Rivers Are Damp

Endlessly searching for the perfect tagline

Archive for August, 2008

Weekend Reading: The Not-Quite-Olympic Edition

without comments

Well, sports is pretty much all that’s been on my mind this past week.  Surprisingly, though, most of these links involve non-Olympic sports matters.  Next weekend, I’ll surely be able to pull together an all-Olympics list of links.

  • Outsports is keeping a list of openly gay and lesbian Olympians in Beijing, but the list is only up to 10 so far.  Nine of those are women (including a partnered couple on Norway’s team handball team).  We can do better, guys!
  • Amazingly enough, I’ve never linked to Popular Woodworking before, but I bet you know why I am now: All those broken bats in major-league baseball.  Nearly every game I’ve attended this season, a bat has broken, shattering way into the infield.  Everyone’s saying the problem is the quality of the maple being used in the bats.  But not so fast, says the publisher of Popular Woodworking.  He’s blaming current player preferences for longer, lighter bats that are big on the business end.  He does think ash might be safer, as it’s less likely to break so dramatically into pieces.  (Link via Kottke)
  • What nickname will Oklahoma City’s NBA franchise use?  Some reports have said it’ll be the Oklahoma City Thunder—a reference, I guess, to Plains-y weather.  But now there’s news that the NBA has sought trademark rights to six nicknames: Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshals, Thunder, and Wind.  That’s a pretty unimpressive group.  Energy sounds silly, and Wind would invite jokes about passing wind.  I just don’t get Barons.  (Oil Barons, maybe? But that would make more sense in eastern Oklahoma.) And aren’t Bison too big and unwieldy to be good point guards?  Still, I like the idea of some cute buffalo-oriented merch.
  • Sherman Alexie, who fought so hard to keep the NBA in Seattle and out of Oklahoma City, lists 61 things he learned during the federal trial that preceded the move.  Some of the 61 will make sense only to somebody who closely followed the litigation; others probably only make sense to Alexie.  It’s still pretty entertaining.  I used to be a big fan of Alexie’s writing, but he has looked nutty at times during all this.  Also, someone should tell him that a non-Oklahoman does not use the term “Okie.”  It’s offensive.  (Link via Bookslut)
  • I’m not a particular fan of American-rules football, but I followed the media frenzy over quarterback Brett Favre’s un-retirement—his second or his third?—from (or it that to?) the game.  I can be indecisive, too, so part of me always understood Favre’s annual vacillations about retiring.  But the decision seemed to have been made after last season, and a good one it was: Favre left the game when he was respected and still playing well.  Of course, that’s all gone now, as Favre first tried to force himself back on his unwilling team and then accepted a trade to the New York Jets, putting an odd, unappealing coda on what would otherwise have been a spectacular career as a Green Bay Packer.  Nevertheless, I would’ve just attributed this to understandable indecisiveness and, perhaps, to an unwillingness to accept aging.  That is, I would’ve read all this fairly charitably, until I read this startling quote in the New York Times, right after the trade:

    When Favre was told that more than 3,000 of his No. 4 Jets jerseys had been sold online, he said, ‘That’s all?’ Still, it was the busiest day ever at the N.F.L.’s online shop, and the Jets sold more Favre jerseys in one day than the total number of their jerseys sold since January.

    That’s all?  Ok, that does it.  This is all about ego—an ego that, somehow or other, can’t get enough attention even in the most glorious of retirements.  I’m taking Favre off my list of the Good Guys™.

    This is going to end badly, I’m afraid, like a Greek Tragedy.  I don’t want to be watching when it happens.

Written by Jimmy

August 9th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Gay,Links,Sports

Getting Ready

without comments

My TiVo, retrofitted to hold up to 205 hours of programming, was too full to hold much Olympic coverage.  Choices had to be made.

What I removed:

  • The 2007 Wimbledon Men’s Final
  • Ace of Cakes (Duff Goldman is adorable, you know, but not adorable enough to keep me from taping badminton)
  • After Sunset
  • Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2 episodes, including one on Iceland that I was really looking forward to)
  • Before Sunrise (I was always going to sit down and watch both Sunrise and Sunset at the same time)
  • Bernard and Doris
  • Bizarre Foods (3)
  • The Cleaner (2, if the reviews are any indication, I would’ve ended up deleting these anyway)
  • Frontline (a single episode called “Sick Around the World”)
  • Goodbye Lenin!
  • Ice Road Truckers (2)
  • Iron Chef America (7, including one involving hunky Iron Chef Michael Symon)
  • King of the Hill (2)
  • Law and Order: SVU (1, I just never got to that “very special episode” starring Robin Williams, sorry)
  • Life’s a Trip (2)
  • Michael Palin’s New Europe (7)
  • Monk (4)
  • Pioneers of Television (for some reason, I enjoyed the eppy on game shows so much that I saved it)
  • Religion & Ethics Newsweekly (2)
  • Samantha Brown: Passport to Great Weekends (4, including an episode on Washington, D.C., that I was excited about)
  • Stay Eat Play: Louisiana
  • Swingtown (8, I managed to watch only the series premiere)

What I kept (at least until harder decisions are necessary):

  • 30 Rock (the hilarious season finale)
  • Masterpiece (née Masterpiece Theatre, “A Room with a View”)
  • Men in Trees (I have to find time to watch the final three episodes of the series)
  • The Mole (10 episodes, soon to be 11)
  • My Name Is Earl (4 episodes, including the final two of the season)
  • Project Runway (4)
  • Saving Grace (4)
  • The Sopranos (21; yes, I still have the final 21 episodes of the show on my TiVo)
  • Sordid Lives (3)
  • Star Trek:Voyager (I’m in the middle of watching a single episode, “The Disease,” which should really—really!—have been called “Harry Gets VD”)
  • The West Wing (the series finale)

Written by Jimmy

August 9th, 2008 at 10:16 am

Posted in Sports,TV

Florida Marlins 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0

without comments

The Good:

  • Unlike my last daytime trip to Citizens Bank Park, today’s game started early enough (1:05 p.m.) that I got to enjoy Section 211’s shade.  And, Peace Almighty, there was some cloud cover.  It even sprinkled (for about a minute).
  • The two seats to the right of me were empty.  Room to breathe!  So, this is how Manifest Destiny felt?
  • The vendor pushing Minute Maid frozen lemonade came early—in the second inning—before I’d even polished off my opening Victory Hop Devil.  Hops and frozen lemonade aren’t a bad pairing.  Who knew?
  • I’m really bonding with the people on my ticket plan in my section.  It’s “fun” that we’re constantly blocking each other’s sight lines to home plate.  Gallows humor reigns.
  • Cole Hamels pitched well.

The Bad:

  • The Phillies had no offense.  There were huge patches of time when there was absolutely nothing to cheer.  Hmph.
  • The SPF 70, which (irony?) I probably didn’t even need, left me with a pasty, clammy look.  Sexy!
  • The man to the left of me, in flip flops, had athlete’s foot.  (Not a bad case.  Yet.  I’m sure he won’t die from it, anyway.)
  • I dozed off—really!—in the top of the sixth inning.  When I woke up, I thought I’d missed the whole dang inning.  I hope I didn’t snore.
  • As much as I like my section-mates, I’m pretty sure the Man of My Dreams™ isn’t there.  And to be truthful, I don’t really, er, enjoy the woman in Row 5 who pulls her ponytail through the back of her ballcap.  She has ants in her pant, and I’m trying to see around her.  I move left, so does she.  I lean forward, so does she.  Maybe we’re psychically linked?
  • The Phils lost, 3-0.
  • I left my umbrella at the ballpark.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain.

Written by Jimmy

August 7th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Sports