31 August 2004

Shhhh.... 3.5 back!!!

I've come to a realization. The Wire, HBO's crime drama, is absolutely the best show on TV, and by a lot. I was pretty sure after viewing the first season, but now after making it halfway through the second on HBO OnDemand, I'm 100% convinced.

The show is a vast depiction of the crime and the punishment in Baltimore, MD. The cops, the inner city drug dealing enterprise, the dock-side mob work. The Wire sets itself apart from a tired genre- and the rest of TV- by creating deep, honest, complex characters and setting them in a huge, all encompassing yarn about money, drugs, police-station politics and the distances left to run to connect it all. Each of the (now) three groups (cops, Barksdale Crew, Stevedore Union) are brought to life by a wide array of gifted actors playing wonderfully written scripts. There's not enough great things to say about this show- a lot of the credit is due to HBO.

Idris Elba plays "Stringer" Bell

Besides creating an atmosphere where shows aren't afraid to show or say anything, HBO also allows a level of production value no one else on TV can touch. Couple that with a willingness to present plots as linear, forward marching entities (not self-referential for the benefit of a new viewer), and The Wire and HBO shows like it get an admitted head start. Characters like Jimmy McNulty, Avon Barksdale, D'Angelo Barksdale, Nick Sobotka, Lester Freamon, Omar Little, Stringer Bell- all are peerlessly written, acted, and shot. But what makes The Wire most special is the weight and magnitude of what it presents. Depths of investigation, reality-based complexity in criminal organization, staggering plot weaving that is neither obvious or convenient- just a group of writers creating the single greatest crime drama in TV history. I love The Wire.

Big ups to the Broseph, who while walking in the Prudential District of Boston yesterday picked Trot Nixon out of a small crowd and with his head down. He said hey, saw Trot's wife and child. Oh yea, he's got one of these-

No, not his very own Native American... a MOHAWK! The report is- it looks cool. Not surprised. Trot is cool. Anyway, the important part of the story is that the Broseph is skilled in the arts of picking celebrities out in a crowd, something that, it is well documented in this space, I am excellent at. I sense the Force is very strong in this one. Also, the Broseph described him, not surprisingly, as "totally intense."

I get that the point of having the Republican National Convention here in NYC was to politicize 9/11 for their benefit and get votes on the backs of about 3,000 dead people. I get that, totally. But still- wouldn't this be like if the Democratic National Convention were held in Phoenix? Orange County, CA? Mobile, AL? Can they just move out to NYC's conservative stronghold (tellingly)- Staten Island?

Wave goodbye to the RNC kids- they're off to STATEN ISLAND!!!

Ulysses update- read another 60 pages today at work. Currently at 278/783. Some rough, totally inscrutable passages, but still really out-of-this-world in other spots. I've also decided what I'm reading AFTER Ulysses (4 years from now): Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. I've always REALLY wanted to read this book- I've heard a million great things about it, and even thinking about Truman Capote cracks me up. I guess he had to interview these small town people to flesh out the book- good Lord I would have maimed to be a fly on the wall for that. I have a really cool looking old hardcover copy too that I bought at a church fundraiser for a quarter in Cape Cod. I just hope it's not one of those books that smell like rot when you open it.

Looking forward to continuing on with Ulysses though. Leo Bloom is a really interesting character. I love, love, love the book.

Truman Capote

It finally happened. I reached the end of the Freaks and Geeks DVD collection. I have seen every episode, there is nothing new to me anymore about this show that is just impossibly great. The last episode- I could have cried, so good thing I totally didn't- was just totally great and I feel all the characters were put at a new, great place in their lives. I'll miss having a few episodes in my back pocket that I'd not seen. Great show. Bill Haverchuck- I'll miss you most of all...

When do I shave the beard? I hate the small talk right after you do it, when people see it shaved. But, in the end, it is getting a little long, and it's always fun lopping that much hair off your face. We'll see. I never know when to do it. It always ends up being on a lark near the middle of the night, and I often miss it when it's gone. Maybe I'll just keep it up? Updates to follow...

Just for fun- my top ten favorite Led Zeppelin songs of all time, in chronological order:

"Good Times Bad Times"
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"
"Bring It On Home"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"When the Levee Breaks"
"Song Remains the Same"
"The Ocean"
"In My Time of Dying"
"Ten Years Gone"
"Achilles Last Stand"

Tonight's victory over Anaheim was a HUGE win.

BOS 10
WP- Curt Schilling (17-6)
LP- John Lackey- (11-11)
SV- Keith Foulke (25)
HR- M Ramirez 2 (35, 36), D Roberts (1), A Amezaga GS (1)

If Manny doesn't get serious MVP consideration (ie, WIN it), it's a fucking joke. But nuts to that- with the Yankees getting their pink little fannies handed to them 22-0 to the Cleveland Indians, the Red Sox are now 3.5 games out. I'm not saying ANYTHING. Just lettin' y'all know. We're now 13 wins in our last 14 games, 7 in a row and 17 of our last 19. We're hitting on all cylinders, and at the perfect time- we need at least 2 out of 3 in each of these home Anaheim and Texas series, as it would put us in the driver's seat and put constant pressure on the Yankees. PS- Schill was NAILS tonight.

Also, with rosters expanding September 1st (tomorrow), the Sox figure to get the following injured players back:

Kevin Youkilis
Dave McCarty
Pokey Reese
Byung Hyun Kim
Scott Williamson (!!)
Trot Nixon
Ellis Burks

I've listed them in order of likelihood and when they would return- Burks, for instance, is likely not to contribute, and Williamson is a bit of a long shot, though he's been throwing and feels great, apparently. I would say that with the way this team is playing, if we were to get Williamson and Trot back near what they're capable of, we may be the best and most dangerous team in baseball. Things are picking up...

"Daddy's rifle in my hand, felt reassuring. He said 'Red means run, son, numbers add up to PLAYLIST!'"

Tenacious D- "Wonderboy"
Modest Mouse- "Float On"
Modest Mouse- "Bukowski"
Motorhead- "Ace of Spades"
Pearl Jam- "Do the Evolution"
Black Sabbath- "Rat Salad"
Deftones- "Knife Party"
Sleater-Kinney- "Start Together"
Sleater-Kinney- "Banned from the End of the World"
Sleater-Kinney- "Oh!"
Sleater-Kinney- "Dig Me Out"
Sleater-Kinney- "One More Hour"
Sleater-Kinney- "Combat Rock"
Stevie Wonder- "Ordinary Pain"
Pixies- "River Euphrates"
Neutral Milk Hotel- "Oh Comely"
Minutemen- "Cohesion"
Led Zeppelin- "The Ocean"
Loretta Lynn- "Women's Prison"
My Bloody Valentine- "Blown a Wish"
Neil Young- "Powderfinger"
Prince- "Trust"
Prince- "Adore"
Radiohead- "The Bends"
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead- "Monsoon"
Bob Dylan- "John Wesley Harding"
Desaparecidos- "The Happiest Place in the World"
Donovan- "Season of the Witch"
Beck- "Canceled Check"
John Cale- "Amsterdam"
Nirvana- "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die"
Richard & Linda Thompson- "Shoot Out the Lights"

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