Well, I'm a lot less employed than I used to be.
Relax. I'm still interning for Simmons. You'll get your Links. What I'm talking about is the oft-referenced "other job." There there's one thing I've consistently failed to mention between Diet Snapple jokes: My status has been hinging on somebody else's hip. Put another way, I could have been reporting to work all summer in a Larry Johnson Chiefs jersey. But while Larry has Priest Holmes standing in the way, I have a 105-pound girl.
As of last Tuesday, she's back from surgery, and while I'm not wave-a-gun-at-my-girlfriend upset like LJ, I can't say I'm thrilled. I'm the third-down back now, working two days a week, soon to be less. Now, before you write those sanctimonious emails to SGInternIsAnSOB@aol.com, I'm not rooting against her recovery. She's trying to get back on her feet. I'm trying to stay on mine. It's a tough situation, and this has been a typical exchange with the GM this summer:
"Well, I just got off the phone with Jackie. Her doctor told her to stay in bed for another week."
"Oh, man, that's great (one-third fist pump). Well (awkward pause), it isn't, too. Um ... you know what I mean?"
He laughs, because he knows exactly what I mean. He's so sympathetic, he told me not to let my Monday/Friday commitment stop me from looking elsewhere. I told him I appreciate it, but I'm looking to ride this out as long as possible. "Ride this out" was the phrase that was actually used. Hope that one isn't being kicked around too much at the Anti-Terrorism Office.
On the bright side, at home mid-week, I've had a little more of the authentic Sports Guy Experience. My feet were up on the coffee table at 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday. I was wearing basketball shorts, eating a peach, reading e-mails and catching the tail end of "Shawshank" on FX. As Red was digging up the rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield, I perked up to watch, swung my legs around ... and super-kicked a full glass of milk into the wall. You couldn't have covered the area I hit with a Super Soaker. It took all my power to keep from yelling "NOT GOOD TIMES!" as I ran for a sponge.
Unfortunately, the living room life can't go on. I did have the right of first refusal on being The Driver, as much fun as it would have been to throw around the "royal we" jokes like Lebowski (for an afternoon), I had to pass. Call me na´ve: I'm still holding out hope that I can stumble into another job where I can get paid to critique Web sites under a pseudonym for another company. If not, there's no Plan B. I won't rule out professional dog walking at this point.
So that's where we stand. I figured I owed everyone a quick heads-up in case this space gets increasingly bizarre in the future. If you start reading things like "I realized something funny yesterday morning after my 11th Icehouse" or "You meet the most fascinating people under the Zakim Bridge" or "Organized bocce! Who woulda thought?" don't say you weren't warned. And to my Mom, I guess I owe a long-overdue apology.
Maybe I shoulda dropped by that career fair after all.
Onto the links ...
ESPN.com (8/31) -- It's tough being the new guy in Minnesota. On the same day that WWE star Brock Lesnar got the boot from the Vikings, Wolves second-rounder Ricky Rickert got the fist from KG. He's got the whole world in his hand ... and Anthony Peeler in his head.
L.A. Times (8/30) (registration required) -- James Doohan, a.k.a. Scotty from "Star Trek," is retiring from public life because he has Alzheimer's. Pretty sad, though you'd hardly know it from the tone of this story. Between Scotty impersonation contests, Scotty trivia and a panel discussion titled "The Influence of Scotty on Society," I think this is the only gathering in history where William Shatner singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" would have brought down the mood.
CNN.com (8/30) -- Harlem on the rise ... for those of you that missed his "Vote or Die" monologue at the Video Music Awards, Ma$e is attempting a squeaky-clean return to the rap game. As one reader put it, "I can't wait to see what rhymes with tithing." There's some very serious Tony B. on "Sopranos" potential here. I can see him asking Puffy for some cash to get the massage parlor going, then giving Bruce Willis a rub.
eBay -- For just $510, you can own Frankie of "The Real World: San Diego"'s broken-down Volkswagen Rabbit, complete with her soda cans and gum wrappers. Wow. Thanks, but I think I'd rather drive John Kemper Hutchinson's pickup truck of doom.
FSU News.com -- Check out the fourth note down about a "freshman" getting busted for drinking at a Tallahassee frat party. I can just picture some campus cops showing up and asking where Chris Rix is, then someone yelling out "Check the handicap spots!" I miss college already.
Miami Herald (8/30) -- If you're looking for proof Simmons has been numbed by L.A., here it is: Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera are "exchanging saliva" in a booth at a Miami nightclub, and he tells me the best thing in this VMAs blog is the Olson Twins smoking on the roof. Okay, that's pretty funny, too.
(From Simmons: "Please, if you think two bimbos making out in a booth is a big deal, you need to spend a month living in Hollywood. I don't even blink at this stuff anymore. But two 90-pound 18 year-old millionaires smoking butts and partying into the wee hours just days after one of them was released from a drug rehab center that inexplicably treated her for an 'eating disorder'? Now THAT is big news!"
Malone4Heisman.com -- You know, this is an awful lot of work to put in for a guy who ranks dead-last in the country in yards per punt.
Sports Illustrated (8/29) -- Suffering from empty-nest syndrome, Peter King lets loose a mammoth column titled "30 Things Every Fantasy Owner Needs to Know," starring Chris Simms, Najeh Davenport, Byron Leftwich and a cast of thousands. He also includes the first ever Montclair High Football Note of the Week, starring Mary Beth's boyfriend. Hope it works out, but I'll set Columbus Day as the over/under on this kid.
Chicago Sun-Times (8/29) -- Roger Ebert bumps into the director who reportedly cursed him with colon cancer after Ebert declared his movie the worst in the history of Cannes. If this is how the movie biz works, can we assume Rob Reiner gave Ebert the salivary cancer in retaliation for his review of "North"?
DaveMatthewsBand.com -- There's blood in the wa-ter! According to a letter on their official site, members of the Dave Matthews Band are willing to provide DNA samples to determine whether 800 pounds of human waste dumped by a tour bus into the Chicago River is theirs. Thanks to reader Albert Dubreuil for finding the first ever concert shirt worth its price.
NY Times Magazine (8/29) (registration required) -- It's going to be for-pay soon, but this feature on Joe Paterno summed up Penn State's troubles over the past four years with one paragraph. "When Archie Manning, the former NFL quarterback, pleaded with Paterno to recruit his son Peyton, Paterno declined. When Manning pleaded with Paterno to recruit another son, Eli, a few years later, Paterno again declined." Does ANYONE listen to Archie? Link of the Week.
Lexington Herald-Leader (8/28) -- I guess Butch Davis missed the memo in Cleveland: Show some respect for UK football players! Especially the drunk, naked ones.
MTV (8/28) -- Kevin Smith says he's planning a "Clerks" sequel for the fall of 2005, great news for everyone I know -- except my brother, who thinks Dante is the most pathetic character in the history of film. I made the mistake of getting him started earlier today:
"When your lead character is a guy who instead of taking the initiative to make his life better only whines and complains how much it sucks ... to everyone ... throughout the entire movie ... it makes you wish that Smith had kept the test ending, his bloody death at the hands of a robber."
(For the record, my crown for worthlessness goes to poor Merle, Connie's prospective husband in "Godfather II." I don't know this Merle. I don't know what he does. I don't know what he lives on. Now why don't you tell him that marriage is out of the question, and you don't want to see him anymore? He'll understand, believe me.)
Washington Post (8/27) (registration required) -- Nice feature on LaVar Arrington becoming the leader of the Redskins, but it missed a key point that would have been in my lead. See if you can pick it out in my revised version:
"LaVar Arrington trudged through a thick moat of standing rain water encircling the artificial turf practice field at Redskins Park, navigated a slick and muddy hill and approached a throng of waiting fans. It was early in training camp and the Redskins had finished their second long practice of the day -- one completed well past dinner-time because of a thunderstorm -- but Arrington, who finally signed his group licensing agreement and became eligible for Yahoo! fantasy football, flashed his megawatt smile and began hamming it up."
Didn't think you'd be able to.
RRHolidayEscape.com -- Some things you just can't put a price on, like making a "Wheel in the Sky" joke to the singer from Journey while playing roulette on a cruise ship. The fact it's headed to the Caribbean is totally irrelevant. I'm sure everyone will be so sauced, you could tell them Reykjavik was Curaco and they'd throw off their jean jackets and go snorkeling. (If you're not supposed to be surfing the web right now, turn your sound off.)
SportsPickle.com -- "Kurt Warner asks God to tear Eli Manning's ACL"
The Smoking Gun (8/27) -- The Billionaire Heiress/Adult Video Star Formerly Known as Paris Hilton is looking to put her stamp (literally) on shot glasses, essential oils and, ahem, audio and visual recordings. Good to see she's got a sense of humor. Must be why Tara Reid and Lindsay Lohan were ready to throw down over her.
Yahoo! News (8/26) -- $17.20 per day just doesn't seem like enough to sing campfire songs to Oprah while she's on the can. Kathie Lee never exploited anyone like this.
HootersCasinoHotel.com -- And finally, a sad day for Ace Rothstein. The San Remo in Vegas will be converted to a delightfully tacky yet unrefined hotel and casino, complete with a Dan Marino seafood joint. The FAQ section kills me. "I have been coming to the Hotel San Remo for years. What is happening to the team members? They are like my family."
Don't worry. They'll all be there. Along with your new voluptuous, unattainable cousins.
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