Archive: November, 2006
First the news: The New York Times this morning reports that the Iraq Study Group is recommending a pullback of combat troops. This is the James. A. Baker and Lee Hamilton-led, 10 person, bipartisan panel. It's not setting a timetable, but calling for a gradual pullback of the 15 brigades over there.
Now the commentary:
Don Groff, the travel columnist, writes by e-mail that he was curious how the news of the Bush twins' excellent adventure was playing in Buenos Aires. He ran the Spanish-language article in La Nacion through Google translator.
A few years ago, I spent a week in Clearwater following the Phils around during spring training. I recommend the trip to anyone who has even marginal interest in sports. Spring training is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the players. In a very real sense, attending a game at Pittsburgh's spring training home in Bradenton Florida gives fans a chance to step into the world of the players. ... We spent the majority of the afternoon hanging out by the Phils bullpen collecting autographs and chatting with the players. For whatever reason, Wolf was among the most chatty.
I have no idea what the hell we talked about but that's not the point of the story. A couple months later in early may, I and my same two friends were standing in the rightfield bleachers at the Vet trying our best to shag the occasional BP long ball. Wolf and the other pitchers were doing their pregame calisthenics below us. To our complete surprise, Wolf yelled at us.
Premiere Magazine picks the 20 Most Over-rated films. How could have they have missed 2001? a Throwing Things reader asks.
Atlantic Magazine picks the 100 most influential Americans. Lots of people you find on bills and coins. But ... "Lists are for groceries," write David & Barbara on the Atlantic's Web site, wondering about the value of any list in which Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Martha Stewart, Chuck Berry and Hef got votes.
The city tourism board's gay-and-lesbian-friendly marketing campaign has reeled in a whopper: Rosie O'Donnell's travel company has picked Philadelphia for its first weekend getaway in a U.S. metropolis.
The R Family Philly Weekend is set for March 10th-11th. The package includes lodging at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, lunch at the National Constitutional Center, a 50's-themed bowling party and Broadway-style brunch.
Special guests are to include George Washington, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross, according to the release. The city appears to be pulling out all the stops.
And who knew the National Lampoon was still funny? Michael Richards' stand-up meltdown was horrible to watch. But mash it with a few must-see TV moments, as some clever fellows did, and you have Seinfeld: "The Lost Episode."
Headphones required for work.
One of our guilty pleasures has become even more pleasurable knowing there's a Philly connection. Each Friday we like to turn to A.J. Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker column in Deadspin, the sports blog that is to ESPN what The Man Show is to The Mike Douglas Show.
In that space, he riffs about the important events of our day, often making the connections to the more anodyne moments of his own life. For instance, a critical alliance of sports and the performing arts, (the heavy metal band Motorhead is sponsoring a British youth soccer team) stirred this memory:
Growing up, my Little League team was sponsored by either a local dry cleaning service, a pizzeria or a plump, mustached realtor. The best of that lot, obviously, was the pizzeria, Giuseppes, which would be very generous come playoff time and let us drain their soda fountain in trying to concoct the perfect Suicide -- Sunkist, A&W and Welch's Grape ... Crazy!