Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leave It On The Doorstep And Get The Hell Outta Here

When the my family and the Bergman family got together for our annual Christmas get-together last week and ordered Popolino's (call 746-POPS! Popolino's Pizza!) I wanted to give this little gem a try:

But instead we had to pick it up since they don't deliver to East Grand Forks (what is this, 1973? Frigging Communists.) Disappointing but not totally unexpected. Has anyone ever tried this? Could it possibly work? I need to see this go down someday. I'll put it on the bucket list.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In The Middle

Middle Brother Schneweis recently became a father (as well as our boy Noles/Fatcat, congrats dude! Kids are getting spit out like Cat Stevens around our friend group lately) and made a somewhat controversial decision, one that has inspired plenty of bar-talk and theoretical discussion the last few weeks: he's letting his daughter pick her own middle name on her 16th birthday.

I think it's a cool move, but also a dangerous one. We have some family friends who, years ago, let their four and six-year-old daughters name their third daughter upon her birth. In the middle of a (predictable) Aladdin phase, they (predictably) picked Jasmine. Granted, when you're letting two kids with a combined age that wouldn't even get them a job at the Ben Franklin Elementary School Renaissance Fair name your kid, you could do a lot worse....but still, if I'm that third child, that probably causes a fight or two among siblings along the way to adulthood. Wait, YOU chose this name for me?!? You ASSHOLES! I've been getting beat up on the playground every other day for two years for being named after a fucking Disney character, and now I find out it's YOUR fault?!?!? While this isn't the same situation here, my point is that it's dangerous to put these decisions into the hands of people who haven't spent, at the very least, seven adult months debating the issue.

When you're 16, you're just old enough that you're going to feel strongly about certain people who have a questionably tangible impact on your life (athletes, musicians, celebs, etc.) but you're just young and immature enough to believe that you should take the opportunity to honor them by adopting their name for your middle name. You're also just old enough to realize the inherent comedy there would be if you gave yourself an ironically funny name....and just young enough to not fully consider the long-term ramifications of that choice.

For example, I'm about 90% sure that if you would've let me pick my middle name on my 16th birthday, it would've been Tupac. I probably would've even spelled it 2Pac; I was that big of a douche when I was 16. Note: I don't mean to imply I'm not that big of a douche now, I'm just sayin', I was then too.

{FYI: that 90% isn't just some blind estimate. The other 10% depends upon whether or not all humans picked their own middle name or not. If that was the case, I could see Brother, Paul, Bergman and I doing some sort of Beverly Hills, 90210 fantasy draft for our middle names. Like if I got the #1 pick, I'd definitely take Brandon Walsh, so my full name would be Jum Brandon Walsh Hammonds. The last pick would get stuck with Steve Sanders, depending on how you feel about David Silver. You get the idea. Otherwise, 2Pac.}

So. Question of the day: if you got to pick your middle name on your 16th birthday, what would it be?

(Also, you can read about Middle Brother Schneweis' new father adventures here. He actually gets paid to blog-- ipso facto, his blog is much funnier.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Who's This Guy? Look At This Idiot....Oh Crap, It's My Boyfriend"

- Christine's quote as she sat at home watching the KU/Ohio St. game last week, as I made my triumphant debut on ESPN, mugging in the background during an interview between Jay Bilas and Ohio St. coach Thad Matta.

Kyle and I thought we were in perfect position to both be on TV for the entire interview, but it turns out he only got on for a couple seconds when he leaned his head in (sorry dude.) So it was just me grinning in the background like an idiot, which we opted for over being loud and crazy and interrupting the interview, since we didn't want to risk getting booted out of the shot. Either way, it was pretty funny about 15 minutes later when they aired the interview and my phone exploded in my pocket. Texts from numbers I don't even know, Facebook messages from people I haven't talked to in years and years....nothing like an appearance on the World Wide Leader to make you feel cool. I even got a hero's welcome at the bar after the game, since we're friends with the bartender, she made a big deal as soon as I came on the screen, and she had everyone coming up to me for fake autographs as soon as we walked in the bar after the game.

So now I've got ESPN and CBS crossed off the list (Bergman, Chuck, Endo and I were in the background at the '09 PGA Championship while Tiger was putting, and I looked like an idiot then too, so I'm 2 for 2 in that category.) We'll try for NBC if we end up at the Ryder Cup in Chicago next September, which is looking more and more like a go. Still nowhere near Addy's number of times on television, but that number is like Dimaggio's 56-game hit streak, it's never getting touched. That kid is ridiculous.

Bilas is probably the best college basketball analyst out there right now, and he's certainly the best thing to ever come out of Duke...although I'll listen to arguments for Grant Hill. He's a pretty cool guy too, look at him lean into me for this photo. He's going at least 80/20 on me. What up JB.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not Letting The Terrorists Win

Last night was one of those blah Monday nights. I was still hungover a little bit from a 15-hour drinking session on Saturday (I might not do much on my actual birthday, which a lot of my friends don't understand, but I MAKE PLAYS on the day after my birthday, when we combine birthday parties with CK, whose birthday is the 4th. I just don't like how my birthday is all about me-- it's more fun to share the wealth. But I digress.) I've also been getting sick pretty consistently lately. Two weeks good, one week bad, two weeks good, one week bad. Right now I'm in the bad week. Plus work was hectic, and my brain was pretty well drained by 5 pm.

So I just holed up in the Fortress of Solitude (the downstairs bedroom where I keep all my old school video games hooked up) fired up GoldenEye for the N64, turned on the all guns, infinite ammo, invincible Bond cheat options, and just went to work on the Facility level**, slaughtering scientists and bad guys without mercy. Before I knew what had happened, like an hour and a half had gone by.

And I felt a little better afterwards.

**As anyone who has killed time playing GoldenEye for days on end knows, the Facility level is indisputably the best level to take out your frustrations on. Besides the aforementioned unarmed scientists, who are always fun to kill as they're surrendering, once you get to the end of the level and you explode the bottling tanks, a never-ending stream of guards storm the room to get you. Turns into a goddamn turkey shoot in there. Assault rifles, rocket launchers, grenades....with the all guns cheat turned on, it's all in play, dude. Just use your imagination.

I'm gonna wrap this up now, it's starting to sound a little Columbine-y.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shaking It Off

I turn 29 tomorrow, and I'm not too thrilled about it. It seems like every couple days or so, some random occurrence in day-to-day life comes and gives me a little slap to remind me that we're getting older all the time. Sometimes it's a subtle love tap; sometimes it's an E. Honda-style barrage to the face. The latest example: handshakes.

All of a sudden we're greeting each other with a simple handshake, like a couple of gentlemen. I don't want to do that. We're not about to negotiate the terms of a business merger, and I'm not running for political office.

I love the three-step soul shake. I love fist bumps. I love fist bumps followed by the explosion, while making explosion noises. I love fist bumps followed by the rocketship, while making rocketship noises. I love the backhanded double slap of the 2004 Red Sox. I love the low five-salute combo of the Morris twins and Tyshawn Taylor. I love the snap-and-point at the end of a shake that was popular in the early 90's (executed most obviously by Zack and Slater, done more subtly and stylishly by Brandon, Dylan, and Steve on Beverly Hills 90210.) I love having 12 different handshakes for 12 different friends. I love that Paul and I have a secret handshake that dates back to 1991. I love that every single time Alfonso and I greet each other, there's a soul shake, a bro-hug, and a Chappelle-like "Uhhhh, son!" involved. I love that in high school, when Boots and I would work the 2 a.m. shift at Perkins, we'd pass the time by practicing our 35-step handshake that was every bit as awesome (and as nerdy) as you're probably picturing right now. I love that when Ringer played on our co-ed softball team, her and I made our dugout look like LeBron and the Cavaliers. I love having secret handshakes with girlfriends (after intimate times, Christine and I like to employ the James Harden-Kevin Durant double-tap high-five.)

So if you see me on the streets, don't greet me like I'm your potential future father-in-law, or like we just got done signing the Declaration of Independence or something. Let's keep it real, son. Gimme some dap.