A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
Here are the wishes that the Curmudgeonly Professor has for the New Year 2011:
That we could get through the entire year without some famous sports icon becoming infamous and embarrassing him or herself, the sports world, the fans, the media and the whole world by doing something stupid, selfish, immoral, cruel, or illegal.
That neither the Heat nor the Lakers will win the NBA finals this year. Go home early and practice up for next year. We need some fresh faces.
That no other sports icon will leave a team, a city, and a state devastated with a moronic press conference to announce that "I'm taking my talents to Miami." We'll get by just fine, thank you.
That the number of college bowl games can be reduced from how many? 200? to a respectable number of teams that actually deserve to be in a bowl game.
That we can restore New Year's Day bowl games to their glorious and rightful place in the sports agenda.
That we can get rid of the idiotic names of idiotic bowl games that no one cares about except a few alumni and, in some cases, apparently, only a smattering of fans who show up to watch some of these sports travesties.
That Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz will finally receive his rightful award of NBA Coach of the Year. Absolutely shameful that he has never received this honor.
That the BCS will vaporize, vanish into thin air, taking their bloviating members who keep avowing the "BCS is good for college sports." Wrong, you greedy folks. The BCS is good for the monopolists who control the money, the bowls, and the teams and who invent shameful and distorted reasons why they won't allow worthy non-BCS teams to play in their precious big-money, big-time bowl games. It's time to break up this little money grubbing love fest and make football playoffs into a system where any worthy team in the country has a right to be playing.
That no one on the Heat or the Lakers teams will be named MVP.
That a salary cap of $20 million will be put in place for maximum salaries for college football coaches. How ludicrous is this slot machine jackpot winning system going to become? Economists say it's a matter of how much $$$ someone brings in to the school, and, since English professors who win big writing prizes come cheap and work for peanuts and bring in little money, they labor teaching our next generation how to write and think, while football coaches teach great big boys how to bash the daylights out of other teams and generate zillions of dollars of revenue. After all, what is the purpose of a university? Something has gotten seriously out of hand here, folks.
That the entire year will go by without some sports commentator saying "That's what it's all about." Egregious. Two indefinite antecedents strung ungrammatically and unmercifully together.
That sideline commentators and reporters actually have some competence in the sport they are sideline commentating about, and that they actually think up some other question to ask a coach at half time whose team is losing by 40 points instead of "what changes are you going to have to make in the second half, coach?" Bless the coaches, who by and large endure these inane questions and speak civilly.
That we don't have to hear "the game was closer than the score indicates." The score is the game, and if someone blew it in the last 30 seconds after being ahead 30 points and then lose by 1 point, that is the game, people.
That we don't have to hear "we only beat ourselves, the other team didn't beat us." This weak chestnut is the ultimate illusion of whipped teams. Sorry, loser, but the other team beat you or you wouldn't be sitting on the bench 5 minutes after the game is over wiping away the tears and making excuses.
That the maximization of bare skin on cheerleaders be reversed so some sense of modesty prevails. Oh, I forgot. We're in the ticket selling business, not the modesty business.
There, sports fans, are just a few of the sports wishes the Curmudgeonly Professor fondly hopes for in the year of 2011. And don't wait up expecting any of these wishes to be fulfilled.
Not even suspecting that anyone would even notice my "thoity poiple boids," I have been deluged (at least a half dozen or more) requests for the full verse and for information about where it came from. This response outranks any response to wonderful photos, penetrating dialogue, and other memorable blog posts, so that "goes to show y0u." Here is all I remember from the verse:
Thoity poiple boids were a sittin' on the coib, boipin and choipin and eatin doity woims
When along comes Boit and Goit and a coupla squoits that woiked in Joisey a makin shoits
And were they surprised to see Thoity poiple boids a sittin on the coib (same song, second voise, etc.)
The source? (Soice?) Cousin Jimmy W., who also taught me several other poems I can't repeat here. Enjoy.
Why do we remember useless things from our youth when we can't remember who won last year's Super Bowl? One of the ditties that keeps running through my mind at odd moments is the one that starts "Thoity poiple boids were a sittin' on the coib, boipin and choipin and eatin' doity woims." I would continue, but I am sure this is enough to cause nausea.
I spotted these vintage pink lawn chairs across the street from the doctor's office where my wife was spending some time yesterday, and figured there must be a story there. There was. (To butcher an indefinite antecedent). The owner had just returned from walking his dog so he told me the story. He had found these chairs at various times and places, including some chairs not shown here. He was proud to tell me that they were made of heavy metal and not cheap Chinese plastic replicas, and that they were many decades old. He said his children keep asking him why he collects old junk, and tell him that they don't know what they will do with them when he goes. To which he replies, "I enjoy them." These chairs should be of some interest even to Molly Goatwax, my former faithful blog follower and connoisseur of junk left in alleys and by abandoned buildings in Baltimore, from whom I have not heard in ages. Meanwhile, the chair collector says the chairs are good conversation pieces, since many people stop to talk to him about them when he is out in his front yard. So there is the story of the pink vintage lawn chairs.