Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Who wants Man Meat!? - My 2007 Indianapolis Colts preview.

You smell that? It smells like a party. Or like victory…it smells like a victory party!! The NFL season opens up this weekend and I, for one, couldn’t be more gorged with elation.

A couple of things:
  1. The Indianapolis Colts are defending champs. That feels good to say.
  2. There are plenty of story lines to follow this season once the regular season gets underway – will the Atlanta Falcons pick themselves off the ground after the Michael Vick escapade? Are the New Orleans Saints still America’s team? Can Peyton repeat? Does he have to repeat? How long until Rex Grossman is benched? How long until the Madden curse knocks Vince Young out with a torn ACL? How dominant will the (shudder) Patriots be? How many players will Roger Goodell suspend due to off-the-field problems (currently stands at four – Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones, Chris Henry and Vick)? How many players (and assistant coaches) will he suspend due to steroids and human growth hormones (currently stands at two – Rodney Harrison and Wade Wilson)? And finally, is John Madden still alive?

I’m participating in about 52 fantasy football leagues this year. Now that all of my drafts are complete, I’ve decided to share a brief summary of this experience.

The rundown:

  • I officially sold my soul and drafted Tom Brady in nearly every league this year. This is what is wrong with sports; you grow up hating a team and everything they stand for, and as soon as money gets involved – and a few studs for receivers (Stallworth, Moss, Welker) are added to your enemy’s roster - you can’t help yourself but take someone like Brady. He’s going to have a huge year. Needless to say, I wouldn’t blame the football gods for making me lose every single game in every single league this season one bit.
  • I don’t have a single Colts’ player in any league. This could be good or bad. This can be good because now I can root for the Colts without any ulterior motives of selfish gain. This could also be bad because I will also be hoping that players on other teams do well. (Note – this has been a struggle for over a year now, but I have decided that I cannot and will not root for a player on my fantasy football team if they’re playing against the Colts on a particular week. This is a harder decision to make than some people realize. I now know one of the reasons why sports-betting is frowned upon.)
  • I have LaDainian Tomlinson in two leagues – interpretation – I have the keys to the Corvette on a lot full of Cavaliers. However, I can’t decide if my acquisition of LDT is nullified by the acquisition of Brady. Clearly, I didn’t think this tradeoff through. This is like taking a smoking-hot girl to dinner, only to choose the restaurant in the lobby of a hotel that happens to be hosting a male model convention (if such a thing exists) and watching your girl exit with someone named Djimon. I’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.

Onto the Indianapolis Colts’ 2007-2008 preview – I’m going to run down the list of different areas of this year’s team and grade each group based on a simple F (meaning bad) through A (meaning good) scale to determine how ready the Colts are to defend their crown.

OFFENSE -
Rushing – Joe Addai returns this year as the sole starter. Last year he backed up Dominic Rhodes, but Rhodes has since split for a bigger pay-day and terrible team in Oakland. Addai is the man this year. He’s expected to be in the top five in the league in rushing yards this season. He’s returning from a 1000 yard rushing season last season (not bad for a rookie backup runner) and will be expected to improve on that number this year. He’s joined in the backfield by the dynamite duo of Kenton Keith and Luke Lawton, two unknowns that aren’t expected to contribute more than a couple of plays here and there so Addai doesn’t burn himself out in three games. (A-)

Passing – This should go unsaid, but I’ll say it anyways – Peyton Manning still plays here. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are both healthy and primed for another 1200 yards-a-piece season. The Colts’ first round draft pick comes by the name of Anthony Gonzalez from Ohio State and should fit in quite beautifully in this offense, replacing the injury-prone Brandon Stokely and giving the Colts a solid and consistent slot receiver that proved to be so successful in Manning’s 49-touchdown season in 2004. Tight end Dallas Clark, one of Manning’s favorite targets, is healthy as well, so the air attack is scarily looking better than ever before. (A+)

Offensive Line – In years past, the offensive line has arguably been the best in the league. They ought to be the best in the league. They’re protecting the highest paid football player in the league. With the abrupt departure of Tarik Glenn, the Colts were forced to plug the biggest hole (literally and figuratively) in the dam that is the Indianapolis offensive line. Glenn was a pro-bowler. Peyton Manning has never professionally played with another Left Tackle. Glenn was responsible for protecting Manning’s blind-side. He’s replaced with a rookie out of Arkansas, Tony Ugoh. He didn’t expect to be starting this early in his career, but Ugoh needs to step up right away with one of the biggest responsibilities on the entire roster. Ugoh joins veterans Ryan Lilja, Ryan Diem, Jake Scott and Jeff Saturday on the line charged with not skipping a beat from last year. Manning is one of the fewest sacked QB’s in the league and it is expected to stay that way. (B)

OFFENSE TOTAL – (A-)

DEFENSE -
Defensive Line – I’m sure I speak for everyone in Indianapolis when I say Corey Simon can kiss our collective anuses. Simon is the guy that was brought on by the Colts to help stop the run in 2005 after Philadelphia dumped him. Turns out, Simon was interested in playing half a season and collecting a huge paycheck ($14 million for 13 games). He sat out the entire 2006 season with an “undisclosed illness.” Reports came out that he was just being lazy and didn’t want to play. Even though he didn’t play a single down in 2006, I’m quite certain he collected his championship ring. He was dropped by the Colts in early August 2007, and recently signed with Tennessee. Good riddance, Douchebag.

The line is anchored by Dwight Freeney, who needs to step up in a big way this year(after just signing a $72 million contract) after a 2006 season that didn’t bring the same numbers that Colts fans have been used to for the past couple of years. He’s joined on the line by Robert Mathis, Rahim Brock and rookie Ed Johnson who replaces Anthony McFarland after he went down to injury in training camp. The loss of McFarland is a concern for the Colts, seeing as how they had one of the worst rushing defenses in the league last year. (C)

Linebackers - The ever revolving door of above average linebackers continued to spin this offseason with the loss of Cato June. That makes three solid linebackers (Mike Peterson, David Thornton, June) in the last six years to leave the Colts because the team couldn’t afford to keep them. That leaves Rob Morris, Gary Brackett and Freddy Keiaho at the helm of the defense. Morris helped save the season last year with his stellar performance in last year’s postseason. Brackett is steady, and Keiaho is unproven. In my opinion, this part of the team (other than the dismal Special Teams) has the most question marks going into the season. (D+)

Defensive Backs – As the linebackers have gotten weaker in the offseason, the Colts’ DBs have definitely improved from last year. Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson are definite improvements over the often overmatched Jason David and the rickety Nick Harper of last year. Joining them in the backfield is Antoine Bethea and superman Bob Sanders, who is campaigning for the “guy most likely to kill someone on the football field.” He’s a human missile. If he can stay healthy this season, which is highly unlikely with his style of play, the DB’s should be in decent shape. (C)

DEFENSE FINAL GRADE – (C)

Special Teams – Kicking: the best still wears blue (Vinatieri). Punting: trusty Hunter Smith has the easiest job in the NFL punting for the most potent offense in the league. Coverage: This team was one of the worst kick and punt coverage teams in the league last year. It’ll be interesting to see how they perform this year without major improvements in personnel in the offseason. I’d like to grade this group higher because of Vinatieri, but not even he can make up for the atrocious performance of the collective group. (F)

Coaching – Who doesn’t like Tony Dungy? This might be his last season, and he hasn’t lost the fire. Not much to write here, except I can’t wait to see all of the stories about how Tony Dungy was the first black coach to coach a season following a Superbowl victory. That’s really interesting. I had no idea he was black. (A)

FINAL 2007 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS GRADE – (B+)

We all know that a B+ is good enough to win the rotten division the Colts play in (Titans, Jaguars, Texans). I look at it this way: if every team is an average of a (C), then the Colts are clearly above average, which proves to be the case year after year. Plus I weighted the Special Teams grade a bit because they’re not on the field more than a few plays per game. Instead of representing 25% of the grade, they now represent about 10-15% of the final grade.

So I will be at the Colts’ opening game against the Saints. I will be watching every televised game on Sunday. It is time. Football season has arrived. I just pray the football gods are gentle this year and forgive my apparent secret man-crush on Tom Brady.




Monday, August 27, 2007

who let the stinky gorilla in the room?

I’m writing this blog from my brand new (I got it two weeks ago) computer. You’re reading the same highbrow literary goodness, but it just feels different writing it. I feel like a different person – a better person, if you will. I’ve been waiting for this computer since January, and after multiple manufacturing/release delays, I finally have my hands on one. I pretty much nabbed a golden ticket to Wonka’s factory.

---

I performed my first live show (solo) in over a year last night. I haven’t played in Indy since 2001. Here’s the setup –

A company called Gorilla Productions contacted me on myspace about a month ago. They said something to the effect of “blah blah blah Battle of the Bands come get your name out there August 26, blah.” (Note: Let me say that I appreciate Gorilla for finding me and asking me to be a part of this. I don’t blame them for the story about to be told. I’m thankful for the opportunity despite how this entry may or may not read).

So I signed up as a solo act. I was told I was the only solo act. This turned out to be erroneous and a reflection of events that will be explained in better detail shortly. On August 3, I was told I would receive tickets in the next few days (I realize that “few” is somewhat relative) that I would need to sell and market for the show. The more tickets I sold, the better time slot I’d get at the show. Sounds simple enough. Sounds great. I was on board.

The trouble began about August 17 (two weeks after that phone call) when the tickets finally arrived. The first problem being that the tickets took two weeks to arrive. There were 100 tickets in the bunch, and I had one week to sell as many as possible to try and not get the 6:00 slot. No one wants the 6:00 slot. No one would have been there, and more importantly no one would have been drunk enough to cheer like maniacs. (Note: maniacal cheering turned out to be the sole determining factor in who took the crown for this competition.)

I was still on board. One week and I had home-court advantage being that Birdy’s is a mere 15-minute drive from my house.

When the tickets arrived I noticed a subtle flaw in the ink-design. Instead of the tickets reading “Gorilla Productions presents Battle of the Bands featuring – Tyler Bender,” the tickets read “Gorilla Productions presents Battle of the Bands featuring – Tyler Beader.” You can see where I might get upset. How the F#@&! am I supposed to market myself and sell these tickets for a person that doesn’t exist? Whatever, I sold 47 tickets. Let’s recap…tickets are two weeks later than promised, and my name is that of an invisible person. Strike two, fellas.

Fast forward to the day of the show. I was told to show up at 4:00. I was there at 4:15. No one else showed up to the bar until 5:00. No one from Gorilla answered their phones. I was sitting outside by myself for a good while until the lovely Summer showed up at about 5:15. So I had to choose time slots. I chose 9:45. Great.

Well the band that sold the most tickets (or something) showed up at about 5:50 (10 minutes before showtime. They were stuck with a terrible slot and grumbled and bellyached until they got the time they wanted. Unfortunately, that pushed the rest of us back a half hour. This would have been fine had everyone known what time we were playing in advance rather than waiting for nearly 2 hours for Summer to juggle the times again and again. So I was pushed back until 10:15. I picked 9:45. I would not have picked 10:15. Strike three.

Remember when I said judging was based on audience cheering/reaction/applause? Well this whole contest is taking place on a Sunday night. That’s the day before Monday when 98% of America goes to work in the morning. So pushing this contest back at least a half-hour for two guys who couldn’t show up when they were instructed to, is somewhat (extremely) ridiculous. Not to mention that the allotted time for setup and take down was massively underrated. So the judging didn’t happen until midnight. Judging amounted to Summer going on stage and reading off the lineup on a sheet of paper and listening to people clap.

Thanks be to those that stuck around to cheer and clap for me during the “voting.” Jordan, Aubrey, Becca, Abby, Heather, Katie, Katie, Katie, Mitch, Andy, Mindy and Collin. They gave a valiant effort. Unfortunately for everyone an inexperienced teenage homeless man’s “New Found Glory” band that had never played in front of a live audience had the most people in the room at the time of the voting. So they won. Congrats on your victory, fellas.


I don’t think I should have won. I think another band should have won. I do not think the band that won should have been in the top-5. Whatever.

My show went well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I accomplished my goals:

  1. Make a good impression on the venue – Birdy’s apparently really enjoyed my set and made sure to get my contact info from me before I left.
  2. Introduce myself to other local bands for the chance to play with them – A band called The Last Good Year (also the band that had my vote for the band that should have won) introduced themselves to me and asked me if I’d be interested in opening for them sometime. We exchanged myspace information and we were on our way.
  3. Put on a good show for the people who bought tickets to see Tyler Beader put on a good show. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Even Mindy said she liked it. Mindy is the same girl that said that she didn’t like my music but was only coming to support me.

So after all of the dog and pony charades that took place over the last few weeks, it ended up being quite satisfactory. Again, I don’t blame any particular party for the craziness. It’s all part of the business, I suppose.

One piece of advice for production companies – please make sure you promote bands properly and don’t misrepresent them. Honor your commitment to making them look good. The bands will do their part in trying to make you look good by showing up and selling your tickets. When you make the voting a joke for a “battle” of the bands, then it doesn’t bode well for your reputation. When you print the wrong names of the band that are selling your tickets on your promotional pieces, it makes you look amateur. I had a good time last night. But it wasn’t because it was a great easy process and show to be a part of. It was because of the people that came to see me. It was because of the hospitality of the venue.

Thanks to everyone for coming to support me. I hope you enjoyed the show. Thanks to Birdy's for hosting. Thanks to Gorilla for putting the event on.

Check out pictures from the show here (thanks to Mindy for taking these)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Asterisks!: Where legends are born*

Barry Bonds finally made his history. 756. Or, to please some of you – 756*.

Did he cheat? Did he stain the ultimate sports record by rubbing Creams and Clears on his body? Did he sell out his ethics for money and records?

Hank Aaron previously held the record for most career home runs for over 33 years. No one doubts that Aaron did it clean. A lot of people doubt that Bonds did. Do I? I’d guess he used steroids. The reason I can’t be sure is because he’s never tested positive for steroids. He’s never failed a drug test. I assume he used steroids only because of this. He used to be skinny. Now the total weight of what he used to weigh has transfixed itself into his head, with the rest of his body looking like the Hulk.

But what would have happened had Mark McGwire broken the record? McGwire was one of the players who put baseball back on the map with his slugging in 1998. He broke Roger Maris’ record of most home runs in a season. He made baseball relevant again in America. He is also widely believed to have taken steroids throughout his career. We never crucified him like we do Bonds. He disappeared after his terrible appearance before congress, and we somewhat let him off the hook. He is having a bit of trouble getting into the Hall of Fame now, though.

Jason Giambi was celebrated in 2005 when he won the American League Comeback Player of the Year. This was the year after he was right in the middle of the same steroids scandal that Bonds is a part of. He didn’t admit anything different than what Bonds has admitted. Yet, we honored him that year.

Alex Rodriguez is widely believed to beat Bonds’ home run record down the road in his career. He’s the youngest to ever hit 500 home runs, and you don’t hear much about him ever taking steroids. It was only a year ago (and a few years leading up to now) that people loved to hate A-Rod more than any other player in baseball. He was a primadona, arrogant, selfish and the richest man in baseball. But now it seems that is all forgotten and A-Rod is a saint being cheered for his accomplishments and his pursuit rather than his off-the-field ridiculousness. I’m sure now that this chase is over, the media will go back to hating him, but it was just interesting to see how people forgot about him for a bit.

All because of Bonds.

It’s no secret Bonds is a jerk. Maybe that’s the reason people have such a hard time accepting the fact that he’s the one who owns the home run record. No one likes rooting for jerks who figure they’re owed something. Plus, Bonds never let the public in on his life. Why would people be happy about a guy they don’t even know, owning baseball’s most cherished record?

Personally, I congratulate Bonds. If he took steroids, he made the choice to do so, but I also think that he was playing in an era of baseball that pushed him into making that decision. I think whether he’s good or bad, clean or dirty, people love watching him. It’s proven in attendance numbers throughout the years. People come to Giants’ games to watch Barry Bonds.

I don’t think we should be able to have it both ways. We shouldn't get away with hating a guy for what he’s doing, yet continue to pay money to go see him do it. That's precisely what America has done.

One of the biggest clich├ęs to ever hit the world of sports is that sports are a business. Someone is making money somewhere. Both the MLB and Bonds made a killing on whatever he did or did not do to beat the record. That’s all people really care about. It’d be nice to believe that people cared about ideals and ethics and morals when it comes to entertainment. We don’t care. Give us an entertaining product and we’ll keep coming back for more as long as we don’t get bored.

When Bonds’ career is all said and done, we will be able to all agree on one thing: Barry Bonds was never boring.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Nothing makes me want to get to third base with you more than a bunch of balls on a hot summer day.

It’s summer time. That can only mean one thing (not really). It’s baseball time! Unfortunately for me, I live in a city without a professional baseball team. The Indianapolis Indians play triple-A ball at Victory field downtown. It’s quite unfortunate that my favorite team is vying for first place in a different state, outside of “let’s go to a professional baseball game tonight” distance.

Nevertheless, I went to an Indians’ game a bit ago. Instead of sitting in chairs, I chose to sit in the center field lawn watching the backs of baseball players, whose names I will never know.

It was 90 degrees outside without a cloud in the Indianapolis sky. The only blanket I had was a fleece blanket. Enter sweaty-swamp-butt. I could either sit on the blanket and learn what Hell feels like, or I could sit directly in the grass and get eaten alive. I decided handling burning sweaty eyeballs and sweat-saturated clothes were better alternatives to scratching my skin off because bugs were living in my pores.

As I was profusely sweating all over myself, I noticed there was a love-stricken couple going at it (note: the picture is not of this particular couple, only a display of the behavior taking place) about 10 feet away from me. This couple was made up of zero attractive persons and certainly only one human. Regardless, it got me thinking about public displays of affection and how it makes everyone feel uncomfortable.

I don’t care if you’re at a minor league baseball game or if you’re at PDA camp, there should be rules and regulations to police this kind of behavior. I’m not talking about creating laws to make it a criminal act, I just think it should be a “citizen’s discretion” policy; as in – the citizens in the surrounding area of these people putting on these displays, should be required to choose between the following actions to provide justice:

A) Announce the play-by-play action as if it were a golf tournament. “You could cut through this sexual passion with a knife. It’s time to make a move. He’s playing it safe with the not-so-obvious route through the back of her shirt, rather than aggressively going straight for her dignity.” It’d be great.
B) Stand right next to the couple (like all up in their bidness) and make out with an invisible person, from seduction to finish (however you determine the end of a make-out session.) Seriously, if you were making out with someone, and noticed that there was someone standing a foot away from you making out with himself, would that NOT make you immediately stop? Think about it.

With that, now comes the list of what IS and IS NOT acceptable in the world of Public Displays of Affection. Since something either IS or IS NOT something, this scale will be pretty simple. The scale will be represented by either a (two thumbs up) for acceptable or (two thumbs down) for unacceptable. Sounds good.

1 – Holding Hands - Two Thumbs Up. This is easy. I don’t know anyone that gets grossed out or uncomfortable by two people holding hands, unless of course, those two people have hands that look like this. Yikes. Regardless, holding hands, or tossing arms around shoulders in public is sweet and affectionate whether it’s because a guy is leading a girl around, or just because they want to be close to each other but don’t want to be naked. It’s a perfect way to be intimate and important to each other, but not ridiculous enough to act like the world revolves around just the two of you.

2 Invading personal space – Two Thumbs Down - If you’re going to sit on your boyfriend’s lap because there isn’t anywhere else to sit, that’s okay. If you’re going to walk through the mall with your hand in your boyfriend’s back pocket like you’re 14, that’s not okay. If you’re going put your girlfriend up on your shoulders because she can’t see at a concert (and I’m not the one standing behind you), that’s okay. If you’re going to give full body massages at a party or small gathering, that’s not okay. This one is really a toss up. So screw it, if there’s ever a toss up, I’m going with Two Thumbs Down. Better safe than sorry. I’d rather you take the hit and stand up so your girlfriend has a place to sit, than unexpectedly come across your girlfriend with her hand on top of your crotch in the mall foodcourt. Sometimes you give, sometimes you take. This time, I’m taking.

3 – Kissing – One Thumb Up, One Thumb Down – I’ll give on this one. This is risky business. The only time kissing is appropriate in public is when you are A) greeting your significant other, B) leaving your significant other. You come home from a long day of work, and all you really want is some sugar from your girl. Go ahead and kiss her to say hello. However, anything beyond 1.5 seconds is deemed unacceptable and at risk of receiving judgment from Citizens’ Discretion policy. Besides, behavior like this is what leads to melees like the one I saw at the baseball game. You’ve gotta keep it in check.

4 – Pet Names – Two Thumbs Down – Not only should this embarrass any dude whose girlfriend calls him “Cuddle Cakes” in the utmost seriousness, but it should downright make everyone (even the people calling and receiving the name) nauseous. I would be less suspicious of Michael Vick searching for the perfect Pit Bull pup at the local Humane Society, than I would of Cuddle Cakes’ manhood. Pet names are fine in the confines of your own home if that's your bag. Pet names are absolutely not fine anywhere else.

5 – Babying – Two Thumbs Down - Apart from fetching your partner a drink, or providing the warmth of your jacket to her while you freeze to death, babying someone is just unacceptable. People were taught how to feed themselves at a very young age. There is absolutely no reason to revisit this time of our lives by feeding each other. You’re adults who can shovel the piece of cake into your own mouth. Along with this, society has no place for someone talking to their partner like they’re 4-years-old or unable to look after themselves the big big world we live in. I understand serving each other is endearing. There is a happy medium between selfishly bringing Chinese food home for just yourself, and breaking out the chopsticks to feed your partner each piece of rice.

6 – Butt Smackin – Two Thumbs Up - Okay I just really wanted to search Google for some good butt grabbin pics, I admit! But this is acceptable behavior. This is also debatable behavior as to whether or not it can be considered PDA. Guys have been smackin rear-ends for ages in the locker rooms and on the fields of sport. This has become less of a sexual act and more of a “job well done” encouragement. There is always room for positive reinforcement and encouragement in the realm of relationships. Anytime you want your partner to “go get em’ tiger,” this is perfect and appropriate, by all means...smack the butt.

7 – Saying “I love you,” – Two Thumbs Down – The only time a declaration of love is acceptable in public is for monumental occasions. Saying “I love you,” is a significant personal milestone for relationships and should be kept personal. If you love your boyfriend, telling him in front of all of his friends is not even close to the best way of showing him. As soon as you leave the room, chances are, you will take his honor, spirit and self-admiration with you. It’s not that he doesn’t love you. He probably does. But don’t make him remind you in front of other people. You should be the only one that hears him if he utters the word “love.” The only acceptable venue for this declaration to take place would be hospitals. Hospitals trigger a lot of emotion, and no one is going to give you grief for being emotional and spewing love words in a hospital. I guess huge celebratory occasions, like the birth of a child or the engagement of love birds could suffice as well. I guess.

Recap: Holding hands: good. Everything else: probably not good.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to heed my warnings. Now that the Citizens’ Discretion policy is in place, I’d hate to see you ruthlessly embarrassed at the hands of policy abiding people who are endlessly embarrassed for you because of the red suction spots on your neck and the tent you seemed to have pitched in a public place.

The Indians lost, by the way.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hey! It's so good to see you!! How are you? What are you doing now? Wait...who are you again?

When I walked away from Carmel High School in 2001, I remember not caring to be a part of any future "get-together" or reunion. I was over it. By the time I graduated, I could probably have counted the number of people in that school that I cared for within the limits of my 10 fingers. Most of them weren't in my class.

My vow proved to abdicate me six years later on the eve of July 20. I was wrangled in to meeting people I graduated with that currently live in or around the great city of Indianapolis.

I wasn't going to go, but at last minute, I walked down memory lane and thought to myself - golly, it'd sure be good to see the people who won't remember my name, again! And I journeyed to a local bar to gather for refreshments, redundant conversations and uninspiring times.

When I got there, the numbers were tolerable. I walked into a crowd of seven. I genuinely was interested in talking to three of them. Of course, more and more people showed up. If I was to exhibit my enthusiasm through a line graph as the night went on and these fine owners-of-daddy's-store kids re-entered my life, it might look something like this.

By the end of the night, I left feeling that I would have rather impaled my beer bottle into my temple than be around 83% of the people in attendance. Needless to say, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I can't say I'm shocked that after all this time, these people still are not decent. I was, however, shocked that some of them are still alive and haven't forgotten how to do things like breathe. So I guess I tip my hat in that respect. I'm also a little surprised that I have the same feelings for these people six years after I walked away from them the first time. I guess that says just as much about my lack of altruism as it does their lack of souls.

I'm just angry that I'm not (nor was I ever) cool. And they are.

Of course, everyone reminisced about the days when we didn't talk to or know each other. I had the same conversation 30 times. Then everyone took down phone numbers and surely won't call again until the next reunion is ready to be planned.

By that time, maybe all of the cool football players will be completely bald and tack on a few extra chins to their already pudgy little faces. And maybe I'll harbor in my judgement and malicious attitude a few years until it can resurface again at the next gathering. Can't wait. Go Carmel!

Links!

The only thing I really got is this. With the new Simpsons' movie coming out, I'm sure this is old news to a lot of you, but it took me four days to get myself simpsonized. There is a big push to go out and make yourself yellowed to look like a Simpson. Apparently the push couldn't handle the amount of online traffic, and for about two days, every time I uploaded a photo, the site would a) freeze, b) tell me to come back later, c) load forever. If you can get your picture on there, do it. It's actually pretty accurate.





Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Return: Ryan Adams in concert and Megan Fox is hot.

So I guess I haven't written in oh, nearly two months. I needed the break to do important things. Instead of talking about how (un)important the last 45 days have been, I think I'll simply kick-off part two (what?) of my two-part 2007 bitter/sweet/heart series by writing about my outing last night.

I made the trip from my home in Indianapolis to go be a part of the crowd gathering in Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky to experience Ryan Adams (and The Cardinals) in concert.

I'm not a professional critic. I have never attempted to write even a half-serious review of any kind of performance in my life. A few years ago when I was writing newspaper editorials, my good friend Jordan Sowards used to tell me on a weekly basis that all I ever wrote about was negativity and that I couldn't ever say anything good about anything. With his encouragement and support in mind, I have given myself the stamp of approval in writing this review/criticism.

First, the rules...

I am going to judge the experience based upon five criteria including:

  1. Travel
  2. Venue
  3. Audience/company
  4. Performance Quantity
  5. Performance Quality

I will judge the experience with an easy-to-understand scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst and I'd rather slit my wrists and do push ups in rubbing alcohol than go through what I just experienced ever again. 10, of course being the best and I would choose going through this experience again before I'd choose spending the night with my most recent enthusiasm. With five categories, that would bring a perfect score to 50 points.

All of the criteria will be judged in a comparison of my first encounter with Ryan Adams and The Cardinals in Birmingham, Alabama. I saw them perform two or three years ago at City Stages. They weren't on the main-stage and I think that upset Ryan quite a bit. I'm fairly certain he downed a handle of vodka on stage. This led him to do things like call us by the wrong city/festival, thanking us for welcoming him to South by Southwest -- in Texas.

He also told imaginary stories about how dolphins are sneaking into Mr. McGregor's garden. He pushed his female bass player off stage and stormed off in about 30 minutes. He had just released Cold Roses and didn't play any songs from it. In fact, from what I remember, he didn't play many songs that people knew. The songs that people recognized, were different and secondary renditions. All in all, the experience left something to be desired. If I were grading that endeavor, it'd read like this

  1. Travel - 8 - I was able to drive 5 minutes to downtown and park for free because of my shiny Smith, Spires and Peddy parking pass. The only thing better than that would have been to have the concert in my front yard or in my living room.
  2. Venue - 3 - Although City Stages was cool (not really), it was kind of lame that he was shoved to the Coca Cola stage when lord-knows-what-Uncle Kracker-sounding-southern-rock-band was playing on the main stage.
  3. Audience -4- I was with two of my best friends in the aforementioned Jordan and Jordan Reichmann in his three-month stint as an Alabama resident. They're the only reason the rating is this high. If I remember correctly, the place seemed rather empty. Never a good sign.
  4. Performance Quantity - 5- This might be because he was on the Coca Cola stage under a bridge and in the dark, without speakers or an audience that cared, but he only played for about 30-45 minutes. I blame his drunkenness and rotten mood. By the time the show was over, however, he did manage to break a bunch of expensive equipment.
  5. Performance Quality -3- This has already been touched on. I couldn't tell you two songs they played. I do know that they completely butchered "New York, New York" one of his classics. Also, I would consider "small talk in between songs" under this category, and he was quite douchey.

That brings the grand total to a whopping 23/50. That's a solid F for those keeping score at home. It was a rough time for all of us.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, now that I've lost 90% of the readers that started reading this entry, I begin the first review of the second part of my 2007 bitter/sweet/heart series.

Travel - I had to drive two hours each way to get to this place. I was looking forward to the drive. I've recently bought a lot of new music and was anxious to listen to it without interruption. I left at 5:00 right after work, and couldn't have picked a worse time to leave being that it was rush hour and I had to venture around 465.

In an attempt to not bore you, I'll just say that 465 is a big circle, and you can go two ways to get to one exit. I chose the right way.

I still thought I was running late because it was rush hour and I was at least two hours away from Louisville. The concert started at 8:00. Throughout the entire day, I kept having this nagging feeling about flat tires. I don't know why. I did see a mind-boggling 11 cars jacked up on the side of the road due to tire deflation, though. So I was on pins and needles the whole way. Thank God my tires weren't, because I got to Louisville on time (7:30).

It was a beautiful day, so I elected to have the windows down. Keeping the windows down does more than impede the quality of sounds coming out of my car speakers. It didn't matter. I kept the windows down and chose to forego my sing-along for a substantial part of the trip.

I was meeting my sister there. She had the tickets and was running late. That put me back until at least 8:30. We weren't sure if there was an opening band or not (there wasn't), but what can you do? She was late. So I went and drank beers at a local bar. The place was packed to the gills.

(Side Note: Does anyone else get severely annoyed when you go to a place and notice that ALL of the guys seem to be showing off through their hue of beer? For some odd reason this drives me insane. It doesn't get much worse than a guy wearing a Budweiser t-shirt and drinking a beer that looks like it came out of a coffee pot. EVERYONE was doing this at this place. It seemed like people were standing around showing others their beers in some kind of (wiener-size) contest. Give me a break. I didn't see a light colored beer in the entire bar area. I was waiting for all of the guys to pop their collars, cock their trucker hats and climb into their H2's and drive off to their cornhole tournaments.) -- Final Travel Grade = 8

Venue - Personally, there is nothing better than going to a concert in a theatre. I understand lawns allow you to relax and lounge on your own blankets and chairs while enjoying the show. I realize that standing-room-only venues provide an intimate collision with the band.

Theatres seem to have the best sound and all of the seats are elevated enough so you can see over the heads of whoever is sitting in the seat directly in front of you. The only downside to theatres is that sometimes they have pew benches instead of seats. Pews are fine until you have to share a pew with a guy that weighs 350 pounds and takes up 4 seats in a 3 seat pew.

Luckily for my sister and I, we were seated right on the aisle, 5th row, balcony. Perfect seats. So instead of being the guy that tries to carry 4 cups of beer back to his seat, making everyone in his aisle squirm or awkwardly stand up to let him pass, and spilling portions from each cup all over the shirts of his aislemates - I was the guy who had to do the squirming and could have gotten drunk off the spillage on my shirt.

Brown Theatre has 1441 seats with a 67 foot stage. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals took up about 20 feet right in the center of the stage. They laid out 3 Persian rugs side by side and that's all the space they needed. Jam packed right in the middle. Although we were in the balcony, the arrangement made it feel like we were in their living room. Final Venue Grade = 8.5

Audience/Company - I already mentioned that I met Tara there. I also noticed that 90% of the wiener-size-contestants made their way into Brown Theatre. I bet they were disappointed when they found out that their beer would be sissy-colored gold served in plastic cups rather than black-rubber-dark in 12-inch steins. Probably ruined their time.

Anyways, a few months ago Tara wrote The Ten Commandments of Show-Going. I'm not going to steal her ideas, but I will expound upon them.

Don't go to a show and scream out your favorite song until you get a reaction from the performers.

You're a Droid if you do this at shows. I understand alcohol plays a part. But you should wear a shirt announcing free permission to your aislemates to punch you in the glasses if you start screaming song titles in the middle of a concert. No one wants to hear it. Plus, the band probably has a set list.

There were plenty of this type of person to go round' in the theatre during this show. I don't know what it is. Maybe the intimate setup gave people the impression that they knew Ryan Adams and were the boss of him and his band.

Some people even started chants -- as in, they spelled out the first half of the word "Cardinals." C-A-R-D-S- what's that spell!? CARDS! This type of behavior is beyond unnecessary. Their cornhole game must have ended ahead of schedule.

Not to mention that I thought the girls sitting behind us were having orgasms during the first few bars of every single song. "Ahhhhhh OH MY GOD! I LOVE THIS SONG!"

The only saving grace was that I was with my sister, who LOVES Ryan Adams. It was good to be with her and see her happy to be there. She saves this grade. Final Audience/Company Grade = 7

Performance Quantity - Things got off to a rough start with us being late. There wasn't an opening band, so the show started at 8:00 and we didn't walk in until about 8:30. They walked off stage at 9:50, prompting Tara to comment "that seemed short," forgetting that we missed about a quarter of what had been played.

People clapped for a good five to ten minutes after they walked off. It was the longest clapping situation I think I've ever been a part of. Or maybe it just seemed long because the orgasmic girls behind me kept whistling and screeching in my ears.

Sure enough, the band walked back out! Ryan Adams came out and said something like "I just feel like playing music. Sit down everyone. We're not going anywhere for a while." They proceeded to play for about another hour and a half. Probably the best thing I've ever seen from a band.

I have never walked away from a three-and-a-half hour concert thinking to myself "I wish I could hear more." After they walked off stage the second time, that was precisely what I was thinking. I couldn't get enough of what I was listening to. Final Performance Quantity Grade = 10

Performance Quality - I'm a sucker for guys (or girls, I suppose) running, jumping and acting like maniacs on stage. I love it. Anything that brings energy is alright by me. Last time I saw Ryan Adams perform, he acted like a maniac, but not the good kind. He acted like men in white coats were after him.

This time there were six people on stage and they were all sitting down. Even Ryan popped a squat for the duration of the show. They brought energy, but they didn't need to run around and push people into speakers.

I have heard that Ryan has been sobered up the past few months and he has been on "good behavior" this tour. This was quite evident as the music was all of the energy the room could contain.

They all sat in a crescent formation with the steel guitar and piano at both ends. Since 2000, Ryan Adams has completed and produced 10 albums. He just recently released Easy Tiger, so I would have expected the set list to be heavy on the "here's a song from our new album, Easy Tiger, in stores now," side.

I couldn't have been more wrong, and more surprised. They played a bunch of the Easy Tiger songs, but it wasn't even close to an "Easy Tiger Tour" show. They played many songs from every album he has released in the last seven years. My favorite Adams' albums are the Love Is Hell albums. Last time I saw Adams, he didn't touch the LIH songs. He just touched himself. This time the set had plenty and he touched me. I left satisfied.

There wasn't an electric guitar in the place -- very surprising. There wasn't a spotlight anywhere to be found throughout the night -- never seen before. Every light came from behind the band. You couldn't ever really see anyone's face. It was all about the music -- not the antics. It was a mature performance, not a rock circus. There wasn't anything that could have been done to make me want more from this performance. Final Performance Quality Grade = 10

Final Ryan Adams Concert Experience Grade = 43.5/50

Let's recap: First show - F. Second show - B+.

I would confidently claim this as the best concert experience I've ever had -- how's that for positive writing!? You might ask, "how can the best concert experience I've ever had only invoke a B+ rating?"

Because as great as it was, I'm not even flirting with giving people the impression that if my enthusiasm (I think she's waiting for me) ever matched up against a concert, I'd be sitting in the fifth row in the balcony in front of orgasmic teenagers. Not happening.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Asking me to be moving at 4:30 in the morning is like asking me to shove popcorn kernals into my eyelids and pray for the apocalypse

I'm going to the race this weekend. That seems like a simple sentence. At first glance it might appear that a sentence like "I'm going to the race this weekend," would be a tool used casually in any conversation with good friends or even a complete stranger as an ice breaker to something deeper and more meaningful, like shutting off the gas pump until the wise-guy outside smoking a cigarette with a gas nozzle in hand, extinguishes his flame...for example.

The sentence however, carries much weight. If this sentence were a person, that person would be incomparably avoirdupois.

The reasons:
  1. I've never been to a meaningful race of any kind. I grew up in Indianapolis, and have never been to this race. I went to college 45 minutes away from Talladega, Alabama and only attended the Busch Series race (not the real one). I'm losing my race-virginity, people. I'm losing my race-inity. I hope the race is gentle because I'm kinda nervous!
  2. Growing up, I watched my dad go to many Indy 500 races, namely with my grandfather. Wait...when I say "I watched my dad go...," I mean, I woke up on that particular Sunday and he wasn't there. He wasn't there because they left before 6:00 AM. The group of people I'm going with are leaving AT 4:30 IN THE DAMNED MORNING! Are you kidding me!? And I volunteered for this!? This is supposed to be fun? I remember why I hate race car events. Nonetheless, I've already warned the person driving that if there is any hope that I am in attendance, I will need to reside on her couch the night before to avoid not showing up due to turning my alarm off, or waking up with a sudden and mysterious flu or pink eye disease. Very contagious.
  3. It is supposed to rain on Sunday. I can't imagine sitting in the rain letting my ears bleed because of the sonic boom noises running into my head. I hate walking outside when it's sprinkling. What makes me believe that sitting in a lawn chair drinking warm rainy beer with my clothes sopped to my body around thousands of other miserable people will equal anything but a terrible experience? Because although the beer is rained-down (or watered down), it's still beer and it's the race, baby!! Obviously I will be hoping for scorching sun so that I can obtain my first farmer's tan or beater burn of 2007.
  4. I've heard of many legends and tales that come of racing events. My time has come to partake and be partaken. Please partake me.

So there you have it. Good white-trashy-times. Can't wait. Now onto some links and vids!

I want to start things off on the right foot. It's been a few weeks since my last entry, and I want to show everyone my appreciation for your patience by giving you some joy visually and at other peoples' expense!

That is why I am providing this video of a pixie of a man boldly facing his nemesis while reporting the weather. Poor guy.


If I ever have 15 minutes of fame, I beg that I can be a charlatan even remotely on the same level as this guy. I'm afraid he may not be topped. What do you think his mother said to him after she was watching tv and saw him treating his....bell....that....way?

The next series of videos made me lol, like for real! I am soooooo serious. But that's probably only because I like watching people who get hurt or are in pain caused by the hands of another. I suck. Anyways, the first video doesn't need a setup, nor does the second. The third video is highlighting the revenge of the subject and talent of videos 1 and 2.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

I understand that I might be wearing out my welcome, so to speak, but I just can't stop myself. Only 2 more!!!

Maybe it's just me, but when I watch videos from safari, you would think I was 14 years old, seeing a naked people having sex in a dirty magazine for the first time. I'm glued, man. I can't get enough of this stuff. As Elton John says...it's the circle of life, what's not to love? Anyways, this is the best safari video I've ever seen.

Typically as the story goes, when there's a battle between a baby buffalo and a pride of lions, it's not much of a battle at all. But what happens when the battle is between a baby buffalo, a pride of lions, a herd of grown-up buffalo, and an alligator??? You can't tell me this doesn't interest you! You can't tell me this doesn't make you want to take your pants off!....wait...nevermind.


Finally, this video isn't funny at all. It's quite sad and discouraging actually. I saw it, and immediately wanted to put it on here. This guy has major guts to walk into a "rally" or makeshift mob/clan of ignorant and pathetic members of white America and videotape them being completely worthless and displaying themselves as a waste to society. I'd say enjoy, but what I'd mean is, get pissed.



Hey! Speaking of an ignorant, pathetic member of white America who is completely worthless and a waste to society - one of them died last week. Good riddance. The world is better without so much hate being veiled as God and love.



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Sunday, May 6, 2007

What we lack in any sort of moral compass, we make up for in awesome technology

Every Tuesday I visit the Itunes store. Tuesday is, of course, the day of the week when music is released, and so I spend a quality 30 minutes venturing through the latest releases. There is a feature on itunes where you can search through the "Just For You" section. The JFY contains albums that itunes recommends based on music you've purchased in the past (think Amazon's "customers who bought this, also bought (suggested title)").

Typically, I get tired of searching and clicking on the "already have it," or "don't like it," buttons. So I tire out easily each week.

But tonight I stumbled upon something that I've unconsciously been waiting for my entire life. I needed a defibrillator after I found it. I've just spent the last hour and a half venturing through Musicmesh.

I dare you to visit and type in your favorite artist. You won't find anything less than a musical tree of suggestions of other artists and titles that sound similar to your search. When you highlight particular album, be sure to see the tracklist, reviews, wikipedia listing, and amazon page.

As you view the tracklist, click on one of the tracks, and witness a video brought to you by youtube of that particular track. This site is well-thought-out and awfully addicting for music lovers.

This is awesome. When I say awesome, I mean, it is so typical of the society we live in. Whether it's a politician who places himself on an anti-gay pedestal, or a preacher caught in a sex scandal, we live in a world where people clearly believe in the philosophy, "do as I say and not as I do."

I don't have a problem with people championing a worthy cause and a mission that saves lives or benefits the future of the greater good, but when a police officer is arrested for drunk driving after he recently won an award for his efforts in support of Mothers_Against_Drunk_Driving, he is a hypocrite on two counts: his job and obligation to society, and obviously the MADD pride.

When a person joins an organization or affiliates themselves with a group that is bigger than a single person, I would think that logically and morally, their conscience would scream "don't be an idiot and violate everything you say you stand for." This makes me feel good about the human race. Really. I'm excited.

Speaking of excited, how about this? I'm not certain I wouldn't soil myself if someone talked me into doing what this person did.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

You can’t be too careful about what you say. Mo’ money mo’ problems.

We had a sexual harassment prevention training yesterday at our company meeting. I appreciate the effort, really. I know that sexual harassment is a serious thing and we should all be aware of what we can do to not make other people uncomfortable in the workplace.

But what happens when the sexual harassment session is uncomfortable and awkward? What happens when people (me) laugh at things like super-serious people saying things like "a lot of people will leave here and laugh about what we talk about today, but sexual harassment is a VERY serious thing and is NOT a laughing matter?" She was right. See! Do these people look like they're having a good time with sexual harassment?

There were two guys and two girls who were giving this presentation

(Note: These insurance guys didn't say or do ANYTHING but internally judge those of us dudes who were making eye contact with the girls who were presenting. I think they were documenting every time they saw our glance drop from eye level. Is there a report on this? I could seriously feel them scalding me with their eyes. I felt like I couldn't look up from my pop quiz. I can't be certain of this however, because I was too busy checking the girls out.)

The presentation invited us to watch a foray of movie clips of movie star bosses asking their movie star employees out on movie star dates. We then had to take a movie quiz to tell our instructors if we had just witnessed sexual harassment. I got every answer right. I'm sooooo un-harassing sexually.

It also included a couple of clips from The Office like this interaction:

Michael: You know what? I love Phyllis. You know what else? I think she is gorgeous. I think she is an incredibly, incredibly attractive person. Come here, gimme a kiss…c'mon!
Phyllis: Michael, you don’t have to worry. I’m not going to report you to HR…
Michael: I’m not worried! You know what? The only thing I am worried about? Getting a boner.

Also, the best part was when they showed the staple video during times like these. The video showed a variety of characters that looked like this and this. A narrator describes the difference between sexual harassment and consensual harassment (does that qualify as "harassment," in such a case?) as they show a guy on the phone with his disgruntled honey becoming outraged that he's calling her. She begins to fly off the handle.

He then says "C'mon baby, you know I like it slow." So it's clear this couple has been here before. She scrunches her face like Chucky and hangs up on him (i think...I can't be sure because I was looking at my shoes. Things like this embarrass me for some reason.)

The witch should have known not to blow up at him! "Hey baby, remember last time I told you I liked it slow?"

Really. You expect me to take this seriously and not laugh? You expect me to not immediately walk out of the room after this session and say "hey baby, you know I like it slow," to every single fellow employee the remainder of the day? That's asking a lot. Too much, in fact, because that is precisely what I did. It never got old.

From now on, every time someone becomes flustered or unreasonably loud, I'm just going to gently remind them that I like it slow. Thanks sexual harassment prevention training! At least I learned one thing: that I need to stop doing things like this at work. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

I did learn my guest/client relationship skills from the best, as shown below.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nailer? I hardly even know her!

The time has come. After enduring a season that would make the most loyal of fans bludgeon themselves in the head with a wine bottle, it is time to spend the next 6-8 weeks doing absolutely nothing but watch games, accompanied by games. My team will not be partaking in this year's playoffs or lottery, therefore not making major changes to surround Mr. O'neal with quality talent-- probably forcing themselves to trade their only asset that doesn't make the paying fans (what is left of them) feel like we've got front row seats to basketball's version of The Longest Yard. It seems the team is good enough to not get a helpful draft pick for the future, but terrible enough to where season ticket holders received their sealed loogie in the mail from Larry Bird (filmed at Sears) and Reggie Miller (filmed at Chuckie Cheese) this week, saying "thanks, for supporting the epitome of mediocrity."

In related news, I'm a bit nervous about the Colts' 2007-08 schedule. You know it could be a tough year when 75% of your defense has skipped town for more money, and you consider Kansas City a "break," while you battle it out with teams that significantly got better in the offseason/end of last season, while you of course don't have the money/cap space to improve on much at all. At least we have this guy: Looks like we're in good hands.

I kind of recently started performing in a band. When I say "performing," I mean, I'd be willing to bet we'll never play outside of Andy's living room for an audience of more than a single high-school kid scratching himself, waiting for weekly Halo tourney to begin. I guess we've committed ourselves to straight up cover songs...yikes. But I'm totally behind it if we can talk this guy into joining. Please, let's make this happen.





I saw a movie tonight at the movie theater. I went in with a broken heart-sized chip on my shoulder because it stars this guy. For those who don't know, he's doin it with this girl. See. I've been clear in past entries on how I feel about her, so everytime he was on screen, I had flashbacks of this and prayed that some sort of painful death or life thwarting destitution would pay his character a visit.

With no such luck, I sat there and was entertained for a solid 2 hours. It was a pretty decent movie that kept me thinking. However, the viewing experience was sorely inhibited when the sound and picture jumped. The sound was shaky to say the least. At parts it either sounded like people were under water, or they were about to cry and their voices were violently shaking. And the visual images flickered on the theater's silver screen; so much so to prompt Jordan to ask, "what's wrong with the T.V.?"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What you starin at? I'm not a mirror!

Now that MTV's The Hills is over for the season, and we eagerly and admirably anticipate the release of this, I have taken the shameless dive into the new lineup of mindless television. I'm all hot and bothered by The Adventures of Hollyhood on Thursday nights at 10:00. This Three 6 Mafia spectacle tells the precious tales of Juicy J, DJ Paul, Project Pat, Big Triece and Computer as they have recently moved to California from Memphis. It chronicles everything you'd expect in a Three 6 Mafia reality TV show. Everything from Scarface t-shirts, to Big Triece peeing in Jennifer Love Hewitt's yard, to Computer and Big Triece "lookin like a coupla flies trapped in a #%@& damn jar," when they perform their attempt at creating a rap song around the hook "Kill Yourself." This show was an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise to say the least. I for one, hope this show will stand firm alongside this pleasurable gem for an age.

(Note: I wasn't planning on blogging about the brilliance of MTV programming, but I just couldn't contain myself.)

Speaking of brilliance and making something important of my life, I am proud to say that I spent a good two hours on this website last night. I was bossing models in lingerie around, and watching them listen to my every word. Sure, there were times when they let me know that my instructions were a little out of line and a little "forward," but in the end, we created a beautiful piece of billboard art together. The technology here is fabulous as it allows drooling users to believe that they're really asking models to audition in select poses in order to make a billboard and, eventually send it to friends so they can make a pretty much identical piece of artwork. Regardless, I think the technology here is pretty fascinating and I'm not sure what Sloggi is, but they have a friend for life in yours truly.

I've come to a crossroads in my life. I never thought the day would come when my baby sister would be my premium resource for access to an entire culture of women. But my friends, the day has come. She is setting me up on a blind date with her instructor from cosmetology school. I talked to this person for a total of three minutes and thirty one seconds. Here is what I know before breaching a scenario that is somewhat uncharted territory for me:

First, she enjoys this show, but was disappointed last night because she rushed home after working an 11 hour day to find a rerun episode (note: this may be why we only talked for 3:31. Either she was in a tired-non talkative-my show wasn't on and I'm going to bed now- mood, or I'm too much of a schmo to drive conversation...if the latter turns our to be the case, I can't help but believe she'll feel like going on a date with me leaves something to be desired.)

Second, she has one of those sexy raspy voices, like the ones people get when it's really late at night, only I think she has it all the time because her answering machine proclaimed a consistent tone with the angelic hum I was speaking with.

I know that my sis told me that this girl thinks she's funnier than me. Well she's got another thing comin for a couple of reasons: 1) I find myself absolutely jocular and uproarious. 2) I am in no way chauvinistic, however in my experience, I have found the well of funny women has all but dried up. So I'm expecting monumental things here.

I know that I chose a classic date to go on a date. Must mean good things to come!

Oh and I know that I just called her on accident. Talk about being smooth. I got up to let my dog out (and because this laptop has burned a hole through my pants and created a sheen of sweat on my scrotum....sorry, inappropriate I know) and I set this computer on the cellphone to my immediate left.

The computer apparently pressed the right buttons to get to my "recently called" list, and proceeded to dial her number...and then proceeded to hang up...now, I realize that this sounds like a creepy stalker story, but I swear that I am sweating profusely because of how embarrassed I currently am.* Everything was going so well, and I was feeling so good and calm about this situation until now...and my friend Adrienne made things better by telling me "that'll totally suck when you try to explain it to her - it'll just sound like an excuse," thanks friend.
*read above as to why I am really sweating.

OK last thing then I'm leaving. For those of you (who am I kidding?, no one reads this!) who haven't seen this yet, you probably know my love for Fergie (she rests at number 3 on my list of "People who, if they met me, would fall madly in love with me and my charm," right behind Rachel (1) and the previously mentioned Lauren (2) and right ahead of Jess (4).) You probably know that if you're on the my "list," I'll happily watch/listen to anything you produce visually or audibly, good or bad. Needless to say, Fergie is on the list. This wretched tramp is not. She will never be. But she still did a fabulous job at jabbing the Sweet Black Eyed Pea in her own rendition of the hit single "My Humps." Take a gander...you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Once, Twice, Three times an impressionable, adolescent, pubescent girl

They say that doing something once can be an accident. If it happens twice, it can be considered a coincidence, but it typically takes something happening three times in order for it to be a trend. I'm one strike away from beginning a terrible trend in my own life. Actually it's not that terrible, it's just a little weird and something I'd rather not take pride in and gloat about. I will tell the story of strike two:

I was buying shoes at a shoe store. I was minding my own business. I was in need of a durable pair of thong sandals. After spending about an hour deciding between a pair of $55 tan leather thong flip flops and a pair of $25 tan leather thong flip flops, I hesitantly chose the latter. Turns out, a friendly lady employee of said shoe store noticed that I was buying these shoes and politely made shy eyes at me a few times when I was waiting to purchase my flip-flops and be on my way. She traveled back and forth between counter and her friend (who was watching from a distant rack of women's shoes), and finally settled in behind the counter with a writing utensil and a torn receipt.

She furiously wrote something down, and slipped it in my shoe box (side note: the people I've told this story to look at me like a I'm a crazy person when I tell them that I expected this little note to be some sort of coupon for a future purchase, or invitation to a future event at the store, but this thought actually did cross my mind, and I don't apologize for it; it's my story and I can think what I want.) After she walked away and I was shuffling my change into my pockets, we caught each other's eye one final time and I left the building. I did not, however, leave the premises. I sat in my car and looked inside my box. Sure enough there was a phone number and a woman's name residing on my $25 sandals. Now, instead of going on my merry way, I decided I'd take a shot of pimp juice and go back inside the store to look for this woman (note: I went back inside, but I did NOT, repeat did NOT have an effective plan in tact for success.) I immediately found this girl, and immediately start choking all over my words.

I started the conversation by saying "uh, I think you put your number in my box" (as I said "number," I pulled a piece of paper that I thought was the number, however, it was in fact, a one dollar bill.) Needless to say, she invited me to call her sometime later that week. Great!

So fast forward a few days later, and I did call her. Turns out, before what seemed like it could have been a great, engaging conversation (I'm sure), for some reason, I asked this woman her age. 18. She's 18. I'm 24. Awesome (or the exact opposite, please excuse me while i take a bath with a running hair dryer.) Although not illegal, many people still consider that a "weird/wrong/gross/creepy/guy taking advantage of an impressionable mind" type of situation. So this leads me to my introductory paragraph...

This is not the first time this has happened. This is rather, the 2nd time something like this has happened with a girl that is a good six years younger than me. One more time, and I will start gaining a reputation for things like this. I will not give excuses as to why this happened, because the last thing I need to start saying is "dude, she didn't look 18, she looked 25," (she does.)

I know people that have "dated" people that are significantly younger than them, and it appears I'm well on my way to being one of them.

OK a few quick links before leaving:

I saw the following video last week, and everyone I talked to that had seen it (except my friend Breezy, which shouldn't discourage anyone from watching the video below, because her idea of humor is repeatedly, ruthlessly and publicly humiliating someone over something that she thinks she can do better...like living and working and trying to create a career for oneself) thought it was funny and hilarious and hysterical and ok...



Next is a story out of Mexico City. Imagine what these people thought. Can you imagine being the guy who had to go to work that day, telling his coworkers that he was attacked by this guy? What is his self esteem like? I'm gonna need a follow up story on this. I'm gonna need to know the mental state of this attackee. Let's get someone from USA Today on this please. If he's feeling a little lonely and dejected by society in his shame, I know a great shoe sales-girl that we should set him up with.

Friday, March 23, 2007

How come you think? I used to really like Ramses. I wanted to become him! But it turns out, he's a real douche.

It's been about a week since my last post. I'm venturing to say that no one really noticed. Believe me, I thought about my "next post" throughout the week, but I've been near my death bed (note: I wasn't actually on my deathbed, but I could see it from where I was throwing up) all week with the flu, an ear infection, and a sinus infection for the ages. Today marks five days of straight agony for my face. I felt like every tooth in my mouth was about to fall out, someone was taking a plunger to my eyeballs, suctioning them out of my sockets and away from my skull. I'm starting to charge admission for those who'd like to witness the Great Falls in the back of my throat. All in all, on the health scale of 1-10, I'd give it a solid minus 19.

Please keep Ramses in your thoughts and prayers. He was struck by a Mercury mountaineer on his way to watch and cheer for his North Carolina Tar Heels tonight. So sad.

Interested in joining facebook ? Or if you're already a part, do you love the stalkerish features just as much as I do? This e-harmony style video about the social network made me laugh today. Confirm confirm confirm confirm!


Big fashion news out of Japan. Who's idea was it to make these people think that this was a good idea? What kind of girl wears a faux-see through skirt? I guess I always knew that girls use Halloween as an excuse to dress like hookers, but I'm not so sure I want to see this become a daily occurrence. I'm sure the people that buy this stuff are the people who absolutely don't need to be wearing them, and it'll be nothing but a bunch of false advertising. Kind of like a guy who drives an H2 or breeds Pitt Bulls...if you get my drift.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tranq Darts

I've made everyone aware that from now (March 15) to the middle of June, I need to be relieved of any responsibilities I might have. This is because I will be watching basketball playoffs. I'm in about 49 March Madness pools. As of right now at 9:11 EST, my brackets are 100% correct. This doesn't say much, because from what I can tell, I'm not in 1st place in any of the pools. So obviously, everyone copied my brackets before tip off this afternoon.

Indiana is playing right now. I feel like they play Gonzaga every year in the tournament. I'm an IU fan, and in any other situation, I probably would have picked them to win. But they lose to teams like Gonzaga every year. They lose to Gonzaga every year! So I picked against them. But I hope they win. Make sense?

I want this job. This guy is "caretaker" of the state of Pennsylvania's bear population. He wanders around bear caves, shoots bears with tranq darts, to gauge the health of the bruin population. How do you find a job like this? Are there people that do this with other things? Are there people that travel around Indiana, meandering around peoples' homes, maintaining the health of say...attractive women? Can I have that job? Would I go to jail? That's probably considered creepy or something. Whatever.

I realize I may be late on this bandwagon, but I've been watching videos like the one below for the past few hours. I'm hooked on Ask a Ninja. This guy is a pseudo-celebrity because he dresses in black, sits in his basement, makes a lot of camera cuts, and says funny things. How often do you think he does these filmings? I picture him being a married guy with kids, a full time job, and NO ONE in his life knows that he's the ninja. He probably puts the kids to bed, slips out to the garage like in "A Beautiful Mind" or "Batman" and becomes Ninja, who is full of insight and knowledge goodies. Again, where do these people come from? Check it out:


The past week I've been trying to email people close to me to ask them "what makes me who I am?" Our company meets together once a month for an entire work day and we talk about things like our "unique abilities." MediaSauce wants to put their employees in a position where they will flourish because they are doing something they love, and they are doing something natural and unique to them. Anyways, I've gotten some pretty nice responses. I've gotten honest responses. Some things were definitely hard to hear, but probably necessary. But my favorite response came from my roommate Jordan.

I need to preface this by saying that he's been battling severe allergies the past few days. He apparently woke up this morning thinking that he had pink eye in both of his eyes. So our meeting is tomorrow (Friday) and today (Thursday) at 4:45, he sends me his response. I won't go into the things he said, but he listed about three or four qualities that represent me. He ends his evaluation by saying: "Those are a few. If you run out of ideas, call me in the meeting, Ill go on record. I just cant think because my eyes are swelling shut and getting in the way of my brain." I think I'm going to read that quote in the meeting tomorrow. This is the same guy that ordered a Papa John's pizza tonight when there are about 16 frozen pizzas in our freezer. And he had pizza last night. He's also the guy that sleeps with contacts in his eyes for about 7 months at a time. And he thinks he has an allergy problem. Good times all around.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm officially linkedIN. But if you're on my contacts list, you already knew that

Today I got an account through LinkedIn. It's a professional networking website that keeps you connected with all types of people who are too good for myspace. Everything was all well and good until I accidentally sent LinkedIn membership invitations to EVERYONE in my Outlook contacts. This wouldn't be that bad of a thing, however, there are definitely people in my Outlook contacts that probably don't know who I am. They're the clients/customers that I've never met, they're just CC'd on emails from time to time. So that's kind of embarrassing.

I listened to the new Arcade Fire album called "Neon Bible" today at work. Before I go any further, I feel the need to mention something about myself - I am a person that likes to discover things on my own. I don't like when people tell me I need to like something. This applies to movies, music, and TV shows mainly. I almost refuse to watch things or listen to things if I have a dozen people telling me I should. A good example of this is watching/not watching Fox's 24. I realize that the show has been on for a few years now. I also realize that everyone loves this show. People have been telling me that I NEED to watch this show ever since it was introduced on network television. I have seen probably half of one episode. It's not that I'm not interested, I just want to experience it in my own time! I will watch 24 when I'm good and ready, until then, quit bossing me around! I really wish people would quit telling me how awesome of a show it is and how Jack Bauer could find Osama Bin Laden if George Bush would just let him!...I say all of this because Arcade Fire is another example.

I was introduced to them a few years ago by my friend Olivia Keaggy. She told me about how listening to Arcade Fire is like listening to a chorus of angels and that if you're not listening to them right now, you obviously don't have any business breathing air and you might as well shove toothpicks into your ears and pray for the apocalypse. Before I knew it, people at Samford were doing the typical "I want to prove to you that I know more about music than you because I like this indie band" routine and they were saying things like "yeah, Arcade Fire is amazing...but I like their older stuff."

(Side note: You know a person doesn't really care about a band and they're just trying to make you believe their some kind of a music expert or artistic themselves if they describe their "favorite band" to you by saying things like "this band is so good. But I like their older stuff when they were independent and grass roots. Their new stuff is too produced and big label." On that end...I hate it when people refer to music as "stuff." Since when do we refer to music, an art form full of different forms of expression, the same way we refer to the contents underneath our beds or in our attic?? Why don't we give doctors referrals by saying things like "you know, he really did wonders when he helped cure my cancer last month, and he was named the number one brain surgeon in the country last week, but I can't help but like his old stuff better. I was a lot happier when he would write prescriptions and put the Popsicle stick down my throat. His new stuff is too big time and doctory for me. His old stuff was so much better." It makes me want to ram my head through a wall.)

Needless to say, I didn't listen to Arcade Fire for about 2-3 years. Then I saw them on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago and they KILLED IT. They were the best thing I had seen since seeing Fergalicious for the first time. There were so many people on stage, the string players (both women) were mildly attractive (note: I'm still learning about this band, and if these women are in fact very unattractive, and I was just delusional because A: they were playing instruments and B: they were on TV, I apologize and take back the previously stated comment), the guitar player was using a megaphone as a microphone, the music was solid and tight, and I felt like I was listening to a full blown orchestra at a Broadway show. I couldn't understand a word the guy was singing, but that didn't matter. I'm a huge lyrics guy, and the fact that I couldn't make out one single lyric (part of this reason is because the vocals seemed to be turned down) is a significant deal.

So I listened to them today, and was equally impressed. I didn't think I would be because sometimes you see a live performance, and then buy the album, and it's just not the same. This can go the other way too (this is the case most times). You buy an album and it rocks, and then you go to the show, and it's like the band met each other and picked up an instrument for the first time in their lives. Listening to this album on repeat all day long, made my day. It made me so happy. When music makes me happy, it has to be good because I typically like music that makes you want to take a bath with a hairdryer.

So, you HAVE to listen to Arcade Fire's Neon Bible! You HAVE to! If you don't listen to Arcade Fire, you have no business breathing the breath in your lungs. Arcade Fire could find Osama Bin Laden at this point if we'd let them. They are THAT good. Although...I gotta say... I like a lot of their older stuff a lot better.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Identity

I was looking for my luggage after I got off the bus. They told me that my belongings could be found next to the bus I was riding, and I waited until got off until everyone else stepped out, so that by default and process of elimination, it'd be fairly simple to find my bag; not that it'd be difficult to pick out a blood red and white duffel bag with "Budweiser" embroidered on both sides in a sea of brown corduroy suitcases. It was the only one. It was mine.

The group of nearly 300 people disbursed accordingly into different cabins. Skis and boards downstairs, and six people to a room upstairs. It was somewhat unusual to not see snow in a place we went to go snow skiing. Mountains in the distance had caps on them, but they seemed unreachable, and surely unskiable. We were staying in a village establishment where there were 10 cabins circling a "quad" like field. The premises were surrounded by four walls of forest and by the looks of things, we were the only humans for miles.

People immediately went outside to throw Frisbees, start a friendly softball competition, or pluck around on guitars. I didn't see my bag. I thought they told me it'd be right here: next to the bus. The undercarriage latches were open and I could see through to the other side. Nothing. Someone surely had taken it to my room. But where was my room? The cabins looked the same.

I began to wander around the quad asking some of the people if they had seen it. Everyone said no. "What did it look like?" they said. "Red and White with Budweiser on the side," I'd reply. "No, I haven't seen it. You should check the other buses." I already checked the other buses. They were empty.

I had my suspicions of who might have taken it. But I checked those rooms, and there were only brown corduroy bags. Brown bags in a brown carpeted rooms of brown oak bunk beds lining brown log cabin walls. What other color would a log cabin wall be? Regardless, no red. No white. No Budweiser. Who would have taken my bag? Who could do this? We were going to be at the establishment for five days. It wasn't like I had money in the bag. I just had my clothes. ALL of my clothes were in the bag.

I knew I shouldn't have brought the Budweiser bag. It's one of those things where the little girl in the red coat shows up in a crowd of shoulder to shoulder gray people. Someone had taken my little girl; my Budweiser.

I started checking trash cans. I looked inside of every trash can. I looked in every room of every cabin. I couldn't find my little girl. Someone had stolen all of my clothes. I didn't have any money in the bag, so whoever it was that is holding my bag ransom, would soon be disappointed because all they were getting was my thrift store fashion and my greasy hair product. Who wants that? Out of this group of Polo's, khaki shorts, flip flops, and sun tans, who would want my clothes? Who would choose my bag over their sturdy corduroy?

I saw my mom watching the softball game. "Mom," I said. "Where the hell is my bag? I paid $100 to go skiing and now someone stole my #@!*%$& clothes!" She didn't know where the bag was. I was losing my mind. I was ready to go back home. The sun was beating down on all of us. There wasn't any snow. I had no clothes. My only suitcase was missing. People were ignoring me and telling me to check the buses.

I was standing on what I thought to be my cabin's porch. I was sweating. I was on a ski trip, sweating in the sun. As the buses pulled away I saw a brown bag in the tall grass. I went over to check the tags. It was a brown bag, so I don't know why I would imagine that it belonged to me. My intuition told me to unzip the suitcase and check it's inner contents. So I did.

My clothes were in this bag. My jeans, my undershirts, my sweaters, my belt and my bathroom tote. They were all in this alien bag. This was not my little girl, but it was the red coat._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I couldn't forget about this dream. It rattled me for hours. Why would someone take my suitcase? Why was my suitcase different than everyone Else's? Why did it have "Budweiser" on the sides? Why was I on a ski trip in a place with no snow? Why was I cursing at my mother?

The conclusion: The past few weeks, I've had a series of conversations about how I'm a person that doesn't really "reveal" my emotions. I go with the flow and choose not to be dramatic about situations. This apparently bothers people. Like I said, people have told me "I don't understand you," "I think you're mean," "I think you should let people know how you feel instead of just being 'honest' and hurting peoples' feelings." I started to think that I was doing something wrong by being honest with people. I started to believe that my laid back attitude was a hindrance to me getting to know people and investing in the lives of people who were important to me.

When it comes to people (women especially), I feel like I am very upfront with who I am and who I expect to be. I have learned to not make excuses for reasons of why I do things. I say things like "obviously, I have chosen not to do this because it wasn't high enough priority to me," or "I'm not going to make excuses. I made the decision to do this, the reasons don't matter because it was my desire to do it this way, and if you have a problem with it, I'm sorry." I feel like saying these things help people understand that I'm trying to be honest and NOT make excuses for things I do. People claim to appreciate honesty, but recently, I've been criticized for it.

My identity is in my honesty (my clothes inside of my bag). I feel like a foreigner when I talk to people about this, because so many people like to say what they think people want to hear rather than what people need to hear. Maybe this dream represents this battle. Maybe my confidence in my identity is so different and poignant that it seems like everyone else is different than me, but the same as each other (my Budweiser bag to their corduroy bags). When someone stole my bag, it was brought to my attention that people have made me feel like I need to conform to living a different way. When my identity showed up in a different casing, it was clear to me that this dream was deeper than originally thought. Or maybe I just like Budweiser...and so do other people, and they wanted my bag. I'm starting to feel like I just wrote too much.