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musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that band members must smile in their promo pictures

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3-G/222:  The “band face.” What does it actually say? – this forward-chinned, full view of the nasal passages? – this…sour look…that bands have had in their promo shots since some time in the late sixties? What does it say? Maybe it is some anemic statement: “We are arteests! We will take this picture because “the suits” say we have to, but we will not smile! – so there!” Is it a threat? “If you buy our record, we will  beat you up.” Maybe it is just another sophomoric attempt, on the part of musicians, to put on the “troubled soul” cloak of the phony bohemian. (If that were the case, though, their purpose would be better served by simply sulking in a chair for every shot.) Whatever it is, it is getting silly. Because it is silly, it is now an impotent gesture. It will stop.

The Punishment: Any band member who does not smile in a promo picture will be facially decorated by the Imperial Artist. Offenders will have a big smile drawn onto their face with multi-colored Sharpies. They will wear this smile during the entire promotion and touring process for whatever album they next release.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: A mishmash of Bad and Good

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A couple of times a year, I end up posting a column without a lead story. There is never a lack of sports stories, both good and bad…that’s for certain. Occasionally, though, nothing grabs me enough to push me to write my lead story about it. This is one of those weeks. A bunch of interesting things happened in sports this week, and some of them, like the Jameis Winston story, are sure to continue to make news in the future. If I felt that my point of view would add a worthwhile angle to the story, I would put together a bunch of paragraphs about it here, but I am not feeling it. Anyway, here are the bad and good stories for the week. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten Pilgrim pick-up lines

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10. “Let’s say you and I ‘bury the hatchet’.”

9. “This is my last chance. We’re shipping out tomorrow.”

8. “I must compliment you on your magnificent spread!”

7. “Care for a little dark meat?”

6. “Just because I am a Puritan does not mean that I am puritanical.”

5. “Indeed, I must unbutton my breeches, as they are on the verge of bursting.”

4. “If you’d just be a little more ‘giving’, I’d certainly extend my ‘thanks’.”

3. “Which dost thou prefer, a leg or a breast?”

2. “Thou art quite handy with thine bow and arrow. How wouldst thou like to place thy shaft into my quiver?”

1. “I doth ache to get mine Plymouth Rocks off.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writingcreative writing

Cartilage and Skin: An Interview With Michael James Rizza

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Michael James Rizza’s debut novel Cartilage and Skin won the ninth annual Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. It’s a fascinating, fast-paced narrative that also offers its share of ambiguity, and I knew I wanted to interview him as soon as I put the book down. Here are my questions along with the author’s responses.

AK: How did you write the book? Did you outline first or write a substantial draft and allow a plot to come to you? How much writing did you have before you “saw” the plot of the entire book? Are there any twists of plot or turns of phrase that came up remarkably late in the process? [Read more →]

gamesvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Your kid should play D&D

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I’m sure you know this already, but Dungeons & Dragons is coming out soon in its 5th edition, or 5.0 or D&D Next. And you probably already know that your kid should play D&D. I just wanted to take a moment to remind you why. [Read more →]

all workbooks & writing

Of Time and the Park

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Today was a singularly beautiful day in New York – a sparkling October day in mid-November, sunny, warm, a light breeze – and perfect for a two-hour walk  around the Drive in Central Park. (I used to run it in under an hour, but what the hell.) [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Matt McGloin is now an NFL starting quarterback. How did this happen?

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Matt McGloin started for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders won the game 28-23 over the Houston Texans. Why, you might be wondering, is this my lead story? If you knew the tale of Matt McGloin, you might appreciate how unlikely this was. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten new menu items in New Mexico, should a judge’s ruling approving the sale of horse meat be upheld

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10. Quarter Horse Pounder

9. Fury Slurry

8. Colt 45

7. Fetlocks and Bagels

6. Fricasseed Flicka

5. My Little Baloney

4. Stallions and Scallions

3. Thorough Bread

2. Sea Biscuits

1. Filly Cheesesteak
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: A mess of bullying, racism, and machismo in the NFL

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In last week’s column, I had an item about Jonathan Martin, the offensive lineman who had walked out on the Miami Dolphins claiming he had been bullied. The player who seemed central to the negativity was another offensive lineman, Richie Incognito. A voicemail left for Martin by Incognito, chock-full of threats, racism, and scatological humor, was made public. This story has been everywhere this week, dominating sports news and sports-talk radio.

[Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten new shows on Dog TV

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10. Who Wants to be a Million Airedale

9. Teen Wolfhound

8. Bones

7. Lois & Bark

6. NYPD Poodle

5. K90210

4. Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23

3. L.A. Paw

2. Leave it to Retriever

1. Twin Pekingese
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Lessons from an Olympian: Moderation, managing expectations

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Last Saturday I went to an all-day wrestling coaching clinic. (How about that for a lead-off?) The instructors included Olympians, national champs, and college coaches. I learned some new technique, and, as you will in any kind of immersive conference-like environment, my mind was able to focus on this one thing. But the clinic was about more than push-ups and stand-ups. What I was struck by, particularly through one clinician, was how these people who’ve competed and coached at the highest levels in one of the toughest sports voiced consistent philosophies of coaching moderation. [Read more →]

technologyThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that sound engineers will stop squishy-mouth, immediately

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No PE-15: Spit, sloshing around and clicking in the mouths of professional radio personalities is the most disgusting sound in the world. (No! It is even more disgusting than that. Sh. Yes it is.) Sound engineers for these radio programs need to fix this, now.  Right now. Turn down the “highs.” Move the microphone away from your proximity-effect-addicted bosses. Do whatever you need to do to end this. Carl Castle, for instance, sounds like his face is ground meat that someone is squishing his hands through. We can’t take it anymore. Sound engineers, heed this warning.

The Punishment: Engineers who do not rectify this squishy issue – today! – will be hung upside-down and lowered into a vat of ground beef and water. They will remain suspended this way until they cease to be.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Hey Philadelphia 76ers…huh?

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OK, so who can explain to me what is going on with the Philadelphia 76ers? No one? I didn’t think so. The NBA regular season started this week, and if you polled a thousand knowledgable sports folks and counted up how many of those people would have predicted a 3-0 start for this team, I guarantee the total would have been zero. That’s exactly how they have started, though, and I am just completely astonished.

[Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten ways people spent their extra hour this past weekend

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10. Tried to re-set the clock on their VCR

9. Listened to Don McLean’s American Pie seven times

8. Got all their exercise out of the way for the rest of the year

7. Just sat back and thought about how much the Giants really suck

6. Watched The Best of Two and a Half Men 30 times

5. Tried to see who could say “Irish wristwatch” out loud ten times the fastest

4. Shared a bottle of Scotch, then played “Irish wristwatch” again

3. Made love to the wife, followed by a 55-minute nap

2. Played Candy Crush, and still couldn’t complete Level 197

1. Put on their Mr. Peabody mask and pretended they were in the Wayback Machine, going back one hour
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.