Thursday, February 27, 2014


It's Sex Week here at G:TB but that doesn't mean Rob stopped ordering people around. Unfortunately, despite yesterday being my three year anniversary it also doesn't mean I got any yesterday. My wife started a new job recently and is currently training in South Florida for the week (and numerous weeks to come). Besides often being left alone with my wild animal of a two year old. It also means I have to get my sexy feeling some other way than usual...


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Old People Are Sexy Too (and So Is Your Mom)

I'm very frustrated because I can't find an internet clip of my favorite sex scene in the history of cinema. It occurs right after the moment pictured above in Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet. Claudius, the usurper king is taking his "rouse," and chugging cups of Rhenish wine. Hamlet tells his buddy Horatio that this is a Danish tradition referred to as the "wassail," and it happens late at night, after much dancing and drumming. He also says that most Danes don't practice the tradition, but -- of course -- his murderous, incestuous, wife stealing uncles loves it.

Right after King Claudius finishes chugging the wine, he puts his arm around Queen Gertrude's waist, hurls her into the bedroom, throws her on the bed, and leaps on top of her . . . in full view of all his ministers (it's good to be the king). You have to watch carefully to see it, as it occurs in the background. If you want to see for yourself, you need to check out Act I Scene 4. This is the only scene from the film I couldn't find on the internet, so obviously I'm the only person who finds this detail awesomely fantastic. This is why.

Queen Gertrude is a bit old to be engaging in this sort of lascivious behavior. Even before Hamlet meets the ghost and learns that his mother has married a murderer, he is disturbed by her behavior. Specifically, her sexuality . . . her "wicked speed" and "dexterity" climbing into the "incestuous sheets" with Uncle Claudius. This is fun to point out in a high school English class, as  the kids get really, really uncomfortable when you mention the fact that their parents had to have sex in order to create them. We all agree that the best thing to do is never think about adults having sex, especially your own mother. 

Branagh won't let us avoid these thoughts, though, as they are integral to the play. He casts Queen Gertrude perfectly: she has to be someone that looks old, but was once hot.  Julie Christie fits the bill. 

Here she is in Hamlet:

And here she is in here prime:

After we watch the scene, and the students are properly appalled by two old people behaving like they are at a fraternity party, I end the lesson by telling them: "this is what's going to happen in your house after you go away to college."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GTB Sex Week: We All Scream For Ice Cream

I'll take two scoops, please.


Monday, February 24, 2014

G:TB Sex Week: Six Seconds

You may think that the G:TB editorial staff is wildly unqualified to talk in a mature and intelligent way about sex. If so, you're obviously a long-time and careful reader, and you're right. We're essentially a bunch of 12 year-olds. The only difference between us and most generally respectable people is that we admit it. You're all a bunch of pervs, deep down.

With that as preface, thus begins Sex Week at G:TB. We'll try (and fail) to keep it clean.

Database experts at the Spreadsheets App are taking mobile phone technology into your bedroom, and unleashing the power of data analytics and people's natural affinity for the gamification of all kinds of activities to understand Americans' sexual behavior.  More than 10,000 users from across the nation used the app to log the duration of their intercourse, and the Spreadsheets team compiled the results.

A couple of things leapt out at us after our scientific review of the results. The first: New Mexico, man, you folks are getting after it. Partners in the Land of Enchantment go for an average of 7:01 minutes (as the app doesn't count time spent on foreplay, the times represent intercourse only - my excuse, if I needed one, which I don't, and it's none of your business anyway, because my wife says I'm great, and she might even mean it, is that I prefer to spend a significant amount of time on the pregame), which is a full 1:23 longer than the second-place state, West Virginia. (Cousin banging, apparently, is a leisure sport.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Alaskans barely get started before they finish, wrapping things up in an extremely efficient 1:21 per hump. The bottom four states (Alaska, South Dakota, Vermont, and Montana) are all relatively cold-weather spots, which may explain the alacrity with which they do their business. Tough to keep the twigs, berries, and ladyparts exposed to the elements for too long when the temps are sub-zero.

Of much more parochial interest, the G:TB family is obviously interested in the relative standings of our home states. In this particular contest, none of us is covered in Jeremian (Ron, not Wheelhouse) glory. The G:TB staff hails from New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia, which rank a dismal 34th, 35th, and 37th. The Garden Staters have dubious bragging rights, lasting one second longer than Florida and six seconds more than those of us from the Old Dominion.

Fellow Virginians, we've got some work to do. Six seconds may not seem like a long time, but I think we owe it to our ladies to get on it. And get it on.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chili Cook-Off at Cracker Factory Today

The wife lost by a vote last year, and is out for revenge. The batch of chili she has made this year is absurd. It should win. But then again, we felt the same last year. All I know is it's about time to hop on the ol' FLAVORTOWN EXPRESS...

Triple D(eez nutz)
The chili recipe (from the day's winner):

Pre cook all:
2lbs ground beef…fat drained
1 lb chuck
1 package Andouille sausage cut up (easier to cut it cooked)
Grind up in food processor or chop:
2 bell red peppers
1 lg white onion
A handful of peppers: jalepeno, haberno, 1 thai, pablano etc
Add together meats and veggies with spices: (I have no idea how much of each. I think this is the order of most to least)
Chili powder
Red pepper flakes
Added in:
1 28oz crushed tomatoes
1 8oz tomato paste
1 16oz tomato sauce
Cooked more
Added in:
1 Porter beer
Cup of coffee
1 cup stock
¾ cup real maple syrup…Vermont fancy pants stuff
Cooked for a couple hours on stove top.
And now its in crockpot all day. On the stove top it didn’t cook the chuck enough. Would probably be a-ok tho to eat for dinner that night and just eat leftover reheated.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Earlier this week, Grantland's Jonah Keri (which is a bit of a limiting description for a young(er than me) journalist who's written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN, and GQ, among others), tweetposted a video from a Phillies/Expos game from September 1993.

The Phils were on their way to the National League East title, and led the second-place Expos by five games entering the contest. The visitors trailed, 3-0, entering the sixth inning, but touched up Montreal starter Dennis Martinez and a pair of relievers for 7 runs in the top of the frame. The home squad scratched across a run in the bottom of the inning, but entered the seventh down three.

The score was still 7-4 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when the first two Expo batters reached base. Manager Felipe Alou called on rookie Curtis Pride, a September callup, to bat for pitcher Chris Nabholz. Then this happened (go to 2:56 if the link doesn't take you directly there):

And that's only a very small part of the story. Pride, who was 95% deaf from birth (note in the video above that third-base coach Jerry Manuel has to tell him to doff his cap to acknowledge the crowd, which he couldn't hear), went on to bat .250 with 20 homers in 421 major league games. But before that, he was a member of the U.S. National U16 soccer team, and named one of the world's 15 best youth soccer players after the 1985 U16 World Championship.

He was also, as you may know, the point guard of the William and Mary Tribe from 1987-1990. Pride played 94 games for the Wrens, averaging 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game (good for 10th in the all-time W&M record books in the latter category) for some of the worst college basketball teams you'd ever want to see. But consider this: he earned a four-year NCAA Division I scholarship in his third-best sport.

Pride is now the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University, and two-time NEAC Coach of the Year. The Bison won a school-record 25 games in 2012, and went 11-3 in conference play last season.

Curtis Pride, we submit to you, is one of the sickest all-around athletes of all time. And we didn't even get to see him at his best, in his best sport(s).

Do better.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Champions League Redux

On this, the eve of the Champions League Round of 16, we welcome once again our European football correspondent, Fat Guy in a Speedo. He comes to us this time from somewhere marijuana is legal, the home team wears orange, and the women are beautiful. Whether that's Amsterdam or Colorado is anyone's guess.
Hello again, in light of all the Sochi excitement where we get to watch biathletes brave the balmy elements and shoot at circles reminiscent of food as well as the spectacle of lingerie-clad Russkies showing off their short and curlings on ice, we figured we'd get in on the action.

I am loath to provide a sporting alternative to this breathtaking stuff. Fret not, however, this one is just as homogenic in excitement (and caucasity) without the added distraction of beautiful women.  If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m talking about soccer, specifically the European Champions League, baby. After a long hiatus from qualifications, the (lack of) action for the final 16 teams kicks off this Tuesday and Wednesday.  Here’s a quick rundown of what you shouldn’t be looking for.

Today's matchups consist of Bayern Leverkusen vs. Paris St. Germain and Manchester City vs. Barcelona. We all know how Germany vs. France in anything turns out so we will focus our energies on the other game.  If you aren’t sick of Barcelona you haven’t been paying attention. Luckily, this is easily the best matchup of the final 16 and not many people would be surprised to see the large lads from Manchester kick these tiny tapas-eaters all the way back to the Iberian peninsula in ignominy. 

For the uninitiated, this is Manchester City, not former behemoths of glory, Manchester United, who play next week (and are shit).  One of the perks of European football is a billionaire oligarch can pick up your crap team (Man City), spend half a billion dollars in talent and presto, you suddenly have legions of fans basking in your reflected glory.  

One Asian plutocrat bought the Welsh team Cardiff City this summer and changed their colors of 125 years from blue to red (Asians love red apparently) and bruited the idea of changing their mascot from a Bluebird to a Tiger (think Dan Snyder). Needless to say, the people are revolting. 

If you are snowed in Tuesday crack open some Scrumpy and give City-Barca a shot, it can’t be worse than the last Superbowl.

Wednesday has AC Milan vs. Atletico Madrid and Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich. Sadly, the heyday of Italian football is long gone so unless you want to watch a team from a country that makes Russian racism/homophobia look like a love-in on the Ellen Show vs. the third best team in Spain I suggest the latter fixture.  Arsenal, the pride of North London, has a manager (Arsene Wenger) who was recently dubbed ‘a specialist in failure’ by rival coach Jose Mourinho of Chelsea (think Bobby Knight).

Reigning champions Bayern Munich will pay a visit that everyone expects to be one-sided in their favor. However, these same two teams were matched up last year and an even worse Arsenal side managed to tie the Übermensch over the two legs and lost on the away goals rule (don’t ask).

I intended to give a review of the four matchups next week as well but I imagine no one even read this far. Manchester United is playing a shit Greek team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they fucked up that gift draw as well as they’ve fucked up their entire season to date. They will NOT be playing in the Champs League next season. Just had to type that out for some personal therapy.

Oh well, if this isn’t your cup of tea, it’s back to Sochi and the crack analysis of Roker/Lauer braving the two-man luge.

Roker is the bottom but Matt takes it?  Well done boys, it’s good to see American innovation isn’t dead.

Monday, February 17, 2014



We're all Ice Dancers today. Especially Dave.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Get Your You On

"If you have a talent to do something, anybody, I don't care what you do for a living. You gotta give it to the world."

So says Bruce Zaccagnino, creator and proprietor of Northlandz, the world's largest model railroad. At 52,000 square feet and 8 miles of track, Northlandz is 42 years in the making. (It's also only 25 miles away from Dave's house, so if we do this right, we've got a unique opportunity for cross-platform content.)

I'm not much for model railroading, or really for anything that requires patience, attention to detail, and persistence. But I am a huge fan of people that find their purpose, the thing that makes them happiest, and pursue that despite what anyone else might think.

Photographer Matt Albanese has an obsession of his own, and a gift for finding telling stories visually. In the short film below (and the companion website), he visits Northlandz and takes a series of stunning photos of Zaccagnino's life's work.

In the film, Zaccagnino hopes that his work, "will be somewhat immortal for a time after I'm gone". We should all be so lucky.

And I assume social scientists of the future will come to G:TB for the wisdom of our time. Or at least PhD-level dipshittery.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Greatest Gift Ever?

The lady of the house outdid herself this year, delivering the gift below for today's combo Valentines Day/Gheorghe's Birthday celebration:

Resting on the counter...
Managed to hang it on the wall during yesterday's taxing snow day...
@baconbaking gives good gift...

Snow Beaten, World Beats

One of the few benefits of yesterday's 14" snowfall was the opportunity it afforded me to pop in my earbuds and catch up on All Songs Considered while shoveling snow for two hours. We've sung ASC's praises in the past, so I won't belabor that point, but if you like music of all kinds, it's a great place to hear it.

The NPR Music team was recently at globalFEST 2014 at Webster Hall in Manhattan. They feature a broad range of global sounds on this episode of ASC, including an Australian Bollywood group, Afro-Caribbean carnival music, Ukrainian folk-rock, American-Chinese banjo jams, and Congolese-Belgian hip hop (as seen below - the artist's name is Baloji).

The episode also features Jamaica's Brushy One String, a singer with the most minimalist of accompaniment. Check him out:


You can hear the entire globalFEST recap here. Cool way to spend a hour or so. 'Specially if you're snowbound.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fab Filler

If you have been watching any part of these Olympics, than you have by now likely seen my vote for "Breakout Star" of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. In fact, he was mentioned in this space just a few days ago. That's right, folks, Johnny Weir  has stolen the show at Sochi. and I am not the only one who feels this way:

"The Pee Wee Herman meets Sonny Crocket look, with just a hint of Bennett chainmail." 

But no, seriously folks, I want Weir and co-booth buddy Tara Lipinski to star in a Lifetime remake of "Bonnie & Clyde". [Terry Gannon can go away and forever relish his '83 national title]

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Calm Eyes. Full Heart. Not Gonna Play After 2014.

I come here not to hate Derek Jeter, but to praise him on this day of his retirement announcement. And show this picture that perfectly captures his intangible grace, calmness, and winningness. (The hate is reserved for the media-industrial complex that built a very good player into a flawless immortal with gilded loins, perfect manners and unblemished awesomeness.)

As a Red Sox fan, I always respected and feared Jeter. The game will miss him, though I can't say that I'll be upset when #2 isn't in the Yankee lineup.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This Week in Wrenball: Witness

I believe in superstition, but when it comes to the William & Mary Tribe, it hasn't gotten me very far. All the half-shading, maybe, sorta, could-they, would-they hasn't amounted to a hill of beans in terms of snapping W&M's NCAA Tournament hex. So, to hell with it, I'm throwing caution to the wind.

W&M is 15-8, 7-3 in CAA play, winners of five out of six. They have six games remaining in their conference schedule, with four of those games in the cozy confines of Kaplan Arena. Anything worse than 10-6 in the league must be considered a disappointment. The Tribe's eight road victories place the team in the top 10 in the nation in that category. They're winning games in places and ways unfamiliar to long-time Wren fans.

Take Saturday's game at Northeastern, for example. Before this season, W&M had never won at the Huskies' Mathews Arena, losing seven straight games in Boston. At halftime, Tony Shaver's squad led, 45-18, opening up a 33-point lead early in the second frame before coasting to an 82-70 win.

W&M teams just don't win that way on the road.

Or harken back to the first game of this six-game stretch, when the Tribe took on Drexel in the second game of a brutal, weather-impacted road trip coming off a terrible loss against a mediocre Hofstra squad. Team G:TB was in the house when Marcus Thornton pulled up for the buzzer-beating game-winner.

W&M teams don't win that game, either.

We've written a lot of words in this space about Thornton, mostly because he's the best player ever to wear W&M's green and gold. This really isn't arguable at this point. But since he made that shot against Drexel, he's seemed to be a different player, taking the leap from spectacular talent to a team-leading, get-on-my-back superstar hell-bent on winning.

In the this season-defining six-game stretch, Thornton's averaged 23.5 points and 3.3 assists per game (dropping a season-high five dimes twice). He's made 54.9% of his shots from the field, and 57.1% of his threes (he's 16th in the nation in made three-pointers). He's scored 25 or more points in four of the six games, boosting his season average to a CAA-best 20.0 per game, good for 28th in the NCAA.
After Thornton made the shot to beat Drexel, no less an expert than The Teej said that it felt like the win had a season-defining quality. To this point, you'd be hard-pressed to argue that assessment. While Thornton's too mild-mannered to admit it, his uncharacteristic display of emotion after that basket was meaningful, too. It signaled that he's ready to shoulder the alpha dog's burden.

We've written a lot about the need for a redass in green and gold. We had it wrong. We didn't need a redass; we just needed Marcus Thornton to make the leap.

In a league where all that matters is getting hot for three games in March, I'll take my chances with our guys.

Fuck you, Jobu.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fashion is So(chi) Dumb

The Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games were of course a spectacle, as all opening ceremonies are, complete with pomp, circumstance, some nostalgic love for Mother Russia...and some of the worst team outfits I've seen in awhile (who are we kidding , they're simply the worst team outfits since the last opening ceremonies). Anywhoo, we have a recurring bit to finish, so on to our vinners...

Team Germany - the German designer claims these are not at all a shot at homophobic host country Russia. Yep, gotcha, and Cinna didn't design Katniss' MockingJay dress to cause a stir (that reference was done specifically for zwoman).

Team America - these sweaters have been panned for weeks now, there ain't much else to say. I'm pretty sure Andy Williams doesn't even approve of these.

Team Bermuda - you just couldnt help yourself, could ya? Had to wear shorts. F U, Bermuda.

And finally, I could not leave without showing some love for my new favorite announcer (announcing duo) - Johnny Weir dressing like Paul Reubens in "Blow" is fab (that Lipinski stare is...something...):

Friday, February 07, 2014

All Growns Up

Today is the 321st birthday of the College of William and Mary, or the 300th Anniversary of the year when the College was old enough to drink. While the historians are a bit cloudy on the subject, it's generally agreed that the College was actually too busy studying to actually have a drink on its 21st birthday.

W&M is marking the occasion with a number of Charter Day celebrations, including the Alumni Medallion Ceremony, where newly installed FBI Director James Comey '82, LLD '08 will be one of three distinguished grads received the College's most prestigious alumni award.

And in keeping with tradition, the College will also celebrate its birthday with a concert. This year, the featured artist is...

Wait, that can't be.

Says here that Wiz Khalifa is headlining the Charter Day Concert at William and Mary Hall. That's among the least William and Mary things ever. This has to be a harbinger of good to come.

My sources tell me, though, that Wiz has been asked to change the lyrics of 'Work Hard Play Hard', as W&M students will be confused by the second part of the verse.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

My Wrist as a Metaphor for the Healthcare Delivery System

On December 21, 2013, I decided to get some extra exercise because I was attending a holiday party that evening. I figured I should burn some extra calories before eating 10 beers and 5 pounds of food. So I went to the local tennis center to attend their morning drop-in clinic which features some cardio-intensive drills.

During one such footwork drill I fell backwards (because I have terrible footwork) and put my right hand out to brace my fall.

As soon as I landed I knew I broke my wrist. I tried to hit a few more balls and it was impossible. The wrist was almost locked in place. I realized this could have serious long-term repercussions and that I needed immediate medical attention so I went home, showered, and was in front of a doctor in the ER within 90 minutes of the injury. Here's what happened next:

The doctor in the ER was very young. Older than Doogie Howser but probably not far removed from his 30th birthday. He ordered an x-ray and walked through it with me. He noted that my scaphoid bone was broken into two pieces, but when he poked me in that region of my hand I had no pain.

He concluded "I can't tell if this is an old break or a new one. If it's an old break they you just have a sprained wrist. You need to see a hand specialist." Within two hours of arriving at the ER I left with a hand splint, the name of a hand specialist, and no diagnosis.

Oh, and the flu--I left the hospital with a flu-like virus which reared its head a week later and lingered for 14 days.

I was able to see the hand specialist on December 24. He did not get a copy of the x-ray from the hospital nor did he take one himself. In fact he did not even have an x-ray apparatus in his office. This surprised me, but I figured it might be hard to get a license for devices that use radiation in an office building. He poked my hand in various places and said "You tore the muscle that connects your thumb to your palm as well as a bunch of ligaments in the back of your hand. Wear the splint, take Advil, and ice the wrist for 10 minutes every hour. If it doesn't get better in a couple of weeks come back." Then I paid $150 because he doesn't accept insurance (although they oddly made a copy of my insurance card).

After a couple of weeks the swelling went down but I still had pain and limited range of motion. So I called the hand specialist and got an appointment for the next week. I slogged through a massive snow storm (griping about Audi's shitty windshield wipers the whole way) and when I arrived the doctor said "This is bad! You need an MRI. I'll refer you to my buddy who is a wrist specialist." So he wrote me a prescription for an MRI and told me to call an imaging center to get it done, and my head almost exploded at the idea that my hand specialist doesn't know about wrists. And that he uses the word "buddy." Then he banged me for another $100 for the office visit.

I called the imaging center. Turns out I needed pre-approval from my insurance company. I called the insurance company and they said that the doctor has to call for approval. So I called the hand specialist's office and his receptionist said "Oh, right. We have your insurance information. We'll call them." Eventually I had an MRI appointment scheduled for the next week.

The MRI took about 30 minutes and they gave me a CD with the images, which I FedEx'ed to my hand specialist the next morning. I was told that the report would be ready the next day. But the doctor didn't get it the next day, so I called the MRI center and they said "He'll get it tomorrow." So the day after that I called the MRI center and they said that the report was ready. They said that I could pick it up in person or they could mail it to me. I asked that they mail it to me and called the hand specialist. No one answered the phone (and I called repeatedly) or returned my voicemail so I went to the imaging center to get the report.

The battleaxe of a woman at the imaging center refused to give me the report because it had only been two days. "The doctors typically prefer to see the report first so we usually don't give the report to the patient until 6 or 7 days after the exam." So I explained that I called ahead and was told that I could pick up the report. She replied "Who told you that?!" I said "I don't know, I didn't think I needed to get a name." She said "I don't care what they told you on the phone, you need to wait 6 to 7 days."

Much like Danny Duberstein I am good at two things but math isn't one of them.

Those of you who knew me when I was 18-25 know that in situations like this I am superhumanly adept at dismantling bad logic while demoralizing my victim. I can be mean, I can be an asshole, and I am better at outsmarting people on my feet while simultaneously being a mean asshole than anyone I know. It is not pretty to watch and I am not proud of this skill. But it came in handy sometimes.

A few sharp replies flew to the forefront of my brain: What's the point of having a phone if you don't care what people here say through it to your clients? Are you really telling me that I'm not allowed to review the diagnostic report from my radiologist for almost a week? You know I paid for it, right? You know the radiologist is my doctor, right? You know that disclosing confidential patient information to the patient is entirely permitted under HIPAA, right? Oh wait, you haven't read HIPAA, have you?

But now I'm older and calmer and simply too tired to fight. Instead I said "Look, I hurt my wrist about 6 weeks ago and I want to get it fixed. I left work early to get here before you close and it was a hideous pain in the neck with all the traffic. I just want to know what's wrong with my wrist."

She balled up her face as if I was holding her at gunpoint and making her eat dog shit. Then she asked for my name, date of birth, and printed out the report. I thanked her and as I turned to leave she yelled "I don't care what they told you on the phone, you normally need to wait 6 to 7 days!" It was a "Now go home and get your fucking shinebox" moment.

But I did not call her a mutt or pistol-whip her or tie her up and put her in the trunk of a Pontiac Grand Prix. Instead I walked off a few paces and read the report.

I broke two bones in my wrist. After six weeks and about two thousand dollars in medical costs, I learned that I have a broken wrist.

Pissed but relieved to know the real deal, I called the hand specialist the next day. Multiple times. It was busy, then no one answered, then no one returned my voicemail. At 3:00 the office closed (it was Friday) and I got the answering service.

At this point I was ripshit. I pulled my copy of Castle Connolly off the shelf and found a wrist surgery specialist 2.4 miles from my office. On Monday, in a torrential snow storm, I got an appointment, went over, showed him the MRI report, had an exam that included an x-ray right there in the office, and learned that my scaphoid fracture was indeed a new break. He even explained how you can tell and said that they guy in the ER should have known this. As a result my lunate bone is pointing 45 degrees the wrong way and the scaphoid is healing incorrectly.

So I need surgery. He sent me for a CT scan, the results of which are sitting in a giant envelope on my dining room table (preposterously, CT scan results are only available in hard copy). He also noted that the "hand specialist" the hospital sent me to is a COSMETIC hand specialist, not an orthopedic type.

Before I went for the CT scan the cosmetic clown called me back. He said "You have two broken bones but I'm not worried about them, they'll heal on their own. I'm more concerned with the ligament tear." Note that the MRI report says "Mild DISI but no definite ligamentous tear currently seen." He again mentioned his buddy the wrist specialist, this time by name. I told him that I went to see someone else who is an actual orthopedist specializing in hand, wrist, and arm injuries. He said "Ok great, give me his name and I'll send him the MRI report." I don't know if he did, or if he still has the CD with my wrist MRI pictures. I doubt it.

The point of this rant? My wrist is a metaphor for the healthcare delivery system--both are broken.

I went to the hospital and said "I have a broken wrist." It took six weeks, at least five doctors, and close to two thousand dollars to confirm that yes, I do indeed have a broken wrist. Which I knew the moment I broke it.

This is preposterous. I live in the most technologically advanced country in the history of our planet. I went to a hospital ranked #10 in NJ and #25 in the NY metro area by US News. I have health insurance. I make enough money to pay for these services even without health insurance. I'm well educated--I have two advanced degrees including a degree in public health!! I worked in orthopedic research which required me to take x-ray films and review CT results!! I know how to navigate the healthcare system, I understand what bones are and how they fit together, I know how to interpret radiographic results. So I understand what happened to my wrist and I understand whatever technical jargon the doctors are using, and I can afford to pay for treatment either with insurance or cash. I even own a copy of Castle Connolly's guide to top doctors. And I still got fucked.

How the hell did this happen?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Acutus, Immuniditiam, Stolidus

From nearly the moment Sochi was announced as the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the decision was criticized from all sides. The human rights community decried Russia's deplorable record on gay issues. Others pointed out the irony in the fact that Sochi is a summer resort, and climatically inappropriate to host a cold-weather Games. International diplomats offered stark criticism of Vladimir Putin's lengthy and ongoing violent repression of rebellions in any number of Russian states, not the least of which are within mere hours of Sochi. Add to that massive costs for development and transportation, incomplete and poorly built facilities (which are injuring high-profile athletes even in training), and substantial concerns for the security of participants and spectators, and the Sochi Games are off to a dismal start, even before they've officially begun.

With all that as backdrop, and from the safety and comfort of the G:TB World Headquarters in the U.S.A., we're still firmly on board as huge fans of the Olympic Games. We'll be hunkered down in front of our televisions for the better part of the next three weeks, and spending much of non-viewing time hoping to avoid spoilers. Like #lastman, only not limited to sycophantic loonbats.

There are lots of terrific stories, both in the U.S. delegation and others, and we encourage our readers to share their rooting interests in the comments below. People like White, Lolo Jones, Ashley Wagner, Alex Ovechkin, Ted Ligety, and Kelly Clark will get a lot of press coverage, and we'll get our once-every-four-years appreciation of lesser-known athletes like U.S. bobsledder Steve Holcomb, the defending gold medalist in the four-man, and cross-country stud Kikkan Randall.

We featured Randall in our 2010 Winter Olympics Preview, which was far, far better than this one. In 2014, we'll be pulling hard for her to become the first U.S. woman to win a cross-country medal.

Another of our favorites comes from far closer to home than Alaska's Randall. 20 year-old Ashley Caldwell was born in Ashburn, VA, home of the NFL's Washington REDACTED and Lost Rhino Brewing (and my barber shop). She was an accomplished gymnast as a young girl, competing for Apex Gymnastics, the same gym for which my youngest daughter competes. In 2006, Caldwell watched the Winter Games in Turin, and was transfixed by the ski aerials competition. Within three years, she was a world-class competitor in the event. She finished 10th in the 2010 Games, and heads to Sochi as a medal threat.

We'll be rooting hard for Caldwell, for obvious reasons (and because my nearly 10 year-old is as stubborn and lazy as any kid on the planet, and anything that motivates her to get off her ass is a good thing). But we'll be rooting for all the athletes. That's what we do, at least every four years.

Monday, February 03, 2014


Have to admit, I didn't pay much attention to the commercials last night and actually, the game got out of hand so quickly I even tuned it out for much of the second half to addictively scroll through Twitter. So rather than post a clip of a "good" commercial from last night's broadcast, let's just take Deadspin's lead and share with you, loyal GTB readers, this absolutely f*cking over-the-top ad from a Georgia ambulance chaser. This thing is amazing:

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Super Bowl Open Thread

We really needed a new post, especially with Clarence and Mayhugh already talking about tonight's big game in the comments of the post below. So here is your Super Bowl filler post - if someone has any real insight on the game, of course feel free to trump this here nonsense. Comments, predictions, recipes, horoscopes all welcome in the comments section.

I now turn this post over to the First Family of Springfield...

Via every site on Al Gore's interwebz