Thursday, January 29, 2009

Brainbusting Question Of The Day

Here's a hypothetical question that sparked a heated debate on The Boards today. I honestly can't believe that someone would choose one of these options (without giving too much away) but the vote was split 2-2, so apparently it is possible, and I'm curious to see who else would.

Would you rather.....

Live with THE MOST ANNOYING PERSON YOU KNOW for 5 years, or.....

Lose two non-essential fingers, and walk with a limp and a cane (not a horrible limp or anything...our example was like House, M.D.)

Kinda like this....except you probably wouldn't be able to play much guitar, since you'd be missing a couple fingers....and I doubt you'd be able to hop around like Angus from AC/DC, if you can't even walk without dragging one of your retrospect, this wasn't the best picture representation of House. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

Regarding your roommate, we have some extra factors to muddy things up, naturally. We couldn't make it that easy.

1. You are both jobless (so you don't have somewhere to go all day)
2. You're not allowed to have a significant other (so you can't just sleep over at his/her place every night)
3. You must hang out together all the time, except for sleeping 8 hours a night (so you can't just hole up in your bedroom and ignore him/her)

So there it is: it's you and him/her, day in and day out, for 5 years. Or you're minorly deformed for the rest of your life.

I think this choice was easy for me because I already shared a room with Russell for 13 months anyway. As Paul would say right here: "Just kidding. But seriously. "

Annnnd discuss.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lies I've Told Myself In The Last 36 Hours

>> If I have only one hot pocket for lunch today, that'll be enough to hold me over until dinner in Kansas City in 7 hours.

>> If Mario Little continues to get healthy, and the Morris twins figure out how to play basketball without committing a foul every 33 seconds, and Tyshawn Taylor cuts down just a little bit on his turnovers, Kansas could upset a couple teams and sneak into the Elite 8 in March.

>> Buying a Playstation 3 last July wasn't a waste of money.

>> If I just keep ignoring the pain in my knee, it will eventually go away. It definitely won't start affecting my back, either.

>> If I throw this leftover BBQ chicken and beef in the office microwave, it's not going to completely stink up the entire suite for the next 3 hours.

>> This episode of Hannah Montana is lame. As soon as there is another commercial break, I'm totally changing the channel.

>> I'm never drinking again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

When The Fun Starts...Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

One more whirlwind weekend in the books. Friday night I drove up to Ames, Iowa for the KU/Iowa St. game. A couple weeks ago, Zim gave me a pretty magnificent sales pitch to convince me to come along on the trip, but it probably wouldn't have taken that much to get me to go. When it comes to going out and doing stuff, I'm like Will Ferrell's character (Mustafa?) in the 2nd Austin Powers movie. No matter how much I may feel like not doing anything, if you ask me three times in a row, I'll eventually give in.

"Hammen, you feel like going to Iowa this weekend for the KU game?"
"I'll never go to Iowa this weekend! You'll have to kill me first!"

"Really? It'll be fun....are you sure you don't want to go?"
"Fuck you! I spit at that question!"

"Oh, c' won't even consider it?"
"Damn! Three times. OK, I'm in. What time do we leave on Friday?"

The thing that really sold me was the Drinking Decathlon that would be taking place Friday night. In the hotel room they rented, there was a bed up in a loft by itself, a queen-sized bed in the main room, and four of us sleeping there (Zim, Kyle, Brad, and me.) So we would be participating in 10 events throughout the night, accumulating 4 points for 1st place, 3 for 2nd, etc. At the end of the night, 1st place in overall points got the loft to himself, 2nd and 3rd place shared the queen-size, and last place got the floor. Each participant selected two competitions, and then the two universal events were Golden Tee and Arm Wrestling. Here's how the events played out:

1st Event: Blockus

Some board game that I had never even heard of before. All you need to know is A) it somewhat resembled a combination of Tetris and Connect Four and B) I was absolutely brutal at it. Last place.

2nd Event: Arm Wrestling

Ummmmm, the last time I was in a weight room, the Backstreet Boys were the hottest band in America, and everybody was freaking out about the dangers of Y2K. I offered to just forfeit all my matches, both to save time (we were doing a round-robin format) and to save a little bit of my dignity. They wouldn't let me forfeit "because it goes against the spirit of the Decathlon." Last place.

3rd Event: Mexican

A dice game that I had never played before. Unlike Blockus, I actually learned this game as we went along, and squeezed out a surprising 2nd place. In Dave Chappelle voice: "Clackity clackity clackity clack!"

4th Event: Sports Trivia

Now pregaming is done and we're out at the bars, and I select sports trivia on the Megatouch as one of my competitions. I'm gliding through the questions pretty easily, but I cost myself the victory when I pump my fist in celebration of getting an easy question in the double or nothing round (What college did Tom Brady go to?) This hurts my time bonus juuuust enough for Kyle to sneak in the high score. A disappointing 2nd place, and I can only blame myself. Is this what Leon Lett felt like?

5th Event: Darts

Brad's choice, and he dominates. I coast to an easy 2nd place though, as both Zim and Kyle suck at darts. We've also reached the point in the evening where every time Brad would win an event, I would yell out "Check out the big brain on Brad!" It sounded awesome in my head. No, seriously.

In retrospect, if I'm dusting off Samuel Jackson quotes from Pulp Fiction, I should've gone with "I'm a mushroom cloud layin' mutha fucka, mutha fucka!"

6th Event: Music trivia

This event began when we stepped into the bar. Every song that had been coming on the jukebox, the first person to yell out the artist got a point. First one to 3 points took first and was out, and so on. This was Brad's choice as well, but I was going to choose a similar event as one of my own, so I was thinking that I could surprise them here. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I am the youngster of the group by about 6 years, and most of the songs that were playing were right in their wheelhouse, not mine. Last place.

(Side note: this was an especially disappointing last place finish, because we unofficially continued this game for the next 16 hours, and I pretty much started dominating right after we finished the official competition. Just a bad stretch of songs for me at the worst time, I guess.)

7th Event: Pool

I chose this as my second event; not really because I am awesome at pool, but because I knew the other guys weren't very good, and I sometimes have my moments on the ol' billiards table. I take a relatively easy 1st place.

8th Event: Foosball

I was expecting a last place, because both Kyle and Zim are RIDICULOUSLY good, but it turns out Brad sucks even more than I do, so I take 3rd place with a smile on my face.

9th Event: Chug 21

Some game on Megatouch that Zim chooses. Yet another game in which the other three guys enjoy a large experience advantage over me. It is similar to blackjack, so I thought that even though I had never played before, I would adapt quickly. However, there were some nuances to the game that I didn't pick up on in time, plus I am so hammered at this point that I couldn't pick up on the nuances of tic-tac-toe, and I take another last place.

(Side note: the only bright spot is right about here, I win a $10 bet with Zim regarding who sings The O.C. theme song, which is currently playing on the jukebox. You're not going to beat me in O.C. trivia, dude. You may be able to pin me in arm wrestling in 1.6 seconds, but I know everything there is to know about The O.C. The lesson here is that there is more than one way to be manly.)

10th Event: Golden Tee

At this point, Kyle had already clinched the loft to himself, Brad had only a little work to do to wrap up 2nd place, and Zim and I were in a heated battle for 3rd. I used to be decent at Golden Tee, but hadn't played in a year; Kyle and Zim are two of the best Golden Tee players in Lawrence; and Brad is only a small step below them. So I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe because I had no illusions of winning and the pressure was off (or more likely because I was completely sauced and all I cared about was whether we were going to eat at Pita Pit or Jimmy John's when this was over) I turned in a fanstatic round and shockingly tied for first. But I lost the ensuing paper-rock-scissors tiebreaker with Brad, plus Kyle did his best "Indianapolis Colts have home-field locked up, so they're sitting Peyton Manning and playing Jim Sorgi in week 17" impression. As a result, Zim avoided last place and I didn't pick up enough points to overtake him in the overall standings.

The floor was surprisingly comfortable though.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ridin' A Bull, Happy? You Lookin' Like A Damn Fool!

Ask and ye shall receive. It's a bit blurry, but it's the best we have. In the girls' defense, there's not much time to paint a digital portrait when your subject gets thrown off in 3.7 seconds.

DVJS, I hope this doesn't void my City League Basketball contract. I'm pretty sure that "Mechanical Bull Riding" was part of the Banned Activities section. I also went water-skiing, rode a motorcycle without a helmet, and dabbled in a little base-jumping over the weekend.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That John Denver Is Full Of Shit, Man

Things I did for the first time ever last weekend:

Drove across western Kansas. Wow, was it an awful drive, too. In a lot of ways, it was more depressing than rural North Dakota. I don't recommend it.

Drank a Brass Monkey. For years now, I've just really wanted to know what the Beastie Boys were talking about. I was hoping it was gonna be some amazingly awesome drink that rocked my adidas off, but really it was just some concoction with vodka, oj, and other stuff. I spent the rest of my night trying to order a Funky Cold Medina, but was unsuccessful, probably because the bartender was a Tone Loc-hating racist.

Rode a mechanical bull. With visions dancing in my head of a magical 8 second ride, hordes of girls screaming at me to take them home, and solemn nods of respect from the dudes wearing cowboy hats, I climbed aboard the bull. Less than 3 seconds later, I was picking myself up off the tarp, avoiding the disgusted stares of the aforementioned cowboys, and pretending not to hear Alex, Chelsey, and Sweeney laughing at me.

Line danced. So if it hasn't become apparent yet, we went to a bar in Colorado Springs that was extremely cowboy-themed. After a couple hours of people-watching, laughing, and drinking heavily, Mike and I were properly prepared to tackle the dance floor, which had a decidedly cultish tone to it. Just a mob of people who, within 3 seconds of the beginning of the song, knew exactly what line dance to do- and were already two steps into it. Most of them weren't even smiling (or featuring any kind of facial expression at all, really.) Like they were just robots programmed to walk to the left, then to the right, then maybe to the back, then maybe stomp or something, then repeat. Crazy phenomenon. So Mike and I went out there and made an honest attempt to conform with the line-dancing robots, but basically we just ran into people and pissed them off. Finally I gave up and just started pulling out MC Hammer moves. I don't know what happened to Mike, he may still be out there.

Watched two 17 year olds in tiny bikinis give each other a sensual massage in the most desperate ploy for attention I've ever seen. Sara, Smerud and I hit the hot tub almost immediately upon arriving at the ski resort, and for the first hour or so we had the whole thing to ourselves. After that, however, the slut patrol showed up, and started in with their little performance, making sure they glanced over at me every few seconds to see if I was paying close attention. I wasn't, but guess who was? The creepy-looking 75 year old man next to Sara, who was submerged in the water up to his eyeballs, which were glued on the two youngsters rubbing each other down. He looked like an alligator on the Discovery Channel, patiently waiting for that first gazelle to try to venture across his stream.

Things I did last weekend that, sadly, were not my first time:

Started drinking beers at 9 am. I blame this on Dustin's friend Dan, aka The Danimal, aka DJ Thunder, who was a horrible/awesome influence on me all weekend long. Not only was he an all-around cool guy, but he also used to play minor league baseball for the Red Sox. Soooooo pretty much I was ready to sleep with him by Sunday afternoon.

Got into a verbal dispute with a bouncer. Honestly, I'd never had a problem with a bouncer in my first 25 years on this earth, up until this last month, and now all of a sudden I'm public enemy #1 with these guys. I JUST WANT TO BRING HOME AN EMPTY KEG CUP SO I CAN THROW IN A CHEW ON THE CAR RIDE HOME, WHY IS THIS SUCH A PROBLEM?

So all in all, a fantastic weekend with fantastic people. I'm sure a lot better pictures will pop up once Chelsey gets back to the Chi and uploads hers, but for now here's a picture of Mike, Chelsey, me, Alex, Sweeney, and Dustin looking like helmets right after we finished line dancing. Yikes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lobby Bar....Right In The Lobby

Tomorrow night, we're going to Colorado Springs, and then Copper Mountain, Colorado, to visit a bunch of people and "go skiing." I use that term loosely because while everyone else is skiing, I will be bellied up to the bar in the ski lodge, seeing if I can make some new friends. The only skiing I'll be doing is if I happen to meet a couple of good-looking dudes in the hot tub. (Hmmmm...was that homo-erotic joke taken too far? Judges? Yep, too far.) What I meant to say is: the only skiing I'll be doing is if I get bored in the bar and I go buy a lift ticket and rent some skis and glide down the big mountain with all the snow on it.

Normally I'm all about doing different things, trying new stuff, yada yada yada; but I figure that I haven't been skiing since D-Day (Discovery Day? Was that what it was called?) in 8th grade, and I wasn't very good then, so I'm sure as hell not gonna be any good now. Skiing isn't like riding a bike. I'm not about to venture out there now, at age 26, and hang out all day on the bunny hills with a bunch of kids rocking braces, pimples, and Denver Broncos Starter jackets- kids who get a boner every time a girl's shirt shifts and they can see her bra strap (OK, OK, you got me....that last one is really about me.)

Quit showing off, you little bastard. Hey- guess what? Santa isn't real. Yeah, true story. All those presents under the tree? They're from your fucking parents, brosef. Wrap your tiny little brain around that. Nice helmet, too, what are you skiing for the Michigan Wolverines or something? Fuck this, I'm going back inside and getting a beer. Skiing sucks anyway.

So when we were first planning the trip, I was pretty jazzed up to get my Lloyd Christmas on (sitting in the ski lodge bar, boozing by myself all day-- "Why would she have you meet her in a bar at 10 in the morning?" --- "I just figured she was a raging alcoholic!") but now it appears I will have some company. Sara is driving down from Fort Collins and she, too, would rather drink like a champ than ski like a chump. Plus some of Sweeney's friends may not ski either, but I haven't met them yet, so I'm not counting them because meeting people outside my immediate friend group frightens me...I may not even sit at the same table as them.

I'm also excited to have Sweeney, Chelsey, Smerud and I reunited for the first time since....we drove to Bemidji in January 2004? Has it been that long? Could get rowdy, I might have to bring the Magic Red Suitcase. Bippity boppity, give me the zoppity.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

But You Probably Had To Be There

At the bar on Saturday night, there was some weird dude strolling around, walking into the middle of everyone's conversations, and generally just creeping people out. Besides being drunk, he seemed a little messed up in the head, like one of those guys that busts out of The Mission for the night, and decides to go out on the town. He was a black guy wearing sunglasses indoors, a big leather trench coat, and he had his pool cue in a carrying case that resembled a sheathed sword. So basically he looked like this:

Except he didn't have a gun- but considering that we were at The Ranch, there were DEFINITELY at least three other dudes who did.

After the third time he came over and stepped into our conversation without an invitation, acted like a weirdo, and then wandered off again; I told Janelle I'd buy her a beer if she asked him if Morpheus gets pissed when he steals his outfit and wears it out to the bar. She did me one better. She went up and tapped him on the shoulder, and when he turned around, Janelle immediately launched into her best Neo bullet-dodging impression, which was actually pretty good.

We all died laughing, Morpheus looked (understandably) confused, and he didn't bother us the rest of the night. Janelle successfully out-crazied a Crazy. Funniest thing I've seen so far in 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Live Blogging The Day Of Awesome

At first I toyed with the idea of just live blogging the Tennessee Titans game. I realize that it's not 2006 and live blogs aren't cool anymore, but most everyone else has live blogged something, while I have not. It seems like fun, and I like fun. Then I was like hey, with the KU game on at noon, and with a ton of college basketball games on all day (that my wallet has taken a great interest in) why not just do the whole day? It's The Day of Awesome.

12:00 The CBS college basketball song is the greatest little jingle in human history. This is not an opinion. This is fact.

12:04 If someone would've told me six months ago that Brady Morningstar would be starting for this year's KU team, I would've slipped into a deep depression about the team's chances to make the tournament this year. Now he's probably my favorite player on the team. How can you not like a white guy who wears the long sleeve t-shirt under his jersey and looks like Doug Funnie?

12:05 Steal and dunk for Tyshawn Taylor, who after EVERY layup and dunk so far this season, points to the same spot in the crowd, home game or road game. Dude, you're in Lansing, Michigan, you don't know that guy.

12:08 Oooh, we've got Eddie Hightower reffing this game. He bird-dogs players HARD when they commit a foul. If he reffed my city league games, I probably would've punched Eddie Hightower by now.

12:10 After a whistle and stoppage of play, Morningstar dings a breakaway dunk off the front of the rim. Patty Mayonnaise isn't impressed.

12:12 Markieff Morris picks up his second foul, three minutes into the game. It's a good thing there's two Morris brothers, because one of them is in foul trouble EVERY FUCKING GAME.

12:15 According to Verne Lindquist, Cole Aldrich is "the Jim Furyk of college basketball" due to his weird, yet effective, shooting style. I'm digging it. Without a shovel.

12:20 After a hot start, KU's offense is growing stale. I'm worried about their ability to get quality shots. I was strangely confident going into this game, considering it's a road game vs. a top 15 team. That confidence is evaporating quickly.

12:24 Suton airballs a 3 foot jump hook over Aldrich/Furyk. That is tough to do. You almost have to try to airball a shot that close.

12:28 There are positives to gambling as a team. You have people to talk about your bets with (people who actually care about them, as opposed to most of you, who probably get bored when I talk about them) and you can revel in your wins and sulk over your losses. There are negatives, too, though. Like when the other two want to bet on Villanova over Louisville, and you HATE the pick, but you're outvoted so the bet goes in, and then you flick over to the game and Villanova is down 11. That's definitely a negative.

12:30 Sherron Collins out with a bloody nose, Mich St. on a 10-0 run, KU looking terrified on offense. This is danger time right now. The axels are rattling right now.

12:32 Clark Kellogg just said "if KU was a vehicle, the gas light would be coming on." C'mon, Clark, I just used the axels rattling as the car metaphor! Get with me on this!

12:35 Marcus Morris called for an offensive foul while setting a screen. Now, I don't have the stats in front of me or anything, but I believe that is KU's 197th foul of that fashion in the first 13 games. It's obscene how often they get called for fouls while setting screens.

12:40 Marquette is on a HUGE run right now, which is good, because that Villanova game is a lost cause, I don't want to start out 0-2 in picks. Sets a bad tone for the rest of the day.

12:41 Matt Kleinmann, the senior walk-on redhead geek, enters the game (NOT A GOOD SIGN) and gets called for a moving screen within 2 seconds. Weird.

12:43 KU makes a field goal for the first time in 10 minutes. I forgot what that looked like.

12:44 I'm still having a hard time accepting the fact that Kleinmann is in this game right now. He should only be in when we're up 30. Or more.

12:46 Bill Self's lineup right now: three white guys (one of them Kleinmann, the 12th man on the bench.) And the two black guys are Appleton and Thomas, the 10th and 11th men. We're down 13 right now, Bill, let's end this little science experiment.

12:49 Villanova has cut the deficit to 3. W! I! L! D! Wildcats!

12:54 Mich St. can't miss a fucking three pointer right now, and KU can't make a fucking layup/dunk. As Billy Packer said when KU went up 40-12 on North Carolina in the Final Four (see what I did there? It helps calm me down at times like this) "This game. Is over."

12:58 Marquette is up 17 with 3 to go, and the spread is only 2.5. We're counting that one a win, and we're 1-0 on picks today. Good start.

1:01 Mich St. finishes the half on a 36-11 run, after a 7-1 lead for KU. No bueno. Let's go Villanova!

1:04 Here's what we need from Nova in the last 27 seconds. Two made free throws. A miss from Louisville. Two more made free throws. Final buzzer. Dolla bills.

1:05 Cunningham misses the first free throw. Shit.

1:06 Louisville scores. Shit.

1:08 Here's what we need from Nova in the last 4.9 seconds. One made free throw. One missed free throw. A defensive stop. Overtime and a new chance to win by 2.5.

1:10 Pena misses both free throws. Shit.

1:12 Annnnnd we're 1-1 in picks.

1:13 Texty from Dunph: Hey KU just plain sucks

1:14 My reply: Defending champs

1:15 Dunph's reply: Yup and might not make the tourney this year

1:16 My reply: Defending champs. I'll play this like Lionel Ritchie. All night long.

1:19 Dunph's reply: Yeah and they're doing a great job defending it too. Ridiculous

1:20 Not replying. Dunph may be an asshole, but he's not an idiot: he knows that KU lost 6 players from last year's rotation (5 of them drafted by the NBA.) He is in classic button-pushing mode right now. I'm not taking the bait. It takes a big man to trash talk when Duke hasn't done shit in years, besides lose in the early rounds as a high seed. Have fun with your 2 seed in the tourney this year...maybe you'll make the Sweet 16 this time.

1:25 Little 9-0 run by KU right now. Let's at least make this respectable. I like it.

1:30 My boy Morningstar hits a three. He's automatic. And also my facebook friend.

1:34 Memo to Mich St. fans: when a player airballs a shot, you can chant 'airball' at him. Until he makes a subsequent shot. Then you must stop. Grow up.

1:38 Think Subway Jared gets laid a lot, solely because he is Subway Jared? I hope so. He deserves it. Dropping 245 pounds in a year is impressive.

1:41 Almost 11 minutes left, and both teams are already in the bonus. So not only is this loss going to be excruciating, it's going to be excruciatingly long.

1:44 I'm not normally a betting man, but I'd be willing to bet that nobody in college basketball history draws more lane violations than Cole Aldrich-oh, wait, sorry Verne- Jim Furyk. Although I wasn't old enough to see Patrick Ewing shoot free throws in college. I would imagine he drew a ton too.

1:49 Annnnd Markieff Morris fouls out on a horseshit loose ball foul when the ball was already heading upcourt. Quit calling unnecessary fouls, I don't want to miss the start of the Titans game. At 3:30.


1:54 Alex just finished her PRAXS test, which is a big deal for aspiring speech pathologists, and she just texted that she's going for some margs with the ladies before she comes home. Here's hoping she comes home bombed this afternoon.

1:58 I don't know how the crowd microphones are set up for the Duke/FSU game on ESPN, but it's awesome. They are picking up every little random thing the students are yelling right now, and it's hilarious.

2:00 My favorite commercial right now: the State Farm Insurance one with LeBron, where his buddy's car got broken into, and they end up dancing to the Kid 'N' Play CD. If you don't think that dance is getting busted out at the next round of weddings in the spring, then you don't know me well enough.

2:02 Ahhhh, there it is. Highlights from last year's championship game. That doesn't get old. My goosebumps just started crying a little bit.

2:05 Tyrel Reed is getting a little Hansel right now, but KU's still down 13 with 5 to go. If we can cut it to 9 by the 2:12 mark, I like our chances. We've done it before.

2:10 Only down 9- we've got a ballgame, kids! In other news, both Oklahoma and Arizona St. are blowing their games open and looking like they're going to cover their spreads, and I just found a $20 bill in the weird thigh pocket of the ski pants I'm wearing right now. Things are looking up.

2:14 Dammit, we needed that 3 from Collins. Then Mich St. hits one from oustide of NBA range, and that could be the clincher. Verne Lindquist agrees.

2:17 Lucas gets fouled about 4 times going up the court, nothing gets called, then when he finally loses the ball on his own, they call a foul on KU. Why. Just call the first one.

2:20 While CBS shows 27 replays of Collins getting "fouled" on his three pointer, I flick around and stumble upon an episode of Friends. It sucks and is not funny (like normal) but Jennifer Aniston is nipping out hard during the entire scene, so I'll count it as worthwhile.

2:24 ESPN is playing a montage of FSU upset victories over Duke. That was a lot of fun to watch. In today's game, Duke only put up 19 first half points. I'd talk shit, but KU only scored 18 in their first half. Soooo yeah.

2:26 Lindquist and Kellogg are getting a little punchy in the booth, and have begun telling horribly unfunny stories. Who can blame them? This game is the college basketball equivalent of a Red Sox/Yankees playoff game. It's almost 2:30, for fuck's sake.

2:28 Timeout, Mich St. Makes sense, they're only up 14 with under 40 seconds left. Let's set up the offense and get a good look, this is a big possession, Spartans! I'm starving right now.

2:31 Morningstar hits a sweet fadeaway with 1.2 left!!!! My boy!!! KU loses by 13. Not a great start to the day. I'm out of here until the Titans game starts in an hour. I'm gonna watch Duke for a few minutes, bitch because they're starting to dominate their game, then get my Chipotle on. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I don't know, I don't know if I'll have enough time.

3:33 Kickoff time. Highlights of the last hour: Oklahoma and Arizona St. both covering their spreads. We're 3-1 on picks, and we really, REALLY liked Oklahoma to we're sitting pretty for the day. Also, when I attempted to grab the burrito out of the Chipotle employee's hand, he stopped me and said "I'll put it in the bag for you. It's pretty hot, and I have no fucking sensation left in my hands." I gave him the obligatory chuckle, and he responded "No, I'm not fucking kidding. Don't ever work here, dude." Ummm, ok. I won't. Other good news: Alex is home and is, indeed, bombed already. It doesn't take much.

3:36 Quick three and out for Baltimore and Joe Flacco's unabrow, and Tennessee takes over. Crowd fired up, beautiful start. Three and outs are HUGE when you start the game on defense.

3:40 Baltimore's D returns the favor. I hope everyone watching this game likes not watching touchdowns, cause you're not gonna see many today.

3:44 Closeup of Joe Flacco. No thanks.

3:45 I don't understand people with unabrows. I can understand not wanting to wax or pluck it, but those aren't your only options. Get yourself one of those little facial hair trimmers, it would take you literally 4 seconds every morning to clean that shit up. It's the year 2009, take advantage of the technology, man.

3:49 Chris Johnson busts a big gain off a screen pass. My new favorite player Chris Johnson, I should add. I haven't really had a favorite NFL player since Steve McNair left for Baltimore. For some reason, I don't really care about favorite players in football.

3:53 Yes sir!!!!!!! CJ gets outside and scores. I'm trying not to sound like a total homer/idiot here, but Baltimore is already in trouble. You don't want a rookie QB coming from 7 points down on the road against this defense. You couldn't have scripted a better start for Tennessee.

4:00 Alex leaves with some of the ladies to go see Bride Wars. Gee, I'd love to come with, you think you guys could go later so I can see it? That movie looks AWESOME!

4:05 I hate that little 'fake screen pass to one side, pirohuette, then actually screen pass to the other side' that Brett Favre invented. And I also hate the fake throw that Favre does after he hands it off. And while I'm at it, I hate how he unbuckles his chinstrap after EVERY SINGLE PLAY. There's a lot about Brett Favre that I hate.

4:07 Seriously, Bride Wars? Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are, in my opinion, the top 2 overrated ladies in Hollywood. I don't think either of them are hot.

4:10 Well shit. I didn't see that TD pass coming on 3rd and 13. Ignore what I said about Flacco being in trouble. Where was the coverage on that one? Chris Hope was WAAYYYY too late getting over.

4:12 CJ busts one again! Dammit I love him. He is singlehandedly changing how I feel about football players who wear their hair dangling out of their helmet, which eventually became so popular that Madden had to add it to their video games.

4:14 From fellow Tennessee fan Cheese: If I were gay like Joe Flacco, I'd fuck Chris Johnson

4:18 That text has led to an in-depth discussion of CJ's probable taste in men, and what Flacco rates on a scale of 1-10 (Cheese says barely a 4, I say 2.)

4:20 Tennessee bumbles the snap on a 4th and 8, which was ill-advised in the first place. That play was fucked since Jump Street. We need a stop here, and quickly. This crowd is terrified of Baltimore, dating back to the 2001 playoffs, when the Titans were the 1 seed, and the Ravens strolled into town and dominated them. If things start going badly, this crowd will mentally check out faster than I'm going to in a couple hours when Alex comes back and tries to tell me about Bride Wars.

4:25 Cheese is just on fire so far: After 4 Die Hard movies, I'm used to someone named McClain lying on the ground in pain. And trust me, Bruce Willis is not the Ravens' running back.

4:30 Tennessee's ball, inside their own 1.....I'm nervous. It smells like safety right now.....holy shit, CJ almost got buried too. My heart just skipped a beat.

4:31 HOLY SHIT. Get out of the end zone. It REEKS like safety now.

4:33 I have to be honest here: LenDale White is fat, and is not good at being a running back. Yet he talks more shit than anyone on the team. The only person he should be talking shit to is the burger cook at McDonald's. That's the only guy he ever dominates.

4:35 Another big third down conversion on this drive, and Kerry Collins looks SHARP. Even if they don't score, this is still a fantastic drive.

4:36 Dammit Dan Dierforf just said the same thing. That actually makes me feel dumber, not smarter.

4:42 Collins finally makes a mistake, throwing a ball up for grabs and getting picked. In the race for "most garbage put in the air by a Collins" today, it's now Sherron 14- Kerry 1.

4:46 UCONN (-8.5) is struggling a little bit with Cincinnati right now, up 5 with 14 minutes left. I almost forgot there were other sports going on right now.

4:52 Tennessee gets the ball back, and is moving right down the field again. I can't believe they've put up this many yards so far. And yet only have 7 points. Meanwhile, Baltimore has one good play the entire game so far and also have 7 to show for it. Sigh.

4:55 Damn you LenDale White!!! He fumbles, predictably, deep in Baltimore territory, and goes back to the bench with an amused smirk on his face. Yeah, real fucking funny, tankass. Maybe Tennessee should start wrapping the football up in a Whitecastle bag, then he wouldn't drop it.

4:58 Halftime, still tied 7-7. I'm still fired up about that fumble. What value does he bring to this team? Cause he leads the league in one-yard touchdown runs? Anybody can punch those in. Dammit I'm bitter, we should have at least 17 points on the board right now. I'm gonna check the UCONN score, and they better be well on their way to covering the spread.

4:59 Nope. Still only up 5 with 9 minutes left. Let's go Huskies. Probably time for a beer and hopefully a good movie on TV somewhere to watch for awhile. I need to find my Happy Place.

5:05 I just flicked over to TNT and found myself smack dab in the middle of the scene where the little girl is getting raped in A Time To Kill. Holy F, this is the worst 15 minute stretch of my day right now. "Yes they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!"

5:12 That movie with Jennifer Lopez, the one where she gets abused by her ex-husband, until she toughens up and then kicks his ass or something at the end (I can't remember the plot really, or the title either) is on TV right now too. I'm pretty sure Paul owns this movie, and the sad thing is that's not even the gayest DVD he owns. That award goes to A Walk To Remember.

5:18 Tennessee needs a big play here soon. You can sense a difference in the crowd after the disappointing finish to that first half. They're nervous cheering now- not excited cheering. I know the feeling well.

5:25 Yikes, this is a big challenge right here on Bo Scaife's catch/non-catch. Huge. We can't have another trip into Ravens' territory without points.

5:29 Good challenge by the Ravens, Scaife didn't catch that. Bironas predictably pulls the 51-yard field goal, and it's still tied. This game is starting to smell like one of those weird games where one team absolutely dominates, yet loses the game. I'm starting to get REAL anxious.

5:36 At least UCONN covers against Cincy, and we're now 4-1 on picks today. At least if both my teams lose, we'll still get paid. Small consolation.

5:41 CJ needs to get back in this game. He's looking downright Tomlinson-esque sitting on the bench right now. I don't want our season in the hands of FatDale. I can't shake the bad feeling I have about this game.

5:46 FatDale's stats so far: 9 carries, 12 yards. On the plus side, he did finish an entire Six-Pack-and-a-Pound during the last TV timeout. That's impressive; I'm not even sure they have Taco John's in Nashville.

5:52 Unabrow flings up a bullshit pass, somehow completes it, and it's first and goal Baltimore. I've got that old familiar feeling I know so well. A little bit sick to my stomach, a little bit of a headache, a little bit shaky and jittery. I haven't felt it since Derrick Rose banked in that crazy fallaway as the shot clock expired in the Memphis/KU game. It is not a good feeling.

5:56 I just realized I haven't been keyed up like this for a football game in like 6 years. It's been awhile, I forgot how tense football can be when your team is involved. It feels like 10 minutes in between the huddle breaking and the ball getting hiked.

6:02 Yeah, that's the awful Baltimore/Tennessee game I was talking about earlier. Thanks for those highlights, CBS. The Flashback Gods both giveth and taketh away .

6:05 GREAT catch by Justin Gage on 3rd and 11! Where has Gage been all year long? We could've used a good receiver all year....who knew we already had one. Tennessee in the red zone again. NO TURNOVERS NOW PLEASE.

6:06 Memphis only wins by 7, failing to cover the 12.5 spread. We're still 4-2 on picks, but that one ruined our parlay. If there was an award for getting all your games but one on a parlay, we'd win it.

6:09 Oh my goodness. Crumpler fumbles on the 5 yard line, Ravens ball. I'm gonna throw up. Forget the 10-year-old getting raped earlier, THIS is the worst stretch of my day so far.

6:13 Alex is back: "Oh my gosh, Bride Wars was AWFUL!" Shocker.

6:16 Go FatDale!!! Just don't fumble, and there's a Crunchwrap Supreme with your name on it, Big Boy.

6:17 If LaDainian Tomlinson was Darth Vader on the sidelines last year with his helmet and dark visor, then right now CJ, with his hood up and steely glare plastered on his face, is Anakin Skywalker right after he turns evil, becomes Darth Vader, and kills all the younglings at the Jedi Temple.

6:20 Bironas ties it up as yet another drive stalls inside the red zone. It's nice to be tied up again, but dammit, Tennessee should be up like 17 or 20 now.

6:26 That's a fucking delay of game!!!!!!! Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? What a huge play that was on 3rd and 2, Baltimore into Titan territory now.

6:30 If you like the movie Men In Black, I will fight you.

6:33 Shit this is a makeable field goal for Baltimore, especially with the wind at their back. I can't feel my toes.

6:35 Lots of F words. Consecutively.

6:36 Nice fucking helmet hair, Flacco. Put a hat on or something. Fix your unabrow, too.

6:38 Can Collins move the ball now? Less than a minute, only one time out....I'm not holding my breath.

6:40 Nope. Nice game, Tennessee. Way to piss away home-field advantage. I need a couple minutes.

6:58 Not feeling any better. 3 turnovers inside the 25 yard line. A missed field goal. 12 penalties. Multiple bad snaps. Basically, the absolute definition of giving a game away. The Day of Awesome just turned into the Day We Made a Bunch of Money But Both My Teams Lost.

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna watch the last 2:12 of last year's KU/Memphis game before the Arizona/Carolina game starts.....go Cardinals!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Phones, Football....Mystery?

>> A strange phenomenon is back in my life, after a 16 month abscence. For as long as DVJS and I have had cellular telephone devices, there seems to be an unspoken agreement between them that they will not ring when we call each other. EVERY SINGLE TIME we called, we had to leave voicemails, because we knew the other person's phone wasn't ringing (this was before DVJS had texting.) This didn't happen with any other calls, just with each other. It was beyond creepy. Since then we have both moved to Kansas, both purchased new phones with different providers, and for awhile all was well. Calls were freely exchanged with no problems. Then last night, out of nowhere, I received a voicemail from DVJS which was originally sent on December 31st. When I called him back to tell him about it, his phone (which was sitting in his hand) didn't ring, it only beeped when I left a voicemail. Annnnnd so once again, DVJS and I can't call each other. The feud continues.

>> For the first time in years, I have reason to care about the NFL Playoffs besides monetary purposes. (Note: I'm not counting last year, because frankly, Tennessee was probably the worst 10-6 team in NFL history, and I still can't believe they even made the playoffs.)

With the Titans playing their way into a first round bye and a second round home game vs. Baltimore, I feel a little bit like Jessie Spano when Zack tries to take her caffeine pills away. So excited....yet also scared.

"Sure, we've got a great running game, but what happens when Baltimore stacks 8 men in the box? Can Kerry Collins take advantage down the field? Tell me that you believe in Kerry Collins, Zack! Tell me!!!!"

Baltimore's defense is downright scary, especially against shaky QBs, and I think Eddie Vedder best sums up how I feel about Kerry Collins as my starting quarterback. I lie and say I'm in love with him....can't find a better man. I'd feel much better about this game if Tennessee's QB wasn't 36 years old, and didn't get chewed up by Baltimore's defense, in the Super Bowl, when he was in his prime...8 YEARS AGO....but such is life. Go Titans.

I'll put my picks up here now so I'm not one of those guys who brags about games after the fact, as Cheese seems to think I did with the Arizona game last week. Jerk.

Arizona +10 over Carolina
San Diego +6 over Pittsburgh
NY -4 over Philadelphia
Baltimore +3 over Tennessee (I will NOT be wagering against my boys, however)

>> While this isn't exactly a typical Question of the Day; it is, nonetheless, a question that a few of us would like answered: Who the hell is Cassie Cotterman?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Low?

Sooooo first thing yesterday morning, one of the M.O.M Squad comes strolling into my office and drops this little line on me. FYI, this quote is verbatim. I know it is because it has been repeatedly bouncing around in my head and wreaking havoc on my already delicate self esteem for nearly 24 hours now.

"So we've had this apple pie sitting around my house and no one was eating it but me, and I know my waistline doesn't need that right now, hahahahaha. So last night I thought to myself, I need someone to take a ridiculously large piece out of this pie to help me out. I mean like, I need half of this pie to disappear by 5 o'clock. And I immediately thought of you. So now you've got dessert for your lunch today. Enjoy!"

At first I was little offended. Then I was kind of hungry. And after I finished my lunch, I did indeed crush half of her home-made apple pie. And then I shut my office door, buried my head in my hands and cried a little bit, trying to be as quiet as possible so nobody could hear me. But dammit, that pie was delicious.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ironic In Its Idiocy

From an otherwise uneventful Friday night out on the town in Minneapolis:

As the bar we were at (Williams in Uptown) was closing down and we were on our way out the door, I had the seemingly brilliant idea of constructing myself a to-go box of popcorn. The bouncer, however, did not share my unbridled enthusiasm for this idea, and promptly confiscated my delicious treat. I was not happy with this unexpected change of plans, and told the bouncer as much. (I am an absolute popcorn fiend when I'm boozing...or watching a movie...or going to church, pumping gas, or exercising. There's really no inappropriate time for me to be eating popcorn. It's my weakness. Add to this the fact that we ate a late lunch and inadvertently skipped dinner, and I was JONESING for some popcorn. That bouncer might as well have been trying to take a cheap bottle of vodka from a homeless guy.)

I wasn't making a scene or anything, but I was expressing my displeasure, as well as my confusion as to why he felt the need to take my snack from me. They had to-go boxes sitting right there on top of the popcorn machine, presumably to be used for exactly this situation. Now I wasn't about to get in a fight or anything (I mean, the bouncer would've kicked my ass, but I don't consider that 'getting in a fight' per se) but I was starting to mouth off a bit, and the bouncer's patience was understandably wearing thin. When I said something to the effect of "Ricky Williams called, he wants his dreadlocks from 2002 back" that was when Ike grabbed me and steered me out the door, since taking me to the car is much more convenient than taking me to the hospital.

Dude. Can I have my popcorn back or what.

Not 30 seconds after we made it to the parking lot, Ike surveyed the scene at hand, and posed the innocently honest question of "Why are the only girls that stay all the way until closing time the ugly ones?"

That is to say, it would've been an innocent question, if a group of girls standing 10 feet away hadn't heard him. They aren't happy, they go tell their boyfriends that they aren't happy, one thing leads to another, and soon I'm grabbing Ike and literally dragging him to the opposite side of the parking lot to defuse the quickly escalating situation and to wait for his ride.

It wasn't until the next day, when Bergman pointed it out, that we realized the ridiculousness of each of us having to pull the other one away from people who were probably going to kick our ass. Within 2 minutes of each other.

It's a hard-knock life for us guys who happen to possess the unfortunate combination of a big mouth and little-to-no upper body strength.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 In Review

For me, 2008 will probably be remembered as the year of weddings, and the year the Kansas Jayhawks made my life complete. But of course there was much more.

My favorite random things from the year 2008:

Best Movie: Dark Knight. I'm surprised this movie was as good as it was. It's not like it was hyped up very much, I had barely heard anything about it until it came out. What? Heath Ledger was awesome as The Joker? And now he's DEAD? I might have to check this baby out.

Funniest Movie: Role Models. A tip of the cap to Stepbrothers here, but Role Models was the funniest movie I've seen in the theaters since Superbad.

Most Disappointing Movie: Pineapple Express. Maybe the most disappointed I've ever been in a movie theater. If I hadn't been so busy cramming 4.5 pounds of popcorn in my face, I might've cried. As Rocky would ask Seth Rogen, "How did everything that was so good get to be so bad?"

Movies Inducted into the Hall of Fame: Only one this year: Hot Rod. Thank you James for bringing this when you visited in May. One of the funniest stupid movies ever. And to the people with the exact same sense of humor as me, who I have told a million times to go watch this movie (or better yet just buy it), and who haven't yet- you're hurting my feelings. When have I ever led you astray? Paul, Amber, Cheese- I'm glancing in your direction.

TV Shows Inducted into the Hall of Fame: Arrested Development. I'm not putting How I Met Your Mother in yet, since I'm only through a season and a half, but if it continues to be as funny as it has been so far, it's going to end up being in my top 3 favorite comedies of all time. Oh and I suppose if I'm giving props to James for Hot Rod, then I have to thank Ashley for Arrested Development.

Song of the Year: M79 by Vampire Weekend. I think technically it came out in 2007, but I didn't hear it until this year. Judges? We'll allow it.

Songs Inducted into the Hall of Fame: 'Hitsville UK' by the Clash, 'Take Me Home Tonight' by Eddie Money, 'Possum Kingdom' by The Toadies.

Trip of the Year: With apologies to The Greatest Place On Earth, I've got to go with the Kentucky Derby. The thing about Vegas is it is possible to not have a good time. If you go out and get killed gambling the first night, it can put a damper on the rest of your weekend as you try to conserve your funds. Not for me personally, I just love being in Vegas; but I've seen it happen to others. The Derby, on the other hand, is impossible to not have fun at. Even if you start taking a beating early, you can just gamble the minimum of $2 a race, and you'll be cheering just as hard as if you had a hundystick on it. The infield is like being at Springfest, only with at least 10x the people, better weather, mint juleps and hurricanes, southern girls in sundresses, and oh yeah, horse racing. Beyond gambling though, the whole experience is just fantastic. You could pull an ADawg and not gamble a dollar and still have a great time. Can't say enough good things about the Derby.

Wow what a paragraph. If the Kentucky Derby was a dude, I definitely just got done blowing him.

Best Personal Achievement, And When I Say Personal I Mean No One Cares But Me: At first thought, I was going to say my gambling this year was fantastic. I'm not normally a betting man, but I won enough money at the Derby to completely pay for my trip, plus a little something extra for my troubles. I won enough in Vegas to pay for everything but about half of my plane ticket (probably not enough to buy back my dignity after I waxed my legs within 5 hours of getting of the plane, though.)

However, I can't ignore last January's football playoffs. Good golly, what a fucking debacle. Starting last January 1st, Eli Manning could have snuck onto my porch every single night, poured out a bunch of water right outside my front door, let it freeze, then sat there until morning, wait for me to walk out the door and slip and fall, then take a picture of me lying on the ground, post it on a website called he still wouldn't have ruined my January any more than he already did last year.

So gambling success is out, and instead I'm going with breaking par for the second time in my life. Bonus points because I made a 25 foot, uphill, treacherously breaking right-to-left putt to clinch it. And at the same time, it also clinched a match-play victory over Bergman & Fundy. That was neat.

If I'm Going To Brag About That, I Have To Mention This: Not two weeks later, during the Civil War Cup, I missed a 2 foot putt on 17 that would've sent the match to the 18th All Square. That was not so neat.

Day of the Year: April 7. C'mon, like I was picking anything besides the National Championship Game and Chalmers' shot. And this night will double as the Greatest Day of My Life until I get married or have a kid or something. And even then, my kid better be badass, or else this night is going right back into the top spot. You hear that, Future Kid? You better not suck.

Happy New Year, may 2009 be good to you all.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. I have to give props to all the hilarious drunk texties I received last night. My New Year's Eve of not doing anything was brightened up quite a bit by a lot of you crazy kids. Lot of people really getting after it last night, that's nice to see. It also inspired me to make a 6-run comeback with 1 out in the 9th against the Blue Jays' bullpen, capped off by a three-run-homer by JD Drew. I think I already have my Personal Achievement award for 2009. No big deal, though.