Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dave Swappin' and Other Stuff

Is this really within the realm of possibility? [A snippet from the San Diego Union Tribune:]

Assuming Dave Roberts is not shipped to Boston as part of a package for the 42-year-old David Wells...

This isn't the first time I have heard this during the offseason. I also heard that any deal involving Wells would be shelved until the spring, so ...

The Piazza to the Padres deal is a head-scratcher. I saw him doing booth commentary at the end of last season and I thought he was going down that road. But then he threw us all a zinger by announcing that he wasn't done playing. THEN, he actually drummed up interest from the Bronx (albeit just a little interest). Finally, he was inked by the Padres, who are really just throwing another artifact into the mix. And what about Doug Mirabelli? In all sincerity, I always thought Piazza was an ok dude. Taking broken bats and fastballs to the head with such dignity and what-have-you.

On a Crisp note: I saw his interview on mlb.com and I've got to say that I really like the guy. Personality-wise. A lot.

Monday, January 30, 2006

David Riske

What an unfortunate name. Especially in his line of work. Actually, if he were a doctor, it would probably be worse.

It's Official

Crisp is now a member of the Red Sox. That's great - what more is there to say? I hope he consistently gets on base. Also, I hope he makes some awesome defensive plays. I would love to hear Remy say something like:

Wow, I don't even think that Damon could have done that!


Did you see how quickly Coco got the ball in, there? Happened so fast, I didn't even see it. Blink of an eye.

Also, it would be great if Coco broke his stolen bases record on our watch.

Here's what FO had to say about Crisp:

''Coco is a guy we had identified quite a ways back," Epstein's assistant, Jed Hoyer, said last night. ''In September we were kind of concerned the secret was out and we weren't going to be able to get him. It was clear we were going to have a tough negotiation with Johnny, and Coco was the top guy on our list."



''Coco was fantastic in the games that mattered most down the stretch," said Hoyer.


At worst, this stuff could become fodder for Johnny to prove that he was worth the additional 3 mil. At best, these statements make me giddy with excitement and anticipation for the season.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Word from the Strip

No, this isn't a Celtics game. It's the aftermath of the elections in Gaza City. Fatah's out. Hamas is in. Through a democratic electoral process.

Now, there's something Bush didn't expect, huh? File under: Be careful what you wish for, stupid.

Big C News

Damn. Ricky Davis and Blout were traded to the Timberwolves for Olowokandi cracker Szczerbiak.

I'm really going to miss Davis, even though he didn't admit to fouling in the last game.


Menino is right to stand strong against the Sox's requests for public funding. Seriously, man, what is the deal with this?

Besides trying for the Cleveland Indians' Coco Crisp, the Sox continue to vie for $55 million in public money for transportation and other infrastructure improvements in the Kenmore/Fenway/Longwood neighborhoods. However, getting a glove on the money means getting around the reservations that Mayor Tom Menino continues to express. Asked about the Sox proposal at an event on Tuesday night, Menino wondered anew why state legislators can find money for the Sox, but not for other needs.

But not for other needs. Like education, transportation for our own public school students, etcetera. Ask a homeless person what he or she thinks of the Sox not being able to obtain 55 mil for "infrastructure improvements in the Kenmore/Fenway/Longwood neighborhoods" and he or she might tell you to go screw.

I wonder if they pitch it like: You give us 55 million, and we'll continue to make sure that out of town baseball fans dump all their hard earned dollars into Boston. Or some variation of it. Otherwise, I couldn't imagine that much public money going to the Sox over the schools. And Massport. Geez, I'd rather see the subways get a little heat in the winter than more seating in the park!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let's Hear it For the Boy

Poor Chris. 40 years young. That's only 6 years my senior, which scares me and forces me to contemplate my own mortality. However, this isn't about me. It's about Chris. While I did love him in Reservoir Dogs (ironically, I just purchased this on DVD 2 weeks ago), I will forever love his timeless performance in Footloose. All that hippin' and hoppin' and cloggin' around under the choreographical tutorage of rebel Kevin Bacon.

Incidentally, I often wonder what family gatherings were like over at the Penns. You've got Sean - brooding, jaded, smoky (though, I heard he quit). Then there's Chris - fat, awkward, jovial (Sorry if you're insulted because I wrote "jovial" as an assumption because of his weight. If I were heavy, I might accuse me of stereotyping). Lastly, there's Michael. Which also means Aimee (Mann, his wife). Both Michael and Aimee are introverted (I know this because I've seen them live, and it's one of the first things they tell you to explain the comedian the hire for commentary purposes - David Cross and Jack Black have both been on tour with them.) Madonna used to be in the family mix, once upon a time. Since then Robin Wright Penn (Princess Bride, Forrest Gump) has taken her place as Sean's wife. And don't forget Eileen Ryan, his mom, who was in Magnolia, I Am Sam and others. I just think it's got to be strange. Worthy of a reality tv special, I think. Holidays with the Penns. Or something like that. Except now, they couldn't do it, as they'd be missing one key member. Chris was my favorite - I've never been big on Sean. Sorry, Fast Time fans.

Hey, is anyone familiar with that place in the village called "Nice Guy Eddie's"? Do they still have all 4 members of KISS painted on the cinderblock outside?

C to Shining C (Crisp, Curt, Celtics and More!)

Regarding Theo, I feel as though I am all talked out on the matter. There's been a lot of speculation about whether or not the front office situation is as copesetic as they'd like us to believe. Well, I couldn't begin to know since (a) I wasn't privy to the specific issues in the first place and (b) I'll never know what solutions were put in place to fix said issues. If there's anyone out there who can enlighten me, I suppose that person is entitled to be skeptical. My gut tells me that Theo's return is fairly solid. I mean, how damaging would it be to his career if he soon left us again? He might be branded "risky" by virtue of his perceived intolerance.Thus, his fleeing then coming back could be seen as a good thing for Red Sox fans, as he is likely to stay put for a while. At least, this is how I choose to look at it.

The Crisp deal encountered a snag, but since available options for center aren't exactly sprouting up through the Boston Common snow, I am pretty sure that they are going to do everything in their power to seal it up.

So, with (1) Manny still in a Red Sox uniform, (2) Papi potentially extending his contract, (3) the additions of Beckett, Lowell, Loretta, and - hopefully - Crisp, (4) Youk as full-time 1st baseman, (5) Curt's statement on EEI yesterday that he feels better today than he did going into the 2004 season and (6) Theo returning as GM, I feel like we've got ourselves a pretty competitive team going into Spring Training. I still wonder what's going to happen with David Wells and if this Gonzalez thing is really going to go through. Both relatively minor things to contend with, I think.

Kaplar update, from Ian Brown with an e at the end:

Kapler is working hard to bounce back from his ruptured Achilles' injury. However, at this time, it is uncertain when he'll be game-ready. Kapler is hoping he can come back to the Red Sox once he regains his health, and I'm sure the club would want him back, provided there was an available spot on the roster.

Judging by the amount of e-mails I get on Kapler each week, he remains enormously popular throughout Red Sox Nation. I know that Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and just about everyone else in the organization also think highly of Kapler.

And lastly, the C's

I recognize that the Celtics started off rather slowly this year. The formula became somewhat predictable: Strike first, hold a 6-point lead in the 1st quarter, maintain a close game in the 2nd with tit-for-tat basketball strategy, then gradually implode in the 3rd. The 4th is generally unwatchable. I feel a turnaround, though. After the Ricky Davis Show that was Monday night's game (OMFG, it was unreal - he owned that court, scoring at least 32 points all by himself) and after watching the collective talents of Delonte, Jefferson, Pierce, LaFrentz, it isn't unrealistic to think that the C's could snag the division. They are in 3rd place with 6 games out (only 2 from the 2nd place 76ers). Also good - they don't have to play the Pistons again.

Monday, January 23, 2006


How do I feel about this Coco deal? I am satisfied with it. His numbers aren't quite what Johnny's were last year (except for homers - Crisp had 6 more than Damon), but they are still good (.300 average last year with 16 homers, 69 RBIs and 15 stolen bases). Bear in mind, he's younger than Damon (which works in our favor), so his best work has probably not been done yet. Conveniently, he's a switch hitter. Also key - he's wicked cheap. I feel a little bad about having to give up Marte in the deal, but the hole was significant and you certainly aren't going to get something for nothing. Additionally, as far as I'm concerned, throwing in Shoppach was wise. No offense to any of you who thought but next year, really, Kelley is going to showcase his stuff! Frankly, I don't have the patience. His major league work was less than impressive. Long story, short: Don't let the door hit you, Shoppy.

There are a couple concerns with Coco:

1. He's got to make the adjustment to center from left. Not a major concern, but still.
2. He hasn't bat in the lead off position in a few years, and I guess his first experience with it was not very fruitful. He's older now, though, and he's got power hitters batting next, so this ought to help his production.

I agree with Andrew in terms of Alex Gonzalez. He's not really any better or worse than Alex Cora, so WTF? Seems like time and energy could be better spent on other things. Unless they know something we don't. Incidentally, I like having a guy who looks like Posada on our team. Now I can engage in a secret game of "Battle of the Floppy-Eared Wonders - Good vs. Evil" whenever we play the Yankees.

Speaking of looks, this is simply abominable:

His hair in the back is all weird and wispy. It reminds me of my old Barbie doll's hair after I got a little too ambitious with my safety scissors. His face suddenly got super wide, like the man in the moon. And don't get me started on the stupid turtleneck. I wonder what the hold up is on his number.

Friday, January 20, 2006


[Forward to today's entry:

I've been physically sick, as you know, and I've been going through an extraordinary emotional time in my life. The emotional part has been on-going since July of last year and will likely take up to two years to completely heal from. Because of this, sometimes it's hard to write about things like the Red Sox with such intense fervor. I know that what I am going through is a true priority, a far more meaningful thing. On the other hand, distractions like work and sports can help maintain a level of normalcy and sanity. WIthout these things, a person could obsess and project and lose their marbles altogether. I'm not writing this to gather pity, but for some reason, I felt that I needed to get it out, as I seem to have fallen on some "darker than the normal dark days" coincident with the happy news of Theo's return. This is a Red Sox blog, though, and I've tried very hard to maintain the mission of the blog - kooky Sox writing - despite the deep sadness of my personal situation. That said, I will plow on with my Theo commentary.]

Seems like opinions are flying around like mad since the news broke yesterday. Writers are drunk on a cocktail of speculation, elation, ambivalence, and contentment. It has forced the news-starved media into a tailspin - let's hope the results aren't like that of my stomach contents on Tuesday, if you know what I mean.

Personally, I harbor no apprehensiveness. The news gives me comfort. As long as Theo is working for my team, giving it the 100 percent he always has, and engaging in the general "making of shit happen," I am happy. Put it this way, I would rather see a front office with Theo than a front office without Theo (or one in which he's acting like the great Wizard of Oz - in control, but hiding behind a curtain). I understand the tentativeness of some writers (Tony My-Massarotti-Does-185, for example) and if I were a Boston sportswriter, I would exercise extreme caution, too, considering that the wrong news slipped out initially two and a half months ago, burning a lot of people. I don't think I would go so far as pointing out that Theo's return is evidence that there is a lack of backbone on Yawkey Way. Perhaps Henry's initial reaction to the news of his departure may have indicated this, but he's back now, and that's all that matters. Can't we just be happy about it? Incidentally, I find it to be ironic that while Massarotti complained about the situation on EEI this morning, it's this very kind of "drama" that pays his mortgage.

Welcome back, my friend. Now get to work!

[Totally unrelated - Wikipedia scares me.

It's got too much information. Do you ever get the sense that it knows things about you and if you plug in the right key words, it'll spit back your entire life story with hot links to your friends and family and personal interests? Creepy!]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sick Again

Man, there's nothing like being kicked when you're already down. After finally getting over the bronchial thing, I got a horrible, violent stomach flu that lasted all day yesterday. I am still recuperating, yet able to work. I can't remember when I had the wind knocked out of me quite so bad. There's nothing like lying on the linoleum floor with chills after severe vomiting episodes. Really.

I am hoping to get back into the blogging routine soon. Not much to report on the Sox front. I heard that Abreu's name came up in a possible trade with the Phillies (again involving Manny and Clement).

Also, word on the street is - (1) Arroyo is working with FO to sure up a possible 3-year deal and (2) Theo has been working for the Sox in secret as a special advisor to John Henry (variations of this rumor keep surfacing, so there must be some validity to it).

Oh, and we signed reliever Guillermo Mota to a 1-year, $3 million deal.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

America, the Most Important

You know, if 345 people had died in the U.S., it would be all over the headlines. And not just in America. This is the number of people who died, just today, in Saudi Arabia in a massive trampling (everyone was trying to stone the devil, supposedly, who does not exist - at least not in any sort of human form). Can you imagine that? I think it's horrifying. Do you think someone will put a plaque together with the names of the deceased or devote a website to their memory? Probably not.

We lose 11 coal miners and Lifetime and the WB are fighting over the movie rights. Not to take anything away from those courageous miners, but you see what I am getting at. Do any of you listen to NPR and feel that the innocent lives taken during insurgent attacks are glossed over while the numbers of American deaths in Iraq are underscored and bold-faced? I think every death ought to be underscored and bold-faced.

Hurray! It's Pare!

So, Yahoo! News reported that J. Lo has a new series called "South Beach." Reuters basically ripped it to shreds. Summary: Beyond predictable. I perused the review (I'll admit that I am morbidly curious about a show that J. Lo is executively producing). Guess who plays some guy named Charlie Evans? Michael Pare AKA Eddie from Eddie and the Cruisers!

I was absolutely enamored with this man the summer "Eddie and the Cruisers" was on HBO every freaking day. I want to say 1984 was the year. After that, he starred in "The Philadelphia Experiment" and "Streets of Fire" with Diane Lane, Rick Moranis and Willem Dafoe (Remember the "I Can Dream About You" video? The moonwalk was at its height of popularity.). But, not many of you will remember that Pare made his debut as Tony Villicana, badboy student, in "The Greatest American Hero." Since "Eddie and the Cruisers", he's been pretty busy. In addition to starring in the sequel ("Eddie Lives!"), he's been in many television shows and even had a part in Sofia Coppola's, "The Virgin Suicides." He's worked pretty steadily since coming onto the scene. I'd like to give it up for Michael Pare - he'll always be Eddie to me. (By the way, I never did see the Cruisers sequel. I wonder if the world finally recognizes his genius in "A Season in Hell," the experimental release that the record company hated. A young Tom Berenger plays Frank Ridgeway AKA "Word Man" in the original. Good stuff.)

So, I've been laid up in my studio apartment with a horrible bronchial infection of sorts. I can't raise my voice above a whisper without exploding into a coughing fit of monumental proportion. I'm now able to work, but I have to make up for my lack of vocal output with miming and off-the-cuff sign language. It's embarrassing, to say the least. I hope this goes away soon. I've been tossing and turning and I'm sure I've become a painful disturbance of the peace in my building. I've been coughing into the pillow as much as possible, but it isn't always easy.

As I was relegated to my futon bed/couch the past couple of days, I did watch all of the first season of The Young Ones. I bought all the episodes this weekend. I've forgotten just how insanely funny Alexei Sayle is. He is (not to sound too British, but) brilliant. The show is dated, but still very, very funny. I wonder what Nigel Planer is up to these days.

So, yeah, I guess there's been some Red Sox news. We've picked up Julian Tavarez. Hope this post-Cardinals WS team player works out better for us than the other one did. Seriously, though, this is really good. Nothing at all wrong with solidifying the pitching. Also, Graffy was given a year-long contract. This makes me insanely happy. I just love that guy. And not only because he's got a Gonzo face. No. I genuinely like him and though I'm really surprised that he accepted arbitration, I'm thrilled that he did.

Alright, that's all the time I've got on the clock for lunch. Back to work.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

No Rice

This really steams my clams.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Manny to Stay or Go? Madame Ruby Weighs In

I had an interesting night. I decided to try a reliable alternative to the internet for Red Sox news. I consulted with Madame Ruby, specifically to for a Manny Ramirez prediction. Here is a transcript from my visit.

Me: Hello, Madame Ruby. I'm happy to see that you haven't changed your psychic studio since the 80's. It's quite charming.

Madame Ruby: Thank you, Witch City Sox Girl. Everything is the same, except my prices. For fifty dollars I can tell you a lot of things. For seventy-five I can tell you more. And for a hundred bucks, I can tell you everything.

I just got a bonus at work for the holidays, so I decided to go with the whole enchilada. Why not? It's totally selfless, after all. This is for you people.

Madame Ruby switched on the crystal ball and I sat mesmerized in front of her. She is a vision. Truly. She represents well in person.

Madame Ruby: Now let's see, what Madame Ruby sees! (Classic. Can you believe it? I guess this is her shtick.) I seeeee ... Manny ...

Me: Is he okay?

Madame Ruby: He's okay, he's okay!

Me: Where is he? In the middle of the 2006 season?

Madame Ruby: Where is, where is? (She looked about the room, then straight into my eyes.) Mike's Pastry! (More looking around, then she whispered:) In the ..... north end!

Me: I'll never forget you!

So, either Manny will be spending a lot of time eating pastries at Mike's, or maybe he'll buy the joint. Either way, he's here to stay for a while.


(I apologize in advance for the sort of personal-like entry, folks ...)

Two good friends of mine are getting married. Finally!

I know that most of you don't know who they are, so I will keep this brief. They're completely insane. But incredibly generous, sweet and hi-freaking-larious. Also insatiable Red Sox fans, like most of you. I got the invitation in the mail yesterday and though I've spoken to her since the engagement, Ilene has kept this a secret from me. I was really excited when I got the invite. So, I guess I'm off to California again soon. April Fool's Day, to be exact. That is so "them."

So, if you get married on April 1st, is there some kind of automatic non-expirational annulment option built in?

(Mom: Ilene is "Muscles" from back in the old days. Remember?)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Original King of Beers: Dawson's Master Ale

Did you know that back in the 30's and 40's, this crazy beer was brewed in New Bedford, my home city/town? Check out the insane packaging.

The top of the can sort of reminds me of a rubber cement container. Nothing about this branding makes me want to drink a beer.

Imagine if Dawson's had somehow managed to stick around? Metallica could have cashed in, big time, on the commericals:

Taste me you will see
More is all you need
You’re dedicated to
How I’m killing you

Come crawling faster
Obey your master
Your life burns faster
Obey your master

Friday, January 06, 2006

September 17, 2004

That was a great game. A marvelous triumph over the Yankees. My favorite part?

Oh, how I love to relive that home run theft scene. The look on Cairo's face after he ran all the bases, only to find out that he did nothing more than burn a few calories: priceless. And Manny, with the lovable grin and two-finger point. That was good stuff.

So, why bring this up now? What's the sigificance? Both Manny and Miguel made baseball news in the last day or two. Ramirez, claiming that he now wants to stay in Boston and Cairo, signing again with the Yanks as a utility infielder. Cairo evidently told Cashman that he'd be willing to play outfield positions, too. Hey, Miguel, how about curbing the old enthusiasm, huh? If you start sucking, they might just give you consession duty.

Our Papi Who Art in Boston, Hallowed Be Thy Name

Something really good is finally making Red Sox headlines. Ortiz is close to signing an extension for a TBD amount of time.

I've really got to tip my hat to that guy. With all the uncertainty and dismantling* of the team, the man is sticking around.

This deserves another appearance (from the Witch City archives):

*Johnny's word, not mine.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dreams of Dad

My dad's been gone for over 5 years now, but I still find myself having "If Dad Were Still Alive" fantasies. Often times, I have them when I am on the road for a while.

He used to own and operate his sign painting business out of my parents' garage, which I am sure was totally illegal, but, so what? It didn't bother anyone around us, to my knowledge. The loud motorcycles that awoke from the long winter hibernation and found themselves rumbling into our driveway in the spring had disturbance potential, I suppose. I just thought it was cool and made him - my dad - seem even cooler to me, as a kid. He would airbrush those wacky fantastical scenes on their tanks and artfully apply pinstripes with lacquer-based paints and quills to their fenders. It was always a party in that garage. His friends would gather there after work for a can of cheap beer, knowing that my dad was probably still cranking out the jobs. In the background (at least before he got all crotchety talk radio-like on us), would be 94. 1 (HJY, as Providence stations came in with far more clarity than Boston ones). I have marvelous memories of the garage in the summer time: Doors hiked up, artificial light spilling out onto the driveway at night, cigarette smoke swirling in the air and the sound of men's laughter. I was too young to contribute in any way to the goings-on of those days, but my one of my wishes is - if he were still alive, that is - to present him with a new CD player for his garage (the set-up he had was miserably out of date and of the poorest possible sound quality) and to make him a set of custom CDs with stuff we both enjoy.

Here's what the track list might look like:

Rambling Man - Bob Seger
Road Runner - Jonathan Richman
Thursday - Morphine
Message to Rudy - The Specials
Pictures to Prove It - The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones
Juke Box Hero - Foreigner
Crazy - Patsy Cline
Tokyo Storm Warning - Elvis Costello
Strutter - KISS
That's Life - Frank Sinatra
Love is the Drug - Roxy Music
Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zepplin
Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives
Peace Frog - The Doors
Sunday Papers - Joe Jackson
We're a Happy Family - The Ramones
Man in a Suitcase - The Police
Stay Up Late - The Talking Heads
Well, Alright - Buddy Holly & the Crickets
One Step Beyond - Madness
You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Keep On Truckin'

Route 2 appears to be a haven for interesting trucks. I saw a truck this morning adorned with the following logo:

Unfortunately, I couldn't grab my camera in time to take the picture. The back of the truck, though, was a work of art. There was a picture of a house on a hill, very cartoon-like, nearly busting at the seams. To the side of the house was this:

In other words, the sign painter chose to use pictorial narrative to get the point across. You know, that Sewerman 'saves the day.'

I really appreciate the red boots.

The color and style add a kind of whimsy to sewer cleaning. But make no mistake, Sewerman is all business. This is evident in the way he looks down - stern, determined.

Poor Sewerman has a deformity of the hand - I'm guessing from overexposure to toxic waste. Yet, still, he presses on. Nothing short of admirable. I think we ought to call the Fab Five for a makeover. The Arnold Horshack hair has got to go. I'll bet that he was modeled after the Greatest American Hero, and styled with a dash of R. Crumb.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hello, 2006! And Goodbye Guilt ...

You ever have really bad chocolate? I hate it when that happens. You would think that even terrible chocolate is better than, say, really good goat cheese, right? (This only applies to me, because I think that goat cheese is perhaps one of the most vile tasting "edibles" on the planet. And this always makes me feel like such an outsider since everyone I know covets goat fucking cheese like it's simply the finest food available to man. Tastes like vomit-dirt to me. Sorry, epicureans.)

Why am I blogging about this? Because there are no Red Sox headlines worthy of discussion. I would like to talk about Jim Rice, but I don't want to jinx it.

Hope you all had a safe New Year. I've not made any major resolutions, but here are things I will try to do with more frequency:

1. Read. (I've got a back log of several books and since I no longer take public transportation to work, my biggest challenge this year is going to be finding the available time to read. Speaking of, has anyone read T. C. Boyle? I read a short story of his and really enjoyed it. I've contemplated getting more of his stuff.)

2. Paint. (I started painting a lot recently. My goal is to enroll in the Somerville Open Studios this year. I haven't done it since 2000.)

3. Improve My Swing. (By this, I mean my batting swing. I'm signing up for softball again this year and I want desperately to improve, offensively. This means one thing: Batting Cages - effective immediately)

4. Volunteer. (I will be volunteering for the Animal Rescue League - as soon as they call me. I've already gone to an orientation. I'm waiting for my application to be processed. I seriously can't wait to start this. But, I've got to admit ... I'm a little nervous because I've heard nothing and it's been a little while ...)

5. Work on Guilt. (I find it nearly impossible to go an entire day without feeling varying degrees of guilt. Thank you, Catholicism. You rule. It's so bad, it actually kicks in on it's own. Totally unsolicited and always abundant. Half the time, it's over small and completely meaningless things. Speaking of Catholicism - how is it that this religion preconditions you to feel horrible guilt 24-7, but does not allow you to exonerate yourself from feeling this way? Especially when you're supposed to forgive others with reckless abandon? Underlying message: Suffocate in Your Own Self Hatred. How is this a loving religion? I don't understand it. They should have handed out self flogging devices when we made our first communions.)

I hope the Sox do something noteworthy soon. You certainly don't want any more of these weird, theological blog entries from me.