Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Boy meets grill

David Plotz of Slate makes a pilgrimage to my town to get religion about barbecue. Favorite quote: "The 'burnt end' is, after jazz, Kansas City's most important gift to civilization." Amen, brother. I think I just decided what I'm having for lunch today.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Royally Screwed

Our local alternative weekly paper has the dirt on the alleged personal problems of Tony Peña, who abruptly resigned as the KC Royals manager the night before he was scheduled to submit testimony in a divorce case. If you manage to read to the "baby monitor" question -- well, just "yikes".

It's a shame. I had liked Peña, he seemed like a good guy. During the Royals' amazing 2003 season (where they started 16-3 and contended until September), I had scoured both the stadium shops and the Internet looking to buy a Peña jersey. (I found out the MLB doesn't sell managers' jerseys). Since that season, however, his team was a complete train wreck -- a combined 64-129.

One local sportswriter today seems surprised that the city seems to be trying its best to quickly forget the guy. I suppose it's this: when you've hit bottom, there's nowhere to look but up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

After Darth

In a neat synchronicity with the opening of the last Star Wars flick, Darth Vader's blog posted its last entry today. The blog has been a remarkable thing to follow. It took an inherently silly premise -- a supervillain with common, trivial complaints (really a parody of blogs themselves) -- and melded it with a smart and surprisingly moving piece of fiction. I'm just a casual fan of the whole Star Wars thing, but I'll actually miss reading it every day. Kudos to the author.

And boom goes the dynamite

The morning show guys at the local sports radio station played this for the umpteenth time today, which prompted me to finally check out the video version. (Or use this link if you want to save a copy for yourself). Oh, it's even more painful to watch than it was to listen to. The Ball State Daily News has more on the story. Just another reminder of why people fear public speaking more than death.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pop Will Eat Itself

News happens. Then in response, bloggers comment on the news. Now in response to that, the news channels have created shows where they talk about what the blogs are saying. So yesterday in response to that, The Daily Show did a typically brilliant piece on the absurdity of those shows. Which of course leads us to my blog, bringing you this link to that Daily Show video clip (about the shows about the blogs about the news). Enjoy the superfluousness.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ice buckets and cold feet

Left among the online detritus of the "Runaway Bride" story: the Wilbanks-Mason wedding gift registry, still active at Macys.com. Pick out something nice for them.

So as not to be your basic link whore, I'll toss in my complimentary (and very late) take. First, I'll try to ignore the obvious "excessive media attention for white, female victims" angle. But I would like to mention the sheer entertainment of O'Reilly getting the story wrong while Olbermann got it right.

I have plenty of tolerance and empathy for people suffering from depression. I'm well aware of how it causes people to do irrational (or just plain stupid) things, and I'm often happy to let those irrational things slide. As a trivial example, one of our longtime online gaming friends recently cut ties with a bunch of us, citing depression -- but she continues to visibly play the game with others. Hey, if she thinks it's best for her, I'm cool with it.

When a family member went thru a scary bout with depression/ paranoia several years ago, there were days when she said some pretty unusual and mean-spirited things. If you took these statements at face value, you might have felt hurt by them. But I more or less understood that it was the brain-chemical-imbalance-thingee doing the talking. She got herself into treatment, and she's been doing fine ever since.

I even allow the possibilty that adults in our society should have a right to simply "disappear" if they so choose. About five years ago, a former coworker of mine disappeared. He was a likable corporate exec with a family that was well-known and well-respected for its large number of adopted children. When he never returned home from a meeting, his family reported that he had "no major issues in his life". Several months later, someone spotted him working as a waiter in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Apparently he had just freaked out and decided to start a new life somewhere else. As far as I know, he didn't return to his family, and no charges were filed.

One problem, of course, is the massive, expensive investigation and search that usually follows the disappearance. Especially when you do something really stupid like fake your abduction. Or (in my coworker's case) leave some personal belongings scattered down by the river.

Look, it's ok to be depressed and stupid. It's even ok to cause some hurt feelings by your stupidity. But when it comes time for you to pick your depressed and stupid act, just try to pick one that doesn't cause real harm or real expense to others. Like a $250 Waterford Crystal ice bucket. (wink). Leave somebody a note, then go forth and enjoy your freakout.

You'll have my support.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Get Smart

Sorry, but this is just creepy to me. I suppose it's ok to put a kid on this list, but a kid who was abducted and forced to act like a wife for nine months? It's just inappropriate, especially coming from the same magazine that also names the sexiest people alive. 'Nuff said.