Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Night Bytes

Call it obssessing. I don't mind. Really. I don't. Oh, and Larry Johnson will be suspended without pay in week 10, which will make it four consecutive weeks without LJ in the Kansas City backfield. The Chiefs de-activated Johnson for the previous two contests against Tennessee (October 19), last Sunday at the New York Jets, as well as for this Sunday's home contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Oh, and I meant to link to this earlier, but Double D over at Arrowhead Addict has put together a treat of a post on the Chiefs' October. Good times. Happy Halloween! Read more

Friday Fiction Fix: "The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea"

In the October 27 issue of The New Yorker, the fiction selection by author Jean-Marie Gustave (J.M.G.) Le Clezio personifies the sea in a way somewhat similar to the way Chiefs Head Coach Herman Edwards does to the NFL shield. Daniel, the protagonist, possesses very limited social skills and speaks of the sea as if it were the holy grail. Today, in this House of Georges, Daniel is Edwards; the sea is the shield. More on that in a minute.

Since Le Clezio's heritage is French/British, I should technically hate him. Given that he occasionally resides in Albuquerque, I should really hate him. Unlucky for me: he's a great writer and the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. His extensive anthology, as it were, has won numerous awards, and many of them have been translated (36 different languages) from French to English. This piece was done so by the magazine's Fiction Editor Deborah Treisman.

There are other articles in this piece that resemble something else, and I'll explain as we go, but I must first flesh something out. The shield is the symbol of the National Football League, and it represents the highest form of American football in the world. Guys grow up dreaming of one day playing in it, and yearning for a championship. Other, less physically gifted guys grow up dreaming of one day seeing their team win a championship, much like my now-invisible colleagues did two times in a row 10 years ago. The point is that the shield is the Lombardi trophy, and vice versa. Keep that in mind.

"He was called Daniel,

but he would have liked to be called Sinbad,

because he had read about Sinbad's adventures in the big red leather-bound book he always carried with him...

...He never joined the conversations of others, unless the discussion involved the sea...But this boy, Daniel -- it was as if he belonged to another race...It was as if he were sleeping with his eyes open.

Even when we talked about the sea, the conversation didn't interest him for long. He'd listen for a moment, ask a question or two, then realize that we were talking not about the sea but about swimming or deep-sea fishing, about beaches or sunbathing...That wasn't the sea he wanted to hear about.

He was interested in a different sea -- we didn't know which one, but a different one...

...He left in the early days of winter...We said only, 'Hey! Daniel is gone!,' without being really surprised, because after all we must have suspected this might happen.

None of us said anything else, because no one wanted him to be found and brought back."

Le Clezio then uses the interesting technique of switching settings and (sort of) narrative voice.

"Surely it was night when Daniel arrived, on board a freight train that had been travelling day and night for a long time...

...The sea! The sea! Daniel thought, but he didn't dare say it aloud...To himself, Daniel repeated the lovely word over and over. The sea, the sea, the sea...His head was full of noise and vertigo. He wanted to speak, to shout, even, but his throat would not allow his voice to pass."

And Kansas City Chiefs fans thought:

"The sea was far, at the other end of the field...It shone in the light, its color and appearance changing...Daniel didn't realize how far it was."

"But Daniel was not afraid...He had thought of this moment so many times, had so often imagined the day when he would finally see it,

not in a photograph or in a movie but in reality, the sea itself, enormous, exposed...He had longed for this moment with such intensity that he was suddenly weak, as if he were about to die, or at least fall asleep."

Daniel, having taken up his new residence, makes a home for himself.

"Then he went farther out, all the way to the end of the field...Because that was where his octopus friend lived.

Daniel had known the octopus since he arrived at the sea, had met it even before he knew the seabirds

and the anemones...

...'Hello, Wyatt,' Daniel said. The octopus was called Wyatt, though of course it did not know its name. Daniel spoke to it in a low voice, so as not to scare it. He asked it questions about what happened at the bottom of the sea, what one could see from beneath the waves. Wyatt didn't answer..."

Le Clezio's story about Daniel is a strange, compelling tale. What becomes of Daniel remains to be discovered.

"For us here, far from the sea, everything was both impossible and easy. All we knew was that something strange had happened.

It was strange because there was an illogical aspect to it that contradicted what the serious people were telling us...perhaps it was just the dream that began, quite simply, one morning, when we opened our eyes..."

Many of J.M.G. Le Clezio's books can be purchased here.
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Friday Morning Fracas: 10-31-08

It's Halloween. If you haven't already assembled your costume and readied your candy, shame on you. Not to worry, I haven't either, but that's because I'm going to hand out granola bars in my bathrobe, the one that has a "corn-cob pipe" in it. While the thought of that is both tricky and a treat, we've actually got a few things to address later in the day, so we'll keep this one nice and easy. "Nice and easy," by the way, is another way of saying full of vaultage for the pole.

A guy by the name of Old No. 7 once told me, "If you're not going to With Leather on a daily basis, you're doing yourself a disservice." That comment of course didn't suck, nor does the fact that they've linked to pbase today, and said pbase has what I like to call a tantalizing collection of photos of Leryn Franco, the stunning javelin thrower from Argentina.

Well, go on. Have a look. Just keep your pants on. Unless you're Mike Singletary, then it's a-okay.

As if we haven't gratuitously whored ourselves for Big Daddy Drew enough this week: this week's Jamboroo at Deadspin, with Jim Gaffigan footage. Win. Win.

In things of the loss-loss scenario, The Big Lead (vis-a-vis The Big Picture) has the skinny on some kid's big game. Sounds like the high-school version of Tony Gonzalez.

Lastly, The Smoking Section has an interview with Andre Royo, a.k.a. "Bubbles" from The Wire. Your homework: Go read it now. Absolutely phenomenal.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday ThumbTubes & YouNails: 10-30-08

Well, we'll keep it simple today. No, not for the usual reason of laziness, but because the wife's out of town and that means there's nudey bars to drink and beers to waste money at. I know. The polls are really up on me getting the HotY (Husband of the Year) Award. What's that? Bonus points if today's her birthday, too? Zing! I'm a shoe-in. If only I'd conveniently forgotten her gift, and saved some more money for slothage, I could've made it a landslide. But hey, I had to at least convince her I'd behave.

Anyway, a few morsels lie ahead. They all have to do with balls that have lacing entwined in them. One of them involves a sport whose season just ended; the other's related to a campaign that's about half done. You know where you can find them...

Just when you thought the baseballin' was over, here comes plenty of baseball tibdits, like the fact that the Royals just sent reliever Leo Nunez to the Florida Marlins for Mike Jacobs.

Mike hit 32 long balls, drove in 93 runs and hit .247 with an OBP of .299 last season. I sure liked the first three of those stats better than the last two. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, however, likes that he does so from the left side of the batter's box, and thinks that giving up Nunez is a bullpen gap the Royals can semi-easily fill.

Then there's Jeff Kent. Our very own Old No. 7 told us earlier in the year what a class act he is.

It appears, though, that Mr. Kent has once again outdone himself, this time coughing up 15 large towards the banning of gay marriage.

Then there's the city of Brotherly Love, happily and destructively celebrating their newly crowned champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Though dangerous, that looks like a lot more fun and a wee more safe than this one...

(both courtesy of Awful Announcing)

But enough about baseball. We'll stick with the crafty work of AA, and move on to football for a gem from the endless list of jewels Michael Irvin has given us over the years...

Then there's the big story that both John McCain and Barack Obama will appear on Monday Night Football next week, which, you know, nets a viewer or two and airs the night before election day. Since the House agrees on its candidate, and has no problem lifting images from the zany Kissing Suzy Kolber clan, we take no issue in hiding behind confidentiality...

And along the lines of Chiefs/Broncos pigskinnery, the only news Kansas City-wise is that Larry Johnson (props to Arrowhead Pride)

has fired his agent (shocker),

and that Broncos fans think every Bronco to ever don a blue-and-gold uniform belongs in Canton (double shock).

And that's about it for today, kids. Tune in tomorrow. We'll all get our learn on. Or something.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies, 2008 World Shenanigans Champions

Let's cut through the crap. I had a handful of teams I was rooting for this baseball post-season. I wanted the Brewers, then the Dodgers, and finally the Rays, lots of October 2008 losers. On the other hand, I have a couple of close Philly fans, and I know they've suffered through a lot of non-championship years, so I've always felt for their pain, and I'm happy for them now. But this three and-a-half innings of baseball was complete crap at home. I watched Bud Selig and company's post-rainout presser Monday night, and I thought they did the best they could've in those circumstances. If you call off the game and it doesn't rain, you piss off and inconvenience a ton of people. So the continuation of the game didn't happen last night, causing this thing to linger for 48 hours, and people did a lot of talking about it. And I listened.

I spent some time in the car today and yesterday. All the local and national sports talk guys were talking about two things: one was calling the game off after the Rays tied it in the sixth Monday night gave the Rays the advantage. They're down three games to one, they're down 2-0 when the weather gets ugly, and they manage to scrape together a couple of runs and tie the thing. Selig claimed Monday night that no team would've ever won the game by the beyond-five-innings, rain delay/game over rule that occasionally happens in the regular season. That seemed to miff a lot of folks. Baseball people didn't seem to realize that that rule had been changed a couple of years ago to prevent such an occurrence in the post-season. I think it's a good rule; you don't want a championship determined by a rainout.

Forty-eight hours, though is a lot of time for people to talk, a lot of time for people to read, and a lot of time for people to think. This is what I think:

1) First and foremost, hats off to the Phillies for coming out of the gates swinging, and congratulations to them for winning it all. I don't want to take anything away from them; it's the league and the umpiring that I question.

2) The other thing the talk radios spent much of the past two days talking about was the strike zone in this series, how it changed, and how outright inconsistent it was. I didn't see but half of this series, and the part(s) I did see somewhat resemble those claims.

3) Having said that, I was curious how tonight's game at the plate would be called, simultaneously not altogether convinced that there was some home cooking simmering on the Citizens Bank Park stove. Now, having watched those innings of tonight's game, I am.

4) It is indisputable that the strike zone was dissimilarly called for each club in this evening's contest. In my mind the strike zone has always been above the knees to the bottom of the letters on the chest, and of course, from one side of the plate to the other. Each ump calls his game different than the next, but never have I seen an ump call strikes and balls so differently between the tops and the bottoms of innings in one game. If the pitches delivered to Tampa tonight were low and inside, they were (for the most part) strikes. Low and inside for the Phillies? Balls. Same with the outside corner. Strikes when the Phillies were pitching; balls when the Rays were.

5) By the time the top of the eighth and ninth innings were around, Tampa knew they had to protect the plate, and perhaps swung at some pitches they otherwise wouldn't've. Sure, they answered the bottom-of-the-sixth run with a solo homer, and they put guys on base once or twice to try and counter Philly's fourth run, but they could not. Perhaps the argument ends there: "they could not."

It seems to me, though, that some secret hovering force in the closets of Major League Baseball felt bad for putting Philadelphia in the situation of letting the game get knotted up in the sixth on Monday. It seemed to me that if these fans saw their club lose tonight, and saw the series go back to Florida, it might be tilted in Tampa's favor to really get back in this thing. And finally, it seems to me that there was a bit of a tender heart for the city that has so long suffered a championship drought.

Therefore, I find it no coincidence that the strike zone was a bit McCain for the batting home team, Obama for the visitors. In the end, I wanted Tampa to win because that would mean good things could happen for small-market baseball clubs. Shucks, the fact that the Rays had this much success this year and made it to the Series means good things can happen for small ball. I just expected a more even playing field for most specifically tonight's resumption/conclusion of game five. From what I witnessed, that did not occur.

It was certainly possible that Tampa wins tonight's contest, and go home to the Trop only to get destroyed in game six. Once the bottom of the sixth was underway, however, that possibility faded into the chilly Philly air.

Again, congrats are in order to the Phillies and their fans. Shame, however, should be cast upon tonight's home-plate umpire.
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We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday: Horse Feathers

My late grandfather used to say, "Ah, horse feathers" when he wanted to call bulls**t on something. In the "Wizard of Oz," the gallant wizard said, "Now that's a horse of a different color." Horses are everywhere in Greek mythology, and in the old days, the mail was delivered by young horses, also known as ponies. You see where I'm going with this? No? Well, allow me to clue you in. This entire post is bulls**t. The words that will appear below the images beyond the jump are about as believable as houses landing on witches, heartless tin men, and brainless scarecrows. Greek mythology tells us many a story, which is completely in line with the previous sentence. And lastly, I'm mailing this one in from the speedy HoG headquarters.

Countless laborious minutes were spent in compiling this edition of WAHCW.

The images you see come courtesy of, a NSFW link I would not click on

if I sat in some unfriendly confines.

Those would include work, or the same room your wife or girlfriend is sitting in. pilfered them from, which stands for Greek Women Online.

Pretty catchy, huh?

I have no idea what, if anything, phun stands for.

I do know that they labeled these ladies Greek Goddesses,

and though I did zero research, I have yet to come across any name

like Circe, or Artemis, or Hera, or Persephone.

And that's fine. They can be goddesses in some other, heretofor unmentioned way,

like being scarcely clothed, or even better,

covered with only hands and walls and whatnot.

I suppose they can also be goddesses by virtue of the fact that they resemble power.

I'm not even really interested in what the power is, so long as the gazes and stares

leave me feeling equally (or even slightly less) powerful.

Either way, I've come to the conclusion that I like me some Greek Goddess,

which is not to be confused with Green Goddess because that goes really well with

salads. I mean you can have a Greek Goddess toss your salad for you I suppose,

but that would certainly make you a bigger man than I.

Like having Greek Goddesses toss your salad with Green Goddess?

You are one sick puppy, my friend.

I just hope for your sake that extra-crunchy croutons are not involved.

That only translates to higher calories,

and by "higher calories," I mean something entirely different.

Hey look: Lyndsay Marie. How'd she get in here? Must be her dressing. What a goddess.
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Midweek Meanderings: Balls, HoG QBs, and Sargent Gaffes

Isn't that picture nice and lovely? Agreed; it is. I'm happy we shared that moment, and I'll ask you to remember it as, after the jump, we'll revert to being our snide-and-crude usual selves, full as usual of information somebody else put together solely for us to link to (Editor's Note: I may have taken some liberties with the word "solely" just there.). Come along...

We might as well call this Drew Magary week here on the blogospheres. After all, his new book is officially out, and he's taking advantage of every possible opportunity to plug it, like sitting in at the helm of With Leather for the day. Most of them are pretty darn funny, too. Like this one at Pro Football Talk wherein he discusses how Vernon Davis, like many NFL players, is nothing more than a piece of human excrement. CBSSportline has an occasionally funny, borderline-bare-it-all interview with him, which I reccommend reading, but not really.

In news of less-unsolicited, more-HoG-appropriate content, Deadspin has some insulintacular pictures of Jay Jams.

Chris Kolb of KC Chiefs Fanatic makes regular contributions to Arrowhead Addict. He's put together a great post on what the Chiefs should be doing in the upcoming off-season: finding a quarterback. Before I dug in to the piece, I had to scroll to the bottom with the thought "Please don't say Tim Tebow, Please don't say Tim Tebow" running through my brain. And though he wasn't a highlight per se, I did wind up screaming "Doh!"

And of course we wouldn't be just another collection of misfits in basements without our completely unoriginal dontations to the Danyelle Sargent cause.

Those naturally include this one and this one.
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Obligatory Crammage 2008

There was a time last year when things around this House were slightly shamblish, and we've just gone through a similar period this year. Must be a bit of an October bug that we unsuspectingly catch, but we've managed to restore things, if only temporarily, long enough to put together a collection post. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so jump into the can and help us root around for what's been going on while the House was vacated.

Tradition Tuesday

Had Old No. 7 not left the iron on last Monday, our "office" might not've burned down, and we would've been available to pretend to update you on the state of the AFC West. This actually leaves us feeling lucky because it's not good, and by "not good," I mean a total fucking gay-rodeo embarrassment. Yes, the gloriousness of a week in which the Oakland Raiders are the only victorious team remains undefinable. It really does. Via a handful of 86-yard Sebastien Janikowski last-minute field goals, Oakland was able to beat the Jets at the Meadowlands. San Diego was also in New York, but they preferred to have a serving of Buffalo Billwursts delivered straight to their damn-near-killed-ems, a 23-14 loss. And then, then there were the Chiefs and Broncos. Let's just say these two clubs were in solitary for a week, and the Patriots and Titans were the woman-deprived prison guards in charge of "bringing them bread and water." In a cumulative HoG effort, they were outscored 75-17, which in most competitive types of measuring standards, is a few notches below not good. Nevertheless, we must move onward, Crispin Glover, whoever in the hell that is.

We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday

If I had remembered to pay the electric bill last week, we would've had some juice to put together our midweek feature, and it may or may not've included the following examples of talent:

Stephanie Strong

Jessica Canizales

Carolina Ardohain

Ariadne Artiles

Alley Baggett

Thursday ThumbTubes & YouNails

This one I gotta hang on Cecil. We left him in charge of waiting around for the locksmith, which he did, but then forgot to collect the new sets of keys for each of us, so he's now footing the bill for keys and the flu shots we had to get after spending the night in a wet-and-chilly dumpster. Had we not've been under the weather, we might've been like:

Whoa, dude. Check it out: Kevin Smith's got a new movie coming out and it has hockey in it. No. Way. Or, we might've been like:

Hey, look: Stolen bases in the World Series = free tacos.

Suh-weet! Or, we might've linked to a post with lots of cheerleaders representing the two World Series teams.

We could've even linked to Free Darko, who has pretty much spent the entire month of October previewing every single NBA game for the 2008 season.

No kidding.

But most likely, we would've taken advantage of the opportunity to make fun of Emmitt Smith trying to say the phrase "rite of passage":

Friday Fiction Fix

When the end of the week rolled around, we had cleared considerable smoke damage, had the power restored, gotten semi-healthy, and had new sets of keys made and distributed. But it was Friday, so we did what every slackingly irresponsible American should do on a Friday: get drunk. Had we maintained some sense of moderacy, we might've been able to put together some Friday fiction, like say some Charles Bukowski for good measure. That would've ruled, and it might've gone a little something like this:

Bukowski lived to be 73 years old and I've never studied a ton about him, but if his writings are any indication of how he lived his life, then it is amazing that his body held out that long. He was born in Germany and his folks moved to the states around the time of the end of World War I, living in Baltimore, then L.A. If two things are to be remembered about his life, they are these: 1) He wrote perhaps more prolificly than anyone in the last century, ultimately generating upwards of 110 published pieces of work. 2) He was not afraid to write about anything, ever.

Now, the presidential election happens in one week, so fittingly, our selection comes from a story of Bukowski's called "Politics is Like Trying to Screw a Cat in the Ass." On this particular occasion, this story comes from the collection The Most Beautiful Woman in Town & Other Stories, originally published in 1967 by City Lights Books. It can be purchased here.

I'm well aware of the fact that it is 2008 and not 1967, but oh the timelessness of literature...

"are there good guys and bad guys? some that always lie, some that never lie? are there good governments and bad governments? no, there are only bad governments

and worse governments.

will there be the flash of light and heat that rips us apart one night while we are screwing or crapping or reading the comic strips or pasting blue-chip stamps into a book? instant death is nothing new, nor is mass instant death new. but we've improved the product; we've had these centuries of knowledge and culture and discovery to work with; the libraries are fat and crawling and overcrowded with books; great paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars; medical science is transplanting the human heart; you can't tell a madman from a sane one upon the streets, and suddenly we find our lives, again (Editor's Note: Hopefully not, of course.), in the hands of the idiots.

the bombs may never drop; the bombs might drop. eeney, meeney, miney, mo.....

now if you'll forgive me, dear readers, I'll get back to the whores and the horses and the booze, while there's time. if these contain certain death, then, to me, it seems far less offensive to be responsible for your own death than the other kind which is brought to you fringed with phrases of Freedom and Democracy and Humanity and/or any or all of that Bullshit."

The ultimate Bukowski checklist can be found here.
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