August 31, 2002 - Does 3LW = SWV?
"For Boston sports fans, it has been a summer of discontent. With the Red Sox in the midst of an ugly collapse, there is little reason it won't turn into the fall, winter and spring of discontent as well, given the slim prospects of the Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. The Patriots, who open their season today in Cincinnati, are rebuilding and probably will not be a contender."
-- Ripped from the headlines of the S-T - Sept. 9, 2001. Nice to see I wasn't the only one to make an ass of myself.

   • This was the day the whole summer had built to, the one that had been doubly circled on the hypothetical calendar I keep next to my mental bulletin board and emotional crib sheet. Not only was it the day Meg went off to a better place, it was Little Coochy's first night at Boston U. ... four years to the day after mine own.

   I once caused a little stir within a circle of friends when I started to openly wonder why exactly we insited on repeatedly getting ourselves plastered, when there was always the regret the next day of having done so. They couldn't give me a straight answer, so that's when I stopped drinking so much.

   Today, I may have both gotten my answer and seen why I was right all along. No, I'm not nursing a beer as I write this.

   Words cannot describe how much I love my family. Honest to God, no bullshit, I don't know what I would do without them. When the four of us are together, I love every minute of it because it reminds of a time when we were always together. Today was special, because God only knows the next time we'll all assemble in the same place.

   That said, see that wall over there? See me being driven up it? Yeah.

   I think the source of it all is that after 22 years, my parents still embarass me often. This probably has less to do with them, and more to do with my lingering high strungitude, but nevertheless I get all edgy when my father starts making bad jokes to complete strangers in elevators, my mother gives him the business for said business, and so on and so forth.

   At 10 a.m. we were up, by 11 out of bed. At 1 p.m., Meg was scaring a Best Buy sales attendant, refusing his efforts to sales pitch a camera by just buying it. * Four hours after that, I will be unable to account for her behavior until December 18.

   I, meanwhile, was buying my favorite kind of birthday present: one picked out by the recipient in the store, right there.

   As it ended up, I didn't have to move Matt in anywhere, I just had to cause the civil war by suggesting he stay in the dorm meeting people rather than go back to the Royal Sonesta with the family for the night. This of course was after Meg and I parted before the Virgin Atlantic counter, so I'll just pawn the whole episode off to non-existant grief.

   It's not like the four months apart came as a shock... I've known she was going on this trip since essentially the day we met. Goodbye was brief, especially when compared to the Italian couple hardcore deep throating in the hallway connecting Logan's Terminal E to the roadway.

   Rule Of Thumb: When kissing in public, your head should never be moving violently. If you must use an open mouth, at least have the decency to not let passers-by see your tongue. At no point should it look like you're trying to pull in slack cable from your partner's insides.

   Matt had to ask me how I knew they were Italians. He's a freshman. Just give him some time.

   * - Meg had attempted to buy this camera on eBay after having researched it at another Best Buy, so she wasn't just putting $300 down on an impulse buy. That kind of spending is reserved for my other love.
August 30, 2002 - The 1986 New York Football Giants

-- Meet Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Florida Marlins.

   • Jeffrey Loria is not new to baseball ownership. He was given the Marlins this year by Major League Baseball when the league took over operations of the Montreal Expos, the team he'd previously owned. Montrela is not a prime baseball market, for sure, but Jeffrey Loria is not a prime owner.

   A reporter once said to Loria, who was complaining about the team's consistent low attendance, "They're not going to come out just because you spend X number of dollars. They're going to come out if the team wins, which it hasn't done."

"The team is in a situation where eight or nine games might have made a difference this season. Some games we didn't win. The landscape is changing considerably (within the division). If we're healthy, we're a much better baseball team than we showed. But we need to have the enthusiasm be there to want to spend money. I'm not interested in losing a lot of money again next year. I'm just not going to do it."

   He's not going to spend money. He's just not going to do it. Thank God with the new baseball settlement, he doesn't have to.

   The new luxury tax will affect three teams - the Yankees, Dodgers and Rangers. If what Jayson Stark says is true, the Red Sox were spared having to pay because Seattle picked Jose Offerman up from the waiver wire.

   This may have been the most useful thing #30 ever did for the Olde Towne Team.

   The Yankees will likely fall back to the rest of the league, thus defeating all the work Steinbrenner has put in to make that team what it is. Does it make the rest of us happy? Yes. Should we feel guilty? Absolutely.

   There's nothing in the deal that says an owner has to spend his shared revenue on his team. Mercifully, Jeffrey Loria will never have to lose money again. He can now pitch a little bit to the on field product, while ensuring his pudgy bottom line never be threatened again.

   There he is. Baseball's future. Remember, communism worked in a perfect world too.

   Not to drag the VMA's back in the mix, but some bits just should not be forgotten.

"He looks great for 44, but I think he's had some work done."
-- Jimmy Fallon, on Michael Jackson.

August 29, 2002 - Still Be The Cheese, Bitch
"Tremoring, random leg kicks, randomly screaming out the name "Jon" every now and then, and hallucinating about seeing [Jon's] face dancing around on ... walls every so often"
-- These are the symptoms of "Jon Withdrawal," which apparently only exists in people who know I found out they left a Sox game early.

   • O.K. Californians among us. Listen up.

   Only under the most extreme of circumstances are you to leave a baseball game early. A four-run deficit is not a valid reason. Your boyfriend's almost arrival is not a valid reason. A rain shower is not a valid reason, nor is you being tired, hungry, dirty, bored, or the recipient of a free ticket. Beating traffic is not a valid reason in the same way a flare-up of gonorrhea is not a valid reason.

   Do you go to a movie and leave at the 90-minute mark? Do you go to Olive Garden and leave before the salad and breadsticks comes? Do you get your significant other naked, then decide you'd much rather go out for pizza instead?!

   I am so hungry right now, you don't even understand. Meg's brainchild of Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Peppers only sticks with you for a half day or so.

   Let me just say, today proved I am able to cook for myself, I'm just not creative enough. Don't believe it? You know the address... invite yourself in.

   The MTV Video Music Awards is traditionally my way of signaling summer's really over, believe it or not. They're typically in the first week of September, right as school's starting to get real again, so when they came around it was officially time for anything fun to be put in the closet. Course now I have a job, and have to watch the replay at two in the morning.

   2001 was the summer of sharks attacking children. 2002 was the summer of priests and kidnappers attacking children. 2003? I'm going with either porn stars, radio personalities or plants. Maybe all of them... this is America, the land of opportunity.

   So did you watch the VMAs?

   Pink has dyed her hair black. Wouldn't you think someone in her posse would have pointed already out why this shouldn't happen? Triumph The Insult Comic Dog did a skit with Moby. My only regret is that he didn't actually fling dog shit on Eminem. Christina Aguilera dressed rather scantily. She really needs to just get it over with and go Alanis Morrissette in 'Thank U.' Michelle Branch won the Viewer's Choice award. Maybe now I can stop confusing her with Charlotte Church. Rob Schneider announced his newest vehicle via commercial. He has to be illiterate, it's the only explanation. Justin Timberlake performed solo for the first time ever. It was so odd to see him dancing choreographed in front of four other people. John Norris sat and acted intelligent. Hard thing to do when your suitcoat has pink frills on the shoulders. Jimmy Fallon got really excited for the night's big surprise, Guns N Roses performing live. Whether he laughed through their entire performance, well, guess we'll just have to wait for the DVD.

   I did almost buy The Eminem Show. I actually did wish Christina Aguilera shoved his award into his crotch at a 60 degree angle.
August 28, 2002 - All VMA's Eve

-- Buoyed by the Worcester Little Leaguers,
I resurrect my baseball career.

   • Note the above is the best kind of picture: one that doesn't show my face.

   Tonight, several friends were asking me the inevitable question: How I was dealing with Meg, girlfriend of 8-11 months depending on who you listen to, leaving for four months in London within the week. Well, I hope they didn't ask it exactly like that - very wordy. No flow. Reads like Mahir Cagri wrote it.

   You'll note I'm dodging the question. I'm very good at dodging questions. To continue, here's an entirely unrelated quote.

"Whittemore Avenue, 3:13 p.m.: Report of three people wearing clown outfits and gangster style clothing with a duffle bag, investigated."
-- Excerpt from Wareham, Mass., police logs last week

   To be honest, I've tried really hard to not dwell on Saturday since the day will be relatively gruesome. Matt's moving into BU that day, so there I'll be, awkwardly realizing I'm not in college anymore, as my mother bawls and becomes basically inconsolable. Then it's off to the airport to send off the only person I could go to as a mediator.

   It may very well be the best or worst update ever concocted, depending on what you're a fan of. Course it probably also won't be written until Monday evening, but we'll work around that somehow.

   Four months is a long time. That's almost a whole football season - by the way, that will be how I'm getting through her time away. Gambling like a grifter.

   They're going to find me in a pile of whale bones before Thanksgiving, I tell you. I'm just debating whether I should grow Drew Bledsoe's classic "losing the will to live and shave" beard along the way. Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of it, but New Englanders all know exactly what beard I'm talking about.

   Hell, a lot of stuff can happen in one day. Thanks to Matt Bruce, my column ended up on a baseball site with a national audience. And KMart is going to start printing their ad flyers in Spanish for the first time.

   Perhaps the best part of the KMart story is the hilarious statistic that 55 percent of all Hispanics in America live within 15 minutes of a KMart location. Maybe not so much hilarious and blatantly obvious.

   Hilarious would have to be that "On Sept. 1, Kmart will begin testing a men's clothing line, called Ched-da." It be the cheese, dog.

August 27, 2002 - Anatomy Of A Bomb
   • This is not the story of two radio shows, and how they both went off the air within a week of each other. It would be way too angry that way, as they were two of the only three shows I listened to with any regularity.

   This is instead the story of a marketing ploy, arcing from beginning to critical mass, with the end all but academic in my mind. Kind of like a case study, but without the fake names.

   Radio 104 out of Hartford is the only honest-to-God alternative rock station left available in Western Massachusetts. Its only competition, Northampton's 99.3, which was always my favorite, threw a bunch of thrash metal into their playlist and has steadily been going to crap over the last few years.

   It could easily be argued that to be "honest-to-God alternative rock," you would have to play the kind of bands that are actually 'alternative.' Really though, what do you want from me? They're alternative - I DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

   104 just kind of appeared sometime while I was in high school. It was good, but wasn't great until they gave Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider a morning show.

   Dee Snider Radio was rather uneventful in the pantheon of morning shows. They really didn't do anything that hadn't been done before, but it was very laid back. Dee was just having a good time of it, and the show was extremely listenable. It wasn't as loud or over-the-top as Opie and Anthony, and that was nice. Little change of pace that worked. He came in and added himself to the morning team 104 already had - also a little thing that worked.

   Whenever I found myself out west, in a car for the morning, it was Stern and/or Dee. Just a nice way to get me wherever I was going. Until this weekend, where a message after every song promised, "At 5 p.m. Monday, Connecticut radio will be changed... forever."

   Initial instinct was a format change, which would have blown extremely hard. With some promos featuring the term "Radio 104," it wasn't a switch in frequencies. In the end, it turned out to be this, which may end up being worse than them both, but we'll see on that.

   As today continued, every song was now followed by a promo for Bubba The Love Sponge. It would have been grating anyway, even before considering what this guy's about.

"Before Opie & Anthony surpassed him by persuading a Virginia couple to have sex in Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral, Bubba was the author of perhaps the crudest radio stunt on record: Last year, from the parking lot of his Tampa studio, he broadcast the slaughter of a pig."
-- The Hartford Courant cleared it all up for me.

   6', 300+ lbs., coming out swinging at one man... Stern, who has owned Hartford since the mid-'80s. Bubba lambastes him as 52, has three kids, butters his pud to chicks on the Internet and is running out of celebrities to ask if they take anal. He says he's fresh, a show like no other, and will give Hartford something they've never seen before. That he understands Hartford is more that just the third jewel of New England, that there's "cool, crazy people" there. He promises to kick Howard Stern's ass, perhaps literally - as he's challenged him to a fight downtown.

   News flash to fatty, but your sample bits of MTV Cribs Mike Tyson and some woman calling in to bitch are not cutting edge radio. They've been done, by pretty much every wannabe "shock jock" across the country. The fact that your show hasn't crept out of Florida before now will be much more of a problem than you may think.

   Of course, there hasn't been legit shock radio in WMass/Northern Conn. since O&A were back on WAAF, so he'll likely succeed even if he poorly fills a niche. Legitimately infuriating.

   Talentless people should not succeed just because. Talented people shouldn't go audienceless because massive corporations now control major stations in major cities. Guess this is me, railing against faceless capitalism.

   The column got three compliments at the office yesterday, as "very readable," "interesting" and a general "I liked it." Nice to see that in all walks of media, the mimimally talented can get a shot at some publicity now and again.

   Opening odds are 5:1 I outlast Bubba. Get your money in now.

August 26, 2002 - Deer Dad

"I'm a giver, and you're a taker."
-- Always nice when Pops tells you where you stand.

   • Maybe I should ask the College Bowl team how selfish I am. I suppose I could check in with the Free Press, see what they think. Or maybe I should stop taking things said to me in a rage so seriously.

   I just don't like the feeling of being a prick. To the point of having to write about it.

   Almost forgot...

All Signs Point To A Troubled Game
-- Stretching my strike argument. Eventually I'll add this to my column page, just like eventually my headshot will be uploaded to the Web.

   So, I guess I'm kinda a sportswriter. Cool.
August 25, 2002 - All The Pregnant Virgins
   • In honor of today's 25,000th SportsCenter, we go over Cooch's Greatest Sports Moments.

   Is it sports talk? Yes. Is it entertaining? Only if you try to visualize me doing these things.

   Baseball! I was an All-Star center fielder, amazing because my batting average as a twelve year old couldn't have been higher than .035. Playing as the Indians vs. the Yankees, a future All Western Mass. pitcher hit a screamer headed for the woods beyond left center. Trouble for him was I got a hell of a jump on it, making a leaping catch about ten feet in front of the wall. It's funny, because I really didn't think it was all that difficult of a play. The mobbing as I ran in front center proved otherwise.

   I also didn't think Terrence Long's catch robbery of a Manny Ramirez game winning homerun was all that spectacular. Not even bitterness, just 'been there, done that.' Yeah, that's it...

   Football! We go just back into the school year, for Free Press Football on the snowy FieldTurf of Nickerson Field. Our team, clearly outmatched, defending on a First and Goal. Playing cornerback, I lurk. Pass over the middle.

   There was a leap, a tip, a falling on ass, crawling around and an interception. Presumably in that order.

   After a semester worth of being "the guy who never had the ball thrown to him because he drops things," I made about 37 catches I had no business making that day. I also had my jacket torn, as it was tackle football, and we were thrashed. Such is life.

   By the way, snow football should be made the new national pastime. I'm not just asking, I'm demanding.

Must have been roughly 13. Game 9 of a 10 game season, playing as Green against the eventual league champion, Light Blue (?) They were clearly better than us, but somehow we stuck in it all game long. With my father coaching and best friend an honorary assistant, you'd really think favoritism would have something to do with me getting the ball in a clutch situation. I sense it was more mistake.

   Down three with under 10 seconds to go, the play was "Somebody make a three pointer." Ball came to me, shot up, back iron, bounces four feet straight up and inexplicably goes in. Relative pandemonium, as our opponents were undefeated at the time.

   I was mobbed again. We lost in OT. Life goes on.

   After a decade of Agawam Athletic Association basketball with one losing trip to a championship, my last two games were this and something almost more impressive. Down nine with a minute to play, I hit threes on consecutive possessions before being double teamed and not getting a shot for the tie. When you get cut from the freshmen basketball team in high school, these are the things you have to go on.

Little less to go on, as I can't skate. Our neighborhood once formed a street hockey team and went to play another neighborhood. I can't recall if we won, but I do know a kid who played legit hockey was giving me shit because I wore glasses. He checked me into a snowbank, then held me head in the muddy snow. So I kicked him in the balls. He left me alone after that.

   Golf! The 2000 qualifier for the Massachusetts State Amateur Public Links was at my home course, Agawam Municipal. After shooting an abyssmal 13-over 48 on the easier front nine, drastic steps were needed. So they were carried out on the par five 10th.

   Sixty yards left for the third shot, pin back left on the flat green. Lob wedge... one hop and in. Remains the only eagle I've ever made in fifteen plus years of golf. My back nine 40 was the 4th best score posted the 80 player field, but suffice to say an 88 wasn't getting me anywhere near a state event.

   Tennis! Playing Chicopee Comp in #2 doubles, partner Brett Demers and I beat a team we had no business beating by putting about 875 lobs directly on the backline.

   As with real life, tennis is only actually compelling if you're playing it.

   Soccer! Yeah right. One time I kicked the ball out of the defensive zone. Really far.

   Dunk Tank! Knocking Charlie in on three consecutive throws from 10-15 feet, a feat Little Cooch matched today on Eric Robinson's punk ass.

   That's it. I'm going outside now.
August 24, 2002 - Headshots Taken
   • The inate problem with consistently getting out of work about an hour before you should is that, on the rare occasion you have to stay until like a half-hour before you should, you get incredibly despondent and pissed off even though you're still getting paid during your walk home and/or drive back to Western Mass.

   An hour inexplicably disappeared tonight, something I firmly blame on my computer clock being in military time. That or 22:00 became 23:00 in about seven minutes tonight - I went from goofing off with coworkers to the "oh fuck!" reflex much faster than should ever happen.

   Page A7 on the Sunday Standard-Times got laid out in about 13.64 seconds, which would explain why there's a picture that takes up about a third of the entire page. Really, not good for anyone.

   The inaugural column has now been read by two people - Meg and Standard-Times sports editor Jon Comey. He said he liked it. She said it was refreshing to read a piece of writing I actually spent more than five minutes on. Both compliments on something, surprise surprise, I don't like.

   If enough time passes, I eventually overanalyze so much I hate roughly 95% of everything I've ever produced. The things I like would undoubtably not be what you'd predict, since my natural tendency is to take a small witty joke and delude myself to thinking I'm the next Gallagher.

   For example, this is funny:

"If Magic Johnson's Basketball Hall of Fame induction doesn't include a sequence where presenter Larry Bird comes out wearing a Lakers jersey, gives a heartfelt speech about Magic, finishes, shakes Magic's hand, steps backward to let Magic bathe in the applause of the crowd, then inexplicably hits Magic over the head with a steel chair as Ernie Johnson Jr. screams, 'My God, noooooooooooo!,' followed by Bird ripping the Lakers jersey off (revealing a Celtics jersey), then kicking Magic a few times before exiting the stage to raucous applause ... well, I'm not going."
-- See, these things are what make him The Sports Guy

   This is not funny:

"The sticking point of the current dispute is the 'luxury tax,' which basically says if a team spends over a given amount, they must pay a 'percentage' of their 'payroll' those whose postgame dinner spread is Ramen 'noodles' and government 'cheese.' Both players and owners have agreed some revenue sharing is necessary, because if baseball has taught nothing else, money makes the world go round.
-- The "quotes" are supposed to make it "funnier." Though on the whole, it's an improvement over my DFP columns, which tried to make three jokes in every line.

   I'm going out on a ledge and declaring Cracked Rear View the "Best Album You Own But Will Never Admit To." Reason being hearing their first hit, "Hold My Haaaaaand," on the radio last night, I could think of nothing more than drummer Jim 'Soni' Sonenfeld sitting there shirtless in the video.

   Not that I like boys or anything, but with those flowing blond locks, how could you not swoon? *

   * - The first reader to send me an annotated list of "Ways One Could Not Swoon Over Jim 'Soni' Sonenfeld" that I deem 'of highest quality' will get it printed. Wippity freakin' doo dah.
August 23, 2002 - Mmm, Fried Davy Jones' Locker...
   • So here we are, 16 hours before I'm to present the sports editor my first column, and the only thing on my document is a cursor. Nice to know at least part of me hasn't changed since high school.

   Long ago, I promised I would post my stories and columns from the Agawam High School Mirror alongside my other writing on the site. Sort of a complete professional portfolio, from cover to cover. Only problem with this is I have no electronic copies of said articles, meaning it'd have to be a labor of love. Given I can't stand my writing now, never mind five years ago, we'll just let that "Coming Soon" keep lying like it knows how to do.

   Jason Unger took a little umbrage with my commentary on the Orioles. He's a fan, and I guess he's sick and tired of taking payroll heat when Tom Hicks is paying Alex Rodriguez $250 million dollars to finish last for two seasons. He says the O's currently have both the 16th highest payroll and 16th best record in the Majors, meaning under the American mentality, they're right where they belong. At least worth mentioning...

um' brage - a feeling of pique or resentment at some often fancied slight or insult

   I've misspoken, will do so again without a doubt. I've hurt people with things I've said, something I can not deny. But sometimes, you just have to wonder how something could ever seem like a good idea, especially when put in a place others will read it.

"Confectionery giant Cadbury has apologized for an advertisement that compared disputed Indian-controlled Kashmir region to a chocolate that was 'too good to share.'"
-- Indian newspaper, they run an ad comparing a region people are winging atomic bombs over to C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E.

   At least the people behind mLife were just stupid in a marketing sense.
August 22, 2002 - Ignorance
   • Have you even felt so painfully wrong about someone that it made you question how you view somebody completely different? Incredibly troubling, I do not recommend.

   I worked a little overtime tonight, as did the rest of the desk, to start plowing through the things we're getting for our Sept. 11th coverage. The e-board is planning to serve up nearly two full weeks of extended coverage to the SouthCoast community, starting on Sept. 1. Each day, fill a fry pan with human interest stories and special sections, spice with images and charts showing what was news in New Bedford twelve months ago, all the way up through Sept. 12th. Put in large press nightly and sell pieces for 50 cents each.

   There's a chance that reader comment line I'm supposedly in charge of will make its re-debut at some point during all this. This plus the column will ensure I never ask for extra things to do again.

   What looks to be the fruity center of this fruit pie of journalism is a "Where were you?" collection we've been getting submissions for what looks to be a while. The call was apparently for write-ups of 250 words or less, but as three I read would take up nearly a third of a newspaper page, people either can't add or don't care.

   Lot of poems... angry, bad poems. Lot wrote by kids age 14 and under, who apparently like awkward rhymes. The publisher's secretary wrote almost 70 inches, essentially half a newspaper page, but as she worked in New York at the time, previously at the WTC, it was very compelling.

   There was the woman who lived in Jersey but "grew up" in the city. The UMass Amherset senior with the hyphenated name who wrote a thesis just to show off how many big words he can use. But it's the eleven-year-old who clearly doesn't talk like one who really stuck with me, as her teacher threatened to send anyone to the principal's office who continued to talk about the attacks past when she said they could.

   Nice work, Miss Frizzle. Hope your ass got canned.

   I remember just what I was doing on Sept. 11, from when I woke up to when I finally forced myself to go to sleep. Given my occupation and where I was, I probably should have been more involved in what was going on that day, but I don't feel anything for not... the day just doesn't ring with the same resonance it seems to with others.

   I don't feel affected. I know three people who lived and worked in the boroughs - none were injured, at least from a physical standpoint. I have no friends who lost a family member. As far as I know, I don't know one person who was killed. I was on the dissenting side of the Free Press running obits for every BU-related victim, something I'm willing to rethink now because those who worked on it did it right.

   I get the sense I am both extremely lucky and extremely rare. Angry we were attacked, but not wondering why. I have flown again, and do not fear it the same way I didn't before. My sense of loss comes from the felling of two great buildings, which I saw from their highest vantage. Were I to go to Ground Zero, I sense any extended feelings of loss would come from that. What can I say, the physical buildings are the only thing gone I feel I ever touched...

   Somewhere in a drawer at home, I have the ticket stub from my day at the Observation Tower. Somewhere else, there's pictures of Welsh visitors and I on it. I really need to find them.

   I've never been able to put a face on what happened that day, and I don't really think I ever will. I've never shed a tear over it, but I rarely openly weep. I am not saying this to boast it, but because it's how I felt, reading how others "unaffected" carried out their year.

   And now, the awkward ending.
August 21, 2002 - I Am (Not) George Lopez
   I made a huge error yesterday, going way out of bounds because I was in a huge rush to publish. I'm glad it was brought to my attention so calmly and rationally, and apologize wholeheartedly to the parties involved. It's dangerous when I start thinking too much, but much more lethal when I don't do it at all.

   • Waking up this morning to find out, hot damn, I'm still an honest-to-God weekly sports columnist was great enough. To be seeing the twinkle of the Prudential Building in the sunshine by mid-afternoon threw cherries on top of a bitchin' sundae.

   I was visited last night, not in the same way Cartman was on the original South Park episode but by someone whose hairstyle could easily pass as alien. She brought pictures from the past, a movie we never watched... your typical boring night enjoyed by those who don't drink heavily or like to go clubbing. In the morning, she showered, dried her hair excessively and got in her car.

   Within an hour, I was speeding on Route 140 looking for a white car without a transmission.

   Giving me an excuse to go to Boston is like giving a puppy a new chew toy - he's gonna piss on the floor, may as well get it over it right away. Did I go visit Meg at her current and my former workplace? Of course. Did I head down to the Mail Room to say my hello? Absolutely. Did I get a parking ticket for going two minutes over on a Commonwealth Avenue meter?

   I'm finding it impossible to even be mad at the meter maid for being anal, because had I simply put one more quarter in the meter, it would have saved me the 99 other quarters I'm now paying the City of Boston.

   There's plenty of other things driving me up the wall anyway, the Parent Television Council being above the fold. Each year the PTC releases a list of the "Top Ten Best & Worst Shows on Prime Time Network Television," based loosely on which are the most moral and easiest for a family to sit down and watch together. You know, like the stereotypical family did in 1957, when we held black people subservient and made women stay in the kitchen cooking our dinners.

"Six of the ten shows making the PTCís 'Best List' for the 2001/2002 season are new, and most will be returning in the fall, indicating a possible trend by the networks to give family-friendly programming a chance to succeed in prime time."
-- Exactly ZERO of the Top 10 shows the PTC lists are in the tope twenty in the ratings for this season, while THREE of their Bottom 10 are. L. Brent Bozell, I think you have your answer.

   What bothered me most about this list, other than a FOX show being deemed morally honorable, is how it will be treated as news by outlets across the country. This is a group of 700,000, by their own admission, who will be paraded around to the uneducated as knowing what they're talking about. Every Inside Edition across the country will parade this around as actual news, when under analysis it's clearly nothing more than Bible-thumping hysteria.

"MTV was a real pioneer in this pseudo-reality genre some years ago when it introduced 'The Real World.' Here MTV throws a bevy of exotically-named college kids into a house so the audience can watch all the pairing and fighting as it happens. Obedient to Hollywoodís cultural rules, the show always carries a gay character, sometimes more than one. Also in keeping with the rules of moral relativism it usually features one religious (which is to say, repressed) person who will realize the errors of his conservative ways by the fourth episode."
-- Brent raps about MTV.

   I can't tell what's more troubling about what he's saying. That it's so obviously skewed to feed his paranoia machine, that it's working, or if at the core, he's pretty much dead on.

   You want to be a better parent? Stop trying to relate to your child through television. Today's average American may be Godless and more interested in J. Lo's sex life than whether we're at war, but the reason nobody's watching 'Doc' on PAX is because we don't like it.

   I suppose I'm being hypocritical by devoting half a day's worth of write-up to something I claim shouldn't be getting any press. Really though, until I'm getting a million hits a day, I don't think I count as a "major news agency." GO SOX.
August 20, 2002 - Four Stories
   Charlie thinks you should know Afghanistan has 24-hour streaming radio on the Internet and Agawam (Mass.) is 96.7% white. He feels it explains a lot.

   Matt Bruce thinks you should read this feature on the thing attached to Anna Nicole Smith's breast implants. He feels it further elaborates on her giving dead husband's ashes a tour of her house.

   Girlfriend Meg thinks you should know the girl playing the role of Carrie on this Detroit morning show is a staffer at our very own Daily Free Press. Her 'Aiden' is this guy, her 'Mr. Big' is this guy, and [RADIO EDIT].

   • There's something else I want you to know, of slightly more personal and professional importance.

   I was going to write about how I have a problem with Best Buy, how every trip to buy, say, a $5 speaker cable, becomes a spend-$50-and-45-minutes-playing Madden 2003 spectacle. I was also going to talk about Benjamin Thompson, who died last week after saving downtown Boston.

   Then I had that private workplace meeting...

   On this date last year, I stood on the cusp of the greatest journey I'd ever taken: a week crossing the United States. Today, my new hero Jonathan Comey gave me a new journey to conquer, something legitimately worthy of such overblown hype.

   Starting next Tuesday, my first-ever weekly sports column debuts in the pages of The Standard-Times.

   Bill Simmons, look out below. Way below.
August 19, 2002 - The Stupids Have A Ball
   • Perhaps the worst part of a baseball strike is there are educated people with answers out there who you know are being ignored...

   Let's say I own a movie theater. I'm starting from scratch, so I've got very little to work with - no one wants to come to the theater because the screens suck and the only concessions are Goobers and stale Charleston Chew, which are best used for masonry work.

   I can do three things with my theater, to increase the chance of me making money.

   Option 1: Take a little risk and spend my own money on it. Improve the screens. Add stadium seating. Get some edible candies, perhaps a soft drink or two. Fill the lobby with video games and start charging a little more for tickets. By creating a better product, people want to come, and are willing to pay a little more to see a show. As more people come, I make my money back and more. I keep a little profit, then throw the rest back into the theater. Improve it some more, drawing more people and more profits.

   We'll call this the Yankees system, because as much as I hate George Steinbrenner, he does seem to get it.

   Option 2: I start to whine and cry. My theater sucks! No one wants to come to it! Someone should build me a better theater so people will come here! Course when you con someone into building you a new theater, the fact that you continue to show nothing but Kevin Costner films will keep people from coming back for a second visit.

   So I keep whining. Look at Steinbrenner's theater! He's spending so much more money than me, no wonder he's better! Why can't I get some of his money to spend? It's not faaaaaiiiiirrrrrrrrr!

   Thus we have the "luxury tax" that the current strike will be over. It goes with Option 2, conveniently called the Baseball theory since it makes little sense at all. There is a way to eliminate the Option 2's, but sense it has no chance of ever being implemented, we have an Option 3: Go buy a Major League Lacrosse and leave baeball the screw alone.

   Don't contract anybody. In England and other countries around the world, every small town has a soccer team and they all make it work. Take the top twenty Major League teams. There's your Premiership - they play in the biggest stadiums for the most money. Rest of the current MLB and the best AAA teams become the First Division, and on down the line.

   The down side to this is you'd need to scrap the current farm system, replacing it with reserve squads run by each team. But the upside for the fan is tremendous. Your team, through relegation and promotion each season, is almost always playing against teams of equal caliber. There's an incentive to keep playing if you're in the middle of the pack... not getting your ass booted down. Those teams not willing to spend money can jut compete against others who don't have it or don't want to, in front of 1,000 fans until they're blue in the face.

   By the way, anyone who thinks money equates success should go look up Orioles, Baltimore. Thus ends the sports talk for today, Meg and Vito.

   I proofed the editorial page today, and in doing so read a letter from a woman pushing for a given town official to be named to some School Department post for the disabled. Her argument was pretty strong given her clear inability to write: he knows our kids, has watched them grow up and has more vested in the New Bedford schools than some outsider. Her methods, however, are suspect at best.

   She's concerned that her son is disabled and a minority, which is an iffy cry of wolf to begin with, but then proceeds to name him and announce he plays "New Bedford's famous WHALERS (football team)."

   1) I thought the only thing New Bedford schools were famous for was their band and not having any money.
   2) If you generally were fearful for your son, listing his first and last name in the newspaper of record round here isn't the best way to show it, you idiot.
   3) What position can you play if you're disabled? I suppose being deaf could be worked around, but other than that there needs to be a hell of a support system if we're talking actual disability.

   So what else am I wondering today?

   • Why people are sad to see Ames close. The place has been an absolute vomit hole for at least a decade, yet there Susie Q. on the news, waxing poetic about the place she's bought her kids Slipper Socks and cheese popcorn since they were kneehigh to a grasshopper. Stores close people, it's called the capitalist system. You know, that thing you're waving your flag over.

   • Why 94.7 WMAS Springfield is giving away tickets to see Joe Rogan do stand-up at Hampton Beach in N.H. WMAS is your run-of-the-mill Top 40 station, meaning Grandma knows him more from Fear Factor than from his, well...

"Iíve had the unfortunate pleasure of being talked into going to musicals in the past, and every single time I found them to be a fucking murderous assault on my attention span. Yet to the average person, a musical is considered entertaining, where as a fat naked guy dressing up like Elvis and pissing in a chickís mouth is just trash."
-- It's hard to encapsulate a description of a naked Elvis impersonator. I would suggest you read it yourself.

August 18, 2002 - Yay Afghanistan
   • They came, they saw, they threw up in my downstairs toilet.

   Well, not everybody...

   My parties have not typically been the scenes of massive drinking in the past, generally because The Posse has not been big on the drinking - as our nerd roots fade into obscurity, we're beginning to act more socially acceptable.

   Though passers-by may feel differently, as the two large inflatables near the estate were standing taller than the house itself.

   Erik Sunny, longtime friend and fellow "As Schools Match Wits" alum, works at a local rental agency... you know, the kind of place you go to rent helium tanks for parties; chairs for parties; tables for parties; propane for huffing and for at parties. At the first party we had here after my high school graduation, Erik brought a "Bounce House" - ball pit without the balls kinda thing, where you're bouncing on air. Needless to say it was a nice diversion to all the volleyball we usually play.

   Since then, we've had a dunk tank in my driveway and a jousting set on my front lawn, among other things the rental company has purchased over the years. None of it had ever entirely displaced volleyball... that is, until we got drunk and cracked out a 22-foot-high water slide.

   Technically it's not a water slide, but after we all got burns from being dragged backwards by the recoil on the bungee run, sliding down a steep incline dry didn't seem a very intelligent idea.

   Really, the only possible negative to constantly wetting down a canvas inflatable slide is the increased speed one gets sliding down it - kinda increases the chances of a person hitting the wall at the slide's bottom and flipping over it onto the hard ground. We ended up putting down a tarp because people were getting sick of landing right on the grass.

   So today, a bunch of twenty-somethings and friends got really drunk and spent upwards of half a day sliding down a giant inflatable slide. As they got drunker, they started willingly flying off the slide, slamming repeatedly into what became a mud bog at the bottom. Got up, did it again, over and over again.

   It's not firing AK-47's into the air to celebrate independence from the British Empire, but it was equally stupid and enjoyable. As always, hope you kids enjoyed yourself.

   My goal one day is to have someone I don't know from the Web show up for something like today's Afghanistan's Independence Day Party. It would be both a show of balls by the person, a sign I am actually entertaining people and a welcome change from having people I don't like showing up. Course since no one today fits that category, the last piece is really more hypothetical than anything else.
August 17, 2002 - Saturdays: Not Even Like Work
   While I understand my traveling partner is not much one for anniversaries and commererations, I would like to say at this time last year, I'd just been on a plane.

   If nothing else, it was the first time I said anything entertaining. And God damn... PNC Park's a great place to watch a game.

   • The last time I had an instinct to bet on golf was in February 2000 at the Buick Invitational in San Diego. Eldrick Woods was on a six tournament winning streak, being the world beater every witless American even understands. Yet I had an instinct that told me the streak would end that week at Torrey Pines. Who better to end it than my boy Lefty, playing in front of a home crowd pre-explosion of man boobs. At 20 to 1 odds to win at the start of the week, why not put a $20 bill down on his chances?

   I think we all know this one turned out...

   So here I sit, the night before the final round of 2002's final major. Veteran Justin Leonard sits at -9, three clear of journeyman Rich Beem, five ahead of Tiger. Yet I had an instinct while watching today about another guy. Four back? At 10 to 1?

   Watch me not make this wager either.

Who's been who in the World today...

Danny Almonte - New York City

   What They're Saying: Danny Almonte, who is a pitcher in the city wide Liga Paulino baseball league, prepares for a game in Harlem on Wednesday. Last year, he cost his Bronx team its third-place finish at the Little League World Series when it was revealed he was too old to play. And this year, pitching in a 19-and-under league for Ronaldo Paulino, the man who ran last year's banned team, he's been too good to hit.
What I'm Saying: Look at this child. How did we think he was 13 last year?
Anna Nicole Smith - Crazytown

   What They're Saying: Anna Nicole Smith is shown arriving at the Guess? 20th Anniversary Party at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles in this May 9 file photo. The war of words between Smith and the son of her late oil tycoon husband is heating up. The flare-up came after Smith gave an urn containing half of J. Howard Marshall's ashes a tour of her home on a recent episode of E! Entertainment Television's "The Anna Nicole Show."
What I'm Saying: I've never seen the show, and it's still my favorite thing on TV.

   Winner? Si. Solid Winner? Duh. Big Winner? Down below.

-- Look kids it's Jesus, and his pastel tie smells like Daddy.

   Tonight, Bob Kraft's Super Bowl Champions played their first football game in his state-of-the-art, best-in-the-NFL new stadium on national television in front of a capacity crowd.

   No wonder he almost open mouth kissed Armen Ketayian during a pregame interview.
August 16, 2002 - Thanks Be To...
   Today, my father was at an auto body shop, getting the front driver's side door hinge rewelded on his station wagon. 165,000 miles, some of the little parts are gonna give a little. That's a lot of caring for some body shop underachiever to ignite with a blowtorch.

   Yeah gang, Daddy's car of almost a decade got lit on fire by someone who couldn't do his job. Engulfed. Gone. Now we wait for a lowball insurance settlement for the only person in the family who actually needs a vehicle.

   It's been a great couple months for my father. His car's now scrap, and his mother will be put into long-term nursing home care by the end of the week. Three months ago, Grandma saw me graduate from Boston University, something she'd been working toward since I was crawling. Then she had a stroke.

   So you'll excuse me if I waste my time and yours getting my mind on something else.

-- Warning: Insufficient Pants

August Yesterday, 2002

   • Everyone's high school had that select group of kids who, in their own way, were too cool for everyone else. They were too cool to dress for gym class, too cool to listen to the bands you'd heard of, too cool to wash with any regularity. You remember... lower echelons of the H.S. food chain, right? Now imagine if all those kids, for a hundred mile radius, ended up at a racetrack with a giant metal dildo.

   GI-ant ME-tal DIL-do: Silver tanker truck filled with potable water, as described by "some band as we were walking in."

   56 bands played on seven stages over eight hours Thursday. I'd heard of 15 of them going in, and even now could maybe scratch half the lineup. I'm not really the target audience of the Warped Tour people, I don't figure. At 22, the only people at the show older than me ran booths, were taking their kids to the show or were fans of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

-- Quaint, yet hideous.

   We got there right around the gate opening at noon, joined by more studded belts than I cared to count. My initial instincts were "state fair without the crooked games," but it only went uphill from there. There was a giant slip and slide that went through a pirate's legs. Merchandise and band booths up the wazoo. French fries being served in dog bowls and barbecued chicken that looked like dung. Fortunately, it tasted slightly better.

-- You may see no triple mohawks, but trust me, they were around.

   Our free tickets came via errand, as Alison needed to get a sign-up list from this magazine for a friend back home. Aside from giving us a home booth to leave things at and hide from the dust bowl (more later), it allowed us to meet easily one of the nicest guys ever to pass through the Boston metropolitan area. His name was Wyatt, and he's been traveling with the tour since it started up in Idaho. Couldn't stop giving us free stuff, giving us a place to rest, offering chances to meet the bands... and you have to respect a guy who has won upwards of $4,500 playing craps and poker with anyone.

   Seems some of these bands have a little more money to throw around than it might first seem...

   Course, some people don't need help to meet cute guys at said shows.

-- Alison and Meg with guys from Something Corporate.
Not pictured: Meg's non-goofy face.

   For me, the day was a general attempt to find humor in a stuation I really had no business. I have a very ecelectic musical taste, but to say I was a "fan" of any of the bands playing would be an obscene stretch. Perhaps that's the point: that anyone can play this music, and anyone can enjoy it... there's no real need to fit a certain social group.

   Or maybe it was to get all the attractive girls to crowd surf, so that the guys with the water hoses could spray them until they were putting on a show for everyone.


   Vibrating Tongue Rings: Didn't even get to the question of "why," got stuck on "I wonder if you put milk in your mouth and turned it on, if you could make a milkshake."

   Largest Nipples Ever: We're talking a guy who was easily packing two inches in diameter. There are women with implants who would have been giving him the squinty eyes.

   Man In A Skirt: Not a kilt, mind you. All he needed was a homemade T-shirt reading one of the following: "Kiss Me, I'm Jesus," "Free Hugz," "Punk In Drublik" or "Sell Me Drugs."

   Goldfinger: And I quote, in song... "He's a dick, fuck him, asshole, fuck him, fuck Ted Nugent."

   Sully Rock: The Bosstones are angry, Flogging Molly is angrier, but somehow I sense the Dropkick Murphys trump them both.

   Drive-Thru Records: I really did enjoy Finch, RX Bandits and Home Grown, but not to the point where I could tell any of them apart or identify any of their songs.

   Twenty Five: The final count of parents who brought their children, in easily the nicest parenting move since Bob Saget's loving on Full House. A special nod goes to the Coke-bottle-glasses-wearing Oriental grandfather with the black socks.

   Woodstock: At about two o'clock, we stood in a large crowd and the wind died down. I had a half inch of soot on me, covered over in sweat, with marijuana wafting in the air. Never agin will I wonder what made those kids flip out up in New York and start burning shit.

   Neighbors Of Suffolk Downs: You're welcome for making it impossible to hear the landing airplanes at Logan for an afternoon.

-- The preceeding are the only four who will actually enjoy this, since I've clearly forgotten how to write.

August 15, 2002 - A Thin Layer of Dust And Sunburn
   A couple days late, but allow me to make the easiest and worst-tasting joke in music...

Dave Williams' Body Hits The Floor
(Your age and connection to modern music can be easily determined if you get this and/or do/don't care.)

   • I am holding off on a full update of the day at the Warped Tour until Saturday, because there are pictures coming that make the whole update. You'll know it when you see it, trust me.

   Meg loves telling the story about when I was at CityWalk and found myself so overwhelmed with where I was, I couldn't even speak. Today was really a lot like that, as any number of the things I saw could anchor about a week's worth of laughs. Imagine Woodstock with more homemade T-shirts and punk music, and less fires and rioting.

"I've never seen a higher concentration of ugly people in my life."
-- Compensated observer. That's all you get for today.

   Continuing to abuse my semi-legal free parking priveleges Wednesday night, I took the road more traveled by, walking right down through BU's South Campus. Ninety days ago, I was a senior in college and I lived there. Every day, I crossed the St. Mary's St. bridge over the Mass Pike and lived overlooking the commuter rail tracks that run parallel to the highway. Worked in a mail room, in the same building as my girlfriend and thousands of dollars of specimens and equipment I had no business being anywhere near.

   Ninety days really doesn't seem that much time... a period I sense Winona Ryder will be getting to know real well with a special bunkmate. Ninety days from tomorrow I graduated from college, forever saying goodbye to any chance of me learning calculus. That seems like so long ago. I suppose it's a perspective thing, leaving the big city for the Number 1 fishing city in the entire country.

   Yes kids, let there be riots in the streets. New Bedford's catch of $150.1 million in 2001 kept it $21.1 million ahead of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, in national rankings released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week. LONG LIVE THE KINGS!

   It has been nice to make $4,300 for a summer and not have to mow grass once.
August 14, 2002 - Pass!
   • Sadly, none of the dead today want to be made into Frisbees.

   I'd like to think these haven't gotten cliche, and that they never will, but there's just some things I'll come along during my day that immedaitely scream "LEAD TO WRITE-UP." Dumb women, confused writers, the dead wishing to be made into toys... the kinds of things you just feel guilty about not sharing. None of those happened today, and that's when things get difficult.

   Friends have bandied about a few names for what this thing should actually be called. Some say weblog, or blog, would make the most sense. Others say journal. Mark Coen, in his infinite angry wisdom, called it a "precious memory book."

   My argumet is it can't be a blog, because it's not a Blogger-run site. It's not really a journal because the point is not for me to write about my "feelings" and "emotions." And for it to be a precious memory book, I'd need to have more Hummel figurines.

   If anything, it's a column. An unpublishable, non spell-checked, swear filled column no one would ever read unless I promised them giveaways. Which reminds me, I owe Mr. Yelenak a Whale City postcard.

   You can always tell the write-ups I do when I'm in a rush to get somewhere else. Cooch owes you one, or if I listen to some of you, several months worth of ones. As tomorrow's the Warped Tour, I'd say it could be your lucky day.
August 13, 2002 - Everybody Hates George
   • This was unexpected.

The inventor of the modern Frisbee died, this is from his obit.
"The family will honor Headrickís wish that his ashes be molded into memorial flying discs to be given to a select few family and friends and others who make donations in his memory, Ken Headrick said."

   So I'm sitting in the office, doing the thing I first do almost every night: throwing a first read on the obits so whomever's assigned the page won't have to do it later. Run of the mill stuff, survived by, services, jobs worked, wants his body to be molded into Frisbees... really nothing out of the ordinary.

   The possibilities of this are endless, with the top of the list being mischevous cousins coming over and taking Grandpa outside to play catch with the doggie. It could also have ramifications in the most public death struggle, as John Henry Williams has his father made into commemorative baseball bats.

"What better way to become a great hitter than to have Ted Williams help you?"
-- As an infomercial hosted by former Major Leaguer and World Series Champion Steve Garvey, I'm sure!

   Also unexpected was someone driving 65 miles to visit Whale City at a time where I wasn't even in my apartment. Due to laziness, I quote...

"So for some reason I've decided that I'm going to New Bedford tonight. If you asked me why, I couldn't give you a reason that would make sense to you, or to me. I guess the only logical reason is that it's like 5 million degrees in my house and Jon has an air conditioner in New Bedford. Too bad that's really not the reason I'm going there at all."
-- It'd still be cryptic, but possibly much more endearing, if I could actually figure out the answer.

   It's very nice to have visitors, and it's extremely nice to have kind visitors I invited. Even if they do spend most of the evening panicking that they didn't actually graduate from college and looking for a mail-order bride.

   Course we did talk about other things.

"It's different. It's not putting on a show for everyone!"
-- On why an oven isn't as offensive an appliance as the Showtime Rotisserie.

   I was going to say something sweet here, but really, we all know I'm not so good with that. Love you too, hunnie!
August 12, 2002 - Family Affair
   • I seem to have confused some people with my description of Fry Girl a few days ago. One person has claimed to not get if she was real or not, another wondered if I actually knew her, a third thought my having a crush on her would offend Meg.

   All of this making it easily my favorite write-up of the past month.

   So if my family ran the site, today we'd be reading about...

"I went to Vietnam today, thirty years ago. August 12, 1969, right in the middle of Woodstock. We were lucky... had better weather and better drugs."

"Saw something you might want to mention. I was at the mall the other day, and they were having a clearance sale at the Dollar Tree. Everything was 79 cents."

"I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I don't think I've gotten a mosquito bite all year."

   The last exercise seemed like so much more when I thought of it earlier. I tend to have that problem a lot.

-- Like when I go camping when it's muggy.

   So did Liz Hurley just turn into a slut over the last few years, or was I not paying attention before?
August 11, 2002 - Thank You, Concrete Pond

• Newton Commonwealth GC - Newton, Mass. •
PAR 70
83, 13 OVER PAR
4992 YARDS
Birdies: 0 - Pars: 8 - Bogeys: 9 - Others: 1
Fairways Hit: 3 of 12 - Greens In Regulation: 10 of 18 - Putts: 37
Money Won: $18

   • I really do apologize, but the alternative was I do a write-up of today's 4Ĺ hour fantasy football draft at Coen's apartment. I'm not even sure I could stay awake long enough to write it...

   There's just something very comforting about playing golf within site of my true north and life force.

   In a disgusting turn of events, this 18-hole round on August 11 is the first full round of golf I've played this summer. There were years I'd play three times a week over the summer months, and I suppose this is why shooting +13 has me ecstatic.

   For fear of attempting to entertain with an analysis of my round, I'll now list the actual top ten strings entered into search engines that have led visitors to this month.

   10. "Free Cooch Pics"
   9. "Dance Dance Revolution Serial Crack"
   8. "Couch Outlet Malls New Hampshire"
   7. "AirMall Catalog"
   6. "Pittsburgh Pierogi Race"
   5. "Little Girls Being Wanded"
   4. "Jon Couture"
   3. "Can You Show Me Pictures Of California Cleerleader Pics"
   2. "Lonnie DeLuca"
   1. "Jen Zerra"

   My personal favorite, "J. Lo's Cooch," dropped to #11 over the weekend, but it's good over half the list is still guys who ended up here just wanted pictures of hot women to get themselves off. The Net's humble beginnings live on.
August 10, 2002 - Happy Birthday, Wee Pre-Frosh
   • I saw her standing there, lacking an automobile at the closed drive-thru window of Burger King #908.

   I did not see her face. Our lips never touched, our eyes never shared, our paths never crossed. Yet I feel as though I know her. Her frizzy blond hair reminiscent of Kate Hudson, his pink top revealing a midriff fit for whomever first gave her a glowstick.

   I will call her "Forbidden French Fry," because for both of us, we came so close to bliss at the BK...

   Her shoes were far from sensible, revealing nearly all from toe to heel. Her jeans no good for warmth, for their flares were slit to the backs of her knees. There she stood, authentic paddleball in hand. Her dexterity was weak, but her heart was strong.

   I saw her standing there, lacking an automobile at the closed drive-thru of Burger King #908. She told me I was home again.

   I wonder what she would have though of Meg, of the frat house. I bet she'd have loved the rooftop view of the city... who couldn't? Would she have thought me crazy for trading off an hour's drive for five awake with the girl, in the city, I love?

   Things never seem so bad in Boston, even when I have to leave. I'm not asking for much out of my life. The things I do, no matter what anyone may think, make me happy. I like cheesecake, PS2 and sitting on my couch. Just need to break it up every now and then.

   I saw her standing there, lacking an automobile at the closed drive-thru of Burger King #908. She told me I was home again, home in the place that I truly love being for any reason.

   I didn't think about Forbidden Fry Girl and her paddleball much today. The city was hopping, because Pedro was on the hill in a pennant race. Because the sun was out in the center of New England on a Saturday afternoon. Because the Scientologists next door were having a car wash. It was a great time to just walk the streets; to shop; to buy, buy, buy; to shop some more; and have a wholesome lunch with the girl I love and one of my better friends.

   Memo to Lonnie, Geoff and other Bostonians I didn't call: Witnesses can relay I uttered quite the 'blue' word upon realizing I'd forgotten your cell numbers. Ask me about my party.

   I wonder what she did. Probably didn't go to an undermanned newsroom and try to put together a Sunday newspaper. Probably didn't have a lollipop for dinner because lunch had featured a half-pound of hamburger. Probably didn't lament another day going by not being able to deftfully knit TriCon Global Restaurant's disturbing name change to YUM! Brands into a narrative.

   Tonight, a younger Couture could have celebrated with a legally-bought pack of cigarettes. He could've gone out and bought himself a scratch ticket. He didn't, because he's brighter than that. He's already a drinker, so his 21st will probably be as outwardly thrilling as mine was.

   Matt will come to campus the same day Meg leaves it for London, both embarking on odysseys likely to change them. Me? I'm already on mine. Forbidden Fry Girl? We can only hope.

   I saw her standing there, lacking an automobile at the closed drive-thru of Burger King #908. She told me I was home again. But not with words.

   Those she saved to yell "Hello," into a dark and obviously closed drive-thru window.
Dumb little club whore. Take two roofies and call me in the morning.
August 9, 2002 - Fish Hooks Don't Go In Your Hand
   • Always nice to see New Bedford, and my employer and former host, in the national headlines. Well, maybe 'nice' is the wrong word...

   Whatever cheesecake doesn't kill me can only make me stronger. Thank you all for the concerned e-mails and phone calls.

Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria Kills Fisherman

   MARION, Mass. - A Massachusetts retiree has died from a rare form of flesh-eating bacteria he apparently contracted while fishing, a report said Friday.

   It started with a sore little finger.

   Albert Holt Jr., 69, of Marion, Mass., an avid fisherman, was hooked in both hands last month while taking a bluefish off a line. His son was able to cut one of the hooks out, but the other had to be removed at a hospital.

   Two weeks later, on July 15, he came home from another fishing trip in his 24-foot homemade skiff complaining of soreness in his pinkie finger.

   According to Friday's New Bedford Standard Times, his wife, Linda, at first did not believe anything was seriously wrong, but as the pain intensified, she took him to Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

   A doctor there initially believed the swelling in the finger was just gout, prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug, and sent him home.

   A few hours later that night, however, the whole hand had swelled up and turned black, and Holt went back to the hospital. The doctor this time said he had never seen anything like it, and Holt was rushed to the New England Medical Center in Boston.

   Doctors there diagnosed Holt's illness as photobacterium damsela, a rare but virulent marine pathogen that advances much quicker than other types of flesh-eating bacteria.

   While more common forms of bacteria that eats the soft tissue under the skin -- known as necrotizing fasciitis -- afflict some 1,500 people per year, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2000 there were just 17 known cases of the faster-moving bacteria that killed Holt.

   Racing against time to stay ahead of the rapidly spreading bacteria, doctors performed surgery four times on Holt over the next 24 hours, first removing his hand, then his arm, then portions of his back and side.

   As his vital organs began shutting down in the following days, Holt was put on life support, but that was shut off on July 30, and Holt died 38 hours later.

   "He loved fishing, and it was just a freak thing" that he became infected, Linda Holt said.

   "It could have been on a fish," she said. "It's a bacteria that lives in the water."

   Because Marion is a fishing community, Linda Holt cautioned others who come home from fishing feeling an acute pain or soreness, particularly in an extremity, to take it seriously and immediately see a doctor.

   "We wouldn't want what happened to Al to happen to someone else," she said. "It was horrendous."

   The story reporter Eric produced is here. In no way do I mean to make light of this... this is easily the most gruesome non-fiction I've read in months. One of those things everyone just kind of read with a murmur, and that was just the part where his son was cutting fish hooks out of his hands.

   When I used to golf a lot more, we used to always get told never to lick our golf balls to clean a little grass smudge off them, because of the fertilizers the courses use. Curtis Strange's father got cancer this way. I've always tried to spit on the ball to clean it, but I'm sure I've slipped up a few times.

   We now end this forced segue, because I'm off to Boston for [most of] the weekend. It'll be nice to have material again...

August 8, 2002 - We're Only Five Back, People!

"Peace out sugar. Tip for making friends: Go into bars and go up to young attractive females. When you introduce yourself, be sure to refer to them as a 'fine young thing'... chicks dig it."
-- Kate from Chicago, sharing and caring.

   • It all started with that fucking cheesecake...

   The cause was our intern's last week on the job. I had a far superior pizza party, but I may only believe that because it was the largest meal I had in three months. The box seemed simple, from a place whose quality I've learned to trust. Chain restaurant dining, but in an "I feel underdressed in my t-shirt and shorts" kind of way.

   I should have known better. I did know better, but I did it anyway. Stupid need to be polite by eating the person's cake.

   To some, German Chocolate Cheesecake immediately sparks mouth watering and other things best not mentioned here. Tonight, it was a grudging acceptance that I had to eat a slice, even though I knew it would make me painfully ill. My frail womanly body is not equipped to eat such foods... if it was, I'd have been born Italian.

   Just tore me up inside, that slab. It was like mayonnaise catatonia, but with whatever's the constituent parts of a German Chocolate Cheesecake.

   SInce the night just devolved into a jaded, depressing blur of Sunday pages after that, we'll fall back on the laurels of what the World knows... sports.

   The Sporting News, known primarily for being uninformative, poorly written and featuring an "edgy" column written by a fly, has named Boston the top sports city of 2002. The reasons are pretty obvious, since if the Sox yank this season out of the fire, it would be the first time the "Big Four" all make the playoffs in the same year since 1637. And I quote...

"On a return visit in May, I noticed another ongoing construction project appeared to be changing the climate of the region. Sunshine prevailed. The psyche of an entire region of sports fans was being unearthed and uplifted by local sports teams, which in recent years had managed to find storm clouds behind every silver lining. The region's sports scene has experienced a glorious revival through its own Big Dig, a pinch-me-am-I-dreaming year of comebacks in big games, rags-to-riches seasons and individual careers, all making Boston The Sporting News' 2002 Best Sports City."

   Allow me to elaborate. The year began with the Cinderella run of the Pats, over the river, through a blizzard and on to a Super Bowl title. What I think the Sporting News doesn't realize is the real reason New England claimed the glory this past year... because I forced myself to boycott betting on them.

   You know how hard that was? A fourteen point spread, clearly made by people who's never seen New England play a game?!! THE SACRIFICES I MAKE FOR THE GREATER GOOD!!!

   We continued onward, as the B's and C's claimed top three seeds in their respective sports. The Red Sox shot to the top of the Major Leagues early on, leading one jaded prognosticator to announce the coming of a "Grand Slam" to the city by the bean. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, Sporting News.

   "The psyche of an entire region of sports fans was being unearthed and uplifted by local sports teams?" I'm calling bullshit. Bruins lost to the Canadiens again. Celtics put together a hell of a run, but ultimately finished out like we knew they would. The Red Sox, our perennial whipping boys? Terrence Long's catch to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory may as well have been a staple gun to the region's crotch.

"That's it. The season's over."
-- Bill Yelenak, giving up the ship on August 7.

   It has been an amazing sports year in Boston, certainly the best that I can remember vividly. Great? Yes. Enough to make us stop hating ourselves? Ha. Boston still remains the only sports city where the fans try to use logic to find reasons why we suck.

"Ugueth Urbina is congruent to Heathcliff Slocumb. Heathcliff Slocumb was nasty when we first got him... then he had a bad slump, and never really recovered, just gave the Red Sox faithful heart attacks every time he appeared... and now, [Urbina]'s no good for anything but trade bait and we can hope it works out as well as the Slocumb for Lowe and Varitek trade."
-- Justin Gorman, on a night where URBINA GOT THE SAVE.

   Allyson, welcome to the party.
August 7, 2002 - Meeting My Maker, Making Me Cry
   • On Saturday, I hold four tickets to finally see the band I've been a fan of for going on a decade. Granted they're not at their best anymore, but it's still the culmonation of a lot of waiting and a whole lot of anticipation.

   Oasis' United States tour began Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Four songs in, lead singer Liam Gallagher's voice gave out. He left, but the band finished the set anyway. Had me a little concerned, but it was a whole week before my show and their first time out on the stage in a while.

   Yesterday, three other band members were in a head-on taxi accident in Indianapolis. They had to cancel that night's Indy show, but it supposedly won't affect the rest of the tour.

   As though Heathen Chemistry hadn't dampened my expectations enough...

   The previous paragraphs were written early Wednesday, hours before Oasis released this announcement postponing their Philadelphia and Boston shows because of said accident. I was at work, so the disappointment wasn't properly captured. If you've been reading this for long, you can probably figure out it'd just have been worthless self-loathing and overreacting bitchery anyway.

   To lighten the mood, I decided to read from a previous deposition of my new favorite dysfunctional celebrity, Mrs. Vickie Anna Lynn Nicole Smith Marshall. Thank you, Smoking Gun.

"Her life is best described as that of a person who was rescued by her wealthy pursuer and taught to spend money at a breathtaking pace that most Americans cannot fathom. Her illiteracy is striking. Examples are too numerous to chronicle but include writing '25.00' meaning $2,500 and '4500,00' meaning $4,500 -- she testified that she has trouble with zeroes."

   Can you imagine living in a world where you would say this to someone with a straight face? "I have trouble with zeroes?" The only thing more striking is the gallons upon gallons of sperm spewed while looking at pictures of this woman. She wants to be Marilyn Monroe? She looks like she encased Marilyn Monroe.

   Someday, I would like to be described to someone as doing something "at a breathtaking pace that most Americans cannot fathom." Can't figure out just what though... it's a tossup between earn money, entertain people and eat Dole Fruit & Juice Bars, yet none of them alone would do.

   My friend Anna, who you can see pre-various piercings here, is currently on a British vacation with her family. Back here, she works at a school for the deaf in Vermont, so she has many friends who cannot hear. It just so happens one of them lives in Brighton, England, and likes those of the same male gender to which he belongs. My friends, he is both deaf and gay, which explains where the hell I was going with that.
August 6, 2002 - Least The Third-Person Will End
   Ask and ye shall receive... thanks to John Heaton for alerting me the website Television Without Pity will be writing full recaps of the God-awful Anna Nicole Show. Seems like a hell of a mockery training ground, and John is the best kind of reader... one I haven't met and had to bribe so they'd read the site.

   • Art imitates life, but it's only when it imitates death that it gives me the willies.

   The soap opera Passions is basically designed to be as fucked up as possible, building itself around zombies, women with four last names and everyone always coming back from the dead. So when Joshua Ryan Evans, the 20-year-old midget who was Timmy, a living doll created by an evil witch, died on Monday's episode, there was no reason to believe such a popular character would stay six feet under.

   Course, that possibilty then ended when the actor Joshua Ryan Evans died for real later Monday. His on-screen death was taped a month earlier, and the next episode was apparently going to have him smiling down from heaven. I'm just waiting for the urban legend to start that NBC killed him for ratings, or that he never died at all.

   You just know there's a producer somewhere, muttering to his ex-cheerleader wife at the dinner table he's "so happy they actually got him killed off before he kicked the pail." People are sick, but Hollywood people are sicker. *

   * - Meg, Alison, Erin and assorted families I know do not live in Hollywood proper. North Hollywood and Burbank are much different places, centered around porno filming and bad Jay Leno monologues. Stop causing trouble.

   Does the concept of a person being both deaf and gay strike anyone else as odd?
August 5, 2002 - Stop Breathing My Oxygen
   Yeah, all that shit I said yesterday? Apparently I'm going to the Warped Tour after all. Isn't this just the perfect fit... the kid with his Red Sox visor, Old Navy plaid shirts and wire-rim glasses going to the punk festival?

   For my next trick, I'll be moving to Texas so I can open a shop that sells nothing but clam chowder and man-on-man sodomy videos.

   • Football season is upon us, apparently.

   Why even televise exhibition games, really? All every journalist does is complain about them. Hard to believe there's a whole lot of fans who feel differently, since especially at the beginning, you barely see a half's worth of players who'll stay in the league.

   The 2002-03 NFL season scares me a little, because football's the one sport where I've pretty much seen everything. The Giants won two Super Bowls while my fandom was developing, then made it to a third in January 2001. The Patriots then made all of it forgotten. What now?

   A Big Blue title, which won't happen, would just seem calm compared to the Kenmore Square celebrations. Another Pats title, which also won't happen? All that pent up negativity from 40 years of blowing is gone now... we don't even have Drew Bledsoe to unfairly kick around anymore.

   So basically what I'm saying is this football season can be nothing but disappointing. You can almost see the arc in the year Giants rookie Jeremy Shockey will have. His performace tonight against the Houston Texans will lead to canonizing him as "the new Mark Bavaro," something everyone did when on one pass play, he ran through a blatant face mask and made a defensive back's head bounce off the turf like a bruised orange. This will undoubtably lead to my picking him in one, or both, fantasy football drafts later this month. He'll then have a mediocre season, something along a 40-catch, 4 TD, statline, and I'll hate him. Then in the offseason, he'll beat his girlfriend and be universally booed by this time next season.

   Guess there's still some of that pent-up negativity left after all.

   I want to make a page where all I do is unleash a putdown of my own creation, approximately whenever I feel like it. Every so often I'll just come up with one in my head, and want to write it. Oddly enough, they never seem to actually be directed at anyone, just something I hold onto to work into an imaginary conversation.

   We'll put that in the resedisgn notebook later...
August 4, 2002 - Pet Lint Roller Brush
   In what was ultimately an excellent way to spend a day off in Whale City, Todd, Alison and the always-bolded Margaret came down to view the new place. Twas a good day visiting Big City, Jr., so much so I'll now write on as though it never happened.

   You just had to be there... the old guy's free-flowing man boobs were only breathtaking in that context.

   • I give you three summertime concerts. You guess the one I had/have a ticket to.

   The first was an early summer affair. No less than a half dozen bands I'd pay to see play for a half hour: Ash, Jimmy Eat World, Tenacious D, The Strokes, Our Lady Peace, P.O.D., Quarashi, plus the comedic level of seeing Public Enemy and Outkast play to a stadium full of white kids. Put it in the Patriots new stadium, throw in a few other bands at least worthy of watching (New Found Glory, Custom, Drowning Pool).

   Almost any band can be eminently watchable in a half hour performance. Hit the radio hits, maybe a few other things, and you're done. This is why Cooch is listing Drowning Pool as a positive, with no fear being disemboweled in a most pit of some kind.

   The second is a few weeks away, set for a racetrack north of Boston. The lineup was best described by a friend as "Seven stages of bands I've never heard of.", and I really can't pick out anyone on the board I'd pay to see. No particular problem with anyone I'm seeing, but being a corporate radio whore, I'm really not getting a whole lot of what they're selling. I'd probably like it, but I'd also probably like Star Wars.

   Doesn't mean I'm going to watch it...

   The third probably isn't a summer concert per se, but it's close enough I think I can get away with it. Last year's show was cancelled after the 9/11 attacks, leading organizers needing to work doubly hard to draw their audience back in. Maybe they have, I don't know, all I see is them swinging and missing, seven times in a row.

   Avril Lavigne and Pink are frequent TRL fodder. John Mayer and Ruby Horse ring no bells. David Gray and Guster are at about 19:35 in their respective fifteen minutes. Thus leaving Def Leppard, who really need no further comment.

   The first conflicted with an event I hadn't the desire or ability to get out of. The second I was half-offered a ticket I would have felt guilty taking. The third was presented to me pre-lineup announcement, and sounded like a good way to get back into the big city for a day.

   Least when I waste my money gambling, there's a several minutes of thrill before things usually go horribly wrong.
August 3, 2002 - Their Stadium Is So Ugly Though
   • Jay Cook likes to fight pretend wars with figurines he paints. I like to conduct fake college football seasons using a series of coded scripts. I suppose we all have such problems, but I'm on deadline.

   The concept of dynasy/franchise modes, where one plays 30 or so consecutive seasons of a game, adding in factors like retirement, rapture, injuries and drafts has long been foreign to me. "Who the hell has time for such things?," I'd ask, incredulously considering myself better than any such loser who holes up in their home doing such things.

   Then I realized when you get sick of actually playing your team's games, you can just have the game simulate them. Goodbye, sunlight!

   The Oregon Ducks will go 10-2 this season, losing their opener to Mississippi State and a game to USC that will ultimately cost them the Pac-10 championship. Starting the season ranked #8 in the Coaches Poll, they'll drop no lower than #15 all the way. No real dominant performances, but for a 31-0 drubbing of (some Pac-10 opponent) and some other shit that happened when I simulated the three games after the USC loss.

   In the Civil War battle against Oregon State, but for a two-minute span in the 2nd they'll dominate. Each game will either feature a strong performance by their halfback or their quarterback... rarely both. No player will net any significant postseason awards, though the HB (#2) will finish thrid in the Heisman voting.

   Since there's no profits for college kids, all actual players get "no name, just number" treatment. Only the recruits get names... sadly none of which come from Agawam High School. It is very realistic.

   Somehow the Ducks turn their two-loss season into an Orange Bowl berth, against Florida State. FSU takes a 17-3 lead into the 4th, only to give up 21 in the final frame and lose on a touchdown with three seconds left. La Canards finish fourth in the polls, and after raking in the 14th-best recruiting class in the nation, are poised for great things in 2003. Course so is Boise State, which finishes eighth and goes undefeated, the only other team to do that being the national champions... Virginia Tech.

   The actual recruiting process is reason enough to make this game better than anything John Madden ever put his name on. You have a certain number of visits and scholarships you can offer. Some in-state recruits want to come to your school, other out-of-state blue chippers have never even heard of you. You sell them on your school with repeated visits and calls. Some come, others don't... intriguing even to someone whose school had no football team, John Silber.

   I'll save you the description of the 31-13 to 44-38 comeback against Ohio State in Season 2. I'm just sayin' if this is supposed to be representative of how I spent my day, including nothing but NCAA Football 2003 seems pretty accurate to me.
August 2, 2002 - CMGi Nay, It's Stade Gilette Today
   • Blame Boston's favorite sauce monster for any irregularities.

Buggy Windows A Treasure For Florida Researcher

   GAINESVILLE, Fla. - He peers at the front of a Greyhound bus that just pulled up outside the dingy Gainesville station. Then he sees it: a greenish splat on the front of the windshield.


   "Thatís a lacewing," proclaims Dr. Mark Hostetler, a University of Florida researcher. "Itís left over from last night."

   The front of the bus looks like most automobiles in Florida after a lengthy summer road trip. In-nards and body parts of mosquitoes and the ever-present love bug cling to the bus, the telltale signs of summer bug season and the frequent afternoon showers and intense humidity.

   "Summer is by far the best time for bugs," said the insect aficionado, who was slightly disap-pointed that rain washed away most of the Greyhoundís bug ooze. "They reproduce more in the summer."

   Examining bug splats is a "fun project" for the biologist. He frequents the Gainesville bus station, sometimes with a camera and sketch pad in hand, to jot down the color, size and shapes of the bug stains. If a smear really intrigues him, he extracts it with a razor blade and saves it for later.

   On road trips, he sometimes puts plastic wrap on his own car windshield to save the bug remnants. He peels off the plastic wrap and places it in between pieces of plexiglass for display.

   This last paragraph might be the worst thing ever to appear here, up to and including my critique of the porno. Can you imagine going into this guy's house? Can you fathom there are people out there who go into his house and humor him?

"Wow Mark, is that a Picasso you got there?"
"It's acutally a collection of dead bugs I scraped off a Volkswagen Bus filled with co-eds going through Gainesville."

   And we continue...

   Hostetlerís offbeat hobby turned profitable in 1996 with the release of his book, That Gunk on Your Car, which catalogs bug splats. He is writing a followup book that offers reasons to give up mowing the lawn.

   The working title? 'Why the Hell Should I Mow My Lawn?'

   Doesn't everyone know one of these people? The guy who doesn't mow his lawn to be different, has the car that runs on wears maternity clothes because they're more comfortable? It's like having Beakman for a father.

   Oh, but there's more.

   "Can you identify this for me?" Hostetler reads from the accompanying letter. Examining the insect, Hostetler guesses that it is a whitefly.

   But, because of the shape the insects are in after they ker-splat on a windshield, Hostetler usually canít identify the species, unless they are love bugs. Sometimes he can narrow it down to the insectís order or family. And some splats baffle him -- the gunk may be a menagerie of several bugs or rain may have washed away identifying features.

   Hi, I'm the Bug Guy. Don't actually ask me to identify bugs though, because I'm not too good at that. Can I get you some of my special homemade guacamole instead?

   I'm done.
August 1, 2002 - The Angry Chicken
   • Our medium-length regional nightmare is over.

"For $6.5 million, I felt he could wait another day."
-- Red Sox GM Mike Port sticking it to the man, if by 'man' you mean 'error-prone .232 hitter.'

   Jose Offerman's impact on the 2002 Red Sox can be measured quite simply. When I seranaded the arriving #30 in the title of yesterday's update, it never occurred to me the Red Sox already had a #30, and he'd been there for nearly four seasons. I will miss Offie regardless, in the way a parent even misses their most hateful child. You know, the one that craps in the bathtub and hits into double plays in all the clutch situations.

   Don't really know why, but Offerman is deceptively lethal in MLB Slugfest. I'd be tempted to say Midway's having reality problems, but my team is currently 1-5. Now let us speak of neither again.

   Haddaway asked us, "What is love? " He urged us, "Baby, don't hurt me. Don't hurt me. No more." The he made some tricked-out website that plays his shitty new album on command. Regardless, he raises an excellent question that wasn't fully explored by Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell.

   You can blame any of the following deep analysis on Somerville-by-way-of-California's Alison, who after asking if I'd take baths with a pet duck, went and got all serious on me.

   MSN yesterday ran this article on hiber-dating, which is the apparently lethal phenomenon of staying with your current significant other through the winter months. In one breath, they preach "staying with one person is just keeping you from finding your soulmate," then remind by breaking up with your loser in the summer, you get all the rebounding tail you can eat.

   These are the kinds of articles that make the old me want to go on killing sprees, because the pursuit of women isn't supposed to be like this. People are supposed to be a little more responsible than want to screw anything that moves.

   I still believe this, but I feel almost hypocritical when I think about it now. The person I am today would not be the perfect product in the mind of me in high school. The only question is if that's a bad thing, since the high school me was probably closed minded in a lot of ways nobody ever noticed.

   Alison asked me how many times I'd been in love, because she's big on the questions. The instinctual answer is four... it's the "count your girlfriends" formula. Course it's not that easy... we're talking about the least rational thing since The Anna Nicole Show.

   My mother has this ability to incorrectly classify roughly every serious relationship I've ever had. Her basic formula seems to be if I ever sat on the couch downstairs with someone, then we clearly must have been doing disgusting things when she was upstairs. Her exact formula may be off, but she really might be on to something.

   The first two probably shouldn't count as love, because I don't really think I knew what it was then. But at the time, I thought I did... so maybe they should. I wouldn't have dated people I didn't think I loved, even if they did turn out to be cheaters and psychopaths.

   This is why I don't bring these things up more.

"It's not supposed to be funny, but it is."
-- Someone has to write me some synopses of this. There's TV, and then there's TV G-O-L-D.

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