Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Tomorrow I head back to North Dakota for Thanksgiving. I'm sure it will be like -4 degrees when I get there yeahhhhhhh, sweet. At least there's Red Pepper waiting for me though. The first thing I'm doing when I pull into town is crushing a turkey grinder (with taco meat, natch) and two cheese tostadas. For a perpetually hungry kid like me, Thanksgiving is the greatest day of the year, and now it's even better since I moved away, as throughout the weekend I get to go to all the old food places in Grand Forks, some of which I miss more than my friends still living there. We were discussing the eateries that we miss the most on The Boards a couple weeks ago, and I almost started crying right there at my desk.

I've already begun training my stomach in preparation for this year's Thanksgiving meal, which I have entitled "Enter the 36 Chambers." I emailed my mom this morning and told her to get that kitchen fired up, because I plan on putting on an eating display for the ages, to which she replied "What else is new. You say this every year." Yeah, but still. Mom also gets bonus points for asking me how she should schedule dinner around football (she knows what's up, son.) I told her that Tennessee played at 11:30, so we should eat late in the afternoon, which confused her because she thought my favorite team was the Houston Oilers....which was entirely correct in 1996.

I don't know if I'll be able to holla at ya the rest the weekend. At my parents' house, the computer with internet access is in Brother's room, and if I'm on it for more than 3 minutes, he starts yelling at me to get out of his room, and I tell him to relax and quit being an angry elf, and he tells me that I don't live in this house anymore so I can't just go and use the internet without asking, and I tell him that I gave him the wireless router for free so I will use it whenever I want, and he tells me that blogs are gay, and I tell him to go spend more money pimping out his pickup truck, and he tells me to go move 10 hours away because of a college basketball team oh wait you already did, and I tell him why don't you go get your ear pierced like a woman oh wait YOU already did, and he tells me that he's not changing my oil anymore, and I tell him that I'm taking back the Nintendo 64 that I left for him even though I won't even play it anyway, and he tells me that he's returning my birthday present to the store, and I tell him I'm returning his Christmas present to the dumpster I dug it out of, and he tells me he wishes he was an only child, and I tell him well you kind of are because you are adopted.

And so on.

Everyone have a good holiday, eat food, drink beer, travel safe; if you see me on the interstate, I'll be the one dancing the robot while I drive, as Styx tests the volume limits of my balla-ass factory speakers.

I'm pretty sure I know what I'm most thankful for this year....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Legend Of The Liquid Swords

As of 4:55 pm Friday afternoon, your plan for the night was to go have a couple of 5 o'clock beers, eat dinner, and go home for the evening and stay out of trouble. Watch a movie or two. Maybe even a trilogy. I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time. That was your plan, anyway. And we all know that plans were made to be broken.

Flash forward. 6:30 pm. After an hour and a half of casual drinking at an old-man bar, potential plans are being discussed. Some words catch your ear specifically. Words such as "Sandbar" and "The Outhouse" and "party bus." These are important words. Night-altering words. For the first time, the thought enters your brain that this night is about to be turned on its head. Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things.

Flash forward. 7:45 pm. Dinner plans are being bandied about. Do you go next door with Jud and Wing for sushi? Do you to West Coast with Lane and Tucker for chicken wings? Do you go with Shaun and Janelle to Henry T's? No. You go home by yourself, microwave a hot dog and wrap it inside a piece of toasted bread. You take this hour to "sober up and refocus." On your drive home, and during the entire hour off of drinking, you listen to 'Baba O'Reilly' by The Who on repeat, because it's the greatest song in the world right now.

Flash forward. 9:00 pm. You meet everyone back out, at Sandbar now. Your achilles heel. Your archnemesis. Your kryptonite. You start back pocketing beers, a sure sign of trouble. You are talking to moms left and right. You get in an spirited discussion with a 31-year-old, divorced schoolteacher about the proper music to listen to when seducing a woman. This schoolteacher thinks your name is Adam Banks, and that you are part of an investment group, in town from Seattle, looking at purchasing the grounds for The Woodlands in Kansas City and converting it from a dogracing track to a horseracing track. You get your first glimpse of what the end of your night looks like. It looks like a plane crash. There are no survivors.

Flash forward. 11:00 pm. You are leaving for Jonny's, where you will then get on a party bus, put together by Katie. One of your new games while talking to randoms is to speak in song lyrics, verbatim, and see how long it takes them to bust you on it, or at least look at you weird. When you tell your schoolteacher that you are leaving, you tell her "I hope you know...I hope you know...that this has nothing to do with you. It's personal, myself and I, we got some straightening out to do. And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses that blanket, but I've got to get a move on with my life. It's time to be a big girl now, and big girls don't cry." You get all the way to the big girl part before she looks at you weird. You consider that a success. On the drive to Jonny's you listen to 'Police On My Back' by The Clash on repeat, because now this is the greatest song in the world right now.

Flash forward. 11:45 pm. You are now on the party bus. You know Katie, Jud, Wing, Tucker, and Tucker's woman, and everyone else on the bus is a stranger. But there's beer, and that's a plus. The first stop is Abe & Jake's. The last time you were at Abe & Jake's, Skye ended up on crutches after you guys tried to re-enact the lift from Dirty Dancing. So you've got some history there. The alcohol has definitely hit you now, there's no turning back. You're in it to win it, for better....or worse.

Flash forward. Time unknown. Wing has been buying you shots like it's your birthday. It might as well be, because if someone were to ask you right now, you might not remember the actual date. Suddenly, you find yourself talking in a circle of people that includes Travis Releford, Tyshawn Taylor, and Markieff Morris. At least you think it's Markieff, but it very well could be Marcus. It's a 50/50 shot, anyway.

Flash forward. Time still unknown. You are back on the bus. You have made a new friend, but you can't remember her name for the life of you. As the bus pulls out, you realize that of the 5 friends you originally boarded the bus with, zero are on the bus now. You can roll with this, though. It's almost expected on a party bus. You wouldn't have it any other way.

Flash forward. 1:30ish am. You are walking into a bar in a hotel somewhere. You don't know where. You think there is a chance that you're only a few blocks from your apartment, but you may as well be in Topeka, for all you know. Why is this a stop on a party bus, you ask. The bar is closing up, but everyone promises the bartender we'll tip a shitload, so he stays open for you. You and your new friend spot a karoake machine. The two of you go fire it up despite protests from the overwhelmed bartender, and now you're in the little deejay booth, fiddling with knobs and switches like you're Dr. fucking Dre mixin' beats in the studio. This is the first time you feel like you're outside your own body, watching yourself be ridiculous. You hear yourself say "What's that? You wanna do 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'? Lemme check...yeah I got that. You're third on the list. I'm just gonna adjust the treble a little here, this dude singing 'Sweet Caroline' is coming in a little off-pitch. Grab me a white russian, would you please? That'd be super."

Flash forward. Time unknown. The bus is dropping everyone off at the house of your new friend, since she was one of the organizers. From there everyone is supposed to find their own ways home. You consider asking her to let you crash on her couch, as you think you remember hearing sometime during the evening that her roommate is Jud's girlfriend, so you would have a ride home in the morning. But as she starts walking away, you realize that you still have NO IDEA what her name is. You remember that your schoolteacher thinks that Jimmy Buffett is horrible, so you played 'Cheeseburger In Paradise' two times in a row on the jukebox just to spite her. You remember that the spread in the North Carolina game was 19, and they only won 84-67, so you lost money. You remember that your bill at Sandbar was $22.75. You remember all these things, yet you can't remember the name of basically the only person you've conversed with in the last two hours, and as a result, you have a long walk in front of you. You chuckle at this irony.

Flash forward. 2:30 am. As you cross the Mass Street bridge, you text Noles telling him that you're "crossing the Kansas River by foot." Apparently your night has turned into Oregon Trail. Do you try and ford the river and risk losing valuable oxen?

Flash forward. 3:00 am. You are home safe. You just got done crushing another hot dog/toasted bread delight. Then you throw up. You listen to 'Tyler' by The Toadies on repeat, because it's the "greatest song in the world right now." Before you crawl (literally) into bed, you text Shaun, who smartly decided not to get on the party bus, that "winning that bus ticket was the worst thing that ever happened to me." You are trying to be clever with a quote from Titanic. That is poetically appropriate, because your entire night was like being on a sinking ship.

As you pass out, Leonardo Dicaprio appears in your mind, and makes you promise that you'll never give up, no matter what happens. Promise him, and never let go of that promise. "I'll never let go, Jack" you tell him. "I'll never let go."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tyler Hansbrough's Facebook Status: November 19th

7:38 am
Tyler Hansbrough is soooo tired, late night playin world of warcraft...bow to the new king of Azeroth :)

8:08 am
Tyler Hansbrough is mmmm...coffee...

8:46 am
Tyler Hansbrough is dreading class today :(

9:58 am
Tyler Hansbrough is a 5 page paper due on Monday? WTF, prof?!?!?!

11:57 am
Tyler Hansbrough is who wants to grab some lunch....meet me at the Union!

1:09 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is pretty lonely lunch today...everyone must still be in bed...lolz

1:52 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is time for a much-needed nap!! zzzzzz.....

2:16 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is can't sleep...turn down the speakers, neighbors! don't make me go Psycho T on you...

2:49 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is kinda want to skip class...anyone up for some ping pong? promise i won't beat you too bad :)

3:37 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is really, history class? who cares about the Civil War lol

5:28 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is ramen again? please send money, mom and dad...i'll pay you back next year ;)

7:42 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is ready for practice! tar heels, what!

9:54 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is tired from ball, but still down to party...what's goin on 2nite?

10:07 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is cracking his first beer! let's party, where my tar heel boyz at?

11:30 pm
Tyler Hansbrough is kinda buzzed...ready to hit the town...who's with me?

12:13 am
Tyler Hansbrough is drunK, jusst wahtcin' some game Film..,.no paRties i guesss :(

1:33 am
Tyler Hansbrough is NO CaLLs, really? whhere IS eVVery7one 2nit!!!!111!!!

2:28 am
Tyler Hansbrough is mayybe shouLdv e' gon NBA las5t yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Tyler Hansbrough 's session has timed out. please log in again

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Top 5. Volume 9.

This started out as a Top 5, but more I thought about this, the more I kept coming up with, so it's been expanded to a Top 10, plus a couple honorable mentions.

Here are the top 10 fictional sporting events that I wish I had gone to in person (assuming, of course, that they're real.)


Teen Wolf

The championship game or whatever it is (actually, I don't think the movie ever mentions what the significance of this game was...whatevs) This would be an inspiring underdog victory to witness, as Scott Howard plays as himself, not the Wolf, and his team still pulls off an impressive comeback victory.

Keeping it out of the top 10: at the end of the game, when Scott is shooting free throws with no time left on the clock, the refs allow Mick (the bad guy) to stand underneath the basket and glare him down. In the crowd, I would've been throwing such a fit that they were allowing this, I most likely would've been removed by security. Also, Scott's supporting cast was so bad, I have a hard time believing that they were actually playing that well.

Not quite Pippen and Horace Grant.

Karate Kid

The All Valley Karate Tournament Finals. Again, an inspiring underdog, and when they announce "Larusso's gonna fight! Larusso's gonna fight!" I would be crawling with goosebumps.

Keeping it out of the top 10: Daniel LaRusso was such a baby it drove me insane. I would've probably ended up cheering for Johnny Lawrence during the fight. Maybe even started up a chant of "Sweep the leg! Sweep the leg!"

10. White Men Can't Jump

Watching any of these games would be sweet, but I think I would choose the initial meeting of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, so I could see Woody hustle the shit out of everybody with his goofy ensemble of clothing and silky smooth jump shot. To this day, Woody's character gives me inspiration. Why do you think I wear a headband when I play basketball? Opposing teams say "Look at that dork" and the ensuing lack of defense played against me is usually good for 4-6 points a game. Booyeah.

9. American History X

The pickup basketball game where the whites are playing the blacks, loser has to leave the courts forever. This would be a great game to watch for the intensity alone, but it receives negative points because Edward Norton somehow wins the game on a steal and reverse dunk like he's fucking Dominique Wilkins or something. In real life, Norton would struggle to throw down on 9-foot rims. Plus no team, EVER, would win a basketball game against black guys with the fat guy from Mallrats and My Name Is Earl as its power forward.

I officially redact everything bad I just said about Edward Norton.

8. Rudy

"Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!"

7. He Got Game

The one-on-one game at the end between Jesus and Jake Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen and Denzel Washington.) Another game where the stakes are obscenely high, making it fantastic. Rumor has it that in the script, Jesus was supposed to beat Jake 11-0, but Spike Lee told them to just start playing and they would start filming (assuming that an NBA player would destroy Denzel in one-on-one.) But Denzel started firing up some garbage shots that went in and jumped out to a quick lead, and Ray got legitmately pissed and took over the game, and that's why there is such real intensity during the scene in the movie. That could be complete bullshit, but if you can't trust Spike Lee, who can you trust?

6. Happy Gilmore

The final round of the Tour Championship between Happy and Shooter McGavin. Between the 400-yard drives, Happy getting run over by a Volkswagen, and the TV tower collapsing on the 18th green, that's about as much drama as you could ask for on a golf course.

5. Above the Rim

The championship game where Shep gets shot afterwards. Intensity, rim-rocking dunks, shaky defense, rap music, trash-talking, noticeable lack of white people, Tupac, concealed weapons...this tournament embodies everything I love about basketball.

This movie taught me that when Tupac says "Take care yo' bidness" it really means "I have provided you with a handgun. Go shoot that gentleman when his attention is diverted elsewhere."

4. Rocky/Creed II

I could've went with any of the Rocky fights here. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Clubber Lang, and the Rocky/Ivan Drago fight would've been a dandy, but it would've been awesome to see Rocky break through and beat Apollo Creed in probably the best boxing match of the whole series.

3. Mighty Ducks vs. Iceland


The fact that Marguerite Moreau was the right wing for the Mighty Ducks is really just a cheap excuse to get a picture of her up here. I think she's my all-time #1 weakness. If I were to stalk one Hollywood actress, it would be her. She's just so girl-next-door, right? Like, I feel like I would have a real chance with her, you know what I'm saying? I would show her what the 'Flying V' is, and here's a hint: it takes place on my face, not on a hockey rink. The things I would do to that girl.....I think I just blacked out for a second. What are we talking about? Sports movies?

2. Victory

The Allied POW Team vs. Germany during WWII. The only factor keeping this game out of the top spot is that it's soccer. I don't dislike soccer, I could get into it if I tried, but I'm just not knowledgable enough about it for this game to be #1. Otherwise, it would be on top by a large margin. A dramatic comeback, goals left and right, the Allied Team overcoming the Nazi refs who are blatantly cheating, topped off by a fantastic shootout (featuring Sylvester Stallone as the Allied Team goalie.) Plus, at the end, when the crowd storms the field and tramples the Nazi guards to help the POWs escape, how great would that be? How often do you get to cheer against FUCKING NAZIS? Awesome.

Hello, new desktop. I can't believe I found this, google rocks my socks sometimes.

1. Major League

The one-game playoff against the Yankees. When the Indians bring in Wild Thing in the 9th to face Haywood with the sacks jacked and a tie game, and the whole stadium is rocking and rolling and singing "Wild Thing"...I mean, WOW....I could watch that scene a thousand times in a row and still get goosebumps on the 1,001th. And then the Tribe wins and everyone storms the field (developing theme: major bonus points for movies where the crowd gets to storm the field.) Lordy, I love playoff baseball.

"Enjoy it, Charlie. It's all downhill from here. This is what we in the industry like to call "peaking." Ever heard of Two and a Half Men? You will.

What'd I miss? And don't bother mentioning the homoerotic shirtless game of beach volleyball from Top Gun. I already thought about that one....long and hard (that's what she said.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

The Robert Randolph concert on Friday night was fannnntastic. My expectations were very high, and they still managed to top them. I briefly considered quitting my job, buying a van, and following them around the country as they tour, but chili cheese wraps don't pay for themselves, so I will stick with the steady paycheck.

I think Robert Randolph has officially entered the category of "I just can't argue with you." Basically, it's where I can't even argue with you for liking/disliking something, because I can't even understand your opinion because it's so crazy to me. Like if you were to say "Dude...the Red Sox are so gay, they're pretty much the new Yankees" I certainly wouldn't agree with you, but I could see where you're coming from.

But Robert Randolph & the Family Band...if you listen to their music and it doesn't get your toe tapping and/or put a smile on your face, then I can't even argue with you. If you don't think The Office is a hilarious TV show, then I don't understand your sense of humor. If you've never received a handjob from a homeless guy in exchange for your half-eaten Sausage Egg McMuffin, then I don't know what to tell you. Like Vito Corleone would say, "How do you reason with people like that?"

"How do you reason with people like that?"
Told you.

One thing that I had kind of been thinking since I moved to this town, but was confirmed without a doubt at the concert: I love hippies. Love them. They truly don't care about anything people might think about them. In the middle of a packed venue, they dance like they're Napoleon Dynamite practicing alone in his bedroom. They have funky clothes and smelly hair, neither of which has been washed in months. And they talk to any random stranger like they've known each other for years. Because of these reasons, I got much love for hippies. Coincidentally, these are the same reasons why Jud hates them with a burning passion.

Some hippie came up to me at the concert with a giant Dixie cup of whiskey. He simply pointed at my beer and said "Chaser?" Probably because I was so taken back, I agreed. He took a giant chug out of his styrofoam cup, then a pull of my beer, paused a moment, finished his whiskey, took another sip of beer, said "Thanks, brother man" and walked away. I thought it was hilarious, but Alex was slightly grossed out that I let him drink out of my beer (in retrospect, she's probably more right than me.) Apparently, my boy didn't forget the nice gesture. My payback came around a half an hour later, when he strolled up, pulled a gigantic marijuana leaf out of his jacket, stuck it under my nose, and exclaimed "Smell THAT shit, bro! This shit's the BOMB!" I concurred that his shit did indeed smell like the bomb, and once again he was on his merry way.

From tailgating on Saturday: An interesting game has developed at the Budweiser tent these last few weeks. The name of the game is basically "Make Jim drink the shittiest/girliest beer in the cooler all day long." The rules and object of the game are explicitly stated in the name, conveniently enough. I have to admit, this game is more my fault than theirs. A couple weeks ago Lane gave me a Michelob Ultra in a skinny can. If I would've just laughed it off, chugged the beer, and went and got a Bud Light, all would've been forgotten. Instead, my pride got in the way, and I told them to go fuck themselves and that I would drink Ultra all day long (which I did.) Flash forward to Saturday, and I find myself drinking Michelob Ultra Pomegranite Raspberry, and Tuscan Orange Grapefuit, and getting made fun of by every single person I encounter all day long. After around 5 hours of me drinking girl beers (which some may call 'losing' but I proudly call 'winning') they upped the ante, and finally broke me with a Mojito in a can. It tasted like apple Kool-aid if you were to add 4 times the amount of sugar. I don't know how you ladies drink that rubbish.

Lastly, a story from Sunday. File this under "I wasn't there, but dammit I wish I was":

Ike's mom Margo is in Vegas this weekend. Saturday night she sits down at a blackjack table, and starts good-naturedly talking shit with the guy playing $500 hands sitting next to her. She makes fun of him once for not doubling an 11, to which he replies, "Hey, lady. I'm playing $500s. You're playing $25s and $50s. Get real." They eventually form a nice little relationship, giving each other crap, buying beers for each other, blah blah blah. At some point Margo tells him "You remind me of my son's friend Bergman because you never shut up!"

Later on (many, many beers later) Margo tells the man "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ben Affleck?" This draws a round of laughter from the table. The man replies, "Ma'am....I AM Ben Affleck."

So basically, Margo was talking shit all night with Ben Frigging Affleck without even knowing it.

Second favorite part of the story: Margo compared Ben Affleck to Bergman, which I did awhile back and Bergman didn't agree. Now we know for sure...you can't argue with Margo, dude.

Favorite part of the story: Later on that night, Ike's dad Terry, who was elsewhere during all of this, wanders over to the table to see how Margo is doing. Margo points at her new friend and says something to the effect of "Look, Honey! I'm playing blackjack with Ben Affleck!"

Terry's straight-faced reply: "Who the hell is Ben Affleck?"

Dammit I love Ike's parents, and I'm also more than a little jealous. I've been to Vegas four times and haven't see anybody famous (one time I had pretty much convinced myself that Doug Flutie intentionally shoulder-bumped me next to a street vendor selling jello shots, but more sober participants assured me that it was not him.)

Happy Monday, here's to next weekend arriving quickly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making A Concerted Effort

Tomorrow Robert Randolph & the Family Band are coming to Lawrence, and I am muy excited to be in attendance. I am normally not what you would call a live music aficionado. I like to rock out, but mostly in the safe confines of my car or the Fortress of Solitude, where I can cry and/or masturbate to Robert Plant's voice without fear of interruption. Concerts aren't normally my bag, baby. I have to be either

a) really, really into the band, or
b) really, really into some alcohol and/or illicit drugs

to enjoy myself at a concert. Otherwise, it's just terrible. I've made the argument that going to a concert when you're not 100% into it is about an awful of a night as you can have. I would rank the Aerosmith concert at the Alerus in 2001 as one of the worst nights of my life. Fo' serious.

However, Robert Randolph is on the very short list of concerts I would be enthusiastic to go to: (it's on top of the list, in fact)

1. Robert Randolph
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Clash
4. MC Hammer
5. Vampire Weekend
6. Zack Attack (and that would mostly be for the opportunity to ogle the shit out of Kelly Kapowski)

As you can see, only two of those musical acts are currently intact in their original form, although I'm fairly confident I can hire MC Hammer to perform at my Sweet Twenty-Six birthday party in a few weeks.

In fact, if I remember right, I have not been to a concert in almost 6 years. I'm not counting WeFest, because although I was technically there in both 2004 and 2005, the number of girls who slapped me in the face or otherwise physically abused me (3) is higher than the number of concerts I actually attended (2.) So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

My top concert memories:

Styx, 2003

My girlfriend at the time gets to go on stage and introduce the bands, but this does not lead to me meeting Styx, which is incredibly disappointing and probably played a small role in our eventual breakup....we are all only 20 years old, but we run into Jake's mom there, and she keeps us adequately supplied with booze the entire night, while getting housed herself....she eventually enjoys a long, slow kiss with Paul in front of Jake....not a great night to be Jake, but probably top 5 greatest nights of Paul's life.

The Monkees, 2000

This was at the state fair or something, and is uneventful except for the fact that Podge and the other 16-year-old girls we were there with were invited backstage to "party" by Davy Jones (age at the time: 55)....I tried to caution the ladies as to why, exactly, they were being invited back there, and they promptly blew me off....half an hour later they were back, creeped out of their skulls....guess what happened.

Styx, 2001

There's nothing like the first time you get to see your heroes perform live....we collectively put together a strong, strong effort in the "drinking in the car from Grand Forks to Fargo" department....when Styx finishes their set, plus a couple encores, without playing Mr. Roboto, I am almost inconsolable.

Snoop Dogg, 2001

General admission at the Civic Center, so I ended up in the third row for $17...felt completely comfortable in my whiteness, even as I was shouting lyrics to "Gin and Juice" at the top of my lungs....probably because I was at least 230% higher than I ever had been in my life up to that point....marijuana is a hell of a drug.

Speaking of pot smoking, one of my favorite rappers of all time, Ol' Dirty Bastard, died 4 years ago today. I'm proclaiming the next week to be Ol' Dirty Bastard Appreciation Week, and the only music I will listen to will be ODB and/or Wu-Tang. Ummm except when I'm at the Robert Randolph concert. Dammit, ODB Appreciation Week is ruined already.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So the other day I was flicking channels and came across something with Lou Diamond Philips in it. This reminded me of an old guy in one of my college classes that Weisser and I called Sweet Lou Diamond Stone Philips Magnavox (don't ask.) Then my stream of consciousness got me thinking of other nicknames we had for random people. Either these were people that we didn't know personally, but needed a way to describe them; or people that we did know, and we called them something without them knowing; or in a few instances, they knew about these names and were not happy about it.

(Side note: after compliling this list of nicknames in my head, I realized that most of these are really mean, and most involve random girls from college. So be it. Also, basically this whole post will just be a series of inside jokes. But at least a handful of people will enjoy each paragraph, and I will enjoy all of them, and as long as I'm happy, that's all that I care about.)


This was a girl in the Accounting program who had multiple classes with Weisser, Noles, and I. This girl, when she wore makeup, was pretty good looking. Decent anyway. However, when she came to class au naturale, not only was she horribly unattractive, but she looked like a completely different person. The first time we noticed it, I leaned over and asked Weisser who the new girl in class was. After probably 35 minutes of deliberation, we realized it was the same girl, sans makeup. She pulled that stunt a few more times throughout the semester, and it freaked us out every time.

Crazy Karen aka KCK aka KCKCK

This was one of Paul's friends with benefits years ago. As the nickname implies, she was crazy. One of those crazy chicks that you can tell is crazy within the first 5 seconds you meet her, but she never (at first) shows it in an obvious way. The only thought running through your head when you first meet her is "damn, I bet this girl is CRAZY." After awhile, Paul broke it off, because, well, you know...she's crazy. And a couple years later, she proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I had dated one of her friends, and subsequently broken up with her at a very unexpected time (not my finest moment, but it had to be done right then. It was for the best. Sometimes you just gotta rip the band-aid off in one motion.)

Annnnyway, KCK was very unhappy about all this. A large group of our friends were eating at Green Mill. KCK saw us, stormed over to me and told me that she heard what had happened with me and her friend. As I opened my mouth to offer up my lame explanation, she reached over me, grabbed a fistful of sour cream that was on the side of my plate (I hate sour cream, but that's not important right now) and SMEARED IT ON MY SHOULDER. Then she stomped off again without saying a word, leaving us to pick our jaws up off the floor. Looking back, I don't know why I was so surprised. I knew that she would pull something like that someday.

Oh yeah, I forgot, the KCK comes from when Paul would tell a story about her. He would start off by saying, "OK, so Karen came over-" and me, being a dick, would interrupt "Oh, you mean Crazy Karen?" and Paul would look annoyed and say "Yeah. Anyway..." and I would do this everytime he brought her up, so she became Karen- Crazy Karen, or KCK, and then eventually Paul accepted it and went along with it, so our interactions became

"Crazy Karen?"
"Crazy Karen."

Hence the KCKCK. And around these parts, people call the portion of Kansas City that lies in Kansas "KCK" and I giggle inside every time.

Grandma Face

A girl who was, umm, involved with Z a few years ago. It was agreed almost unanimously that she had a rocking body, but her face looked like she was about a week from being 79 years old. Hard to describe without seeing it, really. There was also another nickname that went along with this one, but I am not comfortable typing it out. I'm sure Lane will just put it in the comments anyway, so whatever.

Bonus nickname: one night Z and Grandma Face had what the kids these days call 'anal sex.' The incident was quickly renamed Z's "Poop Chute Riot" (remember the song Zoot Suit Riot...yeah, that's the one.) And for the next few months- actually, scratch that, if we still lived in Grand Forks we'd still do it- every few hours, no matter where we were or how many people were around, Haley would yell out "Poop chute riot!" and the rest of us would yell "RIOT!!!" and Haley would return with "Z's got a dirty mung!" You knowww, like, we took the tune of the song, but changed the lyrics so we could make fun of Z. You don't have to tell me how clever we are, we already know.

Mom aka Jim's Mom

This was a girl who was a senior in high school when we were sophomores. Our regular lunch table was next to her friends' lunch table, so we saw her often. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, our lunch table consisted of a bunch of assholes. She had a definite 'Mom' look to her, but not the kind of look that I usually love and often hit on. She had a Mom haircut and dressed like a Mom, and when we heard her talk she had sounded like a Mom telling her son to go clean his room or something. I don't know really know why, but she became my Mom, as in "Jim, while you were up buying a Cyrstal Light, your mom told us that you had to have all your homework finished before you go out tonight" or "Jim, your mom says that dinner is at 5:30 SHARP tonight!"

So years later, I'm probably 20 and she's 22 or something like that, I run into her at a party (turns out she's friends with a girl I worked with.) Late in the night, she starts hitting on me aggressively. I maintain for a while, and truth be told, she was looking much better those days, and if she were someone else, or if I was a little further in the bag, I probably would've accepted her advances. Instead I finally tell her "Look, I'm sorry. I can't go home with you." She basically ignored me and continued to molest me as I fought off laughter. Perhaps fueled by my 20-odd beers that night, I finally told her EVERYTHING, finishing with, "...so it would be like hooking up with my mom."

If it was a 1980's movie, she would've definitely poured her beer over my head or something. As it was, she just said "I can't BELIEVE you just said that. You are an asshole." She walked away, and I never randomly saw her again. Looking back now, I should've totally done it, it would've been a better end to the story, especially if I would've called her Mom or something during the deed. You can't put a price on that.

{Editor's note: I have an old picture of this group of girls that was taken on their last day of senior year (remember, I became friends with one of them, and she thought this pic was hilarious so she gave it to me. I wasn't taking pictures of random seniors and creepily ogling them for 9 years and counting. At least not those girls, anyway.) In this picture is 'My Mom' and the rest of their lunch table, smiling, linking arms, enjoying their last day of high school together. In the background you can see Lane giving them a look representing his disgust with their constant squealing and picture taking, and above the crowd you can see someone (my money is on Ike) raising his arm and extending his middle finger toward the camera. Just totally destroying their picture. Like I said, we were assholes.}

Indian Bob

This is one of my favorites. Bob was Lane and Logan's suitemate freshman year of college. He was a pretty cool guy, but Lane and Logan decided to make him their bitch. They were still friends with him; but they basically made his life hell. Despite the fact that Bob had blonde hair and blue eyes (a quite beautiful blue, I might add. Like the Pacific Ocean. I could get lost in those eyes for days.....) they decided to tell everyone that he was Native American, and called him Indian Bob. And they pounded this into everyone else's head at every opportunity, so we all had no other choice but to call him Indian Bob as well. Lane and Logan also started a rumor that they came home late one night and went into Indian Bob's room, and found him rubbing his dong in taco salad from Wilkerson late night dinner. They ALSO trapped him in his room by wedging his door with a hockey stick, when he had a big test that morning. Now, normally, I don't condone this kind of behavior, I hate it when people pick on other people. However, this was funny because Indian Bob was a very popular guy, and it was obvious that he'd never been on this side of hazing before, and it completely baffled him. My favorite part was that you could see the look on his face every time one of these events occurred: What the fuck is going on? I'm popular. Girls like me. I have lots of friends and nice clothes and a sweet car. Seriously, what the fuck?

Side story: one night a few years ago, I was at Stormy Sledster's or Down Under or something, up at the bar getting a couple drinks. Indian Bob grabs me out of nowhere, with a wild, desperate, but mostly shitfaced look in his eyes. He tells me I have to find Lane and tell him to stop telling people it's his birthday. Apparently Lane had told the whole bar that it was Indian Bob's birthday (it wasn't) so everyone was buying him random shots and getting him completely fucked up when he had class in the morning. I sympathized with his situation, even joining him in calling Lane a few names, and then my drinks came: a beer for me, an Irish Car Bomb for Indian Bob (Lane had already found me and told me what was up.) So I just grinned, slid the car bomb over to Indian Bob, and yelled as loud as I could, "Haaaapppyyyyy Birthdaaayyyy!!!" As I walked away, I heard someone at the bar exclaim, "Bob, it's your birthday today? Bartender, I need a shot!" and, as I walked further away, I could hear Indian Bob wailing "It's not my FUCKING BIRTHDAY!!! God dammit Laaaaaane!!!!"

OK I had more but this is spiraling out of control and I've got city league basketball in 45 minutes so I'm wrapping this up. I'm interested to hear your stories, or maybe some other good ones that I forgot...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some Real Conversation Fo' Yo Ass

>>Last night we went to Role Models (funny as hell, by the way, I highly recommend it. I was LOLing the whole time) and right when one of the previews was starting, the sound suddenly shut off. After a half minute of confusion, the audience started making the sound effects, like a girl screaming when appropriate, and a bunch of explosion noises when a gas truck went over a cliff. This sent me into giggling hysterics (I've told you before, it's not hard to set me off) but the best part was about a minute into the preview, when all of a sudden Vin Diesel showed his face and it became obvious this was a preview for another Fast and the Furious movie. As soon as Diesel showed up on the screen, the whole theater collectively went "Ohhhhhhhh.....booooooo!!!!" and it was pretty much the funniest thing I've seen since 1993. Good moment for me and my paper-thin sense of humor, not such a good moment for Vin Diesel.

>>Now far be it from me to frown upon anything that Sonic does (considering that in the last 15 months, the only things that have brought me more happiness than their food was when KU won the national championship, and the time that I strangled that prostitute) but I have to disagree with their new "Brown Bag Special." Not because of the content- $6.99 for two burgers, two tots and two drinks is a steal of a deal, although there is a distinct lack of chili cheese wraps in that equation- but because of its name. Really, the Brown Bag Special? That's what dudes call a girl with a slammin' body and a brutal face (i.e. every girl that Russell has ever hit on in the last 8 years.) I have heard on the streets that there is also a more disgusting use of the term "Brown Bag Special" and it involves shitting on your ballsack and then receiving a beejer, but that's not really my cup of tea.

>>You know at the top of your hotmail screen they have those advertisements where it says something like "Stop. Stare. Flirt." and there's some chick in a wife beater bouncing around and giggling on her bed as she's typing on her computer? I don't really know any more about what exactly it's promoting, because if I want to flirt with some random girls, I'll just log into a Britney Spears fan club chat room and wham-o! All the 12-year-olds I can handle. Luvz2partee69 is my screen name, little inside info for you there.

Anyway, one of the girls in one of those ads looks EXACTLY like a girl I used to work with back when I was a youngster. It's uncanny. This girl, who we'll call Wendy, had a bit of a, um, reputation. When the college kids would invite us 15-year-olds to parties and she wasn't there, all the dudes would be laughing and talking about who nailed her last weekend (while Bergman and I enthusiastically laughed and high-fived along with them, all while we excitedly reflected upon how drunk we were after 4 Rolling Rocks, and called our parents to tell them we were sleeping over at the other's house, so don't wait up. Man, 1998 was a great year.)

Later, during a wedding reception, Wendy flashed me on the miniature golf course at the Townhouse, back in the time when I thought that naked boobs were just a myth, and if it wasn't for the foursome of rambunctious 9-year-olds waiting to play through, who knows how far things would have escalated. I haven't seen Wendy in over 4 years now, and haven't had a real conversation with her since 2002. So I guess my point (which only took me three paragraphs and around 300 words to get to) is: I would not even be remotely surprised if online flirting with creepy old dudes was what she was doing for her paychecks now.

>>The dangers of listening to rap music, scene 1: This occurred on Halloween. After work, me and a middle-aged gentleman who works for another business in our building were walking to the parking lot at the same time. I haven't really talked to him before, so we're making small talk as we go- "Oh, that's your Element? I was wondering whose that was, I like it." "Yeah, love the head room, very spacious, blah blah blah."

So I get into my car and start it up and turn on my iPod. The current song is winding down into silence. Before I shut my door, the guy asks me about my gas mileage. As I'm about to answer, the next song on the shuffle starts up, and it's "Hit Em Up" by Tupac. For those who don't know, the first line of that song is That's why I fucked yo' bitch, you fat mutha fucka! As the guy gives me a horrified look, all I can do is meekly smile and mumble "Well...have a Happy Halloween!" and leave tracks pulling out of my parking spot.

The dangers of listening to rap music, scene 2: A couple days ago I'm at a gas station filling up my right rear tire. I leave the car running and the windows down. My volume is up kind of loud (I lost 40% of the hearing in my left ear from a football injury- don't judge me.) As "Still" by the Geto Boys is blaring, a car full of black guys pulls up alongside me to get some gas. At this juncture I have 4 choices:

1. Jump into my car and turn down the volume
2. Jump into my car and flee the premises, flat tire be damned
3. Acknowledge the black guys by making eye contact and proudly flash them a gangsta-ass 'W'
4. Pretend that my tire is really, REALLY flat, and stay hunched down and out of sight until they leave

I chose option 4.

I found it ironic that in such an obvious Michael Bolton from Office Space scenario, I was listening to a song from that very soundtrack. A black girl I used to know nicknamed me Michael Bolton the day after she saw that movie. She strolled into a party and immediately yelled "Aaaawwwww shiiiiiiit...Jim's heeeerrrrreeee!!! I was hopin' you be here, I just saw Office Space, y'all!!!! Fuckin' Michael Bolton and shiiiit!!!" And then she called me that, relentlessly, every single time she saw me, which thankfully wasn't that much. Ahhh well, if the shoe fits, I guess.

Happy Sunday, hopefully everyone is enjoying the couch as much I am today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Little-Known Facts About Tyler Hansbrough

--Hansbrough loves the show Law & Order, but gets frustrated because "It never seems to be on television very often...do I need to order a special cable package to get it?"

--When The Sixth Sense first came out, Hansbrough claimed that he knew Bruce Willis was a ghost just from the previews.

--Hansbrough refuses to eat a PB&J unless someone cuts the crusts off for him.

--When Hansbrough was a minor, he partied a lot, so he would ask his older friends to buy him beer every weekend. Now that he's 21, when his younger friends ask him to buy for them, he always says no because he doesn't want to get caught contributing to minors.

--Hansbrough thinks that Saved by the Bell: The New Class was better than the original.

--Every year on December 8th, Hansbrough refuses to go out or do anything, because that is the exact date that his 4th grade girlfriend broke up with him in front of everybody, and he still isn't over it. He just sits in his bedroom all night and pigs out on ice cream, because he deserves it.

--Hansbrough double-dips his potato chips when he's sharing the bowl of salsa with others.

--Hansbrough makes appearances at children's hospitals during the holidays, but he just uses it for an opportunity to tell little kids that Santa isn't real. He still remembers that fateful day in 10th grade when he found out Santa was fake, and he is still bitter about it.

--Hansbrough stands too close to the front of the driving range, so every few shots, he hits the divider rope with his follow through and distracts everyone else on the range.

--Hansbrough tells his dentist that he has been flossing regularly. He hasn't been.

--When Hansbrough plays darts, he's not very good at hitting bullseyes, but he's great at hitting 17s, so he tells everyone that he read in a magazine that, statistically speaking, hitting 17s are actually more important than hitting bullseyes.

--Hansbrough tries to start conversations with people on the subway when they have their headphones in.

--When Hansbrough is picking songs on the jukebox, he always picks the longest songs they have. He doesn't necessarily like "In-A-Godd-Da-Vida" or "I Would Do Anything For Love"; he just wants to be in control of the music selection for as long as possible without spending more than $2.50.

--Hansbrough bought some of those magnetic letters that little kids use to spell things on the fridge. Every Monday morning he spells out a new message like "put food in me im hungry" and gets mad when his roommates mess up the letters on accident.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Smells Like Basketball Season Again

It felt like just yesterday that I was sitting on the curb in the middle of downtown Lawrence, head in my hands but a smile on my face, bawling my eyes out in pure joy, while 90,000 people were celebrating in the streets all around me. My lifelong dream was reality; my life as a sports fan was complete. The Kansas Jayhawks were national champs.

So where do I go from here? What do people do after they climb Mount Everest? Go back down the mountain, I guess. Start planning the next trip. This year will be fun because basically there is an entirely new team coming in this year. Only two players who played real minutes last year are back: Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich.

One of these players was a freshman from Minneapolis who averaged roughly 8 minutes per game during the regular season. The other player was National Player of the Year, and the only way he could've received more attention and accolades was if he ended the war in the Middle East, cured cancer, and won American Idol. One of these players dominated the other when they went head-to-head. Guess which one is which.

In total, there are 7 newcomers to the Jayhawks this year. One of my favorite things about following college basketball is reading about the incoming freshman, trying to find youtube clips of them playing in high school, finding out how many Baby Mamas they already have, and guessing who my favorite player will be. (Side note: the last time KU had a large incoming freshman class, I predicted that Mario Chalmers would be my boy. Once they took the court, though, Julian Wright stole my heart and that was it. Chalmers did make up for it, though....)

This year, after extensive reading, youtubing, and googling, I predict my boy will be Marcus Morris. He's supposed to be one of the most talented players Bill Self has recruited to KU, and he can play every position, sort of a Julian version 2.0. I may have chosen his brother Markieff as my favorite, but he already got in trouble for firing a BB gun out his window the night he moved into the dorms. After the JR Giddens debacle a few years ago, I don't want to be emotionally invested with any potential bad boys. You want to be the one to change them, but they only break your heart in the end. The only problem with the Morris twins is that they look EXACTLY ALIKE, so the only way I'll be able to tell them apart is their jersey numbers. Ahhh, they all look the same anyway.

I MEANT TWINS! Twins all look the same, you racists.

Another subplot will be whether or not I can just be a normal fan now. Be happy after wins. Be sad after losses. Don't sleep on bridges after tournament losses. I have a zen-like sense of calm about this upcoming season, but I have a feeling that will go right out the window once the ball is tipped.

So it will be an interesting year. After the last couple years, when I had hopes of a national championship, just making the tourney this year will be the goal. While it's fun to watch a team grow up, it's a lot easier to be patient when you can always just throw in last year's Final 4 DVD when times get rough. And times will get rough, especially when UNC is 24-0, a unanimous #1, and the media is calling Tyler Hansbrough the greatest college basketball player in the history of the world.

Internal monologues, from right to left:

Erin Andrews: all right, let's get through this piece and get out of here. Mmm, I hope Hammen gets through MY piece tonight...hahahaha, good one, Erin. I should write that down.

Tyler Hansbrough: holy crap, I'm standing next to Erin Andrews!!! Don't get a boner, don't get a boner, don't get a boner...

Dick Vitale: holy crap, I'm standing next to Tyler Hansbrough!!! Don't get a boner, don't get a boner, don't get a boner...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Politics And Me

Tomorrow is Election Day, and I hope everyone is unlike me and gets out and rocks the vote. I have never voted in my life, have never even registered to vote, and don't see myself doing so in the near future. Here, then, are the reasons I dislike politics and everything about them:

-Nobody ever has a constructive argument about politics. Ever. If a political discussion breaks out at a party, you can find me on the opposite end of the room, usually within about 30 seconds. I enjoy a good argument, especially when it's about a particularly trivial subject. However, some arguments turn bad (during the 2006 Rose Bowl, Bergman and I almost got in an alcohol-fueled fistfight over who would have the better pro career after 5 years, Vince Young or Matt Leinart.) And a typical political discussion between otherwise rational people is the equivalent of Bergman and I arguing about sports after 15 beers and 15 Skinny Pirates each: people get angry, become unwilling to listen to the other's opinion, and end up holding a full Miller Lite can over the other's head, threatening to smash them in the face with it.

-I don't follow politics enough to know what the hell I'm talking about. No one to blame but myself for this one. My brain spends its free time trying to figure out the least-talented college basketball team to make it to the championship in the 1990s (Syracuse '96) or wondering if Puff Daddy and Notorious BIG really set up Tupac to be shot in their recording studio (without a doubt.) What I don't spend my time thinking about is Obama's plans to fix the economic downturn, or McCain's strategy for the Middle East. One day I will grow up a bit and care about real life issues, but that day is not November 4, 2008.

-Along those same lines, I have never cared enough to actually form my own opinions. Therefore, I am a default Republican. As is typical in North Dakota, my parents are way, wayyyy right-wing. Growing up, I was raised in a home where Bill Clinton was basically the anti-christ. These biases stuck with me, and now I am conditioned to automatically hate all things Democrat- which I do, through no thought process of my own. It annoys me that I have no original thoughts on an important topic, so instead of voting for something that I am uneducated about, I just don't vote at all.

-I don't really like any politicians. In my mind, they all lie, they're all dirty, I don't have good feelings about any of them. I've never felt positively inspired by a single politician in my entire life.

-I'm just lazy. While I have been blaming some of my apathy on society and such, this one is also entirely my fault. I am completely entrenched in the camp of 'my vote doesn't matter, I'm just one person' and this is, admittedly, an awful mindset to have. Part of it ties to me not caring enough; if, say, Kirk Hinrich was running for President, I would be busting ass to my district precinct to cast my vote. But as it stands now, tomorrow I work until 5, have a city league basketball game at 6, and KU has its first game of the year at 7. Plus I'm out of Special K (with red berries, booyeah) so I need to fit a trip to HyVee somewhere in there too. I'm not making the extra effort to go do something I don't care about anyway.

Hinrich/Collison in 2012: they'd win at least one state.

So just in case I'm not making it clear enough, I don't think I'm cool because I don't vote. I just have a mental image of me sitting in my room listening to Radiohead, telling you that voting is for losers, and then asking you to help me hit this fat-ass joint before my parents get home from work. This is not the case: I wish I was more involved in important issues such as the election. Plus I'd never smoke weed with you, you bogarted the shit out of it last time.