Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

On my way into work this morning, they were doing a thing on the radio, talking about how Halloween costumes can speak to a person's personality. For example, if someone routinely dresses up as fairy tale characters, it means they have an optimistic streak and think things will work out eventually. (Naive fools!) Whereas if someone dresses up as an evil character from the aforementioned fairy tales, they're showing off their naughty side. If they dress up like a sexbomb, they're ready to be a little less sexually inhibited. (And here I thought whore attire for Halloween had simply become pretty much mandatory for anyone over 18 who still dresses up. No tits, no treats.)

Then they started blathering on about different couple outfits and what sort of relationship the couple has, and that's when I turned it off because I don't care about happy couples, and I especially don't care about ones who dress in tandem for Halloween. (There just aren't enough bite-size Snickers to mask my deep-seated bitterness.) So I didn't hear what deep psychological problem it speaks to if you repeatedly dress as a serial killer or monster for Halloween.

But I did a quick mental recap of my past "adult" costumes, and here are some I recall. See if you can spot a trend:


Liza Minnelli

Blanche DuBois

Zelda Fitzgerald

Cruella DeVille

Yeah. In case you're still not getting it, my main accessory was generally something similar to this:

So on Halloween, instead of indulging in deep-seated fantasies, I tend to live out my everyday life, only with more extravagant clothing, and sometimes a cigarette holder. Cin-cin! The moral of this story? Smirnoff trumps Snickers.

What sort of profile would your costumes over the years create?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rebellion: Myfanwy

This week, I want to wish a happy birthday to Myfanwy Collins!

In case you don't know Myfanwy, she's a generous, charming, and extremely talented writer, and she embodies those same qualities as a person. She's an experienced editor, having been the flash fiction editor for Ink Pots and a guest editor for Smokelong. She's garnered plenty of acclaim and awards so far in her career, having been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, longlisted for the Carver award, a finalist in The Journal's 2006 William Allen Creative Nonfiction Contest, and she also took 3rd place Honorable Mention and Finalist in the 2005 Night Train Richard Yates Short Story Award Competition for her story "Freak Magnet".

Her short story "Have You Seen Us" is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. And here are a couple of links to some of her work online, both fiction from Smokelong Quarterly and CNF from Agni and Lit Pot.

She was born in Montreal but moved to the Adirondack Mountains in New York when she was young, and she currently lives in New England.

I'm an avid reader of Myfanwy's work, and what always strikes me is how much emotion she's able to coil into her characters and plots. She brings scenes to life, not through overly-descriptive passages, but through carefully chosen, evocative words. And when you reach the end of her works, the tightly coiled spring pops with reward.

And Myfanwy, she is also a Rebel. Her haunting story "Marlborough" is one of the treats of the 2006 Best Book Awards Finalist. You can visit her online at www.myfanwycollins.com or http://myfanwy.blogspot.com. And while at her blog, be sure to check out her fabulous "My Secret Shame" postings.

1) Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do you think they've influenced you?

First, let me say thank you to for you interviewing me, Susan. It’s generous of you. Okay. This is always a tough question for me because I have so many favorites—always new ones added. As far as influence, I would say that reading poetry has influenced me in a big way. Poetry makes me pay attention to sound, to the impact of a single image, to the importance of heart.

2) What do you think is your greatest strength or asset in your writing? Your biggest weakness or flaw?

My greatest asset is stubbornness. I will never give up. My biggest weakness is self-doubt, anxiety, fear. These two things play off each other, of course, and so I am an insomniac.

3) I know you've written short stories and creative non-fiction. Do you ever dabble in poetry? How about novel length?

I love poetry but I do not write it. I did in college for creative writing classes and whatnot but it was always really bad poetry. I also have some tragic poems from my twenty-something years. I have written a few novels—my first as a senior in college for an honor’s project. My most recent novel is represented by a terrific agency, who have been really supportive of me. It will be going out to publishers sometime soonish.

4) You're prolific. Do you have several projects going at once, or do you buzz through one thing at a time? Do you ever do a mix-and-match where themes from one story bleed into another one and then change what you'd set out to do? Or, do you have a strong idea of what you're going to do with each piece and then just follow that to completion? Also, part B to this question—not only do you write like crazy, you publish quite a bit. Does the grind of submitting ever interfere with your writing? Or is that part of the reward for you – getting acceptances?

I do have several going on at once, though I try my best to focus. If I’m focused on one thing and an idea for another comes along, I write down some notes on the idea and then get back to the main focus project. I like your mix-and-match question—I don’t think I do this but I probably do. Right now I’m embarking on a new project which is maybe going to be a novel in stories and so there I think this idea will come into play. As for having a strong idea about where something is going—I might think I do, but I really don’t. I’m always surprised by the end product.

The grind of submitting absolutely interferes with my writing. I find I cannot do the two things at once. I used to work as a project manager because I’ve always been (even as a child) focused on seeing one thing through to completion and then moving on to the next (but, as I said in Part A, I do not shunt ideas aside because of this, instead I mark them for the future). I’m sort of obsessive-compulsive and so to have anything half done drives me nutty. Okay, so what does this have to do with submitting? Well, I typically submit in batches and this requires research and printing and collating and trips to the post office, etc. So when I’m in office manager mode, my writing brain just doesn’t kick in—or at least I haven’t found a way for it to yet.

5) You also blog. From your blog comments, I can never really pigeonhole your tastes. Do you have favored genres or types that you prefer to read, or are you wide open?

My tastes are WIDE open because I am greedy that way. I love to entertained. I want to be moved. I want to be kicked in the ass. I want to laugh. I am obsessed with popular culture. I love television and movies. I love genre, I love literary. More, just give me more!

6) Stock question: Dinner with anyone, dead or alive. Who is it?

My mother. She is dead and having dinner with her one last time would be lovely. I would even cook so she could see how well she taught me.

7) One CD, one book, one DVD and a desert island. What book, CD, and DVD do you take?

One CD (it’s a double CD—so I hope that’s okay): Yo Yo Ma / Bach / Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites
One DVD: Woody Allen’s Manhattan
Book: Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

8) Other than fiction writing, what's the biggest lie you ever told?

I guess it would be the time I was grocery shopping with my mum and I stole a pack of gum right while we were at the register. She turned to me and asked me if I wanted any money for candy and I said no. I knew that she knew I had taken the gum. It was a moment of pure shame. Okay, so that’s not really a lie but it sort of is.

9) Suppose you can't have both: Would you rather have respect from your peers and critical acclaim (but not making cash from writing), or would you rather be a bestselling author with the fat coin?

Respect and acclaim, hands down.

Thanks so much, Myfanwy. Looking forward to your novel!

Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction is a finalist in the 2006 Best Book Awards and is now available from Rebel Press, or Amazon.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Phaze Snugglers

Phaze is a publisher specializing in erotica and erotic romance. I'm pleased to announce that a story of mine has been accepted for their holiday-themed Phaze Snugglers line. I realize it's not quite Halloweeen yet, and I'll have full details when the story is available, which will be mid-November. But I can tell you that it'll be a $2 download and it's about a hot and dirty little romance that takes place around Christmas, and it's called "'Twas the Night after Christmas".

Here's the official announcement from Phaze:

The Holidays can't get here fast enough! Go to Phaze's homepage and check out our latest ebook teaser trailer featuring our upcoming Snuggler line. The first of these holiday-themed stories will be released at the beginning of November.

Here's a list of our Snuggler stories and authors:

Fairy Tail - Courtney Bee
San Diego Sunset - Alessia Brio and Will Belegon
Midwinter's Night - Michael Barnette
Santa's Helper - Yvette Hines
The Ice Butterfly - Vivien Dean
Cold Hands, Warm... - Jade Falconer
A Winter's Dare - Leigh Ellwood
Melting the Ice Queen - Aurora Black
He Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Cat Johnson
S'mores - Jalena Burke
Snow Falling on Lovers - Adrianna Dane
Proving Santa Exists - Victoria Blisse
Halfpipe Romance - Kate Burns
Twas the Night After Christmas - Susan DiPlacido

Don't get left out in the cold!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I am teh sad.

I'm sad for the Mets. It was a good NLCS series, and game 7 was a really good game. Once again, Oliver Perez stepped it up and did a great job. It looked like disaster in the sixth inning when Willie Randolph let Perez pitch to Scott Rolen with Edmonds on first. Rolen drilled one to left field but Met Endy Chavez leapt and pulled the ball back over the wall with an ice-cream cone catch, and then sweetened the treat by doubling Edmonds off of first. In the bottom of that inning, Rolen made a horrible throwing error and the Mets loaded the bases but just couldn't score and the game stayed tied at 1-1.

The Mets had a great year, tying the Yanks for the best record in baseball. And in the end, it wasn't the injuries to their starting pitching that did them in this series. Ironic to the rest of the season, their awesome bullpen gave up the runs, and their stacked lineup fell silent in key opportunities. After Cards catcher Molina hit a two run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Cards on top 3-1, the Mets had their chance again in the bottom of the inning, loading up the bases against Adam Wainwright. The Mets had the right guy at the plate in Carlos Beltran, who's racked up quite the impressive stats against the Cards. But rookie Wainwright clearly has confidence in his curve -- and he should. I can't fault the Met hitters for freezing in the box when he'd throw it, especially as a follow up to his live fastball, because even as a viewer watching the pitch, it's momentarily confusing. And freeze Beltran is exactly what Wainwright did, ending the game on a called third strike with the bases loaded.

As heartbreakers go, this game really was about an 8.75 on a 1-10 scale. I'm not mad at the Mets. They did good. They did great. I never really expected them to overcome the loss of Martinez and El Duque. But Paul Lo Duca handled the potentially shaky starters extremely well, calling good game after good game. And Maine and Perez kept their shit together and got the job done. Wright struggled at the plate the whole post-season, but Delgado came big a number of times and I really can't fault anyone. The Mets had a nice, classy club this year. It was a great series. The ending just really fucking sucked.

And, frankly, I don't need Tommy LaSorda laying a guilt trip on me about not being stoked for the World Series. I am a fucking baseball fan, okay? But I don't like the Cards; I think they've got a lot of bona-fide assholes on that team. And the DH just REALLY fucking irritates me. So even though I'm familiar with some of the Detroit players and wish them well, I just cannot tolerate or root for an American League team.

It's no big secret that baseball is no longer America's pastime. And it's also no secret that it loses fans every year. I could write a dissertation about why baseball is hemorrhaging and dying faster than Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy. (Okay, I won't write the whole essay, but it might have a little something to do with old fans dying off and the fact that although it's the greatest -- and most original -- sport going, it's also a generational thing that has to be passed on to be appreciated. Not to mention the plethora of problems with the business of baseball that are fairly grotesque.)

Now, no disrespect to LaSorda, cause I love the guy. But suffice to say that the way to woo current viewers and add new ones isn't to have some old guy being crabby and taunting fans in promo spots. You wanna entice people to watch, Tommy? How about replaying that ass-over-tin-cups tumble you took when you got nailed with the line drive while you were coaching third base during the All-Star game a few years ago. Like I said, I love you, man. But that was some funny shit. That might tempt a few people to tune in, hoping that they get to see a macabre scene like that.

I don't blame LaSorda for the spots though. He's doing what he can for the sport, because he's an ambassador. I blame the marketing idiots at Fox who came up with the idea. And since I'm on Fox, it was also a blatantly pandering move to fire Steve Lyons. And pandering to whom, exactly? Lou Piniella? Latinos? I don't fucking know. But it was pandering to someone. Lyons cracked a joke and got canned, that's what I know. And yet they allow Tim McCarver to prattle on endlessly with his asinine, grating commentary, year after year. And oh yeah -- while we're on the Fox broadcasting team? Those Holiday Inn commercials with Joe Buck? Suck.

Shitcan the condescending, accusatory promo spots, bring back Lyons, and tell McCarver to take a fucking breath once in a while, Fox. That might be a start to retaining some viewers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rebel Robin

To celebrate Rebellion being a finalist in the 2006 Best Book Awards, I'm going to be interviewing some of the other writers in the anthology over the next several weeks. This week, I'm so pleased to be kicking it off with Robin Slick, whose marvelous short story, "Daddy Left Me Alone with God," is the lead story in the anthology.

Robin is the author of:
Three Days in NYCAnother Bite of the Apple
Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and Buenos Noches, Justine, light-hearted erotic comedies published by Phaze Press. Robin's short stories have appeared in print and on the web—everywhere from heady places like In Posse Review and Slow Trains Literary Journal to give-heady places like Clean Sheets. She lives vicariously through her rock star offspring Julie and Eric Slick, who were featured in the Picturehouse Films documentary, Rock School, and are now members of the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Visit her online at www.robinslick.com and www.inherownwrite.blogspot.com.

I know Robin through a writer's group, and she's as funny, pretty, and talented as they come. She's got a fresh naturalness to her prose that's neither pretentious nor pedestrian. It's purely compelling and character-driven, with a deft touch and honesty that elevates it beyond chick-lit or erotica. Though, her erotica is pretty damn steamy, too. So please meet Robin.

1) Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do you think they've influenced you?

J.D. Salinger and Erica Jong. I'm not going to lie and tell you I read Raymond Carver and Barry Hannah when I was growing up - I didn't even know who they were though of course they are favorites now. I just wish it wasn't too late to be influenced/guided by their voices. But when I was eleven years old and read Catcher in the Rye, I knew at that moment I wanted to be a writer. I was the female Holden. And then I read Fear of Flying when I was around 18 and I thought Oh my god, you can mix literature with sex? Women can write about their affairs with humor and grace? So then I decided I was Erica.

2) What do you think is your greatest strength or asset in your writing? Your biggest weakness or flaw?

I guess strengthwise it's my voice and the fact that I can laugh at myself...therefore my characters are usually funny or get themselves in crazy situations. My biggest weakness is that I can't write descriptive passages. Bleh. But maybe it's because I have no patience reading them. Take Alice Munroe. Brilliant, brilliant writer. Wish I could write a short story that even comes close to something she puts out. But oh my god, she can spend pages writing about doilies and china patterns. I want to start screaming: Holy crap, get back to the story! But it's just jealousy. I'm unable to do it myself. It's all I can do to come up for a descriptive phrase when it's cold out other than Oh My God It's Freezing Out Here.

3) You write both erotica and non-erotic pieces. Do you tend to get in the "erotic" frame of mind beforehand, or can some stories just pick up that extra heat along the way?

I cheat when I write erotica. I write a funny chick lit story, get drunk on a bottle of good wine, and go back and add the sex scenes. Both editors I've had at Phaze have sent my original manuscripts back for Three Days in New York City and Another Bite, telling me to add more sex and be more...arghhh...descriptive. I'm going to try something new for the next one, though. I'm gonna get drunk first and have a Neil Gaiman fantasy.

4) When did you first get the feeling not that you wanted to write, but that you could be so successful at it? What are you working on now?

I never thought I could be successful at writing and still can't believe people actually buy my books. I thought my friends were just humoring me when they read my work. And when editors take my short stories now, I think to myself "Oh. It's because they like me and think I'm a character, not because I'm brilliant." (I've meet a lot of editors over the past six years through Zoetrope, readings in New York, and my blog). Right now I'm working on the book I've wanted to write my entire life. It's creative non-fiction...a memoir that's highly exaggerated...called Daddy Left Me Alone With God. It's about a baby boomer who refuses to believe she's not a kid anymore -- a woman with a rock and roll groupie past who is now living vicariously through her rock star children. While on tour with them, she meets up with a man she had an affair with when she was seventeen (and he was twenty-seven)...he was a famous rock star then and still is today...and even though she's married now and has given up her wild ways, when these two former lovers meet up now all kinds of crazy things happen... and our heroine must decide if she will finally grow up and come to terms with middle age or take the path she wishes she took with this man twenty five years ago.

5) You also blog. Do you think this helps inspire your books, or are the two unrelated?

Ugh. My blog. I am as addicted to blogging as I've ever been to any drug. Wait. I wasn't really ever addicted to any drug...bad analogy. Ahem. Anyway, no, blogging doesn't inspire my writing at all. It takes the place of my real writing, damn it. Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't be happier as a non fiction columnist. All the energy I used to pour into my writing at 5:00 a.m. every morning I now spend blogging. But here's the thing. I've met people from all over the world via my blog, even some major celebrities are daily readers (they email me!)...and once when I said I was thinking of ending the blog because of the time drain, I literally got around 500 emails from as far away as Norway and Japan, begging me not to stop. So like, I have this ego, you know? And now I can't only not stop blogging, I feel the need to be "fabulous" every day in said blog. Ack! Now today I have nothing new to report in my blog (which is rare) and I'm miserable. That's just not right. Luckily I have this interview with you to do or I'd be eating a dozen donuts for breakfast in frustration.

6) Stock question: Dinner with anyone, dead or alive. Who is it?

Ooh, I want both. I want dinner with an alive Neil Gaiman because I'm currently infatuated with him in every way possible. Christ. He's even got me reading his graphic novels right now. Who'd have thunk it. Dead...John Lennon. I've said this before but John is the closest thing I've ever had to a hero. My blog is named for John's incredible book of prose poetry -- In His Own Write.

7) One CD, one book, one DVD and a desert island. What book, CD, and DVD do you take?

The CD will probably surprise you, but it's by a band called Savoy Brown and it's called "Raw Sienna". It's 36 years old and every time I listen to it, I still get the chills. It's music to write to, music to have sex to...music that makes my soul rise. The book would have been Catcher in the Rye but since I've read it a thousand times, I'm gonna switch gears and get in another Gaiman plug...Smoke and Mirrors, his collection of short stories. Oh crap. Maybe I'd take his new one, Fragile Things. Or American Gods. Can you tell I have a a problem right now? Ick. I'm a middle aged groupie. Someone gag me. Please. DVD? A Clockwork Orange. Hands down my favorite movie ever.

8) You're going to be editing a book. What made you decide to take the leap from writing to editing?

Ha ha - I didn't. My publisher asked me. We were kicking around ideas for anthologies, and as you know, Phaze does erotica, paranormal stuff...we're all over the place. So some of the fantasy analogies being discussed didn't appeal to me...then I got the idea for sex over forty since, um, that's what I relate to these days and I just happen to be working on a novel with that theme as discussed above...and I have a short story I've been working on that's an out-take from the book. So when I suggested that anthology, I got a private off-list email asking me How would you like to edit it...and include your own story of course..and also be in charge of the selections? I mean, how could I turn that down? I'm currently going after a big name author for this, too, so Susan, I'm hoping you submit to this as well because as you know, I think your writing really rocks.

Also, and don't let this get out or everyone and their mother from Zoetrope will start emailing me, but I love to edit other writers' works. Well, good writers, that is. I edited two lit mags before I got burnt out...then Phaze asked me to edit one of their books and when I didn't say no, they started sending me more, and before I knew it, I'm on their payroll as an editor. I'm really enjoying myself. I just wish I could see the obvious errors in my own work the way I can pick them out instantly in the works of others.

9) Suppose you can't have both: Would you rather have respect from your peers and critical acclaim (but not making cash from writing), or would you rather be a bestselling author with the fat coin?

Bestselling with the fat coin. D'oh, that's a no brainer. I'm never going to have respect and critical acclaim. I'm too raw and I am so far from being literary it's not even funny. I want enough money to travel all around the world every year and own real estate in the UK. All kidding aside, I just want to write. Very few writers earn enough to do it full time. So yeah, I want the fat coin so that I can just sit at my computer and write what I want and not worry that they are going to turn off my electricity. As far as fame goes, that I can live without. I'm a loner who interacts very well on the computer but in the real world, I'm the one who hides in the corner at parties and gets drunk in an effort to be sociable, only to run to the bathroom and throw up once I have more than three drinks. And then I spend the next week under the covers in bed agonizing about what a fool I made of myself and how I'm never going out in public again.

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Robin.

And, of course, along with Robin's novels, you can also find her in the Rebellion anthology, available at Rebel's website or via Amazon.

Next week, I'll have a little chat with the charming Rebel Myfanwy Collins.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rebellion: USA Book News Finalist

Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction is a finalist in the USA Book News 2006 Best Book Awards!

Rebellion does, indeed, feature some tremendous writing from some very talented folks. And it's also got a story of mine in it! Complete details about the book, including online excerpts, are available on Rebel's website.

Congrats to all the contributors:
Robin Slick • Susan DiPlacido • Tom Saunders • Steve Hansen
Katrina DenzaMyfawny CollinsMarcus Grimm • T.J. Forrester
Grant JarrettMatt St. Amand • Tripp Reade • Donald Capone

And an even bigger congrats, and a heartfelt thanks, to the publisher, Rebel Press. Truly, being included in this book makes me so happy and proud.

12 great writers. 12 great stories. 1 dollar a story.
ISBN # 0-9786738-0-8
192 Pages

It's available for purchase direct from Rebel, so if you're interested, please see their website or use the handy-dandy little button on the sidebar over there. And, if it's easier, the book is also available at Amazon.

Tiramisu Teams

The Mets kicked the everloving shit out of the Cards last night to even up the NLCS series at 2-2. I'm so proud of them. Delgado and Beltran are stepping up big with their bats, the bullpen is doing their job, and who'da thunk that Oliver Perez would be able to turn in the winning pitching performance that he did after a 3-13 regular season? That's what October baseball is all about -- stepping up and not giving up. It really looked crappy for the Mets when their starting pitching rotation got dealt what should've been a 1-2 KO. But they've been able to hold their shit together and give us some good, even great, games anyhow. And now tonight the old man takes the mound again. With only three days rest, 40 year old Cy Young winner Tom Glavine will try and bring the Mets up to 3-2 in this series. He's definitely got experience. And he's definitely a fighter.

Detroit has now been dubbed the "team of destiny" for this year. Whatever. I can't say anything bad about Detroit, because they're a bunch of young kids and, frankly, I like watching them. Also, the town I live in currently hosts the AA farm club for Detroit. So a few short years ago, I was watching a lot of the guys on their current roster as they played at our ballpark. Interestingly, the team sucked. You'd think with all those now-blossomed stars, they would've been good. They weren't. They sucked. Finished last. Shit happens.

Anyhow, the whole destiny thing can bite me. Maybe the Mets will go to the Series, and maybe not. But they aren't playing like a conglomeration of entitled pricks, and they aren't treating this playoff trip as everyday business. So I'm proud of them no matter what. But I still hope they kick the holy hell out of St. Louis and then prove there's no such thing as fate and it's all about free will.

That said, their post-season pitching woes did make me think of a fun little change that could make for some interesting post-season shake-ups. Remember playing pick-up games as a kid? And you know how teams can expand their roster for the post-season? Try this on for an idea: Every year, the teams that make the playoffs are allowed to expand their roster by an extra two players -- and they can pick players from any team that doesn't make the playoffs.

It'd be good for the "business" side of baseball (which usually repulses me, what with their interleague bullshit) because a couple of big name players from clubs who had lackluster years could stay in the spotlight by hooking up with another team. It'd give writers and announcers weeks of copy and chit-chat speculating about who each team will go after. And I'm sure the union would find a way to make hay out of it all, too. (As long as everyone can engage in blatant profiteering, it's all good.)

And it'd be good for the "game" part of baseball. Pick-ups are fun, man! No one can cry about getting a ringer, cause everyone has the chance to pick-off a big gun to use as their own personal mercenary. (And it would give everyone the chance to ignore Barry Bonds!)

So that's my brainstorming done, and I'm sure we're all glad for that. Good luck tonight, Tommy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mets to NLCS!

YAY Mets!! They're going to the NLCS, while that other team from NY got knocked out this weekend. I was concerned for the Mets, because although that other team was having absurd praises sung about its lineup, being called "Murderer's Row plus Cano," I knew the Mets actually had the better bats. They probably have the best lineup in baseball this year. But the dearth of starting pitching after some injuries had me worried. Luckily, the Mets also have the best bullpen in baseball. So if they can get four decent innings from a starter, they've got a good chance to win the game.

It never fails to amaze me how this game always comes down to fundamentals, and how people tend to forget that. A fundamental rule of baseball: Good pitching stops good hitting. And there's been all sorts of talk about that other NY team and what happened and why they "collapsed". (You can get lots of informative and funny commentary about them at Designated Blogger.) And I'll admit I spent a huge amount of time on Sunday morning watching the sports news shows as they all did their reports on it, and I laughed my ass off the whole time. At noon, I turned to my friend and said, "Are we getting sick of this yet?" And he said, "Hell no!" And I had to agree. Nasty, yes. Nevertheless. But my point is this: It still came down to pitching. New York had some old, run-down guys. I don't care how big their paychecks are, or how cute Mussina is. They're old. And Detroit? Their pitchers threw the shit out of the ball! People can blame and analyze all they want, but the Detroit pitchers dominated.

Anyhow, in sad news, my main man Mike Piazza and his team, the Padres, are now out of the playoffs. So the Mets will face the Cards, and let's be honest, who the hell cares what the hell is going on in the AL?

Also this weekend, I went to see the new Scorsese flick The Departed. Excellent. Loved it. This is a remake of the hugely popular (and fantastic) Hong Kong flick Internal Affairs. but Scorsese puts his stamp on it, and you can't get away from the outstanding acting. Now listen, I know, I KNOW people hate Leo, probably because of his over-the-top success from Titanic. But he's clearly Scorsese's new DeNiro, and can you seriously watch these pictures and tell me he's not fantastic? I mean, did you see The Aviator? He killed. And he does again in this movie.

30 years after Taxi Driver, Scorsese is still seamlessly blending "films" and "movies" to make the best pictures possible. I can't wait to see how the Oscars are going to fuck the guinea out of his award this year. Though it was crap that they blew him off for Raging Bull and then utterly laughable that they pwned him by handing the joke that's Kevin Coster an award for his melodrama "statement" movie over the benchmark Goodfellas, I figured maybe they just couldn't stomach anything nasty. Especially something that so perfectly showed the terrible beauty of violence. But when Marty didn't get his due for The Aviator, I just didn't know what to make of it. I still love that flick. It's absolutely amazing. The Departed doesn't have the lushness that The Aviator did, and it doesn't have a grand liberal message, either. So he's still pretty much fucked. But he's also still making the best movies in the world.

Last thought for a Monday? No matter how hard your workweek gets, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not this guy:

That's right. Proof that a $252 million salary doesn't necessarily mean your life will be a bed of roses.

Here's hoping to four good innings from Met starters this coming week.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wotta Game!

Just as it looked like the playoffs were going to go sour for the Mets, they and the Dodgers turned in game worthy of postseason excitement. El Duque is out. Martinez is out. Trachsel was "unavailable."

What the fuck are you going to do? Forfeit? Hell no! So toss the rookie out there! YAY to John Maine for holding his shit together for the Mets. But an even bigger YAY to Paul Lo Duca for helping Maine keep his shit together by tagging out two runners at home plate. Now that's exciting shit!

Lots of people will say that the home run is the most exciting thing in baseball, but they're dead wrong. Home runs are possibly the most difficult feat in all of sports, but they're also a bit pedestrian and common. Plus, there's not a lot of suspense or tension beforehand. The most exciting play in baseball is the suicide squeeze. Now that's drama. But close on its heels is any play at the plate. And when Dodger JD Drew ran right up the ass of Jeff Kent after a right-field double, a perfect relay made for double excitement as Lo Duca tagged out Kent at the plate, turned, and saw Drew barreling in and nailed his ass, too!

That's some exciting shit, man!

Young Maine did good enough, and the rest of the team picked him up and got the win. You've heard of May-December romances, right? Well, tonight the Mets will showcase a sort of B.C.- A.D. affair by starting 40 year old, 290 game winner Tom Glavine. Tom's got experience alright. Plenty of experience tucked in between the Ben Gay and Depends. Oh, now. I jest because I love Tommy. And the Mets.

Monday, October 02, 2006

'Tis Autumn

The leaves change, the sun sinks, and the air cools. That means two things to me: Baseball playoffs begin, and new TV starts.

I'm extremely excited about the Mets this year. They tied with the Yanks for the best record in baseball. I worry a bit now that Pedro Martinez is out for the playoffs, but I'm also vaguely hoping for a Maddux-Glavine matchup as they take on the Dodgers in the first round.

TV in general? I don't know that I'm quite so excited. I like the addition of Craig Bierko to Boston Legal, because Craig is a hottie and funny. You might recall him as Carrie's jazzman boyfriend on Sex and the City. I also like what they're trying to do with his character -- making him Alan Shore version 1.0, now that James Spader's Alan Shore has evolved into a more comfortable and cuddly territory, and is at version 3.0 or so. They tend to bring on new characters to this show and then don't have a clue as to how to write for them, so they end up benching them and then ditching them and writing exclusively for Alan and Denny. I don't mind. But maybe by creating a retro-Alan they'll be able to work up some zing for Bierko.

What truly displeases me about this TV season is The Bachelor. I do not like the show. I do not watch the show. Yes, I had a kneejerk reaction against it based on principles, but I also think it's assholey to judge something without seeing what it's really all about. So I watched it a few times. I did this not so much to prove/disprove my assumptions, but because it's a big topic of discussion at my office, and I hate missing out on water cooler talk. Plus, this show made the leap in our office to having a betting pool created for it, and I REALLY hate missing out on those. But after watching it, I realized my kneejerk assumptions were correct and that it made me ill. So I don't watch it, and I get left out of the next day chit-chat and betting pool. But this year the producers have fucked me over double by setting it in Rome. I'm a complete sucker for Rome, and I also assume they'll be going to other fabulous places in Italy like Lake Como and Venice. And since I can't go to Italy, the best I can do is watch it on TV. But now I have to watch it with a gaggle of pinheaded, superficial, materialistic, competitive, bitchy, fame-mongering whores cluttering up the view of the coliseum. Fucking hateful ABC.

The bright side to this is that I'll tune in to see how much of Rome they'll be putting on the screen, and if I keep watching for the scenery, I'll have a bounty of groteque bitches to mock on a weekly basis.