Archive for September 4th, 2007

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God Bless The Internet

September 4, 2007

In addition to allowing me to wager on sports, the internet keeps putting me in touch with my favorite authors. Roger Bradfield is one of the icons of mid-century advertising, having worked on the design for the Trix rabbit & Mr Bubble, among others, but it’s through his work as a children’s author that I first heard of him. The Flying Hockey Stick was a favorite of mine, and my brothers before me, and now it’s a favorite of the LBC. I read it to her at least two or three times a day, at her insistence, and when I’m not around, she grabs it off the shelf and reads it to herself.

Note the growling for the lions, as well as the “eat!” exclamation. Also note that she has the main character say bye to his mommy. She’s really capturing the key details. So, I found Roger Bradfield’s website, and he’s still alive (having just turned 83). I took the opportunity to write him & thank him for the many hours of enjoyment I got first as a young child reading his books, and now as a parent sharing them with my own daughter, and he wrote back telling me I had made his day & that he was delighted that I wrote him, which put a huge smile on my face. It was like the 9 billionth time I paused to reflect on ways in which the internet has made stuff possible that just wouldn’t have happened when I was a kid.

P.S. unlike with the sports wagering, the missus was consulted & approval was granted for this rare video appearance of the LBC. Don’t get too used to it, legend has it if she sees her shadow online it’s six more weeks of winter.

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Sports Betting Is Hard (part II)

September 4, 2007

…and so the gambling begins.  Despite the ban on online gambling by the US Goverment, it was insanely easy to find a online bookie who would take my wagers.  While I’m in violation of some law for even discussing this, I would encourage any feds reading this to scroll down to my post about wanting to shoot the President for better material for a big bust.

So, let’s just say that allegedly, I placed two bets this weeked on the opening of the NFL season.  First, I hypothetically bet on the Kansas City Chiefs plus three points to beat the Houston Texans, because my grandfather’s dying words to me were “if you ever see the Houston Texans GIVING UP points against a team, put all your money on that other team.”  Secondly, I may have placed an imaginary wager on the hated New England Patriots (much as it pained me to do so) to beat the New York Jets by seven or more points.  I feel like the Patriots are the best team in the league this year, and although I’d probably rather get catheterized than see them win it all, I’m not above hoping they beat the New York Jets of New Jersey by a touchdown. 

Astute fans will note that the teams I’m picking to lose are historically terrible.  I know Shakespeare wasn’t referring to the NFL when he said “past is prologue,” but that’s only because he was British, and those queers play Soccer.

As with last year, this experiment continues until I lose one bet, at which point I withdraw all imaginary funds from my ficticious offshore gambling haven and put them back in the emergency fund that I stole them from (note: just kidding honey*).  Also as with last year, I will feel lucky if I even make it past the 3rd bet. You could fill a thimble with what I know about making money through sports wagering, but only if the thimble was most of the way full already.

*… or AM I???

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Mad Men is the best thing on TV

September 4, 2007

If you’re not watching Mad Men on AMC, you really should be.  There’s a lot to love about the show, by the Exec Producer of The Sopranos (as well as the criminally overlooked Andy Richter Controls The Universe), but the opening credits are an absolute highlight.  Set in 1960, right as everything is about to fall apart for a bunch of Madison Avenue mid-century men who drink & smoke as though liver failure & cancer didn’t exist (or at the very least, no one ever told them not to drink & smoke so damn much), and casually demean & harass every unmarried woman with the misfortune to work in the office (married women, of course, don’t work at the office, they stay home & raise their children while their husbands work).

The rampant racism & insane levels of sexism basically establish the world as belonging to these white men of privilege in Manhattan, with no idea of what’s coming to them in the next few decades.  It would already be a mesmerizing show if that were the only reason to watch, but like The Sopranos before it, it quickly stopped being about the job & became about the characters, each of whom seems profoundly fucked up in different ways, but none so much as the main character, Don Draper, who seems to be just about to fracture at any moment from the pressure of being several different people (adulterer, executive, family man) while failing to commit wholeheartedly to any of the roles, revealing nothing about his life or his past with an almost compulsive fear of being discovered.  It’s a great show, and hopefully enough people will watch so it doesn’t meet the fate of many other shows I’ve really loved (Firefly, Andy Richter, Arrested Development, Rome, Deadwood).