26 February 2005

Baseball's Back

"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."
~James Earl Jones as Terence Mann, Field of Dreams

To all you hopeless romantics: A new season of Baseball is here.

25 February 2005

The Envelope, Please

You know, I really liked "Sideways". Really.

Then, a week later, Kirsten and I went to see "Million Dollar Baby".

I loved this movie.
So, I changed my mind, and haven't looked back.

With that, here are my predictions for those who will be walking home from the Kodak Theatre with the hardware:

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jamie Foxx RAY

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Virginia Madsen SIDEWAYS

Achievement in Directing

Best Motion Picture of the Year

"Mo cuishle."


The following is the email response to my correspondence with Travis regarding the impending arrival of our ten year reunion.


What's with all the questions in you last email? Why are you so hyper? Why did I feel like I was your shrink and you were paying two hundred dollars an hour to set on my couch and answer your own questions? Why is that music from the end of Soap now running through my head while I review all of this? All of this and more will be answered in a phone call soon. I don't know if you all might be going for sure because it is still quite a long ways away. Also, you can't be old because that means I'm old and I don't like the sound of that. Talk to you later.


This is my friend.
What can I say? He's a funny guy. How can you not be with a reference to the genius of Soap in this day and age?

24 February 2005

Episode III Pics

"Destroy the Sith, we must."
- Yoda, watching the security records of Anakin's rampage, alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Spoil the movie, it might.

Proceed with caution.

[Link via Fark]

Bonus spoiler exclusive from me to you: Obi-Wan is killed in Episode IV.

21 February 2005

A Special Torture

[Practicing in a mirror before his high school reunion]
Martin Blank: Hi. I'm, uh, I'm a pet psychiatrist. I sell couch insurance. Mm-hmm, and I - and I test-market positive thinking. I lead a weekend men's group, we specialize in ritual killings. Yeah, you look great! God, yeah! Hi, how are you? Hi, how are you? Hi, I'm Martin Blank, you remember me? I'm not married, I don't have any kids, and I'd blow your head off if someone paid me enough.
~Grosse Pointe Blank

The following is an email verbatim that I sent to my friend and fellow classmate, Travis.
Why? Because of my willingness to share the minutiae of my daily life...
...and incredible laziness.

Did you get your Reunion info in the mail there, chief?
Me too. I already responded to Allison via email.
Are you going?

Is anyone else that you know going?
Is that a poorly constructed sentence?
Do I care?
Expect a phone call in the near future to discuss.
I think Kirsten and I are making preliminary plans to attend.
I always said in the past that I probably wouldn't go. So much for that.
On top of that, I heard from my mom that [former teammate and now KHS Baseball Head Coach]Andy Jackson wants to have another reunion of sorts for the 1995 State Champion KHS Baseball Dynasty.
Don't think I'll be attending that soiree.
Why do I feel this sudden urge to watch "Grosse Pointe Blank"?

PS I'm old.

See you at the "I've peaked and I'm kidding myself" party.

How 'bout Some Freakin' Strip Poker?

I thought I could stay away....but I fell off the wagon and headed back for some more of Carl's Freakin' Strip Poker over @ [Adult Swim].

Go ahead. Try your hand at Carl's seductive game.

Just remember:

  1. Be agressive.
  2. Wear something loose.
  3. Do not look directly at Carl.
  4. Vaya con Dios.

20 February 2005

Cheatin' on Oscar

It's that time of year again...Oscar time.

Which can mean only one thing. Time to fill out your Oscar office pool sheets.

Well, we here at the Blog aim to please and help you out, dear reader, by sending to you that bastion of evil, cheater of cheats...Roger Ebert?

Yes, he who prefers blue blazers and grey sweater vests is now harnessing his evil powers for good and breaking down the unwritten rules of Oscar.

Click. Peruse. Fill out your winning sheets and gloat like the Hollywood mogul wanna-be you are.
Just know that as the distributor of the above info, I'll be expecting my cut. 25 percent should be sufficient...and don't think about skipping out on me. The desert isn't too far away...and you know what's buried there.

Addendum: If you are so bold as to challenge the great Ebert, you can attempt to outguess him here.
Good luck to all you poor saps.

(I) Hope Springs Eternal

Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....

I am so pumped for baseball. With hockey gone till fall and the NFL over with, I've never been more ready for tossing around the horsehide. (Walk away from that last statement, you sick freaks. Just walk away.)

I don't know, maybe I'm excited that your defending NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals are just a short six hour drive from me.

Whatever it is...
Spring is definitely in the air.

Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....Pitchers and Catchers....

Mark Mulder in Cardinal Red. Need I say more? Posted by Hello

19 February 2005

A Crooner's Crisis

A Little Help, People...

I'm standing up at my brother Casey's wedding as his best man in May. Most of you don't know my brother, but just envision the coolest guy on earth and that should be good.

Anyway, I'm also singing at the reception for his dance with our Mom. (Touching, I know...)

What I need is some help picking out a song to sing for their dance. I'm leaning toward Elton John, since my mom loves him. Any suggestions? I could really use your help with this, dear reader, as I'm kinda stuck choosing something.

Plus, if anyone has another suggestion that they would like to throw out, I'm cool with that. Stuff by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, plus any other old standards...your help is more than welcome.

Come on, help a brother out....and mine, too.

You can post any suggestions you have in the comments below, or email me.

Thanks for your help, everyone!

Vader heads to Cannes

I can't believe that Lucas is going to allow this to happen. He's usually so controlling of his films, down to the smallest detail.

Shocked about this, I am.

17 February 2005

My New Favorite Arcade

If you've yet to discover the wonders of The Arcade Fire, for shame.

OK, I was a little skeptical at first, when I read at Pitchfork that they received the site's coveted album of the year for 2004.

But after hearing about their performance on Conan and reading this glowing lament on my dearly missed friend Mike's site, I felt obligated to give it a try.

Kirsten got it for me for Valentine's Day, and I've been smitten ever since.

If you are a fan of all things good music, firstly it's good to know you and second, check this revelation out.

You can stream 3 of the songs from the album Funeral at the Merge Records site.

Herein are said 3 songs:

Neighborhood #3 (Laika)
Rebellion (Lies)
Wake Up

Happy listening! Your feedback (savory or not) is always welcome.


Break out the Jamiroquai.
I always knew I had a little Napoleon in me.

You are Napoleon Dyanamite and a buttload of gangs
are trying to recruit you.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by

Clean as a Whistle

Maybe you've noticed that we've done a little early spring cleaning around here.
I've been trying to think of a new way to spruce up the blog. I wasn't having any luck.
I guess when doubt sets in, keepin' it simple is the best way to go.

Hope you like the clean look...I know that I'm enjoying it.

12 February 2005

An Open Letter

We Miss you, Mike. Posted by Hello

It's amazing...how a person that you've met once in your life, perhaps spent the cumulative of about12 hours in their company, can leave such an indelible mark on your soul.

What's the secret? Honesty? A zest for life and its surroundings? A vivacious wit and curiousity that's has no limits?

From the moment I met you, in that wonderful tapas bar in Atlanta, the way you rush over to welcome Kirsten and extended your hand to touch mine for the first time. From that moment, your very essence inspired me.

Looking at you was like looking in the mirror, and not seeing the man you are, but the man you wish to be.

Two years ago, I wrote about how one of my great thrills in life is introducing new friends to new worlds of possibility, whether it's through song, image, or just thought.

Every day you did that for me...when I visited your site and entered your world. Your inspiration, friendship, drive, and generosity are your legacy to myself. Your gift to me.

I wish we had more time together. I wish I could still see your face rushing over to me, welcoming me back.

What's your secret? Your gift? Your friendship.

I miss you, Mike. We all miss you. We all love you.

10 February 2005

Talk About...Pop Music

A little under a year ago, Pepsi started their free iTunes promotion wherein 1 of every 3 20 oz. drinks had a "free song" code under its cap.

Well, the fun is back...and thanks to my little cheat I picked up last year, I'm stocking up on free music once again thanks to the good folks @ PepsiCo.

Sure, I look like an idiot, but a small moment of ridicule from some total strangers is worth every new song.

What can I say? I'm a slave to the music.

Current free song tally: 8

New free songs
  • "One More Time" - Daft Punk (Correction: No Daft on iTunes...Blasphemy!)
  • "The Promise" - When in Rome
  • "Canned Heat" - Jamiroquai (Can you tell I just saw Napoleon Dynamite?)

08 February 2005

Tugging on the Rug...

...beneath my feet.

Could it be? Is the long-awaited Album 5 nearing completion?

It appears, for the time being, that the wheels are in motion.

Time will tell.

Awaiting the next Rivers meltdown,
A Weezer Fan

Listening to: "december" - the counting crows

A(nother) Ghost Is Born

A Free EP Download! By Wilco! Sign me up!

If you, dear reader, are also interested, read on below.

But be forewarned: Your copy of A Ghost Is Born will be necessary.
Wilco and Nonesuch will be re-releasing A Ghost in Born in Europe with a 5-track bonus disc in conjunction with the band's March tour. For those of you who already own a copy of the CD, It will also be available as an "enhanced content" free download. Meaning you'll be able to access the download only with the CD in your computer drive. The tracks will also be available for purchase via iTunes for anyone who does not own the physical CD.

The track listing:

At Least That What You Said (live)
The Late Greats (live)
Handshake Drugs (live)
Kicking Television

All three live tracks are from the band's October 2004 show at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. The two studio tracks are from the Ghost album sessions.

Listening to: "gone for good" - the shins

04 February 2005

The Ferentz Factor

It's like a scene straight out of that movie filmed on a baseball field in Dyersville, Iowa.

Something special is growing in Iowa, and it isn't just the corn.

It's a big day for high school seniors everywhere, signing the next (four) years away.

Today is Signing Day.

So, how did a team like the Iowa Hawkeyes go from a 1-10 team four years ago to a Top 5 recruiting powerhouse?

Is this Heaven? I don't know, but whatever it is, it's working.

02 February 2005

The Coast is (Finally) Clear


Why does it sometimes take me so long before I finally understand what makes a band great?

In the case for Beulah, I had to wait until they parted ways and the genius of Yoko, Heartstrings, Handsome, and Coast finally stimulated my grey matter.

Oh well. At least I didn't miss the boat on Conor Oberst.

A Question of Stupidity

For all you lovers and haters of the media...

...a look back at some of the more inane questions ever spewed forth at the Super Bowl from your friends at Page 2.

A Royal Uprising

Well, I did my part.

I signed a petition for implementing a downtown ballpark in the heart of Kansas City.

Sure, the Royals aren't the greatest team, but the city could use a economic kick in the pants.
Plus, Washington Square Park is the perfect place for a stadium.

Don't believe me? Check out this fan rendering.

The Zoloft Defense

That shy, lonely blob on the Zoloft commercial that the little bird and America love so much is apparently a killing machine.

Whoulda thunk it?