Tuesday, November 30, 2004

We Were Meant to Be, Supposed to Be, But We Lost Butt

Want to read an article by a complete moron. Here you go: its Wendell Wittler's Top 10 Overrated Stars. There are some valid points in this article, which means simply, not every sentence it includes is complete fucking nonsense. Yes, Affleck is over rated. Putting him at number 10 should demonstrate one of two things to you immediately off the bat. Either this dude has insight like you've never seen, or he hasn't seen Reindeer Games. Recognizing that Affleck is overrated is not difficult, he makes top fucking dollar and hasn't been in a good film besides the one that he somehow was involved in writing.

I won't go off on number 9, though I strongly disagree that Keanu is overrated. It first, gives no credit to Bill and Ted, which were a fucking hilarious set of flicks, executed perfectly. It also fails to mention Point Break and, like much of the mainstream critique of The Matrix, is utterly incapable of recognizing that Neo couldn't have fucking been Jude Law, that was what made the role unique. The Wachowskis aren't fucking idiots, they knew that when Neo responded to Morpheus' leap with a "whoa!" that it would invoke Ted Theodore Logan and they used it. Regardless.

The real idiocy involved with this list peaks at number 6 when he includes Lorne Michaels. I was first surprised that Michaels even qualified as a star, being a moderately well known producer, but even more shocked when Wittler decided to go after the comic talent of SNL. There are things you can "critique" about SNL, obviously everyone has their favorite cast, largely dependent on the generation where you first watched/most often watched, the show. My parents love for the original is pretty much equivalent to my feelings about the glory days of the early-mid 90s. But to say that it hasn't produced any talent. Stop me when I have listed enough funny people for you:

Norm McDonald, Tim Meadows, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtain, Jon Lovitz, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Andy Kaufman, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Miller, Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, David Spade, Tina Fey, Phil Hartman, Al Franken, Steve Martin, Gilbert Goddfried, Dana Carvey, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliot, Janene Garofalo.

But lets say that you weren't just saying there were no funny people on that show and assuming you don't think that list includes some of the funnies motherfuckers of all time. Even if you don't pay alot of attention to comedy and don't know how funny these folks actually are, neither Wendell nor myself have yet mentioned some people with pretty significant accomplishments.

--Mike Myers--even Cat in the Hat made money, everything he touches is gold, Austin Powers is an enormous franchise
--Bill Murray--both an incredible comedic actor and, with roles in smart-touching comedramas like Rushmore, Royal Tannenbaums, and Lost in Translation, a near Oscar winner
--Adam Sandler--there aren't many people in Hollywood today who demand a bigger salary than Sandler, who is an enormous star and has made some of the funniest movies of all time, most notably Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, not to mention an extraordinarly beautiful performance in P.T. Andrerson's Punch-Drunk Love
--Chris Rock--the man who gave birth to the next generation of stand up comedy, who inhereited the legacy of Richard Pryor and ran with it, by all standards one of the greatest stand-ups, period
--Will Ferrell--Elf wasn't a fluke, people love Will Ferrell and Anchorman was drop-dead funny

I don't know that Lorne hand-picked every one of these bastards, but I'm pretty sure its not a coincedence that they were all on his show. Not to mention that he seems to blame Lorne for the fact that Belushi and Gilda are dead, which even the most whackjob conspiracy theories have never confirmed in my mind. I think its pretty easy to make the claim that there are as many, if not more, comedy legends, in the list above than there are outside of it. Yes, it doesn't include Seinfeld or Pryor. But who are the other comedy legends you are referring to? If you look at the great sitcoms: Cheers (made by an ensemble cast and good writing, Ted Danson is not a comedy legend) Frasier (I didn't even really think its THAT funny, but I find it hard to imagine Kelsey Grammar, who always seemed to be just a really good straight man to Niles, Daphne, his dad, etc. going in this category) MASH (Alan Alda really hasn't done anything funny since) Simpsons (even I can't yet make a case for Dan Castelleneta) who makes this list. I don't think there are really more than 5-10 comedy legends per decade and even if you agree that SNL is only getting 2-3 of them, I can't imgaine this qualifies as overrated. If you made 20-30 of AFI's top 100 films you would be the greatest director of all time. With 20-30 percent of baseball legends you would be, well, the fucking Yankees and I haven't heard the argument that they are an overrated franchise with the most championships in the history of pro-sports.

Finally, Madonna is number 3?!? Are you kidding me! What do you want from people, you put music legends and comedic legacies in with Shatner and the Governator. Here is his series of non-sensical arguments: " She's credited as "the first female pop star with complete control over her image"; in other words, nobody exploited her, she did it herself." This is somehow a dis? She used her sexuality herself and made assloads of money, not being exploited by the industry, are we in fucking opposite land. "Madonna's practice of constantly redefining herself has kept her one step ahead of serious scrutiny." She's not the fucking president, I don't think we need access to her financial disclosure. Again, when did redefining yourself to avoid being demonized by a rampant entertainment media become a character flaw? "And "Vogue" was one of the worst attempted dance crazes of the 20th Century. " In what sense was it an "attempted" dance craze? Don't like it, chure, but where is Kylie Minogue or the dude/ettes responsible for the Electric Fucking Slide. "She was the first performer NOT to be harmed by the discovery of an old sex movie" again, damn her for failing to be destroyed by our desire to elevate and crush our icons. "and a pioneer in concert lip-synching " I'll give you this, but a) she was dancing, her concerts were a show, not karaoke b) it doesn't diminish her musical capacity overall and c) how does lip synching qualify you for the top 5 overated of all time, I think your underthinking this list. "A whole second generation of "pop tarts" following in her footsteps prove that it wasn't that hard to do in the first place." I hope you aren't implying that one someone is powerful enough to establish/create/whatever a musical style which so resonates with the public that it becomes archetypical for the society at large, they are overrated. Do Justin and Usher prove that Michael Jackson should have made the list? Are Led Zeppelin and the Beatles less impressive because of Nevermind? Madonna is a legend, end of fucking story.

I know that was a long rant directed against one random article. But it really pissed me off and needed to be said. Maybe I will do something more narrative or descriptive or less inflammatory later on. Pack rocked last night by the way.



Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey-lurkey-doo and a Turkey-lurkey-dap, I Eat That Turkey, Then I Take a Butt

Day before turkey time and preperations are well underway. The bird, which we bought fresh today, weighs 14.88 pounds. We paid less than 5 bucks for it, about fiz-twiz actually. The coupon gave us the fresh bird for 29 cents a pound and it looks great. The brine is pretty much the same this year as it was last, this year featuring nectarines and lemons, with rosemary, thyme, and sage. There is a loaf of bread currently being produced for the stuffing and all the various ingredients are in place. I am gonna get up tomorrow around 11 maybe, maybe a teense earlier, and put the turkey-bird in the roasty-mc-roast pan so it can cook during the foozball game. Its gonna be tough to determine exactly towards who and when the boos will occur during the T-day brawl between two of the most evil franchises in sports history: Bears and Cowboys.

I fucking love Thanksgiving. I love it so much, without question my favorite holiday. The reasons for this are manifest, its all about cooking, eating, and football. There is no pressure involved in gifts or trees or decorations. You buy some food, you cook some food, you eat and drink all day. Its just fabulous, completely fabulous. Now, I am open to other people liking other holidays better, but what I refuse to tolerate is the hating on Thanksgiving which is so prevalent amongst the hippy crowd these days.

Look, you can be all vegheady and shit if you want, your loss. But don't give me the "turkey genocide" biznuts, you can imagine my feelings about it. I won't go into it today. Waste an oppotunity to cook up an entire bird if you want, I will feast on everything this 15 pound gobbler has to offer.

More relevantly are those political objections to the holiday. Look, feel free to hate on Columbus day for the destruction of Native Americans, Columbus was apparently a dick. Hate on Valentine's Day because its commercial. Whatev. But look, Thanksgiving is not a celebration of arrival in this country, its not a celebration of "discovery." Its a celebration of giving fucking thanks. Yes, that originated in the context of the "pilgrims" but could have well just originated last week in my basement. The point of the holiday is to recognize the wonderful things in your life that the daily shitfucking sort of overshadows. If you let the fact that certain holidays have their origins during periods of quesionable history ruin them for you, you'll pretty much not enjoy your life so much.

Not to mention that just because something is associated with people that did some shitty stuff doesn't mean we should abandon the good things we have as a result. Should we abandon all the medical discoveries that are direct results of experiments done during the holocaust? Not giving up a large part of contemporary medical science doesn't consitute endorsement of those events. Isn't even living in this geographic space a direct result of the same occupation that resulted in the destruction of Native populations? Again, that is not to say that what was done is in anyway acceptable, obviously it wasn't. But if following in any of those traditions is a problem, give me a call from the other side of the Atlantic (or wherever you may be from) and we can talk. If you do this holiday correctly it should not be in any way offensive. Much to the contrary, it should be observant of all sorts of historical injustices, explicitly related and otherwise. Anyway, thats my pointless and not very articulate rant. I fucking love thanksgiving.

As a couple of more relevant notes. First save-israel.org is a porn site? Seems like an odd domain name to select for that purpose, but I'm not the one with the advertising degree from Stanfod, what would I know. It even seems to feature a "free ass ezine" which is pretty awesome if you ask me. I haven't read it, but I did have to make a zine for AP Composition in high school, so I think I have a good idea what is inside. I wish I would have come up with the idea to theme it around "ass" rather than whatever the fuck I thought was cool in high school.

Second, I know I am a Favre-fanboy, I proclaim it loudly. Every week that he does something awesome or historic and the press spends all weekend talking about him, I wonder what football will be like without him, if I will ever think about another professional athlete like I think about Bret Favre. I don't know how his numbers will finish up, he may not overtake Marino in any of the big categories. Nonetheless, every passing day I find it harder to say that he isn't the best ever to play that position. Today's espn.com front page on Favre and Len Pasquerelli's article spurred this specific mention. Maybe he will only finish with one Super Bowl, we'll see what I have to say about him when its all over, but I think thats still a ways off.

So I intended to post this last night, but its obviously Thanksgiving now, so I might as well add a brief passage before I do so. We made dinner today and it was indeed quite awesome, despite the complete lack of adequate kitchen space. My turkey was incredibly delicious and is pictured, both pre and post roasting, on the moblog.I really don't think there is a question that it is the best turkey I have ever fabricated. It was incredibly moist, the brine set exactly how I wanted it. I also managed to roast it a little slower than usual and by alternately tenting and untenting the breast while keeping the thighs covered everything hit 168 exactly at the point the exterior was dead on. I also made a stuffing, built upon a homemade loaf of bread, a cup or so of crushed toasted walnuts, about a pound of parsley-pork sausage, some onions and celery sauted with butter and garlic. I would have spiced it up to the trinity (i.e. add green bell peppers) but Katie votes neg. The stuffing was packed pretty tight so it was perfectly crisp on the outside and just the right level of gooey in the middle. Katie did the potatoes and corn, which were wonderful as always. She also made her classic "lionheart dinner rolls" which were divine and will serve as the rock upon which I shall build my turkey sandwiches for days to come. We have a full 2 dozen and they are a perfect set, one pan is light and airy, the other a golden brown leaning towards Amber, like they are pre-toasted with a fluffy interior that screams for a pat of butter.

My gravy really may have matched up with the turkey bird, caue it was great. I had read a couple articles on gravy recently and watched AB's sauce making show on meat gravies, so I was well prepped. I cooked the roux a little longer than usual and altered the proportions based on a suggestion by Cooking Club Magazine so that there was a bit mroe fat. I also boiled the turkey fat on its own for a minute, letting the brown-bits of goodness beome fully deliciosified before any flour went in the pan. I also took AB's advice and thinned the gravy just moments before serving, so it would remain at approximately the consistency I wanted it. I think Katie's greatest accomplishment for the day, besides looking simply radiant, is yet to come as we have not tasted the pecan pie which is cooling atop the kitchen counters as I type. We got some whipped cream ready to whip and oooh baby are we gonna continue the feast.

While technically this was Katie and my second Thanksgiving together as a couple, it was our first Thanksgving as a married couple, so we got to break out our wedding china. It was the first time for that and they really are quite pretty. We had the gravy bowl, plates, waterford glasses, etc. While I miss all our family and friends, there is always something fun about spending a holiday wrapped up at home with my wife. Anyway, I will let you all get back to your leftovers, pies, and t-day nights. I have had a pretty fantastic year and have alot to be thankful for, I hope the same is true and will be ever more so for you and yours.



Monday, November 22, 2004

Got My First Real Six String, Bought it at the Five and Butt

So here is my one Monday Night Football note. No fucking introduction? Thats electro-weak. Naked Nicollete Sheridan jumps on T.O., and now I get no celebrity with a witty joke or stereotypical character play. What the fuck? If there is no spiffy intro next week believe me that abc will get a letter from me. Well, maybe you shouldn't believe me, since I have yet to deliver on my promises to write Arby's, McDonalds, or the MTZ, amongst many others. Anyway, that blows.

A couple snack related comments. First, to Pepperidge Farm: there is no need to make "single serving verions" of your cookies. One of the bags is one fucking serving of cookies. Its a damn expensive serving of cookies, maybe its even 1.5 if you are on a diet, but no more than that. If you can open a Pepperidge Farm cookie bag, eat a suggested serving size, and close the bag, you have too much fucking willpower. Get a job with the CIA and direct it towards nuclear secrets or something and have another Milano. The folks at PF also seem to have decided that the Milano is now just an adaptable cookie format, like you can make it any freaking flavor you want. Mint Milano, chure, I will give you that one, good call. Even mocha, I am down. But orange? Orange milanos? Come on, I know that chocolate and citrus work alright together, but give it a rest. You make like a billion dollars every time you sell a single bag for like $21.95, no need to expand that market.

Secondly, Mountain Dew, who seems to think about the same thing on the subject of their feature beverage, actually hit the jackpot with grape. In my mind cherry and orange suck donkey but something about the grape-dew combination just jives. It works really well in other beverages too, I should note. The grape-lemonade or "Purple-Saurus Rex" phenomenon is brilliant and my own personal creation of the "Grape Kool-a-Tini" is a wonderful concoction if I have ever seen one. The grape martinis I have had in a couple of swanky bars support that theory but without the "ooooh yeah!!!" power that the Aid brings to the party.

Black and Decker auto-tape!! That is fucking brilliant. Since I have all the handy-person skill of a panda bear without any of the white and black furry cuteness, I have no need for such a device, but what a great idea. You can take a virtual tour of the auto-tape here.. I especially like the descriptions of its various applications including "Hang things on a wall" which is just brilliantly specific. Why don't they just put "Measure shit" as number five. Great idea though. If I ever have to install a shelf I know what I am picking up.

Katie comes back tomorrow and thank God as I am going crazy. Not having anyone to talk to is okay for a day or two, but gets old real fast. Not to mention that with this weekend being the Glenbrooks there was no one online the whole time. I don't think I spoke to anyone who wasn't either a cashier or on the telephone all weekend. I guess one of the Bud Girls said hello and even though it was the Ashlee Simpson lookalike, it really don't count.

Ah a good old brief random collection of pointless observations and obsessive takes. Gotta love that shit.



Everybody's Talkin' All this Stuff About Me, Why Don't They Just Let Me Butt

OMG what a finale. I think I woke up the building, I was a little loud when the Pack came back. Despite two interceptions, both of which I should note, were fabulous plays by the Texans DBs, Bret had an incredible night. Threw a great touchdown pass to Driver and almost 400 yards. This is in a world where we had almost NO running game, where the defense was 100% certain of what was going to happen, and they couldn't stop him. The Packer D came up strong when they needed to as well, Al Harris recovered from some beatings he took early and the line actually got some pressure, Grady Jackson most notably, stepped up hard. Bret orchestrated a 2 minute drive, got them into field goal range, and Longwell inched one just over the crossbar. Nailbiter if there ever was one.

The last sports topic for the day, I swear. If you haven't seen the Ron Artest footage, first of all, buy a fucking TV hippy. Then watch it on espn.com or any of another billion websites. The summary is that someone threw a beer at Artest after a fight and he went bezerker on the bit, leaped into the stands and started swinging. The fight continued and he punched a bunch of other dudes on the floor, along with O'Neal and Jackson. It is really a disgusting video to see these huge dudes coming after these scrawny Detroit fucks. Anyway, my takes on some relevant details.

--the fans: yes, these guys are dicks. Its disrespectful to throw shit at anyone, thats why it was rule one on the RHS debate squad (I'll take Cort Sylvester over David Stern any day of the week by the way). Its even more so to do it to an athlete in the game. You are a fan, there to watch. You can yell and scream and cheer and boo, but you are there to watch and thats all. The fans started it and in that respect they bear some responsibility.

--the players: I understand that emotions run high and I even get fights amongst players. You want to push another dude on the court, well, I think you are a punk, but we already knew that about Artest. Going into the stands is absolutely unacceptable. For one thing, the players have to be held to a higher standard. They are making millions and their job is not simply to play basketball, but to be personalities, to be for a public. You have to be able to put up with abuse from the fans. If some dude ran onto the court and swung at Artest, this would be different. Not to mention that this dude is in prime fucking condition. He is an elite athlete among the best in his sport. I know he's not a boxer, but he's got in a fuckload better shape then the dudes he went at. Look at them, a fat guy about 5'10" in a baseball hat and a skinny dork wearing glasses. You have to recognize the purely physical power differential here and be the bigger person.

--race: this morning on The Sports Reporters they were discussing how this all looks to the broader public, especially one that is not huge sports fans. They turn on the news on Saturday and see three huge athletic black men going after much weaker white suburban guys. Is is fair that this taints their perception of the incident, absolutely not. Nonetheless, it does. One of the biggest problems the NBA has is the perception that its players, more often than not African-Americans of lower socio-economic class, is very negative. Obviously the NBA has to be careful that it doesn't react to this by overpunishing the offenders to make up for the perception.

--the suspension: I'm entirely with Stern on this one. Artest should be suspended for the season. I actually think Jackson got off too lightly, since he took some big swings as well without even being provoked like Artest. You cannot have this happening and this is the signal that should be sent. It punishes Artest to the tune of over 5 million bucks and I would be surprised if Indiana makes much of a run missing three starters and their two best players. To ban him from the game would have been too much, that would have given the image that they are removing "fiesty" black superstars from the sport. I think the suspnesions will stand and while I recognize that the players union has to represent its members, they are wrong here. Don't pretend that this action is representative of a group of people which is predominantly made up of good competitors and admirable athletes. This is renegade bullshit and I wish the players union said, "alright, we get it." The fans are the life-blood of the game and downplaying the importance of something which threatens the safety of the people who keep it going is stupid. This isn't an on the court fight or a rap contract.

Alright, thats all I will blather about. Apparently you all get to suffer because Katie is out of town and I don't have anyone to talk to. I suppose you don't have to read and its not really like I break down the NBA with Katie either, but you get the drift. No sports tomorrow, beyond maybe a brief MNF mention if I am watching. One final note. You should download "We Used to Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols. Its the theme from Veronica Mars and an all around great tune. That and "Let's Go" (the Trick Daddy song with Little John) are currently my faves.



Sunday, November 21, 2004

How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down, Before You Can Call Him a Butt

The Pack is currently behind the Texans. Their first two offensive drives were okay, though lacking Najeh is not going to help Ahman get any sort of consistent running game going. Bret has looked okay. I can't believe we didn't get a touchdown on the last possession, it was officially ridiculous that the play was called for a 5 yard reception on 3rd and goal from the 7. Not a good choice.

Anyway, Katie is in Winston-Salem at the Wake Forest debate tournament this weekend. She has been gone since Friday morning. I had a dentist appointment and did a little work, but besides that Friday and Saturday were entirely uneventful. I watched an arseload of tv, including some hella good college games on Rivalry Saturday. I was scared for Auburn, but they came around in the second half. I also got to see Utah for the first time this season and am really really pleased that they will likely get a BCS bid, I think it at least indicates that the system is not entirely flawed in respect to the mid-major conferences. I do think they are going to encounter another problematic situation with the undefeateds, but there are still the conference championship games around to fuck eveything up for the top 3.

Today was much more eventful. I went to mass and drove to the reservation to buy some hella cheap gas. It always used to be about 12 cents cheaper than the cheap gas stations near our house. Today those gas stations were at 2.06 and Smokin' Joes was retailing Unleaded for 1.86!!! Thats 20 fucking cents off!! It was by far the least I have paid for gas since we were in Minnesota and the least we have paid in New York state in what I would imagine is close to a year. So that was solid. I left from there to make my way to the Niagara Fallsview Casino in Canada. This is all documented, I should add, on my mizoblog! (THAT IS THE WEAKEST FUCKING CALL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, THAT WAS NOT A FUCKING LATE HIT, OH MY GOD, THATS FUCKING RIDICULOUS, ITS FOOTBALL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TACKLING IS NOT AGAINST THE RULES, FUCKING PRICKS--sorry, that did not make me happy) Anyway, I crossed over the bridge and got to the casino about 10 after one. The place is brand new, literally just opened this past summer. It is much much nicer than all the other casions around here, marble and wood everywhere inside, metal and glass out. Right when you get in there is one of the neatest foutains I have ever seen. I can't really describe it and all the pictures I attempted to take failed miserably.

I was in Niagara Falls for the Tailgate Buffet that has been so heavily advertised on WGR 55, the local sports station. It sounded good and it lived up to that promise. It also turned out to be magnificently well priced since the 12.95 it was advertised for turned out to be 12.95 Canadian. I would imagine its a somewhat typically American arrogance to just fail to acknowledge that something priced in another country is according to their currency unless otherwise noted, but every time I purchase something in that country I am pleasantly surprised to get my change back. I had chosen the tailgate buffet because of the menu descriptions I had heard and it lived up to them entirely. Today's lineup, which apparently shifts a little bit from week to week, included: buffalo wings, bbq ribs, pasta, bratwurst, fajitas, nachos, chili, and a brownie-cookie assortment. Obviously none of these were the best of their category that have ever been made, but they were all tasty and I ate more than my fair share. I limited myself to two plates of food per quarter, not including desserts, which were on little plates and therefore seperate from regular buffet trips. What was also very impressive was that they came with all the relevant fixins, which are often lacking in the buffet experience. There were onions and peppers and sour cream and cheese and tomatahs and salsa etc. There was mustard and onions and kraut for the wurst, blu cheese for the wings, you know.

The other big draw for the buffet was the 25 FOOT HDTV. I don't know what seperates this tv, which was just a huge projection screen, from other movie projectors, but it was gorgeous. You know how regular projection screens sort of distort the picture and look a little grainy or lined. This one had none of that, it was crystal. If they showed the Pack on that screen I would consider leaving my house to go watch it, because it is a beautiful sight to behold. The other supposed draw was the "Bud Girls" who were just two skinny girls in red budweiser t-shirts and black pants who asked excessively annoying triva questions during the commercials. One of them looked vaguely like Ashlee Simpson but I don't understand who would come to "get their picture taken with the Bud Girls."

The game was enjoyable and the Bills' win had the crowd in an enjoyable mood. I was the only person by myself, I would imagine, and since they played music and did trivia during the commercials I had time to think. One of the things I wondered about was why professional football coaches seem to have absolutely no understanding of the rules involved in the Challenge system of instant replay. I know I am not (SHIT, AHMAN GREEN IS GOING IN THE LOCKER ROOM ON THE CART, LET BRET OPEN IT UP DAMN IT, WHY THE FUCK ARE WE TAKING A KNEE, WE ARE DOWN BY 10!?!?! WHAT...THE...FUCK) professionally involved with the game and I don't know everything, but you can't understand the basics of what can and cannot be reviewed. He was pushed out of bounds, throw the flag. Don't throw the fucking flag you dipshit, its not reviewable. Do you ever watch professional football? Have you played Madden? I want to challenge that pass interference call. Too bad you ass, its one of like 5 things you can't review. I'm not asking them to memorize some complicated set of codes. You don't even have to remember all the things that are and are not reviewable, how bout just basic concepts. Lets start with this, judgement calls, not reviewable. If it cannot be established factually you can't review it. Start with that and we can move on to adding a 5th crappy halfback pass to the playbook next week.

I know this has been a little sports heavy, so I will be merciful and spare you my commentary on Ron Artest and how happy I am with his suspension until later. Maybe not blogging will push the Packers to play a decent second half. Go Pack Go.



Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Its Early Morning, The Sun Comes Out, Last Night Was Shaking, and Pretty Butt

Packers win a big one and a tight one at home. Their offense may be as good as their defense is bad, which is indeed saying something. With the exception of the Colts I don't think there is a better offense in the NFL right now, if for no other reason then they are great when they are balanced and have the potential to go entirely one way or the other if the ground game fails or Brett is just off. The Vikes are obviously in this discussion as well of course, if they have Randy Moss yesterday I can't imagine that we would have won the game. Even if Al Harris had the fantastic game he did against Burleson against the Freak, Mark Roman wasn't going to shut down Burleson, so we got lucky in that respect. Finally, the game was horribly officiated in virtually all respects. There were some awful calls and some awful spots. We got the benefit of some of those and got fucked on a couple as well.

Anyway, if you would have told me the Pack would be leading the NFC North after week 10 I would have been pretty pleased. I am happy that we will probably end up at least 500, though I am now frustrated with how bad our defense is. I know I'm a homer on this front, but I think if you add a defense to this organization you can make a big run with this offense. We can't stop fucking anyone in any circumstance. 4th and 26 will haunt us until we get another Reggie White, preferably one who isn't a biggoted fuck. I hope Mike McFuckenzie is happy. Fucker. Not that having Sharper hurt helps. It just blows that Javon Walker is becoming one of the elite receivers in the NFL, we have the best power running game in the league, and Bret, while obviously not the player he was in the mid-late nineties, can still show up for 4 touchdowns and a 120+ QBR, and we still were at 1-4 one point this season.

Since the Packers did manage to pull off the win, yesterday was overall a fucking awesome day to watch football. I switched between the New York Football Jets versus the Ravens and Vick's Falcons taking on the Bucs, then it was the Pack, then the Bills at the night game. The Bills suck hard by the way, Willis McGahee is great and the defense doesn't suck total ass (I would give everything to have their D in the NFC North) but the O Line blows and Bledsoe could swallow his own ass. So regardless.

One final sports related note, I have the ESPN bottomline on my computer, so its like having an 1-2 hour old sports ticker at the bottom of my internet explorer window. Anyway, you can select what sports you want it to give you headlines for and I have pretty muhc everything, including the NHL. I laugh hysterically everytime the ticker comes around to the NHL because these are literally the first 5 headlines on it:

Phoenix at Boston (DELAYED)
Philladelphia at Montreal (DELAYED)
Dallas at Toronto (DELAYED)
Los Angeles at Nashville (DELAYED)
Edmonton at Colorado (DELAYED)

It fucking cracks me up that they just left the schedule on there even though all the games were canceled, how ridiculous is that shit. I mean, I have never been the world's biggest NHL fan, but I like to read the Wild blurbs and watch a couple games with the boys when I am in the TC. Buffalo is really depressed about the whole situation, especially insofar as the city effectively doesn't have an NFL team now either. So thats that.

Alejandro Jimenez is in Hawaii. Seriously, I know there are some shitty things about working for the airline industry these days, but at least the going to Hawaii without going all bank-cracky and shit balances some of that out. It was snowing here the other day and A.J. was on a fucking white sandy beach in front of a green-blue ocean. He is going from that lovely paradise to the wonderland of Eugene, Oregon to spend some time with APK and Triple-siz-nan-jizzle-jay. Looking forward to those stories you should be.

Katie is addicted to Spider Solitaire, this is an addiction that I feel somewhat responsible for, but she has really taken it to a new fucking all-time level. I mean, I like Spider Solitaire and I probably play a game or two on occassion, during debate tournaments more than that. Anyway, literally, if you want to communicate with Katie at this point you have to begin your sentence with "You can put the red eight..." or she won't even turn her head. We orderd pizza tonight and I think it was because making the biscuits we had planned for would have taken at least two games of medium difficulty. There are times you can see she is watching tv or whatever, but imagining moving a whole stack of cards into a free area and exposing the one 6 she needs for it all to fall into place.

Finally, I blew up a candle yesterday. I don't know how that happened, but I lit a candle, I set it on the table and I let it burn. It was getting down pretty low, maybe that is relevant maybe not, I have no fucking clue. Anyway, about half an hour later I hear a pop and the candle (which I should note, is encased in a glass thing) literally blows up. One piece of glass shoots out about a foot, a bunch of others just short of fall onto the table, the whole thing cracks down the middle, and there is glass dust (at least my paranoia determined it was glass dust, it may have just been soot or somethign) all over the place. I cleaned it up but I have another candle burning now and I am scared that its gonna put my eyes out.



Saturday, November 13, 2004

Little Jackie Paper, Loved that Rascal Puff, Brough him String and Sealing Wax and Other Fancy Butt

"His band saw moves through that wood like Amazing Grace on bagpipes moves through my heart." Thats a direct quote from the former Cliff Claven. I was surfing las cannels (thats what I have decided is Spanish for channel and while I don't think its too far off, chances are pretty high that its not exactly right) and stopped by his show "Made in America" on the Travel Channel. Its kind of a neat show but he is boring as dick, he is like the opposite of Marc Summers, who could host "America's Sloppiest Butts" and would make it at least sound interesting. Anyway, the show was about Carousels, and kind of interesting, so I watched them show the reconstruction of an old school wooden carousel horse and that was his description. How the mighty have fallen.

Dude, Collective Soul is BACK!!! Seriously you don't have to wait any longer, no more lingering over your old Collective Soul CDs lamenting the lack of new Collective Soul. Your soul need not remain individual any longer, because the new CD, Youth has debuted motherfuckers. That was the essence of the commercial I just saw. That's right, someone decided that they should put out a commercial on television (it was the Travel Channel at least) to let people know about the new Collective Soul album. Good use of ad dollars. That 30 second spot means that pretty much everyone who heard the "Whoa-oh-ah-oh, Heaven Let Your Light Shine Down" lyric and thought, hey I used to like that song, and decided to give it a run at Best Buy, their purchases are required just to break even. I'm not saying that their comeback won't amount to that of lets say, REO Speedwagon or Quiet Riot or Chumbawumba or anything, just that, when you are Collective Soul, you need to carefully consider your situation before embarking on an aggressive marketing campaign.

We had lunch at Don Pablos on Wednesday while our credit cards were being fucked in the bu...I mean our car was being fixed. It was awesome. Katie has this odd aversion to Don Pablos for some reason, while I have a number of very positive associations with it. She says that she is not a huge fan of Mexican food but she really likes fajitas and the fajitas at Don Pablos are pretty much the stone cold nultz. Anyway, regardless, she was trying to be nice to me because my back hurt and I was all pissy about the car so we went to the big Pab'. On Wednesdays, at least out here in Assalo, they have a deal where you get Don's classic fajitas for 8 bucks, which is a pretty good deal in my mind. You can get chicken, steak, or chicken/steak and chow the fuck down. Katie ate almost all of hers and I wolfed mine and I will admit that I was completely stuffed afterwards. Nonetheless, we opted to pick up an order of delicioso sopapillas. Those sopapillas don't look exactly like the ones at Don Pablos, which are served with some sort of honey-brandy-butter sauce and powdered sugar rather than just cinnamon sugar like some sort of thin mexican donut. Katie, for some reason, is not a huge fan of the sopapillas, but she at least had to concede that I wasn't delusional in my love for them. I was really pleased by that lunch, but I realize now that it wasn't much of a story. As a kicker to what might be an otherwise boring paragraph, I give you this brainteaser: why, when I searched google images for sopapillas did I get this chick?

I wrote a course proposal for teaching next year and I think its pretty good. Its on American Literature and the Death Penalty, based on a conversation Katie and I had a while back on the subject. At the moment it includes a couple of hella long books (Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, Robert Coover's The Public Burning, and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood) some others (Dead Man Walking, A Lesson Before Dying) and some theory (Foucualt, Discipline and Punish, Derrida articles on the death penalty and forgiveness). I like it, my thought is that it would be both effective and interesting and fits in with a bunch of the shitty the department wants to teach to undergraduates. The other class I would really like to propse is on Literature and Fashion, but I am just not sure exactly what fits in. I think Bret Easton Ellis has a role to play there and maybe juxtaposed with somethign interesting like Bridget Jones Diary or something. I need to do some research.

Shit, Wisconsin is losing to Michigan State. That is no good. I have never been a huge badger fan, but I thought this team was pretty much legit. I also thought they would make a legit run at a national championship, though with the way USC and Auburn are playing, I am pretty sure they will be stuck playing for number three at best. On the bright side the Gophs didn't play horribly against Iowa and I finally get to see Auburn play someone who doesn't lick goat-ass. I don't see USC play much given the whole living on the whole opposite side of the country thing, though they are on TNT a fair amount. But based on the way they are handling Georgia I have to think Auburn is gonna make this interesting. Enough of my blather. Big football game tomorrow and while we really should get pounded by the Vikings offense, they are missing Randy Moss and its not like their D is anything to write home about either. One way or another the NFC North will begin taking shape tomorrow.



Sunday, November 07, 2004

I’m So Glad I Found You, I’m Not Gonna Lose You, Whatever it Takes I Will Stay Here With Butt

So I intended to blog the day after the election but ever since I have felt that I would be obligated to speak about politics if I did so, and frankly, I am not up to it. I will say only this, I am not likely to be inspired to a democratic eleciton at any point in the near future. I am predictably disheartened and don't really understand any possibility for a realistic democratic victory in the near future. I dig on the idealistic visions of impossible politics and the like, but being forced to think about it in the sense of some actual victory has skewed my perspective like a conditional timeframe PIC to time allocation. On the bright side, when the votes were all counted, my dad officially ownzed the Rosemount city council race. If you look at the district by district breakdown you will see that he swept the town and especially cleaned up in the Shannon Parkway area that we lived for so many years. This was a little surprising, since I thought our neighbors were sort of sick of us and our shennanigans, but I guess the high school parent-demographic which is so prevalent in that area made up for it.

In another promising development, the oppressive Monopoly which Arby's has so long perpetrated on the good people of Lockport is over. That's right, Wendy's is now taking credit cards. You may have forgotten my rants about the fact that no one in this town knows vagina about dick when it comes to the fast food market, i.e. Arby's was the only place that took credit cards. Katie gets really annoyed at the repeated way I articulate why pretty much everyone who isn't selling sweet corn from a roadside stand should be taking credit cards, so I will be brief. McDonald's: you are the largest restaurant chain in the world. You are worth like a trillion gazillion dollars. Fucking suck it up and put credit card terminals in every store. KFC: credit cards should be mandatory at any place where people can be reasonably expected to spend approaching or in excess of 20 dollars. Pick up a family meal and a drink and you exceed that when you dine with the Colonel. Those are the two primary offenders. Mad props go to Wendy's, who are only about 4 or so years behind the times. Now maybe they will start having the fucking quarter-pound doublestack with cheese...

I have officially seen the greastest commercial of all time. I don't think I have mentioned it in the past, but it is truly hilarious. It is a commercial for the Scrubbing Bubbles Auto-Shower Cleaner. Basically, the little scrubbing bubble guy just sings (in the best voice imaginable for a bubble, I should add) "Touch me in the morning, then just walk away." I know I have a dirty mind, but I don't see how anyone can not find that more than slightly suggestive. What I just discovered in doing the prep work for this entry (oh yeah jeuce, there is all sorts of research that goes into producing this mammajammer) is that this commercial is quoting a song by Diana Ross. I don't feel bad about knowing this since I don't fucking listen to Diana Ross, but I also don't think it makes this commercial any less funny. I think it would in fact be pretty sweet if they had Diana sing the tune in a bubble outfit for the next set of commercials. If you don't laugh at a bubble suggesting early morning manual sexual stimulation then you, my friend, need to loosen up.

The last of the links involved in today's link fest is an answer to those of you who constanly retort to me, "Baxter(-Kauf) you cannot possibly look like Dom Deluise, never ever." To you I reply, "Go Fuck Yourselves.". Long live the moblog.



Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Got In a Little Hometown Jam, So They Put a Rifle in My Butt

I don't believe I will be going to sleep with absolute knowledge of who the president will be. I have some ideas of course, but I don't think it will be certain. At this point that simply means we haven't been officially ruled out. I am not a particularly optimistic man, but I am not confident that the nation has made the right decision.

I really do wonder how people outside this country perceive the US election system. This seems like something which shouldn't be happening in a country where we have 4-5 24 hour news channels, billions of dollars of cameras and reporters at every fucking polling place in the country. I won't pretend that I have any opinions about foreign politics based on either thorough study or direct experience, I probably know less about them than just about anyone, but the whole idea of not knowing who won an election seems so old school. I don't buy any of the arguments that it makes the country appear weak or indecisive. I don't really even understand the arguments whereby the country needs a quick and apparent winner so as to move on.

The reason I don't understand that is because at the end of this whole situation there is no fucking chance that the country will rally around the winner. I mean no chance at all. Issues like Iraq and the economy break overwhelmingly for Kerry while terrorism (how the fuck you seperate terrorism and Iraq and go a fucking 60 point swing between them is like the fruit of ass to me) and morals break hideously to the right. I don't think we are quite to John Stewart's quips about "election, recount, race war" but the general sentiment is dead on. I think I would probably have to consider it a win if there was some sort of gridlock and compromise, given the alternatives. I don't want to be alarmist and I am not going to predict something specifically bad happening, but I just cannot imgaine that this election will end up being unimportant.

As another question: if we lose this election and actually show some huge youth voter turnout, will this decimate the youth voting movement? I have to speculate that it will. In that world we did pretty much everything possible to increase dominantly liberal groups and still failed to pull it off. For all practical purposes, when Gore lost, I promised myself that I wouldn't vote for the mainstream candidate simply because they had the chance to win. I turned around and broke that rule immediately upon the next presidential election, but I cannot imagine doing it again if the country says yes to four more of Bush. I will have more to say about this later, win or lose.

Did Larry King just skip high school math to drop acid every day or something? Maybe someone needs to hand him Wolf Blitzer's fucking clipboard. I've already memorized every fucking EV count left on the map, this buttfucker can't add three single digit numbers and compare them to 21. At this point I would rather have a dealer from Mystic giving me electoral analysis than this assball. Every eighteen seconds he asks if there is a way we can get to 270 tonight. Dude, no one besides NBC and FOX (who are either going to get mad props or "Dewey Defeats Truman" mockery as a result of this) have changed shit since they called Alaska, did you forget to take your ritalin?

Final note, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has called the all important Rosemount City Council Election. You can go here (`http://www.startribune.com/news/metro/elections/returns/citsm.html ) and scroll down to Rosemount or check out ( http://rosemount.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={43FA420A-C214-412C-BA4F-A2AB253719E1} ) to see the place by place dominance. Yeah-rah for my dad. I'm sure I will have further analysis of this manana.

Alright, I am going to sleep either in the bed or on the couch, I'll probably drop by with thoughts tomorrow.



Ride the Tiger, You Can See His Stripes But You Know He’s Clean, Oh Don’t You See What I Butt

It is 11:45. It appears that we will lose Florida. That means if we hold eveything we are expected to hold and win Ohio we still have a chance. Absent that there is trouble. I don't really know what else to say here, though I should mention that MSNBC has a pale immitation of NBC's pale immitation of Donna. She has lighter red hair but also no turtleneck, so there is a little of the column a/column b situation.

I am already tired and I really didn't expect to be. I was pretty certain that I wouldn't be going to sleep before 1 or 2 at the very earliest, but I am already tired and to be honest, slightly discouraged. Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are not nearly as entertaining this year as they were in 2000 and Wolf Blitzer acts like he is reading things off his clipboard when they are quite obviously on a teleprompter. I like to hope that at the very least you have something written on that paper, but dude, when you announce something as "breaking just now" don't look down at your clipboard like it was a fucking Ouija board. It didn't break just now on the sheet of plastic you grabbed out of the CNN gift shop on your way to the show.

Final thing, maybe it has been like this for a long time, but the fact some big park-like square area in Rockefeller Center is named "Democracy Plaza" is fucking stupid. If this is a direct result of 9/11 than its just non-sensical, I mean, not even Freedom or Patriot or Jingoist Plaza, but Democracy. If this pre-existed 9/11 than it is both somewhat stupider (why, absent a moment of mindless nationalism do you name a place after the basic idea of government in your country, its like naming something Bicameral Village) and a little better, insofar as it least its based on stupid thinking which is not spontaneously reactionary.

I will at least acknowledge the state of the world before I go to sleep, though I am not sure when that will be or what state of affairs it will correlate with. Barak Obama rocks, I guess that is at least one positive thing to take from tonight, no matter what else goes on. If you live in Alaska, and you haven't voted yet, fucking get out and vote. Then stop and hang around with the seals and polar bears while you take your dog sled into Juneau during the 100 hour long days.



Tuesday, November 02, 2004

You’re an Accident, Waiting to Happen, You’re a Piece of Glass, Left in the Butt

So my first graphics note for the evening concerns the "cutaway" graphic that both CNN and NBC are using copies of. Basically there is a little screen within the screen that is tinted blue or red and has a picture of the candidate, the word winner, maybe the word incumbent, and a check mark on it. The weird thing is not this basic graphic, but the fact that they have made this graphic a sort of free-standing and rotatable billboards. For some reason it doesn't just sit in the middle of the screen and like, usefully convey its information. Instead it sort of swoops in from the side and then slowly turns back and forth right to left. Maybe this is supposed to be some sort of waffling from conservatism to liberality, I don't know. If it wasn't consciously done for some purpose like that, why the fuck would you bother to design your graphic in this way. Doesn't it just seem like an assload of unnecessary work? Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm not gonna go through and highlight every letter "q" in the papers I grade, even though it might look cool, its a waste of my fucking time.

CNN just had a 10 minute countdown to the 10:00 poll closings and at the end of that 10 minutes Wolf Blitzer told us the shocking fact that CNN was prepared to call...Utah. Thanks Wolf, we were all pretty concerned about Utah. We knew they would probably keep liquor sales limited to between 11 and 11:15 on Tuesdays, but we thought they might vote Democrat. Lets do a quick countdown here...5....4....3.....2........1........Pizza tastes good. See how much of a fucking waste that was, now do it for 10 minutes and end with an even less surprising fact.

Random unrelated note. I started a moblog. That makes me officially a cool hip tech wizard. I am like fucking Nick Burns up in here. Other random note, there was a pug halloween costume contest on the news the other day. There were pug dogs dressed up like tootsie rolls, hot dogs, batman, raggedy ann, a rasta-dog, and other really really cute things. I fucking love pug dogs.

Kerry is down 171-112. Not a single swing state has been called yet. As of yet the election is not close, but it hasn't gone either way yet. To say the election is "shockingly close" is like saying a 3-0 football game is that close after one possession. Wait until there is at least one relevant decision before you talk like this. Two more irrelevant facts: Bush wins Arkansas and Utah. 182-112. This can either end in half an hour or linger on for days. I am scared.



You’re an Accident, Waiting to Happen, You’re a Piece of Glass, Left in the Butt

So my first graphics note for the evening concerns the "cutaway" graphic that both CNN and NBC are using copies of. Basically there is a little screen within the screen that is tinted blue or red and has a picture of the candidate, the word winner, maybe the word incumbent, and a check mark on it. The weird thing is not this basic graphic, but the fact that they have made this graphic a sort of free-standing and rotatable billboards. For some reason it doesn't just sit in the middle of the screen and like, usefully convey its information. Instead it sort of swoops in from the side and then slowly turns back and forth right to left. Maybe this is supposed to be some sort of waffling from conservatism to liberality, I don't know. If it wasn't consciously done for some purpose like that, why the fuck would you bother to design your graphic in this way. Doesn't it just seem like an assload of unnecessary work? Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm not gonna go through and highlight every letter "q" in the papers I grade, even though it might look cool, its a waste of my fucking time.

CNN just had a 10 minute countdown to the 10:00 poll closings and at the end of that 10 minutes Wolf Blitzer told us the shocking fact that CNN was prepared to call...Utah. Thanks Wolf, we were all pretty concerned about Utah. We knew they would probably keep liquor sales limited to between 11 and 11:15 on Tuesdays, but we thought they might vote Democrat. Lets do a quick countdown here...5....4....3.....2........1........Pizza tastes good. See how much of a fucking waste that was, now do it for 10 minutes and end with an even less surprising fact.

Random unrelated note. I started a moblog. That makes me officially a cool hip tech wizard. I am like fucking Nick Burns up in here. Other random note, there was a pug halloween costume contest on the news the other day. There were pug dogs dressed up like tootsie rolls, hot dogs, batman, raggedy ann, a rasta-dog, and other really really cute things. I fucking love pug dogs.

Kerry is down 171-112. Not a single swing state has been called yet. As of yet the election is not close, but it hasn't gone either way yet. To say the election is "shockingly close" is like saying a 3-0 football game is that close after one possession. Wait until there is at least one relevant decision before you talk like this. Two more irrelevant facts: Bush wins Arkansas and Utah. 182-112. This can either end in half an hour or linger on for days. I am scared.



Seasons Don’t Fear the Reaper, Nor Do the Wind or the Sun or the Butt

As of yet CNN is moving faster than NBC, the former called West Virginia about 10 minutes before NBC did. There seems to be alot of discussion about the process of calling elections and I guess that is not a surprise given the problems with calling the last election. It sounds like these networks would rather risk calling the election later than everyone else rather than calling it wrong. I wonder how the politics and economics of that situation works.

Holy shit, NBC is reporting that 1 out of every 7 voters in North Carolina is under 30 years old. I would gather that is a huge part of the reason that race is still too close to call. I said a couple weeks ago that if we pull this off we will might have P. Diddy to thank for it and youth turnout is looking that way. "Vote or die motherfucker, motherfucker vote or die, if you don't fucking vote I'll stick this knife right in your eye."

If you didn't watch last week's South Park you missed a funny set of jokes. While I like John Kerry significantly better than Giant Douche (notably, Giant Douche was fucking funny), I think the final quote of the episode ("Your choice is almost always between a douche and a turd") is more than occassionally accurate.

Kerry takes a giant swing in the 8:00 hour, jumping 74 electoral votes and securing New Jersey, a fairly minor swing state, but the first of the contests certainly. There is a woman on NBC news who looks like Donna Pinciatti grew up, went shopping at Banana Republic, and put on a turtleneck. Redheads get very little play on the national news. I think it has something to do with carrots.Pizza!



I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Just Listen to the Rhythm of My Butt

I have said, probably on this forum at some point in the past, that I have some level of respect for Eminem. In this context I was probably talking about two things, one, his ability as a satirist, embodied in things like the Dido sample and all the videos that show up on MTV, or the lines about Columbine in "I Am," two, his ability to make politics fairly powerful in a musical context. I have all the same beefs everyone else does about his obvious problems in relation to gender and sexual minorities. The violence is sometimes bothersome to me, but I think sometime used effectively and overall just not relevant, though that is my own particularly desensitized self. Anyway, I saw this link in a number of places and I was bored during one of today's debates, so, I watched it online. I would post a link, but I think you can find it if you want it. It was on the Guerilla News Network, fucking google it.

Anyway, its fucking incredible. I am not a music fan, I don't listen to protest music, but I can say without question that it is the most effective politically active music video I have ever seen. Its fucking brilliant. The song is okay, its not the greatest tune in the world, but its pretty solid, more importantly, whoever wrote/designed/directed the video made almost all the right choices. The themes are not tremendously original, but are certainly correct. More importantly, there are a couple scenes with West Wing quality metaphoric images and some brilliantly pounding moments where the crescendo-ing nature of the music corresponds with perfectly done animations. I won't pretend that this is the best video ever made, nor that every moment of it is rare-form of the pure brilliance, but its fucking good. I don't know if it helps or hurts our chances in the election, though the possibility that it will motivate a couple kids to vote doesn't hurt and I can't really imagine that there is anyone who will, as a result of this thing, go vote for Bush though they hadn't planned to before. Safe to say, its good, and if you haven't watched it already, it gets my recommendation.

I wrote this over the weekend, during a debate round actually. As usual I forgot to post it. I am going to do so now, on election night, and join up with the pundits to blog the election. So tune in for my round the clock coverage. Except for when our pizza and wings come, I will then take a break.

At the moment we have just seen the second set of closings, nothing surprising quite yet, but Bush has 39. Thats largely a coincedence of the fact that 4 Bush states close early, but its scary nonetheless. Ohio closed at 7:30, we'll start hearing things soon I am sure. My coverage is based primarily on NBC and CNN, though there may be some MSNBC mixed in there. If you live somewhere where the polls are still open and you haven't voted, go fucking do it. I know it gets old to hear it so often, but the fact of the matter is that insofar as voter numbers stay down elections stay shitty, they continue to be dominated by pandering and smearing. Although turnout is already promising, I think even 75% of elligible voters doesn't prove the absolutel necessity of intelligent debate. Back soon.