Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I posted the text of the email that I sent to the Principal of my daughter's school the other day, so I thought I would tell you about the results.

The Principal returned my email a few hours later and said that she was aware of the issue, and would address it immediately.

Yesterday, there were additional staff members in the parking lot in the morning... and people that were attempting to drop their children off in the wrong places or at the wrong time were given written warnings.

The rule-abiding parents were quite pleased at pick up time uesterday!


Soccer Bit..., er, Mom

My daughter's soccer team, about which I have posted many times, had their third game of the fall season this past saturday. Good news: They won, 7-6! (Go Butterflies!!!)

All of the girls played hard & well, used strategy (a new thing for them), played fair, were uncomplaining, and most importantly, they all seemed to have a good time.

At the end of the game, there were smiles and high-fives all around... or so I thought. While I was talking to one of the girls, her mother approached the coach (I'm the assistant coach) to complain that her daughter only played three minutes in the first half of the game, and that she didn't like the way substitutions were made (I make the substitutions), and that some girls got more time on field than others, and blah blah blah.

I didn't know about this until after the conversation was over. The coach mentioned it to me and told me that she didn't want to include me in the conversation because she knew I would have had a lot of fairly sharp things to say. She was right.

First things first. This poor child has got some serious developmental problems as a result of having fetal alcohol syndrome as an infant, having severe ADHD, and parents that won't/can't control their children (she has four siblings, all with similar problems). I mention this, because this child is a good kid, but because of her issues, she absorbs about 60 percent of my time during practice... when her mother can bother to bring her (which is only about half the time).

Her mother, when she comes to practice, uses the time to either nap in a lawn chair or natter on with the other moms. This mom/child frequently miss practice.

This child frequently refuses to run. I understand her issues, but in fairness to the other players, soccer requires a certain amount of wind. You can't play soccer if you can't run up and down the field.

I played that kid for 5 minutes in the first half and for 14 in the second. She had 19 minutes out of 48, in those 19 minutes, she did as well as she could be expected to do.

The other girls were plated for what their best levels were... my own kid, for example, got 22 minutes of playing time. She has great wind, but really doesn't like the physical confrontation of soccer, she can score goals, but only sometimes. Another kid, we'll call Karen, is a real gazelle, she can run, dribble, and shoot. She had three goals this week. She got 30 minutes.

My point here is that all of the girls get to play, from the one that is really good all the way to the ones that really suck (out of 8 girls, only 5 of them really have much of a clue). I play them according to their skills, abilities, and whether or not the came to practice the week of the game. Why should the kids that make a commitment suffer?

It was a great morning of soccer, ruined.

I was really bothered the rest of the day, because xxxxxxx played so well. She really did.

I decided that I would speak to the mom about it, but when we had practice last night, I found that I couldn't. I was still too irritated. Probably best to let it go... unless it happens again.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I watched the movie “Armageddon few nights ago… it wasn’t the first time I had seen it. Indeed, if you have HBO or any of the other movie channels, it is tough to not be able to find it playing on any given night of the week.

Have any of you seen this movie? It is an action adventure movie that masquerades as a chick flick/love story… or maybe it is the other way around.

The premise is that an asteroid is hurtling through space towards earth, and it is so large the just throwing nuclear weapons at it to destroy it won’t work. The only thing that will save the planet is to blow it up from the inside. Still with me? This is classic end-of-the-world disaster stuff!

Enter Harry Stamper, played by Bruce Willis, and his misfit crew of hard living, hard drinking, social deviant, roughneck oil drillers. Harry and his crew are selected to go into space, get fuel for their space shuttles at the Russian Space Station, land on the asteroid, drill down to 800 feet, plant an atomic weapon there, fly away from the asteroid, and remotely detonate the bomb. Earth is saved.

Now, get this, while refueling their space ships, there is a fire in the Russian space station. No one is killed, but the American crews have to take the Russian cosmonaut with them. The Russian cosmonaut is played by Peter Stomares, a Swedish actor that some of you might remember from those very funny (at least to me) VW Jetta commercials that you see from time to time.

Well, to make a long story short, the whole thing is a success, but about half of the people that went into space to accomplish the mission are killed before the asteroid is gloriously destroyed by Harry, who has to detonate the nuke manually.

Now, I realize that this movie is kinda hokey… indeed it is designed to satisfy a man’s enjoyment of the “blow-shit-up, male-bonding” movie genre. It has space ships, guns, explosions, strippers, nuclear weapons, Paris being destroyed by a meteor strike, strippers, and Liv Tyler showing a little skin. What’s not to like? There is even a scene where a n’er do well Dad (who is now a hero) reunited with his son, if you need something to get teary-eyed over. And strippers.

Oh, did I mention that the movie closes with Aerosmith singing “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”?

Good fun.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the Soccer mom that pissed me off this weekend.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Follow-up To Yesterday's rant

I sent the following email to the Principal of my daughter's school this mornig:

"Dear Ms. xxxxxxxx,

I have a few comments on what I see as a mounting problem with the morning drop-off for the students at xxxxx, but before I talk about that, I'd like to offer some praise:

My wife and I are quite pleased about xxxxxx'x experience at xxxxxx, not only so far this year, but last year as well. Having been able to interact with Mrs xxxxxxxxx as well as Ms. xxxxxxxx was a fruitful experience for xxxxxx as a student and for us as parents.

About the morning drop-off problem. It is increasingly clear that a great many parents are totally ignoring the policy on dropping off their children before the school-bell rings. Worse, many of the parents seem to be too impatient to wait in the drop-off line, and instead, drop their kids in the parking lot, causing them to have to move through the traffic to get to the school, which is very unsafe.

Is there anything that can be done to address this?

I know that you are a busy woman, supervising the education of our children, so I appreciate your attention in this matter."


There. I was rational, calm, I wasn't shrill, and I didn't have to shoot anyone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Rant

Wednesday is the one day a week that I take my little one to school. It is always sort of fun and special for us, because it is only a once a week thing. This morning, I was up at about 0445 (slept in!) and read the paper, ironed my trousers, showered & shaved etc... before waking Olivia at 0715.

I made her breakfast, went over her homework with her, and watched a few minutes of "Brandy & Mr Whiskers" with her, before she put on her uniform. At 0840, we headed for school.

The drive to school was short, only about 6 or 7 minutes, as the school is fairly close to the house. The weather was bright and still shirt-sleeve warm, the sky was blue and the traffic was light. A nice start to our day.

Then we got to school.

At my daughter's school, there is a requirement that parents must either park their cars and walk their children to the front door of the school, waiting there with them until the opening bell rings, OR, queueing up in the "drop off" line, wherein you must drive your child into the "drop off" circle (after the bell rings) and then you can drive away. The bus riders are dropped off at a different door.

The reason for these rules are so that the kiddies don't get run over by any of the minivan moms who are too friggin' busy talking on their cel phones to look out for anyone ELSE'S children as they cross the street or parking lot. When it works it makes quite a bit of sense.

**PLEASE NOTE** Friends, your pal the Gunfighter is a veteran of eight years of service in the Marines, and has been a lawman ever since (nearly twenty years ago). I admit that I am a stickler for rules and for order. Probably more than I should be. Take that into consideration as you read on.

Today, as on so many other Wednesdays, there was nearly a platoon's worth of kids either standing in front of the school (unaccompanied) 10 minutes before the bell! (**NOTE** A platoon is a military term for a unit of approximately 44 Marines or soldiers)

Worse, I saw at least 10 moms/dads drive into the parking lot drop their kids off and then drive away, leaving their kids to have to dodge the aforementioned minivans. I saw one lady make a nod towards the rules by getting out of her SUV and walking approximately ten feet with her kid and then getting back into her car and driving away... and I know this one, her daughter is one of my soccer players (and a real pain in the ass!).

Now, remember, as soon as the bell rings, the people that followed the rules are dropping off their kids in the circle, then driving away... through the parking lot... the parking lot that is now teeming with children dropped of by their parent so they wouldn't have to wait an extra 3 minutes in the drop-off line!

This situation thoroughly pisses me off every Wednesday.


Is that too much to ask?

Look, I know people are in a hurry. I know people have to go to work. I know... I know... I know..., but will 3 minutes REALLY make that much of a difference?


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Balance, Karma, Serendipity... Whatever!

After my rather dismal post yesterday, I had an interesting experience.

I had to leave the class that I was teaching in the hands of some of my staff because I had to attend a brief meeting at our Washington, DC office. A bit of a pain to make the drive, but no worries, it won't kill me.

It took me about 10 minutes to get there from where I work in Alexandria, Va. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes so I lost no real time and was out the door like a shot when the meeting concluded (I hate meetings).

I was headed back to my office when I saw a blue Honda Odyssey minivan with it's emergency lights flashing, sitting right at the top of the South Capitol street on-ramp to I-395. If you don't know DC traffic, let me tell you that this is a BAD place to break down. So, I turned on my blue/red light bar, and pulled up in front of this van and found that the lady (two of them, actually) had a flat right rear tire. She explained that she had already called Triple A but they said that it might take as long as two hours for them to get there.

Well, the long and the short of it is this: I wasn't prepared to just drive off with a "Good Luck!" and a wave, so I changed the tire myself. Not that big of a deal, but it made me feel good to help someone.

So there you have it... sometimes when things really look like sh... er, crap, you can find something good in it that will make it better for you.

Now that I have given you the feel-good story for today, let me say that the jack that comes with the Honda Odyssey is an absolute piece of crap! Why can't they install a decent sized jack these days? I spent most of the time it took to change that tire, turning that little bar that passed for a crowbar, just to get the bloody tire of the ground so I could change it! Maybe I should go to the designer's house and ply my skills there!

Feel better?

I do.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Not Much Joy These Days

I used to really love my job. I still try to tell myself that I do... but I don't. Not really. Not anymore.

You see, I teach people how to kill other people... and I don't like it anymore.

In my career field, there are certainly thousands upon thousands of people that would literally kill to do what I do (and get paid well to do it). After all, I wear comfortable clothes to work. I have interesting and expensive guns to use; I have all the ammunition that I could possibly hope to shoot; I can shoot practically as much as I want.... and get paid for it. What more could a gun geek want?

Sure, I do this for Uncle Sam... that's supposed to make it better. It doesn't. I am supposed to feel good about it because if my students apply violence properly it may save their lives or the lives of innocents. I tell myself that the people that would get shot as a result of my teaching would be "bad guys". That helps... but only so much.

I'm getting tired of this.

I'd like to do something else. but I have a problem. I am 42 and all I really know how to do (that I can make a living at) is shoot. No kidding, you really CAN make a living like that. I'm what my Drill Instructors in the Marine Corps called a "natural shooter"... put a gun in my hand and I can make it work rapidly, efficiently, and accurately. It doesn't matter if it is a pistol, rifle, shotgun or heavy machine gun. It's kind of weird.

So today, I am going to teach a group of 20 Agents, Officers, and Deputies, how to most efficiently shoot people at close range.

My heart isn't in it anymore.

The hell of it that I am really good at what I do. No... I mean really good at it.

I guess a therapist would nod sagely at all of this and tell me that I am "conflicted" and that I need to "seek other employment options". S/he would be right, but that wouldn't mean a damned thing when the mortgage was due.

Anybody out there want to hire a nice guy to do odd jobs?

I promise to leave my gun at home.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Lesbian Friends

This whole blogging thing is kind of wierd.

I started doing this as just a way of expressing myself from time to time, and to have a place to write.

Oddly enough, I started reading the blogs of other people, mostly at random, but from time to time I would use the "Blogs of Note" function from Google's blogger website. This is here the story begins.

A few months ago, in an adventurous mood, I saw an interesting blog name at the "Blogs of Note" place. The name of the blog was "Suburban Lesbian", I thought that might be interesting, so I visited this blog and discovered a very nice lady who wrote about her life and her life with her equally nice-sounding partner.

I started to read her blog regularly, and commenting on her entries. She started to visit my fledgling blog and was a great deal of help to me when I got started since I have NO clue when it came to even the most rudimentary aspects of coding. By the way... if I never said thank you, Suzanne, let me do so publicly here.

After I started reading her blog, I started reading her partner's blog, as well as the blogs of some fo their friends. Next thing you know, most of the people that are reading my blog are lesbians, and most of the blogs I read are those of lesbians.

How funny is that?

I wrote an entry about internet friends a while back. In it, I listed my many internet friends that I have known through various online communities. If I were writing that post today, I would have to add several very nice ladies to the list that I have met through the accident of a very random act.

So, a big thank you goes to Suzanne, Wendy, Deb, Sassy, eb, Zanne, and several others who never said: "What are YOU doing here, straight dude?". Thanks for letting me view your community and hear your stories. Most importantly, thanks for making me feel welcome.

What a nice bunch of people.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This is your fault, eb. You sent me to one word and to Robin's site. This is the result. Meme away!

1. A book that changed your life:

There are many, but two stand out: A Sense of Honor by James Webb (current Senatorial candidate from Virginia), and Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Both of these books were instumental in my decision to enlist in the Marines when I was a wee (well, not so wee) lad of seventeen.

2. A book you've read more than once:

More than I care to count: Most recently it was Patrick O'Brian's Post Captain.

3. A book you'd want on a desert island.

Like others, I immediately thought of the Bible... but to tell you the truth, I think it might be my Britannica Encyclopedia of Military History.

4. A book that made you giddy.

I'm not the giddy type.

5. A book you wish had been written.

The novel that Patrick O'Brian had been writing at the time of his death.

6. A book that wracked you with sobs:

I don't remember the name of the book, but I read it when I was a young Marine... it was a collection of last letters home from soldiers that had been killed in Vietnam.

7. A book you wish had never been written.

Michael Chrichton's Sphere. What an incredible piece of absolute CRAP! It is the only book that I have ever thrown in the trash. I believe that most books have something good to impart so I give them away, donate them to charity, send to the USO or SOMETHING... but when I finished with Sphere, I tore the whole bloody book to pieces ant threw it in the trash.

8. A book you are currently reading.

Coyote Rising, by Allen Steele. A neat little Sci-Fi read, the second in a series.

9. A book you've been meaning to read.

The recent biography of Madison, for a start.

10. Tag 10.

OK, I don't really do this tagging thing, but if you are inclined to list your books and thoughts, please do so, and be so kind as to tell me if you did.



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The President is an Idiot

George W. Bush says: "Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone, They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad."

Pardon me, Mr President, but I have to say that you are full of shit.

The President, for the first time, suggests that "mistakes" have been made in Iraq, even though he won't say what those mistakes might have been (like... invading the country in the first place?). He then goes on to make a leap that the most liberal politicians and commentators in this country have never made by suggesting that people believe that terrorists "will leave us alone" if we exit from Iraq.

I've never heard anyone say that, have you?

The President says that the safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad, which is another huge leap in logic.

Look, pinhead, here are some facts:

The war in Iraq isn't about terrorism. It is about the illegal, immoral, and unjust invasion of a sovereign nation. An invasion that our nation's armed forces undertook at your sole instigation. No one believes that terrorism will go away, just because we exit from Iraq. The reason that most Americans think we should exit Iraq is that there is no clear reason that our soldiers should be there getting killed. Most Americans don't believe that fighting insurgents and Jihadis in Iraq has anything to do with our national security, and they are right. Most Americans don't want our troops involved in a civil war... especially a civil war where none of the warring factions have any particular love for the United States.

No sir, exiting Iraq won't end terrorism, but staying there won't end it either.

What exiting Iraq WILL do, is allow us to reconstitute our armed forces. Do you have any idea how much this is costing? How much in terms of recruitment (we are now recruiting people with criminal backgrounds), and in terms of discipline, and ill health and weapons that have gone way past their service life (combat does that), destroyed and damaged tanks and helicopters etc...?

Exiting Iraq will also allow us to focus our military in other areas... areas where they will be more suited. After all, thinking you can fight terrorism with tanks and attack helicopters is friggin' stupid, it is nearly beyond explanation. It's true folks, conventional armed forces don't beat insurgents. Ever. See: Vietnam I & II, Israel v. Hezbollah '06, The American Revolution (forgot that one, did you?), Fulgencio Batista's Cuban army v. Castro's guerrillas, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionario de Colombia (FARC) v. The Colombian army (current)

I am so bleeding sick of the idiot logic that says: "fight them there so we don't have to fight them here".

The war in Iraq will produce at least one certain outcome which I am certain that the current administration didn't expect; The guarantee of another mullah-led Islamic republic in the Middle East. Count on it. As soon as we leave... even if we don't leave, the current "democratic" government of Iraq will collapse and the government that follows will immediately declare the Islamic republic... even while in the throes of a civil war.

History will judge you harshly Mr Bush, and it won't take it's time about it, either. There will be no fond remembrances about you like there were for Ronald Reagan (another dope, but a nice guy). You will likely be known as the worst President of the twenty first century. It is a fitting epitaph, but even so, better than you deserve.

Monday, September 11, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Well, here it is, September 11th again. A day when all media outlets will try to outdo each other with somber rememberances of this date, five years ago.

Today, our political leaders, community leaders, religious leaders, spiritual leaders, teachers, bus drivers, auto mechanics, and stay-at-home-moms/dads will wail and gnash their teeth about the tragic day. As a nation, we will moan about how our lives have changed, and how we all feel "less safe". We will talk about the things our government has done to make us more safe, or, depending on your viewpoint how much less safe the country is. Today, we will do one of the things that Americans do better than nearly everyone. Feel aggrieved.

We are right to feel aggrieved... but let's not get too weepy, ok?

I'm going to tell you something that the current administration doesn't want you to know. It isn't classified, but they don't want you to know this:

Terrorists Aren't a Major Threat To American National Security.

Didn't get that? Here is is again: Terrorists Aren't a Major Threat To American National Security.

"But, but, but... How can you say that, Bill!!!???"

Here's the thing: Terrorists have the ability to kill American citizens. These killings usually are numbered in tens, sometimes in dozens. Occasionally they get lucky and do something really large and get to kill a hundred or more. Then there are the spectacular and so far, once-only, times when more than two thousand Americans/westerners are killed. I don't mean to make light of the deaths of innocents, but I have to say that with numbers like that, Islamist terrorists can't hope for any real victory. Let's be honest... every time there is a terrorist attack against Americans, our country winds up killing people in Islamic countries in a number way out of proportion to our losses.

Asshats with strap-on bombs, or hijackers, or car bombers, etc.... can only bother us. They are sort of like a wasp stinging an elephant. The wasp may hurt the elephant, and he may hurt the elephant more than once, but at the end of the day, the wasp will die much sooner than the elephant, and for all the stinging, the elephant's life will continue much as it always had.

We need to be aware about terrorism. We need to pay attention to the mintuae of security. We need to undestand nothign we can do will make this stop completely. We need to gut up and quit whining.

We haven't seen the end of this, nor will our grandchildren.

There have always been terrorists.

There will always be terrorists.

Terrorists will always be able to kill people that live in democracies, because it is in the nature of enlightened, civilized, democratic societies to be open. Remember folks, places with the lowest crime rates are police states, and I'll have none of that, thank you.

There are threats to this country. There are nations that would love to see our demise, chief among them is a country called China... and they will probably win their war against us without ever firing a shot.

While the current administration keeps using Islamist fruitcakes to scare the electorate by trundling like they are a major threat to our sovereignty, the Chinese threat grows, and grows, yet we do nothing about it.

So, be of good cheer, be wary of terrorism, drive your SUV to WalMart, buy a new tank for the People's Liberation Army.

Likely we'll never know what hit us.

Friday, September 8, 2006

My Mother-In-Law

I am not going to commit an act of violence.

I am not going to commit an act of violence!

I'mnotgonnacommitanactofviolence!!!... but God save me, I'd like to.


So... last week, during my wife's weekly conversation with that leathery winged harpy that she calls "mother", my daughter gets on the phone, and of her own volition says: "grandma, can you buy me a computer for Christmas?" Apparently Grandma makes affirmative noises which pleases my little one to no end. After getting the phone back, my wife talked to her mother and all was well.

Fast forward to this week's call. The little one talks to grandma, who immediately after saying hello says: "why don't you ask your other grandmother for a computer?", which Olivia, dutifully, said she would do. My harpy-in-law then ended the conversation. Of course, we knew none of this until after my wife finished her conversation. Olivia was upset and didn't understand why grandma had abruptly changed course.

It's not like she does much for the kid in the first place... not that we really expect her to, all the way from Milwaukee... but, geez!

OK... a few comments:

1) My in-laws are retired... My FIL is a retired railway worker and a retired soldier (from the Army as a Sergeant Major). MIL, as the wife of a retired railway worker gets a separate pension of her own. They prepared well for retirement. they live their days with absolutely no worries about money, thank God.

2) Computers can be pricey.

3) Little kids say unexpected things.

4) It is ok to say no.

5) My wife and I can afford to buy the kid a computer (and will), but she never said a thing about it to us... as she can use ours, I guess.

What pissed me off about the whole thing is that MIL should have said something to one of us adults instead of just shooting the kid down a week after she said she would buy the freakin' computer!

During our phone call next week, I intend to speak to MIL about this. When the conversation is over, she won't be happy, the irritating mean-spirited, old bitch!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Soccer Dad IV

Thought you were done reading about this stuff, didn't you? Fat chance!

Tonight is the first night of soccer practice for the fall season, and yours truly is primed and ready! Armed with my copy of "The Complete idiot's Guide To Coaching Youth Soccer" I have already set up our drills and excercises for the evening. I know of a group of eight-year-olds that are going home tired tonight!!!!

My daughter is excited... she is so jazzed up the she wanted to wear her cleats in the house last night (not happening, baby!). On the subject of cleats, I had to remind the team moms at our meeting the other night, that they need to check and make sure that their kids shoes still fit. The ones that they wore during the spring season may have been outgrown over the summer.

Most of the girls from last year are returning to play again this year. Of the two that aren't returning; one is ill and the other isn't playing because she hates running, which was readily apparent last year. We picked up one more player, who has never played before, so the team is relatively intact with only one brand new player.

Our first game is this coming saturday, which should be interesting, as the little cherubs are going to have to play wihout the coaches on the field with them for the first time... and we are going to have referees as well! The coach, Debbie, is going to run substitutions while I do the shouting from the sidelines.

The only fly in the ointment is that the girls have decided that they didn't want to keep the name "Iron Butterflies". Being little girls, they decided that they just want to be The Butterflies. Bummer. I kind of liked the old name better, but I guess the reference to the 1960's acid rock band was lost on kids born in the late 90's.

This is gonna be fun.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The First Day of School

Today is Back To School Day here in Prince William County, and I wasn't about to miss the first day of school for anything!

I left home at about 0450 this morning, and was in the office by 0515. I got some things done, went to the gym, had a shower and shave, put on my uniform and drove straight to my kid's school to meet her and my wife, who drops her off in the mornings.

My little angel looked darling in her navy blue uniform and bright yellow rainboots (it was raining like nobody's business first thing this morning, here in the DC area), and was proudly pulling her bookbag along behind her.

At the school, all of the kids seemed to be excited about the beginning of the school year. As we walked across the parking lot to the school's entrance, my daughter called out to her friends and was greeted by lots and lots of her pals from first grade. She and her friends were so busy chattering that she could barely spare me the 5 seconds that it took to listen to me say: "be a good girl, pay attention to your teacher, and have fun today". She responded with a kiss on the cheek and a "'bye daddy!", and was off. My wife walked her to her classroom, but, since I had already met the teacher (at last week's "Meet 'n Greet"), I jumped back into my car and headed back to work. I was feeling just a wee bit sad at the fact that she was so eager to part company, but I put it down to being selfish. She is growing into her own person, and I get enough of her time. Still, I like being the person she comes to when she needs to feel safe.

I got back to work in about 15 minutes, and was greeted in the parking lot by a colleague that had just taken his daughter to her first day at middle school. I asked Jim how it had gone and he said: "Dude, as soon as I got near the school, she was ready to jump out of the car and get inside!". Jim wasn't all that happy about his experience, either.

At least I got a kiss.

Friday, September 1, 2006

The MTV Video Music Awards

I watched the MTV Video Music Awards Last Night. Did any of you see it? What a bunch of crap! Maybe I'm just too old to watch it anymore.

Please be patient with me while I share a few thoughts... I may not be terribly coherent, as I have a splitting headache as I type this.

Is it just me, or is Justin Timberlake the most girly-man in the business these days?

Shakira... no, sweetie, your hips don't lie, and I love what they say.

Jessica Simpson... hello? Your 15 minutes of fame are nearly over, hope you enjoyed it. Oh, and she was hammered.

A Piece of advice to the men of the entertainment world: Unless you normally wear a beard or are currently filming a role that requires you to have a beard, please don't appear on television unshaven. I don't get the whole grungy "I-look-like-I-Just-got-out-of-bed-and-didn't-bathe" look. What's that all about?

I've never been a big fan of hip-hop music or culture. The main reason is that I have never been able to identify with it, especially because I believe it to be destructive on many levels. I now have a new reason: I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A GODDAMNED THING MOST OF THEM ARE SAYING! I mean, really!

Jack Black was really horrible as host. Somebody call Jimmy Fallon, please!

I confess, I never watch MTV, and until last night, I hadn't seen 99 percent of the videos that are up for awards. Some of them really looked awful. Please note that I don't include Shakira in that category.

Li'l Kim was a presenter... couldn't she have stayed in prison? She tried to come across as some sort of victim. Memo to Kim: You went to prison for lying in court about a gunfight! You aren't a victim, baby, you are a criminal.

The Pussycat Dolls won an award for something (I'm not sure what it was). How could that happen?

I need coffee, friends... more later.