Saturday, March 30, 2013

How Poor Are the Non-Rich, Part Deux?

Despite my better judgment, the temptation to make a sequel was too great. This must be how 'The Hangover' producers felt. Having grown up a 5 minute drive (and 1 minute boat ride) from FranT, my mind raced to find my own signs you're not rich that I've experienced over the years. So here you have it, The Have-Not 2. 

1. No “Mud Room”
Growing up, when I’d go into a friend’s house after playing wiffle ball or something, we’d have to take our shoes and coats off in the “mud room”. Imagine, an entire room dedicated to mud! When you step one foot into my house, you are smack dab in the middle of a vital room in the house, and you are getting mud all over that floor.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Poor are the Non-Rich?

My fiancée and I were in the city the other day to look at wedding bands. Blood diamonds everywhere in the Diamond District. At one point, we stopped in front of a window with these monstrous engagement rings and I asked her, "Wouldn't you be embarrassed to wear something like that?" I mean, I'm sure being rich would be awesome but certain things some rich people do are just absurd.

Or is that just wishful thinking by me because I'm not rich and could never afford something like that? [Thinking] Yeah, that's probably it.

Later that day, featured links from "Elsewhere on the Internet" and I clicked on one from The Fiscal Times: 9 Must Have Status Symbols that Say "I'm Rich." Some of the things on there were pretty uncalled for. Again, I thought about the absurdity of rich people's lives. Obviously, we'd all love to be able to afford fine wines and Ferraris, but swanky strollers and $1.5 million dogs? I'm sure my parents' running stroller and my dirty golden retriever Harry were at least as good.

Which dog would you prefer?... Yeah, me too.

So since there are plenty of stories on the Internet about new trends and ways to spend a lot of money, I decided to instead focus on the have-nots. Not necessarily poor people, but people that could never afford Alexander Wang fur sandals for $895 a pop.

9 Symbols that Say "I'm Not Rich"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Two-Faced are the New York Sports Teams?

Last night, both the Knicks and Rangers had convincing wins over conference rivals. The Knicks have now won five straight, including last night's 100-85 dismantling of the reeling Celtics. The Blueshirts beat Philly 5-2 and, a bit less impressively, have now recorded points in four of their last five games. The Rangers have also looked much more cohesive offensively lately.

The problem for both New York teams? Before their recent hot streaks, the hoopsters suffered four straight hideous defeats while the icers lost three straight.

The bigger problem? A fan's realization that, like the New York Giants were last season, both teams are two-faced!

Many people know the meaning of "two-faced" from Seinfeld (link above), but Two-Face is a longstanding Batman villain. For those that don't know, Two-Face converted from good to evil when he had acid poured on half of his face. Afterwards, he looked like this:

Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever.

File:The Animated Two-Face.jpg
In Batman: The Animated Series, an after-school staple in the mid-1990s.

Now, obviously, all teams go through ups and downs throughout a season. However, what sets the Kincks and Rangers (and Giants of recent vintage) apart is their penchant for seemingly "flipping a switch," turning effort on and off.

At least the Knicks and Rangers each has a good face to go with its bad face, unlike the Mets and Jets (two hideous faces each). Still, after a blowout Knicks loss to Golden State (March 11) or a Rangers no-show against the Panthers (March 21), it's enough to make a fan want to poor acid on half of his own face.

Below are some Two-Face quotes to describe the seasons of the two-faced New York sports teams. (Sorry about the 1995 Batman Forever references. Yikes, it's been almost 20 years.) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How Do You Get Invited to a Bachelor Party?

Believe it or not this was a real thought in my head.

It seems to me that getting an invite to a bachelor party is a lot like getting a bid to the NCAA tournament. There are a number  of ways to get in, but once you're in, anything can happen. Anyone can achieve a One  Shining Moment, but anyone can get knocked off early if not careful. Ultimately, the best mantra to adopt is that of Jim Valvano's miracle run in '84: Survive and advance.

1-4 Seeds

These are the major conference champs and the major conference powers that didn't win their conference. Most of these bids have been locked up since college, high school, maybe even childhood. The invite is a mere formality, and expectations are sky high. Anything but a Final Four run is considered a disappointment, and some will make it all the way there while some will make early exits.

Monday, March 25, 2013

How Delicious Will This Cow Taste?

Logan Ward and his cow.

Fox News had a bizarre story earlier today about PETA protesting a 14-year-old's cow raffle that was intended to raise money for the kid's school trip. Here's an excerpt:

The parents of a 14-year-old boy are furious after PETA protested their son’s cow raffle – and then sent the child a link to a website filled with former Playboy models wearing “lettuce” bikinis.
“My wife and I were incensed,” said Scott Ward, of Slidell, La. “It was definitely not appropriate for a 14-year-old boy.”
Ward’s son, Logan, is raffling the cow to pay for a summer trip to Europe. He was recently selected as an student ambassador for People-to-People and has to raise $8,000 for the 19-day journey.
The winner of the raffle can either take possession of a living cow – or hundreds of pounds of ground beef, rib-eye steaks and brisket.
The family thought it was a unique and creative way to generate funds for the trip. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals thought it was grossly offensive.
Whitney Calk, a PETA street team coordinator, fired off a lengthy email to the eighth grade boy.
“It just seems a little strange to me that you feel that someone needs to die for you to go on a school trip,” she wrote the 14-year-old. “I feel like we can both surely agree that there are several other humane ways to fund raise these days that don’t involve a dead, chopped up corpse.”
Miriam Weaver, a co-founder of the Chicks-on-the-Right website, told Fox News she was shocked by the PETA email.
“For crying out loud, how in the world did they find it the least bit appropriate to recommend that a 14-year-old boy fundraise with the freaking Lettuce Ladies?” Weaver wondered.
She said she opposes animal cruelty – but is a huge proponent of animal farmers and animal researchers.
“And here’s the thing,” Weaver added, “Cows are delicious.”

Hmm, I wonder what the winner of the raffle is going to do with that cow. If the PETA members were so concerned about this cow's well-being, they should have each chipped in some money and put it out to pasture. Because Ms. Weaver is absolutely correct; cows are delicious.

I'll allow the best character on TV, Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, to illustrate what these PETA nuts don't understand.

The bottom line is that Logan Ward's cow is going to make someone very happy. Who wants to pitch in and try to buy that tasty-looking animal? Fresh steaks and burgers for months...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Funny is Calling a Man a Woman?

I was returning something to a fellow teacher yesterday -- let's call him Mr. Jones. Outside of the room, Mr. Jones had posted a note: "No hats, hoodies, or food past this point. Thank you. -Mr. Jones." Except it didn't say Mr. Jones anymore. A clever student had added an "s" onto his title, turning him into Mrs. Jones for all to see. Will calling a man a woman ever get old?

Later in the day, I was having a party with one of my classes because it was the last period before spring break. (I know, teaching is tough.) I signed into Netflix and asked the students what movie they wanted to watch. Bad idea; the floodgates opened. "White Chicks!" "Tyler Perry!" "Jackass 3!" "Insidious!" There was no way we were going to come to a consensus. I was stressed. Then, like manna in the desert, I saw Happy Gilmore under the "New to Netflix" section."Have you guys seen Happy Gilmore?" I asked. "We don't wanna watch that old people movie," one little punk said. Naturally, I began streaming it faster than you can say "Shooter McGavin." I told the students that if they weren't laughing hysterically within five minutes, we'd change the movie. We didn't have to change the movie.

One of Happy's timeless lines is, "Sorry, ladies, I'm not the golfing type."

Throughout my life, I've heard hundreds of corny jokes by men questioning other men's manliness.
On the golf course: "Nice shot, does your husband play?"
On the basketball court: "Nice defense, [insert name of wife/girlfriend here]."
About a pro hockey player:

On the volleyball court:

And, of course, on the baseball diamond:

Some people might call jokes like these sexist, but I call them funny. The first caveman probably insulted his buddy by saying he hunted woolly mammoths like a girl. And robot-humans in the future will tell each other not to break a nail while doing something manly.

Calling a man a woman will always be funny.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How Am I Doing Thru One Day?

The other day I mentioned my method, or lack thereof, for filling out a bracket. Here's where I'm at after one day...

I did one on ESPN just to be able to see my picks on my phone. Lucky for me they tell you how you're doing against the rest of the country.

Great Odin's Raven!

I coasted thru classes for the semester that was the NCAA season, doing the bare minimum and just kinda having fun.Then the week of the test hit and I tried to cram everything in and make sense of it all. Welp, I'm not even done with page one multiple choice but I'm already sweating, this ship could be sinking and fast. God only knows what the short answers and essay portion are going to bring.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How Will Hoops History View D-Wade?

Before the Heat stormed back from a 27-point deficit to beat the Cavs tonight, I had begun writing a "How Will the Heat Break the Record?" post. Like many others, I figured Miami would roll through at least the next few games before dialing it up a notch to pass the record for longest winning streak, held by the 1971-72 Lakers. The streak's still in play, but the close win over Cleveland shows just how difficult it's going to be.

However, I'm no longer going to focus on Miami's chances to break the record, which others have broken down more extensively. Instead, I concerned myself with one reason I think the Heat will pass Jerry West and Co.'s 33-game winning streak. Here's what I had written:

D-Wade's Efficiency
For a little while after LeBron signed with the Heat, I actually clung to the idea that Wade was the better player, stats be damned. It was sort of a Russell vs. Chamberlain argument. Wade had won a Finals MVP. LeBron had just sulked off the court after a loss in the Eastern Conference Finals. Maybe LeBron put up video-game stats, but Wade knew how to lead a team to a championship. I also had fond memories of Wade carrying a vanilla Marquette team to the 2003 Final Four.

How Do You Fill Out a Bracket?

As FranT has pointed out, it’s (one of) the most wonderful time(s) of the year!

So how do I do this thing? Much as I love and follow college hoops, I just don’t know enough about something like New Mexico vs. Belmont in a second round matchup to say with any semblance of confidence who I think would win. But that’s what the internet is for. You can find any stat out there, (at least you would think...I’d get to that in a sec), but what stats are we even supposed to look at?

How Lame is My Bucket List?

I was watching some of the movie The Bucket List last night and I had some thoughts. (Surprise, surprise.)

First, I wondered why it's called a bucket list and quickly found out that the term comes from the phrase "kicking the bucket." It's a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. Yup, pretty obvious. Some StupidiT from FranT on that one.

I also considered my own bucket list and realized that I've knocked a few things off of it recently.
--Trick a girl into marrying me. (CHECK!)
--Backpack through Europe. (CHECK!)
--Start a blog. (DOUBLE-CHECK!!)
--Have a pope named after me. (CHECK!)

Look at that list, though. Talk about lame and generic (besides the last one, although it's still 50-50 whether Pope Francis was named after only me). I really better step up my bucket list game, huh?

Monday, March 18, 2013

How Great is March?

Yesterday was Selection Sunday and St. Paddy's Day and I was like:

With two great events falling on the same day, I got to thinking about some of the best days and weeks of the year. Here, in descending order, are my Power Rankings for the best five weeks of each calendar year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Much Fun is St. Patrick's Day

Have a great weekend, everyone, but let's all try not to end up like this guy:

I don't know why, but that video had me laughing out loud. He's got such a nice lean going on; very impressive that he doesn't take a spill. You know his friend's gonna take him home and draw penises all over his face, too.

Erin Go Bragh!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Gladly Should We Suffer Fools?

Reading about the Big East can lead you down some weird paths. Enjoy!

The other day I was reading an article on the history of the Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry and it said of Jim Boeheim that he “didn’t suffer fools lightly.” I had heard this phrase before, but never really thought all that much about what it meant. This time I had to know, and so I looked it up and found a New York Times article dedicated solely to this phrase. Apparently it originated in the Bible, and the columnist David Brooks offers this definition:

Today, the phrase is often used as an ambiguous compliment. It suggests that a person is so smart he has trouble tolerating people who are far below his own high standards. It is used to describe a person who is so passionately committed to a vital cause that he doesn’t have time for social niceties toward those idiots who stand in its way. It is used to suggest a level of social courage; a person who has the guts to tell idiots what he really thinks.

He says that we should all be careful, because in a given situation, anyone can end up looking like a fool. The example he gives was witnessing a senior member of the House of Reps absolutely chew out a young reporter for a bad question. The question was bad, Brooks concedes, but the Rep was the one who looked like a fool for making a scene and showing his arrogance.

Piggybacking off FranT’s How Skelly Are Skells it raises the question: how gladly/lightly should you suffer fools? 

How Should We Treat Future Lottery Picks?

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog for a buddy's site called "One and  Done 101" about Kentucky's national championship and what it meant for the "one and done" culture of college basketball. As FranT pointed out last week, Kentucky ain't repeating, but their roster still contains guys that may or may not split for the NBA Draft in June, and the issue remains. I should note that this little proposition of mine is only applicable if the eligibility rules stay the same; whether or not a kid should be able to make the jump from high school, or if a kid should have to do multiple years in college, is another discussion altogether. As conference tournaments get in full swing and March Madness looms large, what better time to revisit this idea. So here's my idea, The One and Done Degree.

April 13,2012
Everyone is talking about the ramifications of John Calipari's dream team of underclassmen winning the National Championship last Monday. The game as we know it has changed, the "19 years old and one year removed from high school" rule is useless, say goodbye to great team basketball; you've heard it all. College hoops has basically done a 180 since the days when Kareem/Lew and Bill Walton weren't allowed to play on varsity as freshmen: instead of being forced to sit out because of their age, freshmen today are forced to be in school and on the team and a select few of them just won the national championship.

The general sentiment seems to be reluctant and unenthusiastic acceptance. Like "yeah, there's technically nothing wrong with these one and dones, but we miss the old way". I, however, think we need to fully embrace this new shift head on, and it needs to come from all directions. Not just fans embracing an emerging paradigm of a team, but universities making the most of the limited credits they are offering and knowledge that they are imparting on these athletes. That's why I created a solution.

The One and Done Degree!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How Much Do I Have in Common with the New Pope?

Associated Press--Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peter's Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening," he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world's Roman Catholics.
Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina's capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.
He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

On the surface, it seems like I have a lot in common with the newly-appointed pope. Take a look:
Name: FranT also goes by the name Francis and is also named after Saint Francis of Assisi.
Religious Affiliation: Catholic, obviously. And like the new pope, FranT is a Jesuit at heart after attending Loyola High School in Manhattan. Ad maiorem dei gloriam, baby!
Geographical Background: America(s) the Beautiful.
Acceptance of the Marginalized: Pope Francis says, "Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes." FranT says, "I love skells!"
Transportation Preference: Public.

However, when you dig a little deeper, those similarities begin to disintegrate.
Name: FranT most often goes by Francis when being addressed by bartenders in possession of his credit card. Otherwise, it's usually just Fran. As far as the Francis of Assisi connection goes, you wouldn't exactly call FranT an animal lover. Let's just say that some of his hobbies as a child put a dent in the Canadian goose population of Peach Lake.
Religious Affiliation: FranT "gave up" candy this Lent and then forgot and ate a bunch of chocolate on Valentine's Day. Also, if Mallomars count as candy, I've broken my Lenten sacrifice pretty much every night. As for the Jesuit connection, most of the priests at my high school weren't exactly thrilled that I picked non-Jesuit Notre Dame over Boston College.
Geographical Background: Um, Latin America isn't really America.

Acceptance of the Marginalized: Afraid to say anything here...
Transportation Preference: I'm fairly certain that Metro North is more comfortable than the Buenos Aires city bus.

So how much do I have in common with the new pope? I'd say quite a bit, but I obviously still have some work to do before I become Pope FranT I.

How Excited Am I?

I wrote last week that my roommates and I might have to move. Just found out that we're staying and I couldn't be more excited and relieved. I know you've all been on the edge of your seat waiting for the news, so you can breathe a sigh of relief as well.

I'm glad now that my nights for the next few weeks won't be spent scouring padmapper and Craigslist and going to see new places, and I can focus a larger portion of my attention on opening up new and important discourse on this blog. Really proud of us as a unit for not backing down, you guys.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Can the Yankees Make the Playoffs?

There has been a lot of negativity floating around the Yankees this off-season. The A-Rod Soap Opera; injuries to Teixeira and Granderson; Brian Cashman reaching out to 84-year-old Chipper Jones via Joel Sherman's Twitter account; and the Steinbrenners continuing to worry about money.

I could keep going, but I won't. I prefer to look at baseball season with a "12-dollar-beer-half-full" point of view. Springtime means a clean slate for every team. It's kind of refreshing for the Yanks to be seen as underdogs at the start of the season. They no longer have the league's highest payroll, so we don't have to hear about that anymore, either.

With a positive outlook in mind, let's take a look at how the Bombers can eclipse 90 wins and fight their way into the playoffs.

How Underrated is Spring Daylight Savings Day?

I was outside a little while ago and even though it was raining, it was still pretty bright out at 7:00. How underrated is Spring Daylight Savings Day? As far as I know, it's so underrated that I had to make up a name for it just now. And who knew that the idea for Daylight Savings Time was conceived by a gout-ridden Ben Franklin?

At work today, I remarked how great it was to have an hour more of daylight each afternoon. A colleague responded, "Yeah, but we lost an hour of sleep on Sunday." Ummm, who cares? It was Sunday, so it didn't matter what time you woke up.* When I was a kid, my dad always used it as an excuse to send us to bed early, too. He'd say things like, "You're gonna lose an hour of sleep, so you have to go to bed at 8 tonight even though it's Saturday." Then, he'd use it as a trick to put us in bed early for the next few nights. "You lost that hour of sleep the other night, so tonight's a catch-up night." Completely taking advantage of little kids' lack of mathematical reasoning.

*I guess teachers just always find something to complain about. Spring break? "Yeah, but then we have eight weeks with only one off day before summer." Summers off? "Yeah, but school goes until the end of June, so we only really get two months."

People like my co-workers and my dad might want you to believe otherwise, but Sunday was a great day. I'd say that Spring Daylight Savings Day is the second-best springboard holiday -- a day that launches a great part of the calendar year. Memorial Day is obviously the best springboard holiday by far, but Spring Daylight Savings Day isn't too shabby itself. Giving us one more hour of daylight in the lead-up to St. Patrick's Day, March Madness, Easter, and Opening Day. Happy belated Spring Daylight Savings Day, everyone!

Just sleep an hour later, dumbass! It's Sunday.

How Often Should You Open New Toothpaste?

How often should you open a new tube of toothpaste?
The question's not quite as dumb as it sounds. Think about it for a second. There's always more toothpaste in the tube. Always. It's really just a question of how far you're willing to go to get it. Will you roll the bottom of the tube all the way to the top? Are you so broke that you'll cut open the bottom of the tube to get a couple more brushes out of it?

Yes, I use Aim. Two reasons:
1. It's cheap.
2. As my fiancée says, "It tastes like candy."

So how often should a new tube be broken out? It really is an unanswerable question. Some other pertinent questions for bachelors to consider...  

Monday, March 11, 2013

How Skelly are Skells?

Skells fascinate me and I will often write about them. For those of you that don't know, a skell -- as defined by Urban Dictionary -- is "any lowlife drug addict on welfare. Can usually be found in shit neighborhoods drinking beer all [f-ing] day. Identified by missing teeth, bad skin, being crack-thin (like a skeleton, hence the word: skell), and stinking of booze."

Since I'll probably refer to skells frequently in this space, I figured I'd outline exactly what they are. I think there are five classes in the Skell Kingdom, and I will give a rundown of each one.

Before I lay out the classes, a few ground rules about being a skell:
1. Alcohol must be involved. Since skells usually congregate near run-down taverns and liquor stores, booze is their lifeblood. In other words, a toothless old man that's been beaten down by life, but doesn't drink, doesn't quite make the cut.
2. Even though Wikipedia includes homeless people in its definition of skell, the homeless don't qualify here. Most skells at least remain a minor part of society. Skells tend to live in family members' basements, welfare hotels, and other free/subsidized arrangements.
3. Membership in the Skell Kingdom is fluid. In other words, you can be a full-blown skell and still occasionally clean up and act like a "normal" person. Also, a person can be a member of more than one class of skells, simultaneously or at different times.

Now, let's take a look at the Five Classes of Skells:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

How Bad Are Songs That Start With 'How' ?

Keeping in with the theme of this blog, I checked out all the songs that start with “How” on iTunes, Spotify, and other databases, and the results aren’t pretty. If it just has the word in the song title, that doesn’t count ( i.e. Teach Me How to Dougie). Let’s dive right in, here are my top 10:

10. How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths. 

Kind of an unknown? Yay or nay? It can't be denied.

9. How Many Licks? Lil Kim & Sysco. 

I'm pretty sure this song is a metaphor!

8. How Am I supposed to live without you? Michael Bolton. 

Made famous by the Saved By the Bell dance when Kelly can't afford to go but Zack takes her outside the school for a picnic and they can hear the music. Unbelievable. Also, thanks candylicious princess for the video.

7. How We Do - The Game. 

HS basketball run out song swag thru the roof!

6. How Do You Sleep? - Je
sse McCartney. 
You kinda forget about this one because I don't think anyone has ever actively searched for this song, so how would you know its name? But when it happens to be on, man is it sweet.

5. How Do I live Without You - Leann Rimes. 

She's singing about her longtime husband, Busta Rimes.

4. How Can We Be Lovers if We Can’t Be friends? - Michael Bolton. 

Bolton lives to ask us the questions whose answers our hearts are too afraid to face. I'm still pissed by the way that I could never successfully get this song into the rotation of party songs in any setting, ever.

3. How Will I Know? Whitney Houston. 

One thing that we do know is that we really love this song!

2. How Sweet It is - James Taylor.

The original JT just singing my worries away.

1. How’s It Going to Be? Third Eye Blind. 

Indisputable as far as I'm concerned. This song made me all sorts of emotions before I even knew what those emotions were. I didn't have a girlfriend in HS, so by default I couldn't break up with one, but I might as well have for the amount of times I crushed this song back then. 

So there you have it. This list leaves me a little confused. How did I end up here? How come there aren’t more, or how many did I miss? Is there a common thread? I guess when we really look at these tunes, they’re not BAD, but I’ll tell you one thing that most of them are: Guilty Effing Pleasure songs, especially towards the meaty middle of that list. Try this: picture a party where these are the only 10 songs in rotation. Could be fun?

I’m wondering now if I should take some of these song titles and turn them into blog prompts. Could get weird, could get awesome, ideally will be both. First up will be: How Can We Be Lovers if We Cant Be Friends? Stay tuned.

Friday, March 8, 2013

How Satisfying is Kentucky's Freefall?

So this is what it's like for most people when the Yankees and Notre Dame fail, huh? I have lived in New York and loved the Yanks my whole life, and I went to ND, so I have legit reasons for rooting for those teams. I have always made fun of people that rooted against certain teams more than they cheered for their own teams. In short, I hated hatahs. It just seemed like a miserable sports-fan existence.

I must admit, though, that Kentucky basketball's recent troubles have been enjoyable for me -- and, I'm sure, many others. They lost last night (to Georgia!) for the fourth time in seven games. I love it because I hate them. I hate Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, the stupid Wildcat mascot, racist Adolph Rupp, UK Superfan Ashley Judd (Topless Double Jeopardy Ashley Judd is a different story), and the rest of their basketball program. Most of all, like many of us, I hate "Coach Cal." John Calipari's negative impact on college basketball has been well-chronicled, so I don't need to repeat it here. I just despise his whole sleazy act, whether it's "within the rules" or not.

"I know I’m not a saint, but I’m not the guy I’m made out to be by others."
After the Georgia game, Calipari tried to take responsibility for his team's recent struggles.

“I’m so disappointed in the job I’ve done with this team,” he said Thursday night. “I’ve never had a team not cohesive at this time of year. Every one of my teams ... cohesive. Every one of them had a will to win. Every one of them had a fight. If this team doesn’t have that, that’s on me.”

For me, though, it wasn't so much what he said as how he said it. The man that usually exudes so much confidence sounded utterly helpless. Delightful!

The one bad part of this Kentucky saga has been Nerlens Noel's injury. Obviously, you never want someone to get hurt and Noel is no exception. I just wish he could have stayed in the lineup so there would be no excuse for the Wildcats. Because, honestly, they weren't exactly setting the hoops landscape on fire before he went down. They seemed soooooo young and inexperienced, and those qualities frequently led them to give up insurmountable runs.

Even with Noel's injury, I will continue to cheer vehemently against Kentucky. That's right, hatahs -- I guess I've always been one of you.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How Likely Is it That I'm Getting Kicked Out of My Apartment?

I'd say quite strong

Yup. Just got the letter tonight, and the roommates and I will have lots of conversations with our landlord over the course of the next week to sort it all out and find out if this is for good and when we should start looking again.

I had a slew of blog topics lined up with some notes and my plan was to write one of them and post it..until this giant matza ball came out of nowhere. But don't worry, I'll have a few up soon enough. I guess a better question is: how much does that suck?

Wish me luck on tomorrow's phone calls with landlord!

But if it does come to an end, though I'll hate the landlord, it'll be something like this

How Do Kids Not Know Robin Hood?

As I've said before, I'm a middle-school teacher. The other day, during an after-school test prep program, we were reading about and comparing various Robin Hood myths throughout history. At some point, one of my brighter students pronounced Maid Marian's name "Maid Mary Ann." I corrected her and she again misread it. I corrected her once more, then asked the class, "You guys know the Robin Hood story, right?"
Blank stares.

In the words of Homer Simpson, "Sweet merciful crap!"

I was flabbergasted. How could they not know Robin Hood?
"You kids don't even know the Disney version with the fox as Robin Hood?" I asked.
"No," one of them replied. "We don't really watch Disney movies."
"What do you watch?"
"Like...Phineas and Ferb and iCarly."

Well, I guess that's curtains for a lot of the great characters many of us grew up with.

RIP, Old Fella. This generation has finally found an arrow with your name on it. Sweet merciful crap, indeed.

How Orwellian is North Korea?

Fox News -- North Korea amplified its threatening rhetoric as the U.N. Security Council approved new sweeping sanctions, vowing to launch a first-strike nuclear attack against the United States and threatening to engulf Washington in a "sea of fire."
An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.
At a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday, Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told the crowd that North Korea is ready to fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at Washington.

Not to get all political-like on you, but...
The North Korean government hides their people in prison camps so they don't know the outside world exists. There are videos about nukes hitting NYC being circulated by Whatever Kim Jong Is In Charge Now. And now this?

My biggest question is, Who are the brainwashed people at this "mass rally in Pyongyang"? Some serious 1984 shizznat going on there.

The only thing not out of Orwell is Dennis Rodman's recent peace-keeping mission. I -- along with most terrified South Koreans -- just hope The Worm has a plan.

"That black guy over your right shoulder? Yeah, he's with me."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How Pointless are These Inventions?

On my way to work today, I saw some lady driving around with one of those stupid "Bumper Bully" things on the back of her car. It got me thinking about a few pointless inventions I've seen lately. In no particular order:

The Bumper Bully

I guess I can understand this when you're parked. But for people to drive around with it on their car? What's the point of even getting a nice car if you're just gonna drive around with this monstrosity on it?
A new car is like a pair of new sneakers. You need to get a few scratches/some dirt on it before you really feel comfortable wearing/driving it around.

But if you have a Bumper Bully, at least nobody can steal it.

Just for Men Touch of Grey 

Maybe it's the fact that I haven't yet been traumatized by baldness or grey hair. Still, I don't understand this. Either accept that you're old and grey or go all the way back to your natural color.

There were rumors a few years ago that Obama dyed some of his hair grey to appear older. Why would he do that, though? Half the reason he won the first election was because people thought he was young and cool. Like, "Hey, this guy's much better than all those old, out-of-touch white presidents." Why would he neutralize that advantage?

Dog Sweaters

"At this point, I'd almost rather be a cat."
Yes, people like cute dogs. Spending a bunch of money and taking the time to dress them, though? C'mon.

True story: My cousin had an awesome golden retriever named Woody a few years ago. The first time Woody ever wore human clothes was for an ugly-sweater Christmas party. He died about three months later. They said it was cancer, but I'm convinced it was shame.

Vapor Cigarettes
"Hey man, can I bum a vapor?"
The New Coke of cigarettes. There's a reason they call it smoking and not vaporing. People have been smoking tobacco since way before the Indians passed the peace pipe, and that shouldn't change. Just like the rest of the "inventions" listed above, vapor cigs are for wieners.

Monday, March 4, 2013

How Many Movies Will I See This Year?

It’s not a ridiculous question. And the answer is 8. 

By “Movies I See”, I mean in theaters, and by “this year”, I’m going on the Oscar calendar, so with the Oscars having just ended, all the way up until next year’s.

This is less to inform you of my own movie interests (you could care less...or could you?), but to urge you to take a good hard look at how many movies you’ll be seeing this year. And is there any sort of rule to follow? Like if it’s under 2, you should get to the movies more...but if it’s over 12, maybe you should take up a hobby or something? Or hit a bar once in awhile? With the accessibility of all movies on On Demand and Netflix and such, I have to think that number is pretty low. Anyway, here are mine.


The Place Beyond The Pines 

(seeing it for free, but I like to think I would have seen it regardless)

The Great Gatsby

Man of Steel

Anchorman 2

The Internship 

The Wolf of Wall Street

Oscar Throw-ins (2)

There’s always movies that you don’t know about too far in advance but all of a sudden pick up steam and are all the rage leading up to the Oscars. Mine this year were Argo and Lincoln, and I think Argo was a little lesser known of the two over the course of 2012 before it came out. So I’ll pencil myself in for that many this year, unless the Wolf of Wall Street happens to be one of these films. Or the Internship.

So there you have it. With a little online research and some serious introspection, my final number is 8. I’d say the chances that I see one not on this list are just as good as the chances that I fail to see one on this list. So it stands at 8. Bored and looking for action? Take the over/under, and I’ll keep you posted. Is that too many? I suppose it should be noted that I have a girlfriend, so that has to bump up my general outlook and assumption that I’ll see this many movies.

As a side note: what age is the peak age for seeing movies? Because I’m 23, and it ain’t 23. My cousin is like 34 with 2 kids, and she sees ZERO movies. So is it like 28? Or is it just somewhere way down the road when your kids are out of the house and call you and you say things like “Your mother and I are going to the movies tonight, I think your aunt and uncle may be joining us” ? In that case, 2046 will be a huge movie year for me!

Friday, March 1, 2013

How Boss is Old-fashioned Slang?

The movie Simon Birch* has so many unforgettable lines:
  • "My balls just turned to prunes." "My balls just turned to raisins."
  • "Last year we were in the squirt league, and this year we're in the peewee." "So?" "So what do they want us to do, play baseball or urinate?"
  • "Your mother is so sexy, sometimes I forget she's someone's mother."
  • "I'm sorry!"
*You can watch the full movie here and if you haven't seen it, you should.

Despite these great quotes and many others, my buddies and I always used to love a less memorable one:
"Oh, man, this is so BOSS!" (32:18 on the clip above)
The line comes toward the beginning of the movie and has no real bearing on the plot. It's a great line, though, because it gives a terrific example of 1960s juvenile slang.
Can you imagine kids saying the word "boss" today?

This scene is indicative of the ever-changing nature of slang, a relatively obvious but often forgotten truth. With that in mind, I thought I'd swing through a few of the most important eras of American history and examine some of the slang words in use. I also imagined how people would have described me back then.