Thursday, March 31, 2011

Twins season preview in about 10 words

Hopefully win division...?

Lose to Yankees in first round.

...

...Hooray!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Music:

I'm going to post some YouTube videos, since I like posting YouTube videos.

Been listening to a lot of Tom Waits as of late, which I think is because Sara took me to a concert that one of her co-workers played in... where the vocalist was pretty much just trying to imitate Mr. Waits.

Been spinning his most recent studio album Orphans the most, which I'm beginning to realize is pretty amazingly great. It's sort of bizarre in that it's half-outtakes and half-new stuff--plus all the songs are divided up into three separate categories based on the type of song it is (those three categories being "Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards"). Which are basically the three types of songs he's been writing his entire life--only this time they're organized!

Which I like--a lot.

There's a lot to be said about diversity--I mean, The Beatles wouldn't be as great as they are if they only released stuff like Tomorrow Never Knows and never recorded anything like I Wanna Hold Your Hand--but I guess I like the cohesion that releasing a bunch of songs that sound the same brings. And now thinking about my favorite albums, the albums I love vary wildly in genre, but the songs on each album usually don't.

Anyway, here are my favorites from each selection, and I'm going to post a lot because I can:

Brawlers: (mostly blues-tinged this one is. Not that any of these are particularly blues inspired, but still...)







Bawlers: (I'm not as fond of his ballads as some other folks are, but I was going to only include maybe two songs per disc on this little post... I ended up including 5, but I could have gone with 10 from this section easily. So... this is my favorite disc, basically.)







(Next one is one of my favorite things he ever released, and it astounds me that it went essentially unreleased for 20+ years.)





Bastards: (I thought this collection was my favorite, since I've always usually preferred his weirder stuff... but it's actually the weakest of the three, now that I listen to it. But there's a Disney song cover, so that's pretty cool.)





Monday, March 28, 2011

Things I like

Still in pain from falling thousands of times from rollerskating, thinking that I might never ever engage in any physical activity ever again...



I remember seeing this on DVD back when I was about 13 or something (how did I even know of the man when I was 13? Wait... that was around the time when the movie of his life came out. Nevermind then), but Kaufman was a type of comedian that I have always really enjoyed, simply because he tried to be extraordinarily interesting rather than extraordinarily funny.

This clip doesn't really have much humor to it (I would say it has none, but there is an angry black guy providing backup vocals to "It's A Small World"), but if you didn't know what was happening by the YouTube video, you'd see the congas and his dancing and you'd expect something completely wacky--but he just performs a rather conventional rendition of the song (albeit weirdly fused with the conga percussion). And it's kind of a good performance too. I like that about Kaufman. I think he hated being called a "comedian" since the word itself implies that you are supposed to be funny, but still... he's my type of comedian nonetheless, and I wish that more today had his type of mentality. Sasha Baron Cohen doesn't count.

-Just found this today. It's kind of like Garfield Minus Garfield--well, it essentially is, since it's apparently made by the same people, but instead of taking a crappy strip and making it funny, it's taking a great strip and forcing its existential misery to the forefront. Which makes it less humorous, of course--but still as interesting.

Fun fact: last year I lived essentially on the same block that Charles Schulz once lived and where his dad had his barbershop for years.

I mean, it's not a super interesting fact to most of you... but it is to me, I suppose.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hell yeah

So UNC lost, which meant that my then-perfect National Championship game is no longer perfect. However, I am much more thrilled that they were the ones to fall, rather than the Virginia Commonwealth Rams, who are in the Final Four.

Do they have a realistic chance of winning it all, like my bracket expects it to do? They might. Don't know much about Kentucky, but as far as I know UConn is a one-man show--and with an off night from Mr. Walker, anything can happen. As for Butler--well, they're not the greatest team in the world... but they've made it this far, so any lack of talent they make up for in true grit.

And honestly, I might even be cheering for the Butler Bulldogs. I'm not sure yet. VCU has got a great story of having everyone complain about their inclusion--all the while having to play an extra game just to stay alive in the tournament. I mean, their run is way more improbable than Butler's--and Butler made it to the Final Four last year, which makes VCU the bigger underdog in this, so it's obvious that I cheer for them, right?

The only reason I'd go for Butler is because of the coaches.

Now, if I were coaching a mid-major team, I'd stay for as long as possible. If I were lucky enough to be successful, it'd be much more satisfying to bring an entire program to the top than leaving for a job that's already at the top. And I feel like Butler is at that point, and that coach Brad Stevens is more likely to stay with that program now that he's proven he can be more successful than most other powerhouse programs with his small little unit. Shaka Smart of VCU seems like a pretty cool guy--but he's at the top of every head coaching vacancy. And you can't know if he's going to bolt for a better paying job at the end of the tournament.

I guess you could say the same for Stevens as well, as he could get upset that Butler is not paying him as much as he thinks he's worth and then take off--or he could just think "well, I've accomplished all I could here" and opt for something else--but he had every job open to him last year, and yet he's still coaching the same team. Which has to mean something, right? And no other school can offer him the allure of the "prestige" of a major-conference school or whatever, because it means nothing now that his team has done something most programs could never ever dream of pulling off.

Essentially, if I were in these guys' shoes, I'd choose to stay where I am, because it would entail that I'd remain beloved by essentially the entire NCAA--whereas risking it for a bigger job would mean much more intense scrutiny and no greater chance for success. And I guess I'd rather see a coach get rewarded for sticking with a smaller team rather than rewarding a coach who'll use this run to get a better coaching job. And again, there's no guarantees either way--Stevens might bolt, Smart might stay--but again... one's already had the opportunity.

Basically... whoever wins the game between the two, I don't really care--I'm just hoping that the winner will beat the crap out of either UConn or Kentucky.
I went rollerskating for the first time yesterday. Sara has been wanting to go for a really long time and she decided that her birthday weekend was an appropriate time to go to a skating rink. It was fun... as much as an activity that has completely terrified constantly that you're going to break your ankle at any moment can be.

The day after, my neck hurts--my left arm was sore last night, and my legs aren't in tip-top shape. This is because I fell down--a lot. I'm assuming that most complete beginners fall down quite a bit when they first start, but still... it hurts.

Sara told me that I was doing really well for a complete beginner, but there were 4 year olds blazing around the rink at 6 times the speed I was going at. So comparatively speaking, I wasn't that great.

There were a couple of kids that *weren't* completely showing me up and were just beginning like yours truly. But... well, there was this one kid who was completely flailing his legs all over the place (as opposed to my slow but steady descent towards the floor) right in front of where I was taking a break. He took a seat next to me, and told me that he was struggling right now, but he could go REALLY FAST.

Since being self-deprecating is my second nature, I responded that he's better than I am.

His words in response: "Yeah, I saw you fall down--a lot."

You know how usually most people don't really think about you as much as you fear they might? Yeah, that wasn't the case.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet Sixteen stuff...

I don't mean to keep writing about this, but in this case I feel it is too important not to at least mention.

Today is day 2 of the NCAA Tournament games, and I am almost as excited as possible. Not that I'll be able to watch the games, since it's Sara's birthday and I'm going to devote all my time to her and all and that's all right by me... but the games today have extra importance to me.

This year--in my coin-flipped bracket--I had UNC and Virginia-Commonwealth in the National Championship game, with Virginia-Commonwealth winning it all (although technically, I had both USC and Virginia-Commonwealth winning since I didn't want to distinguish between the two because play-in games are stupid). Every year when I do the coin-flip brackets, I do it just to see if I somehow beat other people's brackets (and my own "actually trying to do a good job" bracket), and every year the teams I have going far inevitably lose in the 1st and 2nd rounds. This is the first time that two of my Final Four teams have made it this far.

Of course, there's not a huge chance that VCU is *actually* going to win it all. BUT... there's a reasonable chance they can at least make it to the Final Four. They're going up against Florida St.--a 10 seed that has played well the first two games, but on paper they're not any better than the teams that VCU defeated. Then they'll either play 1 Kansas or 12 Richmond--and that looks to be an easy Kansas victory, but VCU is located in Richmond, VA--so the possibility of that town inexplicably having two teams face each other for a Final Four spot is so awesome that the basketball gods will let them win. Coincidentally, I had Richmond facing VCU in the Elite Eight.

So, decent chance, right? And what if-- what if they actually win the damn tournament? Again, there's little chance of that actually occurring, but STILL. If they did win the tournament... would this rank as the greatest accomplishment in my life? I mean, I didn't really decide the bracket--but I'd say yes. Yes it would be.

...

I think my only regret right now is that I didn't join any smaller bracket pools so that I could possibly rub it in to anyone's faces that had Duke and Pitt squaring off for it all. But as it stands right now, in the overall ESPN standings I'm in the 1.3 percentile--which pales in comparison to Sar'a bracket, which is in the 5.2 percentile... and my other "filled it out right after they announced the bracket and couldn't really tell you who's beating who" bracket, which is in the 75.2 percentile--so really, I shouldn't be bragging just yet. But if everything goes according to plan--according to the scoring system on ESPN, I'd completely eclipse my own bracket and most likely the large majority of everyone's as well.

Which would be so amazing that it *has* to happen. I can't even bear the thought of VCU losing tonight. It's just not going to take place. They have to win.

This is just how it has to be.

Monday, March 21, 2011



Doo doo doo doo doo
, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.
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Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.
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Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Couple unrelated items...

-The NCAA tournament has killed any motivation to be productive.

I don't know if any of you care whatsoever, but the quality of the games have been almost staggering. (And by "quality" I mean "dramatic"... they're not all great players performing at exceptional levels or anything. Just felt like I had to make that point.) Not every game has gone down to the last minute, but a large majority of them have. Plus, a lot of underdogs have made the Sweet Sixteen so far... 4 to be exact, and 2 more with a reasonable chance right now. So essentially it's had all I've ever wanted from the NCAA tournament: exciting games, and underdogs winning.

It makes me think that I should follow college ball during the actual season, but at the same time I feel like there's really no point. The tournament is great because the stakes are higher than pretty much any other postseason, and if you have one off-night--you're done. Which means that the regular season seems boring--and almost irrelevant. I mean... sure, you have to play well in order to make it, but as long as make it and play reasonably well, you have a chance to go far. It's all about getting hot at the right time.

Anyway--I'm all about the Butler Bulldogs right now. I know they made it to the National Championship last year, and that they shouldn't actually be labeled an "underdog"... but I like the program. Bunch of scrappy players going at it hard... plus their coach seems like someone who's not at all concerned about the bigger paycheck and the high-profile job, which I respect a lot.

-So I watched the Coens' "Ladykillers" earlier today, which I suppose is noteworthy because a) it was the only Coen movie I hadn't seen, and b) .... well, I guess that's it. It's probably one of their most reviled films, which I suppose is fair, because as a comedy it's broadness doesn't really work all that much. I'd probably say it's only above Intolerable Cruelty in terms of their filmography, but at the same time I can't say that I disliked it... and I'd probably call it "pretty good" if pressed right now.

And I think that's because--well, there's this theory I have. It's that as long as a film has a great soundtrack and solid visuals, I'll always like it, no exceptions.

I've tried to think of anything that might be that exception, but so far no dice. In any case, The Ladykillers has both. Just about every scene is filled with gospel music in this--and it's not like I've accumulated a huge collection of old-time gospel or anything like that, but it adds such great character to everything. And for the cinematography--well, it's always top notch in any Coen outing (usually it's because of Roger Deakins, their cinematographer for all but a few of their films--but I'm too lazy to look up to see if he's responsible for this outing), and any film that can take a shot of a garbage heap on some island and give it so much weight will not prove any different.

And that's all there is to the film. Well--Tom Hanks is fun as this slightly off-putting but highly articulate southern gentleman. And J.K. Simmons is awesome, despite some weaker material he's given. But other than that... it's all about that gospel music, really.

-Having an earache is never fun, for the record.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm going to write throughout the day, because I have nothing better to do and it'll give me a little more to do while sitting around watching the NCAA tournament.

The only two games on right now are 12 Clemson/5 West Virginia, and 9 Old Dominion/8 Butler, and I have rooting interest in both. Clemson/West Virginia is the only game in which I'll be cheering for the favorite, mainly because Clemson was a team that had to play an extra game, and I figure that if they win... it'll only validate the idea of putting extra teams into the tournament. Also West Virginia has a player named Thoroughman.

As for Butler/ODU... well, the Wall Street Journal put together a bracket determiner that eliminated any bias by leaving out the team names and just including stats and pros/cons about each team. This is what I came up with. Although i figured out generally which team was which after a bit, and then started going for upsets shortly after that for the hell of it. But nonetheless... Old Dominion somehow became a Final Four pick for me. I'm assuming that this will be correct since I am wise in the ways of college basketball.

1:55: Well there goes Old Dominion.

I find myself bored and simulating the entire tourney on this one website that I find to be too cumbersome. I have to select each team to play its opponent for every single game, and... it's taking quite a while. But it humors me, so...

I've done this one for the NBA playoffs hundreds of times. Which might seem like a lot... and it is. But I want to get the Memphis Grizzlies to the finals. They have advanced to the Conference Final quite a few times, but then they always lose to the Lakers. Jackasses...

Right now Morehead St is down one point to Louisville. They're not going to win, since I'm assuming Louisville has a pretty decent chance of making a deep run into the tournament, but if some of Louisville's key players break a few bones...

2:55: OK, so Morehead St actually won. And strangely enough, they won after one of their starters got injured halfway through the 2nd half. Not that I would actually wish harm on any players or anything... but should Morehead St put me on their payroll? Probably.

And then I finished my little simulation.... and Louisville was in the title game, which thus completely throws out the entire experiment. At least they lost to Missouri... who are an 11 seed and would be (as far as I know) the only double digit seed to win the tournament. Also making the Final Four: 1 Ohio St (fair enough), and 11 Gonzaga (much less likely).

I am beginning to see grass in my backyard. It's almost as if spring might actually come this year...

5:19:
This commercial has been playing constantly on all four networks.



It is perhaps the creepiest commercial I have ever seen in my life, and I will probably never ever go to NAPA Auto Parts now, out of fear of seeing a guy who looks like a perverted serial killer start singing at me.

Usually that's not what commercials ought to do.

There's been a lot of good games so far today... three have already come down to the final second, and this Richmond/Vanderbilt looks like it will as well. Which is great and all, because all I hope for is upsets and good games... but if this ratio of high quality games continues, it's going to make me feel really bad when I skip out by watching Community and Parks And Rec.

Whose grand idea was it to schedule anything against the NCAAs anyway?

I mean, I know you need to fill your programming schedule, but you might as well realize that not a lot of people are going to watch. So just admit defeat and schedule reruns. I'd probably make a terrible network exec.

This Richmond/Vanderbilt game won't end...

There we go.

Richmond wins, which means in the second round, it's going to be them (a 12 seed) vs. 13 Morehead St. Which means that one of them will be in the Sweet Sixteen. This is a great development.

9:14:
I'm glad the games started sucking the exact moment I needed to go and watch Community/Parks.

11:23:
I turned on the Michigan St/UCLA game just as Michigan St. was about to clinch the 20 point comeback and send it into overtime, but then they choked it away. I feel as if this is my fault a little bit.

Sorry Michigan St.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I don't really get the logic of the NCAA Tournament.

I was reading an article earlier today about the decision to expand the tournament from 65 to 68 teams, which meant that 8 teams would have to play a game for 4 spots, thus whittling the number of teams down to a proper 64. But the tournament officials are insisting that the 4 games to determine who gets to play another day be called the "first round", while the actual first round gets called the "second round."

In years past the game between the 64th and 65th team was merely called the "play-in" game. But apparently they don't want to call it that anymore, because it gives off the perception that they're not actually in the NCAA tournament. Well... they aren't really. If you have 60 teams already locked in for a game while you have 8 teams play an extra one to get the chance to play one of those other rested 60 teams... then it's certainly not a "first round." It's a play-in game. Or whatever you might call it. Point being, it's confusing for everyone to call this the "first round" when it's not the first round for 90% of the teams, and stupid to call it that just to avoid pissing off the teams that have to play in the game... since you already pissed them off by putting them in the game.

Also, I don't get the seeding. Two of the matchups are between potential 16 seeds, but for the other two, one's a matchup between potential 11 seeds and the other's between 12 seeds. How did they go about determining which of those 4 teams gets to be an 11 seed and who gets to be the 12 seed? If it's the best two teams as 11 seeds and the lesser teams as 12, then that means that the 11 seeds get shafted by being a better team, since they have to play a tougher opponent in the other 11 seed rather than one of the 12 seed teams.

If they matched up the best and the worst as 11 seeds and the 2nd & 3rd best as the 12 seeds, that means that if the worst team of the 4 somehow pulls off a victory... they get an easier matchup, since the 11 seed will play the 6 seed instead of the 5 seed.

I'm assuming other people have complained about all this, but I haven't seen it anywhere. Surely other people have complained... right? Cause this is all really dumb.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our cat was put down today.

It was only this morning that I found out anything was wrong with her. I mean, I could tell that she wasn't a spry 3-year old anymore, but I thought that it was just old age rather than anything else. Apparently she had some form of mouth cancer, and wasn't drinking or eating. They put her down after it was determined she probably wouldn't even make it with any form of treatment. I didn't even know they went to the vet.

I don't know how to grieve.

She was a nice kitty.

Monday, March 14, 2011

NCAA predictions:

Every year I do my NCAA predictions, and I do my NCAA predictions by coin flip.

This is because of a couple reasons.

1) I know nothing about college basketball.
2) I find it a lot more fun to cheer for the underdogs in the tournament, and if I were to fill out my bracket legitimately, that would compromise my ability to always cheer for the underdog.
3) I'd like to one day beat someone's legitimate bracket with my coin-flipped one.

So far it has failed every single time. But let's look into my bracket to see highlights:

EAST: Number one Ohio St. goes down to the 16 seed behemoth UTSA/AL ST. ESPN's bracket filler-outer doesn't allow me to choose between the two, so I consider them as one. I think it's Texas-San Antonio and Alabama St. Don't care enough to look it up. They--plus 2 UNC, 13 Princeton, and 14 Indiana St make the Sweet Sixteen, with 16 UTSA/ALST and 2 UNC advancing. Unfortunately UNC wins, which is unfortunate... since UTSA/ALST was my best performing 16 seed this year. The more 16 seeds going to the Final Four, the better.

WEST: Another 16 seed, Hampton, beats 1 Duke and makes it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen until it falls to 13 seed Oakland, who ends up beating 7 Temple in the Elite Eight.

SOUTHWEST: Kansas is the only 1 seed to make it past the first round, but they end up falling in the Sweet Sixteen to 12 Richmond. Other Sweet Sixteen participants--11 USC/VCU (which is Southern Cal and Virginia Commonwealth respectively) and 10 Florida St. Going to the Final Four is USC/VCU, who beat out Richmond. It's pretty great too... because ESPN's bracket filler-outer shows the logos of the teams you have in the Final Four, but since USC/VCU is two teams, they just leave it blank.

SOUTHEAST: 1 Pittsburgh goes down to 16 UNCA/ARLR (which stands for... whatever), but the big story is that 10 Michigan St wins the region, making this the 30th straight Final Four they make. They beat 9 Old Dominion to get there.

FINAL FOUR:
2 UNC over 13 Oakland
11 USC/VCU over 10 Michigan St

CHAMPIONSHIP:
11 USC/VCU over 2 UNC

So there you have it. Two teams will win it this year. Or whichever one wins the play-in game. Whose stupid idea was it to add extra teams into the tournament anyway?






BONUS:

Sara filled out her own bracket. I'm gonna write about hers too. Hers is more interesting, since she chooses it based on how cool the name sounds. Villanova usually wins this.

WEST: ... except this year, when INEXPLICABLY Syracuse beats Villanova. Syracuse also beat Xavier, another perennial Final Four contender. These were major upsets if you have followed Sara's brackets over the years (which no one has... except me.)

EAST: This region's final was Tennessee vs. UConn. After much deliberation, trying to decide between the lyrical Tennessee which flows with double letters after double letters... or the bluntness of UConn. She went with UConn.

SOUTHWEST: Kind of a weak field. Major highlights include her being weirded out by how I pronounce Akron (ack-ron) vs. how she's pronounced it (a-cron). I think I'm right. She went with VCU (or Virginia Commonwealth) over Vanderbilt in the final... which she considered an upset since she apparently rarely goes with acronyms. But I guess the overall strength of the name within that acronym was good enough here. Also, this is the only Final Four selection that matches up with mine... but I let her choose between VCU and USC since it confused her when I tried listing them together. Another reason why this 68-team thing is stupid.

SOUTHEAST: Surprise of the tournament: Wofford wins the region. Which was really surprising considering it was up against Gonzaga... another perennial contender for the Final Four. Her reasoning... unknown, although it is an awesome name. In the regional final, it beat ODU (aka Old Dominion... or Dominium/Condominium as she recalled it), which was another acronymed team doing pretty well.

FINAL FOUR:
UConn over Syracuse.
Wofford over VCU

CHAMPIONSHIP:
Wofford over UConn

Which is a pretty good selection, if you ask me. If only for the fact that it'll probably be the only time it'll ever have a chance at winning anything.


...

If somehow your bracket is worse than ours, just know that this post is designed to make you feel really really bad.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why the hell did no one tell me about Daylight Savings Time?

I'm starting to seriously reconsider my current sources of information, cause they have completely let me down here. I mean, it's not like I would have done a lot more with the knowledge that today was the day I lose an hour--other than maybe commiserate with myself over the loss of an hour... and then maybe complained about how stupid the whole practice is and how it throws off everything needlessly twice a year. But I feel cheated. Robbed, even.

It's better to know that something is going to come and take something away from you... rather than to wake up and suddenly come to the realization that something you hold near and dear to you has been lost forever. At least in this case it is. I mean, think of all the things I might've done in that hour that I now won't be able to do...

1) I could have browsed the internet.
2) I could have... browsed the internet.
3) Internet.
4) Internet.
5) Something productive that would have required the internet.
6) ...internet.

You see? I LOST ONE HOUR OF INTERNET. Time that I didn't know I would not have since a) no one alerted me to this and b) this stupid thing exists in the first place. It's a terrible feeling, believe me.

By the way, the next daylight savings time is Sunday November 6th. Not that I expect anyone to remember this in 8 months, but... if no one's going to tell me, I need to start reminding myself.

Maybe I should bookmark this page.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sports

-Watched the Timberwolves/Jazz game tonight. The Timberwolves are now no longer tied for the 2nd worst record in the league. Instead they are tied for the 3rd worst record in the league. Progress!

Of course, I wasn't able to watch it on TV, since it wasn't broadcast tonight. So Alex went towards the ILLEGAL STREAMING WEBSITES in order to get his fix of bad basketball.

Say what you will about certain illegal endeavors people engage in over the internet, but the illegal streams are pretty amazing and I would wholeheartedly give it my approval in case someone named me the judge on internet morality for whatever reason. I don't know what the details are that prevents all local games from being televised (it might just be a way to get people to attend the games, might be a stipulation with the network/arena/league/whatever), but it seems overall pretty silly that you don't want a large majority of your fanbase to actually see the game. So by streaming the game tonight--what rules am I exactly breaking?

And a lot of my usage of the illegal streams are for channels that would otherwise be free, it's just usually necessitated whenever I'm at Sara's place--who doesn't have television (she does... but she doesn't get any channels)--and want to watch some football game or whatever. In this case, I don't even know why it's illegal and it seems more like a mere annoyance that I have to resort to something considered illegal to watch a game or whatever. I guess I don't know all the intricacies of network television and I'm just making assumptions based off of what I would like to happen, but couldn't CBS or whatever just stream their channel online? They've streamed the NCAA tournament games the past few years, and those days have been pretty much the only times I've watched anything on CBS aside from football games. If they put something like The Late Show on their website while it was streaming, I'd probably turn it on every so often and pay as much attention to the ads as I usually do.

In other words, I don't know what the hell television networks are doing most of the time.

-The lockout in the NFL has started, and I for one couldn't be any more excited.

I've read that a lot of people are pretty upset about the fact that they couldn't come to an agreement, which seems rather silly to me, since the only thing that's been affected is that teams can't make any moves anymore. No games have been canceled yet, and if they reach the point where they do get canceled--then people have the right to be mad.

Right now, though... we should be excited that the owners are going to hopefully lose every battle in-between now and whenever the lockout ends. I mean, some rich jackoffs might get completely hosed in court for being too greedy--that has to be exciting if it happens, right?
Last night's evening entertainment: Bubba Ho-tep.

It's kind of a ridiculous premise--a still alive Elvis and JFK fight a mummy--which sounds pretty cool, but I wasn't sure that it would translate into an actually good movie, since they could have just as easily relied on their initial premise to sell itself and done nothing else to supplement it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a warm, laid-back movie with just the proper amount of dignity and respect for its characters, as they fight on knowing they are well past their primes and death is quickly nearing.

Of course, I fell asleep halfway through it and had to finish it this morning...

This is beginning to be kind of a problem, in that maybe the last three movies I've started after 10 PM had me dozing off before the end. The obvious reason for this probably is that I'm most likely not staying up as late as I usually have in the past, and something triggers the sleep mechanism whenever I'm tired and watching something. (I've also probably trained myself for this... when I first got a VCR for my room, I would put movies in late at night expecting to fall asleep to them, then picking up where I left off the next night... probably hot the most healthy bedtime ritual in the world.) But it's also making me think that I'm getting too old.

My dad's taken me to quite a handful of movies over the years. About half the time, he has fallen asleep at some point during the movie. How, especially when it has usually been the loud action movies he's dozed off at, I don't know. But now I'm starting to believe he does this because he's middle aged. Because I'm doing it now.

Of course, I'm not falling asleep in the middle of the day with blasts of sound coming at me in all directions... but still.

I'm turning 24 this year. I'm still pretty sure I should be 19.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Watched the Timberwolves play the Pacers tonight--they just won by about 25. Wolves' record in games where I watch a significant portion of the game: 2-0. (Granted, a lot of the time if I actually turn on the game and they start losing by about 15, I turn it off... so that's a little bit misleading. But just a little bit.) Considering they've won a total of 16 games in about 66 games, I'd say that they should pay me to watch their games more often.

Of course, the reason why the Wolves won probably isn't solely because of me, but mainly because the Pacers couldn't hit a shot all night and essentially played about the worst game possible. Although... that could attributed to me as well. I was playing NBA 2K11 earlier today, and ended up playing the Pacers in my season mode, and they jumped out to an early 16-7 lead... only to start missing shots like crazy, resulting in me taking a 43-20 and them not scoring a point for the first 9 minutes of the 2nd quarter. Which was a performance not unlike the one the Pacers put forth tonight (only difference is that Danny Granger--their best player--was the only one who scored in the video game, whereas he couldn't make a shot to save his life tonight).

This just in: I have the ability to influence sports outcomes through the use of video games.

Since I'm already writing about the game, also of note: Kevin Love set the record for most consecutive double-doubles (since they started keeping track of such things). Honestly, it's at the point where he might just be the best player in the Twin Cities in all the major sports (Mauer and Peterson might be better, but... they're both not really playing at the moment, and I only live for today), and I can't even imagine where the team would be without him. I mean, they're already the 2nd worst team with a measly 16 wins... take Love off the team, would we only have 6 wins?

The scary part is that he's probably going to leave too if the team doesn't improve drastically soon. I don't know the details of his contract, but he seems to talk a lot about free agency--which might just be a negotiating ploy. But then again, he's from the West Coast and is living in a state that just got about 600 inches of snow this winter--I can't imagine any outsider wanting to stay. I hope this isn't the case, because as much as it would be annoying seeing him bolt for the Lakers, it'd be doubly annoying considering all the recent star players bolting for the warm city/large market teams. The thing I hate about baseball is that the races are usually boiled down to the Yankees and Red Sox. The NBA isn't a whole lot better, since the Lakers and Spurs have pretty much had a stranglehold on the West the past decade (although at least for the most part everyone's had competitive stretches where they've been close to unseating one of those two). But it'd be a lot worse if it always came down to the Lakers/Mavericks and the Knicks/Heat, which is what's going to happen if every star free agent just heads to 5-6 teams.

I don't know where I was going with this...

*submit*

Monday, March 7, 2011

Facebook

It's a site that I don't generally use all that often anymore. I mean, I still visit it pretty frequently, but it's more out of habit from years of constant monitoring. Usually when I click on my little Facebook tab, read whatever the hell some random friend is doing, then wonder why I'm even visiting the site in the first place. It's not like I'm steadfastly opposed to the site because of its privacy issues or something like that... it just sort of grew old, and it usually requires something to immediately catch my eye in order to keep me on the site for long.

Today I received a message, which is prompting this entire post. I would say at this point most of my messages are from Sara, since she uses Facebook instead of email to forward links and whatever else a Facebook message might better accomplish than telling me in person. This message however was not from Sara. It was not from a person I know. It wasn't some random spammer either, but a (presumably) real live person, inquiring to me with an actual issue.

What was the purpose of this? Let's backtrack a bit.

Years ago. YEARS AGO. I mean when Facebook was still only accepting .edu email addresses. I was a new Facebook user, and I was trying to make my Facebook as "hip" as possible. Which meant that I'd try to be as clever and funny as I could possibly be, and in all likelihood pretty much failing in that venture. The problem was that in that relatively undecked-out version of Facebook, the only way you could show to the world your individuality was through your profile and through the groups you were a part of.

Now, there was a group for everything, and most people tended to join groups related to people/ideas/things they liked. So... if you liked Bill Clinton, or Super Mario 64, or wearing pajamas to class, you joined the group that matched your interest. As for me, I tended to most enjoy creating groups, and tended to try to make them as absurd/stupid as possible. Let's see if I can still find some of them........... OK, so one's called "yuhgtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt" and is devoted to people who fall asleep on their keyboard. Like I said, pretty stupid. Most of the time, one or two people joined, then left it once the novelty of the group wore off. Another one I created was in favor of establishing women's suffrage in the US, and actually got a stranger to join the group and thank me for creating it. I was proud. I was 19.

But, I also partook in a little of the whole "join a group for things you like" deal, and what I joined was mainly groups of bands I was particularly into at the time. Ween was the main one, Sigur Ros as well... all had groups readily available to join. Click, done. Another band I was really into at the time was Guided By Voices. And so I sought out to join a group devoted to them, only to discover that for some reason there was no previously existing group for the band. So I did what anyone with a need to have their musical tastes properly noted on their Facebook would do, I created a group for them. Wrote a quick description, clicked the "create group" button... done. It was now officially a group, I was a part of it... success. I would never ever spend another moment thinking about it ever again.

Except when random people send messages to me about it.

I can't say that this happens all the time (maybe 3 times over the past year), but it happens, and usually I've just ignored them. Today some guy was trying to post an advertisement for this radio show he was doing with some former member of the band, but for whatever reason Facebook wasn't allowing him to post the message. I don't know what I could do to fix what seems to be a problem on Facebook's end--but since I am listed as the admin, I'm the one to contact, I suppose.

To be honest, I didn't even know Facebook groups still existed (and I couldn't even find them for a few good minutes either), much less this one. I would've also guessed that nobody really cares about Facebook groups either, which has apparently been a false assumption on my part. Curiosity got the better of me today and I went to actually visit the group. There has been 9 posts on the wall in the past three months (posts on my wall in the past three months: 6? It's hard to count with all the useless apps popping up), some of them written as if the actual band was behind the group. Member total: 4,500. Not bad, considering my next highest total for a group I made would probably be 5. Also, considering the numbers, it might just be the most successful thing I've ever made.

I guess what I find weird about the whole thing is that although the group is by no means large and bustling, I'm having to take responsibility for something I created on a whim years ago, and then never thought about it again. It could obviously be a whole lot worse, and I could be having to deal with something I did years ago on the internet find an audience of millions... but it's a weird feeling nonetheless.

Now that I look closer, there is something I could do in order to let the poor guy's post through, so I'm going to go fix it and write back to him. Not that I am now taking my responsibilities as an ADMINISTRATOR OF A GROUP WITH CLOSE TO 5,000 MEMBERS (you're supposed to read that in a loud, booming voice) seriously, but I'd feel kind of like a dick if I were to write a post about the message and then completely ignore him in response. So there you go, dude.

It feels very weird giving a history on my internet activity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Watched Dogtooth earlier today, after having my interest piqued by its Oscar ceremony clip in which someone was trying to stab a cat with garden shears. Probably would not recommend it to everyone, but if you're into twisted and depressing psychological dramas... have at it. It's certainly a unique take on the effects of controlling what people know and see.

Anyway. I read from a couple different places that the film was "darkly" comedic. It was pretty overwhelmingly dark. Except this scene, which is just funny... maybe a little dark, but mainly just absolutely weird devoid of any context.



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

It's snowing again.

It only seems to snow the day before I need to drive somewhere.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So I wrote a week or so ago about how everyone in my household had come down with sickness. And how I was panicking and trying to bunker in my room so I wouldn't catch it. THEN, I didn't get sick, and it all seemed as if my immune system somehow fought its way through it.

Well, nine days later I am sick.

What the f?

It's not that bad (yet), just a sore throat and a slight headache mainly. I'd be tempted to say that it's just the cold and not a flu, but I figure that if it were the cold I'd have gone through about 20 tissue boxes by now. I mean, there's still time to have my nose's faucet switch to be turned on, but I might like to avoid that more than the flu. Maybe.

It's been kind of a crappy day.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-My internet is extremely slow at the moment, which is because a certain someone in this household likes to download about six million things all at once and steal all the bandwidth. And this person does this just about every weekend. I'm hoping this person goes to sleep soon or at least realizes that other people might have need for a somewhat speedy internet so they can get some things done--but my attempts at passive-aggressiveness have failed. Mostly because my attempts have been restricted to a place he doesn't read...

-Fun fact: tried watching Once Upon A Time In America today on Netflix, but had to stop a couple minutes in. Why? Because for whatever reason, they decided to show it in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio rather than the 1.85:1 ratio it's supposed to be in. Is it really that big of a deal? Yes. Yes it is a really big deal.

-This is a pretty great article about the labor conflict between the NFL owners and players. It's funny, though--because the owners are so unbelievably and unquestionably in the wrong here, I kind of want it to drag out a while just so everyone can continue tearing them a new one.

My only fear is that somehow their PR machine ends up turning public opinion against the players and thus forcing the players to cave in to their ridiculous demands. Because the owners need to lose here--they make great villains, but the villains need to lose. And lose hard.

-Sara and I started going through the original series of Star Trek the other day, which has actually been quite a bit of fun. For some reason the pacing of the show so far has me wishing it was a little bit shorter, but it's all so fun and silly that it ends up not mattering. And William Shatner... well, some might say he overacts a little, but that's just because certain people can't comprehend his sheer brilliance.

And now that I've mentioned him, I've got this stuck in my head.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is probably the first and only time I have ever "liked" something on Facebook.

I feel like Chipotle deserves a medal for successfully tricking me into liking an advertisement. I mean, I figure I'd probably regret it once I start getting a million notifications about the show, but still. Being subjected to a bunch of crappy advertisements = one "free" and delicious burrito.

Plus I could conceivably trick other people into liking it, and then printing out their coupons for me, so I could theoretically have 6 burritos a day for the price of 3 burritos a day!

The show looks unbelievably stupid though and I have no idea how they could make it into a reality series. Seems pretty cut and dry to me... find the person with the best idea for a restaurant, say "you win, let's build these buggers," and then open the damn restaurants. Don't know how they get more than two episodes out of it... although I'm not really into the whole reality series thing, so maybe they milk thin concepts for hundreds of unnecessary episodes all the time...