Wednesday, January 31, 2007

George W. Bush, farmer

I recently imagined George W. Bush as a crop-hating farmer. I lacked the imagination to picture him as a psychotic, renegade tractor-driving farmer:

"I would suggest moving back," Bush said as he climbed into the cab of a massive D-10 tractor. "I'm about to crank this sucker up." As the engine roared to life, White House staffers tried to steer the press corps to safety, but when the tractor lurched forward, they too were forced to scramble for safety."Get out of the way!" a news photographer yelled. "I think he might run us over!" said another. White House aides tried to herd the reporters the right way without getting run over themselves. Even the Secret Service got involved, as one agent began yelling at reporters to get clear of the tractor. Watching the chaos below, Bush looked out the tractor's window and laughed, steering the massive machine into the spot where most of the press corps had been positioned. The episode lasted about a minute, and Bush was still laughing when he pulled to a stop.

When Cartoons Attack: A timeline

Two to three weeks ago: Magnetic signs with blinking lights that depict some critter from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" on the Cartoon Network are placed on bridges and other infrastruction throughout 10 U.S. cities, including Boston.

Sometime Wednesday morning: Bomb squad called in to destroy one of the signs, presumably because it contains wire and blinking lights. No reports of ticking suitcases, black spheres with fuses or wooden kegs reading "TNT" on the side.

Approximately 1 p.m. Wednesday: Four calls to police report more "suspicious devices."

1:01 p.m. Boston authorities consider the implications of multiple "devices" and scream: "SOMEONE SET US UP THE BOMB!" subsequently executing an official pants-crapping. Subways, highways and bridges are shut down, the Charles River is closed, and the Homeland Security Department in Washington is alerted to the possibility that Al-Qaida appears to be carrying out a Lite-Brite attack.

2:14 p.m. NORAD alerted to possible threat in Boston, but is distracted by reports of an Acme rocket with a super-genius Canis latrans penetrating American airspace near the Arizona-Mexico border.

3:57 p.m. Authorities determine that the devices, despite the menacing presence of LEDs and wires, are no threat.

4:49 p.m. Turner issues statement reassuring Bostonians that no Cartoon Network characters are planning attacks on the Boston area.

6:20 p.m. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announce they'll be using every tool at their disposal to make sure that someone, anyone, is punished for this horrible fiasco which totally could not have been prevented by using some common sense. Also, they express a fervent desire for no one to notice that the city and state response to blinking lights is to go code fucking red.

6:45 p.m. Professor Utonium releases a statement to the Boston Phoenix and Townsville Tribune on behalf of his clients, the Powerpuff Girls, who are currently studying abroad in London and unable to respond. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup decry the "asinine" response by Boston authorities.

7:01 p.m. Boston Police marine units report Jabberjaw sighting in Boston Harbor, but it turns out to be a garrulous cod. Star-Kist units are called in anyway, out of "an abundance of caution."

8:15 p.m. Someone now has an arrest record because of all this. I can't decide which scenario is more appalling: The worlds biggest vandalism trial or actual terrorism related charges getting filed.

All your base are belong to them, Boston.

Goodbye to a shining lone star

If you're a corrupt, asshole politician with a sensitive soul and/or relatives in the Bush family, you can rest easy, homes: Molly Ivins will skewer you no more. The legendary Texas columnist died today.

When I was first waking up to the political world, I was probably about 11 or 12. I used to read The New York Times at the kitchen table and Newsweek on long car trips, sometimes refusing to stop reading, even though I knew it would make me carsick. Although I remember following the 1988 presidential campaign to some extent, my political sensibilies came into being during the time of George H.W. Bush, a president I didn't particularly care for.

Which is probably why I liked reading Molly Ivins so much. I was introduced to her by my mom, who always made sure to point out Ivins' work to me whenever she came across it. We would read aloud passages that just absolutely gored Bush's ox in a way no other writer would, hooting and laughing and wondering why no one else understood things the way Ivins did.

In hindsight, it's obvious that Ivins was absolutely fearless when it came to speaking truth to power. Growing up you think all journalists are ready to cross swords with politicians, but it's not so, especially now.

I can't claim to be a devoted reader of Ivins'. I don't own a single book of hers, and I never made a concerted effort to seek her out. But every so often, I'd come across something she wrote, something so blistering and wonderful, sparks might as well have been coming off the page. I'd read it and think: Oh, yeah. I forgot how awesome she is.

It was my loss that I never made her a must-read. Now it's America's loss that her voice will be heard no more. I don't know about the rest of you, but I know what my plans for tonight are.

A funny thing happened during the switch to the new Blogger

If you're read five posts on this site, you can probably figure out the author by the third paragraph. Flop and I have different styles, you see. I'm brilliant, witty and sexy; Flop is discursive, wacky and obsessed with Cleveland.

For some reason, when this site moved from the old version of Blogger to the new one, every post ever written on Cole Slaw Blog was reattributed to Flop. My lengthy essays on The Hold Steady, my rage during Hurricane Katrina, and my long analysis of how the Real World/Road Rules challenges mimicked that week's events in the U.S. Senate? Posterity will remember Flop, not me.

We write anonymously, so it's not a problem. Really. I hope Flop enjoys the fame and credit for my insights. And when some poetry critic cites one of my theories about The Hold Steady to Craig Finn, Flop's theory was deemed "a stretch," not mine.

Or maybe we can both post as "Flop" from now on. It'll be like Cato's Letters. With more Cleveland.

Another new blog

Even if I weren't adding a new blog to our list, I'd have to pass along this one article, just because it's so hilariously cringe-worthy.

So go and read the article entitled "Jammin' Like Crazy at Goldman." I haven't seen a more laughable-on-it's-face piece of advertorial bullshit. Then again, I don't know the first thing about investment banking. I had to look up the wikipedia entry to confirm some things, just because I only knew "investment banker" as the consolation prize for for insecure moms whose beloved never showed any signs of aptitude for iambic pentameter or reverse transcriptase.

Jammin' reads as if it were penned by a hopelessly dorky member of the bank's PR department (you know the type: they're still bellowing "Whoomp, there it is! unflinchingly after minor personal or professional triumphs). The comments left for the poor author are also a trove of excellence. But the best snark comes from the response on Leveraged Sellout, a new blog that provides a look inside the fascinating world of investment banking. Everything from spreadsheet jockeying to bottle service _ it's all here. If you ever wanted to see just how investment bankers roll, now's your chance, brah.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cole Slaw Blog's fancy new layout: it's got what plants crave

It's not a very good idea to sign into Blogger at 4 a.m. while drunk and attempt to migrate your entire lame blog into the snazzy new Blogger Beta. An error message popped up, I thought that the entire site was killed, and I speculated about a sad future where our wisdom would be lost for the ages.

As you can see, it all worked out fine. I thought we might all celebrate by enjoying this clip from Idiocracy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hypothetical dilemmas and excuses for George W. Bush, average citizen

President Bush today rebuffed congressional opponents who want to stop his plan to increase U.S. troop strength in Iraq, declaring that "I'm the decision-maker" on the war effort and challenging skeptics to produce their own plan for success.

George W. Bush, weather forecaster. In the 11 p.m. broadcast on April 19, George confidently predicts that "tomorrow we'll see a batch of those famous April showers, so don't forget to pack an umbrella!" In fact, April 20 is sunny with a high of 58. Confident in his earlier prediction, George mounts his roof with a garden hose and sprays cold water on passing cars and pedestrians. On that night's broadcast, he takes credit for predicting rain.

George W. Bush, bodega employee. An unexpected demand for Tropicana Orange Juice (Some Pulp) leaves the bodega shorthanded, and the next delivery isn't due until Wednesday. George places several fresh oranges in a cleaning bucket and beats them with his sneaker, which he has washed and removed. When prospective orange juice buyers decline to buy the bucket and its contents, he angrily rebuffs them, and suggests that they make the juice themselves.

George W. Bush, professional dog walker. After 20 minutes of walking Buster, Naomi Steinhardt's black lab, the dog has failed to relieve itself. George takes matters into his own hands by urinating on a parked car. He praises the dog lavishly. Naomi is dismayed when she returns to her apartment and steps into a puddle of Buster's urine.

George W. Bush, high school principal. You are a history teacher struggling with a difficult student. He shows promise, but is disruptive in class and dismayed by his parents' divorce. When he calls you an "asshole" in sixth hour, you send him to the principal's office, where George shoots and kills him. You communicate your horror, and George says, "Shut up, didn't he? That's more than you were able to do."

George W. Bush, temp. It's mid-August on the 25th floor when a blackout hits the city. After 20 minutes of waiting for power to return, your boss suggests that everyone take the stairs and walk home. George declares that stairs are "too long." He throws a computer monitor through a window (accidentally damaging a newsstand below) then suggests that the employees jump out, since that will bring them down faster. No one follows his suggestion. George grows incensed, and says that someone else needs to come up with an alternative exit strategy that's less difficult than stairs.

George W. Bush, interior decorator. The owner of a loft requests that George find artwork to complement a new red couch. Using a set of Crayola Magic Markers, George scrawls the following on the loft's walls: "George," "fart," "shit," "kat," and "MOM." He attempts to draw a red penguin, except that it looks more like a pigeon, but George hates pigeons, so he tries to turn it into a dragon. The outraged owner sees George's handiwork and refuses to pay the $15,000 consulting fee. "You wanted artwork, didn't you?" George said. "I propose that if you want a better dragon, you draw her yourself."

George W. Bush, plastic surgeon. For her fiftieth birthday, Brenda Lawson goes under the knife for a nose job. Thinking about Garbage Pail Kids makes George W. Bush, M.D., distracted. He mistakenly severs her nose. In an effort to remedy this, George decides to remove one of Brenda's boobs and annex it where her nose should be. Dissatisfied with the asymmetry, he concludes that it would be better yet to remove the other boob and annex it to the proper location of a male penis, had Brenda been born a male. He congratulates himself for his creativity. At his medical malpractice trial four years later, George testifies, "As to those who doubt, I welcome their suggestions for what to do with a lost nose and a one-boob."

George W. Bush, farmer. Concluding that crops are "lazy" and "spoiled," George resolves to stop watering and fertilizing his thousand-acre sorghum farm, to predictable results. Panicking over the dormant fields, George commissions a blue-ribbon panel of agriculture professors to advise him on how to resuscitate the farm. The commission suggests that George water and fertilize the crops; George again denounces the crops as "lazy" and "spoiled." The farm fails and George enters bankruptcy. Defending a lawsuit from his lenders, George states, "And to my critics, I would have welcomed input from anyone who had suggestions about how to motivate lazy, spoiled crops."

References the The Hold Steady has not made and which, in retrospect, Flop finds surprising to some degree

A small part of my admiration for The Hold Steady stems from the realization that Craig Finn and I share the same dorky love of specific place names. I'm pretty sure Finn would never pen a short story or a novel which included places like Haddam, N.J.; East Egg, N.Y.; or St. Jude, Mo. I don't think I would either. Although I've seen it denigrated by snotty reviewers, I think all the references to specific places, people and things add to the Hold Steady's overall bitchin'-ness.

As such, I present a list of future proper nouns I would not be at all startled by if they were to appear somewhere in The Hold Steady oeuvre.

1. Kirby Puckett
2. Garrison Kiellor
3. The Little Brown Jug*
4. Spoonbridge and Cherry
5. The Miracle on Ice
6. Northwest Orient
7. Prince
8. Gump Worsley

Not receiving votes: Fred Smoot, Andrei Zyuzin, 3M, Land O' Lakes, Nicollet Mall, those glassed-in bridges between buildings in downtown, Asad Abdul-Khaliq, Mall of America, the merger between the Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars, Brett Hull, Gordon Lundegaard.

* Not that Minneapolitans would ever have really had any reason to know what this is.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Toward a comprehensive encyclopedia of The Hold Steady

I'm attempting to analyze and annotate every specific location and person referenced in The Hold Steady's three albums.

Mock me if you want, but I consider this my obligation to future scholars.

Below is an alphabetical list of places and people. Going through the lyrics, I've noticed certain trends: nothing good happens in California; Florida is the situs of ultimate decadence; everyone always comes back to Minneapolis.

If I can figure out a way to properly export a spreadsheet layout into blogger, I'll publish a complete account. I've omitted site-specific references to Minneapolis because they're so copious, and because I don't recognize many of them. The Hold Steady Guide to the Twin Cities is a brilliant resource on that front.


Bay City, MISweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Beverly Hills, CAThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Bowdoin, MEChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

CaliforniaHot FriesN/A

CaliforniaModest Is Not That SweetN/A

ColoradoGirls Like StatusBoys and Girls in America

Chicago, ILChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Dallas, TXDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Denver, COCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Denver, COMilkcrate MoshN/A

Edina, MNHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

Hollywood, CACurves & NervesN/A

Hostile, MAHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Lynn, MAHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Los Angeles, CADon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

MassachusettsBanging CampSeparation Sunday

MassachusettsCurves & NervesN/A

MichiganSweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Minneapolis, MNParty PitBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverSome KooksBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverStevie NixBoys and Girls in America

Modesto, CAModesto Is Not That SweetN/A

Narraganset Bay, RISome KooksBoys and Girls in America

New Orleans, LADon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

New York, NYChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Osseo, MNYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

Pensacola, FLKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Philadelphia, PAKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Shaker Heights, OHThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

University of MinnesotaStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

VirginiaKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Western MassachusettsChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

Ybor City, FLMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Ybor City, FLKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me


Nelson AlgrenChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

St. BarbaraDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

John BerrymanStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Black SabbathHot Soft LightsBoys and Girls in America

William BlakeChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Kate BushHornets! HornetsSeparation Sunday

Johnny CashBarfruit BluesAlmost Killed Me

Alice CooperSketchy MetalAlmost Killed Me

Andre CymoneThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Rick DankoThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

John DarnielleGirls Like StatusBoys and Girls in America

James DeanKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Ellen FoleyCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

Drop Dead FredKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Freddy FreshKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Humbert HumbertHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

King James IKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Jane's AddictionCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

Billy JoelCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

JesusCitrusBoys and Girls in America

JesusYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

JesusCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

JesusHostile, MassachusettsAlmost Killed Me

JesusFirst NightBoys and Girls in America

JesusSketchy MetalAlmost Killed Me

Judas IscariotCitrusBoys and Girls in America

Judas IscariotMilkcrate MoshN/A

John F. KennedyDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Jack KerouacStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Jack KerouacHot FriesN/A

James KingKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Freddie KnucklesKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Phil LynottMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Mickey MantleHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

MeatloafCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

Freddy MercuryKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Mary Tyler MooreStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Vladimir NabokovHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

NazarethCurves & NervesN/A

Stevie NicksStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Jackie OnassisDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Sal ParadiseStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

St. PaulChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

St. Paul SaintsHow a Resurrection Really FeelsSeparation Sunday

Steve PerryThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

St. PeterHow a Resurrection Really FeelsSeparation Sunday

Mackenzie PhillipsCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Porky PigHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Jada PinkettSweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Lionel RichieCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

Right Said FredKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Robbie RobertsonThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Johnny RottenKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Neil SchonThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Rocco SiffrediMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Beverly SillsThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Nina SimoneThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Patty SmytheThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Phil SpectorMilkcrate MoshN/A

Bruce SpringsteenBarfruit BluesAlmost Killed Me

Rod StewartStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Izzie StratlinChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

Alfred, Lord TennysonChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

St. TheresaYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

St. TheresaChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

The TimesArms and HeartsBoys and Girls in America

The Trix RabbitCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Tuscan RaidersThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

William Butler YeatsChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dumbasstic days

After a busy, stressful, eventful, happy and boozy weekend, it's hard to do anything but recuperate on Monday.

My weekend was not as excitement-filled as last weekend's, in which cookies were kicked, breakfast bars were obtained and consumer electronics were purloined. It was not without it's charms, however; Bourbon, cards, football, old movies _ you know, the usual suspects. I was not without my dumbass moments, however. Betting too eagerly on one hand left me short-stacked and desperate and I was the first one to bow out after a necessary reach with a 7-10 suited. On Saturday night I had to walk down a cold and windy seventh avenue before sprinting for a crosstown bus because I left my cash and ATM card at home. A friend and a goodly quantity of libations were waiting patiently for me at my local tavern. Yesterday, the day I bet myself out of the game, I spent mostly riveted to football on the TV, and an excellent movie called "12 Angry Men", which I recommend unreservedly if you like talky, thoughtful movies that confirm both your faith and despair over the state of humanity.

After all that, today has been blessedly restful and restorative. I made myself a near-perfect goat cheese omelette for breakfast, then followed up at dinner with some sausage, with napa cabbage I quartered, dredged in olive oil, salt and pepper, then stuck in a pan, flat side down until the edges of the leaves turned nicely brown. Some fresh-grated parmesan and a bit more salt and pepper, and I was in kitchen-improv heaven. Sometimes these thunderclap inspirations fall apart, either from a lack of execturion or a failure of imagination. But this is one of my most successful. I think I've just added a new dish to my repertoire. Monday has earned its keep after all.

Two questions

1. Will anyone who made definitive statements about the supposed innate inability of Peyton Manning and/or the Indianapolis Colts to win a big game be re-examining those statements?

2. What's everyone's ballpark figure on the number of TV's shot out in Houston and the greater Harris County area in the seconds immediately following Reggie Bush's incredible catch and run against the Bears?

Friday, January 19, 2007

How a rock n' roll show really feels

I'm taking advantage of CrimeNotes' sleepiness to write our blog's review of Thursday night's The Hold Steady concert. No, seriously. I'll keep it well under 3,000 words. If I leave out something my co-blogger considers important, well, that's his problem for choosing to dream about ... whatever it is he dreams about. One assume's it's a letter from Michiko Kakutani thanking him for being the only one who understands what it's like to be her. (Enclosure: a photo of her ta-tas.)

So anyway, the concert. And the part I'll remember the rest of my life: I was on stage at the end of the concert. No shit. I was on the fucking stage. With a couple dozen other people. It was amazing. That's one more thing I can cross off my list of "stupid shit to do before I turn 30 and it becomes borderline juvenile." I was on the stage at the end of a rock and/or roll show. During the last song of the second and final encore (right after the much-requested "Knuckles") Craig Finn invited people in front to join him on stage. I pushed CrimeNotes forward and said "Dude, you have to do that?" He (being over 30) demurred. So I tucked the T-shirt I'd bought for Effervescent Shorty (at the request of her fiancee, Crunk Raconteur) into my back pocket, and told CrimeNotes to hold my coat. Then I clambered gracelessly onto the stage, where I could "Woooo!" my heart out as Finn declared that we all were, in fact, The Hold Steady.

It's tough to beat that, but as as for the rest of the show. The venue was Northsix in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was tiny, intimate and absolutely awesome. There were maybe 400 other people in the place. I can't think of a better place to see this band than some bar off I-94 between Madison, Wis., and St. Paul, Minn. And speaking of Williamsburg, I just have to mention that yes, on the walk back from the show, I actually saw someone wearing a Pabst Blue Ribbon trucker hat. I assume it was meta irony, because otherwise, that's just a bit too on the nose, isn't it?

But enough with that shit _ the show was at a tiny, 400-person venue. CrimeNotes and I were probably 25 feet or so from the stage, if that. The show was pretty much incredible start to finish. They started with a Positive Jam, and then like 10 minutes later, they were already leaving the stage before their first encore. Actually, it was well over an hour, more lik 70-80 minutes, but it felt like no time at all had gone by. The songs that stood out to me afterward were a particularly blistering version of "Chips Ahoy!" which included the entire crowd singing backing vocals, and an excellent "Stuck Between Stations." I think the second song was "The Swish" and yes, I recall bellowing out the line about skirts, tights, and shaking it up in Shaker Heights. In fact, I probably screamed half the lyrics to all the songs along with the band. Actually, half is a conservative estimate. I can't recall a recent show I've gone more bonkers for. I can't recall a show I've gone more bonkers for even in high school or college, actually.

But I'll refrain from further giddy babble. The only point left I want to make is this: I've always understood on some level why CrimeNotes sways back and forth during The Hold Steady concerts as if he's listening to some charismatic preacher, but now I get it completely.

And after tonight's show, I'm going to have to go read Molly Bloom's encounter with Leopold to cool myself off.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Great Moments in Dumbassery

When you're a dumbass, life is never dull ...

Saturday, 2:30 a.m
. I'm over at my friend Mr. Met's apartment, watching The State on DVD while he burns me some CDs. A friend of his comes over with a sixpack of Brazilian beer she purchased at a drugstore. She's tipsy and tired after going on a date. She starts to play cards with us, but falls asleep on the couch after making macaroni and cheese. My friend and I drink all her beer. Also, I have some vanilla pudding (about 60 cents worth) and hum "Porcupine Racetrack" to myself.

Saturday, 7:37 a.m.We're standing in a cold drizzle as the sky grows a lighter shade of gray. My roommate, Emmelle, has arranged for work purposes to have a group of her friends stand around in the background of a TV segment on the South Beach diet. And so we're milling about and trying not to think of how tired we are while standing near a giant turquoise truck. The truck is a rolling billboard for the South Beach Diet. It has a clear box on the chassis containing a bamboo bar, some stools, a sandy floor, several beach balls and two models in shiny blue swimsuits. I offer to jump into the truck and drive off while the morning show anchors are in the back, in exchange for all $50 Amex gift cards we're getting for showing up. It would be like the dumbest "Grand Theft Auto" trick. There are no takers. I wind up managing not to get on camera, and go home with my pockets full of South Beach Diet bars (peanut butter flavor). I now have breakfast for the next two weeks, plus $50 which can be exchanged for goods and/or services. Not bad for two hours' work.

Sunday, 2:15 a.m. CrimeNotes, several of his friends and I arrive at a West Village hole in the wall we've been seeking for close to 45 minutes. I've steered everyone wrong, despite being the only sober one in the group. (Stupid West Village; I used to know my way around you so much better). Roughly 45 minutes later, everone is sated from beer and burgers, and it's time to go home. Even CrimeNotes, who dragged me out there in the first place less than two hours earlier is ready to call it a night. Yes, we know: Baby's tired.

Sunday, 11:45 p.m.
We're standing outside a bar on first avenue in the East Village. It's me, Mr. Met, voidoid and his friend from college. We were drinking and playing Euchre for the past couple of hours, but now we're attempting to kick Oreo cookies across First Avenue. It's the only way to take the sting out of a loss.

I don't have much success with the cookie booting. My most earnest attempt goes sailing off the side of my foot at about a 70-degree angle, landing hilariously close to me. I blame the beer, because I wasn't this drunk after the Ohio State game, when I could clear Second Avenue on the fly. Although "less drunk" is a ludicrous understatement at this point. I think at least 98 percent of Ireland is less sloshed than I am. We're talking somewhere between Paula Abdul live on Seattle TV and Orson Welles shooting a Paul Masson commercial drunk at this point.

Monday, sometime around 4 a.m. Naturally, in our current state, the only thing to do is go play some video-game football. Voidoid and friend beg off. So Mr. Met and I go to my place and wind up playing for Floyd of Rosedale. He's almost as drunk as I was, but not too drunk to wait for me to call HB Direct (never a long wait). He switches his controller over from Iowa to Minnesota and takes the snap directly backward, all the way out the back of the end zone to give himself a free safety. I was laughing too hard to breathe properly, let alone summon any indignation at this point. I respond by driving the field on his ass, scoring, and converting the two for a 29-26 lead late in the game. His field goal attempt as time expires went wide right by the slimmest of margins. Instant karma, fucker.

Monday 3:30 p.m. I wake up.

Monday, 6 p.m. I'm about to settle in for an early, hangover-curing dinner when I realize my remote control is not where I left it. It's not under the coffee table. Or the entertainment center. Or either couch. Or in my room. I even look in the refrigerator. Remembering how quickly Mr. Met skedaddled the previous night, I text him. He calls back to report that he checked his coat and indeed does have my remote. It's just as I suspected. When you lead the life of a dumbass, there are some things you just know.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Subjunctive Hooey

Just watching SportsCenter getting the blather bellows loosened up for this weekend's NFL action. The show was employing some deranged, sportscasterly form of the Socratic Method in which one talking head would toss out a question, which would then go up on the screen while the other answered it, while highlights and music played (for the kids, you know).

Anyway, under the rubric of "QB who will be most talked about Monday" the response was Peyton Manning, whose Indianapolis Colts play the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. The reason the NFL's tub-thumpingest QB will be the "most talked about" one?

Because if [the Colts] win, it will have been a spectacular performance, Peyton will have taken on a great defense, and hammered them and played well and thrown touchdowns and got them in rhythm and put the ball in the end zone. ... but if they don't win, you know what we're going to say? No matter the result, is it's going to be Peyton Manning's fault according to everybody and boy, he didn't win the big game, why can't Peyton win the Super Bowl? Peyton Manning is the reason this team's here for the most part. They will win because of him, not in spite of him if they do. He must perform in this game.
This is an excellent example of what Bob Somerby, if he wrote about sports media, would call "script typing." It's when the media collectively decides what the reasons for something happening will be before the event actually occurs, and then as events unfold, slots data points into the preconceived narrative. This is more than infuriatingly lazy and dishonest, especially for a profession that likes to talk about providing the first draft of history. It's simple eisegesis.

The emperor has no clothes _ and even some blow-dried, fourth-string dope working for ESPN can see it. (Five bucks says he goes and uses one of those storylines anyway when Chris Berman and company take his temperature on the matter after the fact). I could go on for several spittle-flecked pages about how much this whole practice baffles, angers and saddens me. But I'll spare you all the Cotton Mather treatment and just go grumbling off to the liquor cabinet, which has Bourbon to soothe my soul.

In conclusion: Tennessee fans should shut up about how Peyton deserved the Heisman over Charles Woodson.

Also, this would be an excellent time to add Fire Joe Morgan to our list of recommended reading. Lo, it is done.

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's not you, it's us

There are certain blogs I look forward to checking every day. The new posts are like nice little presents, and when the sites aren't updated, I feel mildly disappointed.

Hopefully, Cole Slaw Blog does not inspire that level of affection.

But in case it does, I thought that I'd issue a little explanation as to posting frequency and the recent lack thereof.

When I'm not posting regularly: I'm being crushed by all-consuming work duties. I think that if I posted about my work life, this site would get 10,000 hits a day and I'd have a book deal. But I'm a professional first and a blogger second, so at times like these, I just can't post.

When Flop's not posting regularly: He's just being lazy. Also, it probably means no one has spoken ill of Cleveland recently.

I hope that this clarifies matters.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rude awakening

Over the past couple of weeks, I got used to waking up around 10 a.m., having my mom make me poached eggs for breakfast, and spending the next couple of hours reading or watching TV. After that, it was time for a nap. I'd wake up, have lunch, annoy my dad, watch a shitty bowl game, and then take another nap. My biggest stress was waking up when other people would rudely have a conversation while I dozed on the living room floor.

Back at work today, everything reverted. As I left tonight, Adagio for Strings piped overhead. I staggered bloody out to the sidewalk, only to see the helicopter of life soar off without me. I would die in the jungle.

New Year's resolutions are ridiculous, but I think mine is to move to my parents' house.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Simply the worst

I'm sure that copious amounts of criticism will be directed at Fox's typical yahoo coverage of the BCS bowls, so I'll just choose one instructive example of how appalling the whole spectacle was.

Before the start of the Orange Bowl, the coin-tossing duties were attended to by the three "honorary captains" representing Wake Forest (Arnold Palmer), Louisville (Muhammad Ali) and the region, not the school, of south Florida (Dwyane Wade).

Some poor overmatched director, apparently with network notes like "show the crowd" "make it feel like a special event" and "let the images tell the story" let the cameras linger on the disease ravaged Ali, who appeared to have no idea where he was, why he was wearing a Cardinals football jersey or why the fuck Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" was blaring at what must have been inhuman decibel levels.

And when I saw David Brent's motivational speech in "The Office" I thought that would be the most uncomfortable I would ever be while hearing that song.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Wishing you and yours a smashtastic 2007

Ugly Betty is for girls, but I know a photo when I see one.


Your friends at Cole Slaw Blog