Da Scent

This is my first real attempt at an on-line journal. It'll be parts political, parts personal, parts other. I'll try to keep it interesting, whatever I write. Feedback is appreciated...

UPDATE: Ok, I've taken a step to avoid spammers. So anyone can post comments again, you'll just have to do a word verification first. No big deal, just a minor pain in the ass, courtesy of the fucktards.

Name:
Location: Pasadena, Maryland

Aspiring novelist (hey, write, call or e-mail if you can hook me up with a literary agent...no hurries though, I've only just started).

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Another Night at the Yard

I was back at OPACY last night to watch the Birds take on the Devil Rays. The first thing I want to say is that I was dissapointed with the attendance - under 25,000 folks showed up for a Friday night game. The Birds just started a 12-game homestand. All O's fans who live somewhere in the area should make an effort to see at least 2 games over the next two weeks. We finally have a first-place club, and if you want the club to continue to win, we have to show Angelos that a winning team will continue to draw, Nats or no Nats.

Other then that, the night was perfect. Rain threatened, but nary a drop fell. The Birds trounced Tampa Bay 5-0, with jacks coming from Miggy T, Jay Gibbons (who came damn close to hitting a second), and Javy Lopez. Erik Bedard was masterful, pitching 8 innings, scattering 5 hits, and (perhaps most important) walking none. If that weren't enough, by the 7th inning the out-of-town scoreboard was showing that the Blue Jays had defeated the Yankees, 2-0. And by the time the game ended, the Red Sox had fallen behind Texas 7-2, a defecit from which they would not recover.

So, as of right now, the standings are as follows: The Birds find themselves in first place with a 15-7 record. The Blue Jays are in second, 13-11 and 3 games back. The Red Sox are an even 11-11, 4 games behind the O's. The Yanks are in fourth, 6.5 games back with a 9-14 record. Sitting in last place are the Devil Rays, 8-15, 7.5 games behind.

Birds are at home against Tampa Bay again this afternoon at 4:35, weather permitting.

Monday, April 25, 2005

K-L-G Movie Awards - Final Results - Fantasy Baseball

Last week I announced the Finalists for the movie awards from my personal DVD collection. As you'll recall this was the third step in a process that started with 8 Nominees for each category, and then that list was cut to 4 Semi-finalists, and then to the 2 Finalists.

Now we have only the winners to announce. So, without further ado:

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Minnie Driver - Good Will Hunting
Runner-Up: Anjelica Huston - The Royal Tennenbaums

First of all, I'm not going to say that this was a tough category, because all of the categories were tough. So, just let that go without being said for here on out. And it is certainly no knock on Huston, nor any of the other nominees, for that matter, that she (they) didn't get chosen. But Driver's performance was superb, and the fact that she wasn't able to use this performance to springboard into becoming one of Hollywood's biggest starlets is simply a shame.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
Runner-Up: John Goodman - The Big Lebowski

This may have been the toughest category (Best Actor, Best Director the other two which stood out as excessively tough), from the first cut right on down to the last. I love movies where the supporting characters are as dynamic and interesting as the leads, and that really showed in the list of great supporting perfomances from which I had to choose. But Freeman here was ultimately the best choice. Here is one of the finest actors ever to grace the screen, in my opinion, in what is, also in my opinion, his career defining performance. His speech at the very end of the movie ranks among the finest monologues ever produced by Hollywood, and it puts a tear in the eye of anyone with a pulse every time, no matter how many times they have heard it. And anybody who knows how much I lived Goodman in Lebowski can tell you that for me to give this to someone else is proof of how great that other performance must have been.

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - The Big Lebowski
Runner-Up: Ben Affleck & Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting

Jesus Quintana: Are you ready to be fucked, man? I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we're gonna fuck you up.
The Dude: Well, that's just, like, you opinion, man.
Jesus: And let me tell you something pandejo, you try any of that psycho stuff on us, you flash your piece out on the lanes, I'll take it from you and shove it up your ass and pull the trigger till it goes click.
The Dude: Jesus.
Jesus: You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus.
Walter: 8-year olds, dude.

'Nuff said.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Frank Darabont - The Shawshank Redemption (Short Story by Stephen King)
Runner-Up: Alex Cox, Tod Davies, Terry Gilliam, & Tony Grisoni - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (Novel by Hunter S. Thompson)

Remember that monologue I talked about, the one that ranks right up there with the greatest in Hollywood history? Well, this is where it came from. As well as about 5 others that are almost as memorable.

Best Lead Actress
Winner: Annette Benning - American Beauty
Runner-Up: Frances McDormand - Fargo

Choosing between these two performances is like choosing Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. Both are so good that no one would blame you for picking either of them, but at the same time both are so good that it is insanely difficult to choose which one is best. This is probably the toughest category to choose between the two Finalists. I knew from the moment I made the list of nominees which two it would come down to, and so picking between them became a 3-week project. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what about Benning's performance was better than McDormand's, and I don't think that there is any way that McDormand could have been better in her movie. I guess it was Benning, flat on her back with her ankles around her ears yelling "FUCK ME, YOUR MAJESTY!" that put her over the top. But honestly it's a completely arbitrary decision. That said, I'm happy with my pick.

Best Actor
Winner: Johnny Depp - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Runner-Up: Edward Norton - Fight Club

You know how hard it is for me to pick against my favorite actor in one of my favorite movies? Insanely difficult. But let me tell you a story:

I showed my mom Fear & Loathing once. That's the only time she's ever watched it, start to finish. I mentioned to her that Depp's character was based on a real person. One day she was watching TV, and I was in another room. She called me into the room where she was watching TV, because Hunter S. Thompson was being interviewed on TV. Now, she had no idea who Thompson was - she had never heard of him. But she knew, from seeing Depp portray him one time, exactly who he was, because Depp did such a marvelous job in his portrayal. Now, how do you not pick that?

Best Director
Winner: Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill
Runner-Up: David Fincher - Fight Club

This simply had to go to Quentin. Kill Bill was an intensive, 2-volume production, and it was awesome. Actors from different continents worked together flawlessly. The cinematography was, at times, breathtaking, and the action was pure entertainment. The deal maker, for me, was the scene in Volume 2 where The Bride was buried alive. I remember sitting in the theater feeling like I was in that coffin with her. Tarantino is, right now, the best director making movies in Hollywood, and Kill Bill is his directoral masterpiece.

Best Picture
Winner: Fight Club
Runner-Up: The Big Lebowski

Regarding this one, I knew where I was going from the get go. By the way, I lied when I said, in the explanation for Best Actor, that Fight Club was one of my favorite movies. It is my favorite movie - no "one of the"s needed. It is as funny as Lebowski, as cool as The Matrix, as poingiant as American Beauty, as well-acted as Fear & Loathing. The cast, form the three stars all the way down to the tiniest characters from one scene, is incredible. The dialogue, from the opening line to the final one, is phenomenal. The directing, the special effects, the chemistry between all of the players - everything about this movie is top-notch. I cannot point to a single flaw. If anyone out there is interested in making movies and wants to know which film to study, I would point to this one.

Ok, fantasy baseball update.

First off, 'Roid Rage released SS/3B Jose Valentin and signed SS/2B Clint Barmes. Also, 'Roid Rage activated Justin Morneau from the disabled list and released RP Shingo Takatsu.

Paper Street Soap Co released RP Mike Stanton and signed RP Todd Williams.

This was another good week for both 'Roid Rage and Paper Street. 'Roid Rage moved up another spot in the standings to 4th, which is the final playoff spot. Paper Street is currently 6th in their league. The big star of the week for 'Roid Rage was SP Mark Mulder, who had 2 wins and one complete game shut-out after pitching 18 innings without giving up an earned run, and boasting a miniscule whip of 0.56. For Paper Street, it was OF Cliff Floyd, who belted 2 jacks, drove in 7 runs, scored 7 times, stole 2 bases, posted an OBP of .448 and a SLG of .615.

Got some stuff to work on, but I'll try and come back at you later tonight. Till then, P&L...

How 'bout them O's?

Man, it's been forever since I've posted. Sorry about that, loyal readers.

It's been so long, I have so much to talk about, mostly sports related. We'll begin with the Birds.

The O's busted out the brooms again, this time, for the first time, on the road, as they beat the Blue Jays 13-5, 4-1, and 7-1 - the last game was an absolute gem tossed by Sidney Ponson. That's nothing to poo-poo...the Jays came into the series 9-8, having taken 3 of 5 on the year from the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles, at 12-7, find themselves in 1st place in the American League East, with the 2nd best record in the AL (behind the Pale Hose of Chicago) and the 4th best record in MLB (behind the Dodgers and Cardinals). A three game set with the aforementioned BoSox is on deck, with 1st place at stake (the Sox are a game back with a record of 11-8).

I went to two baseball games last week, my first two of the season. On Monday, I had the opportunity to go check out DC's new club, and their old stadium. Simply put, RFK is no baseball park. It's a football stadium in which they put a diamond. I guess it's ok, since it's only a temporary home, but it's pretty dumpy, especially compared to the jewel we have in Baltimore. It wasn't a good night for the Nats, as they got dumped by the Marlins 9-4.

Speaking of the jewel in Baltimore, I was there Thursday night for a pitcher's duel against Boston, of which the Birds unfortunately fell on the losing end, 1-0. The important thing about that game, though, was that Rodrigo Lopez was able to match Matt Clement pitch for pitch (the Red Sox's run was unearned). It seems that he can truly be the ace for whom we've been looking.

The other big item this past week was the NFL Draft, which began at noon on Saturday and concluded just a few hours ago. The 'Skins had a pair of first round picks, which they spent on a couple of Auburn Tigers, CB Carlos Rogers and QB Jason Campbell. That the 'Skins were targeting Campbell was perhaps the worst-kept secret in the NFL. In fact, it was so well-known that I was erroneously certain that it wasn't going to happen. I guess now is Patrick Ramsey's time to prove he is the man here. Because if he can't get it done, Coach Gibbs already has Plan B lined up...

Ok, it's late & I'm tired, so I'm gonna have to put an end to this one. I'll be back tommorow afternoon to post the final results of my movie awards and give you an update on 'Roid Rage & the Paper Street Soap Co. Till then,

P&L...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope

It's Ratzinger. This is an unmitigated disaster for the Catholic Chruch. It's march towards irrelevance continues...

The New Pope Elections

It seems the Cardinals are having a dificult time electing a new Pope. According to CNN, there are three main candidates.

1. The first is a guy named Joseph Ratzinger, and, if what CNN says about him is true, his election would be the latest in a series of self-inflicted disasters for the Catholic Church. His positions on homosexuality, role of women within (and, by extension, outside of) the Church, and birth control are just as backwards as those of the man's who just left office. If the Catholic Church really feels like they are in the midst of a crisis with declining membership and declining participation of that membership, they'll pull their heads from their asses and not elect this tool. The only good thing about this guy is that, at 77 years of age, his reign wouldn't last very long.

2. Secondly, we have Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan. 70 years of age, he is seen as the "moderate" candidate. This would be a treading water approach for the Church. But today's moderate is ludicrously backwards 15 years from now (and today's Catholic "moderate" is backwards NOW). If they want to elect a new Pope who can fix the problems facing the Church, they'll have to look elsewhere.

3. Thirdly, there is Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, 64, of Honduras. What a Pope this guy would make. First, the guy is cool - he campaigned with Bono for debt relief, and he plays the saxophone; in other words, he's a guy who might make people under the age of 70 think the Church has something for them. Secondly, he is from Honduras, which many of you know is in Central America. Latin America has been the home of possibly the world's most loyal Catholic contingency, certainly outside of Europe. It would be great to see them represented in such a significant manner. The guy is not the dream candidate or anything, but he'd certainly bring a fresh attitude to the office which has been missing the last few years.

Of course, in typical "liberal media" fashion, CNN barely mentions Rodriguez, instead focusing on, their words, the "arch-conservative" and the "moderate" - who is only moderate compared to the first clown. Catholics everywhere, pray for the election of Cardinal Rodriguez, or the Church might very well lose what little remaining importance it has.

Monday, April 18, 2005

K-L-G's Movie Awards - Finalists & Baseball

We've announced the nominees, we've trimmed the list down to the Semi-Finalists...so here are the results of the second-to-last cut. Merely two contenders remain for each award. Let's see who they are...

Best Supporting Actress:
Minnie Driver - Good Will Hunting
Anjelica Huston - The Royal Tennenbaums

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Franka Potente - The Bourne Identity

Best Supporting Actor:
Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
John Goodman - The Big Lebowski

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Geoffrey Rush - Pirates of the Carribean

Best Original Screenplay:
Ben Affleck & Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - The Big Lebowski

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Roger Avary & Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Alex Cox, Tod Davies, Terry Gilliam, & Tony Grisoni - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (Novel by Hunter S. Thompson)
Frank Darabont - The Shawshank Redemption (Short Story by Stephen King)

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Jim Uhls - Fight Club (Novel by Chuck Palahniuk)

Best Lead Actress:
Annette Benning - American Beauty
Frances McDormand - Fargo

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Helena Bonham Carter - Fight Club

Best Lead Actor:
Johnny Depp - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Edward Norton - Fight Club

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Gene Hackman - The Royal Tennenbaums

Best Director:
David Fincher - Fight Club
Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Joel Coen - Fargo

Best Picture:
The Big Lebowski
Fight Club

Last Semi-finalist Cut:
Pulp Fiction

Couple of baseball things to talk about.

First, fantasy update...not a bad week for my two fantasy teams, as both climbed up two spots in the League Standings. 'Roid Rage is up to 5th place out of 8 teams, and the Paper Street Soap Co is up to 8th place out of 12. Both are still recovering from a disasterous opening week, but if they can climb two spots a week I'll be in first by the time school lets out. The star of the week for 'Roid Rage was none other than OF Sammy Sosa, who smacked 2 jacks and knocked in 7 runs while hitting .400 and amassing 21 total bases. The star of the week for Paper Street was also an Oriole, SS Miguel Tejada - he blasted 3 jacks, knocked in a whopping 13 runs, and had an astounding SLG% of .958. No wonder the Birds can't lose.

'Roid Rage has released SS Kahlil Greene and signed SS/3B Jose Valentin. Also, 'Roid Rage has placed 1B Justin Morneau on the Disabled List and signed RP Danys Baez. The Paper Street Soap Co has released SP Sidney Ponson and signed SP Mike Hampton.

Secondly, I've heard this question a lot from the national sports media: "What's wrong with the Yankees?"

I understand that the Yankees are supposed to beat the Orioles silly, like they did last year. I know it's difficult for anyone to think that the Orioles just might have a pretty good team, on the heels of 7 straight losing seasons. But at some point, the Birds have to be given some credit.

First of all, the Yankees have played 12 games, 6 against the O's, and (in case you haven't heard) 6 against the Red Sox, who happen to be (again, in case you haven't heard) the defending World Series Champions. If the Yanks are struggling against the pitiful Orioles, then surely the Red Sox must have hammered them to smithereens in their 6 contests, right?

Well, no, not exactly. The Yankees are 3-3 against the Red Sox, having won 2 out of 3 at Yankee Stadium and 1 of 3 at Fenway. The Yankees have been outscored on the season 77-53, but they've been outscored by Baltimore 47-26. That means that they've only been outscored by Boston 30-27.

Could it be that the Orioles are simply playing outstanding baseball? Judge for yourself:

In the American League, the Birds rank 1st in runs per game, hits, 3Bs, total bases per game, RBI, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, extra base hits per game, and fewest strikeouts by their hitters. In addition, they're second in total runs scored, home runs, total total bases, stolen bases, and total extra base hits.

It's early, but you can not deny that the Orioles are playing extremely well. I just wish someone would mention it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bust out the brooms, baby!

Birds beat the Yankees again this afternoon, 8-4. That's 5 wins in 6 games against the Yankees so far this season (they were 5-14 against them last year), not to mention a sweep of this most recent series at OPACY. It is so nice to see the team playing so well, especially their starting pitching. Daniel Cabrera gave them 6 good innings, surrendering 3 runs, in what was his first good start of the season. It looks like they'll have a winner this year. The question is, how many wins can they get?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sheff v. Drunk Fan

By now you've all seen (several times) replay after replay of Gary Sheffield's incident with a Red Sox fan down the right field line Thursday night. I was watching the game, and here's what I thought.

First, the fan was being a jackass. I don't know what possesses fans into reaching on to the field of play after balls in play (or whatever he was reaching for), but it's something you just don't do. MLB should not put up with it. If the ball is in play and the fan reaches after it, he needs to be ejected immediately. Take away fans reaching out over the wall for balls in play, and this incident does not happen.

Secondly, Sheffield needed to show a little more restraint. He did show some restraint, which was admirable, but he never should have gone back to confront the fan. He should have talked to an umpire, or security, but he never should have turned and faced the fan after he threw the ball. Nothing good could have come from that, and he placed all of his teammates in jeopardy. Things could have escalated, and just because they didn't, doesn't mean he should get off scot free. I think a 1 or 2 game suspension would be in order.

Thirdly, and this was mentioned by Woody Paige a couple times today on ESPN, but major kudos to the Fenway Security guy who hopped in and kept the parties separated. It wasn't so much Sheffield's restraint, it was this guy restraining Sheffield. Sheff can send this guy a thank you note, because without him I'm not so sure that Sheffield doesn't become baseball's Ron Artest and start something REALLY ugly.

Birds trounced the Yanks tonight. It's only been 10 games, but damn, we might have a real bal club on our hands. I'll be at it again tommorow, till then...

P&L...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Sawks/Yanks

Another Yankees/Red Sox series ended yesterday with an 8-5 Red Sox win. It was a good enough game, I suppose. Plenty of drama, with the Sox scoring the winning runs in the bottom of the 8th and then nearly blowing it in the 9th. But I am at the point where I simply can not give a shit what happens when the Red Sox and Yankees play anymore. I used to cheer for the Red Sox when they played the Yankees, of course, because I hate the Yankees, always have. I've never felt the same sort of antipathy towards the Red Sox, and I suppose I still don't, really, but the two teams are a lot closer in my book now than they were a few years ago.

The first signs that I was really starting to hate the Red Sox started showing up at Camden Yards en masse a few seasons ago. Understand, back when it was the Orioles and Yankees duking it out for the AL East - 1996-97 - Red Sox fans would show up to OPAC, but they'd hardly take the place over. And they CERTAINLY weren't selling out every game at Fenway. They call Boston a great baseball town, but in fact it's just like every other city in the northeast - when the team is winning, the fans show up, when they're not, they don't. And it's really fucking obnoxious when they come to your park by the thousands because the team is good. I understand that if Orioles fans would go see their team more often, they're wouldn't be as many tickets available, but don't tell me about how Red Sox Nation lives and dies with their team more than any other team in this part of the country, or more than the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, or White Sox, because it simply ain't true.

Then they started going Yankees Light with the payroll. The Yankees are spending over $200 million on payroll, which is a fucking travesty. But the Red Sox are at like 150, and the next team after that is spending about 2/3 of what they are. If the Yankees are the Evil Empire, the Red Sox are but slightly less evil, and slightly less empiric.

Now, we have to watch trailers for dumb-assed movies about being a Red Sox fan. For Christ-fucking-sake, make it stop.

Here's a good column on why you too can hate the Red Sox almost as much as the Yankees. Some of the items are Mariners-fan specific (it was written by a Mariners fan), but you can probably come up with your own items to replace them. Here's another one.

But I don't want to just write about hating the Red Sox, it's the whole damn rivalry that's pissing me off. First of all, it is NOT the best rivalry in sports. Perhaps the best rivaly in professional sports, but give me Michigan/Ohio State, Alabama/Auburn, Army/Navy, Texas/Oklahoma, USC/UCLA, Stanford/Cal...any of those. College rivalries are always better than professional rivalries, because college players don't jump around from team to team. How much could Wade Boggs have hated the Red Sox when he was on the Yankees, considering he had spent the majority of his Hall of Fame career there? For the record, the best rivalry in sports, on this continent, is Duke/UNC basketball.

I was over my friend Jeff's house Wednesday Night, and he was upset that the Yankees/Red Sox game that night was not being shown in our region because we were seeing the O's/Devil Rays game. Now, Jeff is a Red Sox fan, and I have no problem with him being upset, because that's his team and he thought they were going to be on. But as the night went on, he went on to inform us that Red Sox/Yankees would have drawn higher ratings in Baltimore than the O's game. I mean, the arrogance is amazing. He then told us that the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry was "saving baseball", as if a bunch of fans in Milwaukee or Pittsburgh are reveling in all of the attention paid to two teams who's payrolls are in the stratosphere, while their own teams will never get any attention or glory because they can not spend half of what either of those two teams spend. What a jackass. But it's not his fault, he is fed this crap every day by the National Sports Media, who are right up there with the regular media in terms of being jackasses who have no idea how to do their jobs.

And dojn't get me started about the Gary Sheffield/drunk jackass Sox fan "incident" because it is a complete non-story that we'll be hearing about every day for a month, and then they'll bring it up again whenever the Sox and Yankees play, as if anything actually happened.

Fuck this. I'm good and pissed now.

P&L...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

New Minesweeper Times

On Expert and Beginner Levels...

Beginner - 8 seconds
Intermediate - 57 seconds
Expert - 191 seconds

Quick post, then sleepy time...

Took a pleasure trip today...I dropped my parents off at the airport.

(Hahahahaha)

Seriously though, Mom & Dad have headed for sunny Florida, leaving me & the puppy here by our lonesomes. I'd throw a party, but I already got plans for Friday & Saturday nights. Besides, I wouldn't throw a party anyway.

What I really want to blog about, though, is the early-season performance of the Birds. Through 8 games, the O's find themselves 5-3, and have won consecutive series on the road. After scoring 5 runs the first three games versus Oakland, they've averaged just over 7 runs a game against the Yankees and the Devil Rays, so my doomsday predictions about their ability to score may have been off. More importantly, their starting pitching has been very good so far. Cabrera has had two rough outings and Ponson looked a little shaky vs. the Yanks - although A) he did get the win, and B) it was the Yanks - but the other three have looked pretty good, especially Rodrigo. Historically, the O's have had problems with the Rays, and last year the Yanks beat the O's up and down both Yankee Stadium and at OPACY. So seeing them look good against those two teams is especially encouraging.

Ok, 1 more game vs. Tampa Bay, tommorow night. Like I said, they've already won this series, now they're going for the sweep, which would be gravy. Can't wait. Till tommorow, P&L...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What if I were Commissioner?

Birds won, 7-6 this evening. This is the type of game they've found ways to lose in the past, especially in Tampa Bay. The D-Rays got to Daniel Cabrera early and often, but the Birds kept scoring until they were on top.

Today as I was driving home, and I started to ask myself what I would do if I were made MLB commissioner. The biggest problem in baseball right now, regardless of what the sports media may tell you about steroids, is competitive balance. The Yankees and, to a lesser extent, the Red Sox pretty much get their pick of the litter when it comes to the free agent market every offseason, and lower-payroll teams have no chance to compete. Fans in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee may as well forget about baseball entirely, because there is no way their teams can win under baseball's current economic conditions. So my first acts would be to install a real revenue sharing program, one that mirrors what they have in the NFL, as opposed to the facade MLB has right now. I would also install a salary cap and floor, probably something like 60 million for the floor and 100 million for the cap. It would leave some room for salary disparity, but it wouldn't let the Yankees have their run away payroll. I would also make all contracts guaranteed (unlike the NFL) and I'd allow the salaries of players who had been with a team for a long time (like 5 consecutive years) to count for less against the salary cap - that way more players would play on one team for their entire careers.

Item #2 on my list would be blood testing for performance enhancing drugs - the current piss tests won't pick up human growth hormones. Unlike what a lot of people believe, I find the current disciplinary action against players in violation of the performance enhancing drug rules adaquate.

I've got more ideas, and I'll post them later. It's late now though and I have to get up early. So, till later, P&L...

Minesweeper & Teacher's Exams

I set a new personal best time in Minesweeper this afternoon - this time on the Intermediate level. My records are now:

Beginner - 9 seconds
Intermediate - 57 seconds
Expert - 233 seconds

Anybody who has better times than these, please post them in the Comments section.

In another bit of news, I got back the results of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure that I took last month. Needing a 70% to pass, I got a 97% on the Reading subtest and an 85% on the Writing subtest of the Communication & Literacy Skills portion of the test. On the Mathematics portion of the test, I got (swear to *GOD*) a 71%. So, upon graduation from college, I will be eligible to teach high school math in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I have, at present, no desire to teach high school math in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (I am an aspiring, soon-to-be Nobel Prize nominated novelist, after all), but if I had to, it's something I can always fall back on, which is good.

Congratulations are also due to my sister, who will be simarly eligible to teach high school history in Massachusetts upon her graduation.

Finally, I want to point your attention to (thanks DU) this hilarious statement from the UConn College Repubs regarding a speech they sponsered featuring former WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior, whom they invited to campus to give a political speech. Seems the Warrior offended everybody who wasn't, well, him, and now the College Repubs have to pretend that they don't agree with every racist, sexist, and hompophobic thing he could spew out. The funniest part is the list of different student organizations to whom they had to hand write apology letters after the debacle. And it turns out that that's just a small sample: they wrote, by their own count "personally signed apology letters to more than twenty organizations on campus." LOL - as they say in cyberspace.

Till tommorow, P&L...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Whoa

Thanks to DU for bringing this article to my attention. I'll repost the whole thing - it's rather incredible...

washingtonpost.com
And the Verdict on Justice Kennedy Is: Guilty
By Dana MilbankSaturday, April 9, 2005; Page A03

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards.

Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the "good behavior" requirement for office and that "Congress ought to talk about impeachment."

Next, Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions. "If our congressmen and senators do not have the courage to impeach and remove from office Justice Kennedy, they ought to be impeached as well."

Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence. But then, these are scary times for the judiciary. An anti-judge furor may help confirm President Bush's judicial nominees, but it also has the potential to turn ugly.

A judge in Atlanta and the husband and mother of a judge in Chicago were murdered in recent weeks. After federal courts spurned a request from Congress to revisit the Terri Schiavo case, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) mused about how a perception that judges are making political decisions could lead people to "engage in violence."

"The people who have been speaking out on this, like Tom DeLay and Senator Cornyn, need to be backed up," Schlafly said to applause yesterday. One worker at the event wore a sticker declaring "Hooray for DeLay."

The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.

The Schlafly session's moderator, Richard Lessner of the American Conservative Union, opened the discussion by decrying a "radical secularist relativist judiciary." It turned more harsh from there.

Schlafly called for passage of a quartet of bills in Congress that would remove courts'
power to review religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance, same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts. Her speech brought a subtle change in the argument against the courts from emphasizing "activist" judges -- it was, after all, inaction by federal judges that doomed Schiavo -- to "supremacist" judges. "The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is," Schlafly asserted.

Former representative William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) followed Schlafly, saying the country's "principal problem" is not Iraq or the federal budget but whether "we as a people acknowledge that God exists."

Farris then told the crowd he is "sick and tired of having to lobby people I helped get elected." A better-educated citizenry, he said, would know that "Medicare is a bad idea" and that "Social Security is a horrible idea when run by the government." Farris said he would block judicial power by abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents, by allowing Congress to vacate court decisions, and by impeaching judges such as Kennedy, who seems to have replaced Justice David H. Souter as the target of conservative ire. "If about 40 of them get impeached, suddenly a lot of these guys would be retiring," he said.

Vieira, a constitutional lawyer who wrote "How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary," escalated the charges, saying a Politburo of "five people on the Supreme Court" has a "revolutionary agenda" rooted in foreign law and situational ethics. Vieira, his eyeglasses strapped to his head with black elastic, decried the "primordial illogic" of the courts.

Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges."

A court spokeswoman declined to comment.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company



Wow. In case you doubted the true meaning of Delay's or Cornyn's statements, this Vieira character has spelled it out nice and clear, and there is no mistake. The Right-Wing is now actively advocating violence against federal judges with whom they disagree. If you're a Republican, do you want your party to stand for this? Because right now, it does.

K-L-G Movie Awards - Semifinalists

Ok guys, you all remember how last Monday I announced the nominees for my own movie awards, decided by me, out of my personal DVD collection. Well, I've made the first round of cuts, and I'm pleased to announce the semi-finalists for each award:

Best Supporting Actress:
Minnie Driver - Good Will Hunting
Anjelica Huston - The Royal Tennenbaums
Carrie-Anne Moss - Memento
Franka Potente - The Bourne Identity

Last Nominee Cut:
Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction

Best Supporting Actor:
David Carradine - Kill Bill
Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
John Goodman - The Big Lebowski
Geoffrey Rush - Pirates of the Carribean

Last Nominee Cut:
Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction

Best Orginial Screenplay:
Ben Affleck & Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting
Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson - The Royal Tennenbaums
Roger Avary & Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - The Big Lebowski

Last Nominee Cut:
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Fargo

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Alex Cox, Tod Davies, Terry Gilliam, & Tony Grisoni - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (Novel by Hunter S. Thompson)
Frank Darabont - The Shawshank Redemption (Short Story by Stephen King)
Christopher Nolan - Memento (Short Story by Jonathan Nolan)
Jim Uhls - Fight Club (Novel by Chuck Palahniuk)

Last Nominee Cut:
Tony Gilroy & William Blake Herron - The Bourne Identity (Novel by Robert Ludlum)

Best Lead Actress:
Annette Benning - American Beauty
Helena Bonham Carter - Fight Club
Frances McDormand - Fargo
Uma Thurman - Kill Bill

Last Nominee Cut:
Joey Lauren Adams - Chasing Amy

Best Lead Actor:
Johnny Depp - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Gene Hackman - The Royal Tennenbaums
Edward Norton - Fight Club
Tim Robbins - The Shawshank Redemption

Last Nominee Cut:
Kevin Spacy - American Beauty

Best Director:
Joel Coen - Fargo
David Fincher - Fight Club
Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill

Last Nominee Cut:
Christopher Nolan - Memento

Best Picture:
The Big Lebowski
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Fight Club
Pulp Fiction

Last Nominee Cut:
The Shawshank Redemption

Note: Sideways, being a movie I obtained after I started this, is ineligible for this year. Next year I'll do another one of these for all of the movies I have obtained between now and then. You can bet it'll be a big player in several categories.

Quick note on my Fantasy teams: with one week gone by, the early returns are...not good. 'Roid Rage is in 7th place out of 8 teams and the Paper Street Soap Co is in 10th out of 12. The problem, simply, was a complete lack of offense for both teams. However, it is a marathon, not a sprint, and I am confident that the bats for both will heat up, and sooner rather than later. The stars for the week: for 'Roid Rage, SP Jon Lieber, who recorded 2 wins with an ERA of 3.29. For Paper Street, it was OF Cliff Floyd, who had a .385 OBP and socked 2 jacks.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

It's A Beautiful Day, Don't Let It Get Away

Well, today was quite a day, indeed. First, the weather was gorgeous. They expect it to cool off this week, but what they say should always be taken with a grain of salt.

I spent the early part of the day finishing a movie called Stir Crazy, a 1980 comedy starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. It was pretty good - Pryor and Wilder are always funny individually and together they have - or had, rather, since they haven't done any movies together in a while - fantastic comedic chemistry. I'd love to see them do something together again.

Then it was out in the backyard to move some sticks and logs around. Not my idea of a good time, but it got me out of the house and doing something physical, plus the weather, as previously mentioned, was excellent.

I got back to the house and turned on the ballgame to find - much to my delight - that the Birds were beating the Yankees 7-1 (it was a 7-2 final).

Then I watched the Masters, which had one hell of an ending, maybe the best I've ever seen. I watch golf about once a year, and the Masters is it. And this year, it did not dissapoint on any level, although I wanted DiMarco to win.

We had a nice dinner (grilled turkey, baked potato, and ceaser salad), and then Kait, Mom, & I watched Sideways, upon whose virtues I have already extolled several times.

Ok, tommorow afternoon expect an update on my fantsay baseball teams, as well as the semi-finalists for my own private movie awards. Till then, P&L...

Saturday, Saturday, Staurday Night's All Right

Hey guys, been a while. Few things, then I'm off to bed.

Firstly, I just now realized how painfully boring reading about the exploits of my fantasy baseball teams must be for everyone who isn't me. I apologize. I'll keep you updated every Monday, but no more daily updates. Promise.

Secondly, UND lost to Denver 4-1 tonight. Oh well. The Sioux'll get 'em next year.

Thirdly, I got Sideways on DVD today, which totally makes up for the rest of the day's dissapointments. Sideways was the funniest movie I've seen in a theater for a long time, maybe since The Big Lebowski. If you haven't seen it, go rent it. Or better yet, just go ahead and buy it, since you'll end up buying it anyway. It's a complete classic.

Finally, Corey, Jeff, Mike Jungerheld, & myself went to Fell's Point this evening and had a few beers. I love Fell's, and there are two bars in particular I think are money. First, Gemini: Gemini is the kind of place you go if you just want to sit at the bar and have some drinks. It's just a chill place, with moderately priced drinks. The other bar is Max's On Broadway. Max's is different, mostly because it's huge. It's also always packed, so it's a better place to meet people than Gemini. Also, they have every variety of beer there that I have ever heard of, and even more that I haven't heard of. I got some German beer tonight that was, swear to *GOD*, served to me in a goblet.

Ok, that's all I got for you tonight. I'll have some good stuff for you tommorow.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday Afternoon

First of all, my explanation for not posting this last night: for some reason my internet was fucking up all evening last night. I tried posting a couple times, but my posts were lost in cyberspace.

Anyway, North Dakota won 4-2 last night. The National Championship game will be tommorow night at 7:00 on ESPN, UND vs. Denver.

It was a pretty miserable night for both Fantasy teams and the Birds, the latter dropping the finale of their three game set with Oakland. For such a supposedly star-studded line-up, they've been having trouble scoring runs so far this season. Maybe their bats just need time to warm up, but it's been my contention that they still have serious holes in their line-up that they need to address. We'll see.

For 'Roid Rage, we got a decent pitching performance, and a win, from Tim Hudson. We also got a two-inning win from RP Chad Cordero, a nice suprise. However, a save oportunity went up in smoke when Shingo Takatsu gave up a remarkable 3 solo home runs in 2/3 of an inning. Offensively, we got a home run from Alfonso Soriano and a couple of RBI from Steve Finley, but that was about it. All in all, a mediocre performance.

But it wasn't a complete disaster, like it was for the Paper Street Soap Co, who only scored 2 runs and had 2 runs driven in all day. They also recorded 1 strikeout. Oh well, we got the weekend serieses coming up, so hopefully all three teams will be more fortunate.

On to the memo scandal...you'll love this column by Cliff Kincaid of AIM.org. The audacity of it is simply astounding. After it has come to light that, duh, a Republican did write the memo, and it wasn't forged by Democrats, Kincaid is demanding an apology from the Washington Post, for saying that a memo that was written by a Republican and distributed to Republican Senators was, well, written by a Republican and distributed to Republican Senators. What a complete and total asshole. Hey Repubs, is this really what you want to be?

Till Later, P&L...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fighting Sioux Hockey

As posted earlier, the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota are playing the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the National Semifinal this evening. They just scored as I'm writing this. I'll check in during the intermissions and let you know what's going on, but if you want to watch for yourself, it's on ESPN2.

------------

UPDATE: At the 1st intermission, it's still 1-0 Sioux. UND has been outplaying Minnesota - it could easily be a 2 or 3 goal lead. In other sports news, the O's and A's are tied 1-1 after 2 innings out in the rain. The Braves and Marlins are scoreless through 2 1/2 - Tim Hudson is making his Braves and 'Roid Rage debut.

Heh...

This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic...

Ok, here is The St. Petersburg Times on then newly elected Republican Senator Mel Martinez:

When challenged, Martinez was too eager to assign blame to his staff or to groups he said he couldn't control. As a senator, he will need an office and a staff that speaks with the measured and centrist tone he says will be his own. He can't pretend to be above it all if the people he employs are not.

And here is an article appearing in today's edition of the Times:

A high-ranking staffer for Florida Sen. Mel Martinez resigned Wednesday after admitting he wrote a memo that outlined the political advantages of Congress intervening in the Terri Schiavo case.
Martinez, the sponsor of the Schiavo bill in the Senate, said when the memo surfaced weeks ago that he had not seen it before the media reported its existence.
On Wednesday night, Martinez acknowledged that a senior member of his staff was "unilaterally responsible" for the document, and that it was not approved by him or other staffers.


Thanks, DK. For that, and for this...

Here's Tucker Carlson on the matter a few days ago:

"Last week a memo surfaced, reportedly written by the Republican members of Congress explaining how to make hay with the Terri Schiavo case, the Talking Points Memo, Ah, I think within a week or two it will become clear that that memo was a forgery, possibly written by Democrats on the hill in an effort to discredit Republicans. Bloggers are saying that now and it sounds like they may be right."


Umm, Tucker...you're a dumbshit. And so are your bloggers.

Rush Limbaugh, from his website:

"Truth Detector: Supposed GOP Schiavo Memo Forged by Democrats."


Truth Detector: Rush Limbaugh is full of shit.

I could go on (there's this great column at AIM.org), but honestly this whole thing is pissing me off as much as it is amusing me.

P&L...

Homers Galore on Paper Street

It's late & I'm tired so I'll make this fast - no links. (UPDATE: Links added)

'Roid Rage had a decent, but forgettable, day. David Wright homered against the Reds and Odalis Perez pitched 5 innings, giving up 1 run, and earned a win against the Giants.

For Paper Street, the results were much more impressive, offensively. No fewer than 4 players went deep for the Soap Co tonight, and it would have been 5, but I had Michael Barrett on the bench. The four whose homers counted: Tino Martinez, Jermaine Dye, Jose Guillen, and Brett Boone.

As I write this, the Rangers/Angels game is still going on, with Alfonso Soriano and Mark Teixeira playing for 'Roid Rage, and Teixeira and Steve Finley playing for Paper Street Soap Co. (UPDATE: Soriano homered)

Paper Street Soap Co has placed 1B Frank Thomas on the Disabled List and signed SP Sindey Ponson.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

MLB Predictions

We've got a full slate of games today, all 30 teams in action. You already have my World Series pick, so I'm going to go ahead and give you all of my predictions for this season.

National League:
East: Atlanta Braves
Central: St. Louis Cardinals
West: San Francisco Giants
Wild Card: New York Mets

MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Cy Young: Tim Hudson, Braves
ROY: Garrett Atkins, Rockies

American League:
East: New York Yankees
Central: Minnesota Twins
West: Los Angeles Angels
Wild Card: Texas Rangers

MVP: Miguel Tejada, Orioles
Cy Young: Randy Johnson, Yankees
ROY: Huston Street, Athletics

Post-season:

Division Series:

AL:
Yankees 3, Rangers 1 - MVP: Hideki Matsui
Angels 3, Twins 0 - MVP: Vladimir Guerrero

NL:
Braves 3, Giants 2 - MVP: Chipper Jones
Cardinals 3, Mets 0 - MVP: Scott Rolen

League Championship Series:

AL:
Yankees 4, Angels 3 - MVP: Randy Johnson
Braves 4, Cardinals 2 - MVP: Chipper Jones

World Series:
Braves 4, Yankees 3 - MVP: Tim Hudson

Quick Fantasy Update

Birds had off today, they resume play tommorow night at 7:05.

'Roid Rage had a much more productive day today than yesterday. Jim Edmonds had a 3-run jack and finished the day 1/2 with a BB and 4 RBI. Mark Teixeira also went deep, a solo shot. He finished 2/4 with 2 RBI in Texas' loss to Anaheim. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both had solid evenings as well. Mauer finished 1/4 with a BB, an RBI, and a Run Scored, while Morneau went 3/5, and also had an RBI and a Run Scored. Carl Pavano had a solid start, albeit for a No Decision.

Of course, anything Teixeira, Mauer, and Pavano do for 'Roid Rage they also do for the Paper Street Soap Co. Paper Street had one more solid performance, as well: Chris Carpenter went 7 strong innings to pick up a win vs. the Astros.

'Roid Rage has released RP Danys Baez and signed RP Shingo Takatsu.

Ok, that's all for tonight. More tommorow...P&L...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The O.J. Legacy

My list of complaints about the mainstream media runs longer than my arm. But right near the top is a phenomenon I like to call the O.J. effect. Yes, after that O.J. The O.J. effect is the complete abandonment on the part of all national and cable news networks of any other story than the one deemed the story of the week, or the month, or for however long the story lasts. Last week, it was Terry Schiavo. This week it's the death of the Pope. CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Foxnews.com, all of them are absolutely dominated by a story that happened 3 days ago. Watch the cable networks, and it's the same thing. More on the Pope, more on the Pope...

Ignore the rest of the news.

That's why you have to love blogs. They don't ignore the news. Like this little story you may have missed...

This is Republican Senator John Cronyn (thanks DK):

I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.


Wow. A Senator threatening judges. Unbelieveable. Yet, nary a word of it from FOX "news". Nothing on CNN. No sign of a story on MSNBC. Just goes to show you how blind the networks are when there's a "big story". Like, if they focused their attention on something else, they'd lose millions of viewers craving more Pope coverage.

Here's something else I found interesting, again courtesy of DK...

It seems Bush's approval rating is down. Way down. As in, 45%. The main stream media will definately ignore this one...not only would it cut into their "Pope only" coverage, but it would also fly in the face of conventional wisdom - that Bush is a popular President with a mandate to do whatever he wants. And we all know how the networks love their conventional wisdom. After all, it makes reporting so much easier when you don't actually have to do any analysis.

Ok, I'm done for now. I'll be back this evening. P&L...

Tar Heel Nation

Well, I was wrong. I'm not going to apologize for picking a team that entered the tournament 32-1 and will, despite their loss, be tied for the all-time winningest record in NCAA history. However, I was wrong. The game was close, really close, but if they played again tommorow, I would pick Carolina to win again. Why?

Sean May. I completely underestimated Sean May. Illinois simply had no answer for the big man inside. He was like a collegiate version of Shaq. In fact, if he were two or three inches taller, he would be the first pick in the NBA Draft, no doubt about it. As it is, I think he'll be twice the pro that Bogut will be.

The Paper Street Soap Co has released 1B/OF Terrmel Sledge, SP Erik Bedard, 3B/OF David Newhan, and SS Kahlil Greene and signed RP Rheal Cormier, RP Mike Stanton, RP Jim Brower, and 2B Chris Burke.

The biggest game for the Paper Street Soap Co tommorow will be the Yankees vs. the Sox, in which Paper St will have at least 3, maybe 4 participants. For 'Roid Rage, the biggest game will be the Rangers vs. the Angels, which will feature 3 'Roid Ragers starting.

Done blogging for tonight. Will update again tommorow. P&L...

Monday, April 04, 2005

1/2time...

Man, seems like just a few minutes ago I wrote that we were gonna have a close game to entertain us, now Carolina is stomping the Illini at the half. In other college basketball news, Andrew Bogut won the Naismith Trophy as the year's top college basketball player. Hard to argue with a 20 point, 12 rebound average and 62% shooting from the field.

Back at games end. P&L...

Yay! O's Win!

Well, the Orioles won their season opener against the A's today, 4-0. It's really good to see that goose egg, especially considering that starting pitching is without a doubt the biggest questionmark facing the Birds this season.

It wasn't quite as good a day for 'Roid Rage. Our biggest star was probably Mike Piazza, who had a rather uninspiring line (for the biggest star of the day) of 1/4, with a 2B, a BB, and a Run Scored.

The Paper Street Soap Co didn't fare much better, although at least they got a 2-run jack from Cliff Floyd, who finished the day 3/5. We also got a really nice pitching performance from Ben Sheets, who went 7 Innings, gave up 2 ER, struck out 6, walked none, and picked up the win in the Brewers' 9-2 win over Pittsburgh.

As I write this, UNC is up by 3 in the Championship Game. It looks like we'll have a very decent one on our hands. I'll blog again at the half. Till then, P&L...

K - L - G's Movie Awards

You know, seeing Sin City last night got me in the mood for thinking about my favorite movies. So, I've decided to do an Academy Award-style way of recognizing my favorite movies, and the great performances given in them. So, all of the nominees in the following categories come from the films in my DVD collection. Each category has 8 nominees. Next week, I'll cut that list down to 4, then 2 the follwing week, and 3 weeks from now I'll announce the winners. So without further ado, the categories:

Best Supporting Actress:
Thora Birch - American Beauty
Minnie Driver - Good Will Hunting
Anjelica Huston - The Royal Tennenbaums
Carrie-Anne Moss - Memento
Franka Potente - The Bourne Identity
Rene Russo - Get Shorty
Mena Suvari - American Beauty
Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction

Honorable Mentions:
Darryl Hannah - Kill Bill
Lucy Liu - Kill Bill
Julianne Moore - The Big Lebowski

Best Supporting Actor:
Ben Affleck - Good Will Hunting
David Carradine - Kill Bill
Chris Cooper - American Beauty
Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
John Goodman - The Big Lebowski
Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction
Geoffrey Rush - Pirates of the Carribean
Robin Williams - Good Will Hunting

Honorable Mentions:
Steve Buscemi - The Big Lebowski
Steve Buscemi - Fargo
Chris Cooper - The Bourne Identity
Brian Cox - The Bourne Supremacy
Dennis Farina - Get Shorty
Laurence Fishbourne - The Matrix
Gene Hackman - Get Shorty
William H. Macy - Fargo
Alfred Molina - Spiderman 2
Joe Pantoliano - The Matrix
Joe Pantoliano - Memento
Brad Pitt - Snatch
John Turturro - The Big Lebowski
Hugo Weaving - The Matrix
Hugo Weaving - The Matrix Reloaded
Bruce Willis - Pulp Fiction
Owen Wilson - The Royal Tennenbaums

Best Original Screenplay:
Ben Affleck & Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting
Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson - The Royal Tennenbaums
Roger Avary & Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction
Alan Ball - American Beauty
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - The Big Lebowski
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Fargo
Guy Ritchie - Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Quentin Tarantino & Uma Thurman - Kill Bill

Honorable Mentions:
Tom Jankiewicz - Grosse Pointe Blank
Guy Ritchie - Snatch
Kevin Smith - Chasing Amy
Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski - The Matrix

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Michael Chabon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar & Alvin Sargent - Spiderman 2 (Comic Book by Steve Ditko & Stan Lee)
Alex Cox, Tod Davies, Terry Gilliam, & Tony Grisoni - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (Novel by Hunter S. Thompson)
Frank Darabont - The Shawshank Redemption (Short Story by Stephen King)
Scott Frank - Get Shorty (Novel by Elmore Leonard)
Tony Gilroy & William Blake Herron - The Bourne Identity (Novel by Robert Ludlum)
Tony Gilroy - The Bourne Supremacy (Novel by Robert Ludlum)
Christopher Nolan - Memento (Short Story by Jonathan Nolan)
Jim Uhls - Fight Club (Novel by Chuck Palahniuk)

Best Lead Actress:
Joey Lauren Adams - Chasing Amy
Annette Benning - American Beauty
Helena Bonham Carter - Fight Club
Minnie Driver - Grosse Pointe Blank
Keira Knightly - Pirates of the Carribean
Frances McDormand - Fargo
Carrie-Anne Moss - The Matrix Reloaded
Uma Thurman - Kill Bill

Best Lead Actor:
Benecio Del Torro - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Johnny Depp - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Carribean
Gene Hackman - The Royal Tennenbaums
Edward Norton - Fight Club
Brad Pitt - Fight Club
Tim Robbins - The Shawshank Redemption
Kevin Spacy - American Beauty

Honorable Mention:
Ben Affleck - Chasing Amy
Jeff Bridges - The Big Lebowski
John Cusack - Grosse Pointe Blank
Matt Damon - The Bourne Identity
Matt Damon - The Bourne Supremacy
Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting
Tobey Maguire - Spiderman 2
Nick Moran - Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Pearce - Memento
John Travolta - Get Shorty
John Travolta - Pulp Fiction

Best Director:
Joel Coen - Fargo
David Fincher - Fight Club
Terry Gilliam - Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Christopher Nolan - Memento
Guy Ritchie - Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Kevin Smith - Chasing Amy
Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill

Honorable Mentions:
Wes Anderson - The Royal Tennenbaums
Joel Coen - The Big Lebowski
Frank Darabont - The Shawshank Redemption
Sam Mendes - American Beauty
Barry Sonnenfeld - Get Shorty
Guy Ritchie - Snatch
Gus Van Sant - Good Will Hunting
Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski - The Matrix

Best Picture:
American Beauty
The Big Lebowski
Fargo
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Fight Club
Kill Bill
Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption

Honorable Mentions:
Chasing Amy
Get Shorty
Good Will Hunting
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
The Matrix
Memento
The Royal Tennenbaums

Whew! I got some tough cuts to make next week...

P&L...

Sin City & Sawks/Yanks

Eventful day. Err, eventful evening, anyway. At 5:30, Kait, Sean, & myself went to go see Sin City. That movie was cool beyond words, definately getting added to the DVD collection when the time comes. Recomended...by far the best movie out right now.

After that, it was over to Jeff's house to watch the Sox get creamed by the Yankees, 9-2. Gary Sheffield went 1/4 with a walk, 2 runs scored, and an RBI for 'Roid Rage, while Bernie Williams went 0/2 with 2 walks and an RBI and Tino Martinez had a walk and a run scored for the Paper Street Soap Co.

Tommorow the season starts in earnest, as we have no fewer than 10 games being played, including the Orioles opener against the Athletics. The biggest games for 'Roid Rage are going to be the Twins vs. the Mariners, the Mets vs. the Reds, and potentially the Nationals vs. the Phillies (2 players each). The most important game for Paper Street Soap Co will be the O's and A's, as that team is loaded with Orioles - a whopping 7 of them (for now). Also of note for the Paper Street Soap Co is the game between the Pirates and Brewers, for which I have both starting pitchers and a reliever for the Pirates.

Ok, that's all for now. Tommorow night I'll let you know if any of my players had big games. Till then, P&L...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Final Four Minus Two

Well, we're down to the two teams that will square off Monday Night in the National Championship Game, and, as promised, they are Illinois and UNC. I saw nothing tonight that will make me change my other prediction: Illinois will be the National Champions.

There is another sports highlight this weekend, of course. Baseball season starts, for the Red Sox and Yankees, anyway, tommorow night on ESPN. Most other teams, including the Orioles, kick off the season on Monday, and the rest begin on Tuesday. I don't see 85 wins to be unreachable for the Birds, provided their starting pitching picks up where it left off at the end of last season, and doesn't regress to where it had been for most of the campaign. As for the rest of Major League Baseball, I'm going to go ahead and project the Braves to be my World Series Champion for 2005, over the Yanks. With John Smoltz and Tim Hudson coming into the rotation, that gives Atlanta all the pitching in the world. And pitching, as we all know, wins championships.

Ok...more, better stuff tommorow. Promise. P&L...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

1 Down, 1 To Go

Well, the Final Four is down to three. Illinois defeated Louisville in the first semifinal, 82-57 to claim a spot in the National Championship game, a first for the school (which happens to be the alma matter of my two cousins, Mark & Eric). It was entertaining for most of the game, but Illinois pulled away at the end. The second game should be as entertaining, but I'm not changing my prediction from the beginning of the tournament. It'll be UNC vs. Illinois in the final. I'll blog after the game. P&L...

RIP: Pope John Paul II

Well, the Pope died this evening, as you all know by now. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the Pope was a lover of peace and made progress by apologizing for the non-role of the Church during the Holocaust, visiting Cuba as well as a synagogue, and criticizing Gulf War II; on the other hand, however, this gives the Catholic Church an opportunity to move forward on a whole host of other issues. With the election of a new Pope probably between 25-30 years younger than John Paul II, the Catholic Church's position on birth control, divorce, the role of women within the Church, and maybe even abortion or homosexuality (although we might have to sit through another Papal reign before we get to those issues) could modernize, if only a little bit. A lot depends on where the new Pope is from. If he's Italian or French than we might see some progress. If they elect another Slav or (it pains me to say this) an Irishman or an American, then the Church might be stuck with the same outdated attitudes for another generation. I have no idea who the main contenders are, but I'll be following the developments and posting on them on this blog.

I'll post again after the first Hoops semifinal. Til then, P&L...

Couldn't Have Said It Any Better Myself...

Crazy "Christian" Republicans are stupid and ignorant. But don't take my word for it, ask them (thanks, DU):

"Christians are a lot more bold under Bush's leadership, he speaks what a lot of us believe," said Mummert.
"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture," he said

More Fantasy Baseball, etc.

'Roid Rage has released SS Alex Gonzalez and signed SS Kahlil Greene.

Also, DailyKos has a 12-team Fantasy League that drafted yesterday. Here's my team, the Paper Street Soap Co:

Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Brett Boone, Juan Uribe, Miguel Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro, Kahlil Greene, Sammy Sosa, Steve Finley, Jose Guillen, Jermaine Dye, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Cliff Floyd, Frank Thomas, Michael Barrett, David Newhan, Larry Bigbie, Terrmel Sledge, Ben Sheets, Roger Clemens, Oliver Perez, Carl Pavano, Chris Carpenter, Jon Lieber, Erik Bedard, Ray King, Salomon Torres, Jorge Julio

The NCAA Tournament resumes this evening. We've got Illinois vs. Louisville at 6:07 and North Carolina vs. Michigan State at 8:47.

Not much else to report at present, but I want to bring this piece to your attention (thanks DK). It's a hatchet job on our boy Tom Delay, which is great in and of itself, but it's made even better by the fact that it was written by a right-wing hack on the uber-conservative RedState.org:

It appears that the [conservative] movement is now beholden to the furtherance of the haphazard career of Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay, who in terms of tugging at social conservatives for money and support -- and then stabbing them in the back behind the scenes -- among the worst the United States Congress has to offer. Tom DeLay, who threatened the career of a Congressman's son to help ram through the disastrous, un-conservative Medicare bill. Tom DeLay, who knew full well that Jack Abramoff was the sort of man that any ethical public servant would assiduously avoid -- and went on junkets with him anyway. Tom DeLay, who has had a grand jury chipping away at his inner circle for months. Tom DeLay, who helped erode the informal checks that maintain republican governance in America by pioneering the detestable practice of off-year redistricting. Tom DeLay, who is, unlike his Senate counterpart, not incompetent, but nonetheless dirty. (Update: I am reminded, too, that this is also the Tom DeLay who forced through changes in the House ethics rules on indictments to safeguard his leadership position -- another nail in the coffin bearing the corpse of GOP rectitude.)


That's all for now, P&L...