Friday, October 31, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Fishbowl by Sarah Mlynowski
2. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
3. Trading Up by Candace Bushnell
4. Why Girls Are Weird by Pamela Ribon
5. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Last 5 Flicks I Watched...

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
2. Sylvia
3. War Photographer
4. Three Seasons
5. The Godfather Part II
NY Knicks Drop Opener in OT... It's going to be a long season. Game 1 of the 2003-04 NBA season and I'm already irked. The Knicks blew a 10 point 4th quarter lead and Tracy McGrady and the Magic came back to knock off the lowly Knicks in overtime.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat yesterday? My morning started off with green tea and an extra crispy English muffin with heavy butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. For lunch, a salami and provolone sandwich and a slice of pound cake. For dinner I ate a cheeseburger deluxe, iced tea with lemon and a slice of cheesecake at the Manhattan Diner. Afterwards, I drank 2 shots of Jagermeister and had 4 1/2 pints of Brooklyn Lager before I had a late night snack of a slice of pizza.
Wednesday's Politico Roundup: War Photographer

I recently viewed the documentary film War Photographer which chronicled the life of James Nachtwey, regarded by his peers to be the best war photographer... ever. His images are some of the most striking I have ever seen. His photos and many others are often never seen by the public. Most newspapers are afraid to publish similar photos because their advertisers do not want to share ad space on the same page with dire images of famine, war, poverty, and disease. It seems that those images and sad stories might lead the readers to overlook the soft drink or sneaker ad on the adjacent column. If more politicans viewed Jim Nacthwey's photos and took the time to hear his stories about the strife he encountered all over the world and even on the streets of America, perhaps they would certainly use more discretion with their decisions on serious worldy social issues like children soldiers in Western Africa or the increasing poverty in an econimically vibrant Indonesia.

War Photographer was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Film in 2001. We get to follow along with Jim to Rawanda, Indonesia, and Palestine and witness what he sees and experiences on one of his dangerous assignments. His photographs are honest and horrible. He has captured some of the darkest moments that humanity has ever unleashed onto one another. Nachtwey comes off as a humble man, who believes that his pictures can help.

Jim Nachtwey started his epic career in 1981 documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. His projects include extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Northern Ireland, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

He has won several awards for his photographs including the Robert Capa Gold Medal (5 times), the World Press Photo Award (2 times), Magazine Photographer of the Year (6 times), the ICP Infinity Award (3 times), and the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (2 times).

You can see selections from his life's work at his website: jamesnachtwey.com. Check out Shattered a photo essay about 9.11 that he completed for Time Magazine.

Be sure you read his touching Personal Statement where he admits that: "the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke a sense of humanity. If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war and if it is used well it can be a powerful ingredient in the antidote to war."
Submitting to Sports is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson and appears on ESPN.com's Page 2, where the Good Doctor sounds off on gambling, football, and nostalgia.

Here's a bit: "Ah, but nevermind these silly gambling stories ... They are nothing, compared to the nasty spectacle of George Steinbrenner and his pampered, overpaid Yankees failing to take the World Series for the third straight time. It is getting harder and harder to remember the last time the Yanks won a World Championship. How many times do we have to hear about Derek Jeter running around with women in night clubs? Or the dirty little fool who reached onto the field and destroyed the dreams of the whole Chicago Cub nation, just because he wanted to grab himself another little white two-dollar baseball."

Wed Poem: The Scream in the Bell Jar

Sad, tired, lanky girl, Tried to write and channel
Her anger, her agony, her love
Onto pages, but they kept on
Sliding off the page of heavy bonded
Paper, while
Slippery tears and jilted reviews from dirty men
With bad teeth annoyed her,
Crying babies taunted her,
Ghosts poked her,
Until she turned on the gas,
Sealed the cracks, and
Drfited away to a place were her pain
Disappeared.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Jesus' Son: Stories by Denis Johnson
2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
3. Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe
4. Slackjaw by Jim Knipfel
5. The Holy Bible

11 Q's: October Edition


It's back! You asked the questions, and I finally answered them! Sit back and enjoy the October Edition of 11 Q's!
1. What is your favorite vice?
2. If you saw a kid in the park being attacked by killer African bees, would you help him?
3. Have you ever stolen anything? If so, what was the most expensive item you've pilfered?
4. If you had an unlimited budget and could go to any restaurant in America for dinner, where would you go, what would you order, and who would you take with you?
5. How does Pauly survive on no sleep and a liquid diet? Men have been trying to do this for years, but to no avail. What's your secret?
6. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now?
7. What is your take on Nick and Jessica's MTV reality show - The Newlyweds? Is Jessica Simpson really that stupid?
8. Is there anything better than finding a new pizza place with awesome pizza?
9. What was your most satisfying experience with drugs?
10. Would you like to know the precise date of your death?
11. If 100 people were chosen at random, how many more do you feel would be leading a more satisfying life than you?

And now the answers...

1. What is your favorite vice? - Derek, NYC

Gambling. No doubt. Writing too. I consider that more of a passion and a true calling, but in general terms, I see how it’s a vice for me. I love to gamble. The best part about working on Wall Street was that I got paid to gamble… with other’s people’s money. The financial markets the last few years were trickier than playing blackjack Las Vegas, except when you lose all your money in the stock market you don’t get any free drinks. I like to break down my gambling into three aspects: Stock Market, Sports Wagering, and Poker. In the last year I have been what you call a loser. I got hammered in the stock market. Although I did fairly well on gambling on the college basketball tournament, I am down for the year in sports betting. And just recently, after I built up a mediocre bankroll that I won playing poker in casinos all over America… I had lost it all trying to get into the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods. Back to square one. Do not fear, I’ll be back in Vegas in December!


2. If you saw a kid in the park being attacked by killer African bees, would you help him? - Gil, Brooklyn, NY

Most likely no. I would definitely go home and blog the incident, perhaps write a short story exploiting the young man’s anguish and pain for my own personal literary musings. Besides, they are “killer bees”. Why would I risk my life for a random kid? Where’s his parents? Who lets their kids run amuck in the park, while there is a swarm of killer bees?


3. Have you ever stolen anything? If so, what was the most expensive item you've pilfered? - Armando, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Of course. I’ve robbed dozens of people when I worked on Wall Street. Gotta love white collar crime. I cannot say how much, but I got to eat nice sushi a lot and I got my shoes shined everyday. Then there was the time I stole a woman away from her boyfriend. And without a doubt, she was priceless. You can’t put a price tag, nor a fair monetary amount on the value of a woman who leaves their current relationship to be with you.


4. If you had an unlimited budget and could go to any restaurant in America for dinner, where would you go, what would you order, and who would you take with you? - Skippy, Tampa, FL

I would take twelve vegans and six Hindus to Peter Lugar’s steakhouse here in NYC. I would eat six porterhouse steaks with bacon on the side, making sure I make “Mooooo-ing” sounds and kept my mouth opened when I chewed. I would drag four lactose intolerant people to the Cheesecake Factory in Philadelphia. I would find ten people recently recovering from stomach stapling surgery, and make them go to the “all you can eat breakfast buffet” at Shoney’s in Macon, Georgia. I would take a busload of kids, who are allergic to peanuts, and treat them to Samui Happy Thai Palace in Seattle for dinner.


5. How does Pauly survive on no sleep and a liquid diet? Men have been trying to do this for years, but to no avail. What's your secret? - Jessica, Jersey City, NJ

Sheer will power. The no sleep is not something I particulary want. I wish I could stay asleep, but without the assistance of heavy zoo-like tranquailizers (the ones they use on rhinos and elephants) I'm lucky to get 4 or 5 hours max a night. The liquid diet is an excuse to watch sports on TV. If I go to a bar and have a drink, and if the TV is on, well shit, I usually have no choice but to sit and watch. Either way, booze makes ignorning the commercials a little more easier.


6. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now? - Edgar, Thunder Bay, Canada

That depends if we Americans invade Canada and make them our 51st state. We could use the oil and natural gas reserves, plus our homegrown ice hockey players have not been as good of a crop as they used to. But to seriously answer your question, for the Top 1% in the world, they will find 2103 to be a better place. With advances in technology, science, and medicine, they will lead lives that we can only peek at in science fiction novels and films. However, for the rest of the world, all 99% of them, which would be 12 Billion people by 2100 (the world’s population is expected to double), poverty and disease will run rampant in the third world, where overcrowding has grown to epidemic proportions (India, China, Brazil, Nigeria). The scary part is that half of them will be members of Islam, mostly all peaceful, but some will be influenced by their dangerous fanatical leaders, reading to stomp out the Western world like a dirty cockroach in my kitchen.


7. What is your take on Nick and Jessica's MTV reality show - The Newlyweds? Is Jessica Simpson really that stupid? - Haley, NYC

I must confess something. My name is Pauly and I am a compulsive gambler, alcoholic, drug addict… who enjoys watching Newlyweds. I know. I should be shot. I think I lose IQ points every time I watch MTV, so I make sure I read 2 hours of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky for every hour of MTV watched. And to defend Jessica, I don’t think she is that stupid. I mean, I know she won’t be appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy anytime soon, but I don’t expect her to performing brain surgery. If she said stupid shit all the time, there would be more “sound bites” of her dim-witted remarks. Alas, after hours and hours of film footage, the directors and producers spliced it down to a couple of idiotic remarks (about the tuna fish and the buffalo wings, etc.). Blondes do have some brains. But MTV is continuing to portray the stereotype for ratings, just like how COPS always shows black guys, without a t-shirts, getting chased down by a couple of deputies.


8. Is there anything better than finding a new pizza place with awesome pizza? - Jerry, Miami, FL

Not really. Sometimes you stumble upon places and they surprise you. It’s sad because it some parts of America, the best pizza around is Domino’s or Pizza Hut. People outside of NYC and Chicago are suffering. In California and in Seattle, they put too many toppings on there that don’t make sense to me. Broccoli? Carrots? Peas? Huh? In Tokyo, I ate a slice of pizza with corn, ham and potato wedges on it. In Amsterdam, I ate pizza with spicy spam, which gave me an upset stomach two days. Give me Italian Sausage and Pepperoni any day of the week.


9. What was your most satisfying experience with drugs? - Monica B., NYC

Dropping acid and writing these answers. Actually, I’m just kidding. I’m flying high on Oxycontin and Jack Daniels (Rush Limbaugh’s favorite mixer). OK, to be honest, the first time I dropped acid and saw the Grateful Dead… everything clicked. Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea what I’m talking about. The world made sense to me, and I finally understood my significance in it. Dropping acid at Graceland was interesting. But sometimes, the most satisfying experiences were on random days, when I was struggling to stay above water, on days when I felt like I was drowning in the ocean of life, and a toke, a hit, a bump, a pinch… soothed the raging winds whirling around inside me on those dark days, and I was able to get to the next day. Those are highly under rated moments.


10. Would you like to know the precise date of your death? - Senor, Providence, Rhode Island

No way. That would mean that I have 0% control over things in life, to know my time of death, yet have no power to change that. But if I did, I would borrow as much money as I could and blow it all on parties and good causes.


11. If 100 people were chosen at random, how many more do you feel would be leading a more satisfying life than you? - Rachel, NYC

One. I am fortunate to be a part of the Top 1% in this world, with instant access to money, education, health, and freedom. I sit at top of the big pile of shit we refer to as humanity, while 6 Billion people would be willing to trade places with me in a second. I think that there are some people who have kick ass lives, like the guy who wears the helmet camera for the Playboy Network, or Dave Atell, host of the TV show Insomniac, where he gets to drink in bars all over the world, crack jokes, and get paid to do that.
"There's more people on Reality TV programs than there are people living in reality." - Jimmy Kimmel

Monday, October 27, 2003

Truckin' 2003 (Vol 2., Issue 10)


Welcome back to another exciting issue. Tom Love returns with a story called The Twenty Dollar Mango. Since it's almost Halloween, I'd share a couple of Halloween Moments from years past. And I attempted to write a scary tale... Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. The Chill from an Open Window by Tenzin McGrupp
My life prior to that Halloween seemed outrageously normal. My parents appeared pleasant on the outside, holding up an iron-clad fa├žade, masking their odd quirks and hiding their multi-layer phobias with an intense discretion... More

2. The Twenty Dollar Mango by Tom Love
Frankie was a regular guy, what you might call a stand-up guy. It's just that he had a coupl'a bad habits... More

3. Halloween Moments by Tenzin McGrupp
I almost got into a fist fight with a cab driver, who looked like Gopher from the Love Boat and I wanted to kick his ass after he made fun of me... More

Previous Issues: September - August - July - June

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Choke: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
3. Race, Crime, and the Law by Randall Kennedy
4. Islam and Modernity: Muslim Intellectuals Respond by Ronald L. Nettler
5. Venus by Jane Feather
Fish Win World Series, Yankees Suck...

The Florida Marlins defetaed the Yankees 2-0 last night to win their second championship since 1997. Josh Beckett pitched on 3 days rest and earned MVP honors. Now it time to await the wrath of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, to see who he'll hold responsible for the Yankees failure to capture it's 27th championship. Mike Lupica thinks that the Yankees October demise is no surprise.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Coming Soon... The Blind Kangaroo

In exactly one week, I will begin writing my third novel (and my second since August). You can visit: The Blind Kangaroo for updates and a daily word count. I expect to have it complete before Thanksgiving and before Phish tour starts! If you want to write a 50,000 word (175 page) novel in a month and participate in NaNoWriMo... visit their website to read general information and rules as well as the FAQs.
Last 5 Flicks I Watched...

1. Old School
2. School of Rock
3. Night on Earth
4. Pieces of April
5. Saving Silverman
Book Review: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

"You are all a Lost Generation." - Gertrude Stein

When I first read The Sun Also Rises over fifteen years ago, I was captivated by Hemingway’s writing style and intrigued by his characters and the numerous settings where his novel takes place. A roughly fictionalized biography about his time in Paris and Spain (during post World War I) led me to believe as a young man that everything I read seemed as far away from my life (growing up in the Bronx) just as Saturn was a jillion miles away from Earth. But after I completed reading The Sun Also Rises for a second time, I found myself having a complete opposite reaction. Where I was at first attracted to the story because it represented everything I lacked, I found myself attracted to the story because all the themes Hemingway brought forth resembled aspects of my current life. At the core, The Sun Also Rises deals with a group of thirty-something expatriates struggling to figure out life (or just survive the brutality and ugliness of life), after experiencing the horrors of the Great War, where over 8 million people died in a short period of time. With his keen social observational skills, the result for Hemingway was one of the best books ever written about humanity after World War I, and is still being read almost eighty years after it was first published in 1926.

Hemingway’s novel opens with two quotes. One was from the poet Gertrude Stein, where she dubs her peers the "Lost Generation", a fitting remark considering that Hemingway’s characters seem bitter about the war, eager to wander around aimlessly, seeking adventure, while caught up in their own bubbles of personal tragedy.

Characters

Jake Barnes, Hemingway’s hero, is a WWI veteran, an American writer working for a local paper in Paris. We see the story through his eyes as he describes his friends and colleagues. Jake is unable to fulfill his desire for a woman in the hedonistic environment of the Roaring 20s, partly due to the lost innocence he endured from the horrors of war, as well as from the unidentified wound that he suffered on the battlefield, rending him impotent.

Lady Brett Ashley, is the independent English woman, who exerts great power over the men around her (Jake included), yet she is unable to commit to one man. Her somberness is related to the loss of her lover during the War, which explains why she has difficulty in being alone. Her loss could symbolize the Lost Generation’s search for shattered prewar values, love, and romance.

Robert Cohn, a writer from America and Princeton grad, is the classic outsider. A shy person by nature, his confidence grew as he achieved literary success, but he is driven by his anxiety and desire to fit in with Jake and his crowd, who often criticize him for not being a veteran. Because he is Jewish, Cohn is an easy target for the rest of the group who express their own insecurities and hostilities against him. He is the complete opposite of the typical Hemingway hero: falsely sentimental, maudlin about his emotions, with no honor and truth towards a personal code or any particular person, and completely self-involved.

Main Themes

The Lost Generation is a fancy way to fluff up the hard nosed, irresponsible living of many artists living in Europe after the Great War. Like Hemingway’s characters, the lot of them spent most of their time partying and drinking, and traveling in search of new adventures. The consistent active experience disguises and masks their inner pain and conflict, and the serious need to deal with grave and unattainable philosophical questions: Why did millions of people die, yet I lived? The second opening quote from Hemingway is from the Bible, a passage from Ecclesiastes, and a glimmer of hope that the future generations rediscover themselves.

Masculinity and sexuality are important themes that Hemingway illustrated through the rigorous, violent, yet sexually exciting bullfighting scenes. The mantra of a new hero emerged from Hemingway’s novel (which may or may not have influenced many detective writers who based their main characters after Hemingway’s tragic hero Jake Barnes). He is an adventurous, rough drinker, a man’s man who stays out of trouble, yet he is inherently flawed, incapable of true love, unable to fulfill the needs of the interested female in his life.

Failure to communicate and false friendships seem to plague Hemingway’s characters. When caught up in social relationships centered on partying (from personal experience, I can attest that those are never "real" and "honest" relationships) more often than not conversations that occur are infrequently direct and lack honesty. Although all of them are united in the fact they all share the torment of the horrors of war, they are all unable to convey and share their personal feelings, and when they do, it’s never a serious discussion. Failure to communicate is related to the false friendships that everyone seems to have with one another. Everyone seems unable to form sincere genuine connections with one another. Not only are the characters physically wandering around from place to place, but also so too are their relationships, wandering aimlessly back and forth between people, civil, yet never forming a true bond with one another.

Alcoholism runs rampant throughout his novel. In every scene, someone is drinking (although I would never describe it as a party novel… the alcohol was just part of the society at that time) or the characters are on their way to get a drink, a true indication of escapism. Instead of dealing with their problems, they all drink to forget about their shortcomings. Hemingway displays how excessive drinking can worsen the mental and physical turmoil that every character possesses.

War destroys more lives than those just fighting on the battlefield. I had justified that statement as one of the essay questions from my high school English class. Hemingway accurately depicts the degenerated society of expatriate writers and artists in Paris, lacking morality and cohesion after World War I, slipping in and out of malaise, dislocated from social values, yet fully disgruntled about conventional thinking, but unable to find a healthy and suitable alternative. The Lost Generation… indeed.

The Sun Also Rises is one of the best novel I have read. Hemingway's laconic, no bullshit style, makes for a fast and quick read. He does not waste words, nor your time. Hemingway has influenced me over the years, and for the first time I fully realized the similarities between my experiences and some of his (and his character Jake's), which I hope will inspire me and push me towards writing a truly great piece of fiction.

Here's a bit: "In the morning I walked down the Boulevard to the rue Soufflot for coffee and brioche. It was a fine morning. The horse-chestnut trees in Luxemborg gardens were in bloom. There was a pleasant early-morning feeling of a hot day. I read the papers then smoked a cigarette. The flower-women were coming up from the market and arranging their daily stock. Students went by going up to the law school, or down to the Sorbonne. The Boulevard was busy with trams and people going to work... I passed by the man with the jumping frogs and the man with boxer toys... The man was urging two tourists to buy."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Pieces of Pauly

Back by popular demand...

What did I eat on Wednesday? My day started off with Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia for breakfast. I skipped lunch and ate a knish and a chili burrito with extra cheese for dinner. During the Yankees game I ate pretzel logs and drank iced tea.

What did I eat yesterday? My lunch was a salami and provolone sandwich on Italian bread, with potato chips. My afternoon snack was a slice of poundcake. My scrumcious dinner was raviloli and marinara sauce. During the Yankees game, I snacked on 2 Popeye's biscuits.

What did I eat today? For breakfast I started off with vodka and grapefruit juice. During lunch I upgraded to Stoli and tonic, and had two of those suckers before I ate a garlic bagel with extra butter.
Yanks & Wells Back Down, Lose to Fish

Last night was a big game. Whoever won Game 5 of the World Series would go up 3-2, and be one victory away from the Championship. Before the game started, there was already some buzz, and it was not due to the upcoming Yanni performance of the National Anthem. Yankees manager Joe Torre benched a slumping Alphonso Soriano and Jason Giambi. To everyone's surprise, David Wells got hurt and had to leave the game with back spasms. The Yanks were doomed after that. The Yankees lost 6-4. My night was over and it wasn't even 9 PM yet! Check out the Jin Caple article: The Boss is cheap? Time to wait until Saturday night and Game 6. Will the Yankees have enough magic to pull off two more wins to sink the Fish? Of course they will!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Singer-writer Elliott Smith Died... here's a bit: "Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, known for his introspective punk-folk songs, died Tuesday of what appeared to be a self-inflicted knife wound... He was 34."
Fish Bite Back... Marlins Beat Yankees in Extra Innings, World Series Tied 2-2

The Yankees lost a tough game last night in extra innings, falling 4-3 to the Florida Marlins. Roger Clemens pitched his last game ever (?), and was almost knocked out of the first inning after the Rocket Man got rocked, and gave up 3 runs. He settled down and led by Bernie Williams' four hits, the Yankees fought back against the Marlins shaky closer, Ugueth Urbina in the ninth inning, when Ruben Sierra's clutch pinch-hit triple tied the score at 3, capping the Yankees comeback. The Yankees luck ran out. In the 12th inning, shortstop Alex Gonzalez hit a weak HR to shallow left field off of wayward reliever Jeff Weaver (who had not pitched in over a month... his first postseason appearance). The game was over, and the Marlins tied the Series 2-2. The Yankees lost because they did not hit with runners in scoring position. Sure, Weaver fucked up, but they Yankees never should have put him in that position in the first place... if they scored a few more runs earlier in the game. Now all the boo-birds and yahoos calling in on sports-talk-radio programs will question Joe Torre's decision not to bring in Mo Rivera and stick with Jeff "Smokes Too Much" Weaver. Tonight, David "Boomer" Wells takes on Brad Penny for the last game in Florida, before the series returns to New York this weekend.

When Clemens came out of the game (he struck out the last batter he faced) both teams and the fans gave him a standing ovation, a class move from all parties.

Related articles:
1. On 'Grandest Stage,' Clemens Takes a Final Bow is written by Tyler Kepner (NY Times)
2. Useless Clemens Info is by Jason Stark (Espn.com)
3. McKeon's Moves is written by Jeff Miller (Miami Herald)
Fred "Rerun" Berry Dies at 52... the former star of What's Happening died of natural causes. All of a sudden 1970s sitcom stars are dying off. First Jack Tripper, now Rerun. Is Potsie next? Here's a bit: "Among the more famous episodes was one in which Rerun joined a bizarre cult and another in which he was busted for making bootlegged tapes of a Doobie Brothers concert. Berry's success on the show was clouded by his heavy use of marijuana and cocaine. Berry said he had blown more than a million dollars on drugs, cars, homes and an airplane. With no acting jobs heading his way, Berry tried to live off his fame by charging for appearances at shopping malls."

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Wednesday’s Politico Roundup: Hollywood Loves a Winner

This past month’s recall in California is enough to prove that Hollywood loves a winner. It always has. Don’t let the label, Entertainment Industry, fool you. The suits in Hollyweird do not exist and thrive in one of the most cutthroat businesses on Earth, for the sole purpose of entertaining the masses. If they did, movies would cost $3 instead of $10, and there would be twenty-five new flicks coming out every weekend, instead of four or five. With that known, it’s absurd to think that thousands of writers submit scripts to studios every year, all of whom already know before they write their first words, that they have absolutely no chance to get a lunch meeting, let alone someone of significance in the food chain to read their script. Most of their stories are gems that will never be seen by anyone. Due to the lack of vision in LA-LA land, perhaps blinded by the heavy smog and shadows of greed, the Big Dogs (the Weinstiens from Miramax) and the Big Wigs (corporate octopus tentacles from Sony, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox Paramount, New Line, MGM/UA, and Dreamworks) stay far away from anything risky, which is virtually 99% of the scripts and treatments they read and ideas that get pitched to them at pool side lunches in the Hills, Sunday brunches in Malibu, Bar Mitzvahs, and in the waiting room at the hip plastic surgeon of the week in Brentwood.

Studio Rankings (Top-Grossing Movie in 2003)
1. Disney (Finding Nemo) $1.7 Billion in Total Revenue for 2003
2. Sony (Anger Management) $824 Million
3. Warner Bros. (The Matrix Reloaded) $758 M
4. Universal Bruce Almighty) $734 M
5. 20th Century Fox (X-Men 2) $643 M
6. Paramount (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) $432 M
7. Miramax (Chicago) $365 M
8. New Line (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) $317 M
9. MGM/UA (Legally Blonde 2) $232 M

10. Dreamworks (Old School) $228 M

(Stats thru 9.12.03 according to Entertainment Weekly)

What do these numbers mean? It’s fairly simple. Sequels rule. The Top 10 major studios in the world generated $6.2 Billion in revenue through 3/4 of 2003! The movies listed were each studio’s top grossing project. You can see that 4 out of the 10 are sequels. (Chicago was originally a stage play, brought to the screen). Hollywood loves winners. If it worked once, they’ll keep churning out sub-par clones until they start losing money on them. The third installment of The Lord of The Rings and Matrix Revolutions are due out later this year.

If you take a peek at the top grossing movies for 2003, 11 out of the Top 28 are sequels:
The Matrix Reloaded
LOTR: The Two Towers
X-Men 2
Legally Blonde 2
Terminator 3
American Wedding
Bad Boys 2
2 Fast 2 Furious
Spy Kids 3D
Charlie’s Angel: Full Throttle
Lara Croft 2


And that list does not count the numerous franchise ideas; movies made off of TV shows (S.W.A.T), re-makes of old films (Texas Chain Saw Massacre), novels (Runaway Jury and Under the Tuscan Sun), and comic books (The Incredible Hulk).

The numbers don’t lie and any successful gambler will tell you that in the long run, favorites always come out on top. The suits in Hollyweird gamble all the time... sometimes on projects that are busts, and most of the time, they play it safe. I’ve heard the mentality, “I’d rather make $2 Million than lose $15 Million,” spouted off by Harvey Weinstien on numerous occasions.

Until the money gets freed up from the suits in Hollyweird, jaded independent film makers and cynical screenplay writers will have to embrace new forms of revolutionary technology (digital video, computer editing, and the internet) to make their art be seen and heard, and rely upon their credit cards and wealthy family members for help with shoe-string budgets.

I applaud Vin Diesel for his recent decision making, when he balked at the staring role in the sequel to XXX (the role went to Ice Cube). He also walked away from a lot of cash to do the sequel to The Fast and the Furious, which he also turned down because he did not want to fall into that trap of getting stuck doing shitty movie after shitty movie, eventually leading up to The Fast and Furious 7 and becoming the butt of every serious actor’s jokes, told sarcastically at cocktail parties after chugging a few Merlots. Too many actors find themselves stuck in the powerful cycle of sequels, unable to break out, and the ones that don’t want to get out, are highly compensated for their wasted time. Who cares if the movie sucks if the studio just cut you a check for $5 Million in cash, right?

Previous Wednesday's Politico Roundup Blogs:
10.15.03 Bowling with Nine Clones, Moore in 2004?
10.8.03 Arnold Wins! Is Gov. Bubba Clinton: Part II Next?
10.1.03 Who's Running?
9.24.03 Vote for a Diff'rent Arnold

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
2. Crossing the BLVD by Warren Lehrer & Judith Sloan
3. Impulse by Catherine Coulter
4. Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages by Tim LaHaye
5. If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They'd Have Given Us Candidates by Jim Hightower
Yankees Top Fish in Florida... Win Game 3 of the World Series

The series is now 2-1 in favor of the Yankees after the Bronx Bombers took the first game in Miami last night after a 6-1 victory over the Marlins.

Despite a rain delay and a steady rain most of the night, the pitching matchup between the Marlin's Josh Beckett (10 Ks) and the Yank's aloof Mike Mussina was a classic, with Mussina out pitching the young gun after Beckett seemed to dominate Yankees hitters.

Derek Jeter led the way with three hits and started two big rallies. Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui's RBI single in the 8th inning broke a 1-1 tie. Then in the ninth, Bernie Williams put the game out of reach with his record setting 19th post-season homerun (Mickey Mantle had 18, all in the World Series... Williams has 5). Mo Rivera pitched two scoreless innings to seal the win.

I'm pumped for tonight's game: Roger Clemens takes on Carl Pavano in Game 4, which will be his last start... ever?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat yesterday? I started my Monday off with a buttered waffle for breakfast. My lunch was a sliced chicken breast sandwich and potato chips. My afternoon snack was a piece of pound cake. I ate some popcorn at the movies. And my dinner was a bacon cheeseburger deluxe (with fries) at a diner on the Upper West Side. I had several glasses of water and one iced tea throughout the day.

What did I eat today? For breakfast I had a slice of pound cake. Lunch was a tuna sandwich with chips. My afternoon snack was two pints of Amstel Light at the Cedar Tavern. I ate a chicken parmigania hero and a slice of cheesecake for dinner. And while watching the Yankees game I had an iced tea.
Pieces of April

I saw the new Katie Holmes flick last night. Pieces of April was written and directed by Peter Hedges, and shot on location in NYC’s the Lower East Side and the East Village, using a digital camera. With a budget under $200,000, principle photography was completed in less than three weeks. The story centers around an eclectic East Village girl named April (Katie Holmes) and her attempt to cook her family dinner on Thanksgiving. Disaster strikes when her oven doesn’t work, and she searches throughout her building for help, meeting an unusual lot of tenants along the way. Dejected by her family, she admits that she “was the first pancake”, the one that gets thrown out. Her mother (Patricia Clarkson), a recent breast cancer patient, runs through a gauntlet of emotions during the long drive from the suburbs to the city, puking along the way on multiple stops, all the while dreading the imminent confrontation between a stubborn mother and an estranged, rebellious daughter, and testing the rest of her family’s patience. April’s father (Oliver Platt) seems to be the only family member eager to see her. The ending is expected (not so heavy on the cheese factor… but it was predictable) and sappy, but the acting was excellent. Pieces of April opened this wekeend in a limited release (LA and NYC only) and grossed over $53,000 (according to Box Office Mojo), a strong and positive indication that this indie film will not only break even, but also gross some high numbers.
Bennifer at the Bellagio

My sources told me that Ben and J. Lo were seen at the Bellagio this weekend. Ben was at the poker room until 6 AM playing high limit Texas Hold'em, with J. Lo nearby checking out the action, sitting behind Ben. There was a rumor circulating that the reason the wedding was cancelled was due to Ben's excessive gambling. He was even spotted, the weekend of his wedding, dropping a shitload of cash playing poker at the Hustler Casino.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
2. The Hipster Handbook by Robert Lanham
3. Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore
4. Temptation by Nora Roberts
5. The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Yankees Win Game 2... World Series Tied 1-1

Big game in the Bronx... as the Yankees beat the Fish 6-1. Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui flashed a glimpse of his power after he crushed a deep centerfield 3-run HR in the first inning (on a 3-0 count). Andy Pettitte pitched a gem, on three days rest, almost notching a complete game shutout. And Nick Johnson, dropped to seventh in the lineup, busted out of his slump with three hits and two runs scored. Today is a travel day, and Game 3 resumes on Tuesday night in Miami. Will the Fish solve their starting pitching problem? They hope that 23 year-old Josh Beckett will bail them out, but the Yanks will turn to Mike Mussina (199 career wins) to match the youngster.

Check out this related article: Monster Post-Season for Godzilla written by Jim Caple.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

NFL Best Bets Week 7

Pick of the Week
Chicago Bob (2-3-1): St. Louis - 4 over Green Bay
Rib Boy (4-2): Baltimore -2 at Cincy
Tao of Pauly (3-3): Seachickens -11 over Da Bears

Last Week: Rib Boy improved to 4-2 after Miami won. Bob and I didn't fare as well, when Washington and Denver failed to cover.

Week 7: Rib Boy likes Green Bay + 4 and Baltimore. Bob likes the Rams, Carolina -1 1/2, and New England getting 5 1/2 on the road. I like the Seachickens, Baltimore, and Carolina. My Parlay of the Week is: Baltimore, the Seachickens, Green Bay and Tampa Bay - 3 1/2. I have not hit one parlay all season. I am due for a huge week, especially after I won the College Football Pool with a 12-3 record in picking yesterday's winners.

Rib Boy's Beating of the Week (1-3): Seattle over Chicago

Tao of Pauly Upset of the Week (0-4): Oakland defeats KC on Monday Night Football, serving them thier first loss.
Yankees Lose Game 1 of the World Series

Last night sucked, a horrible 3-2 loss to the Marlins. There are two reasons that the Yankees lose big ball games...

Reason 1: They can't hit.
Reason 2: The bullpen blows it.

Last night, Reason 1 was why the Yankees now find themselves down 1-0 in the Fall Classic. Pitcher David "Boomer" Wells threw on short rest and pitched well enough to secure a win: Boomer gave up 3 runs and scattered 6 hits (all singles) over 7 plus innings. The bullpen came in a did a solid job. The blame gets passed onto the hitters. Leadoff hitter, Alfonso Sorriano continued to struggle. He went 1-5 and struck out in the 9th inning, when he should have been patient enough to draw a walk. Nick Johnson also got picked off third base by Pudge to kill a rally in the early innings. In the fifth inning, Aaron Boone also cut off a throw to the plate by Matsui, that could have thrown out Juan Encarnacion. Boomer looked pissed to all hell, but Boone made a judgement call that everyone seems to be questioning (The Tao of Pauly included). Funny how you can go from hero to goat in just one game.

Here are some related articles:

1. Yankees Fish for Answers (NY Daily News)
2. Alfonso Stuck in Sori State (NY Daily News)
3. 10 Greatest World Series Moments (NY Times)
4. McKeon Takes His Act on the Road and Wins! (NY Times)

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Ode to Cherry Pie

Heavy smoke makes my weary eyes blurry.
Cottonballs stuck in my damaged ear canals
Prevent me from hearing.
Globs of beach sand and yesterday's gravel
Wrestling each other in my dry mouth,
Eliminating the dire ability to speak clearly,
While the stuttering girl with the sea shell eyes
Rolls over and snores.
It must be Saturday morning in Tulsa.

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
2. The Koran
3. Isadora: A Sensational Life by Peter Kurth
4. The Holy Bible
5. Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl by Tracy Quan
Cowboy Down!

Have you seen: What Kevin Millar does in his spare time?

Somewhere out there Bill Buckner must feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. There's a new enemy in Beantown these days... Grady Little, the "aw-shucks" manager of the Redsox, who better watch his back. Less than 36 hours after Boston's tragic loss in Game 7, hordes of disgruntled Redsox fans are already planning the lynching of their wayward manager. It's been a while since one man had such a huge target on his back... then again it's been a long time since the Sox won a world championship. Their fans should be pissed. My message to Sox fans... get rid of Pedro, Nomar, and Manny ASAP.

Here are some related articles on Thursday night's Yankees victory over the Red Sox:
1. Little's Decision Now His Legacy is written by Jackie MacMullan (The Boston Globe)
2. Judgement Day: Latest Chapter Most Gut Wrenching is by John Powers (The Boston Globe)
3. World Chumpions: NY Post Editorial Goof (NY Daily News)

Have you taken a peek at the weblog Bambino's Curse: Dairy of a Red Sox Fan?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Last 5 Flicks I Watched...

1. Matrix Reloaded
2. Bowling for Columbine
3. A View from the Top
4. Laurel Canyon
5. Dinner Rush
If there is a God... I think He might be a Yankees fan

Wow. What can I say? The Yankees just beat the Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings... in one of the craziest games, in one of the most exciting post-seasons, in one of the most famous rivalries in all of sports. When the Yankees were losing 4-0 Jerry called me from Miami. He needed a pep talk. I told him, "Have faith. Some people out there actually believe in The Curse... you better hope they're right." Time for me to go out and celebrate!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Congrats to Senor and Ang!


The happy couple tied the knot today in Providence, RI. They also announced that they will be having a boy sometime soon. They picked a name: Pauly Sheer! Just kidding. On the birth certificate, it will read: Jordan Philip Sheer, but Ang and Senor will call him Jodd, his Thai name.
10 Die on Staten Island Ferry, Captain Flees Scene, Then Attempts Suicide

Here's a bit: "An out-of-control Staten Island ferry plowed at cruising speed into a concrete pier at the St. George terminal yesterday - tearing the craft from stem to stern, killing 10 people and horribly mangling many more.

As the 1,500 passengers aboard the savaged ship were plunged into a nightmarish tangle of twisted metal and torn limbs, the pilot ran home and tried to kill himself, sources said.

"I'm in my bathroom, I slit my wrists," pilot Richard Smith told a 911 dispatcher, sources said. Smith, 53, also shot himself in the head and in the heart with a pellet gun, the sources said."
Kornelius a fellow blogger from Norway recently caught Bob Dylan in Oslo. Here's the setlist:

Bob Dylan
Spektrum, Oslo, Norway, October 13, 2003
1. To Be Alone With You
2. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (acoustic)
3. Cry A While
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (acoustic)
6. Boots Of Spanish Leather
7. Things Have Changed
8. Highway 61 Revisited
9. Shooting Star
10. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
11. Every Grain Of Sand
12. Honest With Me
13. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic)
14. Summer Days

(Encore)
15. Cat's In The Well
16. Like A Rolling Stone
17. Forever Young
18. All Along The Watchtower

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wednesday Politico Roundup: Bowling with Nine Clones, Moore in 2004?

I watched the Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine the other night and afterwards, my initial impression was this: why isn’t Michael Moore running for President? Love him or hate him, he asks serious questions that have gone unanswered and ignored for decades by our government. He’d be the clear cut favorite out of any possible third party candidates thinking about a run for the White House in 2004. I’d be happy if any of the Democratic Nine Clones properly debated and explored one single issue (gun control, welfare reform, education, corporate responsibility) that Moore touched upon in Bowling for Columbine. It would be refreshing if each of them ran on a platform of anything other than “My name is ------, vote for me because I’m-NOT-Bush.”

On the recent California recall of Gray Davis, Moore said, “It’s about time the people got rid of Democrats who acted like Republicans.” A statement that echoed the sentiments of many new Green party members, who left the Democratic party out of sheer disgust and frustration in 2000, and threw their support towards a man committed to grassroots issues, instead of catering to special interest groups, corporations, PACs, unions, etc. The ex-democrats drew the ire of their former colleagues when Al Gore comically lost the election. Instead of taking responsibility for the results, and losing the direction of their party, the leaders hopelessly whined to anyone who would listen, then passed the blame onto Ralph Nader and the Greens, as if they were the sole reason Bush was elected. Sore losers for sure. That ugly deterioration in central leadership, jaded unity, and lack of vision is why the current Nine Democratic Clones are doomed, like the token black guy in a horror movie… they are filled with one liners, but sooner than later, they’ll get offed, and you’ll never see or hear from them again.

Alas, Moore will not run because he’s too smart. He knows even if he won, there would be little to no chance of changing anything. Gridlock. Democrats. Republicans. Old White Men Fear Change. Whoever is in power, they’ll be sure to bully and torture the eager outsider, like the newest inmate, a fresh fish locked up with professional criminals, seasoned thieves, heartless murderers, and life long liars. Bumping heads in the dangerous backrooms of Washington is like getting shanked in the shower, you’ll never see it coming.

Happy Birthday, Derek!

Today is my brother's b-day. Best wishes for a great day. I hope the Yanks (and Cubs) win this afternoon... that would be the perfect birthday present. Have a great day!
Fast and Furious is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson where he sounds off on football and politics.

Here's a bit: "I take no pleasure in being Right in my dark predictions about the fate of our military intervention in the heart of the Muslim world. It is immensely depressing to me. Nobody likes to be betting against the Home team, no matter how hopeless they are... I have done that, from time to time, and it never fails to leave me feeling guilty and confused, even if I win. Winning is vitally important in the gambling business, but it is better not to publicize your most shameful and predatory bets. How many red-blooded Americans really want to go down in history as having voted for George Bush and Military disaster in 2000?

Not me, bubba -- but I feel the pain, anyway. Any failure of this magnitude is a shared experience, like it or not..."
Stardumb: Sean Penn is written by David Skinner from The Weekly Standard.

Here's a sample: "Someone should get the message to Penn: The moment you enter the public square to win approval for certain ideas or policies, you become an activist. If not a peace activist, what is a person who loans out their celebrity to the antiwar cause, goes on an antiwar publicity junket to Baghdad just as his country is readying to invade, pays for the privilege of publishing an open letter in the Washington Post arguing against military action in Iraq, and then, as a U.S.-led coalition takes over Iraq, buys a whole page of the New York Times to publish an essay announcing that the American flag is becoming a banner of "murder, greed, and treason against our principles, honored history, Constitution, and our own mothers and fathers"?"

Wednesday Poem: Candles and Cookies

They reluctantly showed me a picture
Of Charlotte Rae, the wayward
Actress from the 1980s hit TV show,
The Facts of Life.
I snickered at her poorly signed autograph,
The smudges of the sharpie bothering my sight,
while the gusts of afternoon wind,
Blew debris and old, golden leaves my way.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Screenwriter Mike White: New School is an article and interview with the writer of School of Rock, who also penned Orange County and The Good Girl. He also acted bit parts in all of these films.

Here's a bit: "The key to having any kind of success, was just channeling all of that energy into writing. I just kept writing, and I would write script after script, and some of them sucked and some were ok, and I got passed the, thinking I’d written a masterpiece and waiting through lunches or meetings or whatever, like somehow that was gonna save me, and I’d just try to finish a script and start thinking of the next one. I think out of all of it, it helped me get a voice, and certainly made me realize that there was stuff that I really could do and there was stuff I could do that was just ok. And there’s such a need for real material, that I think if you can just add it, eventually someone is gonna figure it out. I just think a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that there’s a million ways to become a writer without actually writing (laughs)..." - Mike White

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Jolie Blon's Bounce by James Lee Burke
2. Hotel World by Ali Smith
3. Reasons to Live: Stories by Amy Hempel
4. The Holy Bible
5. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama
Happy Birthday, Bruce! Today is the birthday of Bruce Cohen, the Grateful Dead Guru, cool-guy toughster, drummer from Forest Hills. Best of luck today!
How I Lost 25 Dinnars... More Popsicle Wagering

The other day, before the Yankees-Red Sox infamous Game 3, my brother insisted that he can eat an entire popsicle in less than a minute. We finally settled on a time: 45 seconds. I decided to bet him some of my Iraqi money, 25 Dinnars, something I won from a "Gulf War vet" in a poker game many moons ago. Anyway... I timed my brother and he ate the entire popsicle in under 44 seconds! I wasn't surprised, I knew he could do it in less time, that was why we never did the $300 for 30 seconds wager, a few nights earlier. I forked over my 25 Dinnar note and that was that. He won. Next up... the New York City Popsicle Eating Contest.
Way Outside with Mike Gordon is a cool addition to this month's issue of Relix, where they feature Mike Gordon. Very cool. Check it out.
A View from the Top...

Yesterday, I watched a Gwyneth Paltrow comedy, where she plays a white trash girl from a small town, looking to escape her misery. Her way out of the trailer park was a job as a flight attendant. The film is pure hijinks for sure... with cameos from top notch stars (Candice Bergan & Mike Myers), but not enough to hide the piss poor script and terrible acting. I was suprised that this flick got made by Miramax. Alas, Paltrow's acting was subpar. It was difficult to imagine Gwyneth playing Donna, the small town girl with big time dreams, especially since Ms. Paltrow has never flown in coach in her entire life, how the hell was she supposed to pull off being a white trash stewardess? It was a strecth for sure.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
2. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Holy Bible
4. Rise to Rebellion by Jeff M. Shaara
5. Leap Year by Peter Cameron
Pauly in Miami!!

I just scored Phish tickets for New Year's Eve... which is a major score, since I already booked my flight to Miami a few weeks ago! Whew... getting excited... Phish tour starts in something like 47 days?
Top 5 Most Over-rated Actresses...

1. Sharon Stone
2. Julia Roberts
3. Halle Berry
4. Angelina Jolie
5. Nicole Kidman

Note: I formed this Top 5 after several cocktail drenched conversations with a couple of drunks in NYC bars....
Chronically Blunted Wins First Game!!!

After a horrible 0-5 start, Chronically Blunted defeated Stifler's Mother this weekend, to get our first win (for Senor and myself) in the Lamont Jordon Fantasy Football League. Woooo!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

NFL Best Bets Week 6

Pick of the Week
Chicago Bob (2-2-1): Washington +3 over Tampa Bay
Rib Boy (3-2): Miami -3 at Jacksonville
Tao of Pauly (3-2): Denver - 6 1/2 over Pitt

Last Week: It was ugly... so ugly I won't even talk about how bad we all got beat. I missed my second parly by just a friggin 1/2 point!

Week 6: Rib Boy likes Miami and Philly -1 1/2. Bob loves Home Dogs and he likes Washington. He also mentioned the Bears +6 1/2 and Indy -4. I am going with Denver, St. Louis -11, and the Colts +4. My Parlay of the Week is Indy, NY Giants +3, Miami -3, and the Seachickens -3 1/2. I have not hit any parlays all season!

Rib Boy's Beatin' of the Week (1-2): Baltimore over Arizona

Tao of Pauly Upset of the Week (0-3): Atlanta... If I bet against my Upset of the Week the previous three weeks, and made that my pick of the week, then I'd be a rich man. That is why I am betting on the Rams this week. Call it reverse betting logic.

Baseball Playoffs: Bob likes the Cubs +128 tonight.
Yankees Win a Wild Game in Boston...

"Head-hunting, benches clearing, coaches fighting, players jawing, Yankee relievers skirmishing with Red Sox employees in the bullpen. All that was missing were the elephants and the clowns..." - Jackie MacMullan, staff writer at The Boston Globe

In case you missed it, there was a classic Yankees-Red Sox match up last night in Boston. The Yankees won 4-3 after some serious hijinks. Yes, even Ben and J. Lo. were in attendance to catch the wicked festivities, filled with taunting, beanballs, punches thrown, and and old man Zimmer getting shoved to the ground by Pedro Martinez, after he taunted and threatened to throw at more Yankee heads.

Here are some ESPN articles:
1. Freak Show... Battle of the Ages written by Jim Caple.
2. Tempers Flare During Game 3
3. 2 Yankees May Face Police Charges After Brawl

Here are NYC articles:
1. Yank Class Trumps Bozos: A Great Team Rises Above Ugliness is written by Mike Lupica (NY Daily News)
2. Fued Flares and Turns Ugly is written by Tracy Connor and Jon Lemire (NY Daily News)
3. Fenway Punk is written by Ed Robinson and Ed Miller (NY Post)
4. Clemens Keeps Cool on Mound is written by Jack Curry (NY Times)
5. On Frenzied Day at Fenway, Yanks Survive is written by Tyler Kepner (NY Times)

Here are some Boston articles:
1. Sox Lose Game 3 Melee is written by Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe)
2. More Ugliness Gives Teams, Game Black Eye is written by Jackie MacMullan (Boston Globe)
3. Sox Fall as Showdown Turns to Throwdown is from Jeff Horrigan (Boston Herald)
4. Beautiful People Hit Town as Game Gets Ugly (Boston Herald)

Articles from Elswhere...
1. Tempers Left Smoldering in Yanks, Red Sox Series (Seattle Times)
2. Take Me Out to the Brawlgame (Chicago Sun Times)
3. Bad Blood? Try Curdled Blood (San Francisco Chronicle)
4. Heated Rivalry Sparks Fenway Free-For-All (Toronto Star)
5. An Ugly Night at Fenway (Detroit Free Press)

As you can see, the Tao of Pauly is fair and balanced in providing coverage on Game 3. I included links to articles from both NY and Boston newspapers, as well as ESPN.com, and articles from a couple of other newspapers outside the Northeast. And yes, I read every article this morning. I can gauge this from each writer: the Yankees might have won Game 3 yesterday, but the Red Sox lost a lot more than a game yesterday. Even the Boston writer penned thier articles with a certain air of doom and depression... like yesterday's result was somewhat expected. Game 4 tonight... and I'm pumped!
Radiohead Setlist

October 10, 2003, Madison Square Garden, NYC
Set 1: The Gloaming, There There, 2 + 2 = 5, Where You End and I Begin, Exit Music (For a Film), Talk Show Host, Myxomatosis, Paranoid Android, In Limbo, Sail to the Moon, Creep, ? Tourist ?, Go to Sleep, Just, You and Whose Army, Sit Down Stand Up
Encore 1: Lucky, National Anthem, A Punchup at a Wedding, Street Spirit
Encore 2: Airbag, No Surprises, Everything in Its Right Place

I went to Radiohead last night at MSG with my lovely date, Haley. She had seen Radiohead many more times than me and filled me in on most of the setlist. I knew about half the song... okay at least 1/3. Intense. Weird crowd. A lot of hipsters, not too many hippies. I was one of the only people toking in my section.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Personae by Camille Paglia
2. Night Tales by Nora Roberts
3. Jack and Jill by James Patterson
4. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
5. On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison
The Sun Also Rises...

I finally finished Hemingway's epic first novel. I wanted to write a review today, but there is too much for me to say! I will definitely post a review later this week, after I finish up a story for the next issue of Truckin'. Stay tuned! Next up on my reading list: King Lear and The Bell Jar.
Last 5 NYC Bars I Drank in...

1. Bar 420
2. P & G Cafe
3. Ding Dong Lounge
4. The Abbey Pub
5. Cedar Tavern

Saturday Poem: Kitchen Kittens

The furry orange kittens
Stalk large ugly rats and
Other small bugs
While we sleep and dream about
Winning Lotto.
I Almost Lost a $100 Bet...

The other night, while watching the baseball game, I foolishly attempted to make a bet with my brother. I said: "I'd bet you $100 that you could not eat an entire ice-popsicle in 60 seconds." He quickly wanted to take that bet, which scared me off. I seriously underestimated his ability to eat cold foods very fast and I had to re-think my attempted wager. After a heated debate, we almost reached a wager: for $300, my brother would eat an ice pop in 30 seconds. Because he seemed so positive he could do that... I quickly got scared. I lost a lot of money playing poker this past month and I did not have $300 to piss away on a silly bet.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Last 5 Movies I Watched...

1. The Shape of Things
2. Kill Bill
3. Casa de Los Babys
4. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
5. Gods and Generals
Fangoria is an article written by Jonathan V. Last, where he talks about Quentin Tarantino and how Kill Bill pays homage to the samurai epic, showers the audience with blood, and dilutes pop culture.

Here's a bit: "Kill Bill is an entertaining genre movie and a real high point in the wuxia oeuvre. It has, however, a certain grandiosity that, while not entirely unwelcome, is so self-conscious as to be a little uncomfortable. There are moments in Kill Bill--when, for example he bleeps out the name of Uma Thurman's character or puts the opening credits in Japanese--that are so pretentiously stylish that it feels as though we've caught the director in flagrante with himself.

ALL OF WHICH brings us to Tarantino himself. Several years ago there was an article in Esquire positing that Tarantino and Oliver Stone were cinema's Fitzgerald and Hemmingway. Tarantino was the elegant, sociable auteur, Stone the gruff, confrontational bull. Both pairs have notoriously bad feelings between them."

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Gary Coleman Top 10

Top Ten Ways California Would Be Different If I, Gary Coleman, Had Been Elected Governor...

10. "Pretty much the same as Schwarzenegger, but less body oil"
9. "Three words: Lieutenant Governor Urkel"
8. "Thanks to my innocent charm, I'd get away with 60% more groping"
7. "I guess I'd have to quit my job as a security guard"
6. "You may not agree with me, but at least you could understand me"
5. "Inaugural address would have a laugh track"
4. "Television viewers wouldn't know if they were watching C-Span or Nick at Nite"
3. "Wouldn't have to worry about me having to take time off to do movies"
2. "I would form a task force to find out exactly what Willis was talking about"
1. "Unlike Schwarzenegger, I would admit I'm not qualified"

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America by Molly Ivins
2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
3. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
4. The Holy Bible
5. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
A Bad Bet is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson and appears on ESPN.com, where he sounds off on Rush Limbaugh.

Here's a sample: "Rush never knew much about football, anyway. He was dumb and loud, but he has never been anything more or less than a half-bright commentator with an agenda who wanted more than his 15 minutes of bitchy fame. He was greedy, and so was ESPN for hiring him.

Rush Limbaugh is a lame professional Swine and he makes a good living at it. He is like a hired Geek in some traveling backwoods carnival -- the freaks who bite the heads off Chickens -- but Limbaugh is a modernized Geek who thinks he can bite the heads off of people."

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Arnold Wins! Will Gov. Bubba Clinton: Part II... Be Next?

Official Recall Results

55% voted Yes to recall Gray Davis.

1. Schwarzenegger (R) 3,655,074 (48% of Recall Votes)
2. Bustamante (D) 2,409,094 (32%)
3. McClintock (R) 1,004,558 (13%)
4. Camejo (G) 210,274 (3%)
5. Huffington (I) 42,361
6. Ueberroth (I) 21,808
7. Flynt (I) 15,245
8. Coleman (I) 12,584

Arnold won. But we knew he was going to win. Gray Davis was doomed from the start. All those groping stories was a sure tell that he was one man in distress. Arnold was going to win no matter what, just like in his last movie and so many times before, when you thought Arnold was done for, he overcomes tremendous obstacles to come out victorious. He always beat up the bad guy at the end of his movies and a great one liner to crack afterwards. And yesterday was no different.

Will California be different? Probably not. There are plenty of problems for the Terminator to tackle. I hear he already wants to eliminate the car tax. But he has to raise taxes somewhere? The bottom line is this: People were ready for a change. Whether they made a decision to get rid of Gray Davis, or whether it was to seriously thrust a novice into the calamitous ring of politics, hoping that a circus sideshow would break out… either way, the people spoke.

Was the recall a right-wing conspiracy, led by the Bush Junta, to insure that California votes for Bush in 2004? Well, let me just say that 54 electoral votes is a handful. Wink, wink. Bush is going to need as much help as he can get in 2004. With Arnold at his side, will Bush be able to capture the huge swing vote: the middle of the road, average Californian without allegiances to either party? These are the folks referred to as Reagan Democrats. Voters who typically call themselves Democrats, but voted for Reagan in 1980 & 84 (uninspired by Jimmy Carter), and back to partisan lines with Clinton and Gore in 1992 & 96. Will they swing from Gore in 2000 to Bush in 2004 or swing back to their candidate du jour: Wesley Clark, Hilary Clinton, Howard Dean?

Will Arnold be recalled? Most likely they'll attempt to get another recall. Gray Davis reeks like a sore loser. When influential people spend a shitload of money on an election and lose miserably, they have some reasonable right to complain about the results. But will the Democrats in California rally to Recall the Recall? I don’t think they are united enough to pull it off.

Will Arnold figure out how to pronounce California? No way. He has the same chances of proper pronunciation that Jessica Simpson does saying anything remotely intelligent in the next twenty-six years. I’m so used to it by now, I even say Cal - leeeeeeee - fawn - ya.

What will Gary Coleman do next? First of all, the official Tao of Pauly candidate came in 8th place! That is a true feat for Mr. Coleman. I hear there is a reunion movie in the works for Diff’rent Strokes. Plus there are plenty of openings in Arnold’s new administration, that perhaps Gary Coleman will get an appointment. I sent him an email and asked him for an interview. So far no answer…

Will this lead to more recalls nationwide? After yesterday, more people in other states might speak up. I think 13 or so states have the ability to recall their governors. Nevada and New Jersey are seriously contemplating sending their leaders home packing. I dunno if any celebrities would show interest in running, but those are two weird ass states. Maybe Tony Soprano will run. Maybe former NY Knick and NJ senator Bill Bradley might get the nod in NJ. Perhaps the Bush Junta will back the “new hipster doofus” of the moment.

Governor Bubba: Part II? How cool would it be if Bill Clinton became Governor of Nevada? Hilary is busy with her job, thousands of miles away, so he can have all the hookers, gambling, and sun he wants, without any guff from Mrs. Ice Queen. I can just picture it now. During a luncheon at one of the swanky Italian restaurants at the Venetian, Bubba leans over to one of his nubile college interns, winks, then whispers, “You know, I used to be your President…”
Kill Bill!

I got to see a sneak preview of Kill Bill: Volume I yesterday. I will blog a review later. But for now, I must say that I was surprised at Kill Bill, because I fucking loved it! Finally, someone decided to use the big screen format to do something creative, instead of trying to make money by just filing the space with 100 % pure Hollywood bullshit and wasting one of the most important mediums and forms of expression that has been made available to everyone. I applaud Quentin Tarantino for his efforts and his best film that he made in at least 10 years. He took a lot of chances and they all paid off. Yes, I rank this film between Resevoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Tarantino tells the story of the young O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu) entirely through anime. The anime scenes were trippy and wonderful. Tarantino blended more than one medium in making this film. The final fight sequence was shot both in color and an eeire black and white to create a more layered effect for the climax of the film. Yes and the script was over 202 pages, which is insanely long, and part of the reason they split the film into two parts. Kill Bill: Volume II is due out next year. Charlie's Goldfish was 102! Most scripts are 90-120 pages in length.

Plot: This is a revenge flick. Pure and simple. Bill (David Carradine) and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad a.k.a. DiVAS (Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, and Vivica A. Fox) reek havoc at The Bride's (Uma Thurman) wedding. Only the bride survives, she even lost the child she was carrying. Four years later, she awakes from a coma, ready for vengeance on her former employer and his associates. From L.A. to Austin, Texas and Tokyo, the Bride leaves a trail of devastation. But will she finally kill Bill, the one man who has shattered all her dreams?

Screenplay Sample:

The BRIDE (V.O.)

"Looked dead, didn't I? Well I wasn't, but it wasn't for lack of trying, I can tell you that. Actually Bill's Last bullet put me in a coma. A coma I was to lie in for four years. When I woke up... I went on what the movie advertisements refer to as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. I roared and I rampaged and I got bloody satisfaction. In all, I've killed 33 people to get to this point right now. I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination... I'm gonna Kill Bill."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
2. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4. Death Be Not Proud by John J. Gunther
5. Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts
Colin Farrell's Drug Hell? is an interesting read, as the actor confessed to his shrink his weekly drug intake: "He told me to write down how much I did in a week,'' Colin said. "Twenty (hits of) E's, four grams of coke, six of speed, half an ounce of hash, three bottles of Jack Daniels, 12 bottles of red wine, 60 pints and 280 fags cigarettes..."

Sounds like one long, rough week for Colin, eh? That's what I call my Wednesday mornings.

Binger Update... I finished up with 71 for yesterday. Not too shabby, eh?

Monday, October 06, 2003

100 Bingers...

Someone made a bet with me once... that I could not smoke 100 bong hits in one full day (24 hours) without passing out. I won a lot of money that day. And I actually smoked myself straight sober! The reason I bring this up, is because today I found myself up very early, ready to complete the second draft of my new novel Sweet Nothing, formerly called Baby and Winky. Anyway, in between writing and editing, I found myself smoking a couple of bingers. I decided that I would keep track of how many I smoke today. I figured out that each packed bowl (of schwag... this is 100% pure shit) is equivalent to five bong hits. By 1:30 pm EST, I smoked six bowls, and ripped no less than 31 bong hits. And of course, I recalled with some joy, the infamous 100 Bingers Bet and how that adventure would make a great Truckin' shorty story... perhaps for an upcoming issue. Something to ponder... now back to work!
"You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey
My Most Creative Thoughts Happen Between 3 and 5 AM...

Sunday was a brutal day. Savage is an adjective that comes to mind. All my bets on NFL pro games failed miserably. I looked like a Roy, shed to peices after his White Tiger snatched him up and tried to kill him in front a crowd of cash poor tourists (on Friday night at the Mirage). It was Vegas, so the alcohol drenched crowd seriously thought that the freaked out tiger carrying off the body of its master like a rag doll was part of the flashy show. It was not. Although I should be lying in a hospital bed after the beating I took this weekend betting, I am not. I still have both my arms and legs, wondering why oh why did Oakland get whoooped by the lowly Bears? I couldn't pick a winner at all yesterday. Except baseball! Yes, baseball has been berry, berry good to me.... I took the Cubs and the Marlins before October started, and it looks like I picked two hot winners. The Yankees finsihed up their series and will move onto the next round. And I am awaiting the A's to finish off the lowly Boston Redsox, so I can collect a wad of cash from dejected Sox fans. What the fuck is "Cowboy Up" anyway? Have Sox fans embraced cheesey catch phrases to drown out the constant beating heart of the Curse of the Bambino? Cowboy, what? Sounds like something terrible, stupid, and dispicable. Like an over-the-hill Madonna kissing Britney Spears, just to sell a few CDs.

Before I log off, I must remind you of the madness that is encircling our political world. Buzz is a buzzing in DC after "the leak" which may or may not make Watergate look like am annoying dripping sink, or a huge tidal wave, ready to wipe out the political careers of no less than a dozen journalists and White House staff members. And how about the Recall? There's more mud being flung from all over the place. Arnold... he's a druggie. He's a Nazi. He fondles women. But he's famous, so he'll win the Recall. Where is Gary Coleman when you need him the most?
Monday Poem: The Growl of an Empty Stomach

Obtuse hunger pains tickled me,
The halting sounds of an empty stomach,
rattled me out of my lukewarm
bed, on a windy and chilly
Gloomy Monday.

Faint sounds of whispering
Old ladies, echoed throughout my
Dimly lit studio.
"Where are the bandages?"
I disctinctly overheard.

The rotten aromas of three-day old cabbage and
Boiled carrots wafted from my dirty
Kitchen and settled somewhere in between
My cluttered hallway and my scorched taste buds.
"Where are the cheese sandwiches?"

Sunday, October 05, 2003

NFL Best Bets Week 5

Pick of the Week
Chicago Bob (2-1-1): Oakland -4 at the Bears
Rib Boy (3-1): Oakland -4 at the Bears
Tao of Pauly (3-1): Carolina -6 1/2 vs. the Saints

Last Week: KC covered against the Ravens, so Rib Boy and myself both improved to 3-1. The Skins pushed last week and Bob slipped to 2-1-1. The rest of my weekend was avergae at best. I missed my parlay because the Niners got rocked.

Week 4: Rib Boy likes Philly -5, Oakland, and Minnesota - 4 1/2. Bob loves Home Dogs and he likes Detroit +7. I am going with the Carolina and the Colts +4. My Parlay of the Week is Oakland, Carolina, Tennesse +1, and Pitt -7.

Rib Boy's Beatin' of the Week: Philly over the Redskins. Rib Boy is 1-1 after last week's miscalcualtion.

Tao of Pauly Upset of the Week: Indy over Tampa Bay on MNF. I'm 0-2 so far this year, looking to call an upset. What could be better? Peyton manning to light up the stellar Tampa D!

Free Skippy!!


The Daily Dave is no more! The author has been pressured by his employers to take down his web log!

Here is what you find if you visit The Daily Dave: "The Daily Dave has been shut down..."

This enrages me... since I am self-employed, I can (and will) say whatever the fuck I want. Today, I fully appreciate the notions of Freedom of Speech in America. Well, the last time I checked, I live in America, right? Land of the free? It's not China in the early 1990s? Not Russia in the early 1980s? Not Germany in the 1940s? So why has an innocent man been pressured to shut down his web journal?

The reasons why the Tampa Tribune made Skippy shut down his site is 100% pure and total bullshit. Skippy is unable to say how he truly feels which angers me to no end. He is a great guy, with funny things to say. I would not be blogging today if it were not for the positive influence Skippy has been to me.

What is the harm here? Skippy has not said anything malicious to warrant such a harsh suspension. He has never blogged anything that would incite riots, acts of terrorism, or un-patriotic forms of aberrant behavior. If he had a few not-so-nice things and blogs to say about his shady company... well, shit, that is par for the course here in America, right? Everyone complains about work. At least he didn't show up to work with a submachine gun like a disgruntled employee with gripes to settle, looking to pick off his nasty co-workers one by one.

Skippy's only fault was that he wrote words of truth... his own words, and now his employer wants to abolish and censor his words... his thoughts... his life.

This ends today. A new fight begins. Free Skippy! is the mantra for a new generation of bloggers. I fear that if these assholes get away with censoring his weblog... then it will be a matter of time before there is a Blog Police state set up, looking to take down blogs and other journals with questionable (or not so questionable material). Yes, if it's The Daily Dave today, then maybe next week I'll get a complaint from a future employer, or from the people that rent me my apartment, or from a company or corporation that refuses to sell me their product... all because I exercise my first amendment right of freedom of speech.

The Tampa Tribune has permanently etched itself onto my permanent Shit List. From this moment forward, I urge all my readers to boycott the Tampa Tribune and do not support any of their advertisers... until... Skippy can freely speak his mind.

For more information on this saga, please visit my new blog: Free Skippy!
Sunday Morning Required Reading...

1. George Plimpton: Simply Nothing Short of Astonishing is written by Ira Berkow and appears in today's NY Times.

Here's an excerpt: "There are very few writers who are so funny when they write that they can make you laugh out loud, but Plimpton was one of them... This feat was accomplished by dint of his art, his brilliant use of the English language and a fearless quirkiness... And there was his devotion and his assistance in a variety of ways to writers and writing... I once received a note from Plimpton asking me to contribute some thoughts on a particular subject (it was gift-giving) that he was putting together for a magazine. His last line read: "Drollery permitted."... Drollery was only one of the many extraordinary gifts that those who knew, read and admired George Plimpton will remember and cherish and miss."

2. Rush, Happy Pills, and the Right: Rush Hour... What Rush Limbaugh's Bad Week Means for the Right and for his Empire is written by David Skinner and appears in The Weekly Standard.

Here's a bit: "This has to be the worst week in Rush Limbaugh's storied career--and yet things could get much worse still. The king of political radio resigned from a side gig doing football commentary on ESPN because of what are being called "racially-charged comments"; at the same time, another story broke that Limbaugh has a serious drug habit, and as a result has become ensnared in a large narcotics investigation in Florida."

3. Iraq & the Middle East: The Real Patriot Act is written by Thomas L. Friedman and appears in today's NY Times.

Here's an excerpt: "First, we need to successfully partner with Iraqis to create a free, open and progressive model in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world to promote the ideas of tolerance, pluralism and democratization. But second, and just as important, we need to set an example ourselves, in order to get others — both potential allies and longtime adversaries — to buy into our war, to believe that we are not just out to benefit ourselves or protect ourselves, but that we really are out to repair the world."

4. Recall Coverage: Everybody Wins! With One Tiny Exception, of Course: The Citizens of California is written by Larry Miller and appears in The Weekly Standard.

Here's a bit: "CALIFORNIA HAS ALWAYS been a little crazy, you know, really. It was in Twain's day, and it is with or without Hollywood. Frank Lloyd Wright once called Route 66 "a chute down which everything loose in this country is sliding into Southern California." I carpet-bagged out here, myself, and I'm as certifiable as anyone else. Proud of it, too. Hell, we're all a little loopy out here, I guess. Americans will always dream about moving to California and then, in the same breath, say, "Of course, they're crazy, you know." They're right on both counts."

5. More Recall Coverage: It's Who You Know is an article written by Robert Scheer and appears in The Nation.

Here's a sample: "If Gray Davis is replaced as governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, chalk it up as a Hollywood victory of illusion over substance. It's an illusion exploited by the state's right-wing Republican leadership, which has rejected one of its own, Tom McClintock, for an actor whose political program, beyond the one-liners, is virtually unknown...

What script will he read from now, who will do the writing, and will he again freely lie to advance his career? He has pledged firm allegiance to the Bush White House, never mentioning the 3 million jobs lost nationally and $500 billion in red ink run up under this Administration. Nor has he uttered a word of criticism of Bush's Texas cronies who so ruinously gamed the California energy market...

Schwarzenegger's campaign is run largely by veterans of former Gov. Pete Wilson's administration, and if he wins, he is expected to turn to Wilson for advice on filling the top state jobs and on future judicial appointments. Aside from having raised taxes and unemployment dramatically, the Wilson years are best remembered for the divisive campaigns against undocumented immigrants and welfare mothers. Does Schwarzenegger, who claims to be so interested in the welfare of kids, realize that millions of them who are poor were hurt by Wilson's policies?

Schwarzenegger's political scriptwriters are pro-big business and fervently anti-labor. This is a candidate who takes campaign money from powerful corporate players but blasts unionized workers, including those in law enforcement and fire departments, as reprehensible special interests..."

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Mr. Maybe by Jane Green
2. The Holy Bible
3. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
4. All Men Are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir
5. Men My Mother Dated: And Other Mostly True Tales by Brett Leveridge
Chronically Blunted Update...

Chronically Blunted is the name of the fantasy football team that Dave Sheer owns and I was hired to be the General Manager and team physician. The winning team gets roughly $2500! Right now, we are in last place after an anemic 0-4 start. But things are looking up! Our weekly team score has improved every week, and last week, we almost broke 100 points for the first time. This Sunday we take on KG Express which is Gitler's team. I think this is our chance to end our winless streak!

Our team is not that bad because we have solid players. We just made some bad decisions. Our first round draft pick has been a bust so far... Donavon McNabb looked like shit the first two weeks of the season (which was the primary reason our team faltered early on). His poor play eventually led us to the decision to bench McNabb in favor of our other QBs (Jake Plummer and Vinny Testaverde). McNabbb's poor play also led to the racially charged comments from Rush Limbaugh last Sunday morning on ESPN, which exploded into a media frenzy, whereby Rush quit his job at ESPN. We have been trying to shop McNabb for a quality running back, but so far we have not had any serious inquiries. Last week, Monsters Inc. wanted to trade Torry Holt (WR) for McNabb, which we declined. This week Hell's Kitchen offered up a three-team trade proposal that would send us both Torry Holt and Olandis Gary (RB) to our team for our running back Charlie Garner. Again, we declined.

Anyway, after a month in the Lamot Jordan Fantasy League, I must say that the majority of the other team owners are a bunch of cry babies that have nothing better to do than to constantly get on the case of the Commissioner, David Lichtman. The guy is doing all the grunt work (for free) and he's had to make some difficult decisions, to keep the game fair and at the same time, maintain the integrity of the league. But greed seems to have tainted the good sportsmanship of the league. When you got each team forking up $355 to win $2500 plus other incentives... well that's a ripe formula for lots of bitching and moaning. From the e-mails to the posts on the league message board, all I can say is that most of these guys are first rate assholes, and I would never invite them into my house... ever. Again, I am talking about some of the other owners who I do not know. The guys I know (Gitler and his friends from Oceanside) are cool and I have no problems with them. But this constant bickering back and forth has taken the fun out of this league. Senor and I made the decision to step back and not get into the mud slinging. But it's pathetic at times... making grown up men look like bickering, spoiled girls on an episode of Sorority Life.

I feel bad for Lichtman, who has to put up with all this guff... for free! I have held more than one fantasy leagues in my day, and I can attest to the stress that the commissioner endures on a daily basis, every week, and over the length of a season. I think Lichtman should have gotten a discounted entry (or even a free one) for doing a kick ass job running the league and putting up with everyone's bitching. I sent him an e-mail yesterday, telling him he's doing a great job.

Rib Boy's Latrells Wins the 2003 Pauly's Pub Baseball League

The 2003 Pauly's Pub Fantasy Baseball League is over. Congrats to my brother, Derek, and his team Rib Boy's Latrells for winning the championship and finishing in first place for the entire season! He is the newly crowned 2003 Pauly's Pub Baseball Champion, winning by just 10 points, edging out last year's champ Holla Atmeyoes! It was quite the feat since his team did not finish in first place during either segment. He now holds the bragging rights until next season and will win a cool prize: a free movie rental or one of my paintings.

In other news... my team Moe's Tavern won the Pauly's Pub World Series (beating out last year's winner Rib Boy's Latrells 4-3) in a close series. Moe's Tavern also won the second segment (second half). Thanks to everyone who participated. See you next year!!

Overall Winner: Rib Boy's Latrells (Derek)
First Half Winner: Holla Atmeyoes (Gil)
Second Half Winner: Moe's Tavern
World Series Champ: Moe's Tavern