Saturday, October 20, 2007

What is Up with this Joe Torre Business

On the eve of the Sex Pistols' final concert Johnny Rotton famously sneered "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" and then stared off into space before closing out the set with disgust.

This is how we feel upon hearing that Joe Torre is "leaving us" and "choosing to walk away" after taking the Yankees to 12 straight postseasons, including four championships. And just to rub it in, in our hour of need, Jeter has gone AWOL. The sky is falling!

This is about the most obvious case of media manipulation we have ever seen. Clearly, there has been a week's worth of behind the scenes negotiating to determine how the public would receive the long-ago-decided news that Torre was "leaving" when in face he was being unceremoniously "let go" (don't you love how euphemisms eventually come to mean what they were created to gloss over?).

When she needs answers on all thing Yankees, Betty turns to her friend G.R., who knows the team, its personalities and its politics inside out. Here's what he had to say about Torre's resignation/firing:

Hey hon...I think we have totally been manipulated by the Yankee brass, this guy Randy Levine particularly. It's become clear that he really wanted Torre out, and he got his way. I feel terrible for whoever has to replace him.

This contract offer that Joe "turned down" was without question a scheme to try and make it look to the fans like Torre turned away from them, but it's just not true. Can you even imagine offering such a venerable, certain hall of fame manager a one year, back-loaded contract that gives management the opportunity to make Torre feel like he is playing every game to save his job? Without offering 2 years or a reasonable amount of money, all it means is they can fire him during the year whenever they want with virtually no repercussions. I am quite upset.

That being said, I had felt for a while that the time was near for some fresh blood, and that he had made some questionable managerial decisions, but at this point, the only person I can think of who can represent the organization with class, keep a roster full of superstars on an even keel through the season, deal with the media better than anybody in Washington, and take us to the postseason every year is the man they just fired.

Torre didn't deserve to take the fall for the Yankees' failings this year. The postseason was loopy and random in the utmost, with our pitching falling apart and A-Rod and Jeter doing nothing at the plate. What makes Betty even more upset is how the whole organization roped Joe into pulling the wool over his fans' eyes. Hopefully one day Joe will decide to set the record straight. In the meantime, anybody looking for a job in the New York metro area? It doesn't guarantee security or gratitude for a job well done, but at least they will make up enormous lies when you inevitabley get axed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dos Gallantes / Cowbells

I strongly recommend this band called Dos Gallantes from Frisco. I saw them play last night and they were pretty incredible, although my friends had been hyping them all week. Apparently, they have a pretty big following. My friends spent $30 for tickets and someone just handed Superman a ticket for free, who he didnt know. Which meant it was the best night ever or the show was going to be really bad. It really was the best night ever because Superman got pulled over and used jedhi mindtricks to get out of a ticket, which as one friend pointed out, is almost better than not getting pulled over.

Dos Gallantes are just two people, hence the "dos," like White Stripes and their sound is pretty similar. The guy on the drums was amazing and started playing them with a tamborine during one song, which totally blew Superman's mind.

They were so much better than earlier act, which had like fifteen guys in the band but were horrible. It was like if they had enough guys out there it would make up for the absence of musical talent. In fact, Superman had a strong urge to rush the stage and start playing a cow bell like Will Ferrel in SNL, but that probably wouldn't have gone over well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Fall - Break Out Those Autumn Sweaters!

We've noticed it's darkening earlier and a distinct chill and clearness have settled through the sky. We love sweaters and hope you do, too. Please, share your changing-of-the-seasons photography with Betty and Bimbo.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

i am a Pod

To mark the end of the baseball season as they understood it, Betty and Bimbo gripped each other's hands and took a big plunge last week. After hours of heavy-handed soul-searching, the duo breathed deeply in unison, and then ran out and both got ipods! Betty's is a little red corvette and Bimbo's is a green tea leaf.

So far, the world remains intact.

Betty has noticed that she listens to songs somewhat more intently when she plays them on her ipod, rather than on her old white-and-orange CD player, which was getting to be a little clunky and embarassing. Betty was always dropping it while she tried to hold, say, a leash and a milkshake at the same time as she rocked out to Oasis. Also, one time a child on the subway stopped her to ask what it was. Also, it weighed more than her dog.

Anyway, by selecting the song rather than listening to an album idley, Betty feels auditorially committed as never before. Also, with the little ipod that could tucked reliably (yet discreetly!) in her pocket, she finds all of life can become a backdrop for entertainment. But this was kind of true before the pod.

Betty also finds it interesting that the spinning wheel, so long a symbol of chance and Nature's arbitrary whim, is here employed in the service of making that one perfect choice out of 1,000 songs about dancing, death, drugs, and girls!

Bimbo would like to add that all of those people who bought the iphone early - just so they could be the coolest kid on the block - and then felt somehow cheated when Apple slashed the price are silly idiots and should just shut up. [Betty doesn't know what this has to do with ipods, but this is turning into quite the bloggy little post...maybe we'll be tagged on the Huffington Post!]

So now that we're peas in pods, here are iBetty's top five most played songs after our first week:

1. Radio Nowhere
2. I'm Goin' Down
3. You'll be Comin' Down
4. Livin' in the Future
5. Two Faces
All son's by Bruce Sprin'steen

Now behold iBimbo's big clicks:

1. Y Control - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2. Going Going Gone - Bob Dylan
3. I'm Goin' Down - Bruce Springsteen
4. Not a Second Time - The Beatles
5. Black Wave/Bad Vibrations - The Arcade Fire

Pod People: Care to share?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All the Leaves are Brown and the Sky is Grey

Today's post is not going to be about the Yankees. Let's just say there's a hole in Betty's heart where a baseball used to be. Bimbo couldn't even watch the failure, and tucked himself into bed with his head under all the covers.

SO! Today's post will instead be a photo spread of Betty's recent trip to Mexico City! She was stuck in (nonetheless interesting) meetings most days, but she snuck out one day to walk all the way down the Paseo de La Reforma to the Bosque Chapultepec - which really is a forest in the middle of the city, albeit one where you can buy a blue, pink, or purple ice cream or any number of Spongebob or Mexican wrestling masks.

At first, the DF does not seem to be a pedestrian-friendly city, because the car drivers simply do not care and they will run you over if you set foot on the street when it's not your light. BUT! It turns out that the easy-to-draw anti-walker impression is mistaken, because there are many green spots, benches, and publicly commissioned artworks everywhere you go, and people take advantage, sitting and observing along the ever-shifting green-and-street-scape. Here is an alligator with some other alligators riding on its back that Betty liked a lot:

And here is the weirdest, science-fictionist statue of Winston Churchill I've ever seen! He's blobbily emerging from the concrete near the Auditorio Metro Stop:

The Metro was awesome! Very fast and clean and with lots of art down there, too!

Here's the Plaza de la Independencia. Note the size of the humans compared to the size of the structures:

And finally, here's a chihuahua who seemed to live next to a taco cart on the street.
S/he was so sweet and Betty really wanted to take him/her back and it was sad that she couldn't. Betty again refers you to the main theme of this post. Send hugs, send chocolate, send love to these downhearted bloggers!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Summer Joys

In my conversion to full-on Northern California foodie, I went to a very unique party yesterday that nicely capped off the summer.

Since the spring we've been getting a weekly farm box from a CSA, but our farm has recently run into hard times! The highly destructive mediterranean fruit fly was spotted in the area (not on the farm), and everything within a four mile radius, including our farm, has been quarantined. Nothing that the wily fly likes to live in can be transported off of the farm, including the luscious late season tomatoes and pluots. The poor farm is left with thousands of pounds of healthy and juicy tomatoes of all breeds and colors that will rot on the vine.

In an attempt to turn lemons into lemonade, the farm invited its members to a sauce party, where they picked over 2,000 pounds of tomatoes and invited us to turn them into marinara to take home for free! (Once the tomatoes have been heated to a boiling point for 30 minutes, they're okay to take out of the quarantine zone.) The scene was not to believed: hundreds of people stood outside in the shade of the poplars among barrels of green, orange, yellow and red tomatoes of all sizes and shapes, chopping away, trading recipes, and throwing the fruit into enormous pots, along with the farm's basil, rosemary, thyme, onions, eggplants, bell peppers, hot peppers, and lavendar salt. Taking care to avoid stepping on the wandering chickens, we then carried our overflowing pots to just-assembled camp stoves to let them stew. The setups ranged from the primitive (ours, with a rickety one-burner camp stove), to people who had brought tomato grinders and full ranges! The fun was rounded out with a bloody mary bar and all the tomatoes you could eat.

Needless to say, we had pasta for dinner.

Friday, October 05, 2007

first family in jail...

So, from the fairly (sub) (under) (less) developed part of the Americas, comes some good news.

The First (and foremost) Family is behind bars.

Without the patriarch, of course (RIP).

We only talking $20 M here. Nothing big. Just some traditional

Nothing new.

However, and since Miss Justice was not exactly on time for old Augusto, some 450 pages of serious and tedious investigation, made by mainly under-payed Chilean policemen, give the World some insight of the glamorous domestic shuffle of federal money.

We have several "take $100 K in this envelope to the Bank and deposit it (at old Riggs and now PNC, mind you)". Some "I'm sending you to Switzerland to see if the bank account is really closed, and if you can, try to get all the money out". Others, of a more distinguished kind, open up accounts under MADE-UP names. The horror!

'John Long' is one. Sounds pornish to me, but hey, let us not judge. Not all criminals are creative.

23 peeps (only 7 from the Pinochet klan) are now under arrest.

I got kind of surprised but must say that the major thing is that an old coup-master such as Ballerino IS STILL ALIVE!


Did I mention that all this unveiled as the Pentagon's own Gates was seducing the Prez? In Santiago?


The old spook must have some good stories when he comes back from his official trip to the Americas -south of the border- in contrast to his old, old, old Contras-old Nicaragua.

And No. No way this is possible in the USA. Don't get any subversive thoughts...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Deborah Solomon, Creative Collage Artist

Betty and Bimbo (and other bloggers on this site) usually enjoy Deborah Solomon's "Questions For" feature in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, especially because the subjects and the questions tend to be very pithy and provocative ---- but wait a minute, are these interviews a little over-edited???

Some might even say chopped.

The seemingly feisty Deborah Soloman has been busted by Tim Russert, Ira Glass, Amy Dickinson, and others who claim she Ctrl-X'ed and Ctrl-V'd their words completely out of context, invented questions and statements she never posed, and ommitted pertinent answers to the real questions. Since all of the evidence is on tape, we imagine this should all be pretty easy to sort out.

Us, we had a feeling these exchanges were a might too tight to hang true. I mean, who talks like this?!?

[From last week's issue.]

SOLOMON: A few years ago, you left your job as a guidance counselor in Portland, Ore., to start the Education Conservancy and take on the college-admissions process. What’s wrong with it, exactly?

SUBJECT:College admissions has come under the control of commercial interests, at the expense of studenthood.

SOLOMON:What kind of word is studenthood? I doubt any English professor would approve.

The stylization, the immaculate diction, puts one in mind of imaginary family members invented by Wes Anderson.

Now, Betty is accustomed to the fairly flexible protocols and process of editing long, taped interviews, but sometimes it seems that Deborah Solomon's final product makes the interviews more about her (and her saucy, rapier-like wit) than about the subject. And if she didn't say those witty rejoinders on the spot, well, that's just lame. It's like thinking of a great comeback to a come-on two weeks later!

And while we're on the subject of the Sunday Times failing our standards, has anyone else noticed how kind of unsatisfying it can be, generally? It's like a three hour movie with only a little content that sticks. And more (and more elaborate) ads than you've ever seen before.

p.s. Betty is in Mexico City this week and Bimbo is finishing a big report, so kind and frequent readers: The blog needs you! Please post liberally!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Never Have I Ever...

seen a chihuahua swim laps in a pool...until now!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Exit the Mets

As a Yankees fan, I have never reciprocated the hatred I feel from Red Sox fans, and certainly not from Mets fans. With the Red Sox, of course, I do look forward to beating them in the ALCS. But there is no reason, in my mind, for a Yankees fan to have any animosity towards the Metropolitans.
As such, I did not relish the collapse of the Mets last week, finding it more tragic than anything else. And readers who note the end of the regular season will surely appreciate Verlyn Klinkenborg's elegy on the Mets on today's Times editorial page. In fact, his subject is not just this particular fall from grace, but "sporting grief" more generally, a sensation that many of us who write on this blog have experienced.
Sweet it may not be, but there’s a lot to be said for sporting grief, especially the long-season variety. The suffering is collective, no matter how personal the sadness may feel. This year’s collapse of the Mets is equaled — to the extent that baseball ever equals golf — by Greg Norman’s self-destruction at the 1996 Masters. But Norman fell to pieces in a couple of hours, not a couple of weeks, and the loss was utterly personal. It was shattering to watch, but it was less likely to make you weep than to make you brood about hubris and mortality.
Personally, I think back to the ALCS in 2004. Klinkenborg concludes the piece beautifully:

So the world is a complicated place, and in our own lives — if you allow yourself to love or hope at all — we are going to have real chances to grieve for things that will make this loss feel like nothing.

But right now it feels like something. Life’s true griefs will eventually make you tougher, more understanding, more tolerant, more compassionate. If you let them, they’ll teach the proportions of human happiness. Perhaps that’s the real beauty of sporting grief, even after a season like the Mets just had. It doesn’t ask you to grow as a human being.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pay What You Will for New Radiohead Album

Radiohead's seventh album, "In Rainbows," comes out next Tuesday, October 10th, and you can pay the band whatever you want for it on iTunes. Betty thinks that this policy indicates there is no record company involved and all proceeds will go straight to the band, who are already rich, but c'mon. You must pay something for someone else's art. Much as we'd all like to be living in a free-for-all orgy of new ideas, wine, and song, we're not.

Betty likes this band-and-listener-based concept very much, but hopes there is some kind of clause that says you have to take the whole album, and not just the songs with words and guitars, or what have you.