Monday, June 30, 2008

Editor's Note

It has been brought to my attention by multiple sources that the title of that last post, along with the accompanying story, makes it sound like Girl A is an ugly girl from the bar that was hitting on me or something like that. That wasn't the case at all; I've been friends with Girl A since high school. She's basically the sister I never had, which is probably why I was comfortable enough to leave her in a Taco Bell parking lot at 2:30 in the morning. I only named the post as I did since I had no idea how else to title it, so I just threw in a quote from a conversation that occurred at some point during the night.

I'll write later about the NBA draft and the week in GF, I've got no energy to do it right now. Turns out the older you get, the harder it is to drive 10 hours, get absolutely crushed for 5 consecutive days and nights, and drive 10 hours back. I feel like Douglas Quaid at the end of Total Recall. "Dammit, Cohaagen, give them the air!"

I'll leave you with a question of the week: If you could only hear one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? For instance, if you choose Jingle Bells, and you turned on the radio and Pearl Jam was playing, you'd hear Jingle Bells. If you were at a wedding dance and they played the Electric Slide, you'd hear Jingle Bells. One song. Forever. Discuss.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Do Taco Bell And Ugly Girls Have In Common?

Answer: they're both only appealing when you're crushed.

Here is a purely hypothetical situation, the question to keep in mind while reading: Is Guy A an asshole?

Let's say that a bunch of people are at Bar A. Beer is flowing, old jokes are being thrown around, good times are being had by all. Girl A mentions to Guy A that she is leaving her car at the bar that night and walking home, since she doesn't want to drive home hammered, and has been enjoying long walks lately. Guy A commends her on her responsibility, and expresses surprise that she is willing to walk 5 miles home at 2 a.m. Girl A assures Guy A that it's not too far, and boasts of her recent exercise habits. Guy A has some doubts about her ability to walk home given her history of, um, not walking anywhere, ever. Guy A tells her, "Well, have fun with that then. You'll be regretting this one later on, and don't come crying to me for a ride, it's wayyy out of my way and it's not gonna happen."

A couple hours later, with her car still at Bar A, and the group now at Bar B, Girl A makes a passing comment to Guy A that maybe walking home isn't that fantastic of an idea. Guy A laughs and says, "Shocker." Girl A broaches the subject of maybe Guy A giving her a ride home. Guy A, whose place of residence is nowhere near Girl A and is not too keen on driving all over town when he himself has consumed quite a few beverages of alcoholic nature as well, politely refuses. Well, maybe not politely. He more or less laughs in her face and tells her, "No fucking chance."

Closing time. Guy A is going to Taco Bell, since it is on his way home, and crunchwrap supremes taste de-fucking-licious while intoxicated. Girl A once again asks for a ride home. Guy A again denies her, tells her she should've thought about this when she left her car at Bar A, but offers her a ride to Taco Bell, since it is on the way, and will cut about a mile off her walk. Girl A accepts. Guy A reiterates, "But ONLY to Taco Bell. Then you're getting out." Girl A informs Guy A that she fully understands the arrangement.

After the Taco Bell drive thru, Guy A says, "Well. This is your stop. Have a fun walk." Girl A becomes upset. She begins whining, "You're really NOT giving me a ride home?" Guy A assures that yes, he really isn't giving her a ride home. He once again reminds her about her bragging all night that she WANTED to walk home, and reminds her how Guy A prophesized 4 hours ago that she would be sorry, and told her at that point that she better not come begging for a ride later.

Girl A calls Guy A several unflattering names, and reluctantly exits the vehicle. Guy A pulls out of the parking lot, beeps his horn and happily waves at Girl A standing in the parking lot in disbelief, breezes through the last 2.5 minutes of his drive home, ignores 3 phone calls and 2 texties from Girl A, and demolishes his crunchwrap supreme before falling into a dreamless slumber.

So is Guy A

1) an asshole

2) simply a guy who, if the situation arose, would not be coming in under a .08, and didn't want to turn a 5 minute drive through mostly residential neighborhoods into a 25 minute drunken odyssey around Grand Forks' busiest, most heavily police-populated streets, just because some girl is an idiot?

I vote number 2. Girl A, needless to say, votes for number 1.

Happy NBA draft day, everyone. It's bad enough that I am in GF and not watching with DVJS, but SOMEBODY had to have their wedding rehearsal dinner tonight, so I am probably not watching at all. With the possibility of 5 Jayhawks getting drafted (somebody take my boy Darnell Jackson, you won't regret it!) plus the potential of numerous trades and surprise picks, this will probably be the most exciting draft in years. This is the worst-timed wedding since Alex's sister got married during the 2007 Final 4.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Legend Of Smapes And The Drinking Iternary

There is an unspoken motto amongst my friends, a rule to live by if you will: Don't Make a Mistake. Ever. If Jimmy Valvano was to give us a speech, he would tell us: "Don't fuck up, don't ever fuck up." We have undoubtedly weeded out some of the thinner-skinned girls from our friend group: the ones who early on said something amazingly stupid (or even mildly annoying, we're not too picky), we made fun of her for days on end, and that was that. It's like our own form of twisted Darwinism. Don't say stupid things, and if you do, then be prepared to take your verbal lumps. Survival of the fittest, bitch. It is common knowledge that anything stupid you say or do will be used against you for as long as it is funny and/or appropriate to the situation. The statute of limitations is until you're dead.

This is why we still make fun of St. Aubyn for saying "Really? Really? Are you serious? Orrrrr no..." in a high-pitched voice, even though he hasn't asked that series of questions since the year 1999. This is why every time a cash tornado booth comes into the conversation (it happens more than you'd think) I get ridiculed, because in 1997 I mentioned to Brother and Bergman that if I was ever in one of those contests, I would just put on a velcro suit (you know, because dollar bills stick to velcro.) There are countless other examples.

At the time this story occurs, Smapes had been dating Fundy for a couple of years already. She is fully aware that anything even the slightest bit questionable on her part will lead to a week's worth of ridicule, minimum (we were rough on Smapes, but only out of love. We wanted to make sure Fundy had a keeper.) It is the last day of finals, and she is alone in the computer lab, furiously typing away on an unknown project. Suddenly two people come strolling into the lab. These two people happen to be Noles and Horp.

Smapes, for lack of a better term, freaked right the fuck out. One simple click of the minimize button would've saved her years of grief, but instead, she panicked and thought maybe her punishment would be more lenient if she just came out and showed them what she was working on. Wrong. Dead wrong. It was a drinking itinerary. Or, as she had titled it, "Drinking Iternary."

It was a spreadsheet, filled with different bars, approximate times spent at each bar, and even a comment section, for what Smapes anticipated the action to be like at each bar. I haven't seen it since we moved out of Culligan (one of the biggest regrets of my life is that we didn't save it) so the times and locations might be off, but I know the comments are spot on, and this gives you a general idea of the "Iternary."

Cuckoo's Nest____9:00-10:30___Good times
Sledster's_______10:30-11:30___We'll see how busy
Joe Black's______11:30-12:45___Ohhhhh man too drunk
The Hub_______12:45-1:00____Who are we kinding* we won't make it here

*Yeah, she typed 'kinding' instead of 'kidding'. Result of this single, tiny, one-letter typo: 3 years worth of us replacing 'kidding' with 'kinding' in every conversation we have with each other. I told you, we're brutal.

When I think of the iternary, I just picture someone in the group wondering how long they should stay at Sledster's, and Smapes casually saying, "Ohhh, I don't know, we'll see how busy." Or looking at one of her friends at Cuckoo's Nest and nodding contentedly, saying, "Good times. Good times." Or maybe someone mentions The Hub sometime during the night and Smapes busting out laughing and shouting, "Ohh who are we KINDING, we won't make it there!" As everyone else joins in the laughter. Or else Smapes frantically trying to round everyone up, screaming, "Hurry up! HURRY UP! We're supposed to be at Joe Black's in 3 MINUTES!!!"

So not only does Smapes show this to Noles and Horp, she lets them print a copy of this little gem and bring it back to Culligan, where it had the same effect as if a couple of wolves brought back a dying gazelle to the rest of its starving pack. I still remember the first time I saw it. It was like the first time I heard The Beatles, combined with the time I got my first boner. We immediately hung it up on the living room wall, kind of like proud parents who hang up a child's art project on the fridge, only if their child was handicapped and just drew a picture of a puppy setting a Christmas tree on fire.

So my original point in re-telling this story was because I was going to make my own drinking itinerary for this coming weekend when I'm back in Grand Forks for Ike's wedding, pretty much just so I could show it to Smapes and see her reaction, but about 30 seconds into it I realized it could never be better than hers, so screw it. You get this story instead.

Also, special props to Skye for the birthday party she threw Lane at the Unfred Estate on Saturday. I haven't had that much fun at a party in a loooooong time, minus the part where I passed out by the campfire and got rained on at 5 a.m.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Is What It Sounds Like....When Heels Cry

A few random thoughts floating around:

First off, congrats to the Celtics, couldn't be happier for Pierce, Ray Allen, KG, and others. Only the 3rd time in my life that the team I was cheering for in the Finals actually won it. And it's a good thing, too, because we potentially have a very serious Lakers dynasty brewing here. Seriously, all you Kobe haters like myself, brace yourself, the next few years may be rough.

Next off, Fundy (and indirectly Bergman and Cheese), you Tar Heel bastard. We have always played it cool with each other, showing each other respect, through 4 years of living together we barely ever talked shit. I have not uttered one mocking word about the Final Four yet. But, if you're gonna start talking shit about next year's championship that is still 10 months away, well, then.....

Yes, UNC will be amazing next year. Probably the most talented, experienced team we've seen in college basketball since, at the very least, 2004 UCONN, but you could probably go all the way back to the Fab Five or the 1991 UNLV team before you find a team this stacked on paper. Combine that with the lack of any other truly dominant teams next year, and you do have a right to feel good about your boys. BUT....

Here is the tournament history of your senior class, led by the immortal Psycho T.

2006: lose to George Fucking Mason in the 2nd round. We'll excuse that, since they were a team of destiny and your boys were mostly freshman. But still, 3 seed losing to an 11 seed, think about it.

2007: blow a double digit lead to Georgetown in the last 5 minutes, get outscored by like 12 in overtime, miss something like 47 of your last 48 shots to lose in the Elite 8.

2008: get to the Final 4, fall behind 40-12!!!!!!! to KU, make a run, end up losing by like 18, cry a lot in the locker room. 40-12 hahahahahahaaa.

Not exactly what you would call a mentally tough team. What's gonna happen next year when you get to the tourney, and have a game where maybe Psycho T doesn't shoot 19 free throws, and Ellington's shot isn't falling, but he's still shooting every time he touches the ball, and Roy is coaching with a KU sticker on his shirt, and Ty Lawson has been kicked off the team for another drinking citation, and Danny Green's dad has escaped from prison and has wandered on the court like the alcoholic dad in Hoosiers? What then, Fundy? To sort of paraphrase a line from Happy Gilmore: I had one reason for cheering next year: rebuilding. Now I've got a new reason: kicking your ass!

"OHHHHH we're halfway there, WHOOOOAHHHH, LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!!!! You rock my face off, Bon Jovi!!!!"

I saw The Happening last night, the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie. I've read nothing but horrible, awful reviews for this movie, and when the credits began to roll last night, some dude in the back yelled, "I'm gonna slit my fucking wrists, that movie was so fucking bad!" I guess I don't understand the universal hatred of M. Night that seems to be going on these days. I loved Sixth Sense, I think Signs is really, REALLY good, and I thought The Village and Lady in the Water were pretty sweet, too. I admit that the ending to The Happening was pretty weak sauce, but the first hour was creepy as all hell, and overall I love M. Night's movies. Put me in the minority, I guess.

Lately I had found it odd that I missed quite a few calls, but hadn't received a voicemail in weeks, only to be awakened at 3:30 a.m. by the arrival of 12 new voicemails. Some of my favorites include:

Noles yelling something incoherent about how we would be in Vegas soon, then abruptly stopping as it appeared I was calling back....

St. Aubyn yammering on about meeting Jeremy Roenick and telling him about NHL '94...

Jen calling to tell me she was in front of Caesar's Palace eating pizza, shoeless, and asking where her sandals were (answer: in the middle of the strip, and I was currently retrieving them)...

And Dunph, after we got split up in Omaha (and forgetting that I had my own room key), telling me that if I thought I was sleeping in the hotel that night, I would meet him at the craps table on the 2nd floor at the Ameristar, then calling me a fag and hanging up. Good stuff there. Sorry to anyone who left a message the last three weeks and expected a call back.

Finally, the texty of the week, from a number I do not have saved in my phone, I'm pretty sure it's from Noles' little brother:

Who won the Super Bowl in 1967, and what was the score?

Now, in and of itself, that texty is not funny. I get random sports trivia from people all the time, looking to settle bar bets or something like that. What's funny about this is that I received this texty at around midnight when I was in Omaha, when I was so trashed that I wouldn't have been able to tell you who won it in 2008. I wouldn't have been able to tell you my friggin' address if you had asked me. So to answer your question, mystery phone number, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meeting A Hero

Lost in all the excitement of the CWS (that I can't even remember 60% of) is the event that happened Friday night.

I'm at the golf course, waiting for an afternoon tournament to finish up so the course will be opened back up for tee times again. I've got about a half an hour to wait, so I'm hanging out and watching the U.S. Open, with my back turned to the rest the clubhouse.

All of a sudden a hand claps me hard on the shoulder, and I hear a dude ask me in a Southern drawl, "So who's leading?" I turn around, and who do I find standing there? Emilio Estevez! The Mighty Duck guy, I swear to God. I was like, Emiliooooooo!!!!

But seriously, I turned around and about jumped out of my skin to see Bill Self standing there. Apparently it was his tournament that was taking place at the course that day. Initially I froze, and it took me literally 5 seconds of stammering and thinking before I remembered Stuart Appleby was in the lead. After choking and spitting that out, I recovered, and we went on to bullshit about golf for around 10 minutes or so. I think it went pretty well: I made him laugh a couple of times, I didn't ask him dumb basketball questions, and most of all I restrained myself from just going into Jim Nantz mode and re-announcing the last couple of minutes of the championship game (I've re-watched the game quite a few times now, and have pretty much the entire last 2:12 memorized.)

I was getting ready to see if he wanted to go pick up a 30 pack and check out the talent at The Outhouse later on, or maybe come over for Thanksgiving dinner or something like that, when all of sudden he clapped me on the shoulder again and said, "Well, buddy, have a good one." And just like that he was gone. Out of my life again.

I glanced over and saw that the girl behind the snack counter had been watching, and she laughed at my failed attempts to wipe away the grin that was encompassing my entire face. That grin stayed there for about 3 hours or so. Have I mentioned lately that I love living here?

Monday, June 16, 2008


My 20 hours in Omaha was a complete and total shitshow. I arrived around 3 p.m., right as Dunph was finishing up work, and we came out guns blazing. Things started out promising, as we met some LSU fans in our hotel parking lot and they sold us sweet tickets for face value since they weren't going to the Miami/Georgia game that night. We met up with Chase and Tart in the tailgating area, beer was flowing, I found a pack of cougars to talk to, we didn't need to worry about finding tickets, life was good. Inevitably, the other shoe dropped, and the rest of the night unraveled into a mess straight out of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, minus the hardcore drug use. We only lasted about 3 innings inside the ballpark before making the executive decision to bail and go to the bar (great first CWS experience, huh? I can't remember a single highlight from that game) because we were struggling to function just sitting in our seats.

The rest of the night is a haze. I made some random friends, and apparently liked them enough that I decided to stay at the bar with them rather than go to the casino with Dunph around midnight. I had one moment of clarity around 3 a.m. where I realized that out of the entire group of people I had assigned my well-being to, I couldn't remember a single one of their names. I didn't even know what my own name was (I think I had been going with Josh Beckett that night.) That's when I decided it was time to go home, and my new friends (who luckily were Omaha natives, or else I might still be wandering around the streets there) drove me back to the hotel. Dunph was pissed when he got back from the Ameristar an hour later, and rightfully so, I had ditched him for people I had met an hour and a half ago. There are a bunch of good stories from the night, but I don't remember enough details to properly retell them.

So, in summary, alcohol abuse ruined my first College World Series. To say we got Patrick Ewinged would be an understatement. Two things that about sum up the entire night for the both of us: 1) I sent a series of nonsensical, paranoid texties to Bergman about how I was going to get booted from the stadium, and he was concerned enough to send back:

Calm down. You're only 4 hours into this. Get yourself together man.

It was 8:30 pm at the time. Somehow I made it until 3 without dying.

2) Dunph got some girl's number that night, and she actually called him the next morning, but it doesn't matter too much. In his words, "I couldn't pick her out of a group of 2 people!"

I'm never drinking again.***

***Not true.

Friday, June 13, 2008

You Can't Just Put A Towel Over This Post

Wow! What a game last night. I came back from playing pick-up ball to see the Lakers up 20. I climbed into the shower pissed off as all hell, only to see that during my shower, the Celts had cut it all the way down to 6, and now I could now spend the rest of the game swearing at the TV and punching the couch since it was close and intense again. And I did.

I'm not getting excited yet, though. If it was another sport, maybe I'd think that this one is in the bag. But since it is the NBA, where only twice in my life has the team I'm cheering for in the Finals actually won the series ('04 Pistons and '06 Heat), I'm going to hold off until Boston actually finishes it.

I actually watched the post-game press conferences last night, since I wanted to hear what Phil Jackson had to say. I am a biiiig P.J. hater, even though he went to college at UND. I think he is a smarmy bastard who whines too much about the refs (the main reason I quit reading your book, DVJS, I got pissed about him bitching about the officials nearly every chapter.) Anyways, I was interested in hearing his thoughts since there was no way he could blame anything on the refs last night. Unfortunately, he was very complimentary of Boston, and giving them lots of credit, which I was disappointed in. I love to get pissed at Jackson when he spends his interviews making smug comments about the refs, the other team, and his own players. Oh well. At least 'The Machine' was complaining about calls afterwards. I don't understand how a team that was the beneficiary of a call of such magnitude as the Brent Barry non-call in the Spurs series can possibly complain so much. I really don't.

On the flip side, I was pleasantly surprised by Kobe's post-game quote, "We just wet the bed. A nice big one, too. One of the ones you can't put a towel over. It was terrible." That was awesome. It's no secret I hate Kobe, I think he's a cock and selfish, blah blah blah. But, for the most part, Shaq is all the same things. The main reason I love Shaq and hate Kobe is because Shaq is funny as shit. Ditto Rasheed Wallace. He's a horrible character guy, but he's hilarious, so I love him. My point is that Kobe is rarely funny, but this was a good start. A few dozen more quotes like that and I may not hate him so much. I was seriously laughing hard at that quote....maybe since I was a bed-wetter when I was a kid.

To sum up my finals thoughts, DVJS, please come home. I'm not saying we should watch games together, as we'd probably get in a fistfight by the first TV timeout, but you were supposed to have returned from up north by now, and I am worried that if the series continues to go the Celtics' way, you will pull a Forrest Gump and just continue to roam back and forth across the country and never come back.

US Open: Have I mentioned lately how awesome it is to be alive in the year 2008? has a live video stream following Phil and Tiger's group, and as a result, I got to see every single shot of Phil's round yesterday. After hearing how crappy the TV coverage was from multiple people, we may be at the point where having to work is better than having the day off during a major tournament. During The Masters, I had the live video going, and every once in a while there would be the customary loud roar after a big putt. Our receptionist could hear it out in the lobby, and when she asked what was going on, I told her that I created a macro on my computer that gave me a loud ovation every time I completed a tax return, and she believed me. After a day and a half of her exclaiming, "Yay!!! Another one done!!!" every time she heard a roar from my office, I didn't have the heart to go through with it anymore and I told her the truth. But it did take that long before I felt bad about it.

Impromptu trip to Omaha and the College World Series this weekend. I've often talked of going but never pulled the trigger, but now I only live 3 hours away so let's make it happen, Cap'n. I'm excited for the fantastic combination of beer and college baseball. We're gonna get drunk.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anger Mismanagement

I've got beef, and I'm going to take Coolio's advice and eat a porkchop. Here are some everyday, routine things in life that make me angry. Not just like, 'Wow, this is so annoying.' No, these are things that to most people aren't such a big deal, but drive me almost insane with anger.

Not getting a run home with a man on third and less than two outs. I despise this. Just put the ball in play. That's all you have to do. Don't strike out, don't pop out to the catcher, just hit a ground ball or a fly ball somewhere, and it's almost a guaranteed RBI. I realize it's not as easy as just snapping your fingers and doing it, but I literally freak out when the Sox leave people stranded in this situation. Just get the run in.

The t9 texting function. Cheese mentioned this awhile ago, and this has always been one of my pet peeves. t9 is swell, if you use it correctly. Speaking personally, I can text faster when I'm actually typing out what I'm trying to say, instead of hoping that the t9 function will guess correctly what I'm trying to say. However, I have seen 16 year olds that can text faster with t9 than I can type on a computer keyboard, so I'm not gonna argue the merits of t9 for those freaks of nature. My problem is with people who use t9, and then don't bother to look over their text before they send it my way, and it's filled with words that don't make sense because they used t9, thus saving themselves all of 2.5 seconds. Well, guess what, now I'm not responding to your piece of shit nonsensical text, so you can sit there and wait for a response that's not coming, you gaybot. The time you save yourself by using t9 is not going to be time I waste proofreading your shit. I'm not a 7th grade English teacher.

Taking my cruise control off for some idiot. Driving on the interstate causes me more potential anger than any other activity I can participate in. The thing that drives me crazier than anything else is having to take off my cruise because some tard doing 68 in a 70 pulls out in front of me and passes someone else doing 67 in a 70. Speed up when you pass someone; the accelerator is the one on the right!

My season in MVP Baseball. Unreal. I'm the Mets, and my record is currently 72-45, a tidy .615 winning percentage. I have the third best record in baseball. And I wouldn't even make the playoffs if the season ended today. That's because the two best records in baseball belong to the Nationals and Marlins. When was the last time that 117 games into a season, the three best records in the sport all belonged to one fucking division? I call shenanigans. Throw in the bullshit bunt that broke up my perfect game (see previous post); the fact that in 4 consecutive games, I suffered major injuries to Orlando Cabrera, Eric Chavez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Derrek Lee (my 2-5 hitters); and that Jon Garland has an ERA of 1.89 yet has a win-loss record of 8-10; and I'm convinced that the whole season is a conspiracy against me by my Playstation. What a blowjob festival.

Speaking of blowjobs, how about Chelsea Lately? What a gigantic B she is. She's not funny, she is not attractive, and she's banging the dude who runs E! I wonder how she got her show. She has a big rack and that's all. How many shows must be created that do nothing but make fun of celebs? David Spade did this show 18 years ago, it was called Hollywood Minute, and it was a sketch on SNL. It was a sketch because that's all it needed to be. There's no way we need to stare at your cleavage and listen to your shitty jokes for half an hour every day. To the people who religiously watch her show and thus keep it on the air- Alex, I'm looking in your direction- shame on you. Rhetorical Question of the week- how old do you think Chelsea is?

Answer: 33. Thirty fucking three! My initial guess was 44, and I was afraid that could be low. This broad wears every blowjob she's ever given on her way to the top all over her face, and yet she has the audacity to make fun of Britney Spears and other Hollywood sluts. Go back to your home on Whore Island.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Video Game Karma

Remember when, while playing World Series Baseball for Sega, I broke up Dunphy's perfect game with a bunt single in the 9th inning?

Well, Video Game Karma waited 14 years, but she got her payback. The other day I'm playing my season in MVP Baseball '05, and Dontrielle Willis had a perfecto going with 1 out in the 9th inning, when Kaz Matsui drops a bunt towards shortstop. Orlando Cabrera boots it, and ruins the perfect game. I probably deserved that.

I still finished off the 9th for a no-hitter, but it wasn't the same. Fucking Kaz Matsui.

Dude, D-Train was straight pissed. He was so distraught afterwards that he went out, got shitfaced, and decided to cruise the streets for a little bit, and added another DUI to his resume'. I think he might have been crying a little bit, too.

Monday, June 9, 2008


OK I gotta come clean with this, I don't care how blasphemous it sounds:

If Paul Pierce didn't go to KU, I think I would probably hate him.

There. I don't feel good about saying that, but it's true. I've kind of been chewing on this for awhile now. I think I mentioned it to Danny a couple weeks ago, and I watched game 2 with a bunch of fellow KU fans and I confessed it to them. I think through two finals games it's official.

He whines. A lot. He also makes sure that EVERYONE knows when he missed a shot because he was fouled, often at the expense of the fast break defense. I realize that both of these problems are concurrent with about 80% of the league's players right now, but it still hurts to see one of my boys acting like that. KU players are usually great character guys; you rarely see them whining and complaining in the NBA. He also makes sure that EVERYONE knows when he's banged up or injured, and that's why he didn't play well (also known as Vince Carter Syndrome.) I was starting to notice that even before the game 1 knee injury, which is a whole other paragraph. Later on in game 1, when he got scratched by Odom, his face was contorted like he got shot for about 3 minutes, and he repeatedly pulled down his jersey and touched the scratch, until the cameras obliged and zoomed in on it to show it was bleeding. OK, PP, gotcha. You got knicked on the rebound. Sweet.

As for the knee injury, I obviously don't think he was faking it; the Celts were in the middle of a run, it would have been a stupid time to do it (not that any time would have been smart. Who are these dipshit fans that honestly believe that he would fake an injury during the finals? Grow up.) I also believe that yeah, it did hurt a lot, and maybe you don't want to put weight on it while heading back to the locker room. But when you return 5 minutes later, and this is all I'm asking for here, don't come skipping back out the tunnel like it's pregame introductions again. Dude. That was awful.

My last issue came during the 4th quarter of last night's game. This kind of goes for the entire team. After watching their body language early in the 4th (Pierce's in particular), I was scrambling trying to find a website that would let me wager that the Lakers would come back. Scrambling. That was the most predictable 22-point run I've ever witnessed in professional basketball. Laugh it up, boys. As much as I want Boston to win, and as much as I hate the Lakers, I almost wanted L.A. to win that game to teach the Celts a lesson. Almost. For a team with so many veterans, and who are supposedly so focused on winning a title, and 'Ubuntu' and all that jazz, that was an apalling performance.

I guess I could bottom line it by saying that Pierce plays like a guy who is fully aware that thousands of people (and millions more at home) are watching him perform, and he sometimes acts accordingly. I'm not sure why I'm not cutting him more slack, it's not like I am intolerant of my favorite players' ridiculous behavior (see: Ramirez, Manny.) It's just that he's been rubbing me the wrong way lately.

I'm probably not conveying my actual thought process very well here. I still like Pierce, he's still my boy. He is still a Jayhawk, and that counts for a lot, and up until this playoffs I've really enjoyed him. I'm guess I'm just trying to say that if Kobe had acted the way that PP has acted so far this series, you would be hearing me throw a HUUUUGE fit right now, and I feel like I should stay consistent.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Vegas, Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi


I wake up, if I ever really fell asleep in the first place. Our morning is spent the same way: Subway and the pool. There is a sense of eagerness in my eyes, borderline desparation. I have disgraced myself yesterday. I wasted an entire night in the greatest place on Earth. This is unforgivable. Between waxing my legs and puking in the Margaritaville bathroom, I am the LVP so far. That performance will not be repeated.


We all sit down to a buffet lunch. It totally sucks, but hey, at least it was only $25! After that it's on to the sports book. I have an experiment today. I throw out a few bets at first, betting on over/unders, crap like that. But I have something more in mind. I want to see how many games I get right if I bet on every single MLB game on the board. 15 games, $20 a game. I'm redeeming myself. Also, Noles allegedly runs into Dick Vitale (I'm not calling him a liar, but there were no witnesses, and he may have been jealous of Paul's Roenick story.) In any case, he freezes and says nothing to him, and Bergman suggests we set up chairs by the elevators and wait for him to come back.


We're all heading downtown to the good ol' Four Queens to play blackjack switch, which is my favorite game of all time. They don't carry it on the strip, I'm not sure why. Maybe since it is way more beneficial to the player, at least in my experience. Noles, Ike, Jake, Bergman and I all land on the same table. Sitting at a blackjack table, talking shit, making jokes, befriending's just the best. I get fired up just talking about it. Unfortunately, I am the only one at the table who is even treading water; the troops are going down fast. We have one awesome dealer, a girl from Africa named Zippee, and one shitty dealer, an old grumpy dude named David. I tell Zippee to meet me at the wedding chapel at 9 PM sharp after one hot stretch of cards, and she agrees.

The afternoon goes well for me, as I go on a late run and win somewhere around $150, and Jake hits a $300 jackpot on a dollar slot machine, but most everyone else gets killed. Horp and Ike look like they're ready to commit a double homicide.


I kinda forgot about my wedding with Zippee. Instead, Bergman, Jen, Dacus, ADawg, Russell and I go to O'Shea's. I win another $100 or so at blackjack, and we play beer pong in this little area they have for, um, beer pong. We meet some random girls from Texas, and they join our crew, as does Buckley later on. The interesting subplot to this night were all the random Bostonians I met.

I find it odd since I ALWAYS wear my Red Sox hat when I'm out, but I've never had so many fellow Boston fans strike up a conversation with me because of it. It started with our blackjack dealer, who had a heavy Boston accent. He asked me if I was from there, and immediately, without even really thinking about it, I flew right into my fake Boston accent and told him I was born and raised in Brookline. So we're bullshitting about the Sox and the Celtics, and I'm dropping R's left and right, and talking about how the best canolis are only found in North Boston (thank you French) and how I can't stand gambling at Foxwoods anymore (thank you Bill Simmons articles.) Anyway this dude bought the whole thing, and I was entertained as shit, as I had played around with a fake Boston accent before, but I'd never pulled it off on real Bostonians.

And this happened three other times in like 2 hours! Some dude would approach me, strike up a conversation about the Sox, and I'd end up talking with him for like 15 minutes in a fake accent. More fun than I can put into words. Buckley told me later I sounded like Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting, which I guess I'll take as a compliment.

After beer pong we went to a club, met some 19-year-olds from Fargo (they looked like they were 12, right in your wheelhouse Dunph) and got stupid on the dance floor. I let someone tie my shirt up like the Chiquita Banana girl and did the Rasheed Wallace pregame dance, the Youkilis/Papelbon dance, and the dance from Hot Rod where the guy is handing out fliers. We were about the only white kids in there....let's just say we weren't a big hit at this place.


After some end of night shenanigans (throwing sandals into the middle of the Strip and having to play Frogger with traffic to get them back; getting my hat thrown into a fountain in front of Caesar's, and then baptizing people in that same fountain) it was time for Paul and I to head to the airport, where I sobered up enough to get through security, boarded my plane with (no exaggeration) 30 seconds to spare, then passed out before the plane took off.

All told, I ended up winning around $350-400. I went 9-6 against the run lines in my MLB betting extravaganza. I fooled 4 separate Boston natives into believing that I grew up there. I won almost 50 bucks on the Spelling Bee challenge. I didn't get beaten up, arrested, or hospitalized. I finished on a high note. These are the positives.

I waxed my legs for no good reason. I puked in a urinal at 5 in the afternoon. I bet actual money on the WNBA. I got punked by some girl who knows who Tom Chambers is. I didn't get to talk shit to Jeremy Roenick. These are the negatives.

Post script, which happened after I left for the airport: I won't name any names, but one of my friends, who very closely resembles the best golfer of our generation, humped one of the randos from Texas allllll over the Caesar's Palace grounds. Kudos to him.

Vegas, baby. Vegas. I miss you already.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vegas, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


I awake after three hours and am instantly refreshed. One of the best things about Vegas is because of the amount of oxygen they pump into those casinos, sleep is almost unnecessary, and hangovers are minimal, at least for me. Bergman and I go find a Subway across the street, recharge the batteries with a roast beef foot long (my Old Reliable), and go back to the hotel, where everyone is now waking up and making their way to the pool.

After a couple of hours of 11 guys being rowdy and annoying people who are trying to relax by the pool, Jake, Paul, Bergman and I go to the sports book to bet on some games. My first bad decision of the day: putting money on L.A. Sparks/Washington Mystics WNBA game, taking the over at 147.5. Yep, it wasn't even noon yet, and I was already willing to believe that two womens' teams (of which I can name all of two players) could score 74 points each. This does not bode well for the rest of my day.


The girls deliver the 90 beers they owe me, and I decide to donate it to the cause, and we have an impromptu room party. This may have been my favorite part of the trip. All 11 dudes plus Jen and Buckley, just drinking, telling stories, and making fun of each other. However, I'm drinking fast. Some MIGHT say a little too fast. The wheels on my drinking train are getting a little wobbly. Then I start double fisting a Mickey's 40 oz. and a Steel Reserve. Now the axles are rattling a little bit. Then I shotgun a beer. If Dr. Sam Beckett had happened to Quantum Leap into my body at this exact moment, he would for sure be looking at the camera and saying, "Ohhh boy....."


The wheels have officially come off; my train has derailed. I don't know how it happened, I mean yeah I was hitting it hard, but considering I made it 20 hours the day before, I am surprised that things got so catastrophic for me so soon today. I'm writing this next section in italics since I don't remember a single thing for the next 6 hours; this has all been told to me by others.

We meet at Margaritaville at 5 for our big dinner. I refuse to order food, saying I'm drinking my dinner instead. We have multiple towers of booze at our table. I label one of them the 'pussy tower' for whatever reason and refuse to drink from it. When the tower from my end of the table is empty, I refuse to fill up my cup from the 'pussy tower', instead choosing not to drink at all (my first good decision all weekend!) I can't open both eyes when I'm talking anymore, and everyone is laughing at me and saying "ARRRRR!" whenever I talk, since I look like a pirate with just one eye open. I get up from the table and meander to the bathroom, where I unload some projectile the urinal. Couldn't even make it to a stall. A few people take turns taking care of me. I make it back to the table. I go back to the bathroom and puke again. ADawg tries flushing the urinal. It begins to overflow. We book it out of the bathroom. We leave. We wander around Caesar's Palace. Most everyone gambles. I throw a fit in the sports book when I discover the Braves didn't cover the spread, and my WNBA bet didn't work out (shocker!!!)


I wake up in the fetal position in my bed. I've missed 11 phone calls and 7 texties. I try to work up the energy to meet everyone out. I cannot do it. I lay in bed, pissed at myself for wasting a night in Vegas. At around 3 AM, Paul, Noles, and Horp start trickling back to our room, one at a time. Noles is furious. Paul is bombed out of his mind. Horp thinks he may have inadvertently married someone in his drunken stupor.

Noles is pissed because somewhere along the way, people were getting split up, then calling him repeatedly trying to find him. Paul alone called him 27 times in under an hour. Turns out Paul ran into Jeremy Roenick in Harrah's and got a picture with him. (Side note: growing up, when we played NHL '94 for Sega Genesis, I was always Detroit and Paul was always Chicago. Every time. We've probably played each other like 600 times with that matchup. Ipso facto, Paul is in love with Roenick, and I am not a fan of him.) So Paul yammers in Roenick's ear for like 10 minutes about how awesome he was in NHL '94, until finally Roenick tells him that he has to go and walks away. I am more mad about missing this encounter than anything else. I would've talked so much crap about how I owned him with Steve Yzerman, it would have made my year.

Horp, on the other hand, passed out in a bar, and when he woke up, everyone with him was gone besides Russell, and an unexplained wedding party had broken out. There was a dollar dance going on and a couple bridesmaids, one in particular, were basically sexually assaulting him. So he freaks out and leaves, and proceeds to call Noles a million times to find out where he was. Hence why Noles was so pissed; in under an hour he received around 40 phone calls.

I am giggling so hard at this trio of drunk idiots that I think I'm going to puke again. Noles throws the phone book at Paul because he won't shut up about ordering pizza (and I mean THROWS the phone book. Like he's pitching in Bambino baseball again. There are few things funnier to me than when Noles and Paul fight. One time Noles spit on Paul at a party since he was wearing Hawaiian, swim-trunk looking shorts. Noles' reasoning? "He looked like he wanted to get wet!" These two have had more legendary battles than Ali/Frazier.)

Paul and Noles finally join forces and start making a million jokes about Horp's sister, and Horp gets mad and literally falls out of bed. We end up ordering a room service pizza ($48 for 12 slices, holy shit) and to top my night off, I accidentally eat a piece meant for Paul, that Noles had completely covered in tabasco sauce. Exactly what my delicate stomach situation needed. They pass out and I lay awake until around 6:30 AM since I already passed out once and can't sleep now.

I feel like I just got my hand cut off, and Darth Vader told me that he is my father.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vegas, Episode IV: A New Hope

I've been struggling to write this since I got back. For those who have been to the Promised Land and back, you know how taxing it is, both mentally and physically. But then as I was thinking about all the shenanigans, I realized my three nights in Vegas loosely resembled the original Star Wars trilogy. This realization, along with some persistent prodding from multiple people, who both politely and not-so-politely encouraged me to hurry up and write about Vegas already, inspired me. So instead of giving you my weekend in one 58,000 word post, I'm breaking it up into three posts, one for each day, so you can fully digest every single high and low that I did over the course of the weekend.


I am beginning my 3-hour layover in Denver, and I make the (questionable) decision that I would like to be drunk by the time I arrive in Vegas. So I belly up to the bar at the Cantina Grill and begin my quest. Shortly after, a pretty decent looking girl, dare I say hot even, probably around 28-30 years old or so, saddles up next to me and orders an Absolut OJ. As I am pondering how to begin talking to her, and what my fake name and fake backstory is going to be, I hear a loud slurping of a straw, and a request for another Absolut OJ. This broad just took down her drink in about 7 seconds. Window of opportunity open. I ask her, "I don't mean to be rude, and excuse my asking, but that was impressive. What are you doing over there?" She goes on to tell me that she was in mid-air during 9/11, and when she deboarded her plane and subsequently heard about everything that went down, she was instantly traumatized, and since then, she's been deathly afraid of flying. Since she travels for work rather often, she has to get bombed in order to get herself to make it through a flight. After I asked her exactly how bad it was, her quote was, "One time, right before take-off, I freaked out so bad I made a baby cry. After that I started getting hammered before flights."

So she asks me my story, and even though I have decided that she's cool enough to get the real deal, I immediately launch into a fake persona. I tell her my name is Tom Chambers, and I am a junior partner at the law firm Marjele, Ainge & Dumas. About a minute into my spiel, she stops me, gives me a wink, and says, "How about you start over from the beginning, and this time don't make every word out of your mouth a lie." As I scramble to pick my jaw up off the bar (never, ever in my life had I been busted so quickly and thoroughly, and I've been doing the fake name thing for years) she laughs and tells me not to worry, she isn't offended, but that her favorite basketball team growing up was the Phoenix Suns, and "That shit isn't going to fly with me. Start again." I recover and we go on to have a nice airport bar conversation, as she plows through 5 or 6 Absolut OJ's in half and hour, bids me adieu, and boards her plane.

Alone again and slightly buzzed, I turn my attention to the National Spelling Bee on TV and a businessman in a sharp suit sitting to my right. As a kid makes his way to the microphone, I tell him half-jokingly, "5 bucks this kid blows it right here." Mildly amused, he looks up and says, "You're on." Flash forward an hour later, and I'm up 25 bucks, and we're cheering and taunting after every speller, much to the delight of the other patrons, who have begun choosing sides as well. The man tells me he has to board his plane soon, and says we need to finish with a big one. My tab is about 47 bucks, his is around 28, and so we go all or nothing for our tabs. One correctly spelled word from my boy later, and I just got my layover bar tab picked up. Holler at your boy. Let's go to Vegas.

I slam 5 Bacardi Cokes on my otherwise uneventful flight. Things are starting to roll downhill rather quickly. Vegas, baby.


I meet Paul, who arrived an hour earlier and has been slamming beers at an airport bar in Vegas. No one else is arrving until 8 pm, and check-in isn't until 4, so my friends and Vegas residents Jen and Buckley are picking us up and taking us to Jen's place to swim. We pick up a case of beer and hit the pool. It's about 98 degrees outside, so Jen, Paul and I finish the case (plus all the straggler beers in her fridge) in roughly an hour or so. So far today, I've consumed 4 tall beers, 3 white russians, an Absolut OJ, 5 Bacardi Cokes, and roughly 10 cans of beer. Welcome to Bad Decisionville. Population: Me.

It begins with the girls making fun of Paul's chest hair. He only has it in one spot in the middle of his chest, and it's long and gross. Buckley offers to wax it off for him, and he accepts. After he screams and cries like Steve Carell in The 40-year-old Virgin, I begin mercilessly taunting him. He tells me to either wax something myself or shut the hell up, since I don't know how bad it hurts. In an drunken act of obscene machoism, I announce that I'll wax a strip of hair off my leg, and if I don't utter a sound or make a facial expression, I get a case of beer. Not surprisingly, this escalates, and soon I am waxing my legs all the way up to mid-thigh for three 30-packs of beer. Half an hour and many anxious and painful moments later, my legs are shiny and smooth, I'm 90 beers richer, and the reality of my decision is fighting a losing battle with the amount of alcohol in my system. Fuck it, let's go to Caesar's Palace.


The cavalry has arrived, and now we're rolling 12 deep. The afternoon's shenanigans earn the proper amount of ridicule/respect from everybody, and we hit the strip. I slog through some blackjack at New York, New York (my favorite gambling casino on the strip, I always seem to make a killing there) and nurse one of those giant Eiffel Tower drinks from Paris for about 4 hours. I am close to hitting my drinking ceiling. People slowly break off and we gradually get separated.


The rest of the crew is at the strip club (Seamless maybe? I can't remember what it was called, and to be honest by that point it was irrelevant.) Bergman, Ike, ADawg and I take a somewhat sketchy limo ride over there. There is a stripper on board with us, and despite both Ike and ADawg being present, when she asks who the lucky bachelor is, I am quick to tell her that I am. I don't remember this, but ADawg informed me the next day that he was rolling in laughter at me, as apparently during my lap dance, the stripper began aggressively slapping my freshly waxed legs, and I was screaming in pain, but refused to tell her to stop doing it because I didn't want to sound like a pussy. I guess just screaming and crying is better. Alcohol's a hell of a drug.

Once at the club, I hit my alcohol ceiling. My normal good-natured banter I have with strangers quickly dissolves into me just being a straight up frat-boy asshole. One stripper, flirting with me in hopes of me purchasing a dance, playfully steals my Elvis-style sunglasses and tries them on. My response? "Those look TERRIBLE on you! Give them back. Now." Another stripper asks me to buy a dance. "Nope, I'm holding out for a black girl." (I've never made out with a black girl, so I have a weird obsession with black strippers when I'm crushed.) After that girl introduces me to a black stripper and tells me to put my money where my mouth is, I tell her I'd rather put her breasts where my mouth is. She seems unimpressed. I ask how much a dance is. She tells me 70 bucks. I bust out laughing and tell her to her face, "You aren't even close to good looking enough to pay that much!" Yeah. Not cool. Time to wrap this day up.


I've been drinking for 20 hours, made an idiot of myself too many times to count, and I'm sleeping in the same bed as Paul. Did I time warp back to 2002? Time for bed.

Our saga continues tomorrow.