Monday, July 31, 2006

The world is my caustic kaleidoscope

I wouldn't call it apocalyptic, but I would say the world is a frightening changing place, evidenced simply by stories in Sunday's paper.

Separating church and state means you end up with 20 percent fewer parishioners. Bechtel is screwing us all across the world. Whiskey is the new steriod. Christina Aguilera is cleaning herself up.

And perhaps most significant of all it now costs $60 to buy a trendy t-shirt. I don't know if I can afford to live in this new world.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Jodi, come home

Dear Jodi Applegate,

That was totally not cool, how you completely freaked out on the Fox 5 morning show in New York the other day. That dude who pretended to be cut by a circular saw is such a jerk. Why don't you come back to Boston. I miss you.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

I've always thought she'd be good with a bat

He's No. 1 in my lineup. She's No. 1 in my heart. Are they now No. 1 together?

Rumors abound that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkillis and former Ben Affleck girlfriend Enza Sambataro are an item. May I be the first to dub them "Kevenza."

If you missed the whirlwind romance between Affleck and Sambataro in 2004, I will summarize the sweet, sad history of "Benza." In the dark days after his split with J. Lo, Ben sought solace in the arms of hard-driving, hard-living Enza, a Boston College alumna who at the time sold ads for WBZ Channel 4. Sources inside the Soldiers Field Road office told me she kept pin-ups of boys at her desk, including but not limited to Brad Pitt.

The relationship fell apart after (though not necessarily because of?) emails circulated to the papers that were less than complimentary of Ben's back hair and stamina. If you catch my drift.

Like many great rebound romances, it was short-lived. Ben married Jennifer Garner, Enza married car salesman Rob McGee.

But now McGee's baby-momma is single again, and on the prowl.

I think she's a great match for Youkillis -- they both know how to get on base.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Animal News Update

Jockey is horses ass. A jockey named Paul O'Neill head-butted his horse after the animal bucked him. He faces a ban. I guess all Paul O'Neills are a little hot-headed.

The thief comes on little cat feet. Willy, a one-year-old cat from New York, has a glove fetish -- he steals garden gloves from the neighbors, then deposits them dutifully on his owners' porch. He's snagged 23 total gloves, but only three human hands.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am iron man

The Boston Herald's "Inside Track" reports today that WHDH-TV reporter Sean Hennessey took six minutes off his iron man triathalon time, to 13 hours, 42 minutes, 17 seconds over the weekend in Lake Placid, N.Y. Hennessey demurred to the Track Gals, "I'm just so happy I finished."

I once beat Hennessey in pool, at a friend's going away party from Channel 7, so I think it's a fair conclusion to draw that my iron man triathalon time would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 hours, 30 minutes.

Rematches are always granted, Sean.


Monday, July 24, 2006

NaturalBlog Celebrity News Update

No word on whether their deaths preceded the parting. I'm having a hard time explaining why I'm upset at news that dirty rocker Dave Navarro and the surgically sculpted Carmen Electra have split up. (Why they split.) Maybe it's because Navarro seemed like such a nice guy during his latest Celebrity Poker experience. More likely, I'm worried this might signal Dennis Rodman's return to the celebrity scene.

Yet another thing she and I share. Following in the footsteps of Jessica Simpson and P. Diddy, my secret girlfriend Lindsay Lohan is getting into the acne business. She's now shilling for Pro-Activ. This is worth a reported $2 million. If only zits had been so lucrative to me, circa 1995.

Believe it or not her lawyer advised this. Hey here's an idea -- after you break up Christie Brinkley's marriage, go on TV to talk about it.


Friday, July 21, 2006

My worst season yet at fantasy baseball

I was hoping this would be the year I could finally bring the league championship trophy home to the NaturalBlog household, hoist it high above my head, and shout "I am the best fake baseball general manager among my friends!" But alas, with each passing day the chances of that happening seems to grow even less likely .

In addition to my usual August ennui (which came in July this year), there were two key moves that doomed me, one in each league.

And what if I told you that trading for Barry Bonds wasn't my biggest mistake of the year? Unbelievable, you say? Read on.

In East Coast Bias (a non-traditional 4x4 league with only players from the NL and AL easts), my crucial mistake came early -- in our January draft. For some reason (temporary insanity, foolish resolve, both?) I drafted Shea Hillenbrand in the 8th round -- ahead of such fantasy stalwarts as Manny Ramirez and Miguel Tejada.

I'll let that sink in for a second.

Let's take a look at their seasons (through yesterday, with the stats that count in our league) to help drive home the point:

Player Avg RBI SB Ks
Shea .301 39 1 40
Manny .306 68 0 76
Tejada .310 67 4 41

And now, I learn that Hillenbrand became such a distraction in Tornoto that he was cut. That just doesn't happen in baseball -- because the Blue Jays will still owe him the balance of his contract. He must have just been a cancer. Maybe I can rally out of fourth place (out of four, natch), now that he's gone.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rare smack talk

If you'd have told me on Monday afternoon that the Sox would manage just two runs in their next two games, I would've predicted a nice 0-2 slide.

But lo and behold, despite the Sox best efforts to make Brandon Duckworth and Mark Redman look like a modern day Koufax and Drysdale, the Sox won back-to-back 1-0 games.

Of course, it's against the Royals. Boy are they bad.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A request for Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.)

Dear Gov. Mitt Romney,

I have seen on the TV and in the newspapers recently that you are now something of an expert in engineering and I was hoping that you could help me with a small problem I'm having at the house.

The future Mrs. NaturalBlog and I have a coffee table with small leaves on the sides that fold up. One of these leaves keeps falling off, despite my best efforts to use screws to secure it.

Could you come by and advise me as to whether an epoxy bolt system might be sufficient to sustain the weight of the panel, which I estimate at one pound, give or take four ounces. I am also open to using the anchor bolt system you were kind enough to demonstrate the other day (above right).

Our house is sort of on your way home from the State House to Belmont, so maybe you could stop by one day after work this week. Let me know what night, though, because we have some friends in town tonight and tomorrow.

Thanks, man.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NaturalBlog News Update

Dude, you're getting a skin graft. Dell computers catch fire, or at least that's what the liberal media would have you believe. I don't know about you, but Macs are looking better and better, especially given their new ad campaign.

The seven habits of highly effective Jihadists. A new translation of an Al-Qaeda book talks about how to better manage the holy war. One key idea: Better public relations. Also, less killing of Muslims. No joke. That's what he said.

It's so ironic, it is actually painful. Brewer and would-be patriot Pete Coors has lost his license after a DUI. He totally should've taken the Coors Light Silver Bullet train home.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Christopher Hewett shoutout

This one goes out to you, Lynn Aloysius Belvedere. You're my inspiration in this daily diary, even when I have nothing to say.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Summer warrior

We danced about the squared circle that is my kitchen like two prizefighters. Sizing one another up. Parrying. Trading taunts. Then, in a flash, it was on. I unleashed a vicious backhand-backhand combo. I was sure it was enough to bring him down, and for a moment I thought I did, until the buzzing returned.

Like a cellphone ring that only a child can hear, he told me: "Not so fast."

A jab, a miss. Another jab, another miss. Finally, the death blow -- or so I thought. There was no body. Was this fly the insect equivalent of Blackbeard, or maybe D.B. Cooper? No. It was only later, in search of chips, I found him in the pantry -- and he'd brought reinforcements. It was a two-on-one. A dirty fight, but I was ready.

I choked up on my weapon of choice (City & Region), trading my power for pinpoint precision. Pow pow! And suddenly it was NaturalBlog 1, Flies 0.

My remaining opponent -- afraid? stunned? hoping maybe I hadn't noticed him? -- sulked along the side of the window frame. I opened up my stance, fired my first forehand of the afternoon, and ended the fight then and there.

The battle was over, but I know the war continues. They're like the terrorists, those flies. I have to get them every time; they only have to get me once.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tough times for the Hoff

Inexplicably cool actor-singer-drinker (a real triple threat, just like my honey) David Hasselhoff has had it tough of late. Fresh off a bizarre shaving injury, he was apparently too drunk to waltz his way into Wimbledon.

Don't worry, Hoff, NaturalBlog still loves you, even though you're hosting "America's Got Talent," which I think is a sad sad irony.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

This time it counted again, for the fifth time

Feeling guilty I disappointed loyal readers with my day-late dollar-short post this morning, I'll offer up some thoughts on last night's Major League Baseball all star game.

I was disappointed Nomar didn't get into the game though I understand why -- it's tough to bench Pujols. I think they should play with the DH in the all star game every year, even when it's in an NL park.

Which brings me to my next point: David Ortiz and his defense. I love it when the fat guy flashes the leather, and even moreso when a nice dig-out saves A-Rod an error, as it did last night.

And where would I be if I didn't mention Tim McCarver's hair. I think he's switched to using Manic Panic dye. I searched for a picture from the game but couldn't find one, so I found a picture that approximated what I saw last night, and posted it below.


Do you think KFC is still open?

I was up late last night. No blogging today.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Celebrities -- They're just like us

Some people think the rich are different, but I think they're the same as you and me. Just look:

They gain weight in prison. I could try and be funnier than the New York Post, but instead I'll steal their joke about Lil' Kim's release from jail: She turned into Big Kim.

Sometimes they forget to shave. Michelle Rodriguez is hot, and by hot I mean gross.

They wear shirts from my alma mater. Maxim said Jennifer Garner was the third hottest woman on earth in 2005, down from first in 2001. Ben Affleck's socks were voted ninth hottest this year.


Monday, July 10, 2006


In the most anticlimactic way to end a major sporting event, Italy won the World Cup over France yesterday on penalty kicks.

Italy was undefeated in the tournament, posting a 6-0-1 record. That tie was against the U.S., so let me be the first to congratulate the Americans on their status as Co-World Cup Champions. Way to go, guys. Who'd of thought you could manage that without a win.


Friday, July 07, 2006

NaturalBlog News Update

Bring back wood paneling! BMW's new sports activity vehicle (SAV) gives us what we've been missing on the American roadway since the death of the Jeep Wagoneer: Wood paneling. Since everything is cyclical, we can only assume disco is coming back too.

Merriam Webster, give me my due. The dictionary people are playing favorites again. Unibrow, soul patch and bling have made the cut this year (what is this -- 1995?) but noticably absent were newsmerized, eddiction, and screensdropping.

Yogi apparently migrated south. This story appeared under the headline "Say what?" in the Long Beach paper. A bear cub climbed into a vintage buick near Lake Tahoe, ate a barbecue chicken and jalapeno pizza, then washed it down with a Jack Daniels mixer, some Absolut vodka, and a beer. I am definitely having this bear over for my next party.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Snakes in a Theater

We're still six weeks from the opening of the greatest movie ever made in the history of the world, and the excitement is already growing to a fever pitch. I'm referring of course to the Samuel L. Jackson vehicle Snakes on a Plane.

Snakes are everywhere these days -- they're on a blog, in your extended network, slithering free in the Everglades.

Most people are earnest in recognizing the unstoppable awesomeness of this movie, but I can't help but think some are making fun of the snakes, which I'm telling you is just a bad idea. Look for yourself:


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The leisure sports triathalon pentathalon

My dreams of being a pro athlete died sometime in 1988, when my highlight of my little league season was a bases loaded hit by pitch. (It ain't easy batting .000 with a lone RBI on a whole season, but I managed it.)

So what's left for guys like me? I call them the "Leisure Sports," loosely defined as those lacking aerobic activity, those relying heavily on strategy, or those during which you can consume alcohol.

I'm not alone in this, by the way, which is why I am proud to present the Leisure Sports Pentathalon, tentatively scheduled for August, after a grueling series of trials this month.

I think we could squeeze it into one day, so long as everybody agreed to call in sick at work.

Putt-Putt. It's rare that a leisure sportsman braves the outdoors, but I'm willing to do it for sweet smell of Astroturf: putt-putt. Bring a Gatorade, leisure athletes. It'll be hot out there.

Bowling. In an effort to get the most strenuous sports out of the way, it's to the lanes for the second leg of our five-part Olympiad. The cool AC of the bowling alley will offer a stark contrast to the angry sun of the putt-putt course. Watch out for cramping.

Poker. Sure, the combined weight of two of the last three world champions is, say, 600 pounds, but I still claim it's a sport. Ante up for some no-limit Texas hold 'em.

Pool. I'll try to sneak my weakest link in fourth in this five-stop tour de awesome. I play better after three or four beers, so we have to figure I'll have hit my stride by the time we hit the pool hall.

Darts. How better to wrap up competition than by throwing a sharpened object? Cricket determines the winner.

Leisure Sports Pentathalon official scoring: five points for first place per event, three for second, one for third. Ties determined by winner-take-all bocce tournament.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Can you believe this woman is single?

If you were to distill a half-ton of awesomeness into the frame of a 105-pound Asian woman, you would end up with Sonya Thomas, a.k.a. Sonya the Black Widow, a.k.a The One Eater, a.k.a 이선경.

Thomas, 37, is in the upper echelon of competitive eaters worldwide, bringing home 22 titles -- everything from the pedestrian (37 hot dogs in 12 minutes), to the astounding (7 3/4 pounds of turducken in 12 minutes), to the downright disgusting (65 hard boiled eggs in under seven minutes).

The legend grew last weekend, when she ate 60 ham biscuits to win a contest in Lynchburg, Va., besting some fat dude.

And today, she'll try to take down the world's best eater Takeru Kobayashi and hold off newcomer Joey Chestnut in the annual Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island.

It's hard to believe, but Thomas isn't married. I have a theory on this: When she goes out to dinner on a first date, she bankrupts her suitor and thus ends the relationship.


Monday, July 03, 2006

My tastes stay the same; the world's get better

Has Jay-Z drawn first blood in his war with Cristal? The New York Times says maybe, as the big stars forwent (what is the past tense of forgo, anyway?) the big bucks champagne for something a little more pedestrian at the BET awards last week.

Background if you who don't read the Economist or listen to Morning Edition: Jay-Z was pissed when a Cristal executive seemed less than thrilled the champagne had become synonymous with thug life, so the rapper started a boycott in his songs and at his clubs.

The winner in all of this? My choice of champagne, Veuve Clicquot. The NYT says it was seen on tables instead of Cristal at last week's awards show. Plus, Christina Aguilera drinks it when she's slumming around with GQ reporters, so there's that, too.

I've been drinking Veuve for a couple years. It's nice to see that Jay-Z is finally macking my style.

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