Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful, But Kinda Not Effing Really

 Right now, what I am most thankful for is how crappy the AFC is this year.  Its ineptitude is currently allowing the Titans to be relevant in the playoff picture, despite a 5-6 record and a generally crappy level of performance.  More than relevant, really; if the season were to end today, they'd actually somehow be the 6 seed.

(Since this is the season of thankfulness, what I won't mention is the Titans' failure to either dramatically improve or properly bottom out, and that they're going to finish the season with somewhere between 6-9 wins for the 5th straight season.  Wake me up when we can draft Jameis Winston....he could be the next Vince Young!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Everybody Get Up, It's Time To Slam Now, We Got A Real Jam Goin' Down

Coincidentally, another perfect example of feeling older occurred shortly after I wrote that post last week. Some construction went awry on campus, and our building lost all internet and phone capabilities, as well as access to our accounting files. As a result, work was pretty much impossible to accomplish, and most of us went home early on both Thursday and Friday. And the weird thing is that my first reaction to all of this wasn't exultation, or even mild excitement. It was more "Dammit! I have a ton of stuff to get done right now, plus we have a short week with Thanksgiving next week! What about the budget projections for December?  Those grant reports aren't going to prepare themselves!  This is a travesty!" Realizing I had such dedication to my job in a time of near-crisis was alarming.

I mean, yeah, I still went home on Thursday, destroyed an entire six-pack-and a pound from Taco John's, and had a David Lynch movie marathon....and on Friday I popped in Space Jam, played a few rounds of Golden Tee, and started drinking 40's four hours before anyone was scheduled to come over that night....but still, I wasn't as happy about it as I would've been five years ago.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Looking Old, Billy Ray!" "Feeling Old, Louis!"

As is the case from time to time, little things from everyday life have been making me feel old lately. Three examples from the last couple of days:

- Josh Hutcherson and Haim are the host and musical guest, respectively, of Saturday Night Live this week. I have absolutely no idea who those people are. Actually, I probably shouldn't even assume who the host is and who the musical guest is, since I don't know for sure. Maybe Haim just goes by one name, like Pele, or Leon, or Aristotle. Corey Haim is dead, right?  So it can't be him.

- I've recently noticed that college kids are regularly peeing at urinals with their phone in their other hand. Do you seriously have to stay "plugged in" even while you're pissing? Are you snapchatting right now? Are you instagramming your dick in a public restroom? What is so important on Twitter that you're reading it right this second? Put your phone away, or I'm going to stop trying to write my name in cursive on this urinal wall and I'm gonna turn and pee on you like I'm R. Kelly and you're an underage girl. Friggin' kids. TURN DOWN YOUR MUSIC!!! GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

- I turn 31 in less than two weeks. This last year was bad enough, telling people that I was 30, but now I'm officially IN MY THIRTIES. Also, if you buy into that formula that supposedly draws the line of age inappropriateness in a significant other (your age divided by 2, plus 7) then that means that anybody 22.5 years old or younger is now off the table for me.  Which is a problem, since Shawn Johnson doesn't turn 22 for another month or so.  At least the older Dunphy sister on Modern Family just turned 23. Still a chance.

(I suppose it could be worse; I could be R. Kelly.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Key & Peele Tipping Point

Time for another linkfest, in my never-ending quest to make everyone in the world have the same sense of humor as me.

Something like a year ago, I watched an episode of Key & Peele and it kinda sucked.  I wasn't really in the market for a new show anyway, so I only gave it one chance, then washed my hands of it.  To paraphrase Tommy Boy with the chicken wings and the Meat Lover's Pizza:  If Key & Peele isn't any good, so what?  I still got my Chappelle's Show DVDs over there on the DVD rack.  But over the last few months, I kept stumbling into individual sketches, and every one cracked me up.  First it was this one....

Then during the shitshow Minneapolis trip, Morley played us this one, which is more or less the same joke, but still funny as hell....

Random coincidences brought me to these two....

And then a couple days ago I discovered my first valet sketch, which quickly became my favorite of all of them.  The tipping point was hit; I'd officially seen enough funny sketches to give this show another chance. Now the floodgates have been opened, and I'm DVRing new episodes and spending entire lunch breaks crushing youtube clips of these fools.  Go watch this show.

And if you don't want to watch the show, do me one favor and watch at least one of the valet sketches. It's like watching a conversation between myself and JDub when we're both excited about something, only Key and Peele are about 10 times funnier, and aren't a couple of white boys trying to act black. I'm gonna fire up a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to make a full-length movie of those valet characters. Inquire within if you're interested in donating.

There's like 20 more sketches I want to link here, but instead I'll let you guys fall down the rabbit hole yourselves, then maybe we can have inside jokes together, bup bup bup bup.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Movie Couples, After The Movie

When we watch movies, we constantly see people magically find each other and fall in love. Sometimes we see just the first kiss, sometimes we see the first date, sometimes we see the wedding. But what we never see is what happens to these couples once they settle into real life. The divorce rate in the United States is approximately 45%, to say nothing of relationships that don't even make it to marriage. Here's what I think went down after the cameras stopped rolling....

(Also, hat tip to Double D, who suggested a list of movies that I should write about. His innocent question "Hey, what do you think ever happened to Gordon Bombay and Charlie Conway's mom?" got the ball rolling.)

The Mighty Ducks- Gordon Bombay & Casey Conway

I couldn't find a single picture of the two of them together, which is weird, but at least I found the perfect encapsulation of the "These fucking guys, am I right?" face.

Let's take a quick look at Gordon Bombay's track record: He starts out a humble junior hockey star, but quits hockey when his dad passes away. He grows up to be a bigshot lawyer, turns into a total prick who brags about his undefeated record in court (the fuck does that even mean, anyway?) and has a limousine with a license plate that reads "JUSTWIN." He gets a DUI while celebrating how awesome he is, gets community service, and coaches a ragtag bunch of misfits (and my boy Adam Banks, nothing ragtag about him) to a city championship. He promises the team he'll be back to coach them next year, but instead big-times them and chases a pro hockey career, wrecks his knee, gets depressed, and comes back to Minneapolis. Once again, he catches a break and becomes coach of USA Hockey for the Junior Goodwill Games, but sells out to the sponsors, starts slicking his hair and dressing like he's Pat Riley, starts chasing girls, ignores the team, and generally acts like a dick again. He finally redeems himself-- just in time to win the gold medal, of course. (I'm not going to reference the third movie because it's mostly terrible and I don't remember much of it.)

Really, Gordon's life is just a series of highs, during which he completely "loses himself", followed by lows, during which he finds himself humbled enough to turn into a good guy....until he finds himself on the upswing and starts acting like a jerk again. The question needs to be asked: When Gordon Bombay "rediscovers" himself, to what personality are we referring? To me, I'd say that his true self is the asshole, and the exceptions are when he hits rock bottom and becomes a "good" guy, not vice versa.

So back to Gordon and Ms. Conway. After a series of break-ups and make-ups (oh, you thought she forgot about Iceland's assistant coach and Team USA's tutor from the Goodwill Games?) the happy couple moves in together and settles down. Only this time, Ms. Conway, the single mother who has been working in a diner to make ends meet while her boyfriend travels the country, gets her chance to walk all over Gordon when her son Charlie is discovered by Hollywood and goes on to star in Dawson's Creek.

Suddenly finding herself courted by rich Hollywood men, Ms. Conway drops Gordon like she should've years ago. Gordon goes into a tailspin and picks up another DUI. Only this time, instead of receiving a cushy community service gig like coaching pee-wee hockey again, he gets disbarred and picks up a 4-6 month stint at MCF-Shakopee. While locked up, he becomes Cell Block 3's bottom dollar bitch, and the inmates take great pleasure in forcing him to make duck noises while they sodomize him. Yes sir, Mr. Ducksworth! Thank you very much, Mr. Ducksworth! Quack quack quack quack quack, Mr. Ducksworth!

Top Gun- Maverick & Charlie

Let's review some observations about Maverick, his lifestyle, and surrounding factors:

1. He enjoys skins vs. skins beach volleyball games.

2. He frequently participates in "arguments" with other men that occur a) in locker rooms, b) with faces two inches apart from each other, and/or c) while wearing only towels.

3. Charlie is NOT attractive. Not even a little. She also dresses up like a man to seduce Maverick in an elevator.

4. Let's not gloss over the fact that her name is Charlie.

5. There are a ton of ass references throughout the movie..."Watch your tail"..."Cover your rear"...even "I want butts!"

6. Yeah, Mav sings 'You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling' in a bar to get in with Charlie, but are we sure that wasn't just an excuse to have a homoerotic sing-along in a hot, sweaty bar with a bunch of dudes in uniform?

(I'm intentionally not mentioning Maverick's relationship with Goose, since they're only about 60% as gay together as Paul and I are in real life, so that would be the pot calling the kettle a homo.)

All right, so we can all agree that Charlie is just a beard for 'Mav' (gay stripper name?), right? The only question is how long he can keep up the facade. During their relationship and eventual marriage, there have been a few nagging doubts on Charlie's mind. Maverick always seems to have a lot of "awesome" locker room stories that he brings home and shares, when, in actuality, they aren't that funny. There have also been a couple of role play scenarios that Charlie would rather not discuss-- Maverick's ideas, of course. But ultimately, nothing that can't be explained away.

But then, about 18 months into the marriage, there's an incident in a bar where Maverick slips his phone number to a guy when he thinks Ol' Chuck is in the bathroom. When she confronts him on it, he passes it off as just making a new buddy who also happens to enjoy Kenny Loggins songs and dramatic motorcycle rides at sunset.

After another year of this behavior, fearing the worst, Charlie goes home to visit her parents, hoping for some reassurance from her mother. Instead, Mama McGillis agrees and says she has thought Maverick was gay all along. Terrified for her marriage, Charlie takes an early flight home. She busts in the door, ready for a 'Come to Jesus' meeting with Maverick....when she finds him in bed with Iceman. They were doing a great job of covering each other's tail.

Speed- (Also known as 'The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down)- Jack & Annie

(Sorry, I know that link doesn't fit the theme of this post, I just really wanted to shoehorn in one of my all-time favorite Homer Simpson jokes.)

Here's the problem with Keanu and Sandra's relationship, and they even say it themselves in the movie: "Relationships that start under intense circumstances don't last." Maybe it's because YOU DON'T KNOW EACH OTHER. You met earlier this morning, and you've literally spent the entire day driving around on a bus rigged to the gills with explosives, your lives completely dependent upon a speedometer. Listen, Jack, for all you know, Annie never moved out of her parents' house, still wears My Little Pony pajamas, and all six of her cats are named after the dwarves from Snow White. (There used to be seven, but Sneezy got hit by a car last year. Annie still cries about it from time to time.) Bro, you're allergic to cats. And Annie, what do you really know about Jack? Maybe he's only into S&M, constantly trolls Craigslist for casual encounters, and currently has a restraining order on him from his last relationship?

And you know that their friends wouldn't approve. It would start innocently enough, maybe during a guy's night out, and a couple of Jack's friends start busting balls: "Yeah, Annie might be hot, Jack, but at least I don't need to take advantage of a traumatized hostage survivor to get laid...." But that one comment starts gnawing away at Jack, and pretty soon he starts resenting Annie for it. Pretty soon, happy hours turn into all-night drinking binges, as Jack broods over the mess he got himself in.

And what happens when Jack (who, don't forget, still works at a crazy intense job that requires long hours and constantly keeps him away from home) saves the life of some good-looking piece a couple months later? Annie knows that's exactly how their relationship started, and this new girl has a bigger chest (a sensitive subject for Annie, always has been) so she'd immediately get jealous and suspect that Jack was banging his new damsel-in-distress too. And of course her girlfriends support that suspicion and fuel the fire, as most girlfriends are wont to do.

Everything escalates from there, and during one particularly nasty fight ("Why don't you just go to your big-breasted WHORE! I saw how you were looking at her on the news!"...."She's not a whore, I told you, she's just stripping to pay for grad school! But now that you mention it, you know what? I HAVE been lying: your boobs ARE too small!") the relationship does what they miraculously managed to prevent the bus from doing: blow up in their faces.

50 First Dates- Henry & Lucy

Oh, this relationship is rich. Lemme get this straight: The girl wakes up every morning in a heavy state of confusion; she doesn't know what day it is, where she is, or who you are. You have to convince her that it's OK that she's in bed with you. There will definitely be some crying, probably a phone call to her father, and possibly some throwing up. Most of the day is spent recovering, and then mayyyybe she's good to go by late afternoon or early evening. The next morning, it happens all over again.

So what you're telling me is that basically, Adam Sandler is going to have to deal with the morning-after version of the drunkest girl at the bar, every single day, for the rest of his life? Without getting any of the drunken benefits? I give this marriage a month, tops. There isn't a judge in the world that would deny Henry an annulment.

Little Mermaid- Prince Eric & Ariel

We have a woman with a horribly skewed view of what love is supposed to be like; a prince who has spent his entire life chasing his dreams while girls chased after him; and a father-in-law who happens to be the Lord of the Ocean or some shit, who wields an all-powerful trident that can basically cause any sort of destruction he wants. This gonna end violently.

As soon as the honeymoon phase wears off, Ariel starts thinking about how she gave up her entire life to be with him. Disillusionment soon follows, and ordinary husband-and-wife conversation turns ugly quick. "Why yes, of course I don't mind taking out the trash, why would I? It's not like I already gave up my home, all my friends and family- not to mention my tail and ability to breathe underwater- in order to be with you or anything. Why not give up my self-respect too? No, no, don't get up, relax and watch the game."
Prince Eric, who, as we mentioned, has spent his entire life having his every whim fancied and his every desire fulfilled, is far too self-involved to have any idea how to be an attentive husband. While he's off sailing the seas, looking for his next adventure, Ariel is back home, developing an impressive drinking problem, dressing increasingly sluttier, and trying to seduce the hired help every chance she gets.

Eric comes home from his latest conquest, only to discover Ariel, drunk, topless, wearing mermaid bottoms, and slurring at the gardeners, "You know you want to look! Don't you think I'm pretty? This is what my legs used to look like! My husband doesn't even know my real legs, but now you do!!" An unsuccessful rehab stint follows, and a detached Eric finally files for divorce. Ariel runs to daddy, and a furious King Triton returns to land and wreaks havoc on the palace grounds. In his fury, he loses control, and his hurricane destroys the palace, inadvertent flying shrapnel killing Prince Eric on the spot.

Guilt-stricken, and with no way to return to her life under the sea, Ariel becomes a street urchin. She currently lives under a bridge and spends most of her day rolling around in the shallow water, and for a few dollars or just a warm meal, she'll dance for you while singing 'Part of Your World.' Don't get too close, though; her mermaid costume smells like piss.


Suggestions for a possible Volume 2 are encouraged.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

60% Of The Time, It Works Every Time

Up until now, on a scale of 1-10, I have not been very excited for the the Anchorman sequel. Because the first movie was sooooo hilarious, sooooo awesome, sooooo I know I throw this term around pretty loosely but in this case it's accurate: life-altering....I kinda didn't want them to ever make a sequel. Especially not nine years after the first one. There's nowhere to go but down. (Although it could be worse; they could be taking the other personality-shaping comedy of my life and making a sequel 20 YEARS LATER. Oh wait.)

When we were in college, a lot of my friends liked to get sauced before going to a movie-- or if there wasn't enough time beforehand, they liked to smuggle booze into the theater, relax in their seat, and tie one on, giggling and rolling their empty bottles under the seats the whole time. I was never a fan of this sort of chicanery. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch movies while drinking, but only in the comfort of somebody's home, during a pre-gaming or post-gaming session, and only movies that we've already seen approximately 20 times, so we can crack jokes and rip on it the whole time and not feel bad. I've always said that if you never went home to your college apartment with your roommates after a long night of drinking, thrown in the Old School DVD, and awoken the next morning on the couch, with your beer 98% full, your phone in your hand (flip-screen still open to a never-sent text message), and the DVD menu screen BLARING....then in my opinion, you never truly went to college in the first place.

So, I don't like to be drunk the first time I see a movie. Embarking on a cinematic adventure for the first time is excitement enough without chemical stimulants. Also, I hate not being able to figure out if I truly like a movie, or if it was a result of booze. For example, the first time I watched The Other Guys, Gangel and I were pretty banged up, and we laughed our asses off. I barely remembered it, so I bought the DVD, re-watched it with Paul.....but then we started pre-gaming during the movie, so I still have no idea if my laughter was genuine or not. Totally annoying. (I do remember that this scene is hilarious, though. Anything that lets me and my friends yell "CHRISTINITH!!!" at my wife is OK by me. Who wants some Arnie Palmies? Classic.)

Having said all that, I was planning on getting a lil' drunk before going to see Anchorman 2 in the theater in a couple months. There's really no downside. If the movie is only mildly funny, the booze will make us enjoy it more. If the movie is truly funny, we'll be rolling in our seats, and walking out of the theater high-fiving and hoping the third movie was already in production. If the movie sucks like I expect it to, the booze would soften the blow. Everyone goes home happy. Bing bang boom.

But now that I've seen this latest preview, I'm cautiously optimistic. I laughed quite a bit; maybe this movie won't be so bad. Maybe it will end up being a worthy sequel.

Still probably gonna get housed in the theater though.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward

So the Red Sox hung another banner, capping off an unbelievable year. And KU basketball is underway, with the best recruit in arguably a decade, about to embark on an unbelievable year. It's a lot easier to flip the switch when your favorite baseball team is eliminated from the race in early September. I feel like I've barely had a chance to get properly fired up for this upcoming basketball season. I'll admit, it's a pretty awesome problem to have.

Let's bridge the gap between my two favorite teams in sports:

Things I'll miss the most about the baseball season ending:

5. Complaining about the Red Sox in general. Maybe "complaining" isn't the best choice of words, but all I know is that the Sox have now won three titles in ten years. The collapse of 2011 has now been erased. Basically, even if they never win another World Series for the rest of my life, I've still been spoiled. So whatever happens from here on out, my life as a baseball fan has already been a success.

4. Tim McCarver. TIM MCCARVER MADE THIS LIST! I'm as surprised as you. I've spent years hating him; basically once I was old enough to understand the game, I realized he was mostly an idiot. You could argue that no announcer in any sport is just flat-out wrong more often than he is. And yet....watching the montage at the end of the telecast, realizing I'll never hear him again...I felt a little bummed. I mean, I've never watched a World Series in my life that wasn't announced by that old bastard. And I'm nothing if not nostalgic.

3. The daily grind of scoreboard watching; obsessing over standings ("Well, we play our next nine on the road, and Tampa has an easy stretch, if we can still be up at least 1.5 games by the end of July, I'll take that in a second"); and fretting over statistics, both basic and sabermetric ("Yeah, Salty is hot lately, but his BABIP is sky-high, he's due for some serious regression soon.") It's weird when you obsess over little things all year long, and then the playoffs come around, and then the World Series, and all of a sudden everything else goes out the window and it boils down to "If we just win this game tonight, right here in front of us, we win the whole damn thing." It's bizarre.

I suppose I'll take a couple weeks off, then start obsessing over free agents and whatnot ("We'll offer Ellsbury something like 6 years, $90 million, they'll turn it down, we'll maybe go a little higher, but then Seattle will swoop in and offer him like $120 million, and that will be that.") Speaking of.....

2. The guys who probably won't be back next year. Ellsbury and Stephen Drew are the two main guys I don't expect to see in a Red Sox uniform ever again, which is unfortunate for Teens, since those are her two main crushes. So I suppose I'll grow to miss her inappropriate comments too. Stuff like "Jacoby should've tried to stretch that into a double right there! Maybe if he slides into second base his pants will accidentally fall off."

1. The beards, attitudes, and character of this team. Nothing will ever touch 2004, but I did definitely enjoy this championship more than 2007. Despite not having a "boy" on this team, this was just a really fun, really enjoyable group of dudes to cheer for (I suppose my favorite player is Dustin Pedroia or Jonny Gomes, but I liked Manny, Johnny Damon, and even Kevin Millar in 2004 more than I currently like anyone on this team.) Like I said before the playoffs started, even if they flamed out in the playoffs early, I'd always remember the 2013 season fondly.

(This should really be its own entry, but I'll say that Jonny Gomes' celebrations fall under "attitudes and character." Besides the beer punting, there is also this little beauty, which makes me giggle and drives Teens crazy. So naturally I throw it her way every chance I get, like after she makes a dynamite batch of spaghetti, or scores us a coupon for six free tacos from T.Bell, or goes upstairs and gets my spitter for me when I'm too lazy.)

Things I'm looking forward to the most about college basketball starting:

5. New seats, son. Previously, KU only gave season ticket deals to faculty, not regular old accountants like me. But now the game done changed, staff are included, and Kyle, Lanny and I just jumped up about 20 rows (for the same price that we were already paying.) Give me a few more years, and I'm gonna be Spike Lee up in this piece.

4. Andrew White III, rotation player. I had a soft spot for 'Drew last year, even though he played sparingly. He's a phenomenal three-point shooter, he had some fun moments last year, I got to yell "Drewwwwwwwwwww!" every time he did something good last year (I hope that catches on this year), and he has a terrific mini-flat top-- not quite NBA Live '95 quality, but definitely old-school Starting Lineup figurine quality. He had the makings of somebody who could eventually find his jersey on my Wall of Fame in my basement someday. Then KU got Wiggins, not to mention Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden, and I was pretty worried that 'Drew would be asked to redshirt, or even worse, he would transfer to get more playing time. Instead, he worked harder than anybody else did this offseason (Coach Self's words) and looks like he played his way into the 6th man position. Here's hoping that sticks.

3. The spectacle of Andrew Wiggins. KU's teams are usually made up of guys who go through growing pains, and steadily improve year after year in Self's system. We don't usually have the Carmelos, or the Wades, or the Durants....or even the Harrison Barneses, the Anthony Davises, the Greg Odens, the guys who have huge names coming out of high school already. We get lots of good recruits, but not THE top recruit. But now we've got Wiggins, and everything that goes along with it. To be honest, I don't expect him to be as unbelievable as everyone says. I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if he put up much better stats than Ben McLemore did last year. I'm just enjoying all the excitement and hoopla that comes with having the best high school prospect since LeBron James.

2. The incoming freshman class, besides Wiggins. I was already thrilled with KU's incoming guys before they landed Wiggins. I loved everything I was reading about Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene; Joel Embiid looked like a classic Bill Self big man project in the footsteps of Aldrich, T-Rob, Withey, etc.; and Connor Frankamp was a little white kid from Wichita who can shoot the lights out-- so obviously I was in on him. I figured we'd struggle this year, and then in 2014-15, when Naadir Tharpe was a senior point guard, Perry Ellis was ready to shoulder a big load, and all the freshmen were a year older, we'd be awesome. Then the reports on Selden kept growing and growing, and Embiid absolutely exploded (From an unranked prospect to, if you believe Rick Pitino, the possible 2nd pick in the draft? Are you kidding?) Now they're both both potential one-and-dones, and maybe we'll only be enjoying them for one year. But damn, if they somehow both come back next year, even without Wiggins...I predict we'll be even better.

1. The rivalry with Oklahoma St. heating up. The Big 12 was pretty crappy last year, and figured to be even worse this year. Texas sucks now, K-State and Iowa St. both got worse, and Baylor is supposed to be decent every year.....and every year they come to the Fieldhouse and lose by 30. But then Marcus Smart improbably returned for his sophomore year, and he started chirping a little bit, then their coach made some sarcastic comments about Wiggins, and now it's on. Tickets on Stubhub are already in the $250 range. Now we have another conference game to be super fired up for, and when they come to town this year, it should be the best atmosphere since the last Mizzou game a couple years ago. I love that Okie St. is talking a little trash, it's good for the game, but now they have KU's full attention. To steal a line from Omar from The Wire: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

(And just in case anyone forgot, the last time the Sox won the World Series....KU followed suit and won the title. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.)

(ALSO, this is completely unrelated to everything, but this just happened last night, and if I don't use this space to complain about it, then I don't know why I have a blog in the first place: Wanna know how my NFL gambling season is going? I can sum it up in one example. The over/under in last night's Miami/Cincinnati was 42.5. I had the over. Miami won 22-20. In overtime. ON A SAFETY. You guys wanna kick my dog while you're here?)