Saturday, November 27, 2004

AN UNLIKELY TRIUMPH for my Wildcats in one of the fiercest of college-football rivalries. Arizona (2-8) defeats No. 20 Arizona State (8-2), 34-27.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

ANOTHER WEEKEND in the Coal Region. Realty realities seem to be conspiring against our dream of buying a dirt-cheap house in my birthplace to serve as a combination storage locker, weekend getaway, emergency shelter, investment property, home-renovation practice facility, and tribute to Howard Johnson's and the heyday of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but we'll see.

Meanwhile, I can cross a new regional foodstuff off my list: the screamer, a hamburger in which the formation of the patty includes hot sauce. The above-linked Web site describes the burger a little differently and credits Tony's Lunch in Girardville, Pa., as the inventor. My experience (quite good, I might add) was at the new Pottsville Maroons Sports Bar.

Pottsville is also good for ring bologna and a credible rendition of what some call "tavern pizza" or "pitza," though in Pottsville it's simply the pizza from the Pottsville Pizzeria.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN on-topic and off-, I find the basketbrawl scandal fascinating for its lessons in how words sometimes don't mean what they mean. For instance, how you can deliberately hit someone in a non-contact sport and it's a foul, sure, but by no means a flagrant foul. (I sure hope no sports commentator ever does anything flagrant to me.) And then there's the slippery concept of disrespect that for some is second to nothing--nothing--in importance. Flagrantly fling me off a bridge if you must, but don't you dare disrespect me. Whatever I mean by that.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

AN AN UNBIASED JOURNALIST, I have only this to say about the recent elections.

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Galloping through the sward
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
And his horse, Concorde
He steals from the rich
And gives to the poor
Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the night
Soon every lupine in the land
Will be in his mighty hand
He steals them from the rich
And gives them to the poor
Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Dum dum dum, the night
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Dum de dum dum plight
He steals, dum dum dum
And dum dum dum dee
Dennis dum, Dennis dee, dum dum dum

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the woods
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
With his bag of things
He gives to the poor
And takes from the rich
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the land
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Without a merry band
He steals from the poor
And gives to the rich
Stupid bitch.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I SUCK AT SMALL TALK, and not only because I'm a socially retarded dud. My biggest problem with small talk, I think, is that it consists largely of venturing wild guesses as though they were genuine opinions or even knowledge.

"So, who's gonna win Tuesday?"

(I don't know.)

"It won't be decided for weeks."

(Well, it probably will be decided on election night, but who knows?)

I am paralyzed by rational thought. If I were a "Star Trek" fan I could probably make some sort of Spock comparison, but, well, science fiction is far too far from reality to interest my rational brain.

High-profile criminal cases are especially festive for the wild-guesses-as-facts crowd.

"I think O.J.'s son did it."

Uh, you . . . think?

It's been said that the Simpson case was the start of a new idiocy in American culture, and it's hard to argue with that.

"I think the Jews blew up the World Trade Center."

Why, yes. Of course they did.

The inability to cling to a wild guess about an important issue would certainly explain my antipathy to religion. Who the hell am I to say, "I think the [Catholics/Episcopalians/Presbyterians/Methodists/Lutherans/Baptists/Jews/ Hindus/Muslims/Buddhists/Taoists/Confucianists] have it right and everybody else has it wrong"?

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