Friday, September 30, 2005

I wore shorts and sandals today even though the afternoon high was only supposed to be in the high sixties. Or rather, I did so because of the relatively low afternoon high. My feet were freezing. It was glorious. I don't know if it's because today is Friday or because today is cold or because tomorrow's October or because I saw The Epoxies last night (and experienced an epiphany in realizing that I no longer mind being one of the old guys in the crowd) or because the BTW Forums are back or what, but I feel rejuvenated today. I feel rad. I feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself.

Hail to the Losers
No fair weather fan am I, I am confident of a Wolverines victory tomorrow afternoon. The Spartans are ranked No. 11 in the country; we're unranked for the first time since the fall of '98, Brady's first season as starting QB. They are on the rise, we are on the decline. Their offense is a scoring machine, ours in anemic; their defense is bad, ours isn't good. They are riding high, we are turning on each other in our frustration. Simply put, we have them right where we want them. These are the Michigan State Spartans, after all. If a life spent in the great State of Michigan has taught me anything, it is that Spartan sports teams are dangerous, unpredicable opponents... until the exact moment when they and their fans begin to think highly of their chances. Then, in classic Spartan fashion, they fall apart. I don't simply suspect that it will happen tomorrow in Spartan Stadium, I'm counting on it. Victory for MSU? Not bloody likely. Go Blue!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Epoxies were awesome tonight. Like RCY, they are all about showmanship. Their music is wicked awesome, but it it The Epoxies' dedication to showmanship that really sets them apart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Magic of Shazam!
Now, whether or not I will ever be employed by DC Comics to write a series called The Magic of Shazam! depends on a large number of factors, one of which is the outcome of the upcoming miniseries Infinite Crisis. Four simultaneous miniseries are leading into Infinite Crisis, which has been promoted as laying the groundwork for the next ten to twenty years of comics in the DC Universe much as Crisis on Infinite Earths did in 1985-86. (I fear for the future.) At the conclusion of Day of Vengeance, one of the lead-in minis, the Wizard Shazam was dead, murdered by The Spectre; the Wizard's home, the Rock of Eternity, had exploded over Gotham City, killing thousands; and Billy Batson, who had been in the Rock of Eterntiy when it 'sploded, was falling to his death over that same Gotham City.

Now, clearly Shazam is not actually dead, since Black Adam is clearly visible in several preview pages for Infinite Crisis made available by DC Comics. Black Adam, Captain Marvel's opposite number, derives his powers from the Wizard, just like the Marvel Family (Cap, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Junior a.k.a. Kid Marvel in The Magic of Shazam!). Logic. Of course, Infinite Crisis is being written by Geoff Johns, who has misrepresented Black Adam's connection to Shazam in the pages of JSA; so, I wouldn't put it past those rat finks to kill the Wizard and simply retcon Black Adam's powers as being derived from some other source. Wankers. But I digress.

When all is said and done, I presume that somehow the Wizard will be alive again, or at least in some state of ghostly life whereby he can still bestow his powers on Billy Batson (Cap), Mary Batson (Mary), and Freddy Freeman (Cap Jr./Kid). The Magic of Shazam! is being developed under the assumption that everything will be as it was before the catastrophic events of Day of Vengeance No. 6.

The No. 50 Extravaganza
"The Red and the Black"
Nos. 45-50
Theo Adam wrests control of Black Adam (technically, Theo's own body) from the ancient Egyptian spirit of Teth-Adam. He assembles a new Monster Society of Evil to keep the Marvels occupied while he tries to destroy the Wizard Shazam. Theo has been essentially a prisoner in his own body since gaining the power of Shazam as Black Adam; he figures the only way to be truly free is to eliminate the Wizard, source of Black Adam's power. Captain Marvel and Black Adam battle in the heart of the Rock of Eternity while Mary Marvel and Kid Marvel battle Dr. Sivana and the Monster Society for control of Fawcett City.

"The Revenge of Theo Adam"
Nos. 51-52 (maybe 53)
Though Black Adam seemingly failed to kill the Wizard, Shazam and the Rock of Eternity have disappeared. Consequently, Theo Adam is free of Teth-Adam's influence and Billy, Mary, and Freddy have none of the powers of Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Kid Marvel. Theo Adam, a thoroughly evil man, originally murdered Billy and Mary's parents C.C. and Marilyn Batson and now seeks to kill their foster parents, Nick and Nora Bromfield. Hardened criminal and experienced knife fighter Theo Adam versus Billy Batson, all 5'6" and 125 lbs. of him.

"From Here to the Rock of Eternity"*
Nos. 53-56 (maybe 54-57 or even 53-58)
Even without Black Adam, what's left of the Monster Society is more than a match for Fawcett City's remaining defenders, Bulletwoman, Robot Marvel, Mr. Tawny, and the municipal Constabulary. Sterling Morris, great friend of Captain Marvel and owner of radio station W.H.I.Z., sends an expedition in search of the missing Marvel Family: boy reporter Billy Batson, the leading expert on the World's Mightiest Mortal (Morris doesn't know Billy's secret); Billy's field producer Whitey Murphy; W.H.I.Z. public relations director Beautia Sivana; and "expert guide" Avi Ducret (Spy Smasher), brought along at Billy's insistence. The expedition scours the four corners of the earth for any sign of the Wizard while Mary and Freddy do what they can to keep Fawcett City from falling to the Monster Society of Evil.

*Maybe I do things ass-backwards, but I like to think up titles and then see what kind of stories I can come up with to fit them. A great example is "From Here to the Rock of Eternity"; it popped into my head as soon as I added From Here to Eternity to my Netflix cue several months ago and I loved it immediately, though originally as "From Here to (the Rock of) Eternity." But, I never had a good story for it. As I was thinking of a story suitable as an "event" for issue No. 50, a world-shattering battle between the two champions of Shazam, Captain Marvel and Black Adam, seemed perfect ("The Red and the Black," stolen from the novel, which I've never read). The aftermath of this conflict seemed like the perfect time to depower Captain Marvel, something I needed to have happen before "The Revenge of Theo Adam," one of the firts ideas I had for The Magic of Shazam! (the visual in my head is of Billy and Theo fighting on a steep rooftop in a snowstorm at night, Nick and Nora being in the Swiss Alps at the time). Once I connected those two disparate ideas, and if I do say so myself I think they dovetail quite nicely, it seemed natural that Billy would embark on a quest to find the Wizard and thus restore the powers of the Marvel Family. This story was included in the previous post as "We're Off to See the Wizard" or "The Yellow Brick Road." Just before I fell asleep, I connected the search for Shazam story with "From Here to the Rock of Eternity" and they seemed like a natural fit. Hooray for me.

Not to boast, but, man, The Magic of Shazam! would be so cool.
The Magic of Shazam!
"Present at the Creation" (tentative title)
"Faerie Tale"
"Kristallnacht"
"The ODESSA File" or "Spy Smashing"
"Ibac's Back"
"Night of the Crazy Chicken"
"Radioland Murders" (or, if Lucasfilm objects, "Murder in Radioland")
"I, Robot Marvel"
"Man of Science"
"Heck in the Pacific"
"The Faerie Queene"
"Manhunters Are From Mars, Worms Are From Venus"
"It... Came From Outer Space!"
"V for Vengeance"
"Crocodile Tears"
"Wonders and Marvels"
"The Beast-Man Cometh"
"The Red and the Black"
"The Revenge of Theo Adam"
"We're Off to See the Wizard" or "The Yellow Brick Road"
"The Curse of the Mummy"
"Conqueror Worm" (or, if Mike Mignola objects, "Mr. Mind: Conqueror of Earth")

and of course

The Crocodile Mob in... "A Piece of the Action"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Honolulu Blue Forever
Last fall, I instituted a policy of wearing a T-shirt in support of my teams after every loss, but never after a victory. I don't know why I didn't remember to do that last week. So, on Monday I am going to wear one of my Michigan T-shirts, to show that I remain loyal even as the Maize and Blue go down in flames, and on Tuesday I'll wear my Lions T-shirt in memory of our trouncing by Chicago a week hence. I don't wear my Red Wings jersey after every loss because a) it's a jersey not a T-shirt (I don't own a Wings T-shirt) and b) the hockey season is eighty-two games long, for Bog's sake. Even if the Red Wings do well, as I expect they will in the "new" NHL, there are going to be more losses than during the sixteen-game NFL season or the twelve-game NCAA schedule. I bitch and moan about the Wolverines and the Lions because I care, perhaps too much.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mundane Happenings
This afternoon I had a new experience, I returned a brine tank to Culligan. The entire time all I could think of was Moltar saying "brine shrimp" on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, a million years ago when there were still talented people in the proto-Adult Swim wing of Cartoon Network. I say a million years ago because that was back when I was in high school, a million years ago. Also, the brine tank rusted on my shorts. Blast!

After that, I cut my hair. I normally cut it using the level 2 attachment on my electric sheers, but today I used the level 1 attachment. Sometimes you just have to do that. So, for the next few days - the better part of a week - my head will be scalp gray intead of hair brown.

Before writing this, I performed the usual internet rounds. Since no one blogs anymore, I had to ask myself, Why do I bother? I was not able to provide myself with a satisfactory answer. Therefore, I think I'll stop. The blog fad is over, at least within the various circles of my friends, and there's no bringing it back to life. One or two hardy souls might make a renewed stab at it, but we all know this will be nothing more than a short-term rearguard action. This is a sad development. For a while there, bloggy blogs were a good way to stay in touch with far-flung friends.

I just finished my DVD boxset of Playmakers, a one-hour drama series from ESPN that lasted all of eleven episodes. I completely understand why the NFL put such great pressure on ESPN to cancel it, but I wish the executives at ESPN had shown a little more backbone, as it was a really good show.
I think tonight I just need to give myself a little time to be sad and lonely.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tat Two
I've decided to push back getting the BTW Monkey tattooed onto my right forearm from October to November or December. Last week, I received an envelope that contained a letter from the Red Cross thanking for my last blood donation (August 19 of this year, bloggy blogged as "My Time Among the Vampires") and a blood donation card. Do you know I've only donated blood three times in my life? Man, I suck. So, since I won't be able to donate again for a full year after I get the Monkey, I've decided to go under the Red Cross needle one more time before I go under the tattoo needle.

When was the last time you gave blood, you selfish wanker?

Also, is there a lyric in all the wide world greater than "But in my defense I'd do it again" from Guster's "So Long"? Perhaps not.
R.I.P. Simon Wiesenthal
Rest in peace, Mr. Wiesenthal, and thank you for your good works. Hyperlink. To paraphrase and contemporize General Sheridan's immortal phrase, "The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi." That said, Mr. Wiesenthal had the right idea in opposing the murderous revenge squads that after the war hunted down Nazi war criminals and killed them where they stood. Secondary only to their unrelenting and irrational hatred for Jews the Nazis believed in the triumph of thuggery over law. Mr. Wiesenthal knew that if we were to avoid repeating the mistakes of history, the Nazis had to be brought to trial. Their monstrous acts had to be brought before the light of the law, to whither before the righteousness of open, accountable justice. The Nazis did not deserve the quick release of wild vengeance. The law is infuriating and too often twisted to serve the wicked, but without law we have nothing. Simon Wiesenthal, who had even reason to want every Nazi he could find dead, knew this better than anyone else. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bad Guys
Francis Dolarhyde a.k.a. "The Great Red Dragon"/"The Tooth Fairy" - Red Dragon
(on film: Tom Noonan, Manhunter; Ralph Fiennes, Red Dragon)
Jame Gumb a.k.a. "Buffalo Bill" - The Silence of the Lambs
(on film: Ted Levine, The Silence of the Lambs)
Dr. Hannibal Lecter a.k.a. "Hannibal the Cannibal" - Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal
(on film: Brian Cox, Manhunter; Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon)

Good Guys
former Agent Will Graham, FBI - Red Dragon
(on film: William Petersen, Manhunter; Edward Norton, Red Dragon)
Special Agent Clarice Starling, FBI - The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal
(on film: Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs; Julianne Moore, Hannibal)
Section Chief Jack Crawford, FBI - Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal
(on film: Dennis Farina, Manhunter; Scott Glenn, The Silence of the Lambs; Harvey Keitel, Red Dragon)

Goldbricking Scoreboard
Days since last worked: 18
Days of work missed: 11

The frustrating part is that my father really does have back problems. He has suffered periodic muscle spasms in his lower back my whole life. I am not unsympathetic. But how can I be expected to take him seriously when his condition suddenly and dramatically improves every Friday only to rapidly deteriorate again the following Monday? And now he is practicing revionist history, claiming that he was simply taking the week after Labor Day as a vacation. Odd, considering at the time he said his back was acting up. Sorry, now I'm just being petty.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Netflix Queue
My movie watching has slowed since the Goldbricker's latest streak began (he didn't go to work again today). I often watch movies late at night just before I go to bed, but this has become less attractive since the Goldbricker, staying up late every night, invariably bothers me about what I'm watching. And then he does that unnerving thing where he stands off to one side and behind you... and just stands there. Forever, breathing heavily through his nose and generally being unnerving as all hell. It's disturbing.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (I hate Hunter Thompson, but the film was directed by Terry Gilliam)
The Rules of Attraction
Laws of Attraction
The Wizard of Oz
(amazingly enough, I've never seen it)
The Magnificent Seven
The Sand Pebbles
My First Mister
Psycho
Dial M for Murder
The Country Girl


Goldbricking Scoreboard
Days since last worked: 17
Days of work missed: 10

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to the Watergirl!
Honolulu Blue Forever
After this season, Joey Harrington's career with the Detroit Lions will be over. He'll be let go only to be replaced by that worn down hack Jeff Garcia. Why? Because Garcia is Steve Mariucci's friend. New offensive coordinator Ted Tollner's performance to this point in the season has been offensive, but his job is secure. Why? Because he's an old friend of Mariucci's. Talent doesn't seem to even be a consideration; the Detroit Lions have become a retirement plan for Steve Mariucci's washed up old buddies. Joey Harrington will be gone, and yet Matt Millen has been given a five year contract extension. Dear Bog, the Lions had the worst record in the entire NFL over Millen's first four years; so, I honestly don't know if the fan base can withstand another five years. And why will Joey Harrington be gone? because in the eyes of the Detroit media, Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, and Mike Williams are the three greatest receivers to ever play professional football. Each one is Jerry Rice and Lynn Swan rolled into a single perfect receiver; not just players, Rogers, Williams, and Williams are receiving gods. So what if their numbers on the field don't merit them any special attention. Matt Millen drafted them so they must be Bog's gift to Mankind.

Joey Harrington will never be Joe Montana, but he is going to be blamed almost exclusively for today's loss and isn't the least bit fair. Nice route Roy Williams ran on the interception in the endzone. Is Charles Rogers healthy this season? I couldn't tell you, because he's invisible on the field. Why does Millen keep drafting wide receivers when the Lions have one of if not the single worst offensive lines in the entire league? Oh, wait, because he's incompetent. That's right.

The Lions are never going to have a winning season until Millen and his pet Mariucci are run out of town. If I hadn't endured the 2-14 and 3-13 seasons under Morningweig, I wouldn't believe that it's possible to miss Wayne Fontes this much.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Victory for MSU!
At no other time in my life have I been so happy about a Michigan State victory. I feel kind of sick, but that's a small price to pay to see that arrogant piece of garbage Charlie Weis go down in defeat. I've never heard anyone else disparage the talent and competence of college football coaches as savagely as did Weis when he was first hired by the hated Fighting Irish. I always enjoy seeing Notre Dame lose, but today was extra sweet as the contest against Michigan State was Weis's first home game. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Yes, the hated Irish thoroughly beat my beloved Wolverines, but as the year progresses I think that will seem less and less remarkable for the simple reason that lot of teams are going to beat us this year. In true Spartan fashion those boobs from MSU almost blew the game at the end, but they pulled it out in OT. Teague's touchdown run was glorious to behold.

I understand the argument that a Notre Dame loss makes Michigan look even more pathetic, but I've never been able to view football with the cool detachment needed to embrace the purely rational perspective; so, in the context of last week, today I hated ND just a little bit more than I hated MSU. Make no mistake, I still hate the Spartans, but for besting the hated Irish today they have my thanks.

And Charlie Weis can go to Hell.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Price of Spite
Recently, I've had several opportunities to put to the test my infatuation with the spiteful life. It is most interesting to put into practice what has been to this point mere theory. I am also learning that spite may be a virtue, but if so then like all virtues it must be its own reward.

And as with all things save true virtue, it is best in moderation.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Perchance to Dream
I've been aware of having early morning dreams for each of this week's first three weekdays. It is rare enough for me to remember any dream and three days in a row is without precedent.

Monday, September 12
I had a dream about Emily Deschanel. It seemed as if we were friends and she was giving me advice on how to win the affections of a girl I liked; about that girl all I can say is that she was not Ms. Deschanel's lovely sister, Zooey. I think Emily Deschanel was there because the preceeding weekend I'd seen her guest starring in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and in numerous commercials for both her new television series, Bones, and the Sci Fi Channel's airing of Stephen King's Rose Red, in which she starred.

On a related note, I meant to tape the series premiere of Bones and the season premiere of House, both of which I knew I'd miss while at the Ska is Dead show, but I forgot. Curses!

Tuesday, September 13
In this dream, I wrestled a talking crocodile that was trying to eat my cat, which seemed to not be Sam. The crocodile and I didn't talk about anything specifically, we just kind of chatted as I tried to subdue it in a weird version of our living room. I think this one was inspired by the Fox Sports commercial in which JB, Terry, Howie, and Jimmy save a little girl from an alligator. I saw that ad several times during the Lions-Packers game. I think I'm kind of disappointed that both days' dreams had such easily traced roots. I would hope that int he future my dreams are less mundane.

Wednesday, September 14
I know I had a dream just before I woke up on Wednesday morning, but I don't remember what it was about. I have vague notions of a gorilla, but that might just be wishful thinking.

Another oddity is that on Tuesday I woke up early. I never wake up early. My first alarm clock goes off at 8:50am, allowing me to hit Snooze twice before the primary and secondary clocks ring simultaneously at 9:08am, at which point I generally get up, though sometimes I hit Snooze again and nap until 9:17. Yet, Tuesday morning I found myself staring at LED numbers stating that the time was 8:43am. I was so confused I couldn't go back to sleep before the first clock when off like clockwork at 8:50. Later, I began to suspect that I must have been awoken by the sound of my mom closing the front door on her way to work; it seems the most likely explanation, but I have no proof, only a supposition, though a logical one.
I Don't Trust Clark Kent
In the two and a half weeks since the hurricane, the self-declared Fourth Estate has covered very little else. But, as soon as al Qaeda murdered a significant number of innocent civilians, Iraq was suddenly back in the headlines. In the last two and half weeks, new schools opened in Iraq; the proposed Iraqi constitution continued to be debated; and Sadr City, just one year ago the center of Iran's efforts to hijack Iraq's new democracy, was held up as a model of reconstruction efforts. How much of this was covered on ABC or NPR? Essentially none. Yet, Zarqawi's "declaration of war" on Iraq's Shiites lead ABC World News Tonight last night and today occupied the first hour of The Diane Rehm Show. Should yesterday's horrific bombings have been given the amount of coverage they were? Absolutely. But, shouldn't the progress of the last two and half weeks been equally reported? Yes, it should have. That would have been good journalism. There is steady progress towards a free and prosperous society in Iraq, but there si also terrible bloodshed. That's the truth of what's going on over there.

But, the vast majority of the American media has very little interest in reporting the truth. Most journalistic organizations in our great republic seem primarily interested in pushing a political and social agenda, namely that President Bush is the worst imbecile to ever occupy the White House. I'm sure many of you reading this knoew that I consider myself a Republican and are thus dismissing my argument, but I ask you, if what I propose is not the case, why was Iraq ignored for two and half weeks only to reclaim the spotlight yesterday? Please, leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section. I would love to hear a plausible alternative theory. Most American journalists do not care about the truth. Please let me know if you disagree, because I sincerely wish I was wrong.
The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to Skeeter!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Last night's show was great, but it was unbelievably hot inside St. Andrew's Hall. Even the skinny high school kids were sweating like Wilsons. One nice thing about seeing Mustard Plug is that they've been around so long there are lots of fans my age or older at each show. That'll show those young whippersnappers!

The show was one of the stops on the Ska is Dead 3 tour. I tried to buy a tour shirt, but was informed that the only size they had was youth medium. Hey, I understand not carrying too many shirts for us fat guys, but youth medium? Those shirts will only fit the littler little punk rock girls. Ridiculous. Still, I bought a sweet Mustard Plug shirt, a tour poster, and two live albums by The Toasters.

I've had dreams each of the last three mornings; so, I hope to have time to write a "Perchance to Dream" post tonight. And now I must return my nose to its customary position on the grindstone.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Goldbricking: Keep the Dream Alive
I've decided to change The Malingerer's blog codename (real name: Rick Wilson) to The Goldbricker. It sounds better both on its own merits and by sort of referencing Goldfinger (the Bond villain, not the band). Anyway, the Goldbricker hasn't been to work since the Friday before Labor Day, September 2. He's pretending that his back hurts, but we spent all day yesterday working on the sliding door to the downstairs half-bath. And he's been customizing some cardboard boxes for his massive VHS tape collection, sitting on the family room floor and leaning over and squatting and all the sorts of things a person with a bad back can't do.

I'm just about the laziest person I know; so, I don't know why his goldbricking so offends me. But the fact remains that it does. I have a plan to acquire some of that ever so satisfying retribution and have already set it in motion.

The Visual Cacophony
Ninety percent fo tghe work of redecoration my bedroom has been accomplished. All I'm waiting on now is for two posters to finish flattening. Have I mentioned that I've stored all my posters and sundriy decorations in tubes? I forget. In any event, I have. For two years, my lovely posters sat between two sheets of cardboard, a great place to put them if you intend to hang them back up quickly, but a crummy method of long-term storage. So, now I've taken all my pretties, rolled them up, and placed them in stout, clearly labeled tubes. So, whenever I get out of here, it will be that much easier to take the visual cacophony with me and unleash it on my next domicile.

I Don't Trust Clark Kent
During the Goldbricker's goldbricking, I have returned home each afternoon to find the family room TV set to Fox News. And even though the Goldbricker is usually upstairs, the TV is still one and the volume is cranked up. Being local-news-writ-large, Fox News is airing wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. This is hardly surprising given the lemminglike nature of American "journalism." What is surprising is that I am noticing less and less difference between what I hear on NPR on my drive home and what I see on Fox when I walk in the front door. Sure, they approach Katrina's aftermath from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but aside from that each talks about the hurricane to the near-exclusion fo all else, repeating the same vapid comments and analyses ad nauseum. And a single tear runs down my cheek.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11
Four years. May the Lord watch over each of you and your friends and family, and may He bless the United States of America.
R.I.P. J.L.I.
Sue Dibny - Identity Crisis No.1 (of 7)
Blue Beetle - Countdown to Infinite Crisis
Maxwell Lord - Wonder Woman No.219
Rocket Red - The OMAC Project No.5 (of 6)

I don't care that Keith Giffen is one of the principle plotters of 52, that can't make up for the abuse that DC is heaping on the old Justice League International. Who's DC going to kill next, L-Ron? Manga Khan himself? As predicted, things are indeed getting worse and there is as of yet no indication when if ever they will start to get better. And even Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder is turning out to be kind of lame. (Of course, given Judd Winick's authorship that is hardly surprising.) Jumpin' Jack Pratt, what are those idiots thinking?

Thank Bog for B.P.R.D. and Fables, the two brightest lights in an ever darker night.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to Never Girl!
Hail to the Losers: Post-Game
All congratulations to the hated Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. They whooped us in every phase of the game and dominated us far more than the 17-10 score would indicate. Today the far better team won.

I don't mean what I'm about to say, but it illustrates how poorly Chad Henne played this afternoon: for a moment, I actually missed John Navarre. In all seriousness, what in Bog's name happened to Henne? I've never seen him meltdown like he did this afternoon. The most remarkable thing about his perfoamnce last year was the poise he showed under pressure. Today wasn't just a sophomore slump, today was a complete regression. Henne folded under pressure like never before, and from the way he only ever looked at only one receiver (in this case, Ecker), it did almost seem that Navarre has returned to give us one last scare... and because he wanted a beer. Henne should be our starting quarterback, but were I in Coach Carr's shoes I would give Matt Gutierrez significant playing time next weekend against Eastern Michigan so that he has some practical game experience in case today's pathetic performance by Henne turns out to be more than a one-off aberration.

I was actually impressed by the defense. Yes, they still suck, but holding Notre Dame to just 17 points is perfectly adequate. They did what they needed to do for us to win, only to be betrayed by the dreadful impotence of the offense. Also, I don't care how much potential he has, I don't want Kevin Grady to touch the football again until he's completed the ancient football ritual of carrying a ball with him around campus while his teammates try to strip it away from him; I think 30 days should be sufficient. A running back who puts the ball on the ground is more harmful than no running back at all. Grady has played in only two games for Michigan and he fumbled in both. That augurs ill for his future.

We will be lucky make it to January 2 with only three losses. To my way of thinking, four losses seems far more likely. No.3 team in the country? We don't deserve to be No.33. Just pathetic.
Hail to the Losers: Halftime
We're fucked. The defense is playing better than I thought they would, but that's not saying much since eleven corpses could play better than I thought the defense would. Chad Henne is revealing himself to have been a single season flash in the pan, which has caught we completely off guard. I thought Henne was the real deal, but apparently all you have to do is knock down a couple passes at the line of scrimmage and he falls apart. So, with a barely adequate defense and an utterly inept offense (who'd have predicted that?), we're fucked. I'm guaranteeing three loses this year, though personally I think we'll lose at least four. If the offense can't produce, we're looking at bad days against Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State, and Bog help us in a bowl game, even against mediocre competition.

It's time to start thinking about firing Lloyd Carr. I don't want him fired and I don't think he should be fired, but we will be a second-tier team as long as Jim Herrmann is defensive coordinator. If Lloyd is not willing to make the changes necessary for us to win, there won't be any choice but to thank him for everything he's done and fire him because he's unwilling to fire his friend. It's ugly, but if we don't do it, we can kiss the chance of ever winning another Big Ten championship goodbye.

Also, shit, Gutierrez wasn't good enough to take thte starting quarterback job away from Henne, but if the offense doesn't get something - anything - going in the third quarter I think we'll have to make a change under center. Fuck, this sucks so much.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Too Much is Never Enough
There are now ten separate images of Darth Vader in my brother's room, ranging from a pizza box top celebrating the release of the Special Editons in 1997 to the Voice Changer helmet I got for my birthday this summer. This is so awesome.

Always Two There Are
Darth Plagueis (killed by Darth Sidious)
Darth Sidious

Darth Sidious
Darth Maul (killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi)

Darth Sidious
Darth Tyranus (killed by Anakin Skywalker)

Darth Sidious (killed by Darth Vader)
Darth Vader (killed by Darth Sidious)
I spent the entire morning working on the lastest issue of The Newsletter. As is my habit, I saved regularly. The HAl started to act up and couple of programs froze. Eventually, I had to control-alt-delete the damn thing until it restarted. Curses, I thought to myself, I'm going to lose the last fifteen minutes of work. Upon moving to a different HAL, I learned that in fact nothing had been saved. All those times I'd pushed control-S and saved my work? Meaningless. The first HAL's ZIP drive completely fucked me over. An entire morning's work is gone. Poof!

You're always told to save your work regularly because HALs can crash unexpectedly. I did that, and the bloody machines still found a way to screw me. Note to self: give serious consideration to becoming a Luddite.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Lex-icon
A pair of sentences I love from Superman For All Seasons, courtesy of Lex Luthor, "Some people like to refer to this time of year as 'Autumn.' I prefer 'Fall.'" Monday was the last day of Summer, Tuesday was the first day of Fall. I'm sure Fall is lovely in Metropolis.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

The Visual Cacophony
The phrase I like to use in describing my interior decorating philosophy is visual cacophony. If I have done my job and decorated a wall properly, your eyes will be assaulted by color and overwhelmed by a collage of images. In addition to rearranging and augmenting the decorations in my bedroom and the Mountain of Love's bedroom/the guest room, I have decided to add some flair to my backpack, Big Red. For years and years I wore on old Army surplus backpack, the ubiquitous Army Bag. Army Bag was a good soldier and served me well through nine years on campaign until eventually succumbing to the ravages of age. (I still have Army Bag, but its straps are broken and, as they are made of an odd plastic, unsalvagable; so, today Army Bag is used for long term storage.) It is unfair to compare Big Red to a living legend like Army Bag, but in our two years together Big Red has never let me down. Almost from the beginning, Big Red bore two inscriptions: "The Last Angry Man" on the lifting handle and "The Rebel Black Dot Society," of which I am still the first and only member, on the outermost pocket. As of yesterday, three patches have joined the festivities, creating not a visual cacophony, but at least a visual bruhaha: a pirate flag, a gift from the Mountain, on the outermost pocket; Guster's Little Friend on the left strap (an idea I stole from the Mountain's backpack); and the shield of the Second World war-era American Volunteer Group (Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers) on the right strap. I'm quite pleased with the overall effect.
Vote For Kodos
Seriously, since when are hurricanes become a partisan issue? Who is the blame for the devastation along the Gulf coast: Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, a Republican, or Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, a Democrat? Silly me, I thought it was a hurricane, the quintessential definition of an unpredictable Act of God. Does Jesse Jackson believe that Vice President Cheney is on a clandestine ship off the coast of French Guiana operating a top secret typhoon generator?

Monday, September 5, 2005

Very little was actually accomplished today. The paint on the family room walls is dry and all the furniture is back in place, but for unknown reasons The Malingerer finds it necessary to slowly, slowly, dear fucking Bog ever so slowly clean each item before putting it back in place on the shelves flanking the TV cabinet. Yes, these items need to be dusted off, but there is no reason to be moving so slowly. And of course he needed to leave the TV turned to Fox News even though he spent most of the afternoon out of the family room and even though Fox's programming is wall-to-wall hurricane coverage, making Fox even more repuganant that usual (a feat in an of itself). So, I spent most of the day in the living room, watching TNT's Law & Order marathon and waiting to be called to help. It was glorious.

I Don't Trust Clark Kent
Also, I really want to congratulate NPR for this past week's coverage, which was as single-mindedly mindless as anything you'd see on any of the 24-hour cable TV channels. Congratulations, NPR, you're as insipid as MSNBC!

Farewell to the Last Summer of Star Wars
You can argue about when exactly summer ends: when kids go back to school in mid-August, as soon as August is over, the official beginning of fall in late September (but only if you're a tool). But it's a pointless debate. Everyone knows summer begins with Memorial Day and ends with Labor Day. It's a delightful, not fearful, symmetry. So, today was the lasy day of the last summer of Star Wars. I hope you cherished these days, because we shall never see their like again. May the Force be with you.
There is a brief window every night between approximately 12:30 and 1:30am when I can fall alseep. At 2:00am I come alive, like Casey's other senses in that one episode of Sports Night. The problem is that between 12:30 and 1:30 I usual decide to read and I have a troubling tendency to read books I enjoy. This means I tend not to want to set them down and before I know it 2:00am has arrived and I'm ready for action. Getting your second wind at 2:00am is great for Risk nights, but kind of inconvenient the rest of the time. Yeah, eventually I'll fall sleep, but what about tomorrow? On Saturday, I woke up at 1:00pm; today, I climbed out of bed at noon. I love sleeping in as much as the next guy, but there comes a point when you're wasting time that you'd really rather spend on something else. But, alas, it's 3:30 and Superstud is so funny I've been laughing out loud; so, I might as well try to do something productive with this time. I'm going to rearrange the posters in my room, or to be more accurate I'm going to continue the rearrangement I've been conducting for the past two days.

The Newsletter Must Die
Of late, several people have mentioned to me that I've seemed rather forlorn about the state of The Newsletter. They've urged me to keep a stiff upper lip because this is just a rough patch and soon enough life will be all wine and roses. It occurs to me that some of my friends don't really know me all that well. Regarding The Newsletter, I feel better than I have in months. The reserves are full to the gills with guest columns, staff columns, and features just waiting to be run; without receiving any new material, I could probably put together two full issues, a rare situation in The Newsletter's four interrupted years of existence. More importantly, though, I no longer care. I tried caring, I invested great emotional significance in the endeavour, and all I got for my trouble was disappointment and ingratitude. I'm not trying to the cool, aloof, amoral guy, I'm just done caring. To use a fire analogy, I'm not going to burn The Newsletter down for the insurance money, but if there is a fire I can guarantee you, as the chief of the volunteer fire brigade, that I won't be lifting a finger to put it out. I know the staff well enough to know that it is only a matter of time before there is a fire. A cigarette thoughtlessly tossed aside. Faulty wiring. Some neighborhood kid with a twitchy eye and a book of matches. And by the time it's over there's only a pile of ashes left and nobody knows what happened. It's only a matter of time before The Newsletter burns down, and good riddance once it does.

Don't worry about how I'm dealing with the recent unpleasantness, guys. I'm doing grand. In the sordid history of the affair I've never been better, because now I can be as casual about the whole enterprise as all of you have always been. We don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn.

In a mostly unrelated aside, Fahrenheit 451 is a really lousy book. It succeeded only in convincing me to never read anything else by Ray Bradbury. Ick, it was awful.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Article III
Hyperlink. Rest in peace, sir. Thank you for your long years of service to the Union.

The Red Planet
Science? I know that NASA has had it's share of fiascoes and SNAFUs, but I never get tired of this amusing tale of European hubris.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
I don't care if Northern Illinois had the 11th best running attack in Division 1 football last year, what is happening today is un-fucking-acceptable. Why in Bog's name does Jim Herrmann still have a job?

Friday, September 2, 2005

Advice For Living
Life is better while wearing a pith helmet. Which reminds me of the old Wilson Superhero Universe villain Pith Helmut.

M2K4...5!
Science! Hyperlink. It should of course be noted that Spirit and Opportunity were designed to operate for 90 days... and have currently been in operation for 20 months. Wow! The nerds at NASA have really outdone themselves this time. Woot!

Thursday, September 1, 2005

B.A.P.F. Lives
Upcoming Shows
Tuesday, September 13 - "Ska is Dead 3" Mustard Plug w/The Toasters, the Planet Smashers, St. Thomas Boys Academy, etc. @ St. Andrew's Hall in beautiful downtown Detroit

Thursday, September 29 - The Epoxies @ the Magic Stick... also in Detroit, but I've never been there; so, I don't know if that section is beautiful

Are you in or out?