2010 Reds / Big Red Machine / Not-So-Random Thoughts

Not-So-Random Thoughts

I guess the Reds need an off-day after last night’s drubbing. As quickly as that magic number has been dropping lately, however, I hate to miss the opportunity to shave another number off. Hopefully, the Cardinals will get it down to two by getting swept by the Pirates this afternoon. Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss whatever you want, including the aforementioned Cardinals game.

What a season….

Anyway, it’s been some time since I posted one of these, so I’m just going to ramble for a while (and I may even channel my inner Kanye West, if you’re lucky).

* Deadspin had a great reunion of the Fire Joe Morgan crew yesterday. This was the best post, as far as I’m concerned; it’s a look at this article by Gregg Doyel over at CBS Sports that already creeped us out. Specifically, it addresses the burning question of why Joe Morgan was prancing around naked in the Reds clubhouse on the day Doyel was there. Funny stuff.

(Don’t miss the expected skewering of Bill Conlin and Murray Chass, either. Sure, it’s low-hanging fruit, fish in a barrel, but it’s entertaining.)

* Yo St. Louis Cardinals, I’m really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Richard Nixon was the greatest quitter of all time.

* I really enjoyed this piece in GQ about the making of GoodFellas. One of my favorite movies; I’m going to have to watch it again.

* Did you watch the premiere of Boardwalk Empire on HBO last weekend? Oh my goodness, this is going to be a great series. Within 48 hours of the first episode, HBO renewed the show for a second season.

I’ve mentioned it before, but until very recently, I watched almost no television. After working in a prosecutor’s office for a few years, I couldn’t stomach Law & Order anymore, and my favorite comedies — Seinfeld and News Radio — had gone off the air. For a long time, it was strictly sports and movies for me, as far as television goes. I guess The Sopranos was the only program I watched regularly during that time (well, I’m still a fanatical viewer of America’s Funniest Home Videos too).

Then fellow RN editor Bill Lack urged me to watch The Wire. My wife and I sat down and watched all five seasons on DVD (thanks for letting me borrow yours, Bill)…and it is not an understatement to say that we were both overwhelmed. I’d never seen a television program like that.

Then, another editor (Chris Garber) recommended that I go back and watch Mad Men from the beginning, before season three began. I guess The Wire is still the best program I’ve seen, but Mad Men is closing rapidly. Just an incredible show and, again, like nothing I’ve ever seen on TV.

Now, with Boardwalk Empire, we’ve got another example of what television can be at its best (although the jury is out; one great episode does not a series make). I’m a bit of a film buff, but all of a sudden, the creative and exciting entertainment seems to be on TV (Breaking Bad is next on my list). Color me surprised.

* I’m sick of my BlackBerry getting locked up and just generally making me feel like I own a phone from 2004. I’ve been trying to decide between an iPhone and a Droid, and leaning toward the iPhone (since the iPad has turned me into an Apple fanboy). This article may have helped make up my mind.

* Did you see this trick touchdown a while back? Crazy.

* I think Steve may have posted this earlier, but “The tortured life of Eric Show” is a must-read.

* Facebook users “are narcissistic, insecure and have low self-esteem“. Follow us on Facebook, by the way.🙂

* Ninjas plus Charlize Theron? Don’t mind if I do (even if the song isn’t very good).

* I love this: ten great screenshots from the Maury Povich Show.

* If you’ve been a regular reader, you probably know I’m a sucker for old photos (like seen at Shorpy, one of my favorite sites). I enjoyed this group of pics from New York City in the summer of 1969.

* In a previous edition of NSRT, we discussed what music out there is good these days. In a similar vein, one of my younger brothers (the one that lives in China) has been after me for a while to watch a handful of music-related documentaries that he has enjoyed. Well, in the last week, I did just that (thanks to the magic of Netflix’s Instant Streaming).

The first was “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” a film about the recording of Wilco’s album, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” After that, I watched “Under Great White Northern Lights” about The White Stripes’ 2007 tour of Canada. Both films were very good, but of course, both bands are very good, so it kinda works out.

The third film I watched was less entertaining: “loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies“. I’ll let you figure out the subject of that one.

* By the way, the big winner in my recent search for new music was The Hold Steady. I found a bunch of other bands I really like — Gaslight Anthem, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The Killers, The National — but The Hold Steady is the one that I can’t get out of my head. I’m looking forward to seeing them play live.

* Finally, never let it be said that the Nation doesn’t provide a service to our readers: How to win rock-paper-scissors every time.

46 thoughts on “Not-So-Random Thoughts

  1. Goodfellas is a great movie. I think Goodfellas and Mean Streets are Scorsese’s 2 greatest films. Those two and The Departed form a trilogy, in my view.
    Scorsese’s filmmaking innovations were introduced in Mean Streets, I was in a state of shock after seeing it when it cam out in 1973. Its main character Charlie of course was played by Harvey Keitel, what a conflicted character that was.

    Taxi Driver got a lot more hype thanks to DeNiro’s full emergence, Jodie Foster and Cybil Sheppard. The crtitics are in love with Raging Bull (I know, the great cinematography of the opening scene) but I would rather have seen a film about Sugar Ray Robinson, a much more interesting man who defeated LaMotta 4 times. Over time the critics are gradualy catching on that Mean Streets was so brilliant and influential.

  2. “* By the way, the big winner in my recent search for new music was The Hold Steady. I found a bunch of other bands I really like — Gaslight Anthem, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The Killers, The National — but The Hold Steady is the one that I can’t get out of my head. I’m looking forward to seeing them play live”

    YEAH. Good choice and I’m glad I could help out. I actually am seeing The Hold Steady for the first time in Lexington next Wednesday and I am PSYCHED. The National are also one of my Favs. A couple summers ago when the Reds played that series in Old Yankee Stadium my family and I went up there to watch. My brother found out that the same weekend The National and REM were playing in Madison Square Garden and he and I went. That was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. If you ever get the chance to see The National live take it.

  3. I just switched from an iPhone to Android (Evo), and each has its strengths. iPhones are great for media and media management (especially podcasts). However, I like Android for just about everything else, especially making calls. I always defended Apple on this, but until I switched, I didn’t realize how bad the network and the phone itself is for making/receiving calls. Plus Apple never really fixed the whole “deathgrip” issue – they just give you a case, and only through the end of September. They didn’t actually fix the hardware problem on the phone itself.

    Sorry, I tried to keep it short, but I could go on and on about this.

  4. Thanks for the FJM link. I don’t typically go to Deadspin, so I never would have seen it.

    My brother says he can get me an Evo on discount, since he works for Sprint, but I’m not ready to switch from my crappy old cell phone that makes/receives calls and takes photos that can’t be extracted. I’m afraid I’ll spend all of my time staring into some new-fangled device, and I already spend all my work hours staring into a monitor.

  5. I posted this in the game recap, but you gotta believe the Cards are mailing it in with today’s lineup:

    CF Mather
    RF Stavinoha
    3B Descalso
    C Pagnozzi
    P Suppan

  6. You’re the second person that I’ve heard rave about Boardwalk Empire…I wasn’t real impressed. I’ll continue to watch and hope it gets better, but we’re taping it and watching re-runs of “The Wire” on DirectTV’s 101 network on Sunday’s at 9:00.

    For comedy, currently you can’t beat “The Big Bang Theory”….though it won’t have the shelf life of a show like Frasier or Cheers. Too many current references…

  7. Did anybody catch “The Event” on NBC? It’s a heavily-hyped action/drama that will apparently try to build a complicated story arc (a la Lost). I saw the first episode and thought it was at least good enough to keep watching. And I almost NEVER watch anything on NBC.

  8. I think that Miguel Cairo’s at-bat music is The Killers’ “Spaceman,” but I’m not sure. I only heard it when I saw a game live and they didn’t play enough of it for me to tell when I was paying attention. Perhaps someone should get a mix together of the songs for the Reds’ lineup, of course omitting whatever death metal noise Gomes has picked. Omitting Gomes himself from the lineup is another discussion.

    The scene in IATTBYH where they have the fight about mixing Heavy Metal Drummer is excruciating in a brilliant way. I think that’s when Tweedy has to puke because the argument gives him such a bad headache.

    You might enjoy Westway to the World about The Clash, End of the Century about the Ramones, The Filth and the Fury about the Sex Pistols, and Joy Division about, well, Joy Division. Even if you’re not into the music so much, the interviews can be compelling, particulary when the interviewees are talking about band members who’ve died. In another vein, there’s New York Doll, a film about how Jesus used Morrissey to get the New York Dolls together one last time. No, seriously.

    • In another vein, there’s New York Doll, a film about how Jesus used Morrissey to get the New York Dolls together one last time. No, seriously.

      It wouldn’t shock me if Jesus wanted to see the Dolls reunite. I mean, wouldn’t Our Lord and Savior have great music taste?

      Their first album is the one I’ve probably listened to the most this year. I know people throw around terms like “overrated” and “underrated” all too frequently, but the New York Dolls might be the most underrated band ever. Great sound, funny lyrics, widely copied look. Just the total package.

      On the other hand, Wilco is probably the most overrated band out there (“I Am Trying To Bore You To Death”).

  9. Didn’t watch her and the ninjas yet, but I love Charlize Theron. She’s so versatile. If you watch her in The Devil’s Advocate and The Cider House rules, you could say she’s just playing a slight variation of herself. Then came Monster.

    But I was already impressed by her. In Woody Allen’s Celebrity, a mostly forgettable homage to La Dolce Vita, she plays a small role as a supermodel goddess. A polymorphically perverse one at that (touch her anywhere and she’s turned on). She’s roughly based on the Anita Ekberg character of La Dolce Vita.

    Speaking of which, if you’re a fan of Fellini’s La Dolce and 8 and 1/2, you should see Nine if you haven’t.
    Daniel Day Lewis was brilliant and so was the fantasy cinematography. And what a collection of women.
    About an aging director whose life is spinning out of control, it’s redeemingly depressing.

  10. I’m ok with the WLBs/quitters/poopy pants/scrubs putting together a mini-win streak. It’d be way more exciting clinch by winning than by them losing

    • I’m ok with the WLBs/quitters/poopy pants/scrubs putting together a mini-win streak. It’d be way more exciting clinch by winning than by them losing

      I agree completely. Let’s be real: the Reds are going to clinch. So why not do it with some style? Clinching with a win in San Diego on (almost) national TV, or possibly in front of a home crowd on Tuesday, would be a nice touch.

  11. Oh, another great music documentary: This Is Spinal Tap

    I keep hearing about how Smell the Glove is such a great yet often misunderstood album, but I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve also heard that the cover is sexy.

    • Oh, another great music documentary:This Is Spinal Tap ..

      The Singing Bush: What a coincidence, I saw This is Spinal Tap for the first time on tv late last night. Great stuff, I couldn’t stop laughing but also it was touching in its way.
      Can’t think of many documentary films of any kind that are that entertaining.

      • The Singing Bush: What a coincidence, I saw This is Spinal Tap for the first time on tv late last night. Great stuff, I couldn’t stop laughing but also it was touching in its way.Can’t think of many documentary films of any kind that are that entertaining.

        @pinson343: Ya’ll do realize it’s a Mockumentary…right?

        • @pinson343: Ya’ll do realize it’s a Mockumentary…right?

          I’m well aware – my comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I wasn’t so sure about pinson though…

  12. My random thoughts:
    We went to Tucson to see Iowa play Arizona and visit my wife’s family last weekend. If Iowa had won the game, it still would have been the worst game I’ve ever seen in my life. The fans were absolutely horrible, the stadium sucks, Iowa looked like crap and the officials had absolutely no idea what was going on. There was never any sense of momentum for any team because the officials kept throwing flags and then staring at the ground for 10 minutes. Just a completely miserable experience all around.

    I switched from Windows to Ubuntu to a Mac a couple years ago and couldn’t have been happier with Apple. I might have gotten an iPhone, but ATT’s exclusivity meant there was absolutely no chance. I always had the cheapest cell phone you could get until I got a Blackberry so I could have a decent calendar, and 5 months later I got a Droid. Best decision of my life. It works well as a phone and syncs with Google’s services flawlessly, most of which I was using already anyway. And because it syncs your contacts with Gmail, everything is always backed up and easier to manage on a computer. For free, unlike iPhone.

  13. 5-0 Cards

    Maybe the WLBs read the thread about Houston beating them for second place.:mrgreen:

  14. It looks like the Reds will have to wait until Saturday at the earliest to clinch. The Cards lead 9-1 in the 6th.

  15. Just noticed Reds.com has finally added a magic number countdown. Pretty cool, took them long enough. My bad if its been up there a few days and I hadn’t noticed

  16. Story time! Because you people are lucky enough to be completely uninvolved. The background:

    (Edit: This got longer than I expected, and probably isn’t interesting to anyone. Feel free to ignore.🙂 )

    I have a pair of season tickets for Iowa football, and a buddy has a pair right next to us. Our next door neighbor just left for Afghanistan for a year a couple months ago, so I offer to take his 8 year old son, Colton, to a game. We do some figuring and this week’s game against Ball State works best. His younger cousin lives on the other side of us, and I realize how jealous he’d be, so I invite him to a game, too.

    The first problem: I don’t have enough tickets. My wife picked Ball State and one other as games she could miss. I’ve forgotten that my buddy and I each donated a ticket for this week’s game to the Make a Wish Foundation. After some scrambling, I buy a pair of tickets from a guy at work, give that pair to Make a Wish and now we have 4 tickets together to Ball State and a month and a half’s notice. Everyone is excited.

    (Apparently) last week, they realize it’s Colton’s birthday and he wants to have his friends over Saturday instead of going to the game. 9 days pass until I see his mom last night and ask her if he’s ready for the game. “Oh…… Well, he doesn’t want to go now.” I understand and let it rest. I think it’s more than reasonable to be angry (and I, unexplicably, am not), but they’re under stress, he’s just a kid, whatever.

    I talk to our other neighbor last night and say I can’t believe they tell me 3 days before the game he’s not going to go. This coming Saturday was his birthday all along, it’s not like something suddenly came up. And I didn’t hear about it until Wednesday, even though the decision was made last Tuesday. She has my phone number. And I didn’t just offer something matter-of-fact, I went out of my way and spent over $100 to make this happen. I guarantee if dad is home, he goes to the game and has his friends over on Friday or Sunday or whatever, and I never hear about any of this. But, like I said, I’m not going to bother a stressed family and drag a kid in to it. He said he doesn’t want to go, so there’s no sense in doing anything else about it now.

    Just before I go to bed last night, she sends me a text message. Colton will go to the game if I can’t find anyone else. I tell her don’t worry about it, I’ll find someone. One more text before I go to sleep: “No he wants to go now.” That’s where I’ve left it.

    No idea where to go with this now. I know he doesn’t want to go. I get the feeling I’m somehow now the bad guy in this because I’m sneaking around talking about people behind their back (when my intention was to not bother them with it). And I know people who DO want to go that I could give the ticket to. Ugh.

  17. @Travis G.: I could take or leave Wilco. In the film, Jay Bennett is the fly in the ointment. The tortured artist wrangling is comical in an unintentional way, but the story ended tragically last winter. Bennett committed suicide—mounting health problems, no health insurance, depressed at the direction of his life since Tweedy dumped him from the band (in the movie no less).

  18. @renbutler: I hope it happens on Saturday. The people of Cincinnati deserve to be awake for it. Plus, I can host a viewing party for my Cub fan friends.

  19. Oh, man, I am such a television addict. Both Mad Men and Breaking Bad are on my to-watch list. If that goes well, I may end up feeling about AMC the way I feel about USA — they can do no wrong.😀

    Oh man. I still miss NewsRadio.

    Also love The Hold Steady. Good stuff.

  20. Cards win. Magic number remains at 3:00.

    The earliest clinch is now Saturday. The Cards play a 1:00 game at Wrigley on WGN National that could decide the Central. Otherwise, the Reds play at 4:00 in San Diego on FOX.

  21. @Jared: On your Iowa game situation……
    Only place I would disagree with you is that I would suspect the kid never waivered in wanting to go to the game and that the birthday party was a “mom thing” all along.

    Try this one on for size. Unbeknownst to Colvin’s mom, the mom of a friend, aware of the family situation, goes about planning a big event for Colvin and his mom. By the time Colvin’s mom gets wind of the plan committments have been made and she sells out Colvin’s game plans for the party (probably well meaning but….)

  22. @Jared: Damn Dude. That’s entirely too much stress and drama over a football game…hope you get it worked out.

  23. @Jared: You just need to have a frank discussion with the mom and assure her that you understand if he’s got a birthday party and that you won’t be mad. If she assures you back that he really wants to go, then take him as that was the original plan. If she hesitates or hem-haws at all, just say “let him go to the party, I’ve got a friend that would love the ticket anyway.”
    If this doesn’t resolve the matter, screw it and enjoy the game anyway (at least as much as anyone CAN enjow Iowa football).

    • (at least as much as anyone CAN enjow Iowa football).

      😀 I didn’t want to be the first to go there. But what do I know, i’m a Michigan fan, so I’ve got my own kind of misery lately.

  24. By the way Chad… I’m not sure if I saw this anywhere else on the thread, but props on the Cardinals/Kanye line. Good stuff.

  25. I know you guys like to make fun of DMB, but I just got tickets to the final DMB show before they take a year off touring. It’s in Charlottesville, where I first saw DMB as a student 16 years ago.

    I’m looking forward to this show.

  26. Chad–I’ve been enjoying “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” by The Hold Steady lately. It just so happens that The Baseball Project (which The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is a member of) just put out a tribute to the Twins (he’s from Minneapolis–too bad he’s not from Cinci). It’s pretty darn catchy:
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/music_blog/archive/2010/09/dont_call_them.shtml
    I agree w/ Travis G. about Wilco, although I think their first album (A.M.) holds up pretty well. “Box Full of Letters” is a great tune. I like some of Uncle Tupelo’s songs too. And “Tear-Stained Eye” by Son Volt is a great one as well. (Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar were in Uncle Tupelo prior to Wilco and Son Volt, in case anyone was wondering). I think Wilco did the “Americana” thing really well, then they got all self-consciously arty and less appealing, at least to me.

  27. The Cards are playing right now. You probably know what I’m going to ask.❓😛

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