Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brilliant

ISU opens their football season this Thursday against the Toledo Rockets in my Pockets. Now, personally, I think the Thursday game is a great thing, especially if you're a student. The game starts at 7:00 which for those of you that haven't made the calculation already, the tailgating lots open at 1:00 PM. It's still too early to have tests so there's really no excuse NOT to skip your afternoon classes and start getting hammered. My the time the game rolls around most students will be lucky if they manage to stumble in to watch it but once they do it will be loud and rowdy.


The Flippy-Cup Tournament before one of the ISU-Iowa games.

The very first ISU game I went to my freshman year was on a Thursday night. We might have been playing UNLV or someone and I did a little tailgating but I was only two weeks into college and not exactly in prime drinking condition. Plus, I was only 18 and really not as worried about being busted as I should have been but I still didn't start drinking until a few hours before. What can I say? Rookie mistake.

I just wish I had a chance to go back and make up for lost opportunities. Instead, I'm here in Lawrence where I just can't get excited about the fat man announcing the freshman that looks like he's trying to be Sunshine from Remember the Titans. (Plus every time I turn on the radio I have to hear the commercial featuring the game winning field goal against ISU last year. Possibly the worst game I've ever been to for pure "kick you in the balls" value. And as a Cyclone fan I've had my share.)

There's some cool things at KU but tailgating is not one of them from my perspective. Yeah, it's kind of cool that there are basically small house parties at every other house and you can never go wrong drinking before a football game but it's not quite the same as jamming twice as many people into one spot with big busses, four hose beer bongs, miniature goal posts to kick cans through, a man with a basketball hoop strapped to his shoulders above a trash can, and flags flying as far as the eye can see.

Anyway, I'm starting to get nostalgic. Fortunately, in just a few weeks I'll be there at the best game for the NSHDC (non-student heavy drinking crowd). The Saturday 6 PM kickoff.

And here's a fun blast from the past for former Cyclones of my generation. A Daily editorial from Andrea Hauser, Tim Paloooch, Zach Calef, and one of the Tesdells reminding everyone to "tailgate correctly", i.e. don't have fun.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm watching one of the most awkward performances ever.

Rod Stewart is playing on Saturday Night Live on one of their classic episodes they play early Sunday mornings. He's wearing a purple satin jacket, tight purple pants, and a belt over his long, white t-shirt. He's apparently trying to rip off some Blues artist because it almost sounds like the blues except excruciatingly painful. He has a leapord print scarf around his neck and is dancing all over the stage while his band plays solos. Tina Turner just came out to sing a song with him and they are groping each other on stage. It's possibly the most uncomfortable I've felt since a party I was at in high school where I ended up being the only person present in a room where two of my schoolmates were drunkenly groping each other on the couch.

Someone make this stop. His bass player has a balding Garfunkel 'fro and is possibly the only dorkier man than Stewart right now. Was there really a time when people took this seriously? I think there wasn't.

One of the camera angles showed the audience and they all look really, really bored. No one is clapping and all I see is people turning to the person next to them asking, "is this really happening?"

Rod Stewart....just stop.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

FEAR, America, FEAR!

Our country always seems to be looking for the next big thing to fear. Killer bees, Al Qaeda, SARS, O.J. Simpson. You know the drill.

For a time during the late 80's and early 90's conservatives predicted a wave of "super predators", hundreds of thousands of urban youth that were supposed to be much more violent and criminally savvy than those before them after a life of living on the street or something like that. Anyway, everyone was scared for a while but this crime wave never happened and, in fact, teen crime dropped dramatically. Huh.

But, don't breathe easy just yet, Americans. I present to you, super raccoons.
"They're urban raccoons, and they're not afraid", says Kari Hall, founder of a raccoon watch in her Washington neighborhood.

While that may sound like a movie tagline (Raccoons on a Bus?) it's all too real, apparently. These raccoons have killed at least 10 cats and tried to carry off a small dog. Now, not to go all "Survivor" on you again but aren't there a few code words in this one too? "Urban" raccoons? At least they didn't use the abbreviation.

There are some great quotes in this article.
"We used to love the raccoons. They'd have their babies this time of year, and they were so cute. Even though we lived in the city, it was neat to have wildlife around," he said, "but this year, things changed. They went nuts."

In one case five raccoons tried to carry off a small dog, which managed to survive. Some residents also have managed to get to their cats in time to save them.

So, we're humans, we built the cities these raccoons are terrorizing so let's go get these bastards, right? Well, not exactly.
Meanwhile, residents have hired Tom Brown, a nuisance wildlife control operator from Rochester, to set traps, but in six weeks he has caught only one raccoon. He and Carrell said raccoons teach their young — and each other — to avoid traps.

Brown said he had seen packs of raccoons this big but none so into killing.

"They are in command up there," he said.

Son of a BITCH! This guy specializing in nuisance wildlife just gave up! He said, screw you guys and your raccoons, I'm going home. They're teaching each other! That used to be all we had on the animals? What are we going to do when they start teaching each other how to build nuclear weapons? Do you know how many of them are already in the US? This is just another piece in the War on Terror which is why we need to attack Iran.

On a personal note, the blog has been a little busy since last night which is odd considering just a few days ago I was lamenting that I didn't have anything to write about. So, enjoy it or despise it while it lasts. And if you despise it just stop reading or something.

Jeff Probst and his Final Solution

"Survivor", responding to claims the show is "too white", has decided to try to provoke a race war in an attempt to diversify the show.

The Survivors will be divided into four teams of five along racial lines, i.e. there will be a Latino team, a white team, a black team, and an Asian team.

Now, even as far back as the first two seasons we had our suspicions that the show was racist. I mean, was it just coincidence that the first two black guys they had on the show were only shown loafing around while everyone else talked shit on them? And who can forget the important immunity challenge when Gervase's torch wouldn't light. Hmm, quite the coincidence, eh, Fuhrer Probst?

So, CBS decided that if they were going to be forced to present a more diverse Survivor they were going to make these teams fight against the white man. I'm making fun of it, and it is pretty ridiculous in a lot of ways, but at the same time I'm kind of intrigued to see how it will play out. I mean, there's no way they'll go into the merger with a white alliance voting out the minorities would they? Can you imagine the controversy as the KKK tries to jump on the bandwagon? And does cheering for the white team make me a racist or does cheering against them make me a "traitor to my race" as the nazis would say? I can't cheer for whitey! He's The Man. If watching Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle have taught me anything it's that white people are lame!

It's always funny when Probst decides he needs someone to get voted off or save someone and rigs the challenge. If he needs a man gone it's a balancing challenge, if he needs a dominant athlete gone its a giant puzzle, etc. So, I think it's going to be pretty funny when they start having obviously biased immunity challenges based on racial stereotypes. An SAT challenge, a Survivor NBA league, or a take jobs the white man doesn't want challenge. Dammit, see this show is already making me me into a racist stereotyper!

What is also kind of interesting about the show is the fact that they recruited most of the contestants themselves meaning most of them are from California and a fairly large number are actors. In fact, a few of them have even been on CSI. How convenient.

Here's an interview with Herr Probst on the decision and creation of the show. This quote made me laugh:
Their reaction was varied. I remember Yul (Kwon), who's on the Asian-American tribe, was concerned that we were going to portray people based on stereotypes. To which we said, "We don't portray you in any way. We just observe you and put the show on." And that reassured him. There were a few people who thought it was really exciting. I know Nate (Gonzalez) on the African-American team thought it was a great idea. He was jazzed about it.

"Yes, that's right, Yul. Survivor never portrays people any way. Now, what we need you to do is wear this pocket protector and say, "take picta" a lot. And, you, the other Chinaman. You work for the railroad now. Hey, can we get some buck teeth for this guy?"

And, wait, the guy on the black team is named Gonzalez? I'm so confused already.

Here Probst goes a little further into his brilliant strategy to provoke a race war.
We learned early on in "Survivor" if you take 10 people and give five of them a red flag and five of them a white flag, you'll have a rivalry. You don't need any more differences than "Your flag is a different color than my flag." That's why "Survivor" works. Now, the differences are more obvious. We don't need to explain what they are. In the beginning, are you wanting to beat the other tribes? Absolutely. That's how you get farther in the game. The question is: Do you want to beat them because they're a different ethnicity or because they're your competition?

I'm pretty sure a lot of that is straight out of "Mein Kampf" or something. So, what you're saying is the differences are obvious and the way to get farther in "the game" is to beat the other "tribes"? The only way we're going to "survive" is to overcome those with a different "flag color." I get your code words, Probst.
Undated file photo of Survivor host, Jeff Probst

Anyway, it's kind of an interesting concept but I'm not sure I can get behind CBS using a subject like that to get big ratings for their shows. Something just seems wrong about promoting a show pitting racial groups against each other. People will tend to read too much into it when it is just a game, espcially if CBS picked people according to stereotypes which they are almost guaranteed to do.

Stay strong, America! Resist CBS and their calls for a race war! Resist Probst and his fiery rhetoric! Resist the idea that you need to kill that latino dude over there just to survive!

Man, I hate Survivor Nazis.

Goodbye, Pluto

Those egghead, ivory tower astronomers have taken a vote and decided that Pluto is no longer a planet. For some reason we're all supposed to listen to them, I guess.

The official definition now reads, "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a … nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." Pluto is left out because it ducks inside Neptune every so often which is a pretty lame reason to kick it out. Isn't there something to be said for tradition without coming up with these "rules"? I don't know.

My problem isn't that they demoted Pluto to non-planetary status but that they left so many more questions unanswered. Like, what's the new acronym? I always learned "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizza Pies." However, even as a child, that always pissed me off that they added an extra "P" at the end. My teacher tried to justify it by saying that it really didn't matter but it did matter to me. You can't just add planet initials that don't exist! I'd blame it on my Kansas science education but this was from some movie we watched. Of course the title was probably, "God Created Dinosaurs so Humans Could Ride Them and Other Mysteries of Science Solved".

So, now we need a new acronym. MVEMJSUN.
"My Vulva Eats Manicotti Jumping Slowly Under Nothing"?
"My Very Easy Mother Just Sexed University Nuns"?
I'm really no good at these things.

Anyway, the most ridiculous section of the article was this gem:
It was unclear how Pluto's demotion might affect the mission of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which earlier this year began a 9 1/2-year journey to the oddball object to unearth more of its secrets.

How it will affect the mission? What the hell are they going to do?
"Well, it's not a planet anymore, turn that satellite around! At least it's not even a year out there yet."
I mean, seriously.

Teahen

An interesting note from the KC Star on the Royals' Mark Teahen. Right now he is tied for the 5th all-time increase in slugging percentage between a player's first and second years, jumping from .376 to .545. Somewhat interesting but is it really relevant? Well, of the seven players he's behind or tied with, at this point, six are in the Hall of Fame.

It will be interesting to see what they do with him. "Mr. Can't Miss" Alex Gordon should be in the majors sooner rather than later. They could move one of the guys to the outfield which seems like a smart move but if they could trade Teahen for a solid #1 or #2 pitcher that would seem like a smart move as well considering how bad they are in that respect. Personally, I'd like to see him stay but if they can get a really good trade from somebody it would make a lot of sense to pull the trigger.

But, this is the franchise that just became the second team to ever score 10 runs in the first inning and lose the game.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

All over the map

I'm going to be all over the map with this post. First, I'll talk about the Royals. They set a club record for first inning runs with 10 to go ahead 10-1 after one. At this point they lead 13-13 in the 9th. WTF? In the good news department 3B phenom Mark Teahen had 8 consecutive hits before being walked late in the game. He's been tearing shit up and making the Beltran trade look a little less like they gave him to the Astros.

A porn parade in Auckland, New Zealand drew more people than their Santa Claus parade. Well, duh. Everyone knows that Santa Claus isn't real but that hot sex porn stars make is clearly real. So are their breasts.

It really feels like there's nothing you can do to stop the genocide in Darfur and as far as things go this probably won't do much either but John Edwards has a petition to get the US to do something. I like Edwards a lot and genocides suck so go ahead and sign it. Hey, it might make you feel like you did something and it's about the easiest thing to do. Or at least go look at how serious John Edwards looks in his picture on this page. He's not fucking around.

Anyway, I really dig Edwards and I wish I could vote for him in Iowa for '08 but instead I live in a state where my presidential vote will never matter (or at least not for many, many years when Kansas miraculously sees the error of our ways).

Hey, here's a picture of a volcano blowing up taken by a real, live astronautman:

It's from the Cleveland Volcano located, oddly enough, in Alaska. Cleveland: Lakes on fire, yes...volcano eruptions, no.

I've always wondered what the Earth looked like covered in snow and I'd never seen a picture of it until now. This is the Great Plains after a big snowstorm and it looks white, just like I thought it would. You can see the banks of the Missouri River.

Anyway, I could post pictures from this all day but here's the website to search for whatever you want to. Although, honestly? You can find most of the pictures on Google Earth but they do have some unique ones like the volcano and snow pics. Plus, they have over 250,000 astronaut photos going back to 1961.

Monday, August 21, 2006

From the "Kill Two Birds with One Stone" Category...

During his press conference today Bush said, "We’re not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president. That would be a huge mistake."

Well, shit, we get to impeach him and we can get out of Iraq? I call that win-win. By the way, the war now has 61 percent opposition and 54% find him dishonest.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Some awards from my most recent trip to Ames

Most Ironic Bumper Sticker: "Buy American" on a new VW

Best Casino Videoboard Promotion: "$5 Slots with Free Corn Dog". Umm, I'm in. Gambling addiction here I come.

Best Person: Me for helping a guy jump start his car at the rest stop. He had some 90 year old grandma in the front seat and she looked really confused. As he was leaving he said he wasn't "going to shut it off again until he got home. No more potty breaks." I hope Grandma can hold it.

Worst People: The idiot girls in Welch Ave station that stood behind us and had a long, rambling conversation about the most inane bullshit at the top of their lungs. Seriously, shut up.

Best Food: Battle's BBQ...duh

Friday, August 18, 2006

Soccer racists

Soccer received another black eye this week when 200 Croatian fans formed a giant "human swastika" in the stands on Wednesday during their game in Italy. The game was played in a "leftist" town, the Lawrence of Italy, if you will.

As a side note, the Human Swastika is an American Dance Craze that never became an American Dance Craze according to McSweeney's.

Italy has its own share of racists as evidenced by Lazio's salute which they claim has nothing to do with fascism or anything like that. Get out of here, are you crazy?

I mean, so they look exactly the same. Big deal! Here's the caption from the photo on Foxsports.com
Lazio's forward Paolo Di Canio gestures towards Lazio fans during a match against Juventus at Rome's Olympic stadium on December 17, 2005. Di Canio is to face a disciplinary hearing over his fascist salute allegedly made in a match against Livorno. Di Canio insists there is nothing to the salute outside of its role with Lazio supporters.

Right, and the role with Lazio supporters is they're fascists. But, don't forget AS Roma.


I don't know what it all means other than there are a lot of racist assholes out there at soccer games. It's good that FIFA is trying to do something but they waited way too long and places like Italy are still waiting too long to do something like this. The stories of some of the racist taunts that goes on at those games is unbelievable.

That's why you should just stick to good old-fashioned socialist teams like St. Pauli.


I was going to say that for all the race problems we have here in the US at least that type of stuff is fairly uncommon (at least that I've noticed). But then I thought about that battle to keep the confederate flag out of Ole Miss football games or the NASCAR events and is it really all that different?


I'm gone for the weekend so have fun and be safe or whatever your parents used to say to you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ellen Feiss

I miss her.

And it was like beepbeepbeepbeepbeep

I didn't even remember I missed her until I saw she's starring in some French movie now. Those commercials were the best.

sounds of the stadium

Some of my college friends and I had a bit of a tradition of creating "Big Game" mixes to listen to while tailgating. They're usually something good to get the crowd fired up. Some Kenny Loggins, "Numba 1 Stunnas", with a healthy dose of ISU fight songs, etc. On one of Swany's he put two different versions of "Bear Down Chicago Bears", the normal version and one that can only be described as "faggy." I'm not big on using that word but it fit the song so well.

However, it appears the Carolina Panthers are attempting to top that version with their own, "Stand and Cheer for Carolina". They had previously used the song until they realized that everyone hated it and went with the more predictable, and newly-banned, "Rock and Roll, Part 2".

This stupid Gary Glitter sex crimes scandal is affecting the Chiefs as well. I mean, just because a guy molests some kids in Vietnam we can't play his song anymore? Hasn't he been punished enough with the Vietnamese prison time that we don't need to purge the one positive thing he contributed to society? I mean, I saw, Brokedown Palace and even though that was set in Thailand it's still probably pretty similar. Give us back out "Rock and Roll Part. 2"!

It sucks because the fans voted for the new song and of course they screwed it up. Well, really the Chiefs screwed it up with the choices they gave the fans.

Red, by Sammy Hagar
Elevation, by U2
Boom, by P.O.D.

Hmm, crappy song by a crappy 80's rocker, crappy song by a legendary band whose best days were in the 80's, and crappy song by crappy nu-metal group with no redeeming values.

P.O.D. won. Whoopee. Honestly? The song sucks but Arrowhead will be loud enough that it won't matter. It definitely will sound a lot better than Bono's "whooooohooooohoooo"'s.

Monday, August 14, 2006

More Twin Cities fun

One more story from my Twin Cities trip. On Saturday we went to the Pizza Luce block party in Uptown Minneapolis (it was fun and it was in Minneapolis. Paul's test checks out). There were a bunch of bands playing and Shawn's friends apartment window literally looked right onto the stage but most of the time we were in the yard listening and drinking some beer.

Veronica and I were chilling in the front yard when this pretty scuzzy guy kind of runs onto the lawn and sits down. He keeps looking over his shoulder saying, "this is private property. This is private property."

Of course it's not hard to predict that a guy in a security shirt came around the corner after him. The guy starts saying, "I'm on private property, you can't kick me out, these are my friends! This is private property."

The security guard assures him that he's not kicking him off the property but that he isn't welcome back to the event.
"When we tell you to get up and you can't get up that means you have to leave."

Security leaves and the guy starts bitching about it and then asks everyone for beer. He really didn't need any more beer. The next time I saw the guy he was chasing the between acts burlesque dancer and her friends down the street.

But, what an awesome event. Beer, good pizza, bands, and burlesque dancers. The girls in our group weren't as impressed that there weren't any male dancers but does anybody really want to see a guy with a pasty down there twirling around?

The worst part of that night was seeing five security guards beat the crap out of some poor kid. Maybe the kid deserved to be kicked out but he didn't deserve to be bent over a metal fence and have a knee cut off his windpipe. Veronica (who knows shit about the proper way to restrain from working with crazy kids) ran up to them and started yelling. I had to hold her back because I was scared they were going to go after her too but she went to each guy and bitched him out for doing that to the guy. It was a pretty cool thing to do. Fuck (fake) police brutality.

After the bands shut down we went to a place called the Red Dragon for a drink called the "Wondrous Punch". As Swany and I discussed today Asian restaraunts/bars always have some wicked drinks with hilarious names. This thing had 5 or 6 different shots in there with some pinapple and other fruit juices. After drinking beer for so long we all got pretty torn up but did manage to make friends with a Liberian immigrant, named Moses. He told us if he could hang out with us every day for the rest of his life it would make him so happy.

I tend to have that effect on people. After escaping a war-torn country he just wants to hang out with me. Who can blame him, really?

Back the Truck Up

I was up in Minnesota (or the Pacific Northwest as the geographically-challenged KC sports radio host referred to it) this weekend for a little fun before I lock myself in a library for the next few months. The whole weekend was a good time but I have to tell the story of one of my greatest video-gaming moments of all-time.

We had gone out to a St. Paul Minneapolis St. Paul bar called Chatterbox where you can rent various board games and a selection of Nintendo, Atari, or Sega Genesis games. We got Super Mario Bros 1 and Tecmo Super Bowl. It seems pretty clear to me that Tecmo Super Bowl is one of the best sports games ever and it probably ranks pretty high in the overall hierarchy as well. In my opinion it's maintained its playability better than any other Nintendo game out there and that's saying something.

I ended up playing Shawn in the second game of the evening and it was a game I'd played countless times before. Chiefs vs. Raiders. The Raider games always used to be brutal for me because not only is Bo Jackson one of the best video game characters of all-time but they have the underrated and overshadowed Marcus Allen as his backup. Things started off slow for me as I regained my bearings on the paddle. One of Shawn's friends that I met when he was down here in Lawrence for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament was talking some serious smack. He knew every play we should be calling, every run would have been a touchdown if he was playing, he knew every defensive player we should be using, you get the idea.

Finally, I said to the guy, "hey, I've been playing this game since before you even knew what a Nintendo was." That line got a good laugh and he was a little flustered but needless to say the gauntlet had been thrown. He tries to say I'm playing the wrong guy on defense and I say, "Derrick Thomas? Are you serious?"
"No, you're playing some Shaefer guy."
"No, I'm pretty sure that's Derrick Thomas." And within the next few plays Thomas has two sacks and a safety.

I come back in the second half to win the game and prepare for the showdown. Now, I'd seen this guy play in his first game and he definitely knew the game pretty well so I was hoping I could keep it close and maybe pull out a win.

He picks the Giants so I know he's playing for keeps and I decide to stick with what I know best, my Kansas City Chiefs. The tension was palpable as he won the toss and chose to kickoff. I knew that the Giants defense was tough and I needed to set a tone right away. While Christian Okoye is one of the better players in the game I've kind of decided he doesn't match up as well against another human player because he's just not fast enough and a good player with a quick defender can eliminate a lot of his banging. But, Stephone Paige is a bit of a secret weapon for the Chiefs so some well-timed throws and fortunate catches can really make a big difference. With some solid playcalling I march right down and the field and Okoye plunges in from one yard out and a 7-0 lead.

Now, it was time for DT to take over. Of course there was a lot of blame thrown around. The Giants plays suck, I only chose them for their defense, etc. Going into the 4th quarter I'm up 17-0. He scores a garbage TD but I answer with a quick one to finish him off 24-7 with a dominating performance to refute all of his trash talking. It's always a glorious moment to vanquish your foe after some good-natured smack talk. Welcome to the big leagues, son.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The stuff legends are made of

There are always individual performances in basketball games that will go down in history. Like Wilt scoring 100 or Kobe pouring in 81. Now, we can add one more number to that list. 47. That's right, Diana Taurasi set the WNBA scoring record with 47 points. And it only took her two overtimes to do it. We're still waiting for official word on if she set the record for fundamentals in one game.

Finally, here is a link for those of you that rolled your eyes at the autistic kid chucking threes. Basically, in a Utah kids league championship game the other team walked the best hitter in the 9th to get the worst hitter out. The worst hitter is a cancer survivor and a lot weaker than the other kids so there was a lot of controversy over that for some reason and the kids dad said it made him sick that they went after the weakest chick in the flock. Basically, this guy sums it up as, no shit. It's baseball. If you want the kid to be treated like everyone else than let him be treated like everyone else, otherwise, don't send him to the plate with two out in the bottom of the 9th.

Now, I'm not always on board with the "throw the kids to the wolves to toughen them up crowd" but you can't expect the other team to throw a game or whatever because you have a cancer kid on your team, can you? Maybe I'm a mean asshole that hates kids with cancer, I don't know.

Here's the opposing team's coach's take, "Do we let the kid feel like he's a winner by having the whole league play easy on him? This isn't the Special Olympics. He's not retarded."
Umm, well, maybe I'm not so much on their side anymore but this would make a great movie villian coach.

But, the kid is really the only sane one in the group.
"I'm going to work on my batting. Then maybe someday I'll be the one they walk."
See? He's not made of glass? He was challenged like millions of other kids are every day and it motivated him to get better.

Also, I think the guys I know should read this blog because it's funny.

Oh yeah, and I was listening to the radio this weekend and they were playing the NFL Hall of Fame speeches and Reggie White's son independently inducted him into the "Life Hall of Fame" as well.

First, did anyone know there was such a thing? Of course not, because it's the fucking stupidest idea for a hall of fame ever and it doesn't exist. Second, does making ridiculous hasty generalizations on all minorities and homosexuals get you in because I think a lot of people from my hometown just might need a nomination.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Livin Life in tha Ghetto

And we ghetto like a motherfuckin hot buttered toast
In the mornin with some government cheese
We keep it ghetto like a nigga shootin dice on his knees
Get your money first rule number one, hello
Livin it up is livin life in the ghetto
-Tha Eastsidaz

Aight, lemme tell ya a little somethin about livin life on the streets. I'm talkin bout comin up in the ghetto on the corner of 14th and Tennessee.

I just moved to a new building between downtown Lawrence and campus. It was pretty cheap and kind of stuck out in my 'hood since it wasn't an older house or a frat house down the street. Sort of our own version of the projects due to the cheap rent. Somebody tagged the wall in the parking lot with some graffitti including (seriously) "14th and Tennessee Bloods". On the wires overheard there are a couple pairs of shoes tied together and there's trash blowing around. Ghetto. However, I never really knew how ghetto it was until Tuesday night.

My friend Leslie was visiting for a few days this week and we had just returned from the Royals-Red Sox game. A quick sidenote on the game, it was a blast because there was a big crowd, KC won, and I about got my ass kicked by a Sox fan. We were in the beer line and as he was leaving with his he heard the Sox guy get thrown out and he says "fuck the Royals!" Now, Sober Ben will look at the size of this dude's arms and decide "he's probably drunk and not a stranger to Roid Rage." This is sort of a Goofus and Gallant thing because Drunk Ben will let years of frustrating baseball affect him and think, "what the hell is this guy doing coming into my stadium and talking shit on my team?" so I say, "Fuck you." As the guy was walking off he said something about enjoy last place and I think, damn, I could be getting my ass pounded into the pavement right about now.

But, the Royals got the best revenge by laying down like pussies for 4 games against the Twins and winning two in a row against the Sox including a walkoff single from Mike Sweeney(!) last night. I was happy for Sweeney because we saw his first game back from his injury and there were some boos mixed in with the cheers. Yeah, he hasn't performed for what he's getting paid and he's been hurt a lot but it's not really his fault everyone around him either sucks or could probably use another year in the minors.

So, back to Tuesday night. After the game we chilled in the apartment for a bit and then decided to head down to a bar. At the bottom of the stairs is a group of guys. They see me coming down and start in with stuff like, "hey, it's the new guy! Alright!" and all this stuff like that so we're introducing ourselves and they're telling me that I need to come down and party with them sometime and I say I'd definitely be into that. So, they're yelling at the guys at a house party across the street calling them "fags" or whatever. I'd seen those guys out the last few days and they were pretty much typical asshole fratguys. The guys in my place looked pretty much like skater kids so they're obviously natural enemies. In fact, two of the guys were dripping blood everywhere from their arms because they had been luging down the giant hill coming from campus toward the busy 14th street. They were all about bleeding on the street.

We're continuing the conversation and they ask if I have any guns.
"Umm, no, I don't. Not here anyway."
"Oh, well you're living in Matt's old place. He had four guns. He had a .44 Mag, a shotgun, a .45, and something else."
"No shit. Did you guys ever shoot them?"
"No, he never shot anything. Well, one time he shot at the stoplight."

So, another dude comes up and one of the guys says, "Hey, this is the new Matt without the guns."

They invite us in for some Jagerbombs and they load their hookah up (with tobacco) and it seems like a normal night I've had a thousand times. Of course, I forget I'm in the ghetto.
And his hunger burns
so he starts to roam the streets at night
and he learns how to steal
and he learns how to fight
In the ghetto
-Elvis Presley

In stumbles one of the guys I met outside and his face is covered in blood. I mean, he could barely stand up and it was gushing off the entire left side of his head.
"Oh, shit, what happened man? Did they jump you?"
"What happened? Who did it?"
He mumbles, "Those dudes jumped me."
The two guys on the couch jump up and charge out the door. As they are leaving the door one of the guys turns to me and says, "If you wanna be with us, you'll fight."

I have this shocked look on face as I turn to Leslie and said something like, "I'm not going to fight."
She goes to check on the guy in the bathroom and asks if he's ok. He says no and she asks if she can help at all and he says, "you need to get the fuck out of here."
Umm, sounds like a good plan to me. While she was doing that I had gone outside to see what was happening. I see one of the guys running up to this porch with about 15 guys standing on it yelling at them to tell him who did it. The next thing I see is a cop car come flying up the street with his lights flashing. Apparently they had been watching the two groups because of the trouble from before but I'm kind of wondering where they were when this guy was getting his ass beat.

We go up to the balcony on the third floor to watch the whole thing and they already had two or three guys in handcuffs. At one point there are 6 cop cars, an ambulance, and a paddy wagon there. Around the corner comes the second guy that was downstairs with us and apparently got away. He was pissed about the whole thing and said, "Man, I was going out there with a weapon and I saw the cop come down the street but I got away. Hey, come see my weapon."
He takes us around the corner to where he had hid his weapon which was about a three foot long bamboo stick with a handle on it. I mean, apparently I'm living next to freaking Donatello here.

So, I'm talking to one of my neighbors about it and Leslie goes to see what is going on downstairs. The guy that got jacked is crying because his buddy got arrested for trying to defend him and is talking crazy about how he wants to go kick some cop's ass and his friend was like, "you know, you need to calm down. That's a really bad idea."

I haven't had a chance to talk to any of them to see how things ended up but last night was pretty quiet. However, I know things can flare up any time in the ghetto and you grow up quick. I'm kind of beginning to see why Matt had so many damn guns.
Cause thats the life when you're
Living in the ghetto
Eating in the ghetto or
Sleeping in the ghetto, ghetto
-Akon

That didn't take long

Bush's favorite Democrat Joe Lieberman lost in his Senate primary earlier this week. One of the reasons I despised Lieberman is because he was always on Fox News or Hannity's radio show having a love fest with them bashing other Democrats. Back in the day I used to listen to a little Hannity at work just because there's nothing like being worked into a frothing rage to make the time go by more quickly and he was always asking Joe how he could help him get re-elected and all that crap.

Well, Joementum loses and Hannity doesn't waste any time in stabbing him in the back. I guess on his show he was asking why any Republican would ever consider voting for that "liberal" Joe Lieberman. Wow, shocking. You mean, Hannity was just using Joe? Naaah. Of course, there's more than a little irony that the man that could have been vice president right now if not for a third party candidate in 2000 is now abandoning his party and running as a third party candidate. It's all about himself to this tool and it will be nice to have the Republicans' errand boy in the Democratic party gone.

Friday, August 04, 2006

BillO'Lielly

Here is the latest video from the Keith Olbermann-Bill O'Reilly feud. In case you haven't seen it they've been going back and forth about O'Reilly's lies to the point where he freaks out if anyone mentions Olbermann's name on his radio or TV show. Well, on his lame show he had Geraldo on and they were whining about how everyone is enjoying Mel Gibson's meltdown.

On a sidenote what kind of a country do we live in when blaming your DUI (and every war) on "the Jews" is wrong? But seriously, isn't it pretty obvious now that Gibson is a raging anti-Semite? How can people still be trying to justify it by saying he was drunk and may have been stringing together random thoughts. Yes, his random thoughts just amazingly turned into a rant on the Jews. It was the best of times it was the blurst of times. First, you had the Passion of the Christ thing which I don't know if it was anti-Semitic or not but Mel decides to produce a mini-series on the Holocaust for ABC. Whether he was pro or anti we'll never know. Then his ultra-Catholic Opus Dei or whatever dad goes on the radio and says the Holocaust wasn't that bad and Mel won't disagree with him. Then there's his rant on the jewcops. I'm sensing a pattern here.

Anyway, O'Lielly and Geraldo are whining about everyone piling on poor old Mel when they suddenly bring Olbermann into it. BillO says they should point these people out but then refuses to name "He Who Shall Not Be Named". Olbermann proceeds to smack them down.

Bill has some amazing quotes. Like this one.
"No. You go after the master. It's like going after the rappers. You don't go after the rappers. You go after the masters."
So....is he talking about Master P? Grandmaster Flash? Funkmaster Flex? I'm so confused here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A telemarketer just called me offering some sort of package to travel to Branson.
"Do you all like to go to Branson?"
"Umm...no."

What the hell kind of marketing list did I get on that they're offering me trips to Branson? That is seriously one of the last places I would ever choose for a vacation. It just sounds like pure hell on earth. Horrible traffic, hoards of the elderly shuffling to see somebody sing Andy Williams songs, overpriced crappy food. I mean, sure they have Yakoff Smirnoff but other than that? No thanks.

In Branson car drives you! What a country!

In an unrelated note here's Stephen Colbert on Wikipedia. They had to lock his page and several on elephants. Classic.

I was fairly undecided on efforts to eliminate the penny until now. The efforts stem from the fact that it currently costs 1.4 cents just to make a penny and you can't even buy anything with it. All transactions would be rounded to the nearest five cents which kind of makes sense except now there are those trying to save the penny. Leading the way? K-Fed. Hey, at least he's doing something.

Back in the USSR

So, I'm back in Kansas. My vacation was great and I have some pretty cool stories to tell but I'll have to wait until sometime this weekend when I get my computer set up and load all of my pictures on it.

But, I will tell one story of me looking like a huge hick trying to get on an airplane. Rachel and I were going through security and trying to figure out who was going to hold which drinks and bags and I was taking my film canisters out of my bag because I thought the x-ray might ruin it or something. Because I was distracted I forgot to take anything out of my pockets and of course I beeped. The guy tells me to take stuff out and maybe my belt. So, I toss my keys in the thing and take off my belt. I'm reaching into my pocket and feel some change at the bottom but I have so much crap in there I decide to leave it. And of course I beep again. The guy says, "you only get two chances" so I am shepherded into a little roped off area while he waits for backup to arrive.

He tells me to take anything else metal out of my pocket so I dig in and grab the change and about five gum wrappers. He says he sees something else in my pocket so I pull the roll of film out. He tells me that is encased in metal and will set the alarm off and starts scanning me with the wand. He decides to inform me that "this is a metal detector, sir."

Yeah...I'm aware of that but I'm an idiot. He's scanning and patting and scanning some more when my pocket beeps. Shit, my cell phone. Once again, he looks at me like I'm a total moron (justifiably) and explains how much metal is in a cell phone. Thanks. Really, though, I just didn't think it was that sensitive and I panicked or something. One more intense patdown and I'm free to go.

"Sir, if you plan on doing much flying you might consider taking everything out of your pocket before you go through the machine."
"Yeah, I think I'll do that."