At work today this autistic Indian (dot, not casino) teenager pulled down his sweatpants and whizzed on the floor by the escalators. He really let loose too. My manager and I were standing talking and we turned around and saw him peeing. We tried to distract him, and his flow stopped for a second, but resumed its healthy unimpeded flow. He pulled up his pants and darted down the escalator.

I followed him down, and tried to get his name, or the name of one of his parents, so we could call them over the intercom. No dice. He just repeated what I said in an Indian accent. The store manager manged to track down his father and all his father had to say was "But he's autistic."

Dude, if your kid is autistic and prone to whipping his schlongs out and peeing in public, then it might be a good idea to keep him on a tight leash and not let him go wandering.



Hall of Fame Ballot

Well, Major League Baseball has issued its annual Hall of Fame ballot today. While not a registered member of the Baseball Writers of America, I do like to partake in the parlor game of drafting my own ballot. I still have some of the rotisserie league geek in me. (when I spent my year abroad in provincial Russia, i developed a baseball game based on a Russian deck of cards (which for some reason only went from 6 up) simulating a baseball game (6 for a strikeout, 7 for a single, etc)

Here's my ballot, in order of preference:

1) Don Mattingly. Best first baseman I have ever seen, period. I want to name a child after him, and when all is said and done, I will (having a RedSox fan as a wife notwithstanding).

2) Tony Gwynn. This guy is fatter than me, at his peak! And he could slap that ball around the field like Bobby Cox slaps his wife. Michael Richards would call him the black Wade Boggs. Interestingly enough, Wade Boggs definitely ate more fried chicken than Gwynn. And he is a complete nutjob. Boggs, that is. Gwynn, for all appearances is the nicest guy in the world. But we also thought that about Kirby and Garvey. I hope to high heavens Tony Gwynn doesn't have a dark side where he beats harbor seals with a polo mallet or espouses that man walked with dinosaurs.

3) Cal Ripken. I admit that I booed him when he broke Gehrig's record, and I wished an eponymous disease on the man. BUt he's pure class. Maybe from now on we can call premature greying and balding Cal Ripken's Disease.

4) Marc McGwyre. I don't care about steroids, they weren't against the rules. He was a man-made behemoth with a sweet-ass swing. I realize that I am old when people who were rookies when I was in high school are now on the HOF ballot. There go my chances on starting in center field for the Yanks.

5) Goose Gossage. Gooooooooooose!

6) Tommy John. He goes in for two reasons: the surgery and his record.

7) Bert Blyleven. If this guy played for more high profile teams, he would have been in ages ago.

8) Harold Baines. This man was always around, like Kenny Lofton or Bobby Bonilla. But really good.

9) Jim Rice. If'n he wasnt's such a sourpuss the writers would have elected him years ago. This guy was damn good, and that's coming from a Yankees fan. Goes to show that the writers are sometimes douches. Don't get me started on that guy who didn't vote Matsui for ROY.

10) Dale Murphy. If you had TBS in the eighties - and who didn't, what with their wrassling and Andy Griffith reruns - you would remember how he was the highlight of some really godawful Braves teams.

Would have gotten my vote in other years: Dave Parker, Andre Dawson, Steve Garvey. You probably could have interchanged these three with Rice, Baines and Parker. All were part of my early years of watching baseball, and they really stood out among the Butch Wynegars and Wally Bachmans of the world.

These just missed my ballot, but just fell short for one obvious reason or another: Joey Belle, Jose Canseco, Dave Concepcion, Orel Hershiser, Jim Morris and Lee Smith.

Just missed my ballot, but worth considering during really slow years:


Would you rather go on Top Chef or Hell's Kitchen? Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Personally, I think I might go with Hell's Kitchen. Why? Well, Ramsay runs a kitchen the way I would, no bullshit, do your job and do it right. Watching him on kitchen nightmares I see his frustration with people not getting this general philosophy. His food, though, looks like shit. Lobster spaghetti and risotto? Yuch.

Top Chef just looks cheap . This batch of new cooks though have some impressive chops. The cooks on HK are more my speed when it comes to knife skills and presentation. Probably the cook I most resemble is that wierd guy from the first season of Top Chef who wore those silly Japanese bandanas and made it into the final three. Agressively flavored comfort food is where I'm at.

The hosts on Top Chef are also hotties. I swear to god that Ming Tsai was looking down Salman Rushdie's wife's dress the whole time he was on the show. He had some 'splaining to do to his wife when that show aired. He wanted to go all fatwa on her ass. (I can't believe I wrote that. I don't even know what it means.)

Top Chef''s poor production value is its only downer. I know it's basic cable, but do something about the badly done overdubs.
Ohmystarsinheaven! I just checked my blog and I have seemed to let this field sit fallow for over a year. Good show, dummy!
So it's been over six months since I have contributed anything to this blog. Six long months. That's what holding down two jobs and raising two and half kids will do to your spare time. I should be more diligent in updating this thing. I have to keep my fan happy.

New things in my life:

1)working fulltime at the bookstore. Oh yes, another delightful holiday season selling James Patterson and Mitch Albom crap to the chowdaheads. There was a lot of buzz about that new speculative fiction novel by the up-and-comer O. J. Simpson, but that sort of fell through the cracks. At least the new Pynchon drops tomorrow. I will be hiding in a corner devouring that instead of sorting the Nora Roberts by colour.

2) Still substitute teaching. I'm actually kind of enjoying it. I'm like a psychic vampire feeding off the energy of the young.

3) I knocked my wife up again. I just have to look at her funny and she becomes pregnant. If this one is spat out without flippers and a tailfin, then I'm getting the snip.

4) I have a new favorite beer: Haverhill Brewery's Leatherlips I.P.A. I don't particular know - nor care to know - what leatherlips are, but it's hoppy and tasty.

5)I, like always, am starting and subsequently abandoning new writing projects. If I could just finish one and maybe sell it. Maybe I can self-publish. Working in a bookstore I have come to despise the self-published book. First off, the covers always look cheap. Second, some are just damn kooky. Third, self-published authors are notorious for calling up bookstores, ordering their books and never picking them up. The store, since they cannot return these klunkers, are then obligated to shelve the book, where it will sit collecting dust until we throw it into the dollar bin. Fourth, I have met some people with self-published books, and some of them delude themselves into thinking they are real authors. It's sad.

6) We bought a new house (or at least half of a house: it's part of a duplex). Now I'm all into yard work and paying property taxes and all that shit. We're on a pond, but I really did not realize that until the leaves fell this fall and I could see the pond about ten feet into the woods. The GPS map in the car always showed a pond in our backyard, but I did not trust it. I guess I could have walked the ten feet into the woods, but I did not want to disturb the cute bunnies who live in our backyard. We also had some sort of animals tear into our pumpkins, which I have never seen before. It was orange carnage.

7) Did you see that Michael Richards meltdown on youtube? Whoah, that was not appropriate. I kind of give him the benefit of the doubt, and maybe he was trying to do some sort of Bill Hicks/Lenny Bruce dialogue on race and language. But, man, his delivery was way off. That was uncomfortable to watch. And I'm a big fan of the uncomfortable; to wit, my Office-mania.


Book finds

My wife is constantly harping on me for purchasing way more books than I can possibly read. I admit, I can not pass a library booksale, book fair or used book store without loading up on dozens of books.

I have made some good finds in the past couple of years. I found an autographed copy of a Tom Stoppard play valued at two hundred dollars for only a dollar at an antique store in central Virginia. The funny thing about that book is that it was in a box out on the element-exposed front porch of the store. I've also found signed copies of books by Sister Helen Prejean and Richard Ford.

Usually it is not until months after I've purchased the book that I realize that there is something special about the book. That's what's just happened to me recently.

In the beginning of the summer I took the kids to the Concord library sale hoping to stock up on a year's worth of reading for cheap (fifty cent paperbacks). I was hoping to fill a box or two. As can be expected, the place was packed, the front lawn of the library was muddy, I was holding one child and pushing another in a stroller, and they started to get rambunctious after about twenty minutes. I was also on a budget from my wife - anything over twenty dollars and I was going to get a talking to. I managed to wheel over to the foreign language section - found a small book by Solzhenitsyn in Russian. I don't really like Solzhenitsyn, but it's only fifty cents, what the heck. I also found a box of anthropology books - paydirt!

Fast forward a few months and I finally get around to trying to read the Solzhenitsyn book. I start it, it's kinda boring, but I leave it on top of my toilet so's I can plough through it while doing my bidness.

I had never heard of this story, "Dlia Pol'zy Dela", and it was on a small American academic imprint. As I sometimes do with books I am unfamiliar with, I decided to look it up on addall (the used bookstore database), to see if it was worth ten bucks or so. Oh my word, was I way off.

The book was listed as super-rare, a category i was unawared of. I thought rare was like unique - it is either rare or common. But this book is superrare. There were four listings for this book - with prices from $1250 - $1500. And the condition of my book is better than those listed! Needless to say, but I have never owned a book worth more than a thousand bucks. I took that book off my crapper right fast.

It is now going into my safety deposit box until Solzhenitsyn kicks it.


Now my daughter is holding a napkin around her neck and is running around the house shouting "Go! Go! Gooooooooo!" This cuteness makes up for the screaming and pinching.

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