Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ten Years Ago Today...

......We were having a little shindig, ringing in the new Millenium. Steg, Haley, Ike and I went on a beer run shortly after midnight. Remember this was when lots of people were freaking about Y2K and how the stroke of midnight would bring about an outbreak of mass chaos, the likes of which our world hadn't seen (the movie 2012 hadn't been released yet.) So when we returned to the hotel, we told Paul, ADawg, and the other friends in our group that we knew would believe something like this** that a riot had broken out downtown, buildings were on fire and being looted, and the S.W.A.T. team was about to move in and you guys need to go check it out RIGHT NOW. Those poor bastards sprinted to their cars like kids bouncing downstairs on Christmas morning. Needless to say, they weren't very happy with us upon their return. We laughed though.

**In high school, our friend group was split into two lunchtables. At the beginning of the year, they were basically interchangeable; we all just sat down where there was room, and didn't think much of it. But as the year progressed, two definite factions formed, like when nWo took over WCW wrestling and people started choosing sides.

This picture almost makes me want to start watching wrestling again. Almost.

There was 'The Nice Table' and 'The Other Table.' The Nice Table consisted of DVJS, Fundy, ADawg, Brooks, Russell, and a few others (Bergman was the only one who would truly switch-hit between the tables.) At this table you could take place in a nice conversation, without fear of being made fun of for the slightest slip of the tongue (eventually Paul, who stuck it out for a long time at The Other Table, finally snapped and went to The Nice Table for the rest the year. It was inevitable, he's always been a nice guy at heart.)

The Other Table featured Haley, Lane, Ike, Jake, Steg and I, among others. Our table, while still good friends, was quite a bit less cordial than the other one. Haley was the kid who invented "I'd rather throw this food on the floor than give it to you." Lane and his patented 'Johnny Tremain Hand' (where he would grab your hand and mercilessly squeeze until it was mangled and useless, just like Johnny Tremain in the story) was a bully straight out of a 1980's John Hughes movie. Talking to Ike & Jake (especially if you're a new girlfriend, trying like hell to fit into your new boyfriend's friend group) is like being Scott Evil, trying to talk during one of Dr. Evil's routines. It was just non-stop ball-busting. Just ruthless.

OK, that asterik was like twice as long as the original post, let's get serious. Long story short- most of my friends are dicks, and Happy New Year. Can't believe this decade is already over.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Is it weird that I don't care much about receiving Christmas presents anymore, frequently telling my mom to stop getting me things, and throwing around words like "outgrown" and "maturity level"......but it doesn't feel like Christmas Day until I watch A Muppet Christmas?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

100 Girls > January Jones

A few days ago at work a few dudes were slobbering over January Jones, star of Mad Men, as well as the chick who Stiffler and Shitbreak fight over in that brutally awful third American Pie movie. I made an offhand comment that I could think of 100 different girls I would rather 'pound out' (little Jersey Shore lingo there) than Ms. Jones, and everybody scoffed at me. So I proceeded to start a list. Really, this was kinda one of those How I Met Your Mother situations, where nobody really challenges Barney to anything, but he makes it a big deal and proclaims "Challenge accepted!"

The only rules were that 1) I had to actually know the name of the girl without Googling it. I couldn't just say "the girl with no pants on in the deleted scenes of Role Models" or "one of Tiger's mistresses, you know, the 11th one" or "the dancer on stage #2 who made eye contact with me right when I was stuffing a whole leg of fried chicken in my mouth during the lunch buffet at the Dirty Bird last week." And 2) I had to pick 100 girls that I think are better-looking right now, not any time in history. This eliminated, among others: Van Wilder-era Tara Reid, JFK-Happy-Birthday-Mr. President-era Marilyn Monroe, and the Full House-era Olsen twins (too far?)

So without further ado, in no particular order (except for #1, who will ALWAYS be #1 in my heart) 100 girls I think are better looking than January Jones:

1. Tiffani Amber Thiessen (a more appropriate question for me would be: would you rather sleep with January Jones, or Tiffani after she's been dead for six hours? Also, she died from AIDS.)
2. Olivia Wilde
3. Jessica Biel
4. Jessica Alba
5. Jessica Simpson
6. Rachel Bilson
7. Megan Fox
8. Sophia Bush
9. Erin Andrews
10. Kristen Bell
11. Mila Kunis
12. Danneel Harris
13. Alicia Keys
14. Lacey Chabert
15. Rachel McAdams
16. Amanda Seyfried
17. Jennifer Love Hewitt
18. Marisa Tomei
19. Emma Watson
20. Whitney Port
21. Rashida Jones
22. Blake Lively
23. Leighton Meester
24. Eva Mendes
25. Scarlett Johansson
26. Jennifer Connelly
27. Malin Akerman
28. Kate Beckinsdale
29. Demi Moore
30. Katy Perry
31. Jordana Brewster
32. Hilary Duff
33. Lindsay Lohan
34. Eliza Dushku
35. Bar Raefali
36. Zooey Deschanel
37. Marisa Miller
38. Amanda Bynes
39. Ashley Tisdale
40. Alyson Hannigan
41. Cobie Smulders
42. Danica Patrick
43. Audrina Patridge
44. Kim Kardashian
45. Courtney Kardashian
46. Lizzy Kaplan
47. Soleil Moon Frye
48. Cassie Steele
49. Shenae Grimes
50. Elisha Cuthbert
51. Anna Faris
52. Jennie Garth
53. Natalie Burton
54. Michelle Trachtenburg
55. Anna Kournikova
56. Ashley Greene
57. Minka Kelly
58. Britney Spears
59. Heidi Klum
60. Ali Larter
61. Maria Sharapova
62. Amy Smart
63. Mandy Moore
64. Jamie-Lynn Sigler
65. Autumn Reeser
66. Hilary Burton
67. Isla Fisher
68. Leslie Bibb
69. Kristin Cavalieri
70. Anna Paquin
71. Halle Berry
72. Mischa Barton
73. Sarah Michelle Gellar
74. Eva Longoria
75. Natalie Cigliutti
76. Jennifer Aniston
77. Penelope Cruz
78. Gina Gershon
79. Elisabeth Shue
80. Aubrey Plaza
81. Chyler Leigh
82. Cerina Vincent
83. Stacy Keibler
84. Natalie Gulbis
85. Mariah Carey
86. Elizabeth Banks
87. Parker Posey
88. Michelle Wie
89. Sarah Lancaster
90. Marguerite Moreau
91. Anne Hathaway
92. Julie Bowen
93. Kristen Kreuk
94. Erica Durance
95. Nicole Kidman
96. Naomi Watts
97. Elin Nordegren
98. Mary Louise Parker
99. Evangeline Lilly
100. Emma Stone

And let's be honest, this was me just totally mailing in a post. I just got done playing pickup basketball, we're leaving for North Dakota in about seven hours, and I didn't have anything else in me besides basically a cut-and-paste job from my email account.

Kickball in the Walsh Quad at 7 pm on the 23rd, if you haven't heard already. Let's slap a stamp on this bitch and get outta here. Peace.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There Must Be Some Toros In The Atmosphere

>> Another reason (probably the main reason) why I enjoy living in Kansas so much more than North Dakota: when the locals are bitching about how cold the weather is, it doesn't mean that your car has a 20% chance of starting in the morning, and it doesn't mean that the National Weather Service is issuing statements that it's unsafe to be outside for longer than 15 simply means that it's 20 degrees outside.

>> Well, I managed to back-door my way in to the fantasy football playoffs, thanks to another 140+ point week from my boys, and Lane upsetting Fundy by 2 points (Lane, you made it clear that helping me make the playoffs was painful for you; just remember that having to cheer for you all day Sunday was equally painful for me.) It's still crazy I had to rely on a bunch of teams in front of me dusting off a New York Mets routine in order to make the playoffs though. I finished the year 65 points ahead of the second-best team in the league, and only a 7-7 record (here, I'll save Bergman from having to comment on this: he was the second-place team in points, and he finished 6-8. Not a lot of justice in our league this year.) So now everyone gets to hear me brag about how amazing my team is if I win the title in a couple weeks, but that's no worse than hearing me continue to bitch how bad I got robbed this year, and referring to our playoffs as the Asterik Bowl....isn't it?

>> Color me unimpressed with Boston's moves so far this offseason. I guess I'll wait for my formal opinion until all the dust settles, because sometimes Theo doesn't reveal his true intentions until a couple weeks later (does signing Mike Cameron lead to Jacoby Ellsbury getting shipped out in a potential deal for Adrian Gonzalez?) but I do know that last year's lineup struggled often enough that re-signing Jason Bay was absolutely imperative, and that John Lackey is probably my least favorite non-Yankee in the entire league. I am less than excited to have to cheer for him every fifth day next year. When MLB'10 is released and I start my season, I'll be utilizing the 'skip to next half inning' option for every one of Lackey's starts. I'm not pitching with that shithead. Is this how Yankee fans felt when they signed Johnny Damon?

>> I hope everyone is watching Jersey Shore. I've been off the Real World train for like seven years now (the Vegas season put me over the edge. That's when it stopped being about real life and started being completely ridiculous) but this show is almost indescribably amazing. The 'watching a show while unmercilessly tearing apart everything about it' potential is through the roof. UNBELIEVABLE. I'll be tuning in.

>> John Wall is stupid good. Like Derrick Rose at the same point in his freshman year, only with a jump shot, more dunking, and more turnovers. Congratulations Coach Cal, you cheating bastard: I am officially scared to play Kentucky. I know I've only seen Wall play four games, but assuming he doesn't suck the rest the year, I'm ready to put him on my list of most jaw-droppingly-impressive freshmen I've ever watched:

1. Kevin Durant
2. Chris Webber
3. Allen Iverson
4. Shaquille O'Neal
5. Shaquille O'Neal in Blue Chips (aka Neon Boudeaux)
6. John Wall
7. Carmelo Anthony
238. Brady Morningstar

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just Give Me The Fargo-Moorhead Acro Team Next Time

Alex and I went to the KU game last night, our first trip to the Phog Allen Fieldhouse this year. The game itself was uneventful, another 35 point win (KU's schedule has been weeeeeeeeeeak sauce so far) but what I'd like to talk about is the halftime entertainment. They were introduced as "among the best frisbee dogs in the entire United States" and if that is a true statement, then Obama needs to include the Frisbee Dog industry in his bailout programs, because our country is surely a laughingstock.

These dogs were catching mayyyybe 2/3 of the throws, and that's probably being generous. There were a couple nice catches; and when the dog would run up on the trainer's back and stop, that was impressive, but other than that....if it wasn't socially unacceptable to dislike cute little dogs, and if everybody in my section wasn't madly cheering the performance*....I would've probably started booing.

*Including Alex, who is definitely in the group of people who would've been cheering those dogs on even if they were simultaneously attacking the trainers while shitting all over the court. She's a sucker for cute dogs. And that's fine. It also included the weird old guy sitting to her right, who I have a sneaking suspicion didn't speak English, and was most likely attending his first basketball game ever. You know during home team free throws, when everyone puts their arms in the air, then brings them down and yells "Whooosh!" after the shot goes in? That brought this guy's house down. He spent the first half looking around in amazement every time it happened, struggling to comprehend the phenomenon. The next step was giggling uncontrollably every time it happened. By the end of the game, he was enthusiastically joining in, clapping and laughing after every successful "Whoosh!" It was tremendously exciting to watch the transformation. Back to the Frisbee dogs:

I mean, they brought out one little puppy to perform, drawing a chorus of ooohs and aaahs from the crowd.....and then they had to shut him down after only a couple throws, because he flat out stopped paying attention to the trainer, and was just walking around the court in awe. I can't entirely blame the dog for that, I mean, it's The Phog, I know that's what I would do if all of a sudden I found myself in that situation- but then again, I don't tell people I'm the best in the United States at anything, either. I probably should, but I don't. When it was all over, I applauded- but not for the dogs. I was cheering the trainers, who were making it rain out there with those frisbees, putting them in the perfect catching spot every time. Those dogs let them down out there last night.

If the Fargo-Moorhead Acro Team performed at every single sporting event I ever attended for the rest of my life (as well as my birthday parties, social functions, meals from Sonic, and Sunday nights when there's nothing on TV) I would be just fine with it. BT dubs, if you get to the 2:55 mark of this Acro Team performance and you're not clapping along with the crowd, then you can just turn in your friend card at the door on your way out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cut Me, Mick. Just Cut Me.

I've always been fascinated by the haircutter/haircuttee relationship. It's an interesting dynamic. I've always been a fan of striking up conversations with random people, but when that random person is hovering over me and directly determining the level of awesomeness I'm going to portray for the next six weeks, it throws a situation I usually enjoy into limbo. How much do we talk? What do we talk about? Once conversation hits the first extended silence, do we attempt to restart it, or let it die an awkward death? Why does it feel like every other person is listening to our conversation? Instead of significant others, work, and lame jokes about the weather we're having, can't we just talk about sports and video games? If I made a list of Reasons Why I Wish I Was Black, being able to get my haircut in a black barbershop would easily crack the top 10. (Preferably the one from Coming to America, though. I don't care how many of the people in that joint are actually Eddie Murphy in disguise; it's still way better than Ice Cube's shitty barbershop that employs the ultra annoying Cedric the Entertainer, and the dude who is best known for 'saving the last dance' for Julia Stiles.)

I've pretty much run the gamut of personalities at my haircut place (Supercuts, bro. Supercuts) here in Lawrence. There's a girl who acts like cutting hair is the last thing in the world she wants to be doing, and treats me like dirt the entire time, rarely asking a question without a disgusted sneer on her face: "You SURE you want the 1 setting for the sides? You do know how short a 1 is, don't you? Caaaaause it's pretty short." There's a quiet girl who doesn't say a word after she tells me to sit down, and who also doesn't have a clue how to cut hair and butchers mine every time. Another girl is fairly pleasant to talk to, but makes me feel uncomfortable because she has enormous boobs that spend the entire haircut rubbing all over me. I'm pretty sure I've motorboated her on accident a couple times while getting my bangs trimmed. Cheaper than the $20 cover at Olympic Gardens, I guess. The guy who maintains the best level of conversation (and, combined with his haircutting skills, is my all-around favorite) is unquestionably the gayest guy I've ever met in my life, and has forearms so skinny that his yellow Livestrong bracelet almost touches his elbow when he raises his arm. But all of those people have one thing in common, no matter how often they did (or didn't) talk: they continued to provide the service for which I paid them the entire time.

And then we come to tonight. This girl took forrrrrrrever to cut my hair, because every time she came to a key point in her monologue, she would stop what she was doing, make eye contact with me in the mirror, and start making hand gestures. The haircut became an afterthought. She would just intermittently snip away a chunk here and there, like Mr. Belding clipping his bonsai tree when Zack and the gang are trying to sneak out of detention to win tickets to Hawaii. It didn't help that I'm 70% sure this girl is the talking pothole in the Geico commercial, and that her stories were about the following topics:

- how her husband is 6'6'', 290 lbs., and constantly gets in fights because of the apparently unstoppable barrage of other men that hit on her at bars, or otherwise sully her good name.

- how she is currently debating whether or not she should beat up her ex-fiancee's new girlfriend, because the new girl wants to make him quit chewing and "that's part of who he is!" (She also said she thinks chewing is really hot cause it's a bad boy thing.....OK, bonus points here.)

- how her husband might get transferred to Leavenworth (I assumed- possibly incorrectly- that she meant for his job, and not his prison sentence) and that would be totally weird because that's where she lived with her ex.

- how she went to a wedding where her ex, ex's new girlfiend, and ex's entire family were in attendance, and her ex's dad came up to her and bear-hugged her and told her how much they all missed her in front of the new girlfriend. It was at this point that I almost asked her why she got married when she is so blatantly in love with her ex. But I reconsidered when I remembered that her husband is allegedly Hulk Hogan-sized and enjoys throwing down.

So 40 minutes, three touchups due to her not paying attention, and I-lost-count-how-many-ex-stories later, she finally finished. I bounced out of my chair, threw some money on the counter, and fled the premises like it was a high-school keg party after the cops show up. From now on, when I'm going in for a cut, I'm either a) peeking my head in the door to see if this girl is working, and immediately going home if she is, or b) just saying ahhhh screw it, sitting down for a trim, and greeting her with a "Ohhhh noooooo! Your tire's all flat and junk! Did I do that?"

This was so much easier when I just paid Buckley 5 bucks to cut my hair.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gettin' Down With The Sickness

>> I am one sick mamma jamma right now. Here's a breakdown of how my December 3rd has gone down thus far:

Midnight- 2pm: In bed. Alternately dreaming about doubling down on hard 14s, and how awesome my Taco John's is gonna taste next time Dunph comes to town (who has two thumbs and bet that the Big 10 would win the Big 10/ACC Challenge for the first time in history? This guy!) Could've stayed in bed longer, too, and probably should have.

2pm-now: Alternating between eating bananas, trying to take down OJ like my name was Marcia Clark, reading books (leatherbound, naturally, my apartment smells of rich mahogany) and watching every episode of Community and Parks and Recreation that Hulu has to offer.

I just got done mainlining an entire bottle of nasal spray and taking down a few packages of the old drop-drop fizz-fizz, and now I will attempt to type coherently, just for you.

>> My fantasy football team is rocking the shit this year. I had a pretty solid draft (I told anyone who would listen that Chris Johnson was the best player in the NFL; my Tony Romo pick, which was a flier at the time, has turned out pretty well; and I've been able to turn a couple of my savvy late-round picks, Carson Palmer and LeSean McCoy, into trades for solid starters...let's just agree to not mention my argument that Larry Johnson would turn out to be a steal as my third RB.) But once again, I have no luck. (Argument from friends: but Hammen, you won the championship game in 2007 when Clinton Portis threw a touchdown pass. Counter-argument: last year, when Desean Jackson carelessly flipped the ball over his shoulder at the 1-yard-line against the Cowboys, it ended up costing me the game, the tiebreaker in my division, and a playoff spot. So my karma reversed, and I can bitch about bad luck again. Glad we settled that.) At one point this season, I was third in the league in points, but had a 2-5 record. Now I am 7 points out of the top spot in points, but still only 6-6, so I'll probably miss the playoffs. If I sneak in somehow, though, I am anointing myself as the team no one wants to play.

{See, this is why I hate talking about fantasy football. For one, talking about your team is like talking about dreams; you might think it's interesting as hell, but the person listening couldn't give a shit less, because it's not their team. It either turns out as gloating about how great your team is, or whining about how your team got screwed. I'm no statitician or anything, but I've started keeping track, and roughly 95% of all fantasy football conversations are one of those two things. And if you're talking with multiple people, you just take turns going around the room talking about how your team got screwed this way or that way, barely listening to each other, and just waiting for your next chance to one-up the current story. I'm about one more year of shitty luck away from lumping fantasy football in with poker, in the respect that the multitude of negativity it brings into my life far outweighs whatever happiness it brings me when things are going well. There's a reason I haven't played poker in almost four years.}

>> On a more upbeat note, the movie 2012 was pretty stellar. There's a reason Signs is one of my favorite movies of all time; why, in the history of remote controls, I have never changed the channel off of Independence Day; and why The Day After Tomorrow actually holds a spot on my DVD rack: I'm a sucker for armageddon-type movies. (Notice I did not capitalize armageddon, I meant the event, not the movie, which was clown shoes. As "movies released in 1998 in which asteroids threaten to destroy Earth" go, Deep Impact was so much better- but admittedly that had a lot to do with Morgan Freeman being President.) Speaking personally, any movie where 1) at some point the president goes on TV and basically tells the entire country/world "We are completely and totally fucked right now, and there is no solution. You have 12 hours left to get your shit in order. Peace." and 2) there are multiple gratuitous, lasting-for-10-minutes, I-don't-care-how-unrealistic-this-is-it's-still-awesome scenes of cities and landmarks being destroyed.....well then enjoy my 8 bucks, Hollywood. It's a good thing my mom bought me a few packages of socks for my birthday, because this movie rocked mine right off.

>> Speaking of my birthday, I like to keep mine off the radar. I've never been much of a birthday lover (although I love Paul's! Back in the day, we had a time-honored tradition of outdoing one another on each other's birthday, which is no small feat when the real birthday boy was getting his drinks bought for him all night. One of my favorite stupid traditions. Hopefully somewhere out there in Montana, Paul kept it alive and is battling a good hanger today.) Now since I'm getting old and there are no more landmark birthdays to look forward to, I would just as soon not celebrate mine at all. But unfortunately we're going out tomorrow for Katie's birthday, and I know that word will get out that it was my bday yesterday, and I'll end up getting peer pressured into birthday shots and all that hullabaloo, since I can't say no.

So just know that if I crash my car into a fire hydrant and a tree outside my apartment at 2 in the morning, and Alex has to break into my car with a golf club and pull me to safety, it's not gonna be Tiger Woods-style......alcohol was definitely a factor.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving List Of Enjoyment

10. Mom's home-cooked fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy

9. Myshawn: "We need the dealer to have a courageous bust right here!"

8a. Mocking my dad at Thanksgiving dinner by sporting his favorite around-the-house outfit: the always lethal polo shirt/track pants combo. Hey, sometimes you want to look like you just got done golfing AND running pregame layup lines at a 7th-grade basketball game at the same time. Why should it have to be one or the other?

8b. Mocking my dad at Thanksgiving dinner by taking bets on when he would push back his chair, set his napkin on his plate, and compliment the dinner by uttering the now-infamous line "Another triumph, my dear!" When Brother hit it on the exact minute (2:08) it brought the house down.

7. Meeting friends' new ladyfriends/boyfriends/fiancees

6. Boozing at Charlie Brown's and seeing the same 50-year-old regulars, still in their exact same spots from 4 years ago

5. Popolino's pizza

4. Hungover grinders and cheese tostadas at Red Pepper

3. Brother's straight-faced quote: "My childhood would have been so much better if you and Nate would've switched families like 20 years ago. Then you and Lee could've just annoyed the shit out of each other all day and Nate and I could've left each other alone."

2. Charitable gaming (exclamation point exclamation point exclamation point)

1. Thanksgiving dinner/dessert/football/aftermath