Category Archives: Being Human

Wisdom from Samuel Johnson, Lexicographer

In the harsh climate of endless election cycle, let us spare a brief moment in consideration of the wisdom from the long-dead English lexicographer Samuel Johnson.

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

This is best demonstrated currently by the odious, orange-visaged canker-blossom of the moment I need not name.

Johnson’s wisdom (and misogyny) are easily internet-viewable. Many a chestnut awaits the curious reader:

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Filed under Being Human, Lexicography

Euphemisms for Cold Sores

Playing the Herpsichord

The Sins of the Father


Uncle John’s Band (“band” pronounced “van”)

Garbage Mouth

Lip Rot

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Filed under Being Human, Gross, Jokes, Poor Decorum

A New Character I Made For You

This is an old-timey baseball player:


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Filed under Baseball, Being Human, Jokes, Video

A Kind of Obsolete Vernacular

In a previous post I quoted from and copied a link to Eli Cash Intro (from Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums) on the YouTube. I regret tremendously not placing it in the body of the text, so that we could all revel in the triumph of this character (and lend credence to everything I proclaim henceforth).

I think about Eli on a weekly if not daily basis, and am inclined to reflect further. Continue reading

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Filed under Being Human, Film

1991-92 Tecmo Super Bowl Champion Detroit Lions

Well everyone knows the Lions lost the ’91-’92 NFC Championship Game to the Washington Redskins. What this post pre-supposes is….maybe they didn’t?

A while back I got pretty hooked on the old Tecmo Super Bowl for NES, grace à my roomie Neal and his entertainment system. As I began to play the game, my memories of a Lions team that was really quite good got mixed up in the challenge of vindicating their playoff exit that year. Let’s be honest, Lions fans are a long suffering bunch (we all remember their World Championships in 1952, ’53, and ’57, right?). Continue reading

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Filed under American Football, Being Human

Introducing: IDSR

Last week the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club was swept by the Royals, then swept the White Sox to tie for first place in the Central, and then on Labor Day lost to the Indians in the first game of the next series.[1] Now, baseball is a funny auld game. Consider that each day is as important to the players as the last day of the season, and then they must immediately forget it happened. Win or loss, it’s water under the bridge. This kind of compartmentalized mental focus is inherent in the game, much as George Will characterizes baseball as requiring great ‘equipoise,’ remaining relaxed until the exact moment of vigorous action. Continue reading

  1. [1]The provenance of three so-called “double plays” (worth two outs) including one with the bases loaded and one away, vouchsafed the Tribe’s escape with a 3-2 win.

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Filed under Baseball, Being Human

A pilfered posting notion

With little of the expected shame and embarrassment befitting the act, I have stolen the idea for this post from Carson Cistulli, whose humdinger of a website The New Enthusiast has been my (admittedly belated) obsession this week.

Cistulli turns out to be a fascinating individual a mere three months my junior. I became familiar with him due to my similarly recent fixation on a Sabremetric baseball site called Fangraphs dat com, a vision of interesting baseball statistical minutia catalyzed with a thoroughly human perspective, much due to Cistulli’s regular influence. He creates a NERD score for each game, an original metric deciding which game in the entire league is the most interesting based on his delightfully presumptuous and “infallible” statistical valuation. Even in the potentially sparse territory of baseball analysis, Cistulli manages an elegance and humor which is thoroughly delightful. “No little faddling” indeed.

The post is great, and for some reason the amount of spam I’ve received lately has absolutely catapulted. I would be loathe to dispassionately jettison these epigrams of the spam-bot spiders into the void without fastidiously cataloging them here for your pleasure, dearest reader (read: myself)! So below in all their glory are some actual spam comments I’ve gotten in the last week, accompanied by my falsified subconscious reactions:

keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. this was actually what i was looking for, and i am glad to come here! Continue reading


Filed under Baseball, Being Human, Fiction

Uncle Dan story

This is my version of a story my Uncle Dan tells:


The old man sat in the garage when he didn’t want to be around his wife. Which was always. When my Uncle Dan was a kid, he would help out around the house, doing odd jobs, picking up heavy-ish things. Primarily it was a chance for his mom to get him out of her hair under the thin pretense of Christian charity. So he was sent across the street, more out of convenience and guilt than for any practical purpose.

One afternoon he was in the kitchen, helping the old lady wash and dry dishes after baking. Once everything was toweled and put away, she cut a slice of pie from the tin, plated it with a fork, and asked Uncle Dan to take it out to the old man.  He was in the garage, as usual. Continue reading

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Filed under Being Human, Uncategorized

90% of improvising is mental. The other half is physical.

This went up on the USS Rock N Roll blog today:

I think that about a third of a being good improvisor is being an invested human being. Another third of it is being a good listener. And then the final third is being a real weirdo, having a unique point of view.

In honor of the opening week of baseball season, today I’m going to focus on two of the funnest, weirdest points of view I’ve encountered lately. They came up through rewatching that Ken Burns Baseball documentary. Inning 7, chronicling the 1950s, absolutely kills me. (In a good way, but it also in a bad way, considering the Yankees success, on which more later.)

Something about the ’50s really gets me. The Brooklyn Dodgers finally win a Series. The country is idyllic, but rife with social issues which would explode in the ‘60s. Things were perfect, but so terribly off.  Though it was published in 1963, I think part of my fascination with the era may well come from the voice of J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, which I read not necessarily every year, but frequently. Rightly or wrongly, I equate his writing style with a very ‘50s sensibility.  (That book speaks less to me now than when I first read it at twenty-three, the age of the narrator, but I still sure do like it.) There’s something innocent but also depraved about that whole time period, and about that story. The weird wholesomeness juxtaposed against impending tragedy. Continue reading

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Filed under Baseball, Being Human, Improvisation

Sour Grapefruit

This is on the USS Rock N Roll blog today:

Tuning in to spring training baseball is simultaneously fascinating and boring (presupposing avid interest the game). There are many side plots[1], but a main factor of interest for me are the lesser-known young players scrapping for roster spots, fighting to be the 1% of the 1%[2] who make it. Or trying to make a memorable impression when injuries crop up.[3] Waves of players whose names I’ve never heard foul off cut fastballs, field fly balls in dramatic escapades, fly around the basepaths. The difficulty of the game is startlingly clear, and it strikes me how routine the elite players make it look. I am continuously reminded: baseball is hard.

I haven’t made it through a whole spring game yet, but at the moment I am consumed by the notion of how do we evaluate what is good? These young players no doubt evaluate themselves in a specific way, their hits, or walks, or on base percentage. But if Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon doesn’t see the swinging mechanics he needs to, it doesn’t matter. If pitching coach Jeff Jones doesn’t see the young reliever hitting his spots, or his arm slots, or whatever metric, even if the kid gets out of a jam and keeps a sub-3.00 ERA, it doesn’t matter. Because it wasn’t good enough.

The notion of what is good and how do we know what is good is on my mind because this week the improv team I coach was “retired” from the theatre which created it, after six months.  The explanation behind the decision essentially boiled down to the notion that even if audience members, the players on the group, and I felt the work being done was good, it doesn’t matter because the decision-makers concluded it wasn’t good enough. And we will lose that argument every time. Continue reading

  1. [1]Such as, what happens when the 270 pound version of Miguel Cabrera plays third base for the first time in four years? Does hilarity ensue?! Does a professional ath-a-lete simply display the staggering physical acumen de rigueur in the league? We shall see!
  2. [2]These figures are arbitrary but seem highly accurate to me at the moment.
  3. [3]Two years ago the Tigers were so depleted of A-listers by injuries that in September there was merchandise online with the Tigers logo, but the team name was changed to “Miggy and the Mudhens” (referring to Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers’ AAA team, the Toledo Mudhens).

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Filed under Baseball, Being Human, Improvisation