Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Did the Winter Games make me SMRTer? 

New piece for the SMRT TV went up yesterday. Have fun reading it, as I rather enjoyed writing it. And yes, that Sweden/Finland gold medal game was scintillating.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

As average as they wanna be 

An entirely forgettable performance for USA hockey was finally put to bed in the quarterfinals against Finland, 4-3. The States played up to their expectations as outsiders. Quite a fall from a silver medal just four years ago. If it's any consolation, all four of their losses were by a single goal. But this squad, which literally arrived in Turin the day before they were to begin play and a day after the NHL went on hiatus, not only never had a chance to get it's legs, they were never able to practice as a team. Sounds like Finland simply outclassed them, though, in addition to a couple inadvertant bounces off of DiPietro. How 'bout those Finns? They're unstoppable, right now, looking worthy of the gold. Their semifinal against the Canada/Russia winner should be a treat. And they already punked pre-tournament favorite Canada 2-0 in group play.


I did it myyyyyyyyyyyyy wayyyyyyyyyy! 

Prenups are for suckers. The real action is marriage contracts. Is this crazy Iowan on the cusp of leading a marital revolution or just, you know, a child pornographer with poor communication skills? You decide! This has to be read. Some very interesting things in that contract. I'm a fan of his GBDs program.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My latest addiction 

For the past couple weeks, now, I cannot stop distributing Monk-e-Mail. Ever since generous Mr. LaFleur sent me one, I've been obsessed. This service (provided by CareerBuiler.com of all things) is unequivically the greatest thing ever and a sure-fire way to crack yourself up, even if the person you're sending emails to has no freaking idea what the hell is funny about it. Play with the look, but I think you'll agree with me that "Simon" is the best voice.

Elsewhere, there is absolutely no question that Andre Iguodala should've won the dunk contest over Nate "I won this thing the second I entered because I'm 5'9"" Robinson. Iggy completed the greatest dunk ever. Conspiracy! Anyway, the NBA All Star Game is stupid. But I love the shit out of Bill Simmons who was in Houston over the weekend and is entertaining as ever.

Couple college bball notes:
1. Texas still cannot be taken seriously. Too many blowout losses for this team to be considered a deep threat in March. Their latest embarrassment came at the hands of Oklahoma State which is not a good team.

2. West Virginia lost again last night (to Syracuse). I didn't list them earlier on the "teams to watch" short list because, frankly, opponents have figured out their 1-3-1 defense. Add that to the fact that the Mountaineers are abysmal at rebounding (last in the Big East) and they're a pretty average team if they're not lighting it up at 50% beyond the arc.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents' Day is stupid 

Yeah, I said it. It's stupid. Dumb. Unnecessary. But hey, it's another day off... for most people. Someone asked me on Friday what I was doing for the holiday weekend. My answer: "What holiday?"

At any rate, I remember as recently back as elementary school where we made a fuss out of both George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthday. That's fine. No beef with that. Both were great presidents and seminal figures in history. But because their birthdays fall so close to each other, hey, why not make it one big birthday and celebrate it in the name of all the presidents? All the presidents. So in addition to the Washingtons and the Lincolns (who I would gladly take a day off for), we're giving it up for the LBJs, the Jimmy Carters, the Dubyas, etc. And you know what? That's bullshit. "Hey, Mr. President. You're number one! Today is another day in which we hold you in reverance, regardless of your accomplishments in office." Please...

On the other hand, there was no traffic getting to work this morning.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

The sports I watched and wanted to watch this weekend 

I woke up this morning just in time to catch the last five minutes of the USA v Sweden hockey game. As expected, the Americans are having a difficult time producing goals in this tournament. Consecutive 2-1 defeats against Sweden and, the day before, Slovakia couple with a disappointing tie against Latvia has put the States in a tricky position heading into Tuesday's final group stage game against Russia -- a squad that pummelled Sweden 5-0 earlier in the tournament. It seems likely, though, that even with a loss against Russia, the Americans will crawl through to the quarterfinals where they'll probably be made short work of by Finland or Canada. Or maybe they'll be suprising Switzerland! Wha?? The Swiss beating Canada this weekend is nothing short of amazing.

I had every intention of watching the Slovakia match on Saturday, as well as mucho college basketball, as it was Bracket Buster Saturday -- perhaps the greatest Saturday in the regular season. And Northern Iowa v Bucknell lived up to it's billing. Double OT win for UNI in dramatic fashion. Did I see it? No. For one, it started at nine in the morning Pacific time. Secondly, I had only gone to bed three hours eariler. The sun was already up when I turned in. My friends and I weren't partying or anything. Just shooting the shit. It was really great. This whole weekend has resembled that laid back Friday night. I love it. I really needed the downtime. Even though the Missouri Valley Conference's big five (Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Wichita State, and Creighton) went 3-2 on the day, all five, without a doubt, deserve to be in the NCAA tournament. If even one of those schools doesn't get selected for the Big Dance, it would be a travesty. Let's face it: The MVC is the 4th best conference in the country, this year. Certainly, they look stronger than the SEC, Big XII, and Pac 10. Seriously. Fortunately, I was able to catch at least part of Bracket Buster Saturday. Can't wait for March Madness.

Teams to watch out for in the coming weeks and in the tournament:
North Carolina
Cal (even with the shocking loss to ASU yesterday)
MVC's big five (if the Big XII and MVC switched names this year, no one would bat an eye at five tourney bids for this conference)


Still a mystery to me:
Michigan State

Final Four as of today:
(wild card spot) Illinois


Friday, February 17, 2006

Of Toads and Terrorists: A Love Story 

Don't even think of stealing that title from me. I'm getting it registered this very minute.

We're all going to die. These toxic toads are evolving super-fast.

Keep it up assholes. Clearly, you know the secrets to endearing one's self to the public.

Three cheers for consistency! It's nice to see that our policy of not dealing with terrorists is being upheld. Could you imagine the black cloud that would hang over this country's consciousness if we funded those turds? I shudder to think of such a thing.

For a Hamas government to get direct aid, it would have to renounce violence, recognize Israel, disarm militias and agree to past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

What's so hard about that?


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Don't stop believin', Iran. Don't stop. You just go for it. 

I want a t-shirt that reads, "Dick Cheney shot me in the face and all I got were these lousy Roses of the Prophet Mohammed." Could I start an intifada with that?

Sweeter than freedom fries. I was planning on posting this here earlier, but then got sidetracked, and later, actually jotted it down on Begum first. But here's my position on the Danish renaming plus a little more:

Yeah, it's pretty lame. And, really, it is very hard -- if not impossible -- for the States to make fun. However, if I never had eaten either fries or Danish pastries before and I was presented with a pictureless menu that listed "Freedom Fries" and "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed," I'm taking Freedom Fries. I mean, honestly, I don't want to eat anything that came from Mohammed, let alone his euphamistic roses. Why don't I just throw up in my mouth (again)? Part of me secretly suspects that the name change alone has caused these pastries to now suddenly smell awful.

"This is a punishment for those who started misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam," said Ahmad Mahmoudi, a cake shop owner in northern Tehran.

Fair is fair, man. We can't see Mohammed, but I bet he bakes a mean danish. No blasphemy here. I mean, duh, like Mohammed ever used an oven in his life? Unless you count the desert, but I doubt he was whipping up any desserts.

The Iranians could be on to something, though. Let's see...
Abraham Curds and Way
Jacob and Isaac Bagel Schmeer
Joseph and his amazing technicolor rainbow Chips Ahoy
Moses Meuslix
John the Baptist Drinking Water (bottled in the Sea of Galilea, I'm sure)
Mark Crackle Luke

France wins the "No shit, idiot" award. Thanks for coming France. We always appreciate a contributor.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic-sized observations 

- Chinese figure skaters are damn resilient. Damn resilient. I am, of course, referring to the pairs competition from last night. It's amazing that after that fall, Zhang and Zhang really had a gold medal-worthy run. Huh.

- The preferred method used by women snowboarders for psyching up the crowd is "raising the roof." That's kinda sad.

- I like that snowboarding is an event at the Winter Olympics. I think the winter games were in desperate need of competitions where people could say, "Wow!" or "Cool!" or "Awesome!" Funnily enough, I think skateboarding would have an exceedingly difficult time breaking into the summer program because so many summer events are already blessed with flashy appeal. That would be a direct result of their accessibility. Swimming and track vs luge and curling. You tell me which is easier to grasp.

- Johnny Cheek is a gold medal winner and a humanitarian. Strong work, Johnny. It seems like we all have forgotten Darfur already. Also, Johnny Cheek would be far more interesting if his name were Jimmy Chooch. You'll have to trust me on this one. Plus he beat a scary-ass-looking Russian who had the blood of innocent babies smeared across his lips. It's true.

- Similarly to the Jimmy Chooch tip, a fun game to play at home: see how many names of Korean athletes you can mangle into "[Fill-in-the-blank Mortal Kombat character's] socks." You'll be far more entertained then your faintly racist little heart could possibly imagine. Liu Kang's socks took the bronze medal in the men's 500m speedskate. See? You love it.

- Even in light of this eye-sore, I still side with the host nation's right to automatic qualification into every event. No matter how out of place they seem. What? People just realized this year that Italy doesn't play ice hockey? Pfft. Stupid.

- The Winter Games have so much working against them in terms of "buzz." Unlike the Summer Games, the Winter Olympics (at least in the US) are up against a host of other sports, new television programming, and people just aren't in the celebrating mindset. February is a month for doldrums. Compare that to the summer when people are generally happier, more relaxed and the Summer Olympics can claim center stage, knowing that it's only competition is baseball and reruns.

- It is still completely retarded that we, in this country, refer to the '06 Games as taking place in "Torino" as opposed to "Turin." In English, we say "Turin." Period. If the Games were in Rome, we wouldn't say "Roma." We didn't say "Nippon" in '98 and we didn't mispronounce Barcelona in '92.

- SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together. SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together. SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together. SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together. SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together. SBC Global and AT&T are bringing the world closer together.


Monday, February 13, 2006

I am typing right now. This very second. Typetypetypetype 

... whaddya want? It's Monday.

I'd hardly call this weekend relaxing, but it was certainly enjoyable. My parents, surprisingly, were not the death of me and I actually really enjoyed having them here. First time in nearly three years that they have visited. To my delight, they do not view my life in LA as a complete shambles. On Saturday, I took them down to Santa Monica for the majority of the day. The weather was so perfect that it seemed like I was hallucinating. As the three of us walked along the coastline, taking in the ocean view, I had a very surreal realization. It didn't feel necessarily like a Saturday, nor did I feel 26 years old. For all intents and purposes, the scene and atmosphere matched my original haunts in Sea Point to a tee. It felt like some sort of bizarre vacation. I must remember in the future, when the weather is perfect as it was last weekend, to spend more time in Santa Monica. Too bad it's such a bitch to drive to.

I also think it's great that while LA's weather was like that of Eden, New York is in the midst of a horrible blizzard. Suckers. Moving right along...

Dick Cheney is hilarious. He shot an old boy named Harry Whittington (of the blue blood Whittingtons while hunting (for Whittingtons).

Wayne Gretzky's reputation remains untarnished! Damn right! Not that there was ever any doubt. I mean, cripes, we're talking about my favorite athlete ever, here. Gambling still remains a non-issue to me.

Alex the Mastodon makes a very keen, witty observation regarding this whole hubbub over the depiction of the prophet Mohammed in cartoons. Preach on, Alex.

What the hell is going on with Battlestar Galactica? In the first two seasons, there are about three episodes of subpar quality. We're barely halfway into season three and that number has already been equalled, if not surpassed. It used to be that I could count on BSG for regular, steady awesomeness. Now, it's hit and miss. And the hits are growing more and more infrequent. Hopefully this pattern doesn't hold and they're just in a slump. Anyway, I care as much about Billy dying as I do about Apollo's whore. Really, we're just wasting time this season, spiralling downward.

I have watched exactly zero coverage of the Winter Olympics so far. I expect that'll change, but I can't say for sure.

The LA Kings must've heard me ripping their shit apart because they answered with two wins over the weekend against Chicago and Dallas. The Dallas win was brilliant -- four third period goals to win 6-5. Kings own the Stars for some inexplicable reason. We've won five of six against them this season.

Oh! And I got a new computer this weekend! A lovely iBook G4. I'm so pleased with it. I now live in the present.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

This defies everything. My shit? Flipped. 

This, people, is the greatest trade in the history of the universe: NBC receives sportscaster Al Michaels and, in exchange, ABC receives the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald is a CARTOON BUNNY! WHAT?! WHAT?!

ABC: Tell you what, Peacock. We'll release the best sportscaster in the business from his contract and allow him to sign with you if -- if and only if -- we receive the rights to that Disney bunny that pre-dates Mikey Mouse. You know? The one that time forgot?

NBC: You drive a hard bargain (chortle), but (snicker) okay. Deal!

Aside from being reunited with his chryogenically frozen creator, what exactly does ABC plan on doing with this character? I'm hoping for a cameo on Freddie, personally. I imagine that show could use a ratings spike.

By the way, NBC now has both Al Michaels and Bob Costas in their stable. That just doesn't seem fair, does it? Props ("mad" props, even) to them.


Love you to death 

My parents are visiting me for four days. They arrive in town this morning. Look, I love them dearly (they're my parents, duh), but four days? That's so long! How am I supposed to survive that?! Oy... If I don't make to Monday, now you know why.

Blatant repost from another forum about last night's episode of Lost. You'd do well to look away if you haven't seen it yet and intend on doing so.

While both cons were super-telegraphed (I mean, really...), I've never really found Sawyer to be all that engaging, and the mysteries of the island weren't advanced at all, I'm pretty sure I dig the whole power-shifting angle. There was a very Lord of the Flies/ King of the Mountain vibe about it. I think the show needed to shake things up a bit and this seemed like a pretty nice way to go about doing that. It actually reminds me very much of the character turns often seen in pro wrestling -- "I'm a heel! No, wait, I'm a face! Love me! Ah ha! Fooled you! I'm still a heel!"
Keeps it interesting and introduces a whole new dynamic on the island which I can appreciate. For any of you comic book-types turned off by this turn of events, perhaps you should direct your aggression at supervising producer (and WGA award attendee/winner for Lost), Jeph Loeb.

Unrelated to Lost, but something I somehow forgot to mention from the WGAs is that some woman had a heart attack while a clip from a nominated film was being shown. Pretty wild stuff.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My teams are sucking ass, right now 

I just need to vent about the sorry state of my respective teams and allow myself to decompress in time for the new episode of Lost (which surely will be better than the last installment, if only because it doesn't center on that worthless panty waste, Charlie).

NHL - The Kings are sucking giant fucking donkey dick, right now, and they're loving it. Holy damn, the Olympic Break couldn't have come at a better time. These tools are riding a seven game losing streak including a 5-1 defeat last night to Minnesota and a 7-4 embarrassment tonight against pathetic Columbus! That's twelve goals conceded in two fucking nights!! And all five goals against Minnesota were on the power play! how disgusting is that?!?! Like I said, the Olympic break will hopefully serve as needed time for this team to re-evaluate where they are. If someone asked me to submit a power ranking list for the last two weeks, I'd rate LA dead last. Fucking miserable.

While we're talking NHL, I think this whole Rick Tocchet gambling "scandal" business is absurd. People LOVE to gamble. It's a victimless crime. What's more is that Tocchet neither gambled, nor solicited information on or about hockey. So who cares? The moral elitists, that's who. Too bad. I like Tocchet tons. He's still one of my all-time favorite players. Very underrated during his career.

NBA - The Lakers finally pulled their heads out of their ass tonight against lowly Houston, but that doesn't excuse going a pathetic 2-5 on a 7-game road trip in which they should've come out 5-2. I swear, the Lakers are in perpetual idle this season. There's absolutely no momentum. Some of these recent losses were sickening, too. Blown out by an injury-depleted Pacer squad (it was just newly acquired Peja, no Jermaine O'Neal. Stephen Jackson got hurt early in the first quarter), losing to the worst team in the league in Charlotte (conceding a whopping 40 points in the opening quarter!), and then getting conked by a surprisingly hot Hornets team (By the way, can we just give Chris Paul his rookie of the year trophy now and save everyone the trouble?).

Before moving on, I'd just like to point out that Bill Simmons is still the man. Great state of the NBA stuff from him. "Stromenzen Wrift," indeed.

College Hoops - The University of Arizona for the first time in a long while has... a bad basketball team. These guys are absolutely rudderless with no strong leader on the team. Sure, Hassan Adams is a scoring machine and will probably make a fine pro, but his only focus this season is clearly trying to impress NBA scouts with his jumpshot. This, when his bread and butter is slashing to the basket which creates open shots for others. We don't even have to talk about overrated Chris Rodgers getting tossed off the team. And Mustafa Shakur? What the fuck? He has actually regressed so far in his junior season that he is playing even worse than he did as a freshman. That guy was supposed to be the key to another Pac 10 title!

While we're talking about college ball, just want to note that if UCLA had their full compliment of players (poor Bruins have been bombed by injuries, yet still lead the weak Pac 10) we'd be talking serrrrrrious Final Four contender. As it stands now, they probably fade in the Sweet 16. Also, not a newsflash or anything, but UCONN is the best team in the nation. I can't see them not winning the title.


Oh, and then there's this disturbing news from the world of the NFL:

Joe Theisman and Tony Kornheiser will be the color analysts for Monday Night Football next season. As a direct result, I will not be watching Monday Night Football. Why not just throw Bill Walton in there to complete the torturous effect? And for crying out loud, what crackhead thought it was a good idea to let Kornheiser in the booth?! The guy's the most retarded journalist this side of Skip Bayless. What a shame. This clears the path for Al Michaels (best sportscaster around) to walk on over to NBC for undoubtedly superior play-by-play call on Sunday Night.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That was good times 

The weekend be so good that I didn't even talk about it yesterday. I just let it simmer and settle. Of course, the birthday bash was a huge success... I think. I can't be totally sure of the end of the night, though I think I have all the pieces (just not necessarily in chronological order). I remember, at one point, standing on top of a booth at the bar, decked out in a suit, arms raised in the air. I was yelling something. Maybe "party back at my house?" I don't know. But people did come to my place afterwards, so that's a likely possibility. And yes, plenty of skirts on the scene. It was grand. No hangover either, though I did, apparently, pass out while still wearing a tie. For the one or two of you reading this, thanks for making it out. I couldn't have been that on fire without you.

Earlier in the evening, I was lucky enough to attend the WGA awards, but had to take off a little before the big winners were announced so that I could make it to my own party. The show was an improvement from last year if only for Jon Favreau being the host. Steve Carrell, hilarious as always, greeted the crowd not as the Golden Globe-winning star of a wildly successful television show, nor as the WGA-nominated star of a wildly successful box office smash, but as one of us. There was an entire segment devoted to an address from a President Bush impersonator which, while funny, seemed maybe fourteen or so months out of date.

Then Sunday, of course, was my actual birthday, celebrated fanatically by people in both Pittsburgh and Seattle. Pittsburgh is actually still celebrating. Thoughts on the fairly dull Superbowl XL...

The game, for some reason, felt inexplicably small in scope. It's absolutely insane that Seattle dominated time of possession, won the turnover battle, had over 400 yards of offense, Matt Hassellbeck turned in better numbers and performance than Ben Roethlisberger, and they still lost! Um, anomoly, much?! I'd be willing to wager my roommates' cars that such a thing has never happened before.

Steelers caught a lot of breaks. Especially when the Seahawks had that first touchdown taken away from them. If that score holds up and Josh Brown doesn't miss two field goals, we could be talking about the Superbowl champion Seahawks. Neither side (with the exception of the Randel-El to Ward touchdown bomb) really seemed to impose themselves on the other. A lot of mistakes, a lot of opporunities for each team to take advantage of errors. But rather than convert those opportunities, more errors were committed. For crying out loud, the interception by Herndon of Seattle was one of the slowest returns ever. He was chased down by a lineman! Jerramy Stevens would've been MVP if he showed up, but instead he had three horrible drops to go with his TD.

Congrats to Pittsburgh. I'm not even a fan of theirs, but I like to think they won it for me.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Here come the weekend, here it come 

You know the Superbowl is this Sunday. On my 26th year of living, no less. You could watch it on TV. SMRT TV, even. That's how I'll be watching. Should be a really close game. I like the Steelers just barely, in spite of the fact that the Seahawks have the most dominant and unstoppable rushing attack in the league -- spearheaded by MVP Shaun Alexander and the left side of the offensive line. Additionally, the NFL's best kept secret is that Seattle lead the league in sacks this year. They're the fastest defense in the league. However, the not the strongest -- certainly not on the defensive line -- and I think that's where Pittsburgh takes advantage. The Steelers are more physical and should be able to balance their grinding running attack with Ben Roethlisberger expertly throwing outside the numbers downfield. Pittsburgh in a close one 20-17.

But leading up to Sunday, what the dilly, yo? Well, tomorrow is jam packed. I'll be attending the WGA Awards again at 4 p.m. (that's when they're serving cocktails!) and will be out by 8 p.m. with but an hour or so to recover before heading down to St. Nick's Pub at 10 p.m. for the social event of the year* where the ladies are encouraged (and, I've been told, quite eager) to don skirts for: my birtday party. Looking forward to it. Gettin' gussied up. Gettin' fucked up. Additionally, I may get to go to the Arizona/UCLA game which starts at 12:30 p.m. and that would just make my day insanely busy. Maybe I should hold a press junket. Tabloid reporters could follow me.

Continuing the reverse order of the weekend, tonight should be pretty lax. Watch some Battlestar Galactica (which just HAS to be better than last week's ep) and prepare for the next two days. In the meantime, Pussycat Dolls beckon for my attention. Who am I to shirk my work responsibilities?

*Applies only if we're talking about my birthday and all the ladies attending being clad in skirts.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hard work 

Definitely watching audition tapes of scantily clad, sexy girls trying out for The Pussycat Dolls. Yeah...


I am job 

As of this past Monday morning, I have rejoined the workforce. The differences between this gig and the last are fun to point out. The new job is: a better title, even more hands on, more pay, better location, and they have ample parking -- underground, no less! I can't tell you how huge that is. Funny thing is, I correctly predicted that whichever job I took next would be an improvement in all of those areas. And it took about two weeks to get it, or rather, for it to get me. Fell in my lap, you see. Last Saturday afternoon, an associate of mine emailed me about a position that started on Monday. The person intended to take that job had fled to Seattle just hours earlier in favor of another job opportunity. So my assosh forwards my resume on to her boss and I come in for an interview Monday morning. It didn't last more than six minutes before they said, "Great, can you start right now???" And that's how I got back to work.

I will not be going to Cape Town. Not that I ever really believed I was, but now it is confirmed as the new gig runs through early May.

I also wish now that I had been perhaps a little more productive during my two weeks off and made more time for writing. Ah well...


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