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Friday, May 30, 2008

Joki, II

“Hey mate,” Joki says to the bartender. “Can I use your phone?”

The barkeep points to a table at the far end of the bar. Joki walks past the jumpy, sawed off Hispanic guy drinking off a coke binge and two useless twats with mesh hats watching the Cubs game.

“Is this line secure?”

“Hello to you too, Lesley.”

“Is this line secure?”

“Sure.” Talking to Lesley on the phone made Joki feel like he was auditioning for a role already cast.

“We have a situation.”


“Are you calling us from a pub? I thought you said this line was secure. We gave you a phone, correct?”

“Sure, and you’re lucky I keep the beeper handy.”

“Daedalius has been kidnapped.”


“Yes, you see? Call us from a pay phone.”

At a McDonald’s down the street, Joki dials headquarters.

“He joined a rock band. And now he’s gone.”

“I thought you said he was kidnapped.”

“Yes, this is a kidnapping. We lost the primary.”

“He’s with his band.”

“And we don’t know where they are.”

“Where do I start?”

“The band’s MySpace page.”

“This sure is a lot of exposition.”

“He’s not a great writer. What do you expect?”

Joki, I

Joki’s beeper rattles against the empty beer can. He put down his New Republic and reaches over for the device. Leslie Hayes. Leslie would have work. Unfortunately for Leslie, Joki is not at the moment looking for work.

At the moment, Joki is not looking for anything. No, strike that, he looks for something. Pats his shirt. He gets up from his stool and strides toward the saloon door. Outside, he lights his Kool and looks around this Wicker Park, this Chicago, where he finds himself. The boutique shops. The uniquely coiffed, semi-employed young men gamboling from café to café. The equally unique young ladies walking dogs smaller than the eiders of his native Iceland. The immigrants parking their cars, staffing the salons and restaurants, shirts sticking to their back even before their work days begin. The homeless and ill begging for spare change with their worn Styrofoam cups, as illusory and permanent to this landscape as the plastic bags.

What freedom.

Joki stubs out his Kool in a convenient planter and reenters the saloon. The beeper blinks red. Leslie’s damn beeper. Red means emergency. Green means all clear. Leslie’s beeper never blinks green. Joki grabs the device from the bar and read the message:


We need to be in contact. Who talks like that? Joki thinks.

R.I.P. Harvey Korman. You were a brilliant and funny man and you will be missed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial of the Month

A month ago, I read a Wired article about how the founder of was starting a memorial web site. They linked to a few other sites, one which was a Christian site. OK, so I couldn't resist. I'm Charles.

Have fun. Check back in and see what we find.

Joe Morgan Rant

Ahh...Joe Morgan. Quite possibly the most obnoxious man in sports. If he wasn't blowing up my 70's Strat-O-Matic League (Nerd Alert!), I would have little to say good of the man. My sister's boyfriend, Brian, agrees. What follows is the unexpurgated email I received from Brian this morning. Enjoy.

Michael, So I'm driving in my car Tuesday afternoon listening to the Mike Tirico - Scott Van Pelt show on ESPN Radio and I just happen on their weekly interview with Joe Morgan. Scott Van Pelt starts the interview off by kissing his @ss, "always a pleasure to speak with an HOF-er and such an important ambassador of the game, Joe Morgan. Joe, how are ya..." and so on. So basically, I'm already rolling my eyes and the interview hasn't even started. Van Pelt jumps right into the big baseball news of the day...the turmoil in Queens, with Willie Randolf. Van Pelt asks, "what's going on out there Joe?" Morgan launches into this whole diatribe about how he thinks its unfair and its crazy that people are calling for his head....he also begins to elude that people want him fired for reasons other than his team's performance. He then cites the manager in Texas....some people are calling for his head too, but no one is calling for the heads of other managers for under-performing teams. He says, for example, Ned ones yelling for him to be fired. Or the guy in Seattle, no ones yelling for him to be fired. He says that its completely ridiculous that these guys aren't on the chopping block too, but he says that there's a reason why they aren't and the guy in Texas and Wille Randolf are. Scott Van Pelt goes "well, Joe...I think what you're saying is....its because they're African-American." And Joe simply says, "that's how I see the situation". At this point, I almost swerved off the road I was so p*ssed off. I'm literally screaming at radio. My hands are off the steering wheel as they are raised in rage/confusion/embarrassment/etc. Joe Morgan thinks Willie Randolf's job is in jeopardy because he's black. Not because last year the Mets completed the worse collapse in major league baseball history and missed the playoffs. Not because, up until Tuesday, they had gone 1-7 in their last 8 games with a team ERA over 5 and a team batting average under .230. Not because they have shelled out more money then most teams entire payrolls for 3 or 4 players, the underachieving Johan Santana being one of them. Nope....none of those reasons. I am continuously amazed at how out of touch Joe Morgan is with baseball. He says whatever he wants, about whatever he wants, no matter how unrelated to anything it may be. He truly believes that he is above everyone and has a free pass to make an @ss of himself and the game because he's in the hall of fame. Its embarrassing and infuriating. And then, the icing on the cake, is Van Pelt wrapping up the interview with more @ss-kissing, "Always a pleasure to speak with a man who is not afraid to voice his opinion about the game he loves so much and contributed so much to. An amazing second baseman in is own right, hall of famer, Joe Morgan, always a pleasure." Appalling. Brian

This American Life

Ira Glass inspired me. In a documentary on storytelling, Ira explained that most creative people start out making crap. A LOT of crap. A few weeks ago, I journaled that very same thought. I've always understood this. But who wants to make crap? Well, I do. From this day forward I am bound and determined to produce as much drivel, doggerel, and balderdash as one struggling writer with low self-esteem and poor work ethic can. I want YOU to read this crap. Pick apart the crap. Add your own crap. I want this for purely selfish reasons. But do not hesitate to also be as self-indulgent and self-involved as myself. Let's loosen our egos' sphincters. Together. Now, the interview that started this whole mess: