Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Creamed Corn; a Memory

Creamed corn and I have a history. We go way back, creamed corn and I. I still remember that dinner, so long ago at my poet friend Mike's house. Fried chicken was on the menu, along with that most noxious of canned side dishes.

Mike's dad, Steve, in spite of my misgivings, plopped a generous pile of creamed corn on my plate. Creamed corn was certainly nothing I had encountered in my own home. Just what the hell was this stuff? Corn that was creamed? I poked and prodded a little. The consistency was not unlike oatmeal.

Then the smell hit me.

Have you ever smelled creamed corn? One whiff and you know something's not right. Open the can and it's right there--corn, but not exactly corn. Corrupted corn. It can be overpowering, like opening a can of cat food. You have to be ready for it. Hold it as far away as possible. It's a freight train to the olfactory glands.

Steve tried to reassure me. It was corn, he said. Just corn. There was nothing to be afraid of. You like corn, don't you?


Well, then you'll love this.

I don't want to.

You have to.

I don't like it.

You haven't tried it.

I don't want to try it.

You can't leave the table until you do.

I picked at my wasted chicken breast. The creamed corn was waiting, its stench robbing me of all appetite. Time crawled by. Minutes melted into hours. There I was, at the table with Steve, Mike having already wolfed his creamed corn as though it was candy. He was off somewhere safe with his Legos, digesting this goo.

The windows filled with darkness. The creamed corn, long cold, was a sickly, yellow-grey island on my plate. Steve stood sentinel, the faintest smile curling on his moustachioed upper lip. Below me was the dog. The dog! If only my captor would turn away, just for a second. Dogs eat anything.

Now, understand that I like corn. Always have. I like cream too. Creamed corn, however, occupies the very bottom rung of the vegetable kingdom. Frozen succotash? Like steak by comparison. Strained peas? Next to creamed corn, strained peas are chocolate cake.

I don't want to try it, was my feeble defense, as futile as before.

You're not leaving the table till you try it.

I don't feel good.

You feel fine. One bite and you can go. Just one.

It was hopeless, I knew. My tormentor, motivated by god knows what, was determined. My fate was sealed. I lifted the fork to my mouth, the creamed corn smell invading my nasal passages, infecting my insides. My brain told me to do it fast, get it over with, but I couldn't. Fear gripped me. Sweat dotted my seven-year-old brow.

Then, all of a sudden, it was in my mouth, and the taste was somehow unlike the smell; it was far worse. I threw up. Steve feigned sympathy, though I could hear his internal cackle of joy. Out came the semi-digested chicken. Out came it all. Chaos ensued, the dog lapping up everything indiscriminantly.

The aftermath doesn't really matter. I will tell you that my love for creamed corn has not blossomed. I find it repulsive in every way. The smell of it still sends a quiver to my belly and conjures images of that fateful night when my world fell apart. I have since forgiven Steve, though he's never once offered an apology.

So I beg you all, gentle McBoners: if ever you invite me to dinner, I'll be a gracious guest. But please, for the love of all that's holy, hold the creamed corn!


PS. This is a true story.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I personally apologize

To all of you loyal Mcboners but Mark Price is going to retain his position as hero of the week. He is my all-time favorite athlete and because I have 50% ownership in this blog I can do what I want. He is the best point guard in history. If the Cavs had a player half his caliber running the show they would win it all. Don't believe me? Watch this video and view his all-time stats. If not for a freak knee injury he would have been viewed by all as the greatest point guard in history.


Another One Bites the Dust

Adios, Alberto Gonzales. You are officially tossed on the stinking heap of godawful former Bush appointees. There to keep you company are John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, John Bolton, and, my personal favorite, Donald Rumsfeld.

Now you get to spend the rest of your life basking in your legacy as one of America's foremost torture advocates. You are also guilty of having nine federal judges dismissed for political reasons and for having had a U.M. (Unforgivable Moustache).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Gotta Find a Job, but I Don't Wanna Teach No Mo'.

As it stands, I am a cook. I'm fairly competetent, too. It's good work. Good, honest, demanding work, but I do not want to be a cook forever.

My experience tells me that the logical choice is to become a teacher. After all, I've spent the past three years teaching people of all ages and backgrounds how to properly use the English language. I've even enjoyed it at times.

And after three years I can say without reservation that the profession I have the most respect for is teaching. Teachers willingly assume the responsibility of educating the brats of the world, our screaming, sneezing, stinky, vomiting, back-talking, pants-wetting, tattling, fighting, germ-infested brats. Teachers deal with hormones. With large classes. With underfunding. With, god help them, parents. Teachers have to make lesson plans and grade homework and tests. Teachers have to discipline.

Teachers really deserve the great benefits that come with the job. I think they should be paid as much as they can spend. For those of you who disagree, try teaching full time for a week. You will quickly change your minds, I promise.

Personally, I would rather disembowel myself with a spork than become a full-time teacher. And yes, I know I'm focusing on the negative. I know that teaching has its share of glories, but it's the negatives that make eviscerating myself with a plastic utensil a much more desirable option.

So, what is Nate going to do? That's the question I'll be trying to answer in the coming months. And don't you worry, McBoners. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'll happily keep slingin' hash.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nate's (tardy) Friday Sports Extravaganza


How refreshing to watch last Sunday's eight-run victory (followed by that one hit embarrassment to a double A pitcher, of course) and an eleven-run outburst on Wednesday. Can it mean that they're emerging from this months long funk? Well, yesterday C.C. Sabathia fell victim again to offensive ineptitude with another 2-1 loss. When C.C. and Fausto are on the mound, the Indians do not score more than two. Why? The quality of the opposing teams pitching? Sometimes, but let's face it, you don't expect a one hitter when your team is facing Jair Jurrjens from Curacao, do you?

This season depends of seven arms, those belonging to Sabathia, Carmona, Byrd, Westbrook, Betancourt, Perez and Borowski. They way that these guys have been throwing, and with Detroit's pitching continuing to flounder, I'll take my chances.

You could almost attach the label "unhittable" to Sabathia, Carmona and Westbrook since the all-star break. Their ERA is hovering somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.00. Considering their combined record in this span, however, it would be more accurate to call them "just hittable enough to lose."

Hit or no hit, this team is in the pennant race and they are in first place in the central. I'll take it anytime.


LeBron looks good playing next to Jason Kidd. How I'd love to see him run with a point guard in the regular season. Get something done, Cavs. Let's see the following rotation sometime in the coming season:

PG: Hypothetical proficient point guard.
SG: Larry Hughes
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anderson Varejao (assuming that Drew Gooden is our main bargaining chip)
C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Bench: Gibson (he's so perfectly suited as firepower off the bench), Pavlovic (yeah, he'd probably have to be traded too, but I can dream), Brown (can't wait to see what this guy can do in 25 minutes per).

I like Donyell Marshall. I didn't like seeing him miss all those threes in the playoffs. His game is gone. Sadly, his contract remains.

I like Damon Jones. I have a feeling he's played his last game as a Cav.

I like Eric Snow. I don't ever want to see him play again.


Quarterback controversies. I hate them. The media love them. Romeo Crennel has a tough job in playing down the situation with Brady Quinn, who, no matter what he does in the preseason, will not and should not be the team's starter at any point in the season. Why throw his talent to the wolves when he's not ready?

That doesn't mean he shouldn't see some snaps during the season. Let's just not make another Tim Couch out of the fellow.

Listening to sports talk radio--it's absurd. No matter how bad the Browns are, there are always a batch of people who are wildly optimistic about the season. I've heard 11-5 predictions. More like 5-11, which may still be optimistic. The Browns have some nice players. They are moving in a good direction. They are going to suck.

Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week

All three teams will make the playoffs this year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Bought a Car the Other Day...

I bought a car the other day, specifically a 2004 Honda Civic ex that was listed at $15,995. After a test drive and the obligatory bargaining session I came away agreeing to pay around 14 grand with no money down. About 20 minutes was all it took to reach a deal, and, after a check on my credit and on my word that I was gainfully employed, we sealed the deal.

I couldn't believe how easy it was. Alex and I had been unemployed for almost two months. What we have in the bank could be called meager at best. I only three days ago started working. Alex started yesterday. It perplexes me that I was able to buy something as huge and expensive as a car when our assets are so few. In fact, whatever assets we have are largely a mirage, as we owe spectacular amounts in student loans. When I told my cousin I had bought a car, she asked me "with what money?" It seems the auto dealership might have asked the same at some point. They didn't bother.

Luckily our expenses right now are minimal. We can afford the car, even with our modest incomes. The thing that gets me is how typical it is as Americans to live so heavily dependent on credit. We drive this car with the understanding that a bank loan at 6.6% will be faithfully paid by the first day of each of the next 60 months. This is the way people function, and our multi-trillion dollar national dept is perhaps the most poignant reminder of how acceptable and expected it is in this country to live beyond one's means.

I'm not so sure where this is going, other than to say that, even though we boast constantly that we are the richest country in the world, so much of American weath seems, well, bogus. I wonder if the wheels will someday fall off?


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Public Service Message From McBone: Foods to Avoid

McBone strongly urges you to avoid the following foods:

1. Mayonnaise
2. Circus peanuts
3. Aerosol cheese
4. Candy corn
5. McDonalds
6. Funyuns
7. Meow Mix (ok for cats)
8. Kraft singles
9. Sno-balls
10. Tuna-noodle casserole

Consumption of any of these so-called foods is dangerous and potentially fatal. Extreme care should be taken with children.

Paid for by McBone, Inc.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Amazing Video

Further proof of how evil these people are:

All Over: Nate Bowler Wins!

After a months-long race tainted by scandal and accusations, polls closed late Saturday night with Nate Bowler emerging victorious as the Most Handsome McBone Co-Captain.

Though calls for a recount are almost certainly forthcoming, the tally has Nate Bowler capturing 53% percent of the popular vote with a +/- margin of error of 0.00001%. Voter turnout was strong, with nearly 85 percent or registered McBoners having punched a ballot.

Long considered the underdog in spite of his widespread popularity in the McBone community, Nate Bowler jumped out to a sizeable lead in the early days of the election. With a rout all but assured, Jeff Bowler mounted an unlikely comeback that had the contestants neck and neck for weeks, until Nate Bowler pulled ahead for good in the latter stages.

The vote has received approval from the Carter Center with former president Jimmy Carter personally presiding over much of the election.

Spokesmen from both camps declined to comment for this article.

McBone Inc.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nate's Friday Sports Extravaganza

I would like to use this week's Friday Sports Extravaganza to usher in a new McBone feature: 100 Reasons We Love Cleveland Sports. As loyal Cleveland sports fans, we at McBone Inc. recognize the rich heritage that looms behind our three major franchises. From Napoleon Lajoie to Jim Brown to LeBron James, Cleveland fans have many reasons to be proud. McBone is here to offer you a handful of them.

Reason #100 to Love Cleveland Sports: Vic Power's Basket Catches at First Base.

Willie Mays' basket catches in center field? Forget about it. Vic Power is not only one of the best fielding first basemen in baseball history, as evidenced by seven consecutive Gold Glove awards (1958-64), he is unquestionably the coolest. McBone knows of no other player who has ever employed the basket catch at first base, let alone with the flair that made the Puerto Rican one of the most popular Indians of his day.

But Vic Power's glove wasn't all there was to his game. A more than capable hitter, his lifetime .284 average and 126 home runs were good enough to earn him six all-star berths.

Mattingly and Hernandez be damned. McBone salutes you, Vic Power, and the incomparable style you brought to your position.


They don't hit. They don't look like they will hit. I know they can hit, but.... Look, everyone's wondering when they will snap out of if. Obviously the time has come to wonder if they will. From top to bottom, there is NO ONE in the order who is picking this team up. And yet...yet...I am a believer in the law of averages. I cannot and will not believe that 2 runs is this team's ceiling. Look for, if not an incendiary, at least a warmish month of September to balance things out. With Detroit's awful pitching, a halfway decent offensive attack should be enough for the playoff run. If I'm wrong, well then, wait'll next year.

Travis Hafner is injured. He has to be. He has played through whatever it is, but there is no way, no way he suffers a dropoff this severe without something being wrong physically. For three seasons he has been arguably the best hitter in the AL. I've watched too much baseball to believe that such a dramatic loss of production can simply be attributed to nothing more than an off year.

Jhonny Peralta: stop trying to pull pitches that are a foot outside the strike zone, please. Just stop.

Grady Sizemore: get your bat on the ball and watch good things happen. Strikeouts suck.

Casey Blake: Oh, hell, you're Casey Blake.

Eric Wedge: Forget Trot Nixon. Forget Jason Michaels. Please find more at bats for that long, ugly swing of Franklin Gutierrez'. At least he's hitting a bit right now.


Still waiting for something, anything to happen. Still, I'm not so desperate that Charles Oakley comeback rumors get me riled up. Can't say that Troy Hudson has me salivating either. Why bother?


Charlie Frye went 12 for 15 for 122 yards in his preseason start against the Chiefs. I loved how ESPN highlights showed only Frye's two mistakes in a 16 to 12 Brown's victory. The national media is positively begging for Brady Quinn to start.

I'm telling you all right now that Frye should be the starter on this team. Not the slow-footed Derek Anderson, not the rookie Quinn, and certainly not the fourth string Ken Dorsey. Frye, in my opinion, has been written off way too soon and deserves a chance to takes snaps behind a line that is, if not improved, at least rebuilt.

Kamerion Wimbley will be a pro-bowler this year. Barring injury.

Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week

The Indians will muster 6 runs in one game this week.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Now Introducing the Newest Member of the Akron U English Faculty...Alexandra Hidalgo!

Yesterday my amazing wife waltzed straight into the English department at Akron University, slapped down a resume, went through a brief interview that included grading a hypothetical student paper, and walked away with a job. Alex is now an adjunct faculty member who will conduct 3 freshman composition classes this fall. One half hour with the department chair was all it took. This is a great beginning to what doubtlessly will be a long and productive career in academia.

And who knows what will follow. Publications? Tenure track? A full professorship? An Ohio state driver's licence? Only time will tell.

McBone Inc, on behalf of the NOML the NIML and the entire McBone community, extends a hearty congratulations to Alexandra Hidalgo, Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Akron.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Farewell, Karl Rove

Karl Rove is "stepping down" as chief advisor to his beleaguered president. Does anyone care at this point? Really, I've spent about all the ire on this guy that I care to on one person. Anyway, it's much too late and the damage is done.
Hold on! Wait! I just took a glance at the paper. I think I found a little more outrage. Just a smidgin. And it's all for you, Karl. The whole dallop. We'll call it a parting gift.
So, stepping down, are you? Meanwhile, 190 are dead today in a Kurdish region of Iraq. Truck bombs. Just make sure you keep reading those headlines, Karl. All those Iraqi deaths are your legacy too, after all.
From swift boats to bans on gay marriage to Iraq, you have worked hard to piss on the American people and, essentially, the rest of the world in equal measure.
As one of the architects of the most destructive administration in our history, McBone bids thee, Karl Rove, farewell. Thanks for all you've done. Adieu, Turd Blossom. Now take your chubby little cheeks back to Texas and rot there.

Things I Liked, Things I Maybe Didn't So Much Like

OK, two years are up (technically more like 20 months) and our time in France is at an end. You can learn a lot by living in a place for so long, more than you can with, say, a long weekend in Paris, which had been my prior experience in France, waaay back in 1997. So, as a sort of wrap-up, I'd like to make a somewhat asinine, mostly unanalytical list for you all to chew on. Maybe the sum of the parts will reveal something more profound about my experience, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Sometimes I just like to make lists.

Things I liked about France:

La Famille Roquain, who adopted us in year 1.
La Famille Beltran-Lopez, who adopted us in year 2.
Trips to Nantes with Alex.
The cheese (morbier).
The wine (haut-medoc).
Madame Fortin's Boulangerie.
The food in general. Really there is no rival.
Le Vieux Mans, Le Mans' medieval section.
Free health care for all.
The stones at Carnac.
They hate Bush.
Weekly French lessons with Huu.
Our apartment in Le Mans.
Our second apartment in La Roche-sur-Yon.
Getting my hair cut by Roselyne.
Foie gras (I know, enough with the food already).
My 30th birthday in Paris.
Alex's 30th birthday in Bordeaux.
Wine caves at Bordeaux.
Exploring France with Alex and Antonieta.
Finding a pearl in my oyster.
Teaching in Le Mans (usually).
Teaching in La Roche (occasionally).
Watching the World Cup in cafes.
Cognac (the city and the drink).
Learning to cook.
Many, many moustaches.
Having a lot of time for writing.
Small, independent businesses thriving.
Outdoor markets.
Really, really old architecture.
Tiny, fuel efficient cars.
The Apocalypse Tapestries at Angers.
Great public transportation.

Things I could have done without:

Birthplace of mayonnaise.
Le Pen.
Weird Sarkozy/Le Pen attitude toward (Arab) foreigners.
Our landlords from hell, Mr. and Mme. Besson.
Apartment at 7 rue Broussais.
Our neighbors at 7 rue Broussais.
All the smoking.
The bad beer.
Tourist trap restaurants in Paris.
Showers that point at your stomach. Perfect for people less than 3 feet tall.
Yelling at my La Roche students.
The occasional rancid smelling man (OK, it's a stereotype, but there's some truth to it...).
Tony Parker.
French music (sorry).
Six 70 lb. suitcases on the way home.

This list is neither complete nor fair nor reasonable.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fuck, Why Barry Bonds?

Why, of all players, did it have to be Barry Bonds? Anybody but him.

That's about all I have to say about that.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

You Wanna Hear Something Creepy?

Here's something creepy. Honestly, if this doesn't seriously give you the creeps, you must be a real diehard Bush fan, because this is really, really creepy. Ugh, can I tell you how depressing it is that we have to wait all the way until November 4, 2008 for the election?

Anyway, here it is, straight from the Rolling Stone interview of Bill Moyers (this is, as usual, old news that I am just getting around to): "Pat Robertson's Regent University has 150 graduates serving in the exective branch. No university has ever had that many graduates at one time in the government."

Dang! 150! This is a university founded by the vile and uber-Christian Pat Robertson, who once called for the assassination of the democratically elected Hugo Chávez , who blamed 9/11 on lesbians and the ACLU, and who supports the teaching of intelligent design in classrooms. This is a man who, over and over, has proved himself to be a racist and intolerant bastard. In other words, just the type we want influencing our government.

US News and World Report ranks Regent's law school, from where so many of our government officials are plucked, as "tier four." In other words, not elite. Ultra Christian, yes, but not elite.

Um, but enough from me. This rant is done much better here:

Religion and politics, last time I checked, were supposed to be kept a healthy distance from each other. That founding principle is simply not adhered to. And I get so sick of these democrats too, like when Obama says his faith "informs" his every decision or when John Edwards says he doesn't support gay marriage because of his religious convictions. That's crap.

I am not anti-religion. I am not anti-Christian, but Christianity is one of the most destructive forces in US politics. Pat Robertson and his university have infiltrated some of the highest offices in the land, and that scares the crap out of me.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Making A Difference

Loyal McBone readers are certainly aware that we are very environmentally conscious. It is an important issue in our own personal day-to-day actions, and one that we analyze carefully when voting for political candidates. Family oriented as we are, it would be nice to leave a world for our children and grandchildren in which they can live comfortably, as we've all been lucky enough to do.

So what am I getting at? We here at McBone Inc. officially challenge each and every single one of you out there to "Make A Difference". We are not asking for you to go out and buy a hybrid car tomorrow, or install solar panels onto your homes. Why not simply be conscious of your surroundings, and be aware of the little things you can do on an everyday basis? Pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, recycle at your house or don't allow gasoline to spill when you are filling up at the gas pump. Any and all of these things, little as they may be, contribute significantly over time to the health of our planet.
Just two weeks ago I wrote a letter to the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert (my employer), and suggested switching our office from styrofoam cups to paper. Why, you might ask? Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene, is an enviromentally unfriendly plastics product. Plastics are derived from petroleum which is a non-renewable resource. Enough said. A styrofoam cup gets used one time and then the cup spends its entire life in a garbage heap. Unlike a styrofoam cup, a paper cup has an afterlife: it can be used to make other useful products. Also, paper comes from trees, and trees, unlike petroleum, are a renewable resource. Lastly, and most importantly, paper is biodegradable. What this means is that paper can rot, but Styrofoam cannot.

Now take into account that there are 300 employees in my office. I can say with confidence that 70% of those people either drink coffee or tea every single day using those cups. That is 210 cups per day. Our office is probably open 350 days a year with full staff. That is 73,500 styrofoam cups a year, and that doesn't include people who use more than one a day or the constant traffic of visiting clients using them as well. You get the point.
I walked into the office today and there were paper cups now occupying the dispensers. One simple mail proclaiming Dan could improve his company's reputation by becoming environmentally friendly and it was done. It took 5 minutes to write that email and an entire company has changed its policy. It is that simple and it is that easy.

So we ask you, McBoners, and we send out to you a personal challenge: what can you do today? What can you do to help your children have a clean, safe and healthy place to live? We can't wait around any longer for someone else to handle it. If we all aren't proactive then we don't have a prayer of making any real change


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dick Cheney: Possibly the World's Most Horrible Person

We at McBone spend a lot of time railing against our incompetent Commander-in-Chief. Can you blame us? His utter contempt for human life and the environment make him one of the more loathesome characters in recent memory. In fact, we so deplore the presidency of George Bush that we often neglect another warmonger whose own evildoing has resulted in tens of thousands of needless deaths.
Reckless, remorseless Dick Cheney is truly one of the most frightening individuals alive. Of all the misleading voices to lead us into an unnecessary war, his was among the loudest. That's why McBone fully endorses Dennis Kucinich's movement to have our snarling and sneering vice president impeached.
Congressman Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment to congress in April, and his action got a rousing applause at yesterday's Yearly Kos debate. Was his move politically motivated? Sure. The guy is running for president, after all. That doesn't make him any less right. He and 16 of his peers have been the only ones with the guts to attempt this. Impeached? It's too good for this war criminal.
Other things we don't like about the VP:
That he's the VP.
That he's in bed with Halliburton.
That he's against gay marriage.
That he's a CIA leaker.
That he sneers all the time.
That he lied to us because he wanted war.
That he avoided military service.
That he claims his office isn't part of the exectutive branch.
That he shoots people in the head.
That he founded the scary and disturbing Project for the New American Century with Donald Rumsfeld and William Kristol.
That he's creepy.
That he's anti-environment.
That he's pro-fossil fuels.
That he's scum.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Nate's Friday Sports Extravaganza

Wow, a lot to catch up on this week.


Kenny Lofton is back for a third go 'round. I LOVE this move! Why not sign him through 2008? He's hitting about as well as he did in his prime, he can still run, and he's playing with a purpose--he wants the ring. I have never been a fan of platoon situations, mainly because it always seems like one or both players don't quite cut it (remember the Ben Broussard, Eduardo Perez situation at first base?), but a Lofton/Michaels platoon in left could be really effective I think, because both players are well suited for a part-time role.

The trading deadline is gone, and the Tribe didn't pick up any additional bullpen help. Disappointing? Yes, but I don't believe that ruins our chances. Lately, it's been the hitting and Fielding that has let us down.

Indeed the Tribe has been sputtering, even with Lofton injected injected into the lineup. They can't seem to buy a hit when Carmona and Sabathia pitch. The team I watched lose to the Rangers on Tuesday had about as much energy as a beached whale.

Losing five series in a row at home is basically unacceptable, but at least the Tigers are in a similar funk, and are still but a half game in front of us. Let's hope, though, that it's not that kind of playoff race, two teams crawling toward the finish line, or the Yankees will run away with that wild card.

I'm a tad late on this, but credit the Tribe for having the guts to send down Cliff Lee and credit Lee for accepting the assignment. No doubt that was a tough pill to swallow. I don't know what happened to the guy who won 46 games in the past three seasons, but he hasn't shown up this season.


So far the biggest offseason move for the Cavs has been suing Ticketmaster, and I really don't give a damn.

Boston getting Kevin Garnett makes pretty much no sense to me whatsoever. How does a team as shitty as Boston put together a package that lands them one of the five best players in the league? The clock has to be officially ticking on Kevin McHale's future with the Timberwolves, who I predict will win about 26 combined games in the next 3 seasons, and deserve it.

So, now that Boston magically aquired Kevin Garnett and, of course, Ray Allen, the Celtics are contenders, no two ways about it. I really don't think the Cavs are going to pull off anything big this offseason, so where do they stand? It all depends on what kind of a leap the young guys take. We know what we're getting with Z, Gooden, Varejao, Hughes, Snow, Marshall and Jones. It will be interesting to see if Daniel Gibson is for real, and whether Shannon Brown can do anything besides jump. Then there is LeBron. The best player in the league is going to have to be even better to get back to the finals. The East isn't going to roll over for him.


I'm already sick of hearing the name Brady Quinn, and the national media needs to figure out that this guy is not our starting QB. Honestly, I'm not sure why we bothered drafting the guy. As if a quarterback is going to help matters. Another offensive lineman would have been more to the point, really. As it stands, the Browns have 4 quarterbacks, and I'm not sure it matters who is in there taking snaps.

Anyway, sign a contract, Brady Quinn, get rich and play football.

Speaking of the line, just when it seems that the OL was beginning to resemble something at least reasonably functional...Ryan Tucker gets suspended for 4 games. The beat goes on.

Friday sports addendum:

McBone congratulates former Brown Gene Hickerson for FINALLY making the Hall of Fame. Hickerson had long been snubbed by the HOF, and it's too bad that he was inducted after Alzheimer's disease has made him unable to fully appreciate what he's deserved for decades. The man blocked for three Hall of Fame running backs, including the greates ever, Jim Brown. Better late than never.

Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week:

The Yankees starting infield will be devoured by zombies.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

F. Scott Was On to Something

"Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they'll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white."

That quote I stumbed upon a few days ago when I picked up a copy of The Great Gatsby (what a book, by the way. Maybe the Great American Novel, but that's getting off track). Those words were written by Fitzgerald in 1925 and are uttered by the novel's most obnoxious and unsympathetic character, Tom Buchanan.
Does it sound familiar? Yeah, it sounds exactly like what our own obnoxious and unsympathetic character, George W. Bush, spouts every time the issue of gay marriage comes up. You know the company line: we have to protect families and the institution of marriage, blah, blah, blah.
The point is: there's a reason why Gatsby is still widely read and taught 80 years after it was published: the book is still relevant and will always be.
Gay marriage, as was the case with interracial marriage, is inevitable. I really believe this. The religious Right knows it, too, and that's why Bush has tried everything, including amending the constitution, to make sure it doesn't happen. Of course denying gays the right to marry is already unconstitutional, but this is all old news...
PS. The film adaptation of Gatsby, the overblown one with a miscast Robert Redford and an insufferable Mia Farrow, is damn near unwatchable.
Oh, but what a book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Un Dernier Repas avec Hélène

Our time here in France is winding down. A mere week remains and already we've torn down much of what decorated our wonderful apartment in La Roche-sur-Yon.
It's sad, yes, but tonight we celebrated two extraordinary years with an extraordinary meal, likely our last truly French repast for a long while. Our friend Hélène was kind enough to indulge my taste for Gallic cuisine, and so we found ourselves in Restaurant le Rivoli, where my meal commenced with a warm gizzard and foie gras salad, drizzled with an exquisite balsamic vinaigrette. Following that I supped upon succulent veal medallions and potatoes prepared in a rich curry sauce. All of this was, of course, washed down with a superb bottle of white wine (though I can't remember what label, dammit!!!), a perfect compliment to my veal and Alex's delicious salmon.
In addition, Hélène has helped us find an apartment and write CVs and cover letters in French, which for non-native speakers, is as easy as molecular biology. Thank you, Hélène, not just for tonight, but for all you have done for us this year. Please, please come see us in the U.S. anytime you want.
Restaurant le Rivoli has earned the official McBone Seal of Approval, McB, and a four-star **** rating in the McBone Guide to Dining.