Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You know what's fuckin' awesome? America. Part III.b

Before you read, please be sure to check out the first part. Cheers!

(So where were we? Oh yeah, that dumbass bitch who had been flirting with me for a few hours was just about to kiss me when she decided to say she was married. Argh. And women wonder why men are assholes.)

So I get back to the bar where H-Squared is chatting it up with that Elisa chick and (fucking married) Amanda. I’m a bit miffed at what just transpired outside the bathroom, but I’m a gentleman, so I’m sure to do nothing but be polite and what have you. Because “being a gentleman” in this case means “being a pussy.”

Before long, the two young ladies head upstairs to retire (without fucking us) for the evening. And by evening, I mean it’s about 9:30 a.m. Vegas, baby. (And fuck anyone who actually uses the phrase “Vegas, baby” in Vegas. Dude, lame.) (Parentheses!)

H-Squared and I finish both our beers and the girls’, who didn’t even have the courtesy to finish theirs. Sluts. We are forced to decide to head up to bed.

When we get to the room, we do that thing where you fall asleep before you hit the pillow. Yeah, we’re tired an’ shit. But in the midst of my slumber, I’m awoken quite brutally by H-Squared screaming, “WE GOTTA GET UP!”

I struggle to gather my thoughts (I was having a wet dream!). “Angelina….?” I ask.

“Dude, we’re in Vegas, let’s go. Buffet time. Then we’re going to the Stratosphere.”

Those are three excellent points, so I get up. We are, in fact, in Las Vegas, where I have never been before. The casino has a breakfast buffet that ends at 11:30 a.m. (I look at the clock—11:12.). And the Stratosphere, from what I’ve heard, is supposed to be this awesome ride where you go to the top floor of some casino, and there’s a ride on the roof that brings you way up really friggin’ high at some kinda super-fast speed, then drops you back down just as fast.

In any event, it’s time to get up.

"I just want to make sure that we can hit the Strip today," I say as I brush my teeth. "I wanna walk it at some point, I've never done that." I don't think H-Squared even hears me.

"Fine, whatever," I hear him say. He's been to Vegas before, he doesn't need to walk that walk again.

Though we both look worse than a Hunter S. Thompson hangover, we throw on some clothes and head downstairs to the $8.95 breakfast buffet. Which is awesome. First of all, the girl who seats us looks like Angelina Jolie. And by that I mean her lips look like Angelina Jolie’s lips. The rest of her…eh? But those lips!

I get my plate and fill up on some sausage, bacon, eggs, and toast. But I am totally outclassed by H-Squared, who has gotten all that and more: a three-egg omelette, hash browns, a bagel, and some kind of cake-type thing. He finishes all of it before I’ve even touched my toast. Anyway, all this food talk isn’t very interesting.

But what is interesting is that the Palms has this pretty amazing pool setup. Though H-Squared and I have no desire whatsoever to go swimming, we head over toward the pool. We have been indoors now for the last however-many hours, and I’m quite used to the dark-casino lighting. But when we take our first step outside in the noon-time sun, HOLYFUCKINGSHIT is it bright. The kind of bright that literally stings to the point that your eyes tear up like you’re cutting an onion that should’ve been in the X-Men. Fortunately, I’m wearing sunglasses. Because I’m cool, baby.

After collecting myself, I begin to take in what is around me: This is your classic Las Vegas pool scene, full of incredibly hot chicks in bikinis tanning as three or four roid-raging orange-tanned guys in big-ass sunglasses glower over them. It’s not even like anyone’s putting any moves on the girls; rather, the guys seem more intent on intimidating the poor cabana boys who bring them their dumbass drinks—Coors Lights all.

Aside from that bullshit, man oh man, is it cool. Coming out of the dark, dank casino, it’s a huge exhale to be outside and in natural light again. But fuck, I don’t really want a drink, do I? I still feel like a rhino raped me, then shit in my mouth. But yes, I do want a drink. That will make it all go away. I go to the bar and ask for the drink that just rings right in this pseudo-beach circumstance—a margarita.

H-Squared gets one as well, and we lean up against a fake palm tree. For the first time since we exited the casino, we can relax. Our stomachs are full, we’re sipping margaritas, farting a lot (but it’s outdoors), and looking at all the scantily clad ladies doing their scantily-clad-lady thing. All is well. Ahhh…

And who’s that? Goliath and our buddies are over at the other bar! Boss! We amble on down the walkway, passing by Jessica Alba making out with Beyonce.

I'm totally lying about that!

And before we know it, we’re all hanging out together outside some sort of grilling setup (mmm…hamburgers…) recapping the previous night. Blah blah blah, then H-Squared and I leave.

It’s time for the Stratosphere. I’m pretty psyched about this thing, so we hop in a cab. (Which takes way longer to get there than I’m used to. It’s like 4 miles away. I might as well be going to Brooklyn or some other God-forsaken borough.)

When we finally get there, delirium is definitely sinking in. This is a good thing. We had been drinking all night, barely slept, then started drinking again. Excellent. (If you’ve done this, then you know how it feels.)

When the cabbie tells us we’re at the right place (I hope he’s an honest man), we struggle for a few minutes as we try to figure out where the hell to go. Oh, the casino! Let’s go inside of it! We walk around awhile cluelessly, but somehow luckily find ourselves in the line to purchase tickets to the Stratosphere. When we get to the booth, my deliriousness is in high gear. As I purchase the tickets, I start flirting with the lady. “Fifteen bucks? But don’t I get the good-looking discount?” I smile at her. She smiles back and says no. It’s almost as if she’s heard something like that before. Weird. “But I am pretty handsome, right?” Smile. Smile. Wink.

She chuckles a little to herself as she hands me our tickets. I chuckle back at her, and she points toward where we’re supposed to go. I know it sounds like I’m being an asshole, but really, it’s charming. I’m not normally like this. For some reason—the delirium, I’ll bet—I’m on. Whatever I say right now, works. That woman in the ticket booth? She loved me. I can bang any chick in this whole city if I want.

So rather than do that, we head over toward the escalator that takes us up to an elevator, which we then ride up about a million floors before we can get off. (Seriously, no pun intended whatsoever.) Upon exiting, there is a gift shop to the right and a “scenic view” type thing to the left. We go into the gift shop, since apparently that’s where you have to go to get to the ride. (Shocking, in Las Vegas, they would make you walk through a gift shop just to get to the place you already paid to go, huh?)

So then we have to take another elevator up to the ride, which we do. Then, after the doors open, it’s another floor with a gift shop and scenic view. Where the hell is this friggin’ ride already? We walk around the floor, which, of course, has no signs directing us to the ride. I don’t even bother looking at the (amazing) view out the windows. (Keep in mind, we’re on the top floor of some casino, with a 360-degree view of the city.) We eventually find an official-looking person. “Where do we go?” I ask.

“Oh, take that elevator there,” he says.

“We just took that elevator, and it brought us here.”

“No, you took that elevator,” he says. The two elevators are adjacent. Prick.

We take the newly-recommended elevator (which has an attendant) and finally find ourselves on top of the building. I can tell because it’s outdoors now and therefore feels different from indoors. Finally, I can see a sign that says “Stratosphere,” so we head in that direction.

Some guy checks our tickets and directs us to the ride. He straps us in, just like a roller-coaster, except it doesn’t look like any roller-coaster I’ve ever been on. I look up, hoping that this thing is gonna shoot me up some 100 feet or something, but that isn’t the case. It’s only about 25 feet or so. But still, there’s another factor.

I look around and, yes, I can see all of Las Vegas before me. We are very high up on top of a building, and this machine is going to take us up even farther. That much is undeniable, and very cool.

We’re strapped in, sitting side-by-side in a semicircle around this machine which sits on the top floor of a building that is very tall. Not New York-skyscraper tall, but then, there aren’t any other skyscrapers around, are there—


We shoot straight up and suddenly I can see something blurry, then the city, then the whole fucking desert. We pause there, suspended for a moment as I look out upon the gorgeous view of everything around, then come down. Then, WHOOSH back up again, then back down.

After a few up-and-downs, we get back to where we started. I take off my restraints and walk away from the ride.

“What’d you think?” asks H-Squared

“Eh, can we go walk the Strip now?” I’m a little disappointed. I had heard some great things about this ride. I was hoping for some proper exhilaration. I can tell H-Squared is a bit disappointed too. He and I are big roller-coaster aficionados, after all. (Little did we know that we would soon encounter the greatest roller-coaster ever made soon after.)

We head downstairs, and try to leave, but goddammit, this place is still a fucking maze that won’t let you leave. We go from elevator to gift shop to elevator to scenic view to gift shop to elevator about 73 times before we finally find the right combination. It’s like that board in Legend of Zelda (the Lost Woods) where if you don’t go North-West-South-West, you just keep seeing the same shit over and over again.

Finally, we find the down elevator, get off, and take another escalator. At this point, I’m telling all the people heading up on the other side to NOT GO BY ANY MEANS, IT SUCKS. I don’t think the casino people like me very much.

So we go to the bar. Thankfully, it seems like a regular bar. A regular Vegas bar, meaning there are touch-screen video-gambling machines embedded in the bar, but whatever. There’s liquor on the shelf, and that’s all that matters, right?

“What do you want?” I ask H-Squared. He hesitates, and a plan forms in my mind. (Something you must know about H-Squared and me is that we used to watch this show called Ed, and on that show if one of the two main guys bet the other 10 bucks to do something, he had to do it. No excuses. H-Squared and I do this to each other, and we take it very seriously.) “Maybe a beer,” he says.

“I’ll have a Dewar’s on the rocks,” I say.

H-Squared approaches the bar, and just before the bartender comes over, I say, “10 bucks if you order yourself a Harvey Wallbanger.”

I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no idea what goes in a Harvey Wallbanger. I can barely remember where I’ve even heard the term. But I’ve worked the bar in New York and other places, and I’ve never heard anyone order one. The bartender comes over.

“Oh, hey, I’ll have a Dewar’s rocks and a Harvey Wallbanger,” H-Squared says, keeping a straight face.

The bartender doesn’t even fuckin' flinch. He pours the Dewar’s and hands it to me. He grabs a highball glass, fills it with ice, pours some house vodka and O.J. into it, then walks away. He walks down and grabs the bottle of Galliano, comes back, and tops it off. He pours the drink into a shaker, shakes it, then pours it back into the glass, and hands it to H-Squared.

Galliano. That long-ass bottle of yellowish shit you see from time to time in bars that never, EVER gets used.

“Thirteen-fifty,” he says, and H-Squared pays him.

We both turn and head to a table, where I hand H-Squared a ten-dollar bill. I’m still in shock that the bartender wasn’t in shock hearing such a shocking request. Fucking Vegas, I guess. They’ve heard it all.

As I drink my Scotch and H-Squared discovers his love for a new drink (okay, me too, I was taking swigs), we discuss a few things.

  1. The Stratosphere is a fucking rip-off.
  2. How cool is the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight gonna be tomorrow night?
  3. The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, we need to get me a fucking Fedora somewhere.
  4. Remember those chicks from last night? That was cool. Up until I found out that whore was married. Who does that? Fuck her.
  5. Tonight, we're going to Pure, the most exclusive club in Vegas. That should be fun.
  6. Wait, we're going to Pure?
  7. But before then, there's something I want to do.

And we leave. As we exit, I ask where the hell we are. "We're on the Strip, but we're pretty fuckin' far away from The Palms," H-Squared says.

"Well, we could just just walk down the Strip, right?" I suggest.


After all, who knows what kind of trouble we might get into?

(To be continued...)

Happy Ho-lloween!

I, for one, love Halloween for the sole reason that chicks dress up like sluts. What's the deal with that anyway? I'm well aware I'm not the first person to point this out, but as I intend to attend the Village Halloween Parade tomorrow, I do wonder. Why do women clearly try to out-slut each other on Halloween? Sexy nurse, naughty referee, sexy cop, naughty tree stump. (Okay, maybe not that.) But everything is sexy-this, naughty-that, etc...

Don't get me wrong. I (kinda) love it. More power to ya! I just wish it was more of a regular thing.

Anyway, I'm not sure what I'll be dressed as, but if I were a pumpkin doing an impersonation of me at the end of the night, I think this would be a good representation:

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, A-Rod, how you confound me!

So I was about to write a post defending A-Rod, the gist of which was going to be that mad people hate on him and don't give him a fair shake. But then I read Side Bar's recent post (his second for the whole month of October!), and now I'm mad at him again. (A-Rod, not Side Bar, who I'm also mad at, but still. Oh fuck off.)

My thoughts on A-Rod basically break down into two categories:
  1. He's a little bitch who would sooner announce his opting-out-of-his-contract during the 8th inning of the deciding game of the World Series than have the man-bags to bowl over Bronson Arroyo back in game whatever-it-was in the 2004 ALCS (choosing instead to try to slap the ball from his glove).
  2. He's the best player in baseball, and all the people who bitch about him refuse to understand that his level of play is the only reason the yanks even made the playoffs this year.
Side Bar's point is well made, but take, for example, this article by esteemed columnist Mike Vaccaro in the NY Post. Let me break down a few points, FJM-style:
From the moment he first donned Yankee pinstripes on that all-smiles February day in 2004, he swore he would never make the most famous team in sports about Alex Rodriguez. He would be one of 25.

“If you're looking for a squeaky wheel," he said, “you'd better look somewhere else."

And yet, as we came to know quickly, and as we learn right to the bitter end, it was always all about A-Rod, is always about A-Rod.
Really? I remember things a little bit differently. I seem to recall that, prior to his signing with the yanks, he nearly signed with the Red Sox. I believe he was even willing to both waive his no-trade clause and also take a significant chunk off his monstrous salary, just so he could go play for a winner. The chunk was significant enough, in fact, to cause the players' union to prevent the deal from going through. So even though A-Rod was willing to take a hefty pay cut, he was simply not allowed. It wasn't until Tom Hicks, the Texas Rangers' owner, agreed to pay part of A-Rod's salary for the yanks that he was actually dealt.

More from Mikey V:

A-Rod's decision to opt out on his contract is not only the biggest story in New York this morning - obscuring, among other things, the fact that Joe Girardi is going to be made an official offer to manage the team today - but it also big-foots the very sport from which A-Rod now intends to bleed his $300 million booty.

And if you think that's coincidence, then you've missed A-Rod's act these past four years.
Yeah, Mike? Really? Once the A-Rod-to-the-yanks deal finally went through, what was the next big controversy?

Who would play shortstop?

After all, A-Rod was a two-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop. But what did he do? He offered to switch positions, to move to third, just so he could "have the privilege" of being a yankee (as Hank Steinbrenner said following A-Rod's opt-out. Also, I love how much I already hate the young Steinbrenner. Good to know that evil truly does run in the family.). A-Rod was a far better shortstop than Mr. Super Captain Clutchy Clutchness, so this seems like it was a fairly "team-oriented" gesture, if you ask me.

Oh, and A-Rod wanted to pre-empt the new yankees' manager? I seem to recall another incident, this time involving the former yank manager. Just last year, the soon-to-be-sainted-and-then-fellated-by-Mike-Vaccaro Joe Torre decided to bat the best player in baseball in the number 8 spot in the lineup for Game 4 against the Tigers in the ALDS. Did A-Rod bitch about it? No. He said nothing negative about Torre.

Vaccaro, of course, goes on:
Yesterday was a busy day in the A-Rod camp when it came to showing up baseball, reminding the sport who's the bat and who's the ball. He blew off pregame ceremonies announcing him as a winner, along with Prince Fielder, of the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he all but spit on Aaron's shoes from a faraway perch.
Wow. From what I read, A-Rod had a family commitment he had to attend. But let's not bother writing about that when we can just speculate, right? Rather than find out exactly why he had to skip this all-important event that everyone in all of fucking baseball was totally anticipating -- The Hank Aaron Award!!! -- let's just go ahead and say that A-Rod wanted to "show up baseball" and spit on the shoes of one of the game's icons. Yeah, that'll make some good copy. (Incidentally, if you can name who won last year's Hank Aaron Award, or any other year's, I will give you a dollar.)

Yeah, with first-class treatment like this, it really makes you wonder why A-Rod's dying to get the hell out of Dodge.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Post-script: A-Rod: A Cheating "Mine" Field

A lot has been written in the media today about the timing of Alex Rodriguez's (or Scott Boras's, depending upon how you view the situation) announcement that A-Rod will opt-out of his contract with the yankees.

Now look, I will spare you the lecture about why this was poor form and just a total dick move. If you honestly don't think it was a big deal, then I am unlikely to be able to convince you here.

I am only putting up this short post because a wise man once wrote, after describing the unofficial rules of baseball, the "code," that:

A-Rod, of course, does not feel bound by this code, and engages in the kind of tit-for-tat, petty bullshit that makes people absolutely hate him.

Last night was just one more piece of evidence in the case for why people dislike A-Rod. You do not have to dislike him, and he is certainly an amazing ballplayer, but the one thing I cannot understand is not when people defend him, but when people pretend to have no clue why anyone would be so anti-A-Rod. It's not the money, I could honestly give a shit. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates make A-Rod look like a street urchin. It is the way he carries himself -- on and off of the field -- and the very visible differences between the "right" way to do things, and the way A-Rod does them. That's not why you have to dislike A-Rod, it's just the reason that a lot of reasonable people and fans of the game do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

David Brooks Is A Genius

I was reading the New York Times (online) this morning. Over in the op-ed section I was reading the David Brooks column called "The Outsourced Brain". I think he summarizes the age of technology perfectly.
"I had thought that the magic of the information age was that it allowed us to know more, but then I realized the magic of the information age is that it allows us to know less."
BAAMMM!!! Check Mate. David Brooks wins. This is the secret of life since 1995. Have you memorized a single telephone number since you got a cell phone? Do you even need to look up your own phone number? David Brooks's column is about now he doesn't know how to get anywhere since he got a car with GPS capabilities. And he doesn't need to. I have seen the promised land.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You know what's fuckin' awesome? America. Part III.a

As I sit in the back row of my Jet Blue flight to Las Vegas, I take a sip from my fourth scotch-on-the-rocks as we pass over Kansas or Colorado or some state below that I can’t see due to the whole sun-not-being-out-at-night thing. I’m heading out there for my buddy Goliath’s bachelor party. It’s Thursday, May 3, 2007, which is rather significant because it means that my trip will allow me to enjoy:

  • Cinco de Mayo
  • The Kentucky Derby
  • The aforementioned bachelor party, and all the trimmings
  • The most anticipated boxing match since Tyson-Holyfield: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather—which is being held in the same city I’m about to enter
  • My first trip to Vegas

So yeah, add it all up, and I figure I’m headed for the closest thing to a Bacchanal any single guy can ask for.

Sitting next to me is Hollywood Squared (or H-Squared), who always seems to be around when I take a great road trip. Incidentally, as I sip my Dewar’s, he—for some reason not likely related to Snoop Dogg—is drinking gin and juice. I’m not a big gin fan. In fact, I hate the stuff. The only memorable time I can think of involving me drinking gin, ironically, is the last bachelor party I went to. That time, I was in Montreal, and somehow wound up swigging from a Tanqueray bottle at the end of the night and chasing it with fucking Pedialyte. (And yes, I just threw up into my hand after typing that.) But that’s another story for another day.

Believe it or not, this is my first trip West of Pittsburgh. And what a trip it should be! The best man, JV, who’s arranged the whole trip, has booked us at The Palms:

The Palms is possibly the coolest casino in Vegas (or so I’ve heard), and JV has apparently set up some tremendous events for us. At this point, I’ve got a nice buzz on, and I just can’t wait to get there.

Las Vegas. How could this city and I not be a perfect match? Though I’m not really a gambler (I have too many vices already, thank you), the various other allures of the city are extremely, well, alluring. And what better weekend could I possibly have? The bachelor party, the Derby, the fight… Anyone who’s anyone is supposed to be there. And I qualify as “anyone,” so AWESOME!

At last, we land. H-Squared and I take the shuttle bus to The Palms, which, of course, is the last casino on the route. But no matter. We’re both wearing our suits, as we learned from watching Swingers ("You bring something nice to wear!") Upon entering and receiving our room keys, we’re feeling pretty fucking money, baby. This casino looks outstanding. Women are everywhere, but their clothing isn’t. I know it’s the desert and all, but the amount of bare flesh on display is mind-blowing. Low-cut shirts, short skirts, short shorts… Basically it’s a feast for the heterosexual male’s eyes. (And for the heterosexual woman’s too, I’m sure. And the homosexual male’s. And the…)

After dropping our bags off in our room, we head to the party. At this point, it’s about 2 a.m., which for H-Squared and I means 5 a.m., but the adrenaline is pumping. We’re in Las Fucking Vegas, bitch, dressed in suits, staying at a totally boss casino on the best weekend in years. (Yes, I’m trying to bring “boss” back into the vernacular.)

We take the elevator up to the 55th floor and enter the bar. Ghostbar.

“Holyfuckingshit,” is my first thought upon entering. I’m not normally into swanky-type places, but this is different. This is cool. This is fucking splendid. Unlike trendy bars in New York, we're not packed in like the 1-train during the morning rush. The music is loud, but not at an ear-bleeding level. And the people are all hot and under control. No one's picking fights because you grazed their elbow when passing. And there are no hipsters in sight! It's like everything I've ever hated about most "cool" New York bars refuses to exist here.

Before long, we run into Goliath and the whole crew. After the requisite pleasantries are exchanged, I head to the bar. I quickly surmise that trying to get a Bud bottle and a shot of Beam, as I normally do, at Ghostbar would be futile. The lowest-quality bourbon in sight is fucking Knob Creek, which sits on the top shelf of most bars I frequent.

Macallan 12, rocks,” I request.

"Sixteen dollars,” the impossibly hot barmaid (whom I will call “Hot Bartender” in subsequent discussions) replies. Out comes the credit card, where I imagine it will remain until it curls up into a ball of despair before long.

Sixteen bucks for a drink? Now normally, I spend a bit less, I will admit. But I am in Vegas for the first time, and I happen to be at a highly exclusive bar on the top floor of the coolest casino in town, enjoying the company of friends who, with me, are about to embark on a weekend of indulgence worthy of Saudi princes. So fuck it. Money is nothing more than little pieces of green paper, right?

The best man, JV, leads me from the bar through the throngs of dancing, gorgeous people to—and I didn’t even know this was there—the outdoor balcony. And oh my, the view. The fucking view:

"HOLYFUCKINGSHIT," I say. It’s a near 360-degree view of the whole city. Now I realize why The Palms was the last stop on the bus ride. From this vantage point, I can see every casino in Vegas. I can see the outlying desert. I think I can even see Indiana if I squint. Wait, is that New York? This is weird. Reminds me of something...

Goliath is having a blast. So am I. So are H-Squared and JV, who buys us a few shots. (Boss!) One of my best friends, Red Dragon (who introduced me to Goliath), is there as well. And so after many drinks have been drunk, some folks start heading to bed. It’s about 4 a.m. now, but I’m still in full-on party mode. Fortunately, so are H-Squared, Goliath, and a few others. (Red Dragon likes to golf and therefore went to bed early. He says he had a tee time; I say he's a gaping vag. But that's for history to decide.)

As we exit Ghostbar, I wave goodbye to Hot Bartender (who doesn’t wave back, but only because she’s playing hard-to-get, I’m certain).

Even in New York, not much is open after 4. But we're not in New York. We're at The Palms. Granted, none of us know what's there, but fortunately for us, there is Rain.

As I mentioned before, I’m not particularly into swanky places. I’m also not into “clubs.” But right now, I’m intoxicated. Not just on the magnificent scotch I’ve been imbibing, but on the entire atmosphere of this desert town and all it has to offer. Rain is a nightclub on the ground floor of the Palms. So off to Rain we go.

On any other night in any other town, I would not be caught dead in a place like Rain. But as I enter and begin to behold the thumping base of “This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS, I see a venue full of sweaty, drunken people grinding…and I can’t complain. This is somehow, I dunno, fantastic, in spite of MIMS. We all get some drinks and begin doing some serious people-watching. The kind of people-watching you can’t really do anywhere else. We’re up in the balcony, looking down onto the Gomorrah that is the dance floor. I spot an incredibly hot chick wearing a red tank top with a jean-skirt, and I begin to wonder why that isn’t required daily attire for all women. And the way she’s dancing makes her even hotter. I decide that this girl (I’ll call her "Bambi") will be my own personal eye candy as long as I’m there. She’s just dancing with some friends, but whether or not she knows it, she’s made another friend. (I’m talking about my penis, by the way.)

Incidentally, good luck trying to have a conversation in Rain. You know how when you’re out in the woods at night, you sometimes can’t see your hand in front of your face? Well, here it wouldn’t matter if I shouted directly into your ear—you wouldn’t hear shit.

Despite all these apparent negatives, Rain is marvelous. I can’t help but smile the entire time I’m there. (Did I mention that I'm drunk?) But after about an hour or so, many of our party have already left. It’s down to H-Squared and me. We say our goodbyes to Rain. As we leave, I wave goodbye to Bambi and get the same (non)response I got from Hot Bartender. Ahhh, the ladies of Las Vegas—a classy group, to be sure.

H-Squared and I head to the main bar on the casino floor. We order a few Miller Lites, sit at a table, and begin to go over the events of the night. But lo and behold, two young ladies sit down at a nearby table. Interesting…

After discussing various ways of approaching them, we decide to take the layman’s route.

“Hey!” shouts H-Squared. And for some reason, they turn and look over at us. “You guys wanna come over here and have a drink with us?” [Editor’s note: I’m absolutely certain that’s not what he said, but the transcript I’m reading merely reads “Hhheee cmmmonn ovvvvvaaaaahhhh theaoiuhadaflk;jdslk." Okay, read on.]

Miraculously, the two pretty young ladies come join us. I go to the bar and purchase some drinks (4 beers, 4 whiskey shots) and return to the table. We down our shots, chase them with our beers, and are instantly great friends. At 5 in the morning at the bar on the floor of The Palms, I guess that’s just how it goes.

The girls get up and do that going-to-the-bathroom-together thing that girls do. So once they're out of earshot, H-Squared and I do that thing that guys do: debate which sexual position would be best with each girl. Then we both admit that we’ve completely forgotten by this point what they look like.

“Let’s just hope that two attractive chicks come back and sit in these same two chairs,” I offer, hopefully. “That’ll probably be them.”

H-Squared agrees, and we begin discussing important matters, like who’s funnier: Stewie or Brian? The ensuing argument nearly comes to blows.

Eventually, the girls come back. Their names, apparently, are Amanda and Elisa (and they're attractive!). So I’m talking to Amanda, while H-Squared deals with Elisa. Things seem to be going well. We have another round of drinks. I find out that Amanda lives in Nebraska, which puts me in an awkward position: This chick is hot, but I also like making fun of people from Nebraska.

Argh, my mind struggles. I choose to let the Nebraska thing go. But just as I’m feeling good about myself for being a good person, Amanda and Elisa head to the bathroom again. What the fuck is this shit?

By now, I’m drunk as a Viking on a bender. Looking at H-Squared, so is he. We start up a discussion about how dumb chicks are, peeing all the time and whatnot, when I realize that my bladder is about to burst. Does that ever happen to you? Like, out of nowhere, you have to FUCKING PISS AND NOW GODDAMMIT! Well, I feel that way, so I get up and head to the bathroom, which, of course, is a good two-minute walk from the bar.

Just as I get there, who happens to be walking out of the women’s bathroom? Amanda. She stops and smiles when she sees me. For a second, the piss that had lately been most urgent recedes. She and I start chatting, and I tell her I think she’s absolutely smokin’ hot. She blushes (literally—I see her cheeks flush an’ shit!). I move in, thinking now’s the time, and she accepts my arms around her waist. We’re face-to-face now, grinning like idiots at each other. I lean in to seal the deal when—

“I’m married,” she says.

To say the least, I’m slightly taken aback. I release my hands from her waist.

Numerous thoughts enter my head at this point:

  • Holyfuckingshit.
  • Just bang her anyway.
  • Nah, dude, she’s married.
  • But it’s Vegas, bang her!
  • This is fucked up, I don’t want anything to do with a married chick.
  • Bang her, you fucking pussy.
  • Is there any way I can bang her and not feel horrible about myself?
  • Feelings? You pussy. Bang her.
  • I wonder if the Mets won.
  • Bang her.
  • No.
  • Bang her.
  • Is the capital of Minnesota St. Paul or Minneapolis?
  • She wants you, BANG HER.
  • Minneapolis, I think.
  • Oh for God’s sake, you’re gonna pussy out, aren’t you?
  • No, it’s St. Paul, isn’t it?
  • Nice, first trip to Vegas and you elect to not bang.
  • Definitely St. Paul.
  • Way to go, champ. Champ of the not-bangers.
  • Wow do I have to piss, NOW.

“You’re married?” I ask.

“Yeah. Sorry. I should’ve told you.”

“Okay, well, I’ll see you back at the bar.” And I run into the bathroom and, upon reaching the urinal, unleash a stream of liquid that would make a fire hydrant jealous.

I then proceed to wash up and gather my thoughts. Phrases like “lying bitch” and “deceptive slut” and “should I still try to bang her?” go through my mind as I dry off my hands and exit the bathroom.

As I head back toward the bar, my mind eventually eases as I think about the simple fact that I am in Las Fucking Vegas, for God’s sake, and no matter what happens with this cocktease, I still have a lot to look forward to.

And I’m dead-on-balls accurate on that. Over the next two days, I will encounter some strange and amazing things. Some real boss shit.

(To be continued...)

Friday, October 19, 2007

And the award for Dumbass of the Year goes to...

...the school officials of Wichita, Kansas!!!

Apparently, this actually happened:
Two high school seniors in Kansas must scrap their fundraising project for breast cancer awareness.

They started selling pink T-shirts with two baseballs on them. The text on the shirts read "save second base." The girls thought selling the shirts would be a good way to spread the health message and raise money for research.

The students' school said the sexual innuendo was too suggestive for the classroom.

"I think that if girls can wear shirts that imply sexual messages, they should be able to wear breast cancer shirts. They're trying to do it for a good cause," shirt supporter Cassie Werner said.

All right, Kansas, seriously. What the fuck is the matter with you?

I did some research on this (and by that, I mean I read this), and here's what I found out:
Save 2nd Base is a phrase marketed on t-shirts that benefit the Kelly Rooney Foundation, which -- as you can probably figure out -- benefits breast cancer research. The philosophy of the cause's organizers is, "Breast Cancer is no laughing matter, but since we have lost so many wonderful women (and men) to this disease we decided to fight it with laughter."

[The students] started selling pink T-shirts with two baseballs on them. The text on the shirts read "save second base." The girls thought selling the shirts would be a good way to spread the health message and raise money for research.
Wow. I wonder what they would think of some of these:

(see more fun shirts here!)

In conclusion, Kansas is dumb.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Ode to Lindsay & Britney

How do all these starlets get caught driving drunk or doing drugs all the time?

If you had that much money, don't you think it'd be easy to, say, not drive drunk?

Well, Tori Amos and I seem to agree on this point (there's a second song on here that is not related but is in the youtube clip):

Friday Classic Video: I know, it's Thursday. Again.

I know this video has been around for a while. It was pretty big about four months ago, so please forgive me if you've seen it. I just couldn't wait another day to put this up. I just want to talk about it with people.

But if you haven't seen it, then you're gonna love it. You probably know this song just from going to the bars, but this is one of those examples of people on the Internet being way more creative than anyone has a right to be.

As a regular Internet-video watcher, I can't believe I missed this. Turn up the volume on your computer. (This is totally work safe.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bewildering Bidets

Non-non-sequitor (Chuck): As I sit down to write this, it occurred to me that this is my second post about shitting.

Today I'd like to talk about something neither near nor dear to our American hearts: bidets.

Now, for those of you that don't know, this is a bidet:

Yes, yes I know, it looks like a cross between a water fountain and a toilet.

Wikipedia describes a bidet as such: "A bidet is a low-mounted plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia and the anus. Originally a French word, in English, bidet is pronounced (IPA): [bɨˈdeɪ] (US), [ˈbiːdeɪ] (UK)."

(Or, "buh-DAY".)

I've had two experiences with bidets -- the first good, and the second, well, not so good.

1. Bidets are Bi'DOPE!

The first time I used a bidet I was in Brazil. In Brazil they weren't so fancy. They were more like one of those removable-adjustable shower-head thingys but hanging alone next to the toilet. With these, you shat your shit, and instead of using toilet paper, you took the shower-head and washed off with the bidet-head. It was pretty great.

2. Bi'DOH!

My second experience was not quite so pleasant.

I was in Genoa, Italy, a few weeks ago and was in a four-star hotel with much more of a "traditional" bidet.

It looked like a toilet seat with the lid up. It had one of those stick handles you toggle between hot and cold and another handle for the pressure. Its spout appeared to be an upside-down sink faucet.

So -- and this is not a self-flatterting picture by any means -- after having dropped off the Huxtables on a beautiful Genoan night, I figured I'd bidet my big'ass. I straddled the bidet and, looking down on it with my neck craned like an owl, tried to line up my asshole with the little knob. I turned on the knob and it was trickling cold water. I turned it higher and warmer where it was just above 'lukewarm' and not a very strong flow of water.

So here I am, vulnerable as a giraffe drinking water: legs spread, asshole lined up, the warm water trickling. Then I turn the faucet up. I take the plunge:
  • Have you ever had a fire hose shooting boiling water up your asshole? Well, I did and it hurt. The water, when I turned it on full throttle, turned FUCKING HOT. I'm not saying a little too warm, I mean, like, boil-your-bunny-level-fucking-hot. It was hot and I had turned this motherfucker on full blast.
  • Now, if you were straddling a scalding-hot stream of water up your ass, what would you do? Yeah, me too -- I jumped out of the way, with the bidet still on full blast shooting into the wall. And with a curious girlfriend calling in, "Is everything OK, honey?" ("Yeah, it's OK!"). I landed on the floor and watched as the bidet punished the wall while a mini-cesspool began to form on the floor.
  • I shut off the bidet, sopped up the water, and wiped my ass like the pig-headed American I am.
So, my advice to you: We are Americans, we don't eat with chopsticks, we don't use the metric system and we don't use bidets. We wipe shit out of our assholes with our hands and paper -- not butt-fountains.

G'day, bidet!

I refuse to believe this

At the start of October, after suffering through one of the most continuously stressful and agonizing months of my recent history as I watched the Mets complete their monumentally crushing collapse, I was a man without a country. At that time:
  • The Mets, as I said, were done
  • The yanks were still in the playoffs, and looking like they had a shot of extending my pain at least past the ALDS (boy, was I wrong, YAY!)
  • Rutgers, whom I recently adopted as my official college football team, had just suffered an embarrassing home loss, thus ruining any hopes of a national championship (and the loss was to Maryland, a hellbound ACC team, to top it off)
  • The Knicks are...well, the Knicks. The travails of Steph and Isiah may make for interesting gossip fodder, but how can I possibly pull myself to actually root for a team as full of fuckheads and dumbasses as the New York Knickerbockers? (I kinda like David Lee, I guess, but that just ain't gonna do it.)
  • The Rangers are...well, I don't really give much of a shit about hockey. If the Rangers do really well, then sometimes I watch.
And then there were the Giants.

"I was clearly adopted."

I firmly believed the G-men had a decent shot at going 0-16 this year, thus securing the No. 1 overall draft pick. And this year's corps of running backs is the best-looking group in a long time (Darren McFadden, Mike Hart, Ray Rice, Steve Slaton -- if he enters the draft, and a lot more that I'm forgetting). The Giants could sure use a top-flight back, but even if they chose a different route, it would've been the first pick!

And right on schedule, they looked goddamn AWFUL the first two games, giving up 80 points and fully fueling my certainty of a winless season.

But since then, things have changed. Things look different now. I don't know which player found Aladdin's lamp or blew Satan or what, but that truly terrible and pathetic team from the first two weeks has rattled off four straight wins. And the worst part? These games haven't even really been that close. (They've outscored their opponents 106-64) Which should be great news, right?


It's a fucking trap.

If you're a true Giants fan, you know exactly why I say that. Anyone who has watched this team for (at least) the last few years understands that in four weeks, when we play the Cowboys (5-1) again, we could very easily be 4-4, despite playing cupcakes like San Fran (2-3) and Miami (0-6).

And before you know it, it's a 5-11 season and spring training is nearly in sight.

The defense has looked great, which is inexplicable. I saw them in weeks 1-2 -- that is the true defense, if you ask me. And though the offense is surely better than the D, Eli is still prone to throwing the occasional duck that too easily winds up in some free safety's hands.

So I guess I'm just saying that I'm not getting my hopes up. If you're some 6-year-old kid reading this blog (FUCK SHIT CUNT PUSSY CUNNILINGUS FRENCH-KISSING), then I can understand your optimism. But just know -- and take it from a longtime fan -- the Giants will fuck this up. Now having raised your expectations, they will bring them crashing down with the weight of a blue whale, reducing your hopes and dreams to rubble.

That is, unless they can prove me wrong.

(And one final thing: Is Eli Manning ever going to close his mouth? I seriously don't think I've ever seen him with his mouth shut. Watch the game next week and I guarantee that on every close-up, whether on the field or the sideline, he'll have that same stupid half-open mouth that I'm sure just oozes confidence and instills faith in his teammates during the huddle.

Anyway, let's go G-men! You rule! I totally heart you guys!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Friday Classic Video: The Perfect Girl

I know it's only Thursday you shaved ape, but this video was funny and I wanted to put it up today so you can shut up or I'll hit your face with a closed fist of fury.

(Originally seen on 13gb.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's Too Early For Election Talk, But I Got Sucked In

A non sequitur. I started reading the New York Times online instead of in print. Can you start with a non sequitur? Probably not. Given that a non sequitur is a statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it, you can't start with a non sequitur since there is nothing that proceeded and therefore no logical lapse. Like I was saying, reading the Times online is way easier than reading it in print. I had recently cancelled my subscription to the Times because I wasn't really reading it and what not, but if you use the Today's Paper link on the website, you get an organized list of every headline, and you read the ones you want and it's fucking fantastic. I find I read a lot more of the articles in the online edition instead of just flipping directly to the op-ed and crossword. The only drawback is that you can't do the crossword online, or I think maybe you can but you have to pay for it. And if you didn't get to read a section or something, it stays online for a week. If I got busy and didn't read the Science Times on Tuesday, let's say, the whole Science section is online until the following Tuesday, when it's replaced by the new one. Awesome. And I just recently made the NYTimes site my home page, which more or less ensures that I look at it every day. I still go out and buy the Sunday Times, though, for the magazine, which I'm addicted to.

My point is that I was reading today about the Republican debate yesterday and some other related articles about the primaries, and I wanted to comment on some things even though it seems way to early to start discussing this shit given that the election is over a year away. Except this shit has been in the news for at least 6 months now, and is dominating the Sunday Meet the Press/Chris Matthews type shows too.

First of all, it boggles my mind that Rudy Giuliani is currently the leading Republican. If he's nominated, he's going to get Killed with a capital K between February (when the nomination will likely be decided) and November about all sorts of shit from his past, including his multiple marriages, his carrying on with his current wife while still married to his previous wife, his association with Bernie Kerik, who turned out to be a dude you don't want to be associated with, and all sorts of other shit. I mean, I get the idea that a lot of his personality quirks (if that's what you want to call them) won't really fly outside New York. Also, Giuliani is way more liberal than a lot of Republicans seem to realize. Or else he's way more conservative than I realize, but I lived and worked in New York for most of his term in office, and within his zone of influence for his entire tenure.

Mitt Romney seems like a weird dude to me. I don't really know anything about him, but how many Mormons live in Massachusetts? He might be the only one. It's kindof strange that there isn't really one candidate that stands out for the Republicans to hang their collective hat on. McCain seems like he should be running away with this nomination, but he isn't, in fact he's behind both Rudy and Romney. I was reading that some of the influential Republicans feel like Mike Huckabee is the most qualified candidate, but some of the stupid things that shouldn't matter are holding him back, like his name, and the fact that he's from Hope, Arkansas, which is where Bill Clinton is from. I guess no one wants to talk about "President Huckabee". It seems clear over these past couple weeks that Fred Thompson is not going to be a real player in the election. I don't think he really even wanted to run, he just got talked into it by somebody.

It astounds me that motherfuckers have been underestimating Hillary Clinton for over 15 years. She's clearly the best pure politician on either side of the race and has the most experience out of all of them too. It seems like people just have it in their minds that a woman can't win, and that may by why she's sneaking up on us as not just the frontrunner for the nomination, but to win the whole damn thing. I'm not in love with Hillary or anything, but clearly she'd be a competent leader and those who don't think so are going to find themselves bowled the fuck over by her momentum before they realize it.

I like Barack Obama and I like the idea of having a relatively young president with at least a moderate amount of idealism left, which is kindof the platform that he's running on. I think he would be a competent leader as well, and if he builds up some momentum, I can see the country getting caught up in the Obama wave. He seems to be the only one aside from Clinton who has the wherewithall to mount a serious campaign after the primaries.

I do not like John Edwards. That's all I have to say about that.

It seems like Bill Richardson should be putting up a better fight. And Dennis Kucinich is short. What are the names of the other Democrats, because I forget? Dodd, Biden, these guys are hopeless. I like Joe Biden, though.

The really interesting part about this whole thing is that the states are scrambling for their primaries to mean something, and for the first time in my voting history (since 1996), my primary vote is going to actually mean something. I was proud to vote for Bill Bradley in the 1999 primary, but Gore had sown it up by then, and I think Bradley was off the ballot in every other state except New Jersey at that point.

Anyhow, states like Michigan and Nevada are scheduled to have their primaries even before New Hampshire. Michigan, who feels like its being ignored and that it has issues like unemployment and the auto industry that need to be taken seriously have made sure that they are not taken seriously by actually schdeduling their primary for January 15, against the wishes of the DNC and therefore forcing every candidate to promise that they will not campaign there. In fact, all of them pulled out of the Michigan primary yesterday except for Clinton (who was leading in polls despite not having campaigned) and Dodd (I don't know why he stayed, maybe trying to get some name recognition by getting a significant number of votes ahead of some of the important primary dates).

In fact, almost all of the states have moved up their primaries into January and February and both of the nominations should be wrapped up by February 5th of next year when over 1,600 delegates will be decided on in 22 states including California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. The only big states to be decided after Feb. 5 are Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I'm kindof surprised that Pennsylvania hasn't tried to move up from April 1 to at least March 4, when Texas and Ohio vote.

So that means that from basically Feb. 5 of next year until election day in November it's going to be a 2 horse race (unless they convince Bloomberg to run as an independent (which isn't going to happen, but I'd be enormously interested in a Bloomberg candidacy for president)). The conventions are going to take place in the summer, long after any sort of relevance has passed.

I find it strange that there aren't federal guidelines for primaries. I know you're going to pull out the states' rights argument here, but electing the president is the most important decision that the country makes as a whole, and putting all of the eggs in Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina basket is kindof strange.

Anyway, my prediction, Clinton v. Romney, and I almost don't believe it myself, but I think Clinton is going to win.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Goodnight, yanks

Good night, room
Good night, moon

Good night cow, jumping over the moon
Good night light, and the red balloon

Good night, cleats
Good night, Jeets

To the offseason, he now retreats;
In the role of "goat," A-Rod he unseats.

Good night, Joe
Good night, Mo

You'll both be gone, next year fo’ sho’,
Take Jorge and Bobby, with you as you go.

Good night, Rocket
Good night, Sprocket

You’re very fat, and I won’t mock it,
But only fatties prefer Tubbs over Crockett!

Good night, Gay-Rod
Good night, Stray-Rod

Buy some "clutchiness," ya friggin' tightwad,
Instead of some stripper, with a manly bod.

Good night, Joba
Good night, Posada

The ugliest battery since Jabba
Was hangin' with this here heart-throbba!

Good night, Damon
Good night, shaman

It’s karma that's to blame an’
Your career sure is wanin’.

Good night, Moose
Good night, Juice

One's old, one cheats, but no excuse;
Their careers both gone like that! Vamoose!

Good night, Boss
Good night, sauce

After sustaining this loss,
Can you now see the flaws?

Good night, yanks
Good night, tanks

You’ll always be a bunch of skanks,
But for this failure, many thanks!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blatantly racist post no. 1

(That title is accurate, so if you're a pussy, just stop reading now.)

I don't usually use this space for these purposes, but it's Columbus Day, so I figured I'd be like Columbus and take a big fat shit on an Indian. (Feathers, not dots.)


"I sort glass!"

Recognize this young stud? This paragon of youthful beauty? This stunning Adonis?

No? Perhaps if I dumped a bucket of (smallpox-ridden) bugs on the back of his disgustingly fat neck and let you watch him whine like the little bitch boy from Nebraska that he is. Oh, "No bugs on Joba's neck" isn't in the Joba Rules? Fuck you, fatty.

And what the fuck is this "Joba Rules" bullshit? Just because the other fat boy on the yankees staff (the ancient one who made it into the third whole inning last night!) decides he gets to play by his own rules, now the yanks are letting every 20-year-old raindancing cardiac-arrest-in-waiting do it too?

Hey Torre, ever heard the phrase "inmates running the asylum"? (Though I guess in this case, perhaps "Injuns running the AA meeting" might be more appropriate.) I got an idea -- next time Chief Extra Extra Cheese tells you he can't pitch today because he pitched yesterday, just tell him that if he goes out there, you promise to get him a lifetime supply of 140-proof whiskey and bacon-fried peyote. And it's good shit, too. Tell him he'll trip so hard, he'll gain magical powers which he can then use to reanimate the lifeless lower limbs on his stupid fucking dad. Hey Joba, wanna know why poppy can't get around so well? Because he's a devil-worshipping pagan, just like you. That's why God had to send that swarm of locusts after you on Friday. Yeah, you might have a sick curveball and whatnot, but eventually I'll be strolling through the pearly gates as you try to talk your way past St. Peter, you heathen fuck. I'd try asking the spirit bear if he can get you a waiver.

Seriously, the main reason I'm pissed the (this is perfect) Indians couldn't finish off the yankees last night is because that virtually guarantees that I'll have to hear the stupid fucking Joba story one last time this year. Christ, I wanna inject my ears with lava every time I start to hear it. Okay, I fucking get it. He's a Navajo, his dad's in a wheelchair, it's all very inspiring, blah blah blah... Shut the fuck up already. These announcers act like every time he thinks of his dad, he's actually curing cancer or something. Just pitch the friggin' ball fatass. Then get the hell back in the dugout and shut up. Go rub your fox-skin or light some sage or start a casino or whatever your drunken ass does when not causing the rubber bouts of pain not seen since the heyday of Fernando Valenzuela.

Okay, so ends my vicious bout of racism for the day. I really don't have a problem with most Injuns. Hey, I love drinking and gambling too. And I'll bet Pocahontas was one hot piece of fur. It's really just fat Joba who I loathe. With any luck, after tonight, we won't have to hear his just-make-a-stupid-TV-movie-about-it-already life story again. At least not till April.

By the way, when is April in the savage calendar? Maybe I can just ask this guy tonight:


Or maybe one of these guys:

Well, maybe I am a bit racist. But at least I don 't have a job designing logos or naming teams for professional sports leagues.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sure, God Shammgod was a cool name, but how was his short game?

I just love it when, after I randomly choose something to be my favorite of its kind, I am proven right on all accounts.

I'm not a golf-lover. In fact, I think it's pretty stupid. I have played a round, and I will admit that it was fun -- for a while. But after about 12 or 13 holes (which takes three goddamn hours or so), I began to lose my focus. The final few were not pretty. Perhaps it was the numerous six-packs I had been drinking in that hot summer sun, I don't know. Those of you who play the full 18 with full concentration, I admire your persistence.

But in general, golf is boring. Come on, admit it. Or don't, whatever. (You suck.)

Golf does, however, offer the occasional joy. John Daly, for example, is a true ambassador for the sport. He drinks like a viking on a bender ("Viking Bender" -- what a term. I intend to go on one this weekend. Won't you join me?), he smokes on the course, and basically has a "Fuck you" attitude toward the PGA. Tiger Woods? I don't hate him (because how can you?), but I'd like to hear the occasional three-hooker-orgy story or something. That's when I'll really like him.

But my favorite golfer has always been Jesper Parnevik.

"I remember my '89 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. card. Do you?
It was gonna put my kids through college. What happened, Ken?
Why do you hate children? And America? And the homeless?
Oh just go pull another groin or something, cocksucker."

But Open Bar -- you hate golf, how could you have a favorite player?

Simple, his fucking name. Say it aloud. Jes-per Par-ne-vik. Sounds Shakespearean, doesn't it? White people don't often get cool names like that. Black people get names like Coco Crisp and D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Pooty Tang. White folks are usually Jim (Furyk) or Ernie (Els) or Shooter (McGavin). Okay, that last one is cool, but it's also FICTIONAL, maybe the only way white people get to have cool names.

But then there's Jesper. Jesper Parnevik. Just say it: "Par-ne-vik." As the great Vladimir Nabokov once wrote:

"Parnevik, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Par-ne-vik: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Par. Ne. Vik."

Anyway, my man J.P. just shot a fucking 61 at the Texas Open. And while that's awesome on its own, what really fired up my loins was that he just came back from an injury that we can all applaud.

As the story goes:

Jesper Parnevik spent two months this year trying to play with an injured toe. He broke it while scampering around on his boat and jamming his foot into a case of beer.

No. Parnevik wasn't drinking.

"That was the problem," he said. "The case was full."

Ah, my Swedish brother from another (probably super-hot Swedish chick) mother.

AND, he is also famous for eating volcanic dust as a dietary supplement. (So says Wikipedia.)

So yeah, I have a favorite golfer. One who shoots 61s, eats volcanoes, and breaks his toe just so he can take a few months off from playing fucking golf and sit down on his big-ass boat and drink his face off.

And his name rules. His black Swedish mom must be proud.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I feel betrayed.

Disappointed. Let down.

I've been feeling these things lately. I'm sure you know why. Being a fan of something -- a true fan -- can bring you pure joy, but it can also make you feel like complete shit.

It's happened to you at some point, hasn't it? When someone you feel like you know turns out to be the opposite. When you offer your faith and trust, willing to follow and root for them till the end. You defend them to your doubting friends. You might run into someone in a bar and nearly get in a fight because some asshole said something bad about them.

But then something unexpected happens. Something that you had heard about them, but you never thought would ever actually occur. Something that makes you feel like shit for ever having supported them. You find out they're a fraud, that all the love you had for them was baseless. That everything bad you'd heard about them somehow turned out to be true.

Again, this recently happened to me.

It makes you wonder. After all, you had seen them do amazin' things, things that inspired you and made you feel your love for them was justified, things that seemed irrefutable. It was on TV, after all, ya gotta believe your own eyes? And even though you've never met them personally, you still feel a connection, a deep bond.

It's hard to find out it was all a fraud.

I know I'm a bit late on writing about this, but if you were as big a fan as I was, if you found yourself defending your allegiance for as long as I did, if you absolutely believed you would never be put in such a horrible, disappointed position, then you know how it feels to be a fan of...

Bear Grylls.

When I saw this video, it confirmed what I had worst feared -- that all the haters were right. He was, no is a fraud. It wasn't Man Vs. Wild. It was Hotel Vs. Motel.

Bear!! I watched you bite that snake's head off and eat it. I watched you kill that bunny and cook it, and I'll be damned if it didn't look like the tastiest thing this side of Jessica Alba's nipples! I watched you drink your own piss, for God's sake! Why oh why would you let me down like this?

I was there for you, week after week, following your every trip into the Ecuadorian rain forest, that ice chute in Alaska, that...oh, who cares...

And as far as the New York Mets go, well, I guess I haven't yet sorted out my feelings.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Collap$e: The Mets Come Up a Day Late and a Dollar Short

Much has already been written about the infamous collapse of the 2007 Mets, and doubtless more is to come (though Chuck has written the definitive work on the subject, and I don't think there is anything else to say). Whether you fault Willie Randolph, Omar Minaya, or a particular subset of players, it is almost beyond debate that this team was talented enough to play in October, but will instead be teeing off before a single postseason pitch is thrown. Personally, while there is plenty of blame to go around, I think the lion's share falls heavily on the shoulders of the more veteran players, who should have recognized the looming disaster from two weeks of uninspired play and spoken out more forcefully, whether on or off the field. I'm looking at you, Delgado and LoDuca.

I just have to go puke for one second I'll be right back . . . . ok, all better now.

Regardless, one angle that has not received too much press yet (in fairness, it hasn't even been 24 hours) is the financial impact that the slide will have on this franchise. We are often reminded that baseball is a business, and the last two weeks have hit the Mets' bottom line hard.

To come up with an estimate, you have to permit me a few assumptions. First, let's assume that every Mets home game would be a sell out (that's an easy one). Second, since it is generally accepted that this team is not quite as good as last year's team, let's give them four home games in the playoffs this year, instead of the six they had last year (in my hypothetical, they get bounced after Game 5 of the NLCS).

With about 55,000 seats at Shea, let's figure 5,000 tickets are comped for press and other industry people, for a grand total of 200,000 home playoff tickets ((55,000-5,000) x 4 = 200,000). Let's assume the average playoff ticket is $50 (it's actually a bit higher. My upper reserve tickets for the NLDS were $45 each, and the prices increase with each round of the playoffs). That's $10,000,000 in ticket revenue. But that's just the beginning:
  • Put another 32,000 cars in the lot over the four games (there are about 8000 spots at Shea), at $20 per parking space, and that's another $640,000.
  • Assume everyone at the stadium buys one beer and one hot dog (not everyone does, but some people buy a lot more than one beer, so an average of one per fan is about right, I think), at $7.25 and $4.50, respectively, and that's another $2.35 million.
  • Throw in another $10,000 for foam hands and t-shirts.
  • I have no clue what the television revenue sharing looks like, but I have to assume they pull another few million bucks in from TBS and/or FOX.
Add it up and you are somewhere between $15-$20 million gross, depending on where you estimate the television revenue. I was conservative on ticket prices, and I am sure there are other aspects of revenue that I am forgetting. TV revenue could also be more than where I am putting it, so my $15-$20 million estimate could be way too low. Now, that number could of course vary dramatically based on ticket prices, the number of games the team plays in the post-season, etc., etc. Also, you have to take into account all the costs associated with this revenue (many players earn playoff bonuses, you have to pay security, concession people, parking attendants, keep the lights turned on, etc., etc.). But even if the Mets see only half of the receipts in profit, though, they could still be looking at $10 million . . . maybe more. Now, this franchise makes enough money as it is, and I can only assume that the projections over the next five years look great (new stadium, new TV network, solid core of players who, despite the past two weeks, should be contenders every year, etc.), but $10 million is a pretty nice chunk of change over two weeks for most businesses.

Maybe we can pay Johan Santana with these?

It probably won't impact the direction this team takes, but it would be a shame if the 2008 Mets can't afford to pick up a front line starter for next year because the 2007 Mets couldn't afford to be bothered with all 162 games this year.