Saturday, March 29, 2014

Absolute Car Porn

Everything changes this year in F1.  Outstanding video from Red Bull explains it all.

Absolute car porn.

Friday, March 28, 2014

As I walk ...

... into the Valley of Death, I fear no Evil.

It's ten oh eight.  In seven minutes the Virginia/Michigan State game begins.  Many would tell you that Michigan State will win.  I'm leaning the other way.  But regardless, this season has been a delight.  No regrets.  If we die, we'll be drinking mead in the halls of our father's father's father.

If we win, well so be it.

I spent much of my life searching for the Key to the Universe.  Turns out it was unlocked the whole time.

Go Hoos.

A Fantasy

I have this fantasy about the suddenly semi-functional Knicks somehow edging their way into the final playoff spot, then beating a floundering Pacers team (revenge, like mayonnaise, being something best served cold), than beating whomever they would meet next, then losing horribly to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

You might ask why my fantasy doesn't include winning the East.  Hey, it's a fantasy -- but only a crazy person thinks the Knicks can beat the Heat.

The Orange and Blue would be led, of course, by the resurgent Amar'e Stoudemire.  People give Amar'e a ton of shit for not being the player he once was.  And for his general disregard for defense in general.  But if someone offered me $100 million to play basketball for the Knicks, I'd definitely do it.  If you need to blame someone, blame the knuckleheads in management/ownership.

It should be noted that Amar'e has averaged about 18 and 8 over the last ten or fifteen games.  Wouldn't it be ironic if, after all the sturm and drang of the last few years, Stoudemire and Chandler and Anthony finally figured out how to play together?  And it was too late?

I'm not sure ironic is the best word there.
Perhaps not.  Tragic?
It would definitely be tragic.

And it should also be noted that prior to his arrival the Knicks were utterly horrid for about ten years.  The first Stoudemire Knicks teams were fun to watch; a balm to the scorched psyches of Knicks fans everywhere.  It would have been fun to see that team play out its destiny, but most of it was traded to Denver for Carmelo A.

Of whom I'm not as fond as I am of my boy Amar'e.

I'm listening to An Anthology:  Duane Allman.  Which is a pretty sweet way to spend a rainy day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Map Of Troy (The White Whale)

Painted as part of a fundraising effort for out-of-work Daisy Baker's employees.

My boy Jackson, when he'd by accident dripped a head or a dog or a tree or something that just materialized on the canvas as a recognizable object, used to immediately obliterate it.  Render it unrecognizable as an object.  Retain the abstractness in the abstract.  

This is called Lucifer ...  

Which is a pretty cool name for a painting.  Just try to find a whale in there.  Or, for that matter, anything else.

But when I was painting this particular Map of Troy and suddenly, out of the moby deep, there appeared a white whale ...  well I couldn't help but leave it the way it was.  This, after all, is Troy.  Home of Herman Melville.  Please don't make me tell you who he is.

Like Melville, I saw it as a signal from God.  Of course Melville thought everything was a signal from God, so maybe the comparison is less apt than it otherwise might be.  Also, I'm open to the notion that it was just an accident of art and a signal from nobody.  So you do the math.

Note on the photo:  These fucking things are impossible to photograph well, given that I'm a terrible photographer.  So the black smush at the 3 o'clock spot isn't nearly as visible in person as it is in the photo.  The light just got caught wrong.  

Note on the photo, part 2:  I used upper/lower case for the "You are here."  Which, in retrospect, I dislike.  Not sure why I did it, since I never have before.  Don't expect to see it again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New York vs. Virginia

The difference between the New York Knicks and the Virginia Cavaliers can be summed up like this:  Virginia typically holds its opponents to just over 50 points per game.  Last night the Knicks let the Lakers drop 51 one on them.  In the third quarter!

Fifty-one, just for the record, was my laundry number in military school.  But that has nothing to do with this.

I suppose having a Lakers team score 51 on you in a single quarter would be okay -- okay might be the wrong word; understandable might be better -- if names like Kareem or Magic or Kobe were involved.  But the current Lakers are comprised of guys like Joe Shmo, John Doe and Willy Loman.

I mean, really.  Who are these guys?

The surge to the playoffs is now officially over.  Thank you for that 8-game streak, New York, but enough already.  I wonder if when they told Phil Jackson that he had the job they also told him that, in one of the richest, deepest drafts in recent memory, the Knicks don't have a first-round draft pick this year.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One Shot

While we're doing videos, this is fun ...


 I only bring it up because of the quick clip near the beginning from The Deerhunter. Which everybody should see at least once every ten years, if only to appreciate how hot Meryl Streep was back in the day. Plus this ...


Which leads, inexorably, to this ...

 I'm on the home stretch with Saigon: Too Big To Fail and I can't get enough of stuff like this.

Get To The Choppa

This from the Tonight Show ...

I ordinarily never watch any of these shows, but I tuned into Leno a couple of times on his way out and then into Fallon on his way in.  Massive upgrade -- one man's opinion -- although it will be better when Fallon stops fawning on his guests so much.  The man's interviewing technique is milquetoast at best.

On a related item, there's this ...

Helicopter Ben.  Which, even now, years later, makes me smile.  Somewhere on this painting, although I'm damned if I can find it with a quick scan, are the words "Get To The Choppa!"

A classic.

Planned spring painting:  Bernanke Au Revoir.  Likewise Geithner Au Revoir.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Did you see the Kentucky/Wichita State game?  Quite a fine bit of work.  Exciting to the very end.  But I was put off by the self-serving comments by Kentucky coach John Calipari (a man I loathe).  He said, according to the Times, "We all know this was an Elite Eight game.  The winner of this game should have gone to the Final Four."

Which is a load of crap.  If it was an Elite Eight game it wouldn't have been played yet.  Calipari also suggested it was one of the greatest college games ever.  This is also crap.  It was just a good game.  Plus, as everybody knows, there's a formula for measuring greatness in this situation:


G being Greatness; P being position within the given tournament.  So in this case P equals 32, and the value of G is one thirty-second.  Had it happened in the finals, the value of P would be one half.  Which would have made it a great game.  This, parenthetically, would also have been the value of Virginia's 1986 win in the ACC finals over North Carolina.  The famous Kentucky/Duke game with Christian Laetner (a man I also loathe) scored 1/8, which is complicated because that was a great game.  But we can't get side-tracked.

There are exceptions, of course.  Elvin Hayes' Houston team stopping UCLA's record winning streak certainly bubbles up.  The time I almost played two on two with Wally Walker, Mark Iavaroni and Billy Langloh jumps to mind as well ... and that game never actually happened.


I'm still atwitter about Virginia vs. Memphis.  I'll give you this ...

Now that was a great game.   Certainly as great as Kentucky/Wichita State.

Actually, just so we're clear, the formula is slightly more complicated than G=1/P, but I try to keep things simple on TYOMP because I know you people have math anxiety.  The complete formula is G=(1/P)DxL.

D being point differential; L being the number of lead changes in the game.

But that shit is what we call advanced sabermetrics and there's no call for it here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chuck Close Nudes

Just saw a fine show of them at Pace on 25th, maybe.  I don't like these galleries with multiple Chelsea locations.  It's hard to keep the Paces and the Gagosians and the Zwirners straight, just to name a few.

It's important to remember that Chuck Close, wheelchair-bound for what many mistakenly think has been his full career, was once fully mobile.  And painted things like this ...

Which is something, regardless.  But when you figure in that it's maybe 10 feet by 30 ... well then it's just really something.  It's called Big Nude and has -- surprisingly, since it's a pretty iconic Close image -- never been exhibited in New York.

If you are in New York City I would urge you to proceed to this show with dispatch.  It closes on the 29th.

Back to Big Nude:  I will never have, in my entire life, enough money to buy Big Nude.  Or, for that matter, a building with a wall large enough to display the thing.  And I'm content with that.  But there are some fun daguerrotypes in the show that probably go for ten or twenty grand, and those have a very high giggle factor.

I'm not suggesting I'm going to buy one.  But I'm suggesting that I go through periods of time when that would be a possible thing to do with twenty grand and is certainly worth thinking about.  I mean, they're certainly more interesting than a stack of hundreds.  Also, it helps if you look at this at a bit of an angle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Of which, with two fried eggs and a slice of toasted rye with seeds, I just can't get enough in the morning.  Although it is alarming how much, on virtually every level, it looks like dog food.

Irby likes Cadillac.  Me?  I'm with the dog and find myself particularly drawn to the new Cadillac ELR.  Although it's fiendishly expensive.

Anyway, I'm trying to come up with a corned beef hashtag joke, but I just can't quite squeeze one out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Catching Rubber in Fifth Gear

These are, of course, the lyrics to The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel ...

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools," said I, "You do not know –
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.

I only bring them up a) because when was the last time you thought about Simon and Garfunkel? and b) because of an unusual outcome of the switch to the new bread-box-sized F1 engines.  Those who were in Melbourne testify that you can actually attend the race without ear protection.  This I don't believe.  But it's clear that the engines sound different.  Not just an octave or two lower, but gnarlier.  Like they were made of rubber.  Or they were running underwater.  Or something I can't put my finger on.  Very odd, but at the same time surprisingly potent.

There's a car adage favored by muscle-car aficionados that goes something like "The more your car sounds like a boat, the cooler it is."  The new formula sound a bit like boats.  The old formula sounded like F-16s and if you were within fifty yards of one without rubber in your ears you risked injury to your hearing.  It is impossible to describe how loud those cars were, and the change has caused a good deal of moaning and hand-wringing amongst the F1 commentariat.

That said, another truly interesting thing has happened:  the combination of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor that's strapped to the thing combine to create a lot more torque than previous formulas.  This means that if you're not careful you are still catching rubber in fifth gear.

Catching rubber in fifth gear.  Think about that for a moment.

This renders the cars significantly more difficult to control.  The sight of guys like Vettel and Alonso and Hamilton furiously sawing at their steering wheels as they exit a turn makes me smile a little bit.  They used to be cool as cucumbers.  I'm thinking of going to Austin and examining all this for myself.  Plenty of time to reflect -- it's not until November.

In acknowledgment of the start of the new season I taped, then watched, Grand Prix.  Starring a ridiculous James Garner (roughly the size of two actual F1 drivers), directed by John Frankenheimer, set in the mid-Sixties (back when men were men and they didn't even wear seatbelts), it's thought to be the definitive Formula 1 movie.  At least until Senna came along, which is a documentary and might not count.  And then Ron Howard's Rush.  Which was outstanding and not a documentary.  

The reason I bring it up is that the opening live shot of Grand Prix is the end of an exhaust pipe, perfectly centered on the screen.  Then the engine starts and you hear the sound of the thing.  Dude, I've got goosebumps just typing this.

So sound matters.  

And because appearance matters as well, here's a picture of Lewis Hamilton applying the clampers a bit to vigorously, back when F1 cars were still ferociously beautiful ...

It's almost enough to make you move to Europe, just so you could buy a Vodafone.  

The current crop of cars are so ugly I don't even want to share a photo.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

Big Chief Triangle Arrives on the Reservation

I would have preferred this video if it didn't have the second or two of footage right at the beginning with Knicks owner James Dolan on the screen.  When I'm done typing this I'm going to go in the bathroom and wash my eyeballs out.

That said, and because I'm a weak, pathetic man, my enthusiasm for the Knicks is officially rekindled.  For those of you who attach mystical significance to shapes and symbols it should be noted that the Knicks logo features the word "New York Knicks" and a basketball overlaid on a triangle.

This from the New York Times ...

In his 1995 book, “Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior,” Jackson wrote: “The day I took over the Bulls, I vowed to create an environment based on the principles of selflessness and compassion I’d learned as a Christian in my parents’ home; sitting on a cushion practicing Zen; and studying the teachings of the Lakota Sioux.”

Big Chief Triangle.  I predict Steve Kerr as next year's coach.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I leave now to make potato salad

Which seems ironically Irish on a day like today.

I'll be making it with more hard boiled eggs than usual since, while approaching my door the other day, grocery bags in hand, I slipped on some ice and really fucking cracked my knee.  Which, it turns out, is fine.  But it was one of those things that makes one say "Virginia's playing Duke in ten minutes and I'm going to have to go to the fucking emergency room?"

Turns out, as noted previously, everything is okay.  Although I did watch the first half of the game with my leg elevated and an ice-pack on my knee.

I bring this up because the other casualty of my spill was a dozen eggs.  Four of which were demolished, four of which were okay and four of which were slightly cracked.  Even though my knee was hurting, I took the latter quartet and immediately hard boiled them.  Little streams of cooked egg white littered my boiling water, but otherwise things went according to plan.  It should be interesting to see what they are like when I peel them.

Which is where I'm going now.

Then later to have a late bite with my boy Scully at Finnbar.  Which makes me think maybe I'll wear my blue Virginia sweatshirt instead of the orange.

Women of America -- Wake The Fuck Up

I'll be wearing the orange today, in solidarity with the Virginia Cavaliers, even though I skew green on days like this.

I've spent more than my share of SPDs in New York City and, honestly, you could make a pretty good argument for shutting the whole thing down.  Notwithstanding the fact that when the bagpipers stand behind the Peter McManus bar and let you have it right in the ears it is some good clean fun.

That aside, the larger point being that puking college kids don't make me proud to be Irish.  Although this does:

Although the fact that this is even an issue doesn't.

On a related note, Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is on his deathbed.

Creepy photo, by the way -- although not as creepy as the actual guy.  I thought it was a painting at first.

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is the idea that your behavior here on Earth is judged, and a decision is then made by somebody as to whether you are allowed into Heaven or not.  I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation when Phelps arrives.

Great Paul Krugman article on Paul Ryan and his Irish Roots somewhere in The Times.  The gist being the similarity in language, and intent, in how Ryan discusses benefits for the very poor today and how the British government rationalized not sending any food to Ireland during the Potato Famine when, in fact, they were up to their eyeballs in it.  Food, that is.

But I can't find it.  Honestly, it would have been the perfect capper for this particular post.

Oh!  Here it is.  I couldn't find it because it wasn't written by Krugman.  Still good reading, if you're in the mood.

[Editor's note:  If you don't get the title of the post, look carefully at the painting]

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Good news and bad

The good news is that Sebastian Vettel managed to qualify in 12th place in Melbourne late last night.  Which has to be the lowest quali spot he's had in years.  The bad news is that his teammate qualified 2nd.

The hope here was that the Red Bulls would live up to their preseason performance of complete disfunction.  And Vettel's finish bears that out.  But what's Daniel Ricciardo doing finishing second?  Does that mean that the car's actually fine?  God help us.  Of course the whole thing took place in a driving rain storm, which creates a parallel universe in which nothing means nothing once the track dries out.

One can only hope.

The Mercedes, as also predicted, were strong, with Hamilton on the pole and Rosberg in third.  Alonso was fifth.  Kimi 12th, after a bit of a shunt.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Art Album: Exploring the Connection between Hip-Hop Music and Visual Art

Check this out ...

 Cute kid.  This looks like downstairs at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble.  And then there's this ...

The American Investor on page 159.  Three other paintings of mine also featured, including, amazingly, my Lenny Dykstra portrait.  Because nobody is more dope than I.  Or Lenny.

If you're flush to the tune of 40 large, you can buy it at Amazon.  The book, obviously.  Not the painting.  Although if you're flush to the tune of 40 large, you can probably buy the painting too.


At Aquasco Speedwaaaay!

If you grew up listening to the radio in the Washington metropolitan area the chances are good you heard somebody shout this at you.

Those, my friend, were simpler times.  Aquasco Speedway is, sadly, closed.  But on Sundaaaaay of this very week, half way across the globe, the Grand Prix season will kick off in Melbourne, Australia.

Lord have mercy.

There's a bit of a dark cloud over the proceedings, given Michael Schumacher's ever more grim prognosis.  But the good news is that the Renault people -- the very people who make Sebastian Vettel's engine -- have had a difficult spring.

This, as you likely know, is the season in which the new, smaller V-6 engines are introduced.

And everything changes when the engines change.  And if it takes Renault a while to get its shit together, the chances of somebody else winning an occasional race seem greatly enhanced.  Perhaps even the world championship.

Because, honestly, enough is enough.

Related sports note:  There's also a fair chance that The University of Thomas Jefferson, the original Jefferson's Airplane, will be playing some version of Duke or Syracuse for the ACC Championship.

So that should be a rich, full day.

I'll leave you with this picture of the hairpin turn at Montreal ...

I saw this picture out of context but knew it was the Canadian GP because two years ago I was sitting in the grandstands right next to the tiny car at about the 9 o'clock position in the photo.  Which would have been great seats if not for one stupid tree obscuring the view.

Sit facies incipiet.  Which is, of course, Latin for Let The Spectacle Begin.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ahhhh, Technology

Did you watch Deadwood on HBO back in the day?  I always thought it was amazing, and was keenly disappointed when David Milch ended that series so he could produce John from Cincinnati, also for HBO.  And we all know how that turned out.

If you aren't, I would urge you to do so.  The ingredients required include:

1 Internet connection with WiFi
1 Motorola Moto X phone
1 Chromecast dongle
1 High definition television
1 HBO subscription
1 HBO Go app

It should be said that I started back in on Deadwood (I watched it during its initial run) a little while ago, so my decision was not based on watching this ...

But if I hadn't already made that decision, seeing this I soon would have.

Particularly fun is the cast, not the least of which includes my boy Timothy Oliphant, currently starring in the best show on television, Justified; Molly Parker, currently starring in House of Cards (if current is the right word for a television show that presents its entire season at the same time); and Anna Gunn, of all people, who is now wildly famous for her portrayal of Skyler White in Breaking Bad.  Plus a slew of other people, with Ian McShane deserving a special nod for his foul-mouthed Al Swearengen.

Great name:  Anna Gunn.

Daughter #2 (who, wisely, doesn't read The Year of Magical Painting) is preparing to move into her own apartment in a couple of weeks.  My job will be to come down on the appointed day, sit on her sofa, and wait for the cable guy to come and install her cable.  Although I have already contributed mightily to the success of this move, I do plan on giving her one small, additional present.  That being a Chromecast dongle.

Which, honestly, is the most extraordinary little device one could possibly imagine.  At $35 flat, with no additional fees, it's possibly the best deal in current technology.  If you like to watch television.  If you're one of those annoying people who say they don't watch television, don't get one.

If you see her, say hello.  She might be in Tangiers.  But under no circumstances should you tell her about my gift.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Beatles

So I'm reading this massive Beatles biography by some guy and after about 250 pages of farting around (we still haven't even left for America yet) it's starting to hit it's stride.  So naturally I find myself on U-Tube checking out old Beatles performances.  I came across a string of remastered, colorized, over-dubbed versions of 1965 Shea Stadium and they are quite something.

This one is particularly amusing ...

... if for no other reason that Paul takes his hands off his bass around the 2:35 mark yet the instrument keeps playing.  Paul was a better bass player than he often gets credit for, but really, that's amazing.

Also amusing is when he somehow screws up the words.  The look on Lennon's face as he stares over at Paul is the definition of good clean fun.

There are lots of issues with this video for the purist, but with the crowd noise cleaned up in a weird sort of way it's both quite a look at an historic moment and a fairly surreal experience.  And they hadn't even started dropping acid in '65.

If you let it play all the way through, the usual U-Tube grid pops up recommending other related videos, and there's a bunch of additional numbers from that concert, all doctored in a similar manner, some better than others.

Go Mets.

And a Thought on this Whole Phil Jackson Business

I have this fantasy that Phil Jackson can rescue the Knicks.  I doubt it's true, but I hold onto it anyway.  And yet, despite this, I would say to Phil Jackson "Run for your life, man!  James Dolan will crush your will and your spirit and you will wander off a few years later, shaking your head and thinking to yourself that you never should have taken the job."

I'm reminded of Donnie Walsh, who was also guaranteed autonomy but not really given it.  He wandered off a few years later, shaking his head.  I figure it will be the same with Jackson.  Except I think Jackson, a man who doesn't suffer fools easily, is constitutionally less well-equipped to deal with Dolan than Walsh was.

I was a Bullets fan when Jackson was a Knick.  And, years later when I was a Knicks fan, Jackson, as coach of the Bulls, inflicted more basketball-related emotional pain than almost anybody.  Excluding Michael and Scotty, of course.

So I don't have this great well of fondness for the man.  And I still say run for your life, Phil.

Seventy-two hundredths

Otherwise written as .72, if you're comfortable with decimals.

Another approach is Point72, which is the new name of SAC Capital Advisors.  This, apparently, refers to the address of the company headquarters in Greenwich, CT.  I, being less well-informed, assumed it was the percentage of trades conducted by SAC that involved illegally-obtained information.

Which is mean-spirited humor and I apologize.  They were probably good people whose work was misunderstood by the SEC.

I've never painted Steven Cohen.  Perhaps I should do an inverted one.  Something like this ...

Although, at this point, one might be accused of piling on.

Your job is to paint, my friend.  Let history decide what's piling on.
Nicely said.  Ethically corrupt, but nicely said.
Thank you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

True Detective

Have you watched the thing?  If not, remain calm -- you'll find no significant spoilers here.  But I would recommend that you immediately do so, even if you can't bear that knuckle-head McConaughey.  Because he's quite extraordinary in this.

It ended last night with a finale to which I'd give a solid B+.  I remember a couple of days ago saying to a friend that I didn't see how they were possibly going to tie together the number of loose strings generated by the previous seven episodes.  Which is pathetic, really -- that need for resolving loose strings, but which is now I suppose required, given the Breaking Bad finale's bravura tie-up-job.

A place for everything and everything in its place -- that was our TV watching motto, up until last night.  Because last night nobody tied anything up.  I mean, they get the bad guy and such, but not much else was resolved.  Which I admire.

I think I may go back and re-watch the whole series.  Which wouldn't be the end of the world.  True Detective is, not unlike the lair of its villain, a complicated labyrinth packed with symbols, resonance, disembodied voices and a collection of little bits of this and that, all plucked in a cunning way from the twisted brain of creator Nic Pizzolatto.  I do believe it would reward a second viewing.  And it's only 8 episodes, so honestly.

And since we're talking about finales, here's the inevitable Suzanne Pleshette photo ...

Who wouldn't want to wake up next to her?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

UVa vs. Maryland

Remember when they used to write it UVa?

Anyway, did you happen to watch Maryland, in it's last ACC regular season basketball game ever, beat the Cavaliers in overtime earlier today?  It was difficult viewing (other than the final 30 seconds of regulation in which Virginia somehow tied things up).  A part of me thought it was a black day for the Cavalier Nation, but then I decided it wasn't.

Teams like Virginia aren't built to go 20-plus straight games undefeated.  Which is about what would be required, given the length of their streak prior to today, to win a national championship (much less the ACC Tournament).  So we took one on the chin in College Park.  Maybe it's for the best.

And a note regarding Maryland:  61 years of UVa/Maryland basketball ... 181 games ... the last one going into overtime?  This is what you're walking away from?  Very disappointing.  Very much the embodiment of what is wrong with college sports right now.  Shame on you.  On the way out don't let the screen door hit you on the carapace.

Interesting article from ESPN on the financial shambles at Maryland that fueled the move.  You can read it here.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

In the water

It's always fun to watch the best golfers in the world become unraveled.  Witness yesterday's showing at Doral, where the wind was blowing and the shots were going astray at an alarming rate.  Tiger in the water twice, I think.  Maybe Sergio too.  Me?  I'll be reading about it in the paper but I will not watch a single moment of the Doral.

Why, you're wondering?  Because I plan to spend the rest of my life, as much as possible, not contributing to the financial welfare of Donald Trump, the course's owner.

Why, you're wondering?  Because I found Mr. Trump's behavior in the last presidential election nauseating.  A man who previously was a slightly-amusing, self-promoting millionaire who could be tolerated as part of the rich fabric of New York City morphed, to my mind, by dint of his presidential campaign based, more or less solely, on questioning the validity of Barack Obama's citizenship, into a force of evil.

Not that he shouldn't run for president if he wants.  Even the most self-evident buffoon has the constitutional right to do so (given a couple of conditions).  And not because he was running against Obama.  Because my father used to tell me to always remember that Republicans are God's creatures too.

No -- it was none of that.  It was the birther business.  Truth be told, I found the whole birther movement to be politics in its most wretched state.  And I'm not referring to Mississippi.  There's enough latent racial tension in this country without assholes like Donald Trump throwing gasoline on the fire.  And now he wants to run for governor.  Which is both laughable and horrible in equal parts.

Anyway, I won't be watching the Doral.

For someone of such high moral standing, how will you then justify watching The Masters in a couple of weeks?

Excellent question.  The Masters, one might argue, is run by a bunch of racist, misogynist, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging rednecks in five-thousand dollar suits.  So, under ordinary circumstances, I'd avoid that event too.  But I, like the Augusta membership, am part of a select club:  that club being comprised of the people who have sneaked into Augusta during The Masters, been caught by security, and been thrown out.  Which is a far more exclusive group than those who have attended the event in the conventional, unimpeded manner.

So I have to watch.

Plus there's this ...

 And this ...
Which, if I do say so myself, is really something.

Shit! I missed Ash Wednesday

All by way of posting this, one of my favorite paintings ...

I'll be dining at Elmo tomorrow night, and part of me will be thinking of her.

She used to work there.
Xerxes wouldn't have had to ask.
But I'm not Xerxes, am I?
Are you excited about 300 - Rise of An Empire?
I'll bet.

Oh Look! Dr. Burke is coming back to Grey's Anatomy

I don't watch Grey's Anatomy.  I used to, years ago, when in its early days it hovered between being pretty good and just okay, in a limited way, for an off night.  But the Izzy-killing-her-boyfriend-by-unplugging-his-heart-machine-and-not-getting-fired-much-less-indicted story line signaled the moment it jumped the shark; jumped the tracks; jumped Jack Flash.  

At which point I simply stepped away, and I can't imagine any thinking person not doing the same thing.  Yet, amazingly, several of my friends, mostly women, continue to watch.  So, for them, I provide this clip of Dr. Yang, the talented intern, and Dr. Burke, the world-renowned cardio-thoracic surgeon, back when their love was burgeoning ...

I do so because I recently read that, as part of Dr. Yang's departure, they are bringing back Dr. Burke for one episode.  It should be noted that Dr. Burke broke Dr. Yang's heart when he left, so it might be fun to tune back in for this one episode.

Carmen Berra, dead yesterday at 85

Adios, Carmen.  I bet you had a fun life.

The Mets Nation stands in silence.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Revisiting Dewey & LeBoeuf

Who knew those Dewey boys were crooks too?  Alleged crooks, the legal department is making me say.  I just thought they were the typical rank-and-file greedy, arrogant bastards who, in the interest of making a small fortune for themselves, blew up a famous old company and put several thousand people out of work.

Which is slightly better than the management of, say, Lehman Brothers.  Who, in the interest of making a small fortune for themselves, blew up a famous old company and put tens of thousands of people out of work.

Here's the appropriate painting ...

The amazing part is that a bunch of presumably savvy lawyers managed to scrawl down so much incriminating stuff and then email it to each-other.  EMAIL IT!  The joke goes that your lawyer will tell you that the e in email stands for evidence.  Where did these guys get their degrees?  Sears?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Dark Knight Rising, Volume 2

Remember, back in the day, when, if you wanted to wear a headband while playing in the NBA, you could just go down to the Sports Authority, or wherever, buy one and put it on your head.  I'm reminded, of course, of Slick Watts.

Anyway, those days are long gone.  Now the only acceptable headbands have a big NBA logo on them.

So it's not surprising that the NBA told Lebron James that he can't wear his black, carbon-fiber mask.  He has to wear a clear one.  Does this anger you, or is it just me?

The mask is here ...

Really?  That's it?  The NBA thinks the difference between this one and the black one is vital?  I have some thoughts about this but I just got back from a bit of a trip and hadn't posted in a while and couldn't help myself.  Then it started to go on and on, as it sometimes does, and I realize that I'd rather have a cup of tea and read The Times than tell you, at this exact minute, what my further thoughts are vis-a-vis the NBA and their stupid mask rule.  But I think it has something to do with guns, thugs and harmony.

Where's that from?
The guns, thugs and harmony line.
Dunno.  But it does sound familiar.  Like the name of a rap group, maybe.
Maybe.  But welcome back.
Thank you.
You're welcome.  But no sentence should have six commas.
You refer to the first one of this post?
I do.
I disagree.
I'm sure you do.
There's no fat in that sentence, punctuation-wise.  It is what it is -- a glorious, rollicking, roller-coaster of a ride.  I stand behind it 1000%.

The Commentariat Weighs In ...

In response to the post titled "We'll miss you, Alec," a friend of mine wrote:

A quick note. The patronizing tone these news a-holes take with Russell Brand is criminal. They repeatedly insult him to his face, ignorantly dismiss the content of everything he says with their called hack comments about his hair and dress, yet despite their moronic musings he rises above it with intelligent humor and exposes them as the shallow idiots they are. I don't think he wanted to, but they forced him into it. Don't go toe to toe with a English street kid who's cut his teeth on stand up stages across the world unless you want your ass handed to you. I know you can relate to this patronizing bullshit, being a tall artist with a sense of humor and a great head of hair. Have you been on Morning Joe? If not, I'm sure you'll be ready.

I've never been on Morning Joe.  Someday, if they ask me, I'll say yes and, ideally, dominate the conversation for several minutes then conclude by asking "So this is what you people do for a living?"

But I'm not that lucky.  Although I do have a nice head of hair.  But that's not luck, that's genetics.  Which is a form of luck, I suppose.