Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Been a long time since I blogged and rolled

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: My Sigur Ros compilation CD I burned to help with my writing

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Season finale of "Heroes", plus soccer as usual.

WHAT I'M READING: "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward. The second of the Bush trilogy by Bobby. The first was excellent, and this one is just as good. Read them!

Okay, so I've been not here.

Very busy working on a writing project. My screenplay. Draft 8,000. That's where my writing focus has been. But I am still alive.

I want to make my Champions League final prediction before the big game tomorrow. Take the time to watch it live on ESPN2 at 2pm.

Here I go:
AC Milan 2
Liverpool 0

The Italians bring home the big trophy and avenge the bitter 2005 defeat.

One more quick thing:

Wherein I determine just what a great value the Direct Kick package is. Remember, it's $79 for the entire season. Here's my station by station breakdown as of today.

Fox Soccer Channel (FSC)-7
Direct Kick (DK)-15

So, 15 games at $79 for the year equals....$5.26 per game. And it's only May. By the end of the year, it'll be pocket change per game viewed.

Best deal in sports.

I'll be back now and then. Stay tuned.

Be Seeing You

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

No WHAT I'M....today, as I just did it yesterday, so nothing has changed.

Besides, this one's for the Moms out there.

Like the vast majority of humans, I have a mother. We haven't always seen eye to eye on every issue, but I love her. Our communication is pretty limited, as we both hate to talk on the phone, and in person we're both quiet. But we do get along. I've got nothing but respect for all she's done for me over the last 33 years. There's no more loving mother out there.

I've got two mother-in-laws. Both are very good people. Both would do anything they possibly could for you. Both have their funny quirks. My wife's mother is a very active woman but also forgetful, so conversations with her can be funny. But it's not laughing at her, as she knows this about herself. My wife's stepmother is also a nice woman, but has an incredible overreaction to heat of any kind. When it gets above 62 degrees, she is sitting in front of the air conditioner with a little handheld fan blowing on her too.

But my favorite mother in all the world is my beautiful wife, Mrs. K. The mother of my first born, Number One Son, and the child yet to be born, Cletus/Shetus the Fetus. She's a great mother, nobody cares more for their child(ren). She's always thinking of the kid(s) first. It's a thing of beauty to watch her and Number One Son playing together.

I love her, and vote her the World's Best Mommy on this day set aside for her.

Happy Mother's Day, Kimbers.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I want a promotion (playoffs)!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Some Garbage actually, as I thought I was special. Plus some Death Cab for Cutie.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: The Coca Cola League Promotional Playoffs have begun, with games all through the next week. Plus, MLS of course.

WHAT I'M READING: "Bush at War" by Bob Woodward. Very good read, very interesting, and sad. Hard to believe what a great opportunity at greatness Bush had, and threw away for Iraq.

So the leagues in Europe are winding down.

It goes without saying that Manchester United have won their ninth English Premier League championship (9 out of 15 ain't too bad).

The Coca Cola Leagues are done with the regular season. Now comes the only exciting post season for me (outside of MLS, natch): the promotional playoffs! Four clubs from each league do battle, the semi-finals a two-legged affair and the final in each league a single game played at the brand new Wembley Stadium.

Always exciting. Plus, thanks to Setanta Sports, I'll get to see virtually every single second of the action across all three leagues! Here's how it is playing out:

Shrewsbury Town v. Milton Keyes Dons
Lincoln City v. Bristol Rovers

Yeovil Town v. Nottingham Forest
Blackpool v. Oldham Athletic

Southampton v. Derby County
Wolverhampton Wolves v. West Bromwich Albion

The two winners in each league meet in the final, with the winning team going up to the next step (League Two to League One, League One to Championship, Championship to Premiership).

Part of the fun is picking a club in each level. Since I don't get to see the lower league games often enough, I don't really have a favorite club per league. So I pick one of the four to support, adding just that little bit more to the playoffs.

In League Two, I'm siding with MK Dons, just because of the hard road they've had from the heights of English football to the last rung on the league ladder. It would be nice to see them actually go up for a change.

In League One, I'm siding with Nottingham Forest. With their glorious history (champions of Europe twice in the early 1980's!), this is a side I want to see back in the EPL sometime soon. Moving up a step now would be a start. Plus, they are the club I'm managing in my World Soccer Manager 2007 computer game.

In the Championship, it's tougher. In the end, I'm siding with Southampton, just because I think they belong back up in the top level. But I wouldn't mind seeing Wolves either.

So, it's some great football excitement every day from now until next weekend, then the finals in each league over Memorial Day weekend.

Good times.

I'm going back to the games now. Hope to get a post tomorrow or Monday for Mother's Day, as it's a special day for the most special ladies on Earth.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Heapin' Helpin' O' Dung!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A few different CD's I've burned over the last year. A bit of emphasis on two tunes-"Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart and "A Lap Dance is so much better when the Stripper is crying" by Bloodhound Gang.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Well, it's the weekend, so you know it's life on planet football here at the Dung Heap. Watched the Manchester Derby yesterday, plus some MLS action. Also still working my way through The Sopranos Season Six Part One. Three episodes to go.

WHAT I'M READING: A very good, interesting, frightening book called "It Can Happen Here" by Joe Conason. I've read one other book by Joe C., and this is just as good. Check it out.

1. 50-50
Well, I got the UEFA Champions League semi-final predictions half right. I did get Liverpool over Chelsea, but my beloved United crashed out in the second leg at AC Milan. Milan played a great game of football, and Man United didn't show up for it. So the dream of the treble is over. Hard to be sad though, as this season has already been far better than expected (more later).

So on May 23rd, we've got Liverpool v. AC Milan in a rematch of the famous 2005 UEFA Champions League final. I'll make my official prediction later on here, but it should be a good game of footie. The purist in me doesn't like that neither team actually won their domestic league last season, but in the current UEFA Champions League set up, that doesn't really matter much.

2. One Step Closer...
With a huge comeback win last Saturday versus Everton and a win in the Manchester Derby over Man City yesterday, Manchester United are even closer to winning a ninth English Premiership title. Man United currently have an eight point lead with only two games to play, but Chelsea play Arsehole today, plus two more games.

If Chelsea do not win today, the title is Manchester United's. If they do win, both teams will have two games left, six points on the line, and United have the five point lead. Either way, I'm feeling good that the title is coming home to Old Trafford.

Let's not forget that Man United and Chelsea will battle in the FA Cup Final on May 19th at the New Wembley. A chance for another double in the Sir Alex years!

3. Baby Update: Pretty Wife had an appointment this week, and all went well. She even got to hear the baby's heartbeat. The next appointment is May 29th, and we should find out the sex on that date. Boy or girl, we love our little baby.

4. Got my writing bug back finally. Started work this week on a new screenplay. Well, not really new. A revised screenplay. I've been working on the story since right after high school graduation in 1992. It's gone through way too many drafts to even count, been separated into three scripts, and come back together. But now I think I've finally got it in my mind. I hope to finish the first draft (well, probably closer to 20th draft) by Memorial Day, spend June doing one final revision to make it near perfect, than send it off to some agents.

Can't give up the dream!

5. Well, birthday thirty-three is over. It was a great day spent with the family. Some awesome gifts. Got the second/final season of Twin Peaks, one o' my favorite shows. Got season three and four of The X-Files, plus the X-Files movie. The family took me out to dinner. We were planning to go to a very good Chicago style pizza place here in town, but they are closed on Mondays, plus you can only order when you're there and it takes about an hour to prepare, too long for Number One Son to sit and wait for food.

So we went to Famous Dave's, because we loves the ribs. Our favorite restaurant is Hanayori, which is a Japanese Teppan steakhouse. The food is incredible. But we're waiting to go there with the in-laws, as my mother-in-law swears she'll go with us next time. So we went to get some yummy ribs. Very good food.

6. Well, the summer movie season is here with the opening of Spider-Man 3. I'm not the bigger Spidey movie fan. I've seen the first two, but they were just okay to me. Really can't see how those movies made even $100 million, but the public is fickle. I've got no plans to see Spidey 3 on the big screen. I can wait for DVD for this one. We don't see many films on the big screen now, but I'm sure we'll see at least one summer film. I know the wife loves the Harry Potter books/films, so we'll probably go see Potter 5 in July. Outside of that, nothing really jumps out at me as Must See this summer.

7. The big job search starts this week. Two main reasons. One, me wants out of retail. I've been in retail for seventeen years. Two, the company has lied to me. I just don't stand for that. See, I put in for a promotion.
(1) They told me how the interview process would go, with three different stages of talking to people progressively higher up the ladder. I was up against one other guy. Good guy. I went through stage one of the interview process. They told me they'd set up stage two in two weeks. One week later, a message on the voicemail informs me that the other guy got the job.

Now, I don't mind him getting the job. What I mind is the fact that they told me one thing, then did another. It seems he was gonna get the job no matter what. Fine, either tell me beforehand, or do what you said you would do. Anything else is a lie.

(2) Immediately after, the company tried to patronize me with a phone call. See, I'm a valuable member of the team, so they wanted to sit down with me and map out my future. I was the ideal candidate for a sales position, and those should be opening up any day now. So the district manager was gonna come up and have the talk, planning out the future of the Dung Master. He said he would call me back shortly with a date, time, and location.

That was about three weeks ago. Nothing since then. Seems they thought I might get upset about the whole lying thing, so they wanted to codify me with some false platitudes and pathetic attempts at kissing up.

Lie to me once, I'm through. Lie to me twice, and I begin planning a change in career. If you can't treat an employee with simple respect, don't expect the employee to stick around.

That's all I got for now.

Be Seeing You.