Tuesday, August 30, 2005

the Mets the Mets the Mets

The NYT can be rather harsh on the Mets. Perhaps that's an understatement. Some clips from this season:

-"On a night when the Pirates wore the uniforms of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Mets dressed as the New York Cubans, fashioning a nod to their Negro League forefathers, the Mets discovered that no costume was capable of masking reality."
-"The lines on Bell and his fellow reliever Danny Graves read like the stuff of a beer league".
-"He had to feel like a voodoo doll stuffed with pins."
-"On this trip, the Mets are disproving Coors Field and Minute Maid Park as hitting havens."

But does the Times really have it out for the Mets, or is the reporting really just an accurate portrayal of the team's sometimes dissapointing performance? In other words, is this just a situation akin to right-wing critiques of American media coverage of the Middle East? (the pro-Israel die-hards: "Oh my gosh, the US media is so unfair, they say Israel does bad things; they are so biased against Israel!". Clearer minds: "Um, Israel does do many bad things; the US media is just reporting on it, and not even that much).

There have been many spectacularly dissapointing moments for the Mets, but overall, when everything is said and done, they are a winning team.

One way to think about the coverage is to look at what Ben Shpigel and Lee Jenkins write about the opposing teams. And it's not always friendly, such as in last Thursday's paper: "...the Diamondbacks, who might be more competitive playing in the Arizona Fall League that begins here in October..."

So, this is just sports journalism, after all, in all its wonderfully low-key gloriousness.

I don't remember what the point of all this was.

Friday, August 26, 2005


From today's Washington Post:
"Deejay's Appeal: 'Kill The Whiteness Inside'"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Partners in Peace. (?).

On Friday, UFPJ and ANSWER announced the following:

"The two major antiwar coalitions that have initiated and organized for a massive anti-war March on Washington for September 24 have agreed to organize a joint rally followed by a joint march. Both coalitions will organize under their own banners, slogans, and with their own literature for the September 24 demonstration. The joint rally will begin at 11:30 am at the Ellipse in the front of the White House. We urge everyone around the country to unite and come out for the largest possible anti-war demonstration on September 24."

Well, this is probably better than if it were otherwise. But who knows what kind of speakers we'll get. Perhaps if we don't pay attention to them we won't have to mind the praise for Milosevic, Palestinian suicide bombers, or whatever it will be?

The last big mobilization I was at in Washington DC featured Madeline "the price is worth it" Albright and Hillary (voted for authorization of force in Iraq) Clinton as speakers, so what could be worse?

One other note on this: I don't know the real history of the UFPJ/ANSWER tiff for this particular march. But I must say, UFPJ was not completely in the right. They said on July 14th that they were having a seperate event from ANSWER because they wanted to just focus on calling for an end of the occupation of Iraq. They said that though they agreed with many of the other issues ANSWER was supporting, they believed this was the time to just focus on Iraq. Say what you will. But then just six days later, they announced that "We are seeking a route that will take us past the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, now headed by Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz. The IMF and World Bank will be meeting throughout the weekend, and we will be highlighting the close connections between their aggressive and destructive policies of corporate globalization and the larger empire-building agenda of the Bush Administration."

So, to summarize: UFPJ cooler than ANSWER, but still lame hypocrites.

See, You, In the Streets

break 2, break 0.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fung Wah fun

Yes, that's Fung Wah, rather charred. Everyone made it out.

In March, it was a Travel Pack bus that caught on fire on the Mass Pike, during the middle of the night. Everyone escaped before the bus was totally engulfed; the circumstances surrounding the fire are still open to debate, with very conflicting accounts from only a handful of people.

This week, it was Fung Wah's turn. On Tuesday, one of their busses caught on fire on I-91 (near Wes, actually..), and again everyone escaped without serious injury. Here's the Boston Globe report. As with the previous fire, the reports of different passengers and of the company are highly conflicting, if not outright silly.

There are follow-up articles about how when the passengers finally arrived in NYC, Fung Wah tried to hide from them, and refused to give them insurance information. Eventually the NYPD had to run the licence plate from the bus to get the info.

One final thought: one of the news accounts mentioned that laptop computers were left in the bus. So often in plane crashes, people try to take their stuff with them. Point is, if this time people didn't even grab their computers, they must have been in quite a hurry. Yikes.

Dinner time

I don't know why I haven't been posting more photos of food. I like taking pictures of my meals. (if you want to see some crazy photos of food served at restaurants, go to Steve Plotnicki's absurd site/blog, Opinionated About Dining. Then think about what a funny last name that guy has. Plotnicki.)

Here's tonight's quick dinner -- bowtie pasta (leftover), tomato sauce, strips of fake chicken, a bit of grated muenster and a touch of basil.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Boston Globe on war-mongering Democrats

From Sunday's Globe: "Democrats embrace tough military stance"

Nothing explicitly new, but sums up stuff from the last few months. And it's angering. This reminds me of all that stuff from the Kerry and Edwards speeches at the convention last year.

At least MoveOn finally came out in favor of bringing the troops home, back in late June.

The control of the House of Representatives at the 2006 mid-terms is arguably the Democrats' to lose. But these guys are becoming like the Mets, or the Giants -- they can always find a way to blow it. And trying to sound all militaristic just might do that.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Rumor: Kim Stolz being sued by ANTM

Word on the street is that Kim Stolz, wes '05, who is going to be featured on the fall run of America's Next Top Model, is being sued by the show or UPN. Apparently after it was filmed she told people about what happened on the show, which of course she wasn't allowed to do. The rumors are that she makes it to the top 5 or so, but doesn't win.

anyone else hearing anything on this?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Good to Know

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Gas Price Watch

Monday, August 08, 2005

The weekend's other death.

Ibrahim Ferrer died on Saturday. He was 78.

A singer in Cuba a long long time ago, he became famous in the US from the 1997 Buena Vista Social Club album, on which most notably he sang Dos Gardenias. There were also two recent solo albums.

I saw him perform twice, both times in Boston, in January and December 2001. Good shows.

The Times obit referred to him as "tall, distinguished and lively, an excellent bolero singer who used space and silence in his relaxed elegant delivery to increase the drama, a man who had been rolled over by history and was now simply trying to enjoy an absurdly lucky situation".

Well, actually, he's anything but tall. But the rest is true.

I saw that $.50 guy

Well, kind of. Maybe.

I was walking past Madison Square Garden after work, and there were tons of people lined up, cops, barricades, and I can't remember what else. Clearly there was a big event. I looked up at the big display on 7th Ave and it announced that the show was Eminem and 50 cent. As I walked further east on 32nd street, there was a fancy bus heading towards the Garden that said "G Unit". So, see for yourself. 50 Cent is inside there. Maybe.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

SEIU lameness

From Wednesday:

Wow, for all the talk of SEIU being so radical and saying that labor needs to do things differently... They're just doing the same-old, status-quo strategy.

Basically, they endorse the guy who gave a few small concessions, so that they'll get a few more. They'd also make the argument that if you don't endorse the incumbent who gave you a few small things, future leaders won't bother to make those small concessions because they won't be able to rely on labor rewarding them for doing so when the election comes up (which is a valid point).

But, still, this strategy really only helps guarantee that no real change is made.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

No more CJTS!

Governer Rell orders the closing of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School.

Oh, Pathmark

When we first arrived here in 718 (actually, none of us have 718 phones, but whatevs), we did a fair amount of shopping at Pathmark. Later we learned about the fruit and veggie joint down at 3rd and 25th, and just last night we joined the Park Slope Food Coop. I went for a shop there today and it was quite exciting; there's Ben & Jerry's for $2.80, soba noodles for $1.39 (for real), and lots of friendly atmosphere. For some things, though, Pathmark -- and specifically the Pathmark brand foods -- can't be beat.

Every generic brand has their "toasted wheat O's" or whatever to replace Cheerios, and the like. But sometimes Pathmark is just silly. That's the case with their generic version of Grape Nuts:

(scroll down)

Oh gosh. Anyhow, I haven't tried it enough -- nor compared it side-by-side with Grape Nuts -- to make a judgement yet. But 'sarah', on emptybowl.com, has written all about it.