Archive for December 2008

“Dealer, Beer Me A Seven!”

December 29, 2008

Happy Monday.  How was everyone’s holiday weekend?  Mine was just dandy, thanks for asking.  I had an exceptionally good weekend, not only  because it was Christmas, but because I had a couple friends in town that I rarely see, and the further out of high school I get, the more I start to miss some of the people I don’t see regularly anymore.

A little weekend review to get us caught up …

– Christmas in the 10 household was a success, even though I worked 14 hours on the 24th.  I’m not exactly sure if I am getting easier or harder to shop for as I age, but Mom hit the nail on the head this year.  I didn’t get anything really big, but instead a bunch of smaller stuff that I wanted/needed.  I think my number one gift has to be the Godfather Trilogy on Blu-Ray.  Nice pickup, Ma.

– The more I pay attention, the more I am beginning to wonder who exactly is making the weather predictions. I am also wearily close to becoming convinced that it is either a kid with a dart board full of temperatures or a room full of people playing musical chairs, and on each person is a possible forecast. The forecast attached to the last person standing gets the nod for the official prediction.  There’s no way it can be any more scientific that either of those scenarios.  Case in point, the forecast for Wednesday, Christmas Eve, in my area called for a high of 20, a low of 8, and light wind.  Imagine my surprise when the temp didn’t get above zero the entire day and the wind gusted upward of 25 mph.  At one point, it was something like 15-below.  Nice job guys, you were only 35 degrees off.  Tell the kid with the dartboard to lock it up.

– As I mentioned, I got to hang with a couple of buddies this weekend that I don’t see very often.  On Saturday night, I met Hammen and the majority of the old Culligan crew at Southgate for some blackjack and beers.  This was like a trip down memory lane, right back into 2003.  Almost everyone was there, including Ike who, bless his heart, spent his six month wedding anniversary with us instead of his wife.  Happy anniversary Andrea!  As far as the evening, it was definitely a good time.  You can say whatever you want about North Dakota, but where else can you play dollar blackjack … in a bar?  Some of the higher points of that part of the night:

1. Hammen and Kos looking horrendously feminine while they sipped margaritas.  When I asked what provoked them to make such a decision, they pointed out a lady, who easily weighed 250 pounds, who they had been previously sitting by at a different table. It was 10 degrees below zero outside, but she was sipping on margaritas like she was in Cabo. For people like Hammen and Kos, a thing like this is all it takes to get them going, and they just felt like mocking her.

2. Every single time the dealer busted, Hammen declared his name to be “Too Many Kenny” (or “Too Many Penny” in the case of the sole female dealer we had).  You would think this would get old, but it really didn’t.

2b.  Every single time someone at the table got dealt an ace as their first card, Hammen would tell the dealer “Come on, this guy hasn’t had a blackjack all night,” even though we all got several of them.  This also never got old … until Russell started in on it, then it was dead.

3. Me occasionally asking the dealers to “beer me” whatever card I was looking for.  60% of the time, it worked every time.  (In case you’re not familiar with this concept, you need to watch more of “The Office.”  And in the tragedy of all tragedies, there is nothing on YouTube that helps me explain convincingly what it is, so you’re just going to have to take me at my word on this one. )

4. Me getting down to my last two dollars and battling all the way back to $70, (the exact amount I bought in for) and then cashing out.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions, and if I could play for over three hours and come out even every time, I would absolutely do it.  Magical.

– Well, now that the NFL regular season is wrapped up, and the Jets are officially done for the season, and Brett Favre still has all of his appendages, it’s safe to declare that the Madden Curse has been broken.  If you don’t know what the Madden Curse is, I almost don’t have any hope for you.  But, in the spirit of the season, I’ll explain it.  Basically, almost every athlete who has graced the cover of the Madden game has followed it up by either having a horrendously unproductive season, or suffering some sort of detrimental injury.  Let’s bust out a timeline shall we?

2000:  This marked the last year that John Madden himself appeared on the cover of the game that bears his name.  However, in the background of the cover is a picture of Barry Sanders, who shocked the league by prematurely retiring prior to the season.  Perhaps he knew something we didn’t but Barry hasn’t played a single down since his picture appeared on the cover.

2001: Eddie George.  Eddie followed up his cover with a season hampered by nagging injuries and he saw his productivity sink year after year until his retirement.

2002: Daunte Culpepper.  Daunte would go on to suffer a knee injury while the Vikings finished 5-11 on the season.

2003: Marshall Faulk.  Despite having two of the best seasons in NFL history prior to his appearance on the cover, Faulk injured his ankle and the Rams finished 7-9.

2004: Michael Vick.  In the eeriest of Madden-related incidents, Vick suffered a broken fibula just one day after Madden 04 hit stores.

2005:  Ray Lewis.  In week six of the season, Lewis suffered a torn hamstring and sat out the remainder of the season while the Ravens finished 6-10.

2006: Donovan McNabb.  Poor D-Mac.  He openly taunted the curse saying he wasn’t afraid of it.  Sure enough, he suffered a sports hernia in the first game of the season, hobbled around for eight weeks before re-injuring it, and eventually sat out the last seven games due to the surgery it required.

2007: Shaun Alexander.  Three weeks into the season, Alexander suffered a broken foot and missed the next seven games.  Although he would return, he was not nearly as productive as he had been.

2008:  Vince Young.  Sheesh, where to start with this one.  If it wasn’t enough that he injured his leg in week five of the season, (the first time he had ever missed a game due to injury in his life), Young had a plethera of issues this season as well, including an incident in which many people allegedly thought he was exhibiting suicidal tendencies.

2009: Brett Favre.  Well, I guess it takes football’s Iron Man to break this curse.  Considering John Madden’s well-known unhealthy man crush on Favre, this series of events is a little ironic to me.  If in fifteen years we find out Madden himself was behind the aforementioned injuries, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Are you telling me Tony Siragusa wouldn’t try to purposely injure someone if Madden bribed him with one of those giant turkey legs he gives out on Thanksgiving?  I rest my case. Hell, I’ll go so far as to say he would have sabotaged teammate Ray Lewis’ season if offered a gift card to Sizzler.

tony-siragusa

“I want chicken, I want liver.  Madden, Madden, please deliver.”

Well, that’s it for now.  I have an NFL playoff preview in the works, so keep an eye out for that this week.

One love,

10

Even More Favorites

December 22, 2008

Sorry for taking the week off, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Work is just ballistic right now.  One more week of pure chaos and then it will return to some sort of semblance of normalcy, at least I hope.  Anyone who says the failing economy is having an effect on consumerism needs to come with me to work one day.  We are shipping more than three times our normal amount every single day.  Anyway, enough about work.

In an attempt to get myself healthy again, I signed up for a gym membership on Thursday.  I work with a guy who is a member at the gym that is just around the corner from my place, so he took me in and got me all hooked up.  I’m pretty excited about this, because I really do enjoy working out, but my previous gym was just a big hassle.  It was all the way across town, always way too busy, the hours were ridiculous, and it was just not a good fit for me.  After a couple of days at this new place, I am really liking it. It’s about two minutes away, not very busy, and it’s open 24 hours a day.  Well, I told you that story so I can tell you this one…

Before we got there, my buddy told me that one of the girls working there is insanely hot, and I should mentally prepare myself in case she was working.  I basically brushed it off; hell, I’ve seen attractive women before.  Looking back on it, I should have mentally prepared myself.  I’m being serious here: easily, EASILY one of the top three hottest girls I’ve seen in person in my entire life.  I sat there for 20 minutes as we went through the membership sign up process, and I was absolutely stunned.  I have concluded that the price of this gym membership is very easily justifiable provided I see this girl at least once a week when I go in there.  I’ll go so far to say that even if, once or twice a week, I walked in there, saw her for five minutes, and walked out, the price of my membership would STILL be worth it.  I guess what I am getting at is this: Emily from Anytime Fitness, if you are reading this, you are electric.

And so, this whole ordeal has triggered the desire for me to put together another gallery of some of my favorite ladies.  This is the third installment in the “Mike is a Raging Pervert” series, (the previous two can be seen here and here).  As I’ve said before, I like to go beyond the obvious.  Sure, everyone knows Jessica Biel is hot, so putting her in this group would just be like taking the easy way out.  I like to showcase the ladies that are perhaps a little less known to the everyday public.  And with that said, off we go.

Jenna Fischer

I certainly can’t be the only one who has noticed how much hotter Ms. Fischer has gotten in the last couple seasons of “The Office.”  Well, allow me to rephrase.  I submit that she has always been that good looking, but the show wanted to play down her looks to make her seem more plain in the beginning.  It really helped build her character instead of her just being the hot girl on the show. It helped us be slightly more objective in forming an opinion about Pam Beesly.  Now that we’ve gotten to know her as Pam, she has been able to let her hair down and show off her natural beauty  more than ever.  To me, Jenna is like America’s sweetheart, a total girl next door.  That is, if the girl next door to you is a total knockout on one of the funniest shows on television.

jennafischer

Diane Kruger

I have to admit, I was totally smitten with Diane when I saw her in National Treasure.  Between that cute little accent and eyes you could get lost in, I’m hoping she’ll be around for a while.  Hell, she’s so hot, I don’t even mind that she is spending her prime years making PG-rated movies for Disney.  I’m totally content seeing her with all her clothes on.  If she were to ever venture into the R-rated world, however, I probably wouldn’t avert my eyes.  God bless Germany for producing this one.

dianekruger

Emmanuel Chiriqui

In the “I Desperately Need a Nickname” category, comes reason number 4,327 that “Entourage” is, more often than not, wildly implausible.  If Vince’s manager Eric can get a girl like this, in Hollywood no less, then I don’t know if there is anything that is impossible.  Let’s recap.  A short, red-haired, average-looking guy with no money from Queens who was formerly managing a pizza place has ridden the coat tails of his actor best friend all the way to Hollywood where he meets this girl, who has a powerful, multi-millionaire for a father and who could probably be dating any man in California.  Not exactly a match made in heaven.  Okay, enough about the show, let’s focus on the girl.  I think the best possible compliment I can offer her is this: She actually made watching You Don’t Mess With The Zohan somewhat tolerable.  And THAT is saying something, because that movie was a shit storm.

emmanuelchiriqui

Kristen Bell

If before I watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall you would have told me that there was a few scenes of full frontal nudity, I would have been psyched as soon as I saw Kristen Bell … Until I realized that the nudity in question was of the male persuasion.  Seriously, how do they show that much dick in a movie and we can’t even get a peek at Kristen?  The times are changing I tell you.  In any case, the plot of that movie was pretty freakin’ realistic because if I was dating this girl and she dumped me, I would also want to die.  kristenbell

Rachael Taylor

I can’t think of anything to come out of Australia better than this.  Unless porn is from Australia, but I’m not sure about that, so I’ll stick to my original statement.  While I think it was a good role for her, she was definitely overshadowed by Megan Fox in Transformers. This isn’t to take anything away from her, but I think if we start seeing her in more title roles she will get a lot more popular quickly.  So, Australia, you can keep your frisbees and Outback Steakhouses, I’ll take Rachael Taylor.

rachaeltaylor

Michaela McManus

“Law & Order: SVU” has somewhat of a string of good looking ladies who play the Assistant District Attorney, and the third of those is no exception.  Michaela, aside from looking damn good in lawyer clothes, wins my vote for sexiest eyes of the year.  I could almost certainly enter a paragraph full of law innuendos here, but odds are they will be lame, so I’ll just let the picture speak for itself here.

MichaelaMcManus

And because my female readers, mainly Julie, feel slighted when I do stuff like this, I decided that I could add something for them to keep them coming back.  Just so we’re clear, this is per the request of Julie.

cliveowen

Well, that was fun … for me. You’re probably disappointed.  Oh well, I live to disappoint, just ask my ex-girlfriends! There’s a 50-50 chance I’ll be back again before the week is over, but just in case I’m not I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you celebrate.  Drive safely, drink heavily, and show no mercy to wrapping paper.

One love,

10

2008 Year-End Awards

December 14, 2008

Hello all and welcome to El Casa de Ten!  (For all of you who don’t know, that was Spanish for “The Casa de Ten”).  Anyway, welcome to the 2008 Tennies.  As we bid adieu (you didn’t know I was multi-lingual did you?) to 2008, I’ll be handing out my year-end awards to any and all categories I see fit.  I was going to get a celebrity host for this most gallant of events, but as it turns out Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal were both committed to other projects.  This means two things: 1) We’re more than likely less than a year away from two very horrible action movies hitting theaters, and 2) I’ve gotta do this myself.  So, without further ado, on to the awards!

Best Movie –  Dark Knight.  Maybe it was the special effects, maybe it was the hype, maybe it was the build-up and controversy surrounding Heath Ledger’s death, but however you look at it: This. Movie. Kicks. Ass.  The plot, although filled with holes, was spectacular.  Heath Ledger was INCREDIBLE.  This movie has definite re-watchability, and even though it is two and a half hours long, you would swear it wasn’t because you are immediately drawn in and the action is non-stop.  Hands down, my favorite movie of 2008.

Honorable Mention – No Country For Old Men. This race may have been a lot tougher to call had it not been for the ending of this one.  When it comes down to it though, I think Beach said it best when he said “the first 80% of this movie is some of the greatest film making of all time.”  Agreed, big time.  This one stayed with me for a few days after I watched it, and if it ended up in my Christmas stocking, I would certainly not be disappointed.  Maybe if I watched it a couple more times, the ending would take on new meaning for me.

Most Disappointing MovieCloverfield takes this one in a landslide.  Honestly, I was intrigued by the plot.  I was into the movie.  It had me.  I was able to put aside the camera work, which was in Blair Witch style, and I was able to put aside the ridiculousness of the monster in Manhattan.  I was able to put aside the fact that no explanation was offered whatsoever as to how this thing got there or why it was killing everyone.  I got past all of that, only to have it all completely shit on by the last two minutes.  What the hell happened here people?  The movie was only something like 87 minutes long and it ended so abruptly it made me wonder if everyone on set got explosive diarrhea simultaneously and they just decided to cut and print where they were at.  The government’s plan to just straight up wipe out the entire city is put into motion, bombs start dropping, and the two main characters die in each others arms under a bridge in Central Park.  How fucking cute.  WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE MOVIE?!?!?!?! Did the plan work?  Is the monster dead?  They had been hitting it with missiles throughout the movie and they didn’t seem to phase it in the least bit.  Why can’t we get more closure on this?  Can I get five minutes alone with the director on this one?

Best Album – “Where The Light Is – John Mayer Live in Los Angeles.”  After much deliberation, and the realization that it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want, I decided that I am okay with giving out a Tennie to a non-studio album.  I don’t care, the album is good enough to win, and that’s all that matters to me.  For those who aren’t familiar, the album was recorded during a live show at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and featured a 22-song set split up into three different incarnations of Mayer’s music.  The first set was an acoustic set, the second was with the John Mayer Trio, and the third was with his full band.  Long story short, it is incredible. Aside from being the best live performance I’ve ever seen or heard, I really liked the contrast between the three sets.  Look, you got a problem with this pick, take it up with the selection committee, and by “selection committee” I mean me.

Best Sports Team – New England Patriots (18-1, Super Bowl runners up).  I grappled with this decision a lot.  A lot. When it came down to it, the Pats were one play away from putting away only the second perfect season in NFL history, and arguably the best one ever.  If David Tyree doesn’t magically pin a pass against his helmet with time winding down and a defender so far up his ass he could see his lunch, the Pats walk away 19-0.  I can’t punish them for that.  99 times out of 100, that play either ends in an incompletion or a sack (remember, Manning shook a tackle in the backfield before hucking up that prayer).  So, after much deliberation, I decided that since no team has finished the regular season undefeated since 1972, and no team has come that close to running the table outright, the Pats deserve the nod.

Honorable Mention – Boston Celtics (66-16, NBA Finals Champs).  Being a T-Wolves fan, it was rewarding seeing Garnett finally get a ring like he deserves.  It was even more satisfying watching the Celts beat the Lakers.  Even though they went seven games with Atlanta and Cleveland, and six with Detroit and LA, they were so dominant throughout the regular season that they deserved a shout-out here.

Best TV Show – The Office, Season Five.  This was maybe the funniest season yet, and each episode has been better than the previous.  How the show continuously manages to top itself is just a testament to the fact that it has some of the best writers in television right now.  More than ever, aside from the comedic value and one-liners, the show has developed a few side plots for us to follow (i.e. Jim and Pam’s engagement, the Dwight-Angela-Andy love triangle).  The key to these developments, however, is that the writers don’t drown us with them.  They don’t devote entire shows to them, they are very secondary to the comedy.  And even the side plots themselves are steeped in comedy.  Basically, the show is moving forward without being watered down.  Brilliance.  Pure brilliance.

Honorable Mention – Entourage, Season Five.  Entourage gets second pony for being only twelve episodes long and being somewhat unrealistic (even more than usual).  I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t the best season so far.  I’ll let Bill Simmons sum it up for me with this quote, chock full of sarcasm, from his December 5th post on ESPN.com.

Well, the fifth season of “Entourage” wasn’t implausible at all: I can totally see Vince’s losing his career after one bad movie (so what if Colin Farrell has made 15 stinkers and keeps getting jobs?), becoming Hollywood poison, getting a job only because his agent passed up a $10-million-a-year studio head position to stay with him — you know, because agents have such great character — submarining an elaborate $120 million action movie that somehow came together in about 2.23 seconds because the director hated him (in the irony of ironies, because he didn’t think Vince, a guy played by Adrian Grenier, could act), hitting rock bottom and moving back to Queens, then climactically rebounding with the lead in Martin Scorsese’s new movie without ever auditioning for it, and while all of this was happening Jamie-Lynn Sigler fell in love with a jobless Turtle, and Johnny Drama starred on an NBC drama that normally would tape for 17 hours a day, unless your show stars Johnny Drama, in which case you tape once a month for a couple of minutes. Awesome. I’d ask for that 390 minutes of my life back, but it’s my own fault for watching. I blame myself.

I think Bill is a little more upset than I am, but he pretty much touched on all of the stuff that was bothering me about the development of the plot.

Best Purchase – My new entertainment center, without question.  It’s funny how quickly your life can change.  One minute you’re sitting there, reading the Best Buy weekly ad and you see a high-end Sony Bravia package deal that includes a 46″ LCD, a Blu-Ray player, and a 5.1 surround sound system, all for less than the retail cost of the TV alone.  The icing on the cake comes in the form of four magic words: “Three years no interest!” Sold. The next minute you’re sitting in your apartment, alone, with your jaw on the floor watching Iron Man and swearing up and down that Gweneth Paltrow is sitting across the room from you.  That’s how good it looks.   As I’ve said before, Blu-Ray has changed movies for me forever, and until you see it in it’s full, clear beauty, it is indescribable.  Far and away the best thing I’ve bought this year … and maybe ever.

Worst PurchaseThe Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner.  Do yourself a favor, save your money and don’t spend it on this piece of crap.  The label on the bottle of cleaning solution says that you should use this thing once a day, and each bottle will last up to six months.  That’s funny, because I used it once a day and it lasted about three weeks.  Tops.  Not only that, but it just doesn’t work.  All it does is spray that shit all over hell and back for 15 seconds, and then it drips down the sides of your shower wall.  Let’s face it, we’re just gonna have to get in there once in a while and scrub our damn shower ourselves. As stupid as I feel about this one, I would feel 6,000 times stupider if I had bought a Magic Fuzzle like Eric, B-Weezy, and Cristin implored me to do on Black Friday.  Suckers.

Nostradamus Award – The award for the best prediction of the year is a sports-related one, and I’ll do myself the honor of cutting and pasting from a post I wrote on September 2nd:

Speaking of a possible implosion, I can’t imagine I am the only one waiting for Dallas to go completely up in flames.  Between T.O. and Romo, that team has more distractions than a pedophile school bus driver.

Let’s face it, when T.O. is on your team, you are walking on egg shells and you’re never more than a minute away from a possible meltdown.  My Terrell Owens-related prediction for next year is this: T.O. will be out of Dallas by the end of next season and he may have a difficult time finding another team.  He’s been a ticking time bomb no matter where he is;  San Francisco, Philadelphia, and now Dallas.  He seems to be physically incapable of getting along with a quarterback.  He, simply put, is a fucking psychopath.  I really think he might have bipolar disorder or some kind of manic/depressive syndrome.  It’s just always something with the guy, and sooner or later, owners are going to stop wasting money on a team killer like this one.

Britney Spears Award – This is the award for the biggest comeback of the year.  One might argue that Britney is poised to win her own award for her second comeback (let’s face it, she looks fantastic again), but I’m going to go a different direction.  I’ll say that the Miami Dolphins are this year’s Britney Spears.  After finishing last year with a 1-15 record, the ‘Fins have rebounded higher than anyone could have ever expected.  They are currently 8-5, in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East, and if they win their last three games they would take their division.

Honorable Mention – Chad Pennington.  After being outcast by almost the entire league, Chad has bounced back and is highly responsible for Miami’s success thus far.  He has only thrown six interceptions and has not lost a fumble yet.  Impressive.  Congrats to Chad for turning it around for himself.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this year’s awards.  I would like to thank everyone for coming.  I would also like to thank the selection committee for all its hard work.  Hope this was an entertaining read for you.

One love,

10

More Random Thoughts

December 12, 2008

Just a few random thoughts I have tumbling around in my melon as we head into the weekend …

-The Heisman finalists were announced the other night, and it was pretty much the three everyone expected; Florida QB Tim Tebow, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, and Texas QB Colt McCoy.  Maybe it’s just me, but I get bored with a quarterback always winning this thing. Eight of the last nine winners have been quarterbacks with Reggie Bush being the only exception in 2005.  I would have rather seen either Michael Crabtree or Graham Harrell over Colt McCoy, but maybe that’s just me.  It has less to do with performance as much as it has to do with the fact that I just don’t like Texas. Speaking of McCoy and the Longhorns …

-The more I think about it, the more I am beginning to dislike Ohio State playing Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.  First of all, Texas is looking to make a statement since they certainly feel slighted from the Big 12 Championship and the National Championship, that’s no secret.  Second, they’re a dangerous team on offense, and even though I do think they are overrated, they still scare me a little.  Maybe that’s my non-stop paranoia when it comes to the teams I like.  I’ll never not be nervous about any of my favorite teams, no matter who they play. And finally, Colt McCoy is especially dangerous since he’s in the Heisman race.  If he wins, it could pump him up even more and give him all the confidence he needs to play like a champion.  On the other hand, if he loses, he could be looking to show the voters up and play out of his mind.  I fully realize either of these scenarios could go the other way and could inevitably make him stink it up, but I’m just not that lucky.

-I watched Step Brothers yesterday for the first time, and I laughed – hard – several times.  The best line in the movie for me was within the first ten minutes when John C. Reilly’s character Dale is talking to his dad, and they have this exchange:

Dale: “Dad, we’re men, and that means a few things. We like to shit with the door open, we talk about pussy, we go on riverboat gambling trips, we make our own beef jerky. That’s what we do, and now that is all wrecked!”
Dad: “We literally have never done any of those things.”

-I have some beefs with Home Alone. First, I am in a perpetual argument with B-Weezy about whether or not this is an actual, true-to-life Christmas movie. He says it is, and I strongly disagree. I say that just because a movie takes place during Christmas does not make it a Christmas movie. Home Alone is a movie about a kid who was left at home and is now dealing with a pair of bumbling burglars. It could be set in July and the only change would be when Joe Pesci’s character burns his hand on the front door handle, instead of cooling it off in a snow bank, he would slam it into the pool or slosh it around on the Slip-N-Slide. Good movie, funny movie, not a Christmas movie. Please, tell me what you think.  Maybe I’m too close to this project to look at it objectively, I need outside opinions.  Second, the plot has more holes than that pair of jeans you bought from American Eagle a couple of years ago because it was “cool” to have holes in your jeans. Among the many, the most glaring are as follows:

—-Why, when Kevin goes to church and befriends that old man he had previously been scared of, did he not tell him about the imminent danger he was in? He knew the burglars were coming back at 9:00 that night, yet he decided to go it alone. The kid is freakin’ 8 years old! What if the burglars had brought guns? Or had a combined IQ above 85?  Here’s a kid who, two days earlier, was afraid of the basement in his own house and had to turn off a movie because someone got shot. Next thing we know he’s shooting bad guys in the dick with a BB gun and calling them morons.  Eternally pisses me off. Speaking of his age …

—-Since when does an 8 year old have the knowledge and resources to put together such a maze of booby-traps around the house? Christ, at the beginning of the movie, the kid couldn’t even grab a slice of pizza without spilling pop everywhere, and now he’s hanging paint cans from the rafters and hooking a blow torch to the back door. Also, where in the hell did he get some of that stuff? Do you expect me to believe that his parents just happened to have tar and a huge bag of feathers sitting around?

—-Part of his plan involves calling 911.  Okay, finally we’re thinking sensibly, Kev.  However, he tries to disguise his voice to sound like an adult, and tells the 911 operator that the robbers are at his neighbor’s house, only to flee the safety of his own home.  A home he knows inside and out, a home he rigged for his safety … And he just zip-lines right out the window into his tree house.  Kev, you were doing so well in the house.  Surely you had more surprises in store for the burglars.  Maybe some anthrax in the bathroom, or a trap door leading to a pit of snakes in the master bedroom perhaps?  No?  Buzz’s spider was your last horrah?  Alright, fine, get the hell out of the house.

-If Terrell Owens died, and I mean literally died, today, I would NOT care one teeny tiny little bit.  Not for one nanosecond.  Even if it was a horrible, tragic, painful death.  Not one tear, not even a wince.  Hell, I will go so far as to say I would be relieved.  When a guy is thrown to more than anyone else on the team and yet has the nerve to complain, not only about not being a big enough part of the offense, but about another player’s alleged friendship with QB Tony Romo factoring in to who Romo throws to more, that is the last straw.  This is the same guy who was on national television last season in tears because the media was being hard on Romo about the whole Jessica Simpson incident.  Now, not one single week has gone by in the past four months without Owens’ stupid face and ridiculous words in the news about something more asinine each time. Seriously, T.O. represents 98% of everything that is wrong in sports today.

-As Christmas draws closer, I should give you a fair warning that I will be exceedingly busy and thus will have less time to write until probably the weekend after Christmas day.  This will be due to a combination of ridiculous hours at work (I’m already putting in almost 11 hours a day as it is, and it’s only going to get busier), and the fact that I will spend my other waking moments trying to reason with my mother to let me open a present early.  It’s a Christmas tradition, and even though it has never worked, I believe I am wearing down on the defense.  Perhaps this year is the year.  We’ll see.  Anyway, I will try my best to write when I can.  Just be patient with me, it will only last for a week or so.  For now, I hope you all have a good weekend.

One love,

10

College Football Makes Me Happy

December 9, 2008

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Yes, you guessed it.  Bowl season.  Between the 34 bowl games, Christmas, and New Year’s, the only thing that could make the next four weeks better is if March Madness was bumped up two months.  I have been amped since Sunday when the bowl schedule was released so I figure the only way I can shake the slightest bit of this excitement is if I talk about it, in detail, for as long as it takes to calm me down.

So, that can mean only one thing: A bowl breakdown is in order.  I love breakdowns, especially those that include either of the Olsen twins, but that is neither here nor there.  Today’s talk will be strictly sports, peppered with sarcasm as usual.

Just so we’re clear, I will not be breaking down each of the 34 bowl games.  I don’t have the time or the patience for such a task, but more importantly, I don’t know enough about Texas Christian University to break down the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  So for now, we’ll stick to the bowls that I deem important enough to garner discussion.

Let’s start close to home.

INSIGHT BOWL – Minnesota vs. Kansas

Even though my heart lies with Ohio State, growing up in Minnesota means the Gophers get a little of my love from time to time.  For the first part of the season, I was genuinely excited for them and they way they were playing, especially after their woeful 1-11 season last year.  Now they have lost their last four, including a 55-0 drubbing against Iowa to close the regular season.  Kansas is also on a downward skid, and both teams look to rebound with a win on New Year’s Eve.  In a close match-up, sometimes it’s best to look at the coaches.  Let’s take a look, shall we?  I’ll provide the inner monologue for each coach on what their biggest game day concern might be.

timbrewster

“Maybe a cover-two man defense would be more effective against Todd Reesing

mangino

“Five. Five Dollar.  Five Dollar Footlong.”

My pick: Minnesota 31 – Kansas 21

AT&T COTTON BOWL – Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss

Texas Tech is pissed.  I don’t think there has been a bigger understatement since someone said that Lindsay Lohan was “a little slutty.”  Coach Mike Leach has been very vocal about his feelings on the final BCS standings, and I think this is going to lead to a statement game for the Red Raiders.  However, Ole Miss is the only team to beat Florida this year, so if Tech doesn’t keep a level head and spends the day feeling bad for themselves about their BCS snub, and Ole Miss plays to their potential, this game could be closer than most expect.
My pick: Texas Tech 48 –  Ole Miss 28

ROSE BOWL – USC vs. Penn State

This game really has potential to be a fantastic one.  I like the match-up here a lot.  As good as everyone knows USC’s offense is, Penn State’s is equally impressive.  USC averages 453 yards and 37.5 points per game while the Nittany Lions are averaging 452 yards and 40 points.  Each team has a solid defense backing up its high-octane offense, but the pressure is on Penn State, in my opinion, to produce.
My pick: USC 38 – Penn State 35

SUGAR BOWL – Utah vs. Alabama

I feel bad for Utah.  I really do.  I don’t care that they’re 12-0.  A 12-0 record just doesn’t look as good when you take into account that their strength of schedule is 99th out of 120.  Meanwhile, Alabama has arguably the best coach in college football, a rock solid defense, and Glen Coffee averaging 6.1 yards per carry this season.  I just don’t see this game being very close.  Utah’s offense has been inconsistent at times (and downright suspect at other times), and Alabama has held teams to ten points or less seven times this season.  ‘Bama looks to rebound after a tough loss to Florida in the SEC title game, and I just think they’re too disciplined to let that game affect them negatively.
My pick: Alabama 24 – Utah 10

ORANGE BOWL – Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen a single game all year featuring either one of these teams.  This just proves two things: 1) The NCAA would rather show any top ten team blowing out San Diego State instead of showing teams like these two, and 2) I really need to get the NCAA Season Pass (or whatever the hell it’s called) so I can watch an obscene amount of games every week.  Then I wouldn’t look like such a jackass.  Well, I wouldn’t look like as much of a jackass.  In any case, Cincy looks a lot better on paper, especially offensively.  Tech averages an abysmal 144 yards passing per game, which ranks 110th out of 120, but Cincy has had to cycle through five different quarterbacks due to injury. I’m debating flipping a coin, but because I have never really liked Virginia Tech, I’ll take the Bearcats.
My pick: Cincinnati 21 – Virginia Tech 9

FIESTA BOWL – Ohio State vs. Texas

Well it looks like someone out there came through and got me one of the presents I asked for in a post last month. Well done people. Keep working, your time is almost running out!  As for the game, I’m torn.  Texas is pretty good, but I don’t think they’re as good as most people think (or thought).  I think they peaked at the wrong time – in the middle of the season – and now they’re vulnerable to another loss.  They are definitely feeling snubbed both from the Big 12 title game as well as the National Championship game, and they need to put both of those behind them if they want to come out on top in Tempe, where the Buckeyes have won Fiesta Bowls in 2002, 2003, and 2006.  Conversely, the Bucks have put up two consecutive stinkers in their last two bowl games in front of the entire nation, so that could potentially play into their mentality come January 5th.  I’m a believer that QB Terelle Pryor is going to be very, very good soon, but he’s still a true freshman and he may have to fight back some pre-game jitters in order to be effective against Texas.  I take comfort in the fact that most of the Big 12 declines to play defense most of the time, so if the Bucks can get on the board early, it could break the cycle of BCS flubs they’ve endured the last couple of years.  One way or another, Ohio State has to prove they belong there or they might not get another BCS bid in a long time.
My pick: Ohio State 24 – Texas 21

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Oklahoma vs. Florida

Hold on to your horses, people, this game could get out of hand.  Both teams are hot, flashy, and score a ton.  I guess they’re like Gene Simmons circa 1979.  JK is convinced that Florida is going to stomp Oklahoma, and I am inclined to agree.  Florida is playing just as good, if not better, than anyone in football right now.  They put up points in bunches, and are a threat to score from anywhere on the field.  On the other hand, Oklahoma is riding very high after putting up 60+ points in each of their last five games, three of which were against teams ranked in the top 20.  Both teams have a Heisman hopeful at quarterback, and both have big time receivers capable of breaking a game wide open.  If there is one downfall for either team, I would have to point to Oklahoma’s defense.  They have allowed an average of 24.5 points per game, while Florida’s defense allows roughly half as much.  I’ll be straight with you, I don’t give a shit who wins.  I just want to see a good game.  Please, God, let it be a good game.  After watching my Buckeyes get ripped apart each of the last two years, all I want is a National Title game worth watching.  But, in the spirit of the post, I’ll pick a winner.
My pick: Florida 44 – Oklahoma 34

Here’s to another wonderful bowl season.

One love,

10

Kanye Stays True To His Word

December 5, 2008

It’s official.  Mark it.  Time of death: 12:01 AM, November 24th, 2008.

Who died?  Well it’s not “who” so much as it is “what.” What the hell am I talking about?  Kanye West’s run of good albums.  It’s done.  His latest, 808s & Heartbreak, is a total stinker.  It’s difficult for me to type this out because I have always been such a huge Kanye fan and supporter.  His first three albums, to me, were gold.  Each of them earned him a Grammy for best rap album, but I wouldn’t expect a four-peat after this one.  Hell, at this point I think this album is about three weeks away from being sold at truck stops for $2.99 with the purchase of eight or more gallons of gas.

I have always praised Kanye for being so creative and giving us something new with each album, and he was certainly out to do that again.  Good intentions, yes.  But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  And by this time next month, the road from Dayton, Ohio to Lafayette, Indiana will be paved with the ground up bits of every 808s CD remaining in America.  THAT’S how bad it is.

Okay, so I’m upset.  I’m disappointed.  I’m flabbergasted.  But I have my reasons.  Kanye, in his perpetual quest for new sounds and breakthrough music, went in search of something that he had never done before with his music.  What he found, is Auto-Tune.  What is it?  Auto-Tune, basically, is a program used in modern music to correct imperfections in vocals to make them sound better.  It’s a long, convoluted bunch of jargon, but essentially, it’s what T-Pain uses to make his voice sound the way it does on his songs.

Auto-Tune as a musical style is borderline at best, even for the most compatible of artists, mostly because everything ends up sounding exactly the same as everything else.  This is why I do not care for T-Pain’s music, and this is why I do not care for Kanye’s new album.  He did every track in Auto-Tune and he sounds ridiculous.  Most tracks are well put together until he opens his mouth.  The beats are actually pretty well done, which is pretty much expected of Kanye since he has solidified himself as one of the premier hip hop producers of the last ten years.  But everything else is just piss poor.  Each song is just the same two or three sentences repeated a solid 40 times a piece.

You know how Kiss made a kajillion dollars off of “Rock and Roll All Night” even though it was just two lines of the chorus repeated non-stop for three minutes?  Picture that concept on a much larger scale, and done 12 times … in Auto-Tune.

I’ll put this into an even better perspective.  JK (without question the biggest hip hop head of all my friends) and I have been talking about the album throughout the day.  Here is a direct transcript of our most recent conversation:

Me: This is a fuckin tragedy for real though.
JK: I told you, it’s the worst CD I have bought in a long time.
Me: This coming from a guy who bought the Paris Hilton album AND the Brooke Hogan album.
JK: Both better than 808s.

After I saw Kanye live in June, I never thought I would feel this way about his next project just six months later.  Six months ago I would have given both of my kidneys to Kanye after the show he put on.

I guess, for me, the title of this post sums it up the most.  When it comes to an album titled 808s & Heartbreak, I am truly heartbroken.  Kanye, do me a favor.   Take every dollar you’ve ever made, fund the research and development of a fully functional DeLorean-like time machine, go back in time with Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown, and destroy every recording from this album, all the while being ever so careful so as not to disrupt the space-time continuum; Doc gets all in a tizzy about that sometimes.  And while you’re at it, if you could go into the future and get me one of those sports almanacs Biff gets his hands on, that would be much appreciated as well.  God bless.

Hope everyone’s weekend is good to them.  I’ll be headed out Saturday for a co-worker’s birthday, and I expect the festivities to reach a full, level ten shit show.  If said events are indeed as uproarious as I expect, I will certainly fill you in come Monday.  Have a good one!

One love,

10

No Need Towels, Need Sleepy!

December 4, 2008

If memory serves me correctly, we’ve talked briefly about my weird sleep patterns a time or two.  Now since I know I am far from the only person who can get a little weird during a good snooze, I feel slightly better telling you what I am about to tell you.

I’ve done some interesting sleep-related things in my day, things that can only be described as downright silly.  There’s somewhat of a running joke among a few friends about some of these incidents, and another such incident occurred Tuesday that tops them all.  Before we get too ahead of ourselves, though, let’s go back and get a little background of some of the dumber things I’ve done over the years.

– About four years ago, a bunch of us were in Minneapolis for the week, and Eric and I ended up being roommates at the hotel (no homo, we slept in separate beds).  One of the nights, someone requested a wake-up call for our room without us knowing; a classic prank.  So the next morning, at the ass crack of dawn, the phone in our room starts ringing.  Loudly.  To say that it scared me is an understatement.  It scared the ever loving shit out of me, and apparently I wasn’t shy about showing it.  I started flipping and flopping all over the bed like a fish out of water looking for the phone.  It was a combination of the confusion of a sudden wake up, the loud noise I couldn’t seem to locate, and the mini heart attack I had when the phone first rang.  Eric makes fun of me for this to this day, and if you ask him nicely, he’ll do his impression of me on that fateful day.  Fair warning though, he exaggerates more and more every single time he does it, so make a note to tone down his version about 3,000 times.

– During the first couple months of my relationship with my previous girlfriend, whenever she would sleep over, I would have a very difficult time getting any sleep.  Before your mind falls too far into the gutter, let me just say that it was not sex-related.  Instead, after I had fallen asleep, I would have these uncontrollable mini dreams that lasted a matter of a few seconds, but were all the same.  In each of them, I thought my girlfriend was in some kind of imminent danger.  I would jump up like someone dropped a bag of snakes in the bed and start canvasing the area.  I would ask repeatedly “Are you okay?  Are you okay?!?!” to which she would invariably reply by telling me to shut up and go back to sleep.  Can’t explain it, wouldn’t even know where to start.  So why try?  Let’s just forget about it and move on.

– For as long as I can remember, I have always liked to lie about my sleeping situation.  When I was a kid, I used to like to pretend I was sleeping when I knew someone was coming into the room. Then, as I grew older, I took the opposite approach.  For some reason, reasons I can’t explain, I didn’t like to admit I was sleeping.  If someone ever called me while I was sleeping, I would try to sound as awake as possible.  If they called me out on it, I would straight up lie.  Not sure why, just would.  Same thing went if I was, for example, taking a snooze on the couch.  If someone walked in, I would snap awake and try to look like I was just watching TV, even if I fell asleep watching “The Price Is Right” and and woke up to “Days of Our Lives.”  Again, I have NO idea why I did this, and I have since kicked the habit.  I embrace my sleepiness now.

Which brings us to the story that prompted this whole embarrassing expose …

– Tuesday afternoon, I felt like laying down for about an hour before I had to go back to work, so at around 4:15 I hit the sack, set my alarm for 5:30 and drifted off to a wonderful nap.  Since it gets dark before 5:00 this time of year, it got dark while I napped.  I fell into a fantastically deep sleep, and was awoken to my phone ringing. As I usually am immediately upon waking up, I was slightly confused, so I did a quick once-over of my room and it yielded the following information: It was about 5:10, it was dark out, my work clothes were laying out, and my phone was ringing.  These things added up quickly, and I convinced myself it was morning, not evening.  I answered the phone, and this is the conversation I had:

Me: H-h-hello????
Man: Hi, I’m looking for Michael.
Me: Speaking. Who is this?
Man: My name is Justin, and I am calling from Midcontinent Communications. I see you’ve chosen us as your cable and internet provider and I would like to tell you about some wonderful offers we have at this time.
Me: Ummm, Justin is it?  I don’t mean to be rude, Justin, but why are you calling me so early?
Justin: Excuse me?
Me: It’s frickin’ five in the morning man, I’m trying to get some sleep.  Can’t you call back some other time?
Justin: Five … in … the … morning?????
Me: Yeah, why are you calling so early?
Justin: Sir, it’s not five in the morning.
(Silence for easily 10 seconds)
Me: (Slowly coming to the realization that I am a total moron) Alright, be honest, is it AM or PM right now?
Justin: It’s PM sir.  It’s five in the afternoon.
(Silence for another five seconds)
Me: I’m embarrassed.
Justin: (Begins laughing, uncontrollably)
Me: Sorry man, I work weird hours and I was taking a nap.  I guess I lost track of the time.
Justin: And the date too.

Yeah, and the date too, smart ass.  After I apologized to the guy, I hung up and started laughing uncontrollably myself.  I realized how ridiculous the whole situation was, and all I could do was laugh.  I’m just glad he was such a good sport about it.

These stories are just a few of many.  Let this be a warning to all who call me or come over while I am asleep.  I can’t help it, I get a little weird around sleepy time.  It’s just one of my things, don’t hate.  The good thing about this whole condition I have going on is that every time I close my eyes, an adventure is just around the corner.

Well now that I’ve made fun of myself for the day, I think I can call it good.  I hope you had a good chuckle at my expense.

One love,

10