Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shomer Shabbos!

Did you know it's the 10th anniversary of The Big Lebowski's release?

I'm not sure if theres ever been a more quotable movie ever made. I love dropping a "Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here" or "Whoo! I'm throwing rocks tonight" after a strike. The Dude abides.

Friday, March 28, 2008

5 years

With all of the coverage of the five year anniversary of the Iraq War I've considered writing about it but honestly I haven't done it because it seemed to hard for me. I'd write a long, rambling, emotional post that would be surrounded by talk about the NCAA tournament. It just seemed not quite right but for some reason I'm writing it now.

I still remember where I was when the war began. It was Spring Break and I was in Chicago. I remember the giant war protest that shut down Lake Shore Drive. I remember the sports people wondering if the war would preempt the NCAA tourney. I remember when the war began with massive explosions over Baghdad, in an attempt to kill Saddam. I remember listening to Bush on the radio and a car full of people talking about how full of shit he was. I remember for the second time in my life watching the nightvision images of tracer fire and missiles over Iraq as breathless commentators created the new buzzwords of this war. "Shock and Awe", "imbedded coverage", "search for the weapons of mass destruction." Mostly I remember spending most of my time trying not to think about and doing other, fun things like partying on St. Patrick's Day, watching basketball, seeing the sights of the city.

Really, this war has barely touched my life at all. My cousin's husband spent two tours manning a 50 caliber machine gun on the top of a Humvee and might be going back but I've never even met the guy. A friend's brother was there but I barely know him either. This war hasn't truly intruded on my life like it has for many but for the last five years it's been a constant part of the background noise. I can think about sitting at People's in Ames looking at the somewhat small group of loyal protesters. I agreed with them wholeheartedly and would honk if I drove by but that small protest seemed so powerless in the face of the sneering opposition thousands of miles away with names like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice. I can still picture the one man who would stand at the corner of Welch and Lincolnway holding a sign with the number of dead soldiers on it. I lived my life as it went higher and higher. I was there when some drunk frat kid yelled something like "Yeah! 948!" I don't know if it's better or worse if he didn't really know what the sign meant. Now that sign would be at least 4004.

The New York Times published photos, names, and hometowns of the last 1000 soldiers to die there along with correspondence from some of them to their families and friends. It was incredibly sad as usual. I looked through the 4 full pages of photos looking for towns I know. It's hard to believe but some of those guys were probably 8th or 9th graders when this war started. Back when Iraq was an "imminent threat" and our Vice President spoke of mushroom clouds and secret meetings with al Qaeda. Before the goal was "bringing democracy to the middle east" or whatever the current rational is. Probably just to avoid leaving a giant clusterfuck instead of just a mild one.

I've really been struggling with what to do. I worry that if America leaves Iraq it will end up even worse than it is now. At the same time I wonder how much of a stabilizing presence the US is and how much more we can take. The troop "surge" is now credited by many for establishing peace in the region when the truth is al Sadr called off his militia and we started hiring the same thugs that were doing all of the killing a few short months ago. Oh, and not to mention that Iraq is now almost entirely a segregated country and there's not as much opportunity for some good old fashioned sectarian violence. Basically we're damned either way. Bush is going to run out the clock and hand this giant flaming turd with a ticking time bomb stuck in the middle over to the next president. McCain wants to keep us there for another hundred years. The Democrats claim to want us out but I don't really believe them on that either. If they do bring American soldiers home the spin will be that they lost the war just when we almost had it won, right?

The complicit media is now asking how this could have happened? They go to the same old tired hacks. Assholes like Bill Kristol say "the idea was good but the execution was bad." Democrat enablers say "we didn't know what we were getting into." Well, a lot of us knew exactly what we were getting into and that Iraq wasn't a real threat. Yeah, I'm just some asshole on his computer but there were actual weapons inspectors and foreign policy experts on both side warning you about this. Of course I never see any of them on TV because it's so much easier to pretend that all of us were duped.

There have been several quotes from those in the Bush administration that start something like, "No one could have predicted..." followed by something that would seem obvious to anyone with half a brain, like "that the Iraqi people might start to resent our presence?" Well, actually a lot of people could have predicted that but you marginalized and ignored them while you brought in the same circle of hacks you've always had.

Condi Rice continued this tradition by saying this:
"I thought it would be tough, but I didn't think it would be this tough." She added, "It's a society that's only now beginning to emerge."

Who could have guessed it would be this tough? Certainly not a National Security Adviser, right?

And then, "a society that's only now beginning to emerge"? You mean Iraq? The so-called "Cradle of Civilization"? The place that gave us agriculture, writing, algebra, government, just about fucking everything? Yes, it's great that we can give these people a society. Of course much of the archaeological record was destroyed when we failed to prevent the looting but that's beside the point.

Ridiculous. The arrogance, incompetence, and ignorance on display with this crew never ceases to amaze me. I still think about how the man sent over to Iraq to set up their stock market after the war had no financial training whatsoever but he did have the right family connections to get some job he thought would look great on a resume.

Anyway, I've barely scratched the surface of my outrage on this subject which itself only scratches the surface of my outrage over the Bush administration in general. We've lived through dark times. I truly hope that someday I will be able to look back and say it was bad but it's over now. I hope we can somehow repair the damage that can be repaired. For many it's too late but perhaps we can prevent a similar retrospective in 5 more years.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Duke hate

I wasn't sure it was possible to like West Virginia any more than I already did after they beat Duke but that was before I read some of their quotes after the game. Holy shit, these guys rule. Here is a collection of them. My absolute favorite is the last one about Paulus. What an overrated turd. If the fact that Duke has been blown up in the early rounds 2 years in a row isn't enough to show that "McDonald's All-American" is absolutely BS I'm not sure what is.
Alexander on breaking down Duke on film: “We knew that coming in that they were just going to stand around and not rebound. So we were ready to exploit that.”

Alexander on the Duke mystique: ““We don’t care that they’re Duke. That doesn’t mean anything to us. People look at West Virginia like we’re this mid-major school playing all these big schools and upsetting them. That’s not the case at all.”

West Virginia center Jamie Smalligan: “We don’t have any McDonald’s All-Americans and we don’t have any guys who were the No. 1 player in their state. But I think that Coach K would love to have Joe Alexander on his team right now.”

West Virginia guard Joe Mazzulla: “Duke is a great team with a great tradition and they have a great coach. But when you have the media coming up to you and constantly asking you about Duke’s tradition and we’re getting overlooked. We’re a good team, and we’re a great team when we play the way we did in the second half. I think Coach Huggins as well as the rest of the teams want to get to a point where teams have to worry about playing us and not us have to worry about playing other teams.”

Alexander on the Big East vs. the A.C.C.: “People are always hating on the Big East. I don’t understand why. We came in the fifth in the Big East and we manhandled a good A.C.C. team.”

Cam Thoroughman asked whether Duke’s Greg Paulus was one of the eight McDonald’s all-Americans. When told yes, Thoroughman said, “Oh my God. Are you kidding?”

Friday, March 21, 2008

My descent into Madness, part 6

2:33 PM
I'm back! I can hardly believe I'm still typing. I'm basically doing this by feel since my contacts have fused to my eyes after staring at a screen for several more hours at a time. It took all of about 5 minutes for CBS to switch us from the Texas vs. Austin Peay game, which is now 20-5, to Georgetown-UMBC, a much better 21-17. I like pronouncing UMBC as one word. Oohmmbk.

I admit it, I'm a fan of the DirectTV commercial girl but I really hate those CapitalOne commercials with the Frankenstein and Star Wars knockoffs. What are you trying to do here, creep me out? This is really awkward staring at that guy's rubber codpiece suit.

I may have just heard of UMBC a few days ago but they have really cute cheerleaders. Butler is leading South Bama by 3. Really tight game but I need to use this time to grab some beer from the store.

3:06 PM
New Belgium and PBR on sale so I got both. The line was way too long. 1st guy in line buying three smallish bottles of Smirnoff and his credit card wouldn't work. Next woman was buying wine and had to talk wine for a while. Then they were arguing about whether this guy should call the other store to see if they had the Spnaish wine she wanted. Fortunately she realized the rest of us would have been pissed if the guy had actually gone through with his offer. Next woman had 5 bottles of wines and various liquors. The guy in front of me had lived a hard life and was buying 2 tall boys of Beast. When ya gotta get a buzz cheap, I guess... I like that store because it's close and has a good selection but the employees always act like they're doing me a major favor just by ringing me up. Hey, asshole, it wouldn't kill you to act like you weren't totally put out by my mere presence in your store. The manager is super friendly but he is oblivious to everything that goes on around him.

So, what's going on with basketball? Seems that San Diego is leading UConn. Hmm, Western Kentucky and San Diego 2nd round?

Georgetown was pulling away, Butler is pulling away, Texas is still cruising. Looks like I'm going to have to count on this UConn game but it seems they're going to show something else.

I've cracked open my first Fat Tire. If you thought this blog was inane and poorly written before, well, you're in for a treat.

3:41 PM
A Fat Tire certainly helps when you're watching Texas sleepwalk to a 24 point lead. Some cop behind Texas' bench thinks something is really funny but he keeps trying not to laugh.

Sometimes Rick Barnes looks like the living undead with those circles under his eyes. All hail Zombie Coach. Braaains. Brraaaains.

By the way, keep a look out for a guy named Mooney in this Texas game. He came in at the end of the KU-UT Big 12 Championship game. I think he's only a freshman but he looks exactly like Will Ferrell in a basketball uniform (without the fro). Seriously, he looks like he's 30, slightly overweight, balding. Before he came in he was talking to Barnes on the sideline and I was trying to figure out why they made their managers wear the warm up tops. Then Barnes tells him to go in and he looked at him like "uhh, seriously coach?" It was hilarious. We couldn't figure out why the hell he was in there. Then KU turned the ball over and he had to stay in on their key offensive possession. I was convinced it was some sort of tie-in with the movie Semi-Pro and he wasn't actually on their team.

4:12 PM
Hey, it seems that this San Diego (I believe it's German for whale's vagina) vs UConn game might be decent. Well, except that UConn is on a 9-0 run. Go fuck yourself, San Diego.

4:24 PM
What's the deal with that State Farm commercial? Specifically the girl that says she lost all her money in Vegas. What exactly will State Farm do for degenerate gamblers? Also, that was a pretty ridiculous three that USD guy hit a second ago. They are clutch...just hit another one That's possibly my favorite part of the tournament, when some team gets hot and knocks down every big shot.

4:37 PM
Announcer "This ain't Carmen San Diego!"
Wow, good one. Hey, where is she, by the way?

4:43 PM
Announcer says UConn can win it with a three when they can only tie it. They hit a two and he says they are tied when they are actually down one. Come on, that's pretty unforgivable as an announcer.

4:50
yovertime! USD had a layup but blew it.

4:55
Still a tight game. UConn is shooting to get within one. I really don't like Calhoun by the way. He just seems like an ass.

5:02 PM
Why does San Diego not put anybody under the basket to rebound on free throws? The guy is a 56% shooter and everyone else is back. Seems like you could put one or two guys down there and still be able to get back on D. UConn shooting 2 down by 1 with 9 seconds left.

5:07 PM
San Diego long jumper....GOOD! This is bad for my bracket but I'll make an exception for UConn. 1.2 seconds left....GAME OVER!

Looks like I'll have a "Phantom Game" since UConn and Drake both blew it.

Hope this evening is as good. I probably won't be blogging it so, enjoy...

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My descent into Madness, part 5

11:42 AM
Hey, I'm back. Right now I'm in what I call the "Golden Zone." This is the zone that exists sometimes when you live in an area that gets two different affiliates and both of them are showing a different game. It happens sometimes during the NFL season and right now 13 is showing Davidson and Gonzaga and 5 is showing Drake (Love the Drake!) vs. the Hilltoppers and their wannabe Grimace mascot. If I want to watch American (FUCK YEAH!) play Tennessee or St. Mary's v Miami I have to get on my computer. Sometimes CBS screws me over and shows a live look-in of the same game. Like right now.

Drake (Hate the Drake!) and WKU is the more entertaining game as both of them are just throwing rocks from downtown. I haven't see WKU play but I know Drake does this regularly. As you can tell I alternately love and hate the Drake. On the one hand it's a pretty awesome story that they have a couple of walk-ons that suddenly started playing out of their minds. This Emmenecker kid never played more than 8 minutes a season until now and suddenly he's the MVC player of the year. Plus he has four freaking majors.

On the other hand, they're Drake and they beat ISU by like 35 this year and were also one of only four teams to beat the '99-2000 Cyclones. I'm not sure I've ever met an actual bigtime Drake fan in my life but I assume they have to exist somewhere. They certainly came out of the woodwork this year. But, when it comes down to it, I'm cheering for them today.

11:49 AM
Commercials. I realize I'm watching a Flomax commercial so I flip over just in time to hear the same commercial say "decrease in semen" again. I'm so glad I'm not a kid anymore watching games with my dad and feeling really uncomfortable hearing about "4 hour erections" and watching that guy throw footballs through a tire. Yeah, I get the symbolism.

11:51 AM
Zags and Davidson scoring quite a bit. Tough to decide which one to watch but it's pissing me off that Zags are up by 8.

11:53 AM
Is it racist to say all of Drake's white guys look alike?

11:54 AM
I can't take WKU's coach seriously with that part in his hair. He's a cowlick away from a starring role in a Little Rascals movie.

12:14 PM
Pizza in the oven. Is it just me or are Subway's 10th Anniversary of Jared commercials the worst idea since using Jared as a spokesperson in the first place? Maybe if I knew how much they were getting paid I would reconsider but it would have to be A LOT of money for me to be in that commercial saying things like "in college you were 450 pounds" or whatever.

12:21 PM
Still thinking about Jared. I think the whole concept is bullshit. There are tons of ways to lose weight and probably many that are less expensive and healthier than eating Subway every day. Are we to believe he's been eating these for 10+ years?

12:22 PM
CBS once again has all of their games at halftime. Nice work. Drake gives up a run at the end of the half to go down 9.

12:43 PM
Davidson falling apart but American (FUCK YEAH!) is hanging with the Vols.

12:53 PM
I like how they're the American Eagles. I'm just waiting for the Abercrombie Andfitches to make the tourney.

I found out that in my bracket with my extended family I somehow failed to change one of my picks to Notre Dame so I actually only had 12 points and am in last there. I'm bringing shame to the family while my dad picked 15 of 16. Clearly he's been holding back his knowledge. We do, however, have the same final four (along with 75% of the rest of America, I think).

12:57 PM
Oh snap, two white guys just combined for an alley oop from past halfcourt. Not that I want to perpetuate racial stereotypes but that not something you see very often. I'm going to have to write a long post about how teams with white guys are always described as playing fundamental basketball no matter how they play just so I don't feel guilty about typing that.

12:59 PM
You're killing your father, St. Mary. You too, Drake. Come on, guys. Miami has gone up 6 and Darke is down 13. Zags up 5. I'm looking at a 1-3 morning.

1:04 PM
Things are getting interesting. I Am American (and so can you) has weathered some torrid Tennessee shooting to cut it to 1 (and as I type it Tennessee hits another three to go up 6). Davidson and the Zags are tied. Drake still can't defend WKU and channel 5 has switched to the Tennessee game. Speaking of Tennessee, why do you hate America?

1:06 PM
St. Mary is now down 14 to Miami. Wha happened?

1:07 PM
But, seriously, St. Mary, you see what happens? You see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass?

1:08 PM
Gonzaga is a 7 seed and has to fly across the country to play in the home state of the 10 seed?

1:10 PM
Some band in the Davidson game is butchering "Land of 1000 Dances." My high school pep band played that and we sounded way better than they did. Despite that this game is awesome.

1:18 PM
Anybody seen the commercial with the young Gred Oden look-alike sporting some sort of lambchop/beard combo playing pop-a-shot?

The bar across the street closed early and left their music on all night. It's still on now. If I actually slept here I might have walked over and ripped their expensive new patio speakers off the wall.

That CBS commercial reminded me that I don't think I watch a single one of their shows. Amazing Race and....? Is Ghost Whisperer on this channel? I watched that once. Great show. Apparently she talks to ghosts and gets them to go to heaven or something. It's like Ghostbusters but with a better looking lead character.

1:23 PM
The band in the Davidson game is now playing the Hey cheer. They really are noticably terrible.

Gonzaga throwing up horrible shots. St. Mary crawling back? Drake crawling back? The terrorists (Tennessee) are about to declare victory over American. They will be "Dancing in the streets" according to Rep. Steve King.

Oooooh! Huge rebound and shot by Davidson. Nice.

1:29 PM
Oh my God. Or should I say "Jesus?" They just showed Adam Morrison who apparently hasn't cut his hair since he was at Gonzaga. No wonder he hasn't done shit in the NBA with hair like that. Remember when he and Reddick were the best players in college basketball? Can imagine them going against Beasley or Hansbrough? Morrison still has the molester 'stache and is dressed in all black. He looks super depressed.

1:32 PM
Stephen Curry has 37 points....and counting. Up to 39. Damn. Davidson is going to win.

1:34 PM
This game is essentially over with 7 seconds left but CBS won't change to the other games. I hate you, Clark Kellogg. Curry's mom is sobbing as he is about to score his 41st point. Check that, he choked. He's got 40, 30 in the 2nd half. Billy Packer takes credit for predicting it.

1:36 PM
We switch over and Drake is within 5 with 3:07 left. Korver hitting from deep to bring them back. Those damn Korvers and their dominating the Missouri Valley. I want to see the Dieners vs the Korvers to see who controls the Midwest once and for all.

1:37 PM
Dieners will kick you in the face but I still take the Korvers.

1:41 PM
WKU falling apart...DRake within 1 on Young's three! Announcer: "Only the young survive!" Huh? What does that even mean? And when did Omar Epps start coaching for Drake?

1:44 PM
I'm pretty sure a Drake sign in the crowd says "DONT STOP BELIEVEIN". I thought Drake was a good school. Reminds me of what an ISU student was at a rally for more funding for the universities and had some ridiculous misspelling that made national news. For a while we were known for that, CUFFS (the BDSM club on campus), and Larry Eustachy. Hey, we invented the electronic digital computer too!

1:45 PM
Tie ballgame. Drake is nails. Cox has 17 points in the last 10 minutes.

1:46 PM
Really questionable charge call against WKU. Drake drives the lane and...swatted away. Going to overtime. Still think the charge call was really bad.

1:56 PM
"Emmenecker is like the buffet of the 3 point shooters. Who do I want to tee up next?"
BEcause you tee up a buffet? I don't get it.

1:58 PM
WKU inexplicably fouls with 30 seconds left in a tie game. It appeared to be intentional. Horrible end of game management. The announcer just called Korver's dad "one of the best pastors in the midwest." Yeah, like you would even know. Give me a break.

2:06 PM
Wild ending. Drake had about 5 tips and then gets fouled. 2 free throws and they go up 1 with just over 5 seconds left.

I'm shocked by how many Drake fans there are at this game. When I was at ISU they probably didn't have that many in their gym for a home game all season. It shouldn't surprise me though. As Swany and I used to say, "Iowans love a bandwagon." I wonder where all of those Rams fans are now that Kurt Warner is gone...

Holy shit...WKU hits the three to win. OH....SNAP!

2:10 PM
Goodbye Drake. Not that you cost me a pick in my bracket I can finally stop liking you. I hope your program returns to mediocrity and ISU beats you by 40 next year. :)


2:16 PM
Some intense games in the early session. 2 of the 3 going on now are also tight but I need a quick break...

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Mangino Madness

Here is the link to a photo of Mangino in Omaha yesterday. The dark splotch to his left is his freakishly tan wife. I'm disappointed Mangino didn't break out his velour sweatsuit. Green? St. Patrick's Day is ova!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

My descent into Madness, part 4

10:01 PM
I'm sure you're all waiting for part 4 so I thought I'd let you know that this is it. I lost all of my momentum after that Belmont-Puke game. Stupid ratface coach K with his smug sense of survival. I hate him. Hate him.

Two games are up in the air still (assuming George Mason's coach doesn't make another "inspiring" speech to spur them to a big comeback. Magic carpet rides? Huh?). I have USC beating Wisconsin in the next round so I wouldn't cry if they went ahead and lost here. I'd really like WVU to win though. That MSU-Temple pick still bugs me and the Big 12 won two games I had picked them to lose. I guess I should have been a homer.

Some final thoughts on the KSU-USC game. I never in a million years would have guessed Frank Martin could outcoach Tim Floyd but that's exactly what happened. KSU looked like this game meant everything to them and had a great gameplan and backup plan even when Beasley had to sit. Floyd's team fell apart and was nowhere to be seen on the glass. It's impossible to guess which K-State team will show up. They could play KU in the elite 8 or they could get blown out against Wisky. I'm feeling pretty good about the way they played tonight though.

Anybody seen the "Viva Viagra" commercial? Yep, just a bunch of dudes sitting around the recording studio singin' songs 'bout Viagra. Disturbing to say the least.

Have I mentioned how much I think Bo Ryan looks like a badger? How many other coaches can say they look exactly like their mascot? Maybe Jim Boeheim looks like an Orange Man but something about Bo's eyes and hair... Check it out.

Anyway, this is it for me tonight. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow but I'm considering drinking somewhere for part of the day...

By the way, this many hours in front of a TV and a computer is not healthy. I can't really focus on, well, anything other than a TV or computer screen.

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My descent into Madness, part 3

6:09 PM
Well, during the break between games I went for a run. It was shocking to me too. Anyway, I made it a block when some frat dudes sitting in their yard yelled and offered me a beer. I decided, why turn down a free beer? So I hung out with them while I had my beer before continuing my run. They weren't bad as far as frat guys go, I guess. I think their dad owned a dealership or something.

Tonight's games start off with K-State and USC. Could be a good game. I picked USC solely because Tim Floyd is coaching them and anytime you match him up against whatever Frankenstein clone that K-State hired I like their odds. Whoo! Belmont leads Duke 3-0! Please God...

6:12 PM
Walker hits a three for KSU. They'll need him to be hot if they have any chance to win. And another three for the Cats. Uh oh.

6:15 PM
Walker blows an alley oop and then gets stuffed. Walker is such a head case that something like that might actually get him off his game and hurting K-State. The only player that was possibly less mentally tough than he was would have to be David Harrison from Colorado. "What? Someone heckled me? I'd better flip out, get T'd up, and have a horrible game...every time I play Iowa State for the rest of my career."

6:21 PM
Wow, really bad call on Beasley for his 2nd foul. He heads to the bench as the NCAA places a call to David Stern to see how he fixes games using the refs. Bill Walker decides to take over by throwing up horrible shots.

6:23 PM
Beasley cracks me up because he always looks like he's either half asleep or stoned. Hmm...he is a big SpongeBob fan. But, seriously, some of his press conferences are hilarious because he's always joking around about this or that. There's a series of videos from their press conferences where they're always talking about some reporter's iPod that he puts by the microphone. In one of them Beasley leans over and whispers something like "hello iPod, I see you on YouTube." I love the internets.

6:27 PM
So, this commercial where the kids throw snowballs at the cars is hilarious too. Specifically the part where the first driver almost goes into a complete spin because some snowballs hit his stupid minivan. "Dododododoo...OHMYGOD!I'M LOSING CONTROL!!!" If cars really did do that when you threw snowballs at them I'd do it all the time.

7:24 PM
Ugh, leave me alone. I just spent the last hour making and then gorging myself on bratwursts and spinach salad. Too...full...to...type, but I want to mention how surprised I am about this game. Beasley did almost nothing in the first half and they still led by 10. Who knows what will happen with Martin in the future but he gets his guys to crash the boards...hard. It helps having a beast like Beasley but the other guys go balls to the wall too.

7:38 PM
This game has no flow with a whistle every trip down the court. Belmont is down 4 to Duke. I'd have a major Ken Bone if they won that.

7:40 PM
USC coming back but great pass by Beasley out of the double team to some streaking white dude. Seriously nice play. White dude comes back by fouling a guy for a potential three point play. Missed free throw but USC steals it back and Mayo has a chance for another three point play. In personal news I'm eating carrots and they taste like ass. I mean, moreso than usual. USC leads by 1 and Belmont up 2.

7:46 PM
This is what March Madness is all about. Multiple great games that look like they might be going down to the wire. Unfortunately I can only see one and have no idea how Belmont is doing it. Just as I type that CBS gives me the update. I'm glad this is looking better than the giant turds of the games this afternoon. Three games separated by a total of 1 point....

7:49 PM
Kevin Harlan is doing the USC-KSU game. He's a local guy so I hear him on the radio a lot and he does NFL and NBA games. He also kind of sounds like Marv Albert. Come on, Kevin, give us a "YES!" At least do some biting of prostitutes!

7:53 PM
Looks like I'm skipping Lost again. I'd make a joke about being "lost" when I watch the show again but isn't this blog above puns? Prolly not.

7:54 PM
"Nice little spurt by Kansas State." Let's ask Ken Bone about that one. (We're definitely not about making Ken Bone jokes for the next month)

7:56 PM These carrots are going to make me puke but I can't stop chewing them up and choking them down. I have a problem.

7:58 PM
CSI:Miami. I've never actually seen it but it just looks dumb. Big emotional music, people running from the wedding, stupid David Caruso sitting in the midst of all the trashed chairs as the woman says "this was supposed to be the happiest day of your life." Wah, cry about it. Your show sucks.

8:07 PM
CBS switches to the Duke game. I blame them if this goes poorly.

8:08 PM
Belmont leads by 1!

8:09 PM
Is that Vince Gill? I'm serious. What is he doing there?

8:11 PM
FOUL! PAULUS FOULED HIM!

8:16 PM
How can Duke foul them every time? Fucking Coach K.

8:17 PM
What the fuck was that? Ugh. I can't believe it.
K-State's going to win. There goes one of my Sweet 16 teams...

8:21 PM
Close but Belmont blew it and Duke somehow survives. Unlike another #2 seed I once knew. I hate Duke. That would have been the best upset of all time. Dammit.

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My descent into Madness, part 2

1:55 PM
I decide to use this first part of the 2nd games to take a quick nap on the couch. As I'm flipping through the channels during a commercial I see Charlie Rose doing an interview with a giant black eye and bandage over half his forehead. Apparently someone didn't appreciate the question...

25 or 30 minutes later
I wake up and see UNLV is already way up on Kent State. They show the graphic that the Flashers are 3-14 from the field and have 11 turnovers. They miss their next 6 shots and turn it over a few more times. Maybe they decided to nap through the first half like I did? If I was a fan that paid a bunch of money to watch that I'd be pissed.

2:36 PM
CBS still can't get their scoreboards to work right. They will randomly reset to 0-0. Can we get the other Gumbl to work on this?

2:45 PM
Baylor is losing by 16 to freaking Purdue, a team that ISU beat. I think I predicted every Big 12 team but KU and Texas to lose in the first round. It was a combination of the middle of the league not being that good and some bad matchups. Even though OU is a 6 seed I think K-State has the better shot to win against USC as an 11 seed.

3:27 PM2:48 PM
CBS stops showing the score of games at halftime. I missed exactly how many points Kent State scored in the 1st half and now I have to wait 20 minutes? They keep cycling through final scores but never that one. Fortunately I have the internets and they tell me that it is now 31-10 at half. ISU scored 10 points in the first half against Nebraska. They followed it up with 49 points in the second half and won the game.

3:03 PM
It's like 65 degrees outside and people are already flocking to the bar across the street. Suckers. Don't they know there's basketball on?

3:27 PM
Did someone win a contest to do play-by-play with Jay Bilas? This guy is absolutely horrible. I'm fully expecting him to drop a "Boom goes the dynamite" before this game is over.

3:35 PM
These afternoon games have laid a giant turd. UNLV by 20, Pitt by 24, Purdue by 18. The only think worth watching is UK-Marquette. 3 point game with 38 seconds left. And boom goes the dynamite.

3:41 PM
YOu'd think I'd be used to it by now but every time they show Tom Crean I wonder what Tom Arnold is doing on the sideline. OK, I'm fading here when I stoop to typing about that. Looks like Marquette will move on and I recover to go 4-0 after starting 2-1.

4:22 PM
Well, nothing exciting happened in the last few games. Now I just need to find a way to kill the next hour and a half. Hmm, I should have enough time for a Ken Bone flick.

4:24 PM
That should do it...

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My descent into Madness, part 1

Ah, it's March Madness again, or Ben's two favorite days of the year as I call them. It's been a longer wait than usual so I'm glad it's finally here. In fact, it seems the calendar in general is all screwed up this year. How can you have St. Patrick's Day several days BEFORE the tourney and Easter during the first weekend? The actual final is April 7??? I blame global warming.

To celebrate this monumental event I decided to try something of a live blog of the event. We'll see how well it goes or if I'm turned into a basketball watching zombie by 2 this afternoon.

10:18 AM.
I've already changed my bracket at least three times this morning. This is a more difficult task than you might think because I'm in 5 groups on 4 different sites. First, is my Yahoo bracket in the Coach J > Coach K group. Then there's the Ames bracket dedicated not to my former place of residence but the Ames side of my family. After that is the Bethelpeeps pool including the Lawrence folk. It's probably in the running for the highest concentration of Mennonites in a gambling pool. "Ooh, the Amish are so industrious. Nothing like those shiftless Mennonites" as Marge Simpson would say. Unfortunately I ended up joining these two groups under two different usernames meaning anytime I want to check the standings I have to log out and log in. Very convenient.

Speaking of convenient...those two groups are both through CBS Sportsline and I'm also in a CBS Sportsline bracket on Facebook but of course you can't actually change the bracket at the same time. Although CBS helpfully announces the to world that I've changed my bracket whenever I do in case people give a shit, I guess? My Facebook group is "I wish my mom was Olga Kaun" which includes this awesome picture of Sasha and his mom.

And finally I'm using ANOTHER Facebook application for Jesse's group that I'm assuming won't matter because I haven't been changing it. So, all of this means that in a few hours I'm going to be so pissed that I changed all of those games because youi know they were right the first time. I have absolutely no faith in all at my bracket and can guarantee that I'm going to be cursing myself later. I just can't seem to find any "surefire" upsets like I have in the past so I'm just kind of guessing on a few which never works out well. So...three paragraphs on my bracket and I haven't told you a single pick? You can tell I'm killing time until 11.

10:45 AM
I'm not sure I'm completely sold on Drew Carey as Price is Right host. It's impossible for anyone to step into Bob's shoes without some problems but he's always trying to joke around and the audience is clueless. It's like watching him flop for an hour every day. 3 people just tied for 95 cents. Never seen that before. The madness continues... The woman in the UCLA sweatshirt just fell on her ass. A precursor for the tournament? I hope not since I have them in the Finals.

11:15 AM
Start the games, plz.

11:21 AM
Xavier is looking good so far. I have them beating Duke eventually. Despite the events of last week there was a reason Georgia sucked all year, right? Well, as I type that Xavier blows a layup, a guy gets poked in the eye, and Georgia drives in for an easy layup. And we're headed to Omaha...let's go Jayhawks, I need you to come through for me this year.

11:25 AM
Sounds loud. Should be a fun atmosphere with KU and K-State at the same venue. Will they cheer for the other? In most years it's a little less hateful than ISU-Iowa but this year was pretty intense. The KU-K-State game in Lawrence was one of the loudest I've ever been to.

11:28 AM
Portland State struggling to dribble. This should be ugly. And as I type that they drill a three. I'm the king of jinx today.

11:46 AM
I just realized Portland State's coach is named Ken Bone. Heh. I think I saw a few movies he made in the 70's.

11:49 AM
Georgia is now ahead by 6. Goddammit. KU seems to be shooting a lot of threes but they're making them so I can't complain I guess. PSU's 5'6" guard just sliced through a double team. Quick dude. Not a quick dude is #44. Glaciers make quicker moves to the basket.

11:58 AM
Ken Bone is going to have to think long and hard at halftime about how he can penetrate this KU defense. Their only hope is to keep pounding and hope for the money shot at the end. Porn.

12:01 PM
When were the Vikings ever in Portland? Of course when did anyone in Salt Lake listen to Jazz music?

12:06 PM
Dan Bonner in an exasperated voice after another KU three: "Good heavens!"
Temple is imploding against MSU and UGA is pulling away. Like I said before, I hate my bracket.

12:09 PM
The CBS scoreboard is now telling me there are 19 minutes left in the first half of the Georgia-Xavier game and the score is 35-26. We might see some records fall in that one. At least Xavier has a shot to come back. Halftime of the KU game and they've already covered the 23 point spread.

12:18 PM
Temple's post man just stopped and switched his pivot foot trying to make a move to the basket. Hey, that's my move! Temple went on a little run since I started watching but they're still down 9 at half. I'd be more worried but I saw MSU play in KC and let a crappy Mizzou team back into the game late. Or at least I keep telling myself it will be ok.

12:23 PM
All three games at the half. First choke of the day for CBS. If you're going to work with Ken Bone you can't choke like that. Let's be professionals here.

12:24 PM
Clark Kellogg's first "fustrated" of the year. Clark, there's another "R" in there somewhere.

12:58 PM
Just like I predicted I spent all of that time changing MSU to Temple and then they get blown out. I hate my bracket. At least Xavier is on the comeback trail. Apparently Zach Morris plays for Portland State, by the way.

1:04 PM
Major props to CBS for giving me live look-ins to the Xavier game during what would be commercials. I'm sure Applebee's hates it that they can't show the idiots singing the Gilligan's Island song a billion times this month but I like it...and Xavier takes the lead on consecutive threes!

1:07 PM
Mark Mangino in the house. When Mangino sits around the court he literally sits AROUND the court. Haven't thought of that joke since grade school and I'm not really sure it works because no one really says "sits around the court." Interestingly enough Mangino's wife apparently dumped an entire bottle of orange tanner over her head. She was also really interested in showing him whatever was on her cell phone.

1:11 PM
Seriously, his wife looks like she painted herself with wood stain. Mangino looks extra pasty next to her.

1:16 PM
This is the Xavier I picked to beat Duke.

1:21 PM
KU wins and covers the spread but a scary moment for the gamblers when KU failed to run out the clock and PSU had a three rim out. Better luck next year, Ken Bone and the Vikings.

1:40 PM
Xavier wins! My bracket lives!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pretentious Lawrence at its finest

I was reading the paper as I was waiting to get my haircut today and burst out laughing when I read this letter to the editor.
To the editor:

Bruschetta is what I would consider the ultimate in summer snacks: sweet tomatoes, savory basil and balsamic vinegar piled atop a crispy garlicky toast. Unfortunately, as it applies to local restaurants in both Lawrence and Kansas City, ordering my favorite dish has become an issue. This is not because of the lack of great makers of bruschetta in the area, but because of the lack of culinary knowledge of the staff serving it.

It never fails that when I order bruschetta (pronounced brus’ket’ta; the “sch” is pronounced as it is in “school”), the person taking my order goes out of their way to “correct” me with the Missouri/Kansas-fied bastardization “brus Shet’ ta.” Not only does this make the server look like a fool, as well as show the lack of culinary knowledge of the establishment in which the dish is being served, it insults the person ordering who is being corrected with an incorrect pronunciation.

The word bruschetta comes from the Roman word “bruscare,” which means to roast over coals, or to toast. It has become a running joke between my friends and me. I order, and then we wait and cringe. It never fails.

To restaurants, please, please retrain your employees. Knowing how to pronounce each dish is the bare minimum of requirements for a server to be able to explain, offer, and serve at a food establishment.

Aaron Clary,

Lawrence

What an absolute classic letter. First, the fact that anyone would actually take the time to write a letter to the editor about this is incredibly lame. However, I think my favorite part of is how he feels compelled to not only explain the pronunciation but to tell us exactly what the dish is and what the root word is. Wow, thanks, Aaron. I'm incredibly impressed with your culinary knowledge...

Not surprisingly for the LJW this letter generated 139 comments making fun of the author and arguing over the correct pronunciation at question as well as "Arkansas" and any other number of words.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Who says romance is dead?

Here is what Bush said to some soldiers in Afghanistan today:
"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.

Yes, how completely romantic to be on the front lines of a war zone! I'm sure the families of the 3987 American soldiers to die in Iraq and 482 American soldiers to die in Afghanistan can describe the romance. I'm sure the families of the countless thousands of civilians that have died could give some insight into how exciting it is to be there confronting danger.

But none of that matters to people like George W. Bush just like it didn't matter to the Imperial Britons who used similar language about how exciting and romantic it was to go bring "civilization" to India or Africa or any other exotic location their imperialist wars took them. In fact, this kind of bullshit has been going on for thousands of years. Sometime in the 1st Century BCE the Roman poet Horace wrote:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
mors et fugacem persequitur virum
nec parcit inbellis iuventae
poplitibus timidove tergo.

How sweet and fitting it is to die for your native land:
Death pursues the man who flees,
spares not the hamstrings or cowardly backs
Of battle-shy youths.


It's worth remembering that there was, in fact, a time when George W. Bush was younger and when he wasn't employed as president. In fact, there was even a war going on then too. What a perfect opportunity for him to see just how exciting and romantic it would be. Unfortunately he missed his chance by using his dad to get him a spot in the National Guard where he could still dress like a soldier but without any of the hassles like showing up and definitely nothing like fighting.

Those who have seen the modern war speak a little differently about how exciting and romantic they found it once they were actually there.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rahshon Clark

Here's a video of Rahshon Clark's top ten dunks. Pretty sick stuff and deserves to be seen by my vast audience.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Well, that was awkward


You ever have those moments where someone says something so inappropriate that you really have no idea to how to respond? At least it doesn't happen on TV like it did to these guys calling the LA Marathon.