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Inspirational Reads

Ere He Drove Out of Sight

December 24, 2007

A couple of things. First, I'm sorry I didn't send any of you Christmas cards this year. I got many beautiful cards filled with lovely messages of Holiday spirit. Thank you, one and all for the cards you sent. We misplaced our address book, and so we just didn't get around to sending them. I can send you two next year if you'd like.

I've decided that, aside from "A Christmas Story", Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July could be my favorite "classic" Christmas story, only because it beautifully ties all of the other stories together in one. Crappy storyline, but it was pretty cool seeing all those Rankin-Bass productions being pulled together and tied up like the final book of a well-written trilogy.

Finally, today is Christmas Eve, so I thought I'd share my absolute favorite Christmas Story from my youth (since I haven't told you all a tasty tidbit from when I was a kid in a while).

Every year, on Christmas Eve, we would go to our grandparents houses for Christmas. Usually, it was my Grandma Jane's house in the morning and my Grandpa Obie's house in the evening. We'd open presents and play and everything. The biggest joy was that all of my aunts and uncles rolled in, so this would be one of those times that I'd see my cousin Scott because he lived SO far away in Fort Wayne (I lived in a town a little east of Huntington, IN) and that 20 miles or so prevented us from seeing that wing of the family very often.

This particular year, however, we had a terrible snow storm come whipping through the countryside, as many of you in the midwest and northeast are experiencing or have experienced in the past few days. The roads were covered with ice which was covered with snow, and my mother, fearing...well...everything...decided that it was too unsafe for us to brave the trip to my grandfather's house in order to celebrate Christmas. So, there would be no Christmas Eve for us this year. We would be stuck at home while my other cousins were all together, playing, laughing, running around the circle that comprised my grandfather's living room, family room, kitchen and dining room (a traditional holiday custom), and getting their presents.

My mom hung up the phone from where she had called my grandfather to give him the news that we were not coming, and I shuffled off to another part of the house. I remember staring out the window, watching the snow fly and whip around in the wind and wistfully imagining my aunts and uncles and grandfather loading up their cars and driving over to our house. I felt bad, because I thought it was selfish of me wanting to have them risk their own safety in order to make the trip over to my house just for Christmas Eve. Finally, I abandoned my post in the dining room window, went into the living room (but not the den, because the roof in the den/sunroom always creaked heavily whenever we got a lot of snow, as if it was about to cave in at any moment...this has since been fixed, but as a child there was always the looming danger of imminent death and the sheer rapturous joy of watching my father climb up onto the roof with a broom and a shovel to clear it off when he finally got home from work).

Moments after I started working a puzzle by myself, the front door flew open like it had just been kicked off its hinges. SLAM! it met the wall of the dining room. All of us whipped our heads around, certain that part of the house was being crushed beneath the awesome weight of the icicles hanging from the eaves outside my brother's room (my mother had us terrified of all manner of wintery evils while I was a kid) only to find my Uncle Marty (cousin Scott's father) standing triumphantly in the doorway, his glasses fogged over, his scarf whipping about his head and shoulders like an aviator fresh off a cross-country flight, a long brown coat dusted with snow and a cap that fit tight to his skull. In his arms he bore a laundry basket. In the laundry basket was a stack of beautifully wrapped presents.

"Merry Christmas!" he boomed, and he pushed his way into the house to the bay window in my living room where he neatly began depositing the presents.

Behind my Uncle Marty came a whole host of relatives, each bearing presents or candy or, even better, food. Despite my own fears of selfishness, Christmas Eve had come to our house! My father was quick to join my uncles and cousins as they shuffled the last of the Christmas feast and presents into the house. Soon, things were warming in the kitchen and my father, ever the resourceful one, even had found time to start brewing coffee. The house suddenly filled with the buzz of conversation, the warmth of family, and the delicious smells of dinner being cooked in the kitchen. The dining room table was hastily assembled, as well as the auxiliary table for the children. Soon, we were seated around the table. Immediately after, we began opening presents, and right after that? The adults began playing Trivial Pursuit (another holiday tradition).

I can't tell you what I got for Christmas that year, nor how old I was, or even what year it was. But, I do remember it being one of the happiest Christmases of my life, only because, for once, my Christmas wish came matter how selfish I thought it was when I made it. A few hours after they arrived, everyone departed and everyone made it home safely. In the post holiday rush, I remember practically glowing as I made my way to my bed to eagerly await Santa Claus, knowing that he would not be able to make me nearly as happy as my family already had.

So, my friends and other casual blog viewers, Merry Christmas to you all. I certainly hope that this year and every year afterward captures the warmth and joy as that Christmas did for me those long years ago.

A Few Updates

December 18, 2007

Because I absolutely hate leaving stories untold/unfinished...

1) Butch Davis managed to use the rumors of Arkansas wanting to hire him to lobby for a $200,000/year raise and a small extension on his contract. He then went out and managed to lead his team past Duke in overtime on UNC's home field, a game in which they were pretty much outplayed by Duke for most of the game. Former Notre Dame verbal commitment Greg Little, who balked at playing defensive back, proved to be UNC's most effective running back, gaining over 100 yards on the ground. In fact, he was pretty much the only offense the Tarheels could muster.

2) Bobby Petrino, of course, took the Arkansas job, leaving the Atlanta Falcons midseason in order to deepen his sleazy reputation coach the Razorbacks. He pulled the ultimate frat guy trick of leaving a note saying that he was leaving, a few hours after telling the owner that he was "his man" and he'd be there through the thick of it. Nice. It was the equivalent of telling a drunk girl at a college party that you'll always love her, taking her back to your room, having her pass out, bang her, and then leave her on her parents' doorstep in a shopping cart. And then adding a note that says "Thanks, bitch."

3) Rich Rodriguez was hired as Michigan's head coach. This is about nine months after Michigan hired West Virginia's basketball coach, John Beilein, thus making themselves another powerful enemy. I understand Rodriguez's move here as it's a chance to coach one of the nation's premier teams with a storied history in the sport. I seriously don't think it's a lateral move (at best), like some West Virginia fans have claimed. How many National Championships has West Effin' Virginia won? Oh, right. How many have they pissed away losing to the Wandstash? Right, one. Anyway, congrats to Michigan, I think you found a good coach, though I doubt I'll feel so nice and cozy about this hire in, oh, September.

4) While there won't be much whining and gnashing of teeth in Raleigh since Tom O'Brien is staying put, there might be wailing and beating of breasts in Tuscaloosa. Sure, it's internet rumor, but apparently Nick $aban's agent called up the WF'nVU athletic department as soon as Rodriguez was announced, letting them know he was interested. Apparently, a friend of mine tells me, $aban is from West Virginia and so this would be a homecoming for him. The article I read can be found here, via Foul Balls (another fine read, especially if you're a Chicago sports fan). This has moved to the top of my Christmas wishlist, but as long as it gets done by the 28th of December, I'll be happy. See, I'm slated for arrival in Atlanta that day, where my wife's brother AND sister--who both attended the University of Alabama--live, and I can just imagine the gnashing of teeth that will go on. The only drawback is that my wife's grandfather, who attended Auburn, won't be there to egg on the other two as they bemoan the sad fate of their football program.

5) Apparently, there was a bit of a paternity suit brought against beloved Notre Dame alum George Gipp (famously played by Ronald Reagan in "Knute Rockne: All-American"). So, his body was exhumed to grab a DNA sample. Now, the Gipper was a typical college athlete before college athletes became typical: he enjoyed not going to class, getting drunk, and dabbling in the ladies, and by dabbling, I mean fucking. And by ladies I mean blonde, busty college girls. So, the thought of a bastard Gipp running around isn't exactly out of the question.

6) Boudica was a queen of the Iceni people, famous for her red hair and fiery disposition. She led a revolt against several Roman military leaders (I think this was before they were officially an Empire, but I'm not certain on that one) after her husband, Prasutagus, died and willed his kingdom to his daughters--which was not recognized by the Romans. The revolt was successful enough that she managed to burn London to the ground and actually had Nero (so I guess it was an Empire, huh?) ready to pull out of Britannia. She was eventually defeated at the Battle of Watling Street. However, she was "rediscovered" during the Victorian era and much romanticized, inspiring a poem Boadicea by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She has since appeared in several fictious works, film and television (including a spot on Xena: Warrior Princess) and even has appeared in Civilization II and Civilization IV. Each time she is portrayed with her trademark red hair and fiery disposition, usually as a Warrior Queen of some kind (even as Boodikka, a member of the Green Lantern Corps).

7) I found a new agent to submit a query to. He represents the guy who is writing the last Robert Jordan book. Yes, this means that it could have been yours truly had I not been so effing lazy and addicted to Civilization III. In fact, screw you. I have a war with the Chinese I need to go finish.

My Christmas Wishlist

December 7, 2007

Having been through several coaching searches at Notre Dame (having seen the end of the Davie and O'Leary eras while at ND and then the end of the Willingham and Baer eras as a proud alum), I feel bad for Michigan. The coaching search seems to mostly be a mess thanks to their AD Bill Martin, who seems to be treating the coaching search like the Grand Prize Game.

However, while reading this list of rumors about who is on whose radars for coaching vacancies, I spied this list for U of M.

Michigan: "Candidates: Kirk Ferentz, Greg Schiano, Jim Grobe, Gary Pinkel, Brady Hoke, Tom O'Brien, Jeff Tedford, Ron English, Mike DeBord, Mike Trgovac, Sean Payton."

Oh...please, please, please, PLEASE let it be Tom O'Brien going to Michigan. Not only would the Crown Prince of Mediocrity (the King sitting upon his throne in Seattle...a throne that's slowly heating up) be calling the shots in Ann Arbor, but then whining and crying and gnashing of teeth in Raleigh would be so great to hear. Oh, the streets would flow with the tears of the Wolfpack faithful as their great coach, set to lead them to the promised land, left for greener pastures.

Honestly, I'm surprised Leavitt out of South Florida isn't on more people's lists. I heard his name tossed around earlier in the season as a possible replacement for Weis should Chuckles lay another terd on the field next season.

Please, Santa, make it so. I'll take back that whole terrorist thing.

Styrofoam Peanut Angels, Anyone?

Here is a recent cartoon from Cow & Boy that really hit home, especially this past weekend (the cartoon was printed on Saturday, December 1st; the incident I'm about to recount occured Sunday, December 2nd):

I really like Cow & Boy. I thought the premise (a boy's best friend is a talking cow) was lame when I first came across it, but several Halo references later, I've come to quite enjoy it. It's one of my daily reads. And this one was particularly solid because it captured the spirit of trying to capture a bit more sleep (read, ignore the world for a while) while raising young children.

Anyway, aside from my digression there, last weekend was...interesting. We went to see Santa on Saturday and the kids had their pictures taken (and they were really good pics) with the jolly fat man (who bore an uncanny resemblance to Alton Brown in a beard). Sunday was designated the day we'd go get a tree (and rather than Clark Grizzwald it, I went to the local tree lot), so the air of Christmas has settled over the house. And when it settles on two kids, ages 3 and 6, it's about the same as opening a can of tuna in a house full of cats. Destructive comedy ensues.

In order to get the tree, I felt the need to clean the house up, which was to be the Sunday task. I wanted the house to look pretty when we brought the tree home, plus my wife was at work, so I thought if I could clean the house up, she'd come home, marvel at all the hard work I had done that day and say, "Let's go get that tree!" shortly after ripping her blouse open. I know, I know...the fascination I have with my wife's chest is probably a bit misplaced, given the circumstances, but whatever. That was the plan.

Come Sunday, I tried to ignore the sounds of mirth coming from the downstairs. I tried pulling the covers over my head to squeeze just a bit more sleep out of the morning, but that was not to be. Around 7:30 or so, here comes the little boy asking if we can go to IHOP. Now, IHOP is a perfectly fine place to long as they have breakfast-platters-smothered-in-cream-and-fruit-compote deals going on. However, their normal fare is a bit...insipid...for my tastes. I'd like my sausage to taste like something other than cardboard and/or dust. But that's just me. Plus, Sunday morning is a bad time to go because everyone is there either before going to church or after going to church, and it makes me feel like a tool because I didn't roll my ass out of bed for Church (but I can make it for the cream-and-fruit-compote-smothered breakfast pastries). So, IHOP was off the table as far as negotiations go, but he was insistant that I feed him something for breakfast (and the other one, too), so I had to get out of bed and do something.

I ended up making them pancakes. And they loved them. You know the Bill Cosby routine where he gives his kids cake for breakfast and they're singing the song "Dad is great, he gives us the chocolate cake"? Well, that's how I was treated on Sunday morning. "Daddy is great, for making us pancakes!" Score, right?

So, in the aftermath of breakfast, I went upstairs and checked my email and worked on some stuff in my bedroom and then took my morning constitutional then took my shower. I was probably out of it for 15 to 20 minutes. I get dried off and dressed and come downstairs to find the entire dining room, entryway, and living room covered in half an inch of styrofoam packing peanuts...many of them crushed into tiny little white balls. Before the string of profanity completely forms itself upon my tongue, I see my three-year-old son on his back in the midst of this chaos making styrofoam peanut angels. In my mind's eyes, I saw myself yelling "Why you little!" and giving him the Bart Simpson special.

He looks at me and with that big, infectious three-year-old blond boy grin says, "It snowed, daddy!"


I learned then that styrofoam peanuts sweep up fairly well with a broom and a dustpan, even on carpet. I swept the mess into big piles and then made them both clean up the piles of packing peanuts. I even cut my daughter off before she could get out the "Well, he made the mess" and just pointed to the piles and repeated "clean them up". In fact, most of the downstairs was cleaned by the time the Comely and Buxom Boudicca came home, and though there was no ripping open of blouses, we do have a lovely Christmas tree standing in the back corner of the room.

Now I just need to figure out where my mother-in-law hid the tree skirt...

The Genius of Carl

December 5, 2007

With apologies to Hap, here's's take on the BCS this year.

This comes from There's nothing real offensive in here (by my standards), but you also might not want to crank the volume if you work in a cube farm (like me...sorta).

A Brush with Fame?

December 4, 2007

Methinks Stephen Pastis reads this blog.

For the record, Mr. Pastis, I won't cram your head into my coffee cup.

Sexual Images Make Children Have Sex Earlier

December 3, 2007

Apparently, a Victoria's Secret store in a mall in Carmel, IN was made to take down mannequins posed in "suggestive" ways featuring "sexy lingerie". Now, I may be from small town Indiana (much smaller than Carmel, certainly), but even [i]I[/i] know what Victoria's Secret is all about. My mom would refer to it as "whorewear". I prefer to think of it as a toy store.

Anyway, check out this article from the Indianapolis Star. Be warned: one of the mannequins in question is shown in the inset picture. It might make you want to run to the bathroom to relieve some pressure; I just returned from there, myself.

The dumbest part of the article? The woman who "spearheaded" the effort, but is displeased with the pajamas that they put over the mannequins instead. Her response? "Sexual Images Make Children Have Sex Earlier."

No, bitchy moms who try to shield their children from the real world make kids have sex earlier. Or at least encourage them to. I have yet to see a sexual image that forcibly held down a teenager and told them to have sex. Anyone want to place odds on how many copies of Harry Potter this slice of heaven has in her house? I'll bet she makes her kids sleep with the door open.

Note to the mother: If you're going to be stupid, at least do it in the privacy of your own home. And buy a push-up; them things is sagging pretty bad.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to call the buxom and comely Boudicca. There's a sexually-explicit image of a mannequin on the internet that's making me have inappropriate thoughts.

Terror in the Skies, Terror in Disguise

It wasn't until I had children that I realized just how awful the legend of Santa Claus is. I mean, seriously. Once a year, we parents get to wage mental warfare upon our children, using a "right jolly old elf" as a means to scare them into behaving. "He's making a list, he's checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice." I remember getting told these things as a callow youth, which, naturally, forced me into a rigid sense of righteousness toward the end of the year. Couple that with my birthday falling three days before Christmas, and I was pretty much terrified of not receiving any presents if I wasn't a good little boy.

My parents, however, took this a step further. Not only was Santa Claus watching me, but he also had erected an intricate Elven spy network to help double check my goodness (and not necessarily for goodness' sake!) and every once in a while when I would do something out of line, my parents would off-handedly mention that they just saw one of Santa's Elves doing their double check on me. Wow. So not only were the Elves forced into slave labor to manufacture my Transformers for the impending holidays, they were also pressed into the vital information gathering service to report back to the big man in red (and not Bobby Knight...).

This behavior, of course, is being trotted out once more in my household to hold my children to a standard of what I believe to be "good behavior" (as a note, I'll just add that dumping out a box of packing peanuts and laying down in them to make "snow angels" is not, in any way shape or form, good behavior). But when I was sitting back and thinking about this, it suddenly dawned on me what a terrifying proposition Santa Claus truly is.

Not only is he watching every young child in the world (presumably peering in their windows at he's a pervert, to boot), but he has indentured services also doing his dirty work. He runs a sweatshop at the North Pole where he forces captured midgets to do his bidding...or else. He commands an elite strike force of flying reindeer that not only can fly at approximately the speed of light (without vaporizing themselves due to friction in the atmosphere), but they're also elusive to radar sweeps and satellite photographs. They can stop on a dime, land on a rooftop (silently), and take off once more (again silently) all in the course of a few seconds. AND, if some of the Christmas specials are to be believed (Rudolph, I'm looking right at you), they're expert tactical bombers with precision aim and deadly accuracy.

And then there's the big man himself. Able to steal into your homes in the dead of night. Fortunately, we see him as an agent of good, leaving behind presents for all to enjoy. However, couldn't this be a clever ruse? I'll leave you some stuff that I just forced my sprawling network of slave labor to manufacture from raw goods that I buy for pennies on the dollar, and it's all a distraction because I'm in Ur House, Taking all Ur Stuffs (apparently, Santa just morphed into a lolcat). And we're all blinded to this because of the "joy" of Christmas morning. I mean, how many people, after the holidays are over say "Where did all my money go?" Uh huh. You can thank Santa for that one.

I realize that Futurama's Santa Bot has several of the same qualities that I've outlined here. I thought of that after I got done with most of the meat of the post, but great minds and all. Anyway, I'm here to tell you, people: do not be fooled. He's watching you will ill intent roiling just under his skin. It's true.

And if this doesn't get me on the Naughty list, I don't know what will.

Dark Clouds Shrouding My Heart

November 27, 2007

Ah, what a wonderfully Emo title I've selected this fine, sunny day.

I'm sad, though. I dialed through the news this morning and found that a family friend died over the long weekend. He was a friend of my grandfather's, a member of one of the town's "noble" families (the town's heritage could be divided into about three main families...the joys of small town life...I've taken to calling them the "noble" families as a kind of tongue-in-cheek reference to those days of long ago when governments were dominated by family units moreso than any strong infrastructure, and that you could identify a place by the names that were there and vice versa...but I'm getting way off track here), he cut my hair when I was a lad, helped open my bank account when I was a callow youth, and helped my parents with their insurance needs as I rocketed toward driving age. He was a member of my old church. He was a likeable and wonderful man. One of his step-granddaughters was one of my very good friends in high school. In one of the greater understatements of my lifetime, he'll be missed.

Billy Joe Randol -- you can read the obit here. Rest in Peace, my friend.

Then I read that Sean Taylor died from the gunshot wound he sustained the other night. Wonderful. ESPN and other news outlets will cover this one [i]ad nauseum[/i], but it was just another in a series of depressing news stories that I read this morning. Now, anyone who's read this blog for a while knows that I'm not a huge Redskins fan, nor was I a great Sean Taylor fan, but it's not like I felt he deserved this fate. Especially when it seems that his little girl helped him get his life turned around and all. It's sad, no matter what you think of the NFL, the Redskins, and Sean Taylor himself (and dearest God, please, [i]please[/i] do not think that I'm ever going to link this to an indictment of the lowliness of Miami (FL)'s football program...I'm just heading that off at the pass). RIP, Sean. You'll be missed.

So, with all that in mind, I've felt like the little Zoloft ball this morning. For now, I'm going to keep things somber on here, but tonight is my first chance to see Indiana in action on the hardwood this season, so I'll get to my thoughts on their rather fast start to the season. I've also got some updates to some things I need to get to, plus a look back on the Irish's last game of the season. Thankfully. Oh, and some more stupid sports talk comments.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget, there's only 28 shopping days left until Chri$tma$. So, take a moment, forget about what the season means, sit down, and buy stuff already. If you don't, the terrorists have already won.*

* Everything after the word "Thanksgiving" is dripping with sarcasm. Just so you know.

More Local Stupidity

November 21, 2007

Ah, yes. I've brought you idiotic comments via the local sportstalk folks before. I thought I'd add these, as well.

Today's idiocy is once again courtesy of ACC fanboy David Glenn, who has been the inspiration for many a rant and laughter thanks to the dribble running unchecked from his lips.

Also key on this is Adam Gold, whom I once thought okay and decent enough that I'd have a beer with him. But now I realize he's just too dumb.

Both comments key on Butch Davis's future (giggle) at North Carolina.

From Adam Gold (paraphrasing): "I really don't think that Butch Davis would leave UNC to coach at his [i]alma mater[/i], even if they offer him money like Nick $aban is getting at Alabama (the number $3.5 million/year was tossed about). All UNC has to do is upgrade the facilities, and that'll be enough to keep Davi$ in Chapel Hill." This was in respect to people looking to give Davi$ a contract extension, after a 3-win season (I sure as hell hope Duke wins this weekend).

From David Glenn (paraphrasing): "If UNC hurries up with the upgrades to the facilities and the expansion of the stadium, Davis won't go anywhere. I also haven't heard anything about Houston Nutt's future at Arkansas." Oh really, Dave? What about this? Sounds like Coach Nutt (once rumored to be on Notre Dame's radar back in the Davie era) is getting a wee bit defensive. Perhaps you could have read your employer's blog.

Seriously, guys? You don't think Davi$ will go chasing the dollar signs at his [i]alma mater[/i]? The guy who walked out on one of the most talented football teams ever assembled...without winning the national championship? Seriously? Because he has six years left on his deal with UNC? And he will always play second fiddle to Roy Williams? Really? You think he's not going to say "Thanks for reminding the better programs about my name, Tarheels. It's been fun."

My favorite argument: "If he really wanted the Arkansas job, he wouldn't have come to UNC." Yeah, like when he got fired in Cleveland, he laid his head down on his pillow at night and said, "Wow, if only I could coach at a third-tier school in a second-rate conference known for basketball, I'd be a happy man." Whatever gets you through the day, fellaz.

I Know What You're Going to Say

November 18, 2007

So I'll say it for you:

"But it was against Duke."

- I think we found a running back for next season. It looked to me that he was actually able to spot holes to run through, and he was able to shed some tacklers and fight forward for more yardage. The fact that he was creative, strong [i]and[/i] fast gave me hope for a running game next season (But it was against Duke).

- Clausen looked like the highly touted recruit he was last year and that he's actually learned something in the course of getting the shit knocked out of him over this past year. His arm strength is still lacking, but he was good and accurate. He threw no picks and three touchdowns (but it was against Duke) and took only one sack (but it was against Duke) and he seemed to recognize how to keep a drive sustained (but it was against Duke). Still, this was one of those confidence-boosting games that a young quarterback needs.

- Thankfully the game was against Duke, because the coaching still lacked...depth, creativity, cajones. Whatever you want to put in there. I'm tired of the swing pass that goes for a yard or less. And calling a screen pass two times in a row was boneheaded. Hopefully with the emergence of Hughes at running back, the playcalling can get a little less predictable. And the 4th-and-1 where both guards jumped on the first count when clearly they were told to go on three and then the subsequent 4th-and-5 where the ball was snapped over the punter's head pretty much typified the season for Notre Dame. The fact that the punter got the ball off maybe showed that the luck of the Irish was changing. Or not. We'll see.

The next one is against Stanford, which gave even the Quinn-led teams fits, especially on the road. I'm just hoping for 3-9 and a more confident squad going into next season.

Thank goodness basketball season is here (more on that after I clean the house up for some holiday we're having in the near future).


November 14, 2007

I haven't totally gone away. I haven't totally forgotten the blog. I haven't totally snubbed everyone who hangs on my every word.

*insert cricket noise here*

Well then.

I managed to finish the re-read on The Boar War. Things went fairly well, and I cut out a lot, but ended up adding stuff in the end. I think I added five pages. As I don't have my counts and lists in front of me, I can't tell you the exact numbers and such.

I sat around for a while and debated as to whether I should just send it off to publishers willy-nilly, or if I should try to find an agent (adding yet another level of willy-nilliness to the searching). I eventually settled on the latter (because, honestly, we need all that extra willy-nilly), and thusly submitted my first query letter to an agent in Denver.

A quick sum-up: Total Fail.

Oh well. That's the fun of the process, I guess. Not everyone is going to be won-over by my query letter, I suppose.

I haven't searched for a second yet. It's not because I'm afraid of more Total Failure. It's more because I've gotten busy lazy and haven't put in the time nor the diligence in order to find another potential agent.

Thus stands the update. I have nothing to tell, other than I swung for the fences and missed badly. I read fastball, got a slider, and, well, looked like Sammy Sosa on a pitch low and outside.

Unlike Sammy, though, I'm not going home early. I'm going to try and find another tonight. I might also ask some opinions on some stuff later, if I can figure out how to make a blogpoll.

So, no, I'm not dead, gone, forgotten or even missing. I'm just lazy. But you all knew that already, didn't you?

A Solution

October 30, 2007

So, I've been reading about these fires in Southern California. Did you know about them? Apparently, they've been on the news or something. Well, my friend, Jim lives out there. I get semi-regular updates through our grad school group blog. He says it's hot and smoky. Sounds like a good time to make some barbecue, Jim!

On a more serious note, these fires are pretty damned scary. I know I'd be shittin' and gittin' (ah, local colloquialisms) if the fires of Hell were licking at my doorsteps. That's why I'm putting forth this solution for the people of Southern California. Now, there's A LOT of people in Southern California. Millions, in case you haven't heard. There's also a lot of beer in Southern California. Yes, I think you see where I'm going with this.

Everybody in the area needs to gather together in one place...let's say the Coliseum. They need to get kegs and cases of beer and start drinking like there's no tomorrow...because, there might not be. The key here is to not have portable johns at the Coliseum. Instead, when that natural urge to release the alcohol back into the wild hits, everyone lines up and pisses on the fire. Oh sure, it will stink to high heaven, but what would you rather have? A little piss-on-the-fire stink or charred remains of everything you hold dear? I thought so.

So there you have it. Once again, Homer's words ring true: Ah, alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all the world's problems.

Ain't Karma a Bitch?

October 25, 2007

Warning: Some material ahead that people I went to grad school would label "TMI".

You've been warned.

So, I have an unusually long ass-crack. Some people have borne witness to this phenomenon of my backside first hand. For those, I wish you Godspeed in your recovery from going all Oedipus Rex on yourself after witnessing it. Seriously, it's like, mutant long. If I were a member of the X-Men, I'd go by the name 'Crack'. It's bad. Most people's stop halfway or three-quarters of the way up their backside. Mine? Stops somewhere just below my shoulderblades.

As such, I need special jeans. I need the "long rise" jeans, which are hard to find because almost everyone makes "low rise" jeans these days. Low rise jeans are fine, especially for hot young blonde models, preferrably female. Not to say I'm picky. I wouldn't mind them on a brunette or a redhead, either. Anyway, to the point of the story, I have only a couple good pairs of jeans, and the other day I noticed that the pocket area was beginning to fray a little on my favorite jeans. No biggie, I thought. It is almost time for that jolly fat man to slide down my chimney. Perhaps HE could have luck finding me appropriate-length long rise jeans, preferrably in a darker shade of blue. Something in the indigo family. Thanks, fat man.

Alas, Christmas will be coming early this year, at least for my ass.

Turns out that when I was sitting down this morning to work in my notebook, I heard a small ripping sound. Aghast, I reached back and touched me bum, only to find that a large rent had formed in the fabric. Well, it's not so bad, I thought. I can just pull my shirt tail down over it. Plus, I need to be in the lab for most of the day. I can sport my lab coat.

So, I head off to the lab. There, I get some of my work done, only to drop one of my keen Chembark magnets on the floor while tidying up the post-its hanging from my hood. I bend over to reach for it, and there again sounds a mighty rip from my backside! Tenderly, I explore the area to find that a chasm has now opened in my pants. If I keep my shirt pulled low, I can cover most of the offending area. In a panic, I hurry out of the lab (losing the first) and rush to my desk. I go to sit, and, you guessed it (comedy does, after all, work in threes), one final rip. Now, most of my backside is exposed to the elements. Thusly, I sit here after calling my wife and kindly asking her to bring me a fresh pair of pants from home. I can't help but think that this is all due to me laughing at the False Oz as he tried to stand and walk after his midday nap upon the picnic benches out back.

Ah Karma, you fickle, fickle whore.

Not Quite Sleeping Beauty

October 23, 2007

This just probably proves that I'm a sadistic bastard (but some of you would have it no other way), but this story is too good to pass up. At least in my quaint little corner of twisted reality.

I was in the lab the other day, waiting for my column to finish running on the Companion. While standing there, I was staring out the windows and noticed a body sprawled across one of the benches of one of the picnic tables outback. I immediately assumed it was someone from one of the companies that has offices and labs on the front side of the building, and I also assumed that it was a certain Chinese guy that works there. Now, before you get upset with me and label me a bigot, I'll just point out that most of the guys who work there are Chinese, AND it's the only company that has no offices on the backside of the building. This guy, though, always throws me off because he looks like a Chinese version of my friend Ozzy. The very first time I saw him, I thought "Shouldn't you be playing catcher for the Dragons?" Ozzy plays semi-professional baseball in the Chicago area, in case you were confused by my thought pattern there.

Since I had nothing better to do than make sure my column didn't over pressurize, I kept an eye on the figure. Finally, after about fifteen minutes (I had changed to a new column at this point), he stirred, sitting up and confirming that it was, indeed, the False Oz. However, my delight at pinpointing the guy from an educated guess was amplified when he tried to stand and, evidently, did not realize that his legs were numb. CRASH! to the ground he crumbled, eliciting a tumult of giggles from my oh-so-mature throat. Pulling himself to his feet, he tried to walk again and BOOM! to the ground he fell. I'm chortling with delight at this point. Finally, he pulls himself up onto the bench and sits for another five minutes, bouncing his legs to work feeling back into them. Finally, he stands and, slowly, begins to walk with the shambling gait of a bog zombie or a newborn calf. He manages to make his way across the road to the building and from there, he disappears from my sight.

Having been thoroughly entertained for a good twenty to thirty minutes (give or take), I return my vigilent watch to the column. When it's done, I clean everything up and decide to make a restroom run (I've been drinking a lot of water of late...more on this later). As I complete said task, I wash up, leave the bathroom and make my usual jaunt through the lobby area where I see the False Oz just now getting up the steps and making his way over to his work.

Wow. Now, I'm not exactly a ball of fire on most days, but even I draw the line at napping on park benches during the day. No sir, I always take my naps on the toilet (after waltzing in around ten a.m., googling my own name for two hours, and then taking a donut break...unfortunately, I yelled this out while making love to my wife one night, so she's onto me).

"People better enjoy it now, have their fun now."

October 22, 2007

You've talked the talk, Charlie.

Now walk the walk.

A Note to Mike McCarthy

October 8, 2007

If you have your foot on someone's throat, don't pick your foot up. If you rack up 340 yards of offense against someone with a banged up secondary you go with the pass more. You don't give a steady diet of draws and end arounds that the defense constantly sniffs out. Your painfully conservative playcalling in the second half and clock mismanagement in both halves was positively Willinghamian. You're a moron. You won four in a row to start the season by unleashing Favre's arm. Mixing in the run was nice, but when the run didn't work, don't be effing bullheaded and keep going back to it when it doesn't work!

And for the NFL: Teach your damned referees to count to twelve already.

Oh yeah, fuckin' Cubs.


October 7, 2007

Oh God, do you hear that? Someone's shaking down the thunder. Someone's waking up the echoes. Someone is channeling the ghost of George Gipp.

Finally, FINALLY, Notre Dame won one this season. All the gimmickery and sparkle was taken off and the defense went out, played a hard-nosed game. I don't know about the offense because, you see, only people in South Bend/Mishawaka and along the Pacific Coast got to watch the game. The rest of us were saddled with a very boring beat down of Purdue by Ohio State (well, not that any beat down of Purdue is ever a bad thing). I do know the defense came up stout from the few highlights ESPNews parsimoniously handed out.

Now, let's do the same thing next week to Boston College. They've effed us over so many times, ruining perfect seasons. It's about time to return the favor.

P.S. Fuckin' Cubs.


October 4, 2007

My friend Pat, of Notre Dame fame, had a room mate in college named Gerard. Gerard was from Jersey, and as such, he was a fan of the Jets. Of course, it's not easy being a fan of the Jets, so whenever they (the guys living with Pat and Gerard) were watching Sportscenter or something, win or lose, whenever the Jets score came on the screen, Gerard would shake his head and simply say, "Fuckin' Jets."

I've adopted this with my own sort of twist to it.

Being a Cubs fan is not unlike being a Jets fan. No matter what, no matter how much love or disdain you give them, they end up breaking your heart in the end.

That's why I've started muttering under my breath "Fuckin' Cubs" whenever I watch the games or see the scores at the bottom of the screen. Win or lose, it's always "Fuckin' Cubs" (when my children are around, it gets censored to "Stinkin', lousy Cubs").

Here's an aside: The other day, while I was watching the Cubs put together a perfect season against the Marlins (9 games played, 9 losses), I dropped my head when Jacque Jones struck out with the bases loaded and the Marlins' relief pitcher unable to find the strike zone. I muttered "Stinkin', lousy Cubs". My daughter (the six-year old) Cookie (pseudonym; a clever person will be able to figure it out) said to me, "Daddy, when are you going to stop being whiney about the Cubs?"

Yep, that daughter of mine is one Smart Cookie (that's not the reference, but it fits).

I stayed up to watch the game last night (knowing full well the outcome well before the first pitch was thrown). I had to retreat to the upstairs because my mother-in-law is here for a visit, and I didn't want to have her overhear my habitual swearing. However, all I have to say about the game is this:

"Fuckin' Cubs".

The Rankings are Out!

September 27, 2007

So, this made me giggle like a little school girl. Courtesy of Yahoo! sports, they have their weekly college rankings (link). I'm sure you see your favorite school in the upper tiers of the bracket (even you Big Blue Nation people). Feel free to scroll down to number 76 where you'll find my lowly Irish. Then please, scroll down further (as in numbers 77, 81, and 87). I like how a winless Notre Dame team is still ranked above the three local teams. I hope that the local talk radio idiots see this, too, so that they can shut up (Chris Clark, I'm looking at you). It causes me to giggle, still.

And while I'm publically fellating Yahoo! sports, let me just say that, if you can't watch a baseball game on the television, Yahoo!'s coverage online is pretty fantastic. I "watched" the last inning of the Cardinals defeating the Brewers last night (and thereby dropping the Cubs' "magic number" to 3). It was the only solace I've got since I'm pretty sure the SCrubs are trying to kill me with this season. Ugh.

By the way, I got over one of the final major hurdles last night in proofreading my book. I finished a 33-page chapter. Now I have a series of shorter ones leading up to the climax of the story. I'll try to get that done this weekend, though I can't promise much on Saturday since I will be throwing up with every Purdue touchdown (as usual).

That Was a Close One

September 25, 2007

You guys almost lost me the other night. It was pretty hit-or-miss for a while.

I went to meet up with a student for a little organic chemistry jam session where we'd be rocking out the instrumental analysis before moving on to organometallics. After sitting at Barnes & Noble for an hour and a half (after an hour, I decided to leave, but I was almost finished with the Get Fuzzy book I was reading...yeah, I'm one of those customers), I drove home. Since radio here sucks, I decided to turn on the sportstalk station. For whatever reason, the Fox Sports channel (which is in Raleigh...where my car was at the time) wasn't coming in, so I switched to the ESPN affiliate out of Durham. I caught it right before the break and they said "What's wrong with Irish football? We discuss, coming up next."

Because I'm a masochist when it comes to this stuff (for instance, I've watched the games this year), I decided to listen. And that's when it happened.

Someone on ESPN said good things about Notre Dame football. Someone trotted out the facts, and made good arguments as to state of ND football.

My heart just about burst right there. I was weaving and everything. I told Elizabeth that I was coming home. It was a shock, to say the least.

This coming on the heels of this dumbass' article in the IndyStar last week (link). You'll notice (somewhere around comment 65) someone vainly trying to edumicate the ND haters (which would most likely be mostly Purdue fans, given that it's Indianapolis) and the author of the article. As an aside, this article did garner Kelly Green's Asshat of the Week award (link).

The truth in the matter is this: Willingham left the cupboard bare, and Charlie dropped the ball getting his o-line ready. No one can argue (although, for some reason, Keyshawn Johnson on MNF preview did) that Willingham was a better recruiter than Weis. Don't quote me on this, but Willingham's recruiting classes were ranked something like 15, 45 & 50. The higher class was mostly built by Bob Davie who, though inept, did manage to cobble together some good defenses (which is how Willingham escaped Notre Dame with anything close to a winning record). Weis' classes have been 12, 3, 1 and projected 1 for next year (and from what I've read, looking good for 2009, too).

Further, Willingham went to the bowl and the Gator Bowl. Weis has gone to the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl (both BCS bowls). Brady Quinn became a first round draft pick under Weis. Jeff Samardzija became a top flight receiver under Weis. Neither were truly recruited by Willingham; Quinn was an afterthought while Willingham was recruiting Chinedum Ndukwe (they were high school team mates...the coach for the team told Willingham "You might want to look at Brady at QB.") and Paul Manieri recruited Samardzija for baseball.

The biggest glaring issue is on the offensive line, where Willingham picked up five recruits in three years. Well, there's 5 guys on the line, right (Center, left and right guard, left and right tackle), so what's the issue? In an ideal world, you recruit a new line for each class, that way if something happens and a player gets hurt, there's someone there to fill the void. That can't be done right now, and it shows.

This is not to excuse Weis from no focusing on fundamentals in blocking and tackling. He's admitted it himself that he's been too gimicky on the offense, trying to get inside the opponent's heads. When they got back to handling the basics, things began to look up. While the Michigan State game did not have the desired outcome, you could see that there was a lot of good things that finally were shaping up. Again, the offense was on the field for too short of a time, tiring the defense and also putting them in lousy position to hold off the Spartan attack. Special teams were, again, abysmal. I don't know what's happened to Jeff Price. He had one good kick and then...meh.

It was finally nice, though, to hear someone at the four-letter word saying a nice thing about ND (and not be a certain leprechaun-esque former coach) and actually take off the blinders and point out Willingham's shortcomings. It really helped to talk me down off the ledge. Now all I need is a bucket for the Purdue game.

Another Comic

For a point of reference, all of my characters have pretty straight-forward, somewhat common names.
As always, click on the picture to get a blown up image for ease of reading.

Saying Good-Bye to a Couple of Friends

September 18, 2007

A couple of people I consider "friends" passed on recently, and I haven't been able to commit my thoughts about them to this vast, wonderful electronic media yet. I use the term friends loosely--too loose, perhaps--because I did not personally know either of them, but over the years I had gotten to know them through their written word. Their books and articles and general publications had been influential on me in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to my own writing. I am, of course, speaking of Michael Jackson and Robert Jordan.

Michael Jackson was an English writer and journalist. Above all, he was a lover of beer, and this brewaphilia is how I came to know him best. He wrote The World Guide to Beer in 1977 in which he developed several terms commonly used today, both for the brewing process as well as style types of beer itself. He went on to write several articles for papers and magazines, including having a recurring column in All About Beer magazine. In fact, his column (along with K. Florian Klemp's) was the only thing I truly enjoyed reading in AAB since they revamped their format, and with Mr. Jackson's passing, I cannot find any reason to renew my subscription. On top of beer reviews, he also wrote The Malt Whisky Companion and was a discerning critic of those select libations as well. He suffered from Parkinson's Disease, and on September 30th, at 9pm (EST, I believe), a toast will be held in Michael Jackson's honor at bars, pubs, and common houses around the world. Also that night will be a benefit to help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's research.

Robert Jordan was the author of the insanely popular Wheel of Time series. This is a series I picked up as a junior in high school...and it was already three books old by then. I ravenously devoured the books, sometimes reading them more than once (I believe I read the first five books three times). In the waning days of the summer between my senior year and my freshman year in college, I read all the books that I had once more, as a kind of finale to my childhood and adolescent years. And because I (mistakenly) thought I wouldn't have enough time for pleasure reading in college. It was in college that I switched from buying the paperbacks and going all hard cover (which I now do for all my favorite authors), because I could not wait for the year it took for the hardcover to make it to paperback. Jordan suffered from primary amyloidosis with cardio amyloidosis. Unfortunately, the final book in The Wheel of Time is only half done. He apparently dictated how the story ends to several close confidants and an "army of authors" (missed that boat, I did) will work to finish the book. It's apparently a monster, and frankly needs to be in order to wrap up all of the story. His books, especially his earlier volumes, were tremendously influential on my own stylings (I did, for a while, have a character similar to Rand al'Thor before I decided to abandon the whole central Christ figure theme in my books), and I shall miss his works, though I have been harshly critical of the middle volumes for being hundreds of pages of fluff with no meat.

Rest in peace, gentlemen. May you both enjoy a hearty ale and a good tale at the Lord's Table.

The Race is On!!!

My wife, the buxom and callipygian Boudica, has started her own writing project. She's been formulating ideas for some time in that sweet, little redheaded mind of hers, and now she's committing some of them to paper. After extensive research (this is where she differs from me, because I sit down and start puking words onto the screen), she started typing things up over the weekend. I'm not sure how far she is or what her goals are on length and whatnot (she won't let me read it or look at it, which is understandable, because I'm the same way), but she's writing.

So, now it's a race to see who can get their books out first. Me, who is done but is simply proofreading and preparing to send it off soon, or her, who has just started. My money is on the buxom and comely Boudica.

See, it's not that I don't want to complete this and get it out for the world to read and fall in love with. It's more like I want to do other things (although I did read a couple of chapters last night that I felt were really done quite well, if I do say so myself). Recently, I watched the first half of An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, and in the very first little stint, he addresses the whole notion of writer's block and whatnot, except he claims to suffer from "writer's-laise" (or perhaps "writer's-laze"...I'm unsure which) where he would prefer to be entertained from time to time rather than do the entertaining. I'm the same way (except I haven't really entertained anyone yet, improv sketches aside, and even that's debatable). I'd much rather sit down and watch a marathon of Dirty Jobs where I can laugh, giggle, get disgusted and then thank God I went off to grad school so I could avoid having to do a lot of the shit work that most people in this country suffer through on a daily basis (and my hat's off to you, you dirty, dirty folk).

The same issues continue to hound me from before: I know how this story ends, so it's kind of tough to get into the tale. However, last night, like I said, I did read some stuff, and it was enjoyable. I really liked what I read. That might sound pretentious and self-righteous, but I was reading a certain passage where a character was killed and I thought "damn, that's good." I wanted to read more but I had to dash off, build some more phalanx, and make sure no one was attacking my alliance. Ah, the trials of online military leadership.

If nothing else, the buxom and callipygian Boudica's writing will help me realize that I should probably, you know, do something. Unlike Kevin Smith, my entire financial well-being does not center around meeting a deadline and getting something out there. Also, unlike Kevin Smith, I don't have two characters that I can just fall back on when I need--there is no "Alexander and Kenneth say something remotely witty...alright, what's Mike Rowe up to now?" Especially since one of those characters is dead. I'm such a literary cocktease. Or not.

So, I raise my coffee cup to the buxom and comely Boudica and wish her well and luck. She, like me, is writing for a niche market, but one with billions and billions of dollars poured into it annually. Me? I have a bunch of guys living in basements who look at a book, push their glasses up their noses, and snivel "I'll wait for the paperback". Now, time to get back to the editing.

A Suggestion for Charlie

September 17, 2007

I'm pretty much anti-sticker, mostly because Ohio State does it (and Florida State). The stickers seem arbirtrary and would really effing destroy the mystique surrounding the golden helmets. This isn't grade school; stickers shouldn't be the reward for doing a good job.

So, instead of stickers, might I suggest you bribe your team with cake.

Get a cheerleader, preferably a cute one (scour the campus if you must, recruit a girl from Pangborn if you have to) to stand in the endzone holding a cake. This will entice the offense to put the ball down there because then they get to eat cake being served by a pretty girl. No need for a bikini or anything, after all, it gets really cold in South Bend in the fall. Just good, moist cake. They can have the pieces with extra icing on them for two-point conversions.

For the defense, might I suggest cookies. Go to Lyons, get a fine-looking co-ed (for kicks, get one with red hair), and have her stand on the sidelines with bags of cookies. Make a tackle, get a cookie. Drop the running back for a loss? Get a cookie. Sack the quarterback? Get two cookies. Force a three-and-out, everyone gets a cookie. Force a turnover? Three cookies. Score a defensive touchdown? Sleeve of oreos. Don't forget the milk.

For special teams, go to Cavanaugh, find a comely dark-haired lass, give her some pie. Everyone loves pie. Touchback? Slice of pie. Score a touchdown off a punt or kick-off return? That slice of pie gets whipped cream.

Try this, and maybe, just maybe, success will be yours. And then guys like me won't have to write out suggestions for how to fix this mess you've got.

Thanks to Dr. Woller for giving me the idea.

Congratulations, Charlie...

September 15, 2007're now worse than Duke.

Duke beat a Big Ten (+1) school. On the road.

You and your highly-touted offensive genius haven't managed to put the ball in the endzone this season. In fact, your players probably forget where the endzone is. Well, not your defensive players. They know it by where the opponents end up, largely thanks to your inept offense putting the ball on the ground, going three-and-out and penalizing themselves for continued losses. Well done. Bravo. Kudos. Now, what the fuck are you gonna do to fix it?

I'm willing to split the blame with Willingham. He fucked the team up good, I know. He left a talent drain in the last two classes you inherited. We get it. But there's no way that your offensive line should be this porous! There's no way that Sam Young should look like he's in high school. Last year, he looked solid. This year, he's inept, like the rest of your offensive line. Don't tell me Darius Walker was the only person who could understand the blocking schemes you set up for the past two years. But you know what? You're responsible for taking what few crumbs Willingham left you in the cupboard and at least make something out of it. You've done nothing.

Stop being cute. Stop being cunning. Stop trying to outthink the opponent. Get your linemen, put them in order, and teach them to stop letting defenders past them. Teach them smashmouth football. Teach them how to block without holding. You had all preseason to do this, and you didn't get it done. Instead, you sat down everyday and played an annoying mental game with the media about the starting quarterback...who isn't even on the team anymore. In fact, in the past couple of months, you've lost two quarterbacks (three if you count Quinn's graduation). I suggest you take the two open scholarships and find a couple more offensive linemen with them. Fill in the voids. You've got talent at the other positions running out your ears. Find some linemen.

And then, while you're at it, take the linemen you have, lock them in cages and poke sticks at them. Deprive them of sleep. Feed them bloody meat. Turn them into animals because right now, a litter of kittens would put up more of a fight than your offensive line.

You say you're going to start over from square one? Good. But don't pull this "let's pretend like we're not 0-3" bullshit. Remind your team that they're 0-3. Remind them what it's like to play for Notre Dame, how they need to be proud to put on the golden helmets, how they're supposed to win one for the Gipper, not shit one for him. March around that locker room and give them the speech about what it means to play football for Notre Dame, get fired up, and look each one of your players and coaches in the eye. If any of them flinch, put them out on the street. I don't care if his last name is Zibikowski or Clausen or what. If they're going to back down from the challenge of playing football at Notre Dame, then you don't need them. Clean house and start over tomorrow.

And then go out and beat Sparty.

And above all, remember one thing: the fans turned on Willingham when he lost to Michigan, 38-0.

Right...the Big One Goes on Top

September 13, 2007

And no, I'm not talking about my sex life.

Today, I was trying to find the yield of a reaction I did yesterday. The product had dried overnight, so I was writing the numbers out on my in-lab notebook (read: my hood sash). I went through the calculations and discovered that I had made -0.9876 g. Imagine my delight at discovering that I had the power of a deity coursing through my synthetic hands. After all, only a god can destroy matter and make the sum total of the universe post-Big Bang come out with the negative sign.

That's when I actually looked at what I had written and discovered that I had made a slight error in my calculations. Reverting back to first grade (you know, when they teach you such shit like subtraction and addition), it occured to me that I was subtracting the weight of the flask and the material from the tare weight. Fortunately, it was early enough that I could hide my mistake from my co-workers and not suffer through their disdain. Of course, now I'm publishing this on-line for the whole world to read, collectively raise their fingers at the screen, and chant "Ha ha!" in unison. I'm a fucking idiot.

However, I'm an elated idiot, because when I finally put the big one on top (snicker), it turned out that I had pretty much a quantitative yield. This caused me to do a little, grotesque version of a dance. You see, for the past few weeks, I've been working on large scale chemistry that has frustrated the hell out of me because I'm not used to things crashing out of solution at the most inopportune times. Yet, despite these frustrations, I learned a lot about how to handle myself in these situations in the future so that if when I have to do this again, I'll be golden.

Now, to focus on that whole subtraction thing...

Connecticut: Most Definitely NOT Smacked in the Mouth

September 4, 2007

I think I've decided that I'm no longer going to blog about Notre Dame football. Instead, I'm going to blog about the ACC because, honestly, it's a lot more funny.

Take, for instance, the radio caller in mid-July who made the prediction that "Connecticut is going to come down here, and we're going to smack them in the mouth, and the winning's going to keep on coming. You heard it here first: Duke, 6-6, going to a bowl game this year."

Apparently, Connecticut didn't get the memo. It seems as though Duke forgot to read it.

That's when suddenly it hit me: the members of the ACC are just like the characters from one of the greatest movies ever made: Clerks. (Wow, consecutive uses of the colon). You might disagree with my tastes in low-budget black-and-white films about a day in the life of the average Quick Stop schmo, but I hope that you'll at least read this and enjoy the comparisons that are really spot on, at least from my point of view.

Virginia Tech: Dante Hicks. He doesn't want to be there ("I'm not even supposed to be here today") and he's surrounded by inferior beings ("Bunch of savages in this town") and yet he keeps going on, trying to do his best, not offend the customers, and get the job done. The parallels with VT are many: they're in an inferior conference, surrounded by inferior schools, and yet they go out, play sound fundamentals, flash out some superstars, and basically do things right (we can even say that giving scholarships to the Vick boys is kind of like closing the store to play hockey on the roof or to go to a wake).

Clemson: Randall Graves. Probably could be doing something better with his life, but yet he does just enough to keep employed at the video store. A slacker and consummate underachiever, he watches movies all day and leafs through porn at the Quick Stop when he should be manning the counter at the video store. Clemson does just enough to get to bowl games and keep Tommy Bowden in a job.

Florida State: Jay. Put your pot-smoking references aside, kids, we're going a bit more cerebral here. Talks a big game, but never comes through in the pinch. Does a lot of illegal, shady stuff, but doesn't get caught. As soon as Dante turns his head, Jay is stealing stuff from the store. Whenever someone mentions "Clerks", you immediately think of Jay. When someone mentions the ACC football, you usually think of Florida State.

Wake Forest: Silent Bob. Most of the time, they're just there, hanging out, looking shady. Every once in a great while, he speaks. Consider last year to be the football equivalent of "There are many fish in the ocean".

Boston College: Egg Man. He's going through life, searching out the perfect dozen eggs, but he can never find them. This is a consequence of his life having no meaning. When the ACC expanded, Boston College jumped up and down in the back of the room yelling "me, me, me!" only to finally, as a last resort to get 12 teams, have the ACC say "fine". Inferiority complex, anyone? Not to mention their golden dome envy of Notre Dame. In the end, the Eagles just smash the eggs against the glass door front and start to cry on the floor.

Maryland: Old Man. You know who I'm talking about. He shows up, requests a nudie mag, and goes off to the shitter for the rest of the movie until the climax. This is Maryland. They're relevant for a while, slip into the background and you forget about them, and then suddenly--BAM!--they show up again and play a critical role in the end by screwing someone while they weren't paying attention.

Georgia Tech: Angry Hockey Playing Customer. Shows up, wants to complete the sale, doesn't get access (read, respect) to the store, climbs up on the roof, pushes people around and slaps the puck into a sewer drain across the street. Most of these are based on their manhandling of Notre Dame over the weekend. Deal with it.

Miami (FL): Olaf Oleeson. The Russian Dude trying to make it as a rockstar. His lyrics are filled with violent and sexually-charged imagery. He's what the Seventh-Floor Crew would be if they had Slavic accents. You don't really understand either of them, and you probably don't want to. ("Did he just say 'making fuck'?")

Virginia: William Black, aka "Snowball". Likes to have his own cum blown back into his mouth after getting a blowjob. Virginia should probably be happy with just the blow job at this point.

North Carolina: Caged Animal Masturbator. Every so often, UNC likes to think of itself as really important ("We hired Butch Davis, and you didn't...and we beat James Madison!"), enough so that they look down on the rest of the world from their ivory tower. Really, however, in the end, they're just stroking animals for their seed.

North Carolina State: Veronica Loughran. Just like Veronica, they show up, act all sexy, pretend like the world should eat out of their hand, all in a sad attempt for attention because no one has given them any. They make a date with their old boyfriend (NCSU's version of football notoriety), only to end up screwing a corpse in a darkened bathroom and having to spend the rest of their lives in a mental institution.

Duke: Caitlin Bree. Sucked 37 dicks. In a row? Not quite, but they're getting there.

And one more, because they're atop the college football world right now:

Appalachian State University: Rick Derris. Sexy, fit, gets the girl, and can taunt Dante (Virginia Tech) with the notion that they've done something he hasn't: beaten a top-5 school on the road this year.

Wake Up The Echoes, Already!

September 1, 2007

Last season, I refused to wear a Notre Dame shirt on gameday. I figured I'd jinx the team (or Jenks them, as it were). This morning I woke up and said "Fuck that superstitious shit" and pulled the shirt my wife gave me shortly after we were married over my head. By the third quarter, just about the same time Jimmy Clausen was pulling off his redshirt, I was pulling off my Notre Dame shirt. That's it. I'm done. No more wearing of the green on Saturdays for me.

Here, before we go further, let me tell you my sad tale of woe for the day.

I had picked out my beers of choice for the day (Leinenkugel's Summer Wheat and Bell's Oberon). With giddy anticipation did I sit around and await the time for college football to start. During that time, apparently, something go into my nose, or something, and I clogged up and started sneezing and had clear, runny snot dripping out of my nose. I couldn't take it anymore, and so I dug around in the medicine cabinet and found...nothing. I had to settle on a bottle of children's Claritin that we bought in the spring for one of the kids. I took a shot of that (literally, I think that's how much it called for) and then sat there, distraught over the fact that I couldn't drink with antihistamines running through my system.

And, Lord, did I need to drink.

Here's a couple of things that you might want to go over with your team, if your name is Charlie Weis:

How to score.
How to stop the other team from scoring.
How to hold on to the fucking ball.
Special Teams.
Coming off your blocks.
Stopping the running back from gaining 30 yards on a play.
How to stop people running unabated at your quarterback.
How to stop your quarterback running unabated into a tackler's arms.

Did I miss anything? Oh yeah. Offense and defense. And special teams.

So, Charlie's third year (which I shall henceforth refer to as "Tyrone's Revenge") is panning out pretty much how everyone (except me...and perhaps the boys at BGS...and probably Crewcut himself) predicted. That was one of the shittiest performances I've ever seen, and that includes last year's Sugar Bowl. In fact, I thought I was watching a bowl game. It's almost like Tyrone was prowling the sidelines once more (oh yeah, and Domer fans (myself included), this is the last year we can blame Tyrone...after this it's all on Crewcut Charlie). Let's not practice tackling; let's practice clapping in rhythm so that we cut down on these false starts.

The offensive linemen got thrown around. The defensive linemen got thrown around. Pretty much the only thing that looked improved was the secondary...and probably because they weren't tested. David Bruton did look pretty good. I'll give him that. At least someone came to play.

So. There. It was a solid ass-whooping, sure. At least it wasn't a loss at home to a Division 1-AA school. I'm sorry. An FCS school.

But, at this rate, it could be worse. Duke shows up in November, and the way the Irish are playing, the Blue Devils could have their way with them.



Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame! GT vs ND preview

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I was dealing with a particularly immobile chlorine that I really wanted to get off my molecule. So, when it wasn't moving, I was just pissed and didn't feel like sharing my thoughts with the world, because they'd be, moreso than normal. I was going to do a whole preseason preview special, but, alas, I couldn't find my Magic 8 Ball (I was going to predict Notre Dame's season versus it and we could see who came out better). Alas, we'll have to do this week-by-week, I guess.

Anyway, today kicks off college football season, at least from my perspective, mostly because today is Notre Dame's first game (and I think St. Joe's, but since they don't have their own network, I won't get to see it). Unlike the rest of the world, Notre Dame is opening against a tough opponent, and the pundits are having a heyday. A summary of their comments is in italics, mine regular, unfancy, old unitalacized text. Whee! Let's go.

Notre Dame will lose because they only scored 14 points against Georgia Tech last year, and that was with Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija and Darius Walker! Now they have a new quarterback and new receivers and new backfield! They'll lose by three touchdowns!.

I'll remind you that Notre Dame opening AT George Tech last year, the GT crowd was excited, Notre Dame's ranking was overinflated (and thusly their egos). The ground game got it done last year, and they'll probably get it done this year. Walker is gone, but is replaced by a whole slew of really talented, really fast running backs. Samardzija is gone (as well Rhema "Dropped Pass" McKnight), but a whole slew of talented receivers are waiting their turn. Quinn is gone, but it's not like the quarterback situation is barren (i.e. no walk-ons playing backup *cough*Willingham-Davie*cough*). Even with Clausen sitting (hopefully), both Sharpley and Jones were talented, high-caliber recruits coming out of high school (Jones moreso than Sharpley) and both have had time in Weis' offense to be effective once the butterflies go away. Plus, Notre Dame still has John Carlson at Tight End, and we all know who he looks like.

Notre Dame's defense stinks! They'll lose for sure!

True, Notre Dame's defense isn't...good. Or wasn't. Corwin Brown is not Rick Minter, and Rick Minter's defense was enough to hold Georgia Tech to 10 points at home with stud receiver Calvin Johnson in the mix and Reggie Ball quarterbacking. Lest ye forget, Georgia Tech will likewise be breaking in a new quarterback (which is a step up, probably, from that shitstain Reggie Ball), but they lost Calvin Johnson, who basically WAS their offense last year. Notre Dame has a new look on defense, more players in the secondary, and a defensive set that could cause the new quarterback at GT to shit shamrocks.

Charlie Weis is a fat, arrogant prick! Notre Dame deserves to lose! Tell us who the quarterback will be, you smarmy body-double for Jabba the Hutt!

True, Charlie does have some extra pounds, but then, I'm a fat slob myself. The last coach was thin and rollerbladed everywhere on campus...when not hitting the links. And the coach before that wanted a hot dog, but couldn't get into the rotating hot dog vending machine at 7-11 (nor could he break out of a predictable ground game...option right, option left, run up the middle). As far as not telling the media who the starter would be, fuck 'em. Let Jon Tenuta stew over it a little bit. I actually hope that both Sharpley AND Jones come out on the first series and they pull a trick play out of their ass and score 6. And then Crewcut Charlie, Robot Genius, can smirk all the way through the game.

Sorry, but Chan Gailey's squad has been perrenial underachievers in an underachieving conference. Yeah, they went to the championship game in the ACC last year because the ACC had 12 teams with the ferocity of a litter of kittens. The coaching might rests heavily on Notre Dame's side, and not just because Charlie is equal to about three Chan Gaileys. Ever see Charlie's assorted collection of rings? Chan? Not so much.

Prediction: ND 27, GT 17.

Bite My Squishy, Green Ball

August 25, 2007

Apparently, the ab-lounge wasn't enough. Too bad that ugly bitch can't really fit into her fat jeans anymore. That shit's gone by the wayside, and now we're plagued with a new abdominal-working fad piece of shit exercise implement. Apparently the ab-roller didn't cut it either. The ab-slider? Slid out of vogue. As well the thing with the springs in it that you would hook your feet to and then sit back, using the spring to add extra oomph to your workout. What the hell ever happened to just doing sit-ups?

Now we have the Bender Ball. Like the ab-lounge, it lets you extend your range of motion and gets you up off the floor, adding all sorts of bonuses to your workout to flatten your tummy. Like all rip off fads exercise machines designed to help tighten your tummy and rid you of those unlovable love handles, the commercial trots out a panoply of wasp-waisted middle aged women who swear by the results of the Bender Ball. They, of course, leave out the fact that the ball guzzles booze, belches fire, watches them in the shower, steals their money, chain smokes cigars, and has a 0.04% nickel impurity.

It is time for me to cash in on this shit, man. I am so putting a magnetic, black triangle on a Bender Ball and marketing them as "Flexo Balls". I'll make millions.

Happy Birthday, Lil Sis

August 24, 2007

Today would have been my sister's 26th birthday. Sadly, she died two weeks after her 14th birthday while I was away at college. It was, pretty much, the worst day of my life.

My sister was born with a tiny piece of her brain ossified. This essentially screwed everything up so bad that she suffered from seizures her entire life that were, to be quite honest, horrific and traumatic for everyone around her. To hear her wail when she had one was...well, words can't describe the empty feeling surrounded by helplessness surrounded by fear. As time went on, we grew to expect them and to cope, but it was never something that we were completely at ease with. Also, due to this congenital defect, she could never walk or talk, and years of inactivity on the couch or her bed caused her joins to atrophy. She basically had to wear diapers and be spoon fed soft foods for her entire life.

One amazing thing was that, despite her inability to talk, she developed ways of communicating with us. She would shake her head no or do a sweeping up motion with her head for yes, would hold her left hand to her mouth for food or drink, and could smile when she was happy or let you know that she wanted to do something, like have a story read to her or whatever. Her favorite toy was her glowworm, because the face lit up and because it was about the only toy she could get to play. It had a little music box sewn inside its nightshirt and would play "Rock a-bye, Baby" when she'd hit it with her elbow, and to make it "sing" caused her such great joy. Despite all that, even to this day, I wonder what sort of person she was trapped inside her body.

To say I miss her would be an understatement. For months after she died, I had dreams about her every night. Some were disturbingly intense, like how I had stolen her body from the funeral home and was looking for her soul to put back in it. Great fantasy storylines and such, but horrible if you're a grieving brother. I vowed after she died that I would think about her every day. That's slipped a little in the past twelve years, but whenever August 24th rolls around (or September 7th, the day she died), I always think of my little sister. I wish she was back, but I wouldn't wish her to be back in that condition. After all, I'm Catholic (in case you have forgotten), and so I believe she's in a better place, where she is free to roam and talk and do everything that her poor little tortured body wasn't able to do while in this world. If you want to take that and say that my religion is just there as a comfort, that's fine, go ahead. I'll think you're an asshole, but that's your choice.

One of my biggest issues with my sister's death, however, is that I was home from college for Labor Day at the beginning of my sophomore year. Normally, I would go and say good-bye to her, but this time I kind of walked out the door and gave her a wave and a "'Bye, Steph" rather than saying good-bye like I wasn't some kind of ass. Everything was fine, I drove back to St. Joe and then a few days later, my aunt and uncle show up to give me the bad news. You can probably tell why my guilt has eaten at me these twelve years.

One fortunate thing was that one of our close, personal family friends was the local mortician in town. He took care of everything, and the way he helped all of us cope was amazing. Sure, we had cards pour in from all over the area (including ones from two separate ex-girlfriends of mine, which, you know, was really cool), but it was Master Bruce's tenderness that helped soothe everyone over the first couple of days before we buried her.

However, if I ever doubted that St. Joe was the right place for me, it was made boldly apparent by the outpouring of well-wishers and kindness from the entire campus. A couple dozen of my friends drove across the state of Indiana to come to my house and to be there for me, and for that I'll be eternally grateful. We got flowers and everything from all over the campus, from the President's office, from the science department, professors, dorms...the list could probably go on. I think we still have all of the cards and stuff tucked away some where. Not that we want to be reminded of losing a member of our family, but the kindness expressed was just overwhelmingly wonderful.

Not only that, but I had a couple of high school friends who drove up from Indiana and from Purdue to come to her funeral. If it wasn't for the combination of my St. Joe friends and my high school friends, I don't know how I would have made it through the weekend.

All of these things are bubbling up now, so if my little story sounds a touch disjointed, forgive me. It's not so much a story about the sadness of my sister's affliction or for everyone's pity; more, it's a testament to the strength of friends and healing of the human spirit. So, thanks for letting me deal with a little personal pain. I'll get back to the normal stupidity around here tomorrow. For today, though, I'm going to keep things somber.

So, here's to you, my little sister. I truly hope that your soul is free of all harm and affliction, and that it may wander wherever and whenever it chooses. God bless you.

Stephanie Marie Jenks, b. August 24th, 1981, d. September 7th, 1995.

I Bet You Didn't Know...

August 23, 2007

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm not sure if most of my close friends know this or not. I think my wife, the Comely and Buxom Boudica, might know...or not. I dunno. I might have told her about it once. I might have even mentioned this in college, probably during a long night of imbibing and Irish Drinking Tunes. It wasn't exactly seminal in the formation of the fat smartass you see read before you now, but it was a little something that happened to a younger, kinder me. As I've been reflecting on my high school days thanks in large part to the colossal upset of Homestead High School, I thought this might be apropos. Maybe it's not, but it's what you're getting, so deal with it.

Back when the losing streak to Homestead was not quite yet a decade old (i.e. 1997), I had a professional writing gig. Yep, I used to actually get paid to put words on a piece of paper and have people read it in a weekly column featured in the local newspaper, the Huntington Herald-Press (owned up until very recently by the Quayle family...yes that Quayle family). Yes, that's right, my friends, I used to be a part of the liberal media.

I got paid something outrageous like $0.50 a news item or something like that. I dunno. It was enough to keep me in comic books every two weeks (I know many of you are stunned to hear that this fat geek is into comics) and enough quarters to sneak up to Fort Wayne with my best friends Jason and Tyler to play the X-Men video game in the foyer at Wal-Mart. Anyway, it was a gig, and it got my feet wet, and it showed me, in the long run, that I really don't want to write for a newspaper. But back when I was doing it, damn, it was kind of fun. I think most of the fun came in the mail every two weeks, but it was fun nonetheless.

My job description was pretty simple: report on the news going on around your hometown. Each of the little burgs in Huntington County had a weekly appearance in the newspaper on a set day. I think my day was Friday and I reported on the news around Markle, IN. And let me tell you...there wasn't much to report.

Due to this lack of news, I would often find myself coming up with new and inventive ways of making an ass of myself in the paper. I would hold contests where people could call in and basically all they'd do is get their name in the paper. Which is really kind of sad, when you think about it. For some people, they looked forward to reading their name in my column. Life in small town America, I guess.

Some of these contests were tricky, though. I had a whole series of them that were related to signs of spring, like who saw the first robin, who had the first crocus blooming, who saw the first snake...blah blah blah. One of them was "who found the first mushrooms". Wow. Was that a fucking can of worms.

The mushrooms in question were morels, which are apparently quite tasty if fried up. I'm not a big fungus fan; mushrooms grow in dead stuff and are basically scavengers. It'd be like shooting a vulture and frying it up. I realize that pigs eat garbage, too, but the difference between pigs and mushrooms is that pigs are quite tasty. Mushrooms...not so much.

(Incidentally, my friend Jason, mentioned above, would argue this fact with me into the wee hours of the night, if needed, until I came around to his way of thinking...but it hasn't happened yet, sucker).

Those people who would tromp through the woods looking for a stand of morels--commonly known as "mushroom hunters"--would defend their territory to the end. It'd be like the fucking Battle of Azincourt where one group (usually a pair) would actually try to lead all other mushroom hunters astray if they were in the woods and they thought there were mushroom poachers around. If the poachers were persistant, then there'd be fights in the woods. There might even be shots fired. It'd usually just be a warning shot up in the air, but still. I think you get the picture.

This all seems like a lot of extra work to me. Especially for something that looks pretty much like a dick growing out of the ground. But, people loved themselves some mushroom hunting. I bring this up because it's the only time in my long career (approximately a year) that I would hold one of these contests that the "winner" (which was the first person to call in with the info I wanted) didn't want to be recognized. I remember the phone conversation well. You don't forget something of this nature. It went something like this:

Me: "Hello"
Mysterious Caller: "Mr. Jenks?"
Me: "Oh, I'll go get my dad."
MC: "Oh, no, Mr. Matthew Jenks?"
Me: "Speaking."
MC: "I'm calling about the contest. The mushroom hunting contest."
Me: "Ah, excellent. No one's called in yet. You're the first, sir."
MC: "Yes, well, I found a whole stand in my usual spot. Brought in about fifty or sixty."
Me: "That's quite a haul. Can I get a general idea where this is?"
MC: "No!"
Me: "Oh, well, then...can I get your name?"
MC: "NO!"
Me: "Well, um, I guess you're still a winner. I can't really give you any recognition if you don't give me your name, though."
MC: "That's just too damned bad, isn't it? I don't want anyone following me to my spot! Those are my mushrooms, and I'm not going to let some punk kid ruin my spot for me!"
Me: "I'm not really trying to ruin your spot..."
MC: "Well, that's fine. There, I called in. So there. And if you try to find out who this is or where my spot is, you'll find a very nasty surprise outside your door!"

I always regret not knowing who this was, because I wanted to follow him and "fertilize" his mushrooms, if you know what I'm saying.

It wasn't quite a death threat, but it was as close as I've ever gotten (aside from Aaron Brooks threatening to kill me in the seventh grade because I said his girlfriend had really nice legs (which she did), not knowing that she was going with Aaron at the time). I still to this day don't know who the caller was. I ended up writing something like this:

"We have a winner in the mushroom-hunting contest, but the caller wished to remain anonymous. And, please, people, for the love of God, don't follow him or figure out where his mushrooms are or else he's going to leave me a very ugly surprise on my doorstep." Surprisingly, the paper ran it like that, even with the reported threat in there. Most people thought I was trying to be funny, but my mom gave me this long lecture on how the pen is mightier than the sword and now how we're going to have to be on the lookout for this guy, blah blah blah.

I quit the job about six months later because, well, it kind of bored me, and I was getting ready to head off to college, and writing the column and submitting was going to be a pain. You might well imagine that Markle, Indiana (official town website) was not on the cutting edge of technology back in the late 90s, so I had no idea that people could email me news information from town and I could complete my column on the computer and email it in. Plus, that sounded too much like work and, really, I was in college, I didn't want to have to put much effort into anything.

I did kick around the idea of having a contest in the fall where people would call in with results on hunting puffballs, and I could make it a two-part contest...first to find one and the biggest. But, I really didn't need anyone threatening to leave anything on my doorstep again. Even though, come to find out, that would have been something to help prepare me for college.

Wow, Do We Suck

August 22, 2007

I read something depressing in the hometown newspaper the other day.

My high school (Huntington North) beat local rival high school Homestead in football.

How is that depressing, you ask? It was the first time they had beaten Homestead since 1988.

For reference, I didn't even start high school until 1990. For further reference, none of the kids who play for my high school team were even born the last time HNHS defeated HHS on the gridiron.


The kids were, of course, jubilant. I don't know if they actually realize that nearly a score had passed since there were similar jubilant kids on the field after playing Homestead. And you know what the really pathetic thing is? Homestead's not even the best high school in the area when it comes to football! I mean, sure, they're good, but they're not Snider or Bishop Luers or Bishop Dwenger. Couple that with the fact that Huntington North is one of the biggest schools in the area, and, well, you've got yourself a one-way ticket to Patheticstown.

19 freaking years. I hadn't realized. Christ, Indiana was preparing to defend a national title in basketball the last time the Vikings emerged victorious over the Spartans. The thing is, I don't even remember the last time Huntington North beat Homestead. Back then, all I cared about was basketball and Aleisha Crago's ass (and not necessarily in that order...). Wow. Compound this information with the fact that my cousin Scott went to Homestead and Homestead was in our sectional (used to be regional before realignment), so you can see that football expectations back at the old alma mater were never too high.

Nineteen freaking years. Incidentally, 19 years ago in August, the first night game was played at Wrigley Field. I watched both games (the first game on August 8th, was rained out and it was against the Phillies, I think) on tv. I had plenty of free time because, well, no one really cared about football in my home town and there was plenty of other things to watch.

Like Aleisha Crago's ass.

Shut Up, Already!!!

August 20, 2007

I have another beef with the idiots on the sports talk radio station(s) down here (mmmm...beef...). Well, I have several, but this one has finally irked me to the point that I must rant to the interwebs and the ebays and the blagosphere.

Remember me bitching about Chris Clark here? In there I mentioned that Clark would soon be joined by local ACC shill David Glenn. While I haven't heard that one trick pony talk about how ESPN was beating down the ACC's door for that coveted Thursday night football game (please...) yet, his other oft-repeated, ad nauseum phrase has finally got me to the breaking point. It used to merely irritate me, but now I'm ready to beat someone in the head with a shillelagh (remember, I did go to Notre Dame and scored "Irish" on the European quiz).

Now, I appreciate someone trying to make an extra buck. Honest. Hell, I'm all about trying to make an extra buck or two for my damned self. This David Glenn guy, in addition to being a lawyer and having his own radio show, also does commercials for a jewelry store called Diamonds Direct. I guess they're local, I don't really give two squirts, I'll never shop there. What has me irked is David Glenn's constant reference to his wife in the commercials he does for the joint. It'd be one thing if he just said "My wife has a ring from there, it's pretty". No, instead he includes this epithet for her, not just on the commercial (and it's every commercial, mind), but any time he mentions her when he's on his show, or a spot on another show, or just sitting in for someone else. Always, whenever he opens his mouth, out roll the words "The lovely and talented Maria".

Okay, fine. You love your wife. Bully for you. And, you find your wife attractive and talented. I don't even want to think about what her talents are. I'm sure they involve brass poles. But, Christ, say it once, maybe your lifetime. There comes a point where even the cutesy crap you try to pull to gain points with your wife become as annoying as an itchy rectum. For this guy, it's about five seconds after opening your mouth.

I wonder if that's what he yells out while they make love. Never mind. I don't really wonder that. In fact, I'm thinking of going all Oedipus on myself now for thinking that. *shudder*

I think, however, that I'm going to start doing the same for my wife. She reads this blog, so why not try to score some points with her? Maybe it'll pay off in the sack. Who knows? Maybe she'll make me a cake for when I get home. Mmmm...cake. Or maybe she'll kick me in the nuts. That's a chance I'll have to take. But, from now on, my wife shall heretofore be known as "The buxom and comely Boudica." I've provided a link so that you can read up on Boudica and, perhaps, understand why I chose that name (in the interest of interweb anonymity, I thought I'd provide the buxom and comely Boudica a little bit of privacy).

Now...I'll just sit back and wait for that cake to appear.