Coming Out of Left Field

Friday, July 30, 2004

Artsy fests

Today, I'm taking a break from political matters (didn't Kerry's acceptance speech rock?), to highlight a city that culture vultures shouldn't overlook -- Edinburgh. Yep, the Scottish city's not all kilts and bagpipes, as a peek of next month's festival lineup will reveal:

Edinburgh International Festival (opera, theater, music and dance)

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (dance, comedy, theater, exhibitions)

Edinburgh Film Festival (movies, movies, movies)

Edinburgh Book Festival (mmmmm, books)

The best part of all? I'll be there to enjoy them! An arts-lover's dream come true ...

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004


My blog's been featuring more and more political content, so I've changed the title to reflect that. I might keep it even after the election, since it's a baseball/goofball reference too. Whether I'll be blogging from Boston or Canada depends entirely on who ends up in office ...


Monday, July 26, 2004

Today's "Huh"? quote

"You see, if you can't raise enough by taxing the rich, guess who gets to pay next? Yes, the not-rich. That's all of us."

President George Bush, as quoted in The New York Times, 7/26/04. Bush last year reported an income of $822,000, and his assets were worth as much as $19 million.

Explanation: an example of irony.

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Today's black comedy quote ...

... or, in less polite language, today's "WTF?!" quote:

"Gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, but if they want to marry they will have to marry men and women."

Representative Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), as quoted in The Boston Globe, 7/23/04.
Explanation: an example of insanity seen as reason.

Soooo ... is Pearce saying that I have to marry a man and a woman? I thought the point of marriage was to commit to one person? Or is he saying that gays have to marry men, and lesbians have to marry women? If so, I'm all set. :)

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A modest proposal

While surfing Epinions' satire section, I came across a nifty little plan that, in one stroke, would enable passage of the FMA and kick-start the floundering space program:

A modest proposal for dealing with the gay problem

Let me just say that, unlike the author, I do have ulterior motives for promoting this plan. I have never been to outer space, and while I never expected to have the opportunity, I am not one to pass up a free ride when offered. I must insist, however, that my wife and I be allowed to travel on the same flight and to live in the same settlement. It wouldn't be fair to separate newlyweds now, would it?

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, ,

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Today's black comedy quote

"You can't just hope for the best. You have to lead."
President George Bush, justifying having gone to war in Iraq, as quoted in an AP story, 7/21/04.
Explanation: an example of insanity as reason.

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Fantasy baseball update

Latest update on my fantasy baseball team: like my hometown club, I'm firmly entrenched in second behind my New York counterpart (grr). Naturally, pitching's been my bugaboo (I'm last or next to last in all five categories). My offensive stats are less, well, offensive. I'm third in homers and first in hits, RBI, and steals -- the last being a category that the Sox, unless they acquire and clone Ichiro Suzuki, will never ever lead. Slow sluggers, just like old times.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Ironic moniker

Here's an entry for the Roster of Spiffy Sports Names: Joey Goodspeed, who plays for the St. Louis Rams. Names aren't everything, though; The Sporting News' latest report for the Rams notes that Goodspeed is a good blocker and catcher, but has, of all things, "poor running skills".

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Friday, July 16, 2004

Black comedy diary

Between the marriage amendment and Iraq, I've had no trouble finding entries for the diary I need to keep for my black comedy class. Some recent entries:

"I'd love to include him, if his people would tell me where he was during the Vietnam War.”
-- Comic book artist Jason Henderson, asked if President Bush would make an appearance in an issue, as quoted in The Boston Globe, 7/12/04. Henderson and Greg Scott included a John Kerry look-alike in the recent issue of “Sword of Dracula”.
Explanation: an example of sarcasm.

"Article V of the Constitution says we have a right to amend the Constitution when things have gone too far."
-- Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), speaking about the proposed federal marriage amendment, as quoted in The Chicago Tribune, 7/14/04.
Explanation: an example of insanity seen as reason.
And the one that takes the cake so far:
"No one wants to discriminate against gays."
-- Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), speaking about the proposed federal marriage amendment, as quoted in The Washington Post, 7/15/04.
Explanation: an example of irony (or, in other words, completely unadulterated BS).

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Foxy filcher

First a conspiracy of squirrels, now this:
Sly fox caught stealing Kan. newspapers
Supposedly the fox was just using the papers to line its den, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be more to it than that. If squirrels can learn to read, why not foxes, who aren't called clever for nothing? Was this fox following a particular news story? Was it attempting to withhold information from the citizens of Ottawa, Kansas? (In which case, it's probably a Republican.) Or was it merely honing its skills for a more sophisticated heist -- say, of the next Entertainment Weekly or Crate & Barrel catalog? More and more, the animal world bears watching, it appears ...


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


U.S. Senate votes to reject same-sex marriage ban, 50-48

The only bad thing was that Kerry and Edwards both skipped the vote. I can understand why, but it's disappointing. At least their absences didn't result in the vote going the wrong way.

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality

Monday, July 12, 2004

Write for rights

On Wednesday, the U.S. senate is scheduled to vote on the discriminatory federal marriage amendment. Even though there's no chance of its passing, the right-wingers are hoping to make gay marriage a wedge issue, splitting folks into "defenders of marriage" and, apparently, turtle lovers. Yes, it's ridiculous to me, too, but apparently enough folks have bought into it to make this a very real danger.

A number of organizations are circulating petitions against the proposed amendment. Here are the ones I know about:

Human Rights Campaign

NARAL Pro-Choice America

People for the American Way

Working Assets

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

Friday, July 09, 2004

Comic chain letter

Just started a class on black comedy the other day (think "Dr. Strangelove", not "The Barbershop"). As part of the lecture, the professor explained the distinction between satire, which makes fun of content, and parody, which makes fun of style. So if I understand him correctly, this New Yorker story satirizes the Bush administration's policy on Medicare, and parodies both chain letters and our president's tortured syntax.

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Boston baseball bashers

The wife and I went to the ballgame last night. We were in luck -- the weather was cool but not cold (warmed up once the park was full), Pedro was pitching, and the Sox bats were red-hot. A short and very biased summary of the game:

First inning: Bellhorn, batting second, homers. Bellhorn? Mark Bellhorn?

Second inning: Five more runs, including another homer by Nomar. I resolve to take my wife to Fenway more often, as a good luck charm.

Third inning: Pedro can't find the strike zone, and the As get three runs. Plus, some folks a few rows behind us, undeterred by the presence of families in the vicinity, are hollering epithets at the top of their lungs. Aaaargh.

Fourth and fifth innings: No one scores. I bite my nails, which need to be cut anyway.

Sixth inning: Damon hits the ball. Mueller scores. Instead of throwing home, the A's get Damon at second, which allows Kapler to score too. Oops!

Seventh inning: Pedro hasn't allowed any runs since the third. He ends his stint with a 1-2-3 inning (two strikeouts, a flyout) and leaves to cheers.

Chad Bradford gets a cooler reception from Manny Ramirez. Bradford throws his first pitch -- whomp! The ball soars up, up and away for the Sox's third homer of the night.

Eighth and ninth innings: eight runs seems like an insurmountable edge, but we hang out until nearly the end just to make sure.

All in all, a great game and a nice win. Go Sox!

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Weekend work

Spent Saturday down in New Bedford volunteering for Summer of Equality, a joint campaign by and the Freedom to Marry Coalition. The wife, a friend and I were asking folks to sign postcards for their state legislators (only Mass. residents permitted, unfortunately), urging them to vote against any discriminatory amendments.

None of us knew what sort of reaction we get, so we were pleasantly surprised. Many people signed, often with comments that they were totally behind us and didn't understand why people would even care. One guy even went up to my wife and said, "I'd love to sign, but I'm straight. Is that OK?" (For the record, yes. We're looking for support, not converts!)

The folks who didn't sign were, by and large, polite about it; only one person got irritated at me, not because of the issue but because she'd "already signed one million of these things". I hope she has -- then her legislators will have no excuse to vote for the amendment. As if they had one now ...

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts

Friday, July 02, 2004

Charitable Curt

On the field, Curt Schilling doesn't give an inch. Off the field, however, he brings all his resources -- money and time -- to combatting ALS and skin cancer, efforts that just nabbed him the Sporting News' Good Guy award for 2004.

Like any sports publication, the Sporting News runs its share of bad-athlete stories, so it's nice to see good guys get some much-deserved attention. And after this week's sweep by the Yankees (ouch), I welcome any good news related to the Sox.

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Touch typing test

A little distraction someone posted on Easily Addictive:

I've done horribly so far (haven't even broke a thousand). How anyone manages to get into the ten thousands is beyond me. Oh, and speaking of ugly, an HRC e-mail alerted me to this horrendous ad. If you're in one of the places where this is running, contact your senators to make sure they aren't swayed by this piece of bigotry.

Update: Someone else posted an even more addictive test. Now that's a typing school!


Let me introduce myself. My name is soxfan, evil genius ...

... at least, according to this personality test I am:

"You are an SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode."

Now, I'm definitely stubborn at times (true to my Taurean nature), but the rest of this doesn't sound like me at all. Actually, except for the follower part, this profile reminds me very much of Francis Crawford and Nicolas van der Poele, both creations of Dorothy Dunnett and both master manipulators.