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Month: October 2004


All in all I’d have to say that worked out pretty OK.


Dudes, I don’t know what to say. That was just… I watched the game in a bar on Mass. Ave, in the middle of Cambridge, near Davis Square. And that was good. And after the game, I walked down to Davis Square with friends and cheered. And that was good. And then I drove home, and now I’m home, and that’s good.

Um, here are some bad cameraphone pictures of Davis Square!







There. Hey, did you hear that the Red Sox won?

Two shots

Without further ado, the non-partisan competitive Election Night drinking game.

  1. The players come to consensus on which network they’re using for results. If they can’t come to consensus, they have to use CNN (if the party is predominantly Republican) or Fox News (if the party is predominantly Democratic).
  2. Everyone predicts the winner and his percentage of the vote in 15 battleground states.
  3. If you get the winner wrong, drink!
  4. If you get the margin of victory wrong by more than 1%, drink!

Example: Bob says “I think Kerry’s gonna win New Hampshire with 55% of the vote.” After everyone’s done mocking him, they settle down to watch the results. CNN calls New Hampshire for Kerry with 51% of the vote. 51% is more than 1% away from 55%, so Bob drinks. If Kerry had won New Hampshire with 54% of the vote, Bob would be fine.

So what are your battleground states?

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Which is only 14 — but add in your home state. If you live in one of those states, throw in Hawaii.

John Toad

The ugliest dwarf in Sigil is practicing his tai chi in the center of the room. He moves without any real grace; his precision is the certainty of stone, rocks sliding against rocks, limbs held in place by muscle alone. His hands are enormous: strangler’s hands, with knuckles like pebbles thrusting up out of his weathered grey skin.

He turns, and turns again, balanced on the balls of his feet. His brows jut out over his eyes. He stares, angry, at the world.

In one hand he has a piece of dark heartwood, carved to fit a dwarven hand. He clenches it tight. There are grooves in the wood where his fingers rest, as if they have rested there for years. The wood has no give to it, not anymore. He brings his arm around in a great slow punch, fingers still wrapped around the piece of wood, giving his fist enough heft to strike a blow at the heart of the world.

A long time later, he completes his practice. It is at this moment that he is at the peak of his spiritual development. Tomorrow he will go out and hurt people who owe his superiors money, and this will inevitably result in backsliding. He knows this. But he enjoys both portions of the cycle.

And the following day, he will practice again.

Upward from here

Some things that are important about the just concluded Game One of the World Series:

That could well have been the worst starting pitching the Cardinals will have to face this series. Wakefield is pretty bad when he’s not on his game. Four out of the remaining six games will feature Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, and while Pedro has certainly declined, there’s no question but that he’s better than Wakefield was today. The other two games are Lowe and Wakefield, both of whom are capable of raising the bar somewhat higher.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen Woody Williams, who’s been stellar in the last few months. The rest of the Cardinals pitchers don’t suck, but there is no reason to think that they will pitch any better than Williams did. Also, Matt Morris will be pitching on three games rest on Sunday. Scary.

All this means nothing if Schilling’s ankle gives way. Urk.

The Red Sox will not have another four-error game this series. I feel pretty confident about that, actually.

Tony Womack may not be back after he got hit by Ortiz’ wicked single. He’s had collarbone problems in the past, it seems. This is bad for the Cardinals, since he’s a .307 hitter this year. (And he broke camp with Boston… although I’m not gonna complain about having Bellhorn at second, not tonight.)

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about this one. It’s looking quite sunny for Boston.

Hiring policy

The most terrifying sentence in this Washington Post article about Kerry’s cabinet choices is this: “John Sasso, who was recently put on the Kerry plane to restore order and discipline, is making a move for chief of staff, too, campaign sources say.”

In case anyone was under any false impressions, John Sasso is not a nicer person than Karl Rove. He just happens to be on Kerry’s side.

It’s a pretty pro-Kerry article, by the by. The first few paragraphs are particularly beneficial — the article starts out with a joke about Kerry having a tough time making decisions, but then defuses the negative implications by pointing out that Kerry may well make the tough bi-partisan decision to put a Republican in as Secretary of State. That speculation also helps shore up Kerry’s image as a uniter who can fix the problems Bush has created.

Meanwhile, the equivalent Bush article talks about major changes in his cabinet, which leaves one with the implication that Bush’s first term cabinet wasn’t doing such a great job. Warms the cockles of my heart, it does.


Never did get around to talking about Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, did I? Well, I didn’t really like it that much.

I didn’t mind the violence. I didn’t even find it very distressing. Yeah, there’s a lengthy scene during which a young woman gets electrocuted. I’ve seen True Lies; you can’t faze me. I also didn’t have any objection to the theme of the movie — “the desire for vengeance reduces everyone to the same primitive level.”

What bugged me was the farce and the coincidence. I don’t think you can get any serious discussion about the human condition out of a movie that sticks a retarded guy into the middle of the plot for no reason; sure, you needed a character there, but he didn’t actually need to be handicapped. It’s just a chance to chuckle. The kids masturbating to the sound of someone writhing in pain, since they assume it’s passion? That doesn’t have any weight behind it, it’s just something for us to laugh at. And there’s a lot of that sort of thing in the movie.

This is vengeance porn made by a pretty talented director who invites us to snicker at the stupid people. Cause really, that’s the not so subtle message. “These people are dumber than you.” The movie is populated by caricatures and thus forfeits any ability to pretend to be about the general human condition… and once it loses that pretense, it’s just a flick about dumb people hurting each other.