Thursday, October 30, 2003

called on account of warmth

Stupid warm weather in October. there's supposed to be SNOW on the ground by now, and the kids are supposedto trick-or-treat it it just like I did as a kid, and it was ALL UPHILL and I was THANKFUL... Due to temps in the mid-to-high 60s today, curling was cancelled this evening. Apparently the sheet was greasy and soft to the point where rocks were leaving rings in the ice. Which worked out okay, actually.

I'm 1-1 thus far. We lost Monday's game (turns out we have a different skip than previously mentioned) in an extra end. Took an early lead, gave it up, fell behind, rallied for 3 to tie in the 8th. Tuesday was much better; we jumped to a 4-0 lead and built on it, and the opponents conceded after 7. I also played much better on Tuesday as a second, but I wouldn't necessarily say that means I'm improving a great deal. I'm told a lot of Canadian clubs start their newbies out at second since the consistent draws required at lead are harder to master. There's a lot to that theory.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Movies with song titles

After dissing All Tomorrow's Parties below, I started thinking that there were very few good movies taking their titles from previously-existing songs. This exercise excludes movies based on songs, so Convoy, Harper Valley PTA...out. Also, a key phrase is previously-existing, so I'm not considering movies where the eponymous song was created for the film: no Purple Rain, Can't Stop the Music, 42nd Street, etc.

The few decent ones I can think of:

Singin' in the Rain -- the title song originally appeared in this film.

High Fidelity and About A Boy -- named for an Elvis Costello song and a Patti Smith song, respectively.

Some Kind of Wonderful and Sixteen Candles - Grand Funk Railroad did the former; The Crests did the latter, both tunes later lending their names to John Hughes-penned works. In a similar vein, not making the cut is Pretty in Pink (Psychedelic Furs), because I think it's not very good. The movie, not the song.

After which I'm drawing a blank; suggestions are welcome. A part of the problem is that most movies of this ilk are rushed out to capitalize on a hit song's success and marketed specifically to the people that liked the song in question, and look to me like they'd be garbage. Thus I've not seen Girls Just Want to Have Fun, What A Girl Wants, or Something to Talk About. If I'm missing out on something regarding these films, please tell me and...I won't believe you.

I've seen a bunch of movies lately, what with the Chicago Film Festival adding to my usual habits. But I'm hesitant to blog about most of them, as they will inevitably work their way into the TRASH questions I'm in a push to complete, which affects a sizable portion of my theoretical audience. The things I'm at liberty to talk about are the things that are unlikely to come your way. If they make the rounds, The Twilight Samurai was an affecting film from (duh) Japan, and Chokher Bali was a prestigious Indian drama (read: not a musical) starring the painfully gorgeous Aishwarya Rai. Grimm, a folktale-meets urban-legend tale from the Netherlands, was mediocre. Avoid All Tomorrow's Parties at all costs. Having nothing to do with the Velvet Underground song, the William Gibson novel, or the music festival, it's a plodding, incomprehensible bore.

So...the new curling season starts this week. I'm in four leagues in the fall.

Monday - the "NFL event" is ironically named, as it's played during Monday Night Football, or most of it, anyway. My vice in this event is a guy a played with in last year's Sunday morning event, which we won. My skip has been a member of the club since 1951. For reference, my parents were born in '49 and '50.

Tuesday - last year the Richard Wilde event was held on Wednesdays, and my team was runner-up. Our team's been split up, but so were the winners. I'm throwing second stones in this event. I was supposed to be a sub for this league, but somehow I'm now on the schedule. I'm hoping this doesn't leave me too banged up for...

Thursday - The McBain/Penfield is the big deal men's event of the year. Played Wednesdays and Thursdays this year, it determines the six house berths in our annual International Men's Bonspiel, as well as the club championship. Most of the teams remain intact from year to year, and some people playing you only see in this event. Last year as a newbie I sat this one out, but managed to get on a rink this year with my mentor from last season, who was also my skip in the aforementioned Wilde runner-up team. I'm playing lead, but the second (another second-year player, and one of the few tolerable Yankee fans I know) and I may switch positions from game to game.

Friday - The Tartan event is the big mixed league. There's a trophy involved, and a berth in the biannual Mixed Bonspiel the club hosts. Spouses frequently curl together in mixed events, but I usually play with a woman who, like me, has a non-curling S.O. So Andrea and I entered this one together again, and are teamed with...the Sorensens. When I joined the club, I couldn't count the times I was asked, "any relation to B.?" even though they're -sen's. The Sorensens moved to Florida before the start of last season, but snowbird life didn't work out, so they moved back midseason. I ended up telling people I was his older brother.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


There should be a lot of glum faces at work today. Should be fun.

No Cubs fan would ever dream of it, but here's how you remove the jinx:

Get out of Wrigley.

The park was built to house a team in the short-lived Federal League. The Cubs didn't move there until 1916, eight years into their 95-year groove. Their previous World Series victories were at the West Side Grounds, and their string of 19th-century NL titles were won at a string of other small parks. In fact, the only team to prosper in the Allegedly Friendly Confines were...the Chicago Bears, who won 6 pre-Super Bowl NFC titles there since moving up from Decatur.

Sure it's a half-baked theory, but no more stupid than some story about a goat.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Long before PanFan, long before MBTV became TWOP, a guy named Danny was writing hilariously detailed recaps of 90210 episodes, seasons 5 thru 9. They're still out there.

Who are your best source for information on things of a sexual nature?

Why, the (supposedly) celibate, of course.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to call a plumber to do some work on my car.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Tonight while preparing dinner:

Greg: So I've rationalized watching Angel.

Kirsti (eyes audibly rolling in her sockets): Oh?

G: Yeah, it's not because it's a Joss Whedon's a Ben Edlund show.

K: Greg, it's okay, you can watch TV, it's entertainment, it's not a big deal.

G: Yeah, but I think it's just cooler to be an Edlund fan than a Whedon fan.

K: (shrugs) Y'd still get your ass kicked.

Run out right now...

and consume these entertainment products:

Music: Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers By now you've certainly heard "Stacy's Mom," or at least heard about the video. But stick around for the album, chock full of funny, beautiful power-pop. Particular standouts: "Valley Winter Song," "All Kinds of Time," "Little Red Light."

Film: American Splendor

I know the hot movie is currently Lost in Translation, but hey, I haven't seen it myself. So go see this before it disappears.

Print: The National Lampoon Yearbook Parody

Never mind Animal House, this was NatLamp's finest hour, and I honestly think this is one of the greatest comic achievments of the past century. Back in print in a "39-year class reunion" edition, it's still a gem. Even the new "class letter" opening the reprint is good stuff, and delivered a sucker-punch tailor-made for yours truly near the end.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

Quizbowl and hygiene can, in fact, go together.

This was borne out Saturday at Mark & Sarah's wedding. You can get your Rashomon on by going here, here, here, or perhaps at mothballed sites here, here, or here.

A swellegant affair, even without buzzers on the table. I got to see a scary convergence of BUCB alums scrubbed up and behaving (except for Rosenberg, but what's to be expected, really). I finally got to pin an identity to the many tales of Monty. I got to watch my wife try in vain to extract the earworm that is "Cotton-Eye Joe."

Congratulations to Mark & Sarah, thank you for the open bar, and for not allowing that icky "After the Lovin'" to be played.

Oh, and we may have to change our trash-team name to "The Gazelles."