Thursday, March 31, 2005

Someone asked me if I wanted a frozen banana... 

... and I said no. But then, I realized I'd want a regular banana later. So, "Yeah."

I woke up this morning to the sound of my brother text messaging me that super funny Mitch Hedberg died. This really sucks.

R.I.P. Mitch


Preliminary reports say cause of death was a heart attack. Shame.


Stuff I found this morning online 

Yeah, just a random assortment of stuffness.

To begin, this still can't be categorized as a "good" thing -- death is almost never good -- but it seems the nation will finally get a reprieve from the Terri Schiavo theatrics. It really bothers me, by the way, that the media insists on pasting that image of Schiavo as a peppy, healthy 17 year-old -- praying on your sympathies and manipulating the impecable intellect of the American public. Hey, does anyone else find it ironic that they made such a big deal about Terry Schiavo's feeding tube, when the reason she was in that state was an eating disorder? Food (oooh) for thought.

Hey, some Three Tenors action! Remember The Other Guy? You know? Not Pavarotti or Domingo, but the other one? Anyway, Reuters wants you to know that he doesn't have an inferiority complex. Huh. Well, shit.

Final Four coming up this weekend. I'll be stunned if we don't see an Illinois vs. North Carolina matchup in the final on Monday night. I just can't see Louisville or Michigan State pulling it off on Saturday. Anyway, the Illini will be sans mascot. The headline, by the way, says Chief Illiniwek is "benched." Really? Benched? Was he turning the ball over too much? With cases like these (as with the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, and Florida State Seminoles) I'm of the mind that if it pisses one Native American off, it's probably grounds to switch mascots. How weird would it be to see the Chicago Polachs? Or the New York Jews?

Some soccer news. Good performance last night for team USA, knocking off Guatamala 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier they had to have. Following the loss to Mexico last Sunday, it's imperative that USA win the winnable games. This go around, that means six wins against Guatamala, Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama (I know, all real powerhouses). Oh by the way, Landon Donovan will be returning to MLS to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. MLS' 10th season kicks off this weekend. Snuck right up on me.


The Wimbledons tonight at The Viper Room! 

Don't be a square. If you're in LA tonight, your ass needs to be at The Viper Room at 10p to catch The Wimbledons. Don't be lame. Be at the show. These guys are quality. Password at the door is "Good Hang." Tell 'em Cash Milliondollars sent ya.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

For crying out loud 

Hey a-holes, get your shit together. I wonder how all the optimists will try to spin this one.

Been fairly reflective today for some odd reason. Can't stop thinking about some of the summers from elementary and middle school and how I'll probably never get to be that lazy or carefree again. Weird. Summer of '94 keeps sticking out which is ironic because I distinctly remember during that year reminiscing about living a stone's throw away from the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the world.

Oh hey, so I caught last night's episode of Americanized The Office and, though quite a few of the jokes are recycled from it's British predecessor, it is still pretty hilarious. The scene in last night's "diversity" episode where everyone put cards over their head bearing either a race or nationality was hysterical. I do like Steve Carrel. He makes funny.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

If the glove don't fit... 

Johnnie Cochran died today. This doesn't really affect me in any sense, but I wanted to mention it if only so I could link to this article labeling him a "Superstar Lawyer."

The opening paragraph might leave you slightly befuddled. I had to read it twice just to make sure it wasn't a joke.

LOS ANGELES - Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who became a legal superstar after helping clear O.J. Simpson during a sensational murder trial in which he uttered the famous quote "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," died Tuesday. He was 67.

This is how he'll be remembered; as the guy with the witty line, that one solitary zinger. Fascinating.

Or not.


You like jokes? 

Here's one:

Terri Schiavo walks into a bar.

Thank you! I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Seriously, I'm on some sort of loopy kick today. I think I may have set a record for number of uses of the word "fart" and allusions to "urinating on a computer" in a single day. I think it's because I've done fuck all today at work. Good times.


Yo, Laker fan! You totally got F'd in the A. 

Man, you know it's crunch time when the '04-'05 Lakers decide to go into the toilet in a frantic hurry. You'd never know we are currently mired in the homestretch of a playoff push after seeing their solid 32-37 record - a healthy five games below .500. But wait, the Lakers are also proud owners of an eight game losing streak! Yay! Only Atlanta (read: worst record in the NBA) lost more games consecutively.

So now, the Lakers can plan ahead for next year secure in the knowledge that they are all but out of this year's playoff race. What to do with this roster? Quite the dilemma. Well, obviously, it needs to be gutted. You've already sunk all the franchise's money into Kobe, so you have to keep him. Otherwise? No one is sacred. Not even Lamar Odom who they'll need to trade if only to pick up a couple extra parts. Addition by subtraction, you see. Caron Butler should definitely be dealt. Looking at the lineup now, I think you aim to retain:
Chris Mihm
Brian Cook
Sasha Vujacic
Jumaine Jones
(maybe Luke Walton and Chucky Atkins, too, though their departures wouldn't be too painful)

Ditch the rest. Scrap this team, now.

First thing is first, though. How about a freaking coach?! I'm barking for Paul Silas.


Ah, Dougie Benson. It's been too long. 

Hey, wanna piss yourself laughing? Go read up on Doug Benson's movie reviews (courtesy of Bob and David). I can't believe I nearly forgot about this guy. Here's one of my personal faves: X2: X-Men United.


The Liberal Media 

Tired of people saying, "Well, if you don't like FOX News then don't watch it?" Well, it seems now that it would be easier to do that than ever before. Behold! Science!

Elsewhere, a bit of the cartoonishly funny. The headline, alone, is perfect. Hey, lucky for those unlucky enough to get stung that Zambia won.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Deron Williams, you're on my shit list for life 

This weekend was a waste of time. Crushing beyond recognition.

I can still win a healthy sum of money if Illinois does win the national title. I don't even care. As a sports fan, I've never been more embarrassed in my life. Needless to say, Arizona blinked (and didn't stop blinking for four minutes) and the "neutral court" Chicago fans did the rest. It was a choke job, pure and simple. A humiliating choke job. There is no solace to be taken by the fact that we won the Pac 10 title or that Illinois is the top overall seed in the tournament. Those things just don't matter. They don't. Not at all. Seeing a weak team like Michigan State advance to the Final Four out of a pathetic region only compounds the sorrow.

Upsetting. Stupid.

On the plus side, I did see Woody Allen's latest, Melinda and Melinda, this weekend. Happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It isn't laugh out loud funny and some of the tragi-drama was a little off key, but, for what its worth, I found it to probably be the most satisfying Allen film since the great, Everyone Says I Love You.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Morty Seinfeld Memorium Go! 

I am extremely proud to report that all three initiatives of the Morty Seinfeld Memorium were spearheaded last night.

1. They Might Be Giants rocked the hell out of The House of Blues last night. It's the fifth time I've seen them and never before had I seen them, essentially, open for themselves. This is where Andy Richter was featured. For the "opening act" Richter stood behind a podium and read the stirring intros to each of TMBG's "venue songs" -- songs written and inspired by, well, the venues they had just played on the last tour (i.e. Dallas, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Albany, Minneapolis, LA House of Blues, Anaheim House of Blues, etc). It was pretty entertaining if not completely novel. Then, later, they came on to do a full, proper set complete with double encore. They were pushing most of the new stuff off "Here Come the ABCs" and "The Spine," but managed to integrate some of the classics like "Ana Ng," "She's an Angel," "Particle Man," "Don't Let's Start," and "Birdhouse In Your Soul." I was kind of miffed that left off the playlist were both "The Guitar" (a staple of the previous shows I'd seen) and perhaps their most famous hit, "Istanbul." You know what? I'm okay with that. I've heard that song infinity times. I haven't heard it as much as Mike, though. Last night was the 40th time he's seen the band!

2. U of A! U of A! Salim! Salim Stoudamire! Hitting the game-winning jumper with 2.8 seconds left! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! The madness! I love it! Arizona shot the lights out, too, and still weren't able to pull away from a tough Oklahoma State squad who capitalized on 2nd chance points, turnovers, and poor free throw shooting from the Wildcats to stay in the game until the last 2.8 seconds. Salim! Moreover: Hassan! Hassan Adams had a killer game. Maybe the most athletic player in the college game today, my boy did me proud last night. Phenomenal performance.

Kind of disappointing to see fellow Pac 10 brethren, Washington, lay such an egg against Louisville. Would've been nice if the conference had two elite 8 squads as opposed to just the one. Arizona vs Illinois on Saturday should be another classic.

By the way, West Virginia is one win away from the Final Four. What the crap?!

3. I am one echinacea tablet away from being rid of this infernal cold forever! Huzzah!

Oh man, and today is a half-day at work because it is "Good Friday" (whatever the hell that means) which is freaking great. Tonight, looks like I'll be seeing a Muppet cover band. Yes, you read that correctly. A band who covers songs by The Muppets. How epic is that?


Thursday, March 24, 2005

The hell? 

Check out which book is a bestseller in Turkey.

Um, what? Are you kidding me?


I'm telling you for the last time 

It is hard to get angry at Terri Schiavo's parents for continually trying to appeal the decision to have their daughter's feeding tube removed, given the sentimental circumstances. But honestly, she's not coming back. Its never going to happen. And not even the highest court in the land will deny that.

Just. Let. It. Go.


A loss in the Seinfeld family 

Morty Seinfeld (or Barney Martin as his friends called him) died this past Monday. Sadness.

I have a three point plan for honoring his memory tonight.

1. Go see They Might Be Giants, featuring Andy Richter, at the House of Blues.
2. Watch Arizona hopefully beat Oklahoma State and advance to the elite 8 on Saturday.
3. Eliminate this stupid cold I've had for the last couple days once and for all.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mosquito Circus #3 

Yo, check out fabulous show #3 which I promise is a million times better than the first two. Tweeked a couple things to pick up the pace a bit. Even though I haven't listened to it yet, I assure you funniness. Especially John's rap towards the end. Brilliant. Any comments (either on the show or this blog) would be greatly appreciated.


Wrens doc 

The folks at Little Quill Productions are pretty damn awesome, going off and making a documentary on one of my favorite bands like that. Those adorable scamps. Check it, they're blogging the whole experience.

In a word: Bitchin'


Now playing 

This past Sunday, I entertained thoughts of possibly seeing The Ring Two. Then I thought to myself, "Well, that seems a bit odd. I mean, I did like the first one, but I'm not just busting to go see the sequel. Hey, come to think of it, I haven't been to a movie theater in what? Two months? Why is that, I wonder?"

The top ten grossing movies for the weekend of March 18th (as cut&pasted from IMDb):

1. The Ring Two (2005) $35.1M $35.1M
2. Robots (2005) $21M $66.1M
3. The Pacifier (2005) $12.5M $72.3M
4. Ice Princess (2005) $6.81M $6.81M
5. Hitch (2005) $6.48M $159M
6. Hostage (2005) $5.99M $19.5M
7. Be Cool (2005) $5.87M $47.3M
8. Million Dollar Baby (2004) $4.02M $89.9M
9. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) $2.4M $47.7M
10. Constantine (2005) $2.33M $70.4M

"Ah," I realize. "Now I understand."

From this list, I've only seen Million Dollar Baby and still might catch The Ring Two only because I could see it for free if I wanted at Arclight's Cineramadome. But really, who wants to see any of these? Sheesh, the first quarter of the year is such a trash heap for movies. Yet you look at the business that The Pacifier and Hitch are doing and you think, "God, why don't I just end it all now?"


Monday, March 21, 2005

If I had a tumor, I'd name it "Marla." 

I just watched Fight Club again last night for the first time in a long while and had one of those, "Hot damn! This movie is just as good as I remember it, if not better!" experiences. Really dig this flick. It feels so kinetic and, though it's pumping testosterone at a high rate, I can't seem to get enough. I just want to find my power animal like Ed Norton and beat the hell out of it.

One thing in particular about Fight Club that makes it so cool is Brad Pitt. Specifically, how damn cool he is in this movie. Brad Pitt never has and never will be cooler in his life. The scene where he helps Helena Bonham Carter evade the cops by pulling her into a hallway and doing an impromptu dance? I mean, this is the epitome of coolness. Even Pitt's turns in Ocean's Eleven and Twelve pale (and pale mightily) in comparison.

Tyler Durden: as good as Brad Pitt will ever be in his life.


Best game in ages 

In case you missed it on Saturday, West Virginia's double overtime upset win over Wake Forest was probably the best game college basketball has seen since Christian Laettner's famous and dramatic last-second shot helped Duke beat Kentucky in 1992. Seriously. Instant classic. Incredible, incredible game. All the credit in the world to the Mountaineers.

Also, couple of fantastic matchups ahead in the Sweet 16:
Arizona vs. Oklahoma State
Washington vs. Louisville



To have and to grill, to love and to swig 

I have to admit, right up front, that there might have been a time in the dark ages when people believed that grilled cheese and whiskey would be mismatched partners. It is a relief to know that that is no longer the case. Grilled cheese, hot off the skillet, coupled with vintage Early Times whiskey make for an unbeatable combo. You think I'm lying? You point and laugh derisively at my claim? You jest and scoff at a man who craves the simplest of grilled dishes and is sometimes referred to as "The Earliest Time?" Shame on you. Saturday night was the apex of a euphoric weekend (which really began on Thursday) and it is thanks in very large part to the grilled cheese/Early Times whiskey super team-up. That, and a near constant stream of buzzing -- not inebriation... although Friday night I earned another in a long line of gold stars (I actually woke up completely disoriented in the middle of the night on my couch, not knowing what time or day it was. I prayed that the night would not move into Friday morning, as I did not want to go to work. I trapsed up to bed and woke up relieved to find that it was, in fact, Saturday).

The only thing that marred the Grilled Cheese Invitational shindig on Saturday night was the ensuing late night outing to Canter's in which I was denied a complimentary coke with my cheeseburger. The waiter, despite my insistent charm, did not believe that I was "a little fresser." It might have been the stubble on my chin that alerted him I was older than age 10. Clearly, he needed Early Times.

To not have dined on exotic grilled cheese while swigging Early Times straight from the bottle is to not know happiness, but rather, embrace lonliness. You're only denying yourself by resisting the irresistable.


Friday, March 18, 2005

Bucknell! I freaking love Bucknell! 

Hey, got a question for you: where's Kansas? Where's Kansas, huh? Where is Kansas? The mighty Jayhawks? Where are they? I'll tell you. They're right here!

Bucknell Bison: my new favorite team (aside from Arizona, of course). This is why I love this tournament. This is David beating Goliath and everybody cheering (aside from those in Lawrence, KS). Oh my... this is the best. I'm getting victory drunk tonight. Bucknell! Gotta love it.

Oh... tomorrow's games are going to be awesome. Probably not as awesome as 14 Bucknell nipping 3 Kansas. But still. Plus now I can watch this tournament as a fan rather than a gambler given that one of my Final Four picks, Syracuse, ate it hard in the first round courtesy of Vermont -- another big upset. So screw you, Vermont! But really, Vermont? I salute you. I love the little guy.

Thanks to Bucknell (Bucknell!) and Vermont, this first round is completely vindicated and at the last second shirks the label of "predictable."


The New Andy 

New OKGo guitarist, Andy Ross, is a blogger. He's chronicling their current tour. Fans of the kick ass rock group rejoice. It's a good read. The whole band "contributes."


Say it ain't so, Mac. 

The irony is that Mark McGwire's silence is what is incriminating him. Of course he has his right to plea the 5th, but when all the other players subpoenaed by Congress categorically deny using steroids (with the acception of Jose the Pig), then suddenly you don't look so good.

I'm having an awkward time processing all of this as McGwire was my favorite baseball player. Take all that sentimentality and hold it up to yesterday's hearings and... well... things begin to crumble. It's sad.

ESPN's Jayson Stark pens a worthwhile piece of Big Mac's fall.


Productivity: None 

The NCAA has totally sapped me of being at all productive this morning. Maybe I'll get something done around 2pm when there's a lull between games.

Also, I can't understand why I woke up slightly woozy this morning. I mean, I only had four Guinness plus an Irish car bomb to celebrate Green Beer Day and went to bed just before 2am. What gives? Weird. Didn't feel that drunk. FYI - bars still suck on Green Beer Day. Unless of course you show up for liquid breakfast at 8am and stake at a spot right in front of the bartender. Then it's different. But otherwise? Definitely not worth the hassle. Still. Won't be fooled again.

On tap for tonight (get it? on tap? I'm a genius): Dive bar central. A.K.A. The Powerhouse

Saturday: The Grilled Cheese Invitational. Perhaps the most fun I've had at any themed-party-grilled-cheese-alcohol-crazed-mushroom-enhanced-make-your-own-T Shirt-artsy-party ever.

And, of course, more March Madness. Games were fairly dull on the whole yesterday, but the matchups for the second round look a hell of a lot better.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

One-track mind 

I was tipped off that today my boss would be getting into the office late this afternoon. So what do I do? Sleep in and watch the morning games of the NCAA basketball tournament. It's March Madness, yo! Freaking brackets! I'm sure you're all aware that I've been going apeshit over this since... well, since I can remember. God bless the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for coming through on that annual 12/5 upset and knocking off Alabama. Definitely helps my bracket. Elsewhere, I should've known to reverse my pick in the Pacific/Pittsburgh matchup after hearing yesterday that the Pitt team was stranded for all of Tuesday at an airport in South Dakota. Also didn't count on Pacific to shoot the lights out like they did.

Of course, since games finally started this morning, people can no longer sign up for bracket sheets -- sooo overwhelmingly popular in offices. As of this morning, I have entered bracket picks at ten different websites, plus the office pool. Ahh...

I think the Albuquerque region is the deepest and, therefore, toughest region with about six schools all with great shots at making a run to the Final Four. I'm going with the unpopular pick here: Gonzaga. The Zags will beat a surprise Georgia Tech team in the elite 8 to get to St. Louis. Wake Forest is the trendy pick here, but I think the Zags can up-end them in the Sweet 16.

I think the Austin region is probably the sorriest region I've seen in all my years following the tournament (that would number around 12). I think Duke will flame out and they'll do it to Syracuse, my pick to make the Final Four out of this region. The Orange will knock off Oklahoma -- not Kentucky -- to get to the national semis. By the way, just as Wisconsin-Milwaukee won today, I like 12-seeded Old Dominion to upset an overrated Michigan State club.

Everyone is talking up the Syracuse bracket because the top three seeds are North Carolina (my pick to win it all), UConn (defending champs), and Kansas. Can't say there are any contenders beyond these three, however. If Carolina plays to their capability, no one's stopping them. They're the deepest and most talented team in the field. Don't think I'm not taking a risk by picking them, though. Their head coach, Roy "Deputy Dawg" Williams, is a master at underachieving in the tournament.

The Chicago region was taylor-made for Illinois. They don't have to travel more than three hours at any point in the tournament. They'll knock off Oklahoma St. in the regional final to get to the Final Four where they'll lose a classic encounter to North Carolina. What about my Arizona? Well, the Cats could make a run, but I think they could just as easily fall asleep at the wheel. I think LSU has a legit shot at stumping them in the second round.

God, I love this time of year. And it's Green Beer Day, to boot! Which means getting to bars tonight will be torture and perhaps ultimately not worth it. But hey, the Madness.

Only wish I had others to revel with during these next four days.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Stem Cell Research, ahoy! Yup. All coolness.

Except for this bit:

Federal policies restrict scientists from using federal funds — or even equipment paid for with federal money — to perform research on groups of stem cells that were created after August 2001.



Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mosquito Circus #2 

MC 2: The Second Circus is now available, for better or worse. Go ahead and tell us which one.


Congress and baseball do not mix 

Page 2's Jason Whitlock essentially reached inside my head and extracted my opinions on why Congress' intent to subpoena baseball players and interrogate them over the use of steroids in baseball is total crap.

1. Let baseball take care of baseball.
2. You can't legislate morality.
3. Nobody cares about the children, so stop pretending like you do.


Friday, March 11, 2005

I just heard the following quote 

"That's twice that I've hooked up with my mom in the apartment."

Interpret as you will.

I'm refraining from crediting the person I'm quoting (its very hard) because, really, no one wants to be known as the guy with the Oedipal Complex. Yes, there's no mention of killing his father in that quote, but you have to read between the lines.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Mosquito Circus #1 

So many kudos to my friends Kenneth and Jesse for putting this show together and getting it up and running on the web. First show is a little rough around the edges, but that's okay seeing as how we don't really know what we're doing. Any feedback would be appreciated greatly. Hit up ringmaster@mosquitocircus.com to send comments or kindly leave them here. Yay.

Okay. Show #1. Hope you like it or, at the very least, bare with us. Listen for our friends, the Mastodons and the Moviepoopshooter. They win so many points.


Did you know the NBA is full of fatties? 

It's true. Look. Fat! It's bizarre to think that more than half of the league is overweight, but I know it's true. It has to be. Know why? Because the man who penned this article, Malcolm Ritter, is a science writer.



Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Some stuff 

- I'm still not sure how I feel about the South African capital of Pretoria being renamed to Tshawne. On the one hand, the change signifies a further break from the old regime (even though the city was founded and named back in the 1855 -- pre-Apartheid). On the other, the country I still refer to as home is changing more and more to the point where I wonder if I'd even recognize it when I go back. We cling to our memories and mine, regarding South Africa, are very fond despite the political climate at the time.

- Dan Rather is finally stepping away from the anchor desk at CBS. In my opinion, his resignation is long overdue. Rather, especially when compared to Jennings and Brokaw (and even Brian Williams, for that matter), just seemed so out of touch. Over the last few years, he's been down right laughable.

- A congressional committee plans to subpoena seven baseball stars and get their testimony regarding steroids in the major leagues. Personally, I think this is a bit of a waste of time as far as congressional resources go. Surely there are more pressing societal issues than whether or not Jose Canseco juiced up after batting practice. This is not to say that the issue of steroid use among players should not be dealt with (it has surely tarnished baseball for the forseeable future), but it really is an in-house matter and something that the commissioner and players' union should be able to hammer out without congress intervening.

- Almost a non-story in as much as it probably won't weigh very much on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) mind, but because Americans can't stand the French, Lance Armstrong's support of Paris' 2012 bid and not New York's makes headlines. Fact is, on a purely spatial level, Paris does seem better equipped to handle the Olympics. At this stage, they are the frontrunners to get the bid. However, I wouldn't be surprised at all if New York received it. Forget how congested the city is. All you have to know is September 11th.

- I'd be remissed if I didn't mention some college basketball, but the following is actually a negative note. Oakland's upset of Oral Roberts is the very reason why conference tournaments are in desperate need of severe modification. Oakland will be going to the NCAA tournament with a losing record (12-18) while the Mid-Continent Conference's regular season champion, Oral Roberts (25-7) will not. If that doesn't seem fair to you, it's because it is not. For clubs like Oral Roberts and Davidson University and any other tiny conference regular season champ, it is an injustice and a painful one at that.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005


If you saw last night's WCC final between Gonzaga and St. Mary's you were treated to a great showcase of talent. Tightly contested game for much of the way, but Adam Morrison's 30 points spearheaded a GU win. Gonzaga really impressed last night and I think they have a legit shot at making the Final Four if they receive a favorable draw. One that, for instance, might have them as a 4 seed with Kentucky and Duke as the 1 and 2. St. Mary's moved themselves into the tournament as well. Their at-large status seems assured having simply played in the championship game of the #7 rated conference in America (behind only the traditional BCS conferences). That means the relatively diminutive WCC finished ahead of Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference, the WAC, and the Atlantic 10. Leaps and bounds for the WCC.

Old Dominion winning the Colonial Athletic title was cause for a lot of high-profile bubble teams to exhale, as ODU has a strong enough profile to bump one of them out if they hadn't grabbed the automatic bid.

Teams who need to perform well/win their conference tournament to earn a bid to the Dance:
- The entire MAC quarterfinals crop. Each of these squads could fair well in the tournament, but they've beaten on eachother so badly during the regular season that it's hard to separate Buffalo from Akron from Ohio from Kent St. The only standout at the moment is Miami (OH), but they don't have the conference crown in the bag just yet. An appearance in the MAC title game would probably get Miami in if other bubble teams falter. No guarantees in my favorite mid-major conference.

- People keep saying the ACC has several bubble teams. As I see it, they have two right on the brink: Maryland and North Carolina St. Both can help themselves with a win (or two for NC State) in the conference tournament. I think at this point it is safe to assume that Georgia Tech is in and that Miami and Virginia Tech are not.

- Indiana. The Hoosiers have a very unimpressive record, but finished with ten wins in the Big Ten -- something highly regarded in the past by the NCAA selection committee. Their game against Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament will be scrutinized endlessly as the Gophers are probably keeping Indiana out at this point.

- Vermont. They simply need to win the America East tournament. No room for error. They're the darlings among the minnows this season, but lost three of their last six down the stretch. They also play in a weak conference that will never earn two bids.

- New Mexico is an incredibly interesting case. Here's a team that has 22 wins, but an awful computer profile (their strength of schedule is 298/330). They may need a couple more victories to feel safe.

- From Conference USA, it seems to me that DePaul and UAB are jockeying for the same spot. DePaul has a healthy lead at the moment, but the Blazers finished strong and could reverse their fortunes with a good showing in the conference tourney.

- I really don't like any of the Big East bubble teams. Notre Dame will probably make the field of 65, but West Virginia really has to do something special and upset a couple teams to earn their way in. Georgetown, for the record, is toast after the sad way they limped to the finish line, losing five in a row.

Top 10 Championship Contenders
1. North Carolina - 1 and 1A with the Illini.
1A. Illinois - See above.
3. Oklahoma St. - Yes, even if they're third in the conference. I'm really high on this club.
4. Connecticut - Peaking at the right time. Very dangerous now that Marcus Williams is comfortable at point guard.
5. Wake Forest - Need to shore up their perimeter defense if to have a chance.
6. Kansas - If they're healthy (Keith Langford, Wayne Simien, etc.) they can beat anyone. They will, however, make it very hard on themselves.
7. Kentucky - Can never count out the Wildcats. Depth, Tubby Smith, and experience.
8. Gonzaga - The team no one wants to admit is strong enough to beat the big boys. They are. This team is balanced, well-coached, and has already scalped OK State, Georgia Tech, and Washington this season.
9. Arizona - Could be feast or famine with UofA. If they run into a buzzsaw like North Carolina or Oklahoma St, I'd say it's likely their run ended there. They certainly do have the talent and senior leadership to get there. It also helps having Channing Frye as a dominant big man and Lute Olson on the bench.
10. Duke - They're one Shelden Williams foul trouble game away from being cooked. As much as Coach K is a genius and Redick can shoot the lights out, this team is still paper thin.

Runners up -- Washington, Boston College, Oklahoma, Villanova, Louisville

My First Team All-Americans:
G Chris Paul (Wake Forest)
G Dee Brown (Illinois)
F Hakim Warrick (Syracuse)
F Ike Diogu (Arizona St.)
C Andrew Bogut (Utah)-- player of the year



Monday, March 07, 2005

America, you sicken me 

$30.2 million. Why, America? Why? You are without the sense.


Hello, Monday 

After a whirlwind week that included three consecutive concerts and karaoke until two in the morning, it's no surprise that I did not paint the town red this weekend. Still not fully recovered, although Sunday was very lazy indeed. Finally got around to cleaning my room. Most of it, anyway. Haven't posted on this thing in a while.

- Sage Francis concert last Thursday
This might have been the best show I've ever been to. Certainly the best in recent memory and definitely better than when I saw him a year ago. Which is odd because much of the set was material off his new album, "A Healthy Distrust" (pick it up, definitely worth a listen). Three and a half hours of show and at least 90 minutes of that was him. What was impressive is that the opening acts -- all three of them -- were actually good. If you go to concerts, you know this is rare. One of the acts in particular, Soliloquies of Sound, blew my mind at times. They featured an MPC (sort of like a beat box/turntable in one)wizard, "Da Vinci" who could shred on this thing like he was a concert pianist. Amazingly talented plus he looked like the late John Cazale, better known to some of you as "Fredo" from the Godfather movies. Anyway, have to give it up for Sage. At times, the bass was blasting so loud that the floor at the Henry Fonda theater was reverbing so hard, people were sputtering to and fro. Helluva show. Amazing show. Highlights include a spoken word rendition of "Slow down Ghandi, you're killing 'em" and the line "99 rappers but Jay-Z ain't one." He's going to be at Coachella if any of you are making the pilgramige out there.

- OK Go show last Friday
I have to preface this by saying that I was already half in the bag with the tiredness by the time they finally got on stage which, unfortunately, was just before midnight. Much later than expected. So even though I zoned out once or twice, I still enjoyed the show. Can't say it was the best they've ever been (my third time seeing them), but I attribute that to a couple things such as A) they only hired their new guitarist a scant nine (9!) days earlier and B) the stage space was very small. The new Andy (guitarist) was actually really good in spite of the accelerated time frame in which he had to learn the songs. Spaceland is a small venue and the tiny stage goes a decent way into hurting OK Go's jive. If you've seen them, you know that they're a very kinetic band. Room to operate always helps.

- Recorded the first show, yesterday, of a new podcast that some friends and I are putting together. If it turns out to be cool, I'll put more up about it. In the meantime, its called "Mosquito Circus." Just some bullshit and banter we threw together with little prep. Fun stuff, though. Had no idea this podcasting community thrived with such vigor until about a month ago and that the man who popularized it all is legendary MTV vj Adam Curry. Weird.

- Yesterday was definitely awesome if you're a college basketball fan. Every team competing for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament bit it or at least came very close. Illinois has their perfect season ruined at the last second by Ohio St. (because they played poorly down the stretch), Florida beats Kentucky by one, Kansas loses at Missouri (ack), Wake Forest needs a buzzer beater to get past NC State, and of course North Carolina holds off Duke by a deuce in a fantastic game. All of that and, yes, Championship Week is under way in full effect. Southern Illinois is a lock to get in the dance, but lost in the semis of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. This opens the door for either Creighton (perhaps an at-large team before this weekend) and Southwest Missouri St. -- a team not even on the radar before the conference tournament began. The MVC has been awesome this year and so has the West Coast Conference (WCC). Both leagues play their conference tournament finals tonight and if you want to see great basketball, I suggest you watch both. WCC features two teams well on their way to March Madness: Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's.

- Switching from college to the pros, nice to see the Lakers snap out of their funk by picking up two very important victories over Dallas and Indiana. Very impressed by their effort against the Mavs. They hung with the high octane team the whole way and never looked overmatched at any time. Watching part of last night's game against Indiana, I couldn't help by shake my head when the cameras zoomed in to an extreme close-up of an injured Jermaine O'Neal's diamonds. O'Neal is sitting there on the bench in street clothes, but you can't even see his face. All you get are the copious amounts of ice covering his fingers, wrists, and neck. Can't think of a better way to distance player from fan than to flaunt how much jewelry they have. Way to go, Fox Sports.

- I heard about this terrifying, yet ironic story this past weekend and feel I have to post it here. It's just so insane. What's amazing is that this guy isn't dead. He just doesn't have a face!

And all of a sudden it's Monday and I walk in to find that one of my colleagues has the day off because she's shooshing down the slopes in Breckenridge. That means more work for me. Same as usual. Bullshit.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Wimbledons, The 

I was lucky enough to get into last night's sold out show at the House of Blues featuring The Wimbledons (and, I suppose, a solo acoustic performance by Dashboard Confessional, but shh. Wimbies!). Freaking great show. These guys are on their way, my friends. Jump on the bandwagon now, 'cause when they're huge in about, oh I don't know, thirty minutes, you won't want to be that last poser who says, "Oh yeah, man. I've always liked The Wimbledons 'cause, um... yeah. I'm really cool and dig chicks." Fun times last night -- beer in the green room and all.


Get it while it's cheap 

There is a joint proposal on the table to buy all 30 NHL teams for about $3.5 billion. Whoa. Hey, if you're an owner and don't want to see any more of your money evaporate, maybe this is a good way to go.

This is pretty big stuff. You hear about lone franchises being bought and sold all the time. But an entire league? Wow.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Never thought I'd read this article 

Hermaphrodite frogs linked to pesticide use. That pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Hard to avoid this piece when you're browsing the headlines. Conjures up fantastic images, too. Like a gang of frogs wearing tattered rags and shooting craps in a dark alley with needles full of DDT plugged between their toes. One of them, "Croaker," is splayed in the corner by a trash fire with a glossy look in his eye. He's seen far too much since his innocent years as a tadpole. Everytime someone rolls snake eyes, new genitalia appears.

Unrelated to the above, I can never say or write "DDT" without thinking of legendary wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts' finishing move.

Oh my, now I've just pictured two warring gangs of frogs giving each other DDTs, Jake Roberts-style. That one's a keeper.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Urkel has an NBA blog 

It isn't all that insightful, let alone updated. But hey, Urkel!


Surprise, F'ing Surprise 

- Shower is backed up again. Freaking shocker! I woke up this morning and stumbled to the bathroom only to see that there was dirty bathwater up to just below my knees from whoever took the last shower. It was just floating there, not receding even a little. Gross.
My house:
A) A dilapidated piece of shit
B) Lorded over by monkeys (we send them rent money!)

I hear a rumor that we'll have a plumber coming tomorrow night. Again, tomorrow night. Sweet. In the meantime, I'll be showering at the gym. I look forward to a time where I don't have to say with regularity, "I prefer showering at the gym." Because no one prefers showering at the gym. It's the gym! Fucking ridiculous.

- Lakers have fallen below mediocrity. Pathetic back-to-back losses on the road against Toronto and, last night, the Knicks. That's right, both of those teams suck. Badly. Both games the Lakers fail to score a single point in the last 2:30. What? Listening to the New York debacle on the radio was nothing short of infuriating. First the improbable run to force overtime got my spirits high. Then they follow up with a series of pre-school mistakes. Brian Grant fumbling easy pass after easy pass when he's alone under the basket. Chucky Atkins tripping on Stephon Marbury and gifting New York the game-winning free throws. Luke Walton passing up an open shot to tie the game in the dying seconds and LA not ending up getting a shot at all. Bloody pre-schoolers out there. Kobe's gotta be livid. F'ing Tim Thomas of the Knicks went off for 35 points. Tim Thomas... Tim Thomas?!? Embarrassing.

- Diary of a Mad Black Woman? Bah? Never heard of it before five days ago. Guess what? It's #1 at the box office. Huh.

- The show I work on is popular and I hate it. I don't hate the steady work it provides. I hate everyone of the castmembers... again. Lots of action in production, I suppose. But who cares? They're all no more charismatic or interesting than vomit on the bathroom floor. This isn't really anything new, just spurred on by reading the latest round of director's notes in which flagrant homophobia, excessive tears, and melodramatic trivial problems like, "When should we start drinking and do we need to get burritos later," rule the day. Cultural phenomenon indeed. It's not going anywhere any time soon, either.

- But there is reason to smile. It's March. That means college basketball morphs from a passionate obsession into an all-consuming fiery inferno of bliss. That means March Madness and the single greatest annual sporting event in America. Selection Sunday is on the 13th. Be prepared.

- It also means concerts. Good concerts with good bands at good venues. Later this week I've got Sage Francis and OK Go on back-to-back nights. Later in the month, They Might Be Giants. Surely, this will be awesome awesomeness.


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