Monday, April 30, 2007

Its Like Sucking On A Straw With A Hole In It

this phrase should be a metaphor, but i don't exactly know what it would mean.

has this ever happened to you? its happening to me right now. i went on my daily 4pm walk to get my ice coffee so i can survive the rest of the day and was sipping it casually at my desk reading simmons' latest column when i noticed something funny with my drink. i noticed that while i was still sucking on the straw, not as much coffee was entering into my mouth as before. i then noticed the culprit: a hole midway through the straw. see, when the level of the coffee was above the hole, the effects of the hole were mitigated, but once i had drank enough of the beverage, the hole became a liability, screwing up my suction on the straw and still allowing me to drink my iced coffee, but with considerably more effort.

i want to bring this metaphor into the common vernacular. i challenge you, my readers (if you exist) to please create an entry in the urban dictionary or other web reference site of equal sketchiness, as to what the phrase "its like sucking on a straw with a hole in it" might mean.

that is all.

UPDATE: louisa whitney has a good definition. "not only is it less effective but at the same time its really annoying!".


how much can my pride and honor be bought for? try one month's salary.

Lots To Talk About

had a great weekend in pittsburgh. underrated city. lots of cool stuff, neat neighborhoods, good food, good views, and generally a nice place. now, having said that, there are about 500 other towns i would rather visit than pittsburgh, but for #501 on my list, it exceeded all expectations.

what else is on my mind (like you care)? more thoughts on leadership, comedic timing, intellectual exercises, graduation gowns, and my first friend tribute, a series i was going to start last week, but i realized that the first person i was going to toast didn't deserve it and in reality is a total jerk, but that's a different story for a different time.

i would also like to thank this blog for giving me something to do during my otherwise intolerable work day (only 19 more to go! how about we start a countdown for that!). as a matter of fact, in the middle of writing this post, my self-worth just declined by a factor of 10. breaking my long-standing policy of not discussing the details of work on this blog (i will try and be as non-specific as possible), i feel the need to comment on what just happened to me.

i have just been asked to photocopy the pages of the 2006 returned peace corps directory. this is how valuable they consider me. see, back in 2002 when i was an intern, i made good friends with the copy machine. we were like brothers, and you know what? i didn't care. i was an intern. lets fast forward a few years to, oh, i don't know, 2006. i was one of two people working in my particular office. still making friends with the copier and other menial tasks. 6 months later our office grew to 6, and guess what? no increase in responsibility for micah. fast forward to today, and you could say that i have taken not one, but a few steps back. i am now the lowest form of life in my office. lower than the lowest, probably.

one of aaron's graduation speakers made a good point this weekend. he told the graduating class that if there is a job or a person or an organization that doesn't appreciate you and your talents, then you should feel no shame in telling them to take a hike. well, i did that. i did it probably a little too late, but i did it. these people never appreciated what they had. an earlier, more vengeful micah would swear to make them pay, but the present-day micah just says, screw it, i'll do something else. my current profession's loss will be my new profession's gain.

Friday, April 27, 2007

2 Norman Braman Posts In One Week?!?

its the gift that keeps on giving. remember how earlier in the week i wrote a post about how rudy is an idiot for announcing the endorsement of norman braman when all it can do is hurt his chances of picking up votes in southeast PA? well, it turns out that my analysis was right on. the even invoked the ghost of rich kotite too! now the politico has chimed in on the subject (the picture of john kerry and the cheesesteak is just icing on the cake):

Who's Next, Terrell Owens?

Courtesy of Politico reporter and son of Philly Ken Vogel:

Apparently unconcerned about winning votes in the biggest city in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday trumpeted the endorsement of Florida car dealer Norman Braman.

Braman, who’s given more than $210,000 to an eclectic mix of Republicans and Democrats, is touted in Giuliani’s press release as a leader in the Miami Jewish community.

But for Philadelphia sports fans – that is to say nearly every man, woman and child in southeastern Pennsylvania – Braman is the man who decimated the Philadelphia Eagles football team. He owned the franchise from 1985 to 1994, a stretch marred by a series of boneheaded personnel moves and missed opportunities.

Braman’s refusal to loosen the team’s purse strings led to the dismantling of one of the sport’s all-time great defenses, highlighted by the departure via free agency of the late legendary defensive end Reggie White. And Braman’s firing of beloved head coach Buddy Ryan would have been bad enough had the owner not hired as the next head coach the inept Rich Kotite, who shattered the fragile psyche of superstar quarterback Randall Cunningham and turned him into a bench warmer.

Iggles nation takes its sports – and its sports grudges – seriously. Though Giuliani might not have had a chance at winning the City of Philadelphia, which votes overwhelmingly Democratic, he’d need to do well in its populous suburbs – the so-called "collar counties" – to carry the state, said Terry Madonna, a pollster and professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

"There’s almost no way for a Republican to win Pennsylvania if they don’t win the Philly suburbs," said Madonna. "And if I’m running for office as a Republican in Pennsylvania, I could think of dozens of endorsements I would want before (Braman’s)."

I Support The Second Amendment

in the wake of the shootings at virginia tech, there has been some renewed interest in the debate over guns in our society. i, unlike most liberals, don't really have a problem with guns. firearms can be used in a safe, responsible manner. unfortunately, you cant control when people misuse guns, just like you cant control when people misuse power tools, but that should not prevent honest, law abiding citizens from owning guns. i do think, however, that gun owners should be required to have a license as a symbol of passing some sort of education/safety/proficiency test.

one argument from the pro-gun crowd that i do not agree with, however, is that if more people had guns at virginia tech, the tragedy could have been avoided. this humorous, yet still serious, article will illustrate my point further (courtesy of deadspin):

This Is Why We Should Arm All Umpires .. And Mascots

gunsgunsbaseball.jpgYou know what would make baseball even more popular? Regularly scheduled gunfights! In East Texas, a rec league game turned into a hail of buckshot.

"What basically happened is they had one subject there that was agitating one of the players," [police] said. "He (the suspect) then threw a beer at this player." That turned out to be the last straw. The baseball player approached the heckler, who was also his cousin, and they got into a fistfight The suspect then left the baseball field, but returned a short time later with a shotgun loaded with birdshot and "started shooting down in the area of the baseball field."

That angered the suspect who asked the large crowd gathered around the field if someone had a gun with which he could retaliate. "Someone did furnish him with a shotgun (also loaded with birdshot) and they started shooting at each other," [police] said.

So much to work with here. First, the initial heckler was the guy's cousin. And then, when the guy starting firing buckshot, the player asked if anyone in the crowd had a gun ... and somebody did! Baseball's so much more fun in East Texas.

Buckshot In The Ass Night [You Been Blinded]

Friday Bibleday

this time with hebrew!

Micah Chapter 2

א הוֹי חֹשְׁבֵי-אָוֶן וּפֹעֲלֵי רָע, עַל-מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם; בְּאוֹר הַבֹּקֶר יַעֲשׂוּהָ, כִּי יֶשׁ-לְאֵל יָדָם. 1 Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they execute it, because it is in the power of their hand.
ב וְחָמְדוּ שָׂדוֹת וְגָזָלוּ, וּבָתִּים וְנָשָׂאוּ; וְעָשְׁקוּ גֶּבֶר וּבֵיתוֹ, וְאִישׁ וְנַחֲלָתוֹ. {פ} 2 And they covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; thus they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. {P}
ג לָכֵן, כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, הִנְנִי חֹשֵׁב עַל-הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה הַזֹּאת, רָעָה: אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תָמִישׁוּ מִשָּׁם צַוְּארֹתֵיכֶם, וְלֹא תֵלְכוּ רוֹמָה--כִּי עֵת רָעָה, הִיא. 3 Therefore thus saith the LORD: Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks, neither shall ye walk upright; for it shall be an evil time.
ד בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִשָּׂא עֲלֵיכֶם מָשָׁל, וְנָהָה נְהִי נִהְיָה אָמַר שָׁדוֹד נְשַׁדֻּנוּ--חֵלֶק עַמִּי, יָמִיר; אֵיךְ יָמִישׁ לִי, לְשׁוֹבֵב שָׂדֵינוּ יְחַלֵּק. 4 In that day shall they take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say: 'We are utterly ruined; he changeth the portion of my people; how doth he remove it from me! Instead of restoring our fields, he divideth them.'
ה לָכֵן לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ, מַשְׁלִיךְ חֶבֶל בְּגוֹרָל, בִּקְהַל, יְהוָה. 5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the line by lot in the congregation of the LORD.
ו אַל-תַּטִּפוּ, יַטִּיפוּן; לֹא-יַטִּפוּ לָאֵלֶּה, לֹא יִסַּג כְּלִמּוֹת. 6 'Preach ye not', they preach; 'They shall not preach of these things, that they shall not take shame.'
ז הֶאָמוּר בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב, הֲקָצַר רוּחַ יְהוָה--אִם-אֵלֶּה, מַעֲלָלָיו; הֲלוֹא דְבָרַי יֵיטִיבוּ, עִם הַיָּשָׁר הֹלֵךְ. 7 Do I change, O house of Jacob? Is the spirit of the LORD straitened? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
ח וְאֶתְמוּל, עַמִּי לְאוֹיֵב יְקוֹמֵם, מִמּוּל שַׂלְמָה, אֶדֶר תַּפְשִׁטוּן; מֵעֹבְרִים בֶּטַח, שׁוּבֵי מִלְחָמָה. 8 But of late My people is risen up as an enemy; with the garment ye strip also the mantle from them that pass by securely, so that they are as men returning from war.
ט נְשֵׁי עַמִּי תְּגָרְשׁוּן, מִבֵּית תַּעֲנֻגֶיהָ; מֵעַל, עֹלָלֶיהָ, תִּקְחוּ הֲדָרִי, לְעוֹלָם. 9 The women of My people ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their young children ye take away My glory for ever.
י קוּמוּ וּלְכוּ, כִּי לֹא-זֹאת הַמְּנוּחָה; בַּעֲבוּר טָמְאָה תְּחַבֵּל, וְחֶבֶל נִמְרָץ. 10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your resting-place; because of the uncleanness thereof, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
יא לוּ-אִישׁ הֹלֵךְ רוּחַ, וָשֶׁקֶר כִּזֵּב, אַטִּף לְךָ, לַיַּיִן וְלַשֵּׁכָר; וְהָיָה מַטִּיף, הָעָם הַזֶּה. 11 If a man walking in wind and falsehood do lie: 'I will preach unto thee of wine and of strong drink'; he shall even be the preacher of this people.
יב אָסֹף אֶאֱסֹף יַעֲקֹב כֻּלָּךְ, קַבֵּץ אֲקַבֵּץ שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל--יַחַד אֲשִׂימֶנּוּ, כְּצֹאן בָּצְרָה: כְּעֵדֶר בְּתוֹךְ הַדָּבְרוֹ, תְּהִימֶנָה מֵאָדָם. 12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will render them all as sheep in a fold; as a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
יג עָלָה הַפֹּרֵץ, לִפְנֵיהֶם--פָּרְצוּ וַיַּעֲבֹרוּ, שַׁעַר וַיֵּצְאוּ בוֹ; וַיַּעֲבֹר מַלְכָּם לִפְנֵיהֶם, וַיהוָה בְּרֹאשָׁם. {פ} 13 The breaker is gone up before them; they have broken forth and passed on, by the gate, and are gone out thereat; and their king is passed on before them, and the LORD at the head of them. {P}

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Heroism And Leadership


tuesday night's episode of "deadliest catch" was one of the most compelling hours of television i have ever seen (i didn't get around to watching it until last night). deadliest catch is REAL reality television in that the cameras record situations as they occur in real life, not like other "reality" shows that create a fake reality with a contrived set of rules and guidelines and boundaries. deadliest catch does none of this. it has no rules nor guidelines nor boundaries. its as real as it gets.

tuesday night's episode featured just how real deadliest catch can be. in it, we saw johnathan hillstrand, captain of the time bandit, save the life of a fisherman who had fallen overboard from another boat. despite having been awake for god knows how long, he reacted immediately when he saw the man go into the water by alerting his crew and positioning his boat in the best place to make a rescue. no one thought, it was automatic. every man knew his job and performed it as if he had done it a hundred times. it was truly something special to watch. you could see the adrenaline running through captain johnathan's body and the raw display of emotion he exhibited towards the man they saved was unforgettable. that was true leadership and heroism. i hope i will remember that for the rest of my life.

there was another, albeit less dramatic, exhibition of leadership on the show last night as well. there was a crewman of the farwest leader who kept on screwing up the hydraulic lift. once, he almost crushed his crew mates with a pot, then later on he snapped on of the lines that controlled the lift, which created a dangerous situation on deck. immediately, one of the more experienced deckhands stepped in and took control of the situation. he began barking orders at his fellow fisherman, but not out of need for ego, but for the necessity of safety. someone needed to step up, and he did. he filled the role perfectly. he did what needed to be done.

one of the most important lessons i learned at w*k was how to function in a group, both as a leader and as a member, and that the two roles are not mutually exclusive. now, some people in this world are better leaders than others. some prefer to stay in the group, rather than take the reigns. this lesson is not easily taught, but if you want to work on an alaskan king crab boat, you better have it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sometimes I Do Really Miss Ithaca


It appears that Ithaca, New York Mayor Carolyn Peterson is a fan of crisp “Scarlet”>”Fire” transitions and dig the “Dew.” The Ithaca Journal has announced that in commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the band’s May 8, 1977 performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall, she will declare May 8th 2007 as Grateful Dead Day in the City of Ithaca.

The proclamation reportedly reads: Whereas, the Grateful Dead have been recognized by many highly credible organizations, individuals and entities including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as significantly important and integral to the musical and social fabric of our contemporary culture, and

Whereas, on May 8th, 1977 the Grateful Dead performed in Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell University in the city of Ithaca New York, a concert that is widely acknowledged and regarded as a defining and transcendent occasion and example of the art of contemporary musical improvisation, collaboration, musicianship, and performance, and

Whereas, many tens of thousands of individuals who were not in attendance that night in Barton Hall, have become knowledgeable & familiar with the extraordinary nature of the performance on May 8th 1977 through the trading and sharing of recordings of the show, and

Whereas, the cultural identity and perceptions of Ithaca as a community, have been informed and bolstered by the widespread acknowledgement of the magic of May 8th, 1977, and

Whereas, it has been said many times by many people that, “there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert”,

Now therefore, be it resolved that as Mayor of the City of Ithaca, and in heartfelt recognition of the thirtieth anniversary of the May 8th 1977 concert performance, I declare May 8th 2007 as Grateful Dead Day in the City of Ithaca.

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of one the band’s most celebrated shows (and perhaps more specifically, one of its most celebrated live performance tapes) the Dark Star Orchestra will interpret that show this coming May 8 at Ithaca’s State Theater.

link to show (for those who have never listened to 5/8/77 it is perhaps the most approachable grateful dead concert out there and can be appreciated by newbies and old-school heads alike)

setlist 5/8/77 Ithaca, NY
I: Minglewood Blues, Loser, El Paso, They Love Each Other, Jack Straw, Deal, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, Brown Eyed Women, Mama Tried, Row Jimmy, Dancin'
II: Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Estimated Prophet, Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Saint Stephen-> Morning Dew
E: One More Saturday Night

From One Cesspool To Another

does government corrupt? ask the president of the NYU student council.

this also reinforces the old saying that washington (politics) is hollywood for ugly people. i hope all the girls at NYU don't look and act like this!

UPDATE: i am really regretting putting that picture up there. i need to write a bunch of new posts so it gets bumped off the first page!

Being A Good Neighbor

one of the things i like about living in cities are the relationships you can make around town. i'm not talking about friendships or romantic relationships, i'm talking about the relationships you can make with local merchants and people you see almost everyday.

when i used to work on the hill, there was this cheap little japanese joint a block away from my office that i would visit about twice a week (i would go on wednesday and friday to take advantage of their specials), and over the course of my tenure down there, i developed a very nice relationship with the lady behind the counter. it was great: she would automatically take my order without even asking what i wanted, because i would order the same thing every time. we would briefly chat and i would leave by saying "see you wednesday" or "see you next week". it wasn't much, but it was nice.

it took me a little while longer to establish the same sort of relationship over here at metro center, but today it finally happened. ever since passover i have been visiting the same kabob place quite frequently (i started going there because they had what they called a low-carb kabob, which is simply the kabob over lettuce with some tzatziki) and today the guy behind the counter looked up at me and said "low-carb #2 to go, right?" so we are now friends. its nice to have these relationships (the first one i can remember having was back in the day when my family would go to sagami for dinner on sunday night. they would always treat us well there).

in new york it will probably take me a while to establish these, but i will develop them just the same. adam has rafi and the guys at joe jr. i wonder who my rafi or japanese lady or kabob guy or joe jr. will be?

I Am So Glad Norman Braman Is Back In My Life

one of rudy's main campaign talking points is that he is more electable than the other republicans because he thinks he can win states like pennsylvania, ohio, and new jersey. well, excuse me, rudy, but in order to win pennsylvania you need to crank out huge numbers in the philadelphia area, so it is with great surprise that i read about his latest public endorsement by norman braman. let that sink in for a moment. norman braman. the former owner of the eagles. norman braman. they guy who refused to even make a good-faith offer to reggie white. no self respecting eagles fan, whether they live in southeastern pennsylvania or south jersey or delaware can vote for rudy (like they would want to anyway) with this bozo by his side. maybe, with good fortune, rudy will hire rich kotite to manage his campaign. i just hope for rudy's sake, kotite would know which states to target without looking at his chart!

(if i was good with photoshop i would try and work a way to have the picture of rudy in drag shake hands with braman as kotite looks on. that will have to be a different mission for a different day)

What's The Deal With That?

ever walk around and wonder, what's the deal with that? like this morning, for example. i was walking past the grand hyatt on 11th street, nw right across from my office when i saw a gentleman get out of a black SUV, wearing an earpiece and a suit. not an odd site in DC, but it got me thinking: why do secret service guys, or other federal agents, wear suits AND dress shoes? lets say that something goes down and you are a secret service guy, wearing a suit and dress shoes, and you are called on to run down the street to chase after someone. how on earth are you going to do that in dress shoes? do they have a secret shoe store that sells sneakers that look like dress shoes? why not let these guys wear comfortable shoes if there is a chance they will be called upon to run?

what's the deal with that?

This Is What I Have Been Saying For 6 Years

but rahm emanuel is 100x more eloquent than i am. click the link. read his speech.

rahm emanuel's speech to brookings.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Two Tramps In Mud Time: A Poem By Robert Frost

for spring.
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peaks back in the middle of March.

Robert Frost (1874–1963)
Two Tramps in Mud Time (1936)

How Is Jerry The Most Lucid One?

the below video is from a CBS news documentary from 1967 about the haight-ashbury, the hippies, and the grateful dead. its a very interesting piece. there are a few revealing things i found:

1) the reporter accurately expresses the thoughts and concerns of mainstream america about the hippies. most of what he says is total BS, but from his perspective at the time, the hippie movement represented a big threat to the established order, so his concerns, from his point of view, were justified. again, even though most of what he talks about is complete BS, he does make some salient points about the hippie movement.
2) jerry was a very smart guy and had an unbelievable charisma about him. his personality jumps off the screen.
3) bob weir is a total fucking idiot.
4) i consider '67 dead to be in the second era of the dead (the first era was the acid test era. second era was '67-'69, third '70-'72, fourth '73-'74, fifth '75-'80, sixth '81-'86, seventh '87-'91, ninth '91-'95. these are just rough dates, but each era, to my ears, has a distinct sound), but even though the band was still in its infancy and had not yet reached the heights they would reach in '69, you can still hear the raw energy and power they possessed at the time. you can tell that they were destined for greatness, much in the same way that if you listen to phish in '87 or '88 (my favorite of those shows being 5/25/88) you get the same feeling.


Monday, April 23, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Say This: Let Burrell Play!

the game is in the 6th inning. phils are up 7-4. pat the bat is 3-4 in the game and hitting .333 for the season, so, why in gods good name does sorry charlie pinch run for him with michael borun? does sorry charlie remember any of those other games this year where the phillies have been leading only to have the bullpen blow it and how we might need pat's bat again? i hope this doesn't come back to bite them in the ass tonight.

UPDATE: my dire predictions were wrong. burrell's bat was not needed. i'll gladly be wrong on this one. another big game for rollins, victorino, and utley. ryan howard went 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts and is now batting an anemic .218. he really needs to get on track soon because this team will need him if they ever want to climb out of the hole the dug themselves. they have now won 3 in a row and 4 of their last 5. lets sweep the nats!!!

The DC Exodus Begins This Weekend

i have 6 friends leaving DC between now and the end of june (i make 7). the first one will be departing this weekend. most are leaving for school, while others are leaving to start a new life in a new city. its either something in the water or in the air or just a coincidence, but regardless of the reasons, its happening.

tomorrow, i will start "tribute tuesday" to honor each friends passing.

UPDATE: that should read 7 friends leaving DC between now and the end of june (i would make 8). i also just heard back from liz grant, my former potential NYU friend. she is going to UCLA. boo!

I Love The 4pm Walk

every day at 4pm i go for a walk to get coffee or tea so i can make it through the rest of the day. my little errand can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on which coffee shop i go to and how nice the weather is. seeing as how the weather is particularly nice today, i think i will have to disappear for a little longer than usual.

A New Plan For July

as mosy of you might know, i am planning on taking some time off between work and school to get my head straight, get set up in new york, and have a little fun. in regards to the latter, i have been thinking about what i could do to have a little fun this summer, and as per my interest in hiking, i decided that i would take a trip somewhere and do something in that regard.

my initial plan was to hike the long trail in vermont, but i dont think i am in good enough shape, nor do i think it prudent to disappear from the world for a solid month (as much as i would like to). i also have the option of joining matthew on the PCT for a while, and while that sounds great, something in my heart is telling me to stick with new england, an area of the country i have taken for granted over the past few years in exchange for more exotic locations.

my new plan is this: after spending the a week on the vineyard in late june to celebrate fa's 80th birthday, i will spend the next 10-14 days traveling around new england, visiting some of the various parks and bagging some of the most prominent and famous peaks in the region, like katahdin, washington, and mansfield, and quite possibly revisiting places like tri-pyramid and osceola.

all are welcome to join. ill post more details as my vision comes into focus.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Late Friday Post

last post before the weekend.

if you ever wanted to know what makes philadelphia such a special place, check out this video. while you may learn something about philadelphia by focusing on the main subject of the clip, a philly cheesesteak, i think you will find that the most enlightening part and the true window into philadelphia can be found when the camera cuts to the crowd.

enjoy! thanks to enrico and the 700 level for the initial link.

Friday Bibleday

this will be the first weekly feature i install on just a bit outside: friday bibleday. every friday, in complete binary, you will see a chapter from the book of micah. i dont know how long the book of micah is, so you will see posts here every friday until we run out of micah to give you. on a related note, you would be surprised to discover that trying to find a good, digital version of the bible is not as easy as you would

Micah 1 (New American Standard Bible)

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Micah 1

Destruction in Israel and Judah
1The (A)word of the LORD which came to (B)Micah of Moresheth in the days of (C)Jotham, (D)Ahaz and (E)Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2Hear, O peoples, all of you;
(F)Listen, O earth and all it contains,
And let the Lord GOD be a (G)witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.
3For behold, the LORD is (H)coming forth from His place
He will come down and (I)tread on the high places of the earth.
4(J)The mountains will melt under Him
And the valleys will be split,
Like wax before the fire,
Like water poured down a steep place.
5All this is for the rebellion of Jacob
And for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the (K)rebellion of Jacob?
Is it not (L)Samaria?
What is the (M)high place of Judah?
Is it not Jerusalem?
6For I will make Samaria a (N)heap of ruins in the open country,
(O)Planting places for a vineyard
I will (P)pour her stones down into the valley
And will (Q)lay bare her foundations.
7All of her (R)idols will be smashed,
All of her earnings will be burned with fire
And all of her images I will make desolate,
For she collected them from a (S)harlot's earnings,
And to the earnings of a harlot they will return.
8Because of this I must lament and wail,
I must go (T)barefoot and naked;
I must make a lament like the (U)jackals
And a mourning like the ostriches.
9For her (V)wound is incurable,
For (W)it has come to Judah;
It has reached the (X)gate of my people,
Even to Jerusalem.
10(Y)Tell it not in Gath,
Weep not at all.
At [a]Beth-le-aphrah roll yourself in the dust.
11Go on your way, inhabitant of [b]Shaphir, in (Z)shameful nakedness
The inhabitant of [c](AA)Zaanan does not escape.
The lamentation of [d]Beth-ezel: "He will take from you its support."
12For the inhabitant of [e]Maroth
Becomes weak (AB)waiting for good,
Because a calamity has come down from the LORD
To the (AC)gate of Jerusalem.
13Harness the chariot to the team of horses,
O inhabitant of (AD)Lachish--
She was the beginning of sin
To the daughter of Zion--
Because in you were found
The (AE)rebellious acts of Israel.
14Therefore you will give parting (AF)gifts
On behalf of Moresheth-gath;
The houses of (AG)Achzib will become a (AH)deception
To the kings of Israel.
15Moreover, I will bring on you
The one who takes possession,
O inhabitant of [f](AI)Mareshah
The glory of Israel will enter (AJ)Adullam.
16Make yourself (AK)bald and cut off your hair,
Because of the children of your delight;
Extend your baldness like the eagle,
For they will (AL)go from you into exile.

REAL Passion On The House Floor

despite the fact that i am getting out of the politics game, i would still like to post this video of del. eleanor holmes norton speaking on the house floor about voting rights for the district of columbia. her passion, honesty, and commitment to her constituents should be commended and looked upon by all as an example of what a public servant should be, regardless of political affiliation. i stand with you, eleanor, and i too will not yield.

Once And A While You Can Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Places If You Look At It Right

last night i was watching one of my favorite TV shows, 30 rock, when they cut to a scene of liz lemon (tina fey) and floyd (jason sudekis) standing in front of a particularly iconic red building in new york. i had to rewind the DVR to make sure i saw them correctly, but sure enough, there they were, standing on the corner of houston and lafayette, right in front of the puck building, which serves as the headquarters for the wagner school (the school i am going to next year).

the puck building

now, why is this significant, you ask? well, a few reasons. 1) it was cool to see them standing in front of puck. the puck building itself was one of the things that pushed my decision to attend NYU, so i felt some sort of validation that the crew of 30 rock felt that the building was significant enough to film in front of. 2) i was impressed with myself that in a post-kickball state of mind i was able to recognize the corner of lafayette and houston, one of the few corners in new york that i can officially say i recognize right now (the other would be the corner of 16th and 3rd, the home of the infamous joe jr.). 3) it got me excited for school again.

let me expand on #3 for a moment. its not that i have fallen out of excitement with school, its just that some of the initial gloss has rubbed off. school is no longer some sort of idyllic idea or concept. while it still represents a new beginning to me, i now have to deal with things like college loans (thank you, citibank), finding a place to live, finding a job, ect..., which makes school much more real and less a fantasy, which brings me back to the title of the post.

the title of the post comes from the grateful dead song "scarlet begonias". my apprehension about the real world implications of attending school were slightly abetted simply by reminding myself of the romantic vision i have of new york, and that i still have the capacity to view the city in such a way. i dont even remember what the characters were talking about, all i remember is that they were standing in front of the puck building. the building wasn't even the focus of the scene, it was simply in the background, but, in a way, i think that speaks volumes to the magic that is new york city, that buildings have their own magic and stories to tell and that every building has a different and special meaning to those who pass it by. to live your life in such an inspiring environment must surely be a treat.

i also found it amazing that yet again 30 rock was speaking to me, which is a strange thing to say about a sitcom. for whatever reason i really identify with this show, especially liz lemon (tina fey), which is even weirder when you consider that the show is a) a sitcom and b) lemon is female. i cant explain it. maybe tina fey is one of those artists that has the special capacity to speak to me directly, like the way i can identify with any klosterman book or any hopper painting or any pre 1998 phish.

enough rambling. its finally nice outside. soon i hope to expand this idea and talk more about why i like 30 rock so much and why i think that we are entering into a golden age of television, where some aspects of TV will bridge the gap between entertainment and art.

now if i could only find a way for this post to segue seamlessly into "fire on the mountain"...

My New Name Is...

....citibank presents poster nutbag
....poster nutbag presented by citibank

which sounds better?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

(muffled voices)

even though this has been beaten to death in the past day, i couldnt resist posting the video of sorry charlie and burger king squaring off.

A Note For The W*K Community

as everyone's thoughts these days are with the virginia tech community, a misfortune has also struck the W*K community.

its times like this that the greater W*K community needs to come together and support one of our own.

a sad story about andy rosenblum.

Sorry Charlie

Things didn't work out the way you had planned it.
Things fell apart at the seams.

aint that the way it goes? went down to RFK last night to watch the phils. there was a very respectable showing from the philadelphia faithful last night. i would say we represented about 35-40% of the crowd, while contributing to about 70% of the cheering. what an intense bunch those nationals fans are.

And now you're cold and sleepy.

Chirst, how did it come to this?
Hold on to those you thought were your loved ones
They'll be the ones you miss.

i started the game off, sitting alone in my usual $5 seat (read: right behind the dugout), right near the seat where i sat next to ed wade two years ago. things didnt start off too bad for the phils, adam eaton is a good hitting pitcher, but the meat of the order, mainly utley and howard, still looked like they were possessed by the ghost of pat burrell.

And now you're standing at the station

Tryin' to take what I ain't got to give.
Oh and I'm so sorry Charlie
I've got my own life to live

well, as it is with this team, hope is fleeting. brischni's homerun was a killer. however, i must say, it was one helluva at bat. he must have fouled off at least 8 pitches before he connected to go yard. thats the way those at-bats go: either the guy strikes out or hits a homer. brischni chose the latter.

Just call your friends at college

Wonder why you didn't stay
And my boss is coming down soon Chuck
He's drunk so you can't stay
No, you can't stay

but, in there defense, the phils fought back, led by the bottom of the order. by the 8th, all the nationals "fans" were out the door, which left a very empty lower bowl, split about 50-50 between phils fans and nats fans. one of the guys who stayed was this dude and his girlfriend sitting a few rows in front of me holding a pair of paper boxing gloves. one read "manuel". the other read "eskine". say what you want about philadelphians, but we can spell, thats for sure!

You did nothing to deserve this
God didn't treat you swell
Oh it all slipped through your fingers
and it all seems so unfair

it was the 8th, i think, where good 'ole charlie showed why he is considered one of the finest minds in baseball. i think he used two pinch hitters in the 8th. then more subs in the 9th. at this point, i tuned to cody and said "has charlie used all our bench players?" my question was answered when cole hamels, yes that cole hamels, picked up a bat in the 11th (i think). how is this possible? how can a manager be that inept that not only does he use all his bench players by the 11th, but that he asks his young, stud ace to pinch hit? i guess im just not smart enough to be a major league manager, otherwise i would understand charlie's genius.

And your girlfriend, she's in high school

She says she loves you a lot
Oh no, she can't support you
So you better sell more pot

And now you're standing at the station
Tryin' to take what I ain't got to give.
Oh and I'm so sorry Charlie
I've got my own life to live

So you just call your friends at college
Wonder why you didn't stay
And my boss is coming down soon Chuck
He's drunk and you can't stay
No, you can't stay
Sorry Charlie. Sorry Charlie. Oww!

two things in closing:
1) thanks to ween for the lyrics. i always knew ween lyrics would have meaning in my life
2) to the ushers at RFK: when its the top of the 12th and there are maybe 5,000 people left in the entire stadium, its OK to let people move to seats close to the action. no one cares at that point. its only an issue if you make it an issue.

countdown to 10,000 losses: 35

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Page Side

i would almost always sit page side. page side was the place to be. when phish was at its best, it wasn't all because of trey, but rather the chemistry trey had with mike and fishman, but especially page. listen to any show from '92-'97 and you will hear what i am talking about.

page has now moved on from phish and formed his own band and released his first true "solo" album (vida blue was more an ensemble performance). today, i came across this interview with the man. its a nice read, nothing terribly exciting or groundbreaking or earth-shattering or anything like that, but i did like this one quote in particular:
Oh, I’d absolutely be open to it [playing festivals] in the future, but at the same time I played the greatest festivals ever. It was just one band, and it was a lot of fun. So there is a little bit of the experience I’ve had going to other festivals where there are multiple bands with multiple stages, and sometimes I miss the singularity and the focus that we were able to give the fans with our festivals. We really made it fan-oriented. I know that a lot of other festivals try to do that.
amen, page, amen. phish festivals were the greatest festivals ever. could any other single band attract 75,000 maniacs to extreme northern maine, not once, not twice, but three times? could any other single band host 80,000 people in a swamp in florida or 60,000 people in plattsburgh, ny, or 55,000 in oswego, ny? i dont think so! those were some of the best times ever. thank you page. and jon. and mike. and trey.

New Site Feed

another topic we will discuss at length here on just a bit outside will be another one of my just a bit outside pursuits: music.

today's post about music will discuss the new feed i have listed on the left hand side of the page called "tapers section". the links in the tapers section will, through the power of the internet 1.0, magically transport you to, the cyberspace home of the grateful dead. there you will find the dead's weekly soundboard archive releases, which are pretty cool.

i highly suggest you check these links out if you are a) a deadhead (duh) or b) know nothing about the grateful dead and are looking for a good place to get started on your road to understanding the dead and their fans.

Life Is Just One Crushing Defeat After Another Until You Just Wish Flanders Was Dead

why? why? why?

why must they do this to me? i think the same water (henceforth known to this blog as wooder) that makes amoroso rolls so good also has properties that prevent philadelphia baseball teams from winning. i ain't no scientist, but its fact. you can look it up.

the phils dropped another stinker last night to the mets. this brings their record this season to 3-9. is it mathematically possible for a team to be eliminated from playoff contention in april? i wish it were, because it sure would make the next 5 months easier to tolerate if i knew the season was over already, but me, in my infinite wisdom, will continue agonizing over this team, which begs the question: will i ever learn?

magic number to 10,000 losses: 36

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just a Bit Outside?

i have always thought that the key to a successful blog is having a creative title. i don't think sites like beerleguer or mickey tettleton memorial overpass would be as good as they are, were it not for their titles, so i told myself that if i ever started a blog it would have to have a killer title.

so how did i come up with just a bit outside, what does it mean, and why do i think its a good title for a blog? good questions all.

the line "just a bit outside" comes from the movie "major league", one of the finest baseball movies ever made about a hard-luck city, love for a baseball team that will inevitably break your heart, a group of scrappy over-achievers, and a closer nicknamed "wild thing", which, when, if you think about it, could EASILY be describing the 1993 phialdelphia phillies, my favorite sports team of all time (more on this tomorrow). but, alas, the movie is about the cleveland indians. here is the scene where the title comes from:

so, how does a line uttered by bob uecker about the cleveland indians apply to me? well, i consider myself to be a little outside. i like to spend time just a bit outside. my political views can sometimes be just a bit outside. my musical tastes are just a bit outside. my life, at times, can be just a bit outside.

so there you have it. makes sense, right? no? good!

So I've Started a Blog

i hear they have these things called blogs (which i understand is short for "web log") on the internet right now, so i figured its high time i got involved in the web 1.0 revolution.

we will see where this grand experiment takes me. i have lots going on in my life right now...actually, thats not entirely true. i WILL have lots going on in my life once i a) get out of my current job b) get out of DC c) arrive in new york, new york and d) start school. that should make for some pretty interesting commentary, i guess.

i would also like this to serve as a forum for interesting news, thoughts on my beloved philadelphia sports teams and how they like to break my heart, music that i am interested in and other random, basically, this will be exactly like almost every other blog on these here internets.

in my next post, i will explain the title of my blog "just a bit outside".

thanks for reading.