Saturday, March 31, 2007

how my mom went to a psychic

and supposedly i'm moving soon for job or money and that i'm gonna be engaged or married by the age of 35.

you've all been warned.

how it's been awhile, and i apologize

look, work's been kicking my ass. and when you throw in a hellacious travel schedule on top of that, i just haven't had the time to write and, actually, the content to make it entertaining.

now i'm able to fulfill the former. the latter i'm just gonna have to borrow.

so here's some stuff i came upon this week that i found entertaining or interesting:

there's sad, there's depression and then there's kermit the frog covering "hurt" by johnny cash via nine inch nails, which is both of those things taken to the highest hilarity.

the barbaro cheeto went for $70.

i had access to the much-rumored nike employee store in portland and came out $281 poorer. but much happier. especially with some yet-to-be-released air force one sport culture kicks on my dogs.

i took a listen to one of the best live cds i've turned my ears onto. check out "donny hathaway live". it was recorded at the troubadour in hollywood and also at the bitter end in new york. i've never been to the troubadour, but i've seen shows at the bitter end, and when i listened to the cd, i had that place in my mind: small, intimate, the audience one with the performer and with great acoustics. intimate. that's a great word for it. it's an intimate show with a brilliant singer and an audience willing to participate. really great stuff.

while i'm on music, did you ever take a good listen to the lyrics of "american girl" by tom petty? chuck klosterman wrote about it on his blog for espn, and when i took a look at that's one of those songs that i never really knew the words so i sang the sounds. but now...whoa.

and in case you had any doubt, let sanjaya reign.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

how not to watch "rocky v"

1. do not watch this movie in HD, unless you have a fetish for strong direct lighting on the skin of a 60-year-old actor pumped up with human growth hormone.

2. do not watch this movie if you're expecting this is the opportunity for burt young to win his well-deserved oscar.

3. do not watch this movie if you've just had a two-hour discussion with a screenwriting professor who chastized you over how a great movie should "show" and not "tell", and to do the opposite would be storytelling suicide.

beyond that, it was fun.

how are streets are now even more dangerous, thanks to the union's crazy provincial stance on their port-a-potties

if you haven't seen the video of batman getting arrested on hollywood and highland, then for the love of god and all things right and wrong in the world, check it out. it's los angeles in all its caped crusader glory.

stately wayne manor hangs their head in shame this morning as i weep for the country's future.

especially now that chewbacca's lost his head.


Friday, March 23, 2007

how i'll be posting more once i get my laptop back

although i wouldn't be surprised that i'm missing a keyboard. or a screen. and that apple will fix it as a courtesy to me in a one-time-only deal.

anyway, until then, here's some music i've been listening to, courtesy to having a freelance gig with a shared i-tunes server. these are bands i've been meaning to check out but just haven't. listening to full albums that i normally wouldn't has become a chore now that i'm not living a couple of blocks from amoeba records.

and yes, some of these bands are old, but i've never really given them much of a shot until this week. and no, please don't send me an e-mail recommending me to listen to the rolling stones. i've heard them.

fall-out boy - although i've heard of them and heard of the hype bestowed upon them by jay-z, i just figured that they're just one of those bands with minimal talent and a young fan base. i was surprised. they're like all these other faux-punk bands out there nowadays, except with an ear for melody. i was seriously shocked about it. i will say that i couldn't listen to their whole album. that music gets repetitive after three or four songs. but as one offs? not so bad.

of montreal - now here's a band i really dig. very melodic, very harmonious, very different. they kinda put me in a beach boys/radiohead/franz ferdinand/new pornographers type mood, which isn't such a bad mood after all. their album names and songs don't really make much sense, but what was most shocking - and when i say shocking, i mean i couldn't believe my frigging ears - was that the crappy outback steakhouse jingle was a version of one of their songs. but here's the thing: their version is absolutely gorgeous and artistic - the exact opposite of outback. seriously, it's worth a full listen. it's called "wraith pinned to the mist and other games" on their album "the sundlandic twins". it's startling to the highest degree.

and yes, i know, i'm slow to the game.

lily allen - again, i wasn't expecting this. there's something really playfully quirky to her music. i can see her getting tired really quick, but for a first listen, i really enjoyed myself. there's a lot of stuff going on here.

the fratellis - well, you gotta love a scottish band who use the italian word for "brothers" even though they aren't related. and, picking up on the whole franz ferdinand thing, this should have been their follow-up album. a smart and unique voice and accent you don't normally hear in lead vocals backed up by simple and clean melodies. sometimes, that equation is all you really need.

also, if you're looking for music to write to, or just music to fill a background space, music that's melodic and tells a story without any use of vocals or words, music that's well cared for and well though out, then check out ratatat. they're much more interesting than anything you'll hear on the radio nowadays. funny how a little artistry can tilt things like that.

and there's this:

modest mouse's new album "we were dead before the ship even sank" - now this is how to improve from one album to another. the mouse just keeps on getting better - although much of that has to do with old smiths guitarist and legend johnny marr now on board. there's not one song that sticks out, but that's just a matter of all of them being pretty damn good. worth a listen if you are so inclined, but beware: you'll find yourself coming back to it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

how everyone is on tv except for me

i just got this e-mail from my old boss michael wilde, who is a really great dude:

I'm going to be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live this Wednesday, March 21st starting at 12:00 midnight. ABC has picked up Voicemail, and I'm going on to promote the show. There, I've tooted my own horn.

"voicemail" is a short film he made that, last i heard, was being negotiated into a web series. maybe it's broadcast now. either way, i'm psyched for the dude.

in other news, i'll do my best to appear on "cops: san francisco" this week.

how i just took a bite out of apple after they took a bite out of me

i brought my laptop to the apple store last week because a piece of my power cord got stuck in the input. i had an hour of juice left in it, and i didn't feel like taking tweezers to it to get it out.

apple told me that i'd need a new piece, and it would cost me $90 for it to get done (along with the $65 for the new power cord). great. $155 for repairs.

i got a call that it was ready, headed down to the apple store, turned it on and got the dreaded "?" inside the folder.

"this doesn't mean what i think it means?" i said.
"umm....oh. we need our techs to look at it." they said.

last night i got a call. seems my hard drive is kaput. something happened to my laptop during the travel from service to the store, and everything was lost. fortunately, i'd backed up everything that was important to me, and everything else could be found and replaced. no big deal. this, however, got me going.

- "sir, the cost of a new hard drive and repair is $250."
- "excuse me? you broke it. i shouldn't have to pay for it."
- "yes, sir, but you're not in warranty."
- "this isn't about warranty as it is about responsibility."
- "umm...we'll call you back."

i was talking to an intern. no problem.

today, i got a call from a higher-up. he told me that the hard drive was fried, and as a special one-time courtesy, apple would like to replace the hard drive free of charge.

- "why is it a one-time courtesy?" i asked.
- "well, you're out of warranty".
- "yes, but you broke it."
- "still, the cost of parts and labor would have been $250".
- "yes, sir, i get all that, but if you bring me your car for me to fix the battery, and while i repaired that, i busted the windshield, would you also have to pay for that?"
- "no."
- "well, why should i have to pay for my hard drive? why is it a courtesy when it's your responsibility?"
- "well, it just is, sir?'
- "hold on...are you calling from apple or microsoft?"

oh good fun.

how when "24" hits the 415, it makes me do a #2

a few thoughts about the series that makes me curdle with anxiety every monday night:

1. if this season ran during the time of any other presidential administration, the character of vice president noah daniels would be completely over-the-top.

2. i was kinda hoping that san francisco would get blown up, just to see what would have happened. i, for one, would have ran to the nearest in-and-out, because i can't imagine anything bad happening to me while eating a double-double.

3. that audrey raines revelation is really putting a wild card into things. i also like how jack's a player with his sister-in-law. can't see how much fun he'd be.
MARILYN BAUER: "jack, i love you with my whole heart, soul and body. life would not be worth living unless i spend it all with you."
JACK BAUER: "there is no time for this. i will explain everything later."

4. just because they foreshadowed nina's credentials earlier, i knew that she was gonna get fingered. and i know that she's innocent. so i'm waiting to see what happens with that. my guess? christopher henderson. isn't he dead? yes. so...why him then? you could never go wrong with some more robocop.

5. the country needs "the glove" to come out of his coma.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

how matty's spending his fifteen minutes to benefit the lives of others

as i was watching my 8,237th consecutive hour of college hoops, i checked my hotmail account and found an e-mail from matty, my buddy who survived the fall down mount hood weeks ago.

he's gonna be on "ellen" this week. they film monday. not sure which day it'll air.

anyways, he's utilizing his fifteen minutes of fame to do something worthwhile - namely, organizing a large-scale fundraising effort to support the true heroes of the hour, the search and rescue volunteer group that rescued them when they needed them most.

if you're in portland, check out the new lucky lab brew pub in nw prtland on thursday, march 29. they're having a drinkup and fundraiser to help out.

if not, check out - especially matty's account of the ordeal. it's harrowing, scary and powerful. he's one lucky dude, and he knows it. slowly but surely, he's working his way through it.

i couldn't imagine what that's like.

anyways, the e-mail and website took me a good thirty minutes to read when i realized that i was now twenty minutes late to pick up the dinner i ordered. then again, it's a salad. it's already cold. no problem. so i began my walk to the cafe and spent my time thinking about the whole thing.

simply put, matty's asking for donations for the volunteer group that saved him and also to help out with his friend's medical bills. the cynical new yorker in me said, "why should that burden be on me? it's not my fault it's a volunteer effort." (i play a lot of devil's advocate in my mind).

of course, i'm a softie that will do anything for my friends, big or small. still, i debated. hell, i think about everything. if you read this blog, you understand how obvious that statement was.

that's when i saw the first shooting star i've ever seen in my life.


my first.

i grew up in a city. what do you want from me?

i thought it was a UFO at first. when it faded out, i realized what it was i saw, and tried to remember what it was they said about shooting stars. i couldn't remember.

then i thought that matty should thank his lucky stars that there's a volunteer group out there that saved his life.

then, two seconds later, i centered myself, and thought that i should thank my lucky stars that there's a volunteer group out there that saved my friend's life.

so i'm donating. honestly, i was gonna do so anyway because my friend asked this of me, but now my head is clear around it.

it's not my burden, but it's my gratitude.

whether you know him or not, or even care or not, there are times when you have to rely on the generosity of strangers, of volunteers, of good samaritans. maybe they're not mount hood rescue groups, but these people are all born from the same fiber. and you might not even know they existed until you need them the most.

all i ask from you is to think about it, if not them, then someone else.

here's two worthy causes:

Christina Redl Fund
c/o Jason Guppy
0301 SW Nebraska St.
Portland, OR 97239


Portland Mountain Rescue
Fundraising Chair
PO Box 5391
Portland, Oregon 97228-5391

thank you.

how you can't call yourself a major sport without a major marketing machine

the two biggest stories out of the nhl this year have been the huge brawl between the sabres and the senators, and chris simon's guillotine job on the neck of ryan hollweg.

is it fair to hockey that those two stories have gotten the most press? the slashing by simon is a criminal act which, nowadays, are commonplace with sports. reportable? yes. but it happens.

but the fight is a part of the game. and, although hockey is really trying to distance themselves from it, they're just never gonna get there. to the casual fan, that's what hockey is: fighting. violence. hard hitting. and that's why hockey has so much trouble connecting to that market; they discourage what's attractive to them. not the smartest strategy, but understandable.

just not smart. the casual fan is who they need.

someone once said that there's 17,000 hockey fans in philadelphia, and they're all at the flyers game.

that pretty much goes for every market in the country.

but there's hope: they need to market sidney crosby as much as humanly possible. they need to put him in our faces like david stern does with the wnba. they need to make us sick of him. they need to make us marvel at him.

he's the one that's gonna lead them out.

and here's a start: in what surely will be promoted with a whimper by the nhl's craptastic marketing machine, crosby became the youngest player ever to score 100 points in two consecutive seasons. that's great, because here's the big catch: he turns 20 in august.

he's nineteen! best player in the league, and he's not even twenty. if there ever were a mule to perfectly hitch your futures to, this is him.

and yet, does anyone have any doubt that the nhl will continue their legacy of screwing up great stuff like this?

for their sake, they best not.

how there's some dirt you just can't wash off

anyone who knows me knows that i love college hoops, and that i realize that it is a business disguised as amateurism. i get that. but there's still some faint semblance of the college spirit to it - and that emanates from the college experience. of course, whether the athletes go to class might be a joke, but i knew a fair share of students who didn't go to class either.


uconn basketball has seen fantastic success in the years that coach jim calhoun has led the team. with his success has come a firestorm of, well, criticism about his "style". from the unsavory recruitment of caron butler to the allowing of marcus williams back on the team after he stole laptops, among many other transgressions, he hasn't exactly carved out a clean reputation.

i just feel that coaches at top institutions can make a statement with the team they coach. meaning, how do we build a program that people can be proud about? how do we win and do things right? how do we make this more about winning? for example, bill self kicked j.j. gittens out after a brawl in lawrence, even though he was an important player. duke always sticks and works with disappointing players as they become better and useful players in their later years at the school. hell, you never hear anything bad about roy williams or ben howland. nothing.

but calhoun's not alone. bobby bowden from florida state continually looks the other way as he recruits questionable people as student-athletes and gives them slight punishment when they do wrong. he should do better because he could do better. that's disappointing to me.

unfortunately, the list of coaches like bowden goes on and on.

the past year, however, calhoun's upped his ante.

there's a certain number of unwritten rules that coaches and players abide to. one is don't recruit a player that's already given a verbal to another school. when connecticut high school player doug wiggins verbaled to st. john's, he began to blow up nationally. before you knew it, there was calhoun, accidentally "bumping into" a player in his own backyard and weeks later, wiggins reneged, revising his story about how he began talking to the huskies and quickly signed with uconn. this wasn't the first time something like this happened and it'll happen again. doesn't make it right.

fine. dirty, but fine.

when a high school athlete signs with a program and a coach, he actually signs a series of one-year scholarships. it's up to the coach and the player to figure out what's right each year. normally, a player will transfer due to a lack of playing time. or a coach will revoke a scholarship due to a series of behavioral transgressions. is that an unwritten rule? yeah. as a coach, you make a commitment to the kid, and he makes a commitment to you. you're building players and human beings.

here's coach calhoun at, after his team came off a disappointing season:

"There are some guys on our team who could have very successful careers maybe at a different level," Calhoun said. "They're young and this would be a good time for them to at least think about what their future is, and I'll be very honest with each and every one of them."

allow me to translate: this team sucked. i need to fix it. so i'm trimming the fat. sucks to be them. i'll be honest and tell them they ain't gonna play, and i'll make it miserable for them to stay. hell, i made a mistake and probably shouldn't have recruited them in the first place. i should have saved some scholarships for this year. so i'll let them take the brunt of it. it's not my fault some of them sucked. i could tell them how to get better, but screw that. i need their scholarship now.

Calhoun told Rob Garrison after last season that his chances to play were probably limited. "Rob said, `I want to stay,'" Calhoun said. "He put on 10 pounds. It just wasn't good enough [to play]. But he's a good basketball player and should have a successful career someplace. I'm not saying Rob Garrison is leaving. I'm only telling you ... there will be those situations."

translation: oh, you want to stay here? you like it here? you're gonna work extra hard to play? well, piss off. and don't let the door hit you on your incompetent ass on the way out.

illegal? no.
right? borderline.
ethical? very questionable.

just some more classy stuff from a classy coach of a classy program.

at least he was open about it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

how i lost count how many times i've read this statement

eddie van halen just announced that he's going back into rehab.

in other shocking news: i just announced that i'll be going back to my couch today to watch basketball.

how i know my birthday passed

but if anyone is looking to get me a late birthday gift, you can end your search here.

or here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

how even with matters as trivial as this, america really can't be trusted with anything

with sanjaya in the final twelve and sabrina not, it's fair to ask whether this is "american idol" or "american idiocy".

america is now the russian judge.

how my couch is my heaven

on television, currently and all day long:

ESPN: the big east conference basketball tournament
ESPN2: the big ten conference basketball tournament
FOX SPORTS: the pac-ten conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV1: the atlantic coast conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV2: the big twelve conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV3: the southeastern conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV4: the western athletic conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV5: the mid-american conference basketball tournament

ass, meet couch.
couch, meet ass.

here's my running blog. you might want to print this up and bring it with you to the crapper.

with georgetown up 25 in the first half, it's a good time for me to get me some food. it's such a shame that georgetown's in the middle of a fantastic run at the end of the season. i've been tracking them since the start as a team to watch, but now, everybody's onto them. damn you, talented and well-coached teams that play up to their potential. side note: it's great to see gary prager as a referee in a big east tournament game. he used to ref my high school games, and we always knew when we were on the court with gary, we had no doubt it was gonna be well-officiated. i'm kinda proud of him.

i hadn't seen him play yet this year until today, but i'm really impressed with the seminoles' al thornton. the guy's superathletic and with a real nice feathery jump shot. he kinda reminds me of josh howard during his senior year at wake forest, except howard seemed to have a little more savvy out there. then again, that might just be the difference between having skip prosser as a coach and leonard hamilton as a coach. florida state has waaay tooo much talent to be scrapping for a tournament bid.

there's 57.1 seconds left, and how the hell is villanova down by 7? they were dead in the water in the first half against a team that you shouldn't come back from, but they do seem to be running out of steam. here's another note: i don't think i'd be wanting to play villanova either in the first round. good guards, a great forward, solid coach. yeah, i wouldn't want to play them. now they're down 5, and forcing georgetown into hitting free throws down the stretch. it's odd how g'town and syracuse are always terrible foul shooting teams. that's just random, you know?

i'm just including this because it's weird watching kentucky in a play-in game in the SEC tournament for the right to play mississippi state. i've watched them play a bunch this year. a new york cop could adequately describe them as "please disperse. nothing to see here".

11:14am NEVADA vs. IDAHO
i read a blurb about the draft prospects of nevada's all-american nick fazekas as being strained because of the odd way that he runs the court. to be honest, i've seen him play some and never noticed it. but i have noticed that he's just as charmin soft as duke's josh mcroberts. soft players don't make it in the nba unless they have season tickets. i'm gonna keep this blowout on until i get a good look at the nick fazekas running experience....okay, he runs labored. it's not an easy style. it's as if he's pulling something behind him, and it's tied to his waist. is it a reason for him to be frowned upon in the nba? no. by the way, don't sleep on nevada. ramon sessions is a great point, and marcellus kemp and fazekas are top-notch college players. this team can do damage, although nobody's really talking about them. they're more than just the gangly white guy with a strange stride.

the irish are one point guard away from being ultra dangerous - which makes it even more of a shame about staten island basketball legend kyle mcalarney. without him, they're down seven against a team coached by jim boeheim.

i'd be watching this game fully - especially with the hurricanes up to a shocking 12 point lead - but i really have no stomach for billy packer. even joe buck thinks this guy is an arrogant jerk. anyway, back to the game. the terrapins' ellena ibekwe just got fouled hard on a breakaway dunk, and bill nantz and packer just had a discussion on whether it was an intentional foul or not. look, just because someone takes a nasty fall doesn't make a foul intentional. in this case, it wasn't, and the refs got it right. and, i hate to say it, so did packer. i just died a little by typing that. it's something i might never get over.

jay bilas just said something to the effect that the irish are one point guard away from being ultra dangerous - which makes it even more of a shame about staten island basketball legend kyle mcalarney. stop stealing from my blog, jay. how many times have i told you this?

12:4pam MIAMI vs. MARYLAND
i just noticed that the acc tournament is being played in tampa bay. you know, because nothing is as invested in the acc tradition as the tampa/st. pete area. so, i'm guessing that greenville, south carolina was booked for this weekend, so they had no other choice than west central florida, where acc basketball is truly the hotbed of all sports. dean smith must be rolling around in his grave. what's next? the acc expanding to boston?

since when did the big ten invite a cyo rec team into their tournament? i haven't seen a team as slow and plodding like northwestern since nba tv ran a retrospective on the 1950s. and yet, they almost beat the spartans. this ain't the year for them, although i do dig watching drew neitzel play.

as much as i want to ink maryland down for the final four, i also see them completely not showing up for what should be an important game. you know, like this one. from boneheaded decisions to having four players on the court to dropping easy passes to catch to not rotating on defense - these are things that a gary williams coached team does not do, but this team has a habit of. whatevs. hence, a loss to a team it had no business losing to, and sleepwalking through the whole game. miami deserved to win just by being there. today, that's all it took.

there's something about this arizona team that just ain't working. i can't understand what. they've got a steady point, an explosive two-guard, an athletic three, a big guy with range and enough bigs to keep teams honest. and yet, they just can't get going. on another note, the guards from oregon are very good. porter's a whip with the ball, and brooks seems to be in control this year, and that has elevated his game immensely. guards rule college hoops, and the ducks have two real good ones. just sayin'.

hawai'i coach riley wallace is sporting the hawaiian shirt on the sidelines. now that's dedication, folks. even in his last game.

3:26pm UCLA vs. CAL
ucla is one of those teams that's easily one of the best in the nation, will most likely be a #1 seed, and yet i have no hesitation to knock them out early on my march madness predictions. they just don't have the bigs, and these 8 and 9 seeds are gonna be dangerous. afllalo and collison and shipp are the very best guard tandem you'll find in college hoops, but guards can be stopped. i know, i said that guards rule college hoops, but they can be stopped. as for this game, cal's shooting the lights out right now, and they're up 16. ucla's having trouble matching up with ryan anderson, who's too big and too rangy. that's gonna be a problem when they match up with better teams in march. i just feel it. (on a side note, i really like ben howland and ben bruin as coaches. they're bentastic).

illinois is slowly blowing a fifteen point lead on the nittany lions who, by the way, in december were soundly defeated by the mighty seawolves of the state university of new york at stony brook. makes you wonder how stony brook would have done in the big ten. probably a lot better than their last place finish in the america east. yes, this is how my brain works.

4:30pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
as i stated before, i just don't get josh mcroberts. i really don't get what nba scouts love about this guy. he's soft, he doesn't really defend, he gets pushed around, he doesn't finish by the hoop and he has no inclination to take a game over. yeah, that's exactly what i want in a 6'10" big guy. oh, but he handles the ball well and is a good passer. well, unless they score and rebound, guys like that don't have a place in the nba. sorry. two of the top players in the nba are white, so we can stop looking for the great white hope. they already exist. enough with mcroberts. by the way, sidney lowe in a wolfpack red jacket looks like a mobile mcdonalds.

5:03pm UCLA vs CAL
when i said that ucla is primed to be upset, i meant in the ncaa tournament and not by a cal team that's headed nowhere but is now two wins away from somewhere wonderful. huge win for the bears.

if i had a son, and if he were old enough and good enough to play high level college basketball, i think i'd like for him to play for john belein in morgantown. i just love watching the mountaineers play ball. athletically, there's no way they should be anywhere near louisville, who is also well-coached (obviously), but here they are, within a point with four minutes to play. i never come away unimpressed. never. then again, if i had a son, and he told me that he wanted to spend his four formative years into adulthood in west virginia, where pacman jones and chris henry became grown men, well...umm...well...

5:50pm DUKE vs NC STATE
nc state is just a much tougher team than duke. nelson and mcclure are plenty tough, but i'm not sold on paulus and scheyer and mcroberts. it's a one point game now with three minutes left. let's see what the dukies are made of.

tie game. 1:26 remaining. two young teams on the court, both relying on the three. both well-coached. interesting? hell yeah. west virginia needs this win, louisville wants it...beilein calls a time out with :17 left, tied game. there's few teams that execute as well out of a timeout than the 'neers...

5:58pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
tied with 1:32 left. i've been relying on the "last" button on my remote control to navigate my way through this day. don't fail me now.

...wvu guard runs perfectly off a high screen for a layup to put them ahead with :04 to go. rice high school alum edgar sosa dribbles down the length of the court and hits his own layup with :00.5 left to play. wonderful basketball. tie game. headed to overtime, pending official's verification...this might not count. the clock might not have started immediately when inbounded, looks like he took two quick steps, but how do you quantify that? we're in overtime. don't fail me now, "last" button.

6:02pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
tied with :40 left. lord, i love march, and it's not even the madness yet. state's running the clock down, here we go...missed shot by state, offensive rebound, missed deep three by state, offensive rebound, time out, :03.3 to go...the guy who missed the three had hit his last seven, but he took that one from about 28 feet away, rushed...jumper from the corner, no good, tip just missed, overtime. don't fail me now, "last" button.

these overtime games are staggered. thank you, god. louisville is gonna be a beast next year. they're already damn good, and they're all frosh and sophs, and i'm sure pitino has some more studs coming in. by the way, i'm starving, but there's no way i'm leaving my seat right now. time out.

6:13pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
mcroberts just rammed the ball down with authority. i'm surprised he didn't bring the backboard down with him. whoa. and now, a sweet little jumper. is it me, or is he taking over? who kidnapped josh mcroberts and replaced him with this aggressive dude? don't fail me now, "last" button.

louisville up 1, :36.2 left. cardinal ball. it's a free throw contest now. made one, louisville up two, wvu on the drive with :21.2 left. sosa reaches and fouls out. that's huge. they need him. bad play by the frosh point. tie game, :16 left. time out. short jumper off the rim, and we're in double OT.

6:18pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
state up four with the ball and with :12.8 left. mcroberts driving to the hoop and fouled. it's his first trip to the line tonight. really?!? are you kidding me? he's 6'10", plays the whole game, and this is his first trip to the line? he missed the second. state up three with :11.7 and on the line. brandon costner nails both, and he has 30 for state. of course, the clock didn't run when duke inbounded. you know, we're in tampa, and somehow duke still somehow tries to get away with that. how does that happen? does a clock malfunction ever not happen in a duke game? state wins by 5. don't fail me now, "last" button.

i think west virginia's spent. they played last night, and louisville didn't. they just ran the ugliest offensive set season long, and louisville is just fresher. cardinals up nine with 1:15 left. by the way, i really like len elmore as a color commentator. he's understated and he's one of the few guys out there that actually breaks things down without promoting himself in the process. he's enjoyable to listen to.

6:46pm BOISE ST. vs. FRESNO ST.
4:48 to go and it's tied in their first round matchup of the WAC tournament. i believe watching this game is the first sign of realizing that you're an addict. actually, these teams are good, and this conference isn't disgusting. still, i need to take a breath.

no time for breaths.

the best basketball has come late in the day. right after the two overtime games comes a back-and-forth affair between these two behemoths. i watched marquette beat my st. john's squad last night, and although the game was close, they were really impressive. when dominic james has it in his head to be a point guard, he might be the best in the nation. wesley matthews is solid, dan fitzgerald can sink it from three, and they've got a bunch of interesting parts on the team. when jerel mcneil comes back, they'll be even stingier on defense. and, of course, since they are coached by tom crean, they work harder than most teams. and here's pitt, who is the deepest team in the country, full of gritty new yorkers, physical, talented, athletic and with big-time players inside and outside and a damn good coach. am i high on these teams? hell yes. this game is going back and forth with good hard ballin'. got the potential to be the best game of the night. really nice stuff here.

7:59pm STANFORD vs. USC
lawrence hill, fred washington, brook lopez, robin lopez, mitch johnson. does that sound like the roster for a basketball team or for your local geek squad? that's what i thought too. but they're doing a good job on a very athletic trojan team. i'm digging the game of usc point guard daniel hackett. he's really aggressive and physical and just imposing his way on the court. you know he's there. on another note, the hooter's commercial with dick vitale is easily one of the worst written, directed and acted spots that's ever been produced. then again, for a restaurant that taunts their "assets" but always winds up disappointing you in person, they sure casted some prime talent.

everything about pitt's center aaron gray screams stiff - except for his game. there's a place for him in the nba, just less so in today's up-tempo style. it's a shame he was born ten years too late.

8:15pm STANFORD vs. USC
daniel hackett just hit a four point play to put USC up two with 3:05. they were down by 15 at the half. from what i've seen, this freshman has led them back. impressed? yeah. the other thing that sticks out at me is that tim floyd is a very good coach. usc doesn't seem to be the easiest team to manage. they're almost too athletic for their own good. but they play disciplined, smart basketball. they're missing something to make a big run, but they're not bad at all. athletically, they might be too much for a small school. but they're missing something. stanford, on the other end, is swatting everything. having seven foot twins that can play is a nice asset.

it's something else to watch a shooter who's feeling it. and dan fitzgerald from marquette is feeling it.

8:24pm STANFORD vs. USC
stanford's bench is truly the a/v club. but they're up two with :23.7 left...nick young hits a big shot off balance to tie...okay, stanford's got the ball and no timeouts left. ball goes out of bounds with :05.4 left, so floyd from usc calls a timeout. why? you're giving stanford a chance to calm down and set up a play. i know you're setting up your defense, but that's a hand signal. i don't get it, but it happens all the time...anthony goods drives past his defender who falls, he shoots...and it's swatted away. we got OT.

8:30pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
i haven't been ignoring this game, but the "last" button on my remote only serves two channels, and this is third on my list. tennessee's got one of my favorite players in the nation in chris lofton, who is a fantastic shooter and is the craftiest player in the country. and what happened to LSU this year? i mean, there was such a big buzz over glen davis losing all his baby fat, but that hasn't really translated. plus, it doesn't seem like it would be fun to play for john brady. they just ran a great stat: tennessee is 37-2 under bruce pearl when they have a lead with 5 minutes to go. and after lofton's long three from the corner, they're up five with 4:20 to go.

8:42pm STANFORD vs. USC
with some tough defense, it looks like usc's gonna win out here. they just willed their way to it. teams with a clear athletic edge have that ability to just turn it on. consider it turned.

8:51pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
all 6'1" of chris lofton just out tapped one home in traffic to tie the game. he just produces. he's just one of those great college basketball players that nobody really talks about. anyways, his tip is followed by a world class flop with :07.3 left to give the ball back to the vols. and guess what? we're in OT. again.

pitt's up by 16 with 1:32 to go. wtf happened here? see what happens when i'm preoccupied with two games that went into overtime?

9:08pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
glen davis is gassed, but not too exhausted to lose. make that stat 37-3.

in case anyone's still reading, this is twelve straight hours of college basketball. that's why this is in bold. it's a bold move by me, especially with eight channels playing games pretty much non-stop. if i were self-congratulatory, i'd buy myself this trophy and put it on my mantle.

lest you think i'm giving up,

okay, i might not make it to the end, but i've got enough to last me through halftime. i haven't seen wazzu play this year, but i've heard and read nothing but fantastic stuff about them. my first impression is that they look like they were pulled out from a phish concert. the chick they have playing point is pretty good. and they play this, well, i think it's a zone, but it's got man principles, and they all seem to help but know exactly where their guy is, even if he's left the area. so they seem like they have seven guys out there instead of five. it's rather cool to watch because they're damn good at it. but, honestly, they ain't going far in the tournament. they seem like an adequate ballclub. in fact, i can't figure out how they got this much mileage, a #2 seed, in the pac-10. (then again, it is just the pac-10). on the flip side, there's no reason why washington should be this poor. they are loaded. what the hell happened to them? anyone? hell, they've got more than their share of good bigs.

then again, guards rule college hoops.

i'm not sure that last paragraph made sense. so that's it. i'm done. no overtime for me.

good hoopin', everyone.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

how eleven words is really all you need

here's tonight's blurb about the season premiere of "south park":
The "N" bomb hits South Park and Cartman fights a midget.


Monday, March 05, 2007

how his website has a much bigger purpose

i got this e-mail from my good friend edmund, who is currently fighting prostrate cancer:

The next step is to look beyond the confines of my current hospital (UCSF) and cast a wider net to try to find an appropriate clinical trial at another hospital. That could be California, the East Coast or even across the pond where they speak funny and stick ‘U’s where they just don’t belong. I’ve a small and highly motivated team helping me sift through the vast array of trial options, filter out ones of relevance, contact the hospitals concerned and sweet talk trial coordinators.

As 90% of the trials are just not suitable for one reason or another it can be a demoralizing effort, but the team I’ve assembled were mostly chosen for their dogged determination, never say never attitudes and ridiculously optimistic dispositions...So far they’ve helped me come up with a number of interesting options, which my Doc is weighing in on, and then further steps will be taken down application process lane.

To help the process a friend has created a website. It was originally conceived to assist relevant parties gain access to my full medical history. It has grown from that and now includes Abba songs sung in Hindi. All are welcome to visit and leave their mark – it’s a work in progress and constantly evolving. For a furious mix of facts, medical details and frivolity visit:

please check it out. if you've got something to add, then please, add it. it's for a good cause, the least of which is cheering up my friend and taking his mind off of bigger things.

get well, my good friend.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

how giving directions is just too much to ask for in a city like jupiter, florida

on friday, i drove up to jupiter to check out the mets-cardinals spring training game - which was a blast, by the way. if you get a chance to go, then go. it's laidback, you get a good seat no matter where you sit, the game is relaxed and the fans are old and apathetic. it's a good time.

plus, you sit close enough to the field to really come to grips with how difficult it is to hit a baseball that is thrown that hard.

anyway, during the game, they announced over the PA system, "if you have scorebook labeled #15436, then you have just won a $20 gift certificate to chick-fil-a."




so, after the game, i found an old woman who lived in the area and asked her a simple question: how do you get to this chick-fil-a that you speak of.

she said, and i quote, "when you leave the ballpark, make a left. you'll see signs for the gardens mall. it's in there." this happened at 4pm.

okay, so i made a left. and drove. and drove. and i hit the atlantic ocean.

you know, maybe she meant a right? so i drove back down, passed the ballpark and hit a dead end. nope.

so i found a security guard and asked him for directions, and he said, and i quote, "take 95 south down one exit and make an immediate left. go under the overpass and head towards the beach. you'll see signs."

okay, so i did that. i took 95 south one exit, got off and...well, i couldn't make an immediate left under the overpass. it lead me to the right, but there was traffic going left, under the overpass. so i got to the light and made a u-turn. and i drove and drove until i hit a strip mall that i passed on the same road the old lady sent me on.


so i asked yet another man, who told me that i have to take this road (the one the old lady told me about), make a right on A1A, and then a right after the fire house, and i'll see signs - and that's what i did. and, two miles and two turns later, i saw a sign for "gardens mall" telling me to take a left. which i did. and it led me to a dead end.


so i got back on the road, and finally found the mall. the sign meant the next left, i guess, even though it was in a turning lane. so i drove to the parking lot, walked into the mall and found out that, although this was the "gardens mall", this was not the "gardens mall" with the chick-fil-a. that mall was down the road some. just look for the nordstrom's. you'll immediately see it. it's in that area, but the food court is next to the sak's. that's what the guy from urban outfitters told me.

so there's two malls called "gardens mall" in the same area that aren't connected. and, when i got into my car, you guessed it, i couldn't see or find nordstrom's immediately.

i drove around and around until i happened upon it, on the road i made a u-turn on to drive under the overpass.

so, to recap:

the old woman only gave me the opening part of the directions. she missed out on two turns and about five miles.

the security guard told me to make an immediate left when he should have told me to make the first left. that was too confusing and that adjective was not needed.

the third man gave me good directions except for follow the sign because the sign lied to me.

i finally got to chick-fil-a at 6pm, two hours later. it was a seven mile trip.

that, my friends, is insane.

however, this was heaven.

how to recap south beach in an entire post (or: how i will not apologize for staring at such a fine collection of thonged asses)

i'd never been to miami before, which means i'd never been to south beach. in a quick recap, i had a great time. if i was there with someone else, i'd have a blast. and if i went with someone whose mere presence puts the odds in my favor that i would not get arrested, then i'd have a time for the ages. unless those odds went against me and i spent my time in the clink. then it would probably have sucked, but i would have had a damn good story.

but i was alone. and here was what i thought:

1. i got there around 3pm, which might not have been high time for the buffed tanned bodies i've read and heard so much about. but don't worry. there were plenty for me to gawk at. not whiplashed worthy, but more than enough to buffet my impending libido. i was also kinda turned off by all the pasty flabby bodies i saw. in a completely unrelated note, miami is a city full of mirrors.

2. i have, however, seen enough marblebags to fill me for a lifetime. i'm good. no more. no thanks.

3. if i had to describe this area in one word, i would have to say "faketitacular".

4. the craziest thing about this city is that it's full of people who go out of their way to dress exactly like the architecture.

5. i saw danny bonaduce on lincoln avenue. i was gonna say, "hey danny!", but i didn't want him to go on some sort of binge where he'd karate chop my esophagus, throw me through a window, rip a palm tree out of the medium and stuff it down my throat, run my face into the path of an oncoming rollerblader, chop me into little pieces, throw me in a canvas bag and then toss me off the rooftop of the tallest building in the area, followed by him setting himself on fire and plunging to his death. except it would have seemed to everyone at first glance that he had died, but since he cannot be killed, he have awoken in a fury unseen in this hemisphere which would have reulted with him taking his anger out on my dead carcass. so, needless to say, i kept my observation internal.

6. my favorite look of the day: the one on the face of the insanely hot 24-year-old clinging on the arm of her 53-year-old boyfriend/husband. it's the face that says, "don't judge me. everyone is doing it. he can't live that much longer with a tan like this. this'll be a boost to my career if he dies soon enough."

7. my second favorite look of the day: mine, as i look at that 53-year-old man and wonder which episode of "miami vice" did he crawl out from.

8. i had an amazing cuban dinner courtesy of a suggestion from my friend david. here's the interesting thing: my waiter had a fake eye. i knew this because i couldn't look away. that's how i was raised: a firm handshake and look people in the eye. but when i looked this gentlemen in the eye, i realized it was odd, so i had to then look at his other eye for comparison, and that's when i realized it was fake. what am i getting at? when someone has a set of good eyes, you look him in the eye. but when someone has only one real eye, you look them in the eyes (for comparison). and you don't want to look away or not look them in the eye because that would be a tell that you noticed their deformity and that it makes you uncomfortable. so i looked a one-eyed man in the eyes. yes. that's what i did.

all in all, a good day.

viva south beach.