8. The St. Louis Bar and Grill. Mediocre service, flat ginger ale, indifferently cheesy nachos. I expect more from an establishment named after America's most dangerous city. Where is the life-size animatronic statue of Stan Musial to welcome us at the front door? Where is Archie the St. Louis Arch, the lovable mascot who bears a possibly litigious resemblance to the McDonald's logo? Where are the waitresses dressed like the backup dancers in a Nelly video? In fact, where's Nelly? His career is basically over now, isn't it? Can't he be a greeter or something? Anyway, if you do end up going to the St. Louis, try the wings and ribs, since that's what they're apparently famous for. Perhaps I should've tried a bar's signature foods before I trashed them....ah, screw it. Avoid Pizza Hut, people! The burgers are awful!
7. Aaron Sorkin. Dammit, Sorkin, be more consistent! Why are some episodes of Studio 60 tremendous and others so eye-rolling poor that I want to eat my hand? Why are some of your characters brilliantly complex while others are as two-dimensional as Tetris pieces? Why are Matthew Perry and Steven Weber turning in career-best performances while Amanda Peet looks and acts like someone in her first day of drama class? There is only one solution -- Sorkin needs to get back on the drugs. They give him his power, like Popeye's spinach.
6. Rod Barajas. An excerpt from my upcoming one-act play, In Rod We Trust: The Life And Loves of Rod Barajas.
Agent: Hey Rod, I've got you a good deal from the Blue Jays!
Rod: That's great news! I'll totally sign that terms sheet!
Agent: Looks like we can put this one to bed. Yep, another successful contract negotiation for....hey wait! You signed it "Bod Rarajas."
Rod: Yeah, I had a total change of heart in the three seconds between saying I agreed to sign and when I actually signed. I'm not playing for Toronto!
Agent: Why not?
Rod: I'd be making less money than I did last year!
Agent: Do you know how hard it was to get you a contract at all? You're Rod Barajas! You're a career .240 hitter! You, to put it charitably, suck!
Rod: I don't care! See you on the flip side, you unsupportive bastard! You're fired! I'm going to hire Jerry Maguire!
Agent: He's a fictional character! God...I knew I should've stuck to managing that car wash.
5. Parking. I was up at the university tonight (more on this later), and since it was raining, I argued Dave into parking right by the Grad Club instead of walking across campus from a free lot. We ended up parking in the MIT building lot, where it cost over seven dollars for a mere two hours of parking. Seven dollars. It was like I paid for a movie ticket to a film called "Parking." Actually, according to IMDB, there was a movie called 'Parking' released in 1985. It was a French remake of Orpheus, except it was a musical and set in a parking garage. That doesn't sound like something I'd pay seven dollars to go see!
4. American college football. Man, all of those tempting possibilities for championship games and we end up with boring old Ohio State vs. USC? I was looking forward to seeing, like, Michigan and Rutgers battle for the title. Myself and some of the Gazette guys have been having a good old-fashioned e-mail debate over the last few days about the NCAA football system, and the overwhelming feeling is that the NCAA are idiots for not having playoffs. Yeah, I know, not the most original thought, but man, the masses have spoken.
3. Trivia. Ok, so more on that parking thing. For the last month, I've been competing in a team trivia event at the Grad Club with Dave Lee and some of his pals from the MLIS program. I'm technically not an MLIS student, of course, but 'ringer' is such a harsh word. Anyway, our team, Murph and the Orillia Stranglers, have won all three weeks that we've competed as a unit. Wednesday, however, our streak finally ended when we finished in third place. Frustratingly, for several of our wrong answers, we actually had discussed the right answers but overthought things and went for different options. It was a bitter pill to swallow. In our defense, we were beaten by a team of 10 people (while we just had five) and a team that included two guys that had to be pushing 70. We did pretty well considering we were outnumbed two-to-one and outnumbered in life experience by about two decades to one. So pour one for us dead homies, Team Murph. It brought back fond memories for me of the time I played Reach For The Top in high school, except this time, our opponents weren't all nerds.
Voice of Reason: Yeah, it was just the opponents who were the nerds.
Shut up, Voice of Reason!
2. Glenn Beck. Boy, do I hate this guy. Did CNN Headline News look at their lineup and say. "Hmm, what we need is a little more Fox News-esque brain-dead conservatism. It's time to Beck it up!" My favourite Glenn Beck moment is a tie between the time accused the movie Happy Feet of being "leftist environmental propaganda," and the time he said to a Muslim congressman "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way." That's some great journalism. Tune in tomorrow, when Glenn attacks Bambi for giving the NRA a bad name, and when he asks Lance Bass to take an AIDS test before appearing on the show.
1. Bears! Namely, the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots. Had they managed to make their 17-13 nailbiter on Sunday just a wee bit closer (i.e. within three points either way), I would've won 64 bucks on ProLine. After the Bears got a crucial interception within the last two minutes, I said "My fate is in the hands of Rex Grossman." On literally the next play, Grossman threw an interception and the Pats got the ball back to ice the game. God. Remember last year, when (the admittedly pretty bad) Kyle Orton had led the Bears to something like a 9-1 record but the coach switched to Grossman because he felt he was an upgrade at quarterback? The Bears are 9-2 now, and Grossman is playing like my 85-year-old grandma. Actually, my grandma just had cataract surgery, so even she could spot receivers better than Grossman can. I think it's time to give Orton another shot. OR-TON! OR-TON! OR-TON! No, I'm not just bitter because Grossman cost me money! OR-TON! OR-TON! OR-TON!
The Ballpark Penalty
4 hours ago