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December 31, 2006 - A Perfect Ending
   • The sports section was out at 9:30. We were walking on the Boston waterfront at 11. The people for whom I can thank for that, I'll be thanking in the coming days.

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

New Year's - Boston - 2006-07     New Year's - Boston - 2006-07

   Imagine if I'd been one of the cool kids growing up. I could have ended up in New England's answer to the places that actually have celebrities, 'The Inside Track.'

   I was at the same event as The Inside Track reporters once, and was actually introduced to them. I'm a little disappointed that at that moment, the voice in my head didn't say, "Ask them why they decided to stop being real reporters," but I take solace in knowing it wouldn't happen again.

   Look. All I'm saying is area sportscasters and Boston Rob do not a metropolis make. Whale City dropped an illumniated whale in the center of town tonight ... it's a place that's accepted what it is.

   Kind of like me accepting that when the police horses do their lap around where I'm standing at the end of Boston's Long Wharf, and I notice that they've more or less pooed a path of where they've trotted, I'm going to be one of those people who stays there and cheers people who unknowingly walk in the dung.

   And here I didn't think I'd find a way to work that story in.

December 30, 2006 - Filling In
   Berkeley of the East: If you had told me Boston would be one of the places where people would be protesting the death of Saddam Hussein:

Saddam Protest

A handful of demonstrators gather at the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square on Saturday to protest the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Groups of Americans opposed to either the death penalty or U.S. foreign policy decried Hussein's execution, including a few dozen activists who protested in Times Square and a handful who demonstrated in Boston. (AP)
-- The actual Boston cutline isn't all that accurate, given this protest.

   surprise would not have been my first emotion. I'm just shocked there weren't more.

   Also, I've been doing some thinking.

Saddam Gap, Simple
-- This far-simpler version makes a far better Gap ad. My apologies.

   You just can't overthink these things. Though apparently, I'm not the first person to act on the idea.

   • Thoughts from a bookstore:

   A cursory search of both an actual bookstore's shelves and the above Amazon search finds at least three books directly ripping off (or on, as the case may be) Ann Coulter's 'Godless,' which may or may not be pure hatespeak. When you read about three books a year, that's not one I'm wasting a spot on.

   And if you'd told me 10 years ago that Keith Olbermann would somehow get into the mix of that search, I'd have been shocked ... not quite as shocked as I was upon discovering 'Trump: The Best Golf Advice I've Ever Received' or 'The Wit and Wisdom of Ozzie Guillen' actually existed, but pretty close.

   After spending Saturday night like God intended -- cleaning out and organizing my important papers folder, eating cheese stuffed crust pizza, drinking beer and watching Dr. Katz, Season Two on DVD -- Navel Gaze 2006 will actually come on Jan. 1-2, 2007. Please halt all your angry e-mails ... you must have an important papers folder to organize too, right?

   I'm reasonably certain there's no need for me to keep my 2002 income tax return, but then again, I'm not exactly sure how I managed to keep it this long to begin with. Clearly, it's a sign of something.

December 29, 2006 - Short Cuts
   St. Lawrence 2, Boston U. 1 (OT): And on a penalty shot no less. Not quite as fun as the last one, but at least it didn't take up as much room as it would have on a hypothetical 2000 TiVo.

   Saddam Hussein: I'm just keeping the streak going ... three straight days where the update prominently features a recently dead public figure.

Saddam in Sand

Tourists look at a sand sculpture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, which was titled Fate Of Saddam and was made by Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, at the Puri beach in Orissa, India. Muslim and communist groups in India held angry protests and the government said it was disappointed by the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

   Got me thinking about the other most prominent sand sculpture created by Sudarsan. Just funny, is all.

   Maybe that's just me. I also can't believe no one has Photoshopped this:

Saddam Before

   into something like this:

Saddam, The Model

   Clearly, I'm not the only one who thought this shot looked straight off the runway pages, right? He's practically popped his collar!

   Though I suppose given the hanging ... such poor taste.

   • Coming tomorrow, Navel Gaze 2006 -- 12 months of stuff you kind of already read.

   Though it'll only be six months worth tomorrow, and then the next six months the next day.

   Then again, I might wait and split it over New Year's.

   Don't go anywhere. Or die. That's been going around recently.

December 28, 2006 - Thousands Upon Thousands
   James Brown: His dying on Christmas Day might have diminished slightly the mourning for such an influential musical figure. Probably not, but it's a nice little segue into noting ...

Godfather of Soul: Gold Edition
-- His gold coffin.

Legendary singer James Brown's gold casket arrived at the Apollo Theater in Harlem by horse drawn carriage before the start of a public viewing of his body today. The singer had a long history playing the Apollo, a venue where he honed his reputation for high-energy, dynamic concerts.

   He probably also would have been delicious.

   Cohabitation, Day 123: This is a quote, and one that somehow made sense in the flow of a conversation.

The small purple thing in the soap dish? Is soap.

   It in no way looks like soap, yet may actually be the first time soap has been in the actual bathroom soap dish, which has been falling off the wall since I moved in.

   This was hours before we would double-team my carpet -- Julie spilling candle wax all over it, me apparently burning the carpet with an iron attempting the "place paper bag on spill, re-melt wax with iron" clean-up trick.

   Apparently, we can't have nice things. Which is good, since this neon sign now glows in the bedroom.

Tube Neon

   The lettering looks way better in that one, though. If you can't trust a PBS-backed mail-order catalog, well, who the hell can you trust?

   • Though I am frightened by the fact a Micro SD card half the size of a fingernail has twice as much storage as the family desktop computer bought 12 years ago, it's not as frightened as you should be since I can now post my camera phone pictures, once and for all.

Phone 004

Phone 005

Phone 001

Phone 002

Phone 003

   Those actually were all taken today, on a walking tour of Fairhaven's Fort Phoenix and the New Bedford - Fairhaven Hurricane Barrier.

   That the phone takes pictures of such a high resolution and at least in the neighborhood of as nice as my actual camera warms my heart. The sanctity of the online review is as strong as ever.

   As for the rest of these, well, they fit somewhere.

Phone     Phone

Phone     Phone

Phone     Phone

Phone     Phone

Phone     Phone

   Onward and upward.

December 27, 2006 - Unpacking
   Gerald Ford: I suppose the nice thing about famous people dying is that the obits usually teach us things.

When the Republicans gathered in Detroit in 1980 to (nominate) Mr. Reagan, he asked Mr. Ford to be his running mate.

For hours, representatives of the two men, with former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger acting for Mr. Ford, negotiated the outlines of a possible Reagan-Ford Administration, in which Mr. Ford would have been given extensive authority in making appointments and managing the executive branch. But the negotiators were unable to reach a formula that satisfied Mr. Fordís desire to be more than a traditional vice president while also giving Mr. Reagan a free hand to govern as chief executive.

-- How cool would that have been? And how commonly was this known?

   It is nice to know, however, that Ford's death led most of us to think of exactly the same thing.

He was delicious.
-- Now, come on. Gerald Ford isn't going to be eaten by wolves. ... Really, Taft?

   Up there among my all-time favorites with CBS News reporting Walter Cronkite has gonorrhea. That stagnant air conditioner water will get you every time.

   • Maybe I'm just being oversensitive, but I want more out of my airline than a promotion called "The Mullet Bowl."

   Yes, business in front and party in the back. I'd just like to live, thanks.

   Someone please remember this for me when, as happened last year, Spirit Air is among the lowest fares to Fort Myers for Spring Training.

December 26, 2006 - Bowling Drunk Is Hard
   Outstanding Moments in Meaningless Athletic Achievement: This afternoon, at Sawyer Field on the campus of The Williston Northampton School, I, Cooch, kicked a 37-yard field goal on my first attempt.

   I've in the past spoken of my odd fascination with kicking field goals ... it's as though once I realized it was too late for me to play organized football, I figured out a way I could have played organized football. I'm reasonably certain it started one night when I was carousing around BC and the group I was with noticed the gate was open to Alumni Stadium.

   We went and found a football, came back and in the dark goofed around like idiots on the field. During that time, I decided I wanted to try kicking field goals. I sucked at it, but it was fun enough that I've talked about it rather incessantly since.

   Cue this afternoon, in which Julie and I had little to do after an aborted trip to the mall. As I was driving by the campus, I saw the field as I normally do. Nowhere to be, the campus was largely deserted, and though the weather wasn't great, it wasn't awful either.

   So I pulled in the lot, got Julie into the whole idea, and more or less shocked the hell out of myself.

   Working from the 10-yard line outward (plus the 10 yards of the end zone), I made kicks from 20, 25 and 30 yards, the last of which holding some significance since my boss Josh shot down my assertion that, given 10 attempts, I could kick a 30-yard field goal.

   Yes, it would be harder with an onrushing line. Maybe it would take me five tries instead of the three. Nyah nyah immaturity. Moving on.

   Having made it from 30 -- which I know I failed miserably at at Alumni -- I figured I'd give 35 a shot. I hit that on my second attempt, but not so much that I wanted to jump to 40.

   Thus 37, which was frighteningly easy given I've been deteriorating physically as of late. Never mind that hours later, I'd be engaging in a blue cheese eating contest with my friends, all of whom are also smart enough to know there's a reason that idea looks so stupid in print.

   The 40-yarder, however, was not to be. Sprayed a kick right, botched one badly left, missed a line drive right again only to finally hit one well ... and have it fall just inside the end line, a couple yards short. That said, I now understand how people who train for this stuff are hitting 60 yarders.

   Plus, when you pull into the lot on a whim, a 37-yard field goal feels pretty damn awesome. I've never so much enjoyed struggling to lift my leg to push the gas pedal on a drive home.

   And on top of that, Julie not only showed the sort of "he's not going to kick my hand and break it" faith you just can't buy, she hit a couple of 15-yard kicks herself.

   I'm telling you ... this going outside thing just might take off.

   • To balance all this, however -- and avoid describing the blue cheese-related contests -- here's a picture of me playing in a pickup football game in college.

Amory Park Football
-- Let's say ... 2001?

   Yes, those of us at the college paper had one of our photographers staff a pickup football game. I was the intended receiver for this pass, which my pal Bill picked off. I've just changed directions, and am now trying to run after him.

   Apparently, I thought pumping my arm around my neck would make me go faster. Note also the grimace on my face ... I'm angry, and I want that football.

   Suffice to say, I did not catch Bill or almost any passes that day. A later game we played at Nickerson Field in the snow is another Outstanding Moments in Meaningless Athletic Achievement, but leaping, diving interceptions are stories best left for weaker moments.

   Plus, inexplicably, I was not the person that day who had their glasses snapped in half. Nor was I ever rammed into a chain link fence by an overzealous tackler. That, in and of itself, is a victory worth remembering.

December 25, 2006 - You Know The Drill
   'Tis Better To Give: Almost all my gifts stunk this year. The only real burst of creativity came for my mother, who has made it her life's goal to fill my apartment with lighthouse-related things since the second I moved in. She got a giant windchime, lighthouse, with a huge bell that sounds right off a ship.

   I kind of hope this brings a truce, but I know it won't. Especially since she keeps buying me spoonrests solely because I've declared them completely useless.

   • Tonight, I found out that Lonnie -- whose face has been the one of the right in the bottom image since 2001 -- got engaged.

   I'm still not.

   I'd like to think I'll come up with a much better write-up for that day. Probably one with a picture.

   I'd post a picture of Julie's new necklace, but I can't completely discern which one is the correct one from all the pictures. Plus, there are prices ... we don't need to laugh at me in the holiday season.

December 24, 2006 - Tidings. And Scallops.
   Less Lame Than First Thought: In reading the much-maligned "Hey, YOU'RE our Person of the Year!" issue of Time, the final decision comes off far better than it seems from afar. Admittedly, they then have a list of about 20 more controversial choices from whom the real Person of the Year would have been chosen in the "The Press Has Balls Era," but the content of the issue is a solid read.

   Of most enjoyment to me is the article where they basically find the most prolific people of the Internet's biggest user-submitted sites -- the woman with the most Amazon reviews, the unemployed Canadian near the top of the Wikipedia pile and Ms. I Have, Like, 1.5 Million MySpace Friends and have become "The Madonna of MySpace."

Nguyen -- or, oh, fine, Tequila -- may be the least lonely girl on the Internet. She has more than 1.5 million MySpace friends. Her MySpace profile has been viewed more than 50 million times. Her self-published single, the profane and attitudinous F___ Ya Man, now playing on her MySpace page, has logged 13 million spins. (To listen to it is to hear the sound track of a million parents' dreams dying.) She gets somewhere from 3,000 to 5,000 new friend requests every day. She is something entirely new, a celebrity created not by a studio or a network but fan by fan, click by click, from the ground up on MySpace.

Before she hit it big, Nguyen had posed for Playboy.com -- its first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month -- and modeled for car shows and auto mags and formed girl bands. But her big break came three years ago when MySpace founder Tom Anderson invited Nguyen over to his new site. She had spent plenty of time on websites like Friendster, but her outsize, confrontational personality kept getting her kicked off. She says Friendster booted her five times. "I joined MySpace in September 2003," Nguyen recalls. "At that time no one was on there at all. I felt like a loser while all the cool kids were at some other school. So I mass e-mailed between 30,000 and 50,000 people and told them to come over. Everybody joined overnight."

. . .

Nguyen clearly grasps the logic of Web 2.0 in a way that would make many ceos weep. She sells Tila posters, calendars, a clothing line of hoodies and shirts. She has been on the cover of British Maxim. She has a single due to be released online. She has a cameo in next summer's Adam Sandler movie. She has four managers, a publicist and a part-time assistant. It's hard to know how to read the rise of Tila Tequila. Does she represent the triumph of a new democratic starmaking medium or its crass exploitation for maximum personal gain? It's not clear that even Tila knows. But she knows why it works.

"There's a million hot naked chicks on the Internet," she says. "There's a difference between those girls and me. Those chicks don't talk back to you."

   I've never been happier to not having had any idea who someone was.

   So, Is Jesus Still Coming?: Tonight, I accompanied Julie's family to Christmas Eve service at their church. I'm not sure how in depth I've gotten into this in the past, but I'm not a church person. I generally feel out of place, which is probably exactly the opposite of the way most churchgoers feel about visitors, but so be it.

   Call it nervous energy, but I doodled on the front of the program, and made the baby Jesus into a pirate.

   I don't think it's sacrilege. I mean, how do we know he didn't go out as that for a Halloween or two?

   The moustache, though, I'll admit was over the top. Some immediate regret.

   • Given the nature of the site, this will be read on Christmas. I understand that.

   As such, and due to the fact that I don't get credit for the scade of Christmas cards Julie sent out, allow me to pass along my warmest holiday wishes to you all.

Maury Christmas
-- Best ever, whomever made it. It's just pitch-perfect.

   Seriously, it's been another blessed year. In so much as I have the instinct to write a Christmas letter about it, you can find what it'd say just as easily as I can.

   Enjoy it, wherever you are.

December 23, 2006 - Almost Holidays
   The Slow Churn Continues: Today, I upgraded my 1999-purchased desktop from Windows 1998 (which was born, obviously, in 1998) to Windows XP Home Edition (which, according to the manual, was born in 2002). I swore I would never do this, largely because I never really felt like I would need to ... 98, with all its updates, did more or less everything I was asking of it.

   And yet, here we are. I'm pretty sure I upgraded from Windows 3.1 on the original family desktop (bought in 1994, I think) to Windows 95 so I could play Beavis and Butthead in Virtual Stupidity.

   Now, I upgraded its offspring to ease my purchasing of Bluetooth crap, so that I can start posting cell phone pictures and make my new ringtone a MIDI of 'Brass Bonanza.'

   Feel free to debate amongst yourselves which is a less worthy enterprise.

   • Self-indulgent paginator now speaking.

   I've spent the last week or so crafting our paper's 'Top 10 Local Stories of the Year' production, for which I can only hope I receive no less than a half-dozen angry phone calls -- I inadvertantly listed my phone number as the response line in Sunday's paper, but ultimately, any bitching ought to be directed at me anyway.

   For once, the layout is something I'm entirely at peace with. Spending like 10 minutes staring at the pages and not coming up with anything I'd change is an extremely rare thing when you hate yourself as much as I do.

12/24/06, Page E1

12/24/06, Page E8
-- Should you want to read the stories,
the mainbar's here and my 2-10 are here.

   It's nice to feel like I know what I'm doing.

December 22, 2006 - Goodbyes
   When We Go Shooping: Somehow, I'm always surprised when the final Friday before Christmas is a mob scene, both on the roads around the stores and in them.

   This does mean I was in them, but it wasn't for much so the trip was successful and the whole affair is over. When you spend the better part of a month in a state of semi-panic, unaware of what you're getting someone, that moment of seeing something and thinking, "Oh, that would be a good idea" is tremendous.

   Also, on the way into Best Buy, they appeared to be having an offer where an 80-hour TiVo was free after a $220 rebate that they may in fact have been giving out at the registers. For a split second, I thought of what a great gift that would be for my parents. And then, I came to the same conclusion the other handful of times I had this epiphany this December.

   There is a zero percent chance my parents could handle a TiVo. I would have to spend several hours setting the thing to limit the chance my father would become irrationally angry at it, and he would still find something it does that would enrage him. My money's on the notification it gives you in the minute before it's about to record something on another channel ... God forbid he was watching something, that popped up and he ignored it.

   Plus, they already have three television remotes that inexplicably all get used depending on which is closer to the furniture of choice.

   • I received two very exciting and somewhat poignant gifts. The first, which I didn't scan, was a Christmas card from the Boston Red Sox.

   The outside is a drawing of a snow globe resting inside Fenway Park. In the globe is a nameless Red Sox player -- he kind of looks like Mike Myers if he looks like anybody -- handing a baseball to three children. The inside says, "Seasons Greetings from the Boston Red Sox," and it's signed by the Media Relations staff.

   That I'd never gotten one of these before and that it was addressed to me directly, as opposed to the paper like all the other pro sports team cards we get, made my night.

   Which needed to be made, since I worked six hours on my night off, but I digress.

   The other was this, which is an homage to Mr. ZIP

Nick's Arizona Drawing
-- Upon my noting he flipped the West and East coasts, Nick noted,
"It's being viewed from Canada." That would explain it.

   Tonight was Nick's last night at The Standard-Times. He wrote the proverbial buh-bye column, had some cake, packed up his stuff and is off to Arizona with his fiancee. They're apparently angling to one day live in Northern California, though that didn't stop more or less all of us -- even those who knew -- from asking him "Why the hell are you moving to Arizona?" about 10,000 times.

   He handled at least 9,500 of them with aplomb. I suspect he lashed out on a few of the others, but I missed them.

   This is, for anyone who's seen his prominence here, another blow to the core that makes working in Whale City as enjoyable as it's been. Nick was pretty much the only other consistent force on our Sunday Night Drinking trips after night shifts, plus his enjoyment of Fark gave us a whole frightening level of in jokes (beyond his own frightening recall of more or less every number ever worn by any athlete ever).

   And really, Nick kind of made me reevaluate just how strong the friendships are that I've formed with some of the people I work with. I mean, everyone has workplace acquaintances, but Nick asked me to be in his wedding. I think it's safe to say that entirely another level, which I was that I really wasn't fully aware of until that happened.

   Those of us who knew him best all had a feeling this was coming ... at a paper our size, there's always a handful of people who you wouldn't be the least bit surprised about if you learned they were leaving. Nick was one of those for months, missing out on a Web job with the Bruins at least partially because he's ripped them apart in print before. When he told me he was leaving, the only surprise was that he was moving 2,600 miles away.

   These things, though, always make me realize just how oddly everything worked out for me. On the one hand, I want to tell them to tough it out, keep working hard and that good things will happen. And yet, they don't cover the Red Sox. They didn't talk their way into a columnist's job, then have the opportunity -- which at the S-T is a huge step -- to spin it into covering the Red Sox and rising to No. 2 in the sports department in three years.

   Which is why I don't feel bad about updating my resume in two years. And really, that's what it's all about.

   And on the plus side, now I have someone to visit if I ever decide, "Hey, you know what would be fun? To surround myself in 110-degree air, and not be in Las Vegas!"

   Later, Immigrant.

December 21, 2006 - In The Tree
   No End In Sight: Who would have ever pegged Miss Nevada as an oral-simulating chick kisser.

   Someone remind me to go to the supermarket in the next week. It ought to all make for a fun wait in the check-out line.

   • The NBA's fun.

Iverson Jersey

   What other league would send photographers halfway around the world to capture the making of his first Denver jerseys?

   The NHL, mind you, doesn't have these problems. They instead have a journeyman defenseman with zero points and a -1 in 19 games poised to be voted on to the All-Star Team.

   Course, that's actually the most awesome that's happened since the Whalers moved. Eh, second most awesome ... Ray Bourque being traded to Colorado and winning the Cup, that's still tops.

   Vote for Rory, people. Especially since I haven't yet.

December 20, 2006 - Don't Go In The Office
   I Still Hate The NBA: Someone scoring a game-winning basket off an inbound with 0.1 seconds left? That's something we all can enjoy.

   Warm Holiday Wishes: Apparently, I go to the downtown Whale City Subway enough to warrant one of the clerks going semi out of her way to wish me a Merry Christmas. It was a nice gesture, especially since I rationalize not putting much in their small, sad tip cup because I go in there so often.

   I wonder if she knows the trainee they hired has undercharged me two days in a row. Even if they do call it a Fresh Value Meal, I can't imagine the 44 oz. soda and a bag of chips are supposed to be only 50 cents more than the cost of the sandwich.

   After the Matsuzaka press conference, I got dinner at the Subway on Boylston Street before heading back home to write. It's only when confronted with the idea that other Subways have about three times as many chip options and generally brighter conditions that I realize I'm probably not getting the experience that Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck dreamed about some 41 years ago.

   I'm not sure what seems weirder to me: that Subway was started with a $1,000 loan from a nuclear physicist, or that the actual name of the company is "Doctor's Associates, Inc." Both aren't quite as weird as me going on this long about a clerk wishing me a Merry Christmas, but that's not in the running.

Constant Roster Shuffle Simply Part of Today's Sox
-- About halfway through the column, I decided that I didn't really like the idea I'd started the column with. Unfortunately, I was already halfway through the column and had no actual idea to replace it with. Proud moment.

   • Apparently, a lot of people were taught the egg in a bottle trick by an elementary school science teacher. I wasn't, so at 26, I think it's awesome. I would attempt it, if I had either an egg or a bottle in which to suck the egg.

   Instead, I'll just have to stick to reading the story of the Illinois high school student who relieved himself in salad dressing.

According to Wheaton police and school officials, the 17-year-old senior ejaculated into a bottle of ranch salad dressing on December 6 and returned the befouled condiment to the Wheaton North High School cafeteria. It is unclear if the dressing was used by any students before the container was cleaned and refilled the following day. Castro, pictured below in Wheaton Police Department mug shots, has been charged with disorderly conduct and attempted aggravated battery, both misdemeanors.

   I'm curious as to exactly what point one's mind goes to, "Hey, you know what would be funny? If I ..." As I know people who have spit in people's drinks, then swirled it around to dissolve it and make it a secret surprise, I'm hoping I get an explanation.

   We've taken a decidedly disgusting turn the last couple of days. Thank goodness.

   It's just in time for Christmas.

December 19, 2006 - Rope Games Suck
   Things I Learn Flipping Channels: Apparently, "frienemies" is a word. It means you're friends, but you're enemies. It can be used to describe the relation between Paris Hilton and a certain Hollywood starlet, as at a party this weekend, Hilton told her bouncers not to let "fire crotch" in. Though I guess it would be Fire Crotch, since it's being used as a name.

   To think I learned this in approximately 15 seconds of E!'s Daily 10. Given they do a show every day, and the show is much longer than 15 seconds, it wouldn't be long befor ewatching this show made you the smartest person in the entire world.

   Or so backwards you're unable to tie your own shoes, because only poor people with no sense of style wear shoes with laces. Or eat. Or don't straddle anything that moves, up to and including wind-blown branches, the ugly offspring of other rich people and whomever spent actual time writing this.

There was a time -- between 1994 and 1996 -- when I grew yeast in my cunt so often I seriously contemplated baking loaves of bread in there and opening a women's bakery. I was in college, and honestly I had at least 50 separate infections. None of my friends could keep yeast infections away, either.

   Yeah, click that. It gets much better, though bear in mind I stopped reading after the third paragraph because I was afraid I'd be unable to avoid going out to quell a cottage cheese craving.

   • It's at moments like reading enough of that to realize I really shouldn't have read any of it that I really, truly wonder what the hell I'm doing here.

   I mean, I was thinking it'd be nice to post a nice letter to everyone on Christmas. Sort of a make-up because I don't do Christmas cards anymore. Good way for me to get out some actual feelings.

   At no point did I ever think, "Hey! You know what you should write about? How your scrotum sometimes itches, and you scratch it, and how weird that is!"

   I kinda figured out several years ago I probably didn't have what it takes to be famous.

   I just never think I truly understood why.

   By the way, I'm pretty sure I'm in the process of getting sick moments after I had stopped being sick from a previous sickness. I'm not so much bothered by it, because it was really inevitable that it was going to happen. I'm just more curious whether there were actually a few moments in the middle when I had neither germ.

   Another one of those unanswerable, thinking-out-loud questions I've made my wholly exciting calling card.

December 18, 2006 - Less Cussing of Millionaires
   Hope For The Future: Over the weekend, I got a new cell phone.

LG VX8300

   Whereas last time I went phone shopping and only wanted a flip phone with a clock on the outside, now I wanted a clock and a camera.

   In my head, me having a camera phone that can also record short videos only means good things for the future. I mean, what's the only thing better than writing about stupid things?

   Taking pictures of stupid things.

   Because I just can't do anything easy, I'm attempting to get all my ducks in a row regarding Bluetooth, BitPim, Micro SD cards and everything else ... this site leads me to believe I can do it all for relatively cheap, so I'll slowly be rolling in that direction.

   Trust me, when I get the MIDI file of 'Brass Bonanza' from NHL '94 as my ringer, I'm going to want to tell people. And take audio of it. And have people call me all the time.

   • While we're on the subject:

Brass Bonanza was played in its entirety minutes before game time of the Carolina Hurricanes second round playoff opener at home against the New Jersey Devils on May 6, 2006 as the video board showed fans in Whalers jerseys who came to the game. The Hurricanes won that game 6-0.
-- Nope. You left. You don't get to keep the good parts and dump the bad.
Please report to the Internet police for your madatory OWN3NG, or something.

The song was played after each goal scored by the Williams College men's hockey team during the 2005-2006 season, and the fans would dance The Watusi.
-- Angers me. Williams people are weird. They should stop liking things I like.

The song is often played at Northeastern University men's hockey games, at the request of Dog House member and longtime Whaler fan Jim Sargent.
-- Angers me far more, even if do kind of consistenly suck
the same way the Whalers always did.

The song can be heard at the Arrowhead Pond for 30 seconds after every Anaheim Ducks victory.
-- Thieves. Come up with your own goofy tradition. I mean, Jesus. They couldn't Emilio Estevez to do some stupid dance on the Jumbotron or something?

Craig Kilborn had Carmen Electra do an impromptu dance to Brass Bonanza during one of her appearances on The Late Late Show.
-- If that's true, it's one of the greatest things he's ever done.

   Imagine how seriously I would take this stuff if I'd ever actually been to a Whalers game.

December 17, 2006 - I Accept Giants Hats Deserve Flak
   American Pie Presents The Naked Mile: I wouldn't watch the third American Pie movie, because I felt like they'd really wrapped up everything they'd needed to wrap up in the second one.

   They've since made two movies ... beyond that one.

   So yeah, I don't often wonder why I'm not at the theaters on many Friday nights anymore.

   Tony Siragusa for Twisted Tea: The NFL's former man-mountain is a pitchman for a product whose Web site is so secure, it asks you to input your birth year twice just to view it.

   So Siragusa comes on the radio, announcing something along the lines of, "Man, if I knew tailgating was this much fun, I'd have retired a long time ago!" Course, five years ago is a long time in NFL terms, but so be it.

   He goes on to praise the Tequiza-like swill he's paid to praise, calling it refreshing like a beer, but not carbonated. "So I don't get all filled up."

   The man went, in his playing days, at 6'3" and 340 pounds. I'm not posting a picture of him only because I can't find one that accurately represents how friggin' huge he is. I recall in Baltimore's run-up to the Super Bowl in 2001, he injured Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon ... by falling on him.

   Tony, drink the beer. I think you'll be fine.

   • If I may for a moment.

Slap Ball

Philadelphia's Trent Cole, left, intercepts a botched pass in front of New York's Tiki Barber in the fourth quarter Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. The pass thrown by the Giants' Eli Manning was disrupted when Manning was hit by Eagles' Sheldon Brown. Cole ran the interception back for a touchdown in the Eagles' 36-22 win. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

   Instead of trying to slap the ball out of the air while leaping, Tiki, why don't you instead ATTEMPT TO CATCH THE F%$&#NG THING SINCE IT'S FALLING RIGHT F&^#(*G IN FRONT OF YOU?!?!!?!


December 16, 2006 - Rooting Against The Celtics
   Today's Discovery About Yesterday's Tremendous Discovery: I was shocked both at the amount of Fox News my father now watches, and the number of times of witty headlines they failed to pull off well regarding this.

Donald Trump has told hard-partying Miss USA Tara Connor to pack her bags and move out of her Trump Plaza apartment.

"She does not live here anymore," a doorman at the posh property tells the New York Post. "She is not allowed on Trump property. I don't think it was her choice, really."

Trump says pageant officials are still looking into the "situation," and plan to make an announcement Tuesday. But we already broke the news that the Kentucky native will be passing the tiara over to runner-up Tamiko Nash.

Since being crowned in April, Tara has been seen partying with Travis Barker, Ryan Seacrest and MTV VJ Damien Fahey.

-- I guess "quality, not quantity" isn't taught in Kentucky schools.

   Then there's the New York Post story, which I can't actually bring myself to actually read. Not because I'm crushed by this story in any way, but because in a quick scan of it, I saw the words "OxyContin," "paint thinner" and "cocaine."

   There's only like 200 words total. That's nowhere near enough to tell the story of the luckiest delivery guy on Earth.

   • These are always fun.

Brawl in New York

New York's Nate Robinson, right, prepares to face off with J R Smith of the Denver Nuggets, who is being held back by David Lee of the Knicks. At the same time that Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, fourth from right, is being held back by Knicks' Jared Jeffries and Channing Frye late in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden yesterday. (AP Photo/Newsday Photo/ J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

   I love not loving this game.

December 15, 2006 - So Close
   Today's Tremendous Discovery: Being in Western Mass. means being subjected to that endless supply of Web site fodder, the 7 p.m. Couture family TV hour of 'Inside Edition' and 'Entertainment Tonight,' which are basically the same show, but with different exclusives.

   So apparently, Miss USA has some issues controlling her partying. Starlet-esque issues, just without the ghastly descent into unattractiveness and the causal drug use. In dissecting this, 'Inside' revisited some story they did with the former Miss Kentucky, who's now living in a Donald Tump-owned Manhattan penthouse.

   Which she shares with her roomates, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA.

   You're telling me this penthouse, wherever it is, isn't the pinnacle of conquest for roughly every single guy between the ages of 15-30 in the New York City metro area? Can you even imagine how you would feel if you earned an invite back to this place? How is this not the centerpiece of every exaggerated bar story told across Manhattan?

   Is there some deep, hidden Flickr photo album with pictures of a night, no matter what happened, that the photographer will spend their entire life trying to match, never mind top?

   Of course, your mileage on this may vary, considering unattainability issues, bitchiness concerns and your general feelings on the attractiveness of beauty pageant people. I'm speaking strictly from a sense of curiosity.

   The delivery guy who last brought them pizza, wherever you are, I wish to know your story. Because I already know you have one.

   Cover Bands: I think I've previously written about Badfish, billed as "A Tribute to Sublime" or "The Ultimate Tribute of Sublime" or something along those lines.

   They're playing a show in the not-too-distant future, advertised as a "serious night of rock and reggae" -- they're playing with someone else.

   Which got my Sublime-hating mind to thinking ... if they really want to be an ultimate tribute to Sublime, shouldn't their name actually be Badheroin?

   You know, to be historically accurate and all. It's not a dour piece of flounder did Bradley Nowell in.

   • I was all ready to declare the Desktop Wallpaper War with Julie over, posting a picture of UMass celebrating their second 1-AA national championship. Thus, they lost.

   Guess I'm over it would be apropos, wouldn't it?

   Just because of who I am, though, I can't help but think: They won, but on the plus side, we still don't go to school at friggin' Appalachian State.

   When the rapture comes, though ... we're sure going to be sorry.

December 14, 2006 - Perks
   Upcoming Events: Apparently, Larry The Cable Guy is playing a show at URI in the not-too-distant future. Apparently, someone told Ticketmaster I'd be interested in knowing this.

   Glad they feel that way.

Boston Rolls Out The Welcome 'Mat'
-- The front-page story, which I have to admit is far better than the story in the sports section. Given the day was about scene, not baseball, that's hardly shocking.

D-Mat Has All Makings of an Ace
-- The sports story, which has a couple strong quotes in it, but really isn't fleshed out to be much of anything. Hopefully you feel differently.

   • I was overrun by a conquering horde of Japanese media ...

Dice's Conference
-- I'm leaning forward. All the better to hide the tears.

   and all I got was this free T-shirt.

Free Shirt
-- For a moment, it looked as though to get the shirt, I was going to have to wear the shirt. Luckily, that lady went away after a while.

   People just never get too old for free T-shirts, do they?

   Surreal's not the word for it all ... it was more annoying than anything else, because Daisuke's interpreter basically made it impossible to quote him on anything. The one quote I used in my news story is apparently wrong, since the Globe's Gordon Edes has it completely different.

   There's like seven Globies against me. These things are going to happen.

December 13, 2006 - I'm Going With Dice-K
   It's Been A Long Day: You read the news. You can figure it all out.

   Normally, I might have some other stuff to talk about. But this, this is honestly what I did for every second of the day. Outside of reading "Ho, Ho, Ho! I Saw You Masturbating!," which ought to make the search results interesting, but isn't exactly an outstanding way to spend an evening.

   So, here it is.

Red Sox Get Their Man
-- I was told it was 'very, very' good, which is nice, since I futzed with it for in excess of three hours.


   • After "Shaughnessy's column isn't that bad" -- I swear, I only clicked on it out of hope it was awful -- there's nothing more to say.

Japanese Press

Japanese Press

Japanese Press

   Well, other than 'They're heeeeeeere.'

December 12, 2006 - Strip Club Rampage
   It Probably Wasn't Even Intentional: The Daily Free Press is wrapping up another semester at BU, and thus another editor-in-chief is saying good-bye.

It's hard to ignore history at The Daily Free Press, where the names of past editors are literally etched into the walls. From the Beanpot outage of the mid-1990s to the great blizzard of 2003, 20 years of history have been scrawled, tagged and carved into the desks, chairs and faux-wood paneling.

The Free Press attic is cramped and decaying, filled with two decades of discarded dorm room equipment, futons and microwaves, boxy outdated monitors and broken printers -- all covered with a fine layer of plaster dust. I spent much of last summer there, pulling out yellowed newspapers from the 1980s and '90s and spotting familiar by-lines: Bill O'Reilly, now an infamous conservative commentator; David Barboza, a correspondent for The New York Times; Don Van Natta, Jr., a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

That's the beauty of the Free Press. Right now, as I type this, there are future Pulitzer Prize winners working in my newsroom. Somebody out there will work for The New York Times. Several will work for The Globe.

   There's also schmoes like me, who will go on to be the incidental gears of the community journalism machine, it long since forgotten that I was the person who christened the e-mail edition that keeps me up to date on this stuff.

   Then there's the person who misspelled the editor's name in the cutline to this very story. That's the person I like the most.

In my four years here, I've watched doe-eyed freshmen become hardened, skeptical reporters. I've laughed as normally timid staffers tear out of the office, notebook in hand, in pursuit of a car crash or house fire. These kids may not know a lede from a lead when they first walk in our door, but they leave battle-hardened reporters and warrior wordsmiths.

   Hell, I just stopped fighting this battle earlier this year. I have no doubt "lede" is spelled like that for a reason, the same way I have no doubt Sly will explain it in the comments because he knows these things.

   • I'm not sure how close to national this has gotten, but beloved Whale City is back in the news again.

   Seems a man who lives in a borderline shack in of the woodsy suburbs was jilted by a bartender at an area strip club. As such, he did what all shack-living jilted lovers do: went home, put on his body armor, got his M-16 out of storage and shot up the strip club at 1:30 in the morning.

   All things being equal, I live close enough to said strip club that I should have heard some of the outside gun fire. I didn't, though, instead only wondering why there were helicopters flying around outside at 3 a.m.

   All of the AP coverage of this story is being done by Ray Henry, a former S-T reporter who moved from there to a job with them within the last year. He actually filed from our ofice last night, since we're nice to people like that.

   He's also the guy who was chosen as Daily Free Press news editor over me many semesters ago, pushing him upward to the paper's editorial board and me out a side chute, where I'd spent a couple semesters as online editor before dribbling out the door.

   It's not like my days are dominated by thoughts of what would have happened had I been made news editor instead, but at a time like this, it's hard not to give it a little thought. At the time, I was waffling back and forth as to whether I actually wanted the job and its huge time commitment -- thus making for a very good reason I didn't get it, but that's obvious.

   When it was announced, though, it hurt. It hadn't felt like a logical progression, but it sure felt like something I could handle. Where would it have propelled me? Would I have ended up on a Globe internship like so many other DFP people did? Does it push me to a reporting job after college? Where am I working now? Do I ever meet Julie?

   It's safe to say that I probably wouldn't be covering the Red Sox had I gotten that job, and had you told me not getting it would result in that a half-dozen years ago, I might have flipped over the Coke machine on my way sprinting out the door.

   It really did work out best for everybody. I get to dance on the fringes of the Boston sports scene, explore the width of a travel budget in planning a trip to spring training and have Mark Redman tell me off when all I was trying to do was write a nice story about the guy.

Matsuzaka's Coming, But If He Doesn't ...
-- Another one of those ideas that just came to me rather innocuously. Indirectly thanks to 'Cold Pizza,' but they shouldn't be proud of it. Or anything, for that matter.

   Seriously, Mark Redman's a jerk. Though I was bound to say that about someone sooner or later.

December 11, 2006 - Tech Specs
   Why The Internet is Wonderful: Debates on Christmas. The sort of debates that make you wonder, "Uh, they do know it's actually a religious holiday, right?

Wake UP Americans ... They are coming to strip you of everything you hold dear.. Unless you are wanting a government that cares for you and makes all your decisions from the day you are born until they decide when you should die!

Freedom has a price-tag. It requires among other things, an intellectual mind to be alert and continually educating itself to the ways of this world! The majority of us have failed that requirement. Thus here we be discussing this crahp!

   Forget the egg nog. Pass the tin foil.

   • Ladies and gentlemen, it's real advanced technology journalism!




   What's sad is that we wouldn't have been capable of most of this less than a year ago.

   Also, that no one will read it. Though "no one" is incorrect, and only a function of my never being satisfied.

Sox Brass in Calif. With 'Record' Offer
-- The Web-only story, at least as good as anything else you'll read this morning. I even broke tradition and lowered the saturation of smarm!

   Viva la Internet!

December 10, 2006 - I Really Wouldn't Have Won
   One of Those Great TV News Stories: Thank you, Portland, Oregon.

Portland Police Spokesperson Brian Schmautz said shortly after 5:00 p.m. Friday night officers at the Northeast Precinct on NE Emerson St. got a call that someone had just hit one of their patrol cars, then backed up and hit it again.

The officers went outside and saw an abandoned Honda Civic that happened to be right next to the damaged patrol car.

A short time later police found the driver of the Honda, 35-year-old Jason Klopf.

Jason Klopf said he rammed the patrol car because police failed to pull him over for speeding. Klopf apparently told officers he was upset because he had been driving around on city streets at over 100 mph and no one ever pulled him over to give him a ticket.

   That's it ... there's no selective editing.

   I'm genuinely not sure what it means.

   • Our favorite bartender, Jack, told us tonight that this was his last night. He's the only bartender I've ever had who had my beer out before I could even order it.

   The times, they are a'changin. Especially what with me successfully picking football games again to the point that I'm counting the dollars I would have won if I'd actually bet on them.

December 9, 2006 - Somehow, Inefficiency
   Super Sidetrack: I never knew the line, "Dogs and cats, living together!" came from Ghostbusters, which I'd never seen until this afternoon. I don't know if it's the greatest comedy ever, but it sure beat the heck out of getting out of bed with the headache I had.

   Despite never having seen the movie, I did watch a lot of the cartoon growing up, which I suppose is like seeing the movie before reading the book. Except, of course, the movie is the book and the cartoon is the movie.

   Ninety minutes I'll never have back. And given what time we got the section out tonight, 90 minutes that would have been useful.

   • You know, it's a good thing that even though they call it deadline, no one actually dies if it isn't met.

   I'd be very dead. Many times over.

December 8, 2006 - Peace In Our Time
   Popular Music: While on the Expressway into the city tonight, I stumbled across what I presume to be Pink's latest musical screed, "U + Ur Hand."

   This is the chorus.

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it's over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight

   The first line does clear a lot of confusion for me, and I can only hope for you as well.

   Family Matters: I'm often ask by people who know me how my brother Matty Cooch is doing.

   Last week, Matt woke up somewhere in the vicinity of 4 a.m. and drove down to Windsor, Conn. -- roughly a half-hour to the south. He'd heard a store there was getting a shipment of Nintendo Wii systems, for which I presume the plural would be "Wiis," but that just looks wrong.

   Said store did get a shipment of 23. He was, however, not among the first 23 people to arrive at said store.

   Later, he heard that the small GameStop store in the strip mall near his place of employment was getting a shipment this week. Expected Wednesday, he called, and they weren't there yet. On Thursday he called again to hear the same thing, but was told that meant they'd be there Friday. Thus on Friday, he got to the store an hour early (8 a.m.), bode his time and secured himself a system plus two additonal games ... let's say $400 worth of stuff.

   At one point, he was searching for it to buy me, until I talked him out of it. Thus, he got it for himself.

   So, to answer your question, Matty Cooch is doing just fine.

   • Pretty good night.

   First, the good guys won.

Charlie Goes BU
-- Charlie was an easy sell.
UMass, apparently, hasn't fit his fandom needs.

   While that was going on, the other good guys shocked the bad guys. I suppose you could argue UMass beating BC in Amherst isn't a shock, in which case, UMass drawing 6,342 for a hockey game is the shock.

   Please don't tell Julie they outdrew the 5,360 of which I was a part. She gets kind of prideful about these things, evne if it's obvious they only drew so well because it was another ... Mullet Night.

   Honest to God. They've done it before.

   On top of that, State U.'s football team upset Montana on the road to make their second 1-AA championship game since I graduated high school. No matter where you went to school, Western Mass. people feel this affinity for UMass in everything ... even my father, who eventually hates pretty much everything he comes across at one point or another, loves UMass. It's perhaps our best shot across the bow of the eastern half of the state.

   To top it off, apparently Boston College football is replacing Tom O'Brien with ... Mark Whipple, the man who coached the UMass team that won the 1998 national championship and spun that into a quarterback coaching job in Pittsburgh.

   Now, his apparent departure will assist the crumbling of the bitchiest football fans on the planet.

   It's a shame none of this will help me fill a 12-page sports section on Saturday night, which is two more than we usually have and several more than will be necessary on a night with no college football.

   Thank goodness we're still in the afterglow of a successful high school basketball tab. That's a free screw-up card if I've ever seen one.

December 7, 2006 - Grady A
   Starlet Update: While 10 people didn't send me this, enough did.

   I'm not going to quote it, because as it says, "people are just mean." Plus, I spent six hours this afternoon copy-editing our high school basketball tab, and going through all the mistakes just might make me overheat.

   Red Sox Media Throng Update: Bob Stern, the S-T's sports editor before my time and current Red Sox writer for the Brockton Enterprise, leads his column today.

It's nice to be rich and foolish.

After all, who among us doesn't want to be Paris Hilton?

   You probably can't enjoy this on some of the levels I can, since those who don't know Bob don't know how hilarious it is to envision him talking about Paris Hilton. I can't do it justice.

   However, I do feel this lede violates one of the few irrefutable rules of column writing. Never assume your readership wants to be a borderline-ugly skank whore.

   This does then lead to the question of how a regular whore is different than a skank whore. Sadly, though, I don't have all the answers.

   • I'm only supporting the Red Sox efforts to make Eric Gagne their closer if we can co-opt his logo.

Game Over.

   I still remember when I went to the Dodgers Team Store at Dodger Stadium looking for it on a shirt, and the only ones I could find had his goatee replaced with some sort of blue fuzz.

   Like anyone in Los Angeles would actually wear that on a T-shirt.

   It's a shame Meg and I had broken up by that point, because I can almost guarantee she would have added a "Not even the Mexicans would wear that!"-like comment to the discussion.

   Also, last night I had a dream that, among other things, the Dodgers had changed their logo. It was one of the more distressing dreams I've had in a while, which says about me lots of things.

December 6, 2006 - Grady A
   UMass 56, Boston Univ. 54: No lose ... I'd rather UMass win anyway, given my childhood fandom and all.

The win was the ninth straight for UMass over BU, which hasn't beaten the Minutemen since Dec. 4, 1986.

   Plus, I'm still not over that 2003 loss to Vermont in the America East Championship. I'm not sure exactly what I would have done upon rushing the court, but rest assured, it would have been better than watching someone else do it.

Sox See Drew As A Part, Not The Whole
-- How would you rather spend an afternoon other than poring through 207 L.A. Times stories that mention J.D. Drew?

   • It's at moments like this that I have to find my own fun.

   Such as, for example, remembering the fun that was the Grady Little lineup card.

Little continues to give his most productive -- and highly paid -- hitters frequent days off. The left-handed-hitting J.D. Drew did not play and won't be in the lineup today against the left-handed Capuano, despite hitting two doubles and a single Monday.

Little has made a habit of resting players the day after they excel. Garciaparra, for example, drove in six runs Saturday against the Colorado Rockies and sat out Sunday.

"A lot of their success has to do with knowing they have the next day off," Little said. "It gives them a relaxed kind of feeling."

   I love that he left, and isn't managing the Red Sox. It makes him that much less maddening to watch.

December 5, 2006 - The Five Years Off Didn't Help
   Subtle Whining: It sort of sounds like this.

Last Wednesday's piece made frequent references to the "BBRAA." That wasn't a typo. The organization of professionals who cover baseball games and lay claim to the voting process for the major awards and the Hall of Fame is, to me, the Baseball Reporters Association of America. That's not to denigrate what those people do; it's to better describe it. The organization has made it clear that it exists as an advocacy group for the people who cover baseball games on a daily basis for print publications.

My argument is simply that they don't get to co-opt the term "writer," not in this era, not when they actively exclude talents like Rob Neyer and Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl and Alex Belth and so many other people who cover baseball by means other than traveling with teams and relaying quotes to the public.

I don't think I'm on unsteady ground here, and I hope that my renaming of the organization serves only to point out that the definition of "baseball writer" can be as expansive as you want it to be. Limiting that term to a subset of people who write about baseball does a disservice to those on both sides of the line.

-- Joe Sheehan, Baseball Prospectus

   I'm not sure this could read any more like 'Wah!' if it was trying to be.

   I'm not trying to denigrate anyone, but I'm going to go out of my way to change a group's name because "they don't get to co-opt the term 'writer,' not in this era."

   Actually, yeah, we do. ("We" in the loosest sense, I assure you.) That's the name of the group. Referring to it by any other name is wrong, as is the idea that you can't be a baseball writer if you're not in the Baseball Writers Association of America.

   What's saddest of all is that I'm pretty sure this really isn't whining. The references really weren't made out of spite, and the only part that seems bitter is the portion speaking to the exclusion of talented Internet writers ... some of whom may actually qualify for membership now, but I'm still not completely sure how I qualify for membership, truth be told.

   IJoe Sheehan does some excellent work writing about the game.

   He ought to stick to that, since straying makes him come off with a twinge of bitch.

   Back At The Alma Mater: In the run-up to Thursday's BU-UMass basketball game, the DFP's hoops writer refers to the Minutemen as "arch-rival." I must have missed that.

   Kind of like how I missed that people don't understand being out at 4 a.m. is a bad idea. Always. Wherever you are.

   If you're working at 4 a.m., you have a crummy job. If you're partying at 4 a.m., odds are pretty good going outside is going to kill someone's buzz.

   This same sort of "hockey players beaten up at party" may have happened when I was an undergrad, though I can't remember which year. I'm reasonably certain it's happened one other time at least since 1998.

   If you're counting at home, that's Brutal Beatings 2, Frozen Four Appearances 0. One of these days, this is going be the "Why the hell do I like these guys?" moment at the Bruins opener all over again.

   • Musician and the second person filling my former job on the news side, Don discusses "Bobby," which apparently is ghastly awful.

   Emphasis added is mine, of course.

The ending is just plain reprehensible. Five other people besides RFK were shot by Sirhan Sirhan that night, and all survived. However, DIRECTOR/WRITER EMILIO ESTEVEZ replaces the actual victims with five of the characters he's been following throughout the movie, and NONE of them are based on the people who were wounded that night. I realize in any film there's going to be some dramatic license, but in this instance -- an actual historical event -- it's completely overboard. Thank God Estevez didn't do a JFK film -- he would've had three or four of the characters riding along in the Dallas limo with the Jack, Jackie and the Connallys, if the assassination scene in Bobby is any indication.

   Yeah. Can't believe this one didn't turn out well.

December 4, 2006 - Remembering The Lynx
   Game Theory: How did we decide, all those years ago, that we needed a sequel to Paperboy?

   I suppose it isn't surprising, given sequels are always all the rage. But we had a very simple, solid concept -- biking up a stick straight street, tossing papers, avoiding stuff. The sequels got all goofy, with a winding street, 3D graphics (N64 version) ... too much.

   Course, I went probably two decades before noticing this tonight. And sometimes, sequels work really well.

   I'm really enjoying this retro gaming kick. Much cheaper than a PS3 kick.

   Today's Quote Taken Completely Out of Context: I suppose it was only natural that college football would eventually get its chance here.

"Heck, I'm a Gator. I went there. So I had a lot of reason to vote for them right there. It just appeared they're 12-1, the other team is 11-1, I guess that's about it."
-- Steve Spurrier, current South Carolina coach, on why he voted
Florida higher than Michigan in the latest USA Today coaches poll.

   I can only imagine how well that's going over in Ann Arbor, which as you may have noticed, is bothered by little things like this.

   I can only hope Florida doesn't lose by four touchdowns or something stupid. They've already had a tough year in Faygo country.

   I mean, hell. They have to watch the Lions every week.

World Still Waits For Sox First Move
-- I have also been waiting, but eventually, I had to write. I've been told the J.D. Drew section is really good.

   It's at moments like this I wish I could get some better sources, already. Doing something about that would be ideal.

   • What kind of month would it be if we didn't all have a Fergie photo to gaze at?

Comedically Not Attractive
-- Probably a lot better, truthfully.

   I suppose her appearance wasn't even the worst part of the night, since during the evening I overheard from a co-worker that the Billboard Music Awards had Nickelback up for Artist of the Year.

   And as I hope will become natural for all of you, every Nickelback reference here will in the future link to the video of Portuguese concert-goers pelting them with rocks.

   Apparently, they were booked to play at a death metal festival ... arguably, Jethro Tull would have fit the genre better. This sort of thing was probably inevitable.

   Plus, he wasn't actually hurt. That makes it OK to enjoy.

December 1-3, 2006 - Sucker For Plush
   What Was That About?: Rather than attempting to recreate whatever happened to the updates of the last few days, I'm simply going to cobble them back together in one. I hope you can deal with me wrecking the sanctity of the "post-a-day" relationship.

   And if you can't well, get in touch with me. Maybe you've got money and we can work out a salary-based deal regarding it.

   King of the Nerds: As the final chapter of the AL MVP saga that pitting the stupid Baseball Writers of America against the geniuses there always are on the Internet, one of the guys at Baseball Prospectus wrote a subscription-only column that, among other things, devises a scoring system for ballots based on each player's WARP-3 -- at the risk of blowing the real definition to pieces, let's call said stat the number of wins a player contributed over an average player, adjusted to be comparable across baseball history.

   It's sound, but I'm not putting it in the paper. Ever.

   My ballot (Jeter, Hafner, Ortiz, Mauer, Dye, Santana, Thomas, Guillen, Morneau, Sizemore), which I spent somewhat less time working on that I would have if I actually voted for MVP, scored higher than every actual writer's ballot. Significantly higher.

   I have absolutely no idea what this means, but I sure am glad it worked out that way.

   The Rivalry: Friday night, the BU-BC game at Conte Forum was fogged out, in a tribute to the old Boston Garden that I'm sure none of the students in attendance actually remember.

   How do I know? Here's a quote from a BC freshmen, who were overheard (presumably) as they walked out of what should have been their first BU-BC tilt.

"It's BC-BU, have the ice ready," said freshman Frankie Trager. "I guarantee you everyone at BU was saying, 'oh, BC was afraid to play us.' But it was just that our ice managers were on acid when they set this thing up."

   Yes, Frankie. That's exactly what we were all saying. This was clearly orchestrated by the same school who couldn't hide the fact their football players were gambling on games, and that has had a boner for Doug Flutie going on 25 years. Imagine our dismay when their attempts to phone a bomb threat into Agganis Arena on Saturday night, meaning they had to play a game against BU ... that they won in the most gut-wrenching way possible.

When junior center Pete MacArthur tried to jumpstart an odd-man rush after receiving a pass behind the net from senior defenseman Kevin Schaeffer, he accidentally pushed the puck into the skate of Curry, who was returning to his crease. The puck squirted off Curry's skate and slid across the goal line.

BC's Nathan Gerbe, who was on the bench when the play happened, was credited with a shot - and the goal - as the last Eagle to touch the puck.

   Mercifully, I only saw the last two periods ... but what a game. Absolutely electric, end-to-end stuff throughout. I can only imagine being there was the same feeling the 2002 MLS Cup had all over it. A gigantic, borderline lunatic crowd, left desperately wanting and never getting to explode because the home team didn't score. The game was so good, I didn't get to be angry about the 0-for-6 power play until hours later when I realized it.

   I love remembering how I became a hockey fan in an era of the Bruins being awful. And I also love that Jack Parker is fully aware that he can say anything he wants at all times:

The rivalry now moves to fully air-conditioned Agganis Arena on Saturday (7 p.m.), taking global warming out of the picture - if you choose to believe in the phenomenon.

"The Republicans say there's no such thing, our illustrious president says there's no such thing," Parker said. "He also said we should go into Iraq."

   Nothing to do with anything, and clearly something he wasn't led into saying by the wording of the question. I should be pissed, because I hate that kind of stuff.

   But God bless him. I only wish it had been more needlessly political.

   • There was a festival in downtown Whale City on Sunday, combining the holiday tree lighting with the shops opening downtown and the Whaling Museum opening its doors to various crafts.

   As you would expect, I only knew about this because Julie pays attention to these things. She's only been here 8-9 weeks, and it's already painfully clear what would happen were she to leave.

   She's been haranguing me for weeks about what I want for Christmas, which is probably good since I can never actually figure out what I'm comfortable asking for. Since the days of childhood have passed, there's generally two kinds of consumer goods in the world.

   -- Stuff I like enough to buy myself;
   -- Stuff that I like, but that is too expensive for anyone to be buying,

   The first stuff, I just get when the moment's right. The second, I feel guilty about asking for and even more guilty should I actually get them. Take, for example, on Friday learning that Matty Cooch is trying to find me a Nintendo Wii.

   Do I want a Nintendo Wii? Sort of, but I'm really kind of ambivalent. Would I enjoy having one? Absoutely, though I'm well aware I'm probably not going to obsessively be playing it much.

   Should someone be spending $250 to God knows how many dollars on one for me? Not unless they're absurdly rich, and the only people I know for whom that qualifies probably aren't buying me anything beyond a meal or a beer.

   So fast-forward to Saturday night, when I make me way back from a quick trip to Western Mass. -- I now own my car, and thus it's finally free of the "Veteran" license plate -- and head to the mall to see Julie at the Whaling Museum kiosk.

   It's not pictured, but it's a kiosk. Imagine the mall in your area, which has the exact same things. I assure you.

   I've been before, so I've seen all the wares they have there. Books, scrimshaw, ornaments, etc. Gift shop fare, distilled down for a smaller space. What had been added since my last visit, though, was a small monitor playing a video showing everything they have back at the actual Museum gift shop. When I happened to get there, they were showing a collection of stuffed animals.

   A white seal. A whale. An octopus. A smaller octopus.

   And then, the final one, a seagull. But not just a still shot like the others. It started really small, but then the camera ZOOMED IN FAST, giving you the impression the seagull was flying at you, poised to break through the screen and ... peck you. Whatever seagulls do when they're not messing on things.

   I don't completely understand why, but I immediately needed that seagull.

   They had none at the kiosk, but on Sunday, when we went to the Museum downtown ...

-- The hook above my computer, which has been unused since I moved in.

   The accompanying cry of "SEAGULLLLL!!!!!" has already become this week's catch phrase.

   And apparently, I'm pretty easy to buy for after all.

2006: [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2005: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2004: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
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]