Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday Classic Video: The Knicks, LJT, and the love between them

We've all followed the misadventures of our beloved New York Knickerbockers. From the sexual-harassment trial to the "Fire Isiah" chants to the inevitable 60 losses by the end of the year, it's been quite a rollicking little ride so far this year.

Our resident Knicks superfan, LJT, has even conceded the supreme terribleness of the our NY cagers, which is bittersweet to me for this reason:

LJT hates everything. Babies, dogs, loveable old people, sunshine, even the broad category I'll title "Things that are fun" -- like, for example, the Toilet Bowl, our annual Christmas Eve football game that LJT refuses to attend. (By the way, why hasn't any of us written up this year's game yet? Get on it, Chuck.) But back to the point, in spite of LJT's commitment to hating everything, he harbors this tiny little speck -- deep down in his soul, where it survives, bravely fending off the soldiers of spite and malice which otherwise dominate -- that he reserves for his Knicks. It's kind of sweet, actually. You know, how it's kind of sweet the way Hannibal Lecter respects Clarice Starling. Even though he brutally murders people and then eats them.

So I guess this clip is for LJT. I just wish that the third guy (along with Marbury and Isiah) was James Dolan. James Dolan, by the way, can get raped by a rhino's horn and then eaten alive by vultures on the plains of the Serengeti for all I care. That's one thing, I think, on which LJT and I can agree.

By the way, I blatantly stole this video from East Village Idiot. For you idiots that haven't started reading his blog, you're stupid.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Classic Video: The Spirit of Christmas

If you never got to see the original South Park video, The Spirit of Christmas, here it is. As a little back story, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made this little clip in 1995, and some Hollywood executive saw it and sent it out as a Christmas card. You can read about the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, 12 years later, South Park is still running strong.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


After eight years of dreadful (mis)leadership by an administration without regard for the civil rights of its own citizenry, the human rights of the citizens of other nations, and the reputation of the United States around the world, America is suffering from a crisis of identity. Americans have always been a brash, arrogant crowd, but with that brash arrogance came a more quiet confidence borne of the knowledge that America was in the right more often than it was in the wrong. America was a good country trying to do the right thing. Churchill observed that: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." This no longer appears to be the case, as obvious mis-steps in the foreign and domestic arena are met with nothing more than platitudes and accusations of unpatriotism from the very people who committed the error in judgment. Even when every reasonable, objective view suggests otherwise, they insist we must "stay the course" both at home and abroad. We disagree.

(Really let's be honest, Bush sucks cock. He's a hyper-christian, rights stealing, prisoner torturing, citizen spying, rough putter. Buddy the dog would be a better president than this crazy motherfucker. If we could endorse Buddy the dog over a new Republican regime, I'm sure we'd do that.)

Anxious to find our way again, and hopeful that a young, enthusiastic leader can catalyze the return of American decency, leadership (and yes, superiority), the editorial staff of Wheeeeeere's Luke enthusiastically endorses BARACK OBAMA to serve as the next President of the United States.

(Enthusiastic in the same way we were enthusiastic that the second season of Heroes wouldn't suck so bad. It's got a lot of potential, but its kineticism wasn't exactly rolling downhill.)

Mr. Obama is far from the perfect candidate. His relative inexperience pales in comparison to that of his closest rivals, and his relationship and dealings with Tony Rezko (who in October plead not guilty to federal charges of corrupt dealings with the administration of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich) are a frustrating reminder of the likely imperfections of those we admire most.

(Frankly, however, we admire a candidate who admits to his past cocaine use unlike our current standard bearer.)

Mr. Obama’s platform is garden-variety, left of center stuff. On his website he champions a responsible strategy for exiting Iraq, fighting poverty, assuring healthcare for those who cannot afford it, and protecting the environment. We applaud Mr. Obama’s views on these and other issues, but recognize that he does not stand alone on this platform. Indeed, each of the Democratic candidates have platforms that we can and do support. Nevertheless, Mr. Obama’s potential to excite America, and to dust off the cobwebs on our collective conscience are enticing and unique in this field of candidates. Moreover, and with apologies to the comedian Chris Rock, he is a superb orator and seems, at times, to channel the very best of Clinton, Cuomo, and King.

(If we take a step back from it, Barack really doesn't stand for anything at this point, but that's what makes him so interesting. At this point his campaign is built on his good looks and startling command of the language. *begin Pearl of wisdom* The weaker your argument, the more fierce your rhetoric need be. *end Pearl of wisdom* That means we can look forward to some stunning speeches from our boy. That motherfucker is downright captivating at times.)

We also believe (again with a nod to Mr. Rock) that the election of a black candidate -- not because of his race but in spite of it -- represents an obviously positive step forward in America's tortured history with race. Joe Biden's ill-advised remark notwithstanding, Mr. Obama would not have been a viable candidate for President in this country 25 years ago.

(And at least one of us is super-psyched to have a half black dude running for president. Upon his election he will shoot to the top of the list of half-black heroes doing some good in this country. From Halle Berry to Jason Kidd. Derek Jeter to Alicia Keyes. Maya Rudolph, Lenny Kravitz, and let's not forget our current hall of fame half-black representative, Tiger Woods.)

Whether Mr. Obama can carry the day in the face of the overwhelming the power, poise and pockets of Hillary Clinton's campaign is yet to be seen, but it will of course be an uphill battle. Mrs. Clinton is a deft politician, but we believe she represents a retreat to the center, and -- if the reader will excuse a worn cliché -- "politics as usual." By contrast, we believe an Obama presidency presents the best opportunity for America to rediscover its identity as a responsible leader of the world.

(Bill Clinton (who's obviously biased, but is also the smartest guy I can think of at the moment) says that voting for Obama is like rolling the dice. That's absolutely true. That's what we love about it. Is Hillary Clinton a better senator than Barack Obama? Undoubtedly. David Brooks outlines this point with startling clarity in an intersting op-ed piece from December 18, 2007. In that same piece, however, he concludes that Obama, for many of those same reasons, is the better presidential candidate. And seriously, could you imagine a scenario where a guy with a gleaming moral compass and such obvious intelligence wouldn't steer this country in the right direction? (ix-Nay on the immy-Jay arter-Cay. No one even remembers stagflation anymore.) The moral of the story, though, is that we know what we're going to get from president Hillary Clinton and that would be pretty good. But the potential return from president Obama leads the imagination to visions of ethanol cars, solar powered outhouses, world peace, and a unicorn in every back yard. A vote for Obama is a vote for unicorns, America.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fatboy was a cheater

While I'm sure there is still much more to learn and interpret about the George Mitchell report on steroids in baseball, I feel a blogger's obligation to draw an instant conclusion.

Aside from Barry Bonds, whose steroid exploits have been well documented and covered, the biggest name in the report has to be Roger Clemens. Though rumors had surfaced previously about his possible usage, today's report gives us many more details on what may or may not have happened.

However, upon reading in the report, Clemens allegedly got back into using steroids during the latter half of the 2000 season.

During that period, Clemens threw at Mike Piazza's head (just a box score, not a video, but you remember it). Then, in the World Series, he picked up Piazza's broken bat and threw it at him, later claiming (pathetically and illogically) that he thought it was the ball. (I looked for a video link, but MLB has apparently been very thorough in removing it from the Internet. If you find one, let me know.)

If those two incidents don't perfectly define "roid rage," then I don't know what can.

Roger Clemens was a cheater.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Being a Mets fan blows


Did you read this?

So Paul LoDuca just signed with the Nationals. In case you don't remember, the Mets just traded Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

"Hey Omar, I've got an idea for next year's slogan!"

2007 Nationals Right Fielder: Ryan Church
2007 Nationals Catcher: Brian Schneider

2007 Mets Right Fielder (sometimes): Lastings Milledge
2007 Mets Catcher: Paul LoDuca

Of these four players, one just plain sucks (Schneider, now on the Mets); one had his best year last year, which was still mediocre at best (Church, now with the Mets); one had a so-so year, probably on the down side of his career (LoDuca, now with the Nats); and one did pretty well in limited use but is only 22 years old (Milledge, Nats now).

It's hard to say who did better in the exchange of these four players, except that it isn't hard at all. The Nationals did. And, using the Ablative sense of the Commutative Property (Chuck, help), therefore the Mets did worse.

Omar Minaya, to his undying credit, did do one good thing this off-season -- trading away Guillermo Mota, though we had to accept Johnny Estrada. Johnny Estrada sucks at baseball. But at least the cheater is gone.

Oh, and Tom Glavine -- our opening-day starter last year -- now pitches for the Braves. Almost forgot.

And that about wraps it up for the Mets off-season moves so far.

Here is the Mets 5-man rotation at this point (in no particular order, because I dare you to try):

John Maine
Oliver Perez
Pedro Martinez
Orlando Hernandez
Ron Weasley

(I'm not sure about the last one, but hey, Quidditch skills might help.)

That pitching staff flat-out sucks. How can the Mets possibly hope to improve upon 88 wins? In what way have we gotten better?

You could say that Maine and Perez are one year older and one year better. But then you'd have to say that Pedro and El Duque are one year older and one year closer to death.

Pelfrey? Humber? Aaron Heilman maybe? Those names don't exactly jump out as "sure things" or even "likely to be really good things."


Yes, Jose Reyes and David Wright are a beautiful foundation around which to build a team. Carlos Beltran also stands out. But beyond that, the Mets' position players are:

1B: Carlos Delgado -- old, probably won't return to his prior numbers
2B: Luis Castillo -- oldish, bad knee, can't hit, but hey, fuck it -- let's sign him for four more years, right Omar? You idiot.
LF: Moises Alou -- old. Very old. Old to the point of needing a time machine. The odds of this guy playing a full season are equal to the odds of a lion nursing a wounded wildebeest back to health then investing smartly in certain Roth IRAs, thus allowing said lion to put the wildebeest through school (preferably Wisconsin, a good state school; big cats instinctively dislike the Ivy League, or so I saw on Animal Planet)
RF: Ryan Church -- a mediocre baseball player. Please refer to my earlier comments, which further explicate this particular baseball player's utter mediocrity. Which does not mean "good."
C: Ramon Castro/Johnny Estrada/Brian Schneider: Castro can hit, but will likely get hurt, again/Estrada sucks/Schneider sucks as much or worse.

The 2008 New York Mets look like a pretty average team at best. Achieving 88 wins with this roster again is highly unlikely. They are definitely a worse team than they were last year, significantly worse than the 2006 team, and Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon don't seem to be doing a friggin' thing about it. (Aside from actively making it worse by giving Luis Castillo a 4-year contract and trading for mediocre and/or terrible players.)

Meanwhile, across town, the yanks have re-signed the best player in baseball, as well as Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte, all of whom will help them be better next year. Not as good as the Red Sox, perhaps, but at least Brian Cashman hasn't actively made his team worse.

I loved Paulie, but I could understand not re-signing him. But not if that means replacing him with shitty players. I could also understand trading Milledge, but not if all we get back are shitty players. God! Is this difficult to understand? How about getting us a fucking pitcher?

The Mets have a lot of money to spend. In 2009, Citi Field will open. Citi paid $20 million for naming rights. Can we please use that extra money to make our team better? Am I wrong, or is that a completely reasonable question? Why is this organization making it so hard to root for them?


Monday, December 10, 2007

Take A Step Back There, Mad Dog

This post is for Mad Dog Chris Russo, Evan Roberts, Mark Maloussis, the hundreds of callers and thousands of listeners of WFAN who have been bitching about the Giants game against the Patriots in week 17. These guys are talking about how the Giants are not just playing against the Patriots, and not just considering their own season, which will commence for real the following week with a playoff game most likely against the Tampa Bay Bucs, but are instead playing against the history of the NFL. These guys feel that the Giants shouldn't go about resting guys like Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey, Brandon Jacobs, Antonio Pierce, and the numerous other Giants nursing injuries, despite the fact that the game will be meaningless relative to this year's playoff picture, because the Giants owe it to the league to put forth a real effort so the Patriots can feel great about themselves for going 16-0.

There are two points you all are missing here. First is that this game will be absolutely meaningless to the playoff picture. The Giants are really banged up and those guys could use all the rest they can get. That's the minor point.

The major point is that even if the Giants were firing on all cylinders and were completely healthy, they wouldn't have a 5 years old's chance in church to win that game. Let's be serious. The Giants have a chance to beat most of the teams in the league, despite some of their deficiencies, but the Giants could never even dream of beating the Patriots, or the Colts or Cowboys, for that matter. So let's stop with the integrity of the league nonsense, and let the Giants rest their guys for the game that actually matters, and the game that they might actually win.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nostra-Side Bar

Now I recognize that sports prognostication is pointless: you take some outrageous position (the "Giants are the team to beat in the Superbowl this year!"), and then if it comes true you want to take credit and be loved for your foresight, but when it proves as ridiculous as it sounded, you simply shrug it off. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have made millions of dollars on this dynamic.

All that said, I want a little bit of credit for this (scroll down to prediction #10).

10. Barry Bonds Will Not Go Away. Remember that girl you hooked up with freshman year in college? You felt weird about it within weeks, because something was just off, and it only got worse, because you realized sophomore year that no one likes her, she's kind of ugly, and kind of a bitch. A few years later she is sitting next to you at graduation, your mom is talking to her mom, and they both want to know if the two of you have met.

Watching Chris Berman call Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run shot on a Tuesday night in August against the Nationals is going to be much more awkward.

This was posted in March of 2007. Barry Bonds broke the record on Tuesday (night), August 7, 2007. Against the Nationals.

(Incidentally, this was one of my better posts of all time, and it was my first. I've clearly lost a step. Chan Ho Park? That was fucking gold).

And no, conspiracy theorists, I did not go back and change the post; I have better things to do with my time (like reading old posts on this blog?).


Despite the insistence of your co-workers, calendar and your iPod; despite the fact that no reindeer or jolly fat men brought you socks and underwear this morning; and despite the fact that you are at work and not sitting at home having your first drink of the day (we can't be the only family that does that, right?), don't believe the hype: today is not December 7, it is December 25.

Christmas, it seems, has come early this year . . . . at least for those of us who despise Alex Rodriguez, or, should I say . . . Slum-Rod.

It seems that the New York Times has discovered that despite his mega-fortune, Rodriguez is a less-than-ideal landlord of the properties that he owns in Florida (though, despite my colorful title, the article specifically says he is not a slumlord).

In a disappointing turn of events for A-Rod, Jason Varitek has been named tenant representative for the Newport Riverside apartments.

He is also portrayed as a cheapskate when it comes to doling out money from his foundation:

Rodriguez has earned nearly $200 million over the past decade, but, according to 990 tax records dating to 1998, he is a cheap tipper to his foundation.

In eight years of available documents, donations averaged $30,000 a year and gifts distributed to the community averaged $13,000 a year. In 2002, A-Rod did not contribute more than $5,500. In 2006, the foundation did not give away more than $5,090 despite a fund-raiser that collected $368,000.

Of course, the article itself does nothing to advance the debate on A-Rod. For those of us who cannot stand him, despite his baseball prowess, we read the article and immediately see evidence of a cold, calculating guy, who only plays by the rules technically, both on (and apparently off) the field.

By contrast, though, people who defend A-Rod, and who believe that A-Rod receives a disproportionate amount of flack and criticism merely because of his salary, read this article and see confirmation of their position; i.e., that everything he does is cast in a negative light, and subject to intense scrutiny.

The only difference is that I am right.

Friday Classic Video: Too bad the Wii doesn't come with a steel chastity belt

First of all, the Nintendo Wii is awesome. I can honestly say it has completely changed the entire idea of video games, at least for me. Never before has a video game system come so close to actually bringing you inside the game you're playing. If you haven't played one yet, quit your job and go find a way to do it right now.

I've been strongly considering buying one lately, especially since its online application would allow me, from my apartment in Manhattan, to finally avenge (somewhat) the vicious and totally uncalled-for ribcage-breaking punch LJT executed on me a few years ago by kicking his ass in Boxing -- while he plays at his apartment in Jersey City. Which is dope.

However, I may have just reconsidered, after watching the following video. Granted, I'm not some 8-year-old kid and I don't have a massive dog, but still.

Without further adieu...

(Oh, and this is work-safe. In fact, it's work-funny!)

Thank you, Gorilla Mask!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wolverine lives in Detroit and is a 7-year-old girl

I love Wolverine, so don't get to thinking that I'm trying to rip on him with that headline. Instead, read this.

Here's a picture of the legendary X-Man (the one on the right):

"50 Cent can lick my Rainbow Brite doll's taint."

A few choice excerpts:
A 7-year-old-girl is being hailed as an "angel from heaven" and a hero for jumping in front of an enraged gunman, who pumped six bullets into the child as she used her body as a shield to save her mother's life.

Alexis Goggins, a first-grader at Campbell Elementary School, is in stable condition at Children's Hospital in Detroit recovering from gunshot wounds to the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm.
Holyfuckingshit. She's 7.

And how's this for life in Detroit:

Ford said she dialed 911 on her cell phone as she walked into the station.

"The first operator clicked off and I dialed again and told that operator a guy with a gun was holding me hostage with a mother and baby and threatening to kill us. I told her the name of the gas station and then she said they didn't have a unit to send."

As Chuck D once put it, 911 is a fucking joke. Especially if you live near 6 Mile, I guess.

The gunman, Calvin Tillie, is about as big an asshole as anyone has ever fathomed:
Alexis jumped over the seat between her mother and the gunman and begged him not to shoot her mother.

The police report said Tillie "without hesitation" pumped six shots into the child.

By the way, he wasn't using a machine gun. The little girl got in front of her mom, and this Calvin Tillie ubercocksucker shot her SIX SEPARATE TIMES IN A ROW.

And here's the kicker:
Bodley said Alexis receives special education services at school, in part because of a weak left eye, which is the result of a massive stroke she suffered as an infant.
Because of my massive ignorance in the field of medicine, I hadn't realized strokes happened to infants. I mean, I guess I knew it was possible. But what are the odds here?

And how 'bout this:
"She is a good little girl who is very protective of her mother," said Tonya Colbert, Parker's cousin.
Yeah, that and she has a mutant healing factor and her skull is laced with adamantium. (That may include some editorial conjecture on my part.)

Alexis Goggins, I believe in you. You had a stroke when you were a baby; you had the ovaries to jump in front of your mom when she was getting shot; you wound up getting shot in the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm; and you fucking lived.

You are officially a superhero.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Has Omar lost it?

When I was a young lad, I was really into collecting and trading baseball cards. I didn't have too many trading partners, though; it was basically just Side Bar and his brother MMG. We traded many, many cards, and I can't (clearly) remember a particular time where I got totally screwed in a trade. I'm sure this happened; it was just me up against those two, so logic would dictate they probably got the better of me when you add up all the different negotiations.

But I'd like to explore a possible baseball-card trade (that probably didn't happen, but it may have) between Side Bar / MMG and myself. This would have occurred circa 1988:

I'm holding a Kevin Elster Topps "Future Stars" card.

I really like Kevin. Maybe -- as his card says -- he'll be really, really good soon. But maybe not. He's young and unproven. Who knows?

Side Bar and MMG are offering:

1. A 1987 Topps Jerry Royster.

Royster's card is obviously crap. A throw-in. Maybe MMG and Side Bar think I have a special liking for him or something, I dunno. But they also offer...

2. A 1985 Topps Rusty Kuntz.

Rusty Kuntz -- I mean, can you go wrong with a name like that? Who wouldn't want that card? Even though he was a pretty crappy baseball player, simply having this card would probably get me mad props by showing it off in Mr. Chupak's 10th grade Modern European History class. (Not that I could foresee that or anything.)

So basically my decision boils down to this: Do I trade a card that I like, which could either end up very valuable or kind of in the middle (so I thought at the time) for two other cards -- one of which is obviously crap, while the other has at least something desirable?

Hmmm... I'm gonna say No. Why would I trade away a card that I might wind up loving (because Elster might turn out awesome) for a crappy card and a card that has, at best, a face-value appeal?

I'm sure Side Bar and MMG would have found a way to "persuade" me, but then again, I was only 10 back in 1988, so how much could I be held accountable for?

However, professional baseball General Managers should be smarter. I'm talking to you, Omar Minaya.

You just traded Lastings Milledge for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.

Lastings Milledge: Though he was perhaps not quite what Mets fans had been led to believe, here's how the good folks at Y2K put it:
Young Lastings, all 22 years of him, hit .272 with 7 home runs in 184 at-bats last season. Across 550 at-bats, that's 21 home runs -- pretty good for a 22-year-old.
Ryan Church: This guy is supposed to be our new everyday right-fielder? Last year, his best, he hit .272/.349/.464, which is pretty mediocre for a corner outfielder.

Brian Schneider? Well, he just flat-out sucks. You can look here if you don't believe me.

Basically, Omar Minaya traded away a young player with a big upside/high ceiling (depending on your cliche preference) for one mediocre player and one crappy player. Not to mention the fact that Milledge could've been much better used in a trade for a FUCKING PITCHER, clearly the Mets' most pressing need.

How is this a good deal?

Omar was dynamite three years ago, acquiring Pedro and Beltran -- awesome. The next year, he added Delgado and Lo Duca -- very good. Last year -- eh? And so far this off season -- Go Fuck Yourself.

I worry that Omar has lost it. I mean, I know it's not like he's gotta deal with the intricacies of an Elster for Royster/Kuntz trade, but Jesus, man. How 'bout you get us a goddamn pitcher?


Friday, November 30, 2007

Greatest. Video. Ever.

This was on "Alf" about 20 years ago . . . still a classic.

A few years ago, Matt and I were sitting around, and it either came on or some reference was made to the song/video/episode, and we both started singing it spontaneously, remembering all of the words. It was impressive, though a bit disturbing. Not sure anyone else will appreciate this, but my brother and sister will love it.

In any event, enjoy.

Friday Classic Video: Total Wusses Need Not View This

Even if you haven't seen it yet, I hope you've at least heard of the 2 Chicks, 1 Cup video. And NO, I'm not posting it here, because this blog is for kids, goddammit. (In order to be able to appreciate the upcoming video, you'll have to at least give the Cupchicks video a shot. I warn you that it is by far the most disgusting thing you've ever seen, guaranteed. So needless to say, it's NSFW. It's right here)

And all you pussies who couldn't get past the first 15 seconds need to check your balls (or ovaries) at the door the next time we go out drinking.

Also, in case you weren't checking in on us the past day or so, you missed the single greatest comments thread in Where's Luke? history. I might even go so far as to say the best comments thread on any blog ever created, but -- no, wait, I just did. Check it out here.

But enough blatant self-promotion, on to the big show. Again, if you've watched Cupchicks, you'll love this. If not, be sure to watch it before this one.

And also, boy, do the Knicks suck!

Have a wonderful weekend full of the best puns ever!

(And for some more great videos and such, always go to College Humor.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No Static, Got An Automatic
Too Much Of Anything Makes You An Addict

Is there any reason in the world that someone should own 10 pairs of Adidas Classics? I'm ready to admit it. I have an addiction. I just really like them. And I don't think I can stop any time I want.

These are all of my Adidas in the order I bought them. Those last three pairs, the blue stripes, baby blue, and khaki colored, I bought all this week from all at the same time. That spells problem. In my defense, though, I try to only buy them when they are a good price. I got most of these for less than $45. (Not the navy blue ones, but I waited forever for them to go on sale.) The first, second, and seventh pair I got off the clearance rack.

And I'm still upset about the one pair I didn't get. That third pair, which is supposed to be that tan color is made of hemp and I got them at Journey's, which has great shows, for the record. At the same time they had another hemp pair that was green with white stripes. I always wanted to go back and get those too, but when I finally decided to get them they had stopped making them. Or at least stopped selling them there, and I can't find them online anywhere, either. I was pretty disappointed.

I was super excited when I got the first pair. If you can't tell in the pictures, they are white with purple stripes. I had been looking for that particular combination forever, and they don't really have them anywhere. I've never seen them on sale before or since. And to top it off, they were on the clearance rack at Modell's, I guess since no one but me wants Adidas with purple stripes, so I think they were $28. And in case you can't tell, those brown ones are actually corduroy. They're fucking awesome, also twenty something dollars off the clearance rack. Given that most Adidas Classics cost in the $65-$75 range, I feel it's my duty to buy them when they are on sale for deep discounts. I'm actually saving money by buying them. Yeah, that's it.

Also notice the first and third pair with the rubber shell top that is now yellow. Both of those used to be as white as that last pair. In the case of the hemp ones, though, the yellow actually makes them look a little better, so I'm hoping that the khaki ones will be similarly improved when they age, even though they're pretty awesome now as they are.

"Beirut" or "Beer Pong"?

As I sit here, wasted at 2:20 a.m. listening to MMG's wedding album ("Red Neck Yacht Club" is playing), I think it's time to clear something up.

I recently got home after playing a tournament in which myself and a partner competed against two other players in a game many of us know well. Some of us call it "Beirut," some of us call it "Beer Pong," and some of us -- well, only Side Bar -- call it "Throw Pong." Though I did not win tonight's tournament, I feel that the name of the game deserves some attention.

Here's all there is to it: If what you're doing is throwing a ping-pong ball into one of several cups, you are playing Beirut; if you are actually using ping-pong paddles to swat a ping-pong ball into a cup, you are playing Beer Pong.

It's really that simple.

I've played both, and I must say "Beer Pong," played properly, is a lot of fun. And does it not earn its name? You actually use paddles to hit a ping-pong ball.

I have no idea why "Beirut" is called "Beirut." But if you are throwing a ping-pong ball into a cup -- using only your hands, as opposed to a paddle -- you're playing Beirut.

If you've never used ping-pong paddles to try to knock a ball into a cup, I recommend you do so right away. Until then, you have never played "Beer Pong." It's really quite fun. Here's a quick tutorial:

These days, "Beer Pong" is advertised all over the place. There's even a World Series of Beer Pong. So that has become the accepted name of the game.

Incidentally, during that tournament tonight in which I competed, I had to throw a ball into my opponents' cup. It was called a "Beer Pong" tournament. There were no paddles.

I didn't mind what they called it. Know why? Because if I lost, I drank a lot. If I won, I got to drink more. It's a win/win, right?

Beirut/Beer Pong. Potato/Po-tah-to.

(Oh, and if you haven't checked out the Beth and Val Show yet -- which I have recommended in the side bar [not the Side Bar who calls it "Throw Pong" like a douche] -- check this one out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Guess Their Social Studies Teacher Isn't Succeeding Either

Here's a conversation I had with a student yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving:

Student: "Mista, what are you gonna do for Thanksgiving?"

Me: "Not much. Eat turkey. Watch football."

Student: "What? Who the hell watches football on Thanksgiving?"

To which I had no appropriate response.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

After a short hiatus, the very popular (well, Chuck likes it) "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down" is back with another installment. Here goes:

Thumbs Up go to . . . . Barack Obama. Describing herself to a new boyfriend on 30 Rock last season, Tina Fey confessed that she tells all of her friends that she is voting for Barack Obama but will probably just vote for John McCain in the end. It was a great line because it struck the chord of Obama's popularity as the "hip" candidate, but not one that anyone viewed as actually crossing the finish line. That seems to have changed in the last few weeks. Obama is now first in Iowa (in a pretty reputable poll), and appears to have a legitimate shot at staging a credible challenge to Hillary, who seemed like a foregone conclusion only a month ago. I have never been excited about Hillary as a candidate, and if Obama emerges as a real contender, I would drive the bandwagon. My only gripe with Hillary (she is generally an advocate of the positions I would take on most issues) is that she seems so totally disingenuous in everything she says . . . now people say that's true of all politicians, but that doesn't seem to be the case, as Obama is proving. I like him, and am getting excited about his candidacy.

Thumbs Down go to . . . . the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Jimmy Rollins, a notorious murderer of kittens and hater of rainbows, was named NL MVP by this crowd. Matt Holliday had a better year, hands down. Whatever - David Wright will take it next year and put this nonsense to rest.

Kittens, man. Kittens.

Thumbs Up go to . . . . the New York Giants. Now look, we've been down this road before, and Open Bar has written extensively on this point, but the fact is they are 7-3 with a defense that looks like it can keep them in the game against all but the very best teams (i.e., Dallas and New England). Given the remaining schedule, they could legitimately win 10 if not 11 games, and maybe get a home playoff game. Given how this season looked in August and September, that is dramatic improvement, and a nice consolation prize for still suicidal Mets fans.

Thumbs Down go to . . . . Has anyone noticed the creeping mediocrity of the New York Times online? The conversion to a Yahoo!/MSNBC type website has been subtle, but undeniable. Half of the site is now a blog (which just means you can write a story without having to edit it), and everything is linked to "reader comments." This is supposed to be the paper of record in this country, but it is starting to look like the MySpace page of a 14 year-old on Ritalin. If I gave shit what Nikos from Greece thinks the Knicks need to do to rebuild I would ask him. Just watch, will have a "Who Should Get Voted Off Dancing With The Stars" poll up by years end. What a travesty.

Thumbs Up go to . . . . this guy. Hey, when a man wants a beer . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stupid shit I do to myself

I consider myself a fairly smart person. I know quite a bit about a few things, but mostly I know a little bit about a lot of things. I love those trivia games on those Max machines in bars. I love watching Jeopardy.

But despite all that apparent genius, I still often find that I'm a total dumbass. But I hope it's not just me.

Here are a few things I often do to myself that make me feel like an idiot:
  1. Bite my tongue. Holy Christ, how bad does that hurt? Usually, I'm just chewing my food -- a very normal activity -- and out of nowhere, it's like FUCK! OW! A variation on this is biting my cheek. Why does this happen? I've been chewing food for years, you'd think I'd be good enough at it by now, right?
  2. Stub my toe. Again, so much pain, and why? Did my body momentarily forget how to walk? Obviously, this sort of thing happens more often during the summer, when I'm wearing flip-flops. But I also like to walk around the apartment barefoot from time to time so, occasionally, the floor apparently jumps up an inch or so and BAM! Bloody toe. This one sucks in particular because it makes walking hard. Walking. Not like I have to do that much.
  3. Hit my head on the kitchen cabinet. This one is rarer than the first two but, because of that, is much more embarrassing and hard to understand. Have I not opened those same cabinets a million times? Do I not know where they are? I'll simply be putting the dried dishes away from the dishrack -- glasses here, bowls there, etc. -- when SMACK! My temple is bleeding.
  4. Poke myself in the eye. Fortunately, this one seems to be getting more and more infrequent. But once in a while, for whatever reason, my hands are near my face and OOPS! This'll basically put me out of commission for a while. I can't see, so best to just stop everything, try to stay still, and let myself recover. Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "How the fuck did that happen?" Answer: Well, dumbass, you just put your finger into your eye socket, did you think it wouldn't result in exactly this?
I'm sure there are a hundred other stupid things I do to myself all the time that I can't even remember right now (No. 5: Can't remember things that happened.).

But I wonder if these sorts of things happen to you. If not, go to hell. But if so, what are they? And do the ones I've mentioned happen to you too?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

El Duca

The Mets signed former Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a three-year, $14.4 million contract yesterday. Paul LoDuca, the Mets' (now former) catcher, Brooklyn native, and fan favorite, was not even offered a deal.

Am I the only one who feels like the Mets are suddenly a very mediocre team? I mean, in July, August of 2006, we were watching the development of Wright and Reyes, a cornerstone of the franchise for the next ten to fifteen years, and giddy with anticipation for the playoff run. That was only fifteen months ago. When 2006 fell short (swing at the fucking curveball you idiot! what? oh, sorry. flashback), they played uninspired baseball for virtually all of 2007 (after going 32-17 to start the year, they were a .496 club for the rest of the season), folded in September, and the only noteworthy off-season move that has followed was to dismiss the lone inspiring player on the team.

LoDuca catches flack from management for being too outspoken, for criticizing Willie, and for being too "surly" (he does get thrown out of too many games, but that's why people love him . . . . that's why he is an inspiring guy to have on the team), and I don't understand it. The Mets have always been too focused on this kind of thing, and it haunts them (see, e.g., David Cone, Jeff Kent, Carl Everett (who, in fairness, was a complete lunatic), etc.).

I usually bristle when people criticize Minaya for signing players with a Hispanic background, because I think the vast majority of his deals have been for the best player, period. I am struggling with this one, though. Torrealba is a bit younger, yes, but he is no improvement on offense (arguably a downgrade), and he is certainly nothing special behind the plate. He does have a reputation for being a "gritty" guy, but we already have one of those. I am really baffled by this move.

I hope I am wrong, and maybe this is just lingering malaise from a dreadful collapse, but this team does not excite me yet for 2008.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Classic Video #2: Enjoy the weekend

I don't mean to clutter the site with videos, but I just came across this and it immediately put a huge smile on my face. Just seems like a good clip to watch as we all commence our weekends of drinking and football and Thanksgiving-y stuff at Chucks.

Plus, I just wanted to know where I'd be able to find it immediately at some point in the future.

Man, I love that friggin' show. I'm gonna go watch some full-episodes now. Bye...

Friday Classic Video: For you, Chuck

A little while ago, we had quite the little discussion of Saturday Night Live.

So in honor of that, I did a little detective work and found out that the very first skit ever on SNL was called "The Wolverines."


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Amongst my friends I'm known as a sports team hater. I like the Mets but will root for the Yankees. At times, I have been known to root for the other team - the one your team is playing against right now.

My one real exception, historically, has been the New York Knicks. They were (and maybe one day will be again) the team I cared about.

As has been documented in my blogging career since 2005, I have gone through many emotions over the last few years.

The Scott Laden era was difficult but my interest was piqued when Isiah Thomas came on board; my hope was sparked when he traded for Stephon Marbury; and I was downright optimistic when they hired Larry Brown and signed Eddy Curry.

I was frustrated by that awful 2005 - 2006 season and disapointed, but thought maybe - just maybe - Isiah could fix the house when he took the coaching reins last year. Alas, a decent team was not to be.

They went out and got Zach Randolph this off season and I tried to muster some optimism but after the last few years, a lost sexual harassment trial and Stephon's bizarre behavior this summer, it really sort of felt like a lost cause.

With this past week's turn of events with Isiah deciding to bench Stephon, Stephon's getting off the team plane in Arizona, flying back to New York, having Isiah declare the matter would stay 'in house', having Stephon be fined $200k and then flying to meet the team in LA and playing 30 minutes the Knicks have just reached a level of absurdity that is just, well, disgusting. They don't even feel like they owe the fans an explanation for the last few years of total absurdity. This is their show and we're just watching.

The Knicks suck and they are going to continue to suck and suck and then they will suck some more.

James Dolan, son of Cablevision head-honcho Charles Dolan is a rich kid fuck-up whose Dad gave him the keys to the Knicks and the Rangers mostly so he'd have something to do that couldn't fuck up his own important cable business too much. A whiny tantrum throwing bitch.

Isiah just keeps stockpiling talent that doesn't fit together, harassing women and trying to cultivate this 'us against the world mentality' except the problem isn't the world being against 'us' it's that the 'us' just sucks. He seems like a totally self interested prick, which got him out of the Chicago Streets and made him an all-time great basketball player but he can't seem to understand that that skill-set isn't working here.

I don't know if Stephon is just an egomaniac or sort of insane but I think it's probably both. He embarassed Dolan with his off court behavior this summer, with that strange interview on Mike'd Up, his assertion of dog-fighting as a legitimate sport and his performance at the Isaiah trial over this summer with gems such as the pickup line "Are you gonna get in the truck?", his cousin being a dickhead and his singing on the way out of court after his disastrous testimony. Now Dolan hates him and Isaiah is trying to keep his job and is pissed off at him anyway for what he sees as Marbury's losing the trial for him (didn't help but Isaiah has himself to blame), so he's trying to make Starbury the scapegoat.

Oh, and the team isn't very good. Still. Oh, and they're like a billion dollars over the salary cap so they can't do much about being terrible.

I'm exhausted just typing all this.

They are an embarrassment to the NBA and New York.

Last year I was at the point where I didn't really care about them much anymore.

This year, it's like they don't even exist.

The root of the problem is Dolan and he owns the team so he isn't going anywhere.

I guess maybe one day if Dolan, Thomas and Marbury are gone, we could get back together but I've essentially broken up with the Knicks. It was an unhealthy relationship. We can't be friends. I still care deep down and maybe someday, down the road, we can reconcile, but right now they've gone off the deep end and there is nothing we Knicks fans can do about it.

Ah shit...

It seemed to good to be true. Not too long ago, it seemed almost certain that Alex Rodriguez was out of New York. No longer a yankee. Alas, that will not happen.

It now appears that A-Rod is about to sign a 10-year, $275-million-dollar contract, basically making him a yankee for life.

In my unbiased opinion, this is a big loss for all of the decent, well-intentioned, democracy-loving, non-Al Qaeda-affiliated, smart people of the world. 'Tis a sad day.

Although some very dumb sportswriters and ignorant talk-radio callers have claimed -- in a complete mockery of logic and reason and "general baseball knowledge" -- that the yankees would be better off without A-Rod, the yanks now seem to have locked up the best player in baseball, who will almost certainly end up breaking numerous hallowed, all-time baseball records. And he will do it wearing fucking pinstripes. A sad day, indeed.

I can't fucking stand A-Rod. His doucheiness has been on display, among many other incidents, when he:
  • Slapped Bronson Arroyo on the arm
  • Yelled at that Blue Jays third baseman
  • Allowed his agent to make his opting-out announcement during the eighth inning of the deciding game of this year's World Series.
(He also seems to have cheated on his wife with manly-looking strippers, but that's not baseball-related, so I won't mention it.)


But in spite of his doucheiness and my personal loathing, he has somehow put up a ridiculous level of production year after year, ever since he became an everyday player. In the face of some of the toughest media coverage on the planet, he has managed to win two MVP awards in four years here in New York. (I'm anticipating that this year's award will go to him. If you'd like to argue with my speculation, please do.) After this season, there can be no doubt that he is the best player out there.

Yet still, there are the doubters.

Some of the frequent criticisms of A-Rod are:
  1. He doesn't perform in the postseason.
  2. He's not a "team player."
  3. He's kind of a dick.
  4. He's not Scott Brosius.
Let me answer those right here:

1. He doesn't perform in the postseason.

I will agree that during the 2005-07 ALDS's, A-Rod was not very good:

His totals were: 44 AB, 7 H, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

'05: .133 AVG/.200 OBP/.435 SLG
'06: .071/.133/.071 (wow that's bad)
'07: .267/.353/.467.

Prior to that, he had the 2004 postseason with the yanks. Let's take a look at those numbers.

First, the ALDS:

19 AB, 8 H, 3 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .421/.476/.737. Holy shit, that sounds...good? Good enough, in fact, to win the MVP of the series.

Now, the 2004 ALCS:

31 AB, 8 H, 8 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .258/.378/.516. Still pretty damn good.

Now for his entire postseason experience with the Mariners (covering the '95 ALDS, CS; '97 DS; '00 DS, CS):

53 AB, 18 H, 6 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8, RBI, .340/.396/.566. Those are very, very good numbers.

His entire postseason totals:

147 AB, 41 H, 21 R, 9 2B, 7 HR, 17 RBI, .279/.373/.483.

And just for the hell of it, if you remove the 2005-07 ALDS's (I'll explain why in a sec), he's hitting .361/.405/.611. Do you not want someone like that on your team?

I don't think anyone should be judging A-Rod's postseason production based solely on the last three years. He had a total of 44 at-bats in that time. Name me one player of significance who hasn't had a 44-at-bat slump. Just one. And if you insist upon using that as a gauge, I would love to instruct you to look at the numbers he put up in his 103 at-bats prior, which is more than double that sample size.

This whole "A-Rod disappears in the postseason" line is horseshit. That's based on 44 fucking at-bats! It's like saying, "Peyton Manning sucks because, hey, did you see him throw six picks last week?" (Incidentally, before last year, wasn't everyone saying that Manning wasn't that good because he "never won a Super Bowl"? Hmm...)

2. He's not a "team player."

He's the kind of "not team player" who volunteers to switch from shortstop to third base, even though he's clearly a better shortstop than the incumbent (the untouchable master of clutchiness, Mr. Super Captain Clutchy Clutchness, St. Derek) and also volunteered to give up part of his enormous salary to play for the Red Sox, but his own union prevented him. He also, I might add, goes and hits all these solo home runs, which is clearly selfish. What a dickhead he is to go ahead and score a run on his own after his teammates utterly failed to get on base beforehand. Asshole. Why even bother hitting a home run when no one's on base? It's not like there's a better possible thing a batter could do at the plate than hit a home run. He clearly must hate his teammates and therefore decides to hit home runs when they're not on base. It has nothing to do with the pitchers pitching more carefully when runners are on base.

3. He's kind of a dick.

Yes, he's a dickhead. You know who else was a dickhead? Ty Cobb -- unrepentant racist. Rogers Hornsby -- ibid. Bob Gibson -- threw at batters' heads and bragged about it. And to look at some other sports? Ray Lewis. Terrell Owens. Ron Artest. Bill Romanowski. Bill Belichick. And that doesn't even begin to address the drug addicts (Bonds, Gooden, Strawberry). So A-Rod isn't a felon or a junkie, but he's still a prick, fine.

4. He's not Scott Brosius.

If you can produce a solid argument as to why Scott Brosius is better than Alex Rodriguez, I will donate both of my kidneys to science immediately. I may die, yes, but only because I have seen reasoning that only God could express, and therefore, what else is there to see on this green earth?

Again, this is a sad day for Mets fans, Red Sox fans, people who like their families (even a little bit) and Jesus. He is upset right now. I think the Rapture may be near.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finally, a direct challenge to the alleged toughness of paper

In Mike Tyson's Punch Out, something always struck me as odd.

You boxed as "Little Mac," and the nickname could not have been more appropriate. Mac was really fuckin' little:

Doc: "Punch him in the left-right-left nut!"

Even though the perspective is somewhat on a downward angle, the fact that Bald Bull is FARTHER AWAY yet still WAY FUCKING BIGGER means that Little Mac clearly has his work cut out for him. If these two were side by side, how high up would Mac come next to Baldy? His belly-button? How the fuck is some white dude who's too pussy to even take off his tank top while he's BOXING gonna handle this gigantic, mean-as-hell-looking motherfucker? It'd be like putting Mini-Me up against a enraged, drunken elephant that not even Paris Hilton could help.

(That reminds me -- remember how Wyatt and Gary were too pussy to take a shower with Kelly Le-fucking-Brock in Weird Science without taking off their jeans?

Yeah. That Kelly LeBrock.)

Punch Out asked me to accept that somehow Little Mac could handle such clearly larger foes as Soda Popinski and King Hippo (not to mention Mike frackin' Tyson), and in order to continue playing, I did. This sort of thing was remarkably prevalent in childhood. And I don't just mean Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and whatever. They at least gave you things, so saying, "Okay, I'll go along with this [utter bullshit]," was somewhat understandable.

But Punch Out was a video game. Unlike 'Nam, it had rules -- which you couldn't argue with. But then there were things like Freeze Tag. "Okay, you tagged me. So now I have to stand here perfectly still? Why? So the fat kid whose ass I just kicked in Wall Ball can come tag me? Fuck that. I'm just gonna run away. What's he gonna do, get upset? Tell on me?" But those were the rules, so when I played I stood still upon being tagged. It was dumb, and I knew that even then.

However, there was one childhood game which perplexed me more than most. That feeling has never really left, either. There was one particular aspect of this particular game that I immediately spotted as Bullshit, and even though I played along, I always maintained my inner grievance. The game? Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Some of you may have seen what I'm about to show you. (As I type right now, it's the Number 1 story on Digg, so clearly this thing has ventured all over the Worldwide Interweb of Information.) But wow, when I read this, it was like whoever wrote it had read my precociously intelligent 11-year-old mind: Fucking-A!

(Picture first seen here.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Classic Video: We Rule

Eight posts this week, bitch! (Nine, counting this one.) Allow me to pat the writers of Where's Luke? on the back. Job well done, lads. And I'd also like to thank all of you lovely commenters (okay, I know it was mostly us commenting on our own posts, but hey, we'll take 'em however we can get 'em) for your brilliant contributions and probing opinions.

(Golf clap.)

So I've decided to take the lead of the following video and go get a new haircut, celebrate with some jager bombs at the Black Bear Lodge, and meet some skanks.

And for a truly remarkable in-depth examination of the "guido," you need go no further than the Cajun Boy in the City.

Have a good weekend!

You know what's fuckin' awesome? America, part III.c

Before you read, please be sure to check out parts 1 and 2. Cheers!

(So where were we? Ah yes, H-Squared and I just exited the Stratosphere, and we had begun to walk the Strip, which I had never done before. Also, women are teases, and rides in Las Vegas are ripoffs. I think that pretty much sums it up.)

Finally, here I am. Walking the Strip in Las Fucking Vegas. Granted, the Strip that everyone considers “The Strip” is still a ways off, but fuck it. I’ve got a few scotches in me, H-Squared is doing well on his Harvey Wallbangers, so a little mid-afternoon stroll is in perfect order. But man oh man, it’s friggin’ bright. (Las Vegas is in the desert, have you heard?) I could use some sunglasses.

It’s Friday, May 4, 2007, and tomorrow holds so much promise: Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, and the biggest boxing match in recent history (De La Hoya vs. Mayweather). What better place to be for such a monumental weekend? After all, the centerpiece—the fight—is being held at the MGM Grand, where H-Squared and I intend to watch the Derby in the afternoon, then the fight on its megascreens later that night. Ah, I can’t fucking wait.

So first things first, it’s time to get me a hat. H-Squared already has this little straw fedora thing he showed me on the flight.So I know I’m gonna be second-class if I don’t have equally excellent headgear. Though I like what H-Squared bought, there's the slight possibility of being mistaken for (gasp) a hipster. And that just can't happen. I'm thinking about something a bit more rugged, a bit more manly. Something like...

Yeah, that'll do it. And since we’ve got ourselves a nice long walk down the Strip to get back to Vegas proper, I’m pretty sure we’ll pass by some establishment that treats in the hat-selling realm. So we walk.

Not soon after, it hits us. God, are we stupid—we don’t have drinks! Suddenly desperate to correct this horrific failure, we sprint across the street to a gas station, which, of course, has a huge beer selection. We toss around the idea of getting something exotic, maybe a rare microbrew we couldn’t get back East or something, but then we see it. The obvious answer: 24-ounce cans of Coors Light for one whole American dollar. Sweet. “And two brown bags, please,” I say to the nice Armenian-looking man behind the counter.

Now back on the street (and properly equipped), we resume our search for my fedora. As we brown-bag it down the street, we pass by numerous groups of people covering all ages and races. But no matter how different each group is, one thing stands out—Vegas. The people in these groups are inevitably smiling; they are clearly having a blast, regardless of where they’re from or what they look like.

Just like us. With each group that passes, H-Squared and I exchange some new variation on how awesome is it to be here with them. At a dry 76-degrees Fahrenheit on a cloudless day while carrying a cold beer and riding a nice buzz, it’s incredibly nice to run into like-minded strangers, even for a fleeting moment.

A-ha! A souvenir shop! This place clearly sells hats (the sign says “HATS,” among other things), so we trek through a parking lot large enough to fit my apartment 40 times over and enter. At first, I just see postcard racks and T-shirts with numerous variations of “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” But along the back wall, I spy hats. Sweet.

After looking at countless baseball caps and cowboy hats, I still haven’t spotted my fedora, when—

“Sir, can you come over here, please?”

The security guard has the whole hat/sunglasses/desert-style-uniform thing you might think the Minutemen wear along the border. I walk over, and he kindly tells me, “Your beverage is not allowed in here.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I say.

“You just have to go out to the sidewalk.”

What a punishment! What a town! “You can’t drink here! You just have to go over there, which isn’t far away!” In my dreams, these are the rules.

We walk for a while longer down the Strip, eventually extinguishing our tallboys, but we happen upon a friendly site: Margaritaville.
"Where's the damn salt?!"

Now, while I love Jimmy Buffett, I must admit that (sorry, Side Bar) H-Squared is by far the biggest Parrothead I know. (He and I once went to Buffett’s annual Today show performance in Rockefeller Center at 5 a.m. At 3:30 that night, he showed up at the bar where I was working with a floral shirt for me, so I poured us a bunch of frozen margaritas in giant plastic cups, which we then drank over the next two hours. It was a good time.) I’ve never been to a Margaritaville, and hey, we’re out of drinks, right?

In case you hadn’t guessed, this restaurant is fantastic. (Obviously) Buffet music plays nonstop, but the bonus is that tonight, the giant screen is playing one of his concerts. And anyone who knows Jimmy Buffett knows that his live music is far superior to the studio-album crap. We sit at the bar and have some margaritas. (Good, but surprisingly not exceptional.)

Out of nowhere, the music stops. Someone on the P.A. orders us to look up. On the second floor, there’s a superhot woman in a bikini. For some reason, she jumps down this big-ass waterslide and lands in a GIANT MARGARITA. Everyone claps. I’m still not sure what the hell is going on, but I clap. I guess that was…cool?

My phone rings. It’s Red Dragon, and he wants to meet up. He’s done golfing (ugh) and wants to start gambling and drinking. Way ahead o’ you, man, at least on the drinking tip. We agree to meet at the Bellagio, which is nearby. So H-Squared and I pay our tab and bounce, passing all sorts of pirate imagery. I nearly buy something, but I don’t because I’m smart. I went to a public school, after all.

The Bellagio is an amazing casino. While many of the places I’d seen so far were stunning, the Bellagio is a step up. Every detail of the architecture, the art on the walls, even the carpets, just oozes class and luxury. I’ve heard that Vegas casinos pump pure oxygen through the vents to get you slightly high, but the Bellagio seems to be pumping that which Ricky Bobby pisses: Excellence.

H-Squared and I tell Red Dragon about the cool new drink: the Harvey Wallbanger. Red Dragon LOVES it. As he and H-Squared sit down to play some Blackjack, he immediately orders one for each of us. This will clearly be our drink for the rest of the weekend. Boss! Since I don’t really gamble (as I’ve said, I have too many vices already, thank you), I decide to walk around. What a place. If you’ve been to Vegas but haven’t visited the Bellagio, make that your first trip next time. It looks and feels like one of the world’s great museums. Your eyes are constantly enthralled at each turn. Even the tiniest details of the molding along the ceiling are meticulously crafted. It is not the cheap, schmaltzy, neon-tinted stereotype of Vegas. It is the polar opposite.

I grab another drink and head back to my boys. H-Squared isn’t playing anymore, and it looks like—yep, Red Dragon just lost his last chip. So we get up and simultaneously realize that, holy shit, we gotta get back to the Palms. We’re going to the hottest club in the city tonight, Pure, and it’s getting near time to leave.

We hop in a cab, during which nothing interesting happens.

Back at the Palms, we wait for the elevator. When it opens, who walks out? Amanda (the married cocktease) and Elisa and their whole bachelorette-party crew. I stop and chat with Amanda for a second, we exchange numbers, and agree to meet up later on that night when we’re both done doing the whole bachelor/ette party thing. For some reason, I think this is a good idea. Fucking women…argh.

We go upstairs, get our party clothes on, and do some pre-gaming in our various rooms. After a bit, our whole crew of about 20 guys heads downstairs. There’s me, H-Squared, Red Dragon, Goliath (the bachelor), JV (the best man), and lots of other people, most of whose names I forgot within two sentences of meeting them. (If, during the duration of this story, one of them does something blog-worthy, they will get a cool nickname. Ah, the honor.)

Pure is located in Caesar’s, one of the more well-known casinos. When we finally arrive, we still have a bit to wait before our appointment, so we head to the casino bar. We have drinks. Harvey Wallbangers, of course.
"Just like what I get my mom for her birthday every year.
But with Vodka!"

JV soon comes by and informs us that it’s time to go.

To get to Pure, you have to exit the casino and walk around a bit to its entrance. And HOLYFUCKINGSHIT are there a lot of people there waiting to get in. It’s not like the typical line outside a club in New York. No, this is a gigantic mob of several hundred drunken idiots converging from all directions on the small opening of velvet rope that two bouncers are guarding.

“How the fuck are we gonna get in?” I wonder. After all, this is Friday night at Pure. Why in the world would they let a group of 20 guys with NO WOMEN (women usually being the key to being allowed into a club, as far as I’ve experienced) in when all these other people are here first? “This ain’t happening,” I say to H-Squared. “We may as well be wearing fur coats trying to get into the PETA awards—”

“You!” someone shouts. “Come on!”

I look up and some enormous black guy who I can only assume is a bouncer has cleared a path for us. (By the way, he is wearing some outstanding sunglasses. I wish I had a pair like that.) Literally, it looks like the Red Sea has parted. And JV is Moses. He smiles and points us in the direction of the entrance. Our group of 20 guys now walks single-file through the mass of idiots around us, escorted by security. JV, in my opinion, is like Hercules—less than a god, but more than a man.

This has never happened to me before, and I can’t help but take advantage of the moment. I look at each and every person I pass who can’t get in and smile the most-mockingest smile I can conjure. Fuck all those pricks. Hey, when the hell else am I gonna have this opportunity to scoff at “people who go to clubs”? Trust me, if you ever have the chance to do this, DO IT. It feels great, and even better afterwards, because you know you weren’t making fun of people less fortunate, you were making fun of douchebags. (To this day, I sometimes jerk off to that feeling.)

After passing through the throng of fuckheads, we finally enter. No one ID’s us. No one asks us any questions. We are simply led. Led through the first floor. Led up the stairs, passing the second level. We finally reach the top and, oh boy.

We have an entire section on the roof to ourselves. Just as we’re all congratulating each other on the astounding view, a couple of Mexican guys (natch) roll out a tray full of all that is good and holy: bottles of tremendous liquor, Red Bulls on ice, fruit juices and mixers, and plenty of ice.

“Here you go,” Paco says. (Paco rules, incidentally. A good man. After a few hours, he and I were hombres.)

Needless to say, we all dive in. I come away with a Stoli and Red Bull, and other people get other stuff, blah.

By the time I’ve had my fifth such drink, we begin to hear rumors that Jessica Simpson is there. Apparently, she’s performing with the Pussycat Dolls at some point. Awesome, I think, and then immediately forget that fact.
"Seven. Minute. Abs."

As I head to the bathroom, I happen upon H-Squared and Red Dragon.

“Dude, we just met Van Pelt, he’s awesome,” H-Squared says.

“Wha…?” I mutter.

“Scott Van Pelt, from SportsCenter. He’s here, we just saw him. We were standing next to him, and I just yelled ‘Hey, Van Pelt!’ and he turned and we said hello and he was cool. Not a dick whatsoever.”

"Cooler than the other side of the pill--damn you,
Stuart Scott and your lazy eye. Boo-ya!"

“After you just yelled out ‘Van Pelt’?”

“Yeah! He shook our hands then walked away. What a guy.”

I finish my piss, reflect on how cool Scott Van Pelt was to placate a couple of drunken idiots screaming “VAN PELT!” and head back upstairs. On the roof, it’s kinda lame. We’re all hammered, yes, but no one’s doing anything stupid and ridiculous, you know? That kind of lame. So, like Robin Williams told me, I seize the day.

I jump on one of the couches, in full view of everyone out there, and begin to do my best attempt at a split. Fairly soon, I’m sitting there, spread-eagle, with my shoes rubbing the two armrests on either side of the couch as I lean back and sip my elevendy-fourth Red Bull-Vodka. I remain in that position for the next hour or so. Or ten minutes, who knows?

So after that, a bunch of things happen. (Editor’s note: Writer blacked out and cannot remember.) As everyone is leaving Caesar’s to go back to the Palms, H-Squared and I decide to stay put. And by stay put, I mean we literally sit down on the asphalt outside some exit. Why, you ask? It’s clearly time to reflect. And we let people know as they pass us.

“What are you doing?” asks some old woman (who just lost her grandson’s inheritance playing the slots).

“Reflecting,” H-Squared says.

“On what?”

“On…our lives,” I answer. She is stupefied by the brilliance of my answer and walks off, shaking her head in amazement.

Some other idiot walks out and asks us the same question, and we give him the same answer. Man, we are changing people’s lives, one at a time. Another guy walks out, looks over, and before he even asks, I yell, “REFLECT! (Pause.) On your life.” He goes home and finally calls his father, whom he hadn’t talked to in 25 years.

Eventually, some guy we talk to is so dumbstruck that he elects to sit down next to us. Which is a bit weird. I’ll call this guy Fucky. Fucky’s about 40, half-bald, and looks like Vegas has taken its toll on him. But he’s really digging our “Reflect” message. So much so that with every sentence, I’m getting more and more creeped out. I just want to tell people to reflect, I don’t want to actually hear about the things on which one might subsequently reflect. But there he sits, describing the wife who left him, the kids he hasn’t seen, the battles with the bottle, the blah blah blah… Go away, please.

Suddenly, H-Squared loudly farts. And it’s like we just discovered how to get into level 8 of Zelda (blow the whistle!), because Fucky gets up and leaves. Though the stench is abhorrent, I’m happy sitting there with just my friend, reflecting, sans creepy weird guy. Oddly, that gets boring. So we get up and leave.

A cab ride back to the Palms later, and we’re back, baby! It’s about 7 a.m. now, and we have no idea what to do, so we go to the bar. And—tell me if you saw this coming—Amanda and Elisa are there. At the same table as the night before. (Have I mentioned that Amanda is both married and a cocktease?)

After a bunch of “Hey!”s and whatnot, we’re all sitting down drinking. I’m still a bit annoyed at the shit I had to deal with the night before, but then again, I’m wasted and talking to a hot chick. So who gives a shit that she’s from Nebraska and married, right? We tell them about the awesome pool that opens fairly soon, and this excites them. We all agree to go upstairs and get our pool shit on, then meet downstairs at the entrance when it opens. I ask them what room they’re staying in, just in case there’s a problem, and it turns out they’re on the floor above us. So they go, and, once again, H-Squared and I finish their drinks. No manners on these girls, I swear.

We get back to our room and put on our swimming attire. “Wait,” I say, just as we’re about to leave. “Let’s get ready.”

“What?” he asks.

“Let’s do some push-ups. That way, our muscles an’ shit’ll be all swelled up, and we’ll look fucking hot.”

H-Squared needs no further convincing. We both hit the floor and start. And as someone once said about Chuck Norris, we weren’t pushing ourselves up, we were pushing the Earth down. Yeah.

Now properly swelled up (and totally fucking hot), we head downstairs. It’s about 9 a.m., just when the pool is opening. We wait for a few minutes, and the girls aren’t there. So we decide to go get them. We hop on the elevator, find their room, and knock on the door. And by “knock,” I mean "bang very loudly." And continue to bang loudly. Eventually, Elisa opens the door and tells us they’re sleeping and will continue to do so, despite the genius plan we had concocted not much earlier (and our push-ups). Bitches.

So, it’s about 9:30. We have no girls to enjoy the pool with (or “fuck”), and it dawns on us that it is now, in fact, Saturday. The Kentucky Derby will be starting shortly. It’s time to get out of these pool clothes, and into our Derby gear. Though I did not acquire the fedora I sought, we both still have some proper Churchill Downs-style apparel to wear.

Oh, and "sleep"? Fuck it. We arrived last night (two nights ago), slept for 90 minutes, partied all day, and now all night. Here we are, the morning of May 5th, going on no sleep at all, but that won’t stop us. There’s an amazing fight to behold, a horse race to bet on, and a town that invites such debauchery.

In fact, the only thing I care about at all is that I still don’t have a nice pair of sunglasses. Let’s go hit the breakfast buffet, figure it all out, then we’ll go and figure it all out.

(To be continued…)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Boner Nomenclature

Show me that smile again . . . oooohhh . . . show me that smile . . . don't waste another minute on your cryin'. Etc. 5 points if you get the reference. Remedial pop culture lessons if you don't.

The Boner (not the one pictured above; the other one) is one of nature's true miracles. The Stiffy. The Hard-On. The Rod. Literary archetype, biological phenomenon, the star of thousands of films, and the bane of 17 and 71 year-olds everywhere (for decidedly different reasons, of course). The boner is a lot like a taxi: they are everywhere in the morning, but when you've been out drinking all night and you really need one, it can be tough to find.

The term "boner," though, even with all of its first cousins, is imprecise and insufficient. Indeed, the "I'm-drunk-at-3 a.m.-starting-at-the-female-anchor-on-CNN-because-my-roommate-was-too-cheap-to-pay-for-Cinemax boner," is hardly (get it?) the same thing as the "I'm-16-years-old-and-the-hot-sophomore's-parents-are-away-for-the-weekend-so-we-are-"watching movies"-at-her-place boner."

No indeed. "Boner" is a clumsy word that describes a whole range of distinct biological events. Accordingly, a naming convention is in order. During a probing, thoughtful conversations about boners a few weeks ago, it occurred to several of us that the different types of boners can each be described by reference to one of the Seven Dwarfs.

(side note: now look, I understand that anyone with even a halfway decent sense of humor can stumble upon the personal assessment that one must be making when one is comparing boners to dwarfs. They're both short, Irish curse, I'm all thumbs, yes, yes. What a riot. Not the point of this post, so move on (side note (II): I'm luking at you, notorious LJT (side note (III): the typo was inadvertent, but so fitting that I chose to leave it))). But I digress.

Without further adieu, the seven boners:

The "Happy"

This one is easy. Undoubtedly the most rewarding of boners, the "Happy" springs to life right when it should. You see a hot girl walk in to the bar and she brushes past you with a wink? Happy. Some gal gives you eyes on the subway? Happy. Two smokin' hot foxes eating lunch outside in midtown in July? Happy. The Happy is sort of like a line-drive single. It's nothing too out of the ordinary, you have a decent change of getting one on any given night, and you have much better chance of scoring once you do. What a dwarf.

The "Sleepy"

Right behind the Happy in frequency, the Sleepy is a freak, and only comes out at night. Even though you are fast asleep and not wookin pa nub (remember that one?), Sleepy is like the night watchman, a sentinel standing at attention. Now there is a biological explanation for the Sleepy (it prevents you from pissing yourself in bed, or something like that (insert mmg joke here)), but that is not the point of this post. The Sleepy is also known as a Morningwood Tree in some circles, but there was no "Breakfast Dwarf" in the movie, so Sleepy it is.

The "Grumpy"

The Grumpy is a sonofabitch, and can be a mean drunk. You've had 13 beers, 8 shots, and a Diet Sunkist, and yet some girl is still willing to entertain the idea of coitus with your drunk ass. You're making out, ready to do the deed, and she reaches down to find - Grumpy. A tired, drunk angry boner. You're mind told you to pass out three hours ago, but you're libido ordered a red bull. The Grumpy will reluctantly go along for the ride, but he isn't happy about it, and refuses to give it his all.

The "Dopey"

The Dopey is an idiot. It doesn't have the brains to show up when a hot girl walks in the room. Instead, it waits until you are watching Sports Center at the gym, or reading the paper on the train to work. The Dopey is the reason that guys say their rod has a mind of its own, even when it is proving it has no mind at all.

The "Bashful"

The Bashful - as the name implies - is the boner that you are a little embarrassed about. Stand up in a meeting about the company's P/E ratio and you're at full mast? You've got a Bashful (I guess that's also sort of a Dopey). On your first date, helping your new lady friend out of the car, and she spies an unnatural wrinkle in your jeans? Bashful. There's nothing to be bashful about, of course (christ, Open Bar willingly farts on the job . . . what's a woody every now and then), but we can't help shying away from the Bashful.

The "Sneezy"
The Sneezy is undoubtedly the rarest of boners, but don't get a Bashful if it happens to you . . . . you are apparently not alone.

The "Doc"

Doc is a symbol for the old man, and the trouble that the more geruntologically advanced may experience with the raising of the flag. The "Doc" therefore, refers to the old man boner, whenever, and however he is able to make it happen. Now I know the folks at Disney probably would be less than thrilled at the whole concept of this post, and certainly not least the linking of the lovable Doc with the awkward truth about impotence and getting older, but, in fairness, it was the Disney folks themselves who provided what is perhaps the best example of the "Doc" that one can find in modern film art:

Don't judge this old man. I bet she gives you a "Bashful" too.

Next week I'll continue defiling dear Disney by explaining how each kind of orgasm can be categorized by one of the syllables in supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Hi-HO!!!