Sep 112011

In just a couple more hours the Lions 2011 season is going to start down in Tampa. Expectations for the Lions are higher than they’ve been in almost twenty years I’d say. Matthew “If Healthy” Stafford, and the rest of the offense has the football media quivering in anticipation. Ndamukong Suh and the others guys on the defensive front have opposing quarterbacks shaking in “fear.” And the secondary has wide receivers across the league licking their chops in anticipation. Clearly there’s still some work to be done, but the NFL is funny, it doesn’t allow for a team to gradually rebuild. The arc of players’ careers is generally such that you need everyone to peak at the same time in order to truly succeed. Unlike baseball where you can accrue the assets over the course of time football is much more immediate. The crucial thing for the Lions to realize is that they have to strike now.

And of even greater importance they cannot buy into any of their hype. Yes, they ended the season on the longest active winning streak in the league. Yes, they went undefeated in the preseason. But none of that matters. Every year there’s one team that all the experts anoint as the up and coming hot stuff team, and more often than not that team flames out horribly. I can all to easily see the Lions falling into that trap.

But then again maybe not, maybe they make it through the season injury free (or as injury free as any team in the NFL can make it). Maybe Stafford does develop into the quarterback, everyone hopes he’ll be, but the contrarian experts say he’s not. And maybe, just maybe, the Lions will actually be relevant as the season winds down. It’s asking a lot, but there’s hope around the team now, and hopefully that hope won’t get immediately squashed. Either way, I’ll be watching.

Sep 112011

Paying attention to the news these past couple years and it’s easy to get the sense that everything is coming to a calamitous end. The environment’s gone haywire, the economy is irreparably broken, and so on. That today happens to be *that* anniversary only crystallizes how unstable the world feels right now.

The thing about that though is for the first ten years or so I was alive I was absolutely convinced the world was going to burn in nuclear fire. It was plain as day that at some point the US and USSR would stop playing coy and lob ICBMs at each other. “Weird” Al made jokes about it, we and movies with the aftermath, World War III was just a given. And then of course it wasn’t, the Soviet Union collapsed, the bombs were put into storage and we stumbled our way on.

It occurs to me that I am probably of the last generation to grow up with those fears and certainties, and part of me is almost nostalgic for those times because it does seem simpler. But at the same time who wants to live in a world where everyone is sure they’re going to burn? Then again, it was a more focused fear, less nebulous than a terrorist bomb, more final than an underwater mortgage, the erosion of the middle class, and systemic unemployment. You don’t have to worry about the aftermath of a nuclear war because odds are you won’t be alive when it’s over.

Still, whenever I get too down over the state of the world I think back to being a kid, absolutely convinced in a nuclear apocalypse that never came, and it makes me feel a little better.

Aug 172011

I was talking about some point of Harry Potter errata with people in one of my usual haunts when somebody mentioned how much they’d like to see Ginny Weasley and Amy Pond be ginger and awesome together. Naturally this got me thinking and while it’s no where close to being complete, and I doubt I will bother to flesh it out, I wrote the following snippet at work today.
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Jun 282011

New music from Jenny Owen Youngs! New Music from Jenny Owen Youngs!

Apparently this song will not be on the album she’s working on. Which is an interesting decision, because it’s an alright song.

Jun 192011


There are two albums that really are the first that I remember as having a real impact on me. One of them was Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. The other was Born in the USA. I wore my parent’s cassette of that one out the summer of 1985(?). And The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle was one of the first albums (well, cassette really) I ever owned. So it’s fair to say the news that Clarence “Big Man” Clemons died hit me.
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Jun 072011

Live Trax 20 cover

This year as part of the thank-you package for renewing my membership in the Dave Matthews Band fan club they thoughtfully included a copy of the latest release in the band’s Live Trax series. Volume Twenty is a recording of a concert from 8/19/1993 at the Wetlands Preserve in New York City. This makes it the earliest official release of concert material from the band, and as such is extremely exciting.
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