Thursday, May 29, 2008

in this post, i make fun of children's names...

It's that time of year again. Time to plant your veggie garden? Time to honor the war-dead? Time to renew your subscription to the Christian Science Monitor? Yes to all, but more importantly, it's time for the Scripps (Inter)National Spelling Bee. Can nothing quell the excitement?

Last year Assberger's Syndrome stud Evan O'Dorney took it all home when he swiped the title from Canadian Nate Gartke and then announced that he was bored with spelling and would rather be composing piano concertos using the mathematical formula he invented; and that spelling was just "a bunch of memorization". Poor Nate really had a shit-pie tossed in his face, that kid played with real heart.

We celebrate the spelling bee with a tradition in the XMLB, which is we each pick 5 players from the pool for our team, and the manager who's cumulative picks reach the farthest wins the title of Scripps (Inter)National Spelling Bee Managing Champ. What's harder than spelling? Choosing enough home-schooled kids and immigrants that have mastered the art of the word based solely on their name/locations.

A full list of contestants can be found here.

My top 5 picks this year are as follows:

- So-Young Iris Chung of Peoria, IL- cuz that's an awesome name in so many ways. Also, the first time I typed it out, I accidentally added an 'h' (oh the irony of a spelling bee) and she became "So-Young Irish Chung" which is even cooler.
- Austin B. Davis, of Fort McMurray, Alberta - reminds me of Ann B. Davis, Alice the Housekeeper from the Brady Bunch, R.I.P. (wait, did she die? or was that Sam the Butcher?)
- Qian "Cathy" Deng, Athens, GA- this rules cuz growing up when people couldn't pronounce my friend Huiwen's name I would tell them to "just call her Cathy... with a C."
- Willie Johnson, Brunson, SC- an unfortunate name, he's my pity pick
- Lance Letson Hungar of McLean, VA. - my definitive whitey pick. A home schooled 12 year old 6th grader of Nordic descent. The Klan could use a strong leader like Lance to draw in the youth.

There are so many great contestants that while I had a 5-speller limit, I felt that the others deserve some recognition as well. So I'm giving out awards to some of these runners-up.

While both are on my team, they are not only competing against each other in the spelling bee but also for: Who Has the Gayest Name? These guys could be co-stars on (nsfw) in 60 years.
Lance Letson Hungar and Willie Johnson

The My My My Award...
Mylieneth Mymy Guiang of Salinas, CA

The A Wang with This Many Vowels has to be Great Award... Did I just say that?
Cody Aoan Wang, Calgary

The Stick with 1-2 Genres for Your Child's Name Please Award...
Serena Skye Laine-Lobsinger -- what?

The Sounds a Lot Like "Kaboom" and Onomatopoeias (which I used to be able to spell but had to look it up in my old age) Are Awesome Award.
Maria Isabel Yirebatiya Kubabom, Acra, Ghana

The Sounds like a Naval Warship Award.
Talmage I.S. Nakamoto, Kealakekua, HI

The A Home-Schooled Girl Who is Probably a BLAST to be Around Award.
Rachel C. Pinkerton of Coeur d'Alene, ID

The Gotta Have at Least ONE Sanjay Award.
Sanjay Venkata Kottapalli, Rockford, IL

The Shortest Name Award...
He Li, Eden Prairie, MN

The Nothing but a Bright Future for this One Award.
Sriram Jagadeesh Hathwar

The This Will Look Awesome on a Business Card Award.
Xavier Barnes

The This Kid has More "Sponsors" Than Just the Canton Repository Award...
Anthony "Tony" E. Incorvati of Uniontown, OH

The Most Likely to Destroy and Devour Competition Award...
Juliana M. Canabal-Rodriguez

The Gotta Have ONE Patel Award.
Priya Patel

The Worst Hometown Award
Stephanie Stancell of Muleshoe, TX (that's slightly West of Earth, TX)

The Soon to be In Custody of the State Award.
Isaac Thegn Skarstedt of Saratoga Springs, UT

The Another Unfortunate but Slightly Less-So Than Willie Johnson Name Award.
Emily Elizabeth Dick

Additionally, a huge shout out to my former Classics Professor at UVM, Dr. Jacques A. Bailly, who serves as the "pronouncer". Dr. Bailly was the 1980 National Champion. During my Satire class I had no idea why he was such a stickler for grammar and spelling. Only after watching the Spelling Bee on ESPN in 2003 did I make the revelation ("that voice sounds familiar... Dr. Bailly???"). Professor Bailly was the BOMB and despite my habit of not capitalizing letters, my Classics Satire class absolutely RULED (Aristophanes is a huge influence). He also held "cheese and cheese" sessions every so often which would essentially be a lo-fi MST3K salute that featured students sitting around watching cheesy movies while eating cheese plates.

Quarterfinals air live on from 2-5:30pm on 5/29 (that's today)
Semifinals air live on ESPN from 11am-2pm 5/30 (that's tomorrow)
Championship Finals air live on ABC from 8-10pm* on 5/30 (also tomorrow).

*this is too late for home-schooled kids to be awake putting them at a distinct disadvantage.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

newsflash: red sox fan a total asshole, baseball world stunned!

a few months ago the new york yankees organization used some jackhammers to excavate a david ortiz jersey from the cement foundation of the new yankees stadium placed there by red sox fan and construction worker turned prankster gino castignoli. after much ado, the jersey was auctioned off and all proceeds went to cancer research organization "the jimmy fund". a happy ending to a sordid tale of deceit, yes? no.

last night a new chapter was penned when gino (presumably drunk and belligerent) let it slip that he also buried a winning red sox scorecard from the 2004 alds somewhere in the stadium. gino worked at the stadium for only 1 day. was anyone keeping an eye on this shitdick with a backpack full of red sox memorabilia that kept disappearing for extended smoke breaks? gino has officially just graduated on the annoyance-alert-chart from "prankster" all the way to "cocksucker pest". no doubt alcohol and the quest for immortality have helped his climb towards the top.

with a name like "gino castignoli" in the business of cement-pouring, you'd think he'd know better than to 1) piss off yankees fans that are also in the cement-pouring business and 2) keep his fucking mouth shut if he wants to keep his balls from ending up in a jar on hank steinbrenner's mantle. this guy's officially up shit's creek bereft of oar. with any luck he's on his way to a secret cia prison right now for some certified usa-grade not-torture so he'll spill his info and we won't have to go through this bullshit a third time.

gino, you suck. i hope they strap electrodes to your balls and zap you til you piss blood.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

baseball weekly, from the desk of the manager of the ultra cets

two issues to address here.

firstly, an open letter to eric byrnes:

dear eric,

you giant fucking douche. why won't you go on the DL already? you would be more useful benched for 2 weeks and coming back at 100% than you are playing at 30% and monumentally sucking. your home run the other day convinced me the drought was over and i should put you back in at OF. so i did. and then- NOTHING. please, for the love of cheesus- free the demons from within your hamstrings and HEEEAAAL!

hallelujah! let us pray to the almighty cheesus. cheesus is good.
mgr. the ultra cets

and now, a hypothesis about the state of the new york yankees...

if you've watched any of the horrendous games over the past couple of weeks, you might have noticed something is different about the new york yankees (other than posada and arod's absence). they are missing their magic. they are staring into space and have no fire. i believe they have somehow fallen under control of the mighty hypnotoad. who knows if joe torre did this before he left last year (he's a sneaky bastard), but if girardi can't figure out the keyword to unlock the spell, i'm afraid the yankees are doomed. DOOMED!

oh yeah, and a kid on a leash from a thursday afternoon yanks game i went to. this kid's gonna have some issues.

award winning photo by gullo, here's the gallery