Monday, December 30, 2013

The Flip Side

As I hoped, Teens got to experience a true North Dakota Christmas.  There were sub-zero temperatures, snow piled everywhere, and we even had to cancel the Mostly Annual Kickball Game in the Walsh Quad due to the weather.

However, she also got to see the underbelly of the North Dakota bar scene and the downfall to having to start your car and let it run before you drive it.  She got to experience, first-hand, the scenario where a cross-eyed drunk ex-hockey player from the rival high school repeatedly gropes you before finally getting chased off.

I got to experience the scenario where I start my car at the end of the night to let it warm up, leave it unlocked outside the bar, and come back 10 minutes later to find the same shithead who was just molesting my wife in Bonzer's fast asleep in the driver's seat.

Gotta love Christmas back home.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Buzz, Your Girlfriend! Woof!

 So last week I was playing around with Google Earth, and wanted to look at the McCallister's house from Home Alone.  (Don't judge me for creeping around Google Street View.  We all spend our lunch breaks in different ways.)

What I saw was unsettling.

You can clearly see, in the next-door neighbor's driveway, the old van used by Harry and Marv to case the neighborhood.


If it's already too late, Kevin, make sure you bust out your Michael Jordan cardboard cutout and throw a fake party tonight.  And stop fucking with the Little Nero's Pizza boy, he's just doing his job.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What's Cooler Than Being Cool?

I used to be a tough North Dakotan, as far as weather was concerned.  To be clear, 'weather' is the only North Dakota category I can be considered anywhere close to tough in.  Hunting?  I'll let you spend hours stalking, slaughtering, and mutilating a helpless animal until you've transformed it from a peaceful living creature into Tuesday night dinner.  Give me a call when it's cooked and sitting on a dinner plate, preferably with a baked potato and a side of corn.  Fishing?  No, I don't really want to bait my own hook....but I bet I can drink 17 beers on the boat before you guys fill up the livewell.  Snowmobiling?  I tried that a couple times in middle school.  Almost crashed into a barbwire fence and ultimately got stuck in a pit, then got yelled at by the Culligan Man for being reckless.  So I'm all set there.  I like your Arctic Cat jacket though.  It's very neon.  Cold weather, though?  I could handle that.  No, I'm not cold, you pussy.  Here, take my gloves, I don't even need them right now.  Hands were getting sweaty anyway.

But I've been gone for over six years now, and the last couple years, my body finally acclimated to the warmer Kansas weather.  Christmases up north are now almost intolerably cold for me.  In addition, I completely lost my ability to dress responsibly according to the weather conditions.  Last year, during the 12th Mostly Annual Walsh Quad Kickball Game, it was below zero, and I figured I'd be OK in a track jacket, MC Hammer pants, ankle socks, and tennis shoes, "Since we'd be running around and stuff."  When I saw people showing up in full body snowsuits, face masks and boots, I knew I was in trouble.  Plus, I thought it was a good idea to drink a 40oz. outside in those temperatures, so I ended up leaving half of the skin in my mouth area stuck to the bottle that night.  A man can't even enjoy his malt liquor in peace?  I honestly can't understand why that region of the country is inhabited with human beings.  Basically, at this point in my life, every time I get ready to drive up for Christmas, I hope for the warmest temperatures possible, as my ability to accept shitty weather with a shrug and a grim smile is gone.  

But not this year.

Before we started dating, Teens had never even set foot north of Omaha.  She's been to North Dakota on a couple of occasions since then, but never during winter.  So I want her to see what it's really about.  I want it to be cold.  I want it to be freeeeeezing.  I want to make her go start the car and scrape windows in the morning.  I want her to go to the gas station, and scurry back inside the car while the gas is pumping, because you can't stand to be outside for even a couple minutes.  I want her to run from a parking lot to a building because she can't stand walking in the cold, while I crack jokes like "You know, it's not really the heat, it's the humidity that'll get ya."  I want her to pull a 'Jenna', also known as getting hammered, then coming home and crying in the middle of the night in bed because it's so cold.  (Although, to be fair, that incident occurred at Culligan Manor, where the walls were made of paper mache, and we had competitions with friends in other apartment buildings on how deep we could get into winter without turning the heat on.)  I want all of it.

So bring on the cold, Weather Gods.  Do this for me, and I promise, I won't drink any more 40's in the Walsh Quad, ever again. 

(That's a lie, Weather Gods.  Just hook me up anyway.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

That Awkward Moment....

....When you realize that starting sentences out with "That awkward moment" and then going on to describe an unfunny everyday situation is really annoying and you should probably stop doing it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Broke Into The Old Laptop....This Is Where We Used To Live

Besides my currently functioning laptop, I have an old Gateway laptop that was my high school graduation present from my parents.  If I had to give an approximate breakdown of its lifetime usage, it would be:

10%-  Writing papers & speeches about the '92 Dream Team and/or Tupac faking his own death

10%-  Sending 5,000-word emails full of mostly bullshit to keep Easy E, ADawg, and their squad entertained while they were in Iraq

80%-  Downloading music 

The vast majority of my songs on this laptop were downloaded freshman year of college, back in the days when you'd queue up about 30 songs to download before you went to bed, then wake up in the morning to a brand new cache of hot jams, for free!  All you kids out there legitimately purchasing your music on iTunes nowadays, don't get it twisted-- illegally pirating music was fucking awesome.

This old laptop has been dying for a few years now.  Even when it's plugged in, I can only get it to turn on every few months or so, and it only stays on for about 15 minutes, during which I make a mad dash to scroll through my old Morpheus/Kazaa/Limewire to steal as many songs as I can before the computer quits.  During my latest run-through, I was taken aback at how much shitty music I had on there.

Before we go over some of my favorite finds, a disclaimer:  Some of the rubbish can be explained by the fact that everyone always downloaded songs on each other's computers during dorm room parties....kinda like STD's for a laptop.  So I'm sure I only downloaded most, not all, of the following examples-- but the fact remains, they're still on my computer.  So at the very least, I didn't go and buy the MP3 version of the special shampoo for crabs, for which I need to take some blame. ANYWAY....

- My collection of Nelly songs- Country Grammar, Batter Up, Hot in Herre, #1, etc.

(Don't worry, this is the SFW version, not because I care about curse words in your place of employment, but because I want you to hear one of my favorite radio edits of all time, right in the opening three seconds.  HOTDISH!)

Nelly didn't age well for me personally, as I made my transition to hip-hop snob (we'll get to that later.) When it comes to "Party" rap, which sets up an entirely different evening than Gangsta Rap, I'm not sure why I gave Ludacris a pass, but started referring to Nelly as a little bitch (nevermind, I remember why.) Regardless, I hadn't listened to Nelly in years, and some of songs were pretty sweet upon re-listening. Country Grammar is just a straight-up fantastic Party Rap song. And thanks to Nelly, I wore a band-aid on my cheek on more than one occasion for Halloween.  So there's that.

- Debbie Does Dallas theme song

We went through a phase freshman year during which we would download songs from some of our favorite pornos.  I blame Lane and his roommate, the incomparable Logan Stoner.**  To this day I still think this song is baller, even when you're not watching Bambi Woods get railed in a sporting goods store. I was listening to this song the other day while I was shaving, Teens heard it from the other room, and we had this exchange:

Teens: What is this?

Me: The theme song from Debbie Does Dallas...

Teens, deadpan: What.

Me: Pretty cool bass line, isn't it?

~ Teens walks away ~

Me: Hey, you could've said no when I proposed!  This is your life now!

**Normally I don't use real first and last names on the blog so you can't get put on blast by Google, but I want Logan to google his own name, read this, and somehow have it lead to him hanging out with us again.  What a tremendous random roommate he turned out to be for Lane.  I lived with Paul in the dorms, so we knew it would be awesome, not to mention homoerotic. We took the element of chance out of the equation; signing up for a random roommate was a risk we didn't want to take. Sometimes it didn't work out, like when Russell got the kid with three first names that studied all the time and sneered at us every time we tried to get him to put down the books and come party with us, but sometimes.... sometimes you got lucky like Lane and drew a magnificent bastard like Logan Stoner. Holler at me, Logan.

- Prozzak- www.nevergetoveryou

Presented without comment.

- Pink- Get The Party Started

A girl that I had a crush on at various points in college LOVED this song when I was a frosh and she was a sophomore, ipso facto, I loved it too.  Paging Dr. Ikes.  Dr. Yee Ikes, you have a telephone call up front.

- R. Kelly- 'Ignition'

Somewhere along the way, I turned into a hip-hop snob. It's important for me to stumble across songs like this one, or 'The Thong Song', or anything by Ja Rule, and remember that I wasn't nearly as cool as I later portrayed myself to be when arguing about the state of rap music.  On the other hand....

- Lil Bow Wow- Bounce With Me

....If I was always cool, I might not have songs as delightfully brutal as this one.

- John Mayer- Your Body is a Wonderland

One of my least favorite songs of all time.  I hate John Mayer with a burning passion.  I don't even care that he was on Chappelle's Show once, fuck that guy.  However, this song did give our friend group a great running joke for a few months:

 "James, grab me a beer while you're up!"

"I'd be happy to, Fundy.  I mean, your body IS a wonderland and all."


"Ike, we're not ordering Chinese, you know I hate that shit.  Let's get pizza."

"Quit being such a pussy all the time and just eat Chinese for once."

"Screw you, I just hate Chinese food, it's the one thing I won't eat!"

"Hey, can I tell you something right now without you getting angry at me?"


"Your's a wonderland."

- Brutal Songs, HOT GIRL DIVISION:

Kylie Minogue- Can't Get You Out of My Head
Nelly Furtado- I'm Like a Bird
Shakira- Whenever, Wherever 

Goodness gracious, I hadn't thought about Shakira in a while.  Do you guys remember when she was gloriously released to the world?  My wet dreams do.

- Man, I Loved Ruining Songs For People Sometimes (And Still Do)

Fuel- Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

I think this song sucked, but a lot of people loved it. I have very fond memories of singing this chorus as loud as I possibly could, not knowing the words and not caring, and annoying the crap out of people. If you made a list of activities that I enjoyed the most in calendar year 2002, and I'm kinda spitballing here, it would probably look something like this:

1. Getting drunk
2. Getting laid
3. Playing Madden
4. Ruining that stupid Fuel song while my friends are trying to enjoy it
5. Arts & Crafts


- Songs That I Have Ripped On For Over a Decade, Only To Just Now Realize That They've Been On My Computer This Entire Time:

Crazy Town- Butterfly

Nickelback- How You Remind Me

Creed- Higher

If my old laptop never turns on again, at least he gave me one last gift. Sleep well, sweet prince.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Et tu, Jacoby?

So Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees.

Don't worry, don't worry.  I'm not gonna do....what you all think I'm gonna do....which is just FLIP OUT!

This isn't another Johnny Damon situation.  Really, the only similarity is that a center fielder who most of the female fan base wants to bang (and a portion of the male fan base, whether they admit it or not, and I will freely admit it) signed a free agent contract with the Yankees.  The reason Damon's signing was so tragic is that he portrayed himself to be Red Sox to his core, and stated on multiple occasions that he'd never sign with the Yankees, then did it anyway.  Ellsbury made it clear from the beginning that he was going to the highest bidder, and had a strained relationship with the Boston front office for years now anyway.  I've been prepared for Ellsbury to move on since about May of 2012; it was pretty much inevitable.  Even more so once it became clear that my boy Jackie Bradley Jr. was waiting in the wings.

So really, the only bummer is that he had to sign with the friggin' Yankees.  Why couldn't the Mariners or Rangers or somebody come up with the cash this one time?  (Side note:  The one good thing about the Yankees signing Ellsbury is that I think they wayyyy overpaid for him; his main asset is speed, and he's now on the wrong side of 30.  He'll probably hit a few more homers with New York's short porch in right, but this contract could still look more than a little Carl Crawford-ish in a few years.  Not that that matters with the Yankees' "budget.") 

When an ex-Red Sox signs with any other team besides New York, it's much easier to tip your cap and remember the good times as they walk out the door.  (Good luck with the Marlins, Salty.  Probably shouldn't have tried this throw, but hey, whatever.  Champs, dude!)  But now, despite Ells being a huge part of two World Series Championships-- not to mention providing all of America with a free taco by stealing a base in the 2007 World Series-- every time I see him in pinstripes from now on, there will be at least 40% of me thinking "Man, fuck that guy."

The lesson here, of course, is to stop having man-crushes on Red Sox center fielders.  I promise that will never happen again. 

Dammit!  Too late.  Promise me you'll never leave me, JBJ.  PROMISE ME.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Made With Bits Of Real Panther, So You Know It's Good

The person delivering this newscast is one of my best friends. No, not Ron Burgundy, the other one.

I don't even know how many times Amber and I watched Anchorman together back in the day-- I do know that the only person I watched it with more than her is Paul (obvs.) When we heard there was going to be a sequel, we discussed the logistics of going to the movie at the exact same time, three states apart, and putting each other on speakerphone and watching the movie "together." If you would have told me back in 2005 that someday I would watch Amber and Will Ferrell deliver the news together, my head would've exploded. (Actually, that's not true. If you would've told me this story back at that exact time in my life, when all I did was speak in Anchorman catchphrases, I would've paused, put on my best Ron Burgundy voice, smirked, and said "I don't believe you."  And if you assured me it was true, THEN maybe my head would've exploded.) I'm still struggling to comprehend that this actually happened to one of my friends, to be honest.

I've been struggling to come up with what the comparable scenario would be in my own life. I play a round of golf with Phil Mickelson and it's televised? Bill Self decides to start me at small forward in KU's next game?  I do a cameo on The Wire?  The kicker is that this is Amber's job, and she was still expected to deliver the news. So maybe the best comparison would be me working on amortization schedules along with Tiffani Thiessen in character as Kelly Kapowski, or maybe presenting budget projections for the spring semester while Dave Chappelle cracks jokes in my ear. I don't know how Amber kept it (relatively) together, so a tip of the hat to her on that one.

Great news story. Compelling and rich.