Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mystery Solved

I have been tremendously enjoying the song 'Little Secrets' by Passion Pit for a few months now, but every time I heard it, something was tugging at the back of my brain.  Why did this song sound so strangely familiar?  Why did it cut right to the core of me?

Finally it hit me:  it sounded like the song from after you beat the game in Streets of Rage 2.  Now I might like Passion Pit even more.

Also, Streets of Rage is one of those games that I rarely play solo; we pretty much only dust it off when a North Dakota friend comes to visit.  We inevitably fire it up at 2am for old times' sake, beat the game, then send off a round of texties- for proof, of course.  The last time this occurred, when Paul came to visit last February, I sent off the equivalent of the screen shot below at about 6:30 in the morning.  Back in the day, the picture texts we'd be sending each other in the wee hours after drinking all night were usually, ahem, a bit more scandalous....but we all have to grow up sometime, right?  (Please ignore for the moment that by "growing up" I'm talking about playing Sega Genesis after a night of boozing here.)

Anyway, now I'm all hot and bothered about Streets of Rage right now, but the timing works out OK, since Morley and Beaker are coming to visit this weekend, and the probability is high that Morley and I get our Sega on, while Beaker and Teens drink wine and talk about being engaged or Channing Tatum or menstrual cycles or whatever it is that girls talk about.  Fundy, Easy E, Paul, Noles, etc....get ready for a blurry photo of Axel and Max standing over a fallen Mr. X sometime this weekend.  I know you're trembling with anticipation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am extremely thankful for many things in 2012, including but not limited to:

Bill Self; the Golden Tee machine in my basement; Jumbo Jenga; Bane's accent in The Dark Knight Rises; the random guy on the internet who records hundreds of basketball games and then sells them for like $3 apiece (what up Rod Phillips, holler at your boy!); Ben McLemore; hanging out and playing cars or watching Thomas the Train with Finn; Nerlens Noel's hair; the Chiefs being so bad that you can buy tickets for $3.95 on Stubhub; 'I'll Have Another' at the Kentucky Derby; this song from 1968 that I didn't hear until this year; and the TV show Workaholics.

But I do have one grievance.  Lately there has been a stray cat running around our property, sometimes sneaking into the garage to steal dog food* and even shimmying up a post to our upstairs patio.  Teens has taken to calling it 'Mittens' and wants to set out cups of milk and make it a little bed and crap like that.  On the flip side of that coin, it's a well-known fact that I hate cats.  I'm deathly allergic to them, I hate them, and this particular one is trespassing.  It is a trespasser, and it steals things, and I think I even heard it mewing racial slurs the other day.  I have named it 'Adidas', because if I ever get close enough, that's what is going to be imprinted in its gut after I boot it out of the garage.  We already have rabbits, foxes, possums, and coyotes running around the backyard; to quote one of my all-time favorite Homer Simpson lines, "It's like a freakin' Country Bear Jambaroo around here!"  We don't need to add a mangy, almost certainly disease-ridden cat to the mix.

So watch yourself, Adidas the Trespassing Cat....I'm not thankful for you this year.

*To everyone who knows me well and read that sentence and gasped, thinking I finally broke down and bought a dog....no, we don't own a dog.  We keep a bag of food in the garage because we dogsit my future brother-in-law's family dog, Bentley, every couple months or so.  I'm sure someday we will get a dog (SOMEDAY!) but that day is still a long time away.  Fortunately, I already have the name picked out:  Doctor Richard Kimble.  And I'll train it to be a search & rescue dog, like the kind that tries to find escaped convicts or missing children, and we'll find a scrap of a sweatshirt sleeve that has the scent of a suspected murderer on it, and then I can have an excuse to constantly yell "YOU FIND THAT MAN!" at him.  Anyone else want to watch The Fugitive right now?  That movie is so awesome.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome To Dumpsville, Population: THE BIEBS!

I always knew my boo Selena Gomez was too good for you, Bieber.  Go play in traffic.

We'll see if my Selena obsession increases now that she's single for the first time in a few years (you know, cause I have a shot now!)  I don't think she'll ever reach Hilary Duff-like proportions for me (true story: back in the day, I had a recurring dream where I was Hilary's boyfriend on the side, like she couldn't bring me out on the red carpet or anything, since she had to keep up Hollywood appearances, but she would secretly fly out to North Dakota every few weeks and spend the weekend with me.  And every time I'd wake up deliriously happy for a couple minutes until I realized it was a dream.  So that gives you a little taste of the Hilary Duff era for me.)

However, even though the top spot will probably forever be out of reach, Selena can settle very nicely into the #2 spot of my all-time "You May Think It's Inappropriate That I Have A Crush On This Girl, But I Say That Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number" List.  Just ahead of Shawn Johnson of USA gymnastics fame, Cassie Steele from Degrassi, and Emma Watson from Harry Potter, in case you care.

Oh, and just in case I'm not being creepy enough already......don't sleep on that younger sister in the Dunphy family on Modern Family, either.  They nerd her up for her character on the show, but she is gonna be a smoke show someday soon.

OK, we'll wrap this up, now that I've been flagged by every internet sex offender watch list on the planet.

*This post has the express-written consent of the future Mrs. Jum Hammonds.  She even follows Selena on Pinterest (or Instagram or something, I don't really know) solely for her to hand her phone over to me every once in a while so I can creep on some photos.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mourning The Beard

Sooooo James Harden got traded to Houston by Oklahoma City.

I'm a little bit behind with this post, since I was trying to not have a knee-jerk reaction to the trade, and wanted to analyze it without being biased by the glass case of emotions I was trapped in for the first few days after the trade.  And what I've found is that it still sucks.  Big time.  As I thought about it more and more, it surprised me how bummed I am by the trade.

So I constructed a scale, from lowest to highest, on the levels of heartbreak when a favorite player/coach leaves a favorite team:

1.0- The guy who you loved at one point, but then he either sucked, or his personality pissed you off, or both....you're basically saying "Good riddance" as he walks out the door.

PERSONAL EXAMPLES:  Roger Clemens, Vince Young, Nomar Garciaparra, Grady Little.

2.0- One-and-dones in college basketball.  You don't really hate them, and there wasn't really enough time to get too attached....but there is some bitterness about them leaving so soon.  Like a girl who you take out on one date, and then she immediately stops returning your calls.  Oh, really?  A free dinner and two hours of conversation, and you've already decided you're too good for me?  FINE, YOU'RE A BITCH ANYWAY AND NOT EVEN THAT GOOD LOOKING AND I BET YOU DIE ALONE.

PERSONAL EXAMPLES:  Xavier Henry, Josh Selby.

3.0- The guy who was great while he were there, but there just wasn't really enough time for him to become one of your absolute favorite players.

PERSONAL EXAMPLES:  Jason Bay, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre.  (Although there was this routine with Martinez and Beltre, which was hilarious, and makes me a little wistful for the days when the Red Sox had a little something called "team chemistry.")

4.0- The guy who you loved, and you hated to see him leave, but it was directly after a championship, so all negative feelings are basically disallowed.

PERSONAL EXAMPLES:  Derek Lowe, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur.  The quote that I'll probably always remember:  We've just finished partying downtown after KU won the title in '08, and we're back at Kyle's place, to have more beers and immediately re-watch the game (not much sleep that night).  I was already looking ahead to the next year, bemoaning the fact that we were probably going to lose a bunch of guys early to the NBA draft, and Kyle looked at me, incredulous, and exclaimed, "Who the fuck cares, dude?  We just won the championship!"  Completely changed my outlook on things.

5.0- The guy who is no longer productive/worth the money to pay him-- but you hold no ill will, you'll mainly remember the good times. 

PERSONAL EXAMPLES:  Eddie George, Haywood Jeffires, Pedro Martinez, Jeff Fisher.  We'll see if Josh Beckett ends up here.  For now, Beckett is probably closer to an 8.0.  Also, look for Chris Johnson to be on this list somewhat soon- if not next year, then for sure the year after.

6.0- The guy who broke your heart when he left, but subsequent events have lessened the blow.


- Wade Boggs (he ended up being a giant cockbag after he went to the Yankees)

- Julian Wright (my second favorite KU player ever, but we won the title the year after he left)

- Roy Williams  (obviously he used to be a 10.0 on this scale, but since we beat the shit out of Carolina in the '08 Final Four, won the title, and then beat him again in the Elite 8 last year....I just can't hate him anymore.  I also didn't anticipate that Bill Self would become the greatest college basketball coach in the country, so that helps too.  Nothin' but love, Ol' Roy).

7.0- The guy who left somewhat unexpectedly, but understandably.  Most times you can't really be mad at them, it wasn't really their fault, but damn, it still would've been awesome if they had stayed.


- Terry Francona (run out of town, fuck you Boston ownership + media)

- Steve McNair (run out of town and later murdered, fuck you Tennessee ownership + media + crazy ex-mistress)

- Marcus & Markieff Morris (there was no way to tell at the beginning of the year that they would blow up like that and become lottery picks...they had to leave for the NBA when they did, but damn, considering KU only had 6 legitimate Division I players last year and still went to the title game....we probably could've used the Morris Twins).

8.0- The guy who you don't want to leave, no matter the circumstances.  YOUR BOY.


- Warren Moon (there was the crazy playoff game against the Bills where the Oilers blew a 35-3 second half lead and lost, then the next year Moon led them to the best record in the AFC, but Joe Montana and the Chiefs came into town and upset them in the playoffs, then WHAM!  Moon gets traded to the Vikings, see ya later.  That sucked.)

- Manny Ramirez (who did about everything short of stabbing a homeless person on his way to getting run out of town-- and I think even if he would have knifed Ol' Johnny AlleyDumpster, I still would've been calling for the Red Sox to pick up the team option on his contract for the next year.  There is almost literally nothing that Manny could do that I wouldn't forgive him for.  I think they could announce that Manny shot JFK, made the decision to keep the troops in Vietnam way too long, AND was responsible for 9/11, and I'd be like "Well, yeah, but he absolutely murders left-hand pitching, is an RBI machine, and is probably the greatest hitter in postseason history, whaddya want from him?")

9.0- The guy who was responsible for your love of the entire team.  I'm pretty much making up this category for Harden.  He doesn't quite fit in 7.0- even though this is mostly OKC's fault, and they should've just paid Harden his money, it's not quite that simple, since Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka all sacrificed money to stay, and Harden had previously announced (multiple times) that he would do the same.  He's not quite 8.0 either, since this goes beyond just liking the player.  We'll get back to Harden.

10.0-  Your favorite guy going to the hated archrival.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE:  Only one.  Johnny Damon going to the Yankees.  Nothing will ever be on this level for me again.  I was in shock for days when it happened, even seven years later I still can't really believe it happened, and I will never fully trust athletes again because of it.

So back to Harden....

I already knew that he was my favorite non-Jayhawk college basketball player ever, and the reason I officially jumped on the OKC bandwagon immediately after the 2009 draft, but I kinda assumed that after three years of serious fandom, I was equally attached to the rest of the team.  I was a full-fledged NBA fan again, after years of half-assing it.  (Tangent:  when I announced that Teens and I were engaged, my friend Steph was in the middle of a fe-mance with Teens (or whatever the girl version of a bromance is).  Steph squealed in delight and asked if I thought she would be one of Teens' bridesmaids, to which I replied "What?  You guys have only known each other for like three months!"  To which Steph replied, deadly serious, "Well, yeah.....but it's been a GREAT three months.")  OKC has only been my team for three years....but it's been a GREAT three years.

So now with Harden gone, what's left?  I love Nick Collison, obviously....I've always loved watching Durant, even when he was playing for Texas and dropping 25 points in the first half at Allen Fieldhouse against KU....I've come to enjoy Maynor and Ibaka and kinda Westbrook....but does that make a favorite team?  Not really.  Do I cheer for the Rockets now?  Harden, Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich, and enjoyable characters like Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons?  Go back to the Knicks, and pretend like I didn't ditch them six years ago?  I have no answers.  So now I'm an NBA orphan again, with nobody to really cheer for.  Which is why, for now, Harden is at a 9.0 on my scale.  This isn't just about the Oklahoma City Thunder; it's about the entire league.  He hasn't quite killed the NBA for me, but he has definitely kidnapped it and tied it up in his basement.  And his ransom demands aren't being met, so he's debating whether or not to just finish the job, dump the body, and get out of town before the cops get too close. 

You know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Top 5. Volume 18 UPDATED

Back when we had a comments section here on The Slice, after a Top 5 post, there were usually great comments about what I missed, or what I had too high or too low.  Now, in the post-apocalypic wasteland of NoCommentsVille, these opinions come in the form of texts or emails or Facebook posts.  Even if they didn't convince me to change my rankings, they were still entertaining for everyone to read.  Along those lines, I received this, from reader Alfonso in Chicago, IL:

"Pretty sure you forgot the shimmy the dude does on Chappelle when he's mowing the lawn in his leather outfit.  You know, the gay dude.  Dave asks to see it again.  You know.  I don't know why I keep trying to explain it."

 Besides cracking me up with his text (he went on to talk about how his alias is Alfonso purely because of the Carlton dance) he's absolutely right-- I did miss that one.  Gay lawn mower guy, you're in the #5 spot.  Jack Black, you're out.

(What, did you think I was going to blog about the election today?)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween Parties? Bah, Humbug

I haven't dressed up and gone to a Halloween party since 2006. I just don't have as much fun getting all dressed up in a costume to do my boozin'.  Lately, I've been called "The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween" and that's pretty appropriate.

BUT, if I were to go to a Halloween party tonight....is it a bad thing that, without having to go out and buy a single thing, I could go as Jason Sudeikis' character from the 'What's Up With That?' Saturday Night Live sketches?  The only difference is my gold chain has a dollar bill sign at the end of it, but other than that, I'm (theoretically) ready to go.  I've already got the B-boy moves and everything.

Also, below is a link to a page full of 'What's Up With That?' dancing gifs, which will surely make your world a better place.  Happy Halloween party weekend, kids.  Have fun at your stupid jerk parties for jerks.