Catching up on some things….

* Good grief, that Home Run Derby was awful last night…or at least, the little bit that I watched was terrible. Can someone get rid of Chris Berman, please? What an interminable mess that Derby has become. Ugh.

* On the other hand, this weekend should be fun. I’ll be at Great American Ballpark this Friday and Saturday (and maybe Sunday), and when they heard I was going to be there, a bunch of Reds Hall of Famers decided to come too. Oh…and MC Hammer is going to be there as well. Sweet.

Any of you guys going to the ballpark this weekend?

* You really need to come to the first RN Get-Together at GAB. We’re going to have a good time.

* Chewbacca’s first day of school.

* Vuvuzelas!

* It’s over now, but I am an unabashed World Cup — and soccer — junkie. It’s a couple of weeks old now, but this piece by Bill Simmons pretty much covers the reasons why.

Now that the World Cup is complete, I’m looking forward to the English Premier League kicking off next month. It’ll be my second season following that league — specifically, following Tottenham Hotspur — and it figures to be another exciting year.

* Wanna see something brilliant? Check out Star Wars, rendered completely with MS Paint. Awesome. (Also good: ASCII Star Wars. Nerds are creative.)

* As always, I’m late to the party, but I just started watching “30 Rock” a couple of months ago. I was bored one evening, and for some reason, 30 Rock beckoned via Netflix. I’m almost through the third season and geez, that show is hilarious. Why didn’t any of you tell me about this show before now?

* A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.

* I’m so sick of people killing LeBron James everywhere you look. If any other athlete took less money to go where he thought he could win a championship, he would be praised from all corners, featured on every magazine cover in the world. Sure, that television special was ill-advised, but c’mon, give the guy a break. He’s trying to win a championship, which is what all these stupid pundits told him he had to do to be the best player.

I’m a 76ers fan through and through, but I’m going to start rooting for the Heat now, too…as a sort of backlash to the LeBron backlash.

* We already love Arthur Rhodes, right? Well, prepare to become an even bigger fan of the guy.

* I just read “Revolutionary Road” by Richard Yates. If I were creating rankings, it would probably be in my personal top five. Just a wonderful novel, haunting. I’m now reading, on your recommendation, “A Confederacy of Dunces.”

* Pretzel M&M’s: thumbs down.

* I love this: The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss whatever you desire.