Saturday, August 29, 2009

Titans Notes

1. Turnovers, gentlemen. Turnovers are the reason teams lose. Remember the Baltimore game from last year? I do. It broke my heart. Don't turn it over.

2. Speaking of, someone inside the Titans organization please tell Vince Young that he needs to stop throwing under pass rush pressure 3rd quarter picks. He's done it before. A lot. He threw a pick 6 tonight that was just unnecessary. It was the difference between a win and a loss. He's good enough to fix this, but someone needs to tell him.

3. In other Vince Young news, he needs to be given credit. The pick 6 was unfortunate, but he's otherwise been putting the right foot forward, at least as of now. He's using his arm. He's using his legs. Seems like he's using his brain, which can be problematic at times (see #2).

4. Matthew Mulligan, TE (Maine), needs to be given a place on the practice squad. Not that I don't think he's good enough to play on Sunday, but there's Alge Crumpler, Bo Scaife and Jared Cook already on the squad. Crumpler should be let go after this contract expires. Not without a hardy thank you, but because Scaife--if he's still around--is already a starter quality TE and Jared Cook may be as well. And Crumpler will be at the end of his career when this contract expires, so let him retire. And someone should probably begin thinking about getting him on a Hall of Fame ballot. Getting him in is the choice of the voters, but I think he's nomination-worthy. And Matthew Mulligan is Sunday-worthy. So the Titans need to keep him around. I'm still not sure what to do with Craig Stevens, because he deserves to play as well. If either of these guys are free agents, some smart team will pick them up.

What the hell?

I'm not kidding. Facebook just notified me of this:

It's August 29, you're feeling frisky,
Share some gifts, wild one.

Trust Me. I'm a Doctor.

A friend of mine may have just hurt himself, so I shouldn't be joking. But I'm not. For real. And he'll live. So, even if I was joking, it'd be ok.

I've made a brief list of things that I think people should look to first in certain medical situations. Either alone or in combination, try:

A Drink, but just one.
The Dark.
Aspirin, or whatever your painkiller of choice. But be careful with that prescription stuff.
Smashing something.
Taking a nap.
Zoning out
An apple.

There you go. You can thank me later. And you don't have to say "wow, that really worked." I know already. But pass it on.

Incidentalish Notificatiating, not all football

1. Google really stinks sometimes. I wanted a picture of The Duke (fig. 1) and thus typed "The Duke" into Google. All I got was John Wayne and some other knucklehead who thinks he's called The Duke. Then, Google Images even found me some crap soldier from a cheezy movie character called The Duke. And not the cool Duke from GI Joe. Google didn't come up with a single thing that was on topic until I typed the word "football" into the search. This is unacceptable. Google isn't going to live up to its promise until it is able to know what I mean all the time, even if I don't say it clearly.

2. Matthew Stafford is looking pretty decent. I think the punditry that believes Culpepper should start is probably right. But Stafford looks like he's got this mostly under control. As much as you can expect from a guy in his position. More than Sanchez. But, then again, Indy's defense isn't Baltimore's. But I still see this Stafford thing working out ok.

3. Memphis kicks ass. Your town doesn't have Graceland. Or Stax. And I don't care where you're from or what you think, our BBQ is way better than yours. I'm not saying it's the best city in the history of the universe. I'm just saying that Memphis kicks ass.

4. People complain about all the stops in a football game. When else are you going to go do all the other stuff that you need to do? I mean, damn, the games are on for 9 hours in a row some days. You've got to get some other stuff done. I've so far only been watching for 3 hours and 36 minutes and I've cleaned the whole house, eaten two meals, aired out the rugs, did all the dishes, and been writing this craziness. Commercials suck. Watching football is the best way to get things done.

5. "More better" is not proper English. I'm talking to you, J.T. "The Brick" from Raiders Television Network. And anybody else who wants their English to get more better. The er takes care of the more. It's like Bigger and Deffer. You just get bigger. Like when you take steroids, which, kids, makes you stupider, too. Now, big we can understand, so bigger makes sense. Def we can understand, so deffer makes sense. Along those lines, if we have better, what's bett? Somebody get me an etymology.

6. The Raiders need a new stadium. I'm not saying that they deserve one, but they field they play on looks like trash. Sharing a stadium with a baseball team is, at the very least, horrific for the aesthetics of the field. Only god knows what playing on it is like.

7. At some point recently, I made a list of things I would buy next time I had some superfluous money. Which frankly makes no sense in the middle of a recession. But my only two items were wireless video game controllers and more visors. I need to reprioritize. What I need is an XBOX 360, so I could become a professional Madden player. That'd be sweet.

8. Sometimes, the best art is the kind of art that's good to look at for about 20 seconds and then be able to forget about.

9. It's actually true. The early Black Eyed Peas stuff is pretty dope. I just got my hands on Behind The Front, their 1998 debut. So far, I'm impressed. Which makes that 3 for 3 with J5 and Dilated. They never stopped making good hip hop in California.

10. That lost ball wasn't JaMarcus Russell's fault. You need better blocking on the end of that line. Someone coming all that far around the end should be able to be pushed out of the way. That tackle needs to sort that out.

11. The left side of the Saints' O-line needs to block better. That screen at about 5:00 of the 1st quarter could've gone for 10 more yards if those two would've blocked better.

This is a Great Idea

Ritchie Smith Associates has a plan to plant trees on Plough Boulevard on the way to the Memphis Airport. Lots of them. Canopy trees and about 650 smaller trees.

This is a really good idea. We all know that Plough Boulevard is one of the world's most uniformly dull roads to have to look at. Much to its credit, the road is really fun to drive on. Everyone's going about 15-20 miles over the limit, it's got lengthy and graceful curves, enough space that it isn't usually traffic-ridden, and bridges a very long expanse that brings people into and out of Memphis.

There's a good article on this in the Flyer this week, but I just wanted to spread this idea a bit to the wider world. Because I think it matters to everyone.

America is beginning to look like hell.

I've been loads of places, mainly because my parents drove to everywhere when I was a kid, so I've been to most of the contiguous states, and I've been to Hawaii. So I've been lucky enough to see a huge amount of this country, which is a wicked land indeed. The land. The stuff we didn't mess with. The San Francisco Bay. The Na Pali coast. The Badlands. Maine. Even New Jersey, which remains the greatest of the states in this union, is really truly beautiful in the places we didn't go and wreck.

I'd argue the primary reason for one of these dilemmas--the one that pertains to Plough--is that we, as a nation and voting citizenry, haven't done hardly worth a damn for keeping the infrastructure together. Plough Boulevard, frankly, is a nice road. But the stuff around it isn't worth looking at

How many pot holes can you think of that you've driven past recently?

If the number is more than 10 in a week, your neighborhood needs some work. Mine does. Lots of Memphis does. Lots of everywhere does.

How many roads can you think of that don't have trees on them?

I can think of lots. One of the biggest roads in Memphis--Union Avenue--apparently used to have loads of trees on it. Then they cut them all down and replaced them with Chik-Fil-A and a Schnucks and a dozen Walgreens and MacDonalds and Wendy's and all that crap. Now, on one level right now, I'm not arguing against these chains. I'm just enraged by the fact I can't drive down lots of roads under the cover of trees. There's plenty of roads here that have trees. Just like in New Jersey, when I was a kid. Just like where my parents live now. Like lots of places.

More trees make for better experiences. For people coming and going to Memphis to and from the airport. For people who live near them and get to look at them. For people that walk under them in the heat. For people that drive under them and don't get a glare on the windshield.

Ya smell me?

You probably don't. Cause the trees help filter the air.

Plant the damn trees. You've already got my tax money. Quit spending it on bombs. Give it to Ritchie Smith and everyone else who wants to plant trees. It'll make everything nicer. I promise.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Having a Thought

If, and this is a large if, the Eagles win the Super Bowl, I don't want to hear a damn thing about this being about Michael Vick. People are already talking about how Vick is some kind of total change of everything. Which he is. But he's not a trick that will somehow be the only reason it happened. First of all, we all know that he's going to be some kind of part of some kind of post-Wildcat offense. Yes, we're post-Wildcat. But, back to the point, Vick is neither good enough on his own nor so particularly unique as to single-handedly bring a title to this--or any--team.
I am sick and tired of all of this spectacularization of single players. This is a TEAM SPORT. None of these players can do it alone. Peyton. Tom. Kurt. Big Ben. Eli. And they all have rings. Think about all the rest of the people on those teams. So let's just shut up about Vick altogether. And Favre too. I don't want to have to talk about either of those two until the postseason.

Things We've Been

Yngwie Malmsteen Ain't Got Jack on Me.

This is the sound of me getting excited for football season.

Bored Half to Death Now That Football is Over.

No Matter What You Will Hear This Weekend, Otto Graham is the Best Quarterback to Have Ever Played Professional Football.

Fly Eagles Fly.

Go Irish.

The Web's Only Officially Sanctioned Adrian Duran Blog

Amazification. On the web. For free.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This week's recipe.

Make my recipes.
I want to get paid like you.

I just ate this one, so I know it's good.

See, the semester just started today, so I needed to eat some food that was good for me. If you ever get that need, here's the way to do it.

Eat more vegetables. You. Yeah, you. You need to eat more vegetables. Me too. I got this advice from my Ph.D. advisor, who will remain anonymous here, if only to prevent her from being bothered by it all.

See, the thing is, vegetables are really good for you. They have all the stuff in them that allow you to go and eat all the stuff that you'd usually want to eat. Think of it like this. Eat some vegetables. Between that, eat normal food.

Here's one way to get a dose of the veg. I'm listening to Fats Domino right now, if you're wondering the setting. Damn. Don't even try to tell me that you give Fats Domino the credit he deserves. None of us do. It's a crime.

Get a bunch of vegetables from your local vegetale provider. The fresher and more localer the better. Keep that as a rule. Unless your local stuff stinks, then get the best stuff you can. And, localer isn't a word.

Get at least four or five different things. Onions. They come in different colors, so get at least two. Peppers. Same with the colors. Broccoli. Green onions, which are different than a green onion. Some people call them spring onions, I think, but once you hear Booker T and the MGs, you don't hear the same. Go nuts. Get a bok choy. For real, they're good.

Here's the secret. Vegetables are about texture, not flavor. Yes, I know that they all have flavors, but that doesn't matter here. Point conceded. This is a texture thing. Vegetables as vehicle of transmission. For flavor. And mastication stimulation. You know, chewing is fun again. It ain't just a means of getting whatever merde d'automne you were going to eat into your craw and thusly out once more to the earth.

Cut the vegetables up. Enjoy this part. Cutting veg is fun. There's something primal and outside about chopping up vegetables. It's an experience of conquering nature, which is sort of curious to a kid from New Jersey.

Get a wok and get yourself some canola oil. It's ok, you're a grown up now. I use Knife Brand, but that's cause I don't know any better. I'll take advice on better brands if you've got it. Go to your local Vietnamese supermarche, or whatever you've got that sells the stuff you would make non-American food with. While you're there, get some hot chili stuff. It's sort of liquidy, sort of seedy, looks red and hot. Green top. And get some fish oil and some soy sauce. The stuff in the little packets does not count. You're cooking. This is not fast food. You need to take your time while making this. Get an hour. Get your partner-spouse-whatever to watch the kid(s) and zone out. You'll have to cover for them at some point, or make enough for you both. But fair is fair.

Cover the bottom of the pan with canola oil and put in about a half a teaspoon of the chili stuff into it. More if you like heat, less if you're a wuss. Don't over do it, but test your heat threshold, it's nice when you find the sweet spot. See, already the veg is a means to an end. This is a heat delivery system. Get the oil hot. Not stupid hot, but hot. Give the wok one of those cooking moves that gets the oil to move around and spread on the bottom of the wok.

Put the veg in in the following order. Onions. Peppers. Brocoli. Hard parts of the bok choy and/or green onions. Not the tips of the green onions yet, or the leaves of the bok choy. Honestly, I leave out the leaves.
There are intervals in between. Actually, the way I do it is to cut in order. Cut onions, put in wok. Cut peppers, and so on. Of course, clean the stuff. Don't be a barbarian.

While you're cooking it, splash it with soy sauce and fish oil. Splash it. Don't drown it. There's too much damn sauce on everything here. Think about what you'd normally get and cut it in about 1/3, 1/2 if you don't like lots of sauce to begin with.

Get it all in there and cook it right to the point that you want. While you're cooking it. Look at all the colors and remember to stir it in different geometries. Circles, triangles, use them all.

Now, here's the part I forgot. If you want to put meat in it, you've got to plan for that. Shrimp are ideal, but I know some of you have shellfish issues. Tragedy. Eating things that come from the sea is amazing. Otherwise, chicken. I'd avoid cow or pig, just for the sake of weight. Trust me. You can eat a cheeseburger tomorrow. Remember...the vegetables!

Get the meat all cooked up and ready before hand. Don't do anything to it. Just pan and oil until it's cooked the way you want. If you're doing a whole chicken, that's really nice. The rest, just cook it and shred it. D0n't put any crap on it. No bread crumbs. No shaky, from-the-drawer spices. Just in the oil. For some reason, I like to do the shrimp in vegetable oil, but chicken in canola. Whatever, I'm making this up as I go along.

Then, once you get the veg to the almost, might just be about right there in two and a half minutes point, put the meat in and get that hot again. Then, about 45 seconds before you think it's gonna be just right, toss the tops of the green onions it and give it a few last stirs to wake it up and notify it of its impending demise.

Eat it.
I think, because it's made in a wok, that it's best eaten with chop sticks. I hope that doesn't make me racist, but I watched a lot of 60s cartoons when I was a kid, so please forgive me.

There you go. It's chicken and vegetables. Or shrimp and vegetables. Eat it. You'll feel better and be able to justifiably go and eat garbage the next day. Like a goat.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sanity Update

According to The New York Times, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted to allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as clergy.

Add them to the list of the Churches that do what Christ said to do.

The Unbearable Crapness of Basterds

Unfortunately, Quentin Tarantino's new film Inglourious Basterds is crap. I'm a fan of Quentin Tarantino, so don't think this is that kind of hate. We've all seen Pulp Fiction, which is brilliant even though it's the default whenever someone has to prove how brilliant and whatever pomo Tarantino thing he is. And whether you've seen it or not, Kill Bill is probably his greatest success to date. It's honorific and informed and fun and immaculately stylized, with a score that is probably his best pound for pound, to say nothing of the performances, which are all career toppers and buttressed by the true stars of the film, Gordon Liu and Sonny Chiba, who Tarantino is smart enough to call upon to please all of us nerds who want our kung-fu movies authentic. And, despite whatever people blabber about, the violence in Kill Bill is better than the violence in Reservoir Dogs because it's just as violent, but poetic. More musical. Choreographed, the way kung-fu movies are supposed to be. It's a master class in study. Like all of his films, to be honest, but what I'd describe as supreme within his career.

And Inglourious Basterds has all of that. It's grotesquely violent at times. Look away gross. There's tons of killing--guns of all sorts, blades, explosions, even a bludgeoning. So nothing we haven't seen already. The irritating part is that some of it's pretty worthwhile. Brad Pitt deserves some kind of award for doing the heavy lifting. The other half is done by Christoph Waltz who, with Pitt, picks up the slack left by just about everyone else. And they're both absolutely hilarious. Laugh out loud when it's racist and inappropriate funny. Their performances are nothing short of brilliant. But the rest of it stinks.

The plot, so you know what I mean. Pitt is Lt. Aldo Raine, who the Nazis know as Aldo Apache, because he's part Apache and because of some other really racially sensitive footage that has to do with white people's version of Apaches. He leads a bunch of Basterds through France on a mission that ends up being an attempt on Hitler's life. That's all you get. I may slip and give up more later, but you are hereby warned, so stop now if you don't want to risk it.

Like I've said, none of the other actors--save Denis Menochet who appears at the outset as the farmer Perrier LaPadite--are doing anything to help. The guys who play the Basterds themselves could've been any of a million generic role actors. They had good writing, so the characters were funny, but the actors didn't do anything to distinguish themselves. Blah blah blah, they whole rest of the cast was C- at best, believe me.

Apparently, it's some weird rite of passage to make a WWII movie. Hanks, Eastwood, Spielberg, Benigni, Affleck, I'm talking to you. Not all of you do it well. Tarantino, you too, buddy. Yours stunk. Just like Benigni's and Gump's.

See, here's the problem. WWII as a topic for entertainment is just plain inappropriate. I'm not innocent. I've seen far too many of these movies--The Dirty Dozen is my nominee--and I've played that Call of Duty game. But my wife's right, it's just gross. Even humor doesn't make it ok. Benigni, this means you, testa di tufa. Mel Brooks hardly, barely gets away with it. And I'm not really sure he does. Tarantino's not only not funny enough to pull this off, but he monkeys with history.

See, the final climactic to do is one big ejaculatory, retaliatory, masculinist fantasy. One that we all want. Me. You, I'd bet, if you're at all human. Everyone I can think of, I hope. But it's cheap, and unnecessarily glorifying of unnecessary and cruel mass violence. That most of us would probably consider prosecuting ourselves, but should nonetheless recognize as needless, thus inhumane and disgusting, violence.

And you cannot mess with this kind of history, even within the context of a movie.

And what really ends things for me is that every trick, every stock idea or gimmick, or plot maneuver, or character trait, or framing device, or scene catalyst, or whatever, is something that we already know Tarantino can do. We've seen it all already, in all of his other movies.

Listen, buddy, if you want to be the arguably most interesting pop director of the 1990s, that's cool. I'd probably give it to you anyway, just because I think you've earned it. But if you want to keep on being someone we need to care about, if you want us to keep going to see your films, if you want us to give you any more respect, if you want to continue to credit yourself with A Film By, you need to do something new. Remember what happened to Woody Allen?

If you think you're some kind of Antonioni-level guy, you need to bring it better.

In one way or another, I've seen this movie before. And so have you. Crap.

In other crapitude this week:

Chris Johnson and LenDale White, you are on notice. Javon Ringer deserve to have both of your jobs. Step it up or you don't get to start.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Breaking Yoga News

New Moon Kundalini Yoga and Meditation tonight, Friday 21 August, at Give Yoga from 6-8pm.
Tonight's yoging is for charity, for children with AIDS.

Multi-Tasking Heroics

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
Let it be known, Chad-Esteban Johnson-Ochocinco is my new hero. Not only did he kick the winning field goal last night against the dreaded Patriots (as a wide receiver, no less), but he is one of the funniest people going right now.
This is how he said sooth yesterday, after the victorious boot:
“This year I’m gonna be myself. But I’m gonna be very productive at the same time. It’s gonna be hilarious.”
This is my new mantra for the upcoming academic year. I remember someone once saying something wise about spoonfuls of sugar and medicine. I think we should all adopt this as a goal. Being productive, honest to ourselves, and hilarious.
See, students, learning can be fun. Giddy-up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank you for calling. How may I infuriate you?

What the hell is going on with Customer Service in this country? Am I the only one who is annoyed with how I've been treated as a consumer recently?

First, on a flight back from my freakin' honeymoon, of all events, I ran into what must have been a bulldog dressed like a US Airways flight attendance. To set the was a redeye, so everyone was sort of tired and wanted to sleep. As we all settled in, I noticed two things.

Numero uno, the airplane was colder than death. Absolutely frigid. I was wearing three shirts and trousers, as my Anglish friends would call them, so I wasn't underdressed. The guy two seats over wasn't so lucky. He was wearing a t-shirt, some of those fancy little Keen slipper/sandal/sneakers, and a pair of those short hiking shorts, which I guess are meant to let us all marvel at his massively sculpted quads. Bad choice, bucko. It was so damn cold on this plane that at one point I saw the guy with his whole body, head included, tucked into his t-shirt. It was sort of hilarious, sort of pathetic, but that's how cold it was.

The second thing I noticed was that it cost $7.50 for a blanket. You know, one of those napkin-sized scraps of synthetic fleece that does nothing but conduct static electricity and keeps you warm from, say, your knee caps to your ankles? It's not bad enough that I can't get something to eat unless I leave the continent, but now I have to freeze half to death just to get home. So, like a normal consumer, I went to ask the aforementioned bulldog if she might be able to raise the temperature to something in the ice water range. She flat out said no and looked at me as if I was trying to strip her of her last oxygenated blood cells.

So, that's where we're at as a nation. Not only have our airlines gone to hell in a handbasket, to the point that makes Greyhound look good, but the people who staff these flights clearly don't give a damn about the people in the airplane. And, to boot, the vultures in the boardrooms have made it such that we now have to pay to maintain a body temperature in the double digits.

Then, just this past weekend, I was flat lied to by I went on the web to reserve a room (more on this later) and was given the impression that, probably because of that recession that no longer exists, I was given a great deal that included free parking at said hotel. When I checked in, the poor guy who worked the desk--who was, in fact, a beacon of good customer service--asked how I was going to pay for parking? Confused, I asked what the discrepancy was and we decided that it was best if I called and see what they thought was going on. So I did.

The first charmer I spoke to hung up on me. The second insisted that I had made the reservation with an agent and then insisted that I was mistaken when I told them that I had, in fact, made the reservation online, where I had read the Homeric tale of the mythic, evaporating parking deal.

So, apparently, we have reached the point where the customer service people are allowed to call us liars, right after their company lures us in with a deal that doesn't actually exist. At least in Communist Russia everyone knew the breadlines were going to be there.


So, in the spirit of Sarah Palin, I'd like to sit on whatever death panels get to judge the future fates of US Air and Let's just say that they won't be offered any counseling.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Freaky Friday...minus the Lohan.

I'm not trying to gloat, but I totally called it. I've never done that before. I said on Monday that the Eagles should sign Michael Vick. And, in a brilliant maneuver that totally outshined the return of Mr. Gisele, they totally did. Totally. I even got to see Rich Eisen, Jamie Dukes, and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson (I'm still waiting for that call) draw up plays for Vick and McNabb. Sexy time. See, I told you I could tell the future.

So, my Mom's actually been reading this, which I suspect means you'll all meet my parents at the BBQ. Anyway, she has a theory that is way too good for me to not relay to you all. She was reading about this sphere thing I picked up from the Kundalinerds. Turns out, as my Mother sees it, this sphere thing is remarkably close to what Bella does in those Twilight books. Now, I haven't read those books, cause those look like lame vampires, so I can't verify any of this, but who am I to argue with such an idea? Especially because it means that yoga people are vampires that can walk around in the sunlight without incinerating. Now I'm totally terrified.

Let me make a few other points rather quickly, before I have to go. The game starts in 17 minutes and I'll be damned if I'm not going to watch. I want to see if the J-E-T-S start M-A-R-K. To be honest, I don't really C-A-R-E, but I'll feel bad for Kellen Clemens if he gets bumped again. That's cold, man. Pennington had it, then got traded, then got revenge. Then Favrvrvrvre came and stole the job, now Sanchez seems to be annointed as the next guy and poor Clemens just has to suck it up and compete for the job? Cold.

OK, my other points:

1. Tom Brady is not human. I'm about to hear about how he didn't play up to expectations, but it looked like something else to me. Don't get me wrong, I really hate all sports teams from Boston, except the Bruins, because I don't care about hockey. So, I have no reason to hope for Brady's success, especially because he was probably the reason McNabb was throwing up in those huddles late in Super Bowl XXXIX. Except that we might be watching the greatest ever, which I'm always game for. I mean, the guy hasn't played in a year and he had a 97.2 passer rating. That's higher than everyone but two QBs from last season.

2. The Eagles need to get to work on their red zone offense. This is getting ridiculous. Look at this box score. I know it's preseason, but that looks like the Eagles should've won that one. Except their first team didn't get the ball in the damn end zone. That is totally unacceptable with this many offensive weapons. Damn.

3. I couldn't be happier that the Raiders beat the Cowboys. I think Jerry Jones is unbearably irritating. He might be the nicest man on Earth, I don't know him, but his demeanor gets in my craw. Too smug, too loud, too visible. It's amazing that Ralph Wilson and Dan Rooney didn't put him in time out. Oh, well. Good for the Raiders.

4. Matt Leinart needs to worry about his job. Tyler Palko looked good last night. And, I love him already cause he was sort of the reason Joe Flacco went to Delaware and then became Joe Flacco.

5. I'm officially starting the Kurt Warner must be in the Hall of Fame campaign. I have no pull with the voters, but the voters are drawn from journalists, and it'll be a few years until Warner's eligible, so maybe I will get to vote. This dude's been to the Super Bowl three times. Won the first. Lost the second and third to two damn good teams, so there's no shame in that game. Hell, even Tom Brady lost to the Giants, who maybe sorta probably shouldn't have won that one. Anyway, he should get in for not only being an amazing quarterback, but also for being what seems like the nicest dude in the universe. I mean, he's shouting out kids from the sideline of a preseason game. That's class. For real.

Okey dokey, I'm out. Going away for the weekend, so there won't be any of this for a few days. Something tells me that you'll survive. If all else fails, watch the games.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I just found out about this today. My friend Jaclyn makes these necklaces, out of climbing rope and other kinds of rope. I don't know much about making jewelry, but I think these are pretty cool.

I'm kind of hoping she'll make me a big gold dookie chain out of that flourescent rope, with a big gold Mercedes-Benz charm, so I can look like the cover of Paid in Full.

Jobyl Wants Another Recipe

This one's for you Kilogram.

I stole this one, too. Bonus points for the science experiment aspect.

Take a can of sweetened condensed milk. Submerge it in water and weigh it down so it doesn't float above the surface. Boil it for three hours.

Apparently, dulce de leche comes out of the can when you're done.

By the way, the new Wu-Tang album is excellent. These guys only get better with age.

I'm still not sold on True Blood, but I keep watching. I'm not convinced that the writing or acting is all that good, it's totally gross sometimes, and I've seen vampires done better --best by Stoker, second prize to Marvel Comics. And, it was oversold to me. Someone told me it was all about filthy dirty Southern vampire sex, which it's not. There are real characters and real events and real plots that really evolve. I'm just not sure they're that great. But it's passable and I've got nothing to do since Prison Break ended.

Yoga Tip of the Day

Apparently this is true. If you wave your arms over your head, like a Sims person having a mental meltdown, it's actually a kundalini yoga move. I guess it sorts out your arm chakras.

Does this make anyone nervous?

I had this whole long thing written about this, but it got me depressed, so I threw it out. I'm not about being depressed. My sphere is depression proof.

I had a strange food experience today

Is there a twelve step program for sugar?

Whoever is in charge of this cupcake renaissance deserves a Nobel Prize. Or at least a Daytime Emmy.

I had a cupcake today from a place called Muddy's, here in Memphis. And I have to tell you all about it. Not to gloat but because Americans eat crap food and need to wreckanize quality when they see it.

First of all, I had the sugar shakes for about an hour afterward. Which is not only a sign of quality, but of divinity. The strangest thing about it wasn't the quantity of sugar, though. It was the duration and character of the taste experience.

First of all, it was a mint chocolate chip ice cream flavored cupcake, which might be the most amazing phrase I've ever heard. See, I love ice cream to begin with. Blue Bell makes the best I've ever had. And don't try the gelato argument, all you fancy people. I love gelato and I will show you where to get the best stuff on earth if you're nice, but I'm talking about ice cream, not gelato. And if you haven't had Blue Bell, don't come at me with some other Turkey Hill or Haagen-Merde or whatever junk you want to try to push on my block. Eat some Blue Bell and get back to me. Even the Ice Cream Depot in Milltown isn't as good, which is saying quite a lot.

So the first thing I noticed was that my teeth actually felt the cool of the mint. For real, like a breeze that followed the contours of my teeth. Boring people and dentists (not the same group, mind you) would say that that was my tooth enamel degrading. Yeah? So be it.

After that, it hit my taste buds, where it actually tasted just like mint chocolate chip ice cream, even though the mint was in the frosting and it was a chocolate cupcake. See, now I understand what the food show people mean when they talk about ingredients synthesizing, though I think I figured that out with pizza decades ago.

See, now here's the weird part, when I knew I was having a pan-dessert, transcendental experience. After a few seconds, after the taste had faded from my mouth, I actually felt the flavor of mint in my lungs. When I inhaled, I felt the cool rush of mint flavor that I had had on my teeth a half minute earlier.

You wanna talk about some next-level shenanigans. This was like looking through your third eye, man. Serious. Feeling taste? That's what I'm talking about.

Muddy's on Sanderlin in Memphis. Apparently it's across from the yoga studio, so you can frizzle fry your sphere with sugar when you need to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Idiocy makes me mad.

File this under philosorambles. I spelled it Phile the phirst time. No joking, my brain totally shuts off sometimes. I'd appreciate it if someone else can admit to that.

Can somebody explain to me what it is with these crazy rookies? Already, Michael Crabtree has lost his mind and refused to sign his contract. It's preseason, dude. Sign the contract. And now BJ Raji isn't even in the state of Wisconsin? And they're not the only ones. There's a handful of them. Seriously, what is wrong with these dudes?

I've got a thought on this.


I'm not claiming to understand the whole situation, and you all know that the odds of me being a 1st round draft choice in the NFL is about zero. Too bad. I got me some moves. You should see me on the basketball court.

But anyway, what is the dilemma? If it was me, and I was one of those dudes, this would've been done the day after the draft. You need a few hours to wrap your head around the whole NFL Draft thing, and everybody and their brother probably wants to get a picture, which is fair cause it's the NFL for God's sake. But why are these guys holding out? Rich Eisen has a great theory: it's the agents. He reasons that it's the 1st contract that gets the cash to the agenst best. Fair enough. But, guys? You've spent your whole lives doing things to get to this point. And now you're holding out for more money?


See, this is my problem. It's not about the money for me. For me, it's what in the name of whatever is making these dudes so dense that they're going to give up this whole possibility for money? It would make sense to me, if it was me, that this would be a certain fulfillment of a life's work. Even better, the moment at which that life takes a step forward. All I'm saying is that these dudes should SIGN THE CONTRACT. Then, thank the universe that you've been given this chance. Then you get to go play football. Think of the fun. Good thing I'm not somebody's Momma. They'd have to get a security guard. I mean, for real, am I the only one? I know Jay-Z talks about it.

It's the Roc.

I can tell the future

So, they're out. The predictions. Andy Benoit's got them up. I'm happy to see the Eagles on top of the NFC East, though those injuries are sure making me nervous. Don't get me wrong, I think Andy Benoit is a great football thinker, and I read his page all the time, but what I can't figure out is how he, like much of the universe, is convinced that the Colts are the chosen team in the AFC South. This is a team sport guys. Peyton Manning might be one of the chosen few, but he only has one ring so far. (Someone should ask Big Ben what he thinks about that.) And I can't quite figure out why people are being so dismissive of the Titans.

Anyway, I'm calling it right now. The NFC North is going to be the most interesting division in the NFL this year. Not the best, the most interesting. Here's why:

#1: The Lions really stink. Really badly. Think zombie breath. That's the number one reason this'll be an interesting year. Golden Boy Matthew Stafford, who might be the real thing if the team manages his preparedness well, could be one hell of a story. Or one hell of a bust, if they let him go out there and get killed. And besides, Calvin Johnson is sick. And they've got Jim Schwartz, who you all probably know from the Titan's defense, which wreaked lots of havoc last year. All they need is one win and we've got a story. I predict it'll be September 21 against San Francisco. Otherwise, we might have to wait until the Tampa Bay game.

#2: The Vikings need a quarterback. I think Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are both good enough to drive the boat, but I just don't know. QB competitions are rarely healthy, and this one may be detrimental to a team I would otherwise favor for the divisional title.

#3: Jay Cutler is a big fat tantrum waiting to happen. Again. He's already proven himself to be a total prima donna, and a big fat rocket for an arm isn't gonna keep his big fat mouth from opening. People need to stop riding his jock like they do Peyton's. And I'm totally intrigued with this Devin Hester is now a #1 receiver thing. Lastly, people think this could be the year that Matt Forte becomes, gasp, Adrian Peterson's equal or better. I'd love to see that.

#4: The Pack is on the way back. Probably not to the promised land, but I think this Rodgers guy is the real deal and I love Donald Driver. Unless someone important gets hurt or this defense blows up, I think the Packers will win at least 9 games and get the division. They might get past the Falcons, if the playoffs get scheduled like that. Otherwise, forget it. But we will see a change of leadership in the division.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get out of my sphere

So, this is weird.
My wife does that Kundalini yoga stuff. Sometimes she goes with our librarian friend, who's like Pookie for the stuff.
Anyway, their leader, or at least the one who I think is their leader, or their enabler, or whatever you call the one at the front of the yoga room, has this idea that I actually think has merit. I'm not even lying.
She thinks everyone has a sphere.
At this point, I'm making up everything about this sphere idea. I don't do yoga, not because I have anything against it, though I think parts of it are nuts. But that isn't a consideration, cause I think most things have parts that are nuts. The Designated Hitter. Transubstantiation. People in Memphis who do 20 in a 40. You know who you are. Get off Poplar. I'm trying to get to the mall.
But I think this sphere thing is actually worth thinking about, even though I actually have no idea about any of it. I've just heard about it, which for me is often enough. The basic idea, or so I've invented it, according to what I believe the yoga leader probably said, is that our core/soul/whatever you want to call it can emit some kind of forcefield thing that the yogics at the Kundalini call a sphere. I've got one, you've got one, everybody's got their own sphere. I can't figure out if the cat has one, but he has a big, spherical belly, so I'm going with yes.
Now, I think this sphere has something to do with existing or being or some esoterica that only yogurt practicioners believe in.
I think it's a great idea cause it can help me shake off the haters, or block them, or block anyone who's annoying me, or asking stupid questions. It's like the Death Star, but actually indestructible.
Get out of my sphere.
Actually, you can't even get in.
My sphere is rubber, you're glue. Bounces off of my sphere and sticks to you, you non-sphere-having blubberducker.
But, then, earlier today I got to thinking about the sphere. Originally I thought that my sphere, or yours, or whoever's, had to be sort of immediate to the person. Like a forcefield. But then I got to thinking.
Can I get other stuff in the sphere?
Can I get my wife in here?
What about the cat?
Does his sphere dissolve when he's in mine?
Is that gross?
Can I drink beer in my sphere?
Where do the empties go?
What are the limits of my sphere?
What are its capabilities?
Is it yoga-proof?
Does it have laser beams?
See what I'm saying? It's an interesting notion. I don't know much about yogaing, but I have this thing about this idea about the sphere. It's totally fascinating. So I guess yoga isn't all that bad. But it sure is weird. I'm not even sphere shaped.

Just an observation

I am really beginning to love the Facebook.

See, not only does it allow me to catch up with people I haven't heard from in forever (apologies if I'm slow to respond and or catch on) but, even better, I can see what they look like.

It has also made me aware of something that I cannot help but share with you all.

There are a lot of dudes from New Jersey that I grew up with that are totally cock diesel.

If any of you need a definition of "cock diesel," just hit the weight room for about 15 years. You, too, can be cock diesel. Just like me.

Now, believe me, I'm not making any fun. These are dudes that I grew up with and am quite proud to continue to call friends, even if we aren't exactly in touch or have seen each other. These are the guys that I would take to a rumble without reserve. I'm little, but I'm from New Jersey, so I fight mean. And this bunch of dudes would seriously eat you alive.

So, the stereotypes might be true. Dudes from New Jersey are totally jacked. Ladies, just keep that in mind. We're not only charming, but we are physical specimens worthy of the Ancient Greeks.

When presented with this phenomenon, my wife immediately asked "What happened to you?"


I Got Your Quick Fix Right Here

So, NPR is all atwitter (can I say atwitter these days or does Twitter have the copyright?) about some guy named Bill Weir from ABC's Good Morning America Weekend Edition. Apparently, Mr. Weir (no relation to Bob, unfortunately) is doing some online work called "The Quick Fix" where we, the beloved newsivores, get "Unique, quirky, quality reporting from some of our most colorful characters. No news desk. No tele-prompter. No fancy camerawork. Just the facts, just the stories, just the wildly unexpected."

Big flippin' deal.

See the mountain. See the molehill.

I don't mean to sound more skeptical than usual, but isn't this called by a million other names? Editorializing comes to mind, as does podcasting, or, say, reporting the news. I mean, if giving an opinion isn't the news, then what the XYZPDQ am I to say about O'Reilly, Stewart, Colbert, Olbermann, Beck, and the rest?

I hereby declare this entire to do entirely worthless. All Bill Weir's got on the rest of us is a Journalism degree from Pepperdine (no disrespect there) and a job with ABC.

I'm going to get me some video cameras and fix this quick.

NPR, I got a million good stories to fill up the time. Holla!

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's not stealing if you're married to her

I feel like I should do something other than talk football, so here's this, which I'm considering a public service, which I hope will get me out of Purgatory.

By the way, something I'm angry about--every single time you see a replay of The Immaculate Reception, you never see Franco actually catch the ball. Watch where the cuts happen. It makes me nuts. Sabol, help me out.

If you're hungry:

Get a whole chicken.
Get the oven up to 350. Farenheit. Sorry celcioids, I just can't ever figure it out.

OK, I checked. It's about 176.

Remember to turn the oven on.

Take the guts and nastiness you don't want out of it.

Cut two onions, of your choosing, in half. Add a lemon if you want. Shove them up inside the chicken. Cover that sucker with olive oil and other goodness. I prefer paprika w/o the lemon. Rosemary. Anything spice drawer derived ought to be ok if you don't get too crazy.

Put it in a baking dish upside down (not the way that balances best) and bake that sucker in that oven for about 45 minutes. Flip it over. Cook for another 45. When it looks done, it probably is. If you're worried, or weird or like it overcooked or whatever your deal is, give it another 10 minutes. Cut it up and eat it. Or just stand there and tear it apart, which could be the advantageous method.

Don't think I know how to cook. I stole this one from my wife. But I'm the one that thinks paprika is the secret to making chicken, which is the fault of a friend of mine from college and his Hungarian Paprika Power t-shirt.

Oh, and know this:

The Titans are wearing Houston Oilers throwbacks this year. Don't think that D isn't coming like they did last year. Jason Jones is gonna eat quarterbacks this year. And when you see #93, his name is Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The Eagles Should Sign Michael Vick

Yeah, I'm saying it.

The Eagles should sign Michael Vick.

I've been reading and watching and hearing about all this for too long, longer than I care to and longer than I should have to. Longer than that damn Favre idiocy.

Due propers to these sites for already beginning the conversation.

Now, I'm not condoning what he's done. In fact, I kind of hate him for it. It was cruel, stupid, and preventable.

But I do believe in forgiveness. I learned it from a guy named Jesus, who has probably already been through the process with him and just wants to know where to rank Vaporub on his Fantasy list. I also know that we have something here in the US of A called double-jeopardy, which means that even Alex Trebek can't try someone twice for the same crime, which also means that Mr. Goodell should let Vick play right away. Jamie Dukes and others are right when they say that he's paid his legal prices and should not be further penalized by The NFL.

Besides, the Eagles, as they say here in Memphis, might could need him. Kevin Kolb just proved himself fragile, on top of already having proven himself somewhat less than acute of mind and aim. I'm not saying get rid of the kid. He, like Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Jason Campbell, Tavaris Jackson, and all the other young guys, deserves a chance. I know it's a kill or be killed league--Next Man Up and the like--but I don't think the Iggles should unceremoniously drop Kolb until his play, not an injury, demonstrates his inability.

Just sign Vick to a one or two year deal at the veteran minimum. Hell, give him a cool mil and call it insurance. I love Donovan McNabb. Those that don't need to congratulate. But I also know that D's got injury issues, and that makes me nervous. Getting Vicky Vale might just be the right solution for a minute, which is enough time to find out what's up with Kolb and get on with the season.

Oh, and Reggie, we don't care about your breakup with Kim Kardashian. Put your helmet on and play to your ability. That's all we ask. Save the rest for late February, when we're bored and perhaps ready to care.

Lindsay Soto, hit me up. I wanna work with you guys.

Notes on the Hall of Fame Game

OK, post #1 on this new blog. You can check out the earlier stuff on Art:21 here.

A few observations on last night's Hall of Fame Game, from the Titans perspective.

  • Thank God for Kerry Collins. That little bootleg to Nate Washington in the First Quarter proved that things are looking up for what was a sometimes underwhelming passing game. We all know Kerry's got an arm with some power, but I can't remember when I last saw him roll out that swiftly and direct a play on the run like that.

  • The right side of the O-line needs to block a little better. Chris Johnson hit the back end of the line more than he should have. This line is too good to not open up holes. Johnson's later carries again show that he's best when he can bounce it outside and turn on the jets, but he needs to get a hole now and again. Smashmouth doesn't work if the RB gets his mouth smashed. I'm glad Johnson got to get it up to 3rd or 4th gear later on, but I'm still waiting for overdrive.

  • Speaking of...LenDale looks like he's in for another productive year. The new svelte LenDale had me worried that he wouldn't be as effective in goal line situations. I like being wrong about these things.

  • Can someone give Vince Young a break? Now, I'm as ready as the next guy to cut bait when the situation demands it, but I just don't know yet. Granted, I'm not in that locker room, but Vince did ok last night. His interception was unfortunate. It looked to me like he thought left when the play went right, which is the kind of mental error that can't be tolerated, especially since he's prone to making them under pressure, late in the game. That was a nice TD pass, though he needs to send Paul Williams a card. I think it was Collinsworth who made a nice point about Vince getting mixed signals. Apparently, some people are telling Vince to check his first option, then run while others are telling him to go through the progression. Can we bump running to the third or fourth priority? These WRs and TEs are good and numerous enough to get the job done. Vince, I want you to be a Hall of Famer, but you got to use your eyes and head before your feet. You've got a good team, so this isn't all on you.

  • Hey Patrick Ramsey, welcome to the team. Glad to have you.

  • Alge Crumpler needs to go on with his bad self and all that pass catching. Get that big body up in the air and pull more down.

  • Somebody give Trapasso a hug for me. People never believe me when I tell them that kickers are my favorite players, but I might have to add punters to that as well. And I loves me a trick play.

  • Hey, TO. Nice catches, man. Good to see you on the field this year. People, say it with me...don't hate, congratulate.

OK, I'm out. Please keep reading. I want to get famous on this.

Rich Eisen, get in touch. I want to come work with you.