Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow Day Youtubin'

Lawrence got hit with a couple of "snowstorms" within the last week, and as a result, I had three full snow days, during which I pulled a Peter Gibbons and did nothing, all day long.  Snow Day #1 I had a pretty bad hanger, since the night before, we were out at a bar watching the KU game, planning on having a beer or two and calling it a night, but as soon as I heard work was cancelled, I stopped being polite and started getting real.  Predictably, I caught a cold soon after, so Snow Days #2 and #3 were spent milking said cold.  On the plus side, it gave me a chance to rip through the first season of Twin Peaks (I am a David Lynch fan.  I really am.  I celebrate his entire collection) and order season 2 on Amazon for $3.75-- dammit I love Amazon. 

It also provided ample time for one of my favorite random activities that I rarely get to do anymore: fire up the ol' youtube and fall through some rabbit holes.....

Can we all take a second to appreciate how awesome Shawn Kemp was back in the day, before he got fat and turned into a punchline for having like seven different baby mamas?  Just an unbelievable in-traffic dunker.  He was MADE for youtube.  Also, nobody will ever be as good at hanging and/or swinging on the rim as he was.  Nowadays, you get T'd up immediately for dangling half as long as the Reign Man did (no homo).

I had seen Encino Man once in my life:  right when it came out in '92, when I was 10 years old.  I didn't remember a whole bunch about it except for two things:  Pauly Shore said lots of Pauly Shore things, like "weezin' on my grindage" and calling old people "crusters"....and that the villain of the movie loved to yell "SHOOSH!" like it was his catchphrase or something.  So Teens and I watched it last week on the DVR.....and I was thoroughly entertained by the aforementioned villain.  His performance was an absolute tour de force.  He's a comedic genius.  What happened to that guy?  Why didn't he become famous?  Is he still alive now?  Can I hire him for parties and stuff?  I'll give him $75 bucks to come to my house, right now, and tell Teens to "SHOOSH!"

So anyway, go watch Encino Man.  It's better than you remember it, I promise.

Does anybody else remember this commercial?  We used to drive Senora Taylor INSANE singing this in Spanish class.  Between commercials like this, and Star Wars promos, and their insanely shitty yet addictive recipes, Taco Bell was really good at luring me through their doors when I was 15.  If Taco Bell was an online predator, it would've been a successful one.

Brought to me by DVJS.  Tears of laughter.  I know I worry about all the telltale signs that I'm getting older, but then I watch videos like this and die laughing, and I'm reminded that my youth isn't entirely gone.  Feels like yesterday that we were playing 'Supermarket Sweep', where we'd sprint around the store throwing things in the cart and yelling and carrying on, then ditching the cart in some aisle and quietly walking out the door.

Now don't get me wrong:  I love gangsta rap, and gangsta rap battles, with B-Rabbit and 8 Mile and his "Fuck Free World!  313!" and Tupac telling Biggie "That's why I fucked yo' bitch you fat mutha fucka" and all that.....but it's refreshing to hear the comparative wholesomeness of a party rap battle.  If I was black (I can only wish) I would have THRIVED in the late 80's-early 90's.  My favorite line:

"You issued the challenge, yeah you threw it up
Step to the stage- TOO LATE- I blew it up!"


It was fortuitous that I stumbled into this video when I did, since there has been such an uproar over Elijah Johnson's unnecessary dunk as time expired vs. Iowa St. the other night, putting a cap on his insane 39-point night, as well as one of the craziest games I've watched in my whole life (besides the obligatory social media uproar, he also received death threats and racial slurs, as well as he and the rest the team being pelted with debris while walking off the court).  Here's a video of the greatest and most beloved basketball player of all time, doing exactly the same thing during his North Carolina days-- from the looks of it, causing a bench-clearing brawl in the process.  These things happen in basketball from time to time, especially at the college level.  KU fans were just on the other end of this spectrum, when we watched Marcus Smart do a backflip on the court when Okie St. beat KU at the Phog a few weeks ago.  It was not a national tragedy.  It's going to be OK, Twitter.

I didn't want to end on a feisty note.  My bad.  Here's a video of goats that sound like humans:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

You've Gotta Be KKKidding

You may have heard about this story by now.  This is the high school I graduated from.  Not cool.

Previously, on a national scale, the coolest random fact about RRHS was that Mac wore one of our t-shirts on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Now we'll be known for a couple of idiots dressing up like friggin' Klan members.

I can remember back in the good ol' days, when I spent most of my high school career trying to BE black, when we willingly spent our free time on projects like this:

Anyway, back to the current controversy, questions abound:  Did these kids really know what they were doing?  Is it possible, MAYBE, that they don't know what those hoods represent?  Or did they just watch Django Unchained and saw this scene and thought that KKK hoods were fair game for jokes?  I have a hard time believing that any group of ordinary high school kids, anywhere, having knowledge of exactly what those hoods stand for, could think that this was anything other than the worst idea ever.  Emphasis on ordinary high school kids; I could possibly see something like this happening in Mississippi, or among a faction of Neo-Nazis-- but I've never seen a radical militant group that cared much about the state hockey tournament.

But however you slice it, there's no explanation that makes me feel good as a human being.  Either some extremely misguided assholes made an extremely misguided joke (in which case they should be expelled or get their asses kicked or both) or there are some extremely ignorant high school kids in North Dakota right now.  Either way, I'm not very proud to be a Red River High School alum today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Metta World Drunk Dialer

Scene:  phone conversation between Easy E and myself, approx. 5pm last Friday:

Easy E:  I really need to get some background info on (slightly controversial topic X amongst our friend group) right now, so when I get all hammered at Bonspiel this weekend, I'm not texting and calling the wrong people trying to find out about it.

Me:  Yeah dude, I'm really glad I've never been a drunk dialer like you.

Easy E:  To be fair, I've been a LOT better these last couple years.

Me:  This is true, you're much better than a few years ago, when you'd have a few beers and immediately start scrolling through contacts and blowing everyone up.

Easy E:  I just never know if it's completely out of my system though, you know?  I'm like Ron Artest or something.

Me:  Exactly!  You might've changed your name to Metta World Peace....but nobody's going to ever forget that day that you charged into the stands and attacked fans.

Editor's note:  later that night, Easy E texted me at 4:15am, all casual, like we had been talking all night, like I hadn't already been asleep for four hours.  Looks like James Harden got in the way of Metta World Peace's elbow.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blades Of Steel

True story:  I attended the University of North Dakota, one of the premiere collegiate hockey institutions in the country, for five years, and never once went to a game. 

When I was a youngster, from about '89 to '95, my family had season tickets, so I was a huge UND hockey fan.  Dixon Ward, Garry Valk, Brad Bombardir, Toby Kvalevog, Lannnnnn-donnnnnnnn Wilson! and especially Russ Romaniuk....those were my boys!  Then we stopped getting tickets, and you know how it is, you get older and discover girls and get a job and suddenly you don't have time to follow every sport as closely as when you're a kid, so I pretty much stopped being a fan of college hockey, and the NHL a few years later.  The rosters from Sega's NHL '94 have been frozen as the only relevant hockey rosters in my brain ever since. 

But when I found out UND was playing an outdoor game in the College World Series stadium a couple weekends ago, I was intrigued. 

Mostly, it was an excuse to go to Omaha, since Gangel and I hadn't seen each other for seven months, when we normally try not to go longer than three months in between visits.  Then I found out that Schne, Katie, Kevin, Tom and others were coming down for the game, and it became a slam dunk.  I love combining friend groups.  Let's watch some outdoor hockey!  Wait, there's going to be a tailgate, right?  A couple highlights:

- For the second time in my life, an already planned celebration got spiced up by an engagement.  A few years ago, we went on a "ski trip" in Colorado (by ski trip, I mean everyone else goes skiing while Sarunas and I booze in the ski lodge) and Alfonso proposed to Katie on the mountain, and we celebrated by drinking 40s deep into the night.  This time, Schne proposed to Katie (I have too many friends named Katie, so this one now becomes Katie Schne for purposes of the blog) and we celebrated by getting housed for 23 of the next 29 hours.  Heyyyyy, congrats!

- A CWS staple of ours while tailgating is that every time you grab a beer out of the cooler, you have to name a '90s NBA All-Star.  "Lemme grab one of those Derrick Colemans"...."Hey, throw me a Tim Hardaway!"  etc. etc.  You have to spice up all-day boozefests somehow, and if absolutely nothing else, it leads to awesome conversations like "There's no way Hersey Hawkins was ever an All-Star"..."I'm telling you, he was good back in the day"...."Google it!"....."Oh snaps!  He had one All-Star appearance, in 1990!  Schne's beer is allowed!"  A surprisingly fun game.

Anyway, we changed it up this year, and we had to name WWF wrestlers from before the year 2000.  It more or less excludes the girls (they don't know much about wrestling, and they only have a brain 1/3 the size of's science)-- but anytime you can talk wrestling for hours, and get into arguments about the original members of the Four know it's been a good day.

- I call very few people by their name in real life.  Everyone has a nickname, and ipso facto, virtually every name in my phone is a nickname.  So it bothered me that my buddy Tom was simply 'Tom' in my contact list, but I had no other nickname for him.  On Friday night, he told me a story about one of his friends getting shitfaced, then changing every contact in his phone into a professional wrestler (so brilliant that I'm mad I didn't think of it myself.)  So his buddy wakes up the next morning, and while going through his phone, doing the 'what the hell did I do last night?' routine, he realizes that everybody he knows is now named after a wrestler, which means he couldn't tell who was who, and thus had to get everyone's numbers again.  I took great delight in that story, and decided to change Tom's name to Razor Ramon in my phone that very moment. 

Fast forward to the next afternoon, when I was frantically trying to get a hold of Tom (who works in sports media, and with rumors swirling about the game being delayed, had the inside scoop) and I couldn't find him anywhere in my phone....until, of course, I finally stumble across the name Razor Ramon. 

There's something poetic about falling into the same trap that inspired you in the first place.  Now at least I remember the connection, and Tom has himself a nickname in my phone.

- Kevin and I started a joke about swapping girls for the weekend, him getting Teens and a lottery-protected draft pick, and me getting his ladyfriend Kayla and expiring contracts.  I shouldn't even bring it up, since most of the jokes are horribly inappropriate, and I'm not going to repeat them, even in this blog....just know that I haven't laughed that hard, that much, in quite some time.  Things got weird.

- As for the actual hockey game...meh.  By that point, I was freezing and double-fisting beers with hot chocolate, Gangel was puking in the stadium and taking naps on Nicole's shoulder during intermission, and the Omaha fans celebrate with cowbells, usually right in your eardrums.  At that point, I was ready to get back to a bar, enjoy a few Gary Paytons, and call it good.  I'll check back in another 18 years, college hockey.  Sioux Yeah Yeahhhhhhh!

- MyShawn's comment about the photo below, which we gave him crap for, but was entirely accurate (paraphrased):  "Look at Jum trying to look gangsta at the whitest event in history!"

What can I say?  I can't stop looking HARD, just because hockey is involved.

(Also, I enjoy that it's fuzzy, since it's an accurate representation of how I felt at that particular moment.)

Addy, Lindsey, MyShawn, Nicole, Gangel, Teens, me.  Let's run it back in June at the CWS.  I'll bring the Mookie Blaylocks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

....And There's A Picture Of A Train On It

I'm taking time out from this hellish week-- during which I've been feeling: exhausted; over-worked; elated at KU righting the ship by beating the hell out of K-State (I hope Wildcats fans enjoyed that 48 hours there when they had control of the Big 12 Conference- they certianly got their fill of shit-talking in); probably still a little bit hungover from last weekend's drinking marathon, if I'm being completely honest with myself; and mildly confused as to why the Atlanta Braves' over/under on wins next season is only 86 (that's free money on the over, right???)-- in order to bring you the latest installment in the ongoing series "Holy shit, I'm getting old."

I was fortunate enough this morning to receive this valentine via email from my dear friend Easy E....

....and so my office mates and I shared a good chuckle about that classic valentine from Lisa Simpson to Ralph Wiggum, and how awesome The Simpsons used to be back in the day, etc. etc.  All of us, that is, except for our student worker, a junior here at KU.  She failed to recognize the reference.....because she was LESS THAN ONE YEAR OLD WHEN THAT EPISODE CAME OUT.  Game over.  I....I mean....just game over.

I don't know how you grow up to be a fully-functioning human being with a top-notch sense of humor without growing up on the golden era of The Simpsons....but I guess we're going to find out with these next couple of generations.  I'm not holding my breath.

Also, I'm about two years away from posting up on my front porch with a cooler of PBR, Clint Eastwood-in-Gran Torino-style, just housing beers all day, pointing imaginary guns at passerby and grumbling about those damn kids and their Angry Birds and Taylor Swift and vampires and what the fuck is dubstep?


UPDATED:  A few people have given me crap that I got a valentine from Easy E.  I have two responses:  1.  That's just jealousy talking, and 2. That's not the only valentine I received from a dude, so if you're not getting valentines from someone besides your significant other, you should get some better friends.  If you're not sending funny valentines to your bros, then you're doing it wrong.

I also received the follow-up question:  well then, what kind of valentine did you give Teens?  I will tell you.  I put together a sweet little hand-made number with a big picture of Sly & the Family Stone, and wrote down:

Thank you
Fa' lettin' me
Be yo' valentine

If you google 'luckiest gal on Earth', you may just find a wikipedia entry for Teens as the first result.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Now THIS Is A Trick Shot Video

I am so over trick shot videos.  They've all been done before, in all different styles.  When they first became popular, they were a ton of fun to watch.  Sign me up.  Gimme the link.  I'll watch all of them.  If you can mix in some bad 80's music and poke fun at yourself like Mark Titus' classic video, even better.  Also, back in our old apartment complex from when we first moved to Lawrence, DVJS, James and I once spent a couple of hours launching shots from third-story balconies onto the basketball hoops below us (3rd Story Glory!) and that was a lot of fun.  A quite enjoyable afternoon, I must say.

But after dozens and dozens of videos, I had about seen it all.  Don't link me to another trick shot video, dude.  I don't care.  I don't care that this guy got Oklahoma's starting QB to throw in some full court shots with a football.  I don't care that a rugby player is getting a tryout to be the New York Jets' kicker after he posted his video. I especially don't care that Kyle Singler put together his own lame trick shot video, that guy sucks.  I don't care, I don't care, I don't care.

HOWEVER.  This video is awesome.  And, as surely as I type this today, it's going to launch a massive wave of trick shot videos from toddlers all over the world, none of which are as good as the original, and in another six months, I'll probably be blogging about how annoying these little kid videos are, and how people have enough ways to brag about their kids without flooding the youtube trick shot video market.  But I'm not so cold-hearted that I can't enjoy the hell out of this today.  Hopefully you can too.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Giving Props To Props

It's everybody's favorite time of year:  Super Bowl prop bets!  And this year, after going 8-2 against the spread through the first three rounds of the NFL playoffs (my best postseason ever, since records started being kept in 1991) I have more money than usual to completely throw away on dumb bets. 

One of my favorite scenes in Heat is when De Niro gathers his crew together and asks them, one by one, if they want to continue with their planned heist, even though they're well aware that they're all over the radar of Pacino and his detectives.  They all say yes, and Tom Sizemore's answer is the best:  "Well, ya know, to me....the action IS the juice.  I'm in."  Just perfectly said.  When it comes to Super Bowl bets, I could really care less whether I win or lose.  The money is irrelevant.  The action IS the juice.

On to the bets:

Little known fact #1: I hate Beyonce.  She's annoying, I don't think she's good looking, and she almost single-handedly destroyed the third Austin Powers movie with all her "I'm Foxy Cleopatra, look how sassy I am" nonsense. 

Little known fact #2:  I LOVE me some Alicia Keys.  In fact, I'd put her at the top of my my knee-jerk top 5 Hottest Black Women list, which looks like this:

1.  A. Keys
2.  Stacey Dash
3.  TIE:  Halle Berry/Scary Spice circa 1997
4.  The chick working the 2am shift at Olympic Gardens on New Year's Eve 2006-2007
5.  Michelle Obama (POWER IS SEXY, BRO)

So anyway, it's interesting that they're paired together for this Super Bowl, A.Keys singing the National Anthem, Beyonce ruining the halftime show. 

I will be taking the under for Keys' National Anthem at 2 minutes, 5 seconds.  I'm taking the under on the Anthem for the first time in my life.  I don't really feel good about it.  Don't let me down, baby boo.

I'll be betting that Jay-Z comes out for a guest appearance at some point during halftime, because a)  he's the only thing that could possibly salvage this godforsaken halftime show, and b)  because it will be a tremendous amount of fun to celebrate the winning of that bet, should it come to pass.  Something like jumping out of my seat and yelling "You crazy for this one, Rick!  It's yo' boy!  HOV!" and doing a leaping shoulder bump with JDub, lighting a 20 dollar bill on fire, then using the burning 20-scrill to light a cigar.

I'm betting that Beyonce has her hair crimped, as opposed to straight.  Why not.  You can come out with it on fire for all I care, Bey'.  As much as I love the song "99 Problems", Jay-Z was sorely mistaken.  I'd say that of his 99 problems, a bitch is at least 51.

I'm taking Jason Dufner's 4th round score at the Waste Management Open -5.5 over Anquan Boldin's receiving yards.  I can just picture me and Duf hanging out now, and his reaction after I tell him about that bet.  He casually raises an eyebrow at me from behind the wheel of his '97 Jeep Wrangler (Duf always insists on driving when we hang out together), spits a long shot of Cope into his empty Keystone Light can, turns down the volume on his Lynyrd Skynyrd greatest hits CD, and tells me "That was a dumb bet, dude.  I'm going LOW on Sunday." 

As you can see, my man-crush on Dufner is reaching epic proportions.  I'm officially wandering into Single White Female territory here.

"But you're forgetting the funniest part of that scene!  After Kilmer and Sizemore give these long, thought-out, serious answers, De Niro asks Trejo what he thinks, and he answers in less than a second, 'Yeah, sure.  Let's do it.'  Fuckin' classic Trejo right there.  Hey, pass me the Cope, I'm gonna throw in a rub quick."

The Ravens will use a coaches' challenge first.  Both Harbaughs aren't afraid to throw a challenge or two, so it's gonna happen at some point for both teams.

The opening kickoff of the game will NOT result in a touchback.  This is a perfect example of a Tom Sizemore bet for me.  Yeah, there's not much chance of an actual kick return here.  Factoring in that they moved the kickoff yard line up last year, the game is being played in a dome, and the kicker's adrenaline of the opening friggin' kickoff of the Super Bowl will be through the roof, this will probably end up being booted through the back of the end zone.  But what fun is it to bet on that?  It's way more fun to watch the return man take those first couple of steps and realize he's going to take it out from seven yards deep in the end zone.  The action IS the juice.

No team will score in last two minutes of first half.  Couldn't turn down 3-1 odds on this one.

Lionel Messi will score more goals than Frank Gore has touchdowns.  I cashed this bet last year when Wayne Rooney got liquid twice and Brandon Jacobs got shut out of the end zone.  Let the soccer player vs. running back bets ride, son.  LET THEM RIDE.

Will both teams have a field goal over 33 yards?  No.  If there's one thing about this game that is crystal clear right now, it is that David Akers is absolutely TERRIFIED to attempt a field goal right now.

The first TD of the game will be scored by Randy Moss.  If you're not going to take a longshot here (Moss is 18-1) then why are you betting on this prop?   Grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula.

Chris Bosh's points scored ends up being more than the largest lead of the Super Bowl for either team.  I think this game stays relatively close the whole way, so as long as Bosh puts up 15 or so, should be easy money, right?  Here is my annual "There's No Way This Cross-Sport Bet Can Possibly Lose, So Naturally, There's No Way This Bet Can Possibly Win" bet.  Every year, there is one cross-sport bet that looks too good to be true, and it usually isn't.  There's a lesson here somewhere, but I am firmly committed to never, ever, ever learning it.

Everybody have fun and be safe during your Super Bowl parties, and remember kids,

It's only a gambling "problem" if you're losing.