Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm Just Not That Into Girls, Apparently

Last weekend, Alex and I were going to a movie. Partly as a belated-Valentines' Day thing, and partly because I choose the movie approximately 97.8% of the time, I gave her the executive decision on which cinematic adventure we would embark on together. I mentally prepared myself for a chick flick- but to be honest, the only "mental preparation" I need is the promise of an unlimited supply of movie theater popcorn. You give me that, and I'll watch soap operas on Telemundo for 9 hours. Actually, fuck it, I'd watch that with or without popcorn. Telemundo es muy bueno!

However, when she chose Confessions of a Shopaholic (starring Isla Fisher, the crazy yet hot chick who marries Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers) I had a sudden change of heart, vetoed the pick, and said that I would go to a chick flick, just not that one. I compromised by suggesting He's Just Not That Into You, because at least that movie had my boy Justin Long in it (you might know him from Accepted, Dodgeball, or the Apple vs. Mac commercials- he will forever hold a place in my heart because of his portrayal of Warren Cheswick in Ed, the greatest TV show ever.) And I felt pretty good about putting my foot down for that reason, until I actually thought about it a few days later.

So, to recap: I refused to go see a crappy, boring chick flick that at least would've had a smoking hot woman on screen for the majority of the movie....instead choosing a different crappy, boring chick flick because I like one of the dudes in the ensemble cast. I'll let you connect the dots.

Happy Friday. Hopefully everyone goes out and gets a little banged up this weekend. As for me, I'm still living la vida without the loca, for one more week at least.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Black History Appreciation #1: Dr. Dre

A confession: When I was in elementary school, I listened to country music. Religiously. Now, in the year 2009, this may not seem like much of a confession, but believe me, back then, it was. I was teased mercilessly for enjoying it, even in a state like North Dakota.

(Side note: this is like 95% of the reason why I refuse to like it now, and why I'm so bitter that suddenly it became "cool" to listen to it. Really? I get ripped on relentlessly for knowing all the words to "John Deere Green", and now 5 years later you're shelling out triple figures to sit 8th row at the Garth Brooks concert? Blow me. My bitterness reached an all-time high at WeFest 2004, when, in protest of country music, I stole 17 cowboy hats, punched a girl wearing a Shania Twain shirt, tried to light the stage on fire, and finally broke down in tears as George Strait performed his second encore.)

Sure, I was aware of pop music, and I listened to the Top 5 countdown on Magic 96 or XL93 every night, but every CD I owned up until age 12 was either country, Tag Team, Kris Kross, or the previously discussed MC Hammer.

....Until that fateful day in 6th grade when I was flipping through my mom's Columbia House magazine and saw a CD called The Chronic. I had no idea who Dr. Dre really was besides his name, or what the word chronic meant, but it looked cool, and I immediately placed the checkmark in the box to order one. Weeks later, when the package arrived, I made sure to grab it out of the mailbox first so that my mom wouldn't see the dreaded parental advisory sticker and confiscate it (my parents were notoriously strict back then, and they would've taken one look at the giant marijuana leaf that covered the entire disc and thrown that CD in the garbage. If, you know, they hadn't already noticed some of the song titles on the back: "Fuck Wit Dre Day", "Bitches Ain't Shit", "A Nigga Witta Gun" and "Deeez Nuuuuts" come to mind.)

And by the time I had finished the third song on the disc ("Let Me Ride"- to this day my favorite rap song of all time) I was hooked. One day, I was humming tunes about pickup trucks, drinking whiskey, and standing outside the fire; the next, I was bumping my head to songs about 64 Impalas, drinking 40's, and setting buildings on fire. I was now reciting lines that I enjoyed, despite the fact that I had NO IDEA what they meant (such as "droppin' chronic plates on your ass" or "I got the hollow points for the snitches.") My love of gangsta rap was born.

Listening to Dre lead me to Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, 2Pac, and others. When the East Coast/West Coast rap war heated up, I was right there too, refusing to listen to Notorious B.I.G., Nas, or Jay-Z since they were from New York. It was like a mix of hip-hop and professional wrestling, a combination which is the definition of awesome in the mind of a 7th grader. After a couple years, I kinda quit discriminating: partly because it was dumb after awhile (like wrestling!) partly because I realized that Wu-Tang was from New York and they were awesome, and partly because I woke up and realized that Death Row Records probably didn't care too much that a 14-year-old from North Dakota was "on their side."

Despite the fact that I could probably name 10 rappers whose lyrics I enjoy more than Dr. Dre's, he has to be on the top of this list because his fingerprints are all over the genre. As a member of N.W.A. in the late 1980s, he helped invent gangsta rap. When he went out on his own, his G-Funk style of beats and synthesizer revolutionized rap and took it into the 21st century. He's one of the greatest producers of all time- in any type of music, not just rap. He was either solely or partly responsible for bringing us Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Eminem, and 50 Cent, 4 of the greatest rappers in history. It's not a coincidence that soon after Dre left Death Row, the company fell apart and the heyday of rap music ended.

Although rap music these days sucks - you'd be more likely to find me listening to the new Britney Spears CD than the new Lil' Wayne CD- The Chronic is still one of my favorite albums of all time. Without Dr. Dre, gangsta rap would never have reached the heights that it did, and it's not too much of a stretch to say that it might not have existed at all. For that he gets my #1 spot.

And if I was making a list of coolest pictures ever, this might be #1 too.

Editor's update: additional picture, as requested:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Black History Appreciation #2: Dave Chappelle

Since the beginning of college, the two things that have provided me with the most quotes (and, depending on who you ask, were the most annoying additions to my arsenal of everyday speech) were:

1. Anchorman
2. The Chappelle Show

I was a minor Chappelle fan, stemming back to his small part in The Nutty Professor- and then later, as he grew in popularity- Half Baked, and his stand-up comedy. But it wasn't until The Chappelle Show debuted that I became obsessed with him. It was only a half-hour long show, usually with only 3-5 skits, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that wasn't hilarious (as opposed to shows like SNL or Mad TV, which are 90 and 60 minutes, respectively, and most of it is rubbish. I'll take the quality over quantity.)

It's incredible how many hilarious skits are piled into just two seasons. There's the Mad Real World, the Racial Draft, When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, Wu-Tang Financial Group, Wayne Brady, Trading Spouses, being a juror for the OJ trial....seriously I'm just gonna stop listing them because I could go on forever and it's meaningless if you haven't seen them.

For a stretch of a couple years, if I was pregaming at Culligan, then I was watching Chappelle Show. Even now, if I pop in any of the DVDs, I feel weird watching it without a beer in my hand.

And while most people were devastated when Chappelle had his mini-breakdown and took off to Africa, canning the show in the process, I was strangely comfortable with it. Too often, shows stay on the air far too long for the sake of money, and by the end of its run, it is just a shell of its former self (Beverly Hills 90210, I'm looking in your direction. Once Brandon was gone, that should've been the end of the series. He was the fucking man.)

But Chappelle went out on top, went to Africa and faced his demons, and came back a better man. Now, when I think back to Chappelle Show, it's all good memories, not anything like "Wow, the first couple seasons kicked ass, but it totally fell apart after that." If Chappelle was unhappy with the direction the show was headed, then it's good he got out when he did, instead of pumping out crappy episodes in order to fulfill his contract.

Besides the obvious influences that Chappelle had on me (all the catchphrases; I now enjoy Wayne Brady, Rick James, and Howard Dean...John Mayer still sucks though) there are more subtle ones, as well. So many everyday things I hear or encounter are influenced by Chappelle now that I've lost track. It's already pretty easy to get me giggling, and now I can't even stretch out on a couch, hear the words/phrases "Oprah", "Unity" and "All right", or hear someone order a Sam Adams without giggling or making some kind of comment.

As is often the case when I'm talking about something I really enjoy, this post has truly been an incoherent piece of crap. So I'm gonna end it the only way I can, with my top 5 favorite Chappelle skits:

5. Slave Reparations (part 2)
4. Oprah's Baby Daddy- couldn't find a link for this one- damn you, Oprah!
3. Mad Real World
2. Black Bush
1. Rick James

Peanut butter and crack sandwich!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Black History Appreciation #3: Deion Sanders

For most of my life, my favorite athletes have often been questionable character guys (see: Ramirez, Manny.) When you're younger, you're obviously drawn to the flashy guys who draw attention to themselves. When you still believe in Santa Claus (not the Easter Bunny though, he was total bullshit) and having to learn multiplication tables is still just a scary myth, you don't usually appreciate things like solid helpside defense, or going from first to third on a single to right field. You're more focused on touchdown dances and "fakin' the funk on a nasty dunk."

{Side note: this has been steadily changing as I grow older (and wiser?) Currently, my favorite player for KU is a 6'3" white kid who wears a t-shirt under his jersey; looks like Doug Funnie; does nothing but play good defense, sit in the corner and shoot open 3's; and hasn't made a facial expression since 2005. Buuuuut I do still love Manny.}

And my first ever favorite athlete, when I was eight years old, was Deion Sanders, aka "Prime Time" aka "Neon Deion." He was at the forefront of the whole look-at-me attitude of 1990's athletes. He was the first to wear a bandana under his helmet (paving the road for douchebag frat guys-- cough, and also Paul, cough-- to wear them while they go jogging over a decade later) and was a pioneer of the rolled-up wristbands above the elbow, headbands around the neck, unbuttoning half of one chinstrap, and he practically invented this style of facemask. He paid about as much attention to his wardrobe accessories as his playbook, as he skipped football training camp every year in order to play baseball. He didn't score a touchdown without dancing afterwards, and since most of his TDs were interceptions or returns where he found himself alone in the open field, we were often treated to Deion high-stepping his way the last 10 yards to paydirt.

But that was the thing about Deion. For all his flair and attention-craving, he backed it up. Not only did he play two sports professionally, he played both at a high level. He was the best cover corner in the NFL, and among the best kick/punt returners. He was never a great hitter in the major leagues, but when he got on base he stole bases like crazy, played excellent defense, and consistently hit better as the stakes got higher (batting over .500 playing with a broken foot in the 1992 World Series vs. Toronto.) He would play a baseball game, jump in a plane, fly to his team's football game that same day, and perform well in both games. That's just ridiculous.

I may or may not have three Deion jerseys hanging in the closet in my old bedroom at my parents' house (Falcons, Cowboys, and Redskins.) I may or may not have bought Deion's CD in 7th grade ('Must Be the Money' was an awesome song at the time.) And I may or may not have signed all my assignments as "Prime Time Jim" until my 2nd grade teacher told me to knock it off (my Brother still makes fun of me for that one.)

Once he became buddies with MC Hammer, and Hammer started hanging out on the Falcon's sideline during games, that was better than every birthday and Christmas present I received from 1991-1993 put together. Hammer and Deion together. What a combo. And they like those girls with the pumps and a bump.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's The Question Du Jour? It's The Question Of The Day.

Perhaps the greatest thing about The Boards is the random-ass topics of discussion we stumble into, and the amount of time we spend arguing about trivial subjects-- which is one of my favorite activities, just ahead of "seeing how many chili cheese wraps I can eat in one sitting until I can feel my heart start to beat irregularly" but a notch below "watching and re-watching the scene in Anchorman where Veronica Corningstone shows a little sideboob, and trying to convince myself that I can see part of her nipple."

A lot of the time we're arguing about college basketball, although lately (unfortunately for me) there's been quite a bit of politics talk. And the sides are always different; sometimes it's me and Horp vs. Noles and Jonye, sometimes it's me and Noles vs. Horp and Jonye, sometimes it's one person against the other three (in which case, the majority just beats down the lone wolf's argument until it degenerates into a barrage of "Boom Roasted" jokes.) If it's about politics, it's usually Noles and Jonye vs. Horp, while I'm busy googling words like "Democrat", "Republican", and "Congress" so I can follow the conversation.

Anyway, a couple days ago the movie Top Gun was our topic of discussion. Noles and Horp are of the opinion that it is a straight-up awesome movie. Jonye and I, on the other hand, think it's only awesome because it's so unintentionally ridiculous and homoerotic. I'll watch it every time it's on TV, since it's kind of a guilty pleasure, but I would never plunk down the $15 to own the DVD.

Various arguments were bandied about, with both sides making good points, which I won't mention so as to avoid influencing anyone's opinion. We're deadlocked at 2-2, so now we're turning it over to you.

Assuming you like Top Gun (and let's be honest, who doesn't?) do you like it because you think it's badass and a legitimately good movie, or do you like it because it's stupid, but a guilty pleasure?

Is this an intense, well-acted scene that signifies a turning point in the rivalry between Iceman and Maverick? Or is it just super gay?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Black History Appreciation #4: The 1990s New York Knicks

Once upon a time, I loved the NBA as much as college basketball. That was due in large part to Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Xavier McDaniel, Charles Oakley, Derek Harper, Charles Smith, and others. They all played the same way: tough, gritty, sometimes pretty, mostly ugly, and above all else: angry. Some of them had the temperment of normal men (Ewing, Smith, Hubert Davis.) Some of them were time bombs, who only went off when provoked (Starks, Harper, Anthony Mason.) Some of them were certifiably insane (McDaniel, Oakley.)

In today's NBA, there are very few great rivalries, where the teams legitmately hate each other. The Lakers and Celtics sprung up again last year after a lengthy abscence. Lakers/Suns, Suns/Spurs, Cavs/Wizards come to mind. A few other mini-feuds exist. This wasn't always the case, though. Back in the 80's and mid-90's, a lot of teams legitimately hated each other, and the Pat Riley-era Knicks were usually in the middle of these rivalries. It made for intense, fun to watch basketball.

Although they were pretty much owned by the Michael Jordan-led Bulls, few teams played them tougher during their reign of dominance. Every playoff game of every playoff series between the teams was an absolute war, and three of the greatest dunks of the decade (Starks over Horace Grant and Jordan, Pippen over Ewing, and Jordan over Ewing) came within a year of each other.

After Pat Riley jumped ship from the Knicks to the hated Miami Heat (between him and Good Ol' Roy, I don't have a real great past with legendary coaches of my favorite teams) a giant can of gasoline was poured on a budding rivalry, and the next few years were spent battling the Heat in the playoffs. Many of the series were marred by bench-clearing brawls and suspensions; in fact, many of the new rules regarding leaving the bench during fights are due to the Knicks and Heat battles of the mid-to-late '90s.

So I guess, if I was being honest with myself, this team did not influence me in a positive way. Don't get me wrong; I don't talk shit unless the other guy starts it first, and I don't go around playing dirty, or sprinting off the bench and throwing punches in the event of a bench-clearing brawl (don't laugh, our city league team almost had one vs. THE REFS last week.) But at the same time, as a few of you can attest, I am not exactly a big basket of cherries out there on the court. Although I enjoy playing the game immensely, you're wouldn't know it by looking at me. You're not going to see me out there smiling very often.

In 1999, the Knicks teased me as an #8 seed in a strike-shortened year and went all the way to the finals before falling apart, in the process giving me a whole new batch of favorite players (Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, Marcus Camby, Charlie Ward, and my illegitimate father Chris Dudley among them.) But besides that one playoff run, it's been pretty much nothing but hard times since 1997 for the Knickerbockers. But don't worry, one of these years, the Knicks franchise will turn around, and before you know it, the Madison Square Garden will be rocking, and Spike Lee will be trash talking opposing players, and the Knicks will be winning playoff series and negatively influencing youngsters again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Linkorama-Rama Day

Not to be confused with Diorama-Rama Day, my second favorite school event, after Hearing Test Thursday. (If you can name that quote, holler at your boy when you see him in the street.)

I know that 98% of the time nobody clicks on the links, and you know what? That's fine, I do not take offense. Most of the time, it's more for my benefit than yours anyway, so I don't have to search through youtube to find my favorite time killers.

However. I would recommend watching at least some of the following links, they are good for quite a few chuckles, and even some LOLs ranging from moderate to intense. Of all the crap that people waste their time putting together on the interwebs looking for laughs (I agree Mr. Pot, that kettle DOES look pretty black) some of my favorites are when they splice together scenes from a movie, and make a fake trailer to make that movie look completely different (i.e. Home Alone looks like a horror flick, The Matrix looks like a romantic comedy, Pretty Woman looks like it's NOT a complete waste of two hours.)

For the record, my favorites are Dumb & Dumber and The Shining, so I'm putting them first. Other than that, there's no order to them. Oh and by the way, these are all safe for work-- although I hate using that expression, I've never understood it. Safe for work how? Like there's no swearing or nudity? That makes it safe for work? Like your boss is gonna come strolling up behind you, see you playing on youtube instead of working, but somehow be happy about it because it's not Two Girls, One Cup? I fail to understand the whole 'safe for work' concept.


Dumb and Dumber

The Shining

Top Gun

Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally

The Shawshank Redemption

The Ring

Office Space

Wedding Crashers

War of the Worlds

The Lion King


The Notebook

Old School

Home Alone

My Girl

50 First Dates

Lord of the Rings

Big Lebowski

The Matrix


The Office

***Viewer's warning: I would highly recommend NOT watching all of these clips in one sitting. I spent an entire lunch break (excluding the amount of time it took me to demolish a couple of hot pockets) watching all these clips, plus some others that weren't very good, one after the other, and it had two effects on me:

1. At some point, I realized my mouth was watering, and I was SERIOUSLY craving movie theater popcorn, and it struck me that it was because I was watching movie preview after movie preview after movie preview. If that doesn't tell me that I have serious-ass popcorn problems, then I don't know what does. It was like Pavlov's dogs, only for fat kids.

2. After watching so many fake movie previews, by the end of the hour, I didn't even know what was what anymore in the world of cinema. Up was down, black was white, good was evil, funny was creepy. It messed with my head. Now, every time I watch When Harry Met Sally (What? Saturday night is always Meg Ryan movie night, I've been doing it since I took a homeless lady to go see You've Got Mail, and then she gave me my first handjob in the parking's tradition now, don't judge me) I won't be able to appreciate the blossoming of a wonderful relationship, I'm just gonna be screaming at the TV the whole time: "Get away from him Sally, don't give him your fake orgasm spiel! Billy Crystal is dangerous, he's a fucking stalker! Shit!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor

OK, initially, this wasn't a real compelling story, but recent events have made it somewhat interesting. To blatantly steal a bit from Dane Cook (which is probably OK, since he most likely stole it from someone else- you broke my heart, Dane. YOU BROKE MY HEART) the end result of this story is a piece of paper on my windshield that says one word: Asshole. We're gonna go have to go back to the beginning to fully explain this thing.

Let's turn the clock back to July 2008. George W. is still in office, gas prices are over three dollars a gallon, Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers are tearing up the Billboard charts, and my leg hair is showing promising signs of growing back in again after I waxed it all off in a drunken haze in Vegas. Alex and I have just moved into our new apartment. There is no reserved parking in our lot, it's all open. Naturally, either Alex or I often end up parking next to the people who live above us. They drive a big, ugly, rusted-out hooptie. Despite the fact that they've probably been driving this thing since Michael Jackson was still allowed to have sleepovers at Neverland Ranch, they still have absolutely no idea how to park it. Now I'm not normally a betting man, but every time I peek out the window and look at their car, I would bet my bottom dollar that they are hanging over into the adjacent spot a little bit.

At this point, it was nothing more than a minor annoyance. We'd have to park a little bit crooked in our spot, so we could get out of our car without sucking in our gut worse than Hasselhoff on every Baywatch episode ever. On many different occasions, I considered saying something to the neighbors, but ultimately decided against it. It was one of those little things in life I could live with. Besides, we had just moved in; I didn't need to make enemies with the people who could make our lives a living hell if they so desired (since they lived directly above us.)

Fast forward to New Years' Day, 7:45 a.m. As I approach my car, I stop and do a double-take. When I came home the night before, the parking spots on either side of me were both empty. But that had changed overnight. Ohhhh had it changed. The neighbor's pile of shit was wayyyyy over into my spot. It was so crooked that it was technically BEHIND MY CAR. If I would've backed up 8 inches straight out of my current spot, I would've hit his car. Miraculously, there were no scratch marks on my back bumper. You could give me 100 chances, and I wouldn't be able to pull off this parking job without hitting the other car.

So now I'm livid. Strike 1 is that it's New Year's Day, so I'm slightly cranky that I'm heading into work while 90% of the country is sleeping off a glorious hangover (granted, I was getting a three-day weekend out of the deal, but one tends to look at the negatives at a time like this.) Strike 2 is that this douchebasket has been parking like this for months, and I haven't said anything to him which may have prevented this. Remember the scene at the end of Seven, right after Brad Pitt finds out that Kevin Spacey killed his wife and put her head in a box, and he spends the next minute or so pacing back and forth and making strange faces as he debates internally whether or not to shoot Spacey on the spot? That's what I looked like, as I debated whether or not to vandalize the shit out of this monstrosity of a vehicle that was currently blocking me in.

"Your car is behind me? Fucking BEHIND ME?!?!?!?"

Right about then, the dude who lives a couple buildings over comes strolling out of the laundry room nearby, notices me, notices my situation, chuckles and says "That sucks, man." Bingo. Strike 3. While I was able to restrain myself from giving the hooptie a nice booting (mostly because now there was a witness) I did unleash the power of the pencil. I went inside and started writing a note. It began "Hey. It would be awesome if you knew how to park your car...." Then I blacked out for a couple minutes, and I finished by writing "FIGURE IT OUT" in big letters at the bottom.

I'll be honest, I went off a litte bit in the note. There was a comment about Driver's Ed being easily affordable these days, and there was a joke that went something like "The Reagan Administration called, they said it was OK to buy a car that's been manufactured since they were in office." I didn't really hold back; 6 months of this guy taking up 1 1/3 parking spots had finally gotten to me. I neatly folded and placed the note on his windshield, successfully executed an Austin Powers-style 23-point turn in order to get out of my spot, and went on my merry way to work. I never received a return note, the guy never stopped downstairs to bitch at me, nothing. I braced myself for fireworks the next time we passed each other outside (which happened roughly a week later) but there was nothing, not even a glance.

Which brings us to the present day. More specifically, this morning. As I come out to my car, I find a folded-up piece of paper on my windshield. I unfold it, and it contains just one word, in a big, aggressive-looking font: Asshole.

I giggled to myself, and took note of the fact that the neighbor's car was right next to mine again. Why he waited over a month to give me such an obviously well-thought-out, one-word note is beyond me. When I stopped at home during lunch, lo and behold, he was outside. I passed him on the sidewalk and waited for him to say something. He only gave me a quick glance, said nothing, then immediately hopped into his car and took off, while I stopped, turned around and watched him, and tried to look tough. Well, as tough as a 185 pound white kid who has thrown 3/4 of a punch in his entire life can look.

And so my question for you: who is the real asshole here? I'll accept it if the consensus is that it's me; but I don't feel that a harshly-worded retaliatory note (but I didn't use any profanity) is worse than ignorantly taking up multiple parking spots for months on end. Maybe that's just me.

Oh and when you make your decision, please no excuses about how it's difficult to park a large vehicle. The first time I ever sat down behind the wheel of a car, it was my parents' old station wagon, and then once I had my permit, the car I regularly drove around was an old Lincoln. I never took up multiple parking spots, and I was 14 years old. So that's not a valid excuse in my book.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black History Appreciation #5- MC Hammer

The Man, The Myth, The Legend. I still remember the very first time I heard the song "U Can't Touch This." As the chorus first graced my eardrums, even at 8 years old, I could literally feel my soul awakening, and I knew my life would never be the same. Hammer knew how to cut right to the core of me.

OK all joking aside, I legitimately like Hammer's music. He gets regular play on my iTunes, and not because I'm trying to be funny and ironic. The cheesy pop rap with the catchy beats and ridiculous lyrics; the rollicking church songs with the choir singing backup; the "gangsta" rap as the Funky Headhunter after he completely and totally sold out....I love it all. He'll always have a spot on my Get Psyched! playlist, and both "U Can't Touch This" and "Too Legit To Quit" are probably in the top 5 songs I've listened to most in my life.

Side note: wouldn't it be awesome to actually know how many times you've listened to a song in your life, and what your Top 5 would be? I lose sleep at night trying to figure out what mine would's my best guess:

5. U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
4. Let Me Ride - Dr. Dre
3. Fool In The Rain - Led Zeppelin
2. Too Legit To Quit - MC Hammer
1. I Want You Back - Jackson 5

Also, I've been rocking the Hammer Dance pretty much since I was old enough to walk. Weddings, Graduations, Bar Mitzvahs, Baby Showers, Will's always appropriate. (However, it is being temporarily retired because I'm getting too sloppy with it, and it's not even good anymore, and really I'm just embarrassing myself. This is the same reason why I refuse to karaoke with Paul as a duet again until he tightens it up a little bit. Dude, the lyrics are right in front of you, just read the screen if you forget them.)

Although Hammer fell on hard times due to his own fiscal irresponsibility, there was no denying that at his peak, he was one of the most popular artists in pop music history. I like to think that the video for "Too Legit To Quit" was our generation's version of "We Are The World" except more awesome. You weren't cool in 1992 unless you were in Hammer's videos.

And that sentence, more than any other, encapsulates everything you need to know about MC Hammer. He was cool in 1992. I just don't know what it means when you still think he's cool in 2009. I suppose it's best not to think about it.

I don't even need to tell Hammer how awesome he is. He already knows.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A- (Insert Deragatory Term Describing Alex Rodriguez Here)

Despite the fact that I. Really love. To rip on Alex Rodriguez....I am devastated to hear the news that he was roiding up. As much as I dislike him, I still really wanted him to eventually break Bonds' home run record, so that at least the record was valid again, and not in the hands of a dirty cheater. But unless these reports turn out to be somehow false, it looks as though that may never be the case again. And as a hardcore baseball fan for over 20 years now, who by the age of 7 knew the importance of numbers like 755, 56, .406, 4,'s very, very sad.

With every report that is released and every test result that gets leaked, we come closer and closer to the day that a prominent member (members?) of the 2004 Red Sox is linked to performance enhancers, a day that will break my heart. I know it's blasphemous to say this, but it's not like David Ortiz was very awesome until he came to Boston in 2003, at the height of drug use in baseball. Between the lack of a salary cap and the drug scandals, America's old national pastime is rapidly becoming a joke. For the first time, it's starting to affect how hard I cheer for it.


OK, with all that being said.....hahahahahahha you suck, A-Rod! You cheating bastard. Go cry to Madonna, you blue-lipstick-wearing, Jeter-envying, payroll-killing clubhouse cancer. So let's get this straight, New York. For just $27.5 million per season, you get a third baseman who has hit .230 with 4 HR in 24 postseason games with your team, is disrespected and disliked by teammates, causes constant distractions all season long, and used steroids to boot? Good investment. Where you at now, Evelyn? Would you still give your phone number to that roider now? You know, without him asking for it?

This gum has steroids in it.

C'mon, you didn't REALLY expect me to take the high road on this one. Not when it's A-Rod.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Things That Make Me Wildly, Irrationally Happy

Example 191:

When the sample lady at the grocery store stops me and tells me that she REALLY wants to go home early, but she has to get rid of all her samples first, and encourages me to stop and chat while I crush an entire tray of spicy breakfast sausage.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Black History Appreciation #6- The Fab Five

As my tribute to Black History Month (and as a white kid from North Dakota who spent most of his childhood idolizing black people) throughout the month I will be paying tribute to the black people who I have enjoyed the most/have had the most influence on my life. With apologies to the following honorable mentions: Stevie Wonder, Robert Randolph, Larry Johnson, Tupac, Run DMC, Denzel Washington, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Cal- the dude who used to live across the empty lot from my grandparents in Baltimore, I will start the countdown at #6.

Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King. Probably the coolest starting five in college basketball history. They helped usher in a new era of college basketball, full of swagger, highlight reel dunks, trash talking, and perhaps most importantly: uniforms that didn't fit like they were made for 7th graders. As an impressionable 9-year-old, this whole style of basketball was very appealing to me, and if I hadn't already fallen deeply in love with the Kansas Jayhawks, I would most likely be a Michigan fan right now due to this collection of 18-year-olds from 1991.

Unfortunately, they never quite fulfilled their seemingly limitless potential. They advanced to the national championship game their freshman year, setting a multitude of records along the way, only to get dismantled by a much more experienced Duke team. Their sophomore year, they again went all the way to the championship game, only to melt down in the final minutes, following their leader, Webber, who made one of the worst mental errors in sports history.

And sadly, that was all she wrote. Shortly afterwards, Webber left school early for the NBA Draft, Rose and Howard followed the year after that, and the Michigan basketball program fell into a slump that only recently has shown any signs of ending. A messy scandal involving Webber and others illegally receiving money from boosters has stripped the program of their Final Four banners, and the legacy of the Fab Five has been damaged beyond repair. In the NCAA record books, they hardly exist anymore, as many of their records have been officially removed follwing the scandal.

But yet they still live on, in the minds of all who enjoyed them during their glorious two-year heyday. In fact, just last week, I purchased a new pair of all-black basketball shoes, and the first thought in my head as I picked them off the shelf was "Nice. Fab Five style, baby."

And if you can't appreciate any of that, at least appreciate the fact that without them, there is a very real chance that us dudes would all still be wearing nut-huggers instead of loose-fitting shorts.

"Aight, boys, here's the play: I'll grab the rebound, blatantly travel while looking to make the outlet pass, get away with it, then dribble straight to the corner, get trapped, and call a timeout that we don't have and get T'd up for it. Sound good? Aight, hands in the middle, 1-2-3 DEFENSE!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Boom. Roasted.

"Tyler Hansbrough. One of his favorite hobbies is a combination of ping pong, other dudes, and being shirtless. And he's gayer than Oscar. Boom. Roasted."

Just wanted to get in on the Boom Roasted thing before it is completely beaten into the ground, which, by my estimation, should be approximately 11 a.m Friday. Regardless, watch the link if you didn't catch the episode of The Office immediately after the Super Bowl. I promise it'll make you laugh more than this weak-ass post did.

Monday, February 2, 2009

No-Fun February

>> Well I got what I wanted out of the Super Bowl last night. That was one of the most exciting games of my lifetime, if not THE most exciting. After a couple of really boring Super Bowls in a row, we've now had two straight instant classics, and for that we should be thankful (unless you're a New England or Arizona fan.) Arizona's comeback ruined a few of our prop bets, but I'll gladly trade that in exchange for an exciting game. Plus we hit the one I really wanted to win: taking the over on the national anthem for 2 minutes, 3 seconds. You haven't gambled until you're having serious discussions about how the x-factor of the song is "and the rocket's red glare" and you find yourself standing and yelling at Jennifer Hudson to savor the moment and elongate her notes. Remember, it's not a gambling problem unless you're losing.

>> In general, I'm happy with the new era of my life when it comes to watching Super Bowls. It was just a small group of Alex, Lane, Skye, Skye's unborn fetus, DVJS and myself watching last night (Lane and I having some beers and absolutely destroying the amazing taco bar as well. My biggest regret is that I didn't weigh myself at the beginning of the night, because I bet I gained 4 pounds.) As my college years progressed, the Super Bowl became less about the game, and more about partying, which is somewhat disappointing because I really do like to actually watch the game. Everything crested in 2005, when we had a kegger at Culligan Manor and I blacked out almost the entire 4th quarter (so in my mind, Donovan McNabb is still a pretty clutch quarterback. Somewhat ironically, McNabb and I were participating in the exact same activity at almost the exact same time that evening. The difference was that I was kneeling over my toilet in my bathroom, and he was running a two-minute drill in front of 90 million people worldwide. But I digress.)

All that being said, when Ike sent a text immediately after kickoff, referencing our old Super Bowl drinking game from our college years, Lane, Skye, and I couldn't help but get a little nostalgic over it. The days of hoping for the kicker to score a touchdown so the entire party has to finish the keg and jump off the balcony are over, sadly.

>> Alex and I went and saw Gran Turino over the weekend, and it was fannnnntastic. I highly recommend it to everyone. I'm sure I would've enjoyed it even more if I hadn't been distracted by some unusual circumstances. Towards the end of the previews, I happened to see a mouse come running up the aisle to snatch a piece of fallen popcorn right in front of me. Luckily, we were in the front row of the elevated seats, and I was somewhat confident that the mouse couldn't climb stairs, or else I would've COMPLETELY LOST MY SHIT. I am absolutely terrified of mice/rats, I don't care who knows it. I had to play the role of the man, since Alex is just a woman with a brain 1/3 the size of mine (it's science) but on the inside I was totally freaking out. The mouse grabbed the popcorn, and scurried back to the shadows from whence he came, but I spent the next two hours glancing over to his corner, waiting for him to come running out again. That's the thing about mouse attacks....they come when you least expect it.

>> The last couple months or so, I have been doing an inordinate amount of traveling, drinking, and general douchebaggering, and now I'm completely worn out, just in time for tax season- "What we, in the biz, call crunch time."*** I am officially announcing the upcoming 28 days to be No-Fun February. I will attempt to lay low and stay out of trouble the entire month. This will be difficult because, as I recently mentioned, I say yes to anything and everything. So while I will not necessarily be instigating any shenanigans personally, shenanigans may still find their way to me.

>> Lastly, as you may or may not be aware, February is Black History Month. Celebrate accordingly.

***Just so everyone is following me on this one, that is a quote from The Break Up. I kinda figured that most people already knew this, but a couple weeks ago I pulled out that line, and everyone looked at me like I was the biggest douche on the planet. So now I have to spell it out for people, because it's one of those lines where if you're not quoting a movie, you really ARE the biggest douche on the planet.