thecubsfan.com

shows that are over, and shows that are actually over

May
28

(I think I wrote this on Monday night/Tuesday morning. That’d make sense, as much as any of it does.)

This Cubs losing streak is costing me sleep. This is not some figurative whine about the badness of the last week and a half, this is a literally “I’m unable to go fall asleep after losses.” Like, I think the only close to full night of sleep I’ve gotten is Sunday, because it was a day game and gave me many many hours to wear myself out feeling miserable. At this point, I’m hoping for a win, but hoping to remain lucid until Wednesday’s day game.

While insomnia has me, I figured I might as well work thru the ideas in my head. This actually, where I got a post stuck out of my head out in to paper, and then fell asleep soon after. Didn’t actually post it, but details are for suckers.

Let’s talk about TV shows I’ve already slightly talked about in a different place. Maybe I’ll make this not absurdly, for a change.

Scrubs: this could’ve been worse, given the (non!) victory lap. The interns were good – better on the websiodes – and there were a few episodes which were actually really good; a best of Scrubs DVD would be like a half dozen episodes about death, I think. There were no “will JD & Elliot stick?” plots – they did, they had a fight, but they was not the usual aching about it, which was a nice change. Not sure why they spent two episodes in the islands, now that I think about it, except it allowed them two spend two episodes in the islands.

I liked the show enough that I’m okay with the idea of the people making it trying to make some more money by beating the horse a bit more. If they can get paid for making afterMASH, more power to them. But, at the same time, they could’ve done a better job of making us see the point of doing any more, what with the final being so definitive the story being over. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the ending and appreciated it over leaving things open for another season, but when the show’s been based around the lead character’s wacky adventures at his hospital, it would’ve been nice to get some idea for what the show was now going to be out when those that lead character was no longer going to be at the hospital. Not to mention the hard to miss ending bit of the architect of the show literally taking down the canvas where future stories were played out, and throwing it in the trash. Symbolism wasn’t exactly subtle.

Maybe my real problem is with being told not to think all future Scrubs episodes are unnecessary by the same people who just told My Last Ever Episode? Or maybe, if they want to keep using the “Cheers->Fraiser” comparison with what they plan to do, they need to go all the way and change the name of the show before next season. (Oh, but then it wouldn’t be Scrubs, and the DVDs wouldn’t sell as well and I think that’s all we’re here for at this point.)

Everyone Hates Chris: A comedy featuring voice over narration of the lead (male) characters struggles, including his interaction with a huge cast of eccentric characters. Somehow this one got slightly less attention for ending. I only knew when I heard Todd Briges mention it to Bryan Alvarez – no, I can’t believe that’s actually what occurred either – but I had seen the ratings enough to know this was doomed. And, giving it being a predominantly minority cast, a sitcom, and on the CW, it did pretty well to last four seasons.

Not making the claim this was a great show – it’d be one that’d stack up on my TiVo and get watched in bunches when I realized they were about to be deleted – probably because I think I’ve now seen every show about someone coming of age I need to see in my lifetime. But it was a show that had it’s great moments, and a show so under the radar (that’s the minority/CW thing again) that few saw them.

Like the final scene. For no reason besides they could and it’d be a hilarious, Chris waiting for the results of the GED which would change his life (just don’t ask me how) ends up being Chris playing Tony Soprano in replica of the last scene from the Sopranos. Like, with every bit they could manage to squeeze in – onion rings, Chris watching ominous looking individuals walk by his table in slow motion, everyone singing along to a cheesy eighties song, someone having trouble parking their vehicle – all right up to the moment where Chris gets the envelope with his GED score instead, and the show immediately goes to black.

Though, to really pay it off, they should’ve waited a beat and then jumped back to give the answer (or maybe a non-answer, and the usual coda) – it didn’t quite make the leap to parody it needed to be. But it was still enjoyable enough as is, like the rest of the show. And we didn’t really need the answer, since they made sure to wink at Chris’ inevitable future if the show was to continue following the pseudo-autobiography of Chris Rock path. (Though I was kind of surprised it never tied into the b-plot.)

Because of this show, I won’t keep seeing Tichina Arnold as Pam. (Though having Gina show up here as a guest somehow made my year.) As a tradeoff, Terry Crews is totally Julius now and forever, no matter how many movie trailers I see him in as Menacing Guy #2

Okay, now I’m meandering on wikipedia and finding out things like the engineer at the radio station on Martin worked at is now the father of Ben Linus on LOST. Need to sleep.

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Crunch

May
22

Let’s not talk about the games. That would be fun. Let’s talk about the roster crunch.

Z!!!!!!! returns today, to brighten our days and warm our nights. Problem is, someone has to leave to make room. And it’s a totally obvious pick.

RP Ascanio: gone blown up good over the weekend, but looked really effective last night
RP Wells: techincally Z’s replacement, but has yet to actually give up an earned run, might be worth keeping around
RP Patton: not ready for this level, hasn’t pitched since May 9th (!!!), but can’t be sent down without being offered to the Rockies (and I keep thinking it’s the Reds because of that trade.)
RP Cotts: bad, though actually okay last time out but still Lou’s clearly lost completely faith in him. But can’t be sent down without eating the rest of his ($1.1 mil) contract, and that’d be #3 ate already this season.

3B Scales: kinda extraneous the second they traded for Freel, but is one of the few guys actually hitting. Possibly has to go thru waivers to get back to Iowa and might actually get grabbed at this point
SS Miles: still has 1.6 years and $4 mil left on his really dumb contract. Would not have a role on this team except he can play SS and no one else but Theriot could. Seriously, I can’t believe how great a player Ronny Cedeno apparently was, because the Cubs have had plenty of luck finding people who can play 2B and 3B, and 2B and SS, but playing all three is nigh impossible, and so you have 3 backup infielders when you really need 2 (and 1 Jake Fox.)

If Freel wasn’t just picked up, he might go on the list too. Reed is even a slim possibility, since he’s been reduced to 6th OF with Kosuke and Micah off to good starts, maybe even 7th behind Freel, but I think everyone still feels we’ll need depth there later on.

I think I’m rooting for Cotts to be cut, even though I think Marshall doesn’t really fit as a 1 out lefty (which is really only a problem if they use him like one), but I don’t think the Cubs are ready for that. Barring that, I’d really like to see a trade to get Patton to AA or AAA, since the Cubs really don’t need to continue playing with a 24 man roster. Both wouldn’t be bad if we could get Jake Fox up – even if he sucks, this is a good time to let him prove it because everyone else isn’t looking much better.

Can I say, this Padres series works out well for me, for once? I’ve got tickets to a 6:30 Cougars game tonight, which means I’ll probably catch up live watching the game on TiVo before it’s over. I think I’m stuck going out to dinner Saturday, but will be back in plenty of time for the game. And Sunday’s a day game, a fine day to flip between it and the indy race. Plus, they’re the Padres, so things may look up.

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Let’s all agree to love Milton Bradley

May
13

He’s easily becoming my favorite .186 (and rising!) hitter.

Friday!

Milton Bradley introduced his diplomatic side over the weekend in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, it was not televised.

The surprising transformation occurred during the middle of the seventh inning of Friday’s Cubs- Brewers game, right after Bradley was called out on strikes by plate umpire Tom Hallion, ending the inning.

“The first curveball, [catcher Jason] Kendall asked where it’s at,” Bradley said. “He said, ‘Outside.’ So I knew I never swing at that because that was outside, so it’s 3-2, and the same thing — it’s farther outside. But he calls it [a strike].

“I’m like, ‘Tooooom.’ He says, ‘I think it was a good pitch. Check it out. Let me know.’ “

Tuesday!

After hitting a monster shot that nearly landed in the upper portion of the center-field bleachers Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, Milton Bradley pressed his index finger against his ear as he strolled toward the dugout.

Booed after a strikeout in the fourth inning, Bradley apparently wanted the crowd of 39,963 to know his hearing was just fine, thank you.

“Nice to hear some cheers for once,” Bradley said. “I didn’t come here to suck. I know I’ve sucked so far, but give me some love, you know what I’m saying? I am a Cub.”

By the way, it’s now 25 days since Milton was ejected, and we still don’t know if he’s being suspended. It’s 2009, how in the world does this take so long?

Bonus fun quote!

Bradley’s shot off Peavy landed in the concourse above the lower bleachers. Piniella said it was the longest he has seen at Wrigley, while Soriano said the only ones he has seen go farther have been hit by Carlos Zambrano during batting practice.

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faded brillance

May
12

There’s a few different tress around the parking lot where my car spends a lot of time. About 10 days ago, those trees were flush with color, just unbelievably rich purple and reds and blues, a picture perfect vision of springing. A week later, the colors were faded and those leaves (or petals or whatever) were falling off the tree, lining my windshield and occasionally sneaking into the floor of my car. This happens every year, the brilliance of the colors last around a week, and then trees snap back to being only excess leaf and seed producers, littering the parking lot and the cars with whatever’s blown off that day.

There are definitely some times where I rather be that tree. (I’m plenty miserable most of the time as it is, might as well add a dash of brilliance.) There’s not really a lot of times where I wish I had that tree; I’d rather be around things that are going to be consistently good than those who are going to be mostly bad and occasional great. Maybe I just rate dependability higher than most, but I think it’s because I know there’s going to be plenty of things going on where dependability is not even an option, so I might as well grab it where I can.

This is all a roundabout way to talk about this last season’s of House; I didn’t check, but I assume last night was the season finale because they did a season finale type episode. It also was yet another miserable episode, from a show I find I’m still faithful to only for those rare moments of brilliance.

Not much worked for me this season. The Foreman/13 romance may have been great on paper, but sure didn’t come across on screen. Taub might be interesting if had more than one storyline they kept running with him; he’s a man completely defined by his affair on this show. And then Kutner – on a show where the clues are supposed to be all there for us to see (but only for House to find), they did an arc where the clues are purposefully non-existent. Followed by one where we’re supposed to be watching the clues again, except we’ve just been told not to bother, they’re not going to add up. (I don’t really mind the effect of the big undo, just that we’re doing big undos.)

House likes to end seasons with ‘what you’re seeing may not be what you think you’re seeing’ episodes, so I guess this was a return to form. It’s just that previous seasons had such well told stories, I was more willing to accept one that forced me to take bigger leaps. This season was filled with episodes where I wasn’t just fast forwarding thru the usual malady right before the commercial break (except for that one episode), but skipping thru all the stuff not directly dealing with the patient. The interpersonal drama hadn’t been so good for long enough that an episode mostly revolving around it wasn’t what I wanted.

The Mos Def episode was as good a one hour drama as I’ve seen this year (not that I’ve seen a lot) – it was the moment of brilliance breaking up the usual miserableness. I spent most of the season leaving episodes sitting on my TiVo and watching them in bunches just to get thru them, and while it was nice to get that great show ever so often, I could probably find more good ones elsewhere. Maybe it’s best to follow House’s example here and break with the illusions of what this show is, and rehab myself with something better.

I want to write more about shows I actually liked this season, but we’ll see if I get around to it.

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long drive home

May
01

I’m not going to talk about the game. I don’t think I have it in me to do both this and that, and I might not have enough for either. I’m going to just fall onto a flat surface and pass out as soon as I hit post. But I need to write this one down. Read the Twitter for other stuff.

After the Bulls game, was stuck in the parking lot for about a half hour waiting to get out the gate. Usual bit for the United Center, though everyone was super gleeful – the cut girls across the way yelling ‘RONDO SUCKS’ to every passerby were fun. It was nearly a 1:45 trip in before the game so driving was already lame by this point. But I still had to drive to Wrigleyville to drop off Mike (who may owe me for life for getting this ticket), then circle around back home out in parts unknown.

Let’s see, I took Lake Shore to (uh) 290 to 88. No real traffic, because now I’m about an hour behind Bulls traffic (and maybe a half hour behind Cubs? lost track of that one), but even though it’s flying it’s the slowest possible flying traffic in my mind. That game drained everything out of everyone there. Like, Big Baby Davis might have been secretly relived to get foul #6, because he was a zombie by that point. I stashed a Gatorade in the car for this purpose, but I couldn’t take the sweetness of it. My mind was switching to cruise control, so I smartened up and put the car there too. Last thing I wanted to do is get a ticket, and I didn’t want to honor Rose’s performance tonight by getting a speeding ticket the same stretch of road he did. Even if going 10 over on 88 means every car blows past you.

As I got off the tollway (at the non-toll exit – figure it out yourself), my mind started to wander to what I have to do tomorrow (which is now today – let’s call it Friday) that maybe I didn’t really have to do so the time might better be spent with sleep. The only thing I could come up with was ‘catch up on 5 hours of AAA’ and that didn’t seem too necessary, even if I haven’t been having a long internal debate about what to say about people saying stuff about Abismo Negro and – wait, that’s red and blue lights behind me, flashing, isn’t it? crap

Guy takes a while getting out, but walks over to let me know what I already figured, I was still going highway speeds for the really short distance I’d been off the highway. And actually, once I made that turn, I’d be completely legal again, but the 45 MPH speed makes sense for the road and my 58 didn’t quite work.

So I sit there, and I start to think, and it seems to take forever but these things always do. I’m happy I had my new insurance card in my wallet, I’m fretting about what I’m not going to have to cut out to pay this ticket (as if I haven’t been doing enough of that lately – that and more on the Personal Issues I Will Never Ever Write About On The Internet Again section of the blog), concerned that perhaps my license has expired because when was the last time I checked, really? They have to send you a letter to remind you about that, right? Right? Who am I going to call at midnight to pick me up when they pull me out of this car? Who might one day let me forget that they did that?

And then. The police officer comes back. He’s got my license. He’s got my insurance. He’s got a piece of paper. He’s got a band-aid on a pointy finger. Wait, what? He’s also got an apology for taking so long. His computer crashed, and he sliced his finger. Here’s a warning. Have a nice night.

“I hope your finger feels better.”

Did I really say that? I’m pretty sure that came out of my mouth, though I’m really not sure that’s something I should record coming out of my mouth. Or that the police officer heard me at all. All I know for sure is I drove the rest of the (5 minute to go) trip at about five under the speed limit, parked in my garage, and then walked into my door without remembering to open it.

This night had so many twists, I forgot the last one.

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