Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Incoherent Rambling About the Importance of Tea and Trains

I'm drinking large quantities of tea this week. I'm trying to cut back on my coffee because, well, I'm going to have to have my first ulcer sponsored by Folger's. But it's not like I'm cutting back on caffeine, because that is just crazy talk. So I've been dipping into my stores of Earl Grey tea.

I picked up the tea habit when I lived in England. Any country which stops for an afternoon snack is my kind of place. Even better than the tea is the beer. My health club in England had a pub inside. So I could walk on the treadmill and then grab a pint to cool down. Great country.

The great thing about tea is that is both loaded with caffeine, but it is also used to calm the nerves. Which leads me to my misadventures on the London Underground. Our train was puling into Paddington Station, and apparently our conductor was scared by a bear in his rain slicker or something because he failed to hit the brakes. Normally, this would not be much of a problem, as I would have just missed my stopped. But Paddington is a terminus stop for the particular Brit Rail train I was on. So there weren't any tracks to continue on and our train was instead stopped by those barrier things which are, quite frankly, ill-equipped to stop a train.

So our train smashed into the barriers, lifting the train off of the track. We then came to a full and complete stop. And in typical understated British fashion, the Brit Rail officials told us to "mind the gap". Which was hard not to mind, since our particular car was a good five feet from the platform. That's a little more than a gap.

Long(er) stroy short, we're in the hospital, enjoying the very best that socialized medicine has to offer* when my girlfriend decides to finally realize she was in a train derailment and that now would be a good time to wig out. If this were to happen in an American hospital, they would have pumped her full of drugs. Not the Brits. They brought tea.

And not just tea in a styrofoam cup. We're talking the whole kit and caboodle. They brought the pot, two cups, a bowl of sugar, a little thing of milk, everything. All of it was actual china and they gave us real silverware. I even got a scone out of the deal. And it worked. She calmed down right away and we had a delightful cup of tea in the hospital.

The moral here is that you shouldn't screw with the Brits and their tea. Tea is magic.

*Note From Management - While I don't want to sound like a commie, I have to admit all of my experiences with socialized medicine (of the British vintage) was truly top notch. I've been in all sorts of hospitals form all sorts of reasons, and this was one of the most pleasant experiences I have ever had in one. OK, so they cured a mild case of shock with a pot of tea, but the point is that it worked. Equally surprising is that the best dentist I ever had was the one I had in England. In fact, he's the one who fixed my tooth on a day's notice when it got knocked out in the Louvre (well, only the top half of my tooth). Because I look at art pretty damn aggressively. And I am so prone to injury that I can actually need medical attention after looking at the Venus de Milo.

All of it completely paid for by British tax dollars. So my medical care was free to me. I fully endorse socialized health benefits that someone else pays for.

Who's A Poseur?

The name of the company of on my Conflicts of Law exam? Pozer. We've made the big time, baby. I'm getting shout-outs on exams! And if anyone in the class accidently spelled the company name with an "s", I'm taking full credit for that. I rock the house, yo.

It's the little things which make me happy. Back to that studying thing. Still two more exams before I'm a 3L.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Gay Bands

Apparently, I'm gay. And not just a little gay, but Boy George making out with Nathan Lane gay. Because the Love My Way ministries, a delightful little site dedicated to reforming homosexuals, has listed the Bands That Make You Gay. I'm dead serious. Here's some highlights from the list:

Cole Porter
The Grateful Dead
The Doors
Sufjan Stevens
The Pet Shop Boys
Judas Priest
The Village People
The Rolling Stones
David Bowie
Ani DiFranco
John Mayer
The Indigo Girls
Velvet Underground
Elton John
Barry Manilow
Indigo Girls (Listed twice! I swear! That's how gay they make you!)
Melissa Etheridge
Boy George*
Wilson Phillips
Ted Nugent
Frank Sinatra
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Elton John (Also listed twice!)

I'm screwed. And this doesn't even include bands they've never heard of. Though I find the inclusion of Frank Sinatra to be absolutely fantastic. I think Old Blue Eyes is getting ready to rise from the dead to kick someone's ass.

My favorite part of the site is that they quote Oscar Wilde and describe him as a "reformed homosexual." If by reformed you mean, living out his last years at L'Hotel in Paris having gay sex with as many boys as he could before he died of meningitis, then yes, he was reformed. I'd have some other words for it, and "reformed" is not among them.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Follow Up to the Duke Story

The ACC admitted its error yesterday

The league acknowledges that a timing error was made in not starting the game clock at the correct time," said Clougherty, adding the situation was resolved internally but did not elaborate.

What's left unsaid is that "resolved internally" means the officials were given a raise and assigned to every Duke game in the future. Clemson doesn't get an apology, but they are rumored to have received a Dick Vitale motivational video.

SNAFU Saturday

I didn't have an exam today, but I was at the school touching up my Fed Courts outline (okay I'm writing it for the first time... okay? You happy? I procrastinated). So I did get to listen to the whining, er, legitimate complaints of the students taking exams today. And let me respond to their complaints.

In the first place, I'm sure you enjoyed the half hour break. And two, that's why you should hand write exams. Never trust the computer network. Ever. Computers exists to crush your spirit and make you miss deadlines.

Those nuggets were good, too. Sorry about that. Who needs to spend the entire four hours on the FedTax exam anyway? I thought that class was cake. /SarcasmOFF

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Hate Duke

Yet another reason to hate Duke.

Are you kidding me? And has anyone checked on Jude? Has his head exploded? Did he just go outside and try and find someone wearing a Duke shirt and just beat the crap out of the them? Because he really should.

In order to get his blood pressure even higher, here is "classy" Coach K's postgame comment:

"I heard the television guys were trying to make something out of it, but that's what television guys do I guess."

If you see a guy in a Clemson shirt beating the crap out of me tommorrow for no reason, it's probably becaue I posted that link.

Kevin Bacon Is The Center Of The Universe

We were trying to figure out Harrison Ford’s Bacon Number over lunch, and I linked him in two steps through the cunning use of director Ron Howard. Which some people thought was cheating, as we should be limited to actor’s only. I went looking for a rules interpretation on the internet, and stumbled upon what can only be described as the Greatest Website Ever.

The Oracle of Bacon spits out the Bacon Number (and the correct chain) of any actor listed in the imdb. Creepily enough, just about everyone has a Bacon Number of two. Here’s a very incomplete list:

Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
Joan Crawford
John Lee Hooker
Charlie Chaplin
Flavor Flav
Eddie Izzard
Emmanuel Lewis (linked through Erik Estrada!)
Tupac Shakur
Tina Yothers
Dee Dee Ramone
James Dean
Scott Baio
Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny)
Britney Spears
Lance Armstrong
Jim Henson

You get the point. When you can get to Bacon in two from ex-presidents, athletes, rappers, and long since dead actresses… well, seemingly everyone with a modicrum of fame has a number of two. But Shakira has a Bacon Number of four. It’s the highest I’ve found* of anyone I’ve heard of.

*Ed Note – Actually, Matt found it. The highest I found was Bill Hicks and Muddy Watters at three (which led to a spree of entering dead comedians and blues musicians without luck of cracking three - or having a number of infinity because they never appeared in a movie - damn you, Little Walter). And I’d like to point out my very own Bacon Number is a two as well. My ex-mother-in-law worked on the movie Diner, which starred Kevin Bacon. Which means, if you’re reading this, congratulations! You have a Bacon Number of three!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Watergate Mastermind Shuffles Off The Mortal Coil

E. Howard Hunt died today. And my mom taught me not to speak ill of the dead, but I never much listened to her anyway, so let's make fun of the guy who thought up the Watergate burglary, the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, and the Bay of Pigs of invasion. All of these events are historically notable for the same two reasons:

1) They were really scummy things to do.
2) They didn't work.

So not only was Hunt a scumbag of the highest order, he wasn't even very good at it. I mean, no one fucks with G. Gordon Liddy. Besides, he has a really funny radio show.

Here's my favorite part of the story in the Washington Post, a paper kind of familiar with Watergate, is this quote from Hunt:

"And the idea was to look at the books, photograph them, in and out, and that's it. It didn't seem like such a deal to me. You know, I'd been doing that stuff for years, a 'black-bag job' into other embassies. But you know, I didn't have skilled people."

There's so much here to find reprehensible. The total lack of shame. A pretty bent moral compass. The casual confession he's broken the law plenty of times. And, of course, his willingness to blame others. Liddy wouldn't have blamed his team, he would willingly take a bullet. Which is why he's crazy.

You know, they don't make political scumbags like this anymore.

Nominations and Crushing Defeat

The nominations come out today! No, not for the Oscars, but the far more culturally relevant Bloggies. They haven't gotten off their asses and updated their site today, but the noms are supposed to be out today. We here at Poseur HQ have about as much chance of winning a Bloggie as an Oscar (though I did nominate Osler's Razor for best new blog). But instead of getting a worthless statue, the Bloggie winner gets 2007 cents.

And who doesn't want the money to buy a new DVD?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Radio, Video Games, Pop Culture, and Civility

Radio sucks. They play a lot of crappy songs over and over again, the DJs are about the most irritating people on the planet, and it seems every show is nationally syndicated anyway so you aren't getting local flavor.

But at least, most of the time, radio doesn't kill you.

When Strange died Jan. 12 of water intoxication after a morning radio stunt on Sacramento station KDND went wrong, it sent a jolt through the industry. And this may not get resolved with a radio network issuing an apology and offering cash to make everything go away.

"There isn't going to be a settlement," says Roger Dreyer, the Sacramento attorney who is handling a wrongful death lawsuit for Strange's husband and three children. "There's going to be a venting in a public forum. That's what we want, and that's what the family wants."

One must assume, however, that it is not what the large corporations that own most of the radio stations in this country want. The water-drinking stunt isn't out of the ordinary. In fact, local station KSAN 107.7 has done it more than once -- although with supervision and planning.

By the way, she died over a Wii. Now, I know a lot of you are big video game fans and really want to get your hands on a Wii. But let's try not to literally kill ourselves trying to get one. No video game is that cool.

Dreyer, the attorney, is going all out. He's not just taking on the radio station, but our culture and its loss of civiliy.

"This gives us a forum to affect change on a national level," he says. "To really do something about this garbage."

Does our culture need this kick in the pants? Maybe we do live in a crude culture of Girls Gone Wild, Fear Factor, and Howard Stern. But when was this mythical time when our culture wasn't somehow flawed? People point to the 1950s as a time of civility, and while Ricky and Lucy were sleeping in separate beds on TV, the KKK was lynching people based on the color of their skin. If I have to choose between a little bit of crudeness in pop culture in order to gain civil rights for minorities and equal pay for women, that's a pretty small price to pay.

Is it garbage? Sure. I find the mean-spiritedness of a lot of our pop culture to be almost unbearable. But I don't kid myself there was some golden age of civility. And we do live in an era of almost unprecedented equality and tolerance. Which isn't perfect, but at least we're trying.

What I'm saying is, at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade our culture for anything. But I still think they should sue that radio station. Because any program named "The Morning Zoo" is obviously evil.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yankee-ness Continued

In order to show I'm a fair and reasonable guy, I will present the reasons I am a Yankee. First, I must object to Matt's definition of "Yankee" as "anyone not from Texas". Texas is barely a Southern state. Texas is its own unique entity, outside of the great Yankee/Southerner debate. For godsakes, Texas has a rivalry with Oklahoma, which is distinctly not Southern. I freely admit to not being Texan. Just because Matt is insane, it does not mean all non-Texans are Yankees. Once again, talk to someone from South Carolina. Or Georgia. Or Mississippi. Or, ya know, a state with an SEC school.

So, the facts supporting my Yankee-ness:
- I played lacrosse in college, a pretty damn Yankee sport. The only Yankee-ier sport is hockey, and, well, I played that too. Dammit.
- OK, the Mason-Dixon Line thing is sort of outdated. Northern Virginia is decidedly Yankee, as is Florida (which has apparently been conquered by Michigan). The Maryland eastern shore is very southern, but I'm not from there. Central Maryland kind of swings both ways.
- Philly cheesesteak subs. And decent pizza.
- My family always had sweet potato pie, but I don't eat it. I'm just not a fan.
- I have a complete inability to say "howdy". And I've tried.
- That baseball obsession. Baseball is sort of the college football of the Northeast. At least I hate the Yankees. And the Red Sox.
- I talk fast. And without a drawl. Very unsouthern.
- The Reverend's got a good point about the guns. I don't own a gun. I have never fired a gun. I don't hunt or fish, either. Actually, I'm about un-outdoorsy as they come.
- I don't know a thing about cars.
- The whole punk/indie rock thing is decidedly non-Southern. OK, there's Austin, but most bands I listen to do not hail from the South. I don't listen to country music.
- I'm not sure that I'm stayin'.


There’s been some questioning of my heritage recently, both on this blog and in class. Hell, just about everywhere. I am referring to this lie that I am a Yankee. First off, I don’t think Texans are in any position to judge Southerner/Yankee as they sort of break people up into the groups Texan and not Texan. And I am clearly not a Texan. Yankee is not default for every person not from Texas.

Seriously. Ask someone from South Carolina.

So here are my defenses of why I am not a Yankee:

- I was born and raised south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I have never lived north of the line. And, for the record, it is the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is not, as most Texans believe, I-30.
- We have sweet potato pie with every major holiday dinner. Yankees don’t do that.
- Speaking of which, I know the difference between dinner and supper.
- There is a saying explaining why the children of Yankees living in the south are not Southerners: “If a cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn’t call them biscuits.” The inverse of this must also be true. My parents are both from Louisiana as is my whole family. I’m just saying, family ties count.
- I follow college football recruiting. And I know there are only three true sports: football, football recruiting, and spring football.
- I have a favorite Confederate general (Longstreet).
- I do not use the word “youse”. Ever.
- I can pronounce “pecan” properly. Have you ever heard a Yankee say pecan? It makes my ears bleed. PEE-kan. Gak! It’s pi-KAHN. I feel very strongly about this.
- I know the three kings of the South: Budweiser, Elvis, and Richard Petty.
- Sweet tea.
- I’m here, ain’t I?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Not Just Rain -- FROZEN Rain

My mom called me last night to make sure I was okay. She had been watching the Weather Channel, and apparently got worried that I somehow would not survive this vicious winter storm which has consisted of, well, rain. Sure, it’s frozen rain, but it’s still rain. My car was covered in ice, but I own and ice scraper, so all the storm cost me was time.

I do firmly believe this is the worst weather on the planet, short catastrophes. And what makes it so lousy is that we were ten degrees away from beautiful. Snow is pretty. Snow is fun. Thirty degrees and wet just sucks eggs. At least I get to wear a silly hat.

And its nice to know my mom worries about me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Retirement and Punk Bands

The world no longer makes any sense. I think there is some sort of rift in the space-time continuum or something. Because I was watching TV, chilling out after a little bit of studying, and then a commercial came on for the AARP. No big deal. It's just a commercial. And there is a song playing in the background, one that I immediately recognize but it takes me a few seconds of scrolling through the mental iPod to catalog. The song was "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" by the Buzzcocks.

Let's work through this juxtaposition. The AARP is the American Association for Retired Persons. The Buzzcocks are, or were, a punk band*. The AARP is using the Buzzcocks for its advertising.

There is no God.

*Ed Note - Incidentally, the Buzzcocks were formed the same year I was born. Meaning I am just as old as the song being used in the AARP ad, as it came from their debut album. I'm going to kill myself now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Top Ten Albums

I will be getting around to my super-pretentious top albums of the year. I'm still digesting the CDs I got for Christmas, and haven't quite decided what I think. I like to clarify my thinking. But those end of the year lists have finally stopped coming in.

Here's a good compendium of all of those lists. And, thanks to someone with too much free time, there's one list from a survey sent to critics all across the country. And, he ain't kidding around. It's got 1300 albums on the list, not counting the 513 re-issues on a separate list, all sorted by demographics as well. Now I know the westerners rank the Hold Steady as #12, while the Midwest and Canada rank them #1. Here's the top ten:

1. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (1338 points in 125 votes)
2. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale (1247 points in 118 votes)
3. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America (1073 points in 95 votes)
4. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury (1057 points in 102 votes)
5. Joanna Newsom - Ys (883 points in 84 votes)
6. Bob Dylan - Modern Times (749 points in 70 votes)
7. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (623 points in 61 votes)
8. The Knife - Silent Shout (607 points in 56 votes)
9. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (588 points in 58 votes)
10. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (586 points in 54 votes)

But even better, the Onion AV Club made its annual list of the worst band names.

Here are my favorites (and no, I'm not making these up):

Genital Hercules
Urban Funk Ordinance
Guns 'N Rosa Parks
Honkeytonk Homeslice
Corpse Vomit
Lyin’ Bitch & The Restraining Orders
Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza
The Busiest Bankruptcy Lawyers In Minnesota
You Ruined Christmas

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Law Prom and The Logic Puzzle

Law prom was an event. I was there. Not much to report. I certainly didn't have as good of a time as Swanburg. Had a nice dinner, did some gambling with fake money, didn't win the drawing, and then had to clean up after.

By the way, when we have the DJ make a "please don't steal crap" announcement, we sort of mean it. I don't like being Officer Friendly, but if it ain't yours, don't take it. Didn't people ever go to kindergarten?

I didn't have nearly the great stories of a wild afterparty as some of you (and the stories have already started circulating around the campfire). The most eventful part of my night is when literally every guy at the party I was at decided to go to Scruffy's, leaving me alone with about ten beautiful women. The guys invited me, but when given the choice between drinking with the guys or drinking with beautiful women... well, I'm not the brightest guy in the world, but even I can figure out the correct answer to that dilemna.

Now, time to study for finals.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bust Out the Party Shoes

Today is the most anticipated day of the Baylor Law calendar: law prom. Swanburg’s been bringing the funny all week on this, so go read his stuff and report back. I’ll wait.

Now, that was some thorough comedy. There’s not a whole lot of material left for me. Unlike Swanburg, I did not have to resort to mail order to find a date, as I will attend with someone who may even be able to string together a few sentences if she feels like it. In English, even. To be honest, my date is far out of my league. Here’s hoping she doesn’t figure that out until Saturday.

Helpful tip to first time attendees: the door is in the back. Right across from the cemetery. Because nothing says party time like being able to look out over the final resting place of lots of dead people (and possibly zombies) AND have a great view of the law school. We’re also having law prom at a place which is the home of the world’s largest buffalo hairball. I only know this because it was an actual question I was asked in a game of Trivial Pursuit over the break.

Should be a good time. And I make a solemn oath to all of you that I will not have sex with anyone in the bathroom.

More Baltimore Sports. I'm Obsessed This Week. Sorry.

Last time I'll mention Baltimore sports this week, I promise. It's just been an eventful week for the old home city. This week, the Ravens will play the Colts in a playoff game in Baltimore.

Now, I hate the Indianapolis Colts with an almost pathological fury. The Colts moved in the middle of the night back in 1984, so you'd think I'd be over it, but Trail is still a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and they moved in 1958, so give me 30 more years and maybe I'll be over it. There's some general articles about it here, here, and here. Even one by the enemy, which makes a pretty good point:

While Baltimore cannot be begrudged for its anger, that city must remember, the people who set the wheels in motion on that move are either no longer with us or no longer are relevant to the issue. The man that city came to hate, Bob Irsay, died in 1997. And the sins of the father should not be visited on the son, who in this case is Jim Irsay, a man who is so spiritually different from his old man, it's hard to believe they were related. Come Saturday, descendants of the Mayflower will return to their old home. And the men who played their small roles in shaping history, like everybody else in Baltimore and Indianapolis, they will kick back and watch. It will be a football game, sure, but it will be so much more.

And there are some things that still get any old Baltimore Colts fan mad*, the guy I hate is dead. Bob Irsay was a son of a bitch, and he's the guy we had a beef with, not the people of Indianapolis, who I really harbor no ill will towards. Bob Irsay was a bad guy. He drove his own father out of business. He was a drunk. He was a liar. He was an anti-Semite who was born Jewish. He was generally despised by just about any person who ever met him. Don't believe me? Here's some quotes from his friends and family, taken from a 1986 SI article lovingly transcribed by a guy with too much free time.

His mom: "He's a devil on earth, that one... He stole all our money and said goodbye. He don't care for me. I don't even see him for 35 years. My husband, Charles, sent him to college. I made his wedding. Five thousand dollars, it cost us. When my husband got sick and got the heart attack, he [Bob] took advantage. He was no good."

His brother: "I don't know how else to say this, but my brother tried to run my father out of business. Bob actually worked to try to destroy his own father. Oh, he's a real sweetheart, all right."

His wife: "Between his power and his drinking, he just became obnoxious."

The coach, on working for Irsay: "Those were the two most unpleasant years of my life and I really don't care to comment further on it."

Bert Jones, the QB: "He lied and he cheated and he was rude and he was crude and he was Bob Irsay... He doesn't have any morals. It's a sad state for the NFL to be associated with him, but beyond that I've removed him from my mind."

So its not just that Baltimoreans are paranoid and making things up. Everyone hated Irsay. And he moved the team in the middle of the night in what was described as a giant covert operation. So I still hold a grudge, but what can you do? Other than have the team we stole beat the snot out of the team stole from us.

*OK, here's the list of things that make us mad about the Colts to this day.

1. The Colts name, logo, uniform, and history belong in Baltimore. There is nothing worse than hearing that Peyton Manning just broke Johnny Unitas' team record for passing.
2. The Hall of Fame lists Colts players as Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts. Which means that Johnny Unitas is listed as an Indianapolis Colt. It makes me throw up in my mouth.
3. Paul Tagliabue telling Baltimore to save its money and build a museum instead. Revered throughout the league, Tagliabue probably couldn't walk the streets of Baltimore without a police escort.
4. The whole 12 years without a team, getting screwed by the league at every turn. The expansion to Jacksonville still gets me angry.
5. How the same jackass who told Baltimore to take a hike (Tagliabue) then got all pompous about how we stole the Browns. And then Baltimore was villified despite the fact we tried to play by the rules and got screwed at every turn by the league. Cleveland was guarranteed a new team within 48 hours. They don't know what its like to lose a team. And where was this same national outrage when the Colts left? Besides, we're not even until a Browns fan goes to Canton and sees a plaque which states, "Jim Brown -- Baltimore Ravens". Then you'll know what it's like to lose a team.
6. Anyone who tells us to get over it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Damn Dwarves

Last night, my right eye started to get extremely red. It didn't hurt or anything, but I was starting to look like the teacher in Daria. By the time I went to bed, the thing had swelled up to marginally gross proportions.

And then I woke up this morning, and while the swelling was gone and the redness is a lot less (but not so much less that Hollie wouldn't greet me with: "Ew. What's wrong with your eye?"), now it hurts like hell. It feels like there is a small dwarf in my eye socket stabbing the back of my eyeball. This is on the heels of mysterious small bruises appearing on my arm, which I had previously thereorized were caused by dwarves hitting me with sticks while I slept.

The conclusion is inescapable. Minature dwarves have declared war on me and are trying to kill me. I am willing to negotiate terms with them, not because I think they are going to kill me, but because this is getting irritating. besides, I'd like my peripheral vision back.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Reason I Love Sports: Hall of Famer Cal Ripken

On May 30, 1982, I was wrapping up the first grade. And Cal Ripken started at third base for the Baltimore Orioles. On July 1st, when I was outside playing in the sprinklers, Cal moved to shortsop. On September 18, 1999, I went to an Orioles game with my buddy Jim. Cal was still in the starting lineup. Two days later, he'd finally take a day off, 2,632 games and over 17 years after that first game. I was at the penultimate game of the Streak. Which means nothing, really, but I think its pretty neat, if only because I get to properly use the word penultimate.

It's impossible to explain to someone who is not from the Baltimore area to explain how much Cal Ripken meant to us. He was a local kid. His dad worked for the Orioles for 36 years, 17 of those as one of the most successful minor league managers in baseball history, and later as one of the least successful major league managers ever. His brother, Billy, even played for the O's. And every year, no matter what happened in our lives, there was always Cal.

He didn't just play every single day, marking the calendar with a relentless regularity. He played every day at the highest level. He retired as the Orioles all-time leader in hits, runs, RBIs, home runs, and just about any other stat you can think of.

No matter what changed in my life, there was Cal. I graduated, I moved, I went to college, my dad died, I came home, I got married, I got divorced, I moved again. And every time there was too much change, too much for life to handle, I could turn on WBAL and watch Ripken play baseball. Because some things never changed. It was always comfortable to know that no matter what happened, there was one thing I could count on.

I was in college when Cal broke Gehrig's record. I was the RA and we had a campus wide fire drill scheduled that night at 8 PM. Well, the alarm went off in every dorm but ours because I wouldn't pull the alarm until Ripken's game was official. Priorities. And when he did that impromptu lap around the stadium, it was like being back home. He actually knew the people in the crowd. He belonged to us. And he was everything good and right in pro sports, in an era when so often things aren't good or right. His major advertising client was milk for godsakes.

It's hard having heroes. Heroes often let you down because in the end, those icons are just men. Fallible and imperfect. And while Ripken certainly had his flaws, he was my hero when I was a kid. And he never once let me down. He just stepped out to play baseball for almost every Orioles game I can ever remember. He embraced being a hero, and cared about those people who put their faith in him. He was Baltimore. He was the Oriole Way. He was my childhood.

It's a time that's now passed by. And I miss it. Congratulations on the Hall of Fame, Cal. You're still my hero.

College Football Finally Ends

I watched the BCS Championship game last night, and there’s not much to say about the game itself other than that Florida stomped the ever-livin’ snot out of the Buckeyes. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. The game itself was sort of ridiculous, as college football really shouldn’t be played beyond January 1st. There’s just something inherently wrong about bowl games on January 8th.

But I did want to share my favorite tidbit from the game: Ted Ginn was injured celebrating a touchdown. That’s right, Buckeyes. After electrifying the crowd with an opening kickoff return for a touchdown, Ginn would be knocked out of the game by his own teammates. Good job. Ginn would then spend the rest of the game standing on the sideline with a large boot on his foot and what appeared to be a giant condom on his head. He did his part to keep the game ridiculous.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

You're Fired

A kid I used to babysit is going to be on The Apprentice.

Which presents sort of a quandary. He was a really good kid, and my mom tells me he's grown into a really nice adult. Though my conception of him has him trapped at about age ten. The point is, I want to watch the show and root for him. He signed all sorts of releases and such so he couldn't tell his parents over Christmas how the show went, so he could lose tonight or he could have won the whole thing. We have no idea.

But that means I have to watch The Apprentice. And the idea of watching a show that feeds Donald Trump's considerable ego kind of pains me. Because I find Donald Trump to be one of the more contemptable people on the planet. So, if he's reading this, I am going to watch your stupid show. But only for as long Aaron has a chance to win.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

LSU Wins By A Lot

I heartily enjoyed LSU beating the snot out of Notre Dame. But not as much as this guy:

Note that he is holding two beers in one hand. Good to see he is keeping up the fine LSU tradition of tailgaiting.

I'm actually feeling a little guilty I bet my downstairs neighbor, a Notre Dame alum, on the outcome of the game. Don't worry, I think Brady Quinn should regain consciousness in time for the NFL Combine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Top Ten Lists

I've been trolling through my own archives in an exercise in self-important navel-gazing. I was going to just keep it to myself, but this blog is all about self-important navel gazing. So, in honor of the new year and my deep love of top ten lists, here is my favorite ten posts from last year, with a litle bit of an update. See everything you missed.

Yes, I am this big of a narcissist.

First off, the flight home post is too recent to make the list, but any post that has Katie calling me to tell me how hard she laughed is worth mentioning.

Amending the Constitution

I thought it was funny. I’m not sure anyone else did.

Steve’s interview

I’m now including the blog on my resume under “Hobbies”. I'm also unreasonably attached to internal dialogue.

DA’s office review

Top ten lists are gimmicky, but they work. Or at least this one did. Unlike the one you’re reading. Boy, the list you're reading sucks. That guy is just mailing it in.

The debut of green peas

The green peas haven’t made as many appearances as they did back in the LJ days, mainly because I’ve stayed remarkably healthy these last four months. Yeah, I’m shocked, too. This is a personal record. I haven't been in an emergency room for some random injury in quite some time. Which means I think I'm due for some sort of catastrophic injury. I'm thinking concussion, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if I just break a bone or two.

John Rocker speaks out on race relations

Believe it or not, John has since made things worse by giving an interview to deadspin. Then the original SI writer finally popped off about Rocker. Good times all the way around.

WC viewing guide

Probably my most popular post of the year. I had more people come up to me and tell me they thought this post was funny than any other. So I’m happy it made people laugh, and I was also happy to get direct feedback. I like being told I’m funny.

Debut of the footnote. Argument over the word y’all in which my cousin makes Matt look dumb

Technically, it was not the debut of the footnote. It was the second time I used the footnote, but it’s when it became part of the Poseur schtick*. That alone doesn’t make it my favorite post, it really is the etymology smackdown which I like. The lesson is that the commenters are more interesting than I am.

Stupid arguments and breakfast food

The infamous cake argument. Matt and I have been arguing about the classification of cake ever since. This all started because I wouldn’t eat cake for breakfast because I had given up dessert food for Lent. Matt helpfully suggested a loophole, as if it would be a good idea to try and pull a fast one in God. Incidentally, Maggie Moo’s went out of business during Lent. I think I pushed them out of business because I had stopped eating ice cream.

I miss my dad

I usually don’t use this space to expose open wounds, but I was in a mood. I don’t think I’ll ever be this personal in this space again (I had a much smaller audience at the time), but I’m proud of this post and glad its up there. Swanburg described it as “rather one of the more moving things I’ve ever read” which either means I’m pretty moving or Swanburg doesn’t read much. No really, he actually said that.

Statutory construction and the baseball rulebook

My favorite post of the year. Yes, I am this big of a dork. It’s not funny in the execution, its just funny that I would spend this much time and effort on it. And I would do the same thing for the NFL, but they do not publish their rulebook, which gets me extraordinarily upset. Hell, I’d pay for it. But it is unavailable to the general public. Bastards.

2006 was a blast. Enjoy 2007, kids.

*Note from Management: We have no idea why anyone likes the schtick either.