Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Want You to Want Me, I Need You to Need Me, I'd Love You to Love Me, I'm Beggin You to Beg Butt

AND WE’RE BACK!!!!!!! As I decided to dedicate myself to doing virtually nothing but debate work in the run-up to King’s I have obviously neglected to say anything here. I have, in all honesty, neglected virtually everything else trying to get us into condition to have some sort of argument on both sides of the resolution and, as expected, it turned out fine.

We didn’t clear any novice teams this weekend, which was unfortunate, but everyone won at least 2 debates, so I consider that victory. I know I don’t have the unmitigated love for debate that many people around me do, but those times when things start to click for novices are really pretty incredible. If we somehow figure out how to motivate these people to cut some cards we should have a pretty fantastic year. We lost a tough and controversial quarters debate in open and one we just didn’t adjust to correctly in JV, so it’s not our best elim performance. We’re gonna roll at Cornell though.

One of the most ridiculous experiences of my life occurred on the ride home, when we managed to sustain a single (though admittedly hilarious) joke for the entire drive. It started with a pretty basic pseudo-debate joke about substituting the word “vagina” for the word “counterplan,” but by the time we got off the thruway, we were just saying “vagina” and laughing. The fact that we didn’t scare off any of the novices who woke up somewhere during this three-hour stretch is pretty incredible, so mad props to their appreciation of humor.

Now that we appear to be in the full swing of the fall television season premieres, I would just like to comment on how fucking awesome Studio 60 is looking to be. Notably, they just moved The West Wing into a TV show. The graphics, the dialogue, the framing of the show—they are all pretty much identical. I was certain that I would enjoy pretty much any program written by Aaron Sorkin, any show starring Josh Lyman. But I admittedly was worried about the ability of a show about SNL to pack the dramatic or emotional punch that characterized Sorkin. That was a risk that was put to rest about 5 minutes into the show and has been repeatedly smacked in the face since. I actually feel kind of stupid for even having said suspicions, since Amanda Peet’s character is such classic West Wing-like material (think the congress-woman’s husband who takes over her seat or the origin of Will Bailey).

I never watched Friends regularly, probably only saw 5-10 episodes during the actual run of the program. But just from those few experiences, it was pretty clear that Matthew Perry constituted a strong majority of the funny. When he did show up on The West Wing to get rid of the VP, he was pretty awesome. So far, he is running roughshod over Monday nights and that’s no small accomplishment when you are paired with the inspiration for lemon-lyman.com.

Hippo, fresh off her first weekend alone, is excited to watch some Monday Night Football, which we tivoed earlier, so I will oblige her. She had some neighborhood felines over for this NFL Sunday to celebrate the Packers’ success. They cleaned up well, but she is excited to watch Michael Vick. Apparently, she informed me, he learned everything he knows about scrambling out of the pocket from watching kittens.



Sunday, September 10, 2006

Run Like the Wind, At Double Speed, I'll Take You Places That You've Never, Never Butt

Packers sucked today, certainly, but in all honesty absent special teams we only lost 16-0. That’s not good by any means, but it’s not as terrible as the score made it look. Ahman Green shouldn’t have gotten 100+ yards of rushing against this defense, so that’s either something positive about his condition this season or an unknown vulnerability in the Bears’ d. Regardless, hopefully it will be better next week, though I’m not especially optimistic.

I am going to skip over the Philly entry that I have remaining because this afternoon is not the serious writing mood. I would rather briefly sum up, in list form of sorts, the second trip of the two-trip swing, back to Minnesota. I left on Thursday afternoon, stopping for a couple hours in Detroit for lunch, and then heading straight through to the cities. I hadn’t rented a car at the MSP for a while, but it wasn’t as ridiculously inconvenient as I thought it would be.

--We got to eliminate one of the family functions on Friday, but there was still crazy too much family for my taste. It meant that Katie, Karly, Kari (so out of place without a “K” in my name) and I all stayed in one room sleepover style. Nothing else was extremely invasive, although I would have preferred to further enjoy the college football opening weekend. Drives were easy in both directions.

--On my flight from Minneapolis back to Detroit my plane landed early, but spent about 20 minutes attempting to solve the Konigsberg Bridge Problem on the various runways. I seriously would have smacked the hell out of the pilot if it wouldn’t have resulted in spending my layaway with Homeland Security. I suppose they would have also had to open the security door for me, but seriously, it milked the SkyMall for all it was worth.

--Ghetto dice is an incredible game. While I was not involved in any of the big (25 and 18 bucks, respectively) pots that gradually grew from our 25 or 50 cent pots, they were truly entertaining. We also played some ghetto craps for a while afterwards, which just involved the pass-line but should probably be supplemented with Yo-11, just for Maroney’s sake.

--My mom took me to the Longfellow Grill, right where Marshall turns to Lake St. across the river. It was a nice area and quite tasty dinner, especially notable were the deep fried green beans with a plum sweet and sour dipping sauce. This is before I started seeing the ads for them at TGI Fridays, which means that in two weeks I will almost certainly have them at the King’s tournament hotel. Alongside a couple-thirteen-fourteen Maker’s Mark’s.

--The State Fair pwnz. I ate far less this year than I have in years past and in fact did not even border on feeling overly-fully. I did manage to get my hands on a bag of mini-donuts, cheese curds, pronto pup, Sweet Martha’s, cotton candy, caramel apple, part of Katie’s cream puff, corn on the cob, 7 glasses of milk, a Summit, and some hot dish on a stick. The hot dish was pretty tasty and came with cream of mushroom soup dip. It is not something you need to get every year, but I was glad I tried it. We spent about 6.5 hours at the Greatest of Minnesota Get Togethers, got to meet AJ’s newly born son, and generally had a blast. It’s pretty difficult to maneuver a group of like 12 around the fair on a beautiful Labor Day, but I was glad I got to see so many people all at once.

Hippo is glad for a great many things; including the fact that I am about to wave a feather encrusted stick just out of her reach. She always loves that one.



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So, So You Think You Can Tell, Heaven From Butt

The final five on Rockstar are seriously incredible. I loved this show last year, I love virtually every reality show, but seriously, this is off the hook. Every performance last night was good and there were 5 rock songs I would love to have in full studio form. Last year I don’t think anything besides Marty Casey’s “Trees” fell into that category. Even though the show continues to bash Dilana like she dissed the new Macintosh operating system and is exposing her terrible songwriting, I thought she kinda rocked. It wasn’t as good as Storm’s original, but that’s like comparing a quality glass of iced tea to a DVD copy of The Cutting Edge where all the scenes featuring “TOE PICK” repeat like 3 times before moving on. That’s what I thought.

I am almost sad to see the end of this summer season, since CBS’ reality contributions have been superb. It was sad to see Dr. Will go, but even beyond the brilliance of Chill Town and Janelle (among others of course) the doohickeys and plot gadgets have ruled, capped off by the brilliance of Big Brother Fast Forward. I no longer get to have my favorite two competitors in the finals, but mebbe Janelle can still pull out a win. Its great to have the early birds at Fox pumping out some quality television as well, but Bones just isn’t at Rockstar levels.

I haven’t mentioned anything really about Philly and a blow by blow breakdown of three full days that were now almost two weeks ago seems not too entertaining. But at least deserving of some mention:

--the city is incredible, the architecture alone blew my mind. Not only the legitimately historical architecture, but the seeming commitment to large scale public art really makes a difference. Maybe this is a really trite observation, I have no idea. I am certain that I could live in this town, if for no other reason than its aesthetics line up pretty well with my own and its neat to read historical markers every couple blocks.

--I only had time for two cheesesteaks, but both were awesome. Hit up Campo’s on Friday night, which was tasty but not really the atmosphere or setting I associate with this style of eatery. Saturday afternoon we made it to Jim’s, listed by most as among the big three joints in the city. We got there around 5 and the line was out the door by about 40 feet. By the time we had our sandwiches and got out the door it was maybe twice that long. We waited maybe 40-45 minutes for something that was being produced at a rate of around 1 per 30 seconds and it was worth moment. Not only was it without question the best cheesesteak I have ever eaten, it was one of the best sandwiches period. It was Katie’s birthday weekend and since she is not really the world’s biggest cheesesteak fan I couldn’t justify not doing one of the things she had so meticulously planned to make a run to whichever of Pat’s/Geno’s isn’t run by racist fuckheads. Next time.

--The Philly Zoo was a high quality institution in addition to being the oldest zoo in America. The new big cat joint was hidef. The mountain lions, who I didn’t know were capable of such a thing, stole the show. All three of them were running around, play fighting, jumping off trees and through tires, smacking each other around. Best mountain lions evar, even if they have officially been classified as pumas.

In a sad Rockstar note, as I was typing this, Storm Large was sent home. Downside: no more incredible Sorm Large originals like last night. Upside: hopefully returning full access to her website.

I have at least one more significant comment about Philadelphia, but it is like whole entry significance, so it will wait. Hippo, on the other hand, cannot wait to have me wave this feather on a long stick around the living room.