Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I had no idea this existed

It is awesome and horrific all at once. Enjoy.

P.S. I love that we already had a "Bee Gees" label

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Believe the Hype

Back in the halcyon days of G:TB, or at least the days when we gave a shit about college football (as a collective - I know that many of you still do), Mark and I used to make a pretty serious effort to preview the SEC Championship when our teams were involved.

That happened in both 2008 and 2009, and though I'm not one to brag, I think our work speaks for itself. In 2008, as a matter of fact, no less a sporting expert than the late, lamented Jerry said this about our prognosticating prowess:

Florida and Alabama met again for the SEC title last season, two programs in decidedly different places than they were in the late aughts. And they meet again next Saturday, champions of their respective divisions, to decide who holds the belt as the winner of the country's best conference. (Get out of here with that Big Ten nonsense. Two teams worth a shit and Wisconsin, who might have a puncher's chance to win the SEC East.)

That's Leeburg's own
Jonathan Allen
Neither Mark nor I have the time or inclination to repeat our earlier efforts. We're both still a little worn out from the exertion, truth be told. And if we're telling the truth, I haven't followed the Tide nearly as closely this year as I have in years past, a combination of apathy, coaching soccer, and Alabama's entertainment-sapping dominance draining my reservoir of attention. I'm a pretty lousy fan. Alabama doesn't need me, though. They're going to win, and win handily. Let's call it 34-10. Local kid Jonathan Allen's gonna score a defensive touchdown. And Jalen Hurts is only a damn freshman. That doesn't seem very sporting.

In the spirit of nostalgia, and of hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again, I asked Mark for his prediction. Reached on a barstool during the Florida/Florida State game, he offered this, "I reserve the right to change it if Florida continues to suffer a plague of injuries. As of now I'll say 40-13."

Careful observers will note that both of us predicted the same digits. So if there's a way to bet on a score that contains a 0, 1, 3, and 4, I'd advise you to get on it. The past suggests it'll be worth your investment.

Each of the previous three times the Gators and Tide met in the SEC Championship, the winner went on to close out the season as National Champions. Odds are good that Alabama will make it four straight - they're basically a professional organization at this point. Barring a gymnastics meet, or a dance competition, or a really good soccer game on television, I might even watch it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, Alternatively Titled: Ain't No Such Thing As Halfway Cooks

Happy Tgives! Are you stressed out because you have to make a side dish and have no idea where to start? Don't worry, Prodigy from Mobb Deep has you covered! He learned a bunch of cool recipes while in prison, so many that he wrote a cookbook called Commissary Kitchen. Here's how to make a dish using only stuff found at your corner bodega:

Despite Prodigy's assertions to the contrary, all that mayo and salt doesn't look particularly healthy. But who cares, it's Thanksgiving! Indulge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New (Old) Prince. Same Old Awkward

Legend has it that Prince left behind hundreds of unfinished tracks upon his far too early passing a few months ago. Hopefully, that means we can expect scenes like this one to be repeated.

Somehow, ABC News got the hookup to drop the world premiere of 'Moonbeam Levels' recorded originally during the 1999 sessions, but never released. Enjoy it, but dig if you will the reactions of the live Prince fans who had the pleasure and/or torture of listening to it while being filmed.

It's probably safe to ignore the last 18+ minutes of this. But if it's not, maybe let me know.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wisdom of the Crowd

Last night at the Second Annual Loudoun Soccer Ball (Soccer Ball, get it?), abetted by copious amounts of alcohol, I spent way too much money on the auction item described in the video below:

Now, to figure out what to do with it. I could have Rog and Davo fete my daughter's soccer team. Or they could record a G:TB theme. Maybe I go selfish, and have them tout me as a generous and remarkable human being. Or do a shoutout to TR's friend who hates them.

I've got options. What Would GTB Do?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Laughed (Because I Was Confused)

Forgive me for dredging up something already mentioned in a previous Comments thread, but a day later, I remain completely confused. Here's the scene:

I'm waiting in line to board my plane from Minneapolis home to Dulles, and I hear a garrulous voice from behind me chatting up another line-dweller. The voice, a young man's, has a distinctly New England accent. And because it was loud, I knew that the voice belonged to a fellow who was heading to Rhode Island and claimed to have had five beers in the hour before boarding.

None of this is particularly remarkable. Obnoxious, maybe, but we've all heard that guy in airports before.

As we board the plane, Drunky O'Sullivan's voice stays behind me, and stays loud. At this point, I haven't looked back to catch a visual, because the last thing I want to do is catch his attention and get sucked into his conversational vortex. I find my seat, turn to place my carry-on under my seat, and finally get a view of our guy.

He's exactly what I thought he was. Twenty-something white kid, dark hair just below his collar and underneath a Boston Bruins cap. Zip-up hoodie over a flannel shirt. Fashionable jeans.

And shoes that looked an awful lot like these:

Slightly lower heel, maybe, and thicker straps, but definitely open-toed to show off the dazzling red paint job on his carefully pedicured toes.

I took a picture, because even I didn't believe it. The picture is terrible (my knee looks pretty nice), but it's here anyway. Zoom in:

I'm as baffled right now as I was when I noticed this. And to his credit, my loud, drunk friend never batted an eye, called attention to his feet, or acted like anything was out of the ordinary.

If this is what Trump's America has in store for us, prepare to spend the next four years questioning everything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Laughed

This is the first in a series of recurring posts that I (and most of us, honestly) need in order to keep our sanity in the face of an avalanche of evidence that our new President knows fuck all about what he's doing and/or really is a white nationalist racist ignoramus fuckstick. 

Today, I laughed, when my man Teejay joined in with a popular Twitter meme. People are asking 'What Does It Look Like I Do For a Living?', initially to make a point about how looks can be deceiving, but now mostly so that they can enjoy a roast at their own expense, or that of others.

Here's what the Teej posted:

On it's own, there's a lot we could do with that. (And I encourage you to do so in the comments.) But out of nowhere, from somewhere in Illinois, a great American gave us this:

I laughed.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Between Two Tribe Fans

Let's be honest, friends. 2016, by so many measures, sucks. I think we're all glad that it's nearly over. But in every dark cloud, there's at least some silver lining. For me and Zman, that shine was spelled the same way, as the following conversation (edited for comprehension) details. I'm the one with the stylish italics:

Yo, Z, what's the best thing to come out of the last few weeks of 2016?

The best thing to come out of the last few weeks of 2016, and maybe all of 2016, and maybe even farther back than that, is A Tribe Called Quest's new album "We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service." It's their first album in 18 years and boy could I use it. As I said here, "Phife's death bums me out. We'll never get another ATCQ album." So this was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy week. We got another Tribe album and it's damn good!

yo microphone check one, two, what is this
Funny you should bring up Tribe, 'cause I was going to go with the start of the Tribe hoops season, which happens to be today. Tony Shaver's boys take on Bridgewater to kick off the 2016-17 campaign. The real action tips off on Monday, though, when Omar Prewitt returns home to the Bluegrass State to lead the Tribe against Louisville. W&M shocked N.C. State in last year's season-opener. I'm betting that the result is slightly different this time.

Speaking of slightly different, new season, new team. Who's your pick for Tribe MVP?

You aren't going to believe this but I think it's Donald Trump. This album is more overtly political than previous ones and it's definitely influenced by the themes of the 2016 campaign. Check out "We The People" for example.

That's some golden age conscious stuff right there. Chuck D and KRS-ONE have this on repeat. And man is it nice to hear that old Q-Tip snare and high-hat.

I don't know if Omar gets down with Q-Tip (guess: he does), but if we're talking about basketball MVPs, the 6'7" senior is clearly W&M's leading man. The 2015-16 first-team All-CAA selection averaged 17.8 points per game on 49.1% shooting last season, and ranks 13th in Tribe hoops history with 1,361 points.

Prewitt's going to have to carry a big leadership load this year, too, as one of only two seniors on the roster. W&M will miss graduated do-everything forward Terry Tarpey immensely. The 2015-16 CAA Defensive Player of the Year averaged double digit points, and led the team in rebounds, blocks, and steals. There's never been a player like him in W&M's long (if not necessarily distinguished) hoops history. He's irreplaceable as a source of energy and intensity.

And Sean Sheldon's size and improved offensive skill will be difficult for the Wrens to replicate in the post. They're going to need a couple of new dudes to step way up. 

But that's true for both Tribes, isn't it?

Phife's death obviously means the end of ATCQ as we know it, I don't think anyone can step up and fill his shoes. Jarobi actually spits a few verses on this album (for the first time ever) but he can't replace Phife. No one can. You can't have a Tribe album without him. And his last two verses are memorable. The penultimate is a duo with Kendrick Lamar called "Conrad Tokyo" and it's predictably excellent.

Phife waded into politics in his first recorded verse ("Mr. Dinkins won't you please be our mayor?") so it's fitting that he offered up one last round of social commentary. His last song, "The Donald," is bittersweet--his verse is entirely braggadocio, bookended by a respectful introduction from Busta Rhymes and a props-filled outro from Q-Tip. Tip and Phife were friends for something like 40 years and it feels like Tip constructed this song as an homage to his oldest friend. This is the last ATCQ song we'll ever hear for the first time and I think Q-Tip wanted it that way.

Jeez, it's getting dusty in here. On a lighter note, the samples on this album are pretty risky in spots. The Ooompa Loompa song from "Willy Wonka," I think some dialogue from "Young Frankenstein," and ... "Benny and the Jets"?!? Sure, Biz Markie covers this song but it doesn't seem to lend itself to a hot beat. Credit Q-Tip's genius as a producer to turn an ancient Elton John song into a modern banger. "Solid Wall of Sound" takes big risks and they pay off.

Did Tribe hoops take any risks this year that need to pay off big in order to get that ever-elusive NCAA bid?

this makes me happy
If you consider playing with five guards and no post defense a risk, I guess they did, or will. Shaver's teams can fill it up - that's never been an issue, and it won't be this year, with Prewitt, fellow senior Daniel Dixon, and juniors Greg Malinowski, Connor Burchfield, and David Cohn all ready, willing, and able to shoot the ball. Cohn averaged nearly 5 assists a game with 3:1 assist to turnover ratio last year. With another season under his belt, he'll be one of the best true point guards in the CAA. The 6'6" Malinowksi's versatility and athleticism will be a big key as Shaver seeks a consistent third option behind the two seniors.

So we've got the scoring covered. The rebounding and defense, well, that's a bit of a different story. 6'9" junior Jack Whitman will get most of the early minutes, but he's on the thin side, and he's never put up more than 2.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore sensation Hunter Seacat (!) is a big body (and only a sensation because of his name) who showed some flashes in limited action last year, but he'll have to take a big step up to help fill Sheldon's role. 6'10", 250-lb freshman Nathan Knight is raw, but he's big and physical, and if he can adapt to the college game, he'll make an impression.

Game remains the same, though, for the Tribe. When we shoot the ball well, we can beat anybody. When we go a little cold, we can lose ugly. Last year's 91-63 loss to Hofstra says hello.

So what's your takeaway? Does the new Tribe record herald a turning point, or is it just one bright point in an otherwise bleakening landscape? And how does ATCQ relate to a Tribe ball quest?

I really think it's a turning point. Tribe are heroes to a lot of younger MCs and I guarantee this album will be repeatedly listened to and dissected by oldheads and youngheads alike. I think it will inspire other rappers to couple out-of-left-field production with left-of-center lyrics leading to a renaissance of conscious political hiphop. I think we've had enough coke and codeine rhymes for now.

ATCQ was four guys who grew up together and used their friendship as a foundation to create some of the best hiphop ever. They had tremendous early success but internal strife led to music of lesser quality. With this album they've returned to greatness one last time. If Tribe hoops can mimic this within the microcosm of a basketball season they could win the CAA tourney and finally make the big dance. It would be a turning point for both Tribes, I guess.

One other potential turning point could be for Andre 3000 to build on his cameo verse on this record and join ATCQ as Questlove suggested. I can't fully wrap my head around that but I think it would work. Sort of like getting a transfer student who turns into a major contributor.

Kinda like David Cohn last year, then. 

As for the W&M Tribe, lots of observers like them to contend again in the CAA. Tony Shaver's teams have recorded 20 wins or more in three consecutive seasons. A fourth would be unprecedented (I think. Not gonna look it up.). They'll play a lot of 81-77 games this year, and a couple of 82-55 contests (both ways). The league's coaches and media folks picked W&M to finish third, which is a statement of respect for Shaver as much as anything else. There are a bunch of teams that have a shot this year, including defending champion UNCW, Hofstra, talented Towson, and much-improved College of Charleston. 

Me, I think third's a bit too high, but I'll tip the Tribe for a first-round bye. (Q-Tip can have that rhyme for free.)

But I'll go one better. The universe owes us some happy. And #1bid4wmtribe would make a lot of people happy - even folks with no affiliation to W&M. It's happening this year.

As the Tribe flies high like a dove.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Gheorghe Explains: Some Gheorghian Election Observations

I've been pondering the election results in a stunned state of surprise and sadness. To avoid feeling worse I forced my brain to take a Gheorghian approach to processing this kerfuffle. Here are some observations.

* If, during a discussion about women, a man tells you that he likes to "grab them by the pussy," you are disqualified from hosting Access Hollywood.
* Asserting that you grab women by the pussy has no impact on your ability to be president.
* When Obama ran as a candidate of hope and change, republicans mocked him:

* When Trump ran as a candidate of change, republicans voted for him.
* Voters picked the candidate from the conservative party because they wanted change.
* Voters thought Clinton was more qualified than Trump--which I interpret to mean that Clinton was believed to be more likely to make good decisions and Trump is more likely to make bad ones--but they wanted change and Clinton was viewed as likely to maintain the status quo; thus, potentially bad change from an unqualified candidate is better than no change at all.
* Voters chose Trump because he would "get things done" despite the fact that many of the things he wants to do appear to be impractical, impossible, immoral, illegal, or combinations thereof.
* Voters wanted a candidate who would help the little guy, so they voted for the billionaire who inherited great wealth and has a history of bending the rules to make money and engaging in sharp business practices to screw over his employees and contractors.
* I'm emboldened to say whatever the hell I want at work--if anyone takes offense I can just say I'm being presidential.
* Beer-bellied white guys over age 45 like to say to me "It's been a great couple of days, huh!" while using the adjacent urinal--I guess there's something about having their dicks in their hands that makes them feel like they can open up to me on their political views.
* How am I supposed to respond to one of the foregoing guys when they ask me if I think the Clinton Foundation is the entity "buying up all these stocks" so that they can dump them and crash the market the day Trump takes office?
* Telephone polls aren't helpful if voters don't answer the phone, or if they don't even have a phone.
* Put another way, market research is useless.
* I don't know how many people on Obamacare voted for Trump or didn't vote at all, but if you're on Obamacare and you didn't come out to vote for Hillary then don't complain to me about anything.
* We should all invest in gold leaf--I foresee some serious decorative alterations to the White House.
* I'm not as bummed out as I was in 2004, I guess I've gotten used to disappointment.

* Speaking of 2004 ... once again, our president is a swaggering privileged wealthy white dunce who can't pronounce straightforward words, invents new words, favors tax cuts for the wealthy and limited government, and has a regressive view of reproductive rights. This worked out great last time around!

* The 2004 and 2016 electoral maps look a lot alike. The ghost of Karl Rove lingers!

* I wonder if hipsters will abandon the shaved-on-the-sides-and-long-on-top haircut from post-WWI and adopt the long-on-the-sides-swoopy-on-top-and-parted-from-the-armpit look from Trump.
* Why don't we still make SDB jokes around here and will we ever do so again now that Bill Clinton is out of the spotlight forever?
* An overlooked first from this election: Melania Trump is the first First Lady to be photographed prone on a fur coat wearing nothing except for high heels and a briefcase handcuffed to her wrist.

* The candidate who bemoaned that the election was rigged before the votes were cast won the presidency despite the fact that he got fewer votes than his opponent.
* If you want to have more of an impact on presidential elections, simply move to Florida or Ohio and vote.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Presidential Cabinet, or Laff-A-Lympics team?

According to reports, our new President-Elect, Donald Trump (still not over this. wtf people) has been preparing a preliminary list of candidates for Cabinet positions. This list is, well, it's something all right. Look at this caucus of clowns:
  • Attorney General picks include: Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani
  • Newt Gingrich, John Bolton and Bob Corker - potential picks for Secretary of State
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is the only name listed under Chief of Staff, while Sessions is also the only one being considered for Director of Office of Management and Budget
  • Potential Secretary of Commerce picks include: Christie, Mike Huckabee
  • Ben Carson under consideration to be Secretary of Education
  • Christie also being weighed for Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Carson, Gingrich and Florida Gov. Rick Scott - potential picks for Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin - one of seven potential candidates to become Secretary of the Interior
Honestly, at this point, I'd rather enlist The Really Rottens to run the White House. In case you forgot this ragtag bunch, a team "composed of villainous characters that frequently cheated by either giving themselves an unfair advantage in a contest or sabotaging the other teams":
  • Mumbly
  • Dread Baron
  • Dinky Dalton
  • Dirty Dalton
  • Dastardly Dalton
  • Mr. Creepley
  • Mrs. Creepley
  • Junior Creepley
  • Orful Octopus
  • Great Fondoo
  • Magic Rabbit
  • Daisy Mayhem
  • Sooey
I'll let you decide in the comments which Rotten matches up with which potential Trump cabinet member.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Hair of the Dog that Bit Me, Lloyd

Moving right along, people.  This is your regularly scheduled dipshittery.

So I went to a work luncheon the other day, and one of the sponsors was a construction company.  Among other marketing tactics, the company appeals to prospective buyers through a lovable looking animal, presumably to soften the image of an industry not known for lovability.  (See Poltergiest or Lethal Weapon 3, among others.)  So they have a retriever named Linus who wears a construction hat and poses for photos.  Cute.  Harmless.

Except this was the picture they had on enormous display at the event.

What do you think of when you think of "Overlook"?  Does anyone else instantly think of the Overlook Hotel?

If you do, you know there isn't much lovable about it.  Family murders, elevators filled with blood, a hotel coming to grisly life and creating gory death.  I couldn't stop thinking that this was a terrible choice, especially written in what could pass for blood.  It's one backwards R from being intentional.

Just glad it wasn't Lot 237.

Just me???  Probably.  All work and no play makes Clarence a dull boy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day Open Thread (Alternatively Titled, It's the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Fine)

Intellectually, I feel pretty good this morning. Barring a cataclysmic, systematic, and unprecedented failure on the part of the American political polling establishment, the facts suggest that Hillary Clinton should be elected President, and this godforsaken shitshow of an election will come to its only sane conclusion.

Emotionally, I'm a goddamned trainwreck. Even as we at G:TB understood the animating forces behind the Trump phenomenon from early on, I never thought it'd get this far. And even if the short-fingered vulgarian loses badly, we have a reckoning coming as a nation.

If he wins? I'm honestly not prepared to think about that.

So come in to the comments below and vent or cheer, depending on the news of the day. On the bright side, we might know pretty early on whether we need to drink heavily. If HRC wins Florida, it's all over. If that state turns out to be a clusterfuck (which would never happen, so why worry?), it'll be a long night.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Drunk Music Lessons

Friday night, my wife and I met some friends at a local brewpub to have a couple of week-ending pops and listen to a neighbor play old-time rock and roll. (For what it's worth, Loudoun County, Virginia is a beer lover's paradise right now - I can walk to no fewer than six brewpubs making their own stuff, and there are another thirteen within easy driving distance.)

We had to leave to pick up our youngest at gymnastics, but she hadn't eaten anything, so we headed back into town to grab some killer street tacos and another beer. It was a beautiful night, and our town has a festive First Friday scene each month, so we finished our evening getting dessert and a manhattan at a restaurant bar. Daddy was feeling good.

When we arrived back at the house, the kidlet wanted to talk about music, so I obliged. She wanted me to hear Panic! At the Disco's cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, which is pretty good. But she needed to hear the original, and she definitely needed to hear Freddy Mercury's voice.

After that lesson, we spent a good hour wandering around YouTube so I could share some of the favorites of my youth. I focused on progressive/alternative stuff, the foundation of my high school catalog, but somehow I figured she needed to hear some early Springsteen, too. I'm working on the next lesson now, so I'll try to focus. Feeling pretty good about my Dadding, though, notwithstanding the fact that I was drunkenly hanging out with my kid.

In no particular order, here's the show:

Friday, November 04, 2016


According to numerous sources on the interweb, Dave Chappelle will be hosting Saturday Night Live on November 12 with musical guest A Tribe Called Quest. Whoa. In celebration of that, enjoy:

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Joy...and Pain

Sports are awesome. And they suck.