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You asked me questions on Twitter. So I shall answer them

Jul 14, 2011, 1:34 PM EDT

The Question

Q: What is the time limit for service of answer in New York if process is served by personal delivery?

Now would be a great time for me to wish everyone who is taking the bar exam next week good luck.  You’re all a bunch of suckers who will endure all manner of hell during those three days and then, for the next several decades, will marvel at just how silly it was to be stressed about the bar compared to all of the misery you’re currently enduring, but good luck anyway.

Q: Quickly find me new music to listen to. something I probably haven’t heard of. Get to work.

I can’t help you. I’m struggling myself.  Because I realized I was listening to the same old stuff all the time, I recently went and got a handful of songs that I have heard randomly and liked in the past year or two in order to inject myself with some sort of currency. I skew a bit mellow in my old age, so the songs do too.  Mumford and Sons. The National. Some selected My Morning Jacket. Decembrists. Fleet Foxes. That sort of thing. In most cases it was “that one song you heard” by that band.  Spare me your music critic stuff about needing to go deeper into the album cuts because I’m not attempting to become hip by any stretch of the imagination. And above all else, I subscribe to Neil Young’s famous words: “I’ve never seen anyone walking down the street humming an album.”

That said, you need new things from time to time. If you have any recommendations along that somewhat mellow line for specific songs I might like or that this questioner should check out, please, let us know in the comments. And remember: don’t mock me. I’m an old man.

Q: A pitcher’s Home Run Derby: can you make it happen? I know you want to see Yovani Gallardo vs. Carlos Zambrano.

I fear this question is baiting me into another DH argument. So fine: I would LOVE to see the pitcher’s Home Run Derby. Think how excited I’d be when one actually went over the fence! And the strategy!

Q: Better start to a series, Firefly or BSG?

I have to say, I was gripped by the Battlestar Galactica miniseries pretty damn hard. Firefly was great from the outset too, but that was a show that grew on me more than it actually smacked me over the head.  I could see myself getting worn out with BSG over time, though.  I’m only 7 episodes in. I can’t imagine staying in gloomyland like this for 70 more.

Q: Can the Nationals finish above .500?

Anyone can. At least until they lose their 81st game.  I wouldn’t bet on the Nationals doing it.

Q: Is wearing women’s underwear part of your turn-on?

If the woman is doing it, sure.

Q: Ever try to hunt a human?

You mean … the most dangerous game?

Q: Since the Twins/Braves rematch in the World Series is all but inevitable now, who wins with home field advantage flipped from 91?

Objection. Assumes facts about the Twins that are not in evidence (i.e. that they’re any good).  If they do make it, however, my answer hinges on whether they activate Kent Hrbek, the corpse of Kirby Puckett and the ump who called Ron Gant out at first base.

Q:  If Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet as we now know it were around for Ripken’s streak, would he have made it to 2,632?

I’d argue that it would be easier. Since most of the new outlets don’t have clubhouse access, and since there are fewer newspapers around, there are fewer reporters sticking their tape recorders in players’ faces after games.  The key would be for Cal himself to keep off the Internet. If he could: no problem. If he can’t: forget it. Because if he doesn’t start obsessing over all of us blogger boys saying stuff about him, he’ll just get caught in a Wikipedia hole or waste all of his time making Rage Comics or something like that.

Q: Coasters: must have right?

We’re not savages here, are we?  That Brazilian rosewood wasn’t cheap.

Q: Is Brian Wilson really Joaquin Phoenix?

Not unless he had a more talented pitching older brother die in front of the Viper Room 18 years ago. But seriously, yeah, I think there’s a decent amount of Wilson’s schtick that is a put-on. He’s more committed to it than Phoenix was and doesn’t seem to have some overt short term con that he’s pulling, but it takes serious work to be that “quirky” all the damn time, and I get the sense that Wilson works at it.

Q: With the NHL/NBA in lockout, will more fans come to the Best Winter Sport (also known as the NHL)?

Wait, what happened to all of those people who pretended to care about curling last year?  Was that just a goof?  Man, I hope not. Everyone seemed to care so much about that.

Q:  Does Dr James Andrews have to pay Tommy John royalties for every surgery?

No, but I wish that Tommy John would start giving cranky interviews agitating for such a thing. Probably doesn’t matter, though. It’s gonna be renamed Rich Harden or Ben Sheets surgery at some point I would assume.

Q: Who’s head would you be most likely to Photoshop onto a picture of a naked woman?

I’ll have you know that a woman who I am pretty sure works in graphic design or computers or something like that asked me this question. Do with that what you will.

Q: What famous blogger/sports writer on the internet would you most like to join you on HBT?

Murray Chass. But he’d have to admit he was a blogger before I’d start cutting him checks. And yeah, we’d tape that part.

Q: The best part of being an O’s fan is beer, right?

No. It’s the exciting Jeremy Guthrie trade speculation, now going on its second glorious year.

Q: More pasty guys in cargo shorts as a percentage of overall population: SABR convention or Comic Con?

Probably SABR. Everyone there wears cargo shorts. At Comic Con you have a non-trivial number of people dressed up like Green Lantern and stuff.

Q: Have you ever told someone you were their turbo lover?

Not in so many words. But my fantasy team is called “Love machines in harmony.”

Q: You’re doing a great job Craig. I like beer. Again you’re doing a great job. Do you think you’re doing a great job Craig?

I gotta tell ya, that Justin Timberlake thing was easily my favorite part of the All-Star Game. And Mrs. Calcaterra liked it too. I told her that Timberlake and Tim Lincecum were in the same building and that I was getting paid to watch them. She had to go take a cold shower.

Q: Gun to your head: Orioles finish with 81 wins, or Pirates win playoff series?

Sorry. I can’t concentrate with this gun to my head.

Q: In 2021 they’ll make a movie re: Ted Williams being unfrozen & leading the Cubs to their 1st title since ’08.Who plays Ted?

Hmm. That’s ten years from now. Williams was 83 when he died, so assuming unfrozen Williams would still be an apparent age-83 then, we need an actor who is now in his early 70s, so in 2021 he’ll be the right age.  I have narrowed my choices down to Jon Voight, Christopher Lloyd, Elliott Gould and Tommy Chong.

Q:  If the US decided to close up shop, where would you move? 

Everyone says Canada because they fear change, but I’ll go with Italy. I have a sister-in-law there who could help me out with stuff. I hear there is decent food there too.

Q:  Imagine you are that Websters dude or something, and they asked you to invent a word for belly-button lint. What would it be?

Uggla.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? If you could give your spouse one, what would it be? What about your kids?

Me: mind-control. Wife: whatever it was Mrs. Incredible had. Kids: Something sort of like Daredevil, in which a handicap — in his case loss of sight — was overcompensated for by all manner of other super abilities.  I don’t know what abilities the kids should have, but whatever they are, they should be to compensate for their inability to speak.

Q: What’s your favorite all-time SNL sketch?

Maybe it’s sacrilege to go to this era, but I loved that old synchronized swimming sketch with Martin Short. “Hey, YOU! I know you! I know you!”

Q: Do you expect the Spanish Inquisition?

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Q: Do you ‘get’ Springsteen?

This was inspired by some acrimonious Twitter exchanges among some people I know following Clarence Clemons’ death. Big outpouring of emotion by some countered by a few who, not disrespectfully in my view, just matter-of-factly, said that they didn’t “get” the whole Springsteen thing.  It was rather interesting to watch it all play out. Especially in my little Twitter circles, because there are a disproportionate number of Bruce Springsteen fans (and In-N-Out Burger fans) among baseball writers.

Anyway, my take: I enjoy almost all of Springsteen’s music and own multiple albums. But I don’t get the cult. And object to that term all you want, it is a cult in practice even if it’s a larger cult than the one that goes for “Rocky Horror Picture Show” or whatever. There is a ritual and an obsessiveness to it. Anything that inspires people to go to dozens, scores or even hundreds of the same shows and then argue that, no, there are little nuances to every one, is basically a cult.

What I don’t get: such a huge amount of Springsteen’s material is anguishing. Very difficult. About people with no hope and no escape. About life taking its toll on you no matter how far and how fast you run.  Yeah, there are moments of catharsis, but damn, The Boss makes you pay for those before you get them.

Which makes for wonderful art. And wonderful music. There’s a beauty to it all that is undeniable. But man, it’s difficult stuff, and I’m not sure how people can both take it all to heart and revel in it over and over again.

Or maybe married guys like me shouldn’t listen to “Tunnel of Love” all the time.

Let’s do it again next week.

  1. joshfrancis50 - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I love the old Martn Short synchronized swimming scene. “No, no. You aren’t angry at him, you’re just pointing at him.”

  2. chrisdtx - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Retribution Gospel Choir might be up your alley, old man. New-ish. Mellow-ish.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      Like Creflo Dollar?

  3. jpeetey - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    20 if by personal delivery, 30 if by mail? (One of the foolish folks taking the upcoming bar)

  4. aceshigh11 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Wow, a Judas Priest reference! And to their cheesiest, synthed-out, ’80s-era period, no less!

    You people are definitely my kind of geek.

  5. High Pockets - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Good Old War if you enjoy acoustic guitar and good vocal harmonization. Kind of folk-ish.

  6. yankeesfanlen - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Guess no baseball going aournd here.

    Have always liked the Springsteen power music, the lyrics are something out of mid 70s pseudo-Dylan relevance without any lyrical finesse. “Allentown” being a remake of “Oh, Poor Pitiful Me” which is apt for anyone ensconced in New Jersey anyway.

    The “Inherit The Wind” talk brought me to the streaming Netflix 50s crime drama (rights must be cheap for Republic films of THAT era) genre which includes the classic “Highway Dragnet” which has more twists than Old Gator’s Fredo. Cute cues though, a tasteful rendition of a dog run over by a ’48 Packard eventually leads to discovery of the REAL “strap killer”, and the suspension of belief necessary for the revival of a ’51 Plymouth station wagon by adding a pint of water to steaming radiator carefully leads you to tie up all loose ends (17 by my count) in the last 4 minutes.

  7. heyblueyoustink - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Something different in music? Try Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds…….

    I like the pitcher’s home run derby idea too, how about and outfielder assist contest……kinda like the skills competition in the NBA?

  8. nategearhart - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Newer music I’ve been into lately:
    Aloe Blacc
    Fitz & The Tantrums
    O’Death (not really mellow though)
    Ryan Bingham

    • nategearhart - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      Oh yeah, I’m also digging lately on We Were Promised Jetpacks. Most hipster name ever, but good band.

  9. Ace - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    I know you said specific songs, but I have trouble with that. I think you might like Frightened Rabbit (Mumford & Sons-esque), Band of Horses (My Morning jacket-esque), and maybe Grizzly Bear (all around excellent, mellow). Also, because I know you’re a Dylan fan, I think you’d really dig The Tallest Man On Earth (the Gardener is a choice track, but there are many).

  10. Jonny 5 - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Best SNL (for me anyway) has to be.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      Back when Murphy was funny…… Get funny Eddie Murphy a cape. Owww too hot… in the hot tub… cool it down…

  11. jtorrey13 - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    As far as music goes, you might try The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Sloan is always good. The Weakerthans are pure awesome sauce.

    As far as the best SNL sketch goes, I’m with you in the era, I just have to go with Jackie Rogers Junior’s 100,000 Jackpot Wad.

  12. spudchukar - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Best SNL skit ever, John Belusi’s “dancing on the graves” bit. Epic.

  13. foreverchipper10 - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    July July July-y-y-y never seemed so strange.

    Oh, Craig, when my better half comes back from Italy on Tuesday she should have in her possession some delicious foods from the mother land that is Italy. I will be sure to let you know how happy my belly is after I indulge in them.

  14. Max Power - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    If that beer is National Bohemian, then no, the beer is not the best part of being an O’s fan.

  15. feartherallythong - Jul 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Craig, some of my favorite, “Nope, never heard of them” albums (yeah, you heard me, I called them “albums”):
    Anything by Ben Folds (This guy’s a genius)
    Welcome Interstate Managers by Fountains of Wayne (Quirky, poppy, uneven)
    Mirror Blue by Richard Thompson (Sorry, not mellow, but difficult and brilliant)

    Also check out some Freedy Johnston, good stuff.

  16. Matt - Jul 14, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    What’s wrong with cargo shorts?

  17. theonlynolan - Jul 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Portugal, the Man. They’ve got a new CD out next week. Unique sound, mellow, kinda trippy.

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