Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are; A McBone Mini-Review

Boring.  That's the criticism I keep hearing and reading about Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze's brilliant, haunting adaptation of Maurice Sendak's seminal tale of Max and his there-and-back-again voyage over oceans and through time.  

I should preface this by asserting how much I was anticipating this movie, probably more than any this year.  I can hardly overstate the effect the book had on my young, impressionable mind.  I know that puts me in rarefied company with some 35 billion other kids, but many of my loves can be traced directly back to that source: monsters, darkness, teddy bears strung up by the neck:

I won't say that I was as wild as Max, but I did have wallpaper that looked vaguely like Sendak's forests, and if I squinted just right...ah, but I ramble.

What I want to say is this: WTWTA is no children's movie.  Or rather I should say that the movie respects the intelligence of children instead of pandering to it.  Intellectually, Jonze asks his audience not to settle for cheap gags and lowbrow humor; anyone seeking a smorgasbord of mere visual delights and an infusion of potty jokes will be sorely let down.  That's why this is such great work, and that's why it will last.  Screenwriter Dave Eggers takes the high road by not stuffing his adaptation with a lot of dialogue.  The book was sparsely worded and so is the screenplay.  That's a good thing.  The imagination of the boy (really good work by Max Records in his first role) and the monsters and the monsters inside the boy speak all speak loudly enough.  The metaphor of the book is famous and lovely for its simplicity.  To pollute it with words would seem a sin.

Now, back to that word, boring.  I'm not sure what these critics were expecting.  No, it's not an action packed thrill-ride, but I want to know what could be more exciting than sailing to a world full of very large, dangerous, razor-clawed monsters, becoming their king and then demanding that the wild rumpus start!!!  I guess people wanted all rumpus, all the time.  Not happening.  The movie flows at a pace that at times is as gentle as a soft pile of sleeping, snoring monsters (ah, but with the constant risk of being squished!).  Max's world has, gasp, emotions in it--complex ones.  Relationships too.  And quiet times.  Because you know what?  Kids, even the wildest ones, have complex emotions.  And relationships.  And quiet times.  Those silent moments, when Max is trying to sort things out, only make the rumpus more profound.  The ties Max makes with the monsters are more protracted in the film, and the monsters themselves have names and personalities and a certain societal code that predates Max's discovery of their island, suggesting that maybe, just maybe, this journey isn't so imaginary after all.  That's how I prefer to see it, anyway. 

Nice additions abound.  After all, it is a challenge to make a feature length movie from a book of ten sentences.  Katherine Keener (is there a better actor alive?) excels as Max's mom, a role mirrored by the female monster lead, KW (voiced beautifully by Lauren Ambrose).  The fort that Max and his monster subjects build is at once breathtaking and in perfect alignment with the source material.  The actors chosen to portray the monsters are brilliant, none more than James Gandolfini as Carol--Max's best friend and most terrible adversary.  Also, look for perhaps the greatest screen dismemberment of all time.

Of course as renowned as the story is Sendak's art.  Monster costumes with GCI faces may sound like a recipe for ridiculousness, but this crew gets the look just right, from our hero, the forest and the creatures that have become so essential to our culture.  The effects are seamless and subtle enough that we forget they are there.

Are there disappointments?  Sure, but not many.  Mostly I miss what to me was always the most magical moment in the book, when Max's bedroom transforms by degrees into a forest.  I don't want to quibble, though, not with such a masterful take on a masterful book.  Sendak himself has expressed his admiration of this adaptation. Who's a better judge?

Official McBone Rating: 4.5 McBones

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Broken Heart

When my beloved sister told me on Facebook the other day how delicious she thought homemade mayonnaise was, and when she said how much she loved making her own mayonnaise and serving it to her husband and children, and when my sister told me that she could barely palate a sandwich anymore without the 'rich and creamy taste of yummy homemade mayonnaise,' I knew at that moment how Michael Corleone must have felt when he discovered that he had been betrayed by his brother Fredo:

That betrayal led to an assassination attempt.  This one hurt just as bad.  While I have no intention of kissing my sister on the lips or exacting a punishment like the one Michael designed for Fredo, I would like to tell her, if she's out there reading, that she broke my heart.

Do you hear me, sister?  You broke my heart!  You broke my heart!!!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Big Buck Hunting in Indiana

Ever get the urge to just up and blow something away?  Sure, we all do.  And about the only thing more satisfying than a violent impulse is a shared violent impulse.  That's why whenever Craig and Jessica journey over from Cleveland for a weekend of unbridled decadence, we make it a point to swing by the Knickerbocker bar for some hard drinkin' and a few bloodlusting games of Big Buck Hunter.

Not many video games celebrate the savage thrill of destroying wildlife like Big Buck Hunter.  Armed with an orange rifle, BBH allows the virtual hunter to fire in rapid chamber-loading succession at some truly majestic ten-point bucks.  Supercharged on Pabst Blue Ribbon and thirsting for the kill, the four of us took turns gunning down those fucking deer.

Here Craig and Alex admire a bulls-eye as I send a round screaming into the dome of an unsuspecting buck:

Alex squeezes off some textbook hip shots.  The purse dangling from her trigger hand didn't stop her from bagging a buck in this round:

Teeth gritted and upper lip curled into a murderous snarl, Jessica plugs a pair of darting bucks.  That's how it's DONE, bitches! she screamed before shotgunning another PBR:

"Eagle-eye" Craig nabbed more deer than anyone on this afternoon.  Here he is calmly splattering the brains of some doomed buck over the placid landscape:

Here's to good friends, good beer and Big Buck Hunter--all the thrill of the kill, none of the messy cleanup.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

McBone Presents: The 2009-10 Cavaliers Season Preview

Team Capsule

Hello: Shaquille O'Neal, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe, Danny Green

Goodbye: Sasha Pavlovic, Joe Smith, Ben Wallace, Tarance Kinsey, Wally Szczerbiak, Lorenzen Wright

Last season: Finished 66-16, lost to the Orlando Magic 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals

Head coach: Mike Brown, fifth season.  Career record: 211-117.  Playoffs: 36-24


Finally, finally, basketball season is upon us again.  With the '09 Indians dead, buried and forgotten, and the Browns with one foot already in the grave, it's time to reflect on the basketball season to come.

The Cavs did not stand pat after a record setting season in which they won 66 games and were dismissed unceremoniously from the playoffs by the revolting Orlando Magic.  That series exposed some serious flaws in the team's makeup, including a lack of perimeter defensive size and the inability to defend a major low post scoring threat.  The Cavs vaunted defense had no answer for the Magic, who scored at will all series long.  Had they prevailed (and they might have, if not for blowing game one at home), the Lakers were waiting with the same set of challenges.

This season figures to play out in similar fashion.  The Cavs will win many games, perhaps enough to take the Eastern Conference for the second year in a row.  And here's the thing about that: while I believe the Cavs have gotten better, I'm not sure about the rest of the East.

The East's Elite

The Magic are, no doubt in my mind, the primary obstacle between the Cavs and the finals.  In the Magic the Cavs ran into a perfect mismatch in the form of long, tall, sweet shooting perimeter players and a low post powerhouse who basically swatted our big men out of the way.  What I can't for the life of me understand is why the Magic let their second best player, Hedo Turkoglu, get away.  The guy basically dissected opponents throughout the playoffs with a high pick and roll and proved an impossible guard for everyone except the Lakers.  Worse yet, who did they replace him with?  That active member of the all-time fool's gold team, Vince Carter.  This is a decided downgrade, though some are still drinking the Vince Kool-aid.  I'll never forget the '07 playoffs against the Nets, when Sasha Pavlovic reduced him to a puddle of quivering goo.

I'm also not sure why Orlando let go of talented second year guard Courtney Lee.  I do know they will be damned good regardless.  Enough to win the East again?  Doubt it.

By the way, Dwight Howard is possibly the dirtiest player in the league.  Don't let his cornball off-court geniality fool you.  The guy is dirty and, yes, I hate him. 

The Celtics added erstwhile superstar Rasheed Wallace and all of a sudden have been reanointed by many the Team to Beat in the East.  Forget the fact that it's been two years since Wallace has been interested in basketball, or any good. The Celtics didn't do themselves any favors by aging a year, either.  The quartet of seniors citizens--Garnett, Pierce, Allen and Wallace--can't possibly stay healthy all season long without some sort of remarkable luck (never in short supply in Boston).  With the exception of maybe Pierce, all of these guys are on a downward slide.  Did you see that crew collectively run out of gas in the second round of the playoffs?  Also not helping is that fact that, for a second consecutive year, the Celtics lost their best bench player.  Last year it was James Posey.  This year, Leon Powe.  Super spazz Marquis Daniels won't quite measure up in that role, though he is a decent pickup.

Still, throw Rajon Rondo (one of the more odious Celtics in recent memory) into the mix, and this is a team that wins many, many games.

The Playoff Contenders

The main challengers most likely will be Miami, Chicago, Washington, Altanta, Philadelphia and, yes, Detroit.  Not a one of them scares me.

Starting Five

PG: Mo Williams.  The Cavs won 66 games last year largely because all-star Mo Williams brought a long-needed dimension: reliable scoring (18 PPG), competent playmaking and lights out shooting.  And then?  Then the Cavs lost to the Magic largely because Mo could not defend the perimeter, shoot or make plays.  His floater abandoned him, and then went his willingness to drive to the hoop.  Whatever confidence he had during the season seemed to whither as the playoffs progressed.  Having watched Mo all season, and in seasons past, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and predict that postseason history won't repeat itself.  The Mo Williams I watched in the regular season was fearless and gritty and always confident enough to take the next shot, certain it would go in.  What he lacked was much playoff experience.  That's all over.  Time for Mo to take the next step.  He is 26, just entering his prime.  Let's hope he took those playoff failings personally.

SG: Delonte West.  Delonte was arguably the Cavs' second best player in the playoffs last year.  Though his size hurt him against Orlando, Delonte is strong, quick and committed to defense.  Can he handle Vince Carter?  Yes.  Can he handle bipolar disorder?  Based on last year's revelations that he was suffering from the disease and how he conducted himself afterwards, yes.  That he was recently arrested for packing enough weaponry to outfit a small military unit indicates that he may have temporarily misplaced his medication.  He's dealing with it. The Cavs are dealing with it.  Bipolar disorder is a scary disease, and all parties are treating it as such.  Expect Delonte to be ready to play once the season starts.  He may not be in the starting lineup, but then that may not be such a bad thing.

Here's why we need him.  He is a gifted athlete whose intelligence, speed and length bother the bejeezus out of opposing guards.  He's blossomed into a capable shooter who keeps defenders honest enough that he can blow by them and make the pass to a cutting big man, or simply throw the ball down.  He's also competitive as hell and will fill any role that results in a win.  Will it continue to be a problem that, along with Mo, the Cavs start two undersized guards?  Probably in the playoffs it will be, and that's why Delonte off the bench may not be a bad thing.  Until further notice, he is the starting two.

C: Shaquille O'Neal

For the first time in 11 years, this slot will be occupied by someone other than the venerable Zydrunas Ilgauskas.  Everyone, including Z, seems to be ok with that.  Though 37 and every last ounce of a 325 pounder who has played a billion NBA minutes, Shaquille O'Neal is still a dominant force, and Dwight Howard won't be pushing him anywhere.  No more one and two-foot baby hooks for the Magic center; Howard will have to work for his points, and he will also have to work on the defensive end too.  Should he stray from his man to try and clog the paint, his man will be ramming the ball through the hoop every single time.  I love Z, but he could never make Howard pay for cheating like O'Neal will be able to.  I loved the effort Ben Wallace gave last year, but my mom might as well have been guarding Dwight Howard.  Same story with Varejao.  Can't do it.  Won't have to.

This acquisition changes everything.  The idea that O'Neal will somehow be getting in LeBron James' way is preposterous.  O'Neal has 4 rings.  He knows how to play basketball.  Scoring, rebounding, passing, defending--the package is diminished, but firmly intact, as evidenced by last season's all-star play.  I have been cursing O'Neal since I was 17 years old.  Now I get to cheer for him.  And guess what?  He's motivated too.  Can't wait to see this.

SF: LeBron James.  Pairing the game's best player with one of the greatest centers in the history of the game will transform this team from a regular season wonder into a postseason monster.

The way I see it, there is one area in which LBJ could get vastly better: adding a low post game.  Want to see a guy strong enough to back his man down?  Want to see a guy skilled enough to demand a double team?  Want to see a guy with great court vision pass out of the double team?  That's LeBron.  Happily, a low post game is exactly what LeBron has been working on all offseason, and it will make him complete.  Paired with Shaq, it also makes the Cavs as tough as anyone in the block.  LeBron is entering the beginning stages of his prime years.  He wants to win.  Watch out.

Look for him to nab a second straight MVP award, too.

PF: Anderson Varejao.  The trio of Varejao, James and O'Neal will prove a formidable frontcourt, particularly on the defensive end.  Anderson's main value on offense is his ability to roll to the hoop and finish.  He is not a shooter and not much of a passer, but he's gotten better by degrees in each of these areas over the past few seasons.  His improved shot selection is evidenced in a team high 53 percent field goal shooting.  He'll never be great, but he's no longer a liability.

But let's be honest; we all know why he's out there.  The team's most committed defender, his job is to get in the face and under the skin of opponents, grabbing rebounds all the while.  Folks in the media snickered when Varejao was signed to what seemed an exhorbitent six-year contract.  That noise has died down somewhat, partially because the deal is laden with incentives and mostly the dude is a damned good player.  There are exactly three players left from the team that went to the finals in '07--James, Ilgauskas and Andy.  This is no coincidence.


The Cavs bench was absolutely brutalized against the Magic and Mikael Pietrus in the conference finals, who outscored the Cavaliers reserves by himself for the whole series.  Danny Ferry was not idle in directly addressing these concerns.

G: Anthony Parker.  I love this signing.  Parker is a knock down shooter with size who will buy right into Mike Brown's demand for defensive intensity.  Parker is just the kind of player the Cavs were missing when Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Mikael Pietrus were shooting threes like they were layups during the ECFs.  Though he's no spring chicken, he is a late bloomer who seems to have a lot left in the tank.  Fans should also like his ability to create his own shot when the offense breaks down.  Think of him as filling the role of Szczerbiak, only longer, quicker, less rickety and not terrible.

Parker has been a capable starter in the NBA.  Don't be surprised to see him steal minutes when opponents exploit our short backcourt.

F: Jamario Moon.  Another late bloomer.  Another great signing!  Seriously, I think we got this guy at just the right time.  Always an emphatic dunker, Moon has been showing signs of maturity by displaying a (yes, it is ug-ly) competent three point shot.  Not that we want him to stop running the break and throwing 'em down, which he will have ample opportunity to do.  Most importantly, he is a rangy defender who would have given the Magic shooters something to think about last season.

C: Zydrunas Ilguaskas.  Big Z is now a backup center.  Think about this.  Our best midrange jumpshooter.  Our best offensive rebounder.  The third best center in the East.  Will he be traded during the middle of the season?  His large expiring contract tells me...possibly?  But I doubt a team with two aging centers will put all their eggs in one basket by dumping one of them.

*All right, here is where I take a bit of space to gush about Zydrunas Ilgauskas and why he belongs among the all time athletes ever to don a Cleveland jersey.  When they drafted Ilgauskas, the Cavs acquired a rare talent.  A blend of speed, agility and size that we had never seen in a Cavs uniform before.  Three foot surgeries reduced this freakish athlete to a mere NBA all-star, the lone bright spot on a team that, until winning a draft lottery, had no prospect of winning except by grace of the talents of a towering Lithuanian center.  McBone salutes you, Big Z, and hopes to see you remain and retire a Cavalier.

G: Daniel Gibson.  I don't know.  I just don't know.  Boobie is perhaps the purest shooter since the days of Mark Price and Steve Kerr.  Unfortunately, he is closer to Steve Kerr than Mark Price, and that means he is a shooter only.  Except I don't think he's actually made a shot since the '07 finals.  For two (injury marred) seasons, Gibson has displayed that he is only marginally better than me as a ballhandler, and his defense will never be strong.  I have a feeling that this guy will fade into obscurity unless he can prove himself more durable and more capable of hitting a wide open shot.  If he shoots less than 38 percent from behind the arc, he is basically useless to us.

F: J.J. Hickson.  J.J. trained with LeBron all summer long.  Smart move and a good way to ingratiate yourself with coaches who, more than anything, wanted to see hard work and maturity from their talented second-year forward.  Combine that and his insane athleticism and you get THE player to watch this season.  Should become a member of the rotation, provided coach is pleased with his defense and rebounding efforts.  Added to his arsenal of low post moves (let's hope he can cut out the traveling calls) is a nifty 15-foot jumper--my absolute favorite shot in basketball.  Hickson is also a gifted shot blocker who has shown flashes of the kind of defender he can be.

F: Darnell Jackson: In direct contrast to Hickson, Darnell Jackson is a hard-working big man with a very (based on last season) limited ceiling.  A marginal rebounder, defender and shooter, Darnell's biggest asset may be his sheer size, but so far what I've seen is a guy who plays smaller than his height.  He could have decent value as a bench defender, but I can't get too high on him in spite of his rugged, blue collar ethic.  Perhaps I'm undervaluing him, but I don't think so.

F: Leon Powe.  Maybe the most intriguing free agent signing in Danny Ferry's short tenure.  Powe starts the season on the injured list due to another knee surgery, but he was a major force on Boston's championship team in '08.  A nasty around the rim player, Powe absolutely destroyed the Cavs every time they played the Celts.  I hated him then.  By the time the playoffs roll around, he should be in top form.  If he's close to the player he was before--a gritty rebounder, defender and low block scorer--the Celtics' loss will be the Cavs' gain.

G: Danny Green.  The Cavs second round draft pick wasn't all that impressive in the summer league and he's been injured most of the preseason.  I don't know what to expect from him, except that he's a long, athletic wing player.  Whether he can duplicate his success at North Carolina at the next level remains to be seen, and it won't happen this season anyway.

F: Jawad Williams.  I have a feeling this guy can be a serviceable role player in the NBA, I'm just hoping we don't see a lot of him this year.

Coach: Mike Brown.  There is no nice way to put this: Mike Brown got the shit coached out of him by Orlando's Stan van Gundy last year, whose clever offensive schemes ran circles around the sets of his defense-minded counterpart.  Brown couldn't have liked that.  Making matters more complicated, offensive whiz John Kuester departs to assume head coaching duties in Toronto Detroit.  Though he has his work cut out, Brown has never made excuses, and has never stopped improving himself as a coach.   Should he fall short this year, though, a change could be on its way.


Though they may not break as many records as they did last year, the Cavs will win in excess of 60 games, enough to easily capture the Central Division and possibly the East.  They will beat the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals rematch, 4-2.

The Cavaliers will then end Cleveland's 46-year-old drought by winning the NBA finals, topping the Lakers in a legendary seven-game series.

And yes, LeBron James will stay in Cleveland, regardless of whether the Cavs win it all this year.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ode on Beef Jerky

Ah, beef jerky,
Leath'ry meat...
Strips of heaven,
What a treat!

Zesty, salty,
Dried-out cow,
Don't want it later,
I want it now!

So many flavors,
Oh, how they mock me!
Pepper, garlic,

Other beasts,
Can be jerky too,
Rabbit, deer
And kangaroo.

But you, beef jerky,
are jerky king,
Smoky, chewy,
To you I sing.

So buy a package,
Toss the wrapper,
It's jerky time,
Now shut yer yapper!


Click here to read my other foray into bad poetry about a food of dubious merit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The McBone List of Civilized States

Hey, opponents of same-sex marriage, do you know why you will lose your futile battle with equality?  Because you have no argument!  While we may be a nation of Christians, we are not a Christian nation.  Nor are we Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Scientologist, or god knows what else. That's already good news for an atheist, who is perfectly free to marry his Buddhist girlfriend in the chambers of a Jewish judge.  One day it will be good news for gay people too, in every single state.

Also, please try to understand that your ideology isn't protecting anything, not families, not marriage, not morals.  Certainly not children.  The children!  Can you please stop infecting their cherubic little heads with the filth of your backward and miserable convictions?  That'd be super, thanks.

One day you will wake up and realize that, in the face of your whithering notions about the way people ought to live, you were on the same side of history as the segregationists and anti-suffragists.  Nice legacy.  Enjoy!  In the meantime we applaud these states and their supreme courts for having the backbone to stand up to bigotry of the most ludicrous and baffling kind:

New Hampshire

McBone also would like to salute Governor John Matrix for changing his mind about Harvey Milk Day this past Sunday.  Eat that, Prop 8, you flea-ridden cur!


By the way, Protect Marriage website, way to look nonprejudiced by having a rotating banner picture featuring each of the four basic races: white, black, Mexican and Chinese.  Puh-thetic.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Smoke Winston Instead

You need proof that the world is a dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking, godforsaken, rat-infested place with worms and maggots crawling all over it?  Look no further than this display of Food Club Mayonnaise, encountered while I innocently browsed the aisles of the local Kroger.  This furtive shot taken with my camera phone reveals what mayonnaise is retailing at these days.

Why this sort of thing is tolerated in public spaces, I have no idea.  At $2.69, a 32 ounce jar of Food Club Mayo is no bargain.  Considering the health care costs of long term mayonnaise abuse, you're much better off buying a pack of Winstons at twice the price.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barack Obama-Nobel Laureate

In what is bound to be the most controversial handing out of a coveted prize since Zoilo Versalles was named the American League MVP in 1965, President Obama, the man at the helm of two wars that few would argue are going well, awoke yesterday to learn that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Sure beats me waking up to learn I still had a bite of pizza in my mouth.

I haven't read up on this yet, and I'm going merely by gut reaction, but I have a feeling this may just have something to do with the way this country conducted itself from 2000-2008.  Having spent a decent amount of time in Europe during those eight years, we had the chance to talk to a lot of people and gather their impressions about the US and its president.  Their collective opinion was one of almost unqualified disdain.  You think a 30% approval rating was low?  Try asking the French.

So, is the giant sigh of relief that the world exhaled when the Bush regime finally rolled over and died enough for his successor to claim an award that has been given to the likes of Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela?  I don't know.  Elie Wiesel commented that this Nobel Prize was based on a beginning.  In other words, the award is based on what Obama is trying to do--fix the economy, reform healthcare, end two wars, reduce carbon emissions and resuscitate our standing in the world--rather than what he's done.  Does that make the decision controversial?  Considering that the Bush presidency wasn't very interested in most of the stuff listed above, stuff that much of the developed world considers vital, and considering that a great deal of what Obama is trying to accomplish amounts to bringing the most powerful nation in the world up to speed, maybe it's not as crazy as it seems.

Still, I'm going to withhold the McBone Seal of Approval on this one. 

Incidentally, I would also argue that Obama may be slightly more deserving than some of the other past winners.


PS--Check out West Lawn Park's more thoughtful take on this subject.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Nemesis Blogger

Somewhere out there, blogging his (or her!) brains out, is my diametric opposite, my antithesis, my arch nemesis.  I don't know if he is aware of me, but I am aware of him and I have a fairly clear picture of what he's like.

My arch nemesis will be proudly blond, but unable to abide a single hair growing on his body.  You will see him at the gym every day obsessing over his body fat.  Like a moth to flame, you may find yourself drawn to him.  His blogging topics are pretty consistent:

He thinks that people in Venezuela all speak Mexican.

He thinks the Earth still needs to be peopled.

He loves late Heathcliff more than early Heathcliff.

He wishes his wife's fake breasts were just a little bigger.

He buys 64 gallon cups of Mountain Dew, then disposes of his empties in my yard.

He leaves his Hummer's motor running in the parking lot all day while he's at work at Halliburton.

He loves the New York Yankees and Ronald Reagan equally.

He can barely contain his outrage that Michael Bay has yet to win an Oscar.

His celebrity crush is Megan Fox.

He thinks the "Chan" in Chan Marshall is pronounced like it's spelled.

He makes love in a hot tub filled with mayonnaise.

He sips $90 bottles of wine and describes them as "reticent," "flippant," and "enigmatic."

He shows his NRA membership card to everyone he meets.

He thinks McBone is something McDonald's employees do during 15 minute breaks.

He thinks Al Pacino is the greatest actor of all time.

He thinks literature begins and ends with The Firm.

He thinks wind energy is "gay."

One thing I know my nemesis is not: a fool.  No indeed.  If he is out there, he will reveal himself when the time is right.  Just know, rival blogger, I am ready.  The McBoners are ready.  We stand united against you.  The Sword of Damocles hangs but an inch above your precious blond head.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hey Indiana, Can You Please Start Selling Alcohol on Sundays?

Hey Indiana, I have a confession to make.  When I first learned that we would be moving to Ohio's next door neighbor, I was a little nervous.  Well, I underestimated you, and it was unfair.  When I swore you would vote McCain, you chose Obama.  When I expected mile after mile of flat farmland, you showed me idyllic country roads that pass through charming towns of antebellum architecture.  You have parks, cities, sports teams, universities of great renown.  You have microbreweries and wineries....

Which brings me to the crux of this post, and here I'm forced to alter my tone a little, because while the Hoosier State is great indeed, you're not perfect, and I have to ask you what the hell is going on with this Sunday ban on alcohol sales?  I mean, are you kidding me, Indiana?  Are you honestly for real about this thing?  Do 94-year-old teetotalers hold so much sway over state legislators that an honest guy or gal can't walk into a grocery store on a Sunday, slap down a few hard-earned bucks and walk out with a well-deserved six pack?  Who are you, Indiana, that when I'm in dire need of a bottle of wine to take to a dinner I've been invited to, you have the nerve to say no, I may NOT go to the local wine store and get some sound advice on a good Cab Franc?  As if my money, which you're perfectly willing to let me spend on booze any other day of the week, suddenly isn't green on a Sunday.  And, hey, what about football?  Do you realize what day the majority of NFL games are played?  Are you aware that football is the most popular professional sport?  Do you know what legions of football fans like to drink while watching the game and devouring all manners of greasy, salty and fried foods?  I invite you, Indiana, to offer a Colts fan a refreshing glass of Tang to wash down that pile of buffalo wings.  Go on, I dare you! Just see what happens.  I promise I'll be laughing in your face.

Now, this might be a touchy subject, Indiana, but is this a church thing?  Because that stuff doesn't apply here at McBone, or to a lot of Indianans, so how about this for an idea: for those people who think it's wrong to buy alcohol from a liquor, convenience or grocery store on a Sunday, even though anyone over 21 with the proper ID can waltz into a bar or restaurant (or a winery!) and drink themselves into oblivion and drive home, I say ok--those people are perfectly welcome to refrain from doing so.  Only don't tell me I can't, because you know what else?  After 21 long, hard years of livin', I deserve to kick back with a cocktail, beer or glass of wine, no matter the day of the week.  Stock up on Saturday you say?  Bite me, I say.  What if Sunday is the only day I can manage to shop?  Do you know how infuriating it is to have a pimply, 16-year-old clerk at the Kroger tell me in a barely pubescent voice that I can't buy that case of Sam Adams?  I know it's not his fault, but I still get the urge to rip all $10,000 worth of dental work from his mouth.

So, Indiana, my friend, begone with antiquated laws.  Prohibition on any day is wrong, plain wrong.  Let the chains blocking the beer aisle be broken!  Let the liquor stores open!  Let the booze flow, seven days a week!  Who's with me?


Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Birthday Portend?

Behold the twitching, dying form of a cedar waxwing, one of nature's most glorious winged specimens and one of my very favorites.  Annually the waxwings come to feast on the berries from various trees and bushes that surround our house.  On the eve of my 34th birthday, this poor juvenile bird met its fate in the form of our dining room window.  The unmistakable thump of bird meeting glass could be heard from every corner of the house, and I knew as I came running that an ill omen had come calling.

What doom, what evil fate awaits me, I cannot say.  Having watched hundreds of movies, I know only this: a dead bird can only mean perils and pitfalls galore. Death, disgrace, ruin--they dwell in the shadows, drawing near, an avian nightmare about to come true.

Happy birthday to me.