Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rickey Examines 24 and Lost: Point/Counterpoint Style

Hiya folks, Rickey here. Rickey’s got roughly 2 weeks left until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie and things start heating up in Metsworld. In the meantime, there’s not much For Rickey to do other than calculate the over/under on “number of Mets to cross the Rainbow Bridge in 2007.” That’s right, thanks to all those horse worshipping wackjobs eulogizing St. Barbaro, I’m now officially working references about “crossing the Rainbow Bridge” into sentences whenever possible. Deal with it. So what do I do to pass the time until the Mets awaken from their 100 year slumber in the Catskill Mountains? Well how about an in-depth look at two of Rickey’s favorite network tv shows? Sound good? You betcha.

Rickey realizes that comparing “Lost” and “24” is kind of like comparing apples and wiffleball bats. It really can’t be intelligently written about in generic prose form. In keeping with the overall tone of this blog, something more ridiculously abstract is necessary. So instead, lets just pretend that the two television shows are talking entities who are having a point/counterpoint discussion (yes, dear reader, its entirely possible that Rickey may have lost his mind). Just pretend it’s like those Apple commercials, except much less annoying and not geared towards upwardly mobile yuppies. Everyone up to speed? No? Well fuck it, we’re plowing ahead anyway.

24: Hi, I’m 24.

LOST: And I’m Lost.

24: And I once strangled a man with my bare hands.

LOST: Uh, ok, that’s interesting. So what kinds of people watch you every week?

24: My audience consists mainly of rage-oholics, Vikings, and transients.

LOST: My typical viewers have spent their last 20 years polishing their master’s thesis.

24: That’s great cupcake. So these egg-heads like you?

LOST: Well my viewers have kind of a love/hate relationship with me.

24: And why’s that college boy?

LOST: Because I don’t give them easy answers and resolutions every week.

24: But there are explosions, ninjas, car chases, and gunfights, right?

LOST: Well once it seemed as it like someone was going to fire a gun but then they changed their mind.

24: That must have been a real cliffhanger for your audience cupcake.

LOST: Indeed, it was a thrilling season finale.

24: So not a damn thing happens? And you still have an audience?

LOST: Well I keep the audience hooked through viewer participation.

24: Viewer what? I just give ‘em fireballs and ridiculous plot twists and hope for the best.

LOST: Seriously, interactive television is the way of the future—every week I drop some new clues and my viewers try to solve my riddles and mysteries at home. It’s really an exciting way of getting the audience invested in the show.

24: That’s wonderful cupcake, my viewers play drinking games every week while watching me. I killed a guy once that way.

LOST: Well to fully appreciate me, my viewers need to watch me with an unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and a lunar chart from 1975.

24: My viewers need adult diapers, tequila, and multiple cigarette breaks while I’m on tv.

LOST: Hm, fascinating. Did I mention that my viewers enjoy the Sunday NYTimes crossword puzzle?

24: Bully for you. My viewers enjoy driving flaming dump trucks through school zones.

LOST: What about character development? I like to provide my audience with flashbacks so that they can better understand my characters’ motivations.

24: The lucky few characters I choose not to kill off have a range of two emotions: “pouting” and “angry.”

LOST: My main character is Jack, a tortured soul with a troubled past.

24: Oh wow, same here cupcake. Hey, did your Jack lose his wife and best friend, alienate his daughter, become addicted to heroin, save the president’s life multiples times, survive two nuclear explosions and nerve gas exposure, get tortured senselessly, and get shipped over to China in a box?

LOST: No, but he does get misty eyed a lot.

24: Sounds like a real winner, your Jack.

LOST: Don’t you ever wish you were less violent and more ephemeral?

24: Not for one heartbeat cupcake. Gotta run, I feel the need to beat up a mime.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rickey Salutes the Jack Bauer Power Hour

After spending most of my Monday lamenting the sad news of Barbaro's demise ("The Horse, The!") and the fact that 6 piece chicken mcnuggets no longer cost 99 cents, I pulled myself out of my funk, strapped on my adult diaper, and sat down for some Monday night “24” awesomeness. By the way, this whole Barbaro thing will seem much less funny when the Cult of the Inquisitors of the Equine Jesus is burning us in cages on street corners. Anyhow, since this is my first post on "24" Season 6, here’s a quick recap of everything that has heretofore transpired:

  • Jack has been released from a Chinese prison to once again preserve life as we know it on this crazy blue marble of ours. What the U.S. gave up in exchange for his freedom is currently unknown. I’m guessing it wasn’t Kim.

  • Wayne Palmer, God help us, is now President of the United States. But on the positive side, he actually governs from the White House this season, rather than the generic California day spas that previous leaders in “24” have chosen as their lofty perches of power.

  • Fayad, a bald skeleton faced man of Middle Eastern descent with ridiculously pronounced cheekbones is holding the nation hostage with 5 suitcase nukes. One of which was detonated nearby the set of “The Truman Show,” ahem, I mean suburban Valencia. Fayad also has 19 backup plans in place for when Kiefer gets angry and hurls the suitcase nukes into outer space.

  • Somewhere in LA, a man who was carjacked by Kiefer GTA style is still cowering on the ground wondering if he can get up yet.

  • Bluetooth man is actually Bluetooth Bauer, Kiefer’s estranged brother. And there’s a father figure in the form of James Cromwell lurking around somewhere. Let the Bauer bonding begin! (I cannot believe I just typed that-just shoot me).

So is everyone up to speed now? Good, because we're not going back. The following running diary takes place between 9pm and 10pm, Westchester Standard Time:

Picking up a thread from last week’s episode: I’d say that kid with the Beatles haircut was Jack’s, but we all know that a legitimate son of Jack’s would be some kind of wolverine/ninja hybrid. So until the boy lives up to the reputation, he just isn’t Jack's.

Anyway, Tom Lennox (Janosz, from "Ghostbusters II") kicks off the episode by whining more. Karen (Gandalf, from "Lord of the Rings") calls him on his continuing usurpation of power. Yay for arguments about constitutional interpretation. And yet it’s oddly riveting since the two of them are realllllly getting into it. If these people spent as much time doing their jobs as arguing then a whole lot more would get done by this administration.

Ms. Henderson calls to inform me that the actor portraying the role of “Tom Lennox’s Fluffer” is none other than Mr. Hillary Swank (well, soon to be ex Mr. Hillary Swank) aka Chad Lowe. Bravo 24 Casting Department, bravo. By the way guys, when you’re lucky enough to be with someone who calls up to inform you of the identities of previously believed deceased actors in 24, you know you’ve hit the jackpot.

Aww, Jack stopped asphyxiating Graham, so maybe there’s some hope for brotherly reconciliation after all. Still, Kiefer’s definitely off the Bauer family Christmas newsletter list for the next few winters. Kiefer gets the info he needs from Graem (or Gray as Jack calls him for some bizarre reason) and orders him to get the fuck up before more horrific torture becomes necessary.

Commercial break: uh, was a "Ghostrider" film really necessary? Well I guess if you've ever wanted to see a flaming skeleton ride a motorcycle up the side of a building, then yes, this movie is for you.

And we're back. Kiefer delivers the standard "you’re just going to have to trust me" line to Graem followed by a "copy that" to CTU. For those playing the 24 drinking game at home, that’s a full beer chug.

Meanwhile, back at what appears to be a kindergarten playground, (ok, fine it’s a detention facility) this Walid guy is officially the worst mole ever. I give him roughly 30 more minutes before an “Oz” style jail yard shanking ensues. The fact that Apples from “Good Will Hunting” and “Oz” is nearby only sweetens the deal.

I'm officially loving the Janosz/Gandalf dynamic. This won't end until they have a knife fight, followed by one of them defecating in the other's mouth. That's really the only logical conclusion.

More likely to be this season's token CTU mole: Morris or Nadia? I’m deeply suspicious of Morris’ damn-the-torpedoes chest hair, but the racial profiling dilemma subplot with Nadia is casting more suspicion on her in this episode.

Karen's resignation causes Wayne to play therapist, get angry, and then finally concede to her request. Excellent leadership there Mr. President. Fantastically bad goatee or not, this guy isn't fit to command a Carnival Cruise ship.

Back at the playground, ACLU lawyer Walid uses his previously unknown ninja skills to steal a cell phone which leads Apples to an Islamic website. Hmmm, I wonder how many militant Islamic websites exist out there with flaming Arabic text and large skulls in the background? I wonder what that website’s feelings about a kosher deli in Beirut would be? Nonetheless, the site is for wannabes, the lead is a dud, and Walid pays for it. Sherry Palmer version 6.0 goes ballistic.

Jack sneaks into the office, searches for some files on a computer, gets promptly cold cocked, and in steps James Cromwell. “That’ll do Jack, that’ll do.” (Ok, I promise that’s the first and last time I'll say that). How is it that Jack’s father is roughly twice as tall as he is? Was Mama Bauer a circus midget? By the way, it really irks me that Donald Sutherland couldn’t be bothered to play the role of Jack’s father. What could he possibly have been doing? Laying down a commentary track for “Animal House” where he discusses what the hell his motivation was for flashing his flabby ass in that one scene? Completely unacceptable.

Papa Bauer doesn't know where McCarthy is, thus prompting an argument. Ooooh, bad time by Graem to bring up the dead wife. Man I hate this guy. As Ms. Henderson chimes in:

“I knew Jack's brother was going to play dirty and you know why? Because they spelled his name as Graem. Who does that? Plus, all the characters that guy has played are pretty mean. I’m basing this off of his character on ER of course. He actually did play the shy whiny character in the movie FAME, but who cares.”

Okey-dokey then. Anyway, Graham double-crosses dad. Man this family is messed up beyond belief. Slight trust issues here, ya think? And as we close our episode, we see Jack and Papa Bauer tossed in a van and driven to their execution. Yeah, fucking best of luck with that assignment henchmen.

All in all, not a terrific episode. And yet somehow, the preview for next week’s episode keeps me hooked. Next ep, Jack to Graem: "you will experience pain I can't even describe." Coming from a guy who was once tortured so badly his heart stopped, that’s saying an awful lot.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Horse, The!

I was gearing up for a 24-related post this evening and what happens? Barbaro, the celebrity horse goes and dies. Is it mere coincidence that only a mere 5 hours into Jack Bauer's return to the U.S. that Barbaro finally dies? I think not. This is Jack Bauer's world, and we just live in it - until he kills us. So now I feel obligated to discuss the national tragedy that is the death of Barbaro. Scratch that--I want to talk about total the nut jobs who post at this site.

First impressions: these people were writing messages to a horse. A horse (like any other horse) who can't read. And there's a whole lot of crazy in their messages. Here are a few of my favorite gems. My comments are in bold:

My heart is just breaking & my tears will not stop. Dear Beautiful Boy, May your journey across the Rainbow Bridge be painfree and now may you run with all of the other Champions that are waiting for you. God bless, Fancy Allen, 39; Richmond, VA [I don't know about you folks, but I always wanted to be eulogized by somone named "Fancy," wishing me across the Rainbow Bridge]

I can't describe the awesome whirlwind of emotions I've felt over the last eight months--you've given all of us so much strength. I plan to name my first child Barbaro, in hopes that he has half the heart that you did. Michael Sambuceti, 24; New York, NY [ok, well that's kinda creepy. I hope his first child is a boy, not a girl]

Goodbye, brave and beautiful boy! Go back to the wind, and nevermore have to tolerate the weakness and ignorance of mortal man! You're finally running in endless fields, at last....and in no more need of our prayers. Run on, Barbaro! Adela Henninger, 47; Rathdrum, ID, USA [getting weirder...]

Broken-hearted. Be free. God sustain those of us left behind. Rugby; New London, PA ["those of us left behind"? What is this, the freaking rapture?]

My sincere condolences for the Battle of your Barbaro A nation held its breath and waited for this magnificent creature to beat the odds He had lessons to teach before his final race He taught them well To Barbaro Always kati griffin, 26; Lenexa, KS, USA [uh, what? what the hell is that supposed to mean?]

Barbaro, you are no longer just a are a legend. After your courageous fight I hope you are in horse heaven in lush green pasture, able to run your heart out, because you truly showed how much heart a horse can have! Mary; Buena, NJ, USA [ok, these people are batshit crazy]

I like animals, but reading that board, you'd think an actual human had died. I hate to be the one to put things in perspective here, but didn't several more Marines die in Iraq this past weekend? Oh I see, but it wasn't of laminitis.... ahhhh. And what are these insane people going to do now that Barbaro is dead? Perhaps these Barabaro message board participants can focus on something more meaningful, the genocide in Darfur, for example, now that their celebrity horse has passed away. Eh, who am I kidding? They'll just continue to post more messages to Barbaro instead.

This whole thing made no damn sense to me when I read it. And then I realized the even greater tragedy: all accross America, cats are being neglected by crazy old ladies in mourning. I have no doubt Barabaro is indeed in a better place as we speak--because if I had crazy people like this writing to me, I'd be looking for the sweet silent embrace of death as well.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How do we know when the end times are upon us? Well Lou Diamond Phillips getting work is an excellent sign. Let me take you back several years. Picture this scene: a few friends and I are sitting around watching the first season of 24 on tv. For whatever reason, Kiefer has decided to break into a secret maximum security prison (conventional logic really doesn't apply to the character of Jack Bauer: he's a sheer force of nature). Suddenly, a vaguely familiar face appears on screen. We all lean closer and squint at the screen. Is that? Yes, it is! It's goddamned Lou Diamond Phillips! And he's not dead as we all had previously thought!

So in our continuing examination of B-list celebrity 24 cameos, we proudly present Lou Diamond Phillips. Getting him on the show must have been tough. Real tough. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Producer 1: Ok, we're coming up on the end of the season and we need some star power, you know, some real razzle dazzle to portray the role of Prison Guard #2.

Producer 2: We already cast Cerrano from Major League as a presidential candidate. How much more razzle dazzle do you need?

Producer 1: How about Lou Diamond Phillips?

Producer 2: You mean that guy washing your car right now?

Producer 1: Yes, that's our man! Get that bastard in here immediately!

And the rest is history. Of course, giving Lou stage directions must have been really difficult. If you're a television show director, how do you channel the brilliance that is Lou Diamond Phillips? Probably by saying something like this: "Ok, Lou, remember in "La Bamba" when your plane crashed? Well imagine Riche Valens actually survived. And now he's out for revenge. Act mad. Under no circumstances are you to make eye contact with Dennis Hopper. Now here's a weapon--follow Kiefer, he'll know what to do."

Note to the reader: I have no idea if they actually showed Riche Valens' plane crash in "La Bamba," nor do I have any desire to find out. I've never seen the movie. When they stop playing that godawful "La Bamba" song at weddings, perhaps I'll rent the movie sometime. Until then, my silent war of attrition continues...

On a side note, how hard is it to not crash a plane anyway? Last season on 24, Kiefer managed to land a large airliner on roughly 20 feet of LA freeway using only his man purse and some well timed gravitas to coerce the pilots to land the damn thing. In my humble opinion, there's really no reason for our nation's best and brightest musicians to continue to senselessly perish in this manner. What a waste. But anyway, getting back to Lou...

Oddly enough, Lou Diamond Phillips somehow survived that season one episode, which is extremely rare for a 24 cameo to do. Pretty much the only person guaranteed to make it through an entire season is Kiefer Sutherland of course. Mostly because minor quibbles like bullets, heroin addiction, nuclear explosions, nerve gas exposure, horrific torture, and heart attacks seem to make Kiefer angry rather than deceased.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

You know how I know you're gay? You pose for GQ.

This is why I don't read GQ anymore. To the left is a picture from a Gentleman's Quarterly (betcha didn't know that's what GQ was short for) photoshoot Mssrs. Wright and Reyes did a while back. Mmmkay. Not that there's anything wrong with that lifestyle, but do these jackasses know how fucking gay these pictures are? I assure you, the world can easily handle a gay baseball player, but last time I heard, these guys weren't, thus making these photos ridiculously unnecessary.

What, an organ grinder and a monkey (I'm channeling Zoolander here) weren't available? Was "Everybody's Working for the Weekend" blasting while the shoot was taking place? And when did the headbands from "The Royal Tennenbaums" become acceptable to wear in public? In fact, are we sure these pictures are from a GQ magazine, and not the previously unknown novel, "How to Become the Most Popular Guy in Prison"?

With the bats and what appear to be 1950's gang colors, they absolutely look like rejects from the 1979 classic, "The Warriors." ($10 if you didn't say "Waaaarrrrrriiiorsss, come out to pla-ay! to yourself when you first saw these photos). For the uninitiated, "The Warriors," despite having achieved cult movie status, is quite possibly the worst movie ever made. It's kind of like "West Side Story" without the romance and dancing or "The Outsiders" without all the messy drama. But hey, if you like synthesizers, leather, subways, baseball bats, chains, and honor then "The Warriors" is definitely for you. In short, it's not a good thing that a Mets photoshoot reminded me of this movie.

Look, I understand that with Mike Piazza gone, somebody has to reach out to the gay Mets fan demographic, but really, come on now... Couldn't Endy Chavez have just bit the bullet, posed for GQ, and spared us all the headache? Was it really necessary to compete with the shortstop and third baseman in the Bronx for the title of "Gayest Infield Players in Baseball"?

I know I kvetch an afwul lot. I've even been known to kvell on occasion. But I really am looking forward to a new baseball season. In fact, as the NY Giants' season progressed (read: spiralled wildly out of control), I began closing emails with "only ___ days until pitchers & catchers..." The thought of the frisky Phillies awakening the sleeping giant that is the 2007 Mets and the subsequent pummelling makes me smile. Just no more glam photo shoots in the meantime, ok? That's all I ask.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, January 26, 2007

Shhhh! He's Pondering!

Someone please explain to Rickey why it took a month of deliberation for our esteemed Decider in Chief, George W. Bush, to arrive at the decision to ship more troops over to Iraq. Because Rickey doesn't get it. Rickey can be fairly dense on occasion. In fact, up until recently, Rickey was under the impression that "Call of Cthulhu" was actually a memoir by a Brazilian telemarketer. But that's a story for another time.

The way Rickey sees it, you either send a whole lot of troops, or you just pack it in and call it a day over there in that apocalyptic funhouse of horrors (or "cradle of civilization," if you will). Kind of a no-brainer really. It's not as if Iraq is offering to trade us Anna Benson for 20,000 troops. So why the prolonged pondering O Great One? And why was it necessary to ponder in such ostentatious fashion?

Rickey hasn't seen such overt ruminating since Tom Glavine whittled away the entire month of November trying to choose between going back to Atlanta or staying with the Mets. (And that was torture for poor Rickey!) Mr. President, it's not as if you spent weeks of drawn out meditation with a sherpa high up in the Alps. Take a page from Rickey's playbook. When Rickey needs a timeout to reflect on things, he flips on some Enya, lights a mood candle, disrobes, and cavorts naked in front of a mirror. But hey, that's just Rickey's way of clearing his mind.

So you spent a long time pondering. Rickey suspects you're compensating for something Mr. President. Rickey is willing to concede that President Bush is a lot smarter than the American public gives him credit for and merely talks down to the American public because that's what they want in a leader. But Cthulhu forbid the President of the United States come off sounding like a smarter guy than Rickey.

Rickey especially enjoyed Bush's announcement of the troop increase, shot in front of a bookcase in the White House library. Why not deliver the speech from a leather armchair, "Masterpiece Theater" style with the Brandenburg Concerto playing at the opening? Why not wear lots of tweed, smoke a pipe, and gesticulate excessively while revealing your secret plan to prevent the entire Middle East from catching fire? Allistair Cookiemonster blowing bubbles out of a fake pipe would've done it better and Rickey knows it.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, January 25, 2007

He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Much like the Mets front office, the producers of 24 really seem to get off on filling their roster with B list talent. To prove this point, I give you exhibit A to your left: Peter MacNicol. You may remember this illustrious actor from Ally McBeal. Or better yet, as the character of Janosz from Ghostbusters II. He was Vigo the Carpathian's henchman. A brief Ghostbusters related sidenote: Vigo was born in 1505 and died in 1610, who at 105 years old finally died by being poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disembowled, drawn and quartered. Not exactly a man of the people. He was also known as Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer, Vigo the Despised, and Vigo the Unholy. And Vigo the Butch, according to Peter Venkman.

Anyhow, getting back to Peter MacNicol, let's take a peek at these dynamite lines that only a master thespian could bring to fruition:

"You know, Dana, there are many perks to being the mother of a living god."

"Soon, the city will be mine and Vigo's... mainly Vigo's."

And my personal favorite: "He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!"

Don't get me wrong, back in the day, Ghostbusters was pretty much the tits for a 9 year old with a penchant to wear a tan jumpsuit with his name sewn on it and trap ghosts in a proton particle field. I was a Ghostbuster for 7 years running as a child. And if that damn suit and proton pack still fit, I'd go to work dressed as a Ghostbuster. To hell with corporate casual.

Anyway, my theory is that the ad wizards at 24 most likely saw Ghostbusters II and drew the logical conlusion that the ability to take orders from a painting adequately prepared Peter MacNicol to take orders from the character of Wayne Palmer. Unsurprisingly, they were 100% correct. Much like Bush family, the law of diminishing returns applies directly to the Palmer family as well. So Peter MacNicol's character, Tom Lennox, faces the tough job of looking at the second African American president in US history (and this one has a fabulous goatee!) without cracking up. Moderately hard, but not too demanding for a seasoned actor like MacNicol.

On a side note, I'm able to suspend disbelief and accept that in the 24 universe, the American people would elect two black presidents back to back. But one with a goatee? Not a fucking chance. Granted, most of my political knowledge is gleamed from reruns of the West Wing on A&E, but I'm still positively certain that tacky facial hair and public leadership simply do not mix.

So on 24, Peter MacNicol's character Tom Lennox mostly seems to enjoy pouting and also usurping President Wayne Palmer's power by setting up detention camps behind his back, which if I'm not mistaken, is more of a job for the Secretary of State then a lowly chief of staff, but hey, its 24, so who's counting really? Even more intruiging is the fact that Peter MacNicol isn't the only Ghostbusters II alumni to grace 24 with their presence. Indeed. See picture above on the right. You were probably wondering what the deal with that was, right? Well I don't know how to insert pictures in the body of a text just yet, so go ahead and fellate yourself cupcake. Ahem. Anyway, remember the judge from Ghostbusters II? He was the guy who had this fantastic line:

"If my hands weren't tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, then I would invoke the tradition of our illustrious forbearers, reach back to a purer, sterner justice, and have you BURNED AT THE STAKE!"

Then the Scoleri brothers appeared and all hell broke loose. That was Judge Wexler, aka Harris Yulin, who also played a member of President David Palmer's administration in the second season of 24. He bowed out of season two after a brief torture session ordered by POTUS (what's the matter Mr. SecDef, can't take a little Gitmo style aggressive interrogation?) Good thing it wasn't Kiefer doing the interrogation: that would have been biblical. You know, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together-mass hysteria. Good times all around.

FYI, for more 24 related goodness, check out this gravitas filled resource.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

A Quick Rickey Primer...

Some of you may be wondering why I felt a pseudonym was necessary when creating this blog. In fact, some of you even asked, “are you sure you gave the correct link to your site, and who is this Rickey Henderson guy?” So why all the secrecy? Well, Mr. Smarty Pants, calm down for a second and let me address that issue.

You see, there's this person who lives in my apartment building who is crazy. No joke. Not just short-pants-in-winter kinda crazy but batshit kinda crazy. Wears-a-velvet-cape-to-get-the-mall kinda crazy. Eats-imaginary-ice-cream-cone-while-talking-to-the-ghost-of-her-long-dead-Aunt-Hettie kinda crazy. Definitely-shouldn't-be-allowed-to-drive-a-schoolbus kinda crazy. (Courtesy of Jack Handey) What's worse, she’s pretty much stalking me at this point. Much like Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it Gets,” I'll usually lock my door five times before shutting off the lights every night. I’m that scared. Needless too say, the whole situation has Ms. Henderson very concerned. So excuse me if I don’t put my full name and picture out there on a blog site for anyone to Google. The end result of that would most likely be this nutcase wearing my severed head as a hat while driving across state lines.

Anyway, that’s one reason for me going with the Rickey moniker. Another reason is that it’s extremely yawn-inducing when people use their blogs as diaries. Why? Because people in general, are fairly boring. Unless you’re an astronaut, archaeologist, vampire hunter, or all three of the above, chances are your life is fairly uninspiring. So with that in mind, I'll do my best to spare you the autobiographical narration that plagues most blogs out there. My name is Nick (most of you folks already know that) and we’ll leave it at that.

But why use this Rickey Henderson fellow as an identity? Ah, clearly you’re not a golfer… For the uninitiated, Rickey Henderson is a famous ex-Met who, last time I heard, was still playing baseball in the minor leagues. He’s ancient. And a fantastically cocky bastard to boot. He likes to talk about himself in the third person a lot. On a road trip once Rickey was offered a seat on the team bus, by another Mets player, saying that he had tenure. So Rickey says:

"Ten years? What are you talking about? Rickey got 16, 17 years."

He also talks to his bats when he’s up at the plate. And he liked to dance naked in front of the mirror in the Mets locker room. He once called up a minor league team to ask about a contract and started the conversation with “this is Rickey, calling on behalf of Rickey.” He’s officially awesome. I can’t think of a better available domain name or pseudonym out there.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Huzzah, Another Geriatric Joins the Mets!

Did anyone else catch the headline last week that the Metropolitans are considering signing Ruben Sierra to a minor league contract? You heard me. Ruben fucking Sierra. Forget the fact that he’s 41 and had vanished off the face of the earth in recent years. He’s an ex-Yank. Note to Omar Minaya: the Yanks are supposed to collect ex-Mets, not the other way around. As much as I love Bronx Zoo leftovers, I must say I’m a little skeptical about what Ruben Sierra’s impact will be in the Mets’ farm system.

More importantly as of this writing, their biggest off-season acquisition came in the form of Moises Alou, an aging outfielder who likes to urinate on his own hands. (Don’t believe me? Click here: You know you've arrived in life when someone can google your name and "urine" and get multiple page results. Other than Alou, the Mets pretty much stood still in a ridiculously overpriced trading market.

So they didn’t spend $126 million for Barry Zito, in the greater scheme of things, that’s fine by me. Remember in early August when Omar Minaya secured a pair of what at the time looked like generous deals for his two golden boys? (Wright - 6YR, $55 mil/Reyes - 4YR, $23.25 mil). I’m comforted by the fact that the Mets are spending $78 million to have Wright and Reyes for a combined 10 years. What a fantastic deal.

So why am I whining? Well, the problem is that other than Beltran, Wright, and Reyes, the Mets are an aging group. Let’s look at the breakdown:

  1. Pedro Martinez: Old and creaky. Once managed to fall in the shower.

  2. Carlos Delgado: Too old to stand for the national anthem.

  3. Jose Valentine: Remembers the Spanish Civil War.

  4. Tom Glavine: Even older.

  5. Orlando Hernandez: Cuban defector -- age unknown by MLB – could be 70.

  6. Moises Alou: Dear god is that bastard old.

  7. Ruben Sierra: Possibly dead.

  8. Julio Franco: Modern day Methuselah.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the elderly (or as I like to call them, “the living dead”). But I’d rather not see an early bird buffet at Shea if that’s hunkey-dorey with Omar. Bring up some fresh talent from the farm system already, will ya? Read: not Heath Bell or Jose Lima.

Still the Mets have come a long way since the 1991-1996 era. Or as others have dubbed them: “The Carl Everett Years: Holy shit this team is bad.” Ah yes, the lean years… Still, as Chinese soupmakers everywhere can attest, you can't enjoy the sweet without having tasted the sour. (That last sentence made much more sense in my head than it did typed out).

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Stop Singing Damnit.

Someone please tell me why they’re still airing that Chevy commercial with the John Mellencamp song. You know, the one that goes, “This is ouuuuuuuur country!” If he didn't sing it as "are" instead of "our" it would be just slightly more tolerable. I suppose his way of singing it appeals more to those landlocked red state voters. What’s even more beguiling is the onscreen montage, which consists of clips of Martin Luther King giving a speech, the Vietnam War, and muddy people dancing at what appears to be Woodstock. Right, because if there was ever anything that makes me want to buy a pickup truck, it’s being reminded of a time of great social upheaval and change.

They’ve been airing it nonstop since the baseball playoffs in October. Pretty much every time the Tigers made a pitching error (which, if you were watching, was an awful lot) viewers would be treated to four more spots of this wretched song. Now it’s January, and every time Payton Manning calls a huddle (which, again, is an awful lot) I get to see this commercial roughly 11 more times. Remember when John Mellencamp promised us he wouldn’t sell out? That he would never do tv commercials? Yeah, about that John… What happened to John “Cougar” Mellencamp, the guy who did “Wild Night”? Eh, who am I kidding, that guy wasn’t very good either.

This all supports my theory that nothing good ever has ever come from the state of Indiana. Nor will it. (Dan Quayle being “Exhibit A”). Prove me wrong Hoosiers.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If my 8 years in Coney Island Veterinary School (go Whitefish!) have taught me anything, it’s that the size of a dog directly corresponds to its intelligence. The smaller the dog, the smarter it generally is. Hence the constant barking that small dogs are known for. They have more on their minds you see, and clearly feel a need to vocalize these issues: thermodynamics, currency exchange rates, string theory, and the earth’s gravitational pull on the moon. Stuff like that.

Then you work your way up the scale to a larger dog, (say, an 80 pound Samoyed, pictured at the top right) who will typically bark once a day, and when he does, it’s usually to vocalize something along the lines of: “I’m not sure if I’m hungry or if I need a walk, but if you pet me, I'll forget about both for the next 10 minutes. Now put me outside so I can go play with that skunk again--I think she’s starting to warm up to me.”

That’s my Cosmo—who currently resides at the parent’s house. For the record, being “Seinfeld” fans, we named him well before the Michael Richards comedy club video came out. As much as I’d absolutely love to be accused of possessing a racist dog...

Why do I bring all of this up? Well I’m currently an apartment renter. And being a man, I want a dog. Problem is, most apartments only allow tenants to have dogs that are small enough to be drop-kicked. I can understand this since puntable dogs would be of great value in our building’s monthly 1st floor/2nd floor iron-man football matchups, but I just can’t accept the fact that the only dog I’m allowed to possess is of the yapping miniature variety. Feel free to leave suggestions for all non-reptilian alternatives to dogs in the comments section below

Stumble Upon Toolbar