Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bowla Supa Bowl

I have now completed #344 on my list of 400 things to do before I die: name something (this post) “Bowla Supa Bowl”. If I didn’t already have a supa clever name for this blog, I might just have to name it Bowla Supa Bowl. Those who don’t have bands, use their clever name ideas on blogs or pub trivia teams; those who already have blogs and pub trivia teams, use their clever name ideas on blogposts. And … score! When I google bowla supa bowl, this is the first link to come up. “Torpor Indy” is a good name; “Pey-Back Game” is even better. This blog is now my official source for Indy Supa Bowl news. I think I’ll go with the Chicago Tribune for the Bears.

Neither my favorite team, the Steelers, nor the local team, the Pats, are in the Super Bowl this year, so my posting will not be as extensive as last year’s coverage. But I will drop in a few links on this post as I come across them (under UPDATES at the bottom), because Super Week kicks ass. Starting with this nice photo montage of Media Day by the Sports Guy. Also, I don’t really have any sympathy for a blogger who complains about not getting legitimate media credentials, yet writes “all though” instead of “although” in his post complaining about it. That's why the journalists get in and you don't, dude.

I’m rooting for the Bears, my original hometown team, but it’s not looking good. They’re 7 point underdogs and Indy is looking like a team of destiny. This game is either going to be a blowout reminiscent of the 90’s or it’s going to be an upset classic like when the Pats beat the Rams. I just don’t know. I’m filling out a card for a 3 pick parlay right now and I can’t decide what to pick. Here are the options: final score, over under, scoring in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, and first and second halves, over under on each scoring pick, total 1st downs by each team, total FG, longest FG, first team to punt, to commit a turnover, to score in the 2nd half, passing yards for each QB, rushing for each RB (2 for Chi), receiving for Harrison and Berrian, total fumbles lost, total interceptions by both teams. Any suggestions, sports fans? No mention of the first beer commercial. I’m thinking Bud Light myself.


Update: There probably aren't going to be any updates.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Resurrection

The Jesus/Larry Bird year is officially over. But as Dearest Cupcake pointed out, if 33 is the Jesus year, then 34 is the Year of the Resurrection. I'm back! (Let's just hope it's not the Len Bias/Reggie Lewis Year as well)

And to kick off the YOR, I sold two paintings in the last 24 hours at my show in Lynn. Best YOR ever.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bas Rutten

Saturday night! I'm off to Foley's. Luckily, I'm prepared:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idolatry

God help me. Again, I find myself in a blogging ethics dilemma, weighing my obligation to cover VTK newsworthy information with my desire not to fall into negative media pitfalls, to avoid tabloidism. Tabloidism is, of course, entertaining, but it has, of course, detrimental consequences to society. How many times did I whip up a post revolving around skeletal pictures of Nicole Richie with a title along the lines of “One, Two, Three Pounds Of Lady”? Many. But I want to encourage neither eating disorders nor the proliferation of celebutantism. So I scrapped them all. But pop culture/entertainment is an important part of VTK.
Sure, it’s not as high brow as the art posts, as morally righteous as the political posts, as blow-hard as the crackpot posts, as savory as the recipe posts, as hilarious as the alcohol-fueled hijinx posts, or as sporty as the sports posts. But it has its place. And I have a job to do, goddamnit. And I have been a bit remiss in my duties here. Ever since I jumped on the Su Doku bandwagon, really.

Today’s predicament is with some content related to American Idol - a show that is problematic in and of itself. On the one hand, it is reality TV and therefore is inherently good. On the other, its popularity is derived from catering to the American public’s sadistic desire to watch people get humiliated and demeaned. Yes, there are some redemptive stories and some high quality singing mixed in there, but they are largely camouflage for the real ratings draw – the exploitation of the delusions, the failings, and the insecurities of hopeful young adults between the ages of 16 and 30. Some of the humiliated, aren't really because they're doing it as a joke. Some of them end up making money off their horrendous performances. But you have to feel for the kids who really thought they had a chance and got torn to shreds in the process of losing their dreams. I guess all but a few knew what they were signing up for. It's still a little sad, though.

But, in the end, it is reality TV, and as such, I will watch it as soon as I will breathe and eat. And so, I give you the myspace pages of this year’s contestants, brought to you by, tipped to me by the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, If you’re going to be guilty, might as well be real guilty.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Lynn Lynn City of Synn

I just recently set up a new show of several of my paintings at the Gulu Gulu Cafe in beautiful downtown Lynn. It took me 30 minutes to drive up there and an additional 30 minutes to drive around in circles in a 5 block radius trying to find the place. I got out of the car twice to ask directions but couldn't seem to find anyone who didn't look like they would kill me for asking directions. Nice town. But it is apparently a bit of a cutting-edge burgeoning hipster loft-living scene, so it's a good place to hang my art (especially for free). And my friends T&H live there, so it's got good people cred. The owner of the Cafe told me that there are lots of people moving up there looking for art to fill their new spacious living quarters. I didn't think much of it, but he emailed me the first day that the show was open to tell me that one piece (pictured) sold almost immediately. So that's cool. There will be an official "meet and greet" type show for me and the 2 other artists on Thursday night, February 15th, starting around 7 PM. Live music from Fluttr Effect Trio and Laura Younger starts around 8 PM. Come on by, if you're in the area (read: anywhere North of South Boston). They serve some really good beers so you can make it a Thirsty Thursday event if you like.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Spider Webs on Drugs

A classic psychoactive drug study:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Allez Le Rouge!

I saw a Canadian national soccer team game one time where the fans had signs that said "Allez Les Rouge!", in response to the French "Allez Les Bleus!" apparently. I said it to my Canadian cousins this past weekend as we were touring the Ford Motor Company's River Rouge Plant in Detroit (Dearborn). The one who lives in Toronto replied, "what the fuck are you saying? I speak English." The one who lives in Montreal knew what I was saying, but seemed equally confused as to why I would say it. I explained the Canadian soccer reference and he explained that Canadians hate soccer. Hockey, Dan. Hockey.

So, there's your title. Why were my Canadian cousins and I touring the old Ford plant in Detroit? Well, I was in Detroit for Family Holiday Part Deux and we were at the Ford plant to see where the old patriarch of the Harrington family, my grandfather "Pop", worked the steel furnaces in the Ford Plant. Pop is something of a legend in my family. He's everyone's touchstone to our Irish immigrant blue collar roots. He grew up on a tiny island just off the coast of West Cork and used to row a boat to school and back every day. He claimed to have met Babe Ruth on the boat when he came over from Ireland in the late Twenties (the English people were on the upper decks and the Irish were down below. Babe had money by then so he had a ticket up top, but preferred to hang out down below and drink with the Irish and one Patrick Pop Harrington. I've got Yankee Pride in my blood). After a couple years of trying to work on the East Coast (in the days of INNA - "Irish Need Not Apply"), he made his way over to Detroit where Henry Ford had a reputation for hiring Irish, Southern Blacks, and anyone else without discrimination. Getting a job as an Irishman in the US was tough enough in those days; getting a job as an Irishman in the Great Depression must have been like hitting the jackpot, even if it was pre-UAW. Also in the legend of Pop, is the story that he used to sweep the floor at the local pub to work off his tab.

My mom used to tell the story about the time that Pop met Henry Ford. He was working the furnace that heated all the elements and produced the steel for the cars, when Henry Ford, famous for his early industrialist, hands-on, man-of-the-people attitude, went down to inspect what was going on on the floor. He got too close to the furnace that Pop was working and Pop told him to get the hell out of the way. (For years, I credited this interaction as the root of my problem with authority. I even told that story to my manager at Applebee's when he was in my way as I was trying to cook my way through the Friday dinner rush. I told him the story out of the blue, said "and then my grandfather told Henry Ford to get the hell out of the way", put down my knife and tongs, and looked at him until he shook his head and walked away.) My uncle was with us on the tour and he told me a little more of the story which I hadn't heard. After that incident, Henry Ford used to come down to the furnaces on a semi-regular basis to talk to Pop and ask him how things were going. He skipped past the middle managers in the offices up above on the catwalks around the plant and talked to Pop. And when he left, the middle managers would come down and ask Pop what he said.

Unfortunately, the building that he worked in is closed now, but it was cool to get a look at the old plant anyways.