"Top Billin'" (Audio Two)

"Josh gets $30M deal", eh? Was anyone going to tell me I'm rich?

The Josh Beckett signing, or extension actually, particularly since they were going to have control of him through 2007 one way or another, seems wise on a day when my namesake pitched 8 shutout innings, even if it was against the Royals. That's thinking really short-term. Long-term, this keeps a very good pitcher with a real possibility of greatness at Fenway for the same money Kris Benson got a couple years back. That's a good signing all the more so because the pitching market is always prone to oddity. See Burnett, A.J., one of the last pitchers in the world deserving of a five-year deal.

I'm happy with the Red Sox, although this seems likely to be one of those years where a very deserving American League team is left out of the playoffs, maybe two.

I'm hoping those teams are the Yankees and Twins; the Twins seem to have too much ground to make up even with the pitching staff they ended up with this year. (The A.J. Pierzynski trade with San Francisco has quickly become one of the worst of all time: Liriano, Nathan, and a man named Boof all for an irritating if fairly talented catcher that lasted all of a year before the Giants tired of his shit.)

But the Yankees have the potential to make it a two playoff team AL East yet, and will not go unnoticed by the Yankees until we clinch the pennant. Yeah, I said it.


"Enjoy Yourself" (A-Plus)

Notes from a double feature.


A Sunday afternoon/evening, the Regal Union Square theaters.

"Don't chawanna?" "Wanna?" I'm not saying I wouldn't mind it with any of y'all, but you'd really have to shut up with that goddamn song, Grape my girl. [C+]

TRAILER: "The Gridiron Gang"
Football and inmates and The Rock. Boring. Not X-treme enough. Could the spirit of gridiron "glory" save racist rapists, instead of these chump juvie offenders? I doubt it. [C. My racist rapists movie idea: B]

ADVERTISEMENT: "Welcome to Regal Cinemas"
Sadly underbudgeted 3D graphics, with a depressing ad for the Will Rogers Institute, which I've never had properly explained to me in terms of the charitable benefits therein. Shady. But Tommy Lee Jones was in an ad of theirs. [Ads: D-, Will Rogers Institute: Incomplete]

"Some mild peril" on the explanation of The Barnyard's rating. Y'all are quantifying everything. [D]

TRAILER: "Accepted"
Starring Justin Long as a kid who doesn't get into college, so he invents one...a little TOO successfully! Shenanigans ensue. This looks vaguely awesome. [B+]

TRAILER: "Lady In The Water"
Once, I got tricked into seeing The Chronicles of Riddick in theaters by a friend who got me high and then over my protestations bought me the ticket at the 11 p.m. screening. It was at the Regal Union Square, in fact. Nick, do not get me high and pay for me to see this film. (Oh, did you know that M. Night Shamamediocredirector made up his middle name? You can't do that, yo.) [C-]

MOVIE: "Superman Returns"
Awesome. The lamest superhero actually is pretty entertaining to watch, and that John Williams theme song is more awesome than I remember. A little long. [A-/B+, as I received on my last paper at Yale. What kind of half-assed bullshit grading is that? Make up your mind!]


MOVIE: "Click" (55%, from beginning [approx.])
I quit this just as it started to get sappy. Adam Sandler is richer than Jesus because he makes movies like this and people go to them. See you in hell, motherfuckers. [Incomplete, but at the time of drop, C-]


"Superman" (Roger Troutman, bonus track on The Many Facets Of Roger)

Some friends of mine, Marcisak, McCoy and Kalan, put together some great Superman videos. This is my favorite. This is just like my final meeting junior year with my intermediate fiction professor. Humanities professors. Mmm. (My review of Superman Returns will be coming tomorrow.)

"Paraphernalia" (Miles Davis, Miles In The Sky)

--the dates for the New York debut of Love Is Good, a comedy I wrote, are set: August 24-28.

--one of my headphones is broken. this revealed that the right channel of "Eminence Front" by The Who is more awesome separated from the rest of the song. have yet to hear the left channel alone, which just may have NO vocals on it (also awesome), but I think I've now figured out how to sample this song. I am working on a couple new EPs these days, one based off of Donuts, the other more of an original beats kind of thing. Only so applicable insomuch as my own style is sample-based. But I'm a work in progress.

--"Strobelight Honey" by Black Sheep is keeping me awake in an office that serves nothing but decaf coffee, a substance shown to be a cancer risk, but which more importantly can more or less put you to sleep. Touch it. You want to.

--My temp job has become dangerous. Will this cause me to quell my boredom by posting more or less often? Stay tuned.


Trailer Review: Rocky Balboa

Holy shit. So said my friend J. La_ks_ when he saw this, so said my roommate Matthew, so said I. We knew it was coming and we knew it was coming out, but nothing can really compare you for an anticipated trailer or an anticipated movie, and although the sixth Rocky film can't possibly be good, it can hardly be worse than Rocky V. (MC Hammer's "Go For It!" and all.) Sly Stallone looks pretty good for 88, there's a great exchange at the end you should see rather than have me retell, the camerawork looks alright in the trailer but Burt Young still looks like Burt Young only older and surlier (hooray!). The bit about the computer boxing simulation is a ridiculous setup, yes. (Ali beats Chris Byrd on Fight Night 3, but don't tell me he'd be able to do so with Parkinson's. I do think current Ali might be able to beat current Tyson, but then again, I think I can beat Mike Tyson now.) But we weren't expecting Shakespeare here. Or even Rocky III, easily the most fun movie of the series.

Adrian is dead in this movie, it bears noting. Which still makes for the perfect setup for the Rocky sequel I want to see. Rocky VII: Adrian's Revenge.

"Green Eyes" (Erykah Badu, Mama's Gun)

Congratulations to Elizabeth Meriwether and her upcoming Yale Rep show, which I'ma have to see since I missed its premiere in New York.

But I retain my right to jealousy. Liz was a year behind me at big blue, and now she's gonna get a play up at a theater where not all that many Yale School of Drama playwrights get plays up, proportionally to the number of useless degrees handed out. (Lewis Black graduated from YSD as a playwright, now he's a standup comic who doesn't write his own Daily Show segments and whose shit I'm basically tired of.) That shit is impressive in sheer terms of speed success. Two years out of college I was drunk alone on the old, itchy-ass couch watching a World Series I had no real rooting interest on eating pickles. (But two years out of college was...oh yeah, last year.)

Time to begin working again on my 1185-page magnum opus again. It's a bildungsroman about a young man, Notebooks of the Artist as a Young Man. It also literally consists of my notebooks, not even typed out, just as they are, illegible and coffee-stained. It's a harrowing tale, with fragments of like 14 of my more unfinished/unfinishable plays. Pulitzer Prize, here I comes!


"Hat and Beard" (Eric Dolphy, Out To Lunch)

Headed for a weekend in the city so Chi they be acting bashful, to paraphrase Kanye, but a couple notes before I go.

--Me, updated: Love Is Good, my futuristic rock 'n' roll with a robot play, is getting produced in late August at the Directors' Club here in the NYC. More info on that as it appears.

--Also, Saturday Night Rewritten is coming back this fall f'sho-sho, probably October.

--Working at a temp gig is always interesting when your desk isn't just an empty desk in the back corner of the office next to the water drip...that is to say, when you're at someone else's desk. At this job, I'm at the desk of "Kathy," a desk with more tacky crap than 8 out of 10 Bennigans', including:

-Bahamas shot glass
-A card with a cow on it, text reading "Love One An Udder"
-Several teddy bears of some charitable origin, unless the tag "I was born to fight cancer" on the bears means something I don't understand.
-A boring, "inspiring" story in a plastic frame titled "Self Worth"
-"A Formula For Success," which reads like:

Believe in the Do
not in the Don't
Believe that
you Will
not that
you Won't
More comes with
a Yes
than with
a No
The first step in Achieving
is Thinking it so.

Now, there's no completely wrong ideas in this shitty poem, although the punctuation is boggling, the meter is simple, and the author won't be vying for poet Laureate of New Jersey. (Even if it were still possible to vye for the no-longer existent position. Fuck McGreevey. I heard Baraka read that poem live, and even if it wasn't his best, it wasn't at all that offensive.) What it made me wonder is, what inspires me to continually look at? What would I keep at the same position of my own desk? A few ideas:

1) Picture of A-Rod being punched in the face by Red Sox captain Jason Varitek.
2) Picture of Herbie Hancock making a really funny face, rocking out on a keytar.
3) Hypnotic spinning lights and colors that quell my desire to knock down every cubicle in the joint with repeated flying roundhouse kicks.
4) Cow card reading God Bless Mooo All.
5) Ass. And titties.

See y'all in a few.

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