Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Bunch of stuff

Several things going on.

Arm -- feeling better all the time, still hurts when I try to put weight on or behind it. But due to my running around in a light jacket over short sleeves because it was easier with the splint, I seem to have a slight cold.

New office -- On Monday I began working at the new office at 909 Davis St. It’s nice, still full of that New Building Smell. The cubes are bigger, but have lower walls and are more open, and offer no way to situate your computer without your back to the aisle. Bleah. But the chairs, on the other hand, kick ass, and it seems quieter, at least in my area. I’m now sitting with the people I actually work with, instead of occupying the first available cube.

Oscars -- With the exception of the unfunny, useless Whoopi Goldberg, I thought they were the most entertaining I can remember. I’ve been clamoring for more clips for years, and they finally delivered. Yes it was long, but for the right reasons, for once. This was finally the show for viewers who really love movies; who spend more time watching IFC or TCM than E!; who explore outside the "New Release" aisle at the video store. Of course, since people bitch about it running “over” (which is a load of horse pucky -- let’s not broadcast overtime/extra innings in sporting events either) and its ratings were low by Oscar standards, I’m sure next year’s will revert to the usual crap. I finished well out of the money in the work pool, getting particularly hosed on Randy Newman and both Documentary awards.

Hitting the road -- We’re off to Minnesota tomorrow evening for a long weekend. I haven’t been up there since Thanksgiving, and try to visit around Dean’s birthday, which we missed last weekend due to a wedding.

Friday, March 22, 2002


Went to the bone doctor yesterday, and I'm out of the splint. The break is not severe enough to warrant immobilization, so I get to work on bringing my elbow/arm muscles back to normal, with a followup visit in 4 weeks. The sling is still prescribed now and then. I suppose I'm getting movement back, though it's hard to tell.

As an aside, this doctor's wife curls at a different club.

In other news, we packed up today for the move to the new office building. This will increase my commute by a whopping 25 percent - 5 blocks as opposed to four. Waaah!

Oscar Rundown

Best Picture

I've only seen LOTR and Moulin Rouge. While I'd vote for LOTR out of the nominees, I'd rather not see it win, if only because overdiscussion of the film(s) has reminded me why I ditched the D&D world upon leaving junior high.


WILL WIN: A Beautiful Mind

Best actor: have seen none of the performances.

MYVOTE: Denzel, for no good reason

WILL WIN: Denzel, for no good reason

Best Actress: seen only Zellweger and Kidman's performances. Kidman was nothing special in Moulin Rouge.

MY VOTE: Zellweger. Maybe because Z is close to W, for the snubbed Naomi


Will WIN: Spacek

Supporting Actor: Saw only Ian McKellen.

MY VOTE: McKellen, perhaps a makeup vote for past performances.

WILL WIN: Jim Broadbent

Supporting Actress: Saw none of these.

MY VOTE: Jennifer Connelly, as a makeup for her fabulous work in The Rocketeer. Oh, and Requiem for a Dream.

WILL WIN: Connelly, for the same reasons.

Director: Saw LOTR and Mulholland Drive.

MY VOTE: as much as I like Peter Jackson, Lynch deserves something.

WILL WIN: Ron Howard.

ANIMATED FEATURE: Saw Shrek. It's got my vote, and will probably win.

Cinematography: Hey, did better here -- Saw everything but Black Hawk Down.

MY VOTE: The Man Who Wasn't There. Too hard to tell in the others what's real and what's digital.

WILL WIN: Probably LOTR.

Editing: Saw LOTR, Memento, Moulin Rouge

MY VOTE: Moulin Rouge. Never mind "Truth, Beauty, and most of all Love" (or even music), Editing was what this film was about.

WILL WIN: Moulin Rouge or Memento.

Makeup: didn't see A Beautiful Mind.



Score: missed Monsters Inc. and A Beautiful Mind. I don't remember a thing about the music in AI, but considering I remember being bombarded by Harry

Potter's score all too well, perhaps that's a good thing.


WILL WIN: A Beautiful Mind. people eat up James Horner. Not sure why.

Song: Everyone nominated can just go away.

MY VOTE: Enya, because I heard the song and it made no impression on me,

good or bad.

WILL WIN: Paul McCartney.

Short films: I saw none of these, but I have a friend who saw them all at a special screening, and his faves were STUBBLE TROUBLE (animated) and THE

ACCOUNTANT (live-action).

Sound: Whatever.

MY VOTE: LOTR. Moulin Rouge was the most audibly unmemorable musical I can recall.


Sound Effects Editing: Just give it to Gary Rydstrom and crew for MONSTER'S INC.

Visual Effects:

MY VOTE and WILL WIN: LOTR. This film could have been a horrific cheesefest, had these folks not been perfect.

Original Screenplay: Saw Amelie, Memento

MY VOTE: Amelie

WILL WIN: Memento. Biggest indie buzz.

Adapted Screenplay:

MY VOTE: Ghost World. LOTR got it right after years of various attempts. But I have to go with the comic-book adaptation here.

WILL WIN: LOTR, as a consolation prize for losing Best Picture to A Beautiful Mind.

Documentary Feature: Seen none of them.

MY VOTE: probably Murder on a Sunday Morning.

WILL WIN: Promises, it having the requisite Israeli theme.

Doc Short: seen none.

MY VOTE and WILL WIN: the magic-8-ball says Artists and Orphans.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I spent a good amount of time this week taking care of all the paperwork for my doctor visit tomorrow morning -- had to get a referral from my Primary Care Physician (whom I've still never met), and new x-rays, as well as the original ones from the ER visit. Damned if I can see anything resembling a crack anywhere (this from holding them up to the dining-room light). I'm wondering if I should personally downgrade the injury to a sprain.

The arm is in very little pain -- it hurts when I try to turn my hand, but that's what the splint is supposed to prevent me from doing, anyway. I haven't had to delve into the Vicodin at all. Meanwhile, at work we're in the process of packing for this weekend's move to the new building. I've been able to do most of it one-handed; fortunately I haven't been around long enough to amass too much crap.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Some basketball notes

I'm not a huge fan of basketball -- I can't remember when I last watched a whole game, and I haven't filled out a tournament bracket in nearly 10 years -- but there are some things that caught a little of my interest this time around.

Boston University, my alma mater, is in, in the traditional America East 16th-seed sacrificial lamb role against Cincinnati. In an even less enviable position is Siena, who had to win a play-in game Wednesday(?) to win the right to get their asses handed to them by Maryland tonight. Why is Siena worth mentioning? In my freshman year of college, Siena beat BU by one point to win the conference championship and NCAA berth -- in front of an empty arena. This was during one of the measles outbreaks that quarantined various North Atlantic Conference and Hockey East events during my time in school. I remember being home for spring break and tuning in (the game was on my birthday, as it turns out) for this strange event.

Moving on to Division III, this weekend's Final Four includes -- Carthage College, the school I was once Sports Information Director for, back when I thought working 60-plus hours a week for $19.5K was a nifty dream job. The Redmen (yes, that's still their nickname; Carthage is apparently the only school to change their nickname to something more PC, then change it back) are 27-1; an astounding figure but even more so to me, because the men were 3-21 when I was there. In 1997 they hired Bosko Djurikovic away from conference rival North Park, who had guided that school to some D3 titles in the late 80s. If they win their semifinal game, they will be the most successful Carthage team ever. The baseball team has gone to the D3 World Series a few times, but never placed higher than third.

Finally, my high school team, Minneapolis North Community HS, won its sectional and is off to state, beating St. Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall (why they still insist on calling themselves Cretin is beyond me) by a point. And sure enough, Minneapolis is experiencing its annual state-tournament winter storm, but I digress. I went to an inner-city high school; basketball was (and is) the big sport, but they never could get it done when I was there, usually losing to suburban teams either in the state finals or the sectional finals. They started winning a few years ago thanks to a trio led by Khalid El-Amin, later to win an NCAA championship with UConn (before playing with the Bulls for a season). I went to one championship game maybe five years ago, when Minnesota was in a one-class tournament system. They pounded on some Iron Range school -- it was like Hoosiers in reverse. Now Minnesota's in this weird four-class system where North and Henry, its closest rival and a better team, are conference opponents, but when state rolls around they are in different classes.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

I could have stayed home to watch Celebrity Boxing

In spectacularly dumbass fashion, I managed to break my arm last night.

We were finishing up curling last night, clearing the rocks off the ice. I knew there were stones behind me, and heard voices saying "look out for the rocks behind you. So I jumped a little -- literally jumped, maybe only an inch or two off the ground, but just enough to ensure that I ended up on my ass -- or rather, my right forearm.

How fucking stupid was that? Did I really expect to have a 42-pound chunk of granite and metal -- a hypothetical one at this point, since I had no idea what was behind me, if anything -- zip safely under my feet while I was airborne? I'm lucky there were in fact no rocks immediately near me -- I could've landed on one or more and really messed myself up.

We were done for the night, so I stuck around for a little while, mostly to see if my arm was going to stop hurting. It didn't -- while I could bend my arm at the elbow, turning my forearm (extend your arm and turn it, palm-up to palm-down) or holding anything without my arm supported --hurt like hell. So I drove myself, mostly one-handed, home, where I collected Kirsti and headed off to the ER. I would have gone straight there had I remembered to bring my cell phone, but I travel light to curling due to a lack of secure pockets.

After about three hours, mostly spent sitting around, I was told I have a very small crack in my radius, near the elbow. So right now I'm in a splint, with a referral to a bone guy and a scrip for Vicodin. I can type (obviously), so I don't expect to miss work, but I'm working from home today anyway, doing the stuff I brought home intending to do while waiting for the dryer repairman. The ER doctor thinks this will heal much faster than the usual 6 weeks. I wonder what sort of plaster getup I'll be in for Steve and Steph's wedding on the 23rd. Needless to say, my curling season has come to an abbreviated end. But I think I'll still sign up for next year.

...and that Mediaweek guy's name is Marc Berman, not Stuart.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

I'm a genius!

I've been reading Stuart Berman's Mediaweek column regularly, and he has a daily TV trivia question. In early January I answered one of his questions (I don't recall what it was), and got listed on his page as a correct respondent for that week. And I'm still there, nearly three months later, although I've not ventured a guess since! Yay me!

I'm a klutz!

Took my first spill curling last night. We went to wearing the full sliders instead of the training-wheelesque half sliders, and while walking back to the hack after throwing a rock, I went down hard on my left knee, just below my kneecap. No swelling, and surprisingly no bruise, at least not yet. More hurt pride than anything else, and hey, it took me over a week to finally fall. For me, that's pretty damn good.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

David Letterman announced last night that he's staying at CBS. It would have been a stupid move, anyway -- Letterman was never the savior CBS was looking for, and he'd just be jumping to network that has the same problem CBS had when he left NBC. One would think this would be the end of the story that's been brewing about a month, but ABC still hasn't announced what it plans to do with Nightline. And this is what TV critics and columnists will continue to complain about: how can ABC do away with this fine journalistic institution, blah blah blah... But I think most of the controversy has very little do with the sanctity of Nightline. The real issue is that finally, after 40 years of being catered to and pampered by the media, the Baby Boomers are becoming irrelevant. Nightline and The Late Show pull in about the same number of viewers, but Letterman gets more of the coveted 18-to-34 demographic. And the idea that networks would pander to this demographic -- instead of the Boomers, again, drives them crazy.

Thursday, March 7, 2002

A cameraman showed up at curling last night, apparently from Fox Sports. No one was interviewed; he just seemed to be gathering footage. Rumor is this was going to be for a feature on the sport's post-Olympic boom, but no one knew when it would air, or if it was for the Regional or National Sports Report -- if that. Whatever. I don't have cable. But if you tune in and wait for who knows how long, you might just see some really bad curling. Then again, could you tell?

Postscript to Tuesday's post: Watched the Eltingville pilot and it was EXCELLENT.

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Best TV Theme Ever

I haven't seen Welcome To Eltingville yet, but having enjoyed Evan Dorkin's comic-book work (I especially like Fisher-Price Theater) I'm sure it was brilliant and will continue to be so, should Cartoon Network pick up the show. I can verify that the show has the best theme song ever, as you can hear from this short MP3.
You're older than you've ever been and now you're even older

Had a low-key birthday yesterday. Kirsti bestowed CDs and Girl Scout cookies on me in the morning, and took me out for Argentinian food for dinner. I also got cookies and a hatching goblin (must get that digicam!) from coworkers, and am doing a joint b-day lunch thing today. I didn't have an I feel old moment until driving home from the restaurant. The radio played "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys, which I realized came out half a lifetime ago. Of course, the strange thing is that a so-called "New Alternative" station is playing a song older than its key demographic.


White Stripes, White Blood Cells

White Stripes are two siblings from Detroit who play just guitar and drums. Buying this for me was a sure sign of Kirsti's love, as we've both had the insanely catchy cowpunk single "Hotel Yorba" in our heads for the longest time, only she hates it. I'm not as crazy about the album as the linked review -- "Yorba" is not representative of the whole CD -- but I'm warming up to it. And nowhere does the linked review mention its similarity to the Pixies.

Dan the Automator, Wanna Buy A Monkey? and Lovage: Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By

Dan "The Automator" Nakamura is seemingly all over everything these days. Wanna Buy A Monkey? calls itself a "mixtape session" -- the Automator's work with various groups (De La Soul, Deltron 3000, Gorillaz, etc.). Lovage is a whacked out parody of (ahem) mood music. I'm liking both of these quite a bit.

Monday, March 4, 2002


I tried curling this weekend. I didn't get to see any curling during the Olympics, but had seen it on the CBC when I was living in Michigan. But during the SLC games, a simple web search turned up four curling clubs within 30 minutes of home. During my research I found that the Chicago Curling Club (based in Northbrook, actually) had a "just do it" open house over President's Day weekend -- when I was in Boston. But apparently over 100 people showed up, so they quickly scheduled similar events for 3/3 and 3/10.

People turned out in similar numbers yesterday -- about 32 in my group at 1:00(so everyone was on the ice at the same time), and then over 60 at 3:00, who had to be split up as the club has four sheets. Seemed to be a fairly even mix of men and women, mostly under 40, and a good number of kids. We spent the first part of the session getting our footing, practicing throws, and working on delivery (our group didn't get up to sweeping). We watched a brief instructional video, and then we split into teams and we played a two-end (inning) game.

Curling ice is different from skating ice in that it's "pebbled" -- think of bumpy raised glass. Still slippery, but you can run along and sweep without much uncertainty. You wear a slider -- a slip-on teflon sole -- on one foot when throwing. My delivery isn't terrible in terms of mechanics; my worst problems are shifting balance from my hack foot to the sliding foot, and then gripping the rock too tightly; I'm relying on it too much for stabilization. What I have no grasp of is controlling the stone's weight (speed) -- each throw felt the same, so my rocks either didn't cross the hog line and were removed from play, or zipped straight through the house and were again removed from play. This was a common problem for most of my team, so we didn't have to sweep much. We ended up losing, 3-0. We had a good rock in play during the second end which would have tied the game, but the opposing skip threw a perfect take-out and they scored with two rocks in the outer ring of the house.

Surprisingly I'm not too sore, though had I played a full 8-end game I'd probably be feeling it. I signed up for most of the remaining March events for $25, and we'll see how I like it from there.