Sunday, July 24, 2005

Random Thoughts

I would like everyone to know that, in regards to my book, I received a bite from an agent. It was very encouraging--except when I investigated. I won't name names...yet, but let's just say when you type "disreputable literary agency" into google you get their name a couple of times in the first 10 hits. Let's also just say that I am a certainty to get accepted by this agency--the next thing they will ask for is a fee. It's a universally accepted red flag. I will likely only pursue Writer's Market agents from here on out. Luckily, I have many to send to. I have one "no," three no-answers (as of yet), and one almost assured yes from a place I will turn down. Tomorrow I will likely be sending another wave of queries and such.

The National League East, as of this writing, is separated by 4 1/2 games, 1st-to-last. I have a feeling that it may be tied between all teams at some point. But as a Braves fan, I want to point something out: by the end of this road trip today, they have played 56 road games. This is far above any team in the majors at this point (it's double digits over the closely-following Phillies and Mets)--it is also a little misleading because one good home stand and another team's sizeable road trip could even things out, but considering that they are 29-14 at home, I would think a few more home games might make this race a little bit more favorable to them. They start one against the Nationals on Tuesday. Big series!

Does anyone know how in the hell the Tour de France lead is calculated? It sure isn't by traditional 1 + 1 = 2 means, that's for sure. Like, I've always wondered how Lance Armstrong continues to have the same minutes and seconds lead after several stages--to me, that sounds like he ties the second place guy every day. I know that time trials are calculated in some strange fashion, but I've never heard any discussion of it. I also don't know how this sport is team-oriented. We always hear that Lance's team helps him out...somehow. And I often wonder what the motivations of his team members are--maybe it's just money, but they seem to be attached to help Lance towards his cause, and have no designs on winning the thing themselves. Anyway, every time I watch, or get highlights, nothing is ever explained. Congrats to Lance on his 7th. Now he can go back to an enjoyable hobby: Puttin' some lovin' on Sheryl Crow.

The craze I'm most infuriated about concerning the media this week: the talking-head celebrity gossip/week-in-review/I Love the 90's shows that have suddenly become popular on every station. I enjoy those I Love the 90's programs every once in awhile, but now we have Best Week Ever, that Celebrity Face-Off garbage where D-List celebrities compare trashy, slightly-higher-on-the-food-chain celebrities (for instance, who's the best stripper: Courtney Love or Anna Nicole Smith?), the 101 Celebrity Oops!, and so on. Not only are these shows devoid of much entertainment value, but there's one aspect to many of them I can't stand: the editing. Some smartass will come up with a quip about Paris Hilton's porno tape, and then we'll see a clip of Paris saying something like, "No comment, no comment," as if in response. This style of editing is in everything, usually advertising, mostly for TV shows or films--there was one for the Who Wants to be A Hilton? show, or whatever it's called--some redneck guy says, "I need to work on my etiqacy (sic), and learn to be, you know, more etiquette," and as if in the same scene (it's obviously not) we see Momma Hilton respond dully, "Okay." Sounds real funny (stifling laughter as we speak), but we won't see that in the real show, will we? Finding imagination in these shows is like finding a whore in a convent.

Regal's "Twenty" program, this is the 20-minute digital pre-show before the movie...I'm not going to make any criticisms about that here. I've just been seeing an ad a lot on it, as it is one of the last ads before the program is over and I have to start the movie. It concerns Drum Corps International's World Championships, brought to you LIVE! at select Regal theatres. It shows a bunch of band people doing something that is supposedly real intense and competitive, and I have no doubt that it is. But there's these rhetorical questions that the ad asks in order for perhaps a casual viewer to have his or her interest sparked. "Is it art? Is it sport? You decide." My question is this: why must we legitimize every form of entertainment by asking if it's art or a sport? Like, the entertainment becomes special if we classify it with some well-accepted name. There are questions as to whether NASCAR is a sport. Really, who cares if it is? I hate it, but it makes millions of people happy. Doesn't seem like it would matter to them whether or not Webster's classifies it as a sport or a well-cooked hot dog.

So, there's my random thoughts.


At 7/24/2005 08:51:00 PM, Blogger NLock said...

Don't pay them a cent. The only payment you want to make is a percentage of the advance or royalties laid out in a valid contract. (Let a lawyer look at that before you sign it)

At 7/24/2005 09:57:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Of course. As I said, I'm not even going to mess with them. I've already read their so-called contract on Writer Beware, and I'm about 99% certain that I'm going to get it. And I'll not sign. I'm not even responding.

At 7/25/2005 08:51:00 AM, Blogger DannyNoonan said...

The reason that Lance's lead doesn't change after some stages is that they give people in the same pack the same time. If there is a pack of 15 riders that includes Lance and his closest rival, and that is often the case, they are awarded the same time when the pack crosses the finish line. This gets complicted when the peloton crosses because there are so many riders in it. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but riders in the same part of the peloton get the same time as well.

As for the team aspect to the sport, Lance's team mates aren't trying to win the race any more than Brett Favre's team mates are trying to throw touchdown passes. It's not their job. Members of a cycling team have different roles. Most are "domestiques" or servants. They cut wind, bring the team leader food and water from the support vehicles, protect him in the peloton, and chase down breakaways-when a competitor pulls ahead of the peloton, several of Lance's domestiques will go with him and sit on his tail to slow him down and be there in case Lance decides to follow. Other team members are more specialized. Lance has a few team mates that are pure climbers for example. They ride with lance and cut wind specifically on the tough climbs in the mountain stages. There is also a team time trial where having a good tema is crucial to getting the leader a good time.

At 7/25/2005 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks, Danny. That clears up quite a bit.


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