Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Top 5. Volume 1.

The Top 5...

Coolest TV characters of all time, omitting cartoons. Feel free to argue.

5. Corey Matthews, Boy Meets World. He hung out with the coolest kid in school, dated the hottest girl, had the hook-up with the principal, and still managed to keep a solid head on his shoulders. He played the part of "average guy correctly predicts weird girl will get hot after puberty, sneaks into the game early, then hangs on for dear life" to perfection. We'll call it the Corey Matthews Corollary.

4. Seth Cohen, The O.C. Dorky, but hilarious. His one-liners are ridiculous, and he gets bonus points for securing the girl of his dreams, (in real life as well as the show) when she is clearly out of his league.

3. Zack Morris, Saved By The Bell. Not much explanation needed here. Basically, if you are between the ages of 18-28, he has to be on your list. Had a scheme for everything. Bonus points for nailing every hot girl he ever encountered, then still getting to settle down with Kelly Kapowski when it was all said and done. Negative points for acting like a huge vagina when Kelly cheated on him with that douchebag Jeff.

2. Brandon Walsh, Beverly Hills, 90210. He's like Zack Morris with a conscience. While Zack gets girls by being a scam artist and charmer, Brandon gets them by being a stand-up, honest, all-american guy. Beverly Hills girls aren't used to that type of shit. Negative points for not nailing Kelly Kapowski (Valerie Malone in 90210) when she was throwing herself at him. Bonus points for making ridiculous sideburns cool, making it OK for white guys to call other white guys by the first initial of their names, and for never fooling around with Donna Martin (Tori Spelling.) Zack probably would've, just for the story. In fact, maybe that's bonus points for Zack.

1. Ed Stevens, Ed. He combined the good-guy tactics of Brandon with the "never say die, do whatever you have to do to get this girl" mentality of Zack. I have never been so emotionally invested in a character's battle to obtain a girl before. Although I would put forth that kind of effort for the girl from Happy Gilmore, too. Leads the league in sappy, romantic, damn-that-was-money schemes. I've been stealing his money lines and using them on girls for years now. Plus, while Carol was playing him hot-and-cold for the better part of four seasons, he ran through some real good-looking broads. Major bonus points for the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, when, in the celeb/former NBA player/WNBA player three-on-three game, he and Justin Timberlake had to be removed from the game after JT swung on him, because Ed was playing some fuckin' fierce deny defense and not letting him touch the ball. Ed is the wind beneath my wings.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ladies Love Cool James

Random thoughts from the last few days:

Trying to cut back on the nights that end at 6 am. In case you're wondering: no, I'm not wearing shorts in January, Cory Solem style, but I had one pant leg rolled up. I think this picture was taken following a heated discussion regarding LL Cool J. Notice also the uncomfortable lack of space between Steve's elbow and my balls. Thank you Annie for the ridiculous picture.

With 3 minutes left in the first half in the Kansas/Nebraska game last night, Nebraska had six points. SIX. Two three pointers in the first couple minutes, then they didn't score for like 15 minutes. I don't think I've ever seen that before, and given the way Brad Nessler and Fran Frischilla were hemming and hawing and sometimes just laughing, I don't think they had either.

I have been thinking about it, and I came to the conclusion that last Wednesday and Thursday were the worst back-to-back days of my competitive sports career. On Wednesday, we played the feared Drummond's Diesel team, or as I like to call them, the "Phoenix Suns" with Travis Lindgren as Steve Nash, Joe Ford as Shawn Marion, and Jon-Jon as Paul Shirley, if he still played for them. While bullshitting with Wesley (probably the Raja Bell) before the game I decided to give him some bulletin board material. Feeling good about our two-game win streak, I told him that their undefeated season was ending tonight. He just laughed, and informed me of their new team motto: "We're gettin' 110. You comin' with us?" We won't get into details of the game, just the final score. 115-72. No, Wesley, apparently we're not coming with you. It was the worst loss of my life, unless you count the 6th grade YBL game where me, Bergman, and a bunch of kids wearing jeans lost by 60 to every other basketball player in the school.

Then, at the Townhouse on Thursday, I got killed by The Woman at miniature golf. Just killed. Down by 5 strokes already on the 15th hole, I ganked a one-footer, then threw a fit and crushed my ball into the fake plants by room 107. I thought very hard about smashing one of the fake lampposts with the putter, then instead took the ol' WD. Withdraw for the layperson. There is a 70% chance we're not playing putt-putt again.

Didn't even have a chance to get excited about Todd Helton before trade talks were "ended." I'll go out on a limb and say that at some point trade talks between the Sox and Rox (which is impossible to say without sounding amazingly gay) will be "re-opened."

Schilling back for 2008. If he wants, he can pitch until 2028. He has earned that right.

Happy Tuesday.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane

While going through all the crap on my old laptop, I found this little beauty, which I used for my freshman year speech class. I had a pretty sweet teacher, she was like 23 and kinda hot, and she gave me A's for topics such as how Tupac faked his death, and how awesome the '92 Dream Team was. Swearing was even allowed, as long as it wasn't graphic. Anyways, for those of you involved in this tourney, you will love this shit. For those who weren't involved, you probably wish you had been.

Top 10 Moments of the Devils Lake Tournament, 1999-2002:

10. (2000) A life-size cut-out of Michael Jordan guest-coaches the Grand Forks Dynasty, and even participates in some pre-game layup drills en route to their second straight title. Other team, officials, and spectators = unimpressed.

9. (2002) The Native American refs and scoreboard operators who did everything in their power to keep the Dynasty from winning a third place game (which we didn't give a shit about anyway), including shaving time, switching the home team and away team points at random, and calling technical fouls for phantom dunks. The Dynasty won anyway and then received a lifetime ban from Fort Totten, barely escaping town with their scalps intact.

8. (1999) After missing a breakaway three-pointer (yep, breakaway) in the closing minutes of the Dynasty's runaway championship game victory, the trash-talking Indian Mom section gives Dunph an earful. Dunphy responds by shouting "Fuck off and go back to the Rez!!!"

7. (2001) Mike Howard's mind-boggling, have-to-see-it-to-believe-it 26 points in the first 6 minutes of the second half to kickstart the hungover Dynasty and advance them to their third consecutive championship game.

6. (1999) As both teams go to a Box-and-1 defense, Nate Noland wages a one-on-one battle with the goofy looking but surprisingly good kid from Belcourt in the double overtime, ESPN instant classic semifinal that the Dynasty narrowly survived.

5. (1999) After an embarrassing loss to the Dynasty, Raccoon Head (along with his sister or girlfriend, or maybe both) struts into the Dynasty's locker room and vows "You just kicked our asses on the basketball court, and now I'm gonna kick your asses right here." After he gets laughed out of the locker room, he proceeds to chase Lane, Noles, and Dunph out of town in his totally rad pickup truck.

4. (2000) After building a 20-point halftime lead, the Dynasty watches as player after player of the Devils Lake varsity team strolls into the gym and checks into the game, as apparently they were all on the roster. The Dynasty barely holds off the fresh legs of the new team, while a bench-clearing brawl (featuring the help of the Grand Forks Mot team) nearly takes place after the game.

3. (2002) Dan Sondreal's Bobby Knight-esque chair throw in the final seconds of the semifinal game, the Dynasty's first ever loss.

2. (1999) After screwing around and accumulating a 20 point deficit to one of the worst organized baskeball teams ever assembled, Nate gives an inspiring halftime speech (with a few unprintable words.) The Dynasty, in their first ever game together, responds by outscoring the other team by 65 in the second half. That is not a typo.

1. (2000) In the much-ballyhooed championship game against the archrival Grand Forks Mot team, the Dynasty overcomes a 17 point second half margin to take home their second straight title. Future Dynasty member Ben Schneweis storms off the court in the closing seconds, throws his second place trophy out the car window, and would have to write a heartfelt essay to join the Dynasty two years later.

Some closing thoughts, 4 years later: 1). It may not sound like it, but gunning passes at a cardboard Michael Jordan, watching him tip over, and then yelling things like "c'mon, MJ, head in the game!!!" during lay-ups is a lot of fun. I just wish our attempt to check him into the game towards the end was successful. 2). Why the hell were there games in Fort Totten anyway? 3). If I could redo the list, Howard's performance would be higher. That was seriously ridiculous. 4). We did more damage to the reputation of Grand Forks's youth than any other group of high school kids could hope to do. Between our shit-talking on the court, shit-talking from the bench, and shit-talking in between games, we made the 1996 Dream Team look like boy scouts. 5). And I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Read The Blog. Do It. DO IT.

The scene towards the end of Starsky & Hutch, when Ben Stiller adopts that character, I think he's named Maury or something, and goes around acting like an ass and telling everyone "Do it. DO It." is hilarious, and I knew that it was based on some stereotype of guy, but I guess I just didn't think I would ever be lucky enough to meet one of those guys, until last night, when the following exchange took place between me and a 60ish-year-old customer.

Me: What can I get you to drink?

Maury: Let's do it. Mountain Dew. Let's do it.

Me (slightly taken aback, but recovering): Um, we don't have Mountain-

Maury (interrupting): Whaddya got? C'mon, let's do it.

Me: Uhh, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Cherry-

Maury: Do it. Let's do it.

Me: Do what? I just listed a number of options.

Maury: Coke. Do it. Let's do it.

Me, openly laughing now: Alright, dude, I'm doing it.

I spent the next 15 minutes laughing, and even a day later, after I've settled down, I still think this is one of the 20 funniest things that has ever happened to me. I can't even believe this guy was for real.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Quick Picks

A couple of great championship games this weekend, and I will miss both of them because of work. I am debating about whether or not to tape the Pats/Colts game and attempt to watch it at 1 am. That NEVER works out for me, though, even when I don't answer my phone or read any texties. On to the picks:

I would love to hop on the Saints bandwagon this week, like every single one of ESPN's experts and the vast, vast majority of America, but I just can't. I don't think the Saints would want me, anyway. They've had enough blow jobs this week to last them a couple years. The Bears defense is so overdue for a killer game it pains me. Every time I start entertaining the thought that the Saints will win, I have a recurring vision of Urlacher busting through and just lighting Bush up on a first quarter screen pass, as the rest of the D starts growling and barking at Bush as he battles to stay conscious. Bush gets up slowly, fumbles on his next touch, and is a non-factor the rest the way.

Bears 20, Saints 16.

I also think the Colts are due. One of these times they have to beat the Pats. It's science. It might as well be this year, when Peyton has looked like garbage through two games, and the defense has suddenly shown some teeth. It's the Bizarro Colts, and the Bizarro Colts don't give a shit how many times Brady and Belichick have beat them. On top of how much I hate Indy, a win by them also submits me to two more weeks of Jon-Jon and his Stormtrooper Arm name-dropping Dallas Clark and how he was at his wedding. As much as I absolutely fucking HATE to do it, I have to take the Colts. Prove me wrong, New England.

Colts 31, Patriots 20.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lessons In Life Are Always Learned With A Price

While celebrating both my brother and Russell's birthday last night at the Parrot's Cay, all of us had a very important lesson reinforced. We befriended some girls, one of whom works at the Cay but was off-duty, named Heidi. Our relationship started with her and I battling over who was to be Jukebox Hero, and then digressed into who could play the worst songs to piss off the most people. All good times. Heidi had a friend with her, who was quite good-looking, but it quickly became apparent that this girl, if she somehow failed to find a male companion by the end of the night, would be having sex with the muffler of someone's car in the parking lot. We watched in amusement as she went from table to table, kissing guys and showing anyone who cared how nice her stomach was. When she came our way, I have to say that some of my buddies, who will remain nameless, happened to get a kiss or two. Russell's brother Frank and I took this opportunity to tell this girl what we thought of her. Needless to say she wasn't impressed, but she was too drunk to really care.

Shortly before closing time, things turned ugly. First, Brother's girlfriend Lisa had to be physically restrained after Drunk Slut had some choice words about Lisa's shirt and the amount of cleavage it was showing. A few minutes later, we glance over to see that D.S.'s shirt was completely off. Yep, just sittin there, chillin in her bra. Heidi was successful in getting her to put it back on, much to the dismay of the guys she was sitting with, who were unquestionably in the process of having the draft lottery to see who got their turn first. After a few trips into the guys' bathroom (always the best way to meet a fine gentleman), D.S. stumbled back to her table. As we were advising Heidi to get control of her, Frank, on his way to the door, made some sort of comment as he passed her. D.S. replied by throwing a bottle at him, missing horribly. As the bottle shattered against the wall and the whole bar turned to watch, Frank broke into a dead sprint to the door, while D.S. threw another bottle his way. Predictably, D.S. burst into tears, blaming her psychotic, slutty episode on the fact that her aunt just died. I'm sure her aunt is honored by the tribute she was paid tonight. Anyways, everyone was thrown out, and the night ended terribly for all involved.

The moral of the story: Girls Are Crazy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Road To Recovery For Big 12

Wow!!! What a game last night between Texas and Oklahoma St. I am absolutely terrified of Kevin Durant. Terrified. He is the most amazing freshman I have ever seen, and I'm starting to wonder if he, not Oden, should be the #1 pick. Granted, Oden is playing left-handed, so maybe I should settle down a bit. But the direction the NBA is taking, maybe Durant is better-suited to be a stud. We'll see.

It's nice to see the Big 12 rebounding a bit after struggling the last couple years; they have left me a bystander when my buddies constantly argue about whose conference is better. Conferences have a tendency to cycle, though; just 5 years ago, the Big 12 was sending a couple teams to the Final 4 each year, and much was being made about how weak the ACC was. Then Carolina recovered, Duke continued being Duke, and Maryland, G. Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College, and now Clemson have all taken turns dominating. With Texas establishing themselves as a year-in, year-out powerhouse, KU being KU, Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma improving after a couple of off-years, Texas A&M making the leap, and Bob Huggins coming to K-State, the Big 12 is set to re-establish themselves as a true "power conference."

The one thing the last couple years have taught me, however, is that the Big 12 has the best collection of home crowds, as a conference, in the country. The mark of a good crowd is how loud and crazy they are, even when their team sucks. Iowa St. and Missouri are prime examples. Both teams have been brutal the last couple of years, but the crowds are still nuts. That is very rare in today's sports scene. I think Kansas and Ok. St. are among the scariest places in the country, and Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas Tech are all respectable.

The ACC has Duke, hands down the best crowd in the land, but it also has Carolina, which all things considered, could be the most disappointing crowd ever. For how good their team is, year-in, year-out, they should be on a level with Duke, but they're not even close. B.C. and Maryland are decent, but much of the rest of the conference is lackluster, even boring.

The Pac-10 is horrible aside from Oregon and Zona. UCLA fans should be ashamed, but I guess what do you want from Los Angeles fans? They are disappointing in every sport. Witness a city with 5 million people and zero NFL teams.

The SEC has some great arenas at the moment, namely Kentucky, Florida, and Alabama, but only Kentucky fans stay crazy in down years. Florida's crowd, when they are good, gives me nightmares.

The Big 10, since their downfall, has seen their crowds falter, as well. Only Illinois, Michigan St., and Indiana remain loyal when times are tough. Ohio St. is on its way to a top-tier crowd, however. We'll see if that continues once Oden leaves.

The best competition is from the Big East, as they have a large number of somewhat scary places to play: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Louisville, but only one legitimate scary place: Villanova. Plus they have disappointments in UCONN and Georgetown.

I know I am omitting the smaller conferences, which is sure to draw the wrath of Jon-Jon, but I haven't watched enough games in those places to offer a fair opinion. Here, in my humble opinion, are the best crowds in college ball, based on being loud, knowledgable, and still crazy when the team struggles.

1. Duke
2. Kansas
3. Kentucky
4. Oklahoma St.
5. Villanova

Honorable mentions to Florida, Indiana, and Gonzaga. The floor is open for discussion.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Yep, It's Still Cold

Han Solo was unable to jump-start my car for me, so I had to take my TaunTaun to work today. Hopefully the Empire doesn't discover our rebel base here on the remote ice world of Hoth. I've mentioned that I hate North Dakota lately, right? The only plus has been people-watching everyone on The Strip who are unable to start their car, as well. This morning we had four unfortunate souls by 11 am. I feel worse for the Vilandre guy who is working on the townhomes, as he is the one who gets dragged into jumping everyone one of them, while I giggle, lean back, and take a sip of my hot chocolate.

Almost had another perfect weekend of picks, but New England/Schottenheimer had to ruin it by stepping up/choking with home field once again. I don't hate the Pats by any means, but now they better do what they do best: make Peyton Manning cry. When Tennessee doesn't make the playoffs, I only have one goal for the AFC: the Colts losing. I thought the Chargers had a better shot against the Colts than the Pats do. I know, I know, I haven't been living under a rock the last few years, I am aware that Belichick owns Dungy, but I think this year is different, even besides the fact Indy has home-field. You won't see another shitty game by Peyton against the Pats, I'm afraid. On the other side, you have to like the Saints going against the Bears D, which is suddenly getting scored on with ease. They can't blame this one on Grossman, who played just fine. However, if the weather is bad next week in Chi-town, that could change my opinion. The Saints are definitely a finesse team. I'll wait to make my picks.

To steal a line from Peter Griffin: You know what really grinds my gears? Those forwarded texties with some dumb-ass joke. They are always long, NEVER funny, and I always get them about 12 times, once everyone gets done forwarding them to everyone else. Not to mention that texties cost money on my phone plan, so I'm actually paying money to be pissed off. The absolute worst ones are when they rhyme, such as: "Money is short, times are hard, so merry christmas, here's your fuckin' christmas card." Eat a dick. Fact #1: I have never, ever laughed from one of these textie jokes. Fact #2: The aforementioned jokes have never done anything besides ruin my day for about a half an hour. Fact #3: I have now saved in my quick texts this little ditty: Hahahahaha Fuck Off, You Unoriginal Douchebag. It is reserved for whomever decides to forward me a time-consuming, money-wasting, day-ruining textie. Keep that in mind.

Border War tonight with Mizzou. The fact that KU played like shit against Iowa St. helps. Self probably laid into them pretty good, and they will be motivated to fuck somebody up tonight. Time to start playing like a top 5 team. Rock Chalk.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Could YOU Be A Culligan Manor Resident?

Before we get into it, I would like to ask just one more time, after trying unsuccessfully to accomplish the apparently difficult task of "starting my automobile", why is this region of the country inhabitated with human beings? I would also like to drop a few dozen F-bombs, but I will keep it family-friendly.

As we ring in the new year, we also ring in a new roommate at Culligan Manor. The third room, a.k.a. The Shoebox has been a revolving door the last year and a half, with Paul, Noles, Horp, and Travis all living there while Fundy and I have looked on from the south wing. Mr. Jonathan Godfread becomes the latest in a long line to grace The Manor with his tenancy. And while he is by no means a stranger, as he signed the Culligan Charter over a year ago, we still felt the need to make him clear a few more hurdles, mostly cause he talked a bunch of shit about how we passed him up in July for Travis. As a result, an official application was written, and subsequently filled out by Jon-Jon. It is a four-page affair, with a personal info section, a personal opinion section, an aptitude test, and a current roommate knowledge section, all filled with random questions that popped into my head over a couple day time span. Here is a sample of some of the Q's Jon-Jon had to answer. See how you would do:

Name all 5 members of the Fab Five:

Who is the most unstoppable video-game athlete of all-time?

Who is the player that MJ essentially blacklisted from the original Dream Team?

Name at least 5 players from the Mighty Ducks--not the NHL team, the Goodwill Games champs:

Name at least 3 members of N.W.A.

Favorite March Madness moment of your lifetime:

Song you most wish was on Guitar Hero:

Favorite ninja turtle:

What does it mean to be "ridin' dirty"?

What is Jim's favorite day of the year?

What sporting event did Jim and Fundy boycott (highlights and all) in 2003, and now pretend never happened?

I think the crown jewel was having him name every Final 4 participant from each of the last 10 years, and all in all Jon-Jon did an excellent job, even though he forgot his alleged favorite team at the time, North Carolina, made it in 2000. Congrats and welcome to The Manor. Mike Noland says hello.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Photo Shoot

If anyone one of us decides to someday run for a political office, you know where to find blackmail photos...

The Woman and I. Prom style, brah.

Paul and Danny. Ummmmm........

ADawg, Me, Fundy, Paul, Danny. Notice the unbuttoned top button and/or loosened ties. The telltale signs of some boys who have just gotten CRUNK. On a related note, has anyone ever seen Fundy in a picture where he wasn't doing something weird?

Wow. When was this taken? Although there is lots to be said for being able to dance, do the Larry Johnson sign, and chug a beer, all at the same time. You don't have to tell me, I think I'm pretty awesome, too. Also prominently featured, the man behind the myth, some call him the Culligan Man but we call him the Lord of Culligan Manor, Mr. Mike Noland himself. Not pictured: who I was (or probably wasn't) dancing with.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

To Quote Curtis Blow: These Are The Breaks!!!

Well, the whirlwind time frame known as Christmas Break is over and done with, and in a town like Grand Forks, that usually means going to the bar and having reunion after reunion. This involves running into one person you actually are happy to see, and trying to avoid conversations with 3 others. However, Break was not without some excellent times, capped off by the marriage of Lane Leedahl and Skye Folkert, which, all things considered, featured maybe the best collection of wedding-goers I have ever seen assembled in one place. I could probably count on two hands the amount of people I honestly care about that were not on that dance floor Saturday night. The booze was flowing, the deejay was spectacular, and the entrance to the dance floor was too tempting for The Woman and I (and others, unfortunately) to not take fake prom pictures in. Pictures up soon, hopefully. Also props to Pauldo and Melinda, as together they put up the greatest 1-2 combo of speeches in wedding history. Usually when one speech is excellent, the other person goes up shitfaced, mumbling, laughing, and spilling champagne on themselves and the bride. However, both speeches were ama-za-zing. As everyone returns from whence they came around the country, I would like to wish congrats to Lane and Skye, so long (for now) to Ben, Kos, Noles, Dumphs, ADawg, Mandy, Horp, and others, and good luck in Chi-Town, Danny. Jill, hate to twist the knife, but you shoulda been here.

I return to my desk on 3rd Street today, or as some like to call it, "The Strip of the Midwest" (yeah, I'm the only one who calls it that. Hey, it has Gilly's, Uptown Downtown, Joe Black's, Toasted Frog, and The Hub. It will catch on.) I am dismayed to find that the new townhomes being built across the street are flying up at an astonishing rate, and my view of everything is ruined. Such is life in the 21st Century, I guess. This is still the Industrial Revolution, right?

Went 4-4 on Wild Card weekend, but because I was running around during the wedding giving everyone points in the Seattle/Dallas game, (F you Jake for taking advantage of my drunken least your mom kissed me later on) I managed to lose money. This weekend, in maybe the greatest round of divisional games in my lifetime, I'll take New Orleans over Philly, Chicago over Seattle, Whale's Vagina over New England (iffy) and Indianapolis over Baltimore (more iffy.)

Huuuuuge game for KU tonight, and I will be sprinting home (or maybe driving home, it will be faster) from my own bball game to catch the second half. Oklahoma St. is always scary as hell, and the Jayhawks have been sleepwalking for at least a month now. Definitely not the 6th best team in the country, that's for sure. Speaking of ball, the City League All-Star Break is finally over, and considering I haven't touched a ball since our last game on December 14th or so, it could be ugly. Either way, I am dedicating our performance tonight to Danny. It will be weird not playing with you, and I'm sure my scoring average will go down without you to hit me on back door cuts at least twice per game. Back later with wedding pics.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Is It Always So Sweet The Third Time Around?

I feel after a couple days being home I am sufficiently recovered and in a mental state to discuss the Vegas trip. Cast of characters, from left: Aaron (Brittany's BF from St. Cloud who we just met), Brittany, myself, Jen, Lindsey, Shawn, and Bergman.

Friday, 2 am: After a nightmarish six hour wait in Fargo, we finally get off our plane. Bergman, who was on a separate flight, arrived an hour ago, and we quickly put the over/under for "airport beers consumed" at 5. Only Shawn takes the under, while Aaron, Lindsey, Brittany and I take the over. Shawn wins as Bergman was only on 4 1/2. Brittany wins "Baggage Claim Challenge" while I take a disappointing last place.

Friday, 3 am: Check into our hotel (Fitzgerald's downtown), and the couples go to sleep. Bergman and I go downstairs to "check to see if the tables are hot."

Friday, 7 am (9 am Grand Forks time): We're both up over a hundred playing blackjack switch, and with a 9:52 tee time rapidly approaching, we make the executive decision that there will be no sleep for these two guys.

Friday, 3 pm: No sleep + being drunk + first round of golf in three months + unfamiliar course= shitty scores. Oh well, we each snuck in a couple of birdies, and the course was beautiful.

Friday, 7 pm: After a fab-o-lous dinner at my aunt and uncles' house, we hope to grab a quick nap, but the rest of the crew, which now includes the people we're visiting, Jen and Amber, decide to play "call Jim repeatedly from different phones until he says he on his way." Fine, we're fuckin' coming.

Saturday, 3 am: Win more money, drink around 20 white russians, propose to Helen our blackjack dealer, hop in and out of the strip casinos winning more money, take worst-tasting jello shots in the world, bump into a guy at New York, New York and think it's Doug Flutie (it wasn't even close, I've been told.)

Saturday, 9:30 am: After a couple hour nap, I jump out of bed (by bed I mean hotel room floor) and realize I haven't bet on any football games yet.

Saturday, noon: After finding that brack-a-jack still bean berrrrry berry good to me, sweet-talking my way into a egg mcmuffin even though it was 11:45, and hanging in the sports book with the other junkies, I return to the room and wake everyone up.

Saturday, 12:30 pm: Puke up my egg mcmuffin.

Saturday, 5 pm: While the girls, Bergman, and Aaron go shopping (shopping?!) Shawn and I have spent the afternoon destroying the Four Queens. Good times.

Saturday, 8 pm: Our meal at Margaritaville is highlighted by the girl who slides down the volcano into the measuring cup coming up to me afterwards and telling me she loves my "I heart hot moms" shirt. To which I wink and stammer out something untelligible. Sounded good in my head though.

Saturday, 11 pm: Wayyyyy too much to drink tonight, and after cashing in my winnings from the Giants covering against the Skins, I begin a stretch where I will drop over 300 scrills in the next 4 hours.

Sunday, 5 am: After me getting my ass kicked all over the casino, Bergman and Shawn enduring one of the worst blackjack dealers of all time, and everyone else going to bed, the three of us decide the only thing that can pull us out of this slump are the fine looking ladies of Olympic Gardens. Also decide to send a drunk textie to The Woman back home to let her know our plan. Whoops. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sunday, 6 am: Hey!! It's Happy Hour at the O.G., Shawn has had his lap dance cherry popped, and we have ridiculed a stripper who has A) growled and swiped a paw at us like a cougar while crawling across stage like we are a gazelle who is laying helpless on the ground, b) told us she "vonts to suck our blooood!!" in a vampire voice, C) seeing my shirt, told me that my mom never taught me about girls like her, and D) almost single-handedly ruined the high regard that I currently hold strippers in. Yikes. However, Sniffer's Row was a success overall. Shawn wins best line of the night when he tells a stripper that her tits are like a venus fly trap when she snatches a dollar from his hand with them.

Sunday, 9 am: We stumble back to the room. Lindsey and Brittany=not impressed.

Sunday, 2 pm: Lunch at the Stratosphere. I have a glass of champagne and I'm drunk again.

Sunday, 4:30 pm: I cash in my ticket for the Cowboys and Lions covering the over. This will be the last time I come remotely close to anything resembling winning. We also start drinking.

Sunday, 8 pm: Hit the Fremont Street party, where Smashmouth, Chicago, and the All-American Rejects, among others, will be playing. Interesting combination of bands for me to black out, er, listen to.

Midnight: Happy New Year!!!! Unfortunately, the six hour time frame around the ball dropping is an indescribable blur. I do know that the dancing shoes were dusted off, and my wallet was much lighter afterwards.

Monday: 3 am: The girls, still a little bitter about the strip club excursion last night, demand we go back, with them this time. In a related story, apparently Aaron has cabbed it to the airport after fighting with Brittany. I guess he was mad that she had the nerve to be upset at him for leaving her by herself while she was puking by the slot machines, because he was missing the bands. Coming out of the gates for Biggest Douchebag of 2007, it's Aaron in the lead!!!!

Monday: 4 am: Finally Jen and I re-arrive at the club. Why re-arrive, you ask? Because Jen forgot her i.d., and when her brilliant idea of using MY i.d. didn't work, we had to go back to the hotel and get hers. Stunning that idea didn't work out.

Monday, 5 am: The O.G. has the D Squad out tonight, and it is a pretty uneventful end to the night. Things allllmost get interesting when we almost convince Jen to climb on stage and dance, after telling her to prove it when she claims she could do better.

Monday, 2 pm: Seems there is more room on the plane with Aaron's attitude not on it.

Ended up losing about 100 bucks in gambling total. This is entirely due to the Saturday Night Massacre. Had innumerable white russians. But what I'll mainly remember is the laughter. Since my favorite thing about Vegas is talking shit with the dealers, I feel I should share my final rankings of all the dealers we had:

1. Hyo: Pronounced Ho, but she always laughed when we yelled out "Hyyyyooooo!!!!! It's me, Papa Burgundy!!!!" after blackjacks. She also comped me at the buffet, only to "shut you the hell up. How long has it been since you've eaten, anyways? Days?" Also asked me "Are you a drummer or something? You in a band? No? Then stop banging on the damn table!!" Love a dealer who will take our shit and bust our balls back.

2. Janet: The only thing keeping her out of the top spot is the fact that she was the Commanding Officer of The Massacre. Some of her favorite hobbies include calling me gay for not doubling an 11, and hiding my beer in weird places when I go to piss.

3. Helen: The one I proposed to. Not very funny herself, but she enjoyed our shenanigans, and we took a ton of money off of her.

4. Georgina: A 50 year old who doesn't speak a word of English, but we taught her how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever she saw us around the casino the rest the weekend, she would point at us and yell "Recycle!! Recycle!!"

5. Armando: Classy guy all the way around. Class class class. He also enjoyed the hand signal I made up for switching the cards around.

Last place: J.R. Wow. He started out cool, teaching us things like "you can't pimp a pimp" and such, but it quickly turned into arguments such as "T.O. is the best receiver in football, and Romo is a damn bum for not getting him the ball more." and this beauty "Ron Artest got traded to the Clippers weeks ago, man. Get with it. You say you follow basketball? Shit, man." And he would completely stop dealing cards to have these arguments with us.

So there it is, another Vegas trip in the books. Enjoy the pictures of Jen, Lindsey, and Brittany being, um, Jen, Lindsey and Brittany.