Monday, January 31, 2005

Best car commercial ever! 

Okay, okay, THIS is absolutely brilliant. Likelihood of it being shown on American TV is less than zero, but damn is it funny. Make sure you have your audio turned on.


Sunday, January 30, 2005

The fight of his life 

The story really doesn't do justice to the accompanying photos. These snapshots are truly priceless.


Saturday, January 29, 2005

I think I'm going to be sick 

There's a rule in Pac 10 basketball: If you lose to Washington St. at home, they kick you out of the league. This is not the way to follow up a big win.

Support for my Wildcats: Strong as ever
Confidence in ability to make a Final Four run: Shaken to the core

This is an embarrasing, embarrasing loss.


Friday, January 28, 2005

I'm still beaming about this 

My boys did me proud last night. Bear Down, I say (then I say, "we need a better battlecry"). I'm really excited to see Salim Stoudamire in such great form. It's not that he wasn't capable of rattling off 25 points any given night, what's exciting is that for the last five or six games he's been incredibly consistent in doing so. Love that! It bodes very well for Arizona if he can keep it up.

Washington is still a strong team. If last year's struggles against them are any indication, UofA will have a very tough time during the rematch in Seattle next month.


I kid you not 

Last night I go out to the opening of this bar/club that a friend of a friend is running. It's 80s-themed (or at least last night was) but still in need of some work. Not quite finished, but I guess the guy felt he needed to rush the opening. Bathrooms were still a mess, they didn't have proper shooters for those delicious shots of JD, and the sign of the bar still wasn't up. Fun times, though.

Aaaaanyway, the DJ comes on the PA system between songs late in the evening to urge everyone to come back tomorrow when, ahem, TINA YOTHERS of Family Ties will be there. Are you kidding me? That's amazing! Holy crap! Tina Yothers?! Wow... so? I guess people can finally ask her why none of the characters on "The Ties" ever ever ever drank their orange juice, though they poured themselves a glass each and every time they went to the kitchen (tip to John).

Oh, and did I mention that the name of the establishment is... wait for it... "Chupacabra?" That's gold. That's so ridiculous that it's brilliant.

Highlight of the night, though, had to be the experience I had in the bathroom. Before I continue, I'd just like to say that the ladies may or may not be offended by the verbage herein. Just putting that out there. 'Cause it's lewd, but not for the reasons you think. Okay, so I just finished up and I'm washing my hands and the guy that was in the stall next to me emerges and blurts rather jovially, "It's 80s night!" Men aren't supposed to talk in the bathroom. It's just a rule. Off-guard, I reply, "Yeah..."
Duder: I bet that means that none of the girls shaved their cooches!




Me: Right... well, I guess there's only one way to find out (awkward laugh).
Duder: (like a demon unleashed from hell) YEAH!!!!!!!!!

And then he bolts out of the bathroom, like he was shot out of a cannon, without washing his hands. My, oh my.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Go to the bathroom before reading this 

Because chances are that you'll piss yourself from laughter. Seriously.

I know I've championed the guy on this site before, but this installment from the Hakushaku is a MUST read. Lengthy? Yes. Worth it? Most definitely.

Hat tip to you, Berto.

***By "this installment" I do of course mean "the entire page."


Another favor 

Completely separate from the post below (I can't stress that enough). Click me.


Do me a favor 

Take a moment to remember.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

F Duke! 

I hate Duke basketball with a fiery passion unbound. So when they lose at home, you know I'm cheering fanatically. Of all teams to hand them their first loss, Maryland is the one that stepped up. The same Maryland Terrapins who've made a habit of getting pasted this season by nearly every challenging opponent they've faced. Granted, this is their only loss on the year, but I seriously and truly doubt Duke's ability to do anything substantial come March. Consider that they've played all of three road games all season long -- the first of which came a mere ten days ago. Yeah, this team is overrated. A win over Michigan St. and no one else does not make you one of the best in the country.


10 reasons why you eat poo 

Nothing against you in particular -- or anyone for that matter -- but there's a collection of random crap floating around in my head and I figured I'll take the time now to purge them on to this interweb.

1. The Job

I'm back at work and, strangely, it feels like I never left. Just about everything is exactly the same. How boring. The new season, however, gets underway in earnest this weekend when the new cast begins taping. Certainly, they appear to be more entertaining and intriguing than last season's edition. Also, I predict I'll be having to watch a lot more sex courtesy of this cast. Something about them just screams, "amorous." Anyway, I'm still getting used to waking up early to go to work. Thankfully this first week is light and serves as a nice transition period. Though these first two days have been fairly busy and, hence, the reason for a list like this.

2. Desperate Sexism

I'm sure I can't be the first to point this out, and this comment is less than timely, but every single male character on Desperate Housewives is cartoonishly unlikable. It's been evident all season, but last Sunday's episode really clinched it. As if the writers said, "Hey, do we have any men on the show with integrity? Let's put an end to that."

Don't misunderstand, I do realize the show's conceit, but the favoritism towards the show's women borders absurdity only superceded by the shlocky 24 (only the gender bias is reversed, of course). Although, the men on Desperate Housewives aren't as hopelessly incipid as the women on 24, so I guess that's a consolation. They are, however, all either murderers, adulterers, psycopaths, or totally unsympathetic.

3. Terrell Owens

The doctors announced yesterday that they don't believe Owens should be cleared to play in February's Superbowl. Hey guess what? It's the freaking Superbowl! And he's still a professional athlete, last I checked. The only thing that'll stop T.O. from missing this game -- threat of worsening his injury into a career killer or not -- is if he's dead. Think he'll go find a second opinion? Yes. Yes he will. But ultimately this is all moot because New England is going to roll to a win regardless. The Patriots are just about as close to a "perfect team" as you'll ever see.

4. Don't Stop Believin'

Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

A singer in a smokey room
A smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people, living just to find emotion
Hiding, somewhere in the night

Working hard to get my fill,
everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice,
just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on


Don't stop believin'
Hold on to the feelin'
Streetlight people

5. Who would win in a fight: Mike Tyson or Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby?

What are you kidding? Tyson, obviously. He'd slaughter her mercilessly.

Just want to put it out there once again that MDB is a fine movie, but not the best and certainly overrated. Too many problems with that movie for me to give it Best Picture. My opinion aside, MDB is the darkhorse to win the big Oscar away from odds-on favorite, The Aviator, which I'd rank second to Sideways. Pretty much anything but Finding Neverland and I'll be fine.

6. Exit strategy?

This spring is two years since, "Mission Accomplished." Hey, Mission Accomplished everybody.

7. The best president ever is on Battlestar Galactica.

Alex agrees. Laura Rosalind is simply the best. Point of reference: I'm not supposed to like this show. Galactica is just supposed to be a big nerd-fest that some of my friends latched on to because it has neat action sequences set in space. Know what? Turns out it's a pretty great show. Laura Rosalind is definitely one of the reasons why. That character's awareness of her surroundings and knowing that she needs help and is completely fallable as a leader make you wince when looking at the real-life alternative. Master-stroke of the show, however, (and this is the clincher for me) is all the interplay between Dr. Gaius Baltar and cylon #6 who may or may not be a figment of his imagination. If #6 is, in fact, only born out of Baltar's mind, then this show catapults into the stratosphere of "awesome." I love the moral ambiguity.

8. I would totally still run our cat through a ban-saw for a million dollars.

Don't look at me like that. We're talking about ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

9. Maria Sharapova

She's still very very very hot. I'm not kidding, she's sweating out there. I'm watching her live semi-final match against Serena Williams at the Australian Open right now. Sharapova put on a clinic in the first set, 6-2. They're currently 4-4 in the second. Oh my. Maria, Maria.

10. Gary Bettman's shame

There are talks between the players and owners regarding the NHL lockout, but it is unofficially official that the entire season will be lost. There's really no indication to think otherwise. Let's recap how Gary Bettman is on level ground with Bud Selig for futility (if not higher!)

Under Bettman's watch:
- The NHL is poised to become the first major North American sports league to miss an entire season due to a work stoppage.
- Lockout erasing half the season in '94-'95
- Stood by and watched as Canada's hockey identity was dismantled with the exodus from Winnipeg and Quebec
- Overexpansion including dead hockey markets such as Columbus, Miami, Atlanta, Tampa Bay (even with their Stanley Cup) and Nashville (though the Nashville fans are eager to rally around anything, to their credit)
- The NHL, thanks to this lockout, has lost it's TV contract

I tell you what. The guy's bad for business.

11. Memo to my throat (late entry)

Attn: Scratchy Throat

This notice is an order to cease and desist. If you don't get out, I'll rip you out. That's right, I'll rip out my own throat to eliminate you.

Regards. Alan.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

We're missing a great tourney 

There isn't a single major annual sporting event that gets snubbed by the American press as much as the Australian Open of tennis. Of course, that has everything to do with the unfortunate combination of it being a mid-January event and, well, occuring in Australia and having that whole 18 hour time difference which kind of throws television watching out of whack.

Just caught the third set of the match of the tournament between women's #1 Lindsey Davenport and the fastest rising star in the last six months, Oz's Alicia Molik. Incredible quarterfinal matchup. Davenport won 9-7 in the third set. So she's in the semis with a view to facing the winner of Serena vs. Sharapova in the final. That Serena v. Sharapova match will be awesome -- a rematch of last year's stunning Wimbledon final where Maria Sharapova made her name and upset Serena.

On the men's side, Federer and Roddick look to be on another collision course for the finals. Federer looks unbeatable, as usual. Watching Roddick take on this Russian up-and-comer, Davydenko, who hasn't lost a set yet. Good stuff.

Here's a fun little write-up if you missed the first week of the year's first grand slam.


That wacky Academy 

Like so many other jerks, I can't help but mention this year's Oscar nominations and how some make me happy while others make me less than happy. All, however, are ultimately meaningless (until one of them is for me. yeah!).

Stoked about the following noms:
Don Cheadle
Alan Alda
Clive Owen
Jamie Foxx for Collateral
Sophie Okonedo
Virginia Madsen
(pretty much all the supporting actress nods)
Supersize Me
Eternal Sunshine screenplay
Yesterday -- the South African documentary! Woo! Which, apparently, I need to see.

Miffed by these inclusions:
Clint Eastwood for best actor? What?
Taylor Hackford -- granted, I still need to see Ray, but that's a stunner


No bigger snub than Paul Giamatti. Period. He got shafted in a major way. Blame Eastwood.
Liam Neeson for Kinsey
Closer screenplay

Confounded by:
All the praise Finding Neverland is receiving. I don't get it. That movie is so average. I'll grant you the noms for Johnny Depp along with the musical score and cinematography, but best picture and screenplay? Bah! Outrageous. Ridiculous, even.

Predictions to come some time later.


Monday, January 24, 2005

Pats v. Eagles 

From September '04:

Superbowl pick: Patriots over Eagles (I swear, Philly will get past the NFC title game this year... maybe)
- me

Well, duh. Eagles snap their jinx and the Patriots predictably roll toward the Superbowl. I'll be your crystal ball. In the name of modesty, though, I have to say that this matchup seemed pretty obvious at the start of the season. Unless, of course, you were baited into believing that Kansas City and Seattle were the real deal.

More on this in the coming days as the NFL has opted for the regrettable two week hype-up the game mode. So we'll get a lot of speculation and analysis before we finally see the Patriots take down Philadelphia and a healthy Terrell Owens.


Friday, January 21, 2005

It's back to work for me 

The President's inauguration took place yesterday. I guess that matters. Inaugurations always struck me as a semi-meaningless formality, especially given that they take place 2 1/2 months later. At least it was a modest ceremony without too much unnecessary fanfare. Oh wait...

Sundance film festival kicks off today. Still something worth tracking, but it's becoming less of an event every year. Ah pretension...

College bball continues to roll along and March can't get here soon enough. Arizona picked up an important victory at Oregon last nightl; a win they needed to help re-establish dominance in the conference after a slim victory over UCLA and the memory of the disappointing loss to Stanford from two weeks ago still lingering. Always tough to win at Oregon. Next for the Wildcats is Oregon St who has proven to be a tough opponent on their home floor. The Beavers just dismantled Ike Diogu and Arizona St. last night, so UofA should be on guard.

NFL conference finals on Sunday followed by a two week break before the Superbowl. I hate the two week break. I understand why it's there -- the NFL hype machine -- but it's just too damn long. Sometimes in the past the length between conference final and Superbowl has only been one week and I wish they'd just keep it that way. Football in February just doesn't feel right. Anyway, still sticking with the Patriots and Eagles to win this Sunday.

Then there's me. With a couple weeks to go before my car insurance rates mercifully drop, I'll be heading back to the salt mines come Monday the 24th. Returning to my life will be this thing called "structure" (I know, I don't get it either). Gone will be the days of waking up at God knows what time, debating whether or not to spend the day at the beach or drinking, and staying up through the night watching random crap on TV. It'll be sad, but it was inevitable. Plus, it'll be nice to have those steady paychecks once again. Oh, and word is that my show got picked up for another five seasons! Eep. Guess I won't have any more time off until 2009. Yay!


Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Emotionally draining and very powerful, Hotel Rwanda is definitely on my top 10 for 2004. Don Cheadle's performance makes me want to be a better person.


Monday, January 17, 2005

I hope everyone's having a good day 

Take a minute to appreciate it.

I Have A Dream

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


Hey Jared from Subway. Eat it! 

Watching the NFL this weekend, been seeing a lot of Jared, the Subway success story who slimmed from 489,423 lbs to a slims 250 (or something. whatever). Anyway, too much Jared make Alan a dull boy, so I prefer instead of watching him smile about toasted bread and fresh tomatoes, to imagine that he startles awake every night at 2 a.m. in a cold sweat and just makes a mad dash for McDonalds where he grabs a shitload of Big Macs. Once he's got them, he scrambles back to bed where he eats them in comfort. This is what gets me through the commercials. Nevermind changing the channel. At least I'm using my imagination while watching TV, right? Yeah.

Other commercials I've had it with: beer. Specifically Coors Light. Forget how everyone is chirping about how their beer has fewer calories (as if it matters. If you're drinking beer you don't care about calories!) for a second and let us just focus on the pervayers of Colorado piss water. The motto nowadays for Coors is, "The coldest tasting beer." They brew their beer frozen, you see. What they're telling you is that it tastes cold. It's cold-tasting. Does anyone else have a problem with this? It's called a fridge. You put beer in there and they come out tasting, um, cold. Bah! Ugh... I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't find this so ludicrous. Maybe Coors knows that people who drink that particular beer have no self-respect and, thus, will eat up anything you shovel in front of their slobbery faces. I bet that's it.

If you drink Coors:

1) Why?
2) Stop


I'm like a friggin' sorcerer looking into a crystal ball 

- Conference semis

New England over Indy -- Just in case everyone forgot, the Patriots are still the Patriots. They be able to do what they've done the last several times they faced Indianapolis: control the tempo and punish them physically. Corey Dillon will have an unreal game in front of the home crowd and, oh yeah, Manning and the Colts will have to deal with the harsh elements.

- me

What can I say? Patriots 20 Colts 3. The game was never in doubt. If only I had steady access to Vegas.

Quick notes after going 4/4 on this weekend's NFL playoff games.

- Pittsburgh got incredibly lucky on Saturday. They gifted the game to the Jets twice and were fortunate enough to be let off the hook both times by kicker Doug Brien (no doubt, currently seeking refuge from the New York media).

- Minnesota's defense returned to normal against Philadelphia... which is to say, the Eagles had their way with Minny. Atlanta brings a very aggresive defense to the table, one that was able to quickly neutralize a Rams offense that was clicking at the right time. Philadelphia vs. Atlanta should be a great game. Donovan McNabb tries for a fourth consecutive time to finally get past the conference finals and into the Superbowl with sensational Michael Vick standing in his way. The Eagles finally get over the hump, though I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Atlanta came out on top. Like so many other contests, it'll come down to who makes the fewest mistakes both in turnovers and penalties. The NFC is still, however, the undercard.

- To anyone who ever touted the Colts as the team to beat, I apologize for this: I told you so. Again, Indianapolis getting pasted by New England was all of 0% surprising.

- I hesitate to call the Patriots vs. Steelers the "real" championship game (Philadelphia is still a strong team), but it's certainly the marquee matchup of the season, so far. This is a different Patriots squad than the one that lost to Pittsburgh on Halloween. The Pats have a healthy and sterling Corey Dillon, are rested, and have new found confidence after the clinic they put on against Indy today. Conversely, Ben Roethilisberger has never looked worse than he did Saturday against the Jets. You have to wonder if that will linger with the rookie. The pick doesn't change, I'm sticking with New England.

Also, couple quick college basketball notes.

- No sooner do I scream "North Carolina" than they lose to Wake Forest. That ACC... yeesh. Vicious.

- 2nd best conference to the ACC this season? Pac 10, baby! Arizona's three point victory over UCLA was incredibly sweet and unbelievably maddening to endure. UCLA outplayed them for much of the game. The Bruins are for real, folks. They're going to mess one or two teams up when they get into the tournament in March.


Friday, January 14, 2005

Arizona vs. UCLA 

I've gotta say, I'm really looking forward to this matchup tomorrow (in addition to the NFL playoffs). I've been saying for a while that UCLA is pretty underrated and can do some real damage later this season. Well, at the moment, "later this season" means "right about now." It should be a tough test for the Cats, even at home. I think last night's 9-point win over hapless USC did little to erase the memory of their disappointing loss at Stanford last Saturday. The Bruins proved their mettle to a degree last night by winning at improved Arizona St. and overcoming one of the five best players in the country in Ike Diogu. Both ASU and UCLA have made drastic improvements from a year ago and both look very capable of securing invites in March to the tourney. I'd say those two along with, of course, Arizona and Washington, and perhaps Oregon (should the Ducks survive conference play) will be repping the Pac 10 come NCAA time.

While we're talking college ball, I just have to reiterate that North Carolina was my preseason #1 and they look every bit of it. B.J. Elder or not, the way they polaxed Georgia Tech this week told me everything I need to know. They're the most-talented team in the country by a sight and the difference between this year and last is that the Tar Heels are now playing as a team rather than a collection of individuals. UNC, along with Illinois, are several cuts above everyone else in the country.


So what you're trying to say is, "Don't see it" 

Elektra really got the business from the critics. 2% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yipes. I think perhaps I should like to meet with Daniel M. Kimmel of the WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE. I bet he's an interesting guy.


Landlord Update 

Shocking. Just shocking. He didn't show up yesterday. Who ever could have guessed. I was, however, in contact with him throughout the day. At about 1pm (2 hours late) I call him to ask when he might find it convenient to keep his appointment and show up. Turns out he was in a "meeting" and wouldn't be able to make it to the house 'til about 3pm-4pm. Okay. Fine. See you then. 4pm rolls around and still no landlord. Before I can call him, he calls me. "Yeah, there's just no way I can make it out there. I'll call the plumber and, if you want, I could stop by later tonight (gee, how generous)." I tell him he doesn't have to worry about coming over and to just call the plumber (which is what he was asked to do from the beginning!). Twenty minutes later, the schmo calls back and joyfully informs me, "Okay, the landlord will be there at 9am tomorrow. First thing! His name is George and he'll be there at 9. Oh, and don't worry about the bill. I'll take care of it."

Don't worry about the bill. I'll take care of it. Are you freaking kidding me? Of course you'll take care of it! You're the bloody landlord! Of course, I don't actually say that because I'm just so stunned that he even has the gaul to suggest I might have had to pay for the plumber myself. All I can do is scoff and say, "Yeah!"

Anyway, George the Plumber got here a little while ago. Pipes are being fixed. Water soon to return. End of story... hopefully.


All Laker fans breath a sigh of relief 

The x-rays on Kobe's ankle were negative. Phew. Good win for LA last night over LeBron and the Cavs without Bryant. Love the way Lamar Odom and Caron Butler stepped up. It's almost as if they resemble the two guys who were traded for Shaq this summer! Awesome!


Thursday, January 13, 2005

That's just lovely 

The Prince doth have a sense of poor taste.


Here's a fun game 

It's currently 11:36 a.m. My landlord said he'll be in to check on our plumbing some time between 10a-11a. You guessed it, he's still not here. So when will he arrive? Today? Who knows. It's a mystery. A mystery with no satisfying conclusion because he's too stubborn to just call a professional plumber anyway. Delicious. Don't you just love it when you turn on the sink in your bathroom and water just simply doesn't come out? I do. I love it. Hot showers are overrated, too. Everyone knows that the action's all in standing under a leaky shower head with zero water pressure and basking in luke warm goodness.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Guess what, everybody 

Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera totally sucks. Can't really even heap all the blame on him as the musical itself isn't all that good. Beautiful set design, but otherwise a waste.

After watching this film I have to ask if there is a character more illogically written than the titular Phantom. Yes, we know he's insane, but I'm talking about his backstory and needs. For example, does anyone in the world know why he needs 20,000 francs a month? Honestly? So that he can craft more dioramas of the theatre and then light them on fire? To renew his subscription to People? Any reason? Or how about that aside from the masked part of his face, the dank grotto he's dwelled in has done nothing to harm his complexion? How did he become a genius architect? Why is he capable of expertly handling a sword when no one would dare look on his face and teach him?

If you think I'm being nit-picky, 1) I'm not, and 2) The movie's a bore from start to end. You be wise to pass on it.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Paint me purple and call me Susan 

I'll be damned if the Minnesota Vikings didn't prove me flat wrong yesterday. Really a shocker, if you ask me (and you did or at least were thinking of it). All of the blame can be directed at Brett Favre. His bust at the Hall of Fame is waiting for him, but I swear that at times yesterday he looked like a rookie. Five turnovers -- ouch! Favre threw four interceptions to a defense that only caught eleven interceptions all year! And what the hell was he thinking with that underhanded toss five yards past the line of scrimmage. The Packers fate, to me, was sealed on that play. The Packers defense, for as poor a start as they got off to, really held their end of the deal for most of the rest of the game. However, too many squandered opportunities by Favre eventually gave way to gimpy Randy Moss catching a touchdown virtually unchecked. By the way, anyone who is taking offense to Moss's end zone celebration on his second touchdown should be shot in the face and their dead carcus mauled by bears. To any who doesn't know, Moss mimicked pulling his pants down and mooning the Green Bay fans. 1) He didn't actually take off any clothing. 2) It's bad sportsmanship, yes, but hello it's the opposing teams fans. Who cares? 3) Everyone in the know is aware that when a visiting team loses at Green Bay, the Packers fans moon the team bus as it leaves the stadium. They do it every game. So now that it gets thrown back in the fans' face, by Randy Moss of all people, the humor is suddenly lost? Bullshit! Joe Buck, James Brown, and number of sportscasters and beat writers who took offense to Moss's silly antics deserves a punch in the back of the head. Maybe it'll help calm down their oversensitivity. Mentally fragile, the lot of them. Between this and the Terrell Owens/Monday Night Football incident, I swear this country may as well still believe in witch burnings and excorsisms. Stupid. I urge everyone to resist the Moss complaints. That is not the big story from yesterday's game, no matter how much undue pub it's getting.

But I digress. Back to football.

The Jets/Chargers lived up to it's hype and I'm sure there's no one happier about the result than Eric "I'm going to committ a stupid penalty in the dying seconds of the game that could prevent my team from winning" Barton. Thing is, though, that both sides took awful penalties. Perhaps more than Kaeding missing the OT kick for San Diego, I think the Chargers undoing came on the three ultra-conservative run plays called immediately before it. Schottenheimer deserved Coach of the Year honors, but it wasn't indicative in the overtime.
Rams were an easy call and I think the Colts were about as sure a thing as death and taxes.
Next week's games should be killer. NFC is still super wide open. The Vikings offense is clicking and could very easily nip the question mark Eagles (because we know their defense isn't reliable), though I think Philly's D will hold it together. Atlanta vs. St. Louis probably won't be as close, although the Rams offense is hot right now, too.
Still like Pittsburgh vs. New England in the AFC championship. When the Steelers and Jets hooked up in week 14, it was tight and ugly until late in the 4th quarter when the Steelers pulled away. Expect more of the same on Saturday. Again, I think the Patriots will physically pound on the Colts, but it'll be a battle for both sides. Remember, though, that Manning hasn't won at New England in his last six tries. Not playing in the warmth of the dome and the speedy turf will probably make it seven straight.


Sunday, January 09, 2005

Okay Palestinians 

Prove me wrong. Show me that it matters who is in charge.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Here's why we're all horrible people 

Cannibal Holocaust.

That movie. That strip of celluloid. That alone is why the human race is repulsive. I watched this three days ago and still can't manage to get the dirt off. The dirt won't come off! Seriously, if you love seeing... well... if you have a tolerance for sitting through live animals being gutted and disembowled, gang rape in the name of documentary filmmaking, and unprovoked village burnings for the same purpose of anthropological discovery, then... then I don't know what to tell you. This film has all that. Plus tribal cannibalism.

There's no reason anyone should have to watch this. You should see it just to understand my point. I caution you strongly, though. Don't watch it alone. And if you do, please empty the house of all sharp objects before hitting play.

Dirt... won't... come... off...


John Madden eats the playoffs 

First off, I'd like to point out how ironic it is that the two hottest teams in football -- the two teams "nobody wanted to play" in the wild card round -- actually missed the playoffs. Of course, I'm speaking of Buffalo and Carolina; two teams who could have seriously changed the landscape of this post-season. Tough breaks for them.

All bets are off in the NFC as the Eagles still are a mystery. Yes, they played with their B-team this past weekend, but so did Pittsburgh. The difference? Pittsburgh beat the hottest team in the league while the Eagles got throttled by Cincinnati. NFC wild card round looks incredibly unappealing. Best wild card game will be NY Jets @ San Diego.
AFC (your Superbowl champion WILL emerge from this conference)
- wild card round

Indy blows out Denver -- you might be asking why it'll be a blowout after Denver beat Indy in the regular season finale. Three reasons: 1) Last week's game didn't matter to Indy. 2) Indy is at home meaning they won't have to deal with, you know, weather, which is their achilles and the speedsters on the team will fly on the turf. 3) Last year's wild card round. Colts 41 Broncos 10.

San Diego nips Jets -- This is without question the best of the wild card round matchups and promises to be very tight. Both sides match up well in this one, but I'll take the homeside Chargers behind inspired play from Drew Brees who's passer rating this season is akin to Montana and Young. Conversely, Chad Pennington has had his troubles on the road this season. That Charger linebacking core is nails, too.

- Conference semis

New England over Indy -- Just in case everyone forgot, the Patriots are still the Patriots. They be able to do what they've done the last several times they faced Indianapolis: control the tempo and punish them physically. Corey Dillon will have an unreal game in front of the home crowd and, oh yeah, Manning and the Colts will have to deal with the harsh elements.

Pittsburgh over San Diego -- This also promises to be a fantastic matchup should SD escape the Jets. I love the way the Steelers move the ball on the ground and I fully expect them to be able to contain San Diego's passing attack, namely superstud tight end (so grateful that he was on my fantasy team) Antonio Gates.

- AFC championship

New England wins at Pittsburgh -- Everyone will point to the Steelers homefield advantage and the regular season matchup between these two earlier this year which Pittsburgh won in a route 27-3. Two things to consider: 1) Pittsburgh has never been able to reach the Superbowl when they've had homefield advantage throughout the playoffs (mental block). 2) Corey Dillon didn't play in the regular season encounter. His presence could alter the game drastically and there's no team better at making adjustments than the Patriots. P.S. If I had to pick only one quarterback to win my team a game, I'd take Tom Brady. The guy knows how to win.
NFC (whatever, these guys are playing it out for the honor of being 2nd place)
- wild card round

St. Louis has Seattle's number it seems -- The first of the ugly games features two teams may still not fully realize that they made the playoffs. One of the toughest things to do in football is beat a team three times in the same season. If I could say that both teams would lose, I would, but I think St. Louis is in Seattle's head after that week 4 debacle. I'll take the Rams as the only road team to win in the wild card round.

Green Bay over sheepish Minnesota -- Minnesota may be the only team less deserving the St. Louis and Seattle of being in the playoffs. They lost 7 of their last 10 games and, once again, Randy Moss is shelling out his dose of locker room poison. He's the best chance the Vikings have of winning this game. He's also the number one reason why there is dissension in Minnesota. Without even having to mention what the Packers have going for them, I'll take Green Bay comfortably. I'll be surprised if Mike Tice isn't fired as coach after he loses this game. The guy's had a pereniall top three offense ever since he's been there and they've shown no signs of being taken seriously as a contender.

- Conference semis

Philly over St. Louis -- Now it gets interesting. Very interesting. No one knows what the Eagles are all about without Terrell Owens. Sure, the Rams took out Philly's B-team a couple weeks back, but this is the playoffs and Mike Martz is still coaching St. Louis. It'll be an ugly encounter and an experiment of sorts on Philadelphia's end given that they have no first string game play without Owens in the lineup. His absence absolutely kills their passing attack and will put all the more pressure on Donovan McNabb. Defenses will also be able to key in on running back Brian Westbrook. Still, Philly's defense will carry the day and the Eagles will advance to the NFC title game once again.

Green Bay upsets rusty Atlanta -- This is my upset pick of the playoffs (should GB get there). It really flies in the face of logic in as much as Atlanta has the best running game in the NFL and Green Bay couldn't stop Reggie White's frozen corpse from running for 100 yards. However (and this is big) Michael Vick's health is in question. We all know that Atlanta's fate rests on the shoulders of Vick and if his ankle or hip or whatever the hell it may be by the time game time rolls around starts acting up, the Falcons are in trouble. Also, for some reason, Atlanta still doesn't inspire confidence for me.

- NFC championship

Mysterious Philly finds a way over Green Bay -- McNabb & co. get the monkey off their backs and finally advance to the Superbowl after losing in the NFC title game for the past three years. Not a slam dunk, though. Either Green Bay or Atlanta could clip them because, again, no one knows what the offense will be able to produce. Without Owens, this year's Eagles look identical to the three consecutive NFC championship losers. Still... four in a row? Hey, it happened to Buffalo.
Superbowl: Pats over Eagles -- The Pats defense rules the day as Belichek and Brady capture a third Superbowl title in four years. I think with Pittsburgh rolling like they have to a 15-1 record, a lot of people have forgotten exactly how good New England is. Hey guys, the defending Superbowl champs actually improved this season both in record and personnel. If the Eagles have Owens by this game (as some doctors say is possible), it could be a very good game.
For the record, I'd take any one of the four AFC division champions at this point to beat whomever the NFC representative is. That's how big a question mark I think the Eagles offense is.

My playoff power rankings:
1. Pittsburgh
2. New England
3. Indianapolis
4. San Diego
5. Philadelphia
6. Atlanta
7. New York Jets
8. Green Bay
9. Denver
10. St. Louis
11. Seattle
12. Minnesota



Today is three years to the day that I made the big move to Los Angeles. Doesn't feel like three years. Seems more like six weeks. Do I feel any different? Nah.

Good news this week is that my brother won't require surgery for his knee. Thanks to everyone who shared their concern. I do appreciate it.

I haven't been updating on Bloggy McBloggins, here, as much as usual. There will be posts later today, though, on thrilling topics such as:

My take on the NFL playoffs which begin tomorrow


Why a particular cult film will make you feel like an awful person


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

2005 and we're all still alive 

Funny. It doesn't feel like 2005. This year still has a very '04 feel to it. Oh well. Maybe that'll change in the next couple months. I'll check back then. 'Til then, world!

*Hops on Harley. Chugs a beer. Races off into the sunset*


Oklahoma football - proving everyone right... again 

Watching the massacre that is the USC/Oklahoma Orange Bowl, known in some circles as the "champhionship game." SC is just a monster. I was watching pre-game coverage for most of the day on ESPN and just about every pundit said OU would win a tight game. I didn't put it up here, but I have witnesses who heard me say USC wins by 10. The third quarter just ended and USC is up 48-10. Some title game, huh? Auburn has to be so pissed.

What can you say about the disappointment that is Oklahoma? At least this year the team beating them looks good doing it, unlike last year's Sugar Bowl when LSU knocked them around. I've never ever ever liked Jason White. To anyone who asks why, I refer you to last year's Sugar Bowl and tonight blowout loss. He looks bad. Real bad. And he's making terribly stupid decisions. The man never should've won the Heisman trophy (no matter how worthless that award is).

Okay, I'm done ragging on the Sooners. Boomer sooner. Heh.

Congrats to all my USC friends. The fact you graduated from SC, I'm sure, had a profound effect on tonight's championship win.

Condolences to Auburn and Utah, but you can't really argue with USC going tape-to-tape in the polls as #1.


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