Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror

I am a Michael Jackson fan. Probably not a normal fan; most of my favorite songs of his are from The Jackson 5 era. Nor am I the biggest fan I know- that would be DVJS. And I'm not a diehard or anything- definitely not one of those people who, despite being completely unrelated to him and never having met him, started crying when they heard the news that he died; or even one of those people who will forever remember where they were when they heard the news that he had passed away (this isn't a knock on the people who will remember where they were when they heard the news....I just tend to remember exactly where I was for different moments in my life, like when the Rebel Alliance blew up the Death Star and ended the reign of the Sith, or when Sonic added chili cheese burritos to the extra value menu.

The King of Pop's influence on me isn't so much "His music changed my life/inspired me/brought me through my childhood" as much as it is "His music makes me do ridiculous things, especially when alcohol is involved."

- Every time we walk into a dirty old man bar, I immediately scour the jukebox for Michael Jackson songs, because it's the quickest way to annoy grizzled old men who have already been bellied up for nine hours and hate any music that isn't Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson. I have been known, on occasion, to attempt to play the same song of his 12 times in a row.

- One time in some bar in Minneapolis, Billie Jean came on and I was successful in uniting the dance floor in stepping on the different floor tiles and pretending they were lighting up. I mean everybody, too. Us white kids in El Tigre polo shirts (that's Spanish for The Tigre) black dudes in Fubu jerseys and chains, everybody. It was glorious to watch. My triumph was short-lived, however; shortly afterwards I was thrown out for wearing my hat backwards and then I threw up all over the parking lot. Booyeah.

- Another time, at some random house party in some random town (my memory is failing me- did this happen during the infamous Mighty Ducks Minot trip?) since we didn't know a single person at the party, we decided to draw attention to ourselves by blasting Beat It on the CD player, pretending to bind our hands together, and re-enacting the knife-fight/dance scene from the video.

So anyway, the last few days have been Michael Jackson Appreciation. I haven't listened to anything but MJ since he died; we had an extra long MJ session on the jukebox at Raffy's on Friday night; and I've been substituting MJ words in place of regular words during everyday speak. For example, instead of saying "I'm going to softball at 6:30 tonight" I would say "Yah'mo softball at 6:30 tonight." It's been fun.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 songs (with apologies to the many, many honorable mentions.)

10. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
9. Billie Jean
8. Beat It
7. ABC
6. Wanna Be Startin' Something
5. Black Or White
4. Thriller
3. Shake Your Body Down To The Ground
2. The Love You Save
1. I Want You Back

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rough Draft

Happy draft day! Also the one day a year when DVJS' supreme NBA knowledge and my supreme NCAA knowledge collide into one gigantic basketball-fest. After missing last year's draft due to Ike's wedding, we will be back together where we normally are on the last Thursday in June: on the couch, eating obscene amounts of pizza, and talking nonstop basketball for 5 hours straight.

Even though this year's draft is gonna suck in terms of talent, in some ways that makes it more fun, since teams will be trading up or down, and no one really knows who they're going to draft. Love it. Here are my thoughts on the teams picking in the lottery.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

Who they should take: Blake Griffin. The only can't-miss guy in the draft.

Who I hope they take: It's kind of a shame that Griffin is going to a franchise like the Clippers, who are so snakebitten it's scary. (This Simmons article was full of eye-opening facts, and here's the craziest one: since 1976, the Clips have drafted one player who made an all-star team for them. ONE.) Griffin almost single-handedly won us quite a bit of money last year, when we figured out that Oklahoma was a great team who covered every spread before Vegas did, and for that I'll be eternally grateful. But screw it, I don't like Blake enough to wish he ends up somewhere else. Good luck, dude.

2. Memphis Grizzlies

Who they should take: Ricky Rubio, or trade the pick. I think Rubio is awesome, and is gonna be a blast to watch also (hopefully a better, non-white-trash version of Jason Williams.) But they don't exactly need a point guard, with Mike Conley already in the fold; and Rubio doesn't want to play for Memphis anyway. But they seem to like Hasheem Thabeet, who I think is going to be a gigantic bust. You know you read about some of these foreigners who didn't start playing ball until they were like 17, and you're like wow, they're already this good and they just started playing a few years ago? Well if someone told me that Thabeet just picked up a ball for the first time like 4 months ago, I would believe him. I had more polished post moves when I was 10 years old, playing on the Jordan Jammer in Dunph's garage.

Who I hope they take: Thabeet. I don't like him, and I don't like Memphis, so it's a good match in my book.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

Who they should take: Rubio. I admit that he and Russell Westbrook aren't the greatest fit in the same backcourt, but you just don't pass on a talent like Rubio. In case you can't tell, I have a rapidly increasing man-crush on the Spaniard with shaggy hair and eyes you can get lost in for days.

Who I hope they take: My two favorite players in the draft are Rubio and James Harden (aka Black Schultzy.) And OKC is quickly becoming one of my favorite teams, so if they end up with either one of these two, I'm happy.

4. Sacramento Kings

Who they should take: Here's where things get messy. I'm not totally sold on any of the point guards/pseudo point guards in this draft, of which there are many. Put a gun to my head, and I choose Tyreke Evans.

Who I hope they take: Either Evans or Jonny Flynn.

5 & 6. Minnesota Timberwolves

Who they should take: They need guards pretty badly now, after they traded away Randy Foye and Mike Miller, and they have two picks in a row. If Evans is gone, you have to take either Flynn or Stephen Curry, right? And James Harden for your shooting guard? Yuck, what a brutal draft to have back-to-back top 10 picks in.

Who I hope they take: I kinda like the T'Wolves. I always ended up cheering for them pretty hard when they made the playoffs back in the day. I love Harden, so I'd like them to get him for sure (unless he can somehow slip down to the Knicks at 8) and I like Steph Curry....but I don't think he's gonna be very good in the NBA. If he reinvents himself as a point guard, he has a chance, but he can't play the same '33 points off of 10-30 shooting, 6-19 from 3-point, 4 assist 8 turnover' games he played at Davidson. I don't mean to rag on Curry, like I said I enjoy watching him, and he had a nice little stretch in the 2008 tournament, but for the most part, those were his stats when he played good teams.

7. Golden State Warriors

Who they should take: Jordan Hill. They desperately need a body up front to grab offensive rebounds after another rushed, off-balance three pointer.

Who I hope they take: Hill, I guess. Whatever. I'm still bitter that they broke up their team from that awesome 2007 playoff run with the greatest crowds I have ever seen in the NBA. I know they played over their heads that year, but still.

8. New York Knicks (my boys)

Who they should take: Like I said, I'm not sold on Evans, Curry, Flynn, Jrue Holiday, DeMar DeRozan, any of these guards that are supposed to go in the 4-12 range. So you know what I'd do? Either take a flier on one of these Louisville forwards, Earl Clark or Terrence Williams, or trade down a couple spots and get a little something for their trouble, since both Clark and Williams should be around a few more picks.

Who I hope they take: Clark or Williams. If they take a guard, I hope it would be either Brandon Jennings or Eric Maynor, I like both of them more than anyone in the aforementioned group of guards who are more highly rated. If you put Maynor in D'Antoni's system....look out. Supposedly the Knicks are hot for Curry, which wouldn't be so bad, even though I think he'll bust. He'll be entertaining, anyway. And he could pan out, who knows. Definitely NOT Tyler Hansbrough or Gerald Henderson. I hate both of them. One juuuuust a little bit more than the other.

9. Toronto Raptors

Who they should take: DeMar DeRozan. They could use a little athleticism on the wing, and DeRozan showed signs of promise late last season, as opposed to Holiday, who didn't do shit (granted he barely touched the ball at UCLA playing alongside seniors Darren Collison and Josh Shipp.)

Who I hope they take: I honestly could not care less. I don't think there's a player on the Toronto roster that I have an opinion about. I am completely neutral about them in every way. If I watch a Toronto game, I probably don't make a facial expression or express a single opinion the entire game.

10. Milwaukee Bucks

Who they should take: Depends on if they re-sign Ramon Sessions. If they do, then they don't really need a point guard, and should trade down and take someone like DeJuan Blair or Hansbrough. If Jordan Hill slides this far, he's the pick. I just don't see how Sessions and Jonny Flynn play in the same backcourt. He's probably not sliding this far anyway, but I feel the same about Holiday, Jennings, etc.

Who I hope they take: Someone like James Johnson or Clark or Williams, just for comedy purposes. They just had to give Richard Jefferson up for literally nothing because they were so stupid last year, drafting Joe Alexander and immediately trading for Jefferson. So let's draft them another small forward for shits and giggles.

11. New Jersey Nets

Who they should take: If either Clark or Williams is left, one of them. If they are both available, then I'd go with Williams, probably my favorite non-KU player last year. I think he's gonna be a solid pro.

Who I hope they take: Hansbrough. The Nets have pretty much always been one of my least favorite teams. Hopefully they take on my new least favorite player.

12. Charlotte Bobcats

Who they should take: Best available non-point guard at this point. James Johnson? Gerald Henderson? Rumor has it they're hot for my boy Williams.

Who I hope they take: Brandon Jennings, for two reasons: One, they already have Raymond Felton and DJ Augustin battling for point guard minutes. Two, Jennings is going to be one of the most combustible rookies in recent memory, and the thought of him playing for notorious rookie-hater Larry Brown has me giddy. We'd have a PJ Carlesimo/Latrell Sprewell situation by the All-Star Break.

13. Indiana Pacers

Who they should take: Best available. They have minor needs everywhere, and no position where they're dying for help.

Who I hope they take: Indiana is another one of my favorite random teams; even when they were battling the Knicks in the late 90's I didn't hate them as much as I should. Now that I'm officially a casual fan of the NBA, who enjoys different teams from year to year depending on the players (my 12-year-old self just cringed) the Pacers have become one of my favorites. I'd love to see them with Clark or Williams. Eric Maynor would be sweet too. My only hope is they don't take any swingmen like Gerald Henderson who would cut into my boy Brandon Rush's minutes. Word on the streets is that he is penciled in to be the starter next year.

14. Phoenix Suns

Who they should take: A point guard for the future, since Nash is old/leaving for New York as soon as his contract is up. Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague?

Who I hope they take: My love for the Suns is fading out. They rarely play the style of ball anymore that made them so fun to watch, their owner refuses to spend money to improve them, Shaq is gone, Amare Stoudamire is kind of a bitch, Nash is old.....they are in for a long, long rebuilding process. So basically I don't care who they take. I am officially off the Phoenix bandwagon. It's been a fun 4 years though.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sports Sports Sports

>> Back in 2007, I was pumping my fist and shouting in joy when I found out that Dice-K would be pitching at the game we were attending during our Boston trip that summer. Now, not even two years later, I was pumping my fist and shouting in joy when I saw the headline "Dice-K headed to DL with arm fatigue." That about sums up how bad Dice-K has sucked so far this year.

>> This coming Thursday is one of my favorite days of the year: the NBA Draft. If the Knicks or another team I like ends up drafting Tyler Hansbrough...let's just say it will NOT be one of my favorite days. It's gonna happen too; I probably deserve it.

>> Another runner-up finish in the U.S. Open for my boy Phil Mickelson. Another back nine filled with missed short putts and disappointment. Our golf games are so similar it's stupid (obviously I mean that on a much, much, much, much smaller scale- I'm not insinuating that I'm anywhere near his level. Sorry to point out the obvious, but with friends like mine, that clarification becomes necessary.) We are both erratic off the tee, have pretty solid irons, can work a little magic around the green, and LOVE to miss short putts, usually multiple times over the course of a single round. Despite Phil being my favorite golfer, in no way am I trying to emulate his style. It's an extremely frustrating way to play the game of golf.

>> I would've felt sorry for Ricky Barnes after he blew that gigantic lead...except for the fact that he always looks like he came to the 1st tee straight from the beer pong table in the Kappa Sig basement. Ipso facto, I don't feel bad for him. He can take his $600,000 second-place check and just go nuts at Abercrombie next weekend.

To steal a line from Chris Rock: Take off that silly-ass hat.

>> Speaking of golf attire, the comment section last time kind of turned into a 'I hate when people wear ____ on the golf course' so I thought I would expound on that:

I dislike it when people wear the following things on a golf course:

- Backward hats
- Backward/upside down/anything but straight visors (visors are acceptable on the golf course, but that is the only place- unless you're wearing one of those green poker dealer visors, those can be funny in the right when you're dealing poker)
- Sleeveless shirts
- Basketball shorts
- T-shirts and flip-flops (we call that the Fundy Special)

HOWEVER, I wouldn't necessarily call someone a douche for wearing that stuff. I realize that some people aren't a golf snob like me, and they're just out to have a good time, drink some beers, maybe they're on a bachelor party, whatever the case may be. I agree with the old cliche "dress well, play well" but I realize that not everyone shares that opinion when it comes to golf.

I mean, when I see the fat dude wearing jean shorts, sandals and an REO Speedwagon shirt that the Sleeve Monster got a hold of, and he's hitting his 7th shot on a par 4 and he's still 120 yards out, and I mutter under my breath "trailer trash cluttering up the course"....I'm sure he's looking right back at me with my pastel-colored polo, khakis and matching Titleist hat and muttering "goddamm homosexuals gayin' up the course" as he cracks open another warm beer that he smuggled in his golf bag so he didn't have to pay the beer cart girl 4 dollars. So that's cool.

So I wouldn't put those people in the douche category. Except for the backward/upside down visor- then you're a douche for sure. But those guys probably already know that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Things You Do That Mean You're Probably Not My Friend

>> If something excites you or makes you happy, and you exclaim "Woot!" or maybe the double "Woot woot!" Every time I hear that, I grate my teeth together. Every time I read it in print, it's like someone is jabbing a hot poker into my heart.

>> If you use a Bluetooth. Just go ahead and punch your ticket into the Douche Hall of Fame with that one. We'll waive the 5-year waiting period.

>> If, while texting or conversing via computer, you use an abundance of emoticons/smiley faces/ordinary keys used to represent different facial expressions. C'mon, you don't have to abuse the semi-colon and parentheses keys in order to type a winky face for me to understand that you are being sarcastic. I get it ;)

I'm purposely excluding the use of LOL here- I could write a 15,000 word post about my hatred of LOL and all its forms. If I was in grad school, my thesis would be about how the creation and subsequent integration of LOL into our everyday language is slowly destroying our society. Actually, let's be honest, I think everyone here knows that my thesis paper would be how Tupac faked his death. Nonetheless, I hate LOL.

>> You have a decal or custom painting job that covers up the entire back window of your pickup truck. OK, dude, I get it, you like bald eagles, deer hunting, fireworks, and you REALLY like America...but can you see the lights coming from the police car behind you that's about to pull you over for doing 95 mph on the dirt road that leads to old fishin' levee? You're gonna blow a .24, minimum, and you've got a half-empty bottle of Cutty Sark and three loaded rifles on your passenger seat (not to mention the unregistered handgun in the glove box you use for shooting muskrats "aka goin' skrattin") so you'd better get a game plan ready.

(And while we're here...I'll also include any decals that feature Calvin pissing on the logo of a rival company. Like a Ford truck that has Calvin pissing on a Chevy logo. Really? If it was, say, Calvin wearing a Red Sox hat and peeing on a Yankees' logo- you know, an actual rivalry- well it would still be gay, but at least it would make sense. But why is Ford vs. Chevy piss-worthy? They're just different brands. I hit Callaway irons, do I feel the need to pee all over a Titleist logo? I like to eat Special K with red berries, and you don't see Calvin peeing all over Toucan Sam in my rear window. If you like Fruit Loops, that's cool. I just hope you don't drive a fucking Chevy, bro!!!)

>> You wear a backwards hat while playing golf. It's a gentleman's game. You're not Lil' Wayne playing in a charity event. Respect the sport a little bit. I'm also going to include wearing your hat backwards while playing softball. I used to think it was borderline OK...I mean, I can kinda see the whole Ken Griffey Jr. "I'm just playin' the sport I love, living the dream, baby" thing.......but last week some kid in a backwards, upside-down visor was talking shit in right-center field, so now this makes the list. Hats were made to keep the sun out of your eyes, maybe if it was on straight you wouldn't have dropped that pop-up behind second base last inning.

"Hey guyyyyyyyys, sup guys. Ready for some BP, or what?"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Omaha 2, Hammen 0

As far as partying in different cities is concerned, to me it's a lot like defensive matchups in basketball. Some cities are good matchups for me, and well....some aren't. I always seem to do well in Louisville. The first time we went was absolutely legendary, and now that I've started going to the Derby, I am actually winning more money than I'm spending there, or at the very least, partying for free. I would say that, all things considered, I'm putting up a decent fight in my Vegas career. I've had some bad shenanigans, sure, but I've won more money than the Average Joe Gambler, and I've had plenty of awesome shenanigans too. Chicago has been up and down. Boston has been about standard. I'm batting 1.000 in Los Angeles, although I was only there a day and a half, so I don't have enough at-bats to qualify. I would say that Indianapolis owns me, due entirely to the night when KU lost to Bucknell, Ron Artest stole my dancing partner, and I had a liiiiittle bit of a personal meltdown. So far Kansas City has been less than great to me (mostly just the Power & Light District.)

And then we come to Omaha, which has now straight up kicked my ass. Twice.

The day started off with a good deed: buying cigars for a 16-year-old who approached Gangel and I in a gas station parking lot. I've always been a big believer in the "Circle of Life" theory when it comes to contributing to minors: we have an obligation- nay, a responsbility- to help out kids in need of tobacco/alcohol. If older kids wouldn't have bought anything for us when we were youngsters, then where would we be today? I shudder to think of a world where you could never drink until you're actually 21. So I figure that by helping out this fine young citizen right away, we're setting ourselves up for some good karma later on. Aligning our chi, if you will.

Wow was I wrong.

Here was our basic game plan: since we were just a two-man party, Gangel and I would go to Rosenblatt Stadium during the 1 o'clock game, drink for a little bit, make some friends, join their tailgate, and then go to the 6 o'clock game.

So we stroll on in to the tailgate area, smiles on our faces, dreams in our hearts. Almost immediately, a security guard tells us to leave the property. APPARENTLY (it would've been nice to get this memo earlier) you can't just stroll around with an open case of beer. You need a cooler, and you need coozies on your cans, because the NCAA doesn't want to promote drinking at these events. I had to strain to hear the security guard tell us this, because there were SO MANY PEOPLE AROUND US DRINKING THEIR FACES OFF.

So with spirits slightly tarnished, we figure fine, we'll just avoid this security guard, go find a quiet spot for a little bit, regroup, and we'll just have to make friends a little bit faster in order to crash a tailgate. We walk to a completely different area, hoping to be out of this guard's "jurisdiction." We find a nice little unclaimed shaded area and commence with two of my favorite activities: sitting and drinking. After 3 minutes of pure bliss, the security guard (who apparently followed us) is back, and now he's pissed. He is a hot little potato. Soon we're being escorted off the premises, because, and I quote, we weren't "committed to a particular vehicle." So, to recap, as long as you are standing next to a car of some sort, apparently you can take your shirt off; shotgun beers; throw beanbags, footballs, baseballs, and other objects; have beer-bonging races; and sexually harass every female who walks by. BUT, if you're sitting quietly under a tree and conversing, but your beer is not in a cooler and you're not sitting next to your own car, you're public enemy #1.

So, after a grand total of 20 minutes inside the parking lot, we've been kicked out twice, red-flagged by security (we quickly began calling ourselves "Ocean's Two") and now we're drinking across the street from the stadium, sitting on a tree stump and crushing beers as if they were sitting in the sun and getting warmer by the minute (oh wait...)

Here's a surveillance photo of Gangel and I watching the festivities from across the street after being red-flagged by security. It was pretty warm in the tailor-made Italian suits. Uncomfortably warm, really.

Getting kicked out started a butterfly effect: we don't sneak back in until 5 minutes before game time, so we don't have tickets yet, and the scalpers only have general admission seats left, and we don't see the line to get into the game is halfway around the stadium, and we don't realize that there is no way we're getting into this game before the seats fill up, so we unsuccessfully try to sell our $10 GA tickets, and shortly thereafter leave the stadium for good, without having attended the game. Awesome.

Neither one of us cared too much about missing the game, as we were all about the tailgating, and we're not really college baseball fans at all. The highlight for us was going to be pretending we were from Charlottesville, Virginia and talking crap to all the diehard LSU fans, and it's a shame we missed that. Also, it's somewhat embarassing to drive 3 hours for the College World Series, show up to the stadium 5 hours early, and not end up at the game.

Being the gamesmen that we are, we quickly shook it off, went bar-hopping, went to a house party, and ended up with a solid 15-hour day of drinking. So even though I stayed in control the entire time this year (a far cry from last year, when I actually deserved to get thrown out and didn't) Omaha still found a way to win. Again. I thought I was starting with a clean slate and establishing good karma at the beginning of my day; apparently Omaha still needed to repay my karma debt from last year. It's just a shame that Gangel had to get taken down with me. Like a guy who accidentally witnesses a mob hit, and therefore has to be killed too.

Some mini-stories from throughout the day:

>> While walking back to our car, which was parked in a residential neighborhood about a mile away from the stadium, we quickly grew bored with the walk, and started looking for a shortcut. We encountered a pack of Mexican kids who were out riding bikes, so we asked if there were any hidden shortcuts through backyards. They eagerly agreed to help us. So picture this scene: Gangel, myself, and a horde of 8-year-old Mexicans running through backyards, searching for trails in the woods, as I run alongside them yelling "Vamanos children! Vamanos!" and Gangel walks slightly behind us, asking "How many more menudos? We need to get to our car ahora!"

After we determined that we didn't want to chance the 15-foot drop that we would've needed to jump in order for it to be a shortcut, one of the kids suggested we just take the street that wraps around the hill, and offered to let me use his bicycle. So here is my favorite part of the day, and maybe my year so far: me, 15 beers deep, flying down a giant hill on a tiny bicycle with a 2nd-grader riding on the pegs, yelling in my ear "Oh, I forgot to tell you, this bike doesn't really have any brakes!" That's where my day peaked.

>> Here's a lesson to you girls, courtesy of some random girl from Santa Cruz (which is considered NorCal, not SoCal, and CERTAINLY NOT NoCal....she made sure we knew the differences) that we met while bellied up and watching the Virginia/LSU game at the bar. If you meet strangers and you're striking up a convo, sometimes it's kinda cool to play the girl-with-an-attitude role, where your entire conversation is carried on with a feisty tone, and you have some good banter back and forth. It starts out fun, but you shouldn't play that game for longer than like 15 minutes. At some point you need to start acting normally, or else the conversation ends up like this:

NorCal girl, coming back from the bathroom: What happened? LSU is up four runs now!

Gangel: Yeah, they hit a 2-run bomb while you were gone.

NorCal: Oh really? Do you really have to use your baseball lingo on me? Wow, you guys are soooo cool...

Gangel and I exchange amused looks: What lingo? What the hell are you talking about?

NorCal: Bombs. You don't have to call them that, you know. Just say they hit a homerun. Seriously, you guys are ridiculous. (this is where I snap, as she has now called us ridiculous like 30 times)

Me: Can you please change spots with your friend?

NorCal, laughing: Are you serious?

Me: Yes, I'm serious. Maybe she's not such an angry bitch all the time.

She looked at us with a stunned face, changed spots with her friend, we didn't talk to NorCal again the rest the night, annnnnnd scene. Her friend was cool though.

>> While in the bathroom at the bar we went to downtown, some dude at the urinal next to me suddenly yelled out, while peeing, "Send it IN, Jerome!" This is one of my favorite Bill Raftery lines of all time, and we spent the rest of our time in the bathroom yelling out Raftery quotes, and by the time we came out, we were practically in hysterics, high-fiving and laughing like we were old friends. I had never heard anybody else yell that in public before (besides Jud, the co-founder of the Bill Raftery Fan Club, along with myself) and especially not while peeing...but you better believe I'm gonna start now. That's how quickly two random dudes can bond in the bathroom together. No homo.

>> It was only a one day trip, so I brought a little bag with a change of clothes, some toiletries, and my phone charger. We left for the stadium shortly after I got to town, and we ended up crashing at Gangel's friend Nicole's place that night. (Great hostess by the way, especially considering that within 5 minutes of getting to her place, she walked into her bedroom to find Gangel and I standing by her bed, not talking, just dominating a bunch of Volcano Tacos and Cheesy Gorditas. I know girls who would've reacted less favorably.) The next morning we made it back to Gangel's, and I just grabbed my bag and decided to drive home without showering or putting on deodorant or anything. The point is: I unpacked one thing from my bag- one frickin' thing: my phone charger. Annnnnd I left it there. FML.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Holla Holla Holla Holla Holla Hollaaaaa

>> Brother and his buddy Jeffrey were in town the other day, stopping in Lawrence on their voyage from Phoenix up to Grand Forks. And for the first time in Brother's Day history, he has given me a gift: a Navajo blanket that he picked up at an Indian Tradepost somewhere in New Mexico. It smells like a mix of Big Chief Tobacco, beef jerky sticks, and urinal cakes. Even though it's a little bit late, I'll take it. For those of you that were asking, THAT is the perfect embodiment of what a Brother's Day gift is supposed to be.

>> It appears as though I'm headed back to Omaha for the College World Series this weekend. After last year's inexplicable catastrophe (it's pretty tough to pull off a seven-hour functioning blackout in a strange town, especially after you ditch the only person you came with) I'm approaching this weekend with the same amount of respect and fear as the Wet Bandits approaching Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2.

Let's learn from last time, boys. Caution is the name of the game.

>> I have heard a crazy, CRAZY amount of hype for this Hangover movie, so as soon as I get a chance, I will be attending it. I was planning on seeing it anyway, mostly because Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are the shit, but I figured that it was probably one of those movies where all the funny parts are in the previews, so I wasn't real geared up for it. However, I can't remember the last time so many people have recommended a movie so vehemently, especially people whose opinion on movies I take seriously. So everyone can relax, I am going to see it soon. If all you chucklehouses over-hyped it and ruined it for me, I'll never forgive you.

(Side note: to all the people who told me I should see it because "you're totally gonna want to go to Vegas afterwards"....while I appreciate the thought, it's completely unnecessary. That's like telling a fat kid that if he sits in the Dairy Queen parking lot for 90 minutes, he's gonna want an extra large Oreo Blizzard. Of COURSE I'm gonna want to go to Vegas after watching this movie. It's tough for me to find a movie that doesn't make me want to go to Vegas immediately afterwards. I was watching Titanic on TV the other day, and during the part where Jack is making Rose promise to never give up, promise me, Rose, and never let go of that promise, all I could think about was playing blackjack at New York, New York while I double-fisted Margaritas by the Yard. Movies like The Hangover or Ocean's Eleven basically give me the shakes.**)

** To shed light on a gambling problem, please call the National Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now Let Us Gingerly Touch Our Tips

>> Sometimes it's tough for me to remember that David Ortiz's career is currently falling apart, because in my MLB '08 season for the PS3, he's batting .326 with 29 homers and 91 RBI, and I'm not even at the All-Star Break yet. This sharp contrast between fantasy and reality makes his current situation all the more painful for me. Maybe Mom was right, video games are bad for me.

>> OK, OK, hold on. Wait. Wait. When, exactly, did Kate from Jon & Kate Plus 8 get hot? What the hell? I saw a couple pictures the other day and it blew my mind. Literally. My mind is blown. I mean, I thought I had actually seen her face, but apparently not. Normally, here's how the process works:

1. Alex flicks the channel to that show
2. I yell some obscenity regarding my feelings about Kate's personality
3. I explain, in graphic detail, what specific acts of domestic violence I would rain down upon her if I was Jon
4. I mutter under my breath, expressing my disbelief at some of the brutal shows my girlfriend watches (Jon & Kate, Chelsea Lately, Real Housewives of blah blah blah, etc. etc.)
5. I leave the room in disgust

So maybe I have never taken the time to actually look at the aforementioned Kate. I mean, if you get rid of the shitmop haircut of hers, she is a legitimate MILF. We need to work in a few "Kate goes on a day trip to a topless beach, hilarity/full frontal nudity ensues" episodes, and suddenly we've got a whole new ballgame. Forget TLC, we need HBO or Showtime to pick up this series.

And p.s., I am aware that the first bullet point of this post should probably discourage me from judging how Alex spends her free time. But somewhat doesn't.

>> Schne linked to this video in the comments section last time (listen on low volume, there's a couple of F bombs) and I finally just got around to watching it. I was DYING laughing. It hit especially close to home for me, because you would be hard-pressed to find a more accurate portrayal of my relationship with my brother. When we were younger, my family would drive cross-country to Baltimore every summer to visit extended family, and this youtube clip is the backseat dialogue of every one of those trips, condensed into 2 minutes and 43 seconds. (Sadly, in the video, I am represented by the dude on the top bunk. Of course I'd never admit it at the time, but basically every single fight Brother and I ever had during a road trip was my fault. Also in the sad department: I would love to be able to say that this video represents how Brother and I USED to interact, like when we were bratty little kids, but that would be a lie. This is still pretty much how it goes for us, although I rarely drive him to physical violence anymore.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Ballad Of Jum Sellout

Whenever something new and/or high tech comes along, my first reaction is usually to make fun of it. That's how I roll, son. (Read: that's how insecure people like me feel better about themselves.) In addition, I am notorious (NO-NO-NO-Notorrrrrious!) for enjoying things months or even years after they have already hit their popularity peak. One of my nicknames on The Boards is Ace, as in Ace of Base, as in the Swedish pop band that dominated popular music in 1994, as in "You just heard Ace of Base for the first time last week and think they're awesome. Boom Roasted."

I spent most of high school making fun of people (Bergman took the brunt of it) for gelling and dyeing their hair. Throughout most of high school/college I kept my hair buzzed, but I've now been gellin' like a felon for the majority of the last two years now. I dyed my hair a couple times back in the day, but really that was only because my de facto "hair stylist" Buckley and I would get bored, so I'd let her experiment on my hair. I'm not really counting that.

When cell phones first became en vogue, I was a non-supporter. I was very anti-cell phone. I was prejudiced against people who had them. (If it was an episode of Seinfeld, I would have been called an anti-cellulite, which works because I am also against girls who don't keep their ass and legs toned and firm.) Really? You are really so popular that you need to be reached no matter where you are? Here's a hint: you're probably in the basement of some frat house gettin' totally bombed, bro. Fast forward to the summer after freshman year of college, and I was scrambling to get my own celly. Scrambling.

During one of our tax classes in college, which was held in a computer lab, I relentlessly ripped on Noles and Storhaug for spending hours and hours creeping on facebook (side note: don't misconstrue this is as me paying attention in class while they didn't. Rest assured I was navigating the worldwide web myself, but instead of facebook, I was reading old Bill Simmons articles and sending multiple page emails to Bergman and ADawg, who were in Iraq. I also embarked on an intense Google Earth mission to find where my car was in Grand Forks on whatever day they took that satellite photo, but I've never found it, and I'm convinced that I was out of town that day. Moral of the story: if you want college kids to pay attention, don't hold class in a computer lab with high-speed internet at their fingertips.) In any event, after all my shit-talking.....three years later, I was signing up for a facebook account.

And so we come to present day (there are undoubtedly many more examples of things that I made fun of, then joined years later....if you are one of those people I ripped into, here's your chance to let me know how you felt about it. This is your day of retribution.) As of Monday, I am the not-so-proud owner of a Blackberry. I didn't need one, and didn't particularly want one.....but I was due for a contract renewal, the cell phone selection at Sprint was basically buy a Blackberry or buy this piece of garbage, and it's only $10 more per month for me to have unlimited messaging, internet, and television on this little guyski. So there you go.

A couple months ago, Jonye purchased a Blackberry, and we jumped all over him, calling it a Doucheberry, Gayberry, Fagberry, Homoberry, etc. etc. He took a lot of crap for a long time, and now, suddenly, I find myself on his side of the fence. It's OK so far, I still find some of the phone options a little bit unnecessary...but give me a couple of months, and I'll be like every other Blackberry owner out there. Especially the "thinking I'm awesome because of my phone" part.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go douche it up on my Doucheberry....and listen to this new Ace of Base CD. Have you guys heard it? It's fantastic. These guys aren't going away anytime soon.

All that she wants
Is another baby, she's gone tomorrow boy
All that she wants, is another baby...shit sticks in your head, it's crazy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So Much Easier Than That Whole Putting Thing

Sooooo I did it again. Not a hole-in-one, but this time it was a 2 on a par 4. This shot was probably more impressive, since it was from 160 yards away, out of the rough and into the teeth of the wind. Just two bounces and WHAMMO! right in the hole. Plus we saw it go in, unlike my hole-in-one, which we didn't know was in the cup until we walked up to the green. It's always more fun to celebrate from the fairway. Thanks partly to that shot, which put Lane and I 2-up through 14, the Northerners were successful in taking the cup back from Jud and Wing in the 2nd Annual Civil War Cup, winning 2 and 1. I have to be honest, it felt good to wear the $4 Doublemint Polyester jacket out to the bars afterwards. Felt real good.

I'm probably just gonna retire from golf now, because after two hole-outs for eagles in 10 days, it's all downhill from here. I just peaked at age 26. It's been fun.