Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Julian Wright is awesome. Julian Wright dunks on Jerry Stackhouse often. Bring on San Antonio. The Spurs represent everything that is wrong with professional basketball: boring play, flopping, whining, and being rewarded for it. I strongly dislike the San Antonio Spurs. If you cheer for the Spurs, I believe that says a lot about who you are as a person.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gettin' My Bandwagon On

Every year, I usually get a little bummed once March Madness ends; it's my favorite time of the year, and it's always sad to see it go, especially in years like this one, when I never want it to end. However, this depression only lasts a couple days, until I realize that baseball is in full swing, and then the Masters starts up, and then the NBA playoffs get going.

So now it's about that time of year when I shamelessly hop onto the NBA bandwagon and start actually watching games and ranting and raving like I'm a true fan. I follow the regular season pretty closely, reading a ton and forming opinions, but I probably only watched like 2 games start to finish, and one of those was when the Knicks lost by like 50 to Boston. Sweet.

Speaking of the Knickerbockers, I have grown disillusioned with the entire franchise to the point where I can't even really call myself a diehard fan anymore. I honestly don't know how to cheer for a team that is in such total disarray. The plus side to this is that over the last few years, I just become a fan of the league itself, enjoying individual rivalries, series, and players. It makes for pretty enjoyable viewing come playoff time.

However, I am finding myself cheering very hard for the New Orleans Hornets. Pro basketball is the only sport where I like multiple teams; every other sport is clearly defined by "my team" and "everyone else who sucks." I think this is due in part to the nature of the NBA, where individuals are easy to cheer for, making multiple teams attractive; and partly because the Knicks have been a travesty for 6 years now. In any event, I am troubled by the amount of love I have for the Hornets. I have never switched alliances like this before; it feels dirty already.

I'm not saying they are my new favorite team....yet. I don't know what this means for my NBA fan-dom. I've always been a diehard for one team and one team only, and I more or less sneer at fans who aren't the same way, but maybe this is the future for me and the NBA, just hopping around, not truly pledging myself to any one team. Obi-Wan Kenobi would be disappointed, I'm sure he would tell me, "You've let this dark lord twist your mind until now you've become the very thing you swore to destroy!" And I would have no answer for him. For now, though, I'm not gonna worry about it, I'll just enjoy watching New Orleans play. I'll deal with my newfound philandering ways after the season.

"I may be a bandwagon jumper, but have you seen Chris Paul play? He's unbelievable! And now Julian is getting prime minutes! And I LOVED Peja when he played for Sacramento, you've always known that! Tyson Chandler is badass, and I've liked David West since he was in college! All I know for sure, Obi-Wan, is that you're not....making me cheer for the Knicks.....ANY MORE."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Top 5. Volume 7.

As promised, the Top 5 girls I was supposed to think were hot according to the show but really sucked:

Honorable mention: Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Darling, Clarissa Explains It All)

Props to Cheese for correctly guessing this one, even if it is only an honorable mention. I originally had Clarissa would in the top 3, but then I decided that she shouldn't technically be included since the show never really made her out to be quote/unquote hot. But she sure is annoying and unattractive, so I felt like she at least deserved mentioning. Oh yeah Sabrina the Teenage Witch sucked too. Interestingly enough, in the last post on SO's blog, there is a pretty sizable outpouring of love for Clarissa in the comment section. I found reading that kinda funny, considering I had just finished trashing her. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

#5. Kelly Brown (Bradley Taylor, Hey Dude)

She definitely isn't horrible looking, but it drove (drives) me nuts that she was the one that all the dudes were constantly chasing after on the show when Melody (now Ben Stiller's wife) was somewhere between 34-37 times hotter than she was. C'mon Nickelodeon, get your shit together. Props to Schne for mentioning Melody in the comments last time. Plus, Brad had a shitty, stuck-up attitude and, if I remember correctly, a manly voice. And she went by Brad, which is bad enough since it's a dude's name; but even worse, it's one of the worst names in the English langauge. A few months ago French and I each made a top 5 douchiest name list, and Brad made both of our lists, if I'm not mistaken.

#4. Staci Keanan (Dana Foster, Step by Step)

She was just a snotty, man-hating, too-cool-for-school bitch. Everything out of her mouth was negative, especially towards her half-brother JT (who did kinda suck, but still), and Cody (the guy who lived in the van in the driveway), who was awesome. Until, of course, she starts doing JT's best friend, and then she's dying her hair, and trying to be all hot. Too late, pirate hooker. I think she was just mad because her sister was hotter than she was, and then her half-sister, who in the show was supposed to be the tomboy, got REALLY hot, and she couldn't hold a candle to her mom (Suzanne Somers), so what did she have left?

#3. Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence, Boy Meets World)

OK, so you're a producer of Boy Meets World. You've cast this weird looking girl to play the school freak show. Then she gets decent looking, so she becomes the main character's romantic interest. Understandable. Then, for like a year or two, she gets kinda hot, so now she is locked into a main role, and you're high-fiving each other. Then....she allegedly eats the kid who played Minkus, gains 135 pounds overnight, and now you're stuck with a land monster as your "hot girl." Unfortunate, but you knew you were playing with fire from the start. Oh yeah and thumbs down to the Bergman brothers for calling me out for not putting Topanga on the "hot" list. Get real.

#2. Tori Spelling (Donna Martin, Beverly Hills 90210)

I think we can all agree that Tori is one of the worst-looking girls in the history of television. But my reasons for keeping her out of the top spot are three-fold:

1) She gets an asterik, because the only reason she was cast in the show in the first place was because her dad created the show. So right off the bat, she's not even on this show under normal circumstances.

2) She played Screech's nerd girlfriend on Saved By the Bell for a bit, and she was actually better looking as said nerd. Don't ask me how.

3) Without her, there is no "Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!" And that would be a crime. I'll give her partial credit for that.

So I feel pretty solid with her in the two spot. Look at that cleavage. It's like if you mashed a couple of fingers into raw hamburger.

#1. Kelly Shanygne Williams (Laura Winslow, Family Matters)

Oh man this one gets me fired up. You wanna talk about a girl who was mean to her obligatory 'nerd next door who chases after her'? Laura was about as big of a B as you can imagine. And that's all well and good. Sometimes you gotta just give it to him straight, and yeah, he might get hurt, but so be it. At least you're not leading him on. But I have a problem with this when you, Laura, are no basket of cherries yourself. She was aiming for the stars when it came to guys, when reality dictated that maybe she should be real and come down a notch or two. It would be like a somewhat-decent high school basketball player spurning scholarships from mid-major schools so he could go straight to the pros, where he wouldn't even be close to getting drafted.

But what pisses me off more was that any time Steve Urkel would jump into his little machine (side note: how the hell did Urkel create all that shit? He could morph into another person, travel time, make talking robots, etc. etc. He should've won multiple Nobel prizes) and turn into Stefan Urquelle, Laura would just go nuts for him. That was crap. If I was Steve I NEVER would've put up with that.

Add on top of that all the verbal abuse that Urkel took from Carl, and I would've snapped. Carl would always give him the whole go home routine: "Go home, Steve. Go HOME, GO HOME, GO HOME!!!" and Urkel would say, "I don't have to take this. I'm going home" Just once, I wanted him to say, "I don't have to take this. I'm going home.....morphing into Stefan, waiting til you go to work, coming back over, and plowing your daughter in your bedroom while your ugly wife videotapes it and Eddie cheers me on. I might even have her call me Carl, I don't know, I guess I haven't decided yet. Oh yeah, one more thing: Go fist yourself, fatass." That is my dream.

Others receving votes due to excellent reader suggestions: Becky from Roseanne, Brenda from 90210.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Top 5. Volume 6.

A special two-parter, just for everyone who stuck with every college basketball post even though they were bored as shit. Although this top 5 is all about hot girls, so the female readers probably won't be too grateful. Anyyyyyyways, here are the top 5 TV characters I was in love with during my childhood. And I'm talking childhood too, like elementary school/middle school. So everyone who is gonna freak out and leave a comment about how I'm forgetting Hilary Duff can save it, she doesn't count, I was already old enough to realize how inappropriate my comments were. (Everyone gave me shit for thinking a 13 year-old was cute when I was 18, but I told you fuckers that Lizzie McGuire was gonna be smoking hot someday, way before she was popular. I stand by my statements, I don't care how creepy I sounded at the time.) On to the ladies:

#5. Jamie Luner (Cindy Lubbock, Just the Ten of Us)

Did anyone else ever watch Just the Ten of Us? It was about the high school coach (who may or may not have been Rick Majerus) who had a bunch of smoking hot daughters. I loved that show, especially Cindy. She was a huge ditz, was a red-head, and had a huge rack. A winning combination if I've ever heard one. I certainly wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers in there, if you know what I'm sayin'. I couldn't find any good pics of her when she was on the show, since no one watched it and all, but she is the one in the top right. Don't ask me why they are all wearing pajamas, it was the 80's and this show sucked, according to the non-horny, non-pre-pubescent boy demographic. I think she may have gone on to star on Melrose Place. Don't quote me on that.

#4. Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper, The Wonder Years)

Oh Winnie. If you look up "girl next door, sneak-up-on-you hot" in the dictionary you won't find a definition (I looked) but if there was one, it would feature a picture of Winnie Cooper. I don't know if the narrator in the show ever mentioned how fucking out of Kevin's league she was, but he should've. I should mention that I'm trying to post pics of these ladies from when they were on the show, not the semi-nude ones that are on google from when these gals stopped being polite and started getting real, but um....if you wanna take a couple of minutes to google Winnie Cooper and see how she has grown up, go ahead. I'll wait....

#3. Marne Patterson (Nicole Farrell, Something So Right)

OK now I'm sure not many people have heard of this show. I watched it for one reason, and one reason only. My girl Marne, who I first saw a couple years earlier in Camp Nowhere. A few years ago, I made out with a friend of a friend in Minneapolis because her name was Marne. Well, there were other reasons too, like she was hot, and at one point in the evening, she glanced at the TV at the bar that was playing SportsCenter, and she dropped this line: "I think Eli Manning has more talent than Ben Rothliesburger, but Ben just got put in an offense that suits his strengths better." Now that I think back on it, I probably should've just proposed on the spot. But I digress. I know that in my drunken stupor, the fact that her name was Marne was what sealed the deal for me that night. Of course, the next day Chelsey and St. Aubyn informed me that they thought her name was actually Marty, but that's neither here nor there.....

#2. Larisa Oleynik (Alex Mack, The Secret Adventures of Alex Mack)

I love a girl in a backwards baseball hat. I was pretty convinced for a while that if I ever met Alex Mack in real life, I could date her. Don't know why, she just gave off that innocent girl vibe or something. When I heard she was dating the little fucker from 3rd Rock from the Sun, I wanted to kick his ass. This was a serious crush. When I say 'was', I mean 'still is.'

#1. Tiffani Amber-Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski, Saved by the Bell)

Really no explanation paragraph necessary. I would expect Kelly to top a lot of dudes' lists. She was the triple threat: she could be athletic and look hot; she could be all sweet and innocent and look hot; and as she proved on 90210, she could be a dirty-ass whore and look hot. Multi-faceted game, son. The only thing I can deduct points for is when she cheated on Zack with Jeff the d-bag. Bitch. I'm sorry Kelly, I didn't mean that.

Coming next: the Top 5 Girls Who I Was Supposed To Think Were Hot According To The Show But Really Sucked. I already made the list, but leave your guesses in the comments on who you think I included in that list, I'm curious to hear who you predict.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sleep Now In The Fire?

Today is the 11th Anniversary of the last time I went to bed before midnight. (to those who immediately question it, I know the exact date because the streak began the night we got evacuated from our house during the flood in '97.)

I've never needed much sleep to function, so even in high school when I would get to school at 7 AM (what the hell were we doing there that early? Breakfast bagels were not that fucking tasty. I digress.) it wasn't a problem. Then in college I for sure wasn't going to bed early, although St. Aubyn wasn't real pumped when I would refuse to shut the light off in Walsh 202A before midnight, taunting him by telling him he was a pussy for quitting on the day if he went to bed before it was technically done. Eventually he rigged up a bunch of old sheets around his bottom bunk so that he was surrounded in darkness and could actually fall asleep when he wanted. (Note: before everyone that doesn't know our freshman year stories starts jumping to the conclusion that I was a shitty roommate, just be patient. Someday I'll tell some of St. Aubyn's freshman year stories and you will realize that I am the victim here.)

At some point I realized the streak, and immediately that sealed the deal for me. This is the exact kind of stupid shit that keeps me entertained. There weren't many, but I remember a couple of instances over the last few years when I wanted to go to sleep early, but didn't because what would Cal Ripken say to me? I feel he'd be pretty disappointed.

Now since I have a big kids' job, and once again I have to wake up every day somewhat early, I am more tired than I ever have been. I can count at least 10 instances since September where I was DYING to go to sleep early, but haven't done it yet, for no other reason than this stupid fucking streak that nobody (repeat: nobody) cares about. Now I've hit the 11-year mark, and I'm wondering if I should just end this thing. Even Ripken finally took a day off, but he was batting like .225 at the time, and I don't feel like I've sunk to that life equivalent yet.

Here's my other concern: once I decide to go to sleep early once, I'm afraid it will slowly snowball, my body will start adjusting, and pretty soon I'll be going to bed at like 10 pm every night, and I do not want that. I like my free time.

So I'm looking for outside opinions. Is it time to just go to sleep when I feel like it, or do I keep pressing on like an idiot? I'm thinking since tax season is done, I'll be more well-rested, and I can go until at least next February with little or no problems. I feel like if nothing else, I should get to stroll around Camden Yards high-fiving people while I receive a 47-minute standing ovation. Thoughts?

"Awww what's the matter, you're a little sleepy tonight? Tough day at work? No time for a nap? I played through like a million ankle sprains and hamstring pulls, even a broken bone or two, you little pussy. Plus I missed out on a lot of the really good performance-enhancing drugs, so I had to recover from my injuries for real, not like that bag of shit Canseco. Do you know how tough it is to play in 2,632 games in a row? And you're worried about going to bed?!? Jesus, just drink a Mountain Dew or throw in some Girls Gone Wild or something."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lunchtime Confessions Of A Fat Kid

So I'm attempting, slowly but surely, to improve my eating habits. Now I'm definitely not counting calories or anything, and whenever I feel like crushing a couple chili cheese wraps and a cheeseburger from Sonic I'm not gonna stop myself; but overall, my diet is improving a bit. This is extremely difficult for me due to three very key factors: 1) I'm very picky. There's not a ton of variety in my diet, compared to your average Johnny Food Consumer. 2) I'm very lazy. If it takes longer than a couple of minutes to prepare, or if there is extensive cleanup involved, fuck it, I'm out. 3) I'm very hungry. It takes a lot of food to fill me up.

If you combine my garbage diet with my general lack of exercise (especially now since I am unable to play noonball) I should probably be pushing three bills right now. My college days were filled with fast food, Hungry Man dinners, hot pockets, and microwaveable chicken wings. One of my roommates' favorite jokes would be, in the rare occasion that I would fire up the oven for a frozen pizza, that they would freak out and ask me if I was having a girl over for dinner, or if there was some sort of special occasion going on. Just because I was using the oven.

Any kind of cooking I received was a godsend. My favorite texties ever were the ones from St. Aubyn that I would get as I was leaving class, that said "hurry up and get back, I'm making us tuna casserole." To answer your next question, yes, we were pretty gay like that most of the time. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The point within that homosexual tangent is that tuna casserole was pretty much a delicacy, a treat beyond words. Ditto for the spaghetti dinners that Lindsey would make me every once in a while. Those meals were like Christmas morning.

So now I'm all on my own, besides Alex occasionally cooking dinner for me (she can tell you how abnormally excited about spaghetti I get. What can I say, it's my weak spot.) Lunches are tough, especially during tax season, when I'm eating at my desk most days of the week. I have already become the butt of many food-related jokes within the office, but on the flip side of that coin, the M.O.M. Squad kind of treats me like one of their kids (actually it's a combo of child/garbage disposal) when it comes to food.

(Case in point: the other day our office received lunch from another business in town. It consisted of a couple of sandwiches, (one roast beef, one mystery meat) some chips, and dessert for each of us. Our receptionist noticed me hammer down my roast beef, then begin to poke around at my mystery meat sandwich, so she adeptly ate the rest of her lunch, then gave me her roast beef sandwich, even though she likes roast beef, because she "knew you wouldn't be able to make it through the afternoon without your entire lunch." Pretty typical Mom move. Another time we received a group lunch, there was an extra sandwich, and it was automatically deferred to me since "I'm the big eater." Additionally, it is a commonly-known rule that before any leftovers in the fridge get chucked, they go through my office first.)

So I've been trying to eat a little better at lunchtime. Here are some of my staples:

Turkey, cheese, and pepperoni sandwiches. My go-to lunch, whenever I need a guaranteed good one. He's like Josh Beckett, only he gets the ball more often than every five days. I'm eating one right now, actually.

Pizza rolls. These are my innings-eater. It's not always the best, but it's always solid, and if nothing else, it tides me over til the next time. Kinda like Tim Wakefield.

Lean pockets. That's right friends, the 'hot' has been replace by 'lean.' They're probably still unhealthy as shit, but that one word makes me feel better while I'm putting down three of them, and restraining myself from a fourth.

Raw tuna. To everyone who used to make fun of me in elementary school for bringing tuna almost every day in a lunchbox instead of joining you bastards in whichever glorious meal the hot lunch program was serving up that day: Yes, I still eat tuna regulary, 15 years later. Enjoy your turkey tidbits, bitches.

A 49-cent loaf of day-old Jimmy John's bread and an apple. This is the meal the M.O.M. Squad laughs at the most, for obvious reasons. I like to call this my "Aladdin Lunch" because that's the shit Aladdin and his monkey were stealing off the streets before he found the genie, got three wishes, and started nailing Princess Jasmine. "Riff raff, street trash! I don't, buy that!"

Here is something that is definitely not a staple: those bullshit lean cuisine type meals. Alex bought a few of them and decided she didn't want them, so I gave them a try. There's a reason they're supposed to be healthy: It's like 4 bites of food. Filled me up juuuuust enough so that I could destroy only half a box of E.L. Fudge immediately afterwards. Get bent, lean cuisine.

And something I would like to make more of a staple: Friday lunch buffets at the Dirty Bird. I've only been there once so far, but there's just something about enjoying fried chicken, roast beef, and mashed potatoes and gravy while naked girlies are dancing 10 feet away that puts a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shomer Shabbos

Tax season is officially done, my office is closed tomorrow, and I am taking this opportunity to do nothing. Not one thing, all day long. This will be my day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't fucking ride in a car, I don't pick up the phone, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as shit DON'T FUCKING ROLL!!! SHOMER SHABBOS!!! Shomer fucking Shabbos.

For those who don't know, my dad looked EXACTLY like Walter Sobchak in like 1992. It's uncanny.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What I Learned In Management 301

In my fourth year of college, I had to take a Management class that was a complete joke. Basically, I had to be in attendance, but I didn't have to do anything (kinda the same responsibility a really hammered girl has when she brings home a really hammered guy from the bar, then decides halfway through sex that she isn't really into it.)

So after a couple weeks of playing around, drawing pictures (I know I had even resorted to passing notes with Sheri, wow am I gay) I needed something else to fill up the 50 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So I started listing every single rap song I liked even a tiny bit. It was something like 450 songs. Then I just started making cuts til I was down to 100, then I put those 100 in order. It was fantastic, it took up most of the semester, and I still got like a 97% in the class. I give to you: my top 100 favorite rap songs of all time. (Note: I made a couple of changes since then (2004), but sadly I haven't had to make many since rap music is total fucking garbage now....unless you like songs about cars with neat rims, drinking shitty liquor, and dancing in clubs like a retard. Then I guess rap is pretty sweet for you still.)

100. Bow Down - Westside Connection
99. Let's Roll - Snoop Dogg
98. Feel Me Flow - Naughty By Nature
97. It Was a Good Day - Ice Cube
96. Fast Shadow - Wu-Tang Clan
95. Multiply - Xzibit
94. Noodle - Trick Daddy
93. The Message - Nas
92. Bitches Ain't Shit - Dr. Dre
91. Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang - Dr. Dre
90. First of the Month - Bone Thugs
89. Guess Who's Bizzack - Scarface
88. Life Goes On - 2Pac
87. Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta - Geto Boys
86. Number One Spot - Ludacris
85. Got Yourself a Gun - Nas
84. My Philosophy - KRS-One
83. Get Back - Ludacris
82. Fire It Up - Busta Rhymes
81. Bad Boy 4 Life - P. Diddy
80. Still DRE - Dr. Dre
79. Bitch Please #2 - Dr. Dre
78. Regulate - Warren G
77. World War III - Ruff Ryders
76. You Be Illin' - Run DMC
75. Whatcha Gonna Do - 2Pac
74. He Got Game - Public Enemy
73. Hey Papi - Jay-Z
72. Rat-a-Tat-Tat-Tat - Dr. Dre
71. Who We Be - DMX
70. Golden - Jurassic 5
69. Ghetto Vet - Ice Cube
68. California Love - 2Pac
67. December 4th - Jay-Z
66. Lodi Dodi- Snoop Dogg
65. Big Pimpin' - Jay-Z
64. Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' To Fuck With - Wu-Tang Clan
63. Express Yourself - N.W.A.
62. Fuck Dyin' - Ice Cube
61. Deeez Nuuuts - Dr. Dre
60. Benzie Box - Danger Doom
59. It's Tricky - Run DMC
58. No Tears - Scarface
57. Thug Luv - Bone Thugs/2Pac
56. Heart of the City - Jay-Z
55. Dangerous - Busta Rhymes
54. Ghetto Bird - Ice Cube
53. Shimmy Shimmy Ya - Ol' Dirty Bastard
52. Still Not a Playa - Big Punisher
51. Where You From? - Master P
50. Back Down - 50 Cent
49. Ch-Check It Out - Beastie Boys
48. Fantastic Voyage - Coolio
47. Shame On a Nigga - Wu-Tang Clan
46. Notorious Thugs - Notorious BIG/Bone Thugs
45. I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto - 2Pac
44. Hate Me Now - Nas
43. Where tha Hood At? - DMX
42. Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
41. Who Am I (what's my name?) - Snoop Dogg
40. Comin' 2 America - Ludacris
39. Sugar - Trick Daddy
38. My Block - Scarface
37. Forgot About Dre - Dr. Dre
36. Saturday - Ludacris
35. Poppin' Them Thangs - G Unit
34. Gangsta Shit - Jay-Z
33. Just To Get By - Talib Kweli
32. Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See - Busta Rhymes
31. Old School - Danger Doom
30. X Gonna Give It To Ya - DMX
29. H to the Izzo - Jay-Z
28. Brooklyn Zoo - Ol' Dirty Bastard
27. Woo Ha!!! - Busta Rhymes
26. From tha Church to tha Palace - Snoop Dogg
25. Take it to da House - Trick Daddy
24. Still - Geto Boys
23. I'm a Thug - Trick Daddy
22. Mo' Money Mo' Problems - Notorious BIG
21. Gin and Juice - Snoop Dogg
20. Without Me - Eminem
19. In da Club - 50 Cent
18. Give It Up - Publice Enemy
17. Natural Born Killaz - Dr. Dre/Ice Cube
16. We Don't Care - Kanye West
15. Hypnotize - Notorious BIG
14. Changes - 2Pac
13. Apache - Sugar Hill Gang
12. Fuck Wit' Dre Day - Dr. Dre
11. Act Afool - Ludacris
10. Yeah!!! - Killer Mike
9. The Gangsta, the Killer, and the Dope Dealer - Westside Connection
8. Gravel Pit - Wu-Tang Clan
7. Hit 'Em Up - 2Pac
6. Rollout - Ludacris
5. Juicy - Notorious BIG
4. Family Business - Kanye West
3. King of the Hill - Westside Connection
2. 99 Problems - Jay-Z
1. Let Me Ride - Dr. Dre

If you went through that entire list, email your home address to and I'll mail you a rubix cube, so you have something else to pass the time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sometimes I Can't Help But Feel That I'm Living A Life Of Illusion

When you have wanted something very badly for a very long time, it's rare that when you get it, it is everything you hoped it would be. The letdown is almost inevitable. As the old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish just might get it." I'll admit that in the past, when I imagined what it would be like when (if ???) KU ever won it all, the thought creeped into my head that maybe it wouldn't be quite the be-all, end-all that I had built it up to be. But I've gotta say, KU winning the national championship is everything I hoped it would be, and more.

Certain people are just predisposed to love certain things. Sometimes it's because of their parents or siblings or other influences when they're young, and sometimes that's just the way people are internally wired. This is me and sports. My dad is a pretty passive sports fan. The only sport he actively watches and follows is football. I know I was on the couch with him every Sunday when I was 3 or 4 years old, watching the Washington Redskins when we lived in D.C. But that's about it. He never really pushed sports onto me, I just kinda got absorbed in them. When I was about 6, I was into baseball and football about as much as any 6 year old can be into anything, besides picking his nose (and I'm pretty sure I was heavily into that, too.) My parents used to laugh at me and 'show me off' to their friends at dinner parties and such. I was a little bit of a freak show. I may not have been able to pronounce the name Jose Uribe, but I could tell you his batting average in 1987. It was all natural to me.

Then when I was about 7 or 8, I discovered college basketball; KU to be more specific. I don't know what made them my favorite team, probably it was as simple as I was 8 and the first game I watched, they were playing in. Shortly thereafter they made the championship game and lost to Duke. I was crushed but didn't totally understand, I was still young and hadn't yet realized that getting to the Final 4 was incredibly hard. As I grew older and as my obsession grew stronger and the disappointments piled up, I promised myself that if and when it finally happened, I would fully appreciate every moment of it. And now, 18 years later, I am.

Monday night was the final chapter of a story that began a long, long time ago. It's amazing how many bad memories can be wiped out with the creation of just one new one. It is also amazing how clear the distinction between my first and second loves has become. There was never really a doubt in my mind that I loved college ball and KU more than baseball and the Red Sox, but I was unaware how large that gap was until the last week or so.

Monday morning and afternoon was almost unspeakable torture for me, waiting for the game to start. I was sitting in my office with the Hansbrough Face going, eyes bugged out, mouth wide open, my head whipping around in confusion every time someone tried to ask me a simple question. One of my co-workers actually asked me if I was feeling OK at about 3 pm, because she said I looked awful. I wondered what it would be like to hyperventilate, because I couldn't have been that far off. I know I have been worked up for Sox games before, but never anywhere close to that.

Ummmm yep, sorta like that.

Things weren't much better once the game started. One of those games where you know within 5 possessions that neither team is going away. Lived up to the hype, that's for sure. I was feeling unusually optimistic throughout the game, until the 9 point deficit with 2 minutes left. I thought we were done, and was beginning to prepare myself mentally. By "preparing myself mentally" I mean clutching my stomach and trying to keep myself from passing out. Then the comeback began, and I was a complete shell by this point. As everyone around me was yelling and screaming with every made shot and missed free throw by Memphis, it was all I could do to stay on my feet. When Chalmers' shot went in, I just sort of crumpled, recovered, and then basically did my best Thomas Hill re-enactment for the next half hour, as KU cruised through overtime.

This was my facial expression for so long that if my mom was there, she would've told me that my face was gonna permanently freeze like that.

Speaking of overtime, remember when I broke down Memphis right before the tournament started? I mentioned the free throw shooting, but then again, so did everyone other person on the planet Earth, so I can't take credit for that, but my point about how Memphis would respond when things weren't going their way proved prophetic. That team was absolutely FINISHED after Mario's shot. Put a fork in 'em.

Once the game was over and the celebration in the streets began (40,000 people packed downtown, and I probably hugged around 37,000 of them) everything kind of hit me at once and that's where this picture comes in. It'll be hilarious to look at that when I'm 75...which isn't to say that it's not hilarious now. I look like Fredo after the Don gets shot in front of him in The Godfather. Awesome.

I suppose I would've ended up in this position somehow, win or lose.

Here's some more of my other favorites from the night:

Man-hugs were on sale in Lawrence on Monday night. We took advantage.

Jud was blatantly taking advantage of the celebration to kiss Ashley (and random girls.) Vegas had the over/under at 29. Jud is the MVP of aggressive, borderline inappropriate kisses though, so I can't say I'm shocked. You know on shows like Laguna Beach, where every time the gang gets together, even if it's just for lunch, they are all hugging and kissing when they greet each other, like they haven't seen each other for 4 years, and I sit there and yell, "Nobody does that! You just saw each other last night! What the fuck?!?" Well, some people actually do that: Jud.

So anyway now I look forward to being able to just cheer like a normal fan, or at least as normal as it is possible for me to be while watching sports. After a decade and a half of heartbreak, I have officially moved into "spoiled fan" territory. Phil Mickelson has won three majors, the Sox have won two World Series, and the Phoenix Mercury are WNBA champs, haha j/k, j/k. LOL :)

I think Fundy's texty shortly after the game summed it up best: "congrats at least you won't be sleeping on any bridges this year" Well said, Fundy. Well said.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



So I'll wait a bit. After last night I don't even know what planet I'm on. Plus, I had kind of a breakdown at the end of the game and there may be some incriminating pictures that get released that you will enjoy. 3 things to know until then:

1. If you know me, you know I take sports wayyyyy too seriously. It's my main character flaw. I've tried to change, but I can't do it. It is what it is. When your favorite team has a history of coming up short in big games, year-in and year-out, it can be pretty rough. But then when games like last night happen, it makes it all worth it. Seriously.

2. It's amazing how badly a hangover gets dominated by a national championship...and by Cheez-its. Lots and lots of Cheez-its.

3. One way or another, my first-born's name will be Mario Chalmers Hammen. Hopefully it's a boy.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Best Hangover Ever

I sincerely hope that, at least once, all my friends get to partake in the kind of celebration that I was a part of last night. Unbelievable. Right now as I type, my head is pounding, my mouth is dry, my voice is gone, I can't hear a thing because my ears are still ringing, I'm oozing out a little blood from the cuts from my arms, from where we got a little carried away and hit the street (literally) during the chaos. And I couldn't be happier. I woke up without an alarm at about 7:15, took a couple of seconds to get my bearings, and a smile of realization slowly crept across my face, and that was that. I'm up.

I couldn't possibly string together any kind of rational thought about the game. No chance. So I'm listing random shit from the night, bullet-style baby.
  • I'll start with giving some propers to the Carolina fans. I have quite a few of them, and every one of them showed a lot of class in defeat last night. (Side note: just so everyone doesn't think I was ignoring them, I made the conscious decision to not answer a single texty once the game started. It's one thing during baseball, where there are plenty of breaks in the game, but I didn't want my face buried in my phone during a basketball game. Then after the game was over, I didn't answer anything because I was too busy trying to decide which article of clothing to set on fire or which car to tip over next. (Side note to the side note: going through my inbox this morning was hilarious. I could've been stranded in the African Congo, with nothing but my phone, and I would know EXACTLY how this game went down, from the unreal start, to the scary second half, to the final run at the end, to the conclusion. Awesome work kids.))
  • Also some heavy propers are due to Lane. Sasha Kaun has always been Lane's boy, and we have a little bit of a friendly rivalry due to the fact that my boy Darnell Jackson stole his starting spot. Anyway, before every game, Lane always tells me, "Look for Sasha to have a big game tonight." See the comment section from the previous post for an example. At the beginning of the year he was completely serious, he always thought Sasha would have a huge game. Once I told him that I had turned it into a running joke, trying to predict the exact time he would call me and tell me, that kind of ruined it, because now obviously he says it for comedic purposes. ANNNNYWAY before the game starts yesterday, Lane does his Sasha routine, then drops this one on me: "You know who might be our MVP tonight? Cole Aldrich." To which I replied something along the lines of "Jesus, shut the fuck up Lane." Well holy shit he couldn't have been more right. It was awesome, and hilarious, to the point where everytime Cole did something good, Lane was absolutely mobbed by everyone around him. So sometimes it does pay off to have blind faith in big, slightly uncoordinated white dudes.
  • Random note on Cole Aldrich: he is about 6'10 or 6'11'', and a few months ago we saw him in Chipotle, and his girlfriend is shorter than Alex. Chew on that.
  • Also some propers to Schne. Back in January he said "You know what? KU is really, really good this year. They are going to the Final 4, and I wanna be in Lawrence when it happens." So he bought a plane ticket right then and there, and KU made it, and that is turning out to be the greatest plane ticket he ever bought.
  • It was nice to see KU play to its potential last night. The question with them this year hasn't been COULD we play well, but WOULD we play well. They just get inside their own heads so often, instead of just going out and playing basketball. To come out and play so aggressive, yet loose, at the beginning of the game was nice to see.
  • I'm pretty sure I was the only person in the bar, probably in all of downtown Lawrence, that wasn't comfortable at 40-12. Partly because I'm a naturally pessimistic sports fan, partly because I knew Carolina was gonna make a run at some point. Well, they made a run, all right. If Carolina comes back and wins that game, given KU's tortured recent history, that it was a Final 4 game, that it was against Roy, that's gotta be one of the all-time toughest losses in sports history, right?
  • Speaking of watching at the bar, I had never been a giant fan of that. In the past, I would much rather watch at my place, with a few buddies, drinking beer, whatever. Well that was because I never lived here before. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 150 other people cheering just as hard as you are, sweating your ass off, living and dying with shots, booing and flicking off Roy and Hansbrough every time they showed him on screen, and then pouring out into the streets afterwards to celebrate....unreal. My advice to all my friends is that if and when your team goes to the Final 4, go to the hometown of that school. Durham, Chapel Hill, whatever. Just go there.
  • Roy. Ol' Roy. Last night's game was pretty therapeutic. I have to say that my hatred is a bit diminished since we got that out of our system. When we were on the huge first half run, the greatest moments were when they showed a shot of Roy on the sideline. We went ballistic. Clearly the goal is to win the title, but I do have to say that I can be a little more objective about Roy since we beat him that badly.
  • Speaking of winning the title, I don't have too much to say I guess, pregame. Maybe I will tomorrow. Basically both teams are playing their best ball right now. I am glad we play Memphis, because I have a little residual fear left over from UCLA from last year, and I. HATE. MEMPHIS. Almost as much as Duke or Carolina. And this hatred is more of a legitimate hatred. I hate Duke and Carolina for obvious reasons (and as we talked about a few days ago, they are kind of biased and unfounded reasons); and I hate them every year, just because. Well, I hate Memphis because I actually dislike their coach and their players. I think they are a team full of punks, and I am excited to play those bitches tomorrow.
  • Except for Chris Douglas-Roberts, he's kinda cool. He reminds me of this guy in the Grand Am tournament we played in a few years ago. We were all in our prime, 21, 22 years old, and we're playing a team of 40 and 50-somethings, so we're pretty relaxed. Well this one guy with gray hair probably dropped 45 points on us. Scoring from every possible spot on the floor, using all kinds of crazy dips and scoops and different release points on his jumper. He dropped the entire old-man arsenal on us, and we lost by about 20 to bunch of Dads. That's who CDR reminds me of, and I have respect for that.
  • Slide down the bench, Marquette Semifinal Game From 2003. I've got a new all-time favorite KU basketball moment...hopefully until tomorrow night.
  • God bless google. When you google images for "KU final four" here's some of the pictures you get:

Word up, Jesus. It IS cool to love you...but how should I feel about the KKK and Lindsey Lohan in a two-piece?

Friday, April 4, 2008


Well, kids, this is it. Roy vs. Kansas. In the Final 4. You knew it had to happen sometime, and of course the basketball Gods decide to give us this matchup in the national semifinals. When both teams are playing amazing ball (except for an 8-minute stretch against Louisville for UNC, and a 40-minute stretch against Davidson for KU.) As if this wasn't a big enough game already...

Until I saw Bergman's comment from the previous post, this post was sure to be a rambling, completely incoherent blurb about my former love for Roy and yada yada yada. Now, since he gave me some questions to base things on, it will only be a semi-rambling, semi-coherent blurb.

Quick back story for the non-college-basketball-fans (let's pretend for a second that are actually some of them out there who have continued to stick with this blog for the last month): Roy used to coach KU, for 15 years. He was one of the most beloved coaches in the country. However, while he had Kansas in his heart, he had North Carolina blood coursing through his veins. Roy almost left for UNC in 2000, then gave a tearful, heart-felt speech turning down the job, saying he was a Jayhawk for life. Flash forward 3 years. Following a heart-breaking title game loss, Roy is asked if he is interested in the once-again-vacant UNC head coaching position. Roy replies, on national TV, "I don't give a shit about Carolina." Flash forward 1 week. Roy takes the Carolina job. Flash forward 2 years. Roy wins that national championship that proved so elusive while at KU.

First off, no, I will not be cheering any harder since this game is against Roy. The buildup will be more intense, making this probably the most intense sporting event in my life (that's scary huh Alex? Hope you have bail money put aside for tomorrow night), but every win in the Final 4 is special, whether or not we're playing Roy and/or UNC. My favorite moment as a KU fan was the semifinal win over Marquette in '03, and it is why I have a framed portrait of that game in my office. (We also threw a pretty decent rager at Culligan that night, featuring the girls from Minneapolis that St. Aubyn, Fundy, and Russell met in Cancun. Anybody remember that? I was blaaaaacked out!) I will be crushed if we lose this game, but no more crushed than when we lost to 'Cuse in '03, or Maryland in '02, or Bucknell in '05, or Rhode Island in '98, or Arizona in '97, etc. etc. you get the point.

On the same token, no, even if we win this game but lose the title game, it will not make things OK. Beating Roy in the semis will give me no consolation if we can't win the whole shebangabang. That will only help me for shit-talking purposes against all the Carolina fans that I'm friends with (and Baby Jesus knows there are a lot of them.)

However, on the other hand, will I still hate Roy if we do win the natty this year? That's a great question, one that I can't completely answer right now. As of this moment, I would be inclined to say not as much, no. That has more to do with just being at peace as a KU fan in general, however, than my hatred of Roy. I will not suddenly like Roy again, but if we win it all, a lot of basketball-related things I have bitterness towards (Roy, Gerry McNamara going unconscious, Bucknell, Keith Langford's bullshit foul call, shooting 12-30 from the free throw line, Juan Dixon, Lamar Odom, Mike Bibby & Miles Simon, Grant Hill's amazing dunk) will be diminished. That's just reality.

Since this is my only basis of comparison as far as my teams winning championships, and since it is a pretty decent analogy anyway, I liken this to the Red Sox in 2004 (the whole Roy to Carolina thing mirrors the Johnny Damon to the Yankees scenario, too, doesn't it?) Looking back on it now, yeah, it makes it sweeter that they came back from 0-3 down in the ALCS, and that it was against the Yankees, but at the time, all I was cheering for was a win. After Game 7, when it all sunk in what just happened, it became more special, but when you're in the moment, all you want is for your team to win, not for someone else to lose. So basically once the ball tips on Saturday night, all the Roy stuff goes out the window. However, having said ALL THAT, I would LOVE to see this image on a television set Saturday night:

Holy as I'm re-reading this right now, this is probably the worst thing I have ever written, as far as quality writing is concerned. Fuck it I'm not editing it. Can you tell I'm delirious about this game right now? That is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever written in my whole life. At no point am I anywhere near anything that can be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read that. I award myself no points, and may God have mercy on my soul. Fuck it, dude. Let's get this game started.

"A simple 'wrong' would've done just fine."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Feisty Marlins

So I had a loooong day at work yesterday, and all I wanted to do was come home, fire off a couple of games of MVP Baseball on the Deuce, and go to bed. Instead, in the first game, the Marlins hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to send it to extras, and I eventually lose in the 13th. Then, in the second game, I put a run across three separate times in extras, only to watch those damn scrappy Marlins tie it in their half of the inning each time. An hour and 15 minutes after I begin the game, I finally win in 21 innings, and then of course I can't fall asleep cause I'm too fired up. I may have even had a nightmare that I had completely run out of pitchers, and so I had Doug Mientkiewicz warming up in the bullpen...but I'm not sure. So anyways, now I'm dragging ass this morning.

It's a rough life I live, I know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hansbrough & Redick

Wow, that was an absolutely fantastic comment that the Chuckwagon left regarding Hansbrough, Duke, and the hatred of both of them. I have had this conversation many times, with many different people, and I think it's a great topic. I planned on writing about it at some point (probably after Psycho T won a bunch of post-season awards) but since he asked, and since I'm on my lunch break, I might as well do it now.

Unless you are a Tar Heel fan, you cannot look at this picture without giggling a little bit. I defy you to look at that and not giggle. I'm giggling right now, as I'm typing.

First off, Hansbrough. Personally, I can't stand him. From the moment Fundy and I first watched him in the McDonald's All-American game, and Fundy wouldn't shut the fuck up about how awesome he was going to be, I hated him. But a lot of this is due to the fact that I knew he was going to UNC. Here's what I hate about him:

1) He either flails his elbows around or double-clutches on every shot attempt, drawing a million undeserved foul calls.

2) He gets his dick sucked by EVERY media person in the country, for being a hard-worker and hustler, when I play about that hard in my fucking Tuesday night city league. I've got scars from floorburns from fucking NOONBALL, and I know lots of others who do too, so needless to say if we were playing at a Division I school in front of thousands of fans (and millions more on TV) we would try hard too. This shouldn't be that big of a deal.

3) He is a gigantic nerd. I mean out of this world. His celebration after hitting the game-winner against Va Tech in the ACC tourney was the geekiest thing I've seen a white person do on a basketball court since Woody Harrelson was hustling Wesley Snipes.

4) His nickname. I would wager my entire checking account that at some level of basketball, a group of black teammates (or maybe it was just one guy; either way, they were definitely black) were making fun of the way Hansbrough acts on the court, and started calling him "Pscyho T." Hansbrough thought it was cool that the black guys cared enough about him to give him a nickname, and so of course he loved it and ran with it. There is just no way he would pick up that nickname any other way, unless it was 1995 again. I mean c'mon, "Psycho T"?!?!?! But the media thinks this is the greatest nickname in history, and trip over themselves blurting it out at every opportunity. You know what, fellow white guys, if we continue to accept these shitty nicknames that black guys use to secretly make fun of us, well, then....I guess black guys deserve to keep making fun of us.

5) Secretly, deep down, I know that he is pretty good.

So I had been going along hating Hansbrough just fine, until Kyle brought up an interesting point. Roy recruited him to Carolina, yet Hansbrough is from Missouri. Ipso facto, if Roy was still at KU, there is a 100% chance that Hansbrough would've been a Jayhawk. And, if he had, would I not absolutely love him? And the answer is yes. I believe Kyle's exact quote was, "I would honestly believe he was the second coming of Jesus." And considering that my all-time favorite player is Kirk Hinrich, who probably could've played Harry Potter in his high school drama class, I would be inclined to agree. All of a sudden I would love his dorkiness, and love his hustle, and probably be arguing that he should go to the foul line MORE. So it's all relative, I guess.

Which is the same argument one could use for Duke. People hate kids because they go to Duke, simple as that. For proof of this, look how the country falls in love with nerdy white kids from other schools. Drew Neitzel, Mike Gansey, Travis Diener, Wally Sczerbiak, Jon Godfread?, Adam Morrison (and every other white, lights-out shooter from Gonzaga in the last 10 years), etc. etc. etc. I mean, Adam Morrison? He is one of the most popular collegiate players of this decade. If he goes to Duke, he probably has to quit basketball because he would be in therapy full-time from the psychological abuse he endures during his college career (as opposed to real-life, where Morrison has used his season-ending injury this year to focus on luring young kids into his conversion van with the promise of new bikes and jolly ranchers. Did anybody else see him in the crowd during the first and second round games? Good lord. I thought the creepy factor on his child molestor hair-and-moustache combo was already maxxed out. I was wrong.) But yet, guys like Greg Paulus and Steve Wojoeialjdialklzipqski are only loved by Duke fans and their parents? Doesn't make sense.

There are couple of exceptions, in my opinion, however: Laettner and Redick. Laettner, by many accounts, was a douchebag, and this was proven once he went to the pros. Even Duke fans admit he was a shithead, so he's not worth going into detail about.

Redick was an asshat too, but his is a different story. I think, in his case, he sort of became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Does anyone remember him being a tool his freshman year? I don't. He had a little cockiness in him, but nothing out of the ordinary, from what I remember. But still, he was a white kid who could shoot and attended Duke, so people hated him. So in his mind, he probably said, "Fuck it. Everyone hates me anyway, and I'm the best shooter in college basketball history and can back it up, so I might as well be a total fuckstick." And there you go. He started talking a TON of shit, or throwing up the Shocker, or head-bobbing, or whatever else he knew would piss the crowd off. I would probably do the same if I were him. Going by J.J. probably didn't help much either. Someone from ESPN (probably Simmons) once wrote something along the lines of "If his name was James Redick and he went to Indiana, he would be the most popular player in the country." That is probably a true statement.

Best sign ever? I say yes.

Anyway, good work Chuck, and I would love to hear what all the Carolina and Duke fans out there think about this topic....if they're not too busy searching ebay for a soul.