The Weekend at Large
Boring has become rather routine here out in the MKE. Boring is the fuel. Ennui is the drug.
So, when I tell you that the weekend was boring, it is akin to saying "this weekend featured three days that ended in Y."
My weekend was boring. Watching my Gaels on Friday night. If you are one of the lucky seven people, nationally, that get ESPNU, you got to see a pretty good game, as well. I got to see something I hadn't seen since my man Smve ran the point and Blood patrolled the paint: a win at the (ahem) Legendary Taps Gallagher Center.
(note: for my money, it's never been legendary. It did used to be a dump, though. Actually, I take that back - it hasn't been legendary since the O'Donohue twins were in the house. But that's a whole different breed of cat.)
And if you're a mid-major basketball fan out there, then you already know about the Iona Gaels. And if you don't, you will real soon...and you're not a real basketball fan. You probably watch cricket, wear an ascot, and are an assclown.
But the game featured some soon-to-be big time players making big-time kinds of plays and shots, with the final death blow provided by the nastiest left-handed Dominican with a mohawk, Ricky Soliver. With the game knotted at 69-all in overtime, Rick had two free throws with 3.9 seconds to go. He missed both and while watching the game (with a few select beverages), it reminded me of another Iona-Niagara matchup from 2002. Iona had Niagara beat. But the Purple Eagles fought their way back (and a few Gael gridders, as the Clash once sang, fought with the law and the law won). But down the stretch, Rick missed seven free throws. Excruciating to watch, knowing how much it killed the kid, but nonetheless, he recovered quite well.
Anyway, back to Friday night...Rick missed both free throws, Niagara gets the rebound, calls timeout and sets up an inbounds play. And apparently, it was drawn up on the posey board as "pass the ball to a wide open Ricky Soliver and let him lay it in so we can lose...'Team' on three, 1-2-3 TEAM!"
And that's how it ended. Like Havilchek, Rick stole the ball! Rick stole the ball! Rick stole the ball! And the Gaels improved to 15-3, 9-1 in league play, and have won seven straight. Yay!
The rest of my Friday night included more select beverages, Patrick and Gould - a deadly MKE cover band that plays everything from Christy Moore to Sheryl Crow, all by request (and a dollar or two). I asked for Christy Moore's "Missing You," as it's apropos to where my head is at this moment, but I settled on Fisherman's Blues by the Waterboys. Also a solid tune.
I've been here since September and have yet to find a solid Irish pub. Mo's is ok, it's a bit forced Irish, though. I'm looking for a place where Tommy the barkeep has three teeth and they serves beer and eggs on Saturday when the rugby or the football is on. Out here, Guinness coasters and U2 in the jukebox qualifies as Irish.
Saturday involved the tasks of waking up (a little more difficult than I had anticipated), watching the current employer's men's squad play Pitt, then going to work for the women's squad against Seton Hall. The current employer went 1-1 on the day, losing the day game but bouncing back nicely in the nightcap.
Later on, grabbed another cocktail or two at Flannery's down the road. This place wasn't much of an Irish place either, but it did have an element that I think has been sorely lacking in my life: other people.
Yes, for the most part I agree with Camus and his view on other people, but for this here stranger in a strange land, hearing the Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" and a bunch of 20-somethings dancing around, spilling their drinks everywhere and falling over themselves is a sight for some sore eyes. Flannery's had the eclectic mix of what is turning out to be Milwaukee's best in terms of the younger folk: people that try too hard.
There were two dudes in there in suits, looking like they were trying to big-shot their way into a table at Da Nico. There were the requisite recently-graduated 23 year olds who are adjusting to the working world but going comatose on a Saturday night. Then there were normal, handsome, smart, well-dressed, individuals with bright futures ahead of them. (as you can tell, yes, I was at the bar).
This rather attractive girl in a pink shirt and those god-awful boots that make girls look like the ones Han Solo wore in Empire when he was riding a Taun-taun. But regardless of her poor choice in footwear, she kept getting caught staring at me. Or I got flagged for 15 yards for illegal use of my eyes. Either way, we glanced several times. And, as things have been going, I did nothing about it. I'm in a terrible slump and it is getting to me. I think I need to light incense and sacrifice a large chicken.
But kicking off the night, as I headed back to the crib to change out of the suit and into bar clothes, was the September pariah that is known as "ninth floor girl."
You may remember her from a blog post from way back
. You'll have to scroll way down to find it, but yes..it was her. I know this because she looked the same and pressed the "9" button on the elevator. And I could there were sparks flying, only those sparks were bouncing off the invisible wall of tension between the two of us as we occupied our own separate corners of the elevator. It was like Soviet-bloc Europe. Without wanting to go the 25-28 seconds without saying something, I came up with "boy, this isn't January weather, is it?"
Now, not only is January almost over, but really, what kind of question is that? And there are so many contexts to which that question does not relate to. For one, in Australia, it's about 90 degrees and sunny...and it's January. In San Diego, it's in the mid to high 70's. And considering that I've never spent a January in Wisconsin, who the hell anointed me as the shampooing weather guru? This might very well have been January weather and I might have made an Orwellian mistake by trying to be Al flippin' Roker.
Well a simple "hello, what's your name?" might have done the trick. I might have had her at hello.
Oh well, what can a boy do, other than ride the elevators for eight straight hours or sit in the lobby couches all day. But that's weird.
- I think I may need serious bits of psychoanalysis, but I'm digging Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne recently.
- More on my Death Cab kick: just picked up The Postal Service's "Give Up." It's th epet project of Ben Gibbard, the singer-songwriter who is the lead guy for DCFC. It's also wicked good.
- I like the Coco Crisp trade. I like picking up David Riske. And I like the lineup the Sox have put together, on paper, to start Spring Training in 20 days (Sox pitchers and catcher report on Feb. 18). They have improved every position either offensively or defensively - and in same cases both. Pitching seems to be a strength, and the bullpen improved. And this coming from a team that tied for the AL East title.
- Tonight's Family Guy with Tom Brady was just g-d insane. From the wax statue of Harriet Tubman & Gwyneth Paltrow, the Perkins Suburu and Mitsubishi ad (where we sell Suburus and Mitsubishi's), to the song-and-dance musical performance...insane. I don't know what kinds of drugs you need to do to be that creative.
- Got the LSAT coming up on Saturday. Pray. I don't know how people can "study" for this test. After a while, it all runs together and I start to see spots. It more practicing how to take a test than it is actually gauging someone's aptitude... But whatever. Gotta do it.
Well, that's done about it from here in the home office. Hope all is well, the sun shining, and the sky Keaney blue.
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Among other tunes by the album that I am simply addicted to right now: Death Cab for Cutie's "Plans."
It's dark. It's smart. It's catchy. It's pessimistically introspective, and outwardly optimistic. It is everything I've been looking for in a 11-track release in a long, long time.
I'm not sure, save for one of my world-famous mixtapes, that I have been as drawn to listen to this CD as much as I have...
I dunno why. Ennui? Melancholy? Seasonal Affective Disorder? Acute SBU? SARS? Bird flu? Ricketts? I dunno.
But it's damned good.
Well, it's late and I'm tired. I hope that you all have a great weekend - and if you're looking for some good music, look no further than DCFC...
Better Late than Never
I haven't written too much recently, so here are some quick hitters...
1. Kobe scored 81. ESPN loves it, because they have the NBA contract. Just like they loved it when Antonio Davis went into the stands because his wife can't keep her mouth shut or her hands to herself.
Kobe scored 81. Marc Stein called it the most amazing performance in NBA history. Marc, he took 46 shots. His backcourt mate is Smush Parker...a guy who "poured in" 31 points against Iona at the Mulcahy Center but three years ago, in between stints at White Castle and West 4th. Parker and the immortal Chris Mihm were the only other Lakers in double figures.
Kobe scored 81. He had two assists, though. And his team won...against (arguably) the worst team in the Atlantic Division.
Kobe scored 81. And someone asked me if he was "tremendous" or "just a ballhog." I think he's somewhere in the middle. I mean, 81 points in one game is certainly 81 more than I scored in my NBA career. But Kobe? I just think he's a tremendous ballhog.
2. The Steelers are in the Super Bowl? Yay!!! Seattle's in the Super Bowl? Yay!!!
I couldn't give a rat's ass - shampooing big deal. Besides, I'm still waiting for the NFL to pull a move like the United States Figure Skating Association did with Michelle Kwan, and plug the Indianapolis Colts into the big game.
3. Theo's back. But the question should really be "did he ever leave?"
He had been with the Red Sox for three years, and by all accounts, never took a day off. Maybe they have comp time at 4 Yawkey Way, maybe they don't. Maybe after three years - with the sick days and vacay time - Epstein had amassed 80 days.
And he wanted to take them all at once. And, this year, the Winter Meetings were in Dallas. Could they pick a shittier town? Theo didn't want to go. Plain and simple.
Nah, Theo wanted to be able to go to Rio...he wanted to see a few shows, grab dinner a few nights, go surfing, whatever. So he cashed in all his vacation time.
Besides, the Red Sox played it perfectly. Theo is a smart baseball mind. The rest of the front office are smart entertainment, television, and PR minds. Look at what happens when they come together like Voltron. "Form arms and legs...form NESN and the Globe..."
4. I like the Coco Crisp et al moves, though.
It gives the Sox payroll flexibility. It gives the Sox roster flexibility.
And you know what? It give the Sox a pretty good lineup. It makes sense.
Look at the deficiencies last season, where were they? Starting rotation, with no "ace?" Welcome to Beckett. First base, bad average, bad glove. Welcome to Youkilis and JT Snow. Second base, bad defense (playoffs), no bat. Welcome ot Mark Loretta. Shortstop, no defense. Welcome to Alex Gonzalez. Third base, bad knees, no power. Welcome to Mike Lowell.
As for centerfield, Coco Crisp can give you just about everything Johnny Damon did. And Mark Loretta in the two-hole gives you everything Edgar Renteria was supposed to. Toss a Mike Lowell in five or six hole, where Kevin Millar failed miserably...and Youkilis near the bottom of the lineup to knock in some runs or set himself up on base for the top of the order, and...
And not to talk of the bullpen. Arguably the worst among good teams, it's been re-tooled. Maybe Jonathan Papelbon is in the rotation...if he's not, then he's a pretty good setup guy. Along with Rudy Seanez, Julian Tavarez, Mike Timlin, Guillermo Mota (maybe?), David Riske (maybe?), Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Lenny DiNardo... Should I continue? And I haven't even mentioned Keith Foulke.
The starting rotation... There's Beckett...a healthy Schilling...Wakefield...Arroyo...Clement...Papelbon (maybe)...Wells (who knows).
I'm confident. And optimistic. Who knew?
Ok, that's it for now.
The 6th Quarter
Hey, um, what now?
Law and Order reruns on TNT?
PBA Bowling on ESPN?
Read a book?
Clean my apartment?
Take a shower?
All these questions are answers to a bigger question: "What the hell am I supposed to do on Sundays now that the Patriots aren't in the playoffs anymore?"
Nope. I'm not going to rehash the game, it's painful enough. Turnovers. Uncharacteristic plays. Bad turnovers. Bum calls.
All of these things have happened before, but somehow, the Patriots found a way. This time, in Denver, they did not. Oh well, ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on.
But for all of you muckrakers, W-E-E-Idiots, and nincumpoops out there - up to and including Ron effing Borges - the dynasty is not over. Rumors of a demise are greatly exaggerated. Like Tedy Bruschi said, and I paraphrase, we didn't lose anything more than a game in Denver.
Tom Brady did not have his greatest game. He threw untimely picks and, when throws required timeliness, he missed. Oh well. If that fat shampoo Meatloaf thought two outta three ain't bad (a .667 winning percentage), then 10 outta 11 is simply divine (a. 909 winning percentage). I can live with that, you?
And with the 10-outta-11 thing in the back of his mind, you think Tom Brady isn't going to toss and turn in bed (albeit, with supermodels) until next January dreaming of another ratio: four-outta-six. The man is going to take this one hard and he's going to take it out on the rest of the NFL come this August. Like Rick James, he's Tom Brady, bitch. And like Major Harris, he's Tom Brady and you're not.
As for the rest of the NFL season, to quote my good friend The Bitch, "whatever." My bitterness comes out when I say I'm glad it's not Peyton Shampooing Manning and that idiot kicker Vanderjackass.
Way to call out your teammates ("We had protection problems..."), especially the big fat guys who protect your pixie ass and put up with you doing your best caucasian version of Morris Day's "The Bird" everytime you approach scrimmage. Everyone has an essence. In my existential world, your existance occurs prior to your essence, which as we've seen quite plainly throughout your NFL playoff career, involves losing.
I'm also glad it's not the Giants and Peyton's bitch-ass brother.
I dunno who I'm rooting for now, definately nobody in the AFC. If either Carolina (John Fox worked with Belichick at one point in his career) or Seattle (Hasselbeck's dad was a Patriot), I'll be happy.
And I'd like to see Pittsburgh make the final game...and then lose...badly...embarrasingly... because I love watching that slapdick Cowher's chin stick out when he watches his squad get flushed down the toilet.
It might sound like sour grapes or point-blank bitterness, and you're right. I gotta have some fuel to get me through the day. You have your caffeine and Red Bull, I'll take my demons anyday of the week and twice on Sunday.
Speaking of which, the demons are wondering what the hell to do on their double-shot Sundays, too. I'm going to suggest yoga.
Some Quick Hitters from South Bend, Ind.
1. Jim Ed Rice got screwed. And if you'd like me to spell that out, it's S-C-R-E-W-E-D.
2. Overall, the campus of the University of Notre Dame du Lac is overrated. Although, I did find the Main Building (the gold dome), Touchdown Jesus, and the Grotto to be pretty cool. Even lit a candle at the grotto - otherwise known as the place where Rudy lit all the candles before he found out he got into ND from adjoining Holy Cross College. Hope that wish comes true... =O)
3. Seriously, I didn't know the writers could screw the Sox more this year, after the AL MVP voting. But they did. Writers will pay the price, someday, when they continue to shun Big Jim Rice.
4. Found a good burger in South Bend - CJ's. Did not disappoint. Although, they need to work on the soda gun. The diet pepsi was 80% sizz-urup, 10% fizz, 10% dishwater.
5. Got to see one of my favorite Notre Dame athletes' jersey: Troy Murphy. He's a badass,
6. Jim Rice got shafted.
The Lunch Bunch
As this time of year is often hectic, I have neglected to update the blog as much as I'd like.
So, lo and behold, I log on today and see that the hit counter has passed 20,000. And that's amazing to me, so thanks to all the loyal royal TLBR readers.
Ok, I don't have a glut of time to write about my lunch experience today, but suffice to say that...well...how do I put it? I live in Milwaukee, and a few years ago that had a guy who was kinda weird and would eat people and stuff. Dahmer, I believe his name was.
Now this guy probably doesn't have a frozen head in his freezer or anything, but like this other guy Norman Bates, he is almost 60 and still lives alone with his mother. Draw any conclusion you'd like there.
I've met weird people. I've met people who weren't weird, but acted as if they were just so you'd think they were weird. A faux weird if you must. (and that's kind of a weird way to act, so I guess it's successful. But I digress...)
I've also met people who tried to be normal, and the more they tried, they got weirder.
But I've never met a person so weird as to accept, embrace, create, sustain, and condone his own weirdness - up to and including his seven existing personalities and the eighth that he is currently constructing.
Ok, so if you're bipolar or have multiple personality disorder, and you're talking about the different sides of, um, you...is it first person possessive or third person?
If you're, oh, "Serious Sam" as this guy admitted to be working on for his eighth "character" and - at that time - you're talking about the personal peccadillos of "Frank Fan," another of his internal, unconscious peeps( ...yeah, he...right, I couldn't possibly make this shit up...)
Ok, I need to stop, because I'm about to have my head spin 360 degrees and start puking bile.
I'm just glad he didn't tell us about Hannibal Cannibal because I didn't have Terry Taser with me.
Moral of the story: I need to brownbag it more. It's safer on my constitution.
Nappy Hew Year
Recovering here on the couch, just wanted to wish everyone a happy, happy and a healthy, healthy.
Watching the movie "In Good Company" because there are no AFC games on in the state of Wisconsin at the moment. How could you possibly dream of something like that, Brett Favre is on.
Puhleeze. Retire and go away.
Regardless, the movie is pretty good. And has two elements that appeal to me: a good soundtrack (movies with Damien Rice usually hit home) and Scarlett Johansson. She's so good-looking it's almost stupid. And anything with Peter Gabriel's "Solisbury Hill" works for me. In fact, Wisconsin is the only place on Earth I've been with cover bands that have Solisbury Hill on their playlists. Cool.
Anyway, this flick makes me think back at what a year 2005 was. I traveled, I moved, and I loved. Although the latter isn't quite a past-tense. Just dormant. And waiting. But I digress.
Enough for now. I'm going back to relative inactivity because that's just about all I can manage right now.
More later. Enjoy today.