Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Girl Scout? Or Crack Dealer?

So the other day Lane and I were sitting at his place watching football and the President's Cup on tape delay. I glanced out the window, and from about three houses away, I saw a girl walking down the sidewalk, holding a piece of paper with a familiar-looking color combination. Instantly, I popped out of my chair and started flailing around, yelling "Is that girl holding a girl scout cookie form? Is she selling cookies? Is that a girl scout? That's gotta be the cookie form, right?"

I threw on my shoes (I'm not like Dane Cook-- I don't say "fuck shoes" in this situation) and ran out yelling at her to come this way, forgetting that my wallet was in my car, and the keys to my car were back inside on the table, so I had to run back in the house, and then I slammed the door on my hand and had to jump around to shake the pain off, and I riled up Padme (the dog) so she started barking and woke up Finn (the toddler).....and all I would've had to do was wait for the girl to make her way down the block and I would've got cookies either way. I really don't know what happened or why I freaked out so much; I think I blacked out for a couple minutes. All Lane could do was shake his head at me and say "You've got problems, man." I wouldn't say that being able to recognize the girl scout cookie form from 125 yards away is a problem, really....I look at it as something I should start putting on my resume. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

What can I say, I hadn't bought any girl scout cookies yet this year and I was fiending pretty hard. I'm like the dude in Requiem for a Dream, I would absolutely pawn off my mom's TV and then buy it back every few days, if it meant I could get my Caramel Delites fix. Also, kudos to the rule change that now the girl scouts carry the cookies with them, instead of having to wait an interminable amount of time until they arrive. I'm a weak man when it comes to food.

And on that note, my goal for tomorrow is to eat at least 5 pounds of turkey meat. My single-day record for Thanksgiving weight gain is 7 pounds, set back in 2001, so I think this is an attainable goal-- depending on how many nervous beers I have tonight during the KU/Duke game. Generally I don't like to be hungover on Thanksgiving since I want my stomach to be in prime condition, but we haven't played Duke in eight years, so exceptions might be made.

Happy Thanksgiving and ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things I Can't Stop Saying And I Hate Myself For It

After somebody says something I enthusiastically agree with:


(See also: "I know, right?!?")

Years ago, when it seemed like the only people who said this were ditzy girls, I always cringed when I heard it. Now it seems pretty commonplace, and I've fallen right into the trap. Is this happening to anyone else? Are you feeling as self-loathing about it as I am? I hate myself a little bit more each and every time I say it. I dunno, I've been listening to a lot of Seal lately for some reason. It's a confusing time for me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Awesome With A Capital 'A'

When my friends' teams are supposed to be really good in an upcoming season, I like to hear their thoughts on the upcoming season. Also it helps me out, because usually I'm jazzed up about college basketball starting and I can fire off a couple thousand words by myself, but right now I'm too lazy because awhile ago I went on a heroic three-day bender consisting of 38 hours of drinking. Since then, I've now been sick for a full week straight. I am sans energy. On a scale of 1-10, I'm completely exhausted.

Up first, representing Kentucky, is Hendo:

‘I’m here because I can recruit the best of the best here’ ‘When that uniform gets put on and it says Kentucky, you become the Biggest game on that teams schedule.’ ‘This is the right place if you are trying to win a National Title.’ All quotes from the press conference in 2009 welcoming John Calipari as the new University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach. There’s one thing missing from that list. A National Title. Why not this year? This year’s team may be the better of the three teams Cal has put together at UK. I see this year’s team more like a team from the Pitino era. Where they can run the floor with the best of them and have 4 or 5 guys who can make the 3pt shot on a consistent basis. Kentucky’s starting lineup may have two of the best 10 players in all of College Basketball; Anthony Davis and Terrance Jones. Then you throw a veteran player like Darius Miller who may be the best defender on the team. Along with the unbelievable recruiting class of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer, and Marquis Teague. With two HUGE non-conference matchups with Kansas and North Carolina you’ll see what this team has to offer in a hurry. I don’t know if I want to compare this team to any of the great Kentucky teams, but it sure has potential.

The Kansas matchup doesn’t scare me quick as much as one would think. The only player in concern would be Thomas Robinson and even then I think he will be in quick foul trouble if KU plays anything but a zone defense. Bill Self doesn’t play zone defense! The North Carolina game on the other hand as everyone is referring it to a National Championship preview is going to be extremely tough. I haven’t seen enough of UNC’s team to grasp their playing style, but they returned almost everyone and loaded up backups. Let’s just be glad this isn’t college football where the loser of this game would almost be out of the National Title race. Nobody in the SEC scares me at the point for a conference contender. Expect this team to run-n-gun and hit the century mark more times than not this year. “They had it before you, they had it during you, they’ll have it when you’re gone” – Al McGuire. Go! Big! Blue!

(Editor's note: I hate that Calipari went to coach Kentucky, because I used to respect them and kind of enjoy their teams a little bit. Those teams they had in '96 and '97, with like 8 or 9 pros on they were fun to watch. But now Calipari coaches them and I hate them with every inch of my soul, and I'm almost as fired up for tomorrow's game as I would be for a tournament game.)

(Editor's note: it's fun to write editor's notes when I actually am the editor. Normally I'm just writing editor's notes about my own writing, which is a questionable joke at best.)

Up next is Fundy, for UNC:

TAR!!!!! HEELS!!!!!! The 2011-2012 season will be bringing a lot of joy and happiness to the Fundy household. The TAR!!!!! HEELS!!!! will be locked, LOADED, and ready for anything getting in their path on the way to a National Championship! With two lottery picks and a first round draft pick coming back The TAR!!! HEELS!!! are the favorites to be cutting the nets down in New Orleans! Anything less WILL be a disappointment. The starting five with Tyler Zeller and John Henson in the front court, Dexter Strickland and first team All American two straight years HARRISON BARNES on the wing, and the man controlling the point, Kendall Marshall the Heels will be a tough team to beat. Along with the strong starting five, the Heels bring in James McAdoo, who would be a starting big man on any other roster, and P.J. Hairston who will be a good outside shooter and a future first round pick. Along with two top freshmen coming in you have Reggie Bullock and Justin Watts bringing a strong bench to a great starting five. Should be a great 2011-2012 season for the Heels!! Lets make it National Championship #7 boys!! Duke Sucks!

(Editor's note: right before the UNC/Michigan St. game on the aircraft carrier last Friday, I texted Fundy and told him that I hoped Japan tried to torpedo the ship and the whole team died. His response: "that's the only way anyone stops them this year." So I'd say he likes Carolina's chances.)

Horp, also for UNC:

This season will be both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Having a tall white guy, a guy who needs as many cheeseburgers as Dunph needs to lose, and a solid sophomore leading the team should be interesting. Being the unanimous number one isn't the best for a young team. Might go to their head. But with a point guard that can push it, they will be fun to watch. I cannot wait to get the season underway. As long as Fundy doesn't get caught with a ten-year-old in the shower, this season will be a success.

(Editor's note: Penn St. jokes already, Horp? Too soon alert!)

Noles, on behalf of Duke:

I am excited for the upcoming year. We have some great shooters in Curry, Dawkins, and Rivers. To make a good run in the tourney Duke will need to rely more heavily on their big men. I am looking for big play out of the Plumlee brothers and Ryan Kelly. I hope you notice how I kept Kelly off the good shooters list. Keep your shots inside the 3 point line or you are going to see the end of the bench Kelly. I'm excited to see Duke's other freshman in action with guard Quinn Cook, forward Michael Gbinijie, and forward Alex Murphy. I can tell you right now I will need a nickname for Gbinijie because I am not pronouncing that name all season. I would also like to congratulate Coach K who soon pass Bob Knight on the all-time wins list.

(Editor's note: I would like to congratulate Coach K on considering himself "not just a basketball coach, but a leader of men." Man I hate Coach K. With all these scandals rocking college sports, is it too much to ask for Coach K to get caught with a kid in the shower? OK, Horp, you were right, Penn St. jokes are allowed.)


As for me, I'm a bit sad and concerned about this year for KU. Sad because last year's team really snuck up on me and they quietly became my 5th favorite KU team of all-time (after 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2007, and yes I keep track of these things.) I'm just gonna miss the attitude and chemistry of last year's team, and losing to VCU in the Elite 8 and ending the year like that just sucked. Side note: I'm a pretty pessimistic fan; some might even say overly pessimistic. My glass isn't half-empty-- my glass is just seconds away from being knocked over and shattered onto the floor into a million pieces. But twice in my life, and ONLY twice, I've been cocky about KU's chances: once in 2003, after they beat Marquette by like 70 points in the Final Four and I thought they'd kill Carmelo and Syracuse in the championship....and before last year's VCU game. We brought bottles of champagne and snuck them into the bar with us, in anticipation of the rowdy celebration sure to ensue after KU won. Instead, the game ended with me sneaking out the back door of the bar with 30 seconds left so I could go sit in the parking lot and drink out of the bottle by myself. So needless to say, I will NEVER be cocky about KU again.

I'm concerned because 80% of the scoring from last year's team is gone. I'd be mashing the panic button already if Coach Self hadn't already proved in 2009 that he could coach a team the year after everybody leaves (everybody from the regular rotation besides Sherron Collins was gone that year, and Self took them to a Big 12 title and the Sweet 16.) But just like that year I thought that KU was horribly underrated by only getting the #25 preseason ranking, I don't think that this year's team is anywhere close to being the #13 team as of right now. I think this year's ranking is more a reflection on how many times Self has brought his teams further than they deserve to go, rather than a reflection on their actual talent. The Kentucky game on Tuesday should be interesting. I could see KU sneaking out a win (Self owns Calipari) and I could see KU losing by 30 (Kentucky is really fucking stacked.)

Also, a year after losing THREE Wall-of-Fame members (Brady Morningstar and the Morris twins) I felt like I was going to be lost without a go-to guy. But it only took about 13 minutes of the first exhibition game for me to start calling Naadir Tharpe 'my boy.' And with always-exciting Elijah Johnson finally about to get his chance to play real minutes (and busting out an undershirt for the season opener-- we all know my feelings about undershirts in college basketball!!!) I think I've got two pretty solid candidates for my favorite player. After a ridiculous stretch of KU being a #1 seed four of the last five years, and winning 15 more games than anyone else in the country over that time frame, I suppose we're due for a down year. Even though they're ranked #13, any time you find yourself saying the words "Oh my goodness, we need to get Tyshawn Taylor back in this game to settle things down RIGHT NOW".....well, that counts as a down year in my book.

Rock Chalk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jobby Jobby Jobby

Just a heads up, it might be slim pickins' on posts for a little while. 90% of my blogging time comes on my lunch break and the 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day. I'm envisioning my lunch breaks being filled up with extra training and meetings and catching up on emails because I'll be missing out on The Boards all morning long. So just so you know, I might be blogging, I might not. Entertain yourselves accordingly.

In the good news department, with this new job, I can now look out my window and see Phog Allen Fieldhouse, just a couple hundred yards away. On my list of most important work-related benefits, this ranks just above retirement plan and just below health insurance. I mean, I could get seriously injured, so having health insurance is pretty important, I guess. Otherwise being within eyshot of the Phog would be a clear #1.

Also, for my 6th grade friends, don't worry, Tobias & Felipe are still going strong as my pencil holders. Keepin it fresh since 1993, suckas.

OK that's all for now; I'm gonna pop over and see what Coach Self is up to. See if he maybe wants to grab a little Chipotle. Top it off with some Orange Leaf for dessert....only if there's time though. I know he's pretty busy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Now And Then: The Spice Girls

We're coming up on the 15-year anniversary of the Spice Girls bursting onto the scene (yeeeee-ikes) and it has me in a reflective mood. Being 13 years old at the time, I couldn't have been in a better position to enjoy them for what they were: five smokeshows who made delightful(ly crappy) pop music. And they're British!

I remember one rainy day while visiting relatives in Baltimore, I was forced to share the remote control with my 7-year-old cousin. I got it for two hours (hello Orioles game) and then it was her turn. I was pissed until she told me she was choosing the movie Spiceworld...then I just pretended to be pissed, until I eventually said something like "Wow, this game is borrrrrrring, we might as well just cut my remote time short and put in, Melissa, it's cool, just don't ever say I've never done anything for you. We'll count this as your Christmas present from me, if it makes you feel better. OK NOW HURRY UP AND PUT THE MOVIE IN!" To say I was kinda obsessed with the Spice Girls is to say that Wile E. Coyote was kinda obsessed with killing the Roadrunner.

And I was constantly ranking them. New hairdo? Update the rankings. Awesome cleavage shirt on Saturday Night Live? Upppppdate. So I thought I'd take a look, 15 years later.....

Scary Spice
1996 ranking: 1
2011 ranking: 3

She was one of my biggest middle-school crushes ever. Goofy personality, wild hair, great body, sometimes she wore glasses, she was black....hello wheelhouse. Nice to meet you, my name's Jum. But now she's had a bunch of plastic surgery so she doesn't even look like the same person, she's proven herself to be batshit crazy (not in the good way, like I imagined her before), she had the whole baby-daddy drama with Eddie Murphy....blah. Just a whole bunch of turn-offs. But she's still got a ridiculous body and she's still black, so I can't drop her below #3.

Posh Spice
1996 ranking: 2
2011 ranking: 5

Things were a lot better back when I didn't know anything about Victoria Beckham. Back then she was just Posh Spice, the saucy little vixen in the short black dresses who sang about slamming your body down and winding it all around and what she wants what she really really wants and zig a zig ahhhhhh and things like that. Now she's Victoria Beckham, the 78-pound woman with a bleach-blonde Sonic the Hedgehog haircut, hanging out with scientologists and wearing sunglasses that are worth more than my life. You know how some old Native American tribes believed that when you have your picture taken, you lose a little piece of your soul? That's how I feel every time I look into Posh's eyes nowadays. 5 spot.

Baby Spice
1996 ranking: 3
2011 ranking: 2

I had lots of friends who back in the day would've had Baby comin' for that #1 spot (rappers swearin' they on top, nuh uh, nuh uh!) and would probably take offense to this ranking (nobody puts Baby in the corner/3 spot!) But clearly I was more attracted to crazy back before I had ever had a REAL girlfriend (don't worry, Middle School Jum, the crazy ones are coming) so she fell down the rankings a bit. She has aged very well though, and moves up to 2nd in 2011. My little Baby's all growns up and she's all growns up and she's all growns up! A Ludacris, Dirty Dancing, and Swingers reference, all in one a post about the Spice Girls. That's why you guys read this blog. Assuming you're still reading....which I admit is a rather large assumption at this point.

Ginger Spice
1996 ranking: 4
2011 ranking: 4

I never had much of an opinion on ol' Ginger, and I don't have much of one now either. Ipso facto, she stays put at #4. I do think she missed the boat for having a great porn career, though. She just looks like a porn star, and you could play up the red hair in the titles of the movies. There's one in particular I'm thinking of, relating to The Hunt For Red October, but I refuse to get more graphic than that. You connect the dots.

Sporty Spice
1996 ranking: 5
2011 ranking: 1

Now here's the horse coming on strong as they come around turn 3! I used to think Sporty was kinda gross-- not because she was athletic and tomboyish, I've always thought athleticism is attractive-- but because I was pretty sure she could kick my ass (and let's be honest here: I'm sure she still can. The point is that she no longer looks like she WANTS to.) But now I'm starting to think that was all the managers and producers and behind the scenesters' fault, because when left to her own devices....Sporty got hot! Get yourself some, girl! With your bangs and all that.


The important thing for the Spice Girls is that if you wanna be their lover, you gotta get with their friends. Make it last forever, friendship never ends, yada yada yada. If all their friends look like this.....I don't think I'll have a problem gettin' with any of them. Hey-oooo!