Open Thread: Another Friday night


It’s been a long week, for me at least. Time to kick back and enjoy the evening. I’ll be catching up on some reading — reading Stephen King’s The Shining for a book club. I haven’t read anything of his other than The Dark Tower Series (through Book 4) and Misery. I’m interested to see how this one differs from the movie.

Anyway, have at it in tonight’s open thread.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. WIlliam says:

    Braves and Tigers are out. Giants have Huff. Damon arrives in New York mid february for 1 year 5 million.
    Book it.

    • kenthadley says:

      he could have had 14 mil for 2 years…..hey Scotso, nice job you did for your client……looks like you dont want to be a client of Boras when you pass 35……..he oversells totally….

  2. Jake H says:

    I read the Dark Tower. Book 5 was hard but 6 and 7 were easier. I want to read the Stand just haven’t gotten around to putting it on the list.

  3. I cannot believe Queens and the Bronx are part of the same city.

  4. Riddering says:

    I read It when I was 11/12 and while it wasn’t above my reading level it was very much above my life experience level. The Shining novel is a good read, though it lacks the experience of the film if you’ve seen it before reading the book.

    For some reason, I never dove into the Dark Tower series after reading The Gunslinger. I’ll go ahead and blame college.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      The whole series is good, but, to me, The Gunslinger was head-and-shoulders above the rest.

      Abrams and Lindelof, the Lost guys, optioned the novels but recently announced they’d pass and let someone else make the movies. It’s really too bad, they’re the perfect people for the job.

  5. Evilest Empire says:

    The Shining as a book is ok. Not bad. The movie is far superior though.

    I have the Dark Tower series waiting on my nightstand to be read. I bought that and all 4 volumes thus released for A Song of Fire and Ice, and I got too addicted to the latter. Once I finish ASOFAI I’m going to hit up Dark Tower though, I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.

    • Are you talking about A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin?

      Quite possibly my favorite series ever.


      • Evilest Empire says:

        I am. Fucking AWESOME. I’m about 100 pages away from finishing A Clash of Kings and I’ll dive into the 3rd book right after that. Its a terribly addicting series – its like The Sopranos, except medieval fantasy.

        Daenarys is my favorite character too :)

    • whozat says:

      I have been waiting for the fifth book of that series for OVER TWO YEARS.

      But, the twelfth book in the Wheel of Time series finally came out, and man…was it better than the last couple.

      • Matt Tunnell says:

        Have you read anything else by Brandon Sanderson? I’d recommend his Mistborn series quite highly, although the ending is kind of weird and Mormon-y.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        The Wheel of Time? Man, that series went on so long that I just stopped caring. Maybe I’ll grab the last books when the series is finally finished.

      • Rob says:

        About time for WOT; only 2 mor HUGE books to go. This series has taken so long I’ve lost track of some of the threads…

        Otherwise very good for a series originally planned for 4 books. :-)

  6. Tank the Frank says:

    Yeah The Shining is a GREAT book and I really don’t even like Steven King. I think it’s better than the film; most books are.

  7. Riddering says:

    ESPN just played a badass Jets montage. Their season, especially the end, was pretty theatrical with Ryan’s pronouncement on the death of playoff chances only to turn around the next day with ebullience.

    • Evilest Empire says:

      I’m sure I’ll watch that at some point tonight when I’m trying to pass out with SportsCenter on the television.

      • Nigel Bangs says:

        don’t you love that routine? there’s something so comforting about falling asleep to sportscenter only to wake up to sportscenter.

  8. NextYankeeDynasty says:

    Talisman is my favorite work of his…..

  9. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    Since Joe introduced books as a topic, I’d like to take it one step further.

    What’s been the best book you’ve read in the past few years?

    For me, it’s been Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, but I’m really into non-fiction.

    • Joey says:

      Re-read 1984 and The Great Gatsby for the first time since HS, great great books, amazing what you pick up on as you get older, without the aid of teachers and reading guides. Gonna try taking some of Keith Law’s advice on some books, dunno if they’ll be way over my intellectual level the way he talks about some. Want to read A Confederacy of Dunces, anyone recommend?

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Definite recommendation on Confederacy. Ignatius is one of the best characters of any book I’ve read. I really think you’d ejoy it.

        • Joey says:

          Awesome, thanks, just ordered it off of Amazon (bye bye last of the gift certificates from Christmas)so I’ll read it soon, classes permitting

          Oh and I forgot, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, gotta love it lol

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          Cosign on Confederacy. Best non-fiction book I read this year was Where Men Win Glory, Krakauer’s book about Pat Tillman.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Confederacy of Dunces is fun. I’d also recommend At Swim Two Birds.

    • Riddering says:

      The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America by Thurston Clarke. A very compelling look at Bobby’s presidential campaign.

    • pete says:

      Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes A Great Notion” and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” are probably the two best books i’ve ever read. Some of the best literary work on the psychology of their respective genders (men for Kesey, women for Morrison) ever, I think. STAGN blows Cuckoo’s Nest out of the water, IMO.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Psychology of men? C’mon, that’s freakin’ easy.

        Agenda for men:

        1) Finding women to have sex with
        2) BBQing meat, occasional vegetables
        3) Enjoying war movies
        4) Leaving underwear on floor
        5) Thinking about women to have sex with
        6) All things sports-related
        7) Napping
        8) Talking about money

        I really did like Toni Morrison in Aida the musical.

    • RobC says:

      by Richard Wheeler

    • Gordonm says:

      Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

    • Evilest Empire says:

      The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer is a great non-fiction read. The Devil in the White City (historical fiction) is also good.

      Both books happen to be about mass murderers.

    • Hughesus Cristo says:

      Not my favorite/the best, but I will give a shoutout to John Wray’s Lowboy

      Best is The Corrections by Jon Franzen, which I didn’t read until a few years ago. I will fight anyone to the death over that book.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Shit, I’d forgotten about The Corrections. It seems like a very polarizing book. Personally, I loved it, but my sister thought it was really vainglorious.She also chides David Foster Wallace as a pompous, self-righteous douche, so take that for what it’s worth. (To her credit, she’s met him a few times, so who am I to say. RIP anyways.)

  10. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    Having spent some time in Maine, I can understand why Stephen King writes such screwed up stuff. That place is just weird.

    Fun story, my Grandmother was (likely) murdered in Maine. She died under very mysterious circumstances while under the care of unlicensed “spiritual healer” nurses in some bumfuck town.

    • Tom Zig says:

      that’s a fun story?

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Don’t be the party crasher. Nobody likes that guy!

        • Evilest Empire says:

          Speaking of dead Grandmothers, one of mine just passed a couple months ago.

          • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

            Lame. Did she leave you anything?

            • Evilest Empire says:

              Naw, Gramps is still hanging on. He’s miserable though. He’s 85 years old and just wants to pass away because he thinks he’ll be with her again. He was a very solid man in his prime, its sad that he’s so alone. My dad and I are 1,500 miles away (he’s in Riverdale, we’re in Houston) so there’s only so much we can do.

              • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                Stinks. Here’s a book you may want to check out, it’s by Christopher Buckley (yep, who you think he is). It’s called Boomsday.

                That was probably an extremely insensitive book to recommend, but you mentioned lonely old people and it just sprang to mind.

                (It’s also possible I’m an ageist.)

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  Hah, that’s hilarious there’s an actual term for that.

                  You don’t gotta worry about being insensitive around me though, its the internet. Aren’t we all sociopaths on the internet?

    • Whitey14 says:

      Whereabouts in Maine? Bumfuck town describes so many places here ;-)

  11. Evilest Empire says:

    Has anyone read The Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman? Pretty amazing stuff, completely transcends the comic book genre, even moreso than stuff like Watchmen or V for Vendetta. Its a work of art, up there with stuff like The Grapes of Wrath or :::insert your favorite Shakespeare play here:::

    • OMG.

      I. LOVE. IT.

      Like. You have no idea.

      Death, especially. I have the complete set, hardbound in leather.

      • Evilest Empire says:

        Wow. Rebecca, you clearly have fantastic taste in literature. When I was in college my roommate made me read it. It blew my mind. Gaiman’s Death is one of the greatest characters ever imagined, I’ve heard rumors a while ago about them making a movie based on her (as in, Death within the Sandman universe).

    • You know, given your literary tastes as evidence in this thread, we may need to talk.

      • Evilest Empire says:

        Haha seriously. Nobody I know has ever heard of either of those two series, let alone loves them as much as I do.

        /high five

        • Have you read any of Gaiman’s other work?

          • Evilest Empire says:

            Just a few random Marvel Comic things he’s done, like 1602 (aforementioned roommate was a genius comic book nut, he just told me “here, read this next” and I did.)

            Eventually I want to check out American Gods and The Graveyard Book. Just … too many novels to read ahead of it. I’m also currently reading Posnanski’s The Machine in-between ASOFAI sessions.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

              GET A ROOM YOU TWO!!!!11

              • Evilest Empire says:

                You just wish you could flip Rebecca’s pages the way I can.

              • Evilest Empire says:

                JMK you know what graphic novel series I think you would like?

                Transmetropolitan. Craziest, funniest shit ever. Its about a Hunter S. Thompson-esque news reporter in a corrupt, fucked up future. Very violent, brutal and honest.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Alright. I’ve got a Barnes & Noble Saturday planned, so I’ll pick that up. Thanks for the rec, EE.

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  The author is Warren Ellis and I think there’s 8 or 9 volumes total. Check out the first one, Back on the Street, and you’ll get a good sense of if you want to commit more time into it. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. I hope B&N carries it…they fucking better.

                • Riddering says:

                  Warren Ellis is batshit insane. I adore him. Ever read N.E.X.T.W.A.V.E.?

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  No, but I’ve read a few issues of Midnighter, which was the shit. Ellis is another guy I’d like to read more of.

                • Riddering says:

                  While we’re on the topic of comic authors:

                  Grant Morrison is another favorite of mine. His Animal Man series is an existential mindfuck and a half, hiding inside the adventures of a superhero with wife, kids, and ability to mimic the ability of animals in proximity.

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  I think I’ve read some Batman stuff by him…not sure. I will check out Animal Man, I haven’t read a comic book in a few years and that sounds like a fun one.

            • Matt Tunnell says:

              American Gods and Neverwhere are both good reads, but it’s hard to beat Gaiman’s hilarious collaboration with Terry Pratchett: Good Omens.

            • The Graveyard Book is awesome. I have a signed copy.

              Stardust is my favorite.

              • Evilest Empire says:

                You’re a Gaiman groupie, aren’t you?

                • Riddering says:

                  Everyone is. They just don’t know it yet.

                  Random trivia: Tori Amos wrote a song referencing Sandman (the dream king) which Gaiman had “playing” in the background in one of the later issues of the series. And later on Tori wrote the album “Scarlet’s Walk” as a pseudo soundtrack to American Gods.

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  I did kind of know that.

                  Not a big Tori Amos fan but Nine Inch Nails is my favorite band. I think she and Trent Reznor have collaborated on some stuff.

    • Riddering says:

      I go away for an hour and the open thread bursts forth into an orgy of Gaiman love.

      Sandman series is one of the most amazing works of literature I have read. What he does with mythology and the gods and culture and life is just…brain sex.

  12. Mater of all Trades says:


  13. Steve H says:

    Outliers, anyone?

    • Read it. Very interesting, though conclusions that *should* be obvious.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Meh, he’s basically into pop social science, similar to Stephen Levitt’s pop economics. I liked a lot of the chapters and found his story to be a nice touch, but nothing was especially groundbreaking, innovative in thought, or profound. Sure, there are some interesting stories and some interesting (if obvious) conclusions, but I tend to believe it’s more a function of him oversimplifying lots of complex issues to fit whatever he saw as the “truth” behind the numbers.

  14. Joey says:

    Wow that shit seems shady, doubt it’s legit

  15. Steve H says:

    Probably not many Bill Simmons fans on here, but his Book of Basketball very interesting for the NBA fans out there. Lots of stuff I, as a pretty big NBA fan, didn’t know about.

  16. RobC says:

    I’m at a coaches clinic in NJ.
    Kevin Long and Dave Eiland are two of the speakers.
    Of course lots of references to Yankees.

    Eiland showed how AJ tipped fastball or curve to the Angels
    in the play-offs.

    Long demoed Granderson’s problem vs lefties

  17. NoMaas puts up a nice post, asking people to donate to help the people of Haiti, and they get a bunch of responses like this-

    Derek says:
    January 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Major League Baseball, 29 of its teams, MLB Network and MLB.com donated $1 million to Haiti… the Yanks donated $500,000 in their own separate transaction. Gangster.

    In a related story, the New York Mets donated $16.1 Million to Carlos Beltran.

    Took the time to look up his exact salary. Then we have this clown-

    skobak says:
    January 15, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Major League Baseball taxed $100,000 out of the Yankees’ $500,000 donation and divided it among the small market teams so they could donate a small portion to Haiti and use the rest to install a waterfall in their owners’ pools.

    and this gem-

    Manny says:
    January 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The Red Sox sent Jonathan Papelbon over to help with the recovery efforts. Soon after landing, Paps stated that his recovery and life saving efforts can only be compared to Jack Bauers, and he feels he should be paid as such…

    Just wrong.

    • Steve H says:

      Unfortunately there are a lot of idiots out there. Do you remember what a travesty Katrina was? This is looking to be 20 to 30 times worse in terms of deaths. Unfathomable. And with Katrina, at least there was some warning, and a ton of people evacuated, keeping the death toll relatively low. These people were just going thru their normal day and now their lives are destroyed.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      I’m not going to defend the posters, but dude, it’s a semi-satirical baseball site. You shouldn’t have a warped expectation that the internet would gang together and do the right thing.

      I donated $100 to the ARC. Could I have donated more? Absolutely; I make enough to have make a greater contribution. But I don’t get all upset when some clown on a baseball message board makes an off-color joke about Jonathon Papelbon or revenue sharing, either.

      • You misunderstood my post. I actually thought the skobak post was pretty funny, and we all know what NoMaas is. They didn’t make fun of the people of Haiti in any way, so it’s not like they crossed that line.

        But I will admit it’s a bit too soon to make any humorous references in the context of Haiti, for me at least. If other people feel differently and they’re not just hideous cruel racists, then I have no problem with that.

  18. This is fucking tremendous.


    Basically, each player’s stat page(s) is converted to a PDF you can read on Kindle and many phones. Long overdue.

  19. Accent Shallow says:

    Anyone in the NYC area want to grab a drink?

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Drinks in the city are way too expensive. It’s best to stay at home, in my opinion.

      I have to go to the office for the morning, early afternoon. If you’re in midtown tomorrow, by all means, let’s grab a drink.

  20. aj says:

    The Shining book is fantastic. But nothing can compare to Nicholson’s performance in the movie.

  21. Very nice job on a top-50 prospect list


    With realistic outcomes for each player.

  22. Steve H says:

    My night is ruined.

    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have acquired third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and a prospect from the Padres in exchange for outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.

  23. Fud says:

    Shining is a great book

  24. Mind Looter says:

    You have to finish the Dark Tower series. Just finish it. I can’t even understand how you stopped reading the series lol.

  25. Meat Loaf says:

    Hah, my mom won the take 5 in New York state tonight. She’s bouncing off the walls.

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