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My Favorite Olympic Moment

4x100Most people pick USA vs. USSR Hockey or basketball.  Now, my mom wasn’t even born when Jesse Owens rubbed that whole “master race” crap in Hitler’s face in Berlin, 1936,  and I wasn’t quite two years old at the time of the famous “black power” salute in Mexico City, 1968.  Those were big, historical moments.  The most exciting moment I’ve experienced was, admittedly, a whole lot smaller and lacked any real political subtext beyond the usual, benign disrespect between Americans and French–you know: we’re lazy and tacky and like ketchup and peanut butter, and they smell bad, breathe arrogance, and habitually surrender to Germany at a moment’s notice.

Allies who love to hate each other make perfect rivals, especially when Alain Bernard, the superstar French swimmer, derisively dismissed his USA counterparts before the 4×100 Freestyle in the 2008 Beijing games.  “The Americans?” Bernard sneered, “We’re going to smash them.  That’s what we came here for.”

While the cameras focused on USA Star Mike Phelps and Bernard, in the end it was veteran Jason Lezak, the oldest member of the team who was, for the most part, largely unknown outside the swimming world, who took down the haughty Bernard.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/swimming/news/story?id=3528865

Categories
Poetry

National Poetry Month: Jones Very

The New Birth  by Jones Very

a new life;–thoughts move not as they did
With slow uncertain steps across my mind,
In thronging haste fast pressing on they bid
The portals open to the viewless wind
That comes not save when in the dust is laid
The crown of pride that gilds each mortal brow,
And from before man’s vision melting fade
The heavens and earth;–their walls are falling now.–
Fast crowding on, each thought asks utterance strong;
Storm-lifted waves swift rushing to the shore,
On from the sea they send their shouts along,
Back through the cave-worn rocks their thunders roar;
And I a child of God by Christ made free
Start from death’s slumbers to Eternity.
Jones Very

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I (heart) Neko Case

I just re-read an old magazine interview with my very favorite singer, Neko Case, and felt the need to express to all of you the incredible depth and revelry of my 130927-neko-case-radio-city-03love for her.  Don’t sweat it, my wife knows.  In fact, she’s pretty damned bemused by the whole thing, and thinks it’s “cute.” I’m no Travis Bickle, I guess.

And she thinks Neko is pretty fetchin’ swell, too.  And if you can’t stand the music your kids bring home, you can probably add yourself to the list….

“When I hear auto-tune on somebody’s voice, I don’t take them seriously. Or you hear somebody like Alicia Keys, who I know is pretty good, and you’ll hear a little bit of auto-tune and you’re like, “You’re too fucking good for that. Why would you let them do that to you? Don’t you know what that means?” It’s not an effect like people try to say, it’s for people like Shania Twain who can’t sing. Yet there they are, all over the radio, jizzing saccharine all over you. It’s a horrible sound and it’s like, “Shania, spend an extra hour in the studio and you’ll hit the note and it’ll sound fine. Just work on it, it’s not like making a burger!”

Go ahead, tell me that’s not epic: Yet there they are, all over the radio, jizzing saccharine all over you.  That says it all, right?neko_case

Now, to get on with the theme (and hide the fact that this entire post was pretty much a device to share that quote) let’s keep with the fan worship.  I like this Neko picture because, at first glance, the first time I saw it, I thought she was wearing an engineer’s uniform for Star Trek.  Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you see what I mean, right?  She would absolutely make a fantastic cameo as some dry-witted, uber-competent veteran Captain–that’s Nichelle-Nicholsright, Captain Case who’s got neither time nor patience for Kirk’s juvenile tom-foolery.

And that’s why they don’t let me write Star Trek scripts (even though I’d KILL at it); because I’d pen in cameos for my favorite singers to come in and say the word “tomfoolery.”  Hell yes, I would. But Neko has even better outfits.  I saw her in a very nice dress in photos from the Grammy Awards, but I like this one best:

I just followed Neko on Twitter.  After this post, how long before she blocks me?

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Uncategorized

More Snow Headed To Georgia–Tourism Idea

Not to put too fine a point on it, but another winter storm is casting it’s Winter Weather Atlanta.JPEG-05108frosty eye on Atlanta as it blusters it’s way across the south, promising as much as .75 of an inch of snow and a mere 40F as a high temperature–time to run for the grocery store and stock up on toilet paper, bread, and milk. (that’s an old Pittsburgh joke you probably won’t get, but so what….)

snowmiserIt occurs to me that the city could make a small fortune in tourism revenue sponsoring “flash tours” at such times by selling affordable package deals to northerns who would likely pay good money to watch the carnage while savoring the relatively balmy weather.  They already have the infrastructure–the only thing missing is some bleachers down by the highway for when the Snow Miser comes to Southtown, even though it’s in his brother’s clutch.

winter
Hey, Atlanta–this was my freaking weekend. Want to swap?

I guess I feel bad for being a winter bully–especially if (when?) someone dies down there, but it’s hard to take this seriously–probably in the same way that some guy from Death Valley is bemused when we have a “drought,” the rich folks have to stop watering their lawns, and we can only wash our cars on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I truly believe in this plan.  The rare southern businesses to stay open will make a killing, and the municipalities can use the additional revenue to, I don’t know, buy a second snow plow or something.  This makes me wonder what people in Calgary are thinking.  Hell, Minnesota is like this ten months a year–only it’s -40 degrees F, not the balmy 0-10 we’ve been seeing.

I heard God apparently told some guy in Decatur to build a massive 12703_650365338358467_1109895274_nbobsled and fill it with a pair of every creature (starting with Lolo Jones)….

*All kidding aside, as the storm is poised to strike, here’s all the luck and best wishes I can summon to Atlanta and the rest of the South.