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Theeeeeeeeeee Yankees win!

Phew. Now I can go to bed. It's WAY past my bedtime, and I'll be smilin' myself to sleep, with a quote from Slate's baseball writer ringing in my head about the Yankees being down 0-2 to the Diamondbacks coming back to New York: The Yankees have them just where they want them.

How sweet it is. Derek Jeter's batting .071 and he wins the game on a 10th-inning home run. Dude! You rock!

Take them out of the ball game

I'd forgotten how incredibly annoying Fox's sportscasters are. I was reminded tonight by the idiots who made me think of Howard Cosell, no less. I used to watch the Yankees post-season games by turning off the volume on the television and putting on the radio to listen to Frank White, Bill forgot-his-name and Phil Rizzuto, who was only mildly annoying back then.

It's bad enough having to listen to stupid what-ifs on a regular basis, but to hear incredible stupidities like, "If he strikes out, it's because of the 2-2 pitch"--what does that mean? Someone please tell me, what does that mean? Because the announcer thinks the batter screwed up on the 2-2 pitch?

And I also can't count the number of times I looked up and saw someone on base without having heard the announcers mention a walk or a base hit. I had work to do tonight; the ball game is on but I'm not watching it constantly. However, I do think that when a batter gets on base the announcers might think it's slightly interesting to the listener. Do they really think people have their eyes glued to the television the entire time? This is America, land of the frequent fridge break. We don't watch the ball game. We don't have to. We get seventeen instant replays of any play we might have missed. Hell, I could take a shower, get ready for bed, and come back to the game and still not miss a thing because Fox would be replaying every game moment of the last half hour.

Anyway, right now my Yankees are down a run, and I'm not a happy camper. But I think I've finally come up with the real reason the Yankees keep on winning the pennants and the World Series.

While you're at it, shave that beard

They don't have any players with goofy-looking facial hair. I mean, what is with these ballplayers? They have stupid looking fuzz on their chin that they think looks cool (it does not), goofy-looking goatees that they think look cool (they don't), goofy-looking long sideburns running into beards that they think look cool (they do not).

Which leads me to another question: What is it about guys and facial hair? Do they all have gigantic blind spots regarding how stupid they look? Granted, some guys look great in a beard, but for every Sean Connery there are at least three dozen Adam Sandlers. And I have a hint for all of you men who are fond of the untamed look: Most women prefer a neatly-trimmed beard.

Don't even get me started on mustaches. You don't want to go there. I don't want you to go there.--MAY



In the mind of Our Buddy Bin

This one occurred to me on the way to work this morning. I may be misspelling mujahadeen. I don't care.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I hide in caves to direct the fight against the infidel.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I take food from women and children and old men so that I may remain strong to fight the infidel.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I send my fighters to destroy the infidel where they work, killing women and the wheelchair-bound and accountants. I rejoice at the death of innocents, as there are no innocents among the infidel.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I hide my weapons in mosques and schools and hospitals, so the infidel cannot destroy them without destroying women and children and the sick and wounded.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I send my soldiers to die on the front lines while I travel from cave to cave to direct the fight against the infidel.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I surround myself with women and children when I travel, so if the infidel does target me, he will kill innocents before me.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I get my spokesmen to agitate for peace on Fridays and during Ramadan, yet I will not stop for the infidel Sabbath or any infidel holy days, nor, indeed, will I stop targeting the infidel during Ramadan. I rejoice in the memory of the Ramadan war, that the infidel calls the Yom Kippur War.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I send poison in the mail to destroy the infidel, and I work toward getting a nuclear bomb so that I may destroy the most infidels with the least amount of effort, and without risking my holy warriors.

I am a brave mujahadeen. I will not stop until I die, and I will do nothing to risk my own life.



Come and get me

Okay, I'm going to defy the terrorist alert and go into New York City on Saturday. You see, my friends from Virginia are coming up for the weekend, and we've already decided we're taking a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, going to the Empire State Building Observation Deck (assuming it's open), wandering around Fifth Avenue and maybe Rockefeller Center and if we have time, and Sorena isn't too tired (she's only eight), maybe we'll head as far south as they'll let us go and cheer the firemen who are still working on The Pile. We'd go to the Statue of Liberty, too, if the bastards would open it back up. Am I the only person in America who thinks that she's not an easy target? Uh, hello? She's on an island! I don't see why they can't put in the same kind of protection at the ferry slip that they have in airports.

I called Circle Line today because I found out yesterday that if you want to buy your tickets online, you have to allow ten days to receive them in the mail. Considering I'm just across the river, I figured I'll just check and see how crowded they are on weekends these days. They're not. Crowded, that is. The web site tells you to arrive 45 minutes ahead of time. The woman on the phone told me half an hour. She also said I'll have no trouble getting tickets. "Everyone's afraid to come out?" I asked. "Yeah," she said. They're not busy at all.

I'm not advocating that people take foolish risks, but c'mon, people--who's going to blow up a Circle Line tour?

Hey, we're going to take the full cruise around the island. It's a three-hour tour. If the first mate's name is Gilligan, then I'll worry.--MAY



Another day, another terrorism alert

I assume you all caught the news tonight, meaning John Ashcroft's press conference warning us that the terrorists are going to try to strike again this week. I suppose if this keeps up, we're going to get so used to terrorism alerts that we'll see a crawl along the bottom of our television screens for terror warnings the way we already see crawls for winter storm warnings and thunderstorm warnings.

Although I must say, I really would like to have a specific credible threat. This non-specific credible threat makes me think it could mean anything from "They're going to try to blow up the Statue of Liberty!" to "They're going to release pirated versions of The Phantom Menace DVD!" Or maybe they're planning on flooding our airwaves with new Michael Jackson music. Oh, wait, that's domestic terrorism. Never mind.

Morning brain

I was talking to a co-worker today about that point in the morning shower when you sometimes forget whether or not you shampooed, or if you washed your left arm or your right, and I came up with the phrase "morning brain". I think it perfectly describes that dead zone between waking up to go to work and, oh, sometime around ten or eleven. Oh, okay, for me it's actually only until I get in the car, although sometimes I arrive at work and wonder how I got there, since I didn't remember the journey. It's about then you realize that yes, autopilot for cars already exists, except that, unlike in planes, automobile autopilot resides in the pilot, not the vehicle.

Since I don't drink coffee, I'll have to rely on you folks to tell me if coffee has any effect on morning brain. But I can tell you now that nothing has ever had any effect on my morning haze, not caffeine, not a shower (hot or cold), not exercise, nothing. Only sleep has an effect on morning brain. If I get enough sleep, I wake up able to think. If I don't get enough sleep, I'll be standing in the shower wondering whether or not I already shampooed my hair. I shampoo anyway, just in case.--MAY



Wow, what a weekend of work

My friend from Virginia is coming up to visit next weekend, so I finally got the impetus I've needed to do a huge autumn cleaning. What can I say, I'm backwards. Spring, autumn, an equinox is an equinox.

So I tackled everything from nearly two years' worth of paper clutter in various containers around the apartment to trying to slim down the number of boxes in the spare room. Add to that cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, and the living room, plus changing the summer clothes to winter clothes and cleaning out the closet, and then on top of all that having my brothers come over to put the hard top on my Jeep, it was a pretty busy weekend.

My favorite discovery: I finally found my missing earrings. There's a bag that remained hidden for months because I thought it was a jewelry box, so I never thought to look for a jewelry bag. But now I'm wearing my favorite turquoise earrings and have access to all my other favorites: My first Celtic knot earrings, the good amber earrings, the silver swooshes I wear to job interviews--I am such a happy camper now.

One thing I did that was smarter than anything I've ever done during any major cleanup: While shopping for more cleaning items, I took a side trip down the shampoo aisle and bought bubble bath. Last night, I filled my sparkling-clean tub and let Calgon take me away. I rarely take baths, and I'm pretty sure that was the first one in this apartment, because my cats were completely mystified as to what I was doing, and got up on their hind legs to peer into the tub and sniff at the bubbles. Which, of course, popped while they sniffed them. I thought it was amusing, except for the cold breeze that came in through the door that they left open. Next time, I make sure the door is fully closed.

That bubble bath made me realize two things: My bathtub is too short, and I intend to take baths a lot more frequently. Like, to relax my aching muscles tonight, for instance. I'm finding that after two days of cleaning, I can't seem to get up or down without making those old lady noises that I swore off making years ago.

Oh. And on top of everything else, I just finished archiving last week's blogs. So add site maintenance to my list of completed weekend tasks.

My personal September 11th

One of the mementoes I found today was a ticket on Continental Airlines from Newark to Corpus Christi. It was dated September 11th. It was from 1993. I was on my way to my cousin Sharon's funeral. Sharon--my favorite cousin--died on the ninth or tenth, I forget exactly which day. She was supposed to be here, in New Jersey, living a new life with her and her kids and by now, probably a second husband. Sharon was going to leave her husband and Texas, which place, let me tell you, I have no love for. But the man she let drive her home that night was drunker than she was, and he ran a red light and a pickup truck hit the passenger side, and my cousin died in the emergency room that night. It was all brought home to me a few months ago, when that supermodel was in a car crash. The seat belt is what caused the damage. Small or thin women can have serious internal injuries because of the seat belt, even though outside, they appear to be fine. For a very long time, I blamed the hospital emergency room for not realizing Sharon was bleeding internally. It was only after that model was injured that I realized there might not have been much they could do, anyway. Sharon's aorta had been torn.

So eight years ago, I was on a plane, during what I realize now was a seminal moment in my life. Sharon's death threw me into a tailspin for weeks. But it also got me to take a risk on a job that changed my life for the better, and helped me move along the path that's turned into where I am today.

I knew there was something else about September 11th that was trying to come into the conscious part of my mind. I had a feeling it was about Sharon. I wish she was still here.--MAY