Saturday, January 31, 2009

broadway joe -- a tribute

a promise kept

on the eve of the super bowl, i want to pay tribute to my favorite football player:

joe namath, quarterback, university of alabama and most famously for the new york jets.

it was 40 years and 17 days ago -- the date was january 12, 1969 -- that joe (for this post, i'll call him that instead of the more formal namath) and the jets upset the baltimore colts 16-7 in super bowl iii.

(the picture at the top of this post is of joe leaving the field after the game.)

the colts were heavily favored and the representatives of the established (and establishment) national football league. the jets and especially joe were the representatives of the upstart american football league and some howled bloody murder when joe predicted that the jets would win the game.

it wasn't joe's performance in the super bowl that made me like him.
oh, he had that twinkle in his eyes that you could imagine becoming a wink. he also had a winning smile.

but i came to enjoy him because of his sense of "irony," for lack of a better word: the knowledge that he didn't take his image that seriously. he could laugh at himself and his nickname of "broadway joe." i bet he didn't mind it, but he could take or leave it.

that was opposed to, say, o.j. simpson. i've heard a story that simpson was in paris and became upset that no one there recognized him. that could be expected, because american football -- isn't that popular in europe.

joe, on the other hand, if he had been in paris, wouldn't mind being recognized. but if he wasn't, he would'nt be upset about it.

joe's life after football hasn't been all great. divorces and problems with alcohol are two things that have plagued him.

but i don't know many people -- if any one at all -- who wish him ill.
i have no prediction for the super bowl. of the odds i've seen and the stories i've read, all favor pittsburgh.

i'm going to cheer for the steelers. but if the cardinals win, that would be all right with me.

however, i wish the powers that be would start the game sometime in the middle of the afternoon -- say 3 p.m. -- instead of at 6:20 p.m.

driving a truck thru canarsie

driving a truck thru canarsie ...
owls without vowels --
or --
owls with no vowels --
you decide.
call me when you're 20, honey.
half nude,
all lewd,
but not rude
or even crude.
kids don't learn how to hate. they can do that well enough by themselves. but they do learn what or who to hate.
the man was a true nell. he'd rather be tossed into a briar patch than be touched by a woman.
more justice
more peace
the lovers kissed in a room so quiet that they could feel their lips smacking. but the sound was light because they kissed in tenderness.
in his voice was a tinge of sarcasm, like an ounce of whiskey in a pint of water ...
the house was full of the smell of bacon greased mixed with odors from bad plumbing. it also was overheated in the winter and other cool weather.
lots and lots of psychologizing ...
it's not AE, IOU
but AE, UO ME.
this one hick -- from eastern kentucky -- thought everything north of kokomo was canada.
said the native american to the black man: "we were both fucked by the white man. he stole you from your land; he stole my land from me."
going down a roller coaster, you feel joy with a touch of fear: that it'll be over much too soon.
wondering why
these days
it's all secrecy
and no privacy --
paraphrased from the song fingerprint file, the last song of the record it's only rock and roll by the rolling stones.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

weather update

about 12.5 inches of snow fell between monday and this morning. according to the folks on tv, it was the most snow that fell since 1996.

it fell so fast that the snow removal people couldn't keep up with it. folks on tv and on the radio suggested that people should travel -- that is, drive -- only if necessary. i had no necessary places to travel, so i stayed inside and rescheduled some appointments i had until next week.

the sun came out about 10:30 this morning. with little cloud cover, temperatures tonight will be in the teens


that reminded me of a poem i wrote. its title is the chill.

she talked of the chill
that comes from the winter --
how it gets in the spaces
between muscles and bones,
and makes you shake.

"that's one sign of
a typical
winter," she said.
"i hate that --
and the gloominess,"
too. Gray skies every day --
how can you stand it?"

"it's here, and i'm here," i said.
"that's all i can say.
that's all i will say."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

working on a dream

bruce springsteen will play at halftime of sunday's super bowl. if i remember correctly, the e street band -- which includes clarence clemons, miami steve van zandt, and max weinberg -- are scheduled to play with him.

i believe it'll be a short set, like it was when the rolling stones played.

i tried to look up on the internet the odds of what songs springsteen would play, but i couldn't find them.

i'm betting that they will play these three songs:
  • born in the usa;
  • working on a dream -- the latest single from his latest album, which was released for sale to the public today;
  • and, of course, born to run -- more or less springsteen's theme song.
(for the record, the stones played start me up, rough justice, and -- hey, what else? -- satisfaction.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

just wondering ...

paul auster, new york writer and author of city of glass ...

and rahm emmanuel, former illinois congressman, now chief of staff for president barack obama ...

separated at birth? you be the judge

notes on attitudes toward action

i've seen people have four different attitudes to actions and activities.

the first is the amateur. he isn't married to the action. he thinks this might be an interesting thing to do. he tries it. sometimes, he continues it.

the second is the duffer. he's usually an amateur. he isn't indifferent or lazy about the activity; he often lacks the talent. but he keeps doing it because he likes the activity. often, he loves it.

the third is the professional. he's usually good to great or excellent at doing the activity. he's often scornful of the amateur because of his perceived lack of seriousness and total commitment to the activity. often the professional started as an amateur and progressed to professionalism because of talent, hard work, or a mix of both.

the fourth, and the worst, is the hack. he's indifferent and lazy to the activity. usually, as opposed to the duffer, he hates it. he's professional enough to do it; he just goes through the motions. he does just enough work needed so he's not dismissed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a handful

here's a picture i made recently:

it was inspired by the waste land by t.s. eliot -- specifically, lines 19-30 of section one, the burial of the dead:

what are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
out of this stony rubbish? son of man,
you cannot say, or guess, for you know only
a heap of broken images, where the sun beats
and the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
and the dry stone no sound of water. only
there is shadow under this red rock,
(come in under the shadow of this red rock),
and i will show you something different from either
your shadow at morning striding behind you
or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
i will show you fear in a handful of dust.

some comments on social relationships

ace: have you heard of the expression to be a good leader, you must be a good follower?

deuce: sure. businesses say that all the time.

ace: well, i've applied it to other social relationships. like: to be a good master, you must be a good slave or to be a good top, you must be a good bottom.

deuce: damn! you're right!

ace: this is the situation i see around me. unfortunately. and it's hard to find relationships between equals. once again, people fail democracy. the thirteenth amendment of the u.s. constitution forbids legal slavery. as for mental slavery, well ... it's too goddamn prevalent!

deuce: what about us?

ace: we're equals. we have to be. we share a home. if we weren't like that, one of us would've tossed the other out -- or would've kept the other locked up in the basement.

nsfw? hell -- who has a job?

if you surf the internet, you might come across some websites with pictures of goodlooking women. they might wearing swimsuits or possibly lingerie. they might be topless. they might be nude. and some times, they may be performing sexual acts with a man, or another woman, or a combination of the two, or any other combination you can imagine.

people often refer to those sites by their acronym: nsfw. that's internet slang for not safe for work. not only does that phrase cover sexually suggestive sites, it also refers to sites that are often profane or have shocking pictures, such as

other sites that people visit while at work have been called sfw, or safe for work. some of those sites are called humorous -- with old jokes, funny pictures and other items. some people may skip those sites but check those devoted to sports and finance.

as i was thinking about this, i wondered:

if people have the time to view those sites at their places of employment, i bet they're underworked or underused. therefore -- and you might call this cold -- if these people are laid off, it won't hurt companies. it definitely would hurt them, though. but it would give them time to check out nsfw sites at home.

it's about time ...

not after today, good sir.

he definitely says what i think, and what i bet millions of my fellow citizens think.

during the last hours -- finally -- of the bush-cheney administration, i'm reminded of these things:

  • the quote by gerald ford after richard nixon resigned "our long national nightmare is over." as of today, the long national bad dream will be over;
  • the old expression "gone but not forgotten." dorothy parker twisted it to "forgotten but not gone." this administration, since barack obama was elected, was neither gone nor forgotten;
  • the long illness and final death of francisco franco in 1975. when it came, saturday night live made it a running joke. but one big difference between franco's death and the current administration's end is this: you knew when this thing would end; it just seem to take its sweet time.

last week, during both bush's last press conference and his farewell address, he defended his record. that's what you would expect. but his admission of miscues were more like the reagan's adminstration's statement that "mistakes were made" during the iran-contra affair of the late 1980s.

i won't go into the terrible incompetencies of the bush-cheney administration. other websites can do that. three that come to my mind are:

  • the iraq war and its aftermath;
  • the inadquate response to hurricane katrina;
  • the financial crisis.

obama faces big, big problems. lord knows what problems we can't see and might be coming. unfortunately, the old administration won't pay for them. bush and cheney will go into comfortable retirement.

i wish obama well. he'll need it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

now, on to the super bowl!

here is a short recap from sunday's conference championship games in the nfl.

although i had wanted the philadelphia eagles to advance, the arizona cardinals defeated them 32-25. they now face the pittsburgh steelers, who beat the baltimore ravens 23-14.

pictured above are the two players who i consider the most valuable to their teams' victory.

at the left is steelers safety troy polamalu. he intercepted a pass with about four and a half minutes left in the game. then he ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown. that put pittsburgh definitely ahead.

at the right is cardinals wide receiver larry fitzgerald. he caught six passes in the first two quarters of the game. three of them went for touchdowns and arizona lead 24-6 at halftime. he went on to catch a total of nine passed for 152 yards.

i wanted to see philadelphia and pittsburgh advance because they are two of my favorite teams. since they won't, i'm going to cheer for the steelers.

i'm not sad that the eagles didn't advance. i won't be said if the cardinals win the super bowl.

here's an interesting sidelight:

during the 1944 nfl season, because so many players were in the military, both teams merged operations and played as one. they were called card-pitt, but went 0-10.

in 1945, both teams went their separate ways.

(picture borrowed from

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

how a situation is bigoted

once i was watching a commercial about an airline. in it, a black guy wore so much clothing before he left on a trip that he looked like the michelin man. he did that so he wouldn't pay any charges for luggage. if he had flown on the airline in the commercial, he wouldn't have been charged for luggage.

i laughed at the situation, but quickly wondered: is this commercial bigoted?

i decided it wasn't. here's how i determined that. you could've put a white guy, an asian or a hispanic in the same situation and it still would've been funny.

so if any minority is in a silly/foolish/stupid/ridiculous situation, and you substitute a different person in it, you're laughing at a human foible. that's appropriate.

but if you don't get those laughs with the substitution -- then it's bigoted.

a real pissing contest

bobby was 10 years old and his brother billy was 8 when they started to play a new game.

just before they went to bed, they went to the bathroom, drank a lot of water, and started to pee into the toilet. then they would move farther and farther away from the bowl to see how long their streams could go.

often they would cross their streams -- must like the light sabre battles in the star wars movies.

now THAT is what you'd call a real pissing contest.

but one night, their father came into the bathroom and saw them in action.


the boys stopped.

he said, "do it at school. let the janitors clean it up!"

deborah's the winner

once, i was talking with the dental technician while she was cleaning my teeth. she's personable and likes to pass the time with conversation -- that is, when the patient's mouth isn't busy -- and we were talking about people's names.

i had mentioned that for women born in the 1950s, the decade i was born, the most popular names, in alphabetical order, were cynthia, deborah, karen and linda or variations of them.

this came to mind last week, and i wanted to check if that was true.

i grew up in a small town in central indiana and went to a high school that had from 800 students when i was a freshman to 1,100 students when i was a senior and after my high school had merged with another.

i checked in my yearbooks, where all of my fellow students were born from 1950 to 1957. the most popular name was deborah -- or variations like debbie or debra. 37 girls had that name.

the second most popular name was catherine or katherine or variations of them; 24 girls were named that. somehow, that escaped me.

right behind it was cynthia, cindy or variations of it. 23 girls had that name.

sixteen girls were named linda while only eight girls were named karen.

other popular names of girls back then were carol, cheryl, connie (rarely constance), nancy, teresa, and victoria.

championships games, possible irony

beth roethlisberger and donovan mcnabb

the early odds have philadelphia and pittsburgh winning their respective conference title games this sunday. the eagles are favored over arizona by three points. the steelers are favored over baltimore by five points.

and if both win, it'll be ironic.

not only will the eagles and steelers be playing for the national football league championship, they also will be playing for the unofficial and informal championship of the state of pennsylvania.

but they won't be playing in harrisburg or erie of any other neutral location. instead, they'll be playing in tampa, florida.

this reminds me of the comic sports novel semi-tough by dan jenkins, former sports illustrated writer. in it, the new york giants and new york jets play in the super bowl -- in los angeles.

truth and fiction come closer together. and life imitates art.

as i said before, it's ironic. the dictionary definition may not agree, but i'll go this time with alannis morrisette.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

notes on the playoffs

baltimore 13, tennessee 10

i'm not suprised that the ravens won the game.

but it's more like the titans beat themselves. they had three turnovers, including two fumbles inside the ravens' 20-yard line -- and one near the goal line!

also, the ravens' defense, lead by ray lewis, ed reed, and terrell suggs, just swarmed all over the titans' offense.

arizona 33, carolina 13

now, i AM surprised that the cardinals beat the panthers. and i'm VERY surprised by the point spread.

but jake delhomme, the quarterback for the panthers, committed six turnovers by himself. that includes five -- yes, five -- interceptions. those things will tend to beat a football team.

philadelphia 23, new york 11

before the game started, i had no favorite team. but as the game progressed, i started to favor the eagles because they made the nfc championship game from 2001 to 2004. back then, they were my second favorite nfl team; the colts were the first.

and i like donovan mcnabb, despite all the shit that's happened to him. that includes those campbell's soul commercials with his mother, and the accusation by rush limbaugh that he was unfairly favored by a liberal sports media.

pittsburgh 35, san diego 17

now, i was cheering for pittsburgh to win because they were one of my favorite teams back in the 1970s, when they had terry bradshaw, joe greene, and chuck noll. plus, you must consider the revenge factor, since the chargers beat the colts last week.

it was 10-7 chargers before the steelers scored three straight touchdowns that put them ahead. 28-10. from there on, they were playing out the clock.

three visiting teams won their playoffs games. the only home team to win was pittsburgh.

as for the games next sunday, this will be the first time the cardinals will be playing for a championship since 1948, when they were based in chicago and lost to the eagles 7-0.


(by the way, they won their last championship over the same eagles back in 1947. the score of that game was 28-21. very interesting.)

the baltimore-pittsburgh game also will be interesting. both teams have very good defenses. and they strongly despise -- if not hate -- each other.

what the goddamn hell ...

i was crusing around the internet when i came across this story.

the thought of what the goddamn hell -- the title of this post -- came to me after i read it.

it's no surprise that the woman not only is obese, but overly belligerent -- two signs of a redneck.

god help her -- and god help us all because they are in the same world as us!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

just wondering ...

stephen king, famous writer of horror books from maine ...

and rod blagojevich, infamous and disgraced governor of illinois ...

separated at birth? you be the judge.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

these people can fry in hell

first, i hope you and yours had a happy new year and that 2009 has been good so far.

second, monday was twelfth night, which is the end of the christmas season in some traditions.

therefore, since i'm not under any selfimposed obligations to wish good will to men, which i usually do during the holiday season, here are some folks to whom i wish ill will:
  • the haters;
  • the assholes;
  • the whiners;
  • the people out to get you;
  • the people out to cheat you;
  • the people who pretend to be your friend;
  • the people who are rude on purpose;
  • the people who are rude in general;
  • the hypocrites;
  • the greedy.
and most of all:
  • the people who don't appreciate you.
i found this on the net. i didn't note and i don't rlemember where.

these people can't go to hell soon enough. when they get there, the fires can't be hot enough.