April 30, 2002 - Finality
   • Wednesday night is the Free Press' Final Party. In my case, it will be the final party there forever.

   I will not be in attendance. Quite fitting, don't you think?
April 29, 2002 - Quite The Crack-Up
   • You ever have one of those days where everything just goes right? Where it all just falls your way... where it feels like you're taking a golden stroll down an enchanted mountain path, chewing on breath mints and talking to clean-skinned, blond-haired Finnish people?

   That's great. Go to hell.

   Where to begin, where to begin...

   The Slam is over, as the Bruins were meekly eliminated last night by Jose Theodore. Note I did not say the Canadiens, since the entire rest of the team is kind of like those of us who play with Erik Nielsen on BUCB: every so often we make a contribution, but we're winning because he's doing all the heavy lifting.

   It's hard to say whether I really believed all four Boston teams would win their respective championships in the same calendar year. I think what I really thought was the Celtics and Bruins would both win it all, thus causing the Red Sox to go into a tailspin of epic proportions. So in a way, their losing is a positive. Course in another way, fuck Canada.

   All through this series, Rotmans Carpet kept showing this classic ad of Joe Juneau back when he was with the Bruins in '94. I can't really figure out why they were doing it, since they never actually note he's on the Canadiens now, but it just rekindled my hate for the man. Ooh! Look at me, I'm French-Canadian! I think I'll pronounce my name 'Jo-eh' instead of just Joe. Then I can seem deep, and criticize people who say it wrong!

   Patrick Roy, I can understand why it's 'Roi' and not Roy, because Roi means king. That's just cool. But since Joe means either "hamburger seller" or "child molestor" in French, no slack for you. And yes, it's not lost on me that my last name and origin are also French-Canadian. Suffice to say I don't have a hard-on for the native land of Moxy Fruvous, eh?

   Now, with the Bruins gone, I've had to move my thoughts to another slam. Conveniently enough, this one happened even before the Bruins were out of the playoffs, though its convenience level drops significantly when I explain it was my car into the back of a Volvo on Route 93.

   There's that moment when you realize your car isn't stopping via brakes, and will only cease to roll when acted upon by another object, like said Volvo. Once that moment's gone, the next is the wondering whether or not everyone involved is OK, and if your car suffered any serious damage. At this point, I'll take one out of three ending well.

   Tight traffic, with a light rain just bubbling the oil from the pavement. Pace is moving about 30-40 on 93, which for that road is insanely slow. Guy in black Toyota stops quick, woman in red Volvo thus stops quick, kid in blue Tempo unable to follow their lead.

   To Everyone Deriving Pleasure From My Misfortune: I take solace in knowing every morning, I wake up and am not you.

   Most of the damage to my car is cosmetic - half of bumper gone, slight crunching to the right front, smashed (but operational) blinker, slight rubbing on right front tire when going over 60, problems opening passenger door - but it's drivable. All this does is clinch no one will ever steal it, and ensure that now and forever, it will be called The Mightiest Tempo. My main concern is from an insurance perspective, once I find someone to hammer me a wheel-well.

   I still got to New Bedford, still worked the whole night there. My main impression from the evening? The computer that would be mine? Sucks.
April 28, 2002 - Phrase Of The Year
   • Today's Moment Of Insensitivity: The opening load screen to the PS2's NBA Street is five guys standing on a New York City basketball court... with the Twin Towers peeking above the city scene behind them. Especially considering it's a video game, this discovery was pretty damn eerie.

   Sweet game, by the way. Anything that can have me swearing at the television within the first hour of play is definitely worthy of consideration.

   Only now am I realizing the value of having a car in Boston. It just opens things up in whole new ways, much like the previously-mentioned girl in the porno floating round campus. There's something about driving down the street screaming at the pedestrians cutting you off... makes you feel a step higher than your average college student. Walking is still better, but in the rain, it's nice to be able to go outside again.

   I suppose I should feel shame for buzzing down Beacon Street in a 1990 Ford Tempo unslowed by its lack of paint, but I just take solace in knowing if a more expensive car hits me, I'm rolling in the street and playing dead.

   I should probably also be ashamed to know the name of the girl in the oft-mentioned terrible porno. I suppose I could tell you, but really, it'd make the Bishop blush.

   So, Monday's the day. My first tryout in New Bedford, for a job I still can't decide it I actually want. I'm so torn right now, being chasing the dream to be a writer, sticking to something I know that I'm good at or going in a completely different direction altogether. The lack of people beating down my door is expected, yet still troubling all the same. ESPN hired Bill Simmons... just because I have a life doesn't mean I should have to get a real job!

   No matter what happens, I'm not going to be pleased at first. There will be some haranguing, some long nights, much bitching, but in the end I'll be happy about three months down the line. The fact that I can predict this and you all know I'm right means I really need to start getting out more.

   Haven't even really been giving much thought to this trial... I fell like I already know the job, and am comfortable doing it. Theoretically I should be brushing up on my AP style, but I feel like I know that too. Growing up sucks.

   As of right now, it's a two horse race. One you know, one you don't, and it's going to stay that way for the time being. We'll just leave it at the other one is a stretch, a question of how bad I really want to be what I think I want to be. The fact that it's even still under consideration is a testament to how bad I want to do this line of work, even if it does mean I'll be paying off my college loans until I'm 47 and dead.

   Thank goodness I haven't bought a car or anything larger than a TV... I don't think I could pay off a hobo right now. Three weeks and counting...

April 27, 2002 - This And That
   • Some days are a study in contrasts.

   The Improbable: Derek Lowe throws a no-hitter against the Devil Rays. We are talking about Tampa Bay, the only team in the league who wouldn't raise a whimper if contracted, but still. Watching it and realizing this was Lowe's second serious run at a no-hitter this season... six months ago wearing a Lowe jersey t-shirt was like taking a dump in the punch bowl.

   This whole D-Lowe thing... every time I hear it, the only thing I can think of is shitty WWF wrestler D-Lo Brown. Amazingly bad, even considering wrestlers have been made out of a a preacher, a porn star and a grandfather. Is this where Derek's nickname came from? Will D-Lo appear with D-Lowe on RAW this week? Will Derek be crowned WWF champion in a gimmick gone wrong? This shitty wrestling discussion is for BUCB's James, the only other person to appreciate Wrestlecrap as much as I do.

   The Impossible: Yankees pitcher Ted Lilly allowing one hit to Seattle, AND LOSES THE GAME. If this isn't something that was destined to happen to a Red Sox pitcher, I don't know what is.

* * *

   The Improbable: The Bruins out shoot the Montreal Canadiens 44-13 in Game Five. You know where this is going...

   The Impossible: The Canadiens win in Boston, 2-1. All together now... F-U-C-K C-A-N-A-D-A.

* * *

   The Improbable: An ESPN poll shows Boston's favorite franchise is still the Red Sox (24%), with the Patriots (20%) in second. Which is why I still say if the Red Sox make it to World Series, Please Come To Boston - if you don't and we win, the city will collapse back into the sea before you can book a plane ticket.

   The Impossible: The Patriots claim half the vote in a poll asking which team will have the toughest time defending their title. Two words: Arizona Diamondbacks. Next?

* * *

   The Improbable: I play a solid game of tennis in the ghetto after watching two minutes of a free concert and eating yogurt from a tin foil sack. There are years that go by where I don't do any of these things, never mind days where I do them all.

   Which reminds me, support your local independent businessman. Buy shitty souvenirs from the guy who sells them out a shopping cart.

   The Impossible: On a whim, I go on a sixty-mile drive to see Lisa and spend less than an hour with her. The actual driving down there was strange enough. Drinking the booze from my fridge when I was there? Hey, it was still a good time.

   Obviously, Meg and I only did it because I was jealous of UMass-Dartmouth's public school education. Zing!
April 26, 2002 - A Legend Falls
   • So I make this graphic for the FreeP website, because the one posted by my editor is both wrong and too large. Throw the text together, line everything up, pick a font... glorious. Decide it needs a little something extra, so I throw "voting" into Google and get a background graphic.

   Only after I finish and upload the thing do I look at the graphic: it's a voter asking a member of the election commission who to vote for. Given that the paper asked the entire election commission to resign on Thursday, somehow this is all going to get blamed on me.

    As a further way of inflating my own importance, I've decided anything that's ever gone wrong is my fault. Hope you feel better.

   By now, you've no doubt heard about the death of Lisa "Left Eye Gonna Burn Yo' House Down" Lopes. I don't deny the tragedy of it, or that she was my favorite member of TLC - though really, that ain't saying much. I don't deny the fact that she signed with Suge Knight a few months ago is, um, interesting....

   But seriously, who the hell vacations in Honduras?!

   I think of Honduras, I think of drugs. I think of a coup, a line and a crooked dictator. Are any of these things currently applicable to there? Probably not. But if I was a millionaire, Honduras isn't high on the list I want to go visit. I'd rather go to Nunavut, for Christ sakes.

   You know, if it pisses you off so much, why do you keep reading it?

   Even higher among the decisions I have to question is letting someone videotape you while pleasuring yourself. BU students across campus are sharing a video file of some girl doing just that in Warren Towers. It's obvious she knows what's happening, obvious she's not drunk, obvious the lights are positioned to reveal everything one should not be revealing...

   Why? Why does this happen? I'm not what one would call a porn aficianado, but I could not watch this. She was too hideous, it was too wrong... she was too hideous. It was like watching a train wreck, but seeing the bodies pleasure themselves as they dismember.

   As Vito would say, "That's 65 megs I'd like to have back."

   I'm not sure what's more amazing: that a girl allowed herself to be made pornography or that I went from having nothing to do to entertaining at 4 a.m. in a matter of minutes.

   Bill's Rams 48, Cooch's Colts 39. Twenty seconds left, my ball. Touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison. Extra point. Onside kick recovered. 25-yard pass to E.G. Green. Timeout. 52-yard field goal. Cooch's Colts 49, Bill's Rams 48.

   The price is wrong, bitch.

April 25, 2002 - Hail Come Down, Go Boom
   • I hope it was a hell of a rally.

   At about eleven o'clock tonight, roughly four hours after I'd broken my promise to not go grocery shopping again and two hours after I watched a tortilla burn in Saugus' El Machino, a fireball flooded the sky with orange light, shooting flames eighty feet in the air.

   I'd out and out assume these events weren't related, but in this post-Sept. 11th world, who can tell?

   Apparently, power plants don't like it when it goes from ninety degrees one week to hailing and snow the next. When power goes off in such conditions, the transformers at these plants decide to explode, causing massive hysteria and seven people in my car trying to figure out what the hell happened. Yes, I've been playing 'real journalist' again.

   For all the damage and hoopla a large fireball can cause, there really wasn't much of a story. Go over, talk to people, have them tell you "it was like a bomb went off," "flames were everywhere," "it was raining shards of metal...," regular everyday stuff. Still, it's fun, which would explain why I want to be a reporter and you don't.

   It's not the same for me anymore. Every time I'm in the Free Press office, or when I'm called to write a worthless space-filler thirty people will read, it hurts. I can't make myself write for them, because I still believe they screwed me. You be the judge.

   I started at the DFP late for a student... the first semester of my junior year. Wrote a half dozen stories, had my first syndicated nationally... they quickly learned I had my shit together. The rising news editor, now editor-in-chief Dave D'Onofrio, asked me to become one of his two assistants. I eagerly accepted.

   During the spring semester, I gave them everything I could. It wasn't as much as some, given I was trying to stay on scholarship, hold down a job and run a certain student organization all at the same time, but it was a more-than-adequate amount of my time. Wrote a good dozen stories, some far more important than others, and applied to be News Editor for first semester, senior year.

   My plan was pretty simple: I'd be the News Editor, move up to one of the top three e-board positions this semester, then parlay it all into a job come now. This is why I should never think ahead. Needless to say, I didn't get the News position. It went to a guy named Ray Henry, who if you're paying attention, is the guy who wrote the above-linked Globe story on last night's explosion.

   Can I weave a fucking narrative or what? I swear, somebody give me a beer or something... I'm incredible.

   Not only did I not get the News position, the City Editor position went to Scott Brooks, who technically worked under me as an Assignment Editor. As I understand it, he got the job over me because I was in New Hampshire at a College Bowl tourney the day positions were announced, something at least one member of the board knew. Why the City Editor for September had to be decided that day in April... I'll still never understand.

   There were five of us on the news staff in Spring '01... all guys. Four stayed working at the paper the next year - Dave's the current Editor-in-Chief, Scott's Managing Editor, Bill is the rising News Editor... and I've been no more than the Web Guy since.

   I tried to give it the stiff upper lip this year, working as an assistant again until I quit in October. Ray's parlayed his work at the FreeP into a Globe internship... me? Could that have been me? Wouldn't doubt it. These people are my friends to this day... walking in there and taking a story might be the single most intelligent thing I've done as a student here. I'm going to miss everyone in that newsroom... yet I just can't help but wonder why I got the cold shoulder.

   I think what pisses me off the most is not so much that I think I'm better than the editorial board in place, but that I don't think they're any more competent than me. No one in the newsroom has any more inherent skills than I do, but they get the big stories. They get the titles and the "prestige," while I get to cover a fucking Pequot Powwow.

   Memo to the Mashantucket Pequots: Stick to Catch-A-Wave.

   All I ever wanted was a shot, to show what I can do and why I can do it better than most. That's still all I want.
April 24, 2002 - Risk And Reward
   • This is journalism. Knocking on a door, while your interview hides behind it, cell phone left unanswered. Sitting on a park bench with a source, chatting for ten minutes, twenty minutes, about everything.

   If it was my name in the by-line, I'd have been pissed it was all off the record. OOPS!

   Never has the election of a useless body caused such a stir, though really, the stir begins and ends in the offices of the Daily Free Press. Up until tonight, I hadn't even been paying attention to the sham this current election is, outside of writing slightly-informed web postings about it.

   By the way kids, there's still time to not vote. Do not, I repeat, do not go to people.bu.edu/election and do not take an active interest in student government. You'll only encourage them. Do, however, shower and eat three square meals a day. Your mother will love you for it.

   This election story has been made by the work of one man: Student Union Election Commission Chair John Macom. You read about incompetent officials in the big city papers, you see them on TV, but to actually be in the midst of one is an incredibly uplifting feeling. Not only are you better than they are, you don't have the Daily Free Press knocking on your door!

   Last night, Macom placed this as the voicemail message on his phone: "If you're calling about elections, hang up now. Everyone else, leave a message." This is the kid in charge of running the election, during the election period! Am I the only one finding this funny? He sent an e-mail to the paper last night, telling the DFP to "stoping" bothering him. Every letter or quote from this kid is like what my web postings would be if I got hit by a bus.

   Futility is often its own reward. Which brings me to my next point... Thursday's planned protest by UMass students on the steps of the State House.

   This is a story, just based on where I live and who I know, that's important to me. I have several friends at UMass-Amherst, at least one at UM-Dartmouth and I've given change to several dozen beggars wearing UMass-Boston degrees as ponchos. What's happening at these campuses is evidence enough that Jane Swift belongs in Williamstown with the rest of the hippies and pot-smokers.

   The Gist Of It: See Jane become governor. See Jane realize the state has no money. See Jane cut $8 bajillion dollars from the UMass system's budget. See panic ensue.

   Yet nothing has even come close to making me mad about this story, until I read this.

   April 23rd, 9:32 a.m., quotes now cutting to the chase...

"I realize that in the past, things have been said like "You get what you pay for", or "State school, what'dya expect??" I have thrown these arguements aside like the garbage that they are."

"First of all, yes. UMass is a state school. That does not indicate that it is a worthless institution. I'm a Physcs/Math/Astronomy major. You can not make me believe that the physics/math/astronomy that I am learning at UMass is any different than what people are learning at other venues of higher learning. Likewise, you can't make me believe that there are more prepostitions taught to english majors at BU, "better" physics taught to people at MIT, "different" languages taught at Emerson. Nothing any of you can convince me of that."

"Its been an opinion of mine that the reason why everyone looks down on the state school is that everyone realizes this fundamental quality of higher education, and is insanely jealous that they can't understand it, and felt the need to throw away $100,000 on an education that they could have gotten, "For a dollar fifty in late charges at your public library" ala Will Hunting. Looking back.. have any of you that have gone on to these big fancy universities and gotten these big fancy degrees, what do you find yourself working alongside?? Someone who went to a state school who is virtually debt free and doing the exact same job as you are? Or are you surrounded by people who are just like you? They get it, but they don't accept it? That they wasted four years and an insane amount of money so they could get a job that makes the same amount of money as someone who paid a fraction of the cost?"

   Preparing for systematic verbal bitchslapping...

   1. Funny to call my argument garbage when BU collected over $83 million from alumni last year, and your school cut the gymnastics teams to save money.

   2. UMass, for all its wonders, does not have a journalism degree program. They have several journalism classes and a daily paper, all sandwiched into the English curriculum. BU has one of the top ten journalism programs in the country, state-of-the-art equipment, professors with experience at all the major wire services, major newspapers, ad firms... so yes, I do believe I'm getting a higher quality education. I do believe I'm learning more than I would at UMass. But that must be because I'm a jaded idiot who's jealous he turned down UMass.

   3. Interning in Nashua, the news editor was a BU grad. Second in command was a Northeastern grad. I'll agree that in many cases, the difference in education between state and private is not large. I'll agree UMass has some very solid programs. But perception is reality.

   My good friend Matt, as I've culled from his web-posted bio, both graduated in the bottom 10% of the Harvard Class of 1996 and was flown down to Washington, D.C., for an interview with The Weekly Standard. I bet I know how many graduates from the UMass Class of 1996 that happened to...

   I'm wrong to pick on Jen, but when you're trying to make an argument about why your cause should be supported, it's not generally good policy to attack who you're appealing to. A UMass education is not the equal of a Boston University or an MIT education, because we don't live in a utopia where all are of clear mind and everybody pure like Ivory soap. We live in the real world, where my waving a degree from an Ivy is going to attract a lot more flies than one from DeVry.

   So let's all go to the State House plaza Thursday. Let's wave our signs and thump our chests, talk on microphones and make up cool chants. Because that's going to put enough money back in the state budget to give UMass students the education they deserve.

   Lisa gets it... that's why she won't be there with you. You want your school back? Futility's easy. Come up with a better plan.
April 23, 2002 - Shameless And Aimless
   [ Job Front Update: Next Monday and Wednesday, I will work a 4:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. at The Standard-Times doing whatever it is I would do if they hired me. This would be considered a success.

   Proving my other resumes got through the postal service unscathed, I got a letter from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette today, reading "Recently, our employment practice has been to hire journalists wil several years of full-time daily newspaper experience. Therefore, I must regrettably report that your qualifications are not commensurate with out needs at this time."

   comĚmenĚsuĚrate - equal in measure or extent : corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree, as in "She was given a job commensurate with her abilities."

   Hey, at least they contacted me. ]

   • Remember Sunday, when we had all we could do to count the victories Boston teams were racking up? Remember last week, when it was 90 degrees and everybody was naked on the streets? Remember last year, when I had cable television could still be mesmerized by a PlayStation 2? Those were the days.

   Things here truly are running nigh, as at this time on Thursday I will essentially be done with all major projects at Boston University. Thanks be to the designers of the College of Communication, who have designed the finals period to be no more than a Safety Dance for us. It's amazing how little we have to do with ourselves while elsewhere on campus, students are diving headfirst into bookshelves trying to knock themselves intelligent.

   Why, what will I do with this last extended break before I get a job, go bald and end up face down and alone? Perhaps I'll design myself a duct tape outfit and go to the Prom. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea to them at the time. Maybe I'll have a hypothetical conversation with Matt Bruce, to match the one he had with me. I'm not sure what to think about this, given I spent yesterday talking about the Student Union.

   You know what I'll do? I'll call Vending Services to request an $0.85 refund, because the Engineering snack machine ate my money. Can you just imagine what the guy who took my information must have been thinking? "This guy needs 85 cents bad enough to call us?" Can you imagine if I worked there, the ammo I would have to attack humanity? The only reason I called was because I assumed it'd be a recorded message, that I could privately explain my case to these people, hang up and pretend no one heard it?

   I'm not sure what's sadder: that I called, that I'll literally get eighty-five cents mailed to me in a few days, or that I'll be excited when it gets here.

   Each day, graduation ambles nearer - 26 days and counting. My cap and gown sit purchased, in a bag on a chair - I've tried them on... I can make any outfit look good. The will to work is disappearing - I'm trying to intentionally make myself look incompetent, to easily sever ties with those who depend on me.

   Not really sure where I'm going with this. This is going even worse than yesterday. I feel like the Bruins in the third period: technically I'm in the game, but damned if I know what I'm doing. I have the overwhelming sense that I need to do something, but I'm stuggling to find just what to do. That, officer, is why I'm sitting here, rolling pennies.

   I fear I'm going to get this feeling a lot over the next seventy years.
April 22, 2002 - Woo. Earth Day.
   • For those of you who expressed disappointment in yesterday's "all sports" write-up, the alternative was a discussion on how every time I think NASCAR is reaching the vaunted American Mainstream, I see another commercial that solidifies it as entertainment for hicks.

   Yes, I like NASCAR. Yes, I'm disappointed this makes me a hick. No, you can not distract me with pretty colors and the 'Cletus, The Slack-Jawed Yokel' song. I will still knee you in the groin, ala Jean Teasdale.

   Tuesday's edition of the Free Press will be the annual "Election Issue." Contrary to popular belief, Boston University does have a student governing body, and they do hold elections for it every year. Depending on my mood, I vote in it from time to time.

   Don't let yourself be confused though... the Student Union doesn't actually do anything. Every Monday, they go to a big room, meet with something call the Senate and hand out money to student groups that aren't College Bowl. We've never actually asked them for money, but let's be honest: would you open your checkbook to me? On purpose? This is a question we'll be asking in a few months when I'm on the street, but we'll get to that later.

   The centerpiece of the election issue, other than the "here's who to vote for, stupid" DFP endorsement, is the "slate statements." The Presidential candidate of each slate writes an open letter to the student body, detailing their platform and why you should vote them into the nine useless offices the Student Union has.

   Members of the Union hate it when you call their job useless. Absolutely hate it. You get this talk about all the ways the Union privately touches your life as a student: the shuttle bus service, the Homecoming Float... the shuttle bus service. I've taken the shuttle once. I ended up at the CVS in Allston, where the bus sat for twenty minutes. The sad part is I'm not making this up.

   As a means of informing my fellow students (and keeping the world abreast of what's going on in the universe's core, I will now preview the Student Union elections. Below are excerpts from each slate's platform, with expert commentary from me - "expert" being defined as "with web access and space to fill."

Headed by Ethan Clay, one of the leaders of the current guest policy reform movement.

"The TRUE college experience is composed of five principle elements. We are dedicated to improving residence life, offering important resources to students, fostering BU unity, providing quality entertainment, and addressing student concerns."
-- Note how the slate name fits nicely into their mission statement. It's as though they planned this ahead of time.

"We pledge to provide inexpensive travel to and from major east coast cities. A high profile lecture series and an academic expo will enhance your academic experience."
-- Student government as travel agency. Makes perfect sense to me. And thank God about the lecture series: I was getting tired of having to cover unattended lectures by Amartya Sen and Elie Wiesel. We need new geniuses to ignore.

"Increasing the availability of BUTV, enhancing the Union website, and providing you with a monthly HTML e-newsletter will strengthen communication within the BU community."
-- In four years, I have heard the preceeding sentence 718 times. Nice to know that even after I'm gone, some things will never change.

   By the way, please hurry over to the often-updated Union Website, where you can read about the often-updated events happening on campus.

Headed by Dan Lavy, whose name sounds like Eugene Levy, an underrated comedian.

"We will foster a new enthusiasm in Student Union that will not only improve our school, but also maintain and continue positive reform into the future."
-- An enthusiasm fostered by, undoubtably, an e-mail newsletter and changing the guest policy.

"Generate awareness through better advertising: information sessions, html newsletters, and newspaper coverage. ... Relax the guest policy for upperclassmen."
-- I'm good at this.

"Create a section on the website where students can propose new ideas, give feedback, and contact the Union to become more involved."
-- I recommend some sort of message sent out via e-mail to do this. News, but in a letter form. What's the word I'm looking for...

   The Presidential Election buzzword was "lockbox." There is no doubt the buzzword for the Union election, and I think it's because of the fabulous Daily Free Press e-mail newsletter pioneered, nay, spawned, by a plucky young Online Services Director. Please send all job offers to Jon Couture, care of this newspaper.

Headed by Aaron Michel, head of the Environmental Student Organization. Woo Earth Day.

"The Environmental Student Organization proved by changing BU's recycling policy that working with the administration in a step-by-step small victory approach is the only way to change policy at BU."
-- There has been a bag of glass liquor bottles in my kitchen for a month now, waiting for the new recycling bin I assumed my building would be getting. Maybe by 'recycle,' he means 'smash against the brick wall out back.'

"A BU Gameday during which colleges, Greeks, and student groups vie to become the year's king and queen of BU."

"A video game weekend competition where you get to test your Playstation and X Box skills against hundreds of other BU students on the massive screen in Metcalf Hall."
-- Is this what happens when you know you can't possibly win? You make proposals so openly retarded, people will vote for you out of pity? Students have been writing for weeks about changes in the guest policy, wanting a rape crisis center... and you propose a video game competition? A Greek Olympics?

That said, if one of the games is Super Dodgeball, someone call me.

   Now, having studied the slate proposals for upwards of fifteen minutes, I feel ready to throw my support. What this student body needs is a proven leader, with numerous months of leadership experience. Someone willing to get their hands dirty behind the scenes, willing to spend a Friday night working instead of drinking and being "sexually promiscuous." Someone who understands the administration not only doesn't like students, it out and out hates them. Someone who is ready to raise his hands, run a white flag up the pole, then pee on John Silber's lawn under the cover of night.

   Most importantly, this student body needs a leader who knows a thing or two about e-mail newsletters.

   I think the answer is clear. When you go to the virtual polls 24 hours from now, close your eyes. Click your mouse. Hit send. Because if I'm not running, you're screwed anyway.

   [ You know, it seemed like such a good idea in my mind. Like I once said, can't win a Pulitzer every day... ]
April 21, 2002 - For Once, We Were The Hub
   • It was one of those days that raises your hopes higher than they should ever rise, because with this being Boston, there's always a letdown. You sat there, you watched it all fall together and you believed. You want to go to a corner store and pick up a Boston Globe, a Boston Herald, just to see how they'll meld the photos and text to make make you smile. To make you remember this day for weeks to come.

   And yet, when we look back on April 21st off in the future, the move we'll most remember is the one made by the team in its offseason.

   If the Red Sox go on to win the World Series, today's doubleheader sweep in Kansas City won't even be a blip on a radar of happy memories. If the Celtics go on to, hell, even just make the NBA Finals, we might remember today as when the Green christened the Fleet Center. If the Bruins win the Cup, today will have been the first in a series of must-wins. But no matter what the Patriots do this year, today will be remember as the day Drew left.

   Drew Bledsoe came to New England a savior, lived up to it, then became a scapegoat and leaves... well, a muddled man. Are we sad because it feels like we screwed him? Are we happy because we'd never have won the Super Bowl with him? Am I the only one going through this? Doubt it, as will be crystal clear when the Dec. 8 Buffalo at New England game sells out in a heartbeat.

   Draft Day, 1993. My father was on the side of the house, trimming the hedges. A 13-year-old Cooch ran outside excited, to tell him New England had made Bledsoe the number one pick, leaving useless crapbucket Rick Mirer for the Seahawks. Even then, we knew Mirer was a dud.

   By "we," I mean the hypothetical populace every columnist refers when he's trying to be overly sentimental, convey an opinion he feels strongly about, both or neither. As here, this "we" is total bullshit - it's the same way a reporter puts his opinion in a story by using anonymous sources.

   And by "a reporter," I mean Mike Barnicle, quite possibly the biggest dirtbag who still has a job. But I digress.

   It takes some looking up to find the exact date, but November 13, 1994 was the date he took over the heart of Patriot Nation, a term I've never heard used, but less wordy than "Patriots fans everywhere." Down 20-0 in the third quarter, Drew decided his arm was the only way for a comeback to go. 45 for 70, and the Pats win 26-20.

   Within two seasons, at least in my mind, his halo was removed. Drew's four interceptions cost New England a Super Bowl 31 victory, of this I have no doubt. Exactly the thing that endeared him to us, his refusal to stop passing in the face of anything, led to his fall from grace.

   Since that game, since he lost Parcells, since he lost Curtis Martin, it has never been the same. His mammoth contract was probably somewhat deserved, but left him open to an assault every season that ended poorly. When they left the playoffs meekly in 1998, when a 4-0 start in 1999 became 8-8, when 2000 brought embarassing losses to Cleveland and Detroit, it all spiraled downward to Mo Lewis' hit almost killing him in 2001.

   Yet through all my bashing of him, knowing there'd have been no Super Bowl with him, one of the most electrifying moments of the 2001 season was seeing #11 come off the bench in the AFC Championship. It was pure schlock, straight of the cutting floor of Any Given Sunday, but it was real. The slow trot out. The drive. The TD pass to David Patten, in the corner of the end zone. It was only halftime, but Heinz Field may have well emptied then - there was no way the Patriots were losing that game.

   Every Patriots fan knew this was coming after Drew skipped every celebration but the one at the White House. Even still, it's like a pet dying after a long illness: you can know it's coming, but you still don't want to believe it's true.

   So, go Sox. Go Celts, and Go B's. Go Drew? I can't. The Bills dumped Doug Flutie, and there are some things even I can't forgive.
April 20, 2002 - Define 'Storybook'
   • Having spent the last two weekends in Chapel Hill and Ann Arbor playing at national championships, to finish a four-year run at a five-team tournament in Hanover, N.H., wouldn't seem all that thrilling. That playing in a trash tournament where two teams were ours and two others were alums, it just wouldn't seem all that exciting. Depending on the scenario, you might be right.

   Victory. Fourth-leading scorer. Best performance ever. You're wrong.

   Dartmouth's annual D2K_ tournaments have jokingly been referred to as The BU Invitational, with good reason. Last season's field was over half-BU, this season's all but four players had BU ties. The actual details really aren't that exciting, we are talking about college bowl here, but my team went 8-2 and won the whole show.

   There was a good deal of arguing from a certain new club president, who doesn't seem to understand that this tournament was for me. Did I stack the teams to give myself the best chance of winning? Obviously. Did I screw the other team because of that? Their 0-8 record answers that pretty clearly. Do I feel bad about this? Only to Robin, who's also a graduating senior, but was locked out of our TRASHionals team by an executive decision.

   Erik Nielsen, easily the team's best all-around player, said it best: "When you start doing work, you start getting to make decisions." Never has a line been said better, at a more timely moment. To come from one of the circuit's most socially-weak, that made it all the more stupifying.

   Now, it really is over. Today wasn't my last tournament, by any means, but it is the end of the line. Anything I do after this, in a college bowl sense anyway, will be purely for my own amusement. Like this next diatribe:

   I remember my last in-town basketball game. We would play ten-game seasons, one each Saturday from January to March. After being eliminated from postseason contention in Game Nine, we were down nine with under a minute to go. I hit a three-pointer to close it to six, we made a defensive stop and I hit another one to close the gap to three. Timeout. Defensive stand.

   I never got another shot. The ball went out of bounds with 0:02 on the clock, and the refs ran it out. I'm still bitter.

   I don't remember my last Little League game. I remember the season... I couldn't hit. There was one year where I was actually solid in the #2 slot, but that was it. It used to be a moral victory if I even hit a grounder, never mind got a hit. Drew a lot of walks, since I knew it was the only way I was getting on base.

   I remember my last high school golf match. 1997 Western Mass Championships. I'd gotten onto the WMass team because the freshman originally given the #6 (and final) spot missed our practice round at Hampden CC.

   One of the worst 18-hole rounds I've ever had. 96, nothing better than a bogey until the 15th hole. In my head, I quit on the round for most of the middle holes, only to find out later our top players struggled too, and a mere four shots better on my part would have made us Western Mass Champions.

   We finished third, losing a second-place tiebreaker that caused us to miss the state tournament. Easily the worst athletic moment of my life.

   I remember my last high school tennis match. 1998 Western Mass Championships, first round against Holyoke. We barely made the playoffs, despite having a team that was literally all seniors. Two of us had joined up when golf moved to the fall, meaning we had our spring sports period free.

   Played doubles most of the season, fellow senior Brett Demers and I would win today at #2 doubles. Unfortunately, it proved the team's only win, as we went down 4-1 and were eliminated.

   This was the match I whiffed on an overhead smash, had it bounce behind me and still hit a winner. Only because my opponents were laughing at me, of course.

   The PlayStation breathes again, filled with images of extreme hockey. Though truthfully, the first thing to rouse it was Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma. Shut up. No day is perfect.
April 19, 2002 - House Party
"So I got engaged last night."
-- The new most legendary words in blogging. Want to learn more? Consult your local library, ask the writer or just wait for me to return from my last quiz tournament as an undergraduate.

   • You've dutifully waited. So now, find out the strange truth...

   My brother, young Matthew Paul Couture, has tentatively agreed to attend Boston University.

   This would rank very high on the list of things I didn't think would be happening this school year. Or ever, for that matter. It's above things like my purchasing a television or entering a stable relationship, but still not as unlikely as me ending up in the Canary Islands and becoming the recipient of almost $18,000 in credit.

   That's right, kids. If I ever tell you my credit cards are maxxed out, please shoot me in the face. IMMEDIATELY.

   The family was down for open house today, something I never did, and apparently was smitten. Mom kept talking about how they went in a bio lab and saw all these dead animals, Dad kept talking about... I don't remember, but Matt had that look in his eye.

   The two of us are more alike than I think either would care to admit. Meg can personally testify the idiots we become when in the other's company... it's a blood thing, I guess. He's always loved coming to visit down here, he's met my boss, been fascinated by college bowl, fell in love with the city...

   I'm still shocked though.

   His final three, as I understand it, were here, Roger Williams and Mass Maritime Academy. The last had been my father's idea, but never really taken to by Matt - any school that bars electronics beyond a computer for freshmen, yeah, that's not gonna fly. The second had been part of Little Cooch's fascination with Rhode Island - he applied Early Decision to Brown, eventually got rejected, then toyed with URI for a time.

   Yet as with me, BU gave him the most money. BU offered him the city, offered open mockery of Northeastern University, since it was a safety school for him too. With all this, I shouldn't really be surprised. This is a kid who has followed nearly my every move since he was in kindergarten.

   I remember Robinson Park Elementary School. Matt was in the afternoon kindergarten period, I in fourth grade. I come out the front of the school, and Matt is halfway out the bus window, screaming for my attention. He'd saved me a seat, and wanted to make sure I got it before anyone else did.

   Welcome to the Charles River Campus, young one. May it treat you even better than it did me. And oh yes, to Mark and Sarah, however I found out, congratulations. BUCB's marriage number two has been spawned.
April 18, 2002 - The Scalp That Stopped A Downfall
   [ Job Front Update: Fourteen new clip packets have gone out in the past two days, meaning yet more of the Northeast will be experiencing "Cooch Fever" over the coming days. Also, the Standard-Times has asked me to come in for a trial run as a copy editor sometime over the next two weeks. Maybe Prof. Klarfeld was right: "Have faith. If they want it, they will come." ]

   • Some days, you have to talk about the weather, because your mind is in such vapor lock there's legitimately nothing else to say. All the stuff I once said about there always being something to write about? Crumpled to total crap. My career as a web humorist and baker's assistant? Gone forever. My life, now and into the future? Revealed as sham and failure.

   That's when I saw her. Carpet-haired girl.

   I had left work early to run to the Kenmore Post Office, where a kindly Asian man did his job perfectly: do not make smalltalk, just put postage on my envelopes and send me on my way. I was walking briskly back to central campus, in that way that I walk. I believe it was once defined as, "powerwalking like a fat chick trying to lose weight." This, of course, coming from a girl whose four-inch sandals make her a robust 2'6".

   The funniest part of that last line is there's now about seven of my friends who all think I was talking about them.

   At first, I wasn't sure if I was seeing it quite right. A quick glance upward in front of Sargent College, right before the Burger King, didn't give my brain time to process the signals. My rods just saw hair, but my cones? They saw death itself.

    She was a skater punk... well, so I assumed. When I see Vans, pasty skin and a hooded sweatshirt, it's like I just won a game of Stereotype Bingo. I never did see her face, pity that be, but it never could have been as memorable. Waist-length hair, tightly braided into strands, colored royal blue, magenta, canary yellow, onward, upward, toward full Skittles fandom.

   My initial though was "wig," for no one would willingly do what I witnessed on that stretch of sidewalk. No one would dare, no one could dare... how could hair be that hue? More thorough inspection deemed it, if not probable, possible. The strands entered her skull as normal ones would. There was no sheet laying atop her dome. It was real.

   It was not spectacular.

   On a forgettable day, featuring all the averted sexual exploits and trips to America's top NPR affiliate your normal April Thursday provides, this is what will live on. The stupidity of one girl, the boy walking with her, and me, the astonished observer.

   GOD BLESS AMERICA. But do it by singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th-inning stretch, not "God Bless America." Baseball game? Baseball song.
April 17, 2002 - And So It Begins
Dear Classmate,

   This is it-our last semester at Boston University. Can you believe it? It seems like yesterday that we first arrived at the College of Communication.

   As you reflect on your years here, can you recall a professor or administrator at COM who made a significant impact on your college experience? You have the opportunity not only to honor that person but also to help current and future COM students.

   By making a gift to the COM Fund in honor of someone at the College, you will help fund student scholarships, studio renovations, equipment upgrades, and our alumni-student spring break programs to Los Angeles and New York - all of which helped make your COM education rewarding and challenging.

   If you make a gift before you graduate, we will send a Certificate of Appreciation to whomever you choose to honor. This is the perfect way to thank someone who has made your BU experience memorable. Visit the Legacy Gift Web site at www.bu.edu/alumni/legacy to make your gift and to view the certificate your designated honoree will receive.

   Thank you in advance for your support of COM. I look forward to seeing you at Commencement!

Lauren Liebes, COM'02
COMSA President
-- Anyone I'd honor would much prefer a beer as thank you.

   • It really was a dry heat. Now I know what a poorly-cooked chicken feels like.

   It makes me sad to think soon I won't be a college student anymore, sad that I won't live down the street from Fenway Park, a block away from my girlfriend, or have a value system that places my good time above, well, pretty much everything. The transition from college student to actual human being is a tough one to go through, I assume. In the real world, will I be frowned upon for playing games of Koosh basketball against myself? Will my practice of not washing my bedding for months at a time leave me shunned and silenced?

   Thinking about the last big transition gives me a breath of hope. Moving from high school to college was difficult in its own way, as I didn't actually establish a circle of friends (of student here and my own age, anyway) for two years. There was the drawn-out freshman year feeling of wanting to be back in high school, because that's where many of my close friends were, but as they all graduated, it faded away. Actually going back and visiting my high school couldn't have hurt either... it was like being the only guy at a Tupperware party.

   Come to think of it, it was like being a guy at a Tupperware party period...

   I would not trade being in college right now for being in high school again, ever. Will I be saying the similar thing from the real world in four years? Probably. Not even the flunkies I know will be in college that long...

   Course then again, who says I have to actually mature at any point in the next ten years? For evidence of this point, plus the best college radio show I've heard in quite some time, please direct your browser to the archive for Mark Coen's (et. al) Hey! Stop Doing That! Now THAT'S a shameless plug, but so intricately woven into the narrative you'd think it couldn't possibly be spontaneous.

   I forgot what else I was going to say.
April 16, 2002 - Steamed
   • Yeah, so it's hot out.

   A near-honors student, at a major Eastern university, here mainly through scholarship and that's the best I can come up with. No wonder I don't have a job yet.

   Don't think it's going unnoticed that a month from Wednesday will be my last day in the Mail Room. Least that's the plan, because I'd hoped to have a job lined up by then. Admittedly, I don't have all the resumes out that I should yet, but it's certainly not due to a lack of panicking. I feel a drenching flop sweat coming on at any moment now.

   Granted, a month is a long time. Granted, wherever I do get a job, I won't be satisfied if it's not in Boston. Granted, Survivor: Marquesas is supposedly going strong, even though I haven't even thought to watch an episode.

   So yeah. Hot enough for ya?

   Everything, but more accurately, everyone, just seemed more attractive today. Can't really figure out how this happened. It's supposed to be the exact opposite - when the Sun come out, so do the pasty thighs and fat upper arms of our nation's obese. Obviously, when I say obese, I'm not talking about you. That would just be cruel. It's quite a phenomenon on America's college campuses, what noted biologists would call "the shedding of the skin:" if by skin you mean sweatshirts, jeans and Gucci heeled boots

   Please also bear in mind because this is the 21st century, the "skin" is replaced with "nothing." Please also bear in mind I'm not "complaining."

   Something about today was just very good, and it isn't something I can put a finger on. That should be pretty clear, seeings how I've spent seven paragraphs building an argument on absolutely nothing whatsoever. Maybe I have heatstroke. I could be so lucky.

   Much as I would like to trick myself into believing I have too much schoolwork to handle and want out of here in the worst way, the last two days have solidified why college is the best four years of your life. I went to the Patriots' Day Red Sox game at Fenway Park, which is approximately four blocks from my apartment. On the way back, I walked across the route for the Boston Marathon, which is approximately two blocks from my house. Today I went to my easy job, with a salary more than enough to support me, and attended my only class, which I enjoyed. I spent the evening working on cover letters and a college bowl pack, stopping to call my mother and shoot some baskets with my Koosh basketball hoop.

   They're saying it's gonna be hotter on Wednesday. Oh boy, oh boy.
April 15, 2002 - Marathon Monday
   [ Today's entry is sponsored by IHateDaYankees.com, strictly because its webmaster IM'd me out of the blue today. IHateDaYankees.com - your source for, far as I can tell, uninformed discussion and cheap trinkets. ]

   • You want a Shot Heard 'Round The World? The Boston Red Sox are in first place. Thanks for pointing out it's April 15th, but this doesn't exactly happen on a regular basis.

   Thoughts on my first Patriots Day Sox game, stationed in Section 28 near concessions and a bathroom:

   Manny Ramirez strikes absoluely no fear in my hear anymore when he bats. It's a combination of having no one behind him (meaning 13 walks in 11 games) and his dogging it on the field (jogging is meant to be done by fat people, not men whose salary is escalating my ticket cost). The last clutch hit I remember Manny having came in the first Yankees series last year: his extra-inning single through the box to beat Mariano Rivera.

   • Grady Little, you're on my list too. I'm glad the players love you, and you've restored Boston's faith in our beloved Sox, but you do not pull your starting pitcher when he's given up two hits in seven innings. Even if he is Derek Lowe.

   Rich Garces' popularity has plummeted faster than it takes him to clear a buffet line. At the rate he's going, the "Heath-cliff Slo-cumb!" chants should be on by the next homestand.

   • As happy as I am Shea Hillenbrand has found his game, I seem to remember last April thinking he was a serious contender for Rookie Of The Year. That said, if his hitting streak hits twenty games, invest in a T-shirt and thank me later. I've never been so excited to see a player take eight pitches in a row.

   And after all that, the game went about exactly as I figured it would. After it was clear there'd be no blowout, you just knew it'd be down to the wire. 4-3 and Ugie striking out the last two batters with a pair in scoring position was much more exciting than 4-1, so in a way, thank you Rich Garces for sucking so hard.

   Now as for the other half of Boston's sporting day in the sun, I didn't really watch much. After spending last year's race where you probably never have, I kinda feel like I've seen all I can see. The next time I'll get that excited about the Boston Marathon is when I'm running in it, a thought that genuinely has crossed my mind on an occasion or two.

   Had the coolest idea for a story yesterday. Starting in Hopkinton, I walk the Marathon route as the race is going on. Wouldn't necessarily be on the course, but just along the side of it, weaving through the crowds. Describing what I see, what I feel, stuff like that. My kind of story... just setting the scene for people who would never otherwise see these things. I suppose people have already done this, riding in one of the cars keeping pace with the runners, but I've never read it. Seemed cool to me.

   Looking at the date, it just occurred to me Tuesday will be Tax Day 2002. Quite honestly, if you've waited this long to pay your taxes, I hope you lost the forms. I hope you can't find a stamp, get lost on the way to the Post Office, miss the deadline, are arrested for tax evasion and forced to move to Canada (otheriwse facing a life of cornholing and cigarettes at Attica.)

   Maybe that's a little harsh, come to think of it.

   [ Today's ending has been sponsored by FatChicksInPartyHats.com, the tossup answer that allowed the BU team to beat defending champion Berkeley this weekend at TRASHionals. FatChicksInPartyHats.com, your online source for, well, figure it out yourself, jackass. ]
April 14, 2002 - Fuck Canada
   • So about this Michigan thing...

   TRASHionals is easily my favorite quiz event every year, because based on subject matter, it's the only thing I'm any damn good at. Much as I love to read questions about Greek crap I've never cared about, I'd much rather play questions on left-handed golfers and Baby Geniuses 2.

   I would do a whole run-down of the states like last week, but I both can't be bothered and didn't write much down.

   These past two weekends, I've been in a 15-passenger van for over 3,300 miles, traveling to two national championship quiz events. Blowing two weekends I could have spent doing work, sleeping, getting the dust off my PS2 or pounding away at this resume thing I keep hearing about. That luxury, however, was not mine.

   These two weeks were the pinnacle of my trivia career, the apex of my three years at the helm of BUCB. We came within a single tossup, one lousy fucking tossup, of placing in the top six at both NAQT Nationals and TRASHionals. The fact that I sat on a question where the answer was obviously Rat Race will haunt me roughly as long as a quizbowl-related event should... one and a half minutes after I stop talking about it.

   One of the players on the Maryland team that beat us 220-215 is legitimately old enough to be my father. He is, however, too ugly to be my father, which gives me great solace.

   BUCB has won the undergraduate team title at the last three TRASHionals, and I'm the only person to have been a member of all three teams. On the surface, that's pretty impressive, though I'd be lying to myself if I said I was the driving force behind the team's wins - each time, I was a strong #2 to probably the best undergrad player in the field. Still, it feels good to win, when it something that happens so rarely to me.

   I won an in-town soccer title when I was 10, because I got drafted onto the best team. In sixth grade, my homeroom won the after-school softball tournament. My two years on varsity golf brought two league championships, but Agawam is still yet to claim a Western Mass. title to this day. That's about it.

   This will prove to be only be the third tournament I'll have averaged over two tossups a game in over four years, i.e. I'm not a great player. But this was my best performance in what might be my last performance, in a large scale anyway. You know what they say, don't you?

   If you love something, set it free. If it falls apart after you gradaute, then you know you were the best damned Governor General they ever had.

   Our trophy of a handmade ceramic Smurf will sit proudly from onward now.

   So about this 'Fuck Canada' thing...

   What I Like About Canada: Mr. Sub and, to a lesser extent, Tim Horton's.

"This Tim Horton's kruller is so good, because it's baked with hate."
-- Ask me about creative ways to spend foreign currency.

   What I Hate About Canada: Pretty much everything else.

"I tend to think of Canada as our slightly retarded cousin."
-- Anglophile Sarah, clearly bitter as another former colony.

   The casino streak ended at four, with my pissing a profit as high as $115 Cdn. ($72.50 US) into a $75 Cdn. ($47 US) loss by the end of the night. A Saturday night visit to the MGM Grand in Detroit was too crowded to win anything back, so the stupid odds have caught up to me again.

"I only lost money because I thought it would make you love me!"
-- I didn't have a serious girlfriend until age 18. Never wonder why again.

   When I write it down on screen, the sheer stupidity of continuing in the face of consecutive defeats is maddening. I'll never learn.

   But that's not why I hate Canada. Those with long memories will remember the sowing of the seeds, which reaped the trees of hate flourishing on this trip. It should not be such a hassle to pass back and forth between America and America Light. Fuck Canada, fuck it all the way to hell. It's boring, it's rainy, 'Canuck Bucks' are worthless and they just can't admit they're essentially America with more snow.

   On this same hate-filled note, I push we get the bastards to annex Detroit. What a God forsaken craphole. You can't even understand until you drive on those highways and look in that downtown. It's like the surface of the moon... plus the Tigers are 0-11. Just take it, take it all... move it to Nunavut. Just get it off my flag.

"The gay Coke is bootylicious."
-- Josh, however, can stay, even if he did mistake a car wash for an Arby's Drive Thru.

April 11-13, 2002 - Abridged
   • Overslept to depart for Michigan... as in should be gone right now.

   Suffice to say we did not win our last softball game as Libelous Row. You'll hear about the rest Monday when I'm back from Michigan, along with why I was there in the first place.

April 10, 2002 - I Got A Haircut!
   • [Apologies for not getting yesterday's post up until very late last night - I was over my space limit, and it wouldn't upload. Thouhg it was nice to see I got 45 hits while providing absolutely no new content. My ego just climbed out my body, and is dancing around the room.]

   All these years, I thought I originated calling Fenway "The Chapel." Then last night, I see it on a poster. I'm either taking Costacos Brothers to court, or am deeply affected by the products that surround me. I think we know where this one's going.

"But it tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper!"
-- Said aloud to Meg in Campus Convenience, as I bought Diet Dr. Pepper. She was amused, but more than anything, I think she was scared.

   Last night's game was your classic Red Sox game, seriously. If you crafted an average game of the past dozen years or so, it would come out: close game against team we should beat, we continually blow chances to take the lead, they have one big inning, we have patended "rally to get everyone excited, but never actually succeeds," go quietly in the 9th.

   There are several variations on this, most notably the "tie the game rally, then lose anyway." What does it tell you about Red Sox fans when the default is a loss?

   It was probably the half price tickets' fault, but I think I've been turned off to the bleachers. Red Sox fans are not knowledgeable on the whole, but those in the bleachers are downright retards. Right off the top, a third of them are wearing Yankees paraphenalia, with most of them are under 16. This boggles my mind. It's a travesty, perhaps even more painful than the continued playoff futility. Every game, there's Yankee fans, and they always leave cheering. What do bleacher fans answer with? Yankees suck! Yankees suck! Then they do "The Wave."

   The Yankees do not suck. I can wear the shirt, but it doesn't make it true. The Yankees are very good, and until we beat them in 2002, we don't get to say it. At all. Regardless, Nomar is better than Derek Jeter. That's a fact.

   You do not do "The Wave" when you're losing the ballgame. You do not do "The Wave" when your team is pitching. You want to show support for your pitcher? Stand and cheer. It was cool when they did "The Wave" at Wimbledon, because that's just funny. Doing it down to the Kansas City Royals? Not funny.

   I hate stupid people. So I hated the drunks behind us chanting "Peanut Guy! Peanut Guy!" to the man handing out free peanuts he smuggled in. I hated the teenyboppers in their Derek Jeter jerseys, and that federal law said I couldn't shoot them. I hated watching the crowd tell Chuck Knoblauch he sucked, when he went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases. I hated the ballpark Budweiser that was bought for me.

   I loved watching drunks get ejected. I loved smacking the beachball around. I loved people screaming to "Get Guapo a sausage!" because his thinness has made him suck.

   Hey, it's still my chapel, even if the congregation is full of idiots.
April 9, 2002 - Killer B's

X10 Camera Ad
-- Fine. I will now just look at the naked women at my front door and in my driveway.

   • I warn you now, fatigue makes me introspective.

   I suppose this relates back to Sunday, with the whole "revisiting the school that rejected me," but it doesn't feel like it. Feels separate and independent, two of the things I really like to be sometimes, and am scared of all the other times.

   Maybe it's the warm weather, everyone shedding their heavy clothes and clunky shoes for cellulite-revealing t-shirts and four-inch sandals. I think that might be what I'll miss the most... not the girls strictly, but the life. The action. The vibrancy of everyday. Even if they're all bitches, to be on a college campus is to be swept up in it. Walking to class amidst hundreds of people doing exactly the same thing, but most of whom could give a damn about my radio project, website and Whalers jersey (most, not all).

   Want to set your head spinning? Think back to some event in your past, preferably something with two distinct outcomes. Imagine if the other one happened. How different would that have made things? Would it affect where you spend your time? What your priorities are? Who you know and spend time with?

   Because of who I spoke to tonight, and because what I've written has led me here, I have a specific instance in mind. I shouldn't, but I do - the mind is a strange thing. What if that "just be friends" talk went the opposite direction? Leading up to it, I genuinely didn't know what waited for me at the GSU. It could have gone either way, and I would have been shocked. Though it went the way the inherent pessimist in me thought it would.

   The changes would have been sweeping. I wonder how it would have worked out... I mean, how would it have been worded. Do you script it? Do you wing it? At the same time it intrigues me, it scares me. I would have been over the moon. Absolutely on cloud nine.

   But you know, I'm on cloud nine now. Love's an amazing thing like that.In wholly different ways, in different aspects, I ended up there anyway. Yet you'll always wonder, what if. What if Pedro had pitched Game 4 in the 1998 AL Division Series? What if those planes from Ware A.F.B. had caught the highjacked jetliners on Sept. 11th? What if I'd just asked that girl none of you know to dance at the 8th grade dance?

   She plays/played basketball at Suffolk, and in her sophomore season she was tied for 19th in Division III in assists per game with 5.2. I haven't seen her since the Thanksgiving football game of 2000. Why she's getting this much pixel is beyond me, since she has nothing to do with anything else that has come up today.

   OK, my stint as Matt The Bruce is over. As for any of you ever finding out what any of this means, and who any of these people are, good fucking luck.

   It's amazing how much this thing shifts from day to day, isn't it?
April 8, 2002 - Dumpster Diving
   • When you wear an authentic road Boston Bruins jersey to class, it'll get you some knowing looks. It takes wearing a home white Hartford Whalers jersey to actually start up a conversation.

   Never fails. If there were girls on this campus who could remember the days of the The Mall, I'd be fighting them off with a stick. If you're a New Englander, you miss The Whale. Matters not where you lived, or if you ever went to a game. You just miss The Whale - it's how it is.

   Know something else that just is how it is? You can't out asshole an asshole. No matter how hard you try to be a jerk, the a'hole is always a step ahead of you, because they're always thinking of a way to get you. Dominates them, every second of every day. Of course, that's a vast and sweeping generalization and should be ignored, but really, isn't all of it?

   There should be an unwritten rule: if your co-worker is writing a paper on the office computer, you do not sit down on it to use Instant Messenger and look at Nissans. Something like that. Especially when you're the "girl who likes to leave work an hour early, because she knows I can't force her to stay." Needless to say, these rules were violated in plain view, in clear daylight/flourescent light. So, I did the only thing that made sense, and would ensure I wasn't arrested. I walked out of work 90 minutes early yesterday, just as my co-worker was packing up her things to leave. It must have been strange to her, having to sit there all the way until 5. Probably a little mean on my part.


   And speaking of mean, I have a clarification to make. It has come to my attention that some of the things I've said over the past few weeks have offended people they were directed toward. Now, I could straight out apologize, but that would be a lie. Instead, let me just explain where I'm coming from.

   If I kept something like this and didn't write when I was angry at people, it would thus defeat the whole purpose of me starting it in the first place. To only write when things are going well is a copout, like a journalist who only covers half of the story, only shows one side. The whole point of writing being theraputic is actually saying what you're thinking, thus allowing you to get it out of your system, and out of your mind.

   I don't think I pick on any one person more than I should, unless we're talking about Meg, who, as she puts it, "could sue me for libel" and probably win. Hey, she kinda signed up for the extra abuse round Christmastime. Sooner or later, all of my friends incur my over-reactionatory wrath... you just have to wait long enough. I say what I feel, the inner monologue is gone. If I say something you think was out of line, tell me.

   I guess what I'm getting at is when I say no fewer than four of my friends went to see Dave Matthews Band at the FleetCenter last night, that gagging sound you hear coming from my throat isn't a personal indictment, just my way of saying I've spent my last dollars paying to see that chunky, pot-smoking fruit loop dance around while everyone else gets a contact high.

   $50 last December. It was a good show, but not a $50 show. Very few bands put on valid $50 shows... the overabundance of groping 13-year-olds put it over the top.
April 7, 2002 - Meet The Seaboard
"In my mind, I'm going to Carolina..."
-- James Taylor. Thanks to Andi and Allyson for clearing that up.

   • Came this close to creating a "Cooch in Chapel Hill" page, but then realized it would means I'd have to spend three weeks writing it, and let's face it: college bowl tournaments are only funny if you know the people at them. Even then, it's only funny in a "train wreck" sort of way.

   Note To Self: Slagging on college bowl much easier than both admitting you enjoy it and explaining all the intricacies. Roundup!

   Massachusetts: I live here, so you wouldn't think anything here could shock me all that much.

   We drove through Wellesley. We got gas, and James had to go pump gas for a female customer, because she didn't know how. And the say the rich are like us...

   This of course was after U-Save Auto Rental gave us a mammoth 15-passenger van... for seven people. Cars literally scattered when we drive through intersections, because our massive size violated the air flow around their vehicles. That, or because the word of the trip was "handjob."

"All this talk of handjobs makes for good conversation."
-- James, said much later but it fits well here.

   Connecticut: Coming back, the cherry fruit pie I ate here represented the one billionth calorie I consumed on the trip. I easily ate several babies worth of food over the three days, or four days, or however the hell long we were gone.

   We drove through two overnights, meaning there were two days that never ended, plus the clocks went an hour forward. Right now, I think it's July.

   New York: The secret to driving through New York City and avoiding traffic? Do it at one a.m. There's more abandoned cars, and you will see black people being accosted by police, but hey, it's NYC for a reason.

   Both ways, we didn't see the Tribute in Light - it shuts down at 11 p.m. On the way back though, we did see something incredibly disturbing right before the state line...

   New Jersey: A minivan on fire. When I say on fire, I mean, gutted by fire.

   And here you thought I was just going to say Jersey in general.

   Our pair of stops at the Vince, as mandated by the Constitution were subdued due to the hour of arrival, but memorable nonetheless. Sarah's coffee caused nearly a dozen bathroom stops on the drive back, and my Dr. Pepper on the way down really did make the world taste better.

   At that point, the world tasted like phlegm and farts, two things that assured this was a college bowl trip after all.

   Delaware: Didn't know we'd be passing through here, as it marks another state I can check off as visited. It's a 'Small Wonder,' that Delaware! The welcome sign told me so!

"It's like one long ass rape. It's like a mugging while you move."
-- Mark Coen, for the Delaware tourism board.

   The only wonder I have about Delaware is how they can charge you almost $10 in tolls when, round-trip, we only drove about twenty miles in the state. We didn't even get to see a screen-door factory, let alone Wilmington.

   The website for Visit Delaware is broken. Insert your own irony here.

   Maryland: In honor of the Terrapins, we flipped our van over and lit it on fire after crossing the state line.

   Baltimore looked like a very nice city from a distance, and signage was adequate to point people to Camden Yards. In my mind, I flipped off PSInet Stadium, because I still haven't forgotten.

   Washington, D.C.: Only coming back did I see something of interest... the Capitol Building and Washington Monument off in the distance. Though I suppose driving by something called BlindsExpo! is interesting in its own way.

   We did stop at a gas station near 5200 Pennsylvania Avenue, but no one else wanted to go give Pretzel Boy a visit at seven a.m. on a Friday.

   I voted for George W. I get to call him Pretzel Boy. This was the gas station which the group believed had someone doing crack in the bathroom. Though I had recording equipent in tow, investigating didn't seem the best idea.

   Virginia: Philip Morris has its headquarters in Richmond, prominently standing on the side of the highway. I kept hoping we'd see those hilarious pranksters from The Truth drinking ammonia or stacking body bags full of elephant dung outside, but nothing.

   All we got to do was eat at a Waffle House and learn that Southerners hate Moon Pies. And that Sarah had had enough of this hand job business... ten hours of ass and cock jokes are apparently her limit.

   And as for North Carolina...

   The real story of the weekend is BU finishing 6th in the 32-team Division Two, our highest finish ever in a national academic event. The scary thing is our quartet conceivably could have won the whole damn thing, had they not lost three games on the second day by less than ten points. When we start claiming national championships, I start getting alarmed.

   The subplot to the weekend was my return to UNC-Chapel Hill, the only place that rejected me for admission four years ago. I must say, on more than one occasion I wished I'd had the chance to go to school there.

   The forbidden fruit principle may have been behind this, though I'm guessing it had more to do with the beautiful campus, beautiful weather and beautiful wome... academics. Academics. Of course that's what I meant.

   I love Boston to death. I love the people I've met here to death, and wouldn't trade my four years on the Charles River Campus for anything. But still, there's always that nagging wonder if I would have been better off getting out of New England. Seeing if I could cut it in a completely new environment. Even now as I search for a job, I'm wondering it. As it goes, wondering is probably as far as its going to get.

   The tournament was solid, even if the Carolina Academic Team were incompetent hosts. Our hotel was palatial, as bathrooms aren't usually supposed to have TVs. My teammates were excellent company, which is why bought them dinner and malt liquor.

"Dick Clark's like, man, I can't believe I'm the only one getting pussy on this show."
-- James, as we all discovered just how gay The Other Half really is.

"I may not be Mr. Right, but I am Mr. Hard Dick."
-- Matt Tabor's shirt, quoted in the absence of anything he said.

"I like cheese."
-- Casey, saying the only thing of his I remember off the top of my head.

   And it's worth noting that the first time Margaret posts in her journal in almost three weeks is when I'm 700 miles away. There's no "s" in my name, but if there was, it'd stand for s-m-o-t-h-e-r-i-n-g.

   I'm forgetting quite a bit, but it's eleven o'clock and I need sleep now. After being balled up napping in the van, I feel like I have cerebral palsy.
April 4-6, 2002 - Used And Abused

Co-Rec Softball
Libelous Row

   • I legitimately feel bad about tonight. Depressed. It's a stupid intramural softball game, but we lost by so many. It could be argued it wasn't even my fault, as I think I may have made as many outs myself as the whole rest of the team, but that's not the point. We sucked. We were terrible. It was embarassing.

   I pitched, and I made an ass out of all of us. For that, I am sorry.

   In exactly 24 minutes, I depart Boston with a final destination of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We're not flying though, we're driving. Twelve hours plus down, twelve hours plus back, all for a tournament I'm not even playing. No, I'm going because if I didn't, the new fuckers in charge wouldn't send a team.

   Every time I start to doubt myself, I realize how incompetent the rest of the world really is. At least the part of it I know, that thinks running a student organization is all pretty penmanship on the fucking blackboard and making retarded schedules.

   This entry is not meant to be funny. This entry is not meant to be enjoyed. This entry is meant for me to let off some steam before I get bahind the wheel of a 15-passenger van. Will it piss people off? Yes. Do I care right now? Somewhat. Will I feel bad about it later? Of course. Will that change how I'm being used? Not in the least.

   An Open Memo To Next Year's Officers of BUCB: My time is done, as of next Monday. My ship will have sailed, and my responsibilities to the team are over. It's your turn, so treat it as such.

   This is not in any way meant to belittle Vito, or the work Elmer did do to get this trip off the ground. Without the efforts of you two, we wouldn't even be going.

   There. I feel better. Time to pack.

"In my mind, I'm going to Carolina..."
-- Paul Simon?

April 3, 2002 - So, How'd It Go?
   • It's going to be a long season, isn't it? A groin pull, a rainout and a debacle... baseball has officially become the special kid who wears a helmet to school. Barry Bonds is legitimately on pace to hit 324 home runs, salaries have cleared two billion and the first place team in the American League East?

   The Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I'm actually starting to consider thinking about believing there's a chance the Red Sox won't win the World Series this year...

   The following is to alleviate the tsunami of e-mails about my interview. If everyone writes me, I'll get bogged down. Depressed. Despondent. Unable to cope. I'll go out on the highway. I'll do it. I'm looking at it right now, it's fifty yards from my window. Don't make me do it. You don't need blood on your hands, do you?

   Though it would be nice to hear from some of you before I, um, GRADUATE. Site says I'm getting almost 50 hits a day... who are you people?!

   Anyway, I left Boston about two hours before my meeting, because using Mapquest directions always means you end up taking some backwoods, out-of-the-way freak highway, when maps would show you could stay on the main road and get there in a little longer. Gee, it's as though I wrote that sentence based on an actual experience that happened, say, today. Thirty-eight directions on the page, and I've made seventeen of them within the first five miles of my trip. No wonder all you morons having your foosball tables repossessed.

   Having to stop for directions once, I did get to The Standard-Times with a few extra minutes left over. My first impression? I like the building. Very new age. Lots of glass and decorative stone, and parking. Good work with the parking. The lobby? Marble floor. Very classy.

   To anyone in New Bedford reading this: I'm legitimately not taking the piss out of your office. I really did like it, and am being sincere for only the seventh time in the last thirteen years.

   Everyone I met at the S-T was really nice, which always seems to get said after interviews, but is worth noting nonetheless. I had a chat with Fred Harwood for starters, the night editor who, if I understand right, would be my boss.

   The Standard-Times newsroom has cubicles, unlike The Telegraph, which has desks. That seems to be the only difference between the papers. In ideology, design, layout, structure... they were separated at birth. After careful consideration, I prefer the cubicle. Wall space to hang things, and the ability to fill neighbor's work space with packing peanuts.

   I was there for two and half hours, which I take as a good sign, because never once did security escort me out of the building. Sat in on the day's budget meeting, met with the Managing Editor, met with Editor-in-Chief Ken Hartnett (whose call to Klarfeld is the reason I was there at all), talked about the Red Sox with people... it went about as well as I ever could have hoped.

   OK, better than I could have hoped.

   Mr. Hartnett met with me right before I headed out. Since I have class, um, now, abridged version. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to be an editor instead of a writer. I said if I had a choice, I'd choose writing, but would be happy doing either.

   Within the next week, I expect to hear back from them, possibly to set up a trial run as a copy editor AND a reporter. You don't even understand how happy this makes me. I really do enjoy copy editing and page design, but I think I'm a better writer. If they had openings for both jobs, I'd apply for both.

   I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm in the game. It feels good to say that.
April 2, 2002 - Shut Up, Jersey Girl
   • For a very short period of time today, too short for me to get a picture of it, the Duke basketball logo next to their 2003 write-up was replaced by a Maryland one. So you're reading about Chris Duhon and Mike Dunleavy coming back, next to a turtle.

   Geez, don't take long to forget, does it?

   As it turned out, fans in both Bloomington and Maryland rioted after the title game, though I'm sure the ones in College Park were much more entertaining. I remember during one of my visits to Indiana, Andi taking me on a tour of everything that got trashed in the Bobby Knight riots. The fountain they smashed, the trees they circled around, the field they collected in for his goodbye press conference... I just didn't get it. Thank God the Patriots won the Super Bowl, so I could understand why people riot. You really haven't lived until you stand screaming in the middle of Kenmore Square, hoping the fat guy on the traffic light post doesn't fall and kill himself.

   The story I keep reading from Maryland has this quote from Josh Fingold, who from what I understand a big wheel on UMaryland's Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. That's one strike against him...

"This is terrible. We've finally started to lose the reputation as the Len Bias death school, and now we're known as the riot school."

   I get the impression Josh Fingold knows nothing about basketball. He just stomped outside in the middle of the night, wearing his sleeping cap and screaming for every one to quiet down. He's the perfect interview for a journalist... not actually rioting, just watching close by. Less of a chance anyone will get hit with a flaming sofa, a technique perfected by UConn students in '99, when they started throwing mattresses out dorm windows.

   I have witnesses. I just wish I could have been there when they realized they had nothing to sleep on anymore.

   Don't worry, Josh. I'll still think of Maryland as the 'Len Bias Death' school, because he cost the Celtics two or three more championships. I'll also think of it as the school where the other half of New Jersey's teenage population end up.

   Some girl wrote an editorial into the Free Press yesterday about how she's proud she's from New Jersey. Though she does get points for mentioning the Vince Lombardi Memorial Rest Area, she still gets today's "Are You F'Ing Kidding Me?!" award for moronic valor.

"Many don't realize that a large part is taken up by the Pine Barrens, a vast forest home to the feared Jersey Devil and, by some accounts, Big Foot."
-- The Jersey Devil is a made-up lizard, and Big Foot is a made-up... something. She must have been captain of the South Amboy Debate Team.

   Parts of Long Island are very rich too. That doesn't mean I want to live there, or listen to the sorority girls who came from there. Next song.

   So, I have a job interview tomorrow at the New Bedford Standard-Times. I've only really had one other job interview ever, and it didn't go well by my account. Having to walk twenty minutes from the T stop probably wasn't the best tune-up for things, but I just remember knowing right away I didn't want to work with any of the people interviewing me. This was the fall of 2000, when all the techies were still smug, but starting to realize they couldn't keep getting venture capital for their "monkey knife fight" idea.

   I didn't get the job... as I was told, no one ever got it, because they couldn't afford to pay anyone else.

   Let's hope Wednesday goes a little better. You pray I find the place, I'll take care of the rest.
April 1, 2002 - Ode To An Opener
   • 0-3?! 1-3! 1-7?!?! 3-7! 3-8? 6-8! 11-8!!!

   11-11. Then it turned into a baseball game, and the Red Sox lose those. Wrapping up the opener:

   • It was nice to see Jose Offerman tell the whole crowd where to shove it with a home run on the first pitch he saw. It would have been perfect if he flipped off the entire ballpark, just to remind them he hadn't forgotten everyone wanted to lynch him.

   • Rey Sanchez isn't going to make many friends if he keeps ending innings with the bases loaded.

   • I'm getting the sense Johnny Damon could jump up with Nomar as one of my favorite Sox... but he's got to do something first. Getting thrown out stealing by eight feet, that's not what I was hoping for.

   Openers don't determine seasons, but if we score 11 runs and don't win the ballgame, it could be a very long season. We might all end up dressed like Dan Duquette going to the ballpark: ballcap over eyes, big bulky coat, just doing your best not to be recognized.

   I got my knuckle smashed two weeks ago during a broomball game. Blindly, I'd assumed it was going to heal and all would be fine. Really doesn't look that way. My middle knuckle is about twice the size of all the others - puffy, sore, looking all mongoloid. It's like all the fat in my body is concentrated in my knuckle. All the motivation not to eat more pie I'll ever need...

   I'll be real honest. After the baseball game today, I'm drained and have nothing to say. That would be why I'm talking about my knuckle.

   I could go on for hours on the game, but around the fourth inning, three hours in, I was tired of baseball again. Sick of reading about it, sick of hearing about it, sick of watching the pieces on the news about the Patriots throwing out the first pitch, about John Henry meeting people, about the new concessions... I want more stories about Dan Duquette and his brother Don starting a club for boys in the Berkshires.

"Dan and Don's Club For Wayward Sons"
Ages 8-18
"A friend to all, some more than others..."

   The woods, the cabins, the quiet summer nights... some jokes just write themselves.

   I really wish that was an April Fool's joke. That and the Indiana-Maryland final. Thank God all those Terrapin kids will kill themselves rioting and celebrating, otherwise I'd be concerned they might breed.
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