Monday, March 29, 2010
Both movies are hilarious. We compared characters:
-Main straight character: Luke Wilson vs. Bradley Cooper
-Wild card character: Will Farrell vs. Zack Galifianakis
-Other main character: Vince Vaughan vs. Ed Helms
-Hilarious old man: Blue vs. the Asian guy
-Threatening authority-type figure: Jeremy Piven vs. Mike Tyson
Both had insanely wonderful premises : A fraternity for men of all ages vs. Losing the bachelor on a bachelor party in Vegas.
And both had great wedding reception scenes: The Dan Band/speeches vs. The photos.
It's a tough call. The only way to settle a debate like this is to put it to vote by the readers of a relatively obscure blog. Have at it, my fine readers. Which do you think is a better comedy, Old School or The Hangover?
Anyway, it's been a great tournament, and I think any one of the four teams left are good enough to win it all. Butler has a legitimate shot at being the first mid-major since UNLV in 1990 to win it all. Not that the 1990 UNLV team should be considered a "mid-major," since they were, in fact, paid professionals.
The average seed for this year's Final Four is 3.25, which is only the 5th time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams that the average seed in the Final Four more than 3.
Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, this is only the second time there have been two or more teams seeded 5 or higher in the Final Four. Here are the years in which there have been any teams seeded 5 or higher in the Final Four since 1985. Apparently, Big Ten teams love going to the Final Four when seeded 5 or higher. Only twice has a team seeded 5 or higher won it all:
2010: 2: 5-seeds Butler and Michigan State
2006: 1: 11-seed George Mason
2005: 1: 5-seed Michigan State
2002: 1: 5-seed Indiana
2000: 3: 5-seed Florida, 8-seeds North Carolina and Wisconsin
1996: 1: 5-seed Mississippi State
1992: 1: 6-seed Michigan
1988: 1: 6-seed Kansas*
1987: 1: 6-seed Providence
1986: 1: 11-seed LSU
1985: 1: 8-seed Villanova*
This year is also relatively rare because the Final Four features two teams that have never won an NCAA title. Since 1985, here are the years in which a Final Four featured at least one team that had never won an NCAA title (at the time of that year's Final Four). Obviously, the earlier you get, the more teams you have:
2010: 2: Butler, West Virginia
2008: 1: Memphis
2006: 3: Florida, George Mason, LSU
2005: 1: Illinois
2004: 1: Georgia Tech
2003: 2: Syracuse, Texas
2002: 2: Maryland, Oklahoma
2001: 1: Maryland
2000: 1: Florida
1999: 1: Connecticut
1997: 2: Arizona, Minnesota
1996: 2: Massachusetts, Mississippi State
1994: 3: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida
1991: 1: Duke
1990: 4: Arkansas, Duke, Georgia Tech, UNLV
1989: 4: Duke, Illinois, Michigan, Seton Hall
1988: 3: Arizona, Duke, Oklahoma
1987: 3: Providence, Syracuse, UNLV
1986: 2: Duke, LSU
1985: 3: Memphis State, St. John's, Villanova
So there you have it. More fun facts about the NCAA tournament. God, I love this time of year.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
There is a new "box of junk" girl this season, and her name is Jennifer. I thought she looked familiar. I swear to God, it's Polly Pantz from everyone's favorite hair band cover band, Hairbangers Ball.
A quick Google search of "Polly Pantz" and "Jennifer" confirms that Polly's real name is, apparently, Jennifer, unless that's also a pseudonym. Can anyone confirm or deny that this is, in fact, Polly Pantz? Since this picture was taken with my phone of a paused episode, if you want to take a better look, you can watch full episodes of That Metal Show on the show's website.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
If nothing else, it reminded me that Weird Al is awesome. He is undoubtedly the king of musical parodists. What I love about Weird Al is not just how clever and spot-on his songs are, but that he spans just about every genre, all with the backing of an accordion. I remember laughing out loud listening to his first album. And who doesn't think of UHF when they meet someone named Weaver, think of something blue, or make a poodle fly?
Anyway, here are my ten favorite Weird Al songs, in no particular order (followed by the song he parodied):
10 (tie). "My Bologna" ("My Sharona" by The Knack)
I just think it's funny that he pronounces it "balona" and not "baloney."
10 (tie). "Fat" ("Bad" by Michael Jackson)
In sixth grade, Eric B. and I dressed up as a fat couple and performed this in the talent show. I pray that all video of that has been destroyed.
9. "Eat It" ("Beat It" by Michael Jackson)
8. "Like a Surgeon" ("Like a Virgin" by Madonna)
Another classic. Sadly, it's not on playlist.com.
7. "Amish Paradise" ("Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio)
This combines the two things I love most in the world: making fun of the Amish and Coolio.
6. "Another One Rides the Bus" ("Another Bites the Dust" by Queen)
This one has a strange hand fart solo in the middle of it. And that is NOT a bad thing.
5. "I Love Rocky Road" ("I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett)
This song is kind of a personal anthem. This also has hand fart noises.
4. "Smells Like Nirvana" ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana)
I can't listen to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" without thinking "It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss/With all these marbles in my mouth."
3. "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies" ("Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits)
This was featured in UHF, and actually features Mark Knopfler on guitar. Unfortunately, it's not on Playlist.com.
2. "Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung"
This isn't a parody, but it is a funny song about trying to converse with a man in an iron lung. And a good day to you sir.
1. "Yoda" ("Lola" by The Kinks)
"I met him in swamp down in Degobah." That's just good parodying right there.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Will County, Illinois deputy coroner Eryn Gray – apparently a woman of Welsh descent – was rightfully angry when this exact situation happened to her earlier this month. When officers attempted to question her, she responded appropriately by asking them "Do you know who I am?" Amazingly, they did not, so she further explained, "I'm a deputy coroner." Right then, the cops should have just backed away, but they didn't. In a police report, one officer said, "I advised E. Gray that I had reason to believe she had been drinking. E. Gray advised '(expletive) you.'" Classic deputy coroner response. And she's right. After the officer found out she was a deputy coroner, he should have stopped questioning her.
Gray then yelled, "If this was my scene, you know what I would do, I would glove up!" BOOM! When a deputy coroner says "glove up," that means shit's about to hit the fan – often literally. In case you don't know, "glove up" in deputy coroner speak means to, on a dare, take six shots of Beam, put on surgical gloves, put your forehead on a baseball bat and spin around ten times, and then try to penetrate at least one orifice of a corpse with at least two fingers, without puking. That's always the kicker. Veteran deputy coroners can do it in like twenty-five seconds. I heard Gray once did it in thirteen.
But the threat of digital penetration didn't faze these cops. If you can't respect how they treated a deputy coroner, at least you can respect their moxie. Gray certainly didn't back down. She told one officer he didn't know who he was "(expletive) with," and that the county coroner would call the next day "and have your job." Another classic deputy coroner response: telling a cop that the county coroner would, for some reason, call the chief of police and inquire about taking over that cop's beat. In the public servant hierarchy, everyone knows a deputy coroner has far more power and clout than a police officer. For Christ's sake, these people have associates degrees. And brass balls.
Apparently, Gray also kept yelling "I'm 10-79," which the article says is police code for "call the coroner." In reality, "I'm 10-79" is deputy coroner code for "I'm about to go apeshit on you. If you think gloving up is raw, get ready for the Anal Apocalypse." Anal Apocalypse, of course, being a metal band that is very popular with deputy coroners. Usually, when someone hears "I'm 10-79" and Anal Apocalypse blaring from the deputy coroner's minivan, that person is about to meet his or her maker and then, ironically, get a visit from the deputy coroner. (By the way, I do NOT recommend Googling "anal apocalypse" at work, unless you're a deputy coroner.)
The article says she is 34. Damn, if that's what 34 looks like, I'd hate to see 44. Then again, deputy coroners follow the following motto: "Live fast, die young, leave a trail of good-looking corpses, glove up, I'm 10-79." It still amazes me that these cops didn't recognize her, or that they weren't fired the next day, or that they haven't mysteriously vanished, leaving only a faint trail of death metal.
And just so we're clear, please don't mistake Will County deputy coroner Eryn Gray with Erin Gray. Erin Gray is a hot actress who played vixen Kate Summers Stratton, Mr. Stratton's love interest on Silver Spoons. Eryn Gray is – well, you know who the (expletive) Eryn Gray is. And if you don't, you will one day. Just pray to whatever sky deity it is that you worship that you're already dead when that day comes.
In all seriousness, is there anything better than responding "no" when someone asks "do you know who I am"? Actually, there is. Back when notorious d-bag Luke "Rim" Recker was at IU, he went into a crowded Applebee's on a weekend night. The hostess told him it would be a 45-minute wait. He responded with, "Do you know who I am?" She responded with something along the lines of "Yes, you're Luke Recker. It's a 45-minute wait." Owned. She also happened to be a writer for the school newspaper, so Recker's douchebaggery found its way to the press the next week. Then he transferred and was in a car accident that left his girlfriend paralyzed and one man dead. I don't even have to tell you what public servant showed up at the scene.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Here's how it breaks down by conference:
-Big Ten: Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue (suck it, Big Ten haters -- not that I'm happy Purdue made it. Their coach likes Baby Ruths way too much.)
-Big East: Syracuse, West Virginia (best conference, my ass)
-Big 12: Baylor, Kansas State (shame about Kansas)
-SEC: Kentucky, Tennessee (in several years, it will technically only be Tennessee, as UK's season will undoubtedly be vacated)
-ACC: Duke (yep, only one)
-Ivy League: Cornell (first time since 1979 an Ivy is in the Sweet 16)
-Missouri Valley: Northern Iowa
-Pac-10: Washington (this is better than I thought the Pac-10 would do)
-West Coast Conference: St. Mary's
Purdue has put me in a position to root for Duke. Yet another reason Purdue sucks. And while the Hoosiers were nowhere close to being sweet this year, there are IU connections all around:
-Former Hoosiers Jordan Crawford (Xavier) and Ben Allen (St. Mary's) are both excelling at their new schools and are making me hate Kelvin Sampson all over again.
-Cornell star Ryan Wittman is the son of Hoosier great and member of the 1981 NCAA title team, Randy Wittman.
-Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (which is pronounced "sh-shevski") played under former IU coach Robert Montgomery Knight at Army and was a grad assistant for IU at some point in the '70s.
-Current IU coach Tom Crean was an assistant at Michigan State under Tom Izzo.
-Purdue coach Matt Painter was not offered a scholarship to IU, so he went to Purdue, where, incidentally, he did not go to a Final Four.
-Butler is in Indiana.
-IU beat Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA title game.
-Ali Farokhmanesh has no connection to IU, but I just wanted to say his name. Farokhmanesh. Gutsiest shot I ever saw.
Purdue notwithstanding, it has been great so far. The average seed number for Sweet 16 teams is 5, which is the highest since 2000 and only the fifth time since 1985 (when the tournament went to 64 teams) that the average is 5 or more. This is especially welcome after last year, where the average was 3.0625 (the lowest ever), and all 1-3 seeds made it to the Sweet 16, and it was boring as hell (not that hell is boring -- chill out, Satan). Because I am insane, here is the average seed of Sweet 16 teams since 1985, with the years with an average of 5 or more in bold:
This year is also awesome because we have 5 mid-majors in the Sweet 16, which is the most since 2006 and only the fourth time this many mid-majors have been in the Sweet 16 since 1985. (I consider non-BCS conferences to be mid-majors, even if a school is now in a BCS conference, so, for instance, Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, and Marquette were mid-majors before joining the Big East in 2005 -- not that DePaul has been relevant for 20 years. It's not a perfect science. Deal with it.) Here is a year-by-year number of mid-major teams that made it to the Sweet 16 since 1985, with the years with 5 or more in bold:
2010: 5 (Butler, Cornell, Northern Iowa, St. Mary's, Xavier)
2009: 3 (Gonzaga, Memphis, Xavier)
2008: 4 (Davidson, Memphis, Western Kentucky, Xavier)
2007: 4 (Butler, Memphis, Southern Illinois, UNLV)
2006: 5 (Bradley, George Mason, Gonzaga, Memphis, Wichita State)
2005: 2 (Utah, UW-Milwaukee)
2004: 4 (Nevada, St. Joseph's, UAB, Xavier)
2003: 2 (Butler, Marquette)
2002: 2 (Kent State, Southern Illinois)
2001: 2 (Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Temple)
2000: 2 (Gonzaga, Tulsa)
1999: 4 (Gonzaga, Miami (OH), SW Missouri State, Temple)
1998: 3 (Rhode Island, Utah, Valparaiso)
1997: 3 (St. Joseph's, Utah, UT-Chattanooga)
1996: 3 (Cincinnati, Massachusetts, Utah)
1995: 3 (Massachusetts, Memphis, Tulsa)
1994: 2 (Marquette, Tulsa)
1993: 4 (Cincinnati, George Washington, Temple, Western Kentucky)
1992: 5 (Cincinnati, Memphis State, Massachusetts, New Mexico State, UTEP)
1991: 4 (Eastern Michigan, Temple, UNLV, Utah)
1990: 4 (Ball State, Loyola Marymount, UNLV, Xavier)
1989: 2 (Louisville, UNLV)
1988: 4 (Louisville, Rhode Island, Richmond, Temple)
1987: 3 (DePaul, UNLV, Wyoming)
1986: 5 (Cleveland State, DePaul, Louisville, Navy, UNLV)
1985: 3 (Louisiana Tech, Loyola (IL), Memphis State)
Well, that was a fun hour and a half. Now, here are my picks for the rest of the tournament:
#5 Michigan State over #9 Northern Iowa
#2 Ohio State over #6 Tennessee
#2 Ohio State over #5 Michigan State
#1 Syracuse over #5 Butler
#2 Kansas State over #6 Xavier
#2 Kansas State over #1 Syracuse
#12 Cornell over #1 Kentucky
#2 West Virginia over #11 Washington
#2 West Virginia over #12 Cornell
#1 Duke over #4 Purdue
#3 Baylor over #10 St. Mary's
#3 Baylor over #1 Duke
Kansas State over Ohio State
Baylor over West Virginia
Kansas State over Baylor (told you)
Male #1: "Remember that marathon relay we were gonna run?"
Male #2: "Yeah. Thank God for 9/11."
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Thirtysomething married woman in a cab: "I just don't have enough gay men in my life."
Special ed teacher: "First, I dropped my phone in the toilet. Then I ran my phone under the sink water to get the toilet water off."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Fortysomething bank operations worker, walking in a group down the hall: "Lots of people say the glass is half full, but what if it's full of something you don't want like baby blood."
One attorney to another, talking before a court call: "He did his own autopsy."
--Chicago, federal courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn
Wife: "It's way up north on Belle Plaine. I don't know if I'd want to live there."
Husband: "Wait, we live on Belle Plaine!"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
In a Wal-Mart parking lot, a man runs shopping cart into rusty pick-up knocking off nearly the entire rear quater panel:
Woman: "HONEY! Don't do that. Do you know what kind of toxins you are stirring up?"
Man: "Woman, I EAT rust. Get in the truck."
--Richmond, IN, Wal-Mart
Eavesdropper: Wee Wee
Guy in line to bathroom at a bar, talking to girls: "I don't wanna take a piss with my sister."
--Chicago, Joe's Bar, 940 W. Weed St.
Fiftysomething male, to group of four: "The way I ski, I need KY."
--Vail, CO, Bart & Yeti's
Twentysomething female: "That was so spicy I have upper lip sweat."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Thirtysomething male: "She mocked me because I started dating a Scientologist."
--Los Angeles, Philippe's, Alameda & Ord
Twentysomething math teacher: "Does weed help you concentrate?"
Twentysomething attorney: "No. No, it doesn't. Unless you're a lit major."
Twentysomething teacher: "He was a math major. But now he's in a psychiatric ward."
--Chicago, Carmine's, Rush & State
Twentysomething female, discussing her infnat: "She sure shat like a yeti on the plane."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lituanian
Self-entitled twentysomething trixie: "I come here evey week, and you're going to charge me a cover?!"
--Chicago, Joe's Bar, 940 W. Weed St.
Thirtysomething male at a bar: "I wanna put my cock in the mouth of the Mississippi."
--Chicago, Emmit's, Halsted & Milwaukee
Fifth-grade teacher: "Here's my vag. I'm stuffing it full of snow."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Thirtysomething female: "Nice weather brings out the wheelchairs."
Thirtysomething woman to her fiance at 11:30am: "I smell salami. Did you burp?"
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Dude: "Tommy Hilfiger said he was mad blacks buy his clothes. Don't shit in the mouth that feeds you."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
As always, thanks to everyone who contributed. Whenever you overhear something funny or something that can be taken out of context, email it to email@example.com, along with your preferred handle, and I will include it in the next exciting installment of Midwestern Eavesdropping.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I'm going off the grid for a few days, so I appreciate your patience. As you know, I hate to leave you fair readers empty handed, so here is a brief, completely incomplete recap of St. Patrick's Day Saturday:
- Daughter did her first car bomb and then promptly passed out.
- Jester bet Pete $20 that he couldn't do 10 car bombs. Pete owes Jester $20.
- Pete bet me $1, with 10-1 odds, that Purdue would come back from a 37-11 halftime deficit to Minnesota. Pete owes me $1.
- There was an impromptu mini Class of '96 reunion at Rocks, featuring the likes of me, Dave, Joe, Danny, Eileen, and Pat. Random, but pleasurable.
- Goni, Tradd, Italian Phil, and I saw Township down at Reggie's Music Joint. They once again blew the doors off the place. You should definitely check them out. They are currently meandering through the Midwest on their way down to Austin for SXSW. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
- Goni left his credit card at Reggie's and then ordered chicken strips with a side of fettuccini alfredo at Golden Nugget at 2:30 a.m. I begrudingly paid for his meal after hysterically shouting "I, myself, cannot" in a Hannibal Lecter voice every time a woman walked past our table.
- Clocks changed. I freaked out, and called the Video Professor, but he didn't have any tutorials on the subject, so I cut up a few worms and sent them to him via FedEx. I eagerly await his response.
Also, here are some links to check out during my absence:
- Did you know that James Lipton wrote the Thundercats theme song? Thanks to Greg Weeser* for the link.
- Also, here is a link for a phenomenally juxtaposed video of "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters over the Hot Sundae episode of Saved By The Bell (i.e., the one where Jessie takes amphetamines and becomes scared, thus blowing Hot Sundae's chance at superstardom). Thanks to Greg Weeser* for the link.
Monday, March 15, 2010
This is the most wide-open NCAA tournament in recent memory. Unlike last year, where it was simply unwise to exclude North Carolina from your Final Four, this year there are about 14 teams that have legitimate shots at winning it all. I have absolutely no confidence in any of the 18 brackets I have filled out. Then again, most of them follow Jay Bilas's prediction that Cornell will be going to the Elite Eight. Andy Bernard must be shitting himself right now.
But seriously, any time I have Baylor going past the Sweet 16, Kansas State going to the Final Four, or Vanderbilt making it out of the first round, I cringe a little bit. But the neurosis that accompanies filling out brackets prevents me from changing my picks because I know damn well that if change anything, Baylor and K State will meet in the national title game, and God will continue laughing at me.
Here are my thoughts – many of which are contradictory, biased, and/or entirely devoid of logic – which you are free to ignore, use, or mock openly:
Easy Final Four pick: Kansas
Darkhorse Final Four pick: Michigan State
Least Favorite team: Ohio State
First Round upset special: #11 San Diego State over #6 Tennessee
1-4 seed I think will lose in the first weekend: #4 Maryland
Don't be surprised if: Georgia Tech makes the Sweet 16
Easy Final Four pick: Syracuse
Darkhorse Final Four pick: Xavier
Least Favorite team: Minnesota (I'm actually indifferent towards Minnesota, but every other team in this bracket is just so damned lovable)
First Round upset special: #13 Murray State over #4 Vanderbilt
1-4 seed I think will lose in the first weekend: #4 Vanderbilt
Don't be surprised if: North Texas beats Kansas State and UTEP makes the Sweet 16
Easy Final Four pick: Kentucky
Darkhorse Final Four pick: Temple
Least Favorite team: Kentucky
First Round upset special: #11 Washington over #6 Marquette
1-4 seed I think will lose in the first weekend: #4 Wisconsin
Don't be surprised if: Kentucky loses in the second round to either Texas or Wake Forest, New Mexico loses in the first round, or New Mexico makes it to the Final Four
Easy Final Four pick: Duke
Darkhorse Final Four pick: Notre Dame
Least Favorite team: Purdue
First Round upset special: #13 Siena over #4 Purdue
1-4 seed I think will lose in the first weekend: #4 Purdue
Don't be surprised if: Purdue fans complain for years to come about how their first round exit would have been a Final Four if they had a healthy Robbie Hummel
My Final Four picks (bear in mind, this is an amalgamation of 18 brackets, and I don't necessarily want this to happen, nor do I really expect it to happen, but right now, on this computer screen, it seems to make sense, especially given the amount of mescaline I've ingested, you silly little turtle):
Runner-up: West Virginia
Other two: Kansas, Duke
And, of course, the NCAA tournament has nothing on the NIT, CBI, CIT when it comes to unpredictability. Try getting into a pool for one of those tournaments and see how long you last. Betting on any of those tournaments is about as prudent as giving a small business loan to Charles Manson. In case you're interested, I have UAB over Dayton in the NIT finals, I like Oregon State to defend its CBI crown (thus solidifying itself as the greatest third-tier college basketball post-season invitational champion of all-time), and I think the Fairfield Stags have as good a shot as anyone at bringing home the CIT crown.
Interesting stat: this is the first time since 1966 that the NCAA tournament will be without Indiana, North Carolina, and UCLA.
Uninteresting stat: there will once again be an NIT, a CBI, and a CIT.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Holmes is very much a pioneer. He was a dashing, engaging man who could woo ladies and disarm men with his steely blue eyes and coquettish charm. Without Holmes, would there have been a Ted Bundy? I think not. More importantly, Holmes was the first in a long line of successful Midwestern serial killers. Seriously, check out this list:
- Jeffrey Dahmer (Wisconsin, Ohio). At one point or another, we've all thought to ourselves, 'Self, what you need is a zombie sex slave.' The difference between us and Jeffrey Dahmer is that Dahmer was a doer, not a thinker. He followed through, often injecting his victims with a paralyzing agent, then drilling a hole in their skull and further injecting hydrochloric acid. Instead of zombie sex slaves, what Dahmer often got was simply a dead Laotian teenager. And, of course, a souvenir skull and a wicked contact buzz.
- John Wayne Gacy (Illinois). My eighth-grade social studies teacher once told our class a funny story. Back in the late '70s, her husband was in high school and was all set up with a summer job at Gacy's construction company. Then he ended up taking another job at the last minute. Good thing. Many of Gacy's victims were young men who worked at his construction company. When Gacy wasn't raping and murdering young men and stuffing them into his crawlspace, he liked to entertain children as Pogo the Clown, get his picture taken with Rosalynn Carter, and paint. A misunderstood genius with a penchant for entertainment or an overweight psychopath with a penchant for rape and murder? The jury is still out.
- Ed Gein (Wisconsin). Not to be confused with the bartender at Canal Bar, part of Gein wanted to take a woman to a nice dinner and treat her right. The other part of him wondered what her head looked like on a stick. Guess which part won. He is also said to be part of the inspiration behind Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, Norman Bates from Psycho, and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not too shabby.
- Dennis Rader (Kansas). Better known as the BTK Killer, Rader bound, tortured, and killed (hence, BTK) 10 people over a 17-year span. Following the lead of the Godfather of Modern Serial Killing, Jack the Ripper, BTK sent letters to the police and media outlets to tout his prowess. Of course, as often happens serial killers, his hubris outshone his common sense. In 2004 (13 years after his last killing), decided to start chatting with the cops again. He sent the police a disk after the police told him they couldn't trace which computers a disk had been used in. Turns out cops are liars. Using metadata, they tracked him down. With a face as sweet as his, he's undoubtedly getting raped right now.
- Michael Swango (Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota). As the physician who murdered potentially hundreds of patients, Swango grew up in Quincy, Illinois, was a graduate of Southern Illinois University's medical school, and later worked at hospitals in various locales, including at Ohio State's med school hospital. When nurses complained to hospital administrators that Swango's patients were dying at alarming rates, OSU told the nurses they were being paranoid, but told Swango to work elsewhere, which allowed Swango to go on to get arrested for putting arsenic in his co-workers' coffee, get blacklisted from pretty much every hospital in the U.S., and got to Zimbabwe to kill non-Midwesterners for a change. Eventually, he was arrested during a layover at O'Hare.
- Drew Peterson (Illinois). Two is a series. I'm just sayin'.
The new book is Happy Hour is for Amateurs by The Philadelphia Lawyer, an anonymous blogger/lawyer. Obviously, this is something from which I can draw inspiration. I'm about 100 pages in, and it's pretty good so far.
Books read in 2010:
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I've touted Township many times before, and they put on a great show last time they were at Reggie's. If you're still standing at that point in the evening, get your ass down to Reggie's and prepare to rock out. See you there.
10. "Whiskey in the Jar" by Thin Lizzy.
You can't have a list involving Irish music without this traditional Irish folk song or without Ireland's greatest rockers (take that, U2!). "Whiskey in the Jar" is a story of an Irish highwayman who is betrayed by his woman. Man, I've been there. It was a No. 1 hit in Ireland for 17 straight weeks in 1972 and a top ten hit on the UK charts a year later.
9. "Shamrocks and Shenanigans" by House of Pain.
Boom shalock lock boom! This song may not be the most lyrically or musically complex offering on this list, but its title does represent what St. Patrick's Day is all about (aside from banishing snakes).
8. "Danny Boy" by Johnny Cash.
There are many versions of "Danny Boy," but I'm a fan of this one because it's from one of the Man in Black's final albums (2002's American IV: The Man Come Around), and it sounds like Cash is singing for his own impending funeral. It's eerie, but beautiful at the same time.
7. "Drunken Lullabies" by Flogging Molly.
Along with Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly are the leaders of the modern Celtic punk genre (which is interesting, considering their lead singer, Dave King, was once the high-wailing singer of early '80s metal band Fastway). Anyway, this song is high-energy, fun as hell, and has been featured in St. Patrick's Day beer commercials (Killian's, I believe, which is interesting, considering Killian's isn't an Irish beer, kind of sucks, and is the reason Caffrey's is no longer imported into the U.S. Thanks Coors. Fear not, there is a Facebook group that supports bringing Caffrey's back to the U.S. (thanks to Adam and Christoff for simultaneously inviting me to join). Join it. Now. I would -- and will -- murder for a Caffrey's.).
6. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2.
To combat the fun-loving, drinking-themed songs, one must only look as far as Ireland's most popular rockers to bring you back down to the intra-island strife that has plagued Ireland since Partition (and even before). "Sunday Bloody Sunday" has always been one of my favorite U2 songs. It's about the 1972 event in Derry, Northern Ireland, where British troops shot at unarmed civil rights marchers, killing 13 (interestingly, this is one of several "Bloody Sundays" throughout modern Irish history).
5. "The Way Young Lovers Do" by Van Morrison.
It was tough trying to pick a Van Morrison song for this list. "Brown-Eyed Girl" is too cliché, the entire Moondance album is great, but none of the songs seemed to fit with a St. Patrick's Day theme. Thus, I went with one of my favorites off of Astral Weeks, "The Way Young Lovers Do," since it's upbeat and generally all right.
4. "Alternative Ulster" by Stiff Little Fingers.
This is just a great, catchy punk song by Belfast-based Stiff Little Fingers. The opening riff has shades of Irish influences, before busting into a frenzied song -- written at the height of the IRA/Unionist violence -- encouraging the citizens of Ulster (that's Northern Ireland for those unfamiliar with Irish history) to bring about a positive change to the violence.
3. "Streams of Whiskey" by The Pogues.
A St. Patrick's Day list wouldn't be complete without The Pogues. This song seemed like a fitting one to include, since I plan on bathing myself in streams of whiskey on Saturday. Another solid Pogues choice would have been "The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn," so I included that in the playlist too.
2. "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced" by Dropkick Murphys.
The title says it all. I also included on the playlist their more famous song, "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," which was featured in The Departed and now, unfortunately, at Red Sox games.
1. "Róisín Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend" by Thin Lizzy.
From the Irish Gaelic title based on a Sixteenth Century Irish political song to the bombastic dueling lead guitars to the moment Phil Lynott's vocals kick in ("Tell me the legends of long ago . . .") to the Irish-influenced guitar break to the "yeeeeeeeep" during the guitar break to the post-guitar break moment when Lynott's vocal kick in again ("Oohhhhhhhh, tell me the legends of long ago . . .") and the following ode to all things Irish, from folklore to literature to music, this is an undying, Irish epic and (as if you couldn't tell) one of my favorite Thin Lizzy songs.
Monday, March 08, 2010
As soon I stepped off the hovercraft Thursday evening, I breathed in the clean, crisp ocean air, which immediately had a positive effect on my rheumatism. I must say that LA after Skynet is not what I expected. There was no sign of nuclear winter or a race of machines bent on destroying me or my kind. Rather, I found it to be a harmonious and exotic locale. Everyone was on coke, or so I assume. Orientals and Spaniards literally run through the streets. There is an FM radio station, 93.5, that plays only race records, deeming itself a "back in the day" station. I heard an edited version of "Ain't No Fun," which simply played the background music during several verses and bleeped out the words "yap" and "mouth," among others.
Thursday evening I retired early, as I had a big day ahead of me on Friday. Awakened Friday morning by the constant sound of helicopters, I decided to hop in my economy rental car and head north to Pasadena. I arrived at my chosen destination about 45 minutes early. Originally, I had planned on simply skipping breakfast (figuring it would be the "California thing to do"), but my Midwestern appetite got the better of me, so I set off looking for an adequate restaurant. I pulled into a supermarket (which Angelinos call a "supermercado") parking lot and spotted a security guard who looked like Scatman Crothers, dressed in relatively heavy coat and a winter hat. I had the AC on. It was 57 degrees. I asked Scatman where the nearest Polish sausage stand was, and he claimed not to know. Back on the road, I saw a small old woman who drag raced me.
After that, I spent the rest of Friday morning and afternoon experiencing all LA had to offer. It was amazing. I got stuck in traffic. I ate at a California Pizza Kitchen. I kissed a cop at 34th and Vine. I smoked outdoors. I looted a Korean-owned grocery store. I ate at the In-N-Out Burger on Camrose. Those are good burgers. I glided down over Mulholland Drive and moved west down Ventura Blvd. I screamed out "Ricky!" I had sex with a transvestite. I broke myself, fool. While in the San Fernando Valley, I pretended I was a plumber making a house call, and a scantily clad and sexually unsatisfied housewife answered the door. She took everything I said about plumbing to mean something other than what it actually meant. I made love to her while a man with a mustache filmed us. I bought a hybrid car. I took my bike back from Deebo. I saw the Flaming Lips play at the Peach Pit After Dark. I killed Sharon Tate. I arrived after the third inning and left before the eighth. I stopped by the home of the widow of the man whose identity I stole when they mixed us up at the military hospital after the war. I pay her to keep my secret quiet. That's right, my real name is not GMYH. I drew some blood under a bridge downtown. I raised hell (figuratively) at the Seventh Veil. I carjacked someone. I got beaten up by two white cops.
Then five o'clock rolled around, and I rang my friend The Brothers Weeser* (minus Tim and Dan, oddly), and we hit the town, first going to the restaurant that invented the French dip. Of course, being a papist, I had the tuna sandwich, which was nonetheless excellent. We then headed to a hipster bar somewhere in the Los Angeles area that used to be a fire station. It had a very calming outdoor patio area and was overall a pretty cool bar, even if there were a lot of dudes in weird hats. After that, we went to one of the coolest dive bars in the world, this place called Tiki Ti, which is on Sunset. The bar is slightly larger than The Littlest Bar in Boston (the original one), if you've ever been there. Only tiki drinks are served, and it's "owner operated," which means that it is open as long as the owner is tending bar and you can smoke in there (not that I did, Jester). If you ever go there, order the Ooga Booga. You will not be disappointed.
I left Saturday morning wanting more. Next time I'm out on the "left coast," I'd like to visit The OC, although it might be too much to take with Marissa gone. I'd also like to visit Santa Monica to see if there are any two-bedroom apartments being rented by two women -- one ditzy and attractive, the other not so ditzy and not so attractive -- and a man pretending to be a gay to fool the landlord. Perhaps there will be a misunderstanding and physical comedy involved.
In sum, Los Angeles is a fun place to visit.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
(Most of this is copied from ScapeGoat Ink's blog.)
Crate & Barrel is sponsoring a $100,000 Dream Wedding Contest, in which couples submit their unique love stories, which are voted on by the public, but ultimately Crate & Barrel has the final vote, as to who is the most deserving. If chosen, the lucky winner receives the cash prize, and with the help of a wedding planner, the opportunity to make the wedding of their dreams a reality.
Friends of the ScapeGoat Inkers, Mary and Densey Cole (pictured below), entered this contest on a whim, but a lot of people have shown their support for them, and the possibility of them winning is becoming more and more of a reality. However, with over three weeks left in the contest, anything can happen.
To give you a brief backstory on Mary and Densey, last May, Densey -- a Chicago Police Officer -- was paralyzed from the neck down in a head-on collision while responding to a burglary call. Despite this tragedy, Mary and Densey were married in the hospital 4 weeks after the accident. Almost a year later, and with the help of Mary, Densey is growing stronger. And, through it all, he's managed to keep his sense of humor intact and continue to stay positive.
Please take a moment to check out Mary and Densey's inspirational story, and cast a vote for them. It only takes a minute to sign up, verify your email address, and vote.
If you have a Facebook account, please share the link to Mary and Densey's story(http://www.ultimateweddingcontest.com/entries/33527) on your page. If you're one of the few people on Twitter, please tweet about it, too. And, of course, if you're a fellow blogger, feel free to borrow from this entry, copy it, or write your own version of it and share it on your site. Thanks!
Here are the seeds:
1. Ohio State (14-4) (2-1 vs. MSU and Purdue)
2. Purdue (14-4) (2-2 vs. MSU and OSU)
3. Michigan State (14-4) (1-2 vs. Purdue and OSU)
4. Wisconsin (13-5)
5. Illinois (10-8)
6. Minnesota (9-9)
7. Northwestern (7-11) (they get 7 seed based on 2-0 record vs. Michigan)
8. Michigan (7-11)
9. Iowa (4-14) (they would get the 9 seed based on a 2-0 record vs. IU)
10. Indiana (4-14)
11. Penn State (3-15)
Here is how the tournament will shake out (all times are Eastern):
First Round - Thursday March 11
#8 Michigan vs. #9 Iowa (2:30 p.m., ESPN2): Michigan
#7 Northwestern vs. #10 IU (25 min. after first game, ESPN2): IU
#6 Minnesota vs. #11 Penn State (7:30 p.m., BTN): Minnesota
Quarterfinals - Friday March 12
#1 Ohio State vs. #8 Michigan (Noon, ESPN): Ohio State
#4 Wisconsin vs. #5 Illinois (25 min. after previous game, ESPN): Wisconsin
#2 Purdue vs. #10 IU (6:30, BTN): IU
#3 Michigan State vs. #6 Minnesota (25 min. after previous game, BTN): Michigan State
Semifinals - Saturday March 13
#1 Ohio State vs. #4 Wisconsin (1:40, CBS): Ohio State
#10 IU vs. #3 Michigan State (25 min. after previous game, CBS): IU
Finals - Sunday March 14
#1 Ohio State vs. #10 IU (3:30, CBS): IU
It's bound to happen now that IU is on a hot streak.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
312: Wasted. Minnesota. Cool as ice just started. What more can i say.
312: I never thought i would be drinking wine and loving this movie at the age of 31.
312: And its airing on encore love?! Ha ha ha ha ha
937: That gaines adams trade is looking really bad for the bears
773: I just saw that. Terrible stuff. Can you fire the gm cause of this?
812: Even Verne Lundquist making fun of Michigans court storming after beating #15 UConn.
812: A character on parks and rec just asked if he could bring a large platter of deviled eggs to a party and not share them with anyone...thought of you
310: Just got to hold the actual gun Robert Ford used to kill Jesse James.
310: In a parking lot
812: Typical...only way a big name boilermaker can win anything is if a hoosier makes the big play
937: Can we have the pork chops tonight and the salmon Wednesday night?
812: Sure, why?
937: I can't eat meat on Wednesday because it's Ash Wednesday
812: Oh for Christ's sake
773: So johnny weir is straight
812: sad news..they found boner's body in Canada. I know you were worried
773: Hummel hurt? that's a shame. enjoy your second round exit, fuckers.
As I said in the initial Thursday Texts post, I invite you to email hilarious texts that you send or receive to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will post them accordingly. All texts will be anonymous, identified only by their area code. Or, I also strongly encourage people to post texts as comments to the Thursday Text posts. I will not approve any comments that contain last names.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
What's also funny about Purdue is their mascot, Purdue Pete. Look at him. Hilarious.
What's funny about Purdue Pete (other than everything) is that he is apparently so grotesque that, according to an article in the Indy Star, he often makes little kids cry. (Thanks to Holt for the link.)
Maybe they're not crying about the weird-looking guy with a giant plastic head; they're probably crying about the fact that they've been dragged to a Purdue sporting event. Purdue is the worst athletic program in the Big Ten. True story.
The article is hysterical. It describes the cartoon version of Purdue Pete as having a "Kirk Douglas cleft chin." Kirk Douglas's chin looks like someone permanently indented it with the round end of a small ball-peen hammer. Purdue Pete's chin looks like it emits feces.
The article also describes the cartoon version of Purdue Pete as having "Rock Hudson eyes." I think what the author was implying is that Purdue Pete is the gayest mascot this side of this lion.
Frankly, I'd rather have no mascot than some hydrocephalous juice head construction worker who bangs dudes (presumably ugly ones at that). And let's be honest, that's an insult to Rock Hudson's dreamy eyes.
"Campus officials have hired a Lafayette advertising firm to help create some new images for Pete." An advertising firm from Lafayette? Well, I suppose we can expect the next incarnation of Pete to look gray and smell like solid waste.
And, for some reason, the author of the story interviewed the guy who runs Gold and Black Illustrated, a magazine and website that covers Purdue's sports failures in painful depth, who said, "Purdue fans are very passionate, and there are some that love tradition. And Purdue is not a university that typically loves to change. They usually walk before they run." Purdue does seem terrified of changing its tradition of not going to Final Fours, or not winning NCAA titles in any sport, or attracting women without limps and hair on their upper lip.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Public transportation is also a chance for attention-deprived people to shine in front of a captive audience. Whether it's the guy listening to his iPod so loud the entire train can hear it, or the couple making out on a morning rush hour train on their way to work (I saw it again last Friday), or some trixie blabbering on her phone about how she can't believe McKenzie did that, an L train truly is a haven for the attention starved. That said, I encountered a new one today on my way home from work. I sat down next to a woman who could have been anywhere between 19 and 41. She had her phone to her ear, so I assumed she was talking on it. While I was reading, I noticed that she was not talking, but singing very faintly into the phone. This went on for the next ten minutes. Then, when things apparently go too loud for her (thanks to the 19th Century design of our mass transit rail system here in Chicago), she cranked the volume on her phone to reveal that she was signing along to a song, which was now playing very audibly for our half of the train to hear, masked only by her attempts to sing over it.
What the fuck is wrong with people? Why can't people just be quiet? Did she think there was an agent on the train who was going to offer her a record deal? Because there was, and he didn't. Prove me wrong.
In an even bigger development, IU has found itself in a battle for last place after Penn State's recent resurgence and IU's abysmal play. Luckily IU holds the tiebreaker over Penn State if it were to come down to that. Also, Northwestern has continued to seal its NIT fate by losing games to teams that NCAA tournament teams should beat. Maybe next year, Cats.
Current standings and remaining games:
1. Ohio State (13-4): ILL (W)
2 (tie). Michigan State (11-4): PSU (W), MICH (W)
2 (tie). Purdue (12-4): IU (W), at PSU (W)
4. Wisconsin (11-5): IOWA (W), at ILL (L)
5. Illinois (10-6): at OSU (L), WIS (W)
6. Minnesota (8-8): at MICH (W), IOWA (W)
7. Northwestern (7-10): at IU (L)
8. Michigan (6-10): MINN (L), at MSU (L)
9. Iowa (4-12): at WIS (L), at MINN (L)
10. Indiana (3-13): at PUR (L), NW (W)
11. Penn State (3-13): at MSU (L), PUR (L)
Predicted final standings and seedings for the Big Ten Tournament (ties are broken per Big Ten tiebreaking procedures):
1. Ohio State (14-4) (2-1 vs. MSU and Purdue
2. Purdue (14-4) (2-2 vs. MSU and OSU)
3. Michigan State (14-4) (1-2 vs. Purdue and OSU)
4. Wisconsin (12-6)
5. Illinois (11-7)
6. Minnesota (10-8)
7. Northwestern (7-11)
8. Michigan (6-12)
9. Iowa (4-14) (they would get the 9 seed based on a 2-0 record vs. IU)
10. Indiana (4-14)
11. Penn State (3-15)
Michigan over Iowa
IU over Northwestern
Minnesota over Penn State
OSU over Michigan
Wisconsin over Illinois
IU over Purdue
MSU over Minnesota
OSU over Wisconsin
IU over MSU
IU over OSU
Don't say I didn't tell you.