Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!

We got tp'd last night...a pretty lame job, if you ask me. Doesn't look like they used more than one roll.

Fannie Farmer Griddlecakes

Time for another post in the “Starting in December” style. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check out that blog, owned and operated by my colleague Marguerite, you’re missing out on some good writing, some good design, and some good recipes.

Today we’re going to tackle that staple of Sunday morning breakfast, the pancake. Or if you prefer, hotcake, flapjack, or even griddlecake, as they’re called in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, the source of this recipe. Debra and I got this cookbook as a wedding gift, and we’ve used it so much that it is literally falling apart. Mind you, this is not a cookbook for the faint of heart, but it definitely is a cookbook for those who’d like to give clogging up those arteries a shot.

The griddlecake recipe, even though it has a lot of ingredients (in contrast to Bisquick, egg, and milk), is very simple. You mix your powders, you mix your liquids (Is egg a liquid? Close enough), you melt your butter, you mix it all together, throw it on the hot griddle, and voila, you’ve got the best tasting pancakes you’ve ever had in your life.

And if you eat breakfast late enough, you’re covered all the way to dinner. Because as an old friend once said, when you eat these babies, you’re definitely laying down a base.

Fannie Farmer Griddlecakes

The amount of milk you use will determine how thick these griddlecakes are. Start with the smaller amount suggested and add more if the batter seems too thick (speaking of the batter being too thick, could you believe that game Pat Burrell had last night?). Try to have the milk at room temperature before mixing and take care not to overbeat: a few lumps in the batter will do no harm (unless you’re Pat Burrell). You can make lighter, fluffier griddlecakes by separating the egg, beating the white, and folding it in last (whoa – that’s a lot of trouble for pancakes). Serve with maple syrup or honey.

½ - ¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Beat the milk, butter, and egg lightly in a mixing bowl. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and add them all at once to the first mixture, stirring just enough to dampen the flour. Lightly butter or grease a griddle or frying pan and set over moderate heat until a few drops of cold water sprinkled on the pan form rapidly moving globules. If you wish small pancakes (and what would be the point of that?), drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the pan, or pour about ¼ cup from a measuring cup if larger pancakes are desired (this isn’t rocket science…it’s really OK to make them as big or small as you’d like). Bake on the griddle until the cakes are full of bubbles on the top and the undersides are lightly browned. Turn with a spatula and brown the other sides. Place finished griddlecakes on a warm plate in a 200 degree oven until you have enough to begin serving (or, just throw ‘em on a plate and yell out, “hey! They’re ready!”).


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Random Thought

If you're an actor, and your agent scores you a commercial for a low-testosterone treatment, does that make you happy for the work, or just pissed that everyone in the country is going to associate you with low testosterone?

Ready For Game 3

Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 Years Ago Tonight...

I saw my first Bruce Springsteen concert. Below are my thoughts from that night, reprinted from an earlier post.

The fall of 1980 was my first quarter at U.C. Berkeley, and those first few months were among the most memorable of my life. First time away from home, first time thrown into the chaos of dorm life, first time having to manage life with not one, but two roommates. As anyone who’s lived in a university dormitory can attest, the science of matching roommates with like interests and habits is an inexact one, at best. But that first year, in my “triple” at Deutsch Hall, they did a pretty good job. One of my roommates was from South Korea, and while he didn’t socialize with us much, he kept the same hours as the rest of us – something that is absolutely essential to peaceful co-existence. Rob Danin, my other roommate, and I got along great. In another lucky break, we shared similar tastes in music – also an essential component of successful dorm life. I haven’t kept in touch with Rob since college, but he has gone on to have a nice little career for himself in foreign relations, and now happens to be the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. In fact, I'm proud to say that I got a better grade than Rob did in a course we took together, on Jewish History of the 20th Century. But he's the one with the Ph.D., so I suppose it's not nice of me to point that out.

Rob was a huge Springsteen fan, and while I wasn’t quite there yet, I owned all of his albums and enjoyed them a great deal. Having subscribed to Rolling Stone for four years, I knew that Springsteen’s live shows were legendary, and when it was announced that he was heading to Oakland, getting there was a must. Cool guy that he was, Rob agreed to buy tickets for me. In those days, the only way to get them was to “sleep” overnight at the Arena where the tickets would go on sale in the morning, and luckily Rob and a group of his friends from Southern California were willing to make the vigil.

This was the era of marathon shows, and 28 October 1980 was no exception: On the night of the lone Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter debate, Bruce Springsteen sang 32 songs, played for more than three hours, and covered nearly every song from The River. I remember being blown away by the first part of the show, which focused on past works, and then falling hard for the River material, after having been skeptical about the double album on the first few listens. I remember Rob’s friends going absolutely crazy when he sang “Wreck on the Highway,” and I remember the utter joy of those last few moments when the lights came on and “Detroit Medley” began.

Needless to say, it was a great show.

Set list:

Good Rockin’ Tonight/Badlands/10th Avenue Freeze-Out/For You/Darkness On the Edge of Town/Factory/Independence Day/Jackson Cage/Two Hearts/The Promised Land/Out In The Street/Racing In the Street/The River/Prove It All Night/Thunder Road/Cadillac Ranch/Fire/Hungry Heart/I Wanna Marry You/The Ties That Bind/Wreck On the Highway/Stolen Car/Point Blank/Crush On You/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Drive All Night/Rosalita/I’m A Rocker/Jungleland/Born to Run/Detroit Medley

"Everybody Is A Star"

"...As a baseball fan, I tend to believe in what feels real, but there's something unreal about this Giants team. When you look at them, outside looking in, they look like a team without stars. But when the Giants look at themselves, they seem to see a team where, each game, ANYONE can be the star."

- Joe Posnanski,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seven Random Thoughts About "The Rocky Horror Glee Show"


“I need that local Emmy, Will!” – Sue

I can really relate to that comment, for reasons I can’t really explain here. Those who know me best will probably understand.


“There is something wondrous about Elton John, and something monstrous.” - Robert Christgau

That’s a quote from 1975, written at the height of Elton John’s popularity. It doesn’t have anything to do with Glee, but as I was watching tonight’s show, I was reminded of it.


In the winter of 1980, I went to see the midnight show of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for eight weekends running. At that time it was showing at the Showcase Theater in downtown Sacramento, which unfortunately no longer exists. I went with my girlfriend, I went with friends, I went with co-workers at McDonalds, I went with my brothers, and I even went with my parents. It was certainly not a “great” movie, but it was fun, and watching it with a bunch of people who felt the same way was even more fun.


I think that Glee has a lot in common with Twin Peaks. Both inhabit worlds that seem on the surface to be real, but when you look a little deeper, you can’t help but realize that they’re not. No one in real life acts like the people on Glee or Twin Peaks. I loved Twin Peaks. I respect Glee, but I don’t love it.


Tonight’s episode of Glee was fantastic – an hour of television that might not be matched for the rest of this season. Just about everything worked perfectly – the Barry Bostwick/Meat Loaf cameos, the guest appearance by John Stamos – and the performances were spot on, close enough to the originals to sound great but different enough to sound original. I laughed out loud on several occasions, even at the lines of characters that I found totally unbelievable.


In the current issue of GQ, there are hot shots of the starlets of Glee in what some might consider suggestive poses. This has resulted in a lot of moralizing, all of it ridiculous. To me, it does present a contradiction (and as you can see from a post below, I love contradictions). The more this sort of thing happens, the more ridiculous the show seems. Now, I get that part of the show’s appeal is that it is ridiculous – just like Twin Peaks was ridiculous. But there is a fine line between “ridiculous” and “jumping the shark” – and I have to wonder how close Glee is getting to the latter.


Let’s do the time warp again.


There's a certain time of the year in my office where, all of a sudden, things get very peaceful. And I don't mean the work itself; right now that's anything but peaceful.

But right now, and the moment may last but a few days, the temperature is such that neither the air conditioner or the heater is running, and all that I can hear is...nothing. Blissful, beautiful silence.

You gotta savor the moments you get.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


There's a new commercial out for a company that makes X-Box games - Kinect. As background music, it uses Gang of Four's "Natural's Not In It," a great song with a great beat. It works great for the commercial.


Want to peruse the lyrics to the song?

The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase
A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life
Economic circumstances
The body is good business
Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife
Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life
This heaven gives me migraine
The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure

Coercion of the senses
We are not so gullible
Our great expectations
A future for the good
Fornication makes you happy
No escape from society
Natural is not in it
Your relations are of power
We all have good intentions
But all with strings attached

Repackaged sex your interest
Repackaged sex your interest
Repackaged sex your interest
Repackaged sex your interest
Repackaged sex your interest
Repackaged sex your interest

The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase
A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life
Economic circumstances
The body is good business
Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife
Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life
This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine

I love sh*t like this.

Giants win the Pennant!

Triumphant "Social Network"

“You’re going to be successful, and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.” – Erica Albright, to Mark Zuckerberg

The greatness of “The Social Network” is established in its very first scene. Mark Zuckerberg, as unlikeable a nerd as one could possibly imagine, is having a drink with his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, Erica Albright. Zuckerberg is a kid who scored 1600 on his SATs, got into Harvard, and looks exactly like the kind of guy who got his ass kicked on a regular basis in high school. In some movies, he’d be the hero. But in this one, he’s one of the great movie villains of all time – a guy who damn near manages to change the world, a guy who certainly changes the landscape of the online world, a guy who makes himself a billion dollars – and manages to do so in a way that leaves the viewer with nothing but contempt. Contempt for his personality, contempt for his methods, and contempt for his treatment of other human beings, from those he considers his enemies to those who consider him a friend. In short, Mark Zuckerberg is a douchebag of epic proportions, and Erica Albright has him all figured out – before he’s made one dime off of his ideas.

“The Social Network” is an across the board triumph – acting, screenplay, and directing. It is a triumph because, even at the moment you’re secretly rooting against Zuckerberg and hoping that someone just walks up to him and tells him to go f*ck himself (or better yet, slap his face), you’re drawn into the intrigue and the drama of what he did. And in the grand tradition of capitalists, I suppose that Zuckerberg isn’t any different from those who came before him – the Rockefellers, the Fords, the titans of industry who made this country what it is.

You have to wonder, for the artists in participated in the making of this movie, whether they realized that they were onto something special. I imagine that they did, and can only imagine (and envy) the creative energy that was taking place on the set from day to day. Even the bit players – familiar faces like John Getz and David Selby (who was in Dark Shadows, for crying out loud!) as the attorneys involved in the various depositions that frame the story; new faces like Rooney Mara (soon to be the American version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), who, in her few minutes on the screen, absolutely radiates future stardom, veterans like Douglas Urbanski, “theater producer and raconteur,” according to his bio), who absolutely nails my vision of what a president of Harvard University would be like, in one of the best scenes in the entire movie (essentially, someone with an attitude of “what the f*ck are you over-privileged brats doing in my office, and wasting my time?) – are terrific.

The lead actors are, to a person, amazing. Jesse Eisenberg, who portrays Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake, as Sean “Napster” Parker, and Andrew Garfield, as Zuckerberg’s “friend and partner” Eduardo Saverin, are just great. They’re the closest to a “love triangle” as there is in a movie that is almost entirely devoid of positive human emotions, and the subtle ways that Parker manipulates Zuckerberg into cutting his friend out of the action are sometimes hard to watch, they’re so brutal and unfeeling. Armie Hammer as the twins Winklevoss is also terrific, effortlessly imbuing the two with the privilege that makes people in this country want to hate the ruling elite.

And Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay? Hey, say what you will about the guy, but he’s an incredible writer. It’s an amazing piece of work. But don’t forget director David Fincher, who sets the tone and mood perfectly in every scene. Hey, I could go on and on…Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack? Amazing. The cinematography, lighting, editing? All terrific.

The best movie of the year? You bet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Torture II

OK, that was ridiculous.

Nothing has come easy this season. As Joe Posnanski noted in this week's Sports Illustrated, the Giants played more close games this season than any team in the past five years. On some nights, the offense was non-existent. They had an amazing tendency to hit into double plays at the most inopportune times (not that there is ever an opportune time to hit into a double play). Their RBI leader had 86 - a number that won't get you on the cover of Sports Illustrated, much less into the Hall of Fame.

But pitching? Man did they have pitching. And even the pitching wasn't entirely consistent. On some nights, Tim Lincecum looked like the best pitcher in the game (which he was the past two seasons). And then, there was that month where he didn't win a game, and didn't look good doing it. But in the playoffs, he's come up big, as just about every pitcher has at one point - Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner, Brian Wilson, the rest of relief corps. It wasn't always pretty, but overall they were great.

And then, you've got the guys like Cody Ross and Pat Burrell - guys that weren't even there at the beginning of the season, but who have come up huge when they needed to. Along with other guys like Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Ray Fontenot, Pablo Sandoval, Juan Uribe...hardly household names, but already close to being legends in the city by the bay.

It hasn't been easy being a Giants fan over the years. There have been some good times, and even in the bad times there have been wonderful announcers like Jon Miller, Hank Greenwald, Lon Simmons, Duane Kuiper, and Mike Krukow. But there have been hard times, and there have been heart-breaking moments - crushing defeats, defeats grabbed from the jaws of victory.

Thinking that fate is on your side in the world of sports is a fool's game. But something does feel special about this year - and there's no doubt that the sporting Gods owe one to the fans of the San Francisco Giants.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Meme of 15 (Directors)

A meme that started on Facebook, and has invaded the blogosphere. I last saw it on a great blog, Lazy Thoughts from a Boomer.

As fast as I can:

- Alfred Hitchcock. North by Northwest. Rear Window. Psycho. Vertigo. The Man Who Knew Too Much. Rope. To Catch a Thief. First Hitchcock movie I saw? Family Plot. First movie I saw with my wife to be? The Man Who Knew Too Much. The master.

- Quentin Tarantino. Brilliant audacity.

- David Fincher. Haven't seen "The Social Network" yet, but hell - I even liked "Alien 3."

- Christopher Nolan. Fincher's rival as the director of the moment.

- Sidney Lumet. "Prince of the City" is my favorite.

- Steven Spielberg. Hey, he's the man. What can I say?

- Woody Allen. For all his foibles, he's made some damn great films. Sort of like the Bob Dylan of film - you never know when another masterpiece might jump up and bite you in the ass.

- Blake Edwards. For The Pink Panther movies, "10," and "SOB."

- David Cronenberg. From "Scanners" to "A History of Violence."

- John Ford. You like westerns?

- Martin Scorsese. An obvious choice, sure. But a good one.

- Billy Wilder. "Some Like It Hot?" "The Apartment?"

- Michael Mann. I still think he might have directed the best Hannibal Lecter movie.

- Jonathan Demme. But on the other hand, he might have. And he definitely directed the best Talking Heads movie.

- Peter Weir. "Witness." "Master and Commander." And much more.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Call Me A Curmudgeon...

...but I really don't understand why, once the baseball playoffs begin, we're suddenly hearing "God Bless America" instead of the traditional "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. What - all of a sudden, we love our country more once the baseball playoffs begin?

It made sense in 2001...I'm not sure it still makes sense today. And if we're starting a new tradition, how about a rendition of "This Land Is Your Land?"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"The Town"

Ben Affleck is turning into a hell of a director.

On the list of things about movies you never thought you’d hear, that’s got to be high on the list. But after two expertly-made crime movies, “Gone, Baby, Gone” and now “The Town,” there’s no doubt that Affleck is a terrific filmmaker, and one who can adapt a good book into a good flick – something that’s not as easy as it sounds.

I’m told that the star of the film was supposed to be Affleck’s brother Casey, but he wasn’t available, so Affleck cast himself in the lead role and manages to pull it off. As the leader of a crew that specializes in robbing banks and is very good at it, he’s clearly intelligent, but just as clearly wants to get out of the game. He has his tender moments, but he can turn on the brutality when the circumstances call for it. His best friend and crewmate is played by the great Jeremy Renner, who is wound so tight that you think his head could explode at any given moment. Renner isn’t stupid, but brutality is his middle name, and for him robbing banks is not a means to an end – it is the end, because it’s what he knows how to do. The bond between the two is tight, tight enough that Renner spent a 9-year term in prison for killing a kid that had threatened to do the same to Affleck. He makes it clear that he’s never going back to prison, and when you hear that, you know that his fate is sealed.

The story starts on its inexorable run towards a violent conclusion when the crew, in order to escape from a job that threatens to go wrong, takes a hostage – the bank’s manager, played by Rebecca Hall (who does quite well in the role). Affleck volunteers to be the one to check up on her to make sure she knows nothing, they “meet cute” in a Laundromat, and proceed to fall in love. Thus begins a number of triangles involving the two, the third leg of the stool being Renner in one instance, Renner’s sister (Affleck’s former girlfriend) in the other, and Jon Hamm (as an FBI agent determined the bring down the crew) as the third.

There are several standout scenes in the movie that prove Affleck knows what he’s doing as an action director – one involving a car chase down the narrow streets of Boston; another coming in the climactic scene (set at Fenway Park) when there appears to be no way out, and the crew struggles to find one. But the movie is more than action; there are great quiet moments involving Affleck and Hall, involving Affleck and Chris Cooper (as his imprisoned father), and some creepy if not downright scary moments between Affleck and Pete Postlethwaite, playing the grizzled old man who gets a piece of everything the crew has a hand in – and a lot more than that.

Affleck has now done very well by Dennis Lehane and Chuck Hogan – I’d love to see him give Robert Crais or Michael Connelly a try.

Looking For That Happy Place

Lyric of the Day #6

At least, I think we're on #6...

"Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name"

- "Murder in the City," The Avett Brothers

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yes, I've been remiss in not commenting before now on the San Francisco Giants' inspiring victory over the Atlanta Braves in the National League Divisional Series. But an awesome experience it was, although "torture" has become a word very familiar to Giants fans this year.

With the Giants, nothing comes easy. They're not one of the great teams in baseball history; they're not the 1961 Yankees or the 1970 Orioles or the 1975 Reds or the 1984 Tigers or the 1986 Mets or the 1998 Yankees...they're not even the 2004 Red Sox. They have a great, albeit inconsistent, pitching staff. Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies in the NLDS, but Lincecum's 2-hitter against Atlanta - with 14 strikeouts - just might have been a more dominating performance. On any given night, Matt Cain can look like Dwight Gooden at his best. Jonathan Sanchez...well, he pitched a no-hitter, something not even two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum can say.

And then you think about players like Buster Posey and Madison Baumgarner. These are the kind of players about whom you can honestly say, the sky is the limit. Either or both might end up in the Hall of Fame. Either or both could be a flash in the pan. Right now, they are key cogs in the machine, players that could either be heroic in a critical point of the series yet to come, or the goat that people will remember for decades to come. And that is part of what makes baseball so special - you just never know.

Part of this is entirely selfish on my part, because right now a Giants win would mean a lot...but flawed though it is, there is something about this Giants team that makes me think it is the one that is going to take it all. I've had dreams - while asleep, and while awake - that the Giants are going to win the World Series this year, in Game 7, against the New York Yankees. And it will be someone like Travis Ishikawa, or Pat Burrell, or Freddy Sanchez, or Aubrey Huff, to get the hit to do it. Players who won't make the Hall of Fame, but who have played key roles in making this Giants season as special as it has been.


Great Music Moments

- The way Donald Fagen sings "Oh, yeah" on Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic"

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lyric of the Day #6

You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I'd lost my belief in our politicians
They all seemed like game show hosts to me

"I Ever I Lose My Faith in You," Sting

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Autumn Albums - "Simple Dreams," Linda Ronstadt

Autumn has arrived. The days are warm, but the sun is setting earlier, and as night descends one can actually feel a bit of a chill in the air.

It’s time to think about “Autumn Albums,” those albums that I most closely associate with fall. And just because an album is released during the fall months doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to land in this category. There has to be something about the music, something about the style; that lends itself to this time of year.

My first choice is Linda Ronstadt’s “Simple Dreams,” released in September 1977.

For a period of about 5 years in the mid-to-late 1970s, Linda Ronstadt was one of the most popular artists on the planet. She didn’t write any of her own songs, but she had a great voice, and the success of her work was inextricably linked with the songs she selected. Her two best albums were “Heart Like A Wheel,” released in 1974, and this one. When pressed, most fans would probably choose the former, but I prefer the latter.

The album starts out on a bright note, with her cover of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy.” On an earlier album, she’d made the mistake of trying to top Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day,” a task that was doomed to failure from the start. Ronstadt was at her most successful when she would focus on lesser-known, sometimes even obscure songs, and in the Holly catalogue, “It’s So Easy” fits the bill.

From there on, her song selection is almost perfect. Her version of Warren Zevon’s great “Carmelita” almost matches the original, and her take on Zevon’s “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” actually improves on Zevon’s recording. She does a wonderful job on Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” a herculean task when one considers the greatness of Orbison’s original vocal.

But the strength of “Simple Dreams” really lies with the album’s lesser known songs. Ronstadt’s performances on Souther’s “Simple Man, Simple Dream,” Eric Kaz’ “Sorrow Lives Here,” and Waddy Wachtel’s “Maybe I’m Right” are all spot on. But it was her take on two traditionals – “I Never Will Marry,” with exquisite backing from Dolly Parton, and “Old Paint,” which lifted the album from good to great. The only misstep was trying to cover the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” – which seemed silly then, and just sounds stupid today. Unfortunately, Ronstadt seemed to take that effort as the direction that she should head in the future, and her future rock albums felt contrived and inauthentic.

But on “Simple Dreams,” she was almost perfect. And the tone of the album is perfect for a chilly fall evening.

Track Listing:

1. It's So Easy (Buddy Holly, Norman Petty)
2. Carmelita (Warren Zevon)
3. Simple Man, Simple Dream (J.D. Souther)
4. Sorrow Lives Here (Eric Kaz)
5. I Never Will Marry (Traditional)
6. Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson)
7. Poor Poor Pitiful Me (Warren Zevon)
8. Maybe I'm Right (Waddy Wachtel)
9. Tumbling Dice (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger)
10. Old Paint (Traditional)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

NL West Champions!

Giants manager Bruce Bochy on a victory lap following a NL West-clinching, 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

October baseball in San Francisco - it's been a while!

Playoff Baseball

Though not technically the postseason, today's Giants-Padres game is a playoff game, for all intents and purposes. And even though the Giants have a lead for the first time in this 3-game series, I'm not having any fun at all.

There really is nothing more excruciating in sports than playoff baseball, if your team happens to be in the playoffs. Every pitch is magnified. Every bad call (like the inexplicable "foul" call in the first inning of this game) sticks in your mind like a bad memory. Football is not so bad - maybe it's the physical nature of the game, maybe it's the structure of the game, which somehow leaves you thinking you always have a chance, even when you're trailing and it's deep into the fourth quarter.

But playoff baseball? Man, it's just torture. And "torture" is a word that has become synonymous with this Giants team, a team with so many flaws that I won't even try to list them all here. But this team has personality, and this team has character. The baseball Gods owe us one, so even though we're not there yet, and we're certainly not as good on paper as the Phillies, or the Yankees, or even the Rays (hell, maybe not even the Padres, for that matter), we're the kind of team that if we get hot, watch out.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Story Starters

Challenge to myself - before the end of the year, write short stories that begin with the following lines:

"In the end, all that was left was the pain."

"God only knows where I come up with this sh*t."

"I'd seen dogs in carry-on bags before, but never one that size."

"All she really wanted was to see the team win one more title before she died."

"I don't know where that sense of entitlement came from, but man was it annoying."

Signs I May Be More Tired Than I Thought

I forgot to take my laptop out of my carry-on luggage before sending it through security at the airport.

I'm standing there thinking, "boy, this sure seemed easy," and the next thing you know, the TSA guy is holding up my bag asking me if I've got a laptop in there.

At least I made him laugh with my reply of "oh, shit."

Friday, October 01, 2010

Bad Design?

I'm at a conference at a hotel in Los Angeles that shall remain nameless, and scattered throughout are chairs with this...shall we say, unusual design.

As I took this picture I was sitting in one, and you'll just have to take my word for it that it was not particularly comfortable.

Interesting, but somewhat bizarre.