Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've Got Pennant Race Fever...

And the only more cowbell!

Here's a sign that maybe, just maybe, I'm getting a little too worked up about the wild card chase (yes, wild card. I've already written off the division and focused entirely on the wild card, since the Rays don't fucking lose anymore. Never thought I'd write that sentence in my lifetime.)

I go to sleep on Friday night, tucked in warm and cozy, knowing that Dice-K and the Sox have already cruised to a 8-0 victory over the White Sox. However, I have a dream where I see a score on ESPN's bottom line that says Boston 3, Chicago 2 in the top of the 6th. I'm slightly puzzled, but my subconscious is quickly overpowered, and I accept the score. Then, later on in the dream, I see a score that reads Chicago 5, Boston 1, bottom of the 4th. Now I'm pissed off. How did Boston manage to score a negative run? Why did the game go backwards? What is Dice-K's pitch count at? I can't quite piece it all together. Finally, I see a score update that reads:


It's at this point that I snap awake and sit bolt upright in bed for a few seconds, wondering how the hell that score is even possible, and perhaps more importantly, how the Sox have managed to blow their earlier lead of 8-0. After awhile I realize it's just a dream, and that yes, Boston did win tonight. And then everything is OK and I can go back to sleep.

I have a friend that is in LOVE with Christopher Walken (creepy, I know) and one time after we watched the aforementioned More Cowbell sketch, she remarked, "I'd let him explore my studio space!" It was disgusting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who'd Play Who?

The age-old question: if Hollywood was going to make a movie about your life, which actor would play you? Well, I'm going a step further, and saying which specific character from a TV show/movie would play some of my buddies. For the most part, I'm not basing this on looks, just personalities. But there are some resemblances with some of them. OK, maybe just one based entirely on looks:

Russell played by Tiger Woods. I mean, I had to. We should all pitch in and pay Russell to buzz his hair, I've always wanted to see how much more he would look like him. OK for real now, and no more athletes as actors, either.

Jake played by....

...Chandler Bing from Friends. This one is unexplainable for me because there is no denying that Jake's sense of humor mirrors Chandler's, and Jake is probably the funniest guy I know, yet every time Chandler makes a joke, I fantasize about holding a branding iron to his face and hearing him scream "Could that BE any hotter?" You figure it out.

DVJS played by....

...Chris McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp from Into the Wild. I could totally see DVJS pulling the same kind of stunt, only replace "hunting and cooking supplies and living in the Alaskan wilderness" with "a basketball and the internet and living in the Staples Center parking lot." Plus that hair/beard combo is totally DVJS, circa March 2008.

ADawg played by....

...Marty McFly from Back to the Future. I've made this joke in various forms countless times, so I won't beat Eight Belles here, but this one might be my favorite one on the whole list. I wish everyone out there could just hang out with ADawg for like 3 hours, and then go home and watch Family Ties or Teen Wolf or something. You wouldn't be able to stop laughing the entire movie.

Fundy played by....

...T1000 from Terminator 2. Neither one of them talk very much, and when they do, it's usually pretty creepy.

Kos played by....

...Jay from Mallrats, Clerks, etc. Just seems right.

Bergman played by....

...O'Bannion from Dazed and Confused. Has plenty of friends, but some people are quick to find him annoying and cut him less slack, even though he's only pulling the same shit as all his friends are. Basically just misunderstood. And I can compare Bergman to a jackass character cause we're friends like that.

Noles played by....

...whatever David Schimmer's name was on Friends. He may or may not be upset with this one, but I stand by it. Is it weird that I think Friends is the most unfunny, overrated show of my generation, but that I also think two of my buddies closely resemble their characters?

Schne played by....

...Rubin from Road Trip. Minus the giant pothead part. Usually is the level-headed voice of reason amongst our shenanigans, but every once in a while is the cause of them.

Dunph played by....

...Ari Gold from Entourage. I won't debate this one. Biggest slam dunk on the list.

St. Aubyn played by....

...Frank from Old School. Pretty self-explanatory. Except imagine that Frank the Tank went on to become a police officer, and subsequently a shell of his former self, and imagine how heartbroken Mitch would be. I'm Mitch right now.

Jon Jon played by....

...every single David Spade character ever. I'm usually a pretty sarcastic guy, but even I can't escape Jon Jon's shadow of being a wiseass. Literally. Get it?!? He's really tall, so he has a large shadow....Ba-zing! I can never turn down an opportunity to make a tall joke at Jon Jon's expense.

Lane played by....

...the opposite of Tom Hanks' character in Big. I know this is kind of weak sauce, but this is the best way I could illustrate that while Tom Hanks is a 13-year-old stuck in a 30-year-old body, Lane is a 58-year-old stuck in a 26-year-old body. I suppose I could've used Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday or something like that, but then I would have to admit that I know enough about Freaky Friday to tell you the basic plot and that Jamie Lee starred in it. You know the book Tuesdays With Morrie? I could write a book called Saturday Mornings With Lane and it would be me and him sitting in lawn chairs, drinking beer and rotating the sprinklers every half an hour.

I'd have to include myself in this one, it wouldn't be fair for me to escape punishment. Based on what approximately EVERY SINGLE PERSON I'VE EVER MET IN MY LIFE has told me, I would have to go with Jimmy Fallon's character in Fever Pitch. There are some undeniable similarities, like I take sports wayyyy too seriously, and I have the bedroom decor of a 12-year-old. However...I would never, EVER, consider getting rid of kick-ass Red Sox season tickets just for a chick. Especially if that chick is anywhere near as ugly as Drew Barrymore. Jesus. One time I broke up with a girl who was a Yankees 'fan.' It wouldn't be entirely truthful if I said that was the reason I broke up with her....but I can honestly say it was in the top 2.

Dammit! Sit down, you land monster! The bases are loaded, and Varitek is coming up next. The hot dog guy will be back next inning, you can just buy two then, I promise.

I'm sure there will be a few agreements/disagreements with this one. The comment section could get a little rowdy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Knights Of Columbus, That Hurt!

Quick story: we're at the Rangers/Royals game last night, and there is a high foul ball somewhat near our seats. This kid, probably about 8 years old, is camped under it, he's got his glove up, he's totally ready for it....and he completely misses it and it richochets off the top of his head and lands probably 30 yards away. One of the funniest things I've ever seen, and I couldn't even properly enjoy it since the whole crowd was reacting like it was their own kid or something. They were absolutely horrified, I thought the lady next to me (not Alex) was going to start crying. Maybe I'm going to hell since I immediately broke out laughing, received a few dirty looks, quickly cut my laughing short and said, "Ooooohhhhh.....I hope he's not hurt!" Then I went back to my giant tray of chili cheese fries and laughed really hard in my head. And no, the kid wasn't hurt. Badly. Side note: I have now attended 8 Royals games, and have yet to see them win one.

A few things that I like right now, so you should too:

Weeds. Don't know how many of you I've already told to watch this show, but do it. It's probably the most addicting TV show I've ever watched. I don't really watch TV anymore (just sports.) I can't make the commitment to be home at a certain time every week to watch, and then if you miss one week, you're effed. So I just buy a few TV shows on DVD and run through them like that. And I like this system. I don't care that I'm a year behind on some shows (but don't tell me what's happening in The Office!) and I don't get particularly fired up when they do finally come out. Maybe just mildly excited. My point is: when the new season of Weeds comes out, I'm practically frothing at the mouth by the time we finally put the DVD in. Then we watch the entire season in 1 or 2 sittings, and I'm legimately depressed that I have to wait a whole year to watch another new episode. Just a fantastic show. Watch it.

Vampire Weekend. I don't usually come across music that has been released since 2001 unless it is spoon-fed to me by Schneweis, but I recently heard these guys on Mary's blog and loved them....not enough to go buy any of their music, but enough to download a shit-ton of it for free.

Last night's Sox/Yankees game. Some clutch hitting, Giambi being an idiot, A-Rod going 0-5, stranding a bunch of runners, booting grounders, and getting booed mercilessly....this game had it all. Although I do have to give A-Rod some credit, his post-game interview where he accepted blame and unleashed a little bit of a sailor's mouth was decent. If he acted like that more often, instead of such a whiny bitch most of the time, I would have more respect for him. Like Waylon Jennings and my boy Vampire Hunter D would say, "New York City is a bad place to be...."

The commercial (Wendy's? Burger King? something like that) where the dude talks about being a meatatarian. That's me, right there. That commercial came on yesterday, I was clearly enjoying it, and Alex, with visions of me putting down two steak burritos and a bag of chips from Chipotle fresh in her mind, asks me if it's too soon for me to start taking medicine to help prevent heart attacks down the road. Booyeah.

My new putter/putting grip. I decided I needed a complete putting overhaul, so I bought a putter that is an actual golf brand (I've never had a nice one before, I had been using the same knock-off piece of shit for the last 8 years) and changed up my grip, so I'm now resembling Justin Leonard more than my boy Phil. Now I'm scoring a little better, so maybe I can join the tour and hopefully win $275,000 to buy back my grandma's house. Gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Save The Woodlands

Last Saturday a bunch of us went to The Woodlands race track in KC and got special sauced while we watched the greyhounds. I went in with pretty high expectations of winning money, after I cleaned up at the Kentucky Derby earlier this year. Unfortunately, my foolproof strategy of picking dogs with cool names, skimming over their actual statistics, and basically ignoring their odds didn't work out as well this time....shocking. I finished up a little bit of money on the night, which is nothing to complain about, but after my rollicking success at the Derby, I was a little bit disappointed.

I put a ton of money on a dog that was named Pat Nicola, because I felt bad for not being able to make it to Nico's wedding earlier this summer (alcohol played a large role in picking that dog, and also in my subsequent phone call to Noles letting him know of my decision.) He did well, but when I emptied my wallet to back a greyhound named Jiminy Jackson (because how could a dog that sounded like a two-time All-American not be awesome?) 'ol Jiminy took last place. In any event, if you put me in an atmosphere with gambling, $2 beers, and countless random strangers to bullshit with, then I'm walking away happy.

Unfortunately, it was closing day at the Woodlands. Apparently they're not making any money these days, and the state won't let them put in slot machines to stay afloat, so despite our best efforts to keep them in business by purchasing obscene amounts of Busch beer (gold tops, holler at your boy!) it looks like they'll be shutting down, at least for awhile. This is my disappointed face.

Question of the day: if you could pick one celebrity to be in the next issue of Playboy, who would it be? Ladies, you can choose the guy you most wanna see naked. No homo.

I'm going with Jennifer Love Hewitt. She has been teasing everyone with that giant rack of hers for over a decade now, and despite the fact that she is a shitty actress, she absolutely refuses to get naked in any of her god-forsaken movies. It's driving me crazy. I gotta catch a glimpse of these warlocks.

I Know What You Masturbated To Last Summer

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bambino Basebrawl

Once again, an extended discussion based on Bambino baseball has broke out in the comments; it is far from the first time on this blog, and sure to be far from the last. And every time, it gets me thinking of that magical time in our lives when friendships were put on hold for two 6-inning games every Monday and Wednesday night when we were 10-12 years old. Here is the story of the greatest Bambino game I was ever involved in.

[Note: there are probably only about 15 of you who will legitmately care about this long-winded story from our childhood. The rest of you are on your own. Hey, if I could get Morgan Freeman to narrate it, I would.]

We were 12 years old, the 'veterans' of the league. It's the Reds (featuring the likes of Dunph, Henneman, and Cory Solem) vs. the Red Sox (featuring myself, Schneweis, and a bunch of other guys who actually had a batting average over .200.)

Dunph and I are the starting pitchers, so this promises to be an interesting game, full of shit-talking between noodle-armed 6th graders who think they're awesome pitchers, all the while struggling to hit 40 mph on the radar gun.

Our leadoff hitter is a spark plug of a 9-year-old (meanwhile, I hit like 7th in the order, and I don't know where Schne was at. I told you we sucked at hitting.) He squares around to bunt, and Dunph plunks him right in the ballsack. In typical fashion, he looks to our dugout, makes eye contact with me, and laughs. Heeere we go.

Bottom of the inning, Dunph comes up. I bury the first pitch in his thigh. Our coaches, including my dad, exchange glances, as up to that point, I've only beaned one hitter in my life. I come up the next inning, Dunph puts one in my back. Eyebrows are raised. Next time through the order, I plunk Big Hen. Now the umpire is having a discussion with both teams' coaches. After Dunph hits another batter (can't remember who--Schne, was it you? Maybe Mike Eickman or someone?) he gets tossed. I giggle from the bench, until I see who is coming in to pitch: Cory Solem, the wildest pitcher in the league. He made Rick Vaughn look like Greg Maddux.

So, predictably, he gets ejected (there is an automatic ejection if you hit 3 people in a single inning. I'm pretty sure none of his were intentional, he just has no idea where his pitches are going.) By this point, both teams are openly screaming at each other from the dugouts; things are unraveling fast.

Our head coach gives me explicit instructions not to hit anyone else; he was a classy guy. I give him my word that I won't. Things settle down for an inning or two. However, due to a lack of able bodies after the ejections, the Reds are forced to insert their 7-year-old batboy into the lineup. I think it was the youngest Brown brother. He digs in, waving a bat around that is bigger than he is, sporting a helmet that is about 7 sizes too big, wearing a menacing scowl across his face. I start laughing a little bit. I'm not trying to show anyone up, especially a scrappy little 1st or 2nd grader (who is practically growling in the batter's box, he's so pumped up.) So I turn my back to the plate and walk around to compose my laughter. That's when I bump into my 1st baseman, who is standing no further than 6 feet away from me. The rest of my infield, likewise, is gathered in a tiny semi-circle around the mound. I suppose it's the correct defensive positioning, considering the kid up to bat is just one year removed from tee-ball.

However, this does nothing to help my laughing fits. My first pitch bounces about 10 feet in front of home plate, leading to jeers from the Reds' dugout and bleachers. The infield is alive with chatter. Toby Blake comes up and gives me a slap on the back, then returns to his shortstop position, about 3 steps behind me. With bursts of laughter racking my body, my next pitch makes it to the plate....and dings Little Brown in the head.

Pandemonium ensues. My immediate concern is Solem. I am still occasionally awoken in the middle of the night by nightmares of him storming out of the dugout in a Forrest Gump-like frenzy, pummeling me to the ground as everyone watches, then slowly climbing to his feet, looking around, and mumbling, "Sorry I got into a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party..."

When he is restrained by teammates, I turn my attention to the crowd, who has mistakenly come to the conclusion that I beaned him on purpose. Bambino parents are notorious for getting unrealistically fired up; just try and picture them now. I thought for sure a brawl was going to break out, either on the field or in the stands. It would've been "my dad can beat up your dad" come to life.

In actuality, however, cooler heads prevailed. I was ejected, and although I was trying to look tough as I left the field to my first-ever ejection, I headed straight to the bench, saw Little Brown mean-mugging me as he stood on first base, and completely broke down in hysterical laughter. The rest of the game passed without incident. To be honest, I remember all this ridiculous crap about this game, but I have absolutely no idea who won. Probably us, the Reds were awful that year.

The last thing I remember is going through the handshake line. Dunph and I were laughing, which is surprising since we've been known to get in huge fights over less. Then I come to Little Brown, with Solem walking behind him with his hands on his shoulders. I open my mouth to apologize, but Solem beats me to it. "Ok, show him what we practiced" he tells Little Brown. As I stand there in bewilderment, a tiny little 7-year-old fist shoots through the air and punches me in the stomach.

I will never forget that game as long as I live. I'll be telling my grandkids about that one....unless I'm feeling lazy, then I'll probably just give them the URL to this blog instead.

Happy Friday, let's go out there and get after it this weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Breaking News: Twins Sign Godfread To Contract

Bill Smith, GM of the Minnesota Twins, recently issued this press release:

On behalf of the entire Minnesota Twins organization, I am very excited to announce that after watching Mr. Godfread throw out the first pitch on Monday night, we have come to terms on a contract that will have him in a Twins' uniform starting next week.

I have little doubt that some of you in the media may have questions regarding the reasoning behind this move. We feel confident that adding a nice power arm to our rotation can do nothing but add to the value of this ballclub as we head into the stretch run of the season.

We are aware that Godfread is short on major league experience; in fact, Monday night was the first time he had set foot on a baseball field of any sort since 1997. But come on, did you see that throw he made? Given the choice between experience and God-given talent, well, I'm taking talent every time, folks.

I mean, have you guys seen Rookie of the Year? That little Henry Rowengartner could really throw, couldn't he? And he was only, like, 12 years old! How's that for inexperienced? He came in and dominated right away, and the Cubs went on to win the World Series that year! I'm pretty sure that movie is based on a true story, I'll have to double-check that though. Ohhhh man, remember when Henry was chanting "Pitcher's got a big butt!" That was soooo funny, I was totally LOLing at that part. But I digress.

In fact, you don't even have to go all the way to Chicago to find instances of success by ridiculously unqualified people within the sport of baseball. You guys heard of Little Big League? That kid managed your very own Minnesota Twins, and if Ken Griffey Jr. hadn't made an unbelievable catch in the last game of the year, we would've made the playoffs! I mean, WTF?!?! That spoiled little punk-ass retired after the year and never came back to coach again, but that's neither here nor there.

Another thing Godfread brings our ballclub is an imposing figure on the mound. Not since the days of Rick Aguilera and his painted-on beard have we had a pitcher whose mere presence commands your respect. We anticipate that opposing hitters will be dreading the mere thought of stepping into the batter's box against this force of nature. We thought we were going to have that for years to come with Carlos Silva, but then we realized he was just fat. Next time he pitches at the Metrodome, we should totally hire Henry Rowengartner to come make fun of him. I better write that one down so I remember it, LOLZ.

Now I already know your next question: instead of bringing in this untested 26-year-old, whose only idea of a nasty slider is an undercooked burger from Whitecastle, why didn't you make a trade for a pitcher at the trade deadline? And I think you all the know the answer to that: trade deadline deals are for suckers. When was the last time a team made a mid-season trade that actually helped them? No, no, we much prefer to just sit on our hands and do nothing. Then when we narrowly miss the playoffs, or get swept in the first round, we can at least take solace in the fact that we didn't risk giving up our 4th best prospect at the Double A level to acquire a solid lefty for our bullpen.

It's good to have goals, folks. Our goal has always been to have the greatest collection of young talent in the league. And we feel that we have accomplished this time and time again. Now, whether or not these players succeed at the major league level is really beyond our concern. We enjoy teasing you homer-hanky-waving fanatics with the promise of being good at some yet-to-be-determined point in the future.

I hope everybody is getting excited for what is sure to be an exciting, and ultimately heartbreaking, pennant race. You can rest assured that every member of this proud organization will be pouring every last drop of sweat, blood, and tears into this thing, only to come up a game or two short in the end. But what will really matter is we didn't spend too much money doing it.

In closing, I'd like to welcome Mr. Godfread aboard, and remind everyone of a little passage I heard recently: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

OH! I have to go call Henry Rowengartner too. Glad I wrote that down. ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Keep The Change, Ya Filthy Animal

A list of three things, brought to you by Buzz McCallister (the jerk older brother) from Home Alone:

A) A very special tip of the cap goes to Lane, who last weekend at The Outhouse accomplished his life-long goal of being the announcer for the strippers as they come onstage, proving to all of us that sometimes dreams really do come true. Kudos to you.

2) Unfortunately, I was unable to attend T. Nels and Kristen's wedding last weekend (congrats kids!) But I was informed that the first song of the wedding dance was none other than Celebration by Kool & the Gang. See Rule #2 from the Wedding Dance Manifesto. I'm speaking the truth here, people.

D) Some things crack me up. After I wrote about ogling the women's gymnastics team, the comment section was dominated by females, even though, as far as I know, the vast majority of the people who read this are guys. The noticeable absence of dudes in the comment section was due to many of them deciding to tell me what they thought via text, rather than put their intimate thoughts on the world wide web for all to see. Which is understandable, after reading what they had to say. Here are the topics of those texties, to varying degrees of inappropriateness:

-Things they would do to Shawn Johnson
-Things they would sacrifice for the opportunity to do things to Shawn Johnson
-What percentage of the U.S. gymnastics team they would like to bang
-If one was to fly to Beijing, and hook up with a minor on foreign soil, would it still be statutory?

You stay classy, San Diego.

Monday, August 18, 2008

That's What I Love About These High School Girls, Man. I Get Older And They Stay The Same Age...

Gotta love the Olympics. Nothing like watching men's swimming at the bar and listening to girls on our co-ed softball team talk about how tasty Michael Phelps looks in his Merman suit (no homo), or sitting on the couch watching women's gymnastics, trading texties that say things like "look at my girl Nastia. Grrrr" or "I'd give Shawn Johnson a floor exercise."

I guess I've always had a soft spot in my heart for gymnasts. I watched Stick It and developed a huge crush on the main character. I'm currently dating a retired gymnast....although the only gymnastics she does now is an occasional handstand while she's walking from the living room to the kitchen, and I sprint at her and either a) pretend like I'm gonna punch her in the stomach so she has to quit, or b) pick her up and powerbomb her onto the couch so she has to quit. Fun for everybody involved, to be honest. Or at least fun for me.

It was one thing when the Bergman brothers and I were 13 years old, watching the '96 Olympics and ogling the Magnificent Seven for the U.S. team (Dominique Moceanu was our goddess back then.) They were slightly older than us, and we were at the age where just the sight of a bra strap would send us into a frenzy. It was all good. But now I can't watch women's gymnastics without feeling creepy, and subsequently overcompensating by sending creepy texties to friends (see above.)

Remember those old Frosted mini-wheats commercials, where they would be like, "The adult in me loves the rich whole wheat taste......but the kid in me loves the frosting!" That's what I feel like when I watch the Olympics nowadays:

"The sports fan in me loves watching the U.S. vs. Greece in men's basketball qualifying....but the pedophile in me loves watching 16-year-old-girls run around in one-sies!"

Speaking of the movie Stick It, I was horrified at the end of the movie when our girl Dominique makes a two-second cameo. She wasn't exactly what you would call attractive anymore. I reported this to Bergman, who now refuses to watch the movie so he can preserve the images he has in his mind (not that he was necessarily reserving it at Blockbuster, either. I mean, it is a movie about gymnastics.) Annnnyway, that was the last time I had laid eyes on Dominique, so out of curiosity I ran her through the ol' google search, and found this picture. Avert your eyes, Bergman.

I'm assuming she's pregnant, because really the only other possibility is she ate Kerri Strug. When will the fad of posing for pictures naked and pregnant be over with? I know I've had my fill. Stupid Demi Moore.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's The F*cking Catalina Wine Mixer!

If you don't know what that's from, go see Stepbrothers. It's like masturbating in a time machine.

I recently received the news that in addition to being Best Man at St. Aubyn's wedding next month, I also get to be the unofficial deejay. He asked me to email him a list of songs that he will give to the actual deejay, and I responded with as much excitement as a 13-year-old girl finding out that NSYNC will be playing her next birthday party. Wait, kids still listen to NSYNC, right? That's just a little taste of some of the songs I'm going to be picking. Holler back.

I've always wanted to deejay a wedding dance. Back in 2004, I made a half-assed comment (I mistakenly thought the bride-to-be knew I was joking) that I would deejay her wedding, and then she legitmately asked me a few weeks beforehand if I would, but by then I realized I would rather just get hammersmithed and dance like an idiot than stay sober and play songs, so I declined. Apparently they were counting on me to actually do it, so they had to scramble and find someone else, so I felt bad. To repay her, I just got superduper drunk and provided free entertainment in the form of some MC Hammer dance moves.

But this situation here is the best of both worlds. This way I get to pick the songs beforehand, and ALSO get bombed and shake my tailfeather. I spent probably 10 minutes in the 'deejay booth' at Ike's wedding, making adjustments to the MC's playlist.

His argument: "Yeah, um, I've been MCing weddings for 10 years. I think I know what songs people like to hear."

My argument: "Well, I've been getting drunk and acting stupid with most of these people for 10 years. Play Barbie Girl next, dude."

At the risk of tooting my own horn, after I tweaked his playlist a bit, the dance floor was packed for the rest of the night. As Jon Jon would say: Toot toot.

During all my years of attending wedding dances, I've been on opposite ends of the spectrum. I've been the 15-year-old scavenging half-empty champagne bottles off of abandoned tables in the corner, and simply watching the dance floor, trying to maintain my composure so that when I unexpectedly run into my Spanish profesora by the punch bowl, she won't know I've been drinking; and I've been the 24-year-old squinting through a drunken haze at the 15-year-old scavenging bottles in the corner, and asking my buddies if she looks like she's 20, does it really matter if she's only 15? Through these experiences, I've been making observations and forming opinions, and now I organize them into a manifesto of sorts, for your enjoyment.

Rule #1- And this is Wedding Dance 101 here, but it's amazing how many deejays fuck this up: Play the old people music (waltzes, tangos, other shit that no one under age 50 knows how to do) at the beginning. Old people don't stick around for the end of the dance, and if you play one of these songs at the end when it's just kids out there, it results in the biggest stampede since the dinosaurs got loose in Jurassic Park.

Rule #2- Do not, repeat, do not start off the dance with Celebration by Kool & the Gang. I bet like 75% of the weddings I've been to are guilty of this. It basically wastes a great wedding song, because nobody dances to the first song of the night. You could put Jessica Biel, naked, with a hundred dollar bill in each hand, in the middle of that dance floor, and you're still not gonna see any dudes out there, for the same reason that you don't ever see a 200-pound girl leaving a bar with a random guy anytime before last call: we're just not that drunk yet.

Rule #3- In a follow-up to #2, don't start throwing around all your best songs at the beginning. No matter how good the songs are right away, you just have to accept the fact that the dance floor will be pretty empty. If you're deejaying, you have to look at it like you're flirting with a stranger from across the bar a little bit. You can't just play a bunch of crap at the beginning, just like you wouldn't act like a total asshammer right away, or then the girl will ignore you completely. But you can't play all your awesome songs right away in a desparate ploy for attention, either. You wouldn't just stroll up to the girl at the bar and say, "Hi, my name is Brad. I bench 250, squat a clean 400, volunteer for disaster victims on weekends, love watching The Notebook and snuggling, have 1.3% body fat, and enjoy going down on a girl for hours on end." Of course not. You'd come off as creepy, potentially a serial killer. Play a few decent songs at first, you know, kind of putting the vibe out, letting them know that yeah, I'm pretty good now, but wait until you see me later. Then let her get a few drinks in her system and take advantage of her when she assures her friends that she's OK to drive home by herself. Wait...I may have just mixed up my metaphors there.

Rule #4- There seems to be a backlash lately against songs like the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, and the Electric Slide. Bullshit, I say. There's nothing wrong with any of these songs. I always thought that the biggest omission during Wedding Crashers was to not include learning the Electric Slide. Look at your typical dance floor during that song. It's usually like 15-20 girls for every guy. If you're a dude, you gotta love that ratio. Learn the Electric Slide, boys. In fact, learn to love it. Once you establish yourself as one of the only dudes in the joint who is both comfortable enough and coordinated enough to execute the Slide, it's like fishing with dynamite (speaking from experience.) Even G.I. Joe would tell you, "Knowing is half the battle." And I'll be damned if he ever led me astray.

Rule #5- Along those same lines, choose your spots wisely when you're inserting slow dances. If you're a deejay, an important underlying factor to keep in mind during the reception is: There are people trying to get laid here. You have a duty--nay, a responsibility--to help make that happen (especially if you're a guy.) With that in mind, you can't just throw slow songs in wherever you want. Slow songs are a very key part of the 'hooking up at a wedding dance' process, but as is so often the case in life, timing is everything. Don't play any Alison Krauss right after you just played Shout! Everyone just spent the last 6 minutes jumping around, sweating, and if you're anything like my friends, most likely spraying beer on each other. Chicks don't wanna slow dance with you if they can feel a mix of sweat and PBR dripping on top of their head (also speaking from experience.)

Rule #6- Contrary to popular belief, it is OK to play the same song more than once, as long as there is at least an hour and a half between repeats. I've always believed this, and my argument was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt at Ike's wedding. Early on we requested Apache by the Sugarhill Gang, and Bergman and I did our dance to it. (By 'our dance' I mean the Fresh Prince and Carlton's, but as far as most people know, I made it up. I've never claimed to be the originator, but when people compliment me on it, let's just say that I don't tell them otherwise.) A few people noticed us, liked it, caught on pretty quick, and then the deejay cut the song short. Unreal. So later I requested Jump On It by Sir Mix-a-Lot. The deejay didn't know it was the same song, only slightly remade. Sneaky, I know. This time more people were joining in. Then, almost at the end of the night, I made him play Apache again. He was dead set against it, but I finally convinced him. See the above logic I used for this argument. This time, there was a rush towards the dance floor by people who weren't already out there. And every single person on that dance floor was doing the Fresh Prince dance. And it was spectacular.

Rule #7- Don't play any of those bush league megamixes. I've heard this a few times with Michael Jackson songs, where it's like 30 seconds of Billie Jean, then 30 seconds of Thriller, 30 seconds of Beat It, etc. etc. That's just garbage, for so many reasons. C'mon, this isn't a Jock Jams CD.

Rule #8- Keep the newer, "the only way to dance to this song is to grind the shit out of each other" rap songs to a minimum. I would say 2 max; depending on your crowd, you could go 1, or even none. This isn't El Roco on a Thursday night; let's try and at least keep the illusion of appropriateness here. The main reason for this rule is the abundance of parents that are usually in attendance. Let's be honest here: if I'm a father, and if I wanted to watch some spikey-haired shithead with his shirt partially unbuttoned rub his dong all over my daughter, while flashing westside at his buddies with one hand, and sloshing a keg beer all over the $300 dress that I paid for with his other hand....well then, I would just videotape my nightmares.

Rule #9- Always, always, always finish with a slow song. You'd think this would go without saying, but I've been to more than one wedding that broke this sacred rule. A slow song puts some closure on the party. You can't just play some kick-ass song and then say, "All right, that's it, folks!" That'd be like if CBS immediately cut to an episode of Law & Order, 2.5 seconds after the National Championship game ended. You gotta be able to see One Shining Moment; you gotta have some time to wind down a little bit. Plus, finishing with a slow dance is beneficial to all the wedding-goers: The people who are about to hook up can whisper their room numbers in each others' ear. The wallflower couple who hasn't set foot on the dance floor yet can share a romantic moment on their journey to being the most boring couple ever. The single ladies can go drunk dial their ex-boyfriends. And the single dudes can go shotgun a couple of beers at the bar before they go back to their hotel room and jerk off to their $16.95 skinemax pay-per-view. Everybody's a winner here.

Of course, I wouldn't pretend to know everything about deejaying a wedding dance, so any suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Madden Day!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, the day that Madden comes out. My best day of the year list probably goes:

1. Opening day of March Madness
2. Thanksgiving
3. Selection Sunday
4. April 16th
5. National Championship Game/Baseball Opening Day
6. Madden Day
7. Christmas Eve

When I was a kid, my mom HATED Madden Day, because she knew I would be spending a minimum of 12 consecutive hours in front of the TV, regardless of how nice it was outside. My mom, probably still to this day, harbors an intense dislike of video games, brought on almost entirely by my love for them. She was convinced that spending hours zoned out in front of the TV was bad for me, and I would continually argue with her about it. For one, I don't think it's bad for you, as long as you have friends and stay active and whatnot. And two, if you ever have watched me play, I'm far from zoned out while I'm playing. To put it bluntly, I'm a fucking spaz. One time when I was 14 we were having our usual go-round about how she hates video games. I pointed at her and, completely serious, yelled "You don't talk about Nintendo 64 that way!" That, sadly, is a true story, I think Bergman might have been there for that one.

It's not like video games stunted me socially or anything; I have plenty of friends and am a reasonably well-functioning member of society. But I'll admit, it's a delicate line that I straddle. There have been countless occasions where I've been late to parties or get-togethers because I had to "finish my game." There was a party last summer where MyShawn and I were about 3 hours late because we couldn't walk away from our huge winning streak with Golden State in NBA Jam.

I am fairly convinced that my unborn children will outgrow video games before I do. I have no idea how to build things, or fix things, nor do I possess the working knowledge needed to alert me if something is broken and needs to be fixed. While Brother was in the garage with my dad learning how to change the oil in a car, I was inside trying to bat .500 for an entire season with Julio Franco. When they were camping and hunting, I was pulling all-nighters and simulating 17 seasons in Tecmo Super Bowl.

So maybe Mom had a point. Oh well. It's not going to stop me from playing Madden tonight from approximately 5:15 pm until I go to bed. Well, maybe more like 6 p.m.....I better take my car in to the shop to get the oil changed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dream Team (No Pun Intended)

In honor of the Olympics starting this weekend, but mostly because it's 4:30 in the morning and I can't fall asleep (I inexplicably fell into a 3 hour coma after my round of golf this evening, and since my usual naps are like 7 minutes long, I'm totally screwed now), here is my USA Basketball Dream Team, if I was making a team based on NBA Live '95 for Sega Genesis:


C- Shaquille O'Neal- he was an absolute force in that game. He'd shoot approximately 100% from the floor.

F- Chris Webber- ditto Webber. His back to the basket game was phenomenal. How would anybody handle those two down low?

F- Scottie Pippen- doesn't need to score much, but probably could, since his mid-range jumper was unstoppable in this game. He'd also guard the best player on the other team at all times, and play a little point guard if needed, since we're only carrying two on the roster.

G Reggie Miller- wouldn't need to do anything besides sit in the corner and hit open 3's.

G Mark Price- arguably the most unguardable player in this game. If any team tried to double down on Shaq and C-Webb, Price and Miller would hit ten 3's each.


C- David Robinson- could possibly sneak in and end up leading the team in scoring or something weird like that. He would always put up a rather quiet 40-20 in Live '95.

G- Gary Payton- doesn't have Price's shooting, but is a better passer and a much, much, much, much better defender.

F- Larry Johnson- I originally had Grant Hill here, but then I remembered he wasn't in Live '95, so I added LJ for a little more size and toughness.

G- Dan Marjele- another shooter. A little more streaky, but when he's on, he gets the green light once he crosses half court.

F- Shawn Kemp- he'll give Webber and Shaq a breather, and we need someone for Payton to throw alley-oops to when we're up by 45 in garbage time.

G/F- Stacey Augmon- role player. Really doesn't need to do much but shut down the other team's scorer and dunk during blowouts.

G- Isaiah Rider- the 12th man really doesn't play anyway, so we're taking a flier on a headcase. One time I dropped 42 points in one 5-minute quarter with him.

What's more sad, the fact that these are the things I think about when I'm trying to fall asleep; the fact that when I googled 'nba live 95' and saw the above picture, my first thought was "C'mon, Mookie, throw Koncak the alley-oop, nobody's guarding him!"; or the fact that it only took me like 1.5 seconds to determine that it was Mookie Blaylock and Jon Koncak in the picture? Quite frankly, it's a toss up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tales From The K

Stories from a couple games at Kaufmann while the Sox were in town....

The first night I felt like being kind of a douche, and everyone knows we love to try and bait Royals fans into talking shit, so I decided to wear my "Manny Being Manny" shirt. If the Royals fan was cool, like the 75-year-old guy who made fun of me in the parking lot, then I would be self-deprecating and laugh about how I'm living in denial. If the Royals fan was a dipshit (like the guy who comes into the stands and does promotions) then I would act like I hadn't heard about the Manny trade, and act shocked and surprised until the guy finally realized I was being sarcastic and left me alone.

So speaking of the Royals Promotion Guy, Alex, Ashley, and I were on the Jumbotron for an extended period of time. The guy directly in front of us was selected to do a trivia question, which was: Who is Billy Butler's (Royals 1st baseman) favorite American Idol?

A. David Cook
B. Ruben Studdard
C. Carrie Underwood

So do you think Butler, a twenty-something red-blooded American male, likes Carrie Underwood? Nope. Well, does he at least like Cook, who is from Kansas City? Nope. He likes Ruben Studdard. So the guy guesses Underwood (smartly), gets it wrong, and the crowd, including us, goes ballistic booing the fact that Butler actually likes Studdard, unquestionably the worst choice of the three. I'm up on the Jumbotron in the background expressing my displeasure, and the promotion guy yells at me "Sit down, Manny!"

Wait a second, what? He told us right before the thing started that we should be animated and rowdy on screen! Now, no? Now he just wants to look cool and make a Manny joke in front of a bunch of people? Those promotion guys are like that. Without fail. So I whirl around and turn my displeasure on him. "Fuck off dude, Ruben Studdard? Are you kidding me?!? That shit was rigged!" while dismissively pointing at him. Most the people in our section were Sox fans, and they thought this was awesome, and a guy sitting near me took a picture of the Jumbotron during this exchange, and he later showed me a picture of myself berating the promotion retard on the Jumbotron. One of my proudest moments. I should've had the guy email me the pic or something. Live and learn, I guess. End of the story is that the guy doing the trivia got like 20 free cookies for losing, and he gave some to us and they tasted awesome.

At some point during the game (I have no idea how this topic came up) it came out that Alex thought Eurasia was one of the 7 continents. I honestly thought she was joking for a few minutes since she was so serious about it. I told her that it was a continent around 250 million years ago; she didn't care. Ashley politely told her she was mistaken; she didn't care. The three guys from Boston sitting behind us told her, less politely, that she was mistaken; she didn't care. The 10 year old sitting next to me told her she was wrong, listed the 7 actual continents in about 3 seconds, and then started laughing at Alex (this kid immediately became my main man) and she STILL didn't care. By now there are a lot of people involved in this discussion, and it wasn't until the same guy who took my picture on the Jumbotron used his phone and googled Eurasia and read the definition to her that she finally accepted it (sorta.) I have never been so embarrassed to be dating someone....I suppose now I know how Alex feels when I, oh...I don't know, get into a verbal dispute with a Royals employee in front of 25,000 people on the biggest scoreboard in major league baseball. Anyway, here's my main man and me, check out the look on his face, what a stud:

"Dude, Eurasia? Is she serious? Even my girlfriend that still occasionally eats glue knows the 7 continents! What do you SEE in this chick?"

"I know, man....I know. She cooks me some pretty good mac 'n' cheese, though. You'll understand one day."

From a baseball standpoint the game was good, Beckett pitched well, the bats came alive, and the Sox cruised to a fairly easy win. Ashley decided she was going to match me beer for beer, which resulted in me being slightly buzzed....and her being "Michael Cera at the end of Superbad" drunk. Ahh...I remember when I had my first beer, too. So her and Alex (who wasn't exactly sober either) are making me take a picture every 3 minutes or so, until I finally snapped, and then they bothered the dudes behind us to take pictures of/with them.

My inner monologue: "Dammit, you two! We're in the middle of a rally right now! This is the last fucking picture I'm taking!" Oh, wait. That was my outer monologue. My inner monologue was probably worse, and had more profanity.

So that game was fun, and we went again last night, this time in much better seats, and the Sox won again, so they're now 4-2 when I see them in person. No real funny stories though, except maybe one. In the ninth inning, with the Sox up 8-2, Papelbon gives up a meaningless base hit. Some dude behind us yells, "Ahhhh yeeeeaaaahhhhh!!!! Papelbon, you fucking suck!" This is while his team is down six runs with one out in the bottom of the ninth. God bless Royals fans.

Monday, August 4, 2008

You're Going To Be Embarrassed When You Realize I'm Wilmer Valderrama!

One of the surest signs that I am getting older is my taste in music. If the 2008 Me would've told 1999 Me that right now his favorite song was "American Boy" by some British chick and Kanye West, 1999 Me would've punched the 2008 Me in the mouth (but it probably wouldn't have hurt too much, he was a pretty big pussy. Then again, I still am, so all bets are off.)

Back then, my views on rappers were pretty much black and white (whooooaaaa! no semi-racist pun intended.) Either you were gangsta, or you were a poser bitch. If you did multiple songs that prominently featured a chick singing in it, you were a bitch. I wasn't interested in hearing different artists' versatility; I wanted to hear about robbing and shooting and drinking 40s and talking shit about other rappers. If I wanted to hear a song about love, I'd go buy a John Mayer CD. "Your Body is a Wonderland" might be the worst fucking song I've ever heard in my life. But I digress.

In my close-minded opinion, you were either a rapper who rapped about badass stuff, or you were essentially an R&B singer who tried to act hard, but was really a pussy. Dr. Dre? Badass. P. Diddy? Bitch. Wu-Tang? Badass. Ja Rule? Huge bitch. Ice Cube? Badass. Jay-Z, once he started singing duets with Beyonce? Bitch (he would later redeem himself with the Black Album, but for a while there, I was pretty worried. I don't want to hear if you're "so crazy in love." I want to hear about "Big Pimpin, spending cheese.")

Even 50 Cent, who almost single-handedly revived my hope that rap wasn't dead with songs like "Wanksta" and "Back Down", immediately became involved with songs such as "20 Questions" and "Candy Stick"....and that was the end for me and my respect for Fitty.

Now? Meh. For one, rap music sucks, I hate everything about it, so I find it hard to get worked up about 'rappers' singing duets with girls. Whatever floats your boat. I'm still not listening to dudes like Usher sing about his 'boo'....but at the same time, I'm not having those pointless, "it's 4 a.m. and everyone at the party is hammered, so let's start arguing about something stupid" disagreements where I rant about how Ja Rule is ruining hip-hop.

Gotta love 400 word tangents from a white North Dakota kid regarding rap music, when really the only point I'm trying to make is that my favorite song right now is "American Boy" and I find this very strange.

OK, question of the day time. I know that Noles, Horp and I talked about this on The Boards quite a few months ago, but I was reminded of the topic again last week at the Royals/Rays game. Alex Gordon's at-bat music was the exact same snippet of the song that is played during Knocked Up when Seth Rogen is dancing with Katherine Heigl at the club. Consequently, for the rest of the game I was counting down the batters until Gordon came up again, and then dissolving into giggles as soon as he was announced, as I couldn't help but picture Rogen doing the dice move on the dance floor over and over again.

So, the Question of the Day is: if you were a major league baseball player, what would your at-bat music be? Keep in mind that you only get about a 10-second window to hear your song before it cuts out.

"Dude, I think he's doing the dice thing a little too much."

"That's really all he's got."

Friday, August 1, 2008

So Long, Manny

Well, it happened. After years of dodging bullets, Manny was finally traded. I was crushed yesterday; I wanted to go home sick from work. From a baseball standpoint, it's not a bad deal for the Sox. Jason Bay has very comparable stats, and a much better attitude. But the fact remains: he's not Manny.

Thanks to (most) everyone for the outpouring of support last night. It felt like a family member died or something. While I'd love to individually thank each of you, that honor goes to MyShawn, who sent me this little gem:

First of all I'm sorry for your loss, second of all I've always wanted to say this to you:

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on
Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Heart warming. Who doesn't love the Titanic song? Now that we've established a sufficient amount of homosexual overtones, I can do my tribute to Manny. Here are all the Manny-related things I will miss (besides, obviously, the .300 average, 30 HR, 120 RBI stats every year, the best 3-4 combo in baseball with Ortiz, and the fact that the Yankees are TERRIFIED of him):

The Point. Granted, he rarely does this anymore, as it was kind of a Pedro and Millar thing, and they're both long gone. When it was in full effect, though, it was awesome. My favorite was one game in 2004 when, after going from first to third on a single to right field (fairly routine) he popped out of his slide and flashed a giant two-handed point at the dugout, like he had just scored the tying run in the 9th inning or something. That one killed me.

His shenanigans in the Green Monster, usually during pitching changes. Like the time in 2005 he went in, and came back onto the field only seconds before Wade Miller was about to pitch. It was rumored he was using the restroom, except, um, there's no restroom in there.

Nobody, but nobody, pimped a home run like Manny could (much to the chagrine of opposing pitchers, fans, and probably even some old-school Sox fans.) He may not have invented it, but he perfected it. I know normally I hate it when players do this, but like many other things, Manny somehow gets a pass. It's just funny when he does it. Some of my favorites:

Against the Yankees on the last day of the year in 2005. The game was already in hand, a playoff spot was clinched, when Manny launches one. He stands in the box for a few seconds, walks halfway to first base, then suddenly decides to be honorable, and puts his down and nearly sprints the rest the way around the bases. Seriously, he was running faster than he does for a ground ball to shortstop.

His homer off Jared Weaver in last year's ALDS. I've written about this one here before, but to summarize: Weaver was pissed about Ortiz admiring a homer earlier in the year. Ortiz went yard off Weaver, and in order to diffuse any bad blood, he puts his down and simply runs around the bases. Manny comes up next, hits a BOMB, and (even by his standards) takes his sweet time getting out of the box and around the bases. Basically just a big F you to Weaver.

His walk-off in Game 2 of that same ALDS. He stood at home plate for probably 5 seconds before he even thought about going to first. Look how far away the catcher has already walked, and Manny still isn't going anywhere.

Just his overall wackiness:

He rubbed Julian Tavarez's head for like a minute straight, on camera. Youtube this if you haven't seen it, it's ridiculous.

After becoming an American citizen in 2004, he came out to left field with an American flag, to a standing ovation. Other things he has brought with him to left field: MP3 playing sunglasses, and a water bottle in his back pocket.

When he appeared on ebay, selling a grill. Here was his item description:

"Hi, I'm Manny Ramirez. I bought this AMAZING grill for about $4,000 and I used it once. ... but I never have the time to use it because I am always on the road. I would love to sell it and you will get an autographed ball signed by me. Enjoy it, Manny Ramirez."

The play from earlier this year when he caught a fly ball, high-fived a Sox fan, turned and completed the double play. A rare instance when Manny being Manny actually resulted in a solid baseball play. My favorite part of this play is when they are back in the dugout, and the team is gathered in front of a camera, re-watching it, and they're all dying laughing, and Manny is re-creating the high five, laughing just as hard as everyone else.

Back in 2001, in his first at-bat at Fenway, in the first pitch he sees, he unleashes a monster three-run homer. That's not really weird, just awesome.

Perhaps the most mind-boggling thing he ever did (which is saying something) was when he cut off a throw from Johnny the outfield. He had to dive for the ball, then scramble to relay it to the shortstop (the real cut-off man) all while the Orioles player circled the ball for a inside the park home run. Maybe my favorite Manny moment...and apparently MLB has wiped out every clip from the internet.

When T. Nels and I went to Boston for the first time in 2005, during the first game we saw in Fenway, Manny hit a home run to left that cleared the Coke bottle over the Monster. Turned out to be the game-winning hit, and I don't think that ball has landed yet.

Back in 1994, when he was still with Cleveland, the team was gathered in the clubhouse, watching the O.J. chase on TV. Manny strolls in, asks what they're watching. A teammate answers, "They're chasing O.J." Manny's reply, "What did Chad do?" Referring to teammate Chad Ogea, who was reportedly standing 3 feet away from Manny at the time.

Fittingly, a sequence that is Manny's entire career in a nutshell comes from his first game as a rookie. He hits a ground rule double (his first career hit) but thinks it left the yard, so he continues to round the bases. The third base umpire stops him and directs him back to second base. Moments later, he is picked off.

Maybe after all the shenanigans over the years, it was inevitable that it ended like this. As Manny himself would probably put it, "It was just destination, joo know?"

You'll be missed.