Monday, September 29, 2008

I'll Take a Pint of Banana Tit

PETA. Jesus Christ. These people are fucking morons. In case you haven't heard, the geniuses who brought you paint on fur and various other acts of eco-terrorism have outdone themselves. They have sent a letter to the owners of Ben & Jerry's urging them to switch from cow milk to -- wait for it -- human milk. That's right, they want to make ice cream from your wives' and sisters' and mothers' breast milk. Because cows are somehow hurt by being milked?

Maybe, instead of chicken, KFC should switch to the fresh, lean corpses of anorexics, or maybe foie gras should be made from the harvested livers of unsuspecting, drugged tourists, or maybe Italian restaurants can start making veal marsala from dead babies, since that makes about as much sense as my Cherry Garcia being made from the pirated milk of some strung-out post-partum mother-turned-milk-whore. And what about the repercussions? Human children going malnourished as their moms hoard milk. Women getting pregnant just so they can make a little breast milk donor money. Breast milk farms popping up all over Vermont. Hundreds of thousands of formerly useful female cows with no place to go but the killing floor and, subsequently, my belly. Very short sighted, PETA.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hair Band Friday - 9/26/08

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Unbelievable Catch

As a former star receiver myself (5 rec., 43 yds., 0 TD, 1 fumble lost, and somewhere around 800 missed blocks in 9 games as a starter on the 1995 Lyons Township varsity team -- yes, the very same 1995 Lyons Township football team that went 5-4 on its way to a third place finish in the West Suburban Silver Conference and a second straight playoff absence), I can always appreciate a phenomenal catch. Check out this clip of a Morgan State receiver (thanks to Mark "Not the Former IU Basketball Player" Johnson for the clip). Back in my playing day, I usually reserved this kind of effort for practice, as that was the only time the ball was thrown in my direction, since other teams were mostly double teaming me on account of the awesome catches I was making in practice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Jester

A happy birthday to the wife, who turns 29 today. Here's to hoping she has as much fun on her 29th as I did on mine. Love ya, hon.

Tuesday Top Ten: Songs About or Mentioning Chicago

It's a pretty good time to be a Chicagoan. Both baseball teams are poised to make the playoffs in the same season since 1906 (when the "Hitless Wonders" defeated the heavily favored Cubs in the World Series), some dude from Chicago is running for President, there is still a glimmer of hope that Chicago will get the 2016 Summer Olympics, the Blackhawks actually made off-season moves designed to increase the team's chances of making the playoffs, it's 80 degrees in late September, the Bulls got the #1 pick in the draft, and the Bears, well, the Bears are here. So what better time to unveil a list of songs about or mentioning Chicago, of which there have been many over the years. Here are my ten favorites (with a Mixwit mix tape to follow).

10. "Bear Down, Chicago Bears." One of the original -- and probably the best -- professional sports fight songs. While Chicagoans may disagree the Cubs and Sox and may be ambivalent to the Bulls and Hawks, the city is a football town at heart and united in support of the Bears. And how else would people remember the T formation? (I put two versions on the mix tape, since the one with words is rather polka-y; the one without words is more traditional.)
9. "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)" by Frank Sinatra. I chose the Sinatra version, rather than the original Fred Fisher version because fuck Fred Fisher.
8. "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night" by The Hold Steady. As you have come to expect from The Hold Steady, the lyrics are smart and interesting. What other songs mention Nelson Algren?
7. "Peace Frog" by The Doors. This is possibly my favorite Doors song, and it discusses "blood in the streets in the town of Chicago," which is no doubt foreshadowing the self-inflicted bloodletting on the North Side when the Cubs lose to the White Sox in this year's World Series.
6. "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce. For years I wouldn't go to the South Side out of fear of running into Leroy Brown, as he was rumored to "like to wear his diamond ring on ev'rybody's nose." (Unfortunately, this was not on Mixwit. To supplement the mix tape, however, I have added the song that came in a very close 11th: "Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's" by Wesley Willis.)
5. "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah. Sure it's a little cheesy, but there ain't no road just like it.
4. "In The Ghetto" by Elvis Presley. Probably one of The King's best songs.
3. "My Kind of Town" by Frank Sinatra. I'm sure I don't need to explain why this is on the list.
2. "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin. My favorite Zeppelin song features thunderous drums, a wailing harmonica, and Robert Plant positing that, upon the breaking of the levee, a good place to go would be Chicago, presumably because there are no levees here. Actually, this is a cover of a Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy song about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which resulted in many residents of the Delta packing up and moving north to Chicago.
1. "Sweet Home Chicago" by The Blues Brothers. I chose this version over the original Robert Johnson version simply because I like it better and because I think it's a bit more upbeat and because I think it encapsulates Chicago better than the original, as it doesn't assume that Chicago is in "the land of California."

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New Poll - Who Will Win the AL Central?

Well, the readers of GMYH have spoken, and, by an overwhelming majority (74% to 26%), you think that the drinking age in the U.S. should be lower than 21. Specifically, 32% think the drinking age should be lowered to 19, 21% say 18, and 21% say it should be somewhere lower than 18. On the other side of the fence, 21% say it should stay at 21, while one of you -- I'm looking your way, Carrie A. Nation -- believes that alcohol should be prohibited.

This week's poll is geared towards the White Sox fans (or even possibly baseball fans in general), so I apologize in advance if you don't care about the topic. Anyway, the magic number for the Sox is 5, which means that, with 6 (possibly 7, if necessary) games left -- including 3 against the second place Twins in Minneapolis -- the combination of Sox wins and Twins losses must equal 5. So, who do you think will win the AL Central? Sox or Twins? Do you even care?

AL Central Race

It's looking like it's going to come down to the wire in the AL Central, as the White Sox will travel to Minneapolis for a three-game series with the Twins starting tonight. I would have liked the Sox to be at least 3 games up going in, but I guess I can settle for 3 up in the loss column. Their magic number is 5, so a sweep would clinch the division.

Here are their current records (overall, home, road):
-Chicago: 86-69, 51-26, 35-43
-Minnesota (2.5 games back): 84-72, 49-26, 35-46

Here are their remaining schedules:

The White Sox have 7 more games scheduled: 4 home and 3 road:
-3 at Minnesota (.538, 49-26 at home)
-3 vs. Cleveland (.503, 33-41 on the road)
-1 vs. Detroit (.461, 34-46 on the road) (this is a make-up game and will only be played if necessary)

The Twins have 6 more games, all of which are at home
-3 vs. Chicago (.555, 35-43 on the road)
-3 vs. Kansas City (.449, 32-43 on the road)

Going by the law of averages, the White Sox should go 3-1 at home and 1-2 on the road, to go 4-3 over their last 7 games and end up at 90-72 (although technically this would mean that the Sox would have clinched the division without needing the last game). Meanwhile, the Twins should go 4-2 over their last 6 games and end up at 88-74. Thus, the White Sox would end up playing whoever wins the AL East (Tampa or Boston) in the ALDS, and the AL Wild Card winner will play the Angels.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 9/21/08

A couple days late. Many apologies.

Twentysomething librarian, after hearing about the Tahiti One Handed Deluxe: "Who puts ketchup on a taco?"
--Chicago, Athenian Room, Webster & Sheffield
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething female at 1:40 p.m.: "When vodka is the first thing that hits your lips for the day, it's not good."
--Chicago, Damen & Cornelia
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Thirtysomething male: "I have cousins who should've been better at blow jobs. I don't mean that in a bad way."
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething female leaving a voicemail message while standing outside a bar: "I'm just gonna put it out there: I wanna fuck tonight."
--Chicago, outside Deja Vu, Lincoln & Sheffield
Eavesdropper: Gregerson

Hot twentysomething girl, batting leadoff in a game of Flip Cup, and discussing how the game will start:
Guy: "Ok, what is it, tap the cups and go?"
Girl: "Oooh, I love to tap and go!!"
--Charlotte, NC
Eavesdropper: Yehday

Twentysomething female: "I don't like the smell of smoke but I like the taste of smoke."
--Chicago, Leavitt & Augusta
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Drunk male: "This tastes like Big Foot's dick."
--Chicago, Leavitt & Augusta
Eavesdropper: AlyK

A cab driver named Lloyd and two passengers are discussing the challanges of monogamy:
Passenger: "Even if you have a great girl, sometimes you just feel like something different."
Lloyd: "Exactly. Sometimes you just want a woman who will put on a helmet and take a heel up the ass."
--Ann Arbor, MI, in a cab
Eavesdroppers: Gregerson and Creature

Twentysomething female: "We'd be so skinny. . . We could drink Rip It and smoke cigarettes all the time."
--Chicago, Leavitt & Augusta
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Wayne Larrivee at a bar, to his co-anchors: "We are foot soldiers in this war, not generals."
--Bloomington, IN, Nick's English Hut
Eavesdroppers: GMYH and Trashton

Twentysomething special ed teacher: "I hope some of my students saw me smoking so I can get some street credit"
--Chicago, Leavitt & Augusta
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Gay male shoe store customer stands in line at checkout with his partner:
Clerk: "Sir, I can take you down here."
(Guy doesn't hear her)
Clerk: "Sir, I can take you down here."
(Guys start walking over)
Partner: "Sorry, he only answers to ma'am."
--Chicago, DSW, Halsted & Clark
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Fifth grade teacher: "My doctor prescribes me Valtrex, I swear it isn't genital!"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

This is not really eavesdropping, but worthy of inclusion.

This confused me. I saw a large man wearing a shirt that proclaimed him to be the coach of a football team I didn't recognize. The slogan on the back of the shirt read:
We Bout To Blow Up
So Don't Do Us
Do You

No punctuation. If any of your faithful readers know what this means, I'd love to know.
--Chicago, McDonald's Oasis on the Skyway
Eavesdropper: Gregerson

Thanks as always to those who contributed. When you happen to overhear something hilarious, email it to, and it will be included in the next exciting installment of Midwestern Eavesdropping.

New Book - Less Than Zero

Turns out the lives of turn-of-the-century Dubliners are not as interesting as I had hoped, so I have switched to the lives of '80s drugged-out Angelinos, so I have ditched Dubliners for Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis. He wrote it when he was in college, which makes me feel even less adequate about myself than I did when I was 21.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shit I Hate: Bosses being your friend on Facebook

We all know there is some shit I hate: Purdue, The City of Chicago Department of Revenue, Alaskan women, the Noid, Bud Selig, Danish people. Well, there is a lot of other shit I hate, too. Ergo, I am starting a new segment here on GMYH called "Shit I Hate." Every once in a while (or maybe more often), when I come across something I hate, I will let you know about it.

For instance, one thing I hate is when your boss shoots you a friend request on Facebook. Is it not enough that I have to spend ten hours a day with you or that you forced me to get a Blackberry so that I can be an email away for the other godless fourteen hours of my day? You are my boss, not my friend, but I obviously can't deny the request. Don't put me in this position. Now I'll have to quit the groups "Fans of Tig Ol' Bitties and GHB," "Dudes Who Knit . . . And Fuck Werewolves with Footballs," and "People Who Take the Law Into Their Own Hands and Hate That Their Bosses Are On Facebook." Worse yet, now I have to make sure every picture I upload to Facebook is set specifically to exclude you from viewing it, as I have no intention of allowing you to see every picture of me chugging a bottle of Jameson (for some reason, there are close to twenty such pictures), stealing staplers and payroll checks from work, or exposing myself to a congregation of water fowl.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten: Fall Shows I'm Most Excited About

Ahh, as the nip of late summer and early fall hits this fair Midwestern burg, a buzz is in the air and people walk with a spring in their step knowing that television's summer-long hiatus is coming to a welcome end and a new season of laughter and murder will be starting. This is always a great time of the year to be alive. Boo to people who die between May and August! Anywho, taking my inspiration from Beth, below are the ten shows I'm most excited about this fall. You'll notice that most of them are sitcoms. Since I have little joy in my own life, situation comedies provide a respite and a much-needed escape from reality, even if only for a half hour at a time.

I'm excited about these shows, so by the simple fact that you are reading this sentence, you should be excited too. Here they are, with season premier date, time, and channel:

10. 90210 (already started; Tues. 7 CST, CW). Something needs to fill my Southern California-based teen drama void. Damn you, McG.
9. My Name Is Earl (Th. 9/25, 7 CST, NBC). Earl is back to the list, so that's good. No more of this coma bullshit.
8. Dexter (Sun. 9/28, 8 CST, Showtime). I'm fascinated by serial killers, real or fake. I only wish he would break into Buffalo Bill now and then. "She puts the lotion on her skin or else she gets the hose again."
7. Kath & Kim (Th. 10/9, 7:30 CST, NBC). Will America ruin or enhance another quirky foreign sitcom? Hopefully it will be more Office than Coupling, as far as success.
6. True Blood (already started; Sun. 8 CST, HBO). I haven't had a chance to watch the first episode yet, but, from what I can tell, moving pictures revolving around vampires living in Louisiana tend to work. I just hope Kirsten Dunst doesn't make any cameos.
5. The Office (Th. 9/25, 8 CST, NBC). Will Jim propose to Pam now that Andy proposed to Angela? Will Dwight slap Andy upside the head with twelve inches of limp dick for proposing to Angela?
4. How I Met Your Mother (Mon. 9/22, 7:30 CST, CBS). I started watching this last year, and have since seen most of the show's episodes. Will Barney admit his love for Robin? I sure hope not, as that would put a damper on his hilarious womanizing. Will Ted meet his kids' mother? I sure hope not, as that would seemingly indicate the end of the show. Will Marshall and Lily continue their lives? I sure hope so, as they are a young, urban, professional couple to which I can relate.
3. Flight of the Conchords (January 2009, HBO). Yes, I know it's not technically a fall premier, but January is fall in New Zealand, right? Or at least kind of close to it? Anyway, it's been over a year since the first season, and I'm feeling the need for more songs and bone dry humor (or, technically, humour).
2. 30 Rock (Th. 10/30, 8:30 CST, NBC). Will Jack be banished to the 12th floor? If so, what crazy antics will ensue? Will people please tune in?
1. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Th. 9/18, 9 CST, F/X). I thought last season was hysterical (as were the first three). I'm assuming the gang will get into even more hilariously dark situations that will help me continue to question my morality. Day Man, aaa-AAA-aaaaahhh, fighter of the Night Man. Champion of the sun.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thanks Bud

Does anyone else think it's an absolute crock of shit that the Astros "home" series against the Cubs has been moved to Milwaukee? Thanks, Bud Selig. Convenient how you own the Brewers, whose stadium the teams are using, and who the Astros have been steadfastly moving in on in the wild card race. The Cubs have a 90 minute drive, while the Astros have a 3+ hour flight. More importantly, Cubs fans have a 90 minute drive. Hence, Miller Park is full of Cubs fans. It may as well be in Wrigley. There is no reason that this series could not have been either (1) moved to some place that isn't 90 miles from Chicago or (2) made up at the end of the regular season, if necessary. Instead, the streaking Astros are forced to play two away "home" games during an unbelievably crucial stretch. Bush league tactics by Bud Selig. At least this can't possibly result in the first Cubs no-hitter since 1972. Oh wait. Fucking bullshit.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten: Voices in Rock & Roll History

This week's Tuesday Top Ten counts down what I believe to be the ten best voices in rock and roll history. As you can imagine, it was somewhat difficult, and there may be some surprises. To appease myself, I have made a Mixwit mix with an example from everyone on the list.

10 (tie). Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. As The Righteous Brothers, Hatfield provided the soaring top to Bill Medley's foggy bottom. At first I just had Hatfield on the list, but then I listened to a few more songs, and I decided that I couldn't have one on the list without the other. If there is any doubt as to whether Hatfield should be on this list, listen to "Unchained Melody," particularly the last minute or so when he breaks into "I-I-I-I ne-EEEEE-EEED you're lo-ooove." Medley's no slouch either, with the kind of soulful baritone that makes panties drop and Mann & Weil songs come alive. Example: "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration," which I think showcases both Hatfield and Medley's talents.
9. Justin Hawkins. Yes, the former lead singer of The Darkness. Yes, the man who broke my heart by quitting The Darkness. Yes, the best falsetto I've ever heard. Simply put, the man has some pipes. Example: "I Believe in a Thing Called Love."
8. John Fogerty. Even though he was from California, his voice sounded like it came from a southern swamp: soulful, a little hoarse, and otherworldly. Example: "Long As I Can See the Light."
7. Marvin Gaye. From Motown superstar to his duets with Tammi Terrell to "Sexual Healing," Marvin Gaye's voice was silky smooth. Example: "Let's Get It On."
6. Ronnie Spector. Ronnie Spector (nee Bennett) was the namesake for '60s girl group The Ronettes. There's something about her voice that cuts through you. "Be My Baby" is one of my all-time favorite songs, and their version of "Sleigh Ride" is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Nonetheless, I am including "Baby, I Love You" as the example because it's an often-overlooked masterpiece. Just listen to that wall of sound.
5. Freddy Mercury. His combination of operatic power and range hasn't been matched since. Example: "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions."
4. Jim Morrison. The Lizard King could master the creepy, deeper sounds of something like "Riders on the Storm" or "The Crystal Ship" and the controlled, primal screeching of "Five to One" or the latter half of "When the Music's Over." He channeled Elvis, Little Richard, and Muddy Waters all at once. Example: "Back Door Man."
3. Otis Redding. When I think of the world "soul" as it relates to music, Otis Redding's voice is the first thing that comes to mind. Example: "These Arms of Mine."
2. Sam Cooke. He started off as a gospel singer with the Soul Stirrers and, thankfully for the rest of us, moved over to secular music. Smooth as silk and oddly reassuring, Sam Cooke's voice is hard to top. He was The Man in the early '60s, with bevy of hits, such as "You Send Me," "Chain Gang," "Cupid," "Wonderful World," "Another Saturday Night," and "Twistin' the Night Away," to name a few. I would be perjuring myself if I ever told someone under oath that "Bring It On Home to Me" is not one of my top five favorite songs ever. Nonetheless, I think "A Change Is Gonna Come" shows off Cooke's vocal stylings as good as anything else, so that's the example.
1. Janis Joplin. For me, it was a tough call between Sam Cooke and Janis for #1, since I'm such a big Sam Cooke fan. But in the end, how can you not go with Janis? The ungodly power, the gravely drawl, the soul. It's all there in one inimitable package. No one before or since could belt out a song like her. Of course we're all familiar with her version of "Me & Bobby McGee," as well as "Piece of My Heart" and "Mercedes Benz," which are all classics, but it's those bluesy songs like "Cry Baby," her fantastic cover of Big Mama Thornton's "Ball & Chain," and "Get It While You Can" that put her over the top. I hesitate to say that we will never hear another voice like hers, because I'm hoping we do, but it's been almost 38 years since we have. Example: "Cry Baby."

Apparently having an awesome voice means that you have to die before your time. Aside from Wesley Willis, who do you think I should have included?

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Kan Jam!

In the past ten years, tailgating games have evolved significantly. It used to be that a tailgate involved nothing more than a keg, a grill, and maybe a football. If you were ambitious, you brought a beer pong table. Then along came Cornhole. And Washers. And Norwegian Golf. And Norwegian Tennis. And Mayonnaise Face. And Fuck the Leprechaun.

Just when you thought the market was saturated, comes the motherfucking mother of all tailgating games: Kan Jam.

This past weekend, I was in B-town for the huge IU/Murray State game. I was tailgating with Tradd, some Kashmans, some Davidsons, some Eckerles, Bapp 5, a legendary Hoppin' Hoosier, Gibson, and several others. We had cornole and Norwegian golf. It wasn't enough.

Luckily Holt was on his way. He was practically crying on the phone when he told me that he had a new tailgating game. He wanted to bring it to this tailgate. I could hardly contain myself as I explained, "Holt, that's exactly what this tailgate needs." "What's it called?," I asked with bated breath. I'll never forget the next two words that came from his mouth: "Kan Jam." I squealed with excitement. "Tell me everything about it. Is it dangerous? Are there cans involved? What about jam?!" I exclaimed, before retreating, "No, no! Don't! I want to be surprised. Now hurry up and get over here, you big lug!"

When Holt and Katie arrived seventeen minutes later, everyone at the tailgate turned and stared in outright amazement. "What on God's green earth is that man holding in his underdeveloped arms?," asked everyone in unison. I had always viewed Holt as a kind of messianic figure, and had preached his gospel all across Judea. I have never felt more vindicated than I did Saturday sometime around 5:41 p.m. Eastern.

He held two plastic black cylinders, each about two feet tall and about 18 inches in diameter, with a rectangular slot cut about five inches from the top of each. "It looks like he's holding two ninjas," everyone shouted in unison, followed by gasps and muffled whispers, then by thunderous applause.

Because he is the devil and loves to toy with the emotions of us mere mortals, Holt delicately set the ninjas down on the ground, retrieved a Miller Lite tallboy from the blue soft-sided mini cooler that flanked his side, shotgunned the beer, and shouted, "I am Spartacus, and this . . . is . . . KAN JAM!" Tailgaters as far as the eye could see dropped to their knees. Men and women alike had uncontrollable, instantaneous orgasms. Babies became adults.

Mystified and anxious, I worked up my courage to ask Holt, "How is this Kan Jam played kind sir?" After a series of lashings at his hand, Holt told his minions all about Kan Jam.

According to Holt, according to the Kan Jam website, Kan Jam is sweeping the nation. While I could not find that statement anywhere on the Kan Jam website, having seen the game a total of one time in my life and knowing that it made the trip from Dayton to Bloomington, that statement is absolutely true.

The game is played as follows: the two ninja-like cylinders are placed 50 feet apart, with the aforementioned slots facing each other. The game involves teams of two. Like cornhole, partners stand opposite each other, next to one of the ninjas. One partner throws a Frisbee at the ninja, and, get this, the receiving partner can deflect the Frisbee in order to score points. Points are scored as follows:
-1 point for a deflected Frisbee that hits the ninja
-2 points for a non-deflected Frisbee that hits the ninja
-3 points for a deflected Frisbee that goes into the ninja, either through the slot or the top. Usually this is done in an authoritative manner. I call this a "Kan Jam." After a Kan Jam, the person who deflected it into the hole has to yell "Kan Jam!" in Duff Man's voice and then thrust his or her crotch into the ninja, knocking it over.
-Automatic victory for a non-deflected Frisbee that goes into the ninja, either through the slot or the top. From what I can tell, this never happens.

As I explained to a curious geriatric passerby, it's about as dumb as it looks.

Later in the evening, Tradd and I had the pleasure of taking a picture with Wayne Larrivee outside an English Hut once owned by a man named Nick. Of course my camera is insolent, so the picture didn't save. Rest assured, next time I see him I will make sure that my camera is not full, and I will know that his color commentator is named Chris Martin and the other dude with them will be named Tony McGee, who I was informed once caught the winning touchdown in Rose Bowl. I don't really know what that means.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

AL Central Race Update

Here's another update on the AL Central race (because you care). No need to talk about Boston, since they are 6 1/2 games up on the Twins in the Wild Card race.

Current records (overall, home, road):
-Chicago: 80-62, 48-23, 32-39
-Minnesota (2 1/2 games back): 78-65, 47-25, 31-40

Here are their remaining schedules:

The White Sox have 20 more games: 10 home and 10 road:
-4 vs. Toronto (.535, 33-37 on the road)
-3 vs. Detroit (.483, 33-39 on the road)
-4 at New York (.531, 40-31 at home)
-3 at Kansas City (.430, 33-41 at home)
-3 at Minnesota (.545, 47-25 at home)
-3 vs. Cleveland (.489, 31-39 on the road)

The Twins have 19 more games: 9 home games and 10 road games.
-3 vs. Kansas City (.430, 28-40 on the road)
-3 at Baltimore (.447, 33-33 at home)
-3 at Cleveland (.489, 38-33 at home)
-4 at Tampa Bay (.603, 53-21 at home)
-3 vs. Chicago (.563, 32-39 on the road)
-3 vs. Kansas City (.430, 28-40 on the road)

Going by the law of averages, the White Sox should go 7-3 at home and 4-6 on the road, to go 11-9 over their last 20 games and end up at 91-71. Meanwhile, the Twins should go 6-3 at home and 4-6 on the road, to go 10-9 over their last 25 games and end up at 88-74. Assuming the Rays end up winning the East, then the White Sox will play the Rays in the ALDS, and the Red Sox will play the Angels.

One More Thing...

I forgot to mention that a human (or possibly a phantom) pooped in our alley.

NF-Hell Yeah

As I'm sure you've noticed, NFL football started today. Well, technically it started Thursday, if you consider a 16-7 debacle between the New York football Giants and the Redskins to be a game. No matter. With two fantasy leagues, a confidence pool, and a 19-point pool. It should be nearly as exciting than Hole in the Wall. While I am obviously excited for the start of the season, I am not excited about seeing that smug, long-haired rat bastard with the white board. I've already seen one new commercial, and I continue to disrespect his message. On a brighter note, the Kyle Orton-led Bears should win anywhere between 0 and 16 games this year. My dog almost caught a squirrel this afternoon. Had the tail in her mouth. It's not relevant to the NFL or the Bears, but my dog's sustained bloodlust is important to me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Nine Oh Two One Aw Hell Yeah

Well, I finally had a chance to watch the series premier of the new 90210. I was a late-blooming fan of the original 90210, first dismissing it as nothing more than fodder for Midwestern girls who dreamt futily of shopping on Rodeo Drive and closeted junior high homosexuals who liked sideburns and bushy eyebrows, but eventually I came around to appreciate it for what it was: the most realistic television show this side of Bosom Buddies. Since The OC -- which RULED -- was forced off the air by jealous non-Emmy winners and Washington fat cats, there has been a definite void in my already black heart. I can't say that I'm going to be as big a "new 90210" fan as I was an OC fan, but, to paraphrase Chazz Michael Michaels, no exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more than I loved The OC.

So far, so good, though. The ladies are hot, including Lori Loughlin (of Uncle Jesse's wife in Full House fame). The plotlines are establishing themselves. The Wilsons are the new Walshes. Kansas is the new Minnesota. Lacrosse is the new water polo (yes, I know that was from The OC, but damn I miss that show). The Peach Pit is back. Nat is back (in the immortal words of Yeh, "Joe Tata? More like po-tata."). Brenda is back. Kelly is back. And Jessica Walter plays a hilarious, boozehound matriarch, which is kind of a stretch, given her role as Lucille in Arrested Development.

I'm looking forward to how they tackle such issues as:
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Teen necrobestiality
  • Geriatric pregnancy
  • More hilarious pranks on rival high schools involving pigs. You're next, Valley!
  • The politics of lacrosse
  • Whether Mrs. Wilson likes to walk around the house buck naked
  • The prominence of Gushers in high school lunches
  • Eastern Bloc vampire surfers: a necessary evil?
  • The relative ease of driving vs. flying to West Beverly High
  • Heroin!
  • Whether there are "lacrossetitutes" at West Beverly like there were at Harbor Academy
  • The rise of the proletariat
  • Lesbian three-ways amongst drunk and curious high school girls
  • Tsunami relief
  • Whether everyone who graduates from West Beverly still goes to California U (and is Bob Golic still an RA there?)
  • Is anyone's dad gay?
  • Is anyone's mom slutty?
  • Does gay dad trump slutty mom in Beverly Hills?
  • Van Halen vs. Van Hagar
  • Bioterrorism
  • And just how do you talk to an angel? Oops, wrong early '90s Spelling teen drama, although it was, and still is, a very legitimate question.

I must also give a well-deserved shout-out to's Matthew Berry for combining a discussion of 90210 with fantasy football. Well done, sir.

Hair Band Friday - 9/5/08

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Thursday, September 04, 2008

100 Things to Eat Before You Die

Greg Weeser* sent me a link to an article listing 100 things to eat before you die. The article has detailed descriptions of each dish, but below is a list (with what I've eaten in bold -- only 52 (I previously thought it was 51, but forgot about some delicious deer jerky I had a few years ago)). Some of the stuff is just downright nasty, so I'm hoping never to get to 100:

100. Venison
99. Nettle tea
98. Huevos rancheros
97. Steak tartare
96. Crocodile
95. Black pudding
94. Cheese fondue
93. Carp
92. Borscht
91. Baba ghanoush
90. Calamari
89. Pho
88. PB&J sandwich
87. Aloo gobi
86. Hot dog from a street cart
85. Epoisses
84. Black truffle
83. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
82. Steamed pork buns
81. Pistachio ice cream
80. Heirloom tomatoes
79. Fresh wild berries
78. Foie gras
77. Rice and beans
76. Brawn, or head cheese
75. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
74. Dulce de leche
73. Oysters
72. Baklava
71. Bagna cauda
70. Wasabi peas
69. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
68. Salted lassi
67. Sauerkraut
66. Root beer float
65. Cognac with a fat cigar
64. Clotted cream tea
63. Vodka jelly/Jell-O shot
62. Gumbo
61. Oxtail
60. Curried goat
59. Whole insects
58. Phaal
57. Goat's milk
56. Single malt whisky
55. Fugu
54. Chicken tikka masala
53. Eel
52. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
51. Sea urchin
50. Prickly pear
49. Umeboshi
48. Abalone
47. Paneer
46. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
45. Spaetzle
44. Dirty gin martini
43. Beer above 8% ABV
42. Poutine
41. Carob chips
40. S'mores
39. Sweetbreads
38. Kaolin
37. Currywurst
36. Durian
35. Frogs' legs
34. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
33. Haggis
32. Fried plantain
31. Chitterlings, or andouillette
30. Gazpacho
29. Caviar and blini
28. Louche absinthe
27. Gjetost, or brunost
26. Roadkill
25. Baijiu
24. Hostess Fruit Pie
23. Snail
22. Lapsang souchong
21. Bellini
20. Tom yum
19. Eggs Benedict
18. Pocky
17. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
16. Kobe beef
15. Hare
14. Goulash
13. Flowers
12. Horse
11. Criollo
10. Spam
9. Soft shell crab
8. Rose harissa
7. Catfish
6. Mole poblano
5. Bagel and lox
4. Lobster Thermidor
3. Polenta
2. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

1. Snake

How about you?

All Bark, No Substance

**A note: I don't like to go on political rants on this here blog, since I have friends and readers on both sides of the political spectrum, and my general goal is to encourage people to read this blog (and laugh) rather than turn people away. Thus, this will hopefully be the last rant for a while.

In 2004, I was fired up. I thought (and still think) President Bush wasn't fit to run our country, and I was happy to get into an educated debate with anyone who crossed my path. Even though I thought John Kerry wasn't the best choice in the world, I still figured he was a better option than Bush. I was hopeful that Americans would see that the previous four years were not great by any stretch of the imagination and that Bush is a moron.

After the election, I couldn't believe that Bush won again. I was both baffled by, and disappointed in, my fellow Americans. I felt defeated. More than anything, it left me jaded. I didn't feel like talking politics anymore, and I've made a conscious effort to refrain from getting emotionally involved in this election, since it's evident to me that the Democrats got it right with Obama and Biden. It's time for a change, and I believe that both of them are more than qualified. I watched only bits and pieces of the Democratic National Convention, most notably including Michelle Obama's speech (which I thought was very good) and Barack's speech (which I predictably thought was awesome).

That said, I wanted to be fair, to see what both sides had to say, and certainly to see who the hell Sarah Palin is. So I flipped on the RNC last night. I shouldn't have done that because all it did was wake a sleeping giant. I found Rudy Giuliani to be unbelievably smug and difficult to look at. I found Sarah Palin to be an attack dog puppet with pretty face and a good speechwriter. She's kind of like Spike's son Tyke on Tom & Jerry, who does all the barking while Spike hangs out watching. And I didn't realize she was a mother until last night. As expected, both Giuliani and Palin (and other RNC speakers) stretched the truth about Obama's record, Palin's record, and McCain's record. Thankfully someone else has done the research on that one.

Instead of outlining their own party's agenda or policies, Giuliani or Palin spent much of their time attacking Obama. To me, it came across as petty, especially when "stay the course" hasn't worked for the last four years. "Maverick" or not, I haven't heard any discussion on how McCain plans to address the woeful economy that his fellow Republican got us into, so I'm curious as to how a McCain-Palin Republican administration would be any different than the previous regime. So far I haven't heard anything. Palin did explain that McCain is going to fight to keep jobs in the United States. No shit?

I also love how both Giuliani and Palin ripped Obama for being a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Really? I thought that was a little underhanded. First, I guarantee Obama helped more people than have ever lived in Wasilla, Alaska. Second, I don't think they have any notion of what a community organizer actually does. You see, Republicans, a community organizer is someone who helps those in the community who have lost their jobs or been the victims of failed governmental policies. Here is a description from Obama's Wikipedia page:

"After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens."
What an asshole! How dare he work to help the poor, undereducated, and unemployed! And mostly minorities, no less. Has Sarah Palin even seen a minority, other than on TV?

Third, he was a community organizer when he was 24-26. When Sarah Palin was the same age, she was a fucking sportscaster, and a shitty one at that. I guess what you do in your mid 20s only matters if you help people. Nevermind that, after being a community organizer, Obama then went to Harvard Law School, where he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review -- arguably the most prominent position a law student can have. Nevermind that he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law. Nevermind that he directed Illinois Project Vote in 1992, which registered 150,000 previously unregistered African-Americans in Illinois. Nevermind that he taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School, one of the top law schools in the world. Nevermind that he worked for a civil rights law firm. But Palin, who, if you didn't know, is a mother, backed into the Alaskan statehouse by running against the least popular governor in Alaskan history.

In addition, Palin seems to think that 20 months as the Governor of the 47th most populous -- and by far the most isolated -- state is somehow better experience than Obama's time in the state legislature (where his constituency was larger than the population of Alaska) and as a U.S. Senator from the fifth most populous state. Just because she sold the old Governor's plan on eBay doesn't make her fit to run our country as soon as John McCain inevitably keels over in the Oval Office. Even her fellow Alaskans aren't impressed. Speaking of which, how the hell is Todd Palin going to go to and from Washington, DC when he gets an itchin' for racing sled dogs or snowmobiles? I'm guessing he's not going to be flying commercial.

Neither Palin nor Giuliani really laid out any specific economic solutions, other than to tout traditional Republican fiscal policy (less taxes, less spending, less government) -- you know, because trickle down economics worked so well in the '80s, and then again in this decade. Oddly, Palin didn't really discuss environmental issues, probably because her largely unpopular environmental stances have gained her the nickname "The Killa from Wasilla." When discussing her tenure as the mighty mayor of Wasilla, she failed to mention her stance on censorship and banning books that don't conform to her political and social views. At least she didn't try to fire the town librarian for refusing to ban books. Oh wait. (As my wife will tell you, and as the Librarians Against Palin website demonstrates, you do not fuck with librarians when it comes to free access of information.) She kept her mouth shut about the fact that she opposes government funding of sex education, which is terribly ironic given the fact that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. (I wonder if Bristol even knew what a condom was.) Palin also failed to mention her reactionary (read: much further right than most Republicans) abortion stance, which would prohibit nearly ANY abortion, even in instances of rape or incest (which Cindy McCain has already outwardly disagreed with), or her trigger-happy gun control stance, which I assume is that every man, woman, and child should be given an AK-47 with which to shoot polar bears and homosexuals from planes.

Look, I don't know what the coming two months will hold, and I'm sure both sets of candidates will nail down their stances even further and debate each other a few times, but the only real message I got last night from the GOP was one of negativity and cynicism, and not one of solutions and change.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Well, I just watched Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention. It was a speech that seemed to say, "Hey, did you guys have any idea I was a mother and that I'm from a small town in Alaska and that John McCain is a prisoner of war?" She is a facially likeable person, I suppose.
  • Conservatives like her because she's an out-of-touch gun nut who hates women's rights.
  • Liberals like her because she obviously can't keep her pants zipped up.
  • Women like her because she's a woman, which means that they will obviously be voting for McCain, you know, because Sarah Palin's a woman, and women of all ideologies will therefore vote for her. Because she's a woman.
  • Transparency likes her because that's what her nomination is all about.
  • IU fans like her because she can't pronounce Mackey.
  • Purdue fans like her because she's the most attractive woman they've ever seen.
  • University of Idaho alumni like her because finally they can stop answering questions about "that gay Senator dude."
  • Commercial fisherman like her because finally they'll have a voice in Washington.
  • Sailors like her because she obviously hates condoms.
  • Hockey moms like her because no one had every heard of a fucking hockey mom before last weekend.
  • Wasilla, Alaska likes her because she's the only one who can pronounce Wasilla properly.
  • The Alaskan wildlife likes her because it has to, otherwise she will rape the shit out of it.
  • Republican political consultants like her because she gives them a chance to put their feet in their mouths.
  • Hippies like her because she gives her kids fucked up names.
  • Her five children like her because she mentioned them on national television enough times to remind us that she has five kids.
  • Irony likes her because she named her son with Down Syndrome Trig.
  • Promiscuous teenage girls like her because, "see Mom, she lets her kids do it."
  • Rednecks like her because she lets them fuck her daughter.
  • Shotgun manufacturers like her because she isn't afraid to put one of their products firmly to the back of verile, scared shitless 17-year-old boy to benefit her own political career.
  • John McCain likes her because he just met her for the first time tonight and realized that she has a family member for every one of his houses.
  • Barack Obama likes her because she just sealed his victory.
The beauty about it is that, no matter what everyone thinks of her or whether she's a likeable woman, everyone can agree on one thing: she may be the least qualified vice presidential pick in American history. Anyone who thinks otherwise is absolutely kidding themselves. All other things equal, if she has a dick, she's not the VP nominee. Simple as that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten: Top Ten Bar Jukebox Songs

I'm going to try something that will likely start strong and then fade faster than an overly confident French swimmer, but it's worth a shot anyway. I shall call it Tuesday Top Ten, and, every Tuesday, it will feature a top ten list of some sort, probably relating to music, TV, film, sports, or unwed, pregnant teenage children of vice presidential candidates. The goal is to inspire both thought and discussion, as these lists will certainly not be free of controversy. If you have any ideas for lists, post a comment or email them to me at

This week's list stems from a conversation several of us had at Rocks this past weekend when the question was posed: "What's the best bar jukebox song?" An educated discourse ensued, and no one was able to agree, other than to say that a Bruce Springsteen song of some sort should be near the top. There is definitely an art to jukebox selections. The last thing you want to hear when you fork over your hard-earned money is for someone to say, "Why the fuck would anyone ever play this song?" Songs should not be (1) too long, (2) too slow, (3) too fast, or (4) too obscure. Songs should: (1) be recognizable by more than three people in the bar, (2) allow for either singing along or head bobbing to signify approval, and (3) kick ass. So, without further ado, here are the ten songs that you will hear if I only have ten plays in the jukebox:

10. "Sweet Home Chicago" by The Blues Brothers. Obviously I'm a little biased, given the location of my upbringing and current residence, but this is a great bar song. "Hi-dee-haaaay, baby don't you wanna go?!"
9. "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. It was a tough call between this and "Piece of My Heart," but I gave the nod to "Me and Bobby McGee" because everyone likes it and everyone knows the words, aside from the line "windshield wipers slappin' time."
8. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen. A jukebox staple that I assume needs no justification to be on this list.
7. "I Need a Lover" by John Cougar. While this song is a little on the long side, it's instrumental build-up is good and by the time it gets to the lyrics, The Coug' is ready to explode because all the man wants is a fucking lover who won't drive him crazy -- some girl who knows the meaning of "hey, hit the highway." Obviously the message is universal, especially in a place where men and women are brought together by alcohol.
6. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard. As the Hysteria liner notes said, this song is "pure sex." I didn't understand it when I was 10, and I don't understand it now, but I do understand that the vast majority of humans love this song.
5. "Baba O'Riley" by The Who. It's impossible for me not to drum along during the drum break.
4. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. A crowd favorite that incites sing-alongs just about every time it's played and sometimes even when it's not played.
3. "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. A cheeky and brilliant anthem that I cannot physically get tired of hearing.
2. "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen. If I ever own a bar -- and pray for my liver and marriage that I don't -- I will name it The Well because of a line in this song.
1. "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors. I think this is the quintessential bar song, from the driving guitar riff, to Jim Morrison's drunken wailing, to uptempo blues, to the subject matter, and, most importantly, the fantastic first line: "Well I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer."

AL Central and Wild Card Races

Building on my post from last week about the AL Central race, there is now another team to watch: the Boston Red Sox. Currently, the White Sox and Twins are tied atop in the AL Central at 77-60, and both teams are 3 games behind the Red Sox (80-57) in the AL Wild Card race. This is going to be an insano last month of baseball, as one of these teams (hopefully either the Twins or Red Sox) will not be making the playoffs.

All three teams are solid at home (White Sox, 46-22; Twins, 46-23; Red Sox, 46-19) and not so solid on the road (Sox, 31-38; Twins, 31-37; Red Sox, 34-38). Here's a look at their remaining schedules:

The White Sox have 25 more games scheduled: 13 home and 12 road:
-2 at Cleveland (.485, 37-32 at home)
-3 vs. Los Angeles (.610, 40-25 on the road)
-4 vs. Toronto (.515, 33-37 on the road)
-3 vs. Detroit (.482, 31-38 on the road)
-4 at New York (.533, 40-31 at home)
-3 at Kansas City (.419, 29-39 at home)
-3 at Minnesota (.562, 46-23 at home)
-3 vs. Cleveland (.485, 29-38 on the road)

The Twins have 25 more games: 12 home games and 13 road games.
-3 at Toronto (.515, 37-29 at home)
-3 vs. Detroit (.482, 31-38 on the road)
-3 vs. Kansas City (.419, 28-40 on the road)
-3 at Baltimore (.460, 33-31 at home)
-3 at Cleveland (.485, 37-32 at home)
-4 at Tampa Bay (.622, 52-19 at home)
-3 vs. Chicago (.562, 31-38 on the road)
-3 vs. Kansas City (.419, 28-40 on the road)

The Red Sox have 25 more games: 16 home and 9 road:
-2 vs. Baltimore (.460, 30-43 on the road)
-3 at Texas (.482, 33-34 at home)
-3 vs. Tampa Bay (.622, 32-32 on the road)
-4 vs. Toronto (.515, 33-37 on the road)
-3 at Tampa Bay (.622, 52-19 at home)
-3 at Toronto (.515, 37-29 at home)
-4 vs. Cleveland (.485, 29-38 on the road)
-3 vs. New York (.533, 33-33 on the road)

Going by the law of averages, the White Sox should go 9-4 at home and 5-7 on the road, to go 14-11 over their last 25 games and end up at 91-71. Meanwhile, the Twins should go 8-4 at home and 6-7 on the road, to go 14-11 over their last 25 games and end up at 91-71. The Red Sox should go 11-5 at home and 4-5 on the road, to go 15-10 over their last 25 games and end up at 95-67. This would mean that the White Sox and Twins would tie atop the AL Central and the Red Sox would win the AL Wild Card, pitting the winner of the one-game playoff between the White Sox and Twins against Tampa Bay and the Red Sox against the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim California in the ALDS.