Friday, January 29, 2010

Zoltan = Soul on Ice

Many women like to watch figure skating. With the Winter Olympics nigh upon us, you might end up watching figure skating with a woman. Maybe a woman you know, or maybe one you just met. Either way, you might want to sound knowledgeable, and you definitely want to find a way to keep it entertaining. To that end, I bring you Romania's own Zoltan Kelemen.

I will root for Zoltan for several reasons. First, he's Romanian (in fact, he's the 3-time Romanian figure skating champion!). Just like Gheorghe Muresan. Second, his coach is named ... wait for it ... you're gonna love this ... Cornel Gheorghe. Another commonality with Gheorghe! Third, he has a cool name. Zoltan. It sounds so out of sight its got the blind people lookin'. Sounds sweet and smooth like custard. Sharp like a razor, steady like a train. Like a man who knows where to get good gyulai - and how to give it. Like a man who can drink a case of Ursus without having to break the seal. Hirsute in places where other men are hairless. A man that all others envy. Fourth, he skates to funky music. He's soul on ice. Check it:

It seems like he falls down a lot so clearly he can take tons of pain. Tough as nails. If you fast forward to the 5:50 mark you'll see he's got a great poker face. Chicks clearly dig this man.

Don't be surprised if you're standing around the K-cup machine at work and you overhear a bunch of young ladies gasping that "Zoltan is soooo sexy!" Normally they'd be talking about me, but during this twenty-first Winter Olympiad, they just might be talking about Zoltan Kelemen. Be ready for it.

Gheorghe Grab Bag

Let's start this Friday off right, with a few entertaining ghoogle searches that have led folks to G:TB in recent days/weeks. It appears the gents over at the Wheelhome might have something to tell us...
  • "it all runs together" french horn
  • pictures
  • super scintillating sensational
  • have you heard of the lonesome looser meaning
  • coen brothers reference in superbad
  • "village people cloning step children"
  • axel rose tent stage cocaine
  • "this is the strangest dinner invite ever"
  • john staluppi biography
  • coors light cakes
  • nkotb5 license plate
  • mike love hated pet sounds
  • free gilbert
  • General Mills' All-Star baseball (starring Trix Rabbit and his friends playing baseball against Major League teams and stars)
  • you guys playing cards
  • how tall is dru joyce iii
  • zodiac mindwarp
  • 'brett favre hemorrhoids'
  • 2 flights jimmy the greek was going to take that crashed
  • bangkok whores
  • cameltoe in mitch gaylords infomercial
  • cousins fucking cousins
  • doing pushups and drinking beer
  • major league entertainment double homicide blogspot
  • mike frensley's new album released in december 2009
  • paste magazine we have heard the future of rock and its named 7 mary 3
  • richmond squirrels hiree
  • tattoos + tequila worms
  • which college is better known outside of virginia william and mary or uva
  • wnba ""butt slapping""
Moving on, you might have caught the news that FOGTB and prolific gambler Michael Jack is headed to Nueva Jersey soon. What you might not know is why he's going. As it turns out, our boy MJ is the world's foremost expert on wood. Seriously...look, at how good he is at his job:

TR, I need to apologize. I am 100% certain I know why our Jets lost to the Colts this weekend. Yes, that is our cat. No, I did not dress him up. But yes, he is the reason the Jets lost. I am sure of it.

And just because...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Victory for the Little Guy

November 30, 2007 was a bleak day for beer drinkers across the Eastern Seaboard. Old Dominion Brewing Co., then-recently purchased by a consortium that included Anheuser Busch, ceased bottling Tupper's Hop Pocket Ale. I haven't had my favorite beer since sometime shortly thereafter.

While the new ownership group still markets Old Dominion products brewed in Delaware or some such godforsaken place, the Ashburn, VA-based brewery is no longer. Yesterday's Washington Post brought much better news as it relates to Tupper's.

Bob and Ellie Tupper, the beer aficianodos who contracted with Old Dominion to produce their private label, finally found another craft suds shop to take their business. Hampton, VA's St. George Brewing is cranking out Tupper's using the same recipe, process, and fermenting tanks employed by Old Dominion. St. George's lower overall production capacity means smaller runs and correspondingly higher prices (in this case, Tupper's will retail for $10 per 4-pack), and I couldn't care less.

I'll be scanning my local beverage retailers for the familiar red-bannered logo and eagerly awaiting my first taste of the 'extravagantly hopped' ale in two years. And when I pour that first glass and take a sip, I'll be sure to lift a middle finger to the InBev bastards that took Tupper's from me.

Duece Poppi Takes a Gheorghe Approach to Race Relations

This guy's music is generally terrible, but this song's premise is funny. Right?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Official G:TB Winter Olympics Preview

Our affinity for the Olympic Movement, in all its corrupt and corporate glory, is one of the several pillars of the G:TB platform. We're suckers for the pageantry, spectacle and competition. Not to mention the 17 consecutive days of sports on our television. And to be sure, the Altius portion of the Olympic motto holds a special place in the hearts of several of our staff members.

It is no surprise then, that we're a little bit fired up for the February 12 opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Olympic torch heads from Revelstoke to Kamloops today on its way across the Great White North. And Team G:TB cranks up our coverage of games with a look at one of America's favorite group of competitions, the Nordic events.

The United States has never won an Olympic medal in Nordic Combined, which features ski jumping and cross-country skiing in various combinations. The individual event includes two 'normal hill' jumps (normal being 90 feet high) and a 10km (6.2 mile) cross-country race in which the starting order is determined how far each participant flung himself (no ladies in Combined, sorry to say) down the hill. The sprint calls for a 7.5 km race following a single jump from the 'large hill' (120 feet). The team competition is some combination of jumping, skiing, and sweating.

Despite Uncle Sam's dubious history in this event, expectations for the Vancouver Games are high. The U.S. captured four medals (three gold, one bronze) at last February's world championships in Liberec, Czech Republic. We were favored to win the team event before being disqualified. I blame Denmark. Brett Camerota, Bill Demong, Taylor Fletcher, Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane represent the U.S. of A next month.

U.S. medal hopes in Cross-Country are more tempered, though Alaskan Kikkan Randall became the first American woman to win a world championship silver medal in the freestyle sprint last year. A new allocation system awards more competitive slots to countries who "perform" "better" in actual "competition", meaning the U.S. will only send 8 athletes to Vancouver - 8 fewer than in 2006. Once again, Denmark is trying to keep us down.

In a humorous human interest nugget that's sure never to make it on NBC more than 30 or 31 times, Randall's nickname is 'Kikkanimal'. She's also cute in that wholesome outdoorsy way. FOG:TB Dan has a new rooting interest. No fewer than 30 medals will be awarded in cross-country in individual, sprint, pursuit, and team events that feature at least two different styles of ambulation. I just like it because snot invariably freezes on the athletes' faces. And they ski their ever-lovin' asses off - cross-country skiers routinely fall down from exhaustion at the end of races.

Skiing around in circles and shooting stuff. What's more American than Biathlon? Tim Burke leads the current World Cup standings and represents the U.S. best hope for a medal in an event in which we've never broken into the top 3.

Ski Jumping
is absurd on the face of it, and the U.S. has no real chance. But we're nothing if not thorough, and it is nordic, so we'll include it for the sake of completeness. Anders Johnson, who recovered from a major knee injury to qualify for the Games, will probably receive the Up Close and Personal treatment. So he's got that going for him. Nick 'Zander' Alexander (I don't make up the nicknames, I just point them out and let you mock them) is likely the U.S.' best medal hope. I wouldn't bet the kids' college funds on it.

It all kicks off on February 12, when Canada will fail miserably but amiably to duplicate the awe-inspiring spectacle of our new Chinese overlords drumming and acrobating around the Bird's Nest. As usual, you can expect wall-to-wall coverage here. And Olympic-quality filler.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Had Lunch Yet?

And the debate rages on. The protesters rail against the lawmakers, the bureaucrats issue memoranda with vague language, and the people of the United States of America are denied a seemingly basic freedom. It's a freedom for which William Wallace would have donned the face-paint. It's . . .

. . . the inalienable right to consume sheep's heart, liver, and lung after it's been encased in a sheep's stomach and simmered slowly.

Damn you, big government.

Sounds delicious, no? Haggis, as this delicacy is known, is perhaps the most famous dish served in Scotland. It certainly was the one that leapt off the menu when I was in Edinburgh a decade ago. (Leapt in a John Hurt abdomen alien way, not in any sort of a savory way.) I suppose in a sense it's no more vile than the sausage or hot dogs Americans consume regularly, but it sounds, looks, and smells pretty nasty. Plus, there's just something about using the "offal" (definition: the by-products, viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal removed in dressing; other definition: rubbish; pronounced: "awful") of an animal as the primary ingredients of a meal that doesn't entice.

The Scots, however, love it. "If it's not Scottish, it's crap" takes an ironic twist.

So what's the debate all about?

It seems that since 1971, sheep's lung has been banned in food in the US. Since 1989, the heyday of the mad-cow madness, haggis has specifically been targeted as off-limits to Vandelay Importers and the like. In a small place like Scotland (albeit one "colonized by wankers"), you can gleefully eat this treat in most any pub, but in a big country like ours, bureaucracy rules the day. Such simple minds. So Scottish expats go hungry and get angry, and if you've seen an angry Scotsman before, you do not want this.

This week marks the annual celebration of Scotland's favorite poet, Robert Burns -- as recognized with "Robert Burns Night" occurring in pubs inside and outside of the motherland. Traditionally, these "Burns Suppers" feature haggis on the menu, whiskey on the rocks, and a reading of Address to a Haggis on the docket. Yes, that last bit is indeed the poet's ode to sheep's innards sewn into a sheep's stomach. To be honest, I get that -- there's a Random Idiots single called "You're My Gyro" as well as another lost track professing love to the late night Jersey sandwich the "Fat Bitch." (Equal parts decorum and a loyalty to the cheesesteak w/ egg prevented the latter's release.)

The Burns Suppers in America, however, will be sadly missing that sheep's lung in every asterisked version of the haggis. As such, the US FDA has made these renditions of the dish inauthentic to the millions, nay dozens of Scottish-Americans clamoring for the right to savor those bronchi and bronchioles. This week news leaked through various US media outlets that the government may indeed be lifting the ban. And then . . . the FDA said that while the ruling was being reviewed, there is no timetable and no definite action is pending.

Until that day comes, lads and lassies, let us pray for the day when we have the liberty to pursue such happiness as haggis. While many of us don't know what we're missing, we stand (way) behind our kilt-donning friends as their dreams stay with them like a lover's voice, the proclaimers of that familiar primal scream: "Freedom!"

* * *
Those who were looking for Haggis, aka Kid Chaos, the former touring bassist of The Cult and member of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, should look here. Sorry for the confusion.

Little. Yellow. Different.

So, I ran into a former high school classmate of mine on Friday. She's a spunky Asian girl of reasonable intelligence, just enough refinement to conceal the fact that she's from a nowhere redneck town in rural Virginia, and short enough for even Rob to peer over (and between you and me, a shockingly brilliant set of ya ya's). We talked casually while I walked her to her car about jobs, kids, Facebook, etc... Now, before moving on, understand that historically the hometown in which we were raised has been void of several important societal pillars: stoplights, birth control, and Asians. With the past decade and a half showing little to no growth in all three. There is, finally, one stop light in town today; but alas, as of Friday, there are still kids multiplying by the thousands - none of them proficient in math or photography.

Back to our hero. In 1994, she was the only Asian female in the entire school (roughly 800 students). She was, understandably, somewhat shy and socially cautious. Though she was well liked and people treated her with respect - probably because to most of the simple-minded student body she was not unlike a grizzly bear they might stumble across on a hunt with Pa (If I don't bother it, it won't bother me...). In her efforts to blend in, she was active in the school community; most notably a cheerleader for the basketball team, which is how I "got to know" her. She never talked about where she came from or how she felt about being an overwhelming minority in a small town. It was never quite the elephant in the room when engaging her in conversation, but there was certainly a large mammal of some kind sitting quietly in the corner. I always assumed she just didn't want to think about it or supressed her thoughts completely on the subject (or, more likely, I was consumed by thoughts on what my first Asian would be like). But, as we approached her car in the parking lot, the animal in the corner came leaping out into the light with blinding clarity. Between two oversized Ford pickups stood this beast....

A-fucking-men, little one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My glass is half full. The question is: with what?

My initial reaction to the Chan Gailey hiring was "I want to die." Perhaps I over-reacted. Scott Pitoniak wrote about Gailey at Two Bills Drive. His notes on Gailey make me optimistic about the Bills' 2010 season:

◦He has NFL head coaching experience, having guided two so-so Dallas Cowboys teams to an 18-16 record and two playoff appearances in the late 1990s;
◦He is regarded as an innovative thinker whose work as an offensive coordinator with the Steelers, Dolphins, Chiefs and Cowboys was lauded by his players and peers;
◦He comes to Buffalo on the recommendation of Cowher, who reportedly was going to bring Gailey along as his assistant head coach/offensive coordinator when he returns to the NFL sidelines;
◦He won’t be queasy about having to work with mediocre quarterbacks such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm (I left Trent Edwards off this list because I believe he’s a goner). After all, Gailey was able to make it to four Super Bowls and 11 playoffs in 15 NFL seasons with the likes of Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart and Jay Fiedler.

Then I decided to do my own research. According to Gailey's old Chiefs bio page, he was an offensive coordinator or head coach for 10 NFL seasons. Here's how his offenses ranked:

In general, his teams have above average offenses. But his best seasons came while working with Elway, Bettis, Aikman, Emmitt, and Irvin. Things weren't as rosy with Fiedler, Thigpen, Cassel, Lamar Smith, and Oronde Gadsden.

The Bills go into 2010 with Trent Edwards and/or Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, TO and Lee Evans at WR, and Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson at RB. They're closer to latter list of scrubs than the former list of Hall of Famers,but I like to think they aren't quite as bad as the scrub list.

So I have hope that the offense will be better than it was in 2009, when it ranked 28th in points and 30th in yards. Or that it simply won't be as putrid as it's been since Jim Kelly retired (notwithstanding one good year from Doug Flutie and 8 good games from Drew Bledsoe).

This does nothing to address a defense which would have been dead last against the run, but for the Colts' decision to roll over in week 17. Of course, this also means that the run defense can't be any worse than it was last year.

Gailey's Georgia Tech teams were 7-6, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5, 9-5, and 7-6 from 2002 to 2007for a 57% winning percentage. He didn't set the college ranks on fire, but he never had a losing record. It would be nice if the Bills win 57% (i.e., 9) of their games next year. Their best record since 2000 was 9-7 in 2004; it won't take much to make me feel better about this team than I did this year.

I'm going to be optimistic about next season and take a "glass is half full" approach. Hopefully my Bills stein is half full of Delirium Tremens, or even Miller High Life, as opposed to the past decade's overflowingly full vats of urine. I'll do anything for an MF Doom segue.

This Week in Wrenball

In the last edition of TWiW, we tabbed the week of January 18 'Prove It Week' for the Wrens. What they then proved is somewhat in dispute.

It seems obvious now that tangling with a highly motivated and very hot VCU team is a bad idea. I don't know that any team in the Tribe's position would've beaten the Rams. We're gonna go ahead and chalk that one up as a no-win situation and move forward. Of some note, VCU went out after their cathartic 22-point drubbing of William & Mary and got handled by Northeastern over the weekend.

Against ODU in front of 7,216 in Williamsburg (the largest crowd in some 17 years at the former William and Mary Hall) on Saturday, W&M proved that ODU's defense is as good as advertised, shooting 33% against the Monarchs. The Tribe also proved once again that they can hang with the very best in the conference, leading at halftime and then overcoming a 7-point second half deficit to lead by 1 with 48 seconds left.

A tough but probably predictable 0-2 week sets up the theme for this edition of TWiW: Perspective. W&M is now 14-5, 6-3 in the CAA, tied for 4th in the conference with Drexel, two games out of the three-way tie for first. The always overly-optimistic hope of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid is all but extinguished. After the unprecedented highs of the season's first few months, the easy emotion for Tribe faithful is disappointment.

To which we say, are you fucking crazy? We'll not rehash the full menu of highlights Tony Shaver's squad has delivered thus far, but this is a team that began the year picked to finish 10th in the CAA after a lackluster 10-20 2008-09 campaign. A program that celebrated its first .500 season in 10 years in 2007-08. A squad that's still, after this week, two nail-biting losses from being 8-1 in a tough, deep league.

I pose this question to any of the WrenBackers that frequent G:TB: if, before the season, you were told that W&M would be 14-5, 6-3, what would you have said? Yeah, me too. It's way half-full, ladies and gentlemen.

All that said, Perspective Week has the potential to become Exasperation Week if the early-season Tribe doesn't show up. W&M travels to JMU on Wednesday to face a reeling but quite talented Dukes team. Then, Bruiser Flint's surging Drexel team seeks to leapfrog the Wrens in the league when they come to Kaplan on Saturday. Unlike last week, 1-1 won't be a good result.

Show us what you got, mighty Wrens. (And, psst, Danny: I know you can defend your ass off, but we're gonna need more than zero points in 31 minutes when we go to Norfolk next week.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Digger Phelps Dances Like TJ

At least Digger was dancing for a young lady and not for Greg. His moves are just as embarrassingly bad though. Digger gets rather 2 Live Crew around the 2 minute mark.

Friday, January 22, 2010

This. This is Gang Green.

The title pays homage to the unintentional comedy from a scene in Mask, a very uncomedic film from the 1980's. The severely disfigured lead character falls in love with a blind girl. He tries to help her understand descriptive adjectives by giving her cotton balls and saying things like "this, this is billowy" in a melodramatic way. It makes for a good running joke between me and the wifey. We say things like "this, this is what infant vomit on your arm is like." I'm sure every other couple has their Mask jokes as well. So while the plight of the 2009-10 Jets doesn't EXACTLY mirror the tragic life of a disfigured teenager born to a drug-addled biker chick, it is important to understand what Green feels like. In a nutshell, it's a cross between waking up in the morning next to a surprisingly cute girl you don't remember drunkenly going home with the night before and squeezing somebody else's corn-laden poo nugget between your fingers.

The nuances of my relationship with the New York Jets are well-documented here. The team has not won a title in the 30 years I've watched them, although they have, for the most part, been average. Despite the perpetual negativity pervading the psyches of the fan-base (somehow achieving misery synergy with overlapping Mets fans), the team has offered enough joyful moments to keep me coming back. The oddest trait about the franchise is its up-and-down nature every year. In the 1980's, before salary caps and free agency churned rosters on an annual basis, franchises rode waves of success that surged and crested before eventually breaking. The Dolphins, Chargers and Raiders all had lengthy runs in the AFC, while the 49ers, Cowboys and Redskin battled in the NFC, giving way to the Bears and Giants in the latter half of the decade. This trend continued for most of the 1990's. But in the face of the arc-like fortunes of these franchises, the Jets' fortunes bobbed like a buoy. Sure, there have been poor draft picks, booger-picking coaches, train wrecks and tragedy. But there have also been surprising playoff appearances and overachieving fan favorites. Inconsistency is the hallmark of Gang Green. It is maddening and uplifting at the same time, but it always causes me to look cautiously toward the future, when anything can happen.

Let's briefly review the team's past two appearances in the AFC Championship:

1/23/83: Jets lose 14-0 to Dolphins in Orange Bowl monsoon
Don Shula orders the tarp to stay off the field the night before, turning it into a slow, muddy slog that mitigates the Jets' speed advantage. Mark Gastineau repeatedly kicks a fumbled ball off a sack while trying to pick it up and run, allowing the Dolphins to get the ball back. Richard Todd throws five interceptions (three to A.J. Duhe, including one he returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the victory). The game was as strange as the strike-shortened season. For those too young to remember, the strike (which I remember vividly because of this depressing SI cover) cut the regular season to 9 games. To come up with playoff teams, the league scrapped the division standings and ranked teams in each conference, lining up the best 8 in each conference to go at it. No wild-cards and no byes. This was very perplexing to me as a third-grader. I had just figured out how the league worked after thoroughly enjoying the epic playoff battles leading to Super Bowl XVI (Winslow beating the Dolphins, Montana to Clark), and they go and change the rules on me. Stupid strike.

1/17/99 - Jets get pummeled by Broncos 23-10

The game wasn't as close as the score indicated. Elway, TD and crew won to get back to the Super Bowl and repeat as champions over the whore-loving Atlanta Falcons. The Jets were riding the Parcells-driven Vinny train and over-achieved a bit. The outcome was neither surprising nor saddening. Not much else to say here. Those Broncos teams were awesome and mowed down just about everybody, including the knees of any defensive player lined up in front of the Broncos' dirty offensive line.

1/24/10 - ???

Let's focus on the big picture - the Jets face an oft-choking juggernaut and have some clear advantages with their running game and defense. The Revis factor is overblown because the Colts' passing attack is multi-faceted. On the flip side, the Colts' revenge factor is underblown. (Not a real word, but a nice transition from the prior sentence. And an apt reference to my genitals in college.) The Jets robbed the Colts of a perfect record and some dignity last month, and Peyton was seething on the sidelines after he got pulled. He'll want to shut up Rex Ryan in the worst way. This makes me a bit anxious. As a result, I will be mildly depressed, but not surprised, if the Jets lose.

This year's Jets team has achieved the one basic task you hope for from your NFL team every year - they raised my ceiling of expectations for the team. The Cardinals and Giants did the same thing successfully in the last two post-seasons. Let's hope they can keep pushing that ceiling, with Rex Ryan stepping in for Eric Stoltz, Mark Sanchez in for Cher, Fireman Ed as Sam Elliott and Norv Turner as the principal who insists Rocky Dennis needs to be in Special Ed. And Vernon Gholston as the blind character Laura Dern plays who doesn't understand basic concepts the rest of the world does.

This Would Look Nice in Your Living Room

Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan, some art to class this place up. Note the resemblance to a certain Friend of G:TB. Further note the fact that the artist is Australian and the same FOG:TB spent significant time Down Under. Coincidence? Probably.

Puttin' on the Ritz

For no particular reason at all...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Signed, Tiny Dictator

We don't spend enough time on New York City politics in these parts, something that FOG:TB Wheelhouse Geoff has pointed out. In an effort to rectify that, provide you with new and exciting filler and extend the string of posts involving prominent Asian-Americans, we bring you the following story from The Gothamist.

John Liu Makes Everyone Call Him "Mr. Comptroller"

New city comptroller John Liu takes his job seriously — so seriously in fact that he requires his staffers to rise from their chairs when he enters the room and refer to him as "Mr. Comptroller." Liu introduced the mandatory formalities in meetings last week, and they already have "veteran denizens of the Municipal Building snickering behind his back," according to the Post.

In reality, the only thing we really care about in this story is the image that accompanied it, reproduced faithfully above. That's some top notch, top notch journalisticing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Guessing the Atlanta Crackers Team Name is Available

From ThinkProgress, a story that will have at least one of Team G:TB's staff members lacing up his shoes, putting on the Rocky soundtrack, and running through the streets of Philadelphia. Or his hometown, whichever.

A new professional basketball league called the All-American Basketball Alliance (AABA) sent out a press release on Sunday saying that it intends to start its inaugural season in June, with teams in 12 U.S. cities. However, the AABA is different from other sports leagues because only players who are “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.” AABA commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis insists that he’s not racist, but he just wants to get away from the “street-ball” played by “people of color” and back to “fundamental basketball.” Lewis cited the recent incidents of bad behavior by NBA players, implying that such actions would never happen with white players:

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” [...]

He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas’ indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans’ dissatisfaction with the way current professional
sports are run.

“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?” he said. “That’s the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction.”

Setting aside the obvious, oblivious, asinine side of this endeavor for just a moment, let's play this out a bit. What about the Asians? They like fundamental basketball even more than white people do. And who is more fundamentalist than radical Muslims? Why can't they get a run? I don't know, but I'm starting think that ol' Moose Lewis might be a little bit racist.

Greasetruck Strikes Again!

For the past five years, I have been extensively researching the topic of my new song. In fact, some might say that in a more general sense I've been researching this topic for over twenty years. The song is called "Hungover Dad." It investigates the paradoxical relationship between alcohol and fatherhood: drinking is bad for you and it will eventually kill you, but if you don't drink, you will eventually kill your children. Essentially, for the good of the cause, you need to sacrifice your liver. When I drink, I am both more educational and more entertaining for my children; after a couple of beers, I can read insipid children's books until the cows come home, I can wrestle even after repeated kicks to the genitals, and I can even play an entire game of Candy Land.

A couple of warnings:

1) Most people will be able to relate to the song, but devout Muslims and Mormons may not get it.

2) The song is far more realistic than the film The Hangover. Who could learn to count cards after a night of heavy drinking?

I am proud to say that this may be the most prolific two weeks in Greasetruck history. And for those of you wondering . . . yes, there is a monologue (which I have transcribed below as a special bonus. Also, the song is two and a half minutes long, so it's nowhere near the commitment of listening to yesterday's podcast).

Hungover dad . . . feeling bad . . .
Regretting the number of drinks he had
on his night out with the boys.
Now he's on the floor assembling toys . . .

But the batteries don't fit.
And it smells like somebody took a shit.
Changing this diaper is gonna make him puke.
It's time to play Star Wars-- who's gonna be Luke?

He should have stopped after two--
after two he was feeling good.
Why'd he have to go and have six more?
He couldn't fit the key in the door.

And now his wife is shopping with all her friends,
going to the outlets to exact revenge.
There was no good reason to do those shots . . .
other than he wanted to drink a lot.

And his stomach is feeling weird,
he's got to keep the toilet near.
His head is feeling worse and worse
he's drinking lots of coffee to stay alert.

Because Ethan's licking an extension cord,
and Emily's naked cause she says she's bored.
The twins are playing catch with a dead gold fish,
and the butter is missing from the butter dish.

But the joy he got, the joy he got, the joy he got is worth a lot.
The joy he got, the joy he got, the joy he got is worth a lot.
When you are old and feeling young, it's hard to stop
when the feeling comes.
When you are old and feeling young, it's easy to be a little dumb.

But now he's got to focus until the day is done:
twelve hours more till bedtime comes.
Playing board games, making lunch
this is nothing like the Brady Bunch

He had his fun, now he'll pay.
He won't ever drink again
until next Friday.

The typical hangover consists of 14 stages:

1. When you awake and declare "I don't feel bad at all." This is because you are still drunk.

2. Nausea and dizziness.

3. I'm so thirsty, but I can't convince my legs to take me to get a glass of water.

4. Headache due to dehydration.

5. Partial recovery due to coffee.

6. The shakes and the runs. Also due to coffee.

7. Recovered memories from the night before. These are best suppressed quickly.

8. Swearing you'll never drink again. Right.

9. The dummies: you can't remember names, dates, where you put your car, etc.

10. Eating greasy food to make your stomach feel better. This is almost as stupid as the amount you drank last night.

11. You attempt to nap but can't because of all the greasy food you ate.

12. Swearing you'll never drink X again, X being the particular alcoholic beverage that caused the hangover, as in I'll never do Car Bombs again. Right.

13. Narcolepsy

14. Wondering if one beer might make you feel better, the hair of the dog. Repeat until cirrhosis.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Built This City

The best things in life come naturally, not forced by the incessant demands of our clamoring society, but shaped by time and patience. As you'll learn in a few moments, some of the worst things in life come just as naturally.

The evolution of Gheorghe: The Blog from small-time internet magazine to super-niche blog was fairly well preordained. We had the time, the motive, and the opportunity. Also, the built in audience of dozens. We didn't have much to say, but that's where the super-niche part comes in.

Time, motive, and opportunity conspired again this week with the latest in online technologies in a confluence that may well reshape the world as we know it. Or at least give you 28 minutes and 29 seconds of moderate amusement.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the very first edition of Gheorghe: The Podcast. In this episode, Teejay, Mark, Whitney, and I overcome technical difficulties and ineptitude to talk over one another, tell inside jokes, forget to explain what G:TB is, use one of George Carlin's 7 words (though not the one you might think), and touch on Eddie Money, basketball, M.A.S.K., and the dangers of carbonation. It's probably SFW, unless you don't want the people you work with to think you're a moron.

Click the play button below, and please lower your speaker volume. We welcome all the constructive criticism you can muster in the comments. Enjoy.

We have our own version of StatBoy at work, too. Here's what you wanted to know:

It was a shamrock, not a clover.
His name was Snagglepuss.
The 7 words are listed here.
And spoken here.

And the rules we violated almost systematically are here.

Inefficient Use of One's Time: Exhibit A

The city of San Diego, with its long-standing financial problems, and the state of California, with well-documented budget problems of its own, would benefit if its denizens pursued endeavors that aimed to benefit society a bit more. Not that I have an issue with styrofoam-sculpted toilets and airplanes.

(Thanks to the Jets Blog for the image. And thanks to this jackass for reminding me what an idiot is. )

Monday, January 18, 2010

This Week in Wrenball

After a pair of solid home wins against JMU and Hofstra for William and Mary, we've reached Prove It Week here on TWiW, as the Wrens (14-3, 6-1 CAA) put their 5-game conference winning streak on the line against a pair of CAA heavyweights.

W&M heads to Richmond on Wednesday to face a resurgent VCU (13-4, 4-3) squad. The Rams have won three straight, all by 13-point margins, after opening the CAA schedule with three losses in four games. The Tribe rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to beat Shaka Smart's club in both schools' conference opener, serving notice that W&M's early-season success might be more than smoke and mirrors.

Defending conference champion VCU finds itself a full two games behind the four-way logjam atop the league, but might be playing better than anyone else right now. Larry Sanders and his Gheorghe-esque wingspan leads the Rams with 15.3 points and 8.1 boards a game. Sanders, who may well be VCU's second NBA first-rounder in as many years, looked dominant against Hofstra last week, tallying 31 points. After JMU's Denzel Bowles went 26/13 on the Tribe on Thursday, Sanders must be salivating. Uber-scrapper Joey Rodriguez and Bradford Burgess both get 10+ ppg for the Rams, with Rodriguez leading the entire conference in both assists and steals.

As an aside, how good is the race for the CAA's top spot right now? W&M, Northeastern, Old Dominion, and George Mason are all 6-1 in league play. Conference USA has four teams at 3-0 or 4-0 and the NEC has a trio of 5-1 teams and two more at 4-2. But we're not interested in all that. Our unbiased, completely scientific poll indicates that the Colonial is the nation's most competitive conference.

No rest for the Tribe after a matchup with the highly-motivated Rams, as one of the conference's co-leaders comes to Williamsburg on Saturday. Old Dominion (14-5, 6-1) started slowly, losing to Missouri, Mississippi State, Richmond, and Dayton before turning things around with an impressive win at Georgetown. The enigmatic Gerald Lee paces the Monarchs with 14+ ppg, but ODU wins with physical, relentless defense. The matchup between the Tribe's conference-best offense (in terms of efficiency, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage) and ODU's league-leading defense (allowing only 55.8 ppg) will tell the story.

David Schneider continues to pace the Wrens in nearly every aspect of the game. He's the only player in the conference to post top-10 marks in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg) and steals (1.5 spg). He's starting to garner POY buzz, a noise so unfamiliar in Williamsburg that AD Terry Driscoll was forced to call the Linguistics department for assistance. Sophomore Quinn McDowell gets 15.4 ppg on 51.8% shooting (40.8% from deep). The key this week may well be senior Danny Sumner, the Wrens' third-leading scorer (10.2 ppg) with an alarming predilection for disappearing. If the kid who posted a 0-1, 0 point, 5-rebound, 29-minute effort against Hofstra shows up against VCU and ODU, it could be a tough week. If the Sumner that averaged 16.5 points, 5 boards, and 2 blocks against ACC competition comes to play, I like the Tribe's chances.

Still crossing fingers, almost ready to believe. Realistically, a split would be a very acceptable result this week for the Wrens.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Once they get grown, these ho's ain't impressed with Applebee's no more.

While I fully support making money off the persecution (just or otherwise) of star athletes (I do own a Free Darko shirt after all), I thought it only appropriate to provide our merry pack of degenerates a fresh post in which to place their insights and observations on this fine day of sports. That's right sports...plural. Today's jam-packed with highly interesting College Basketball matchups in the early part of the day that should get you properly hyped for this evening's NFL Playoff tussles. If that wasn't enough, I'm going to provide you with a fun little drinking game and a snappy tune to carry with you as you go throughout the world today.

The drinking game is easy. Every time you hear a player, coach, announcer or anybody else associated with the contest you're viewing talk about the need for people to "step their game up", "step up" or any iteration of that phrase....go ahead and drink. Not coincidentally, I'm going to get you started in grand fashion right now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Free Gilbert

Get yours here. Charlton Heston would approve. Or perhaps support a nobler cause here.

Um, OK...

...let's just say this post is here for no other reason than to bump the post below down, so as none of us get fired today. Doesn't mean you still shouldn't watch that clip sometime...but perhaps in the privacy of your own home/bedroom.

Let's instead push that clip down further on the page by making fun of the Lockport (where the hell is Lockport?) man who thinks he sees Jesus and Mary in this sliced open orange:

Mersh, you gotta lay off the pipe man.

This is what happens when rob leaves me in charge

You get a link that is not even in English, and is most definitely not safe for work. Well, I mean, it can be...just be a tad careful as you watch it. And yes, despite this less than inspiring introduction, I strongly urge you to watch it. Happy Friday folks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Novel

In an effort to live up to the mission statement of G:TB, I am going to take myself less seriously. I am going to stop dreaming, stop aiming so high, and just give up . . . and it feels good, this giving up. Those that know me will demand more information. What exactly are you giving up on, they will ask. Let me be more specific. I am certainly not giving up on my dream to record a concept album about the 19th century caviar industry in New Jersey. That's on hold, but I'm not giving up. I'm sure there will be a resurgence in people's interest in sturgeon. I am also not giving up on my dream to build an enclosed electric recumbent bike. Not that I've gotten beyond the stage of Googling pictures, but still, it is alive. And one of these days I'm going to melt plastic toys into outsider modern art and make my fortune. I also still might try to set the record for consecutively juggling a soccer ball. Seriously.

The dream I am going to give up on is my dream to write a novel. I've written outlines, scenes, loads of dialogue, descriptions, anecdotes, but nothing even close to resembling a chapter. I suppose the closest I got was when Whitney and I pumped out three mediocre screenplays, but a screenplay is not a novel. A screenplay has a set format, and the writing is closer to journalism than art.

I actually gave up on this dream several months ago, but I decided to address my lack of fictional productivity in the form of a song. A song about how I needed to get to work on my novel but never would. Why not? Why won't I ever write a masterpiece of fiction? Because I can't type. Even writing a blog post this long is stretching the limits of my pecking ability (although seeing Slovenian super-brain Slavoj Zizek's one fingered typing style made me realize that where there is a will there's a way). There is also the fact that I don't have much insight or perspective on how other people's brain's work, but that hasn't stopped many prolific novelists from churning out loads of fiction.

So in the middle of recording this song about procrastination (which I've posted today!) my computer broke. Because of this, the song took several months to record. The irony is not lost on me. In the midst of fixing the computer, I decided that this electronic recording project was insane, time consuming, impossible, for computer geeks, and overly frustrating. But all that changed when I realized I wasn't actually insane. It wasn't my IRQ line or some sort of Vista based glitch (though people would have me believe otherwise) and the software wasn't beyond me, it was just that my video card was broken.

In the months it took to diagnose this rather simple hardware failure-- and again, the irony is not lost on me-- I came up with a great idea for a novel. This was the novel I would actually write . . . it would be dark, satirical, and picaresque, so I wouldn't have to worry much about a plot. The premise was a simple reversal of an archetype; instead of the typical apocalyptic story, such as The Road or I am Legend or Mad Max or Escape from New York, where the lone heroic man, in a terrible world stricken by disaster, must carve out both a new life and a new persona, one rougher and stronger and wilder than what he once was when he was civilized.

Instead of that fantasy, this would be a story of a henpecked husband and his wife and mother-in-law and his three manipulative daughters and how they ALL survive the apocalyptic event, and so our lone hero, instead of being freed of civilization, which is the man's dream, to wander the earth with a cool car like Mad Max and cool sunglasses like Kurt Russell, instead he has to perform the same marital and filial and social duties as usual, but in the apocalypse. I planned on calling it The Rut. It would make for lots of good situation comedy and satire in a dark setting. I bought The Stand and The World Without Us, and I was all ready to move into my next stage of novelistic procrastination, which is basically planning to read, but not reading a bunch of books that vaguely have to do with the theme of the novel. And once again, I forgot the main reason I will never write a novel. I can't type! Not only can't I do it, but I hate and despise it. And-- although I try not to be homophobic-- I find typing kind of feminine. If I ever do get in the groove on the keyboard, I feel like I need to take a break to do some push-ups and then have a beer. In fact, I'm doing push-ups and drinking beer right now.

And so I finally think I have learned my lesson. Whenever I have an idea for a novel, I'm going to take myself less seriously, and I'm going to post my idea on Gheorghe. For anyone to use. Perhaps Whitney will type it up in a few minutes as a seventeen page post. And I am going to concentrate on making bad music on my computer, which is one of my dreams, and one I've been quite successful at. So, without further typing, here is the new Greasetruck song, entitled: "My Novel." It is a return to form: I barely sing, I abuse the pitch shifter, there's lots of weird sounds floating around (some with purpose and some accidental) and there is a monologue, which I was trying to get away from, but since Whitney loves them, and since I'm never going to write a novel, there's got to be some way for me to present my prose other than this blog.

It's time, I’ve got to write my novel
Sit down and get it done soon.
That’s right, I've got to start typing.
Sequester myself in a little room--
cause we’re gonna die soon

But I got so much to do--
I need to type up chapter two.
And I never wrote chapter one,
I'll do that one when I’m done.
But you’ve got to hear my plot.
Plot is the thing I’ve got.
There’s a lady on the run,
And there’s a man with a gun,
And when it gets a little slow
Then I’ve got a UFO.

I've got to sit down and type my story
it’s the story of . . . the story of life--
it’s the story of life in the future,
everybody’s got an android wife.

But you've got to hear my plot, plot is what I got.
Now creature from outer space joins in on the chase,
and when it's all said and done
you'll never guess who shoots the gun.
I can’t say the final twist . . . okay, if you insist:
the lady wakes up from a dream, nothing is as it seems,
but who’s beside her in her bed?
That space creature from her head.
What's the moral of my tale? Love will prevail.


I've got to write a song about writing my novel.
Yeah, I've got to sing that song soon.
Got to sing that song about writing my novel.
Yeah, I've got to get it sung soon.

You've got to hear my song,
it's only two minutes long.
Unless i sing some more,
then I could make it four.
It's got a meta plot,
and so I better stop.
People hate a meta plot.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

...And Here Is One More Reason (In Two Pictures)

Here's why the Chargers will lose on Sunday

The Jets will win on Sunday. I say this not because I have piercing football insights, or because TR and I already ponied up $300 for the potential Jets/Ravens AFC Championship game, or because I have some secret inside information from Norv Turner's wetnurse. The Chargers simply cannot win when they have players making videos like this:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Open Letter to a Gym Owner

(The following was originally written 11/18/1998. In a bizarre turn of events, it became relevant again in G:TBLand yesterday. The objection of its original creator to the posting of this content is noted.)

"We shall overcome.” – Joan Baez

Amidst the topsy turvy world of fashion (one in which, I might add, I ride the crest of every wave), trends come and go as quickly as big Gheorghe heads to and fro the disabled list. One trend, unfortunately, has risen from a blip on our fashion radar screen to a permanent blemish in clothing stores. Call them stretch pants, spandex, lycra, whatever you wish, but remember their potential for devestation.

Lycraholism, defined in Webster’s as the physical and mental addiction to stretch pants, received some notoriety in the early 1980’s, after Olivia Newton-John’s avant garde video “Let’s Get Physical” began to shed light on the use and abuse of tight-fitting athletic gear. However, athletic clothing manufacturers have successfully squelched all recent medical research regarding the phenomenon, as they heartlessly bilk the consuming public and hook them on lycra.

Risking life and limb, I, ace investigative reporter Slim Tuffjam, am passing along an open letter to the fitness industry in an effort to curtail the widespread abuse of lycra. I strongly encourage all who read this to copy my letter and mail it to the manager of your local health club, should that club encourage lycraholism in any form. Congressional measures are currently pending to offically classify health clubs as “Lycraholism-Safe” facilities, in much the same way cans of tuna are deemed as not hazardous to dolphins.

Dear Sir/Madam:

As a contented recipient of the services provided by your fitness facilities, it is with a great deal of dismay that I write this letter. The purpose of my correspondence is to notify you that I will accept the upcoming termination of my membership and look to join a different health club in the area. Having been a member of the club for less than one year, I am well aware that my departure will not cause great emotional distress upon employees or evoke tears from fellow fitness-conscious members.

I would like to point out that my decision to seek another fitness facility has nothing to do with the facility itself or the friendly staff that has gone out of their way to provide me with every possible amenity. Living a short drive away from the gym, I have found it extremely convenient to stop by after work and on weekends to get a good workout. However, any physical satisfaction that I have obtained through working out has been vastly overshadowed by the mental anguish inflicted upon me by the morally reprehensible actions of several people who also work out there.

To ease any fears that might be entering you train of thought, I have not been robbed, beaten up, or harassed, nor have I been the victim of any other type of physical wrongdoing at the hands of these hooligans. Stated bluntly, my complaint is that for as long as I have been attending the gym, I have been an unwilling eyewitness to the quasi-exhibitionist tendencies of guys who see nothing wrong with wearing spandex shorts so tight that I end up knowing far more than I ever should about the composition of their genitalia. When I fail to give 100% attention to the task of staring at the floor, I invariably find myself with a grade-A crotch shot of someone’s unit. The effects are immediate and horrific. My stomach becomes queasy. Waves of nausea cause my body to shudder uncontrollably. Cold sweat pours out all over my body as if a faucet was turned on. An immediate urge arises within me to pummel this person with the nearest blunt metal object, which only slowly subsides as I force myself to reminisce upon unconstrictive clothing trends I can fondly remember from my youth.

I now ask myself (and you also): Are these gentlemen stoked that I have a first-row view of their privates? Are they homosexuals? Am I a homophobe? Am I the one who is out-of-touch by not wearing spandex? Should I slip a dollar in their shorts? Far be it from me to proclaim myself Sheriff of the Fashion Police, but I think I have more than a vague idea of what is appropriate attire in a health club. In my book, any item of clothing that gives a clear, silhouetted view of one’s penis gets a thumb down. To expound matters, it is also common for these characters to tuck in their tee shirts while wearing spandex. What do you say to someone who willfully goes the extra step to ensure an unobstructed shot of their goods? “Nice piece, I can see why you show it off.” Or maybe something like: “Wow! Will weightlifting do that to me?”

At this juncture, I hope you get a feel for the mental and physical rigors I endure every time I head to the gym. I pray to Saint Mary before I leave my apartment each day, begging her to stop this senseless display of meat. But I’m not Catholic, so she ignores me. I have thought of buying blinders to obstruct my view, but they are just not practical for working out. I must do something though to stop my recurring nightmares. In this dream, I’m working out peacefully and alone in the weight room, but when I look in the mirror, I see I’m wearing spandex with my tee shirt tucked in. I immediately run in the bathroom to rip them off, but there is another pair underneath! And then another, and then another… My fruitless efforts to change clothes repeat themselves until my own screams of horror awake me. I lay awake in a frenzied delirium many a night, my heart beating like I’ve been a week-long coke binge, fleeting visions of a dream gone awry gallivanting through my head. I simply lie there, in a puddle of my own sweat, wanting to run out of my bedroom as quickly as possible, away from civilization as I know it, to a secluded spot in a desolate forest where I can lay quietly in a fetal position, wipe tears from my cheeks, and softly call out to the wind: “Mommy.”

I now find it difficult to accomplish the everyday tasks I’ve been accustomed to handling. I loll around on the job. My commute to work is spent in a dazed stupor as I salvage my little strength to keep myself from falling asleep on the subway, lest I scream out in front of fifty strangers in a dream-induced rage: “Be gone, demon stretch pants!” If I do not leave your facilities soon, I fear you will read about me hanging from a rafter somewhere, my stiff body suspended from a noose.

In closing, I realize I would be a liar by saying that I am also offended by women in spandex. I guess I am simply a slightly homophobic man who seeks a fitness facility that eschews genital displays. If I wished to endeavor in these types of voyeuristic activities, I would have joined a Turkish spa. I welcome any feedback you might have as to how a facility such as yours could alter this traumatizing state of affairs.

Thank you.


Slim Tuffjam