November 29, 2004

Notes from the (Long) Weekend

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. The two main things I discovered over the long weekend were that I like gin as much as I like vodka and I wasn't as repulsed by actually seeing National Treasure as I was by hearing about the plot beforehand. However, I'm perfectly willing to admit that my not hating the movie means I'm less intelligent than I think I am.

Anyway, it's been a little longer than usual since last we spoke, so here are a few random notes I've been saving up ...

  • According to Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, "Bill [Gates] literally receives 4 million pieces of e-mail per day." Kind of makes my problems answering a few dozen per day seem sort of silly now, doesn't it? Of course, that same article also says that "Microsoft has special technology that just filters spam intended for Gates" and "several Microsoft employees are dedicated to ensuring that nothing unwanted gets into his inbox."

    If I were that rich, I think I would have employees "dedicated" to nearly every aspect of my life. Someone dedicated to putting my socks on, someone dedicated to brushing my teeth, someone dedicated to shampooing my hair. The possibilities are endless. Just think about how great it would be to have someone walking around in the world, handing out business cards that read: "Aaron Gleeman's personal nose-picker."

    Incidentally, I am a little bit behind on my e-mails because of Thanksgiving, so if you sent me something over the past week or so and haven't heard back yet, please be patient. I'll get to them soon, I promise.

  • I just might be the biggest Howard Stern fan in the state of Minnesota, particularly because Stern's radio show hasn't even been on here since before I had my driver's license. With that said, not even I'm excited about this news:

    Robin Quivers, shock jock Howard Stern's longtime sidekick, is making a solo move toward television.

    Quivers has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop a syndicated talk show for daytime TV, the company announced Monday.

    I love Robin Quivers, but I can't imagine her show being anything but horrendous. Her strength is being able to play off of Stern, who is generally pretty relentless when it comes to celebrities. Left on her own to chat with famous people, I'd expect Quivers' interviews to be slightly less critical and revealing than James Lipton's. If anyone on Stern's show is screaming for a spinoff, it is definitely Beetlejuice. That I'd watch.

  • Speaking of Lipton, I caught about 10 seconds of Jamie Foxx on Inside the Actor's Studio last night, which is the maximum amount I could watch before I began laughing uncontrollably and had to change the channel. I liked Any Given Sunday a lot more than most people, and Booty Call is clearly a spectacular film, but isn't it a little ridiculous for him to be on a show that claims to feature "the world's most accomplished actors and directors"?

    Although, in Foxx's defense, Jennifer Lopez appeared on the show earlier this year, and she's made exactly one watchable movie in the last seven years. Her last seven films, in order: The Wedding Planner, Angel Eyes, Enough, Maid in Manhattan, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Shall We Dance. That is truly an extraordinary run of unwatchability, one that I think even the Los Angeles Clippers can get a good laugh from.

    There clearly needs to be some rule that says an actor has to have a certain number of good movies on their resume before they can appear on the show to have their ass kissed for an hour by Lipton. If you set the minimum at, say, five good movies, that gives Foxx an opportunity to build his resume a little more and then make an appearance, and it will also be high enough to keep Lopez from ever appearing on the show.

    This is a very important issue, because the last thing Al Pacino needs after wasting an hour of his life answering idiotic questions from Lipton is to hear the host say, "Join us next week, when we welcome Vin Diesel."

  • I occasionally link to a book on, and then when someone who clicks on that link ends up buying something from Amazon, I get a small percentage of the sale. It doesn't exactly make me rich, but it's sometimes worth a few bucks. Anyway, over the weekend I checked my Amazon account to see if I've sold any books lately and found that someone who followed a link posted here shopped around and purchased The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio: How to Go Down on a Man and Give Him Mind-Blowing Pleasure, by Violet Blue.

    I've spoken to potential advertisers on occasion, and one of the first things they always ask is what type of products my audience is interested in. Typically I say baseball books, memorabilia, sports clothing, fantasy games, etc. Now I guess I have a new thing to add to that list. Who knew?

  • Speaking of books ... I finally bought Doyle Brunson's Super System last week, which a minimum of 1,000 people have recommended to me since I started talking about poker here. While at Barnes and Noble, I also saw The Godfather Returns, by Mark Winegardner. I bring this up because, quite frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

    On one hand, The Godfather is perhaps my favorite movie and Mario Puzo's book is a masterpiece, one of the best and most compelling stories I've ever read. Naturally I'd love to read a sequel. On the other hand, there's something that just doesn't sit quite right with me about some guy picking up where Puzo left off. What made Puzo's book so great was the passion he had for the subject and the story, and I just can't see someone else being able to replicate that, particularly not without knowing and working with Puzo.

    With that said, I'd love to hear from anyone who has read The Godfather Returns already, because my curiosity is killing me.

  • Friend of, Paul Katcher, has an excellent article up over at Page 3 on the "10 Best Seinfeld Sports Moments." I'm not a huge fan of Page 3, but Paul's article is a must-read. Not only does the article combine two of my favorite, I dunno, 10 things in the entire world -- sports and Seinfeld -- Paul does a very nice job with it.

    Just to let you know how obsessed I am with Seinfeld, consider that the holidays are coming up and my birthday falls on January 3, and I have asked my family for exactly two things: high-quality, plastic playing cards and the new Seinfeld DVD collection. That's it, that's all I could think of that I wanted. Well, that and Elisha Cuthbert, but as far as I know she's not available on Amazon.

    As for everyone else, I hear The Hardball Times 2004 Baseball Annual makes an excellent gift for any occasion!

  • Today at The Hardball Times:

    - Making the Most of What You've Got (by Studes)

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