February 27, 2008

Do you like Bubbles?

Dear Mike,

Before I get to your questions, I feel like I should address a couple of the points that you made in your last post. First, Studio 60 was only a good show for about four episodes. After the first month the, dialogue was tired and forced, and all of Aaron Sorkin's issues were so obviously directed at what he viewed as society's ills (conservatism/republicans) that the show became more of a personal vendetta. Wait, did we just stumble on a parallel between these two shows? This is something I would definitely like to hear your opinion on. Two revered makers of television shows, Aaron Sorkin for The West Wing and Sports Night, and David Simon for The Wire. Both men now way off the reservation when it comes to driving home a point and they seem to come off as juvenile stabs at the people they have simple ideological differences with. The fact that you put this show up with The Sopranos and Seinfeld is a little bit of a stretch. However, since you have shown such knowledge at every other juncture of this project I will let it slide.

I also wanted to discuss your point about Omar as Robin Hood. This is hard for me because after looking back (in my mind anyway) on Omar's history, I think that Simon only wanted us to relate to him. We were supposed to view him as Robin Hood, but is that true? I don't think it was. To look at him as a hero ignores the damage that did to his city and the dozens of human beings that he killed. We would never dismiss this in real life, and just because he embodied a classic Western character, we probably shouldn't have done as long as we did. That being said, you know I love front runners (Tiger, the Yankees, etc.), and about 25 percent of me really wanted him to go Wyatt Earp on Marlo's crew and retire into the sunset with the male equivalent of Dana Delany.

Okay, on to your questions. I thought the FBI scene was great, but I knew that it was coming. Not only because it made sense in the story arc, but if the FBI does a profile on the person doing the "killing" it stands to reason that they would be pretty accurate in their assessment. The best part of the scene was when he told Kima on their way out that he felt the FBI was "in the ballpark." This was of course before he confessed to her later in the episode.

As to your question of whether or not the traditional "good guys" are in fact as bad as the "bad guys," I would say that we are inclined to feel that way more because of some level of guilt due to our shared socioeconomic status that how we would really objectively feel. Jimmy got closer and closer to being an actual "bad guy" when he kidnapped the mentally deficient homeless guy, but for some reason Lester stays above the fray a bit. Did I just contradict myself?

Okay, I do love Gus. However, just because he is the best that a shitty plot line has to offer, doesn't make him a great character. He certainly isn't on the level of Omar, Clay Davis or Avon. Come on, he said the "If it bleeds it leads" quote as if I didn't hear that old line from my red-faced drunken Journalism 101 professor at Bloomsburg University 14 years ago.

Here, Mike, are a couple of questions for you. First though, I should acknowledge that the idea for this email string comes directly from Jeffrey Goldberg's and David Plotz's email exchanges on the same subject at Slate.com. They have dissected The Wire far better than we ever could, so I don't feel bad emulating their format.

First, the scene when Marlo informs Chris and Snoop that Omar is dead captivated me. There is definitely something going on there. Do you think that Marlo really invited Chris to AC? Or do you think that in this case AC is the equivalent of Tommy's being made in Goodfellas? This has to be a trap.

Second, what do you think of the Bubbs' story this year? I think I can guess that you are a fan of his, but I wonder if you didn't like the drug addict, hat trick Bubbles more.

Humble, or calculatingly self deprecating?


Thank you for kind words regarding my intro to Episode 7, my head is swelling to the size of McNulty's. Soon I'll be thinking that I am smarter than those around me and that I can quit my day job for a life as a writer. But, as I well know my so-called genius ideas and my ability to write/express them are few and far between.

Since my day job prevented me from actually getting to my questions for you regarding "The Death of Omar's Wisdom" I will proceed with answering your questions 1st?

1) Is this my favorite show of all time? - Yes, even with this being the weakest Season, due to my feeling that the McNulty serial killer storyline is too over the top), I'm still riveted. Proof being that despite my seeming inability to watch the episodes at their scheduled time slot, once I actually sit down to watch (Thank you DVR), I'm sucked in. I still rank the series ahead of my other favs- Sport's Night, Homicide, the Sopranos, The Simpsons, Curb You Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Deadwood, Lost and the short lived Studio 60 on the Sunset strip. Nothing angers me like the early cancellation of great shows like Sport's Night and Studio 60 when there is so much crap on the air.

2) Was Omar's death fitting/appropriate? - Without a doubt. Despite my perfect world wish to see Omar play the hero, get revenge on Marlo, Chris and Snoop for torturing and killing "Butchie", and retire to dish out more of his wisdom, it is not a perfect world. Omar, despite all of his principles, was a criminal playing in a dangerous game with dangerous people. To die at the hands on an unknown corner boy, looking to make a name for himself, was a fitting end to our pseudo Robin of the Hood. Well maybe he wasn't Robin Hood , since he stole from the rich and gave to himself, but at least the man had a code.

3) Who is turning in Jimmy? Greggs or "Beadie"? - If I had to choose between the two, I would go with Greggs, since she is closer to him on a day to day basis and because I think "Beadie" still loves him. But, if you put a gun to my head I would probably say neither and that it will end up being a paper trail that is his undoing. Somehow I see Lester escaping the hangman's noose.

Let me here your thoughts on the same 3 questions and I'll throw in a few new ones as well.

1) What was your reaction to the FBI profile on McNulty?

2) Are McNulty and Lester any worse than Marlo, Prop Joe, Omar, Senator Clay Davis or any of the other criminals? Especially, since there actions have cost the Schools money.

3) I know you don't love the media aspect of this Season, but you can't tell me you don't love Gus - In the end who do you think gets the ax Gus or Templeton?


Back from the dead...

My laptop from HP that is (with a face lift I might add, thanks to our new found accident protection plan) and me from the stomach bug that Annie gave me, that her uncle Steven gave her, that his sister Emily gave him, that Emory University and shared beer pong cups gave her. The circle of life is beautiful, no?

Well, I got a little excited about having my computer back and I jumped the gun on my old friend Mike's initial post on The Wire. Here I was thinking that he needed a little help getting started, and while I was doing that he was composing a considerably funnier initial comment than I had in me. So I will post it below and we can move on from there as if my impatience hadn't somehow trumped his genius.

When I find the words I will properly thank my contributors from the last two weeks, but for now let me say that their words meant more to me personally than they did to this space.

Thanks guys, and gals.

Oh, and don't worry about Mike, he lived under power lines when he was a kid.

Dear Joe,

This is your loyal and apparently slow witted reader from Rockaway, NJ who turned you onto "The Wire".

For those readers who are unaware, at the beginning of each episode of the Wire, a quote is posted on the screen with the name of the person who gave it. In a conversation with the Unfinished Dad, I asked him how they were playing this guess the quote game. "How were they guessing who gave the quote with out seeing the name? Were they somehow blocking the screen? Had they measured the exact spot were the quote would appear and taped up a piece of paper?

It took me a while to pick up the rest of the cards, but I am now playing with a full deck. I realize that you are not guessing who gave the specific quote, but who was going to give a quote. That's probably as clear as mud to those reading, but let's move along.

I am writing in to get your thoughts on Season 5, Episode 7 of the Wire or as I will call it "The End of Omar's Wisdom".

I'm not sure if you want to write a recap of the episode for the readers, but I'm just going to fire away with my questions.

Let's start out with the biggest event of the episode: OMAR is dead! I'll say it again. OMAR is DEAD! The baddest man in all of Baltimore...

The best episode yet...this season


It's Wednesday afternoon and neither of us have yet put pen to paper regarding our favorite show of all time. Do you still think so? Sunday night's episode deserves more. For the first time this season David Simon brought us to the place that we have loved for four seasons, and at least in your case, multiple years. For my money, it is also the first time this year that anything "real" happened.

Omar, who you know is my favorite character, finally caught a bullet someplace fatal. He has avoided death these past seasons by being the baddest man in town, but also being very lucky...and most recently with the ability to fly. Do you think that this was an appropriate way for my man to die?

Also, Jimmy (my one time favorite character) exhibited a growing sense of doubt for the ridiculous homeless serial killer plot. He is starting to tell people close to him which will almost inevitably lead to his downfall. As he told the two FBI guys in Quantico in response to their goofy boss's place in the Uni bomber case, "Wasn't it his brother who turned him in?" So who will it be, Greggs or Beadie?

Okay, that's three questions so far. Add to this your overall impressions on the episode and we have four.

Mourning Omar,


February 26, 2008


I mentioned to Joe the other day that I had writers block about a “Dad” post, probably something to do with not being able to get in touch with my inner self. He mentioned UD could be a free-for-all so I am taking him up on the offer for a chance to talk baseball.

Baseball has fascinated me for as far back as I can remember, and even though I don’t recall it well, I still love the fact the first game I ever attended was the infamous Pine Tar incident. My father tells the story wonderfully – about being right behind the dugout with his two young sons, of the home run that larger than life Dave Winfield hit that seemingly never rose more than 6 feet off the ground, and most incredibly, having the infamous Yankee manager Billy Martin, stroll out of the dugout, turn to look at the crowd, directly at us, and smile an all-knowing smile before inciting one of the strangest endings to a game in any sport, at any time.

Let’s look back on the situation in order to get into the mind of Martin at the time:

- The Yankees and Kansas City Royals were two of the biggest rivals in sports in the early 1980’s, and each had been at or near the top of their divisions for the previous few years.

- The Yanks knocked the Royals out of the playoffs in 1976, 1977, and 1978.

- The Royals returned the favor in 1980.

- These teams hated each other, and the fans of each felt exactly the same way.

Now fast forward to the summer 1983 with both squads fighting for a playoff spot, each just 2 games behind the division leaders. The Royals have lost the first two games of a three game set and are down by a run heading into the last inning. Journeyman Dale Murray is cruising along in relief, holding the Royal bats at bay for 3-plus innings. Of course, every last person in the park knows that the most feared reliever in the history of the sport is waiting to get into the game at a moments notice, ready quash any life left in the visiting Royals.

It takes just two pitches for Murray to retire the first two batters of the inning, removing virtually all hope of a Royals victory. Funny thing about baseball though. There is no clock; the only way to end the game is to get beat, on the field, after a thrown pitch. Sure enough, UL Washington, he of the .233 batting average, finds a way to get on base with a well placed single to center field.

This stroke of luck allows one of the most famous batter-pitcher match-ups of all time to take place. The 2-out base hit brought George Brett to the plate – a first ballot Hall of Famer for his on the field skills, and no doubt a would be first ballot inductee to the hall of wearing your heart on your sleeve. This was the epitome of a ‘classic confrontation’ taking place in front of 35,000 fans on what was a perfect Sunday afternoon for baseball. (Trying to calculate the odds of it being 71 degrees, in the Bronx, during the heart of the dog-days of summer, makes one believe that a higher power exists).

Sure enough Brett drilled the first pitch, a 98 mile per hour fastball, deep towards the left field stands for what would give the Royals a 5-4 lead. But it’s foul. All of Yankeeland breathes a huge sigh of relief. The next pitch was identical, but Brett was ready for it and pulled the bullet high and far well beyond the right field fence for what could be the game winning home run. Before Brett could even make it around to home plate, out of the dugout strode Billy Martin. Martin of course, was probably a lunatic, but that didn’t prevent him from triumphing this day, if only temporarily. As I mentioned, before reaching the top step, Martin turned toward the crowd behind the 1st base dugout and smiled, a grin that eliminates all doubt, and then proceeds to saunter out to the Home Plate umpire.

Nobody in attendance had a clue what Martin was doing – it was a completely clean play with no apparent breaking of the rules in question. Brett stood in the dugout watching and wondering what home plate umpire Tim McLelland and Martin could be discussing. Martin then requested that Brett’s bat be examined, and, after laying the bat across home plate, McLelland took a few steps towards the Royal dugout and signaled that Brett was now out.


If you are not familiar with the rule: the bat handle, for not more than 18 inches from the end, may be covered or treated with any material or substance to improve the grip. Any such material or substance, which extends past the 18-inch limitation, shall cause the bat to be removed from the game. Of course, this had no bearing on Brett’s home run as pine tar19 inches up the bat handle has absolutely no effect at free swinging batter, it was originally in the rules for bunting purposes.

Now, ask yourself the following question – could this scenario have played out in any other sport?

- No other sport could ever see a manager, who had just lost the game for all intents and purposes, slowly and confidently walk to the umpiring crew and turn the game upside down.

- No other sport has its fans so close to the action, so much so that they could feel like the coach looked directly at their own eyes and smiled.

- No other sport allows the game to be suspended in time, like the few minutes Martin and McClelland conversed, with everyone present watching, just those two, waiting for the outcome to mystery.

- Martin had known of the pine tar problem with Brett’s bat for at least several weeks, but was saving that information for a ‘special occasion’. This is just not plausible for the likes of the NFL, NBA, or NHL.

- Finally, no other sport allows a conversation between his father and sons to take place so often, but never grow stale or tiresome.

Baseball bridges the gap between generations. It has existed in basically the form we see today since the late 1800s. Forget sports, what other aspect of American life can this be said to be true? A great quote from Ken Burns “Baseball” says all you need to know:

It is played everywhere. In parks and playgrounds and prison yards. In back alleys and farmers' fields. By small children and old men. Raw amateurs and millionaire professionals. It is a leisurely game that demands blinding speed. The only game in which the defense has the ball. It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime, and ending with the hard facts of autumn. It is a haunted game, in which every player is measured against the ghosts of all who have gone before. Most of all, it is about time and timelessness. Speed and grace. Failure and loss. Imperishable hope. And coming home.

Here’s the audio for the fantastic call of the Brett at bat made by the late, great, Phil Rizzuto. Part 1 and Part 2. (Complete with the word huckleberry, a10ft leap by Don Mattingly, and more than one Holy Cow.)

February 24, 2008

Being A Dad

I thought and thought about article topics and no idea met my lofty expectations. What do ‘writers’ do when this happens? A List!

First a background for the heavy international reader base that isn’t aware of who I am. I am a father of two wonderful girls, aged 5 and 2; as well as the luckiest husband on the face of the earth, married for 6 ½ years that have gone by in the blink of an eye.

From the oldest brother of the Unfinished Dad:

Being a Dad is…

1 - HOLY SHIT. We’re home from the hospital with our first born. NOW WHAT!

2 - But then between my wife and I, not letting her out of our arms for 2 days straight, and cherishing ever second it was my turn to hold her.

3 - Teetering between feeling emasculated, cracking up with laughter, and just not ready to talk about the subject when trying to explain that Daddy doesn’t have a peanut, it is called a penis.

4 - Wondering, sometimes out loud, how many days one could go on 2 hours of sleep a night, after one of those sick weeks where the kids and parents are down and out. You’ve been thrown up on, screamed at by an infant who doesn’t understand why she is feeling so bad, and both ‘grown-ups’ are days past the point of grating on each others nerves due to sleep deprivation.

5 - That magical moment, the first night when the kids are showing signs of being better, when both my wife and I can actually crawl into bed at the same time for the first time in a week, and admiring that smile she gives knowing that all is forgiven (I can be, uh, well, let just say my disposition can sometimes be exasperating to those around me when I haven’t had enough sleep).

6 - Can it be true? When you 2-year old daughter jumps into bed with you in the morning, wakes up, then frowns and says – Dad, you smell like a basketball. Mind you, she has never seen a basketball let alone smelled one.

7 - Finding a way to still get ‘Lou time” in the worst of circumstances. For example, it can take over an hour to get the kids to bed. For the youngest, this often means patting her. To me, it simply means 1 hour time spent with my IPOD listening to an Audio Book. Sure honey, I’ll put her to bed tonight, you deserve a break (as she heads down to do the dishes).

8 - Always being right. Well, always thinking your right. Only to find out you are wrong. 3 different ways, from 3 different people, two of whom barely stand barely to my waist.

9 - Explaining the proper pronunciation of “Wingardium Leviosa”, a levitation charm, no less than 3 times per minute for the first week after Harry Potter was allowed into the house. For the record, it is: win-GAR-dee-um lev-ee-OH-sa.

10- Being a Dad is Awesome. As evidenced by getting home from work and having two little girls come running for bear hugs with huge smiles on their faces, a wife who’s been working miracles all afternoon keeping the kids at bay, happy, and occupied but still has time for me the minute I get home, and even the little pup vying for attention during the ‘Daddy’s home melee’.

February 22, 2008

Kirby Lou's Mom's Eye View

When Joe and I decided to have Annie, part of the plan was that Joe would stay home with her for at least a year, maybe longer. We were moving to Shreveport, and given that I had to work, this arrangement seemed like the best possible fit. And, for the most part, it has been. Joe loves staying home with Annie and he is an amazing dad. I have the freedom to go to work without worrying about having a stranger take care of my baby. This should be perfect, right?

For the most part, it is. I suppose I just never realized that I would feel so . . . usurped. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that I would have enjoyed being home with Annie as much as Joe does, or even at all. I was thrilled to go back to work and I know that I would begin to feel restless after only a few days of doing what Joe does. I know, in my heart, that Joe is much more suited to this role than I, and that we, as a family, are so lucky to have him be home.

Nonetheless, it is hard to acknowledge that in our family, the parent with the “mother’s intuition” is Joe, not me. It is he who knows best when Annie is hungry, bored, or tired, and he who can most easily put her to sleep. It is Joe, not I, who gets to say things like, “she only takes 5 ounces in her bottle, not six.” And it is Joe who tells me, “the best way to put her to sleep is to hold her like this.” And it is Joe, not me, who tells our friends, “we can come over for dinner, but we will need to leave by seven-thirty because Annie will start to get cranky.” These may seem like small things, but to me, they always seem like things I should be doing or saying, not Joe.

As a modern-era woman, I feel like I should not be tied to these notions of gender and parental roles. It seems hypocritical to want to work and want Joe to stay home, but at the same time to mourn the loss of not being the primary caregiver. But as much as I may try to convince myself, my logical sensibilities can’t overcome my feelings of envy towards Joe’s relationship with Annie.

This issue is something that I know I will continue to wrestle with. But, as issues go, I know it is one I am lucky to have. Unlike many fathers, Joe knows Annie as intimately and fully as I do. Annie is so fortunate to have him by her side as she grows and learns and plays. And in the end, I take solace in the fact that, whether or not I am home with Annie, I will always be her mother.


February 20, 2008

Unfinished Mom

I am the unfinished mother of this unfinished dad. And, I’ll remain an unfinished mother till I my last breath drifts away.

Little did I know that from the moment my first child was born and placed in my arms, parenthood would identify me for the rest of my life. No other calling asks so completely of a person, from the mundane to the ethereal. Coos and giggles, teacher, nurse and doctor, bosom buddy, safety coordinator, silent partner, supporter, audience and participant, pillow and playmate. This new little person, the entire person, needs all me from his first breadth.

Now, three and a half grandchildren later, my thoughts wander to my children on a daily basis. Are they happy and fulfilled? Have I done enough or too much? How’d Louie do in the ice storm yesterday or Joe in tornadoes with no basement? Will Bobby’s back get better and will Katie’s artwork receive another prize this year? My role now is minimal. Thoughts more than actions. Love from a distance.

Sometimes I think of myself as a favorite old mirror off in a corner somewhere. Maybe in a cozy spare bedroom. My frame might be a little dented here and there but the looking glass still functions well. When my child approaches, I can reflect back to them what they hope to see. Their soul’s beauty, their innate goodness, their varied talents and their hopes and dreams. The things I have always seen in them and the possibilities I’ve always believed in.

This is good, it’s as it should be. From the depth of my heart, I loved every minute of having my children about me. Sweet memories too complex and many to write about without my mind swirling with emotion. But it’s their time to shine and be the center of their universe. To be so intensely focused on their own new families with amazing energies surrounding them. What a joy to see!

And sometimes, life offers a bonus gift, quite unexpectedly.

The phone rings and my son says simply, “I need you, my wife is sick”.

There is no hesitation, nothing to discuss, no second thoughts. He needs help, I can and I will.

Before my thoughts can wrap around what I will feel in the next few days,
Annie is in my arms.
My child’s baby is in my arms.
Wrapped in each others warmth,
I sing the same songs that put my own to sleep.
Together, in quiet and softness,
The circle is complete!

February 18, 2008

Technology, who needs it?

Last week, while getting ready to catch up current events (knitting and quilting blogs), my wife angrily discovered that our laptop forgot it had a built in wireless card. In the span of just a few minutes it failed to recognize the internet unless it was plugged into the modem directly. This is very annoying. Whenever we have used the computer for the last week we have been sitting in the same spot on the couch with our Ethernet cord turned leash plugged into the modem. After some research we found out that almost all of the HP DV6000 and DV9000 (ours) were having the same issue. It has gotten to the point that they are now repairing the issue for free and in our case my often very persuasive wife got them to give us a new two year total protection warranty. Law school, I am finding out, gives a person many advantages.

The point of me telling you about our computer problems is that I will be without pc for about two weeks. I know that ya'll have come to expect periodic pictures of Annie, but you will have to try something new out for a while. Isn't that what life is all about? I have lined up some guest writers while I am away, beginning with the woman who started it all. My mother will be posting on Wednesday, followed by an all-star lineup every other weekday until I am back. My guests are free to post about whatever they feel like: Shreveport, Grandmothers, child rearing, The Wire, Me, the many consistencies of poop, Annie of course, etc. You get the idea.

This will all be overseen by older brother Louie. As Editor in Chief of Unfinished Dad he will be endowed with more power than I'm sure he ever imagined for himself. He has carte blanche to do whatever he wants with the sight. I, for one, think it would be interesting if he changed the look of things around here. Good luck Lou!

I will be checking in periodically from the stellar business center here at Riverwalk. However, if the two computers they have are being used by teenage girls checking their Facebook pages, I may not post for a while.

I'll leave you with two pictures of Annie. She has taken to sitting up in her crib when she wakes up now. Next she'll be climbing out of there I guess.

February 15, 2008

Unfinished Dad Goes Global

The Unfinished Dad has gone global. When I started this blog I had dreams of vast riches and untold groupies. I knew that it would be a long haul to get there, filled with numerous late nights hovering over the keyboard, but I had no idea how quick and brilliant my ascent would be. As of this post, the UD has been averaging about seven loyal visitors a day. Big ups to the faithful out there. Interestingly, missing from those seven core fans is a little person I like to call my wife. That however, is another post entirely.

Despite the meager portion of the global population that The Seven represent, this blog, while serving as a kind therapy for me, has slowly crept to the far reaches of planet earth. The world, therefore, is my therapist. So the crux of this post is to detail the soon to be universal dominance that is on display here daily. Thanks to one of the myriad technological advances by the fellas at Google, I am able to check Unfinished Dad’s stats on a daily basis. Witness the global blitzkrieg detailed below.

From October 16th 2007, when my wife first convinced me to show this space to ya’ll, the following 27 countries (191 cities) have walked within the manly confines of the Unfinished Dad.

United States
1,022 visits averaging 2:18. Way to go Rockaway, New Jersey. Your 204 visits represent 20% of the traffic here. I’m sending out a fruit basket to the borough post-haste.
United Kingdom
7 visits averaging 0:59
6 visits averaging, woops, 0:01
5 visits averaging, oh boy, 0:00
3 visits averaging, sweet, 0:14. Merci Beaucoup.
2 visits averaging 0:00 again.
2 visits averaging 1:10. I love Cheelay.
2 visits for zero seconds of love
2 visits, averaging 0:52 seconds. That’s it going to Singapore to thank these two personally.
1 Visitor who again spent no time at the site. For a US territory this is weak. You are cut off Guam.
1 Visitor, 0 seconds.
Same. I’m sensing a trend.
United Arab Emirates
Ugh, Same.
Sa…wait a minute. What’s this? Someone in Salamanca spent 19 minutes and 17 seconds at the Unfinished Dad. He visited four pages and hung out for the better part of half an hour. Who are you? Were you bored that November day? I would love to hear from the person who supported me so well though that cold, cold month.
Back to zero.
Same. Where the fuck is Malta? That’s not a country.
1 Visitor for 5:13. Represent, Malaysia! You visited on the same date as the dude in Salamanca. Are you and he one and the same? Are you a world traveler? Kuala Lumpur is a global economic/technological hub you know. Could be he was reading the Unfinished Dad, got interrupted by the red eye to KL and then reconvened to finish the post on Annie’s Indian, er, Native American headdress, all the while engineering a multi-billion dollar deal to merge Microsoft and a little known blog about the life of a stay at home dad.

So there you have it, over a thousand visits, mostly from my best friend Mike. Yet I love the fact that anyone out there in the void appreciates what I write on any level whatsoever. Even if you live in Malta. I will continue trudging along the path of fatherly enlightenment and, earth, you keep on reading.

February 13, 2008


While eating lunch today I captured the closest proximation of Annie's "real" smile. The below pictures capture about 90% of the scrunched nose, full face smile K and I have come to love.

New Frontier

Whoa! Annie and I were just sitting on the floor together and she reached over and grabbed on to my legs (crossed and straight out, making about a 10 inch base with which to hold onto) and stood up. Actually stood straight up. Like I said, whoa. I was not able to snap a photo, so below is a diagram of what went down.

February 12, 2008

Season Five, Episode Six

Until I’m captivated again, my Wire posts will lean towards the shorter end of things. Needless to say, I’m still not sold on the Jimmy plot (he kidnapped a handicapped homeless dude for Omar’s sake), Templeton is a tool, and David Simon’s transparent vendetta bores me to tears. There, I said it. I think I might rewatch season one and review that. At least Simon and I would have our mojo back.

Now that I have that out of my system, there were a couple of things in episode six that need talking about. The first is Chris Partlow manning up and telling Marlo that they just flat missed their chance at killing Omar. Marlo received the news relatively well (he was sufficiently stumped by the Batman scenario), but I look forward with much excitement to see if Marlo moves against him for his error. It would be an obvious mistake on Marlo’s part because he will never find a more reliable henchman then Chris. Given the fact that the Co-Op knows he killed Prop Joe and that while taking over sole possession of the Greek heroin he just raised the price for the rest of Baltimore, Marlo will need all the help he can muster in the coming weeks.

Also in episode six, a scene took place between Lester and Rhonda Pearlman, where she walked in on him executing his illegal wiretap on Marlo. He wouldn’t have gotten caught, she had no reason to look into his secret room, but he would have missed out on some solid info over the wire. Lester very calmly told her that Sydnor was about to bring in a new CI (sorry, criminal informant) and Rhonda immediately thought that by dropping in unannounced she had compromised their investigation of Clay Davis. It was a quick thinking and brilliant move. Lester is off the deep end, just like Jimmy, but he seems like so much less of a maverick. He maintains an air of dignity while breaking the rules, while Jimmy continually moves in a cloud of shit.

The rest of episode six moved predictably, with Super Omar killing multiple people while hobbling around Baltimore on a makeshift push broom crutch, and Lester getting a little closer to Marlo. I wonder if Omar will help on this front like he has in the past.

Lastly, the opening quote was credited to Lester. Not only was it too mundane to mention, but the wife and I didn’t even hazard a guess on account of general boredom and disinterest.

Doubting, but wishing for vintage Wire,

Unfinished Dad, S’port, La.

February 11, 2008

Loving Louisiana

It was a beautiful weekend here in Shreveport and everyone was feeling it, including little Annabelle. The weather was so nice that everyone around town stepped a little lighter and smiled a little more. The weather was so perfect that the birds bared their spring breasts and sang their fresh songs. The weather was so exquisite that the little babies got naked and did the Pants Off Dance Off!

February 4, 2008

Rare photo snapped in Shreveport

A never before photographed smile was captured for the first time on Monday afternoon in the Clyde Fant section of Shreveport, Louisiana. The subject, Annabelle Poulas, who is thought to possess the mythical thousand ship launching face, has secretly developed a new smile over the previous weeks. The smile itself is thought to be part nose scrunch, part open mouthed gape, and is rumored to only be coaxed by a person who knows how to mimic the unusually full faced grin. As with all of the perplexing phenomena that this world has to offer, the possessor of the rare photograph can only provide us with a grainy, poorly focused example of the subject. The man, who has asked to remain anonymous so as not to hamper his ability to gather further documentation, urges us to remain fixedly tuned in.

Season Five, Episode Five

So many aspects of Season Five of The Wire are developing a similar pattern. For this final season, David Simon is struggling with an issue that every other great show before his struggled with...How on earth do I end this thing? There have been many clunkers from which to get ideas from: the Seinfeld final episode that ended in prison, the Sopranos cut to black cliffhanger, and the golden retriever wedding on Punky Brewster. So here we are, halfway through the final season and what have we learned? That Marlo is officially the man in the Baltimore drug trade, and that the police have no funds to stop him. That Jimmy can’t keep it together for more than a year, and that he’s letting it affect his “work.” We’ve also learned that Carcetti can’t get anything done and already has a foot out the door of the Mayoral Mansion.

Five hours, and all we have for it are the themes that this season's previews told us about months ago. I’m way past the stage of wishing for a big shoot-‘em-up finale, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some resolution to the patterns we have seen develop over the years. Can Baltimore be saved in the manner of many urban renewals lately, i.e., Chicago, New York, DC? Will the police ever stay serious about fighting crime for longer than a few months? And for me, will McNulty and Omar be the next presidential ticket to announce for ’08.

That being said, this was a solid episode, not because of the major themes that we have grown to love, but for the focus on Duquan and his plight. He’s fighting for his life and in just this episode he looks to two ways out, that if you know Dukie, would never work. The idea of him shooting someone in the street or fighting them off with his fists is at best sad. By the end of the episode he is resigned to staying in Baltimore unless he can find another way out. He asks Cutty what he can do about it and Cutty tells him there’s a world beyond Baltimore and that Dukie is smart enough to find it. To this a confused Duquan responds, “How do you get from here to the rest of the world?” Simple exchanges like this are what drove the show in the past. Now they are few and far between.

If Dukie and Cutty provided us the most subtle moment of the night, then Omar provided us with the biggest proof yet that David Simon has one other problem with this fifth and final season. Season four was so great, that there was almost no way to top it. How could there be better writing than last year? Or more in depth characters? So far Simon’s way of topping his previous efforts is by crafting everything into the television equivalent of a Wrestle Mania steel cage match. To recap: Jimmy is “biting” dead homeless men, Clay davis drew out his famous Shiiiiit to about seven seconds and five syllables, and lastly Omar’s latest feat. Omar has always been a little untouchable, but last night we got a tast of Omar the superhero. In a firefight that took place in a two room apartment with six people, Omar managed not only survive all of the hundred or so bullets fired at him, but he somehow jumps through a fourth story window and “flies” away. Chris, Snoop and Michael look over the balcony with disbelief and the episode fades out with a final shot of Omar’s sign, a great sawed off shotgun, casting its shadow on the clouds above.

This scene makes me want to do something drastic. There will be no Omar’s wisdom this week, because he was too stupid to know that the apartment was an ambush. He never made mistakes like this before, but now that Simon needs a superhero we get a reckless move, and a flying killer in a capelike trench coat.

In regard to last week’s post, I have a big update on Marlo. He smiles again in episode five. When he gets the go ahead from The Greek to exclusively sell his heroine he grinningly tells Chris that he feels like his has a crown on his head. One way or another, this new gleeful Marlo will definitely go down this season.

Another o-fer on last night’s quote. At least it was from a major character. When Gus tells Templeton to canvas the homeless for react quotes he tells him, “Just ‘cause they’re in the street doesn’t mean they lack opinions.” Not bad.

February 1, 2008

Cutting Teeth?

The two oddly shaped translucent spots on Annie’s lower gums appear to be the beginning of her first teeth. The pundits say that there are a few adverse affects that cutting teeth can have on a baby and as of this morning Annie appears to have all of them. She woke up with a low fever (check), slushy poop (check), and a chin covered in drool (and check).

I’ve been expecting her teeth for a while now and we appear to be truly on the precipice. In the grand scheme of things I have no idea what this means other than the chance for her to eat more foods and make me more nervous about it. As long as she continues to sleep at night I can handle anything, although this morning her mood was a little sour for Gymboree. With the rep that Annie has around town this can cause problems. I’m comfortable telling you that people love her. This morning she was a little off (sort of like Bania telling the Ovaltine joke) and her fans were feeling it. We left a trail of woe all over town. So now she’s napping in hopes of recovering in time for Mardi Gras and the super bowl…it’s a big weekend here in the Arklatex…I'll never get tired of saying that.

Believe it or not, this won’t be our first Mardi Gras parade. We went last Saturday, had a great time with friends and we all got to see our first floats. By the time they went by Annie was exhausted and pretty cold and pretty pissed off, but we had fun nonetheless