Thursday, August 24, 2006

EDITORIAL: Fourteen Days of Dusty-Free Living

I finally did it, folks. I finally gave up on the Cubs. Two Wednesdays ago, it was. I reached for the remote, I pointed it at the television to turn on the game, and something stopped me. One little word ran through my head. "Why?" I searched my brain for an answer to the question, and couldn't think of a single reason to watch the Cubs. Zambrano doesn't even do it for me anymore. The sight of that goddamn red "C" makes me sick to my stomach now. So, I put down the remote and picked up a book. A book!

This is what it's come to, folks. I read. I read some silly novel called Reversible Errors, just because it was written by a guy from my hometown. But that's not the point. The point is that two weeks ago, Dusty Baker drove me to reading. I got to thinking, "Is this a good thing? Will the time I don't waste on the Cubs make me a better person?" To find the answer, I decided to stop watching the Cubs completely for two weeks. Let's explore what I did in that time in an effort to finally answer the question, "Do the Cubs sucking at everything make me suck at life, too?"


Since I had my Dustorcism, I have watched the following movies and television shows (sponsored, in part, by Netflix):
  1. Life on Mars--If you're not watching this BBC show, start watching this show. It's about a cop in London who gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. Is he dreaming the whole thing? Is he in a coma? Is he dead? Is he actually back in time? Anyhow, he's the guy in the white hat trying to change the Stone Age, crooked ways of the cops back in 1973. This is one of the best shows on television.
  2. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia--I'm pissed I was invited to this party late. It's on FX, and it's absolutely brilliant. The characters are loveably evil, and Charlie may be my favorite comedic character of all time. The 50's-TV-style opening is juxtaposed against the shocking and hilarious content. Why aren't you watching this show right now?
  3. Peep Show, Series 1--An interesting British comedy that does a lot of shots from the perspective of the main characters (hence, "Peep Show"). Let's face it. It's not The Office, but it was enjoyable and had some very funny moments.
  4. Three Days of the Condor--Robert Redford, government conspiracy, and the American Dream of returning to work to find everyone in your office shot to death. Great movie.
  5. The Brady Bunch Movie--Okay, this was my wife's pick. I think if I was a bigger fan of the original show, I would have enjoyed it more. It was better than the Cubs, though, right?
  6. Castaway--I saw this one when it first came out in the theater, and couldn't remember whether I enjoyed it or not. I liked it better this time, because I'm getting to the point in my life when getting stranded on a desert island doesn't seem that unappealing. I'm also having my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow, so the scene where he knocks out his tooth with a skate blade sent shivers down the spine.
  7. The Descent--Saw this one in the theaters. Wow. I wasn't expecting the gore. There were some great jump moments, some truly disgusting scenes, and a lot of tension between the characters. It was interesting how the characters were fighting against both the cave and the creatures. For someone as claustrophobic as I am, it was tough to watch, but very good.
  8. Lost, Season 1, Disc 1--Just got this one last night from Netflix. I missed out on the Lost fever when it first spread. I can understand this story's appeal, despite the completely absurd plot holes and the writers' inability to remember what their own characters have said from scene to scene. Bizarre.
I have had more time for the following games:
  1. Dead Rising (Xbox 360)--It's like playing Dawn of the Dead, and it's oh-so-sweet.
  2. NCAA Football (Xbox 360)--Notre Dame has already won one National Championship of many more to come.
  3. NCAA MVP Baseball (Xbox)--I picked this up to get in my baseball fix, as I finally came to the realization that MLB 2K6 completely sucks. It's a great game, as a non-MLB sequel to...
  4. MVP Baseball (Xbox)--I fired up a new season, and in keeping with the no-Cubs theme, I am using the Twins (my backup AL team). They are 5-2 so far, if you're wondering.
I have also read the aforementioned Reversible Errors. Yawn.

I have finally been able to run at a relatively consistent rate. I have dropped a couple of pounds, and last week I ran more (21 miles) than I had in the previous three weeks combined.

I have been able to pay more attention to my dog and wife, who both love me even more than they did before I gave up on the Cubs. My friends don't find me as bitter. My co-workers notice a little spring in my step. I've talked more to my family.

I've been bad about going to Church, but have dragged myself out of bed the past two Sundays to practice my faith.

How does this all add up? To me, it looks like I'm a better person for having given up hope on the Cubs. I challenge anyone to give me a good reason not to give up on them before a pitch is thrown in 2007...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hendry Ends Speculation About Future of Fire Dusty Baker!

CHICAGO--Cubs GM Jim Hendry, sick of all the speculation surrounding the security of popular Cubs website "Fire Dusty Baker!", decided to put the rumors to rest on Friday.

"I'm tired of all the questions directed at me and the staff of 'Fire Dusty Baker!', so I want to assure you that 'Fire Dusty Baker!' will be here through the end of this season. At the end of the season, I will take a look at everything and decide where to go from there," Hendry said between bites of a jelly doughnut.

Rumors had swirled around "Fire Dusty Baker!" that it would be removed due to its incompetent writing, factually inaccurate stories, wild speculations, not-so-subtle insults, and lack of timely updates. The rumors were based largely on Hendry's statement before the All-Star Break that he would evaluate the site. This led many in the media to believe that Hendry would make a move soon after the break.

Hendry remained silent about the site's future until Friday. "Fire Dusty Baker!" suspects that it was difficult for Hendry to read the many articles on the site, as he usually mouths the words
he is reading, making it impossible for him to read and eat simultaneously.

Whatever the reason for the delay, the staff at "Fire Dusty Baker!" is pleased to serve its three loyal readers at least until the end of the 2006 season.

EDITORIAL--My Lungs to Hendry: "Save Us!"

Well, it's finally happened. Jim Hendry's stupid confidence in Dusty Baker has caused me to do something drastic to end this nonsense. I'm going to start smoking in protest. That's right, Jim Hendry. From this day forth, each day that Dusty Baker is the manager of the Chicago Cubs, I am going to smoke a cigarette.

I'm not a smoker, Jim. I'm not going to enjoy it. My hair, clothes, and breath will stink, my teeth will stain, my food will taste bland, and my wife will probably hate me. But none of it can be as bad as watching your stinky, bland team on the field, and hating them.

An artist's rendition of the current condition of my lungs.

What Jim Hendry can prevent my lungs from becoming.

The Surgeon General has said smoking is bad for you, Jim. It may even kill me. But no more than your team is killing me right now.

So, Jim, do the right thing. If not for me, if not for the fans of the Cubs out there, for my pink and beautiful lungs. Save them, Jim, before they become black enough to play in a day game for your idiot manager.