Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007

Impromptu Trev-o-Vision: Scripps National Spelling Bee

Sorry for the interruption, everyone, I thought tonight would be a quiet night in front of the TV, but NAY! ABC is showing the finals of the 2007 Spelling Bee. ESPN...spelling....they're not going to attack children are they? YES THEY ARE!

A brief tally of the first 30 minutes:

15 finalists
3 kids from Canada
10 words
5 kids eliminated
10 kids asking for the language of origin
1 kid taking almost all of his 2 minutes unable to repeat a word he has heard

Let's start with that. ESPN started its rivetingly glossy coverage with Mike and Mike, their morning talking heads, and Stuart Scott making sure he has puns ready for every part of speech. First kid up? Well, he reminds everyone that we're at a spelling bee. I'm not going to knock his stereotypical pastiness because he can probably shut down this site with mind powers, but it was still a sight to see him mispronounce not one, but two, pronunciations of "girolle." I dont know what that is, but I sure as hell could have repeated it like Dr. Ginormous McDictionary C.S.C.

With the first kid done in record time (Thanks for the shot clock graphic, WWL!), we move on to something like 4 out of the first 5 kids getting cut almost immediately. That's ok though, its a 2-hour program, and what can ESPN do better than anyone else? FILL TIME! That's right. 10 minutes in, and we've got ourselves a slick puff piece following a nice girl out in the forests of the Pacific whatever. Great story: adopted to a family of adopted children, plays sports, flute, piano, etc etc, she even knits for premature children. Seriously, that's phenomenal, good for her! I cant take away from that, but ESPN sure can. Ah, the irony of the puff piece. By the way, no sooner did the vaseline lens come off the camera, she grabbed some bench.

And we're back interviewing the mispronouncing kid! Again, nothing to take away from his extremely high INT rating, but do we really need to have Stuart Scott interviewing him? The kid is a nervous wreck, he just had to spell in front of the largest spelling audience ever, and he didn't seem all that well adjusted to begin with. I just feel sorry for him as his voice shakes and he tries to give Stuart what he wants, post-interview sports cliches in spelling terms. "I thought to myself 'Was it a word I'd practiced?' 'I thought I had it.'" Poor kid. I think he's going to cry. Hell, I might just cry for him. Stu signs out mentioning that his favorite NBA player is Steve Nash.

Coming up on 50 minutes in, and we're down to roughly 8 contestants. I just feel like the producers are pulling their hair out, trying to get the dictionary guy to throw "couch" or "Rizzuto" out there, just to stretch it out. It's not even halftime, and I don't think they have fluff reels lined up for all of these kids, or do they? Check back, as your now unshifted Trev-O-Vision starts.....now...

Top of the hour, 8 kids left. The rules of the spelling bee in 30 second musical-comedy form. I can't make this up.

"Someone to watch out for, Amy Chyao." ESPN, now giving 13-year-old girls the Kiss of Death. If you told me she was the Black Widow of spelling, I'd believe you. But...time is running out for her to write imaginatively on the back of her name placard...the word is grognard....DING! The infernal bell brings us down to one young lady in the remaining 7....Let's meet her now! Cue the funky beats the young people listen to!

I think we're having a television-enforced recess. Either way, what a perfect time for an interview/puff piece! This one is easily twice as long, following young Evan's math and musical background, and, after all of that, we're still in recess. At least they didn't cut immediately to a commercial break, and we're back into round 8. 7 kids with the newly endearing Evan up to the plate. Great...my tivo is tied up recording "Pirate Master." I think I heard a bell, but now I want to know what happened to the loveable scamp. (He's OK, I think...)

Restarting the round. We're back to my favorite character, Joseph Henares, he who guesses the definition of each word after it has been read. He misses the guess on "triticale"s definition, but he still says his trademark "Oh, my gosh!" Big Joe nails the Latin root and lankily skips back to his seat. Good on him.

Poor nervous Conor. Knocked out by "cachalot," a sperm whale. What is that? Just say, "Your word is 'sperm whale.'" We're down to 6? Worldwide graphics, why have you forsaken me!

The ever wily Latin to French, French "fauchard" claims another victim like the long convex medieval sword it is...and another one bites the dust. I have to start feeling that the Canadians are at a natural advantage with all of the French showing up this year.

"Shaq's Big Challenge"-Big Aristotle takes 6 kids to fat camp. Words....they should have sent a poet....to the tivo!

Now we're at a time crunch...something like 20 minutes left, and we've still got 5 kids hanging on. It's not the time for analysis on "theyre all winners," and it's certainly not the time to interview the newly minted non-winners. Stuart Scott, back in the interview nook thinking he should have Olbermanned years ago.

Supercalifragilisticexpeali-get on with it!

Definition Joe fails to attempt the definition of "aniseikonia", I'm getting a little worried for our gangly contestant. Is everything alright? Perhaps he's hiding an injury. Stu? Too late! The bell claims another victim, and then there were 4. DING! Now 3! We're on the verge of "championship level" words here, people. I'm fired up.

Before we can even get into the finals, the lone girl falls. The puffed-up Evan and the non-puffed possible-Canadian Nate. We all know who my money's on. I'm calling up the Germans right now for odds. Off the Board after round 7. Bastards.

Commercials in Spelling Bee overtime...what a good idea.

Zoilus! Pappardelle! Yosenabe! The heavyweights are toeing the line! It's like Rocky IV with Canada! This rerun of Grey's Anatomy will definitely not be seen in its entirety! We may just go straight to late local news! Riveting. (Ok, maybe it will be shown in its entirety...take THAT local news!)

Oh no! The Canadian is cut! He's down on "coryza!" Let's go, Evan! I can't believe how riveted I am!

The word is "serrefine", a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel. We have ourselves a winner! A large cup, a British looking aide, and a forlorned Canadian. God Bless America!

Stuart Scott with the final interview, first question, "Why didnt you like the spelling bee?" Our champion, Evan, still disillusioned with the "rote memorization" of spelling. I feel betrayed by the puff piece, but still riveted just the same.

Trev Alberts is FireMarkMay's Il Duce Emeritus. We don't have any alternate pronounciations.


Management restructuring goes "Boink!"

Sigh, I know its been a long time coming with the posts, everyone, and I know how hard it is for the few crazy brave that frequent the off-season football tubes. I've been trying to keep busy watching the office while everyone is out doing their own thing. I set up couch forts, fortified the break room sandbags, drank some fortified wine, you know, the usual. All making sure that the site ran smoothly when everyone decided to get off their duffs and start blogging again.

Unfortunately, its still boring as heck around here. There's been no one to hang around with, and my Nintendo isn't doing the online gaming as much as I'd like. Besides, if I wanted to get heckled at by a 10-year-old, I would just call up Trev. Fearless leader has been out and about, only showing up once in a while to crash on the fort and help me start small, controllable fires, for safety's sake, course. Other than that, there's been major planning sessions between myself, Johnny 5, the kid, and the rest of the more imagination-based interns. Just a whole bunch of sitting around, taking notes, reading citations, checking footnotes...man, I'm getting bored just thinking about it. Of course, the editor hates that I take dictation in squiggle-pen, so that's been a cause of some contention.

Anyway, it was in said strategery meetings that my fellow figments decided to finally put our feet down and declare imaginary solidarity. These were our demands:

  • Replace vending machine apples with Silly Putty
  • Mandatory 40 minute breaks for historic American Gladiator re-enactments
  • No Cannonballs, human or literal
  • Complete control over Trev' Netflix queue with regards to the media center
  • Unlimited use of conference room for imaginary meetings, fantasy drafts, figment sports, figment sports fantasy drafts, and sim league CBA discussions
  • Johnny 5 will only run Mac OS. He will not budge on this.
  • A complimentary keg at all office softball league matches
  • Full Wheel of Death immunity
To my complete shock, the kid accepted all of our demands, even the keg, without flinching. The following celebration got a little out of hand, though. Let's just say it was a cross between Rollergames and mock naval battle...on fire. Luckily, we suffered few casualties, and the building only suffered minor structural damage. While we've now been put in charge of the rebuilding process, I am going to humbly step down from my position of Staff Figment. It's a general rule of mine to call it quits after flaming roller derby, consider it going out on a high note.

I'll still be here, but in a more subdued job description. Sure, I'll help with the daily craziness and whatnot, but there's a lot more out there than just keeping up with zany internet speculation. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to help set some of the cleanup gear on fire, so I'll tender my resignation with one of my favorite Hungarian sayings.

I will not play this record, for it is scratched,


FireMarkMay.com accepts Mr. Kazoo's resignation with a heavy heart, and a hovercraft full of eels.



Updated: Friday, May 18, 2007

Trev Patriot Love

Behold, my loyal Trevians, for I have returned unto you! In time for our long celebration of the Trev-a-versary. Just one scant year ago, these fine staffers...wait...where did everyone go? What the hell, people! I go away for a few weeks to gamble in the wild northern regions of uncharted Canadia, and you all take the offseason off? FireMarkMay is not for loafers! It is a strict no loafing zone! I was off investing the fruits of our diversified internet portfolio on otter-races and Ontarian roulette (Ed. note- Russian roulette with harpoon guns. How do you do that?!?-IO) , and this is what my triumphant return returns? Granted, I lost all of our loonies betting on Slappy, but his father was a mudder, I couldn't miss!

That said, I would like to thank all of my loyal staffers, even the slackers that didn't make it into the office to be regaled by my tales of frostbitten woe. It's ok, though. I'll save those for another time, it's a long summer, and I'm still hung over on Molson. Let's get all nostalgic anyway and look at some of my humble beginnings bringing the Trevtastic merits of me to a handful of football fans. Having gorged themselves on the media entrees of more legitimate news sites like ESPN, EDSBS, and lolcatz, some noble souls straggled into my corner of the blogometric.

Of course, plenty of other loveable quirks came along for the ride. We plotted, we schemed, we took hold of the delicious mead of collegiate football and took a hearty swig of the syrupy deliciousness. The ride is far from over. Long live the me.

Feel free to explore our extensive archives in celebration of the Trevaversary, everyone. Be warned though, blogger chose to digest many of Trev's old bylines.-irishoutsider.



Updated: Friday, May 11, 2007

The end of our national nightmare is near

The unofficial end to the site's official offseason should arrive sometime this weekend. I'm heading up to Canada to extradite Mr. Alberts and bring him back home to face his responsibilities while hiding him from his creditors. I know at least five of you are clamoring for more FireMarkMay action, but I prefer you blame Canada.

Catch everyone next week for our glorious one-year anniversary. The power of Trev compels you.