April 30, 2004 - You Thought I Was Weird Before
   The Proper Respect: Now, in the form of a quiz question.

Dr. Drew hits the cinematic big time as a father, but much of the rest of the cast has a comedy background. Andy Richter continues his meteoric rise on celluloid as a limo driver with an agenda, SCTV's Andrea Martin is a senator, SNL vet Darrell Hammond is a business executive with bad luck and Jack Osbourne, who's just funny looking, is a band manager. The last of whom is of most interest to Roxanne Ryan, who's looking to get backstage at a video shoot and slip her demo tape to the band while her sister Jane gives a major speech to help herself get into Oxford. Of course hilarity and hijinx ensue, with the addition of Eugene Levy as a truancy officer giving cred to the pair who gave us years of laughs on Full House. FTP, name this latest film from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
ANS: New York Minute

   It's a little long, but you get the point.

   Not Really Spam of the Week: I feel sick to my stomach, but that'll make more sense in a little bit.

Subject: NEW WB REALITY/ QUIZ SHOW OPEN CASTING CALL IN BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004
From: qbowl at bu dot edu
To: cooch at joncouture dot com

   Greetings,

   My name is Mickey ______. I am a Casting Associate for a new reality quiz show on the WB called Studio 7. To find out more info on the show you are more than welcome to check out diplomatic.tv/studio7casting.

   We will be doing an open casting call in Boston on the 8th of May, and would like to extend the casting call information to you and your members. Please feel free to send this info out to anyone and everyone who might be interested.

   If for any reason you cannot attend the casting on the 8th of May feel free to send in the application materials via mail. I have attached a flyer which lists the casting call information in addition to pasting the information below.

   Thank you very much for your time, good luck and I hope to see you at the casting call.

   Sincerley,
   Mickey ______

FROM THE PRODUCER OF WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE

STUDIO 7, A NEW GAME SHOW FILMING IN NYC & AIRING ON THE WB THIS SUMMER, IS LOOKING FOR COLLEGE AGE CONTESTANTS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO LIVE TOGETHER & SHOW THE WORLD JUST HOW SMART THEY ARE! IF YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT THE PERSONALITY & THE SMARTS TO BEAT OUT THE COMPETITION, COME MEET THE STUDIO 7 CASTING DIRECTOR & PROVE IT!

DATE: SATURDAY, MAY 8th, 2004

TIME: SESSION 1: 8:30 AM* & SESSION 2: 12 PM* -- THE FIRST 200 PEOPLE IN LINE WHO QUALIFY WILL BE ADMITTED TO EACH AUDITION SESSION.

TO QUALIFY, YOU MUST BE A U.S. RESIDENT AND 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. YOU MUST PROVIDE VALID PICTURE I.D. AND PROOF OF AGE AT THE DOOR. LINES WILL OPEN AT 8:15 AM AND 11:45 AM.

PLACE: BOSTON MARRIOTT COPLEY PLACE, LOCATED @ 110 HUNTINGTON AVE, BOSTON, MA. LINE WILL FORM OUTSIDE OF SALON G, 4TH FLOOR

WHAT TO BRING: A COMPLETED APPLICATION, DOWNLOADABLE AT DIPLOMATIC.TV/STUDIO7CASTING -- IF YOU CAN'T DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION, WE WILL HAVE APPLICATIONS ON SITE -- AND 2 RECENT PHOTOS.

   Look at the site, it asks are you "ARTICULATE, INTELLIGENT, FULL OF PERSONALITY & READY TO PROVE TO THE WORLD HOW SMART YOU ARE?" The gist of the show is you live with six other people for no more than a week, then there's a quiz show at the end where you can win up to $70,000.

   If nothing else, it's good to see they've finally designed a quiz show inherently biased against quiz bowlers.


   • I found myself asking a lot of questions today, most notably "What company thinks paying to put an ad on a Kentucky Derby jockey's pants is a good business decision?" And yet, when the day concluded, the only one left to ask may have been the most troubling of all.

Help me.
Why did I enjoy Mean Girls so much?

   No no, we're not asking why I went and saw Mean Girls, because we've already surpassed that point. The simple reply there is I got a phone call asking me which I'd rather go see -- Mean Girls or Connie and Carla. I would rather go see a childbirth performed in a bathtub by a midwife than go see Connie and Carla.

"After accidentally witnessing a mafia hit in the Windy City, gal pals Connie and Carla skip town for L.A., where they go way undercover as singers working the city's dinner theater circuit ... as drag queens. Now, it's not enough that they become big hits on the scene; things get extra-weird when Connie meets Jeff -- a guy she'd like to be a woman with."
-- I guess they couldn't just call it "My Big Fat Greek Letdown"

   So that's how I got there. Despite the slight level of creepiness, the other option would have left me feeling more shame had I been spotted in the theater by someone I knew.

   But from there ... wow. I just don't know how I can put it into words.

   I just really, really enjoyed it, and it's not even because it looked really good when compared to this movie from the previews or even this one.

   It's just a funny movie. I'm really not going to get into specifics, because there's no point. I'm going to hear about this, and I probably should. All I know is I've paid to see some awful movies in the theaters, and this was worth far more than a lot of them.

   And that's even considering I had to buy both Jim's ticket and a bag of Reese's Pieces just to get him to come along with the group.

   Aside: We were not the oldest in the theater ... for a midnight showing, there was a lot of people there. And I'm not going to deny that I think Lindsay Lohan is both very cute and bears more than a slight resemblance to someone I know.

   I need another day to think about this one.


April 29, 2004 - I've Never Heard Them Speak
   Resurrecting Something: Nine from last Thursday plus nine from this Thursday add up to Hyph maybe deserving all the strokes I end up giving him in the money matches I always lose.

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
295
381
516
157
335
332
121
339
127
2603
PAR
4
4
5
3
4
4
3
4
3
34
Cooch
4
3
7
5
5
3
4
6
3
40
• Wyckoff CC - Holyoke, Mass. •
Hole
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
IN
Yards
334
314
382
453
373
340
186
335
148
2865
PAR
4
4
4
5
4
4
3
4
3
35
Cooch
5
4
5
4
6
7
3
5
3
42
PAR 69
82, 13 OVER PAR
5468 YARDS
Birdies: 3 - Pars: 5 - Bogeys: 5 - Others: 5
Fairways Hit: 8 of 13 - Greens In Regulation: 6 of 18 - Putts: 30

   This is the best 18-hole round I've had since at least 2002, both by the numbers and by the feel. The only real flub on the back nine today was on No. 15, when my drive was about 50 yards from the green and I airmailed my approach into the woods. I had only 13 putts on the nine ... five one-putts and two genuine lipouts.

   This is exciting, yet the 47 of Wednesday makes even less sense. All I can think of I know these Western Mass. courses better ... something I'll debunk should "Junket Golf" come to fruition.

   Handicap index now at 15.0, and times I've eaten Burger King in the last 72 hours is at a solid one. Let me tell you ... not only do they oversalt they fries by about a pound, that damned bacon cheeseburger looks much better on the friggin menu.

   Not Quite The Pride of Puerto Rico: In what is further proof that college newspaper columnists are generally only relevant when they're saying something over-the-top moronic and stupid -- I can say that, as I have a semester's worth of actual proof -- UMass's Rene Gonzalez wrote the following in Wednesday's Daily Collegian.

I've been mystified at the absolute nonsense of being in "awe" of Tillman's "sacrifice" that has been the American response. Mystified, but not surprised. True, it's not everyday that you forgo a $3.6 million contract for joining the military. And, not just the regular army, but the elite Army Rangers. You know he was a real Rambo, who wanted to be in the "real" thick of things. I could tell he was that type of macho guy, from his scowling, beefy face on the CNN pictures. Well, he got his wish. Even Rambo got shot in the third movie, but in real life, you die as a result of being shot. They should call Pat Tillman's army life "Rambo 4: Rambo Attempts to Strike Back at His Former Rambo 3 Taliban Friends, and Gets Killed."

... In my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Tillman would have been called a "pendejo," an idiot. Tillman, in the absurd belief that he was defending or serving his all-powerful country from a seventh-rate, Third World nation devastated by the previous conflicts it had endured, decided to give up a comfortable life to place himself in a combat situation that cost him his life. This was not "Ramon or Tyrone," who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education. This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy.

   • What's sad about this, beyond the obvious, is I knew that it was coming. There are too many people trying to sound like they know what they're talking about out there for this not to come out. The "backlash" against Pat Tillman, the military, etc. And yet, this is so far over the top of it I'm literally disturbed.

   Not so much because I doubt there are people that feel this way, but because I can't fathom a human being with as big a pair of balls as Rene Gonzalez must have to put his name on this being able to get out of bed in the morning.

   I'm not going to get preachy here, as I have no more respect or admiration for Pat Tillman than I do for a man who did what he thought was right and is exactly what I wish every professional athlete was today -- a man willing to serve his country when called upon. On the contrary, I find it quite ironic that Tillman, who never granted an interview request after joining the Army because he wanted to be like every other soldier, has been the subject of so much press.

   When someone writes something like what Rene Gonzalez did, it's beyond the idea that someone at the paper asked him to be the dissenting voice. The opinion is too strong.

   He actually believes what he wrote.

   And that might be the saddest story of all.

   The Rest of The Story: Gonzalez is in hiding after apparently receiving death threats. He has issued an e-mail apology to Tillman's family via a reporter, the state Senate has issued an official condemnation of the column, UMass president Jack Wilson was quoted as saying the piece was "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country" among other things and the Student Government president wants Gonzalez booted from his position in office on campus.

   There is a right way and a wrong way to go about expressing the fact you feel these wars are a travashammockery. This, I dare say, was the wrong way.

   And here I was going to write about the newest star on the Walk of Fame today. Even Full House wasn't more powerful than this.


April 28, 2004 - Hitting The Demographic

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
281
455
350
149
137
410
174
398
315
2669
PAR
4
5
4
3
3
4
3
4
4
34
Cooch
5
4
5
5
5
6
6
4
7
47
• Reservation GC - Mattapoisett, Mass. •
47, 13 OVER PAR
Birdies: 1 - Pars: 1 - Bogeys: 2 - Others: 5
Fairways Hit: 3 of 6 - Greens In Regulation: 2 of 9 - Putts: 16

   Always nice when you fire off the worst nine of the year, and the whole round turned on hitting a perfect 7-iron ... 20 yards over a par three.

   Though the fifth birdie of the year coming in April is always nice.

   At The Sox-Rays Game: I was bumped back to the fourth row of the press box tonight -- the row where one has to stand up to see home plate -- by what I presume was a journalism class from Tufts University being stewarded by the guy down bottom here.

   This really wouldn't even be noteworthy given I wasn't there to write live, but the following all happened and I can't let anything go.

   -- Upon the announcement that the night's attendance was 35,120 and the team's 73rd straight sellout, one of the two kids wearing a Red Sox cap observed, "That's a lot of people. That's, like, full capacity." Nice work.

   -- There was a fat kid who was competitively eating hot dogs, and who'd apparently set the pregame over/under on his consumption at nine. I didn't count which side won the bet, but I do know if he spent as much time walking anywhere as he did to and from the media dining room, he wouldn't even be getting mentioned here.

   -- Down the far end of the row, there was one's typical college girl just working away, filing her game story, with a bright red silk thong just sticking out above her waistline.

   I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the first and last time a bright red silk thong will be making an appearance in a Major League pressbox.

   Please understand that this was what I had to look at. When I finally just sit down and start watching on the TVs to see the game, I think we're clearly dealing with a design flaw.


   • As with every time I seem to go back to Boston -- or, for that matter, for no good reason -- I got very introspective last night. I saw some things that triggered some other things, and the whole mix just created a collective thought process that I'm really getting a little tired of having to feel.

   While I am more or less resigned to this happening on a regular basis for the forseeable future, rather than write about it, I'm going to offer you this conclusion that may or may not be related.

Hot.
-- HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHot.

   Given they're advertising in college newspapers, I'm clearly not the only marketing genius who is thinking this.


April 27, 2004 - Junket Golf!
   The Writing: I forgot to link to the column yesterday, and yet I got a letter anyway. Kinda makes me wish I had something more substantive to say.

April Games Count Too
-- If nothing else, the Sox can go .250 from here out against the Yankees and still "split" the season series. Granted that split isn't what will ultimately decide anything, but it's still nice to think about.


Subject: Bellhorn as Mueller
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004
From: ________@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG (Michael B. Philpy 02)
To: jcouture at s-t dot com

      If Bellhorn does become this year's Bill Mueller, then I guess the Cubs will have to find another utility infielder to give to Boston in order to make him a star for next year. Ramon Martinez? Jose Macias?

   Nice column as always. Can you tell I'm avoiding writing a paper...

   Michael
-- The irony that I now do things to avoid writing columns is striking.

   • Though it has already passed, April 21st was Secretaries Day. Well, not exactly. Our work-produced "Precious Pets" calendars listed it as "Administrative Professionals Day."

   I'm not sure what's scarier ... that political correctness now doesn't even make it OK to use the word secretary, or that I'm using not one, but two "Precious Pets" calendars in my everyday life.

   Though given the amount of times I swear loudly on any given night for no particular reason, I'm pretty sure the calendars are the least of my problems.


April 26, 2004 - A Shot At Junket Golf?
   Celebrations On May 12: While the rescheduling of Calvin "Eddie Munster" Murphy's arraignment is hardly a celebration, the party that a certain network is throwing at this clubbery to celebrate their first birthday sure is.

   Oh, don't worry ... I wasn't invited or anything. Two of my colleagues were, but not me. That's OK though. I'm sure I had something else going on that night anyhow.

   ( Am I surprised? No. Am I bitter? I can't really tell. Would I stick out like a sore thumb at such an event and, ultimately, be better off not going? Without a doubt. Does this change anything? Of course not. )

   And as always, my not directly mentioning any of what I'm talking is the Cooch's World way of "playing it cool." On the plus side, however, the site got some nice fan mail last night.

Subject: (none)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004
From: JANENE DIAMOND <_______@MSN.COM>
To: cooch at joncouture dot com

      Hi Cooch, I am sitting here with my husband twisting my hard horny nipples looking at your site. ''How awesome. I am going to squirt everything I have all over his face because he makes me so hot. he loves looking at hot sights and taking it out on me. Keep it CUMMING
-- It's not spam if they aren't selling anything!

   • Kerry Collins's time as the starting quarterback of the Giants is, not surprisingly, over. Rather than pay two quarterbacks an exorbitant amount of money, Big Blue is just going to throw Eli Manning in the fire and see what happens.

   I think 7-9 happens, looking at the schedule, but I wasn't exactly close to 4-12 with my 2003 prediction.

   He was often erratic and rarely superb, but Collins is still the author of one of the greatest halves of football I've ever gotten to watch -- 338 yards and 4 TDs in the still-absurd 41-0 rout of the Vikings in the 2001 NFC Championship. The three Couture men had gone to that season's final regular season game -- a win over the Jaguars secured late via a Jason Sehorn onside kick return for a touchdown -- and I'd had half a mind to go back again for the Minnesota game.

   I shudder to think, if we actually had, just how much more I would have lost betting on Super Bowl XXXV.

   All this said, I would have liked to see one year of stewardship before young Corky gets thrown to the Gotham/North Jersey wolves. Who better to show him how to cope than a resurrected party boy who just went 4-12 in freakin' New York City?

   Instead, I'll be buying a No. 5 jersey off the discount rack in solidarity with a quarterback I'd take over Tom Brady Drew Bledsoe Buffalo's Drew "Happy Feet" Bledsoe.

   Just please don't go to Baltimore with Jim. The thought is already making me queasy.


April 25, 2004 - Chips and Salsas Make A Meal
   The Unmentioned Side-Effect: Several people have discussed the legislation that may ban low-slung pants in Louisiana, yet no one that I've seen has mentioned the biggest casualty on the admittedly small chance this bill go into the books.

   Britney Spears could never go home again.

   Today's Quote Ripped Completely Out Of Context:

"Little League Baseball this year officially granted its Northern Virginia district jurisdiction over Mars."
-- The story is here via press release.

   And really, the quote spawns another quote right away.

"Mr. Pobat, who works in the Pentagon, plans to develop the idea of exploring and someday colonizing Mars as a theme for the coming Little League season. He hopes to enlist help from NASA, and has scheduled space-related activities for the leagues in his area."

   I'm just not saying anything else, other than I hope Mr. Pobat is just a janitor in the Pentagon.


   • In celebrity watching news, Tara Reid and Jeremy Shockey were spotted together at a Knicks-Nets playoff game at Madison Square Garden. Normally I wouldn't care about such things, but really, let's sit back and think about the ramifications of this.

   There's Reid, for whom it took me all of 90 seconds to find this quote:

A recent evening spent at Jet East, a nightclub in the Hamptons, had Reid dancing on tabletops until she was "kicked out" of the bar. It didn't seem to bother Reid, who continued on to a friend's house where she reportedly partied until 7:30 am. Fellow partiers were reportedly concerned that Reid was so drunk she was falling off tables and couches. According to a friend of Reid's, the trip to the Hamptons was supposed to be Reid's "quiet weekend."

   Then there's my boy, future murderer Jeremy Shockey, who once told Sports Illustrated essentially:

"I was waking up at 4 a.m. and doing pushups and situps drunk."

   Really, combining these two forces would scare even Voltron, Noted Defender of the Universe.

   And he's friggin Voltron.

   While I can't say for sure what Reid and Shockey did after the Knicks-Nets game, I can say with some certainty they did not go to an abortion rights rally holding a pair of clothes hangers.

Tasteful.
-- Unlike some people ...

Actresses Heather Thomas , left, and Whoopi Goldberg march in Washington on Sunday during an abortion-rights rally. Abortion-rights supporters marched in huge numbers, roused in this election year by what they see as an erosion of reproductive freedoms under President Bush and foreign policies they say hurt women worldwide. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

   At least it explains thy she was the only star photographed not wearing an "Honored Guest" sash.


April 24, 2004 - Three Guinness Later
   It's His Life: Several different sources are reporting that Jon Bon Jovi has bought a house in East Longmeadow, several of which are more reliable than this.

   They are not, however, penned by "Lisa's Mommy," who I'm sure is very nice.

   Red Sox 3, Yankees 2 (12): Completely ignoring the game, there are people who, in following their Red Sox heroes, shaved their heads during last year's "Cowboy Up" playoff run and are now letting their hair grow as long as possible in response to Johnny Damon's "Unfrozen Caveman Center Fielder" appearance.

Damon and Jackson
-- Maybe it's the head injury.

   I'm not sure whether I find that more or less disturbing than Curt Schilling's attempts to pit the fans against the Boston press, but either way I'm enjoying both probably a little more than I should.


   • Today's Favorite Shirt Spotted At The Mall:

"I look weird, but I'd
kick your ass on Jeopardy!"

   No son, you wouldn't. But thank you for proving there really are people in America who will wear a T-shirt with anything written on it.

   Though I have to admit, the white shirt that simply read "Unemployed" at the bar near UMass last night was probably far less ironic than I gave it credit for being.


April 23, 2004 - Clogs For All Seasons
   The Joys Of Wearing Contacts: Aside from those moments where I feel like my eyes are bleeding, I can now see while getting my hair cut. Which means I can enjoy that moment after they've shaved down the sides of my head, but not touched the top yet, where I look like the coolest kid in a 1993 world.

I always knew there could have been a place for me in NKOTB.

   Ripping Open Scars: As they'll apparently be doing all season, ESPN Classic is showing a bunch of Sox-Yankees games every time the two play a series. Today they showed this Pedro gem -- nine innings, one hit, 17 strikeouts. The kind of game that makes you remember just how great Pedro was when he was really Pedro.

   So of course, the suits follow it with another great moment in Red Sox history ... July 4, 1983.

   Jackasses.


   • The NFL Draft is this weekend. Many of you are probably excited by this.

   Many of you are also excited by fantasy baseball.

   I cry for you.

   The last time I was genuinely excited by the draft was when my hairstyle would have been cool. The Patriots took Bledsoe over Mirer with the first pick, the wheels to their greatness of today began turning, and I went out and mowed the lawn.

   There will be no lawn mowing on Saturday. Not only because I have no lawn, but because New England is in the middle of one of their patented 70-50-80-45-65-50 weather weeks.

   Course in 1993, there was also no Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters. Which was good, because then we didn't have to know Mario Batali was one of those fat guys who wears shorts 350 days a year.


April 22, 2004 - Earth Day In The Sunshine
   Thursdays With Jerry: I have beaten my father on the golf course every time we've played since approximately the mid-'90s. And yet he still takes me out now and again.

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
295
381
516
157
335
332
121
339
127
2603
PAR
4
4
5
3
4
4
3
4
3
34
Cooch
4
3
7
5
5
3
4
6
3
40
• Wyckoff CC - Holyoke, Mass. •
40, 6 OVER PAR
Birdies: 2 - Pars: 2 - Bogeys: 2 - Others: 3
Fairways Hit: 4 of 6 - Greens In Regulation: 4 of 9 - Putts: 17

   Still haven't broken 40 for nine holes since I was in high school ... three putts on Nos. 7 and 8 finished me this time round. Though this may be as well as I've ever driven the golf ball ... the two fairways I missed were more bad bounces than they were anything else.

   Just the kind of round I want unable to include in the handicap because it's only nine holes. Still, it's nice to play rounds like a pre-Masters Phil Mickelson -- if you get that reference, color me impressed.

   Flames 2, Red Wings 1 (OT): I gues the NHL is offically taking application for this year's Cinderella team in the Stanley Cup Finals. If only they hadn't traded away Chris Drury, we'd be getting somewhere.

Go Flames!
-- And I would already own this shirt.

   • Since I am more than likely being "forced" into attending this concert -- is there a precedent to leaving a show after the opening act -- allow me to announce the following two events as a way to solicit any interested parties.

   Any interested parties.

Yellowcard, Something Corporate and Less Than Jake
Friday, April 30 -- next week
URI Ryan Center -- Tickets $12, Doors 6 p.m.

Lewis Black (of this, which you love)
Thursday, May 6 -- Providence Performing Arts Center
Tickets $37 or $25 -- Show at 7:30

   You have my word that this time, I won't end up being at a Sox-Yankees game the night of the Lewis Black show.


April 21, 2004 - Salad Days For The Couture Bros.
   At the time of this writing, the three* best teams in Major League Baseball are the Los Angeles Dodgers (10-4), the Florida Marlins (10-4) and the Boston Red Sox (9-5). It's truly a great time to be half-caring about baseball in the family tree.

   * -- Technically the Minnesota Twins are also 9-5, but I have no problem with them so it's all good. Remember I said that when they knock Boston out of the playoffs.


   Reason No. 1,754 To Love The Sox: Even when they don't have to, they're appealing to me.

I live just north of Philadelphia and get DirecTV. I bought the baseball package for the sole purpose of watching Red Sox games. I am native to Connecticut and grew up a huge Hartford Whalers fan. My question is, did I hear correct that after home runs by Mark Bellhorn (against Toronto) and Bill Mueller (against Baltimore) I heard the PA system playing Brass Bonanza, the theme song for the Whalers? If so, please keep it up!
Jason Gawlak, Fairless Hills, PA

A: Dear Jason, You are absolutely right. We play Brass Bonanza as a subtle tribute to our fans in Connecticut, and we know it was the theme song for the Whalers. We are trying to do everything possible to seduce people in Connecticut to leave King George's court and become Sox supporters.

   Yet another reason I'll be spending future games as press somewhere tucked away in the roof box seats if at all feasible.

   Almost Famous: Even if it was an episode from January, this morning / last night's episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien featured an Actual Item from "The New Bedford Post in New Bedford, Mass."

The Neoprene Dog Vest
-- An ad for a neoprene dog vest.

   The least he could have done was made it a funny one.


   • Now, not only is this a Picture of the Moment, but it's a comment on a society that has been known to brand me as "mean."

   I'll readily admit that sometimes, I do take it a little too far ...

Conjoined Twins with Party Hats

The conjoined twin Aguirre boys, Clarence, front, and Carl hold party hats during a birthday party marking their second year on Wednesday at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. The two-year-old boys have undergone three major surgeries. Although they remain conjoined, the Philippine boys are showing positive health indicators. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

   ... but I've never given party hats to conjoined twins connected at the head.

   I mean, what else is there to say?


April 20, 2004 - Mormons
   Manic Marathon: Lost in the rush of Monday was the Boston Marathon, which remains the only sporting event at which I have ever seen a man wearing a hat that said, "Don't Mess With Ethiopia!"

   Given my favorite all-time Marathon moments are touching the Stanley Cup in Hopkinton hours before I'd be stranded there and catching a drunk BU student falling off a curbing, I'm not exactly going to analyze the race. But I will note a special moment only captured by the TV cameras.

   After Kenya's Timothy Cherigat won the race, the cameras looked to capture the winner in his post-race glory. As they found him and with the dramatic music playing us into a commercial break, Cherigat did what marathoners do.

   He threw up twice on camera.

   And that, my friends, is the Boston Marathon.


   • So, it's 4/20 Day. You know what that means.

   Yeah, I don't either. All I know is they demolished America's first-ever Kentucky Fried Chicken today.

   It was in Salt Lake City, Utah.

   Makes perfect sense to me.


April 19, 2004 - The Joy Of The Expense Check
   Cheap Byline: I wrote our paper's story on the Corey Dillon pickup by the Patriots. Having listened to the conference call, I will say he sounds very, very excited to be coming to the Pats.

   And really, if you were coming to the L.A. Lakers of today's NFL, I think you would be too. Weird as it feels to have New England leading the pack, I could get used to it.

   Especially if the Giants stab me in the heart by prematurely ending the Kerry Collins era, but that's another story for another day.

   As We Put It, "The Boston Blew-Its": The more I think about Boston's hemmorhage of a 3-1 series lead, the more discouraging it gets. In a quartet of teams where I'm generally blinded by homerism, I really felt like the B's had a shot at the Cup. Didn't even think they'd really need Joe Thornton in this series.

   And the fact that it's the dirty, dirty Canadiens makes it that much worse. I'm pretty sure if I saw Sheldon Souray in the street, I'd hit him in my car once someone obsessed with hockey pointed out who he was.

   Things were made slightly better with the Flames toppling the Canucks, but I think I like them for reasons that far more involve their cool logo than I'd like to admit. They'll be three Canadian teams left in the NHL's final eight -- MON, CGY, OTT/TOR -- though two of them are facing their conference's top seed.

   Really though, if you care, you already knew that.


   • From the boss to you, it's today excuse for not writing.

Pete Rose Cartoon
-- From UComics.com

   It was this or the story of McDonald's new Adult Happy Meals.

Coming soon to a McDonald's near you: Adult Happy Meals, featuring salad, bottled water, pedometer and a little bit of advice: Walk more.

   Yeah, walk more. To somewhere else for lunch.


April 16-18, 2004 - TRASHionals Redux
   The dorks came. The dorks saw. The dorks played a lot of NTN.

   • It's twenty talking points on a weekend trip to Chattanooga, Tenn.

Rental Car
-- Our rental car ... for approximately seven minutes.

   1) Let's just get the joke mocking our Southern hosts out of the way right now. From an article in the Summer 2004 issue of The University Echo about UT-Chattanooga's Study Abroad program.

Studying abroad provides an alternative solution to students' normal college experience and gives participants unique life experience, according to the program's literature.

UTC's studying abroad program can take a student almost anywhere. There are several programs available through the university's cooperative education office including England, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Australia.

"We have had students on four of the five continents," Hugh Prevost, director of cooperative education, said. "I am still waiting for someone to do Antarctica, but have not found the brave soul to go there yet."

   Much of the rest of the weekend was spent trying to determine what Mr. Prevost was counting as continents, with one guess combining North and South America, and another mashing together Europe, Asia and Australia.

   2) The paper aside, UTC is located in the downtown of a rural big city. It isn't exactly a bustling downtown, but we were staying right next door to BellSouth Park, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts. It sat empty out whole visit, which is more than I can say about the Chattanooga Locomotion women's pro football team, who beat the Tennessee Venom 49-0 on Saturday night.

   3) The 11 o'clock news featured highlights of the game. Maybe that says a lot about Chattanooga right there.

   4) The actual trip was relatively uneventful, which was excellent considering it involved my first drive actually in to New York City. Granted, it isn't exactly difficult to drive into JFK with all the signage up along the way, but the fact that I pulled it off in both directions surely made me more excited than I should have been.

   5) The Port Authority charging $4 toll on the Whitestone Bridge in both directions, however, did not.

   6) As timing would have it, I had about two hours to kill before both my flights from JFK and Atlanta. The first was easily enough finished off by eating and playing this game in a losing effort. The second involved a Caesar salad and a slice of key lime pie at a painfully overpriced airport bar and grill.

   7) I'm not sure whether the waitress was being very Southern or very adamant about getting a tip when she called me "darling" nine times in the course of an hour, but I am sure it didn't cost Images $3.45 to get a slice of key lime pie out of a Sara Lee box and put in on a styrofoam plate.

   8) At least it was better than the Manchu Wok meal from New York, highlighted by the oddly underwhelming Diet Coke with Lime and the reaction of the little girl who, upon seeing a Korean Air flight rolling to its runway, exclaimed to no one in particular, "Look! It's the soda airplane!"

   9) Somewhere, a hippie is crying.

   10) Is it wrong that half my desire to want to fly first class is because I could watch the stupid map channel that shows where your flight is, how fast it's going, etc., for as long as I wanted?

   11) After arriving in Atlanta with Delta extending their streak of flights arriving late to 145,674 -- they'd tack on one more on the return -- and the four of us meeting up, we got to Hertz to pass on the aforepictured Mustang for a Pontiac something-or-other for space reasons.

   12) The car arrived in Chattanooga about two hours later with a cracked windshield and a big rubber smear on the front from running over a piece of tire. Given we were in the Bible Belt, I'm going to blame the savior on this one.

   13) One of the nice things about quizbowl is, if you're me, you can only go to like 1-2 tournaments a year and yet not really miss anything, because the faces are almost always the same. We went to the little "welcoming party" thing at the downtown this chain and I instantly recognized almost everybody there.

   14) Of course, no offense to those involved since if you're reading this it's really not you, but such quizbowl facts are also the reason I won't do more than 1-2 tournaments a year. Perspective is often an art lot on many in the community.

   15) Though given the welcoming party delayed my losing somewhere short of $40 in a friendly poker game, I suppose I could have eaten another dozen boneless Smoky Southwestern wings.

   16) It's not my fault I couldn't get any cards. It's my fault I chose to play them anyway.

   17) As for the actual tournament, I got to meet a face that I hadn't seen before -- this guy, who more or less started the BUCB team in 1990 and is pretty much the reason you're reading this at all. We've talked on the IM a handful of times over the years and, since I can't just say nothing at all, he didn't at all look like what I expected him to look like.

   18) Not sure what that means, but I needed something. Same can be said for the guy from Chattanooga's Checker Cab Company, who showed up to take me to my shuttle to the airport in his own car because his cab was getting its brakes replaced.

   19) I was a little surprised he hadn't mentioned this on the phone, but in hindsight, I don't think I was supposed to know the guy taking phone calls for the Chattanooga Checker Cab Company was also the guy driving cabs for the Chattanooga Checker Cab Company.

   20) Anyhow, we did actually play a tournament this weekend, with our "The Passion of the Gerbil" team taking 6th place out of 30.

   There were three 10-team divisions, and we went 7-2 to claim second and one of six spots in the championship bracket.

   Given I stopped writing down just which tossups I got halfway through to scare you with what I know, I'll just put down the scores so you can marvel confused at the team names.


Surgery, Surgery Revolution 285 - Us 270
Us 315 - ODB Arthur 130
Mike Keenan Employment Agency, LLC 325 - Us 240
Us 255 - Shelby Foote Soldiers 190
Us 265 - HypnoHustler and the Mercy-Killers 100
Us 335 - Death Cab for NACutie 160
Us 260 - Wardrobe Malfunction Junction 145
Us 335 - Jason and the Toronto Argonauts 45
Us 305 - Loyola, Loyola Gone Scrollin' Back, Loyola Get (IL) Like A Heart Attack 120

   From there, the top six teams went into the playoffs 0-0. Given we started chanting "We're Number 6!" at the revelation we'd make the top bracket, we weren't exactly figuring on being one of them. Eventual finish in parenthesis.

Mike Keenan Employment Agency, LLC (4) 295, Us 190
Shonen Spork (1) 280, Us 205
BATTLEPLANET!!! (3) 330, Us 110
Us 350, W.W.J.D.F.A.K.B.? (2) 175

Charles Taylor All-Stars (5) def. Us (Minus Me)

   I suspect my being at that final game probably would have propelled us to fifth, but it was a $32 shuttle that put me in Atlanta two hours early or a much more than $32 rental car that would have gained us one spot where we probably finished where we deserved to anyway.

   There's more to say, but really that would defile the Twenty Talking Points.

   And Lord knows I wouldn't want to do that.


April 15, 2004 - Tax Day ... If You're Dumb
   Speaking Of Dumb: As now pointed out by two people with more degrees than I, the issue of H-Bomb I dissected on Wednesday is actually a parody done by the Harvard Lampoon -- the people who brought you Conan O'Brien and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

   The egg on my face not withstanding, if I was a female appearing in a parody porno, I still would have gone tanning without wearing a bikini top.

   In Actual News: All the confidence gained in one round of golf is quickly lost in another ill-advised one. Playing 75 percent of your shots with mud on the ball? Not advised.

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
123
463
384
190
235
393
326
364
345
2823
PAR
3
5
4
3
4
4
4
4
4
35
Cooch
4
5
7
5
4
5
5
6
5
46
• Hawthorne CC - Dartmouth, Mass. •
Hole
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
IN
Yards
153
441
395
177
259
370
334
347
356
2832
PAR
3
5
4
3
4
4
4
4
4
35
Cooch
3
5
5
4
5
7
5
6
5
45
PAR 70
91, 21 OVER PAR
5655 YARDS
Birdies: 0 - Pars: 4 - Bogeys: 9 - Others: 5
Fairways Hit: 8 of 14 - Greens In Regulation: 4 of 18 - Putts: 38

   Playing after roughly 48 hours of rain is never good, especially if the wind is gusting to the point of physically moving you. All that said, the round didn't really fall apart until the 14th, when I was 60 yards from the green with my drive, yet made bogey. Second straight three-putt on the next hole, and the wheels are officially off.

   In an odd turn, this round actually lowered my handicap index to 15.3, though that may be more a testament to things I'd rather not think about.


   • I could sit here and comment on the long-overdue revisions to the Boston Univ. Board of Trustees. I could lament the Bruins' pathetic response to their loudest crowd in the FleetCenter era, a 5-1 pasting by Les Habs.

   Or I could just sing you a song.

Chattanooga Postcard!
-- I will be in lovely Chattanooga, Tenn., for the next three days (provided I can get to
JFK Airport alive and in time for my flight). The occasion? TRASHionals 007: LAZENBY!
America's crowning of a popular culture trivia champion that they don't care exists.

   Look out, International Towing & Recovery Hall Of Fame and Museum. The dorks are one the way.

   See you Sunday night.


April 14, 2004 - Traitors In A Humorous Sense
   Celtics 137, Hawks 131: That's not entertainment, friends.

   Songs Much Better On The Radio: Because I'm clearly the authority on such things, Ludacris's Move Bitch ends up being a whole lot better when every other word isn't a cuss. This isn't me going all Tipper Gore ... it just gets really distracting, that's all.

   Don't ask.

   Guess The Guest Star: For 10 points, don't cheat and identify the future Simpsons guest star depicted below:

Guess That Guest Star
-- Answer here.

   These ten points will prove valuable in the quizbowl game of life, I assure you. Plus, won't you feel smarter than me, since you didn't have to turn down convering two Sox-Yankees games to answer such trivia questions?

   Two, for Christ sakes. I think the savior won't mind one little name in vain for that one.


   • Maybe it's just me, but this picture just feels wrong.

Boston Rockettes

Members of the Radio City Rockettes wear Boston Red Sox shirts as they make their famous leg kicks Wednesday at The Wang Theatre in Boston to promote their Christmas Spectacular show at the Wang from Dec. 2 to the 31st of 2004. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

   And if you think it's because some photographer got the below shot on the Radio City Rockettes, you clearly haven't been around here long enough.


April 13, 2004 - "Girls of the Ivy League" Needn't Worry
   Bruins 4, Canadiens 3 (2OT): That's entertainment, my friends.

   Weapon Of Mass Dysfunction: One of the benefits of being in the press is people send you things as a means for them to get publicity. Not only does this often land a press member valuable items that would otherwise cost them money they don't have -- i.e. Red Sox tickets -- it often lands things that are humorous in juts being what they are.

   This second group is where I would classify H-Bomb, the Harvard University porno mag.

   One of our editors was mailed the inaugural issue of H-Bomb recently, and I happened to stumble across it for a perusal. I feel I would be doing a public disservice if I didn't divulge both the subject material and my opinions on it thereof, wherewithall and whashasunto.


   • To put it bluntly, H-Bomb does not so much strike me as a porno/sex magazine as it does a bunch of irnoic Harvard undergraduates wanting to see just what they could get away with under the guise of their college education.

   Perhaps the best item in the whole magazine is a half-page cartoon in the middle titled "Ironic Blowjob." Just something that appealed to me about a girl doing what the title would imply she was doing while making air quotation marks with her fingers off to the sides.

   First person who makes the "I know why it appealed to you, guy" comment gets dropkicked in the chest.


   There is nothing erotic about H Bomb -- I certainly didn't feel dirty reading it in the middle of the newsroom -- and it's in no way because of the number of prominent flaccid dongs on its pages. It's not even because the girls featured in it are all that unattractive -- not to say they are or aren't, though I think if you're going to appear in a magazine nude, you might want to tan a couple times without wearing a bathing suit top.

   The whole thing just comes off like a joke. Which is all well and good, so long as you're not looking to produce anything that anyone would want to pay for. Though given all the models are Harvard students, I can't imagine a whole lot of them understand or are bothered by the value of a dollar.

   Is that a vast and sweeping generalization? Of course it is. Is it wrong to make? Possibly. Am I overly concerned? If you have to ask, you don't need to know.

   So, to review as best I can without going into work and getting on the scanner. The stories? Poor. The photos? Ironic. The flaccid penises? Many. The breasts with pale, white triangles on them? Several.

   The fact that I found this thing in the first place? Priceless.


April 12, 2004 - Rushed Update
   More On Mickelson: Advance at your peril.

Lefty Offers Lesson For Everyone
-- When you're writing about "a story," the tendency is to try and say something that no one else is saying while still producing something that actually makes sense. It's a fine line, and well, I think I managed to keep at least one foot on it.

   And as for my knock on Phil's celebration, it was just a pure show of emotion that he shouldn't ever have to apologize for -- in Butler Cabin when he got the green jacket, I believe his quote was essentially "I looked like a dork, but I don't care."

   It should just be understood that I've been rehearsing that celebration, plus the post-Red Sox championship celebration, for at least 15 years.


   • As for the Sox game on Sunday, I'm more or less forced to put it in the five best Sox games I've ever attended -- extra-inning, game-winning, walk-off home runs don't happen every day. This isn't something I really thought much about while the game was going on, mind you, but something that struck me once I got out of the press box and had a little time to absorb what had actually happened.

   That's the way it is watching baseball from the Fenway Park press box ... perhaps the most antiseptic place to watch a sporting event I've ever been to.

From The S-T Seat
-- From the S-T seat, Row 3 of 4.

   I'm told it's better in the summertime, when they apparently open the bottom row of windows, but for now it's like watching a baseball game from inside a fishbowl. Or at least with the volume turned way, way down. None of the PA announcements are audible, and only the loudest cheers or groans get through the glass much at all.

   That said, I could hear plenty well when Bobby Jones came into the game to throw his eight straight balls.

   The design of the box is such that people in the row behind me can barely see home plate at all without standing up, and that unless you're in the first row, the rails between the windows block some important part of the playing field. Nice to see they carried the Fenway seating tradition upstairs with them.

   The oddest phenomenon is one I'm used to at this point -- looking to the TV screens off to the side to get a different view of the action going on right in front of you. There's no delay like there was at the Patriots' game, but the TV does make seeing where pitches come in against the hitters a little easier.

   There's plenty more to say -- the anthem-singing women who was way too excited to be there, the $9 media meal, the Easter Bunny throwing out the first pitch ... but I don't want to sound like I'm whining. It's a great time. If the Fenway pressbox was on Star Search, it would get at least 2.75 stars.

   Means it probably lose to someone like Sinbad, but hey, Sinbad was one talented man back in the day.


April 11, 2004 - Lefty Domination
   Happy Easter:

Sucker For Bunnies
-- What can I say. I'm a sucker for bunnies.

   At least I went to church today.

This Time, They Picked Up Schilling
-- In the same way that going to Patriots camp without a tape recorder led me to buy one, today will finally push me over the edge to buy a laptop. I could have been writing my piece in extra innings, rather than having to wait until driving back to New Bedford. Regardless, the story on this tomorrow.

   • How did I know he'd win? Because I couldn't watch it live.

Phil celebrates.

Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament with a birdie on
the 72nd hole at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

   Though even I'll admit, the celebration could have used a little work.


April 10, 2004 - Six On Three?! Way To Be!
   Reason No. 17 I Can't Vote For Kerry:

John Kerry: Maine Sympathizer
-- He treats Maine fans as human beings.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., left, greets a spectator, right, during the NCAA Hockey Championship final between Denver and Maine at the FleetCenter on Saturday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

   Though this is as good a moment as any to congratulate the Maine Black Bears and their fans on becoming only the third team to be shut out in an NCAA title game, and by putting an exclamation point on it by failing to score on a six-on-three power play.

   That's six men for Maine and three men for Denver. But it's OK to cry Mainers, because it's better to have sucked and lost year-long than to, on the big stage, blow it all.

   Enjoy the drive back to Orono!


   • So here's a question.

   I get a mailing from the MSPCA -- that's the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -- encouraging me to become a member again in 2004. No problem there ... even if it is getting me mass mail from what has to be the largest mass mail lobby in the country, I'll probably send them a few dollars.

   A small fraction of it being that nickel the PETA people sent me in their stupid junk, though I'd like to think those five cents went into buying some chicken breasts.

   Anyway, the mailing and its accompanying card with the kitty and puppy on it came in a small, green envelope.

   An envelope stamped as "Mailed from Zip code 52641."

   So what is the nefarious connection between the MSPCA and the town of Mount Pleasant, Iowa?


April 9, 2004 - Moving On
   The Golf Year In Review: After looking over my scores from 2003 for the handicap tracker, I've concluded last year was the worst year of golf that I've ever had. Given I tell people I usually shoot an average of 85, the fact that the only times I bettered that numbered was on an executive course and a par-three one says all it needs to.

   In 258 holes played, I was 259-over-par. That's bogey golf, and it sucks.

   Other facts only of interest to me:

* Average 18-hole score was 89.7. *
* I had as many birdies (4) as holes worse than a triple bogey (4). *
* Full score breakdown was 2 eagles, 76 pars, 106 bogeys, 54 doubles and 12 triples. *
* Hit 39.2% of fairways with drives, 22.9% of greens and 34.5 putts per round. *
* I played 114 holes in the month of September after not playing until May 11. *

   The handicap, as of right now calculated here, is 15.4.

   Would Have Been Useful: This Rhodes Scholar actually attended a handful of BUCB meetings before we, presumably, didn't fit in his schedule or scared him off.

   Yeah, because having a Rhodes Scholar on the team wouldn't have helped us any.


   • It was Red Sox home opener day today, which means several things.

   -- The Red Sox lost like they always do as of late.

   -- The streets of the Fenway are now wallpapered in K cards and free copies of the Boston Globe.

   -- The local radio stations went to Fenway bars to broadcast and talk to "fans."

   Every single station does it, yet they all come out the same. The people have no tickets, and are drunk. They will not get to go to the game, nor will they be sober enough to remember that they watched the game or were on the radio.

   They'd like you to know the Yankees suck though. Several times over.

   Well, they weren't all the same. WAAF did add several dick jokes and a trivia contest.

   I just thought it was odd that two stations -- WBCN and WFNX -- were actually broadcasting from bars that were further from Fenway Park than their studios are.


April 8, 2004 - Almost Trying
   Where It All Begins. Again.:

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
385
312
141
342
500
381
394
420
171
3046
PAR
4
4
3
4
5
4
4
5
3
36
Cooch
5
4
5
5
7
4
6
4
5
45
• St. Anne CC - Feeding Hills, Mass. •
Hole
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
IN
Yards
310
133
315
315
273
185
467
360
523
2881
PAR
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
4
5
36
Cooch
5
2
4
4
5
5
5
5
6
41
PAR 72
86, 14 OVER PAR
5927 YARDS
Birdies: 2 - Pars: 5 - Bogeys: 6 - Others: 5
Fairways Hit: 9 of 14 - Greens In Regulation: 6 of 18 - Putts: 33

   For the first round of the season, this is insanely good ... any day with two birdies, one of which was inches from an eagle, is excellent. When it's April 8 and this is happening, only good things can follow.

   I did chunk a 70-yard pitch and fail to get up-and-down on the 18th to miss both a 39 and the 85 I was shooting for when the day began, but that's me and my crap game. I tend to be the kind of guy to put double bogies on both sides of birdies, thus ensuring I'll be bald by the time I'm 27. So it goes.

   Actual Golfing Goal: In addition to a scorecard you don't care about, each round I will be using this tracker to monitor my handicap index. If I can get my index down to 12.0 or less, I'm going to try and qualify for the Mass. Amateur Public Links again. Apparently I'll have to get an official handicap now to play, but if it looks like I'm getting close, it'll be worth the money.

   I won't get close though, so really, this is just a nice thing to say.


   • I did not watch any crappy movies today. I bowled a 171, but did not watch any crappy movies.

   Should I stumble across Star Trek III: The Search For Spock though, you'll be among the first to know.


April 7, 2004 - Easter Lasagna
   Cars That Time Forgot: It's the trusty Subaru Justy, or as I will now call it, "The Mini For An Older Generation."

   Today's spotted CTTF was being driven by an old man in a hat -- widely taught by the folks at Agawam Auto School to be the worst kind of driver on the entire planet. And sure enough, he left me hanging out on a busy road just because he didn't have a 50 ft. berth to turn his 13-inch-long car left.

   If only he'd pimped out his ride.


   • You really wouldn't have pictured me as the kind of guy who'd stay up until 3 a.m. watching a double feature of Conan The Destroyer and Star Trek (II): The Wrath of Khan, did you?

   Neither did I.

   The first one was on after the Bruins / Red Sox / Celtics sporting coma, and the second seemed like a good excuse to see ... Khaaaaaannnnn! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


April 6, 2004 - Book 'Em
   A Treatise On Reading: Let me preface this by saying every attempt I've ever made to become a "reader" has failed miserably. I do own books, but they're all nonfiction and I can barely if ever get myself to read those. I subscribed to National Geographic because it was $20 for a year and I got a free map, but I've gotten four issues and haven't opened three of them yet.

   I've always pinned the problem on the fact that the act of reading makes me very, very sleepy. This is probably because I only read while lying down, but whatever. The idea of reading fiction not related to sports -- Bump and Run is well worth an exemption clause -- makes my eyes glass over.

   Which brings me to The Da Vinci Code, or as I've taken to calling it, "The Book I Have To Read Because Everyone Else Is Reading It."

   I'm not saying it isn't good -- I haven't heard anyone who's picked it up that doesn't like it. I'm not saying it's not deserving of praise. But you know 60 percent of the people getting The Da Vinci Code are getting it because it's the "cool book."

   Like Fast Food Nation was.

   Like whatever the first book in Oprah's Book Club.

   Etc., etc.

   What's my point? Damn if I know. But I do know this ... there are people out there who want you to be happy William Hung is releasing an album. Some are even saying he could save pop music radio.

   These people must be stopped, because if I ever head one William Hung song even scanning through the radio channels, it may be the button push that sends me on a murder spree.

   Though really, that'd make for one hell of a run of updates, wouldn't it?


   • The more I look at the minigolf opus, the more I like it. So I thank those of you who have told me you liked it as well.

   I can only hope things turn out as well on Easter Sunday.


April 5, 2004 - The Secret Is Out
   Alumni Update: I graduated with this girl, who now works for ABC6 in Providence. She gave the student speech at Commencement -- previously referred to as "the watch speech" -- and I took a radio broadcasting class with her. She would likely never remember me, but she was always very nice ... good to see she's made it back to the area.

   Even if it is at 6, who I swear is broadcasting their news out of an abandoned warehouse and whose signal looks like you're watching TV through an aquarium. And I'm not even just saying that because we're affiliated with NBC10. Half the excitement of their 6 and 11 p.m. broadcast is wondering if their news set is just going to collapse on itself at some point during the show.


   • Seven was the number of players in the amateur division that I won. None were under the age of 21.

   Twenty-two was the number of players in the full field, seven of which I beat and an eighth I was a stroke behind.

   And very, very good is what professional minigolfers are.

Me on No. 2
-- Yes, I brought my own ball and putter.

Minigolf Gets Major
-- This is the longest story you will ever read about miniature golf. To be quite honest though, it is also the best. As columns go, this one was right in the wheelhouse.

   The press release is here, which I presume is how one of you found out what this was prior to today and sent me the "How dorky can you get?" e-mail.

   What can I say ... I had a great time, and I wasn't even the only quizbowler in attendance. Have fun with that, why don't you.


April 4, 2004 - Husky Nation
   Watch More Hockey: The Bruins secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference today by beating the Devils, and the NHL secured three huge rivalries in the first round: Boston-Montreal, Philadelphia-New Jersey and Toronto-Ottawa. It's not quite as good out west, but Vancouver-Calgary ensures at least two Canadian teams will make the league's final eight.

   Watch less meaningless April baseball. Watch more exciting April hockey. Thank me later.

   Orioles 7, Red Sox 2: We're just 11 more losses away from what I would consider the Red Sox dream opening ... 0-12. Why would I want such a thing?

   Because not only would the Red Sox stop being the chic national story -- it's to the point of insufferability -- the lowest common denominator of Red Sox fans would all kill themselves. And one of them would probably try to take Dan Shaughnessy with them:

Martinez didn't stick around to talk about things after the game. In fact, team guy that he is, Pedro left the ballpark before the game was over. He must not have been feeling properly respected, or something like that.

... It's been an unsettling spring for the little guy. Like many of his other high-profile teammates, he is unsigned after this year. He arrived in Florida weary from carrying that satellite-dish-sized chip on his right shoulder, and got mad when reporters questioned his velocity.

... Martinez left after striking out Bigbie to end the sixth. Then Mike Timlin came on and the game got out of hand. If he was watching on ESPN2, Grady Little had to be smiling.

... It should be noted that Pedro was singing the same tired "no respect" song to Hall of Famer Jim Palmer in the Sox clubhouse before the game. Martinez may still be wearing a Sox uniform, but if we can believe what he says to confidants, his heart is already testing the waters of free agency. If he stays healthy, Martinez's 2004 season figures to be a 34-start audition for potential bidders.

He's out of here. Just as he was out of here last night while his teammates were still trying to win the ballgame.

   Does he have a point? Probably to some extent. That doesn't change the fact that as both a writer and a person, I have no respect for him whatsoever.

   It's hard for me to say something like that about a guy I've never met, but I get the feeling that if I saw him drowning, I'd throw him a boulder before I threw him a life preserver.

   Thanks Dan, for making my job that much harder. I can now resume my boycott of everything you write without a shred of regret.


   • Speaking of armageddon coming, which of these pop culture events is the best sign of the downfall of society and why?

   The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour, which will ensure the two become completely overexposed and ultimately cost them money ...

   Head 2 Toe, a new show on Lifetime where Melissa and Joan Rivera (along with actress Tanika Ray) give each other makeovers every week ...

   Kurt and Courtney, a documentary on TRIO that examines the idea that Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain murdered, and ultimately probably will be entertaining ...

   or William Hung, who is attempting to carve a career out of the fact that his singing voice sounds like that of a deaf child who was never taught how to speak properly?

   It's a tossup between 2 and 4 for me, because the Variety Hour is only a special and I'd watch the documentary because when Courtney ultimately unwittingly kills herself, I want to get all the quiz questions that will get written about her.

   I assure you that wasn't really meant as badly as it sounds.


April 3, 2004 - A Cinderella Story ...
   Georgia Tech 67, Oklahoma State 65: Duke Blue Devils of 2001, congratulations. You'll stand alone for another year now that the Pokes have fallen by the wayside.

   Sadly, this means no additional zoo passes. Even more sadly, it means I'll be cheering for UConn on Monday night.


   • The correct answers are seven, twenty-two and very, very good.

Massachusetts Open Winner

   The correct questions will be revealed on Tuesday.

Sox Will Be Good -- But Good Enough?
-- I say yes, but then again, I always say yes.
This is what passes for a Red Sox preview around these parts.


April 2, 2004 - In Training
   • We have to keep this brief for reasons which will make more sense tomorrow.

   I played poker last night with some college kids who I had perviously taken money from.

   I did not take money from them again.

   I did, however, shoot 1-over-par.


April 1, 2004 - One Year Since Wie
   Anniversaries: Flipping channels, and have seen The Rock and Liz Phair were on Letterman, I found out that Craig Kilborn's 'Late Late Show' had its fifth anniversary tonight.

   Aside from the lack of surprise that his show would have started on April Fools Day, he had a nice little montage -- most of which is viewable here -- that made his show seem much better than it probably is on a regular basis.

   Though the witty one-liners flowed:

"To those of you out there who didn't think I'd make it as a talk show host, I just have one thing to say ... how'd you know?"

   Hoops Follow-Up: Candace "SheBron" Parker led the West with 19 points in the McDonald's All-American girls game the other night, but in her only real attempts to dunk, she slammed it off the front of the rim and missed a two-handed layup on an alley-oop. I know I'm excited.

   But before we get into that, McDonald's is the subject in the best documentary to come along since Michael Moore Hates America ... it's Super Size Me, an examination of the American obesity problem centered around filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eating nothing but McDonald's for a month and seeing what happens to his body and health.

   If nothing else, now I know to start guessing which seven menu items contain no sugar and that anytime I see a fat person in a McDonald's, I can giggle and think, "Heavy user! Heavy user!"


   • As for the women's sports half of the programme, I was unaware my passing comments would cause such a firestorm ... in the sense that seven comments and a phone conversation on one entry can be branded a "firestorm."

   Point-by-point:

Does Cooch's World hate women's sports?
   No ... t really. The point of my posting was simply that the SheBron moniker was another example of the press setting up hype for a player who had done very little to deserve it so far. Another example would have been the 316 NBA players who, at one ppoint or another, have been crowned "The Next Michael Jordan." Harold Miner, we're looking in your direction.

   Regardless of my comment about not writing a column about women's sports, I do not think women shouldn't get to play sports. I just don't think I should be asked to watch them.

Why not?
   Because, in all honesty, the average women's game compared to the average men's game is far more boring. You can make the argument that women's hockey is played with more finesse, that women's basketball doesn't have the egos the men's game does, but the point is to me personally, I do not enjoy watching women's sports. That doesn't mean they're bad athletes, that doesn't mean they should have to stay in the kitchen, it just means I don't enjoy watching them. In all honesty, I probably watch far less sports than you think I do anyway.

   I'm not going to write another column about women's sports -- I actually did once, speaking of anniversaries -- because, for the most part, it's not a subject area that I can speak all that intelligently about. It's the same reason I don't write about the Celtics. Though in addition here, the story isn't something I could crank 650 words out about ... it's not an accident Tuesday's update was about three sentences long.

So, Commish, in what way could women's sports be made more entertaining?
   The proof of how easy this question is goes no further than seeing all the women's sports leagues trying to sell their players' sex appeal to male fans. Just like the NHL, people have to realize that women's sports are just probably never going to get that kind of national fan base that they want so desperately. They're niche sports markets -- for entirely different reasons, but for reasons nonetheless.

   Honestly, I don't know how I would make womens' sports more entertaining short of selling the players like the do already. Though I'm not alone ... the WUSA and ABL folded, the WNBA would have if it wasn't backed by the endless money of the NBA, and the National Women's Football Association is currently out-Googled by another NWFA.

   Sports leagues on the whole need to realize that not everyone is going to enjoy their sport. If you're running your league to a point that you need that much capital that you need to, re-evaluate. Try cutting some teams, try being realistic. Women's sports, whether it makes me sexist or not, are primarily for women, to be watched by women. That's the reality in most cases.

   I'm out of things to say for now.


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2003: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2002: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2001: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05]