Monthly Archives: October 2007

Minny Roundup

I’m back in Philadelphia after a long weekend visiting family and friends in Minnesota; here’s some thoughts on what happened on the trip, and in the world at large in the past five days:
– Yes, I saw the Larry Craig mens’ room in the airport, though we passed it at 1:30 in the morning and I didn’t feel like going in. I love that it’s right next to the big Snoopy statue, one of many throughout the Twin Cities area.
– As for the other big Minnesota story of this year, we went and looked at the site of the bridge collapse. Luckily, there are other bridges right nearby on either side of it, so traffic has been minimally disturbed. But everyone seemed sort of disappointed that my wife, a professional bridge engineer, wasn’t able to rebuild the bridge all by herself. I had to tell them it doesn’t quite work that way.
– Like I’ve said before, every time I’m in town there’s some big local crime story that has everyone captivated; this time, it’s the Minneapolis woman who was murdered after answering a Craig’s List ad for a nanny. I’m sure that’ll be a “Law & Order” episode by next month.
– The main purpose of our trip was the Vikings-Eagles game at the Metrodome on Sunday, which the Eagles ended up winning 23-16. There were lots of Eagles fans in town for the game, both on the airplane (there were E-A-G-L-E-S chants as the plane landed, at 1 AM) and in the stadium itself. I saw about ten Randall Cunningham Eagles jerseys, but not a single Cunningham/Vikings one.
– Yes, the Eagles looked good, and so did Donovan, and unlike the previous three games Philly was actually able to score in the red zone. But as Simmons (quoting Kietel) would say, “let’s not start [expletive] each other’s [expletives] quite yet.” Just because they beat the Vikings doesn’t mean the Eagles have turned their season around. Dallas, next Sunday, is going to be a tough game.
– No, I’m not ready to say that Brad Childress is a worse coach than Mike Tice, but he’s closing the gap. Wasting two challenges- including one on the opening kickoff of the second half- is just plain dumb. The Vikings used two quarterbacks, neither of whom was Tarvaris Jackson, yet Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger both sucked. Say, after Sunday, now we know Donovan McNabb can play in the Metrodome…
– Going to games in Philly and Minnesota really are the same in some ways, but different in others. The Minnesotans behind us were drunk off their asses by the end of the game, sure, but it was more “stupid, funny” drunk, whereas during most of my trips to the Linc those around us have often been “angry, violent” drunk.
– Since no NFL team, for some reason, can have just one mascot, the Vikes have complemented Ragnar with a new sidekick, “Viktor.” As you can see from this picture, Viktor’s resemblance to Hulk Hogan is so uncanny as to be hopelessly distracting.
– As for the Timberwolves, their season may be utterly hopeless as they wait for the talent to develop and the draft picks and cap space to arrive, but their ad campaign, featuring ersatz blaxploitation character Sweetwater Jones, is something to behold. Their best decision in years, even if he is named after a Barry Manilow song.
– I’m dreading the start of the Twins’ offseason, but we did catch Syl Jones’ play about Kirby Puckett, “Kirby,” at the History Theatre in St. Paul. I highly recommend seeing it if you’re any sort of Kirby fan at all, and you’ll be in the Cities in the next month or so. It’s an honest portrayal, warts and all, of the most important athlete in the state’s history.
– Speaking of baseball… congratulations to the Red Sox for winning the series. And shame on Scott Boras for leaking A-Rod’s opt-out plans during the freakin’ clinching game of the series. Who’s the bigger a-hole- Boras, for that stunt, or Bill Belichick, for going for it on fourth down while up 38-0?
LilB has long vowed to restart his long-dormant blog if the Sox won a second championship (either that, or one of several other preconditions), so now, after three years, WKIKYA has returned.
– While in town we caught the new movie “Ira and Abby,” which was far from perfect, but I still liked it, mostly because it fits in the burgeoning subgenre called the Upper West Side Movie (UWSM). You know the type: set on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in which the characters are majority Jewish and/or majority psychiatrists, and the allusions to Woody Allen are either implied or outright stated.
I recommend “Ira and Abby” mostly for its great cast, featuring Jennifer Westfeldt (from one of the best UWSMs, “Kissing Jessica Stein”) and Chris Messina (Claire’s boyfriend Ted in the last season of “Six Feet Under”), and a dynamite quartet as their parents: Robert Klein, Judith Light, Fred Willard and Frances Conroy. Plus, cameos from Jason Alexander, Chris Parnell, Darrell Hammond and, best of all, Jon Hamm (Don Draper from “Mad Men.”) It’s the sort of movie where I sort of recognized one of the actresses but couldn’t put my finger on it, but later checked IMDB and found that she played the “peekaboo girl” in the last scene of “Swingers.”
– Last but not least, check out this week’s North Star column, on the fifth anniversary of Paul Wellstone’s death. More to come on Wednesday.

Dreaming of ’08

Pacifist Viking is approaching this Sunday’s game, oh, the exact same way I am:

Finally, I like Donovan McNabb: I think he’s a good quarterback and a good person that has faced a lot of undue criticism. I really wish him well in his career, and if I weren’t rooting against him, I’d really enjoy getting to watch him play live (which I still might). But if the Vikings hasten McNabb’s departure from Philadelphia–and eventual arrival in Minnesota–by beating up on the Eagles, then by all means, beat up on the Eagles. Give me my fantasies of the 2008 Vikings with Donovan McNabb (fully recovered from his ACL injury) faking a handoff to rushing leader Adrian Peterson and throwing deep to Larry Fitzgerald. We all need our fantasies.

I had the same dream!
And speaking of Minnesota blogs, here’s the best cake ever.

Friends With Money

Isaac of ALOTT5MA lays out the scenario of what sounds like a run-of-the-mill “Friends” episode, until he springs this on us:

All of that actually happened, except Ross is Ed Levi, and Joey is Aaron Director, and Rachel is Ronald Coase, and Monica is Milton Friedman, and the handsome gay man is George Stigler, and Chandler is most of the rest of the world’s economists and law professors, and Season 1 is 1953, and Season 3 is 1959-60, and picking up chicks is antitrust law and the pseudo-economic theory on which it is based, and Monica’s friends from cooking school are Robert Bork and Abner Mikva and Henry Manne, and Rachel and Monica’s apartment is the Journal of Law and Economics, and Rachel’s whirlwind romance story is The Federal Communications Commission, and Central Perk is Aaron Director’s house, and the Technique is the idea that in the absence of transaction costs a good will naturally wind up in the hands of its most efficient user, and explaining it all to Chandler is The Problem of Social Cost.
Next week: Joey convinces Phoebe to debunk the Standard Oil myth.

I mean, could that BE any more brilliant?

Take Me Away From New Sanfrakota

Is anyone else sick to death of these stupid AT&T commercials with the names of a bunch of cities scrunched together, like “Chilondoscow” and “New Bosmento”? They’re more annoying than Dane Cook and “This is Ouuuuur Country” put together. Doing that sort of thing never works- Remember Christmahanukwanzaakah?- and now Comcast is doing it too.
The most inexplicable thing of all? The adds are directed by Wes Anderson. I’m a Wes apologist to the end; I liked both “Life Aquatic” and “Darjeeling.” But even I’ve gotta jump off the bandwagon at this point.