Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Personal Statement

I'm working on my personal statement for epidemiology graduate school right now. The important thing to remember is that hundreds of people apply for a handful of spots. As a friend was just reminding me, it's no longer good enough to have perfect GRE scores, a 4.0 from an Ivy League university, and have started your own clinic in a rural African village. Your clinic needs to make surgery free and fun for kids. As I meet none of these minimal requirements I've gotten creative. To distinguish myself from the rabble, I've focused my research not on traditional subjects such as white men and impoverished children, but rather my work endeavors to bring the dead back to life. Not just the recently deceased either; I resurrect the really smelly, rotten dead people. Just give me greater than 50% of a body by noon and I'll have a gainfully employed Kinko’s staffer, payroll officer, or female conservative commentator by dinner time.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Can in the Can

Former Red Sox great, Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, was arrested a week ago in Tupelo, Mississippi by FBI agents for threatening a female, former business associate / ex- girlfriend and that women's son. Accoding to John G. Raurcci, special agent incharge of the Mississippi FBI, Boyd is accused of making 5 threatening telephone calls, however authorities were unwhilling to disclose anymore information. Oil Can faces up to 25 years in prison and fines of $250,100.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Christopher Piersall

Christopher Piersall, son of a former Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall, was arrested on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 with 50 pounds of marijuana including 150 live marijuana plants . I believe a man to be innocent until proven guilty, but based on the quantities involved, some have speculated that Mr. Piersall intended to sell some of this product. The police used infrared photography to detect high intensity lights typical of marijuana cultivation at the Piersall residence, which lead to Piersall's arrest. If Mr. Peirsall intends to claim the 50 pounds of marijuana were for personal use I suggest he call to the stand this guy who can roll really big joints.

Friday, November 25, 2005


I can’t explain this phenomena but I can relish it. For some reason, wool is no longer itchy. Recently, I bought a pair of wool socks and expected to have warm but scratchy feet, but to my surprise the wool socks weren’t itchy. I even wore one wool sock and one cotton sock and found they were equivalently comfortable. I was free to enjoy the benefits of wool that hippies have been telling me about all these years such as warm toes, while, magically, the wool whisks away moisture from the bottom of my feet, without the maddening tickle. I imagine humans have been wearing wool for thousands of years and with the exception for Cashmere Indians and other pockets of brilliance, they’ve all been uncomfortable. But no longer. I suspect the comfort of fleece forced the wool magnates to come up with a better product. Who knew the free market could lead to something useful? This is particularly exciting for me because wool socks need less washing. Now with enough pairs of underwear I estimate I can limit myself to a bi-annual laundry.

Another Third Basman?

We got Josh Beckett which is good, undeniably. He's injury prone with tendonitis--the type of thing that never goes away--but he's a proven ace and Yankee killer. However, another third baseman Mike Lowell slipped in and Hanely Ramirez slipped away. Why mess aroud with third base? Even if we lost free agent Billy Mueller, we had Youkilis to stabilize the position until Hanely Ramirez is ready. We gain Lowell, a steady fielder, but crap hitter; and certainly lose a proven hitter and underrated fielder in Mueller, and again leave Youkilis to wander around the diamond looking around for an empty position. And I refuse to believe Hanely Ramirez was all hype. He was an awesome talent with the personality for a big, baseball city. I feel like you only deal a prospect like H. Ramirez when you know you will be competing of a pennant the following year. Or maybe in July when you are competing for a playoff spot. Not in November when there's still so many questions around guys like Damon and Manny. So now we're looking at a season which most likely with not include Manny, Damon, Mueller, and Millar. With the bedrock of the team gone, it sounds like a 60% rebuilding year--not the time to trade your number 1 prospect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I Walk the Line Again: The Johnny Cash Movie Part II

I just got back from watching the Johnny Cash movie, "I Walk the Line", which I didn't see as quickly as I would of liked because I've been busy shooting "I Walk the Line Again", the sequel to the current Johnny Cash movie.

The first film in the Johnny Cash trilogy was good. Hardcore fans appreciated a scene in the end where Joaquin takes a lit cigarette out of Luther Perkin's mouth. In real life Luther dies when he falls asleep while smoking and this cigarette removal was a nod to Luther Perkins fans presumably.

However, I picture Johnny Cash being smarter, having a sense of humor, being more religious, and more Southern. June Carter is portrayed as particularly un-Southern. I'm not really sure how I measure Southern-ness, but I imagine two hicks being less uptight, depressive, and less aware of things like addiction. But alas, movies inevitably use broodiness to convey depth. Hollywood is reflecting the idea that creative people are morose not creating it so we can't blame them. People must hold on to ideas like humor kills creativity or gothy types will never get chicks.

Anyway I'm not here to complain about the situation. I'm here to rectify it. As I mentioned above I have been filming the next Johnny Cash movie. The first change you might notice between Cash movie I and Cash movie II is that Johnny Cash will no longer be played by Joaquin Phoenix and instead will be played by me. I was initially against this idea, but I relented to constant pressure from my staff. In my version of the Johnny Cash movie when Sam Philips first meets Johnny Cash (me), Philips will not give a sappy speech about keeping it real, but will say what the legend has him saying: "go out and sin, and then bring me something I can sell." Also the time Johnny Cash tried to get from his room to his bassist, Marshall Grant's, room by chopping through the hotel wall with an axe will play a prominent role in the film. In general Johnny Cash won't throw fits because of traumas in his life, but instead will break things because it's fun. Moreover, the plot will center around a well documented fight Johnny Cash had with an ostrich. Johnny Cash drunkenly tired to punch the ostrich and missed. The ostrich flew into the air and came down planting his ostrich, thumb-claw into Johnny Cash's sternum. Johnny Cash nearly died from the wound but had the presence of mind to bring his own supply of drugs to the hospital for fear the hospital might not have enough drugs. He concealed his personal stash under his stitches; however puss from the wound dissolved the pills and sent them into his blood stream. Some sort of delusional, frenzy ensued. Johnny Cash thought army commandos had taken over the hospital. He tried to fight them off, ran around the hospital, and had to be restrained by police. The film will conclude with Kris Kristofferson flying a helicopter on to Cash's lawn to drop off a demo tape. Then I will continue to talk and dress like Johnny Cash for several months after shooting.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Congratulations A-Rod

A-Rod gets the MVP. I say we push for a gold glove for Papi.

It should be noted that Peter Gammons voted for David Ortiz over A-Rod, and Dan Shaughnessy’s ballot remains secret.

Chuck Schumer

Jordanian police recently arrested Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, 35, an Iraqi women who is possibly the scariest looking person I've ever seen in my life. She is the Iraqi who along with her husband plotted to destroy a Jordanian hotel in a suicide bombing. Her husband was successful killing mainly Jordanians at a wedding celebration. Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi bombs failed to explode, and now she is living proof that the war in Iraq has spread terrorism, not cut it off.

However, at home Democratic Senators such as supposed Bush basher, Chuck Schumer, remain stubborn to the point of absurdity, on their defense of their vote on the war. Schumer leads the chorus of "We didn't support the war. We only voted to give the president the authority to go to war, not the war itself." And yes, that vote is different from a vote for the war. However a more powerful anti-war stance would have been a vote against giving Bush the authority. AND more to the point, the difference between voting for or against the authority to go to war has been obvious to everyone for nearly 3 years. So why stick to the useless line of reasoning about voting for the authority but against the war? To not appear as a "flip-flopper"? Bush is the ultimate "flip-flopper" on his justifications for war and it's taken years of terrible leadership for anyone to care. The "pro authority for war" democrats destroy the coherence in their party. They must admit the war was a mistake before the country can take a realistic look at the situation.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Johnny Cash Movie

We are now only six days away from the Johnny Cash movie. For what I understand it follows the standard conventions of the rockumentary of which I will never tire: a young talent, a drug spiral nearly destroying the young talent, and then a redeeming comeback with a love story.

For those who might be interested in an extended free online video that's totally separate from the movie you might want to check out: http://www.johnnycash.com/memorial/. It features Johnny Cash and not Joaquin Phoenix singing, a welcome departure from the movie; however it also features Johnny Cash acting... Enough said. In all seriousness, I'm in favor of Joaquin's singing in the Johnny Cash movie. Trying to dub in Cash's real vocals would just be weird.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tribulations of tee shirt reading

I try not to read tee shirts because too often someone puts all this work into cultivating an interesting look, then defines his/her entire image on one sentence.

It is sentences on shirts that are the problem. A word or sentence fragment is fine and almost unavoidable while shirt shopping. However complete albeit empty thoughts like “Defend Brooklyn” worn by wealthy transplants, bring up questions like “Is Brooklyn yours to defend?” Maybe “take over Brooklyn” would be more honest. But recently I saw a shirt that sent me running home to proof read all my cloths. It said “I did your boyfriend” and was worn by a pregnant women. Maybe she got the joke and was just super ironic. Maybe she’s so ironic that she got the shirt, then screwed someone’s dude just to be walking, breathing irony. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. However, I hereby pledge abstain from full-sentence-shirts in the future.


Raise a glass to the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR). It survives another day and has a cool acronym.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Winter Ball in the DR

Is your pro or college basketball team terrible? Are you too short or uncoordinated to even watch basketball? We’ll join me (via the web, not in real life please) as I cover Dominican Winter Ball on the blog. The Little Angel Fish and I are going down to the DR over winter beak, so I will be able to cover the Dominican Professional Baseball League. It’s the Aguilas versus the Tigres and cheap Presidentes in the sun for me!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Stonewall Part II: The Gay One

The Stonewall riots (or alternatively the Stonewall rebellion) kicked off on Friday, June 27, 1969 when police raided the Stonewall Inn and continued for several nights. The police raided Stonewall, a gay bar in New York's West Village, on the premise that it sold alcohol without a liquor license. Cops entered the bar at 1:20 AM and forced the patrons to file out in a procession that became a transvestite Academy Awards show according to the Daily News reports at the time. The cops smashed up the booze bottles and confiscated the cash register, fistfights broke out, and pretty soon a full on riot with an estimated 2000 people was underway. To the credit of the rioters, they took much of the fanfare and festive spirit which characterizes later gay rights movements (and makes it unique among rights movements) to their rioting. There was singing and dancing, as well as bottle throwing and billy clubbing. Although gay rights movements had been swelling in major cities in the US and Europe for most of the 1960s, the Stonewall riot/rebellion became a rallying point for gay civil rights.

Today google searches on the word "Stonewall" bring more hits for Stonewall the bar than Stonewall the Confederate General. The Confederate General and gay bar are distant nick relatives, though they both were involved in rebellious activity of a very different kind.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Stonewall part I

For a long time I've thought Stonewall was a good nickname--not for me, but a good nickname nonetheless. It's not often a nickname is bucolic and badass at the same time.

The first Stonewall one is likley to come across is confederate war hero Stonewall Jackson (1824 - 1863). Stonewall lived a miserable life typical of the 18th century historical figure. When he was 2 in 1826, his father and sister died of typhoid. Then, his mother died in child birth (1831) and brother of TB (1841). He married in 1853, but his wife died in 1854 along with his son the same year. His second wife lived till 1915, but their kid died. All Stonewall's beloved pets also perished prematurely. Stonewall acquired his nickname in the 1st battle of Manassas for bravely leading his troops in defense of an abominable, slave-based, economic system, outdated even for its time. All the death around Stonewall (and by Stonewall) culminated in his own death in 1863. Stonewall was accidentally shot and killed by his own troops during the battle of Chacellorsville. Oddly Stonewall Jackson is both bucolic and badass although his bloody fight for slavery prevents him from being a net plus to the nickname.

Next Stonewall to be featured: Stonewall the gay bar.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Oil Can't Be Stopped

The opposite of the man with history's worst nickname of all time, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, naturally has history's best: "Oil Can." When Oil Can Boyd, Boston Red Sox pitcher from 1982-1989, refers to oil he means beer. Oil is the nickname of choice for beer in Oil Can's hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. On the other hand, Scooter Libby confused oil with beer when he helped start a war to gain greater access to oil reserves (had Saddam been sitting on a large portion of the world's hops, imperialist expansion may have been more understandable).

According to legend, Dennis Eckersley (the Eck) bestowed Dennis Ray Boyd with the name Oil Can not just because Boyd called beer oil, but because Boyd consumed the brown and fizzy in such quantity that calling him Oil Can just seemed obvious. At the time Eckersley was Red Sox beer drinking royalty, and I picture Boyd's nicknaming not unlike King Arthur knighting Lancelot.

Boyd's professional career peaked with the Sox in 1985 when he recorded 15 wins and 117 strikeouts, but Oil Can is remembered most for his style. On the pitcher's mound, Oil Can notoriously fought with umpires, managers, and opposing players, as well as talking to himself, the ball, and the spirit of Satchel Page. In July of 1986, Oil Can was institutionalized after getting left off the All-Star Team, but emerged from the nut house in early August to pitch the rest of the 86 season (finishing the season with a career high 16 wins).

The Oil Can was also a keen critic of sports complex design declaring "that's what they get for building a stadium on the ocean," after a game was cancelled due to fog in Cleveland.

Blood clots in Oil Can's arm stymied Boyd and contributed to his retirement in 1991 from the Texas Rangers. The Oil Can continued to distinguish himself after his career in the MLB ended pitching in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and thoughtout the semi-pro American leagues. In 1994, while playing in the Northern League, Oil Can became the first male professional pitcher to start against a team of girls, the Colorado Silver Bullets. The Oil Can dominated the girls, shutting them out 19 - 0. On May 30, 2005, Oil Can started for the minor league Brockton Rox against the Worcester Tornadoes. A 45-year-old Oil Can filled Fitton Field in Worcester with 4,296 fans. "There's a lot of people in a lot of places that want me to succeed," Oil Can told reporters. "Right now, there's a lot of love going from me." Brockton's manager added, "he [Oil Can] is not normal."