Friday, October 31, 2008

Here Comes That Shit Again, I've Got A Halloweenhead

The title of this post comes from the song Halloweenhead by Ryan Adams. Everybody should legally purchase the CD and definitely not download it illegally, it's a pretty awesome song. But more than that, I think it's hilarious because in the middle of the song, after the chorus, Adams yells out, "Guitar solooooo!!!" and, sure enough, a wonderful guitar solo ensues. It just reminds me of anytime we're singing karaoke, and the words [Instrumental Break] show up on the screen and so Paul and I immediately scream "Instrumental breeeeeeaaaaaaak!!!" into the microphone and then laugh like that was the funniest joke of all time. At least no one can say that we're not easily entertained.

So here and there, in the form of little everyday things that have been sneaking up on me, I can feel myself getting older:

-Mornings after I play basketball, I'm incredibly sore, and at this point, I've pretty much convinced myself that I have some sort of major ligament damage in my right knee, with absolutely zero medical proof whatsoever.

-I am only in my second season in Madden, whereas normally I'd have finished around 5 by now.

-I am not a huge advocate of getting crunk sauced when I have to wake up early the next morning (which isn't to say that I won't do it from time to time, but it is rarely my idea anymore.)

-I am listening to hip-hop much less than I used to. It's still much more than a white kid from North Dakota probably should, but it is less than before.

-Nowadays, when I get off the phone with a client, I say buh-bye (this might be the most disturbing one of them all; this used to be one of my biggest pet peeves as recently as 2 years ago. However, it may just be a case of me subconsciously trying to be professional at work. If I ever use it on one of you when we're ending a conversation, I give you full permission to punch me in the face next time you see me.)

-And now the latest sign: I am not a fan of Halloween anymore. I skipped a party in KC last weekend, and I will not be going out tonight at all. I don't feel like picking out a clever costume; I don't feel like having to tell every other person I run into all night how awesome their costume is; and I don't feel like going to a crowded bar that becomes 30% more crowded because of people who have ridiculously huge costumes that fuck up everybody else's day.

Awesome, yeah, you're a Transformer. Sweet, dude. Now would you get out of the fucking way, you're totally blocking the line to the bathroom.

When I told Bergman that I was sick of Halloween, he made a very good point:

yeah, tons of girls running around all night in slutty costumes. I'm totally sick of that too.

That is the one thing I will miss about going out on Halloween. I love how that holiday somehow morphed into the day where girls are allowed to dress like huge whores and it is totally acceptable, nay-encouraged- and us guys are the beneficiaries. But other than missing out on the eye candy, or going up to a girl and saying "Oh my goodness! What a convincing Catwoman costume! What is that chestplate made out of- can I feel it?" I am totally OK with staying in and watching scary movies tonight. I don't know, maybe I just miss the Culligan Halloween parties, and know that since they can't be topped, I don't want to try. Or maybe I'm just a big pussy.

OK, maybe the real reason I skipped the KC party is I didn't want to deal with Nancy and Tonya's shenanigans all night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!

I hate to bring storm clouds over everyone's day in the form of bad news, so I will let Noles do it for me:

It is with regret and sorrow that I have to inform you that I will be stepping down from the Beard contest. I first want to thank Mike. He is a fierce competitor and without him none of this would have been possible. I have an engagement Wednesday, October 29th, that will force me to shave my beard. Sometimes it is tough sitting in a cube working for The Man and this happens to be a sacrifice I have to make. I also want to apologize to all my supporters out there. I know you had my back and now I am letting you down. I just hope the time comes when I can stand behind you and support you like you have done to me. Lane, I hope you can still come to Father / Son fishing. I think you may take this the hardest and I hope we can get through this difficult time together.

With deep regrets,


For the record, here were the beards as of Day 5. Looks like we may have had a closer battle than we first anticipated.



So there you have it. Beard-Off 2008 is officially a bust. Hopefully at some point in the future it can be resurrected, or maybe Noles can try and go two weeks without shaving his vagina.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Steal A Bike, Steal A Taco!

In case anyone forgot, today from 2pm-6pm Taco Bell is running their "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion. The whole concept of a Mexican food joint promoting stealing is funny in itself, and resulted in Lane and I making a million racist jokes the other night. Although they were definitely racist, I hesitate to call them 'jokes' because they were mostly stuff like "Steal a base, steal a taco? Well, good, you fucking owe me, since you stole my bike when I was 9 years old" or "More like steal a base, steal a chromie!" But, hey, when you've been drinking for 12 hours, it's doesn't take much to get us giggling.

As soon as I hit the 'publish post' button, I will be bustin' out of here and spending the rest of my lunch break driving around to different Taco Bells and getting my free tacos (as well as picking up Alex and making her go with me so I can get her free tacos too.)

I don't know why I get so excited for this promotion every year. I mean, they're giving away 69 cent tacos, not handjobs. Although you'd have a pretty good chance of getting one of those in a Taco Bell parking lot too....but that's neither here nor there. I'm probably losing money overall because of the gas I'm going to use up driving around town, but whatever dude, FREE TACOS!!!

I just had a thought: what if Sonic ran a "Steal a Base, Steal a Chili Cheese Wrap" promotion? I would have no choice but to call in sick to work and spend the day driving around the tri-state area, rocking out to some Led Zeppelin and picking up chili cheese wraps. Three words: Living. The. Dream.

One more random thought: I tried googling 'chromie' and many other spellings of the word, and came up with nothing. Was this just a Grand Forks thing? Didn't anyone else out there spend their childhood evenings playing Jailbreak until sundown, freebasing a shitload of cocaine, then biking around town stealing 'chromies' off of cars and/or bikes? I thought that chromie hunting was a nationwide phenomenon, but I could be mistaken here. I certainly don't want to argue with Google.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Is Not 'Nam...This Is Bowling. There Are Rules.

I got special sauced on Saturday night, to the point where I had to check my phone the next morning and re-read texties to pinpoint the exact moment where I drove off the cliff (approximately 12:12 AM, in case you're wondering.) Ringer, Shaun, Janelle and I started off the night with bowling, and I can officially add bowling alleys to the list of "Places Where I Can Never Drink Responsibly, For No Explainable Reason." Every time I go bowling (probably about twice a year or so) I end up the night pretty much blacked out. Don't know why. Here is the rest of that list:

Sandbar, Lawrence, KS: This story is a pretty typical night there for me. Maybe it's because it's such a cozy little place, so you basically become friends with everyone in the bar, and there are Moms everywhere to hit on, and the jukebox is fantastic, and it just always seems like a kegger in there or something. Love that place, but it's my kryptonite.

New York, New York, Las Vegas, NV: I'm not positive this belongs on the list, since you're not supposed to be responsible in Vegas, but NY, NY just seems to be the place where all the booze hits me at once. It's like I'm kind of drunk when I approach the doors, and as soon as I step foot inside, I'm a total helmet. I'm gonna have people watch me next time I go, I'm pretty sure you can actually see my legs buckle the second I walk in. However, it's my favorite casino on The Strip, as I always win there, so I will continue to go there every time. (Random NY, NY story: One Vegas trip, I can't remember which, we walked in, I staggered around by myself for awhile, finally sat down at a blackjack table, eyes almost completely closed, and won something like 15 hands in a row at $20 a hand. Then one of my friends came and got me and said we were leaving, and I cashed out, not saying a word to anyone at the table the whole time.)

Muddy Rivers, Grand Forks, ND: I really can't explain this one. I don't know if it was because we'd mostly go there on Sunday nights for $2 dollar bottles or what. I would buy three at a time (double fisting and one for the back pocket) the entire time. Beers in the back pocket! How big of a toolshed am I? (Random Muddy Rivers story: a few years ago we went there and got absolutely crushed. This was in the middle of Paul's "every time we go to a bar I'm going to try and steal everything in sight" phase. So, after unsuccessfully trying to rip a decorative french horn off the wall, he stuffs a pool cue down his pants and up his shirt. There is no way the bouncer didn't see it, as the pool cue was really long, so it was pointing up in his shirt at the shoulder. I'm having a hard time describing this, so if you need a visual, just imagine that Paul was wearing the Legion of Doom shoulderpads under his shirt. ANNNNYWAY, Paul and I start walking home, and I'm pretending his newly acquired pool cue was a lightsaber, and I'm spinning around and waving this thing and making lightsaber noises. Remember Star Wars Kid? Seriously, that was me after an evening at Muddy Rivers. Then I shattered the pool cue on a STOP sign, and Paul got really pissed at me. And that's the closest we've come to a fight in 19 years of friendship.)

And while we're on the subject of me being an idiot, I've been noticing a direct correlation in my alcohol consumption/phone relationship. I have never been much of a drunk dialer (which has served me very well. Sure, I've had a couple of moments, but compared to your average Johnny Push Buttons, not too bad at all. Maybe it's just because I never really wanted to talk to the vast majority of my ex-girlfriends after breaking up with them. But I digress.)

However, I think I have evolved into an ANTI-drunk dialer. The drunker I get, the less attention I pay to my phone. It just becomes something else to have to focus on, when all I really want to do is remember what fake name and backstory I've been using throughout the night, and try and smell that girl's hair without her noticing me. Here's the breakdown:

Beginning of the night/pregaming: I'm usually a texting machine. Responses are well thought out and perhaps even witty; I may even instigate a conversation or two.

Middle of the night: still responding and happy to do so- although I may start flushing phone calls, as I hate trying to talk on the phone at a bar unless it's absolutely necessary.

Towards the end of the night: my responses become short, annoyed, and profanity-laced. Especially if I am close to blacked out, because I turn into a huge asshole when I'm blacked out. Fundy was texting me on Saturday night, and our conversation was a GREAT example of how it goes with me when I'm in this phase of the evening:

Fundy: KU sucks at football, your boys got destroyed today

Me: fuck college football

Fundy: You suck at basketball too. Hahaha just giving you shit, I figured out how to putt and chip today in my last round of the year

Me: fuck off

Fundy: just giving you shit you need to lock it up. college bball is here haaaaaaaa i'm excited

Me: hansbrough is gay

Fundy: i hate you sorry a white boy finally dominates the college game and everyone hates him except me, tylers rule

Me: no response

Fundy: you are going to have to deal with two tylers this year and they are white and dominate (I suspect Fundy was pretty hammered as well)

Me: no response

And that leads me to the final stage, where I just completely ignore my phone. At this point, it has now become too much of a burden to even bother digging it out of my pocket, much less opening it up and reading stuff. At this point of the evening I'm most likely trying to decide what to order from Steak & Shake; or whether or not the stripper's fake breasts feel more like soccer balls, or WNBA basketballs with a little bit of air let out; or whether or not the guy I'm sharing a jail cell with is going to try and rape me when I fall asleep.

It's a vicious cycle. All I can do is apologize, and now at least you all know what's going on in my world when you text me:

OMG, i haven't talked to you in FOREVER!!! same old same old with me, LOL, how are YOU!!!! :)

and I respond:

wwould you be willing, under oath,, too say that u were with me from middnight to 2 AM toni7ght? not fucking joking aroundd right now, WOULD YOU DO IT!!11!!! oh yeahh and never say LOL again in a texsxt fuckin dumb

Friday, October 24, 2008

Say Hi To Your Mother For Me, OK?

-- When I was cleaning out my wallet yesterday, I stumbled upon another negative of the Red Sox losing. I had a $100 ticket from Caesar's Palace on the Sox to win the World Series. I do not recall placing that bet, which is not surprising, considering I was borderline blacked out (or completely blacked out) for at least 40% of the time I was in Vegas. However, me not winning that bet probably saves me money in the long run, because I probably would've just taken those winnings right to Orbitz and bought myself a plane ticket to Vegas and blown more money. Remember, kids, it's only a gambling problem if you're losing.

-- The other night, within a span of two hours of each other, I received texties from two different people, in two different states: one said something to the effect of "Hey I just heard some Styx on the radio and I thought of you!" and another that said "Yo I'm at a party and someone started blasting some Wu-Tang, like back in the day, son. Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin' to fuck with!" What are the odds of that? I defy you to find another person who simultaneously represents cheesy arena rock and hardcore rap to two different people. For the record, I also receive texties from Katie every time she hears 'Don't Stop Believin' in some capacity, and I've probably got the market cornered on MC Hammer as well.

-- So I noticed this a while ago when I was watching the Who Shot Mr. Burns episode of The Simpsons, and it's been nagging at me ever since. So I googled "Who Shot Mr. Burns" and sure enough, on the first page I find a perfect shot of what I'm looking for.

My question is this: if one of the small buttons on Burns' remote control blocks out the fucking sun, then what the hell does the giant red button do? I shudder to think of the possibilities.

You should've learned two things from the above paragraph:

1. You can find absolutely ANYTHING on the internet if you need to.
2. I am a huuuuge nerd. Huge.

-- Normally it doesn't take much to get me giggling, especially when it comes to stupid comedy. I also enjoy really good impressions (which is why the Frank TV commercials don't drive me crazy like most other people.) AND I've had a huge boner for Andy Samberg (no homo) ever since I saw Hot Rod a few months ago. ANNNNNND I've always thought Mark Wahlberg has a funny accent; Haley and I have been doing the Marky Mark voice since 9th grade. So basically, this SNL sketch is the perfect storm for me. I've watched this before work every morning all week, and I've totally been gettin' my LOL on, bro.

Happy Friday. Here's hoping that everyone gets superduper drunk this weekend. You have only to believe if you wish to achieve. That rhymed. Unintentional.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's A Beard-Off, Folks.....It's A Beard-Off

Beard-Off 2008 has officially begun. From today until November 7th, neither Mike nor Noles will be shaving, in order to settle the dispute of who has the better beard. There has been a considerable amount of hype leading up to the event. Beard-Off promoter Don King is calling it "The Shave of the Century: Big Trouble Over Facial Stubble" and claiming "There hasn't been two beards this important, together in the same forum, since Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee negotiated the end of the Civil War."

Noles is the People's Champion, the overwhelming favorite, so much so that Vegas has officially taken this match off the board. None of which has stopped Mike from running his mouth in an attempt to intimidate Noles' facial hair folicles. Mike has been calling Noles the deragatory term "White Man's Champ" at every turn. He was quoted recently as saying "I'm fast. I'm so fast that last night I turned off my lights and was in bed before the room was dark." When asked what that had to do with growing a beard, he replied "I'm gonna lather like a butterfly and shave like a bee. Your face can't grow what your eyes can't see!"

"It's gonna be a chilla, and a thrilla, and a killa, when I get to that Gorilla. He gonna be drawing in his beard with pencil filla!"

Noles, in turn, has responded with the quiet confidence befitting of a champion. With a cool assurance about him, he confidently stated "I ain't too worried about this punk. He can call me the White Man's Champ all he wants. He may as well be the White Man's Chump. Forget that fool....I've been shaving since I came out the womb, son. I was born at noon and I had a 5 o'clock shadow. Shit, my moms was gettin' Mach 5s at her baby shower, since they already seen the ultrasound and they seen stubble on my face."

We will have a one week update to gauge the process, and then on Friday, November 7th we will have a vote where you, the people, will be deciding the winner.

In one corner, from Chicago, Illinois.......the challenger, the Monster of the Midway, the Caucasian Sensation, the Best of the Rest of the Whole Midwest.....Mike!!!!!

In the other corner, from Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and the pride of Grand Forks, the People's Champion, the Nightmare of the Northland, the 6th Grader Razor Raider.....Noles!!!!

As William Shakespeare once said,

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Open Letters

Dear writers of The Simpsons,

I owe you an apology. Over the last few years, I have been quoted on numerous occasions as saying that Family Guy is funnier than your show. I have purchased every season of Family Guy DVD's, but none of yours...until recently. I went online and bought season 6 (your absolute prime) and laughed my ass off, which caused me to buy season 7, and I laughed my ass off some more. I regret to say that I have refused to watch your new episodes for about 6 years now. Your movie was pretty decent, but you do have to admit, your show is just a shell of its former self. Regardless, how I could ever say that another show is funnier than yours is a severe oversight on my part. Family Guy may be Dwight Gooden (insanely good for a few years, then began falling off) but you're Greg Maddux (the best in the game for many, many years before the inevitable decline due to age.) You almost single-handedly built my sense of humor. As I was re-watching old episodes, I couldn't even count the number of mundane, everyday phrases I say that came from your throwaway jokes. You are the funniest cartoon of all-time. I just needed to be brought back to 1994 to remember it.

Dear CEO of Sonic,

Thank you. Over the last couple of weeks, my already-awesome-the-way-they-were chili cheese wraps have been crammed completely full of cheesy goodness. These little gems started out with the circumference of oversized soft-shell tacos, and have now become bigger than Chipotle burritos. It's at the point now that I can't eat them without making a huge mess of myself, and I've been forced to construct a makeshift placemat, made out of old payroll registers and tax deposit coupons, at my desk at work. Additionally, I received 5 mints at the bottom of my bag last week, as opposed to the standard 1 or 2. What may have happened: a series of random coincidences, or perhaps even a new company policy to double the size of chili cheese wraps, combined with a disgruntled employee who has sticky fingers when it comes to mint distribution. What I believe actually happened: you have finally discovered this blog, and have decided to reward me for all the shameless pimping of your fine eatery over the last 14 months. And for that I thank you. I'll continue to do it for free, but the compensation is greatly appreciated.

Dear flock of geese that reside on the 12th hole at Eagle Bend Golf Course,

Get off the damn fairway! You make noise, you poop all over the place, and you don't even move when my ball lands in the middle of your stupid goose party. Even though it's a long par 5, sometimes I unrealistically go for the green in two, just so my ball doesn't have the chance to roll through your minefield of shit. And if my ball does happen to land in the Terror Zone, then at least fucking move when I'm hitting my shot. Aren't you supposed to be scared of humans? I've never fired a gun in my life, but I bet I could take down at least 7 of you before the rest got away. A couple weeks ago I hit a shot and my divot smoked one of you in the back of the head, and another time I had to chase one of you away so I didn't clip you on my backswing. I'm not some psycho who enjoys mutilating animals in the first steps on his path to becoming some serial killer, but I swear that the next time one of you waddles over and tries to pick up my Titleist, I'm going to take my pitching wedge and jack you so hard in the face that your beak ends up on the back of your neck like Daffy Duck.

Dear Dick Vitale,

If it isn't too much trouble, could you please let me know the results of your coin flip? You know, the one where you choose either Duke or North Carolina as your preseason #1? The season is rapidly approaching, and I know that I, for one, am on the edge of my seat wondering which one it could be. Oh wait. You already flipped it and it came up North Carolina. Sorry for wasting your time. That was not very Awesome with a capital A of me to do that. My bad.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Give A Little Love And It All Comes Back To You

Well, what can I say? Tough loss in Game 7. I was just happy that, at the very least, there were two extra games of baseball to get fired up for. As shitty as it is to lose a Game 7, I'm definitely left with a better taste in my mouth than if the Sox would've gone down meekly after 5 games. They showed a little heart the last few games. Obviously it would've been nice to be totally healthy (Lowell, Beckett, Ortiz) but in no way am I blaming the loss on injuries. Tampa is legit, and will be for years to come. They are a team full of young guys who are all starting to come into their own, and they'll be scary good for awhile now. Hats off to them. The only thing left to do now is listen to some Bugsy Malone on repeat, go home tonight, and throw in my DVD of Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. Today is the 4-year anniversary of that game, in case you care.

But as it turns out, I won't have to wait too long to be excited about sports again. I googled something called the "NHL" the other day, and whaddya know, their season just started up! I'll have to familiarize myself with the rules and the terminology (the only 'Face-off' I know of is a kick-ass movie starring Cage and Travolta) but I already have my favorite team: the Philadelphia Flyers. Their jerseys were the prettiest, in my opinion. Go Flyers! Put, basket.

OK, I apologize to the NHL fans who may be reading (should that even be plural?) That jab was a little unnecessary (and not really funny anyway.) In actuality, I loved following hockey when I was a kid, and my favorite team was the Flyers because apparently Bobby Clarke is my third cousin or something vague like that. Now, though, I couldn't name a single player on their roster. Lindros retired, right? Thought so.

See the resemblance?

In other disappointing sports news, the Civil War Cup was won by the Southerners on Saturday. If you don't care about golf, or you're just a dick, you can skip this next paragraph.

The first six holes of the match were a scramble format, and it started out as a back and forth battle (actually most of the match was back and forth; we didn't halve a hole until the 13th.) We were All Square on the 5th when Jud dropped a 60-footer for birdie, and that unnerved the Northerners a little bit. I began spraying balls all over the course (joining Lane in the process) and suddenly we were 4 down thru 10 holes, and it looked like we were going to get closed out early. Lane and I recovered to win holes 11 and 12 to finish the alternate shot portion 2 down, which is exactly where I hoped to be going into best ball. Sure enough, I started hitting some golf shots, the lead was cut to 1 down thru 14, and Jud and Wing were starting to come unglued. But then both Lane and I turned 15 into an adventure (so now we're 2 down) and we both lipped out 15-footers for par on 16 when either one of them would've won the hole, so the South was dormie going into the par-5 17th. Both Jud and Wing found water off the tee and made bogey, so I had about a 2-footer for par to win the hole and extend the match.....and I missed it. Just like Old Jim would. Definitely a fitting end, considering I had my 'D' game for about 12 of the 17 holes. But at least there was some drama, it was a ton of fun, and we look forward to taking the Cup back next spring.

Lane, Jud, Wing, me. As a joke, we bought some shitty suit jackets at Goodwill that the winners were forced to wear the rest of the day at the bar (however, this backfired, and instead of getting ridiculed, everyone there seemed to love them.) My sweater vest, sadly, is not a joke. Also, I need to take pictures next to Wing more often. I look like I'm about 6'8''.

Question of the Day:

You are presented with an offer to fight Mike Tyson in a boxing match. (Side note: pretend you're fighting the version of Tyson that is the most intimidating for you. It can be "devastatingly awesome boxer of the mid-80's Tyson" or "convicted rapist of the early 90's Tyson" or "becoming unhinged a little bit, might bite your ear off Tyson of the late 90's" or "face covered in tattoos, hanging out with pigeons, unquestionably insane Tyson of the 2000's."

Speaking personally, the most intimidating of all the Tysons was definitely this one:

ANYWAY, this is a special boxing match. There will be no referees, no trainers to stop the fight, no one to save you from your imminent beating. Once the fight starts, it goes until the time is up. The money you stand to receive is as follows:

A) 1 minute for $1 million
B) 3 minutes for $5 million
C) 5 minutes for $15 million
D) 10 minutes for $30 million

Keep in mind the following factors: Tyson is allowed to keep pummeling you, even if you are suddenly missing an ear, unconscious, or dead. You are allowed to fight back anyway you can, as long as you stay in the ring. If that means you just try and run circles around the ring and avoid him for as long as possible, you can try that. Any hospital bills come out of your pocket. So if you choose the 10 minutes, and then you're hooked up to life support for a month, figure those costs out of your winnings. Also remember that most brain damage is permanent. You can, of course, choose none of the above and just not do it.

Which option would you choose?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Thoughts (That Aren't About The Red Sox)

-- OK, maybe just a little about the Red Sox. Games like that one last night are why you never turn off the TV early in the playoffs. Ever. After spending the first few innings frantically mashing the panic button (similar to the way Lane mashes my iPod looking for Ted Nugent songs the moment he steps into my car) I basically gave up and packed it in for the winter emotionally. That series was over, and there was nothing in Boston's body language to indicate otherwise. But I never completely gave up (I just gave up enough to write a smarmy post comparing myself to Jack Nicholson- scroll down.) Fast forward a couple hours later, and I am running around my apartment like Jimmy Valvano looking for somebody to hug, and cleaning up the beer stains off the walls because I forgot to hang up plastic again when I was celebrating a playoff victory. Dammit I love sports.

-- My belt broke at work the other day. NO, not because I'm morbidly obese (yet), but because the belt was many years old, and reversible, so the twisting buckle part snapped off. However, when I was standing at the copier looking confused, with pieces of my belt in both hands, that fact didn't stop one of the M.O.M. Squad from asking, "Hmm. So, are you still going to Sonic for lunch on Friday?" Ha. Ha. The whole thing turned into a blessing in disguise though. When I went to JC Penney's for my new belt, they must have been having like a 98% off sale or something on UnderArmour golf shirts, so I snapped up a few $50 shirts for around $3 each. Now I'm no mathematician, but that's like $47 of savings per shirt. Holler at your boy. Oh and by the way, of course I'm still going to Sonic for lunch on Friday.

-- A few of us have caught Ryder Cup fever after the incredibly exciting matches last month, so we're having our own competition this weekend. It's Lane and I vs. Jud and Wingman, the North Dakota natives vs. the Kansas natives. The first 6 holes are scramble, the next 6 are alternate shot, and the last 6 are best ball. Losers have to pay for a nice dinner and drinks the entire night, so there is actually a decent amount of money on the line here. We're calling it the Civil War Cup, since in theory it's the North vs. the South (we're conveniently ignoring that Kansas was a free state in the Civil War, and North Dakota wasn't even a state at all, so any historians out there just humor us and please don't point out these quote/unquote "facts.") This is my excited face. Side note: I realize that all the non-golfers probably don't give a shit about this paragraph, but every golfer who read it is probably getting excited just thinking about it, and is possibly setting up their own competition in their mind. There is nothing like team match play golf. Just trust us.

-- So I suppose I'm going to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno sometime soon after it comes out. However, this is an important movie for my boy Seth Rogen and his loyal band of misfits. After 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, etc. he was firmly entrenched in the Will Ferrell Zone, where I will gladly pay $8.75 to see any movie he is even the tiniest bit associated with, no questions asked. (Side note: Ferrell himself was removed from the Will Ferrell Zone after Semi-Pro, but might be right back in it after Stepbrothers.) I had high hopes (no pun intended) for Pineapple Express, but that movie sucked. A lot. I was basically checking my watch the last half hour of that movie, begging for it to end. So now Rogen has to prove himself to me again. I'm sure that pressure is keeping him awake at night. (Either that, or the stack of thousand dollar bills under his pillow is a bit lumpy, or the exotically beautiful women he just had a threesome with are heavy snorers. Definitely one of those three things is keeping him awake at night.) One more awful movie and he is out of the Will Ferrell Zone.....that is, at least until Fanboys comes out next month. I might as well just buy my ticket for that movie today. I mean, a raunchy teen comedy about Star Wars fans? Hello, wheelhouse? My name is Jim, it's a pleasure to meet you.

Happy Friday. The Civil War Cup is tomorrow morning, KU plays Oklahoma in football, Red Sox/Rays Game 6 is on, Alex is out of town, and I haven't drank in two weeks, since ADawg's wedding (excluding last night's stress relieving/celebration beers.) Add all that together, and things could get sloppy tomorrow. Pray...for...Mojo.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jack Torrance Guest Blogs Game 5

Strangely enough, my moods while watching Game 5 tonight have closely mirrored those of Jack Torrance from The Shining, although not in the same order as the movie.

Here's me after B.J. Upton goes deep in the 1st inning to make it 2-0 Rays:

Here's me after Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria go back-to back to make it 5-0 Rays. I can't even be mad at this point, Tampa's hitters are so hot right now.

It is now the top of the 7th. This has been my face for the last two hours or so:

Here's an artist's rendering of what I will look like in the morning after I sleep on a pedestrian bridge overlooking the Wakarusa River:

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


So lately I have been dabbling a little bit with chewing. This is far from my first dalliance with chewing tobacco, but this is probably the hardest that we've ever flirted. If chew was a girl at a bar, after she walked in, I would've been bragging to my friends how I already 'hit that' a few years ago, and exchanged some high fives. Then, a couple hours later, I would've noticed how good she was still looking after all these years, so I would've wandered over and bought her a couple drinks and chit-chatted a bit, and we would probably be exchanging our new phone numbers right about now.

Previously, I only chewed when I was struggling to catch a buzz from drinking, and I needed a kickstart. Since I don't do it regularly, one chew for me is the equivalent of chugging around 5 or 6 beers. It just makes sense fiscally, kids. The economy is down, haven't you heard?

However, my intake has increased (just a little bit) in the last couple weeks. Alex is far from a happy camper regarding the situation (hence ChewGate) but I have plenty of friends who already chew, and my friends are nothing if not wonderful enablers. Paul was so delighted to see me with a sold-out lower level during his wedding weekend that he showed up at ADawg's wedding with my very own tin, my first since around 2003. That turn of events was both unexpected and unwelcomed in Alex's eyes.

Anyways, we were having quite a spirited discussion about it on The Boards the other day (listening to Horp and Noles talk about chewing is like listening to Siskel & Ebert talk about movies, only if every single movie gets a double thumbs up) and we were discussing how my dad and brother would be secretly pleased with me if I were to start. Both of them chew a lot, and if I were to all of a sudden throw one in right after Thanksgiving dinner, I would finally be living up to the Hammen family name.

Don't get me wrong, I have a great relationship with my dad, but as I get older, I've developed a sneaking suspicion that he has always been (secretly, of course) a tiny bit disappointed in me. He and my brother hunt, fish, ride motorcycles, work on cars, and get a large portion of their wardrobe at Cabela's. Meanwhile, I play video games, wear t-shirts with funny slogans on them, attach the suffix "skis" to the end of half of my nouns, and was genuinely devestated when The O.C. was cancelled. Maybe if I chew, I will be a little bit more of a man in my father's eyes.

In any event, Horp summed it up best:

One tin of chew: $5
A year's worth of chew: $300-$500
Chin replacement surgery: $15,000-$30,000
Having your dad finally look you in the eye and tell you you are a man: priceless

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What A Difference 3 Years Makes

Back in 2005, these were three of my favorite people in the entire world. Now, just three short years later, I can't stand any of them. I found that interesting.

Johnny Damon- traitor. Latest material = slightly above average. Can still reminisce over his old material and enjoy it, though it makes me a bit sad.

Kanye West- egomaniac. Latest material = mediocre. Still love his old material.

Dane Cook- douchebasket. Latest material = a stain on American society. Starting to affect my appreciation of old material.

It is about noon on Sunday, and my plan is to not move from the couch all day except to go to the bathroom, and go pick up some subs from Jersey Mike's. I've got 2-for-1 coupons stocked up like it's my job right now. Think I can take down four footlongs today?

I wouldn't bet against it. Happy Sunday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Feud Continues

Just in case anyone is wondering why I seem to rip on the Minnesota Twins more than necessary, it might be good for you to know that in the last 3 days I have received no fewer than 6 texties from various Twins fans that say something to the effect of "Go Rays!"

Go wave your 1991 World Series homer hankies.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

1.21 Gigowatts?!?!

To answer the question I received earlier: Can a brotha get an ADawg wedding post up in this bitch?

Yes. Yes you can.

Quick side tangent (is it possible to even have a side tangent when you haven't even started a topic yet? My vote is yes.)

Back in the day, my 6th grade girlfriend and ADawg's 6th grade girlfriend were best friends, and so naturally we went on a lot of 'double dates' together. Dates, of course, consisting of ADawg and I meeting the girls at a movie theater, speaking around 17 words to each other, then going home, firing up some Streets of Rage on the Sega, calling them on the phone, and talking for 6 hours.

They bought us R.L. Stine books for Christmas, and even came up with a little dance routine that they used to perform for us while blaring some Crystal Waters. I probably heard that song around 400 times in 1994-1995. I don't know if I've ever seen ADawg happier than those days. I always secretly hoped we would reunite with our 6th grade loves. Alas, I have no idea what happened to his, and the last time I saw mine, about 4 years ago, she tried to cut in front of me in line at El Roco. When I told her how I felt about that, she let loose with a verbal assault so vicious that I'm fairly convinced she had been practicing in front of a mirror for 9 years, waiting for exactly that moment. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially if she is scorned in front of everybody during recess. When I eliminated her in four-square by spiking a waterfall in her face, she knew it was over between us.

But now I can see that I have to leave the past where it belongs: in the past. The only thing from 6th grade that ADawg still needs are all his clothes. Bobbi loves him for who he is. He doesn't have to be the wolf around her, just like when he dated Boof in high school. OK, obligatory Teen Wolf joke out of the way. Now on to the wedding festivities:

I don't know why I talked shit about going to a small podunk town for the wedding. I forgot one of the cardinal rules of North Dakota: the smaller the town, the more you drink your face off. There was initial concern about the meeting of the two wedding parties. Virtually none of the groomsmen had even met any of Bobbi's bridesmaids, and although the vast majority of people that meet us Grand Forks kids enjoy our shenanigans, well...there's always that chance. It's either "Oh man, those guys were funny! I loved them!" or "I hope we never hang out with those douchebags again!" There really isn't a middle ground.

However, it was established within about 2 hours after meeting these small-town ladies that they were at least as crazy and outgoing as we are, if not more. They put down the gauntlet right away that they would outdrink us, and they weren't shy about calling us names the entire Friday before the wedding, trying to intimidate us. Don't worry, we outdrank them. But it was a stellar performance by the females. This is my impressed face.

We were also re-united with Chris and Tim, a couple of ADawg's buddies from NDSU that I hadn't seen since the drunkest night of my life back in the summer of 2004 (a story for another time.) The last time we partied together, Paul almost choked to death when he bragged he could gargle Southern Comfort, and I literally fell out of my ex-girlfriend's car and puked in the middle of the busiest street in Grand Forks. We quickly picked up where we left off.

Napoleon has a pretty sweet golf course, so we were able to get in a quick nine holes both mornings. We played teams, ADawg and I vs. Bergman and Fundy the first day, then Paul and I vs. Bergman and Fundy the second day, since ADawg had pictures early that day. Both matches were birdie-filled, exciting affairs, and both came down to at least the 8th hole. The course was filled with strategically laid out par 4s and reachable par 5s; it was perfect for team match play. It was one of the courses where you just grab your own cart and go, there aren't any employees on the course. So we had Timmy fill up a cart with beer and drive all over the course being everyone's beer bitch. Score another point for small towns.

The worst thing about small towns, which we encountered Friday night: the attitude of all the regulars and bartenders in their bars. Sometimes I don't understand how North Dakota has a reputation for being the friendliest state in the country. One on hand, what the hell is the big deal if out-of-towners are in your bar? We spice things up a little bit, we usually have good-looking ladies with us, we tip well, and it's not like we'll be boozing there every single night for the rest of your life, like 75% of the people drinking in there will be. On the other hand, if I was at my normal bar, and a bunch of douchebaskets with striped shirts and product in their hair strolled in acting afool, taking over the shuffleboard table, making up names for different drinks, playing MC Hammer on the jukebox, and then laughing about how awesome and hilarious they are for playing MC Hammer.....I might be pissed too. So I guess I can't entirely blame the small-towners. (But I did redeem myself on the jukebox by feeding the locals a steady diet of Eddie Money, Journey, and Styx the rest the night.)

The wedding the next day was an absolute booze-a-thon. Immediately after the ceremony, the entire wedding party piled into someone's Winnebago and spent the next 45 minutes or so cruising the streets of Napoleon pouring alcohol down our throats. I don't think I've ever had so much booze in such a small time frame before, nor have I ever been peer pressured to do so by girls as much as by guys. For real, those girls were badass. By the time dinner was about to start, and I suddenly found myself in the middle of conversations with a bunch of parents (including my mom) I was struggling to stay coherent.

Another negative of small towns (we're at 2-2 now, by my count) is the amount of good-looking girls who are dating trash dudes, simply because their options are so limited. The wedding photographer was pretty cute, and- let's be honest here- stacked. So we had spent most the afternoon blatantly hitting on her, only to watch in dismay as her husband sauntered into dinner in a dirty baseball hat, tucked in flannel shirt, and Wranglers. To a wedding dinner. Keep it classy, guy.

The dance was a shitstorm. I would guess that there were around 600 people at dinner, and by the end of the dance it was close to 800. It was an absolute madhouse in there. Towards the end of the night, I was growing frustrated with the deejay continually telling me that they didn't have any of the songs I was requesting, even though I knew he could search for songs on the internet and play them easily. On top of that, he was playing polka after polka after polka, which the locals were loving. Finally, I gave up requesting songs, and announced I was boycotting the dance. (Just a little tidbit for future reference: when I start getting irrationally angry over trivial things, then you know that I am borderline blacked out. I refused to get back on the dance floor, until Bobbi went up and pulled some strings and got some songs played. After SexyBack came on, I had to be almost literally dragged out to the dance floor. Probably around 45 seconds later, I am dancing away and loving life. What can I say, alcohol's a hell of a drug.)

The rest of the night passed without incident. The drive home the next day was probably the worst road trip since those kids' car broke down in Texas Chain Massacre.

We don't have as many awesome pictures as last time, mostly because we didn't have Chelsey running around snapping away (Chelsey, I think we know your true calling in life.)

The wedding party, the only time all weekend where we were all sober.

A tip of the cap to the ladies. They brought their 'A' game. Watching our drinking competition would be like going to a Battle of the Bands between Pearl Jam and Nirvana in 1993. There's really no loser, and the people who get to watch it all go down are the real winners.

Here is the wedding party ruining ADawg and Bobbi's first dance as husband and wife. I don't know whose idea this was (I'm gonna go ahead and blame the girls) but somehow it became a good idea for us to gather around the newlyweds and sing and dance while people are trying to take pictures of them. That picture looks familiar, where have I seen something like that before.....

....oh, OK, we're stealing ideas from the Who's in Whoville now. Word up.

Here's Bergman and I trying to console a little girl who was throwing a tantrum after being accidentally squeezed out of the dollar dance. This is not to be confused with the tantrum I threw after the deejay told me he didn't have Whoomp! There It Is on his computer.

Here's Paul with his new wife, Mandy. Oh wait. That's my girlfriend. Then how come.....



Wow you two are camera whores. With each other. Luckily Mandy and I aren't the jealous type- as in, we don't like spending our entire evening in front of the camera, so you two do what you want.

It took most of the evening, but finally we got ADawg and his siblings together in front of the camera. But wait! ADawg, your brother's head is faded out! You know what this means.

Where we're going, we don't need roads.....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Walk-Offs Are Neat

Tremendous game last night, even with the 8th-inning meltdown from the bullpen that I predicted as soon as Okijima went to a 2-0 count on Texeira. It was worth it though, just for the chance to see a walk-off in the 9th by my boy Jed Lowrie. There is nothing quite like celebrating a walk-off hit in the playoffs. Alex squashed my fun though, when she wouldn't let me drape plastic all over the apartment and spray champagne everywhere. I even offered her goggles, but it was a no-go.

And now here comes the typical bitching from the Angels after another year in which they win a ton of games and fall short in the playoffs. Maybe you only won so many games because you played in the shitty AL West, while the Sox played in a division where the 4th place team was 10 games over .500. Quotes from "BIG-GAME PITCHER" John Lackey:

"It's way different than last year. We are way better than they are. We lost to a team not as good as us."

"On Sunday they scored on a pop fly they called a hit, which is a joke. On Monday, they score on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball anywhere else in America [except in Fenway Park]. And Pedroia's fist-pumping on second like he did something great."

What a fucking baby. Those are the kind of quotes you would normally expect from a little leaguer after they lost the state championship or something. I love watching Lackey show up his teammates on the mound after they botch a ground ball too. It's safe to say that I officially hate John Lackey.

And Mike Scioscia....why is he still considered a great manager? Because his team got hot in the playoffs in what, 2002? It seems like every year in the playoffs he over-manages and makes some ridiculous call that totally backfires. To me, it seems like he's the kind of guy who wants to make sure he gets credit for a win, instead of just going out there and guiding the ship and letting his players do their jobs. He didn't think Aybar, who had the game-winning hit the previous night, could get that runner in from third another way? There's a reason it's called a suicide squeeze.

But enough negativity from me. The ALCS is coming, and you know it's a strange season when the one team I didn't want to play in the American League is the TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS. They remind me of the 2004 Red Sox, in that they're too crazy and/or stupid to realize the pressure of the playoffs.

Yes, I'm still calling them the Devil Rays, they can send me a bill for the $1 fine or whatever it is.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Craptastic Voyage

Another wedding weekend in the books. Details to come soon. This one wasn't as rough on my body as Paul and Mandy's, but by no means do I feel anywhere close to healthy today. Listening to the Red Sox lose in extra innings last night on crappy, static-filled radio stations while driving in a constant rain was a pretty fitting end to my day. Just an awful drive.

Also, after the Cubs' shocking meltdown against the Dodgers, the Chicago trip is officially postponed until further notice (meaning not anytime soon.) For the Chicagoans who may be upset with me, here is a list of people you can pin your blame on, if it makes you feel better:

Ryan Dempster (7 walks in 4 2/3 innings)
Alfonso Soriano (.071 batting average)
Kosuke Fukodome (.100)
Aramis Ramirez (.182)
Geovany Soto (.200)

My condolences go out to Fundy. If Psycho T suddenly transfers to Duke or something, then you will basically be living my life as a sports fan, circa 2003. Needless to say that so far you are, um, handling it slightly better than I did back then.

Cubs fans could also probably get a little angry with my boy Manny, who hit .500 with a couple homers, an on-base percentage of .643, and an OPS of 1.743. That's ridiculous. I know that the media is telling me that I should hate Manny now, especially with the slight possibility of a Dodgers/Red Sox World Series, but I just can't do that. I'm not ready. Plus, the Sox still have to finish off the Angels tonight in Game 4. After a tough loss last night, the bright side is that John Lackey is terrified of Fenway Park in October. I'm usually too pessimistic to be cocky before a playoff game, but I don't think this will end well for the Angels. REDRUM! REDRUM!

Come play with us, Lackey......forever.....and ever.....and ever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Weddings: Why?

Anyone who gets married in October may as well just set the flag on fire, since it's obvious that they hate America. C'mon, baseball is our national pasttime. Don't these couples see the commercials? THERE'S ONLY ONE OCTOBER!

(Side note: I know that listening to Dane Cook scream that about 9 times a day last year was annoying, but I don't think it's much worse than the commercials this year where we get to watch Spanish from Old School sitting and blogging about playoff baseball on his computer. Please ignore the fact that I am currently sitting and blogging about playoff baseball.)

Tomorrow I leave for Napoleon, ND (pop. 794) for ADawg and Bobbi's wedding, and I'm missing far too much baseball for me to be comfortable with it. At least the Red Sox don't play on Saturday during the reception, or we'd have some problemos, amigos. The silver lining is that I get to watch some games in Fargo with Fundy on Thursday. Octobers at Culligan Manor were always a shitshow. Getting the two of us together for some beers and playoff baseball is like Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut meeting for a nice dinner at a hot dog stand.

The last October wedding that made me miss a Sox game was back in 2004, when a wedding in Minneapolis took place during Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels. That worked out OK though, as it was open bar for the first part of the evening, so I would just fill my pockets to the brim with Miller Lite, sneak upstairs for a couple innings, go back down and get my funk on for awhile, then repeat the process. When Ortiz hit the walk-off, I started celebrating, until Travis came into the room and asked me why I was shotgunning a myself. Ahhh October 2004, I'm still in love with you, as much now as when I first met you.

I should probably be a little more worried about the Angels, considering they went 8-1 against Boston this year, and had the best record in baseball, and there are nagging injuries galore for the Sox (I don't want to sound like a homer, but screw it: if Boston had been anywhere close to healthy this year, they would've won at least 102 games.) But until the Angles prove they can win a game against Boston in the playoffs, I won't be overly concerned, at least by my standards. I think Danny Torrance wants to go back to the Overlook Hotel more than John Lackey wants to return to Fenway Park to pitch in the playoffs. If Lackey starts talking to an imaginary friend and writing REDRUM on his bedroom walls, they should probably skip his turn in the rotation.

I'm also a pseudo-Cubs fan this year, as it looks as though we're heading to Chi-town next weekend, and besides visiting people, a main reason I want to go there this time of year is to see that town rock out when the Cubbies are making a run. Not the White Sox though. Fuck the White Sox, the only team I hate more than them is the Yankees. That was pretty sweet how a bunch of their players have been bleaching their hair and/or chin pubes. I didn't know this was the North Dakota high school hockey tournament. That's bush. I wanted the Twins to win last night, just for the possibility of a Boston/Minnesota ALCS. Things could've got rowdy here in our little corner of the World Wide Web. 17-21 record for the Twins since the day Jon-Jon threw out the first pitch.....just a little food for thought.

All joking aside, I am very excited for ADawg's wedding, baseball or no baseball. In the spirit of the constant ADawg/Michael J. Fox jokes, there is a pretty good chance that this dance is getting dusted off sometime on Saturday night (skip to about the 30-second mark or so.) If it were my choice, it would be the dollar dance, but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.