Friday, February 20, 2009

Never too early to start your Christmas shopping

Just found out that my book is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Feeling kinda weird right now ... I mean, I knew this day was coming, but to see it out there after all the work we did is very, very rewarding. It certainly adds a new dimension to my egosurfing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two new Weekly stories for yours truly

This week, readers of the Las Vegas Weekly are treated to not one, but TWO articles by noted freelance writer P. Donnelly. One was right up my musical alley -- a review of the new disc by Mark Olson and Gary Louris, the dudes who founded one of my all-time favorite bands, The Jayhawks. The other article was a fun sports piece about two guys who got pulled out of the crowd at a UNLV basketball game to show off their shooting skills during a timeout. Both were really nice guys and as you'll read, they both cleared the bar they'd set for themselves.

Read more Mark Olson and Gary Louris: Ready for the Flood ...

Read more Shooting Stars ...

Friday, February 13, 2009

One step from the nursing home

Friday delivered a double-barrel reminder that I'm old and getting older (although it beats the alternative, no doubt about it). My eldest daughter, who recently turned 11, attended her first school dance.

And it was an 80's dance.

I mean, it's not bad enough that I have to begin pricing out shotguns, lest any of her prepubescent classmates start getting funny ideas. But to denigrate the very decade in which I began sowing my wild oats ... the irony was thicker than Oscar Goodman's liver.

The girls (her best friend flew in from Minnesota for the weekend, with her mother, the godmother of Kid No. 2) had a great time getting ready for the dance. My own mother sent a package of 80s skinny ties that I actually used to wear, and she chose my favorite one to accent her getup. The moms helped with the hair, the kid sister looked on in amazement, and here's what they came up with:

The front view

Reverse angle

We found an 80s stream on Pandora before dinner, so we prepared for the bash with a steady diet of Madonna, the Cutting Crew, Journey and Belinda Carlisle. Oh, girls just wanna have fun! And they sure did.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why yes, our mayor is a delusional, self-promoting windbag!

No, not Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson. He seems like a decent, well-mannered, professional person. You know, an adult.

Of course, the headline refers to Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who proves the old axiom: the bigger the village, the bigger the idiot. This week, hizzonorless has demanded an apology from none other than President Barack Obama (man, it's still fun typing that!) because according to the gin-soaked former mob lawyer, the Prez overstepped his boundaries when he suggested that companies that have received taxpayer bailout money should refrain from using that money to send senior executives on lavish junkets to Las Vegas.

President Obama's direct quote, from a town hall meeting in Elkart, Ind., reads as follows: "You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime." Goodman, whose Bombay-addled brain distills every message down to a single question ("How does this affect meeeeeeeeeeeee?"), took the Obama quote as an attack on Las Vegas tourism in general.

He must have missed that whole "on the taxpayer's dime" thing, or else he's intentionally ignoring it because he knows that any publicity for the city is good publicity as long as they spell the name right. That's "Goodman" with two o's and no dignity.

And believe me, I know from undignified politicans. I come from a state that elected a former professional wrestler as governor. But Oscar Goodman makes Jesse Ventura look like Pierce Brosnan in the suave department. This is a guy, remember, who famously told an elementary school audience that his one indispensable, desert-island accoutrement would be a bottle of his beloved Bombay gin (stay classy, Oscar!).

His delusion was on grand display last summer when he proposed that the city build an 80,000-seat football stadium so Las Vegas could play host to the Super Bowl and be the permanent site of Monday Night Football. Putting aside the obvious gambling hurdle, why would an NFL owner agree to give up a Monday night home date and the financial windfall that accompanies a prime-time game, not to mention 1/8 of its home schedule?

Because it would be good for Las Vegas. I kid you not -- that's what he said. "Believe me, they need us more than we need them," Goodman said of the NFL.

That's right, Oscar. You and the showgirls keep on telling each other that the world needs Las Vegas more than Las Vegas needs the rest of the world. And watch the world keep on passing us by.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A simpler time

My youngest is a devotee of all things Scooby. I swear, if I could find a "What Would Scooby-Doo?" lunch box, she'd bring it to school every day. She went trick-or-treating dressed as Velma two years ago, and is planning on being Daphne this year. She's used "jinkees" in casual conversation. She's into it.

So on any given day you'll find about 35% of our DVR space taken up with Scooby-Doo episodes and movies. Not that I mind all that much. I loved the Mystery, Inc., gang when I was a kid too, so watching the old "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" reruns with her is kind of a kick for me. It's fun to relive some of the thrills and chills of my childhood, not to mention having a shared experience with Kid No. 2.

Sometimes, I even get a glimpse of a simpler time and realize how far we've come -- for good or ill -- as a society since the late 60s-early 70s. Today, for example, we were watching an episode described in the DirecTV guide as follows:

"The Harem-Scarum Sanitarium: The gang investigates a haunted mental asylum."

Ah yes ... because as we all know, mental illness is comedic gold, baby! I kept waiting for an appearance by McMurphy, Nurse Ratched, or The Chief, but all we got was this guy:

Friday, February 6, 2009

SI cover line FAIL

I'm a reasonably creative and sports-minded individual. I get puns, frequently use metaphors, and can crank out a simile like Bill Simmons cranks out podcasts. (See what I did there?)

But even for me, this SI cover line is an epic fail. If I have to take a full 60 seconds to figure out what "That's Six for the Sixth" means, I'm guessing the meaning sailed way over the heads of the average reader.

If you still haven't figured it out, "Six" refers to the touchdown, which is also known as "six" because it's worth six points. And that "six" gave the Steelers their sixth Super Bowl title.

Come on, SI. Don't make us work too hard. You're already about to get a flood of "cancel my subscription" mail with your upcoming swimsuit issue. Don't piss off a nation's worth of composition teachers too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Aaron Francisco keeps Kurt Warner ouf of Canton

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again every year -- the endless debates over who is worthy of induction to various sporting Halls of Fame drives me loco. Because the qualifications are 100 percent subjective, it makes for perfect talk-radio fodder, but all that noise and wasted breath is as meaningful as a breeze in the forest.

So last week, a theme developed among NFL talking heads -- some believed Kurt Warner was a lock for the Hall of Fame thanks to his three Super Bowl berths, two NFL MVP awards, one Super Bowl ring (with another one possible) and the fact that he took the Arizona Freakin' Cardinals to the big game.

Meanwhile, the anti- side of the debate said that Warner still had more to prove, and that he needed to beat the Steelers on Sunday to get into the Hall of Fame.

Fast-forward to Sunday, and Warner throws his third touchdown pass of the game to put the Cardinals on top 23-20 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. And as Warner watched from the sidelines, the Steelers launched a thrilling, captivating drive that culminated in Santonio Holmes' TD catch in the corner of the end zone, one step in front of Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco.

As you know, Warner's last-ditch attempt at rallying the Cardinals fell short, mainly because he had a mere 30 seconds to work with. So, Warner didn't win the game, meaning all those anti-Warner guys must still believe he's not worthy of the Hall of Fame. But if Francisco had been able to push Holmes out of bounds, or if Ben Roethlisberger had thrown an interception, or Heath Miller had fumbled, or a sinkhole had opened up at midfield and swallowed the Steelers whole, I guess Warner would be HOF-worthy? Even though he did nothing to affect the last drive?

This points out the silliness over these debates. You especially can't look at wins (for a quarterback or a pitcher in baseball) because those guys can only be judged on what they did to put their team in position to win. If your bats fall silent, or if your defense gives up a game-losing touchdown, you can't blame the quarterback or the pitcher.

But if Kurt Warner is never enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame, I guess he can FedEx a box of dog doo to Aaron Francisco.