Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pete Postlethwaite Sunday

I'm after watching In The Name Of The Father and Brassed Off back to back. You might say I've been getting my Postlethwaite on. Pete Postlethwaite, that is. A fine actor and possibly the best brow/nose/cheekbone combination in the history of film. Also a master of the dignified resistance role. My opinion of the British government is not particularly high at the moment (not that it ever was high). ITNOTF will fire up even the most diluted of Irish genes. I actually first saw it when it came out in 93/4 in a theater in Cork, which was by far the most intense movie theater experience of my life. People were shouting "Fuck the Brits!" and the like and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Like ITNOTF, Brassed Off details a true story injustice doled out by Her Majesty's Empire, in which Pete Postlethwaite plays the heart and soul dignified voice of the wronged with a debilitating respiratory illness and a troubled relationship with his tempestuous son. Other than The Usual Suspects, I can't recall seeing too much of Postlethwaite's work, but I always enjoy him.

Friday, July 27, 2007

So gold is long and thin, like, say, Kareem Abdul Jabbar

I've a touch of a hangover so I'm playing one of my allotted VTK cop out cards. Also, the pop culture think tank known as The Duffless Foundation is back with a vengeance and deserving of a link. Check out their posts on a Fantasy SNL Cast (fuge and duffless) and their Worst of SNL List. Well done, DF. Nice trilogy. Started off a little dodgy with fuge's omission of Phil Hartman, but came around in the comments section when he made amends.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

IFN topic: pop song lyric

Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces.

Pontoon put-put with the tape on 10,
Dixie cup pink-wine in the Labor Day sunshine.
So I’m sliding the Sunfish up through the wakes,
Coming on it too quick, making mistakes.
Quiet climb the chrome ladder in the front,
While they’re all yawning, under the awning.
Astro Turf-green hot to the touch,
Sneak open the cooler, they’ve got too much.

Past Taipei, through the Taiwan Straits,
We sailed on in, me and my mates.
It was my first time, running my own ship,
But my buddies didn’t care they didn’t give me no lip.
So many times we’ve been side by side,
But I never carried a load with so much pride.

You see I’m from Grand Rapids and up my way,
We grow the best blueberries in the U.S. of A.
And when we put into old H.K.,
The little markets’ll have something special next day.

And then at dawn I had a Scotch, and made them switch off the porn,
‘Cause there’s nothing that’s dirty about the ocean in the morn’.

The radar said nothing and nothing crossed my mind,
When they came starboard side, up from behind.

Down below deck sip the south island sec,
Think when last put in port, I was sorting the sort.
And then a girl caught my eye, as she was waving goodbye.
“Tell me my dear”, I said warm and sincere, “who do you know on the ship?” And then she curled up her lip.
"I don’t know no one there yet, but just wait see what you get."

Pop the top and drink your drop we’ll never go home.
Curse and cry and why oh why we’ll never go home.
We’ll never go home. We’ll never go home.

The radar said nothing and nothing crossed my mind,
When they came starboard side, up from behind.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Atta Buy, Paddy!

Congrats to distant relative* Padraig Harrington on winning the 2007 British Open, making him the just second Irishman and the first in 60 years to win the Open. He avoided a disastrous replay of the famed Jean Van de Velde collapse of 1999 when he landed in the same water on the same hole (same course) twice but managed to make it into a playoff, where he wisely laid up on his next chance at the hole and was able to hit a bogey putt to clinch the championship. It doesn't matter how you got there, Padraig. You got there in less strokes than everyone else. Well played.

* I was down at The Field a couple months ago trying to sell the painting of Uncle Den and Aunt Maggie and the owner Gerry asked me what "your man's" name is and where it was from. I told him Den and it was from a pub in Castletownbere. He asked what the last name was and his eyes lit up when I said Harrington. He said that he looked like Padraig Harrington, and that Padraig was born in Dublin but his father Patrick Harrington was from Castletownbere. (Gerry's a Cork man and took pride in that - "I'm from Kinsale, but my mother's from Clonakilty") He said he thought we were probably related down the line. He wasn't just "pulling the piss", as Padraig confirms in this interview. According to this article, Paddy Sr. left Castletownbere in 1957 but his brother Tadg still lived on the island in 1999. My mother tells me that he had a farm next to one of our relatives and most Harringtons come from Casteltownbere at some point down the line. So you could say he's a distant relative. Though you'd never know it from my golf game.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yankees.7.7 and the Stolen Camera Incident

First, the brief monthly report on the state of the Yankees; Second, for the non-sports-fans, an entertaining story that predated VTK by about a month or two that hasn't been shared in this forum yet.

The Rocket:

The Left Infield:


Would that I could have live blogged this post from the aforepictured seats in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, but, well, I was kinda focused on the Awesomeness. I think this was the first time I've seen Roger Clemens pitch in person and the 45 year old first ballot lock didn't disappoint. He gave up 9 hits and was pitching out of trouble all night but went 6 strong and only gave up the one run, keeping his team in the game until the Jeter/Abreu/A-Rod/Matsui/Posada/Cano show could strike back in the 7th. The 7th in which I registered a mild protest against Steinbrenner by exiting my seat with 2 outs in the top of the 7th to peruse the hallway vendor wares, and returning in the bottom of the 7th, so I could extricate myself from the God Bless America Police State Lockdown bullshit situation. I got back just in time to see The Captain lace one by the second baseman, go to third on Bob A's single, and go home on A-Rod's ripped 2 RBI double. The Stadium was going nuts on a Wednesday night. Two more came in on Robbie's hit three batters later. In the next 1/2 inning, the relief was shaky, so Joe had to go to Mo for 5 outs. Which was fine with me since I only get to see him live every couple years. He worked out of the inherited jam and struck out the 4 for 4 Alex Rios with men on 2nd and 3rd to preserve the lead. Two more for the Bombers in the bottom of the eighth made for a relaxed scoreless ninth for Mariano. And on came the Frank Sinatra version of New York New York instead of the Liza Minelli version. Great game. I even enjoyed the Cotton Eyed Joe play after the 8th. A huge thanks to old friend and VTK reader, CA, for the tix and hospitality.

The state of the Yankees is looking good. We're 7 games back in the East (6 back in the loss column) and I think I can comfortably call that striking distance. 7 and 3 in the last 10 and 3 games over .500, which might not seem that great, but given the first half of the season, I'll take it. In the consolation race, the Yanks are also 7 back in the Wild Card Race. Questions remain about the recovery and impact of Wunderkind Phil Hughes, the inconsistent performance of Abreu and Damon, and the stability of the middle relief corps; Optimism abounds with the recent improved play of Cano, Matsui, and Mariano Rivera. Our next 10 games are against the combined 48.5 games out of first place D-Rays, Royals, and Orioles. I'd like to get 8 out of 10. Seven would be passable. Six or less would be a big disappointment.

As you can see from the pictures I took, I remembered to bring my $300 digital camera in the Stadium with me this time. Not so, the last time I was in the Bronx, two years ago. I had rented a car to drive down for a quick afternoon game and had put my camera in the armrest glove compartment. After a long drive and some tough traffic, I finally reached the Stadium and was frantically trying to find parking since I was missing the first pitch of my first game at Yankee Stadium in about 10 years. I located one of those chain link fence parking lots a couple blocks away and decided to shell out the $20 and hand over my keys (they have to move the cars around). It's a little sketchy to hand your keys over to someone in the South Bronx, but these chain link fence parking situations are common and there's like a 99% chance that they're not going to steal your car. They will, however, steal anything of value left in your car. I knew this, but in my haste, I forgot about the camera until I was inside the Stadium. I said to myself, "well, that's gone. might as well enjoy the game and worry about it afterwards." The Bombers won in glorious 6 run in the ninth comeback fashion and I left with a mild buzz and a great mood. When I returned to the lot, a different guy drove my car over to me and, of course, the camera was gone. So, I started making a quiet scene, searching the car, the trunk, etc. The guy asked me what was wrong since I was blocking the exit with my car. I explained that my camera was gone, at which point he asked me: 1. "Are you sure you had it with you?" 2. "Are you sure it was in the car?" 3. "Are you sure you didn't leave it home." I responded, "positive, positive, positive, it was in the arm rest glove compartment." Let's call this Verbatim Interaction A, or VIA. I was continuing to search my bag and recheck everywhere during VIA. To my surprise, he said he was going to call his manager because this type of thing never happens there. I knew I was fucked, so a simple go fuck yourself would have had me out of the lot and on my way down to Manhattan, but he decided to try to con their way out of this the apparently professional way. So, with a glimmer of hope, I played along while he was on his cell talking to "the manager": I was emailing on my blackberry, pretending to talk on the phone, and reading the Dept of Commerce municipal sign that was taped to the chain link fence. Then he came over and put me on the phone with the manager and we had VIA 2. He said he'd be right down. Again, go fuck yourself would have had me on the Major Deegan Expressway, but con v con was on. An awkward 15 minutes between me and the attendant ensued as all the other cars were now gone out of the lot: " ... I didn't steal your camera" - "oh, yeah, no, i didn't think you did. it's just that I know it was there and now it's gone. maybe the other guy has a lost and found or something ..." Finally, The Manager showed up and it was just the dude who I handed my keys to at the beginning. We had VIA 3. Then he said, "I don't know what to tell you, this never happens here. How much was the camera worth?" "$300" "Hmmm, yeah. That sucks. Do you just need a camera? Cuz I can get you a camera" *thinking "yeah, I know you can. you're a fucking camera thief", saying "nah, I really need that camera"* Again, I couldn't believe we'd gone this far. We were like 40 minutes in at this point and he must have been starting to think I might cause some legal trouble. We had abbreviated VIA 4, and then he said, "well, I can get your information and have my boss send you a new camera ..." "... I don't know. I don't think that's going to work." Then the remainder of the interaction took about 10 seconds: he said, "... or ... I could just give you a hundred bucks" "I'll take the $100 bucks." He whipped out a fat wad, literally snapped off a hundred dollar bill, I put it in my pocket, got in the car, asked him for directions, he gave them to me, looking pissed off that he had just paid $100 to the person he stole a 3 year old camera from, and I drove away. The funny thing is, I was stuck in traffic a block away for 10 minutes. He could have walked up to the window, demanded the sawbuck back and told me to go fuck myself. The unfunny thing is that in Manhattan, that $100 bought about one round. But, as my dad pointed out that night, I got $100 off the thieves who stole my camera that was probably only worth $150 in resale and a good story. Not too bad of a deal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Going to want to put on the headphones for this one. I believe I may have to go see this movie:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

careful out there tonight.

better just stay home and download some free indie rock.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

IFN - "the realization"

Illustration Friday Night topic - The Dead.
(click to enlarge)

Why I'm Weird

genetics? My dad at the annual 4th of July parade (this year's theme: Star Wars, May The Fourth Be With You):

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Illustration Friday Night

I just joined a group blog called Illustration Friday Night, in which the members are given a new topic every friday and are able to post an illustration related to it over the course of the next week. My first post topic was: Holes and other superficialities. My post was titled Chicken Pock Marks:

Full report on the Second Annual Hot Dog Ho Down coming soon. Teaser on The Practical Slacker blog.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fred Thompson, Flip Flopper

Once a proud, staunch, tough-on-crime, Republican district attorney for the city of New York, presidential hopeful Senator Fred Thompson has apparently flip-flopped in throwing his support behind brazen criminals with hardened street nicknames such as Scooter Libby. Thompson was the first Republican DA in NYC since Thomas Dewey in the 1930's. Thomas Dewey - now there was a man who was tough on crime. He prosecuted American Nazi leader Fritz Kuhn for embezzlement, even though he probably agreed with him politically. You used to be tough on crime too, Fred. I remember the time Jack McCoy wanted to ease up on ... what's that? that was just his tv character? we shouldn't judge his political viability by his fictional tv character? That's poppycock. I liked him on that show. More than I like Hillary. I'm voting for him anyways. He's got gravitas.