Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yo, Brooklyn

So I was invited to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game tonight. It's not the Yankees (which may be a good thing...), it's not even the Mets--it's their farm team--but it's baseball, and it's baseball in Brooklyn (eat your heart out Dodgers' fans). Up close, and within spitting distance of always entertaining Coney Island. So why the heck not? Well, this is why the heck not....
Fans are invited to dress up as their favorite Stallone character, with the winning costume receiving a prize pack.

Anyone named "Sylvester" will be admitted to the ballpark at no charge.

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the 1987 movie Over The Top (in which Stallone plays a struggling trucker competing in a Las Vegas Arm Wrestling Championship, and sporting a New York City Arm Wrestling T-shirt), the New York Arm Wrestling Association (NYAWA) will host over 100 men and women competing that day for the 25th Annual White Castle ‘Kingsboro’ Golden Arm Wrestling titles, featuring a championship match taking place on the dugout during that night's game!
Good grief. A whole night dedicated to Sylvester Stallone? Quick. Somebody. Anybody. Please remind me again why I love going to baseball games.

Don't get me wrong. I loved the original Rocky movie: The timeless story of the two-bit loser who gets the chance of a lifetime, "goes the distance" and gets the girl, to boot. What's not to like? Stallone was brilliant, the fight scenes a cinematic feat, and the writing gritty (Women weaken legs You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder ) The fact that a penniless, out of work actor wrote the screenplay, starred in it, and won Academy Awards for both is the classic case of life imitating art.

I've watched the movie at least a half dozen times, and it still makes me cheer and bawl wipe a tear at the end. Hearing a few notes of its theme song can give me goosebumps. Truth be told, some friends and I even bounded up the steps of the Museum of Art a few times once when I lived in Philly singing Gonna Fly Now at the top of our lungs while we danced and hooted atop the Benjamin Franklim Parkway. [Yes, there was alcohol involved after the first time.] I don't doubt that I've seen snippets of the Rocky sequels but if my life depended on it, I couldn't tell you whether he wins, dies, or keeps the girl.

Stallone has made 56 films and I can say proudly truthfully that I've seen only two of them from beginning to end. One by choice as admitted above, and the other Over the Top by dint of familial guilt, and because my gangly budding nephews managed to rig the VCR so that it played on a continuous loop for an entire weekend. Of course, the fact that I even remember the name of that flick has nothing to do with um...Stallone's arm muscles, and everything to do with quality time I spent with my nephews. Right.

I've never, ever seen any of the Rambo movies save the trailers I was forced to watch in movie theaters or the night that PortiaMan hid the remote control, and I was exposed to 20 minutes or so of First Blood Part XX III before I decided it was a good time to balance our checkbook, instead. Both times scared the bejesus out of me, and made me want to buy the poor guy a shirt diction lessons.

As far as I'm concerned, Stallone's talent ended when the credits for Rocky I started rolling. Until this morning, that is, when I watched this very um...entertaining clip, and realized that I may have acted precipitously by dismissing Mr. Stallone's thighs, shoulders er...talents. Damn. Double damn.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now
Anybody got a bandana I can borrow for tonight's game?

(posted by Portia)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Go ahead, miss a few meetings.

Many happy returns, Portia, my old friend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Set free the Flying Monkeys.

Justice is served...kind of.


Have a nice life, Liar.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

This I Believe

At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion, when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else. This is organized major league baseball, and I am standing here with all the others; and everything that takes place includes me.

About a year later, I went to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in an exhibition game. On the field, for the first time in Atlanta, there were Negroes and whites. Other Negroes, besides me. And I thought: What I have always believed has come to be.

And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human. But that wherever human beings were given room to breathe and time to think, those imperfections would disappear, no matter how slowly. I do not believe that we have found or even approached perfection. That is not necessarily in the scheme of human events. Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices — all of these are imperfect. Yet, they have to be reckoned with because they are in the scheme of human events.

Whatever obstacles I found made me fight all the harder. But it would have been impossible for me to fight at all, except that I was sustained by the personal and deep-rooted belief that my fight had a chance. It had a chance because it took place in a free society.

I look at my children now, and know that I must still prepare them to meet obstacles and prejudices. But I can tell them, too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today's dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance.

* * * *

I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man's integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it — and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist. My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where I was best able to fight. And I fought because I knew it was not doomed to be a losing fight. It couldn't be a losing fight-not when it took place in a free society.*

Dreams rode on your shoulders, man. You forever changed the face of the game, and the minds of a nation. We owe you a world of thanks for your gifts.

The White House is paying tribute to Jackie Robinson's legacy today by hosting a tee ball game on the South Lawn featuring teams from Brooklyn’s Inner City Little League, and the Wrigley Little League of Los Angeles (the two cities that the Dodgers have called home, and where Robinson spent his entire Major League career.) Each of the Little Leaguers will wear the No. 42, Robinson's jersey number, which was retired** a decade ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.

Go Brooklyn!

* Robinson's "This I Believe" essay was delivered in 1952. You can listen to a tape of it here

**No. 42 was the first and only number to be retired by all the teams in the MLB. Mariano Rivera (who plays for the MFY) is the only active MLB player who still wears the number. Upon Rivera's retirement, No. 42 will rest in perpetuity with Jackie Robinson, the man who did it proud.

Posted by Portia

Friday, July 13, 2007


Almost exactly one year ago I posted a longwinded piece on the Iranian oil bourse and how those skeeving bastards that government might manipulate the dollar by only accepting Euros, rather than the world-wide standard, "petrodollars." Pay no attention to the pink bikini.

Today it was announced that those skeeving bastards Iran is demanding that Japan pay for all of its Iranian oil in yen.
Japan should think, hard, before complying with the orders of a terrorist nation.
I know that I will be thinking about it. You should be, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You Bet Your Life

Unless you're Thomas Friedman, you probably figured out a loooooong time ago that Iran is the real reason that we are in Iraq. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 (thanks Jimmy!) Iran has shown itself to be a far more potent force for destabilization than any other nation is the region.

Iraq? You might recall the two neighbors had a little dust-up going for most of the 1980's. Saddam was trying to keep the Islamic Revolution from taking hold in Iraq. As for the myth of its weapons of mass destruction, the ones that the WORLD believed Iraq possessed, Saddam created that, not only to rattle the West, but to keep Iraq from invading following the ass-kicking we gave Saddam in the First Persian Gulf War.

We can debate whether Saddam was actively sponsoring terroism against the United States, but we know for certain that he was slaughtering his own citizens. Iran, on the other hand, has been the worldwide leader in terrorism for decades. Here's what your government had to say about Iran and Iraq in April of 2001:

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan continue to be the seven governments that the US Secretary of State has designated as state sponsors of international terrorism. Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000. It provided increasing support to numerous terrorist groups, including the Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which seek to undermine the Middle East peace negotiations through the use of terrorism. Iraq continued to provide safehaven and support to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, as well as bases, weapons, and protection to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime.
I guess we should have added al-Qaeda to the list of Iranian clients, yes?

Now, it should be fairly obvious that, because Iran is an Islamic State, the United States would run the risk of inflaming the entire Islamic world if we attacked it just for sponsoring international terrorism. That's not even a misdemeanor in that part of the world. Not only would such an outright attackwe face an oil embargo, Israel would have been put to the torch from six directions. Iraq, on the other hand, was weaker, a proven bad-actor, and secular! Bingo. We're in Iraq. Why the President just didn't explain it this way is anybody's guess.

But Iran is still the real enemy of the world, so how much longer are we going to wait until we take her out? Let's see how today's market is shaping up:

Price for US/Israeli Overt Air Strike against Iran at
Price for US/Israeli Overt Air Strike against Iran at

Price for US/Israeli Overt Air Strike against Iran at

Hmmmmm. This might be the time to do a little speculating. At least some people are.

Sooner? Or later?

Friday, July 06, 2007


Once again, those who love you are celebrating your birthday without you.
No matter, because you and your shipmates are where you need to be for those of us here.
And we love you for that. All of you.

And you need not worry about blowing out the candles on your 25th birthday,
because I burned the cake in your honor.

Thank you, Son. I am so proud of you.
I am so proud of your shipmates.
You are the best the nation has to offer.

And for all you girls out there:
Kiss a sailor and GO NAVY.
You'll never be the same again.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Eight Things That You Didn't Need To Know About Me.

So Portia and I got tapped by Cassandra to participate in another "crappy meme. " I'm supposed to tell eight things about myself. Why eight? Who knows? That's just the way crappy memes work.

Portia admirably stepped right up to the plate and spilled her beans. Now its my turn to fulfill my crappy meme obligation. So here goes....

First, the rules (which, according to crappy meme rules have to be posted first or you won't be allowed to play):

* Post these rules before we give you the facts.
* Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
* People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight
things and post these rules. At the end of their post, they choose eight people
to tag and list their names.
* Don't forget to leave a comment telling them they've been tagged,
and to read your blog.

And now, Eight Random Facts/Habits About Me That You Didn't Need To Know Except For this Crappy Meme.

1. I noticed my first female butt in 1955 at the age of 11 months. I haven't stopped noticing them yet.

2. I flunked typing in high school. Who knew that I'd ever need to know how to type? It was the only course that I ever flunked, although I came close in gym the second half of my senior year, and was almost prevented from graduating. Fortunately, I was given the option of writing a six page paper entitled "The Benefits of Physical Activity in Lifetime Sports." It read like a script for a porno movie.

3. There a picture of me wearing a New York Yankees hat. I got it for my seventh birthday, along with a flash light. I've only recently determined that my father was a cheapskate when it came to spending money on his kids. He more than made up for it, though, by spending his time with us. Lavishly so.

4. I'll eat anything. The only food that I truly dislike is chitterlings. I once ate calf brains made especially for me in the authentic country French style by a dark-eyed French woman whose name is lost to me now. She was a very good cook. I've even eaten "mucktuck," frozen whale blubber that tastes like a cross between chicken and greasy ice cream. This was provided to me by my then sweetie, Miss Nome. Chitlins? Tried 'em. Don't like 'em. Never gonna try 'em again unless they're served to me by Hale Berry wearing nothing but a smile.

5. I got my first scars at nine months when I reached up and pulled a pot of boiling water off of the stove. The results are still quite visable from wrist to bicep on my right arm. Since then, I've collected many more scars, so many that I'm afraid God won't recognize me. Maybe I should get a tatoo?

6. I was a hippie for a while back in the 70's. I had really long hair, frye boots, and ate no meat. I even hitchhiked my was across the USA. I'm living proof that with the timely application of a right-sized Navy boot in the ass, almost anybody can grow up to be a lawyer.

7. On a hammock in her dad's backyard.

8. I broke my best friend's nose - twice - but the second time was an accident. He is still my best friend after 40 years. I don't have a single Asian friend, though, which is wierd. If you are Asian and would like to be my friend, there's an opening. I promise that I won't break your nose.

There. Now you know eight completely useless things about me. The next step in crappy memes is selecting eight other people to play. Of course I don't know of eight other people who haven't already been assualted tagged, so what I will do instead is randomly select random people who I don't know and who don't know me. This way I'll be sure not to make any new friends.

1. This person writes a whole blog about Lindsey Lohan, in Spanish, so I figure that he or she has plenty of time on his or her hands.

2. This person writes about cupcakes and such. Cool name for a blog.

3. This person writes about the everyday life of a 10 month old. I wonder what eight things he can tell us about himself? He probably still hasn't noticed his first butt.

4. This person writes about the worst thing ever. She should be ashamed of herself.

5-8. These guys.

My work is done.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Fourth of July

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics -- each one singing his, as it should be,
blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank and beam;
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work,
or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat --
the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench --
the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song -- the ploughboy's, on his way
in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother -- or of the young wife
at work -- or of the girl sewing or washing -- Each singing
what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day -- At night, the party of
young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

-Walt Whitman
- "Leaves of Grass"

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Spill the Beans Time

thanks to the Princess, who has forgotten to remember that one reason I don't have my own blog is to nix any chance I might be tagged for one of these smarmy blog chain thingys. So much for flying under the radar....I guess the fact that spd gave me a set of keys to his "graffiti wall" qualifies me--in some version of blog etiquette--to share in all the blog pain fun. Thanks guys. Your collective munificence has not gone unnoticed. I *owe* you. Both.

I know Cass' meme comes with instructions to follow before one hands over the family jewels but I rarely read instructions, much less follow them. Nowadays, you need instructions in order to read the instructions (NB: the 156 page "booklet" that accompanied by new cell phone) so I'll leave that part of the assignment to spd, along with any talk of "family jewels." Have at it, buddy.

Drumroll, please:

1. I rarely read instructions, much less follow them. Through the decades, this has been a huge time saver, and except for a school test or two, and the time I tried to put together our home theater solo, it hasn't gotten me into trouble (yet) but seemingly bugs the sh*t out of everyone else.

2. I voted for Richard Nixon in 1972. Hey, I was young and foolish.

3. I was a Red Sox fan in 1975. See comment to number 2, above. I also blame the fact that I was living in Boston, and dating a rabid Red Sox fan (why is it that there are no other kind?) Of course, watching Fred Lynn play all season didn't hurt either. See comment to number 2, a fortiori. That said, I continue to believe that the 1975 World series was the most exciting series EVER played. Well, that is until the 2004 World Series but by then I was less young, and no longer foolish. Still, Pudge will forever have a place in this now steeled Yankee fan's heart.

4. I prefer sex in the morning (yes, there are no pictures....)

5. I am late for work most every day (see um...nevermind)

6. I blush very easily. See numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5, above.

7. I HATE cilantro more than I hate the Cincinnati Reds (see number 3, above). At least the Reds serve a purpose by making the MFY look good; the world can do without an ubiquitous weed herb that tastes like dolls' hair.

8. I don't even know 8 bloggers but I'm fond of commenter, Don aka Anonymous. Just saying....

If you've scrolled this far, here's a bonus entry for your effort: spd is an honorary member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. Pass it on....

Posted by Portia