Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten answers to the question “How hot is it?”

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10. “It’s so hot, Paris Hilton is sleeping with both Ben and Jerry.”

9. “It’s so hot, Dick Cheney was caught waterboarding himself.”

8. “It’s so hot, the supermarket aisle where the unpopped popcorn is kept is blocked by an avalanche of popped popcorn.”

7. “It’s so hot, a Republican actually broke down and admitted Global Warming is real.”

6. “It’s so hot, you recently agreed to become Mrs. Softee.”

5. “It’s so hot, in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, joints are lighting themselves.”

4. “It’s so hot, Vladimir Putin has been stockpiling Slurpees.”

3. “It’s so hot, Chris Christie is drawing huge crowds, just for the shade.”

2. “It’s so hot, Pee-wee Herman is wearing his bowtie, and nothing else.”

1. “It’s so hot, I ran into a burning building, just to cool off.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

The college admissions essay I’d write if I could

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Part 11 (of 874) in an occasional series about how standardized tests are destroying education.

If I were a college student now, I know exactly what I’d write to the admissions committee: [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

BSGS News Brief – Sheldon Richardson hits the Bad Sports wire in a big way

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These athletes just make it all so easy sometimes. Digging for stories is fun, but it’s simpler to just let one of these overpaid, spoiled children write the story for you. Sheldon Richardson, star defensive end for the New York Jets, has done just that this week.

A few weeks ago, Richardson was suspended for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Marijuana was reportedly the substance in question. The 24-year-old said all the right things in the wake of his suspension, although it was clearly just lip-service, as it turns out. Less than two weeks later, he was arrested in St. Louis for an incident that just got worse the more you read about it. Police clocked him driving his Bentley at a ridiculous 143 miles per hour. When they began to pursue him, he left the highway, went through a red light, and reportedly tried to pull into someone’s driveway to hide. If that weren’t bad enough, check out this trifecta of brilliance: he had a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the car, there was a strong smell of marijuana detected by the arresting officers, and there was a 12-year-old kid in the car with him. Wow!

This guy is one of the best young players in football. His prodigious skill looks very likely to be missing from the playing field for a lot longer than the four games he was already going to miss, and justifiably so. If he were a scrub, he would have already been cut. I am interested to see what the Jets do with him.





Day’s first light …

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… breaks over the horizon and shines on the Midland College campus, in western Texas, just as I am arriving for work.


“For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.”

Edwin Way Teale


animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten excuses of Larry Henry, who faces a preliminary hearing on August 4 after being caught on a neighbor’s farm, in the nude, drinking beer among the neighbor’s pigs

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10. “If you saw my ex wife, you’d understand.”

9. “All that beer just got me in the mood for makin’ bacon.”

8. “I think I misunderstood the term ‘animal husbandry’.”

7. “I was only fondling the female pigs – I mean, I ain’t gay or nothin’!”

6. “I just went hog wild!”

5. “Man, it’s true what they say about beer goggles”

4. “I never thought any of them would squeal on me.”

3. “Didn’t you ever have an uncontrollable urge to boink an oink?”

2. “I’d just seen Deliverance on the TV, and I swear that one pig looked exactly like Ned Beatty.”

1. “I was looking for the sheep and I took a wrong turn.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

BSGS News Brief – Alex Morgan makes the cover of FIFA 16

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From time to time, the bad sports and good sports are so intertwined that it is hard to figure out which one wins out. This may be one of those occasions, although I’d give the edge to the good side. This past week, EA Sports, a video game company, revealed the cover of the next edition of its popular soccer game, titled “FIFA 16.” For the first time ever, a female player appears in the picture. Alex Morgan, a star on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, is shown next to male star Lionel Messi. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump campaign slogans

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10. “Vote for me, or you’re all fired!”

9. “Elect me and I’ll not only reveal my net worth, I’ll tell you what that thing is on my head!”

8. “Who needs the Mexican vote anyway?”

7. “What’s better than a first lady who’s really really hot? – and if she ages in office, I promise to get a new one!”

6. “Comb over to my side!”

5. “Vote for me! I’m really really really really rich!”

4. “Are you better off than you were four wives ago?”

3. “Look at it this way: if I’m president, I won’t have time to tape Celebrity Apprentice.”

2. “Why should North Korea be the only country led by an egomaniac with weird hair?”

1. “Vote for me! I fuckin’ dare ya!”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

BSGS News brief: Donovan McNabb drives drunk again

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By the time Donovan McNabb left Philadelphia, the former Eagles quarterback had most certainly worn out his welcome. People here were just tired of his act. Andy Reid, the head coach, was in the same boat, and although he hung around a bit longer than his hand-picked quarterback, fans were just as ready to see him leave. Donovan had a very successful career here, and since retiring from the NFL, he has moved into a broadcasting role. It remains to be seen, but that career may be over too. [Read more →]

travel & foreign landsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Costa Rica with the family? Do it!

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When we decided to go to Costa Rica for vacation this year, it was like learning a new word: All of a sudden, it was everywhere. Many friends, it turns out, had spent time in Costa Rica, and they all recommended it for a family trip. They were right. Our 12-day journey featured jungle treks, ziplining, superb beaches, and lots of interesting animals (including a few roommates). Here are few things we learned, some the hard way, which may help those thinking of Costa Rica for a vacation. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten rejected Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors

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10. That’s My Toe Jam

9. Chris Twisty

8. Tuna Crunch

7. Oh How Waffle

6. Celery

5. Circus Floor Sweepings

4. Rick Berry

3. Asparagus

2. Lobster Ripple

1. Dingleberry Crunch

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

BSGS news brief: Fingers flying off in the NFL

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I try to always limit the news I discuss to things that happened during the most recent week. I decided to throw this little bit out there on its own because it’s too good a story to never make it to Bad Sports, Good Sports.

Jason Pierre-Paul, the star defensive end for the New York Giants, managed to blow his hands up while shooting off fireworks over the holiday weekend. He suffered burns on both hands, and injured his right ring finger so badly that doctors were forced to amputate it on Wednesday. This is a man who makes his living by trying to fight his way past 300+ pound offensive linemen to get to the quarterback. His hands are kind of important in that effort. He was designated as the team’s franchise player this offseason, guaranteeing him almost 15 million dollars next season, while his agents and the Giants try to work out a long term deal. There was supposedly a $60 million deal on the table, but that has now been pulled after the injury.

Exactly how big a moron can a person be? Hey Jason…go watch a fireworks show somewhere. Leave the incendiary devices to professionals and far away from your $60 million hands.

The most amazing thing about this story? The number of fingers Pierre-Paul lost was one fewer than the number lost by C.J. Wilson, a defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, doing the same exact thing this past weekend. Wilson is not the big star that Pierre-Paul is, and he doesn’t have a big pending contract offer at the moment, so the coverage of his story has not been nearly as widespread. Still, two NFL players lost fingers to fireworks on the same weekend.



bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports will return next week

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For anyone who has been looking for BSGS these past two weeks (you know who you are), I apologize for being AWOL. After a wonderful anniversary trip to Paris, I will be back writing the column next week.


Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtravel & foreign lands

Top ten summer camps you’ll want to avoid

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10. Camp Poison Ivy

9. The Chris Christie Weight Loss Camp

8. Future Astronomers’ Day Camp

7. Camp Damp

6. Bill Cosby’s Sleepaway Camp

5. Scientology Induction Camp

4. Camp Trauma

3. The RuPaul Camp for Camp Campers

2. Jason Voorhees Summer Camp

1. Camp ISIS

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Lisa reads Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson

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“On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people wake to find something important to them missing, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work.”

Can you imagine? You get up, shower, dress, have some coffee and head to the office. When you get there, the building is gone. Not demolished, not boarded up with a For Sale sign, just vanished, as if it was never there. What would you do? I would assume that I had gone insane. Who would you ask? You couldn’t very well start stopping people and saying, “Are you from the neighborhood? Didn’t there used to be a building there?” Would you call your colleagues? Sure, but – and I would be worried about this – what if they don’t answer? What if the phone number that has always worked for the office goes to some other company? Possibly even worse: what if they DO answer? What if they say they are in the building that isn’t there? What if they don’t know who you are?

Janina Matthewson doesn’t answer all of these questions in Of Things Gone Astrayshe’s more concerned with the impact it has on Robert and his family when his business – his job and office and colleagues – are all suddenly gone. The characters in this book have all lost something very important to them, and it impacts them in unexpected ways.

The story is told round-robin style, with short chapters, many less than a page long. Each chapter is from the point of view of a single character, and they tell the story in a roundabout way.

Each character has lost something, but not in the usual way we think of it. One character has lost her sense of direction; one morning, she starts to walk to the corner store and she ends up wandering for hours, hopelessly lost in the neighborhood where she has lived all her life. Mrs. Featherby has lost the front of her house. She wakes up one morning and the entire front wall is gone, with her home exposed to the street and the open air.

Over the chapters, we come to understand what these things mean to the characters. Mrs. Featherby is a very private person, very proper and dignified, and being observed from the street, having people stop and look at her house and even speak to her – it’s horrifying. Delia begins to realize that she hasn’t just lost her sense of direction on the streets, she’s lost it in her life. She’s lost her drive and her life has become kind of aimless. She meets Anthony, a widower who is losing touch with his son, Jake. They now don’t even see each other when they are in the same house – literally, it is as if they are invisible to each other. It’s an extreme sort of estrangement, as they both deal with their grief over the loss of Jake’s mother.

The stories are interesting in a tangled way. They overlap, with characters meeting each other. Some resolve themselves, but others don’t wrap up neatly. Some of them are heartbreaking (the flight attendant stopped to ask me about the book because I was crying on the flight). A rather amazing first novel.

My copy of Of Things Gone Astray was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.

of things gone astray


art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten signs you’re at a bad fireworks display

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10. The fireworks are generated by a kid shuffling his feet on shag carpeting

9. At the end, the fireworks form a colorful image of a bespectacled Rick Perry

8. It’s just that guy from the Police Academy movies making fireworks noises with his mouth

7. The guy in charge of the fireworks has five fingers, total

6. Someone just clicks on his TV, then puts on a highlights reel from past fireworks displays

5. At the entrance to the venue, several personal injury attorneys have set up information booths

4. Instead of rousing patriotic music, all they play is Adele and Enya

3. The entire show is a pair of twins running around holding sparklers

2. Instead of actual fireworks, the emcee tells the audience to close their eyes and rub them with their palms

1. You notice the men lighting the fireworks display are wearing ISIS T-shirts


Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Diddy attacks UCLA strength coach

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Ah, college football. The bastion of amateurism and sport played for the love of the game. When I think of it, I think of beautiful fall afternoons, green grass, cheerleaders, wide goal posts, and, of course, erstwhile rappers/music moguls assaulting conditioning coaches. Maybe that’s just in Los Angeles. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads <A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

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This was an odd one. I knew it would be odd as I sat trying to sort out the cover of the novel, a photo of a hallway turned sideways; it’s a great way to set the tone for the rest of the book. A Head Full of Ghostsby Paul Tremblay is the story of the Barrett family – Mom, Dad, and two daughters, Marjorie and Meredith. They were the subject of an early reality TV show, one that ended tragically; now, years later, Meredith is finally telling her story to an author for a memoir. Interspersed with her conversations with her ghostwriter are excerpts from a blog that recounts the TV episodes in great detail.

The Barretts were sadly typical. John Barrett lost his job at a local factory. Sarah Barrett was trying to keep the family afloat on bank teller salary. The girls appear oblivious, until fourteen year old Marjorie begins showing signs of schizophrenia. The doctors they consult are unable to help. Her sister, Merry, is terrified – Marjorie has stopped being her constant friend, her story-teller, her idol, and become someone entirely new and very frightening.

I told her to get out, to leave my room, to go away.

Skeleton-white hands came out from under the blanket and wrapped around her neck. They pulled the blanket down over her face, skin tight, and the blanket formed a shroud with dark valleys for eyes and mouth, her nose flattened against the unyielding cloth. Her mouth moved and choking growls came out. Those hands squeezed so the blanket pulled tighter and she shook her head, thrashed it around violently, and she gasped and pleaded with someone to stop or maybe she said she was trying to stop. Her hands were still closed around her own neck, and I’m sure it was some sort of optical illusion or a trick or kink of memory because her neck couldn’t have gotten as thin as I remember it getting…

Scary stuff for an eight year old. Is Marjorie going crazy? Or is it something more disturbing?

Eventually, John Barrett turns to his priest for help and advice. He is the only member of the family that is religious (his wife is openly scornful) and he and the priest decide that this might very well be a case of demonic possession. And somehow, the decision is made to turn the family’s struggles and Marjorie’s exorcism into a reality TV show, although Merry was too young to know the details. The show will certainly help the family’s financial problems. Sarah is clearly uncertain about turning the whole thing into a spectacle, but John convinces her. I can’t imagine that it was what any mother would have wanted for her family.

More sad for me than Marjorie’s illness was Merry’s friendship with Ken, one of the show’s writers. She seems so desperate for attention, so lost in the drama of her sister’s illness and the way her family is crumbling around her. The idea that she has latched on to this man who is part of a team of people who are profiting from her family’s horrible situation was just heartbreaking.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the ending – a nice way to finish a mystery. You know it’s going to be bad, everything is leading up to a terrible conclusion, but you’re not sure what kind of bad it will be. Will Marjorie turn out to be faking it all, exposed on national TV, leaving the family the laughingstock of their small town? Is that worse than finding out she’s possessed by demons or that their house is haunted? Or is something else stirring in that house? Could one of these girls be an evil genius? Marjorie seems lucid much of the time, and seems to be plotting something with Meredith, but is that the demon talking?  Right up to the end, even after you know how Marjorie’s story ended, there are hints that maybe, just maybe, there is more to the story. I love that – I want a book to keep me guessing, to let me sort out alternative endings on my own.

My copy of A Head Full of Ghosts was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.



Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten favorite bumper stickers I’ve actually seen (philosophical)

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10. Where Are We Going, And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

9. I Dream Of A World Where Chickens Can Cross The Road Without Having Their Motives Questioned

8. Inside Every Old Person Is A Young Person Wondering What The Hell Happened

7. Quantum Mechanics: The Dreams Stuff Is Made Of

6. What If The Hokey Pokey Really IS What It’s All About?

5. My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

4. Don’t Believe Everything You Think

3. Love Is Our Soul Purpose

2. The Best Things In Life Aren’t Things

1. Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

NJ moving to remove superintendent salary cap restrictions

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Last month, the New Jersey State Senate moved to eliminate a state-imposed cap on superintendent salaries, according to the NJ School Board Association (NJSBA). Reversing legislation from a few years ago, this effort will be good for NJ children.

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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Someone pays $3000 for a signed urinal

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As a sports fan, I understand the idolatry that goes on with professional athletes. The few occasions I had to meet or even just be near one of these guys was very exciting for me as a kid. I remember standing down by the field with a pen and paper waiting for my favorite Phillies to come by and scribble their names. My baseball glove has Jim Eisenreich’s autograph on it to this day. I have to say, though, that the culture around collecting and selling autographs is a very odd one to me. This week, a man sold a urinal signed by Barry Sanders on eBay for $3000. Yes, you read that correctly.

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