do I do this? It's the Message Board, baby. (Also: Chevy made fun of my team last year.)

I then go for the double joke, a Hyperion Classic. "Just kidding," I say, then stick the knife back in. "Actually, from every woman and feral dog I talk to, you're not slow at all. They say you're quite fast on the trigger."

Laughs all around.

(If you don't know what that means, I'm not explaining it. Well, okay. Try here.)

Chevy's a pretty good sport, and he chimes in that he might name his team "Feral Dogs" for this season. Then "Endcat" pops up to ask how, logically, Chevy could have domesticated dogs yet they are still feral. (It's like he was setting me up, although I swear we didn't plan it.)

I jump right back in. "They're feral because Chevy hasn't taught them to come yet."

Okay, so we're 12 years old. It's still pretty hilarious.

In case you're interested, as of Round 9 this is my team so far:

Tom Brady QB NWE

Joseph Addai RB IND

Adrian Peterson RB MIN

Kevin Curtis WR PHI

Jerricho Cotchery WR NYJ
Santonio Holmes WR PIT
Vernon Davis TE SFO

Jason Taylor DL WAS

Antonio Cromartie DB SDG

My 5th Rounder Curtis is already hurt, forcing me to take a 3rd WR early, which means I few defensive players so far, putting me behind the 8-ball, but whatcha gonna do?

My team for the Draft is "Uncle Miltie," which I may or may not keep for the season. Uncle Miltie is of course Milton Berle, early TV star and comedian. The reason I chose this name is because of how dominant my team was last year, and my plans to switch things up.

This goes back to Milton Berle. Besides being a legendary performer, Milton was also legendary for being...um, blessed by God. Even his Wikipedia page mentions it!

Berle was also famous within show business for the rumored size of his penis. Phil Silvers once told a story about standing next to Berle at a urinal, glancing down, and quipping, "You'd better feed that thing, or it's liable to turn on you!" Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel, who had written many Friars Club jokes about Berle's penis for other comedians, described being treated to a private showing: "He just takes out this— this anaconda. He lays it on the table and I'm looking into this thing, right? I'm looking into the head of Milton Berle's dick. It was enormous. It was like a pepperoni. And he goes, 'What do you think of the boy?' And I'm looking right at it and I go, 'Oh, it's really, really nice.'" At a memorial service for Berle at the New York Friars' Club, Freddie Roman solemnly announced, "On May 1st and May 2nd, his penis will be buried."

My favorite story about Uncle Miltie's, um, blessedness involves the periodic challenges. Apparently, outside the ladies, no one ever saw the full package. It would go like this.....

Some young buck, new to Hollywood, would approach Milton Berle, and bring up the endowment, saying, ""I hear you've got the biggest dick in comedy."

And Miltie would say back to him, "Well, I'm a modest man..."

And the kid says, "Come on... we'll have a contest."

And Miltie says, "No no no..."

and the kid says, "Come on... we'll have a contest..."

And Miltie says, "Kid, gimme a break."

and the kid says, "You chicken, Miltie? I'll whip out mine and you whip out yours and we'll see whose is bigger! Come on!"

and Miltie smiles and says, "Fine. But I'm only taking out enough to win."

That's my plan for Fantasy Football. No more crushing teams by 40, making them look horrible. My new plan is to bench my starters on Monday Nights, and tantalize my opponent that maybe they have a chance, while knowing they don't. In other words, I plan on doing just enough to win.

August 22, 2008

Oh, Miltie!
Align Right

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When We Two Parted

When We Two Parted
by George Gordon, Lord Byron

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shrudder comes o'er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee so well--
Long, long I shall rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
With silence and tears.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When I Have Fears

Sometimes John Keats really nails it. (BTW, if you're wondering how the horse connects, think about what kind of horse it is.

When I Have Fears
John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

2008 Fantasy Football Lineup

It's September, which means another fantasy football season. Every year I plan on escaping, but fantasy football is much like the Mafia: "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in." I mean, our fantasy football league contains two twin brothers and their father, and they have a set of (very attractive) twin sisters. This means every lewd joke is three for the price of one. You cannot beat that, people!

This year we had a standard draft (where you get 12 hours per pick, but are encouraged to go faster.) I guess this was in response to last year, which didn't go so well. (You will no doubt recall me writing about the debacle that resulted in picking 4 Linebackers by Round 10.) I thought a few small changes would have allowed the Live Draft to continue, but maybe it was just as well.

Unfortunately, due to my popularity with the ladies (and my Shirt Tales Fan Fiction Forum Moderator commitments), I was not able to adequately prepare for this year's draft. See, that's the trap of the 12 hour picks. You figure, "Oh, I can just do my research whenever it's my turn." Sadly, the Tyranny of the Urgent always seems to intervene, not to mention the fact that 11 out of the 12 guys sleep at night, which means the draft is silent, when I could be picking like crazy. This puts me under even more pressure to get up every few hours and check to see when I'm up. (And don't even get me started about the abomination of the Auto Picker.)

Case in point: We play in an IDP league, which means we pick Defensive players as well as offense. Generally defensive scoring is a crapshoot, and (more importantly), the leaders tend to score right around each other, so with a few exceptions, picking defense early is not seen as too bright. However, I have this whole separation theory. The way I see it, if (say), the top Defensive Lineman (DL) is going to score 25 more points than the next DL down the list, it would be worth it to take him, even if DLs score less overall than Wide Receivers. (WR) It's about that separation.

But I did so badly! I picked up Antonio Comarte in like the Sixth Round! What was I thinking? Defensive Backs (DBs) are notorously hard to predict scoring, because Interceptions are not steady stats. Then, I wanted a top DL. However, instead of picking the guy I think is set for a monster year, Mario Williams, I pick Jason Taylor. Every year up until now Taylor would be a great early pick, but with his hold out, Dancing with the Stars and advancing age, it's more of a risk. THEN THE BASTARD GOES OUT AND GETS HURT IN THE FIRST GAME!!

Speaking of getting hurt: in the 4th Round I knew I had to take a WR. The sad secret (that no one will admit) is that we're all using the same 4 or 5 sources for our information. This means that early on, there is not much discrepency. Also, Fantasy Football is all about trends, and this year the big trend is to take WRs earlier than normal. Running Backs (RBs) have always been tantamount, with conventional wisdom being that most WRs score so similarly that it doesn't really matter who you get after the top couple. Maybe not any more.

As I wrote last year, we have a "Keeper" league. This means that each season we can keep up to three people. I've always been against the Keeper concept, and still am, but lately it's been in my favor. Two years ago I drafted Tom Brady too early, but last year it really paid off. I also drafted Joseph Addai too early (in part on the advice of Wordnerd), partly because I was looking to the future. And last year I drafted Adrian Peterson too early. Of course, I didn't have to wait a year for him to pay off.

The end result is, I have thee Keepers (QB Tom Brady, RB Joseph Addai, RB Adrian Peterson) who would go in the first ten of any start-from-scratch draft in the country. That's pretty sweet.

But there are tradeoffs. Every keeper loses an early draft pick, which means I'm not selecting until the 4th round. the big-name WRs were all keepers, and several others were drafted early, which means if I wanted a quality guy I had to draft early. I took Santonio Holmes with my 4th Round pick, and then Kevin Curtis with my 5th. I was unsure about that one, but the paper trail seemed tight. Of course, then he goes and gets hurt. (And don't tell me for a second it had nothing to do with me.)

After the first 7 or 8 rounds it's more of "Anybody's Guess." Even after six years most of our league is playing by ear. (And the most prepared guys are usually awful.) You take some chances, because the coolest part of Fantasy Football is drafting that Sleeper that no one has heard of who ends up being awesome. (Case in point. Last year I picked up Wes Welker UNDRAFTED. How cool is that?)

Again, though, I'm hemmed in. I took Rashard Mendenhall (RB from Pit), on the chance he pans out and Willie Parker is hurt. That's a flyer. Then I had to take Chester Taylor (RB from Min), because the one scary thing about Adrian Peterson is that he's hurt some weeks. You HAVE to have Taylor if you have Peterson, just in case. This gave me 4 RBs, which means, I notice DeShawn Foster (RB Car) still available in the 14th Round, but I couldn't pick him because our Commish Bear (or Der Furher, as I call him) has a 4 RB limit. The hell!

One other dilemma. I get to the 18th Round, my pick coming up. Just then news comes across the wires that Michael Strahan (DL) is thinking about coming out of retirement. Strahan is always a huge scorer. Taylor is hurt, and my other DL Robert Mathis is hurt, which means that Strahan could really help. Except: he's retired! Do I take the chance he comes out of retirement?

I did.

And, of coruse, he stayed retired. Oh well.

As soon as the draft was over I dropped him and picked up Shawne Merriman. Merriman went undrafted because he's injired, looks like season-long. However, the idiot is determined to play. Probably break his leg in the first game, but he also scores a lot, so who knows, right?

Anyway, here's my team going into this week:

Tom Brady QB NWE
Joseph Addai RB IND
Adrian Peterson RB MIN
Santonio Holmes WR PIT
Kevin Curtis WR PHI
Antonio Cromartie DB SDG
Jason Taylor DL WAS
Rashard Mendenhall RB PIT
Chester Taylor RB MIN
Jerricho Cotchery WR NYJ
Devin Hester WR CHI
Reggie Brown WR PHI
Vernon Davis TE SFO
Josh Brown K STL
Darnell Dockett DL ARI
Robert Mathis DL IND
Mike Vrabel LB NWE
Ray Lewis LB BAL
Paul Posluszny LB BUF
Leigh Bodden DB DET
Shawne Merriman LB SDG

Obama or McCain?

Conversation I had this morning on my way home from taking my grandmother to breafast. I'm in line at the checkout stand of the dollar store.

Hippie/Redneck Cashier Woman: Who you going to vote for?

Me: (Inwardly cringing, and deciding not to launch the "Why Hyperion is Best" speech): Well, I heard that if I don't vote for Obama, I'm racist, but if I don't vote for McCain, the terrorists win. [Pause] So I figured I'd vote for them both. I think it's time the Black Terrorists had a chance to win, don't you?

Cashier (after staring at me for at least 10 seconds): Wow. You've obviously thought about this a lot more than me.

Me (deadpan): Obviously.


My Grandmother turned 81 today. I took her to breakfast to celebrate. This alone was a Herculean task, because it required me to (attempt to) sleep during the night. How do you nutcases do it?

Anyway, breakfast was quite the trip. She was in rare form, which is something else. We went to IHOP, and they brought her a chocolate pancake with ice cream AND whipped cream on it. And they sang. The IHOP staff was very nice, except they originally thought she was my mother, not my grandmother. (I don't know whether that says more about her looks or mine.)

My aunt has a birthday on the 2nd, and last night we celebrated both days in a big family get-together.

(Originally my grandfather was on the 3rd, but I found out that he was really on the 2nd, and my Grandmother told him it was on the 3rd, because she thought spreading it out evenly was better. I just think she didn't want to share.)

I had a lot of trouble getting anyone interested last night that my Grandmother, at 81, was actually 3 to the 4th. Why aren't more people excited by prime numbers? Haters.

Most people hit 1 to the 4th (=1), and quite a few hit 2 to the 4th (=16). However, 3 to the 4th is a much tougher gig. (Nobody is hitting 4 to the 4th, or as people from Bangor Maine like to call it, 2 to the 8th.) I tried explaining this to my grandmother over breakfast, but I think she was more impressed by the sausage.