Friday, September 28, 2018

Here's to Badass Women

Since there appears to be overwhelming evidence that a significant portion of America's ruling elite hates and fears strong women, we're going to dedicate some space here to highlighting badass ladies. Come November, a million righteously pissed off women are going to begin the slow process of leading us out of this unfathomable darkness. I can't possibly ever understand the depths of their anger, but I can do better to identify its sources and try to be part of the solution. For a long time earlier in my life, I'm well aware that I was part of the problem.

On September 17, Denise Mueller-Korenek rode a bicycle nearly 184 miles per hour, setting a world record and becoming the fastest human cyclist of any sex.

Here's how she prepared for her record-shattering ride:

The driver that piloted the car that gave Mueller-Korenek the draft that enabled her to set the record was Shea Holbrook, also a woman. Badassery times two.

And for posterity's sake, let me say that I believe Dr. Blasey Ford, and I eagerly look forward to Justice Kavanaugh's (Justice, because he's going to get confirmed despite a deeply partisan and flawed process, despite the fact that he's obviously not temperamentally suited to sit on the Court, and despite the fact that he's quite likely perjured himself multiple times.) impeachment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Gheorghe's Six-Pack: Social Distortion

Nothing like a little mid-week six-pack. Nothing like a little mid-week punk rock show.

I'm breaking up the mundane workweek with a trip to the Norva tonight to see one of my all-time punk acts, Social Distortion. I credit Rob for this.

You see, once upon a time, he parlayed our Williamsburg Summer of '90 40-oz. lethargy into something worthy. Amid the dreck of that era of MTV, he identified "Ball and Chain" as potential keeper material, so after a quick jaunt to the Patrick Henry Mall, we played their S/T release. Over and over. Loudly. The first song is still one of my favorites.

In the interest of spreading the love of good music, we will throw out six suggested songs by certain bands you may or may not know much about. Not much of a time commitment, just a little something to get the flavor and get you going.

Gheorghe's Six-Pack: Social Distortion

Where: Los Angeles, CA
When: 1978–present
Who: Mike Ness, Jonny Wickersham, Brent Harding, David Hidalgo Jr., David Kalish... Ness's HS buddy and lead guitarist Dennis Danell died along the way, which was a big loss, but they still rock

For this edition of the Six-Pack, I am going a little away from the most obvious choices.  Those would be the aforementioned "Ball and Chain," "Mommy's Little Monster," "I Was Wrong," "Story of My Life," "Sick Boys," or the cover of "Ring of Fire."  All are outstanding and where beginners should start.  But let's dig into the second six-pack...

Their live stuff is way way NSFW, just so's you know.


"Prison Bound [Live]," Prison Bound, 1988 (from Live at the Roxy, 1998)

"So Far Away," Social Distortion, 1990

"Sometimes I Do," Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, 1992

"Untitled," White Light White Heat White Trash, 1996

"Under My Thumb," White Light White Heat White Trash, 1996

"Reach for the Sky,"  Sex, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll, 2004

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

America, Fuck Yeah

There I was on Sunday night, minding my own business, getting ready to watch the Seattle Sounders take on the L.A. Galaxy in an MLS match with playoff implications. I was dicking around online, which is how I spend too many of my evenings, not really paying attention to the pregame festivities.

I heard a young voice start to sing the Star Spangled Banner, thought it was a cute little stunt by the Galaxy. Hot damn, but it was more than that. Take a listen to 7 year-old Malea Emma's rendition of our national anthem, and pay attention at the 1:15 mark.

I'm prone to hyperbole, it's been said. But it's no exaggeration for me to say that performance was among the top two or three versions of that song I've ever heard. Whitney Houston's Super Bowl effort sits atop the leaderboard, and Jimi's guitar at Woodstock probably the most memorable, but Malea Emma killed that notoriously challenging tune.

Even Zlatan loved it, and that dude's not even American.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Checking the Boxes

G:TB fave Rhett Miller released a new single this week. Its lyrics recall, at least in part, a certain Gheorghie birthday boy. And we're in need of some filler.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Friday, September 21, 2018

zBouillabaise Returns

I have a few random items floating around in my head that seem post-worthy but aren't substantial enough to warrant my typical overly-long treatment, so I'm doing another zbouillabaise post.

1. "Station Wagon" by Hector's Pets has been stuck in my head since I heard it on WFMU this weekend. I bought their lone album, "Pet-O-Feelia"--they're essentially a Ramones tribute band with a great fondness for doo-wop. The result is a lot of lo-fi garage rock with heavy guitar riffs and pulsating background vocals. It's fun.

2. Speaking of station wagons, there's some weird arbitrage going on at various Jaguar dealers. The XF Sportbrake is a 380 horsepower rocket sled masquerading as a station wagon. The MSRP starts at $71,000 and can balloon over $80,000 depending on how you option it up. There are a number of XF Sportbrakes available for at or under $60,000, including one for $53,000 in Houston and one for $58,000 in White Plains. I contacted the White Plains dealer about this one and two other Sportbrakes they had back in July. They still have two of the three on the lot. I'm not saying you should buy a Jaguar, but if you're like me and you like longroofs (looking at you Squeaky) and you're in the market for a new one, you can get a supercharged V6 Jaguar for the price of a turbocharged I4 Volvo V90. If not less--there is only one Caesium Blue XF Sportbrake for sale new in America right now (it's in Atlanta) and when I emailed the dealer for a price quote they responded within 4 minutes, then followed up 15 minutes later to remind me that the keys are out waiting for me to take a test drive. Simply put, no one wants these cars so you can find yourself some extremely good values and you might be able to gouge the dealers down even further. What this really means is that in two years the market for CPO Sportbrakes will be soft as hell. And who wouldn't want to get a good deal on this?

If only they made them in British Racing Green ...

3. Unrelated to station wagons, and perhaps the polar opposite of Hector's Pets, I've also been listing to Jungle's new album "For Ever." Unlike Hector's Pets' DIY sound, "For Ever" appears to have been Zaratsu polished to impossible smoothness. If I were a cynic I would say that the whole album is prefabricated for commercials advertising luxury goods and the closing credits of prestige TV. But I'm not so instead I'll say it sounds like a cross between electronica and Yacht Rock with some Lovage thrown in for good measure.

Maybe some Gnarls Barkley too.

4. You know those "Little Trees" air fresheners that you hang from the rear view mirror so your car don't smell? The company that makes those trees sued Bob Ross's estate for trademark infringement because they sell "Happy Trees" and "Happy Little Trees" air fresheners that allegedly look confusingly similar to the "Little Trees" air fresheners. I love Bob Ross as much as the next guy (well maybe not as much as Teedge) and I want to take his side but this is pretty egregious.

5. My beloved Buffalo Bills are on pace to score 184 points and to give up 624 points. That's a -440 point differential. Only seven teams have scored less than 184 points in 16 games. Only two teams have ever allowed more than 500 points (the 2008 Lions with 517 and the 1981 Colts with 533). So the Bills might be historically bad on both sides of the ball, and they're currently on pace to be the worst defense ever by 91 points. Since the merger, no team has had a point differential worse than -287 (the 1976 Buccaneers). A -440 point differential would be unfathomably bad. But we might have to fathom it--here's the rest of Buffalo's schedule: @MIN, @GB, TEN, @HOU, @IND, NE, CHI, @NYJ, BYE, JAX, @MIA, NYJ, DET, @NE, MIA. Not a lot of gimmes on that slate.

6. What part of the Constitutiom says that the President can’t appoint a Supreme Court Justice during an election year, but he or she can make such an appointment while being an unindicted co-conspirator for a federal crime?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Winning Football in D.C.!

The Washington Valor won Arena Bowl XXXI in July, shrugging off a 2-10 regular season to sweep through the Arena Football League's (AFL) everyone-in-the-pool playoffs to bring D.C. its first men's professional football title since 1983. (The D.C. Divas, as we all know, have won three titles in two different distaff leagues since 2006.)

Now, the National Capital region can lay claim to another football champion. Not Dan Snyder's boys, obviously. Few things give me more pleasure than watching that chump's plaything circle the drain, and even fewer than that as much glee as the dismal attendance at the Burgundy and Gold's home opener. (Sorry, Whit. Bygones.)

No, a different squad altogether captured a national title in D.C.'s honor this week. The Washington Generals, pride of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League (DCGFFL), went undefeated in six games across three days, defeating the San Diego Toros, 29-13, to win Gay Bowl XVIII.

The National Gay Football League's flagship event (younger, dumber, less woke me would've had a hard time resisting a terrible, offensive pun there), this year's Gay Bowl brought together 57 teams from 22 cities in the Denver area. The Generals made their namesake hoops squad proud, though the Harlem Globetrotters were nowhere to be found.

And in an era where the National Football League is searching for a bit of positive press, good on the Denver Broncos for coming out in support of the Gay Bowl, backing the event with the team's community improvement staff, as well as financially. Boy, will the fuckwits that hate the NFL for kneeling black people really lose their shit when they find out the gays are involved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I Really Enjoy This

I mean come on.  So much to like.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Look at this man

His team is 2-0.
He's thrown for 819 in those two games, completing 78.7% of his passes, with 8 touchdowns and only 1 pick.
The rumor is he's even a Harvard graduate.
And this is how the MoFo came to the podium after yesterday's win.
This is fucking glorious.
We are all FitzMagic.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

We Need Meddling Kids, Or At Least a Kickstarter

News today coming round Roanoke way, deep in Rootsminer territory, of criminal activity so brazen, so bizarre that there's only one group of sleuths that can crack the case.

On Monday night, a group of obviously knowledgeable and motivated thieves snuck onto the property of Firefly Hill Vineyards and harvested nearly 2 1/2 tons of grapes growing on vines over 3 1/2 acres. Zoinks.

To be serious for a moment, if it weren't such an amazingly shitty thing to do to hard-working vintners who've invested their lives in their business, this would be a remarkable caper. The harvesting process usually takes several days - the group of thieves accomplished it between dusk and dawn and escaped with their loot.

According to co-owner Allison Dunkenberger, the stolen grapes were worth $20 - $25,000, and the company's insurance will not cover the loss, nor the loss of income from the wine that was to be made from them. Her husband David minced precisely none of his words in a statement the vineyard released, saying "To the pieces of cowardly, human scum that came in the night and stole the grapes from my vines. I want to thank you for proving our society has hit rock bottom. May you die a slow and agonizingly painful death so that when you are writhing in pain someone will be kind enough to offer you a drink of wine so you know for what you suffer.”

The Dunkenbergers have been in business since 2007, and it's a family affair. We'll keep our eyes out for the grapes, but even more importantly, we'll be looking for their wine. It's a small gesture, undoubtedly.

People suck sometimes, man.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Good Florence

Florence Welch has a voice like a force of nature. And we believe in superstition and futile gestures. So here's 'Hunger' from Florence and the Machine's new record, 'High as Hope'.

The band is coming to The Anthem in D.C. on October 5. May her impending presence bring calm weather to the mid-Atlantic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Never Forgetting Means Remembering

TR's comment from the last post stirred a little something.   There are many fine tributes on social media today, as there are every year -- some more cursory, some more thoughtful and thought-provoking.  I guess after a number years of tearful remembrances, it's been more of a quiet, quick reflection on this day for me.  The human brain doing what it does; it's more comfortable and natural  to not think about the horribleness I hope to never watch again.

But to "Never Forget" means to remember, and that's what we should do every year.

Lud, far right with the babyface
Not the unfathomably evil deeds and the terror we all felt, but the spirit of those we lost. For us older gheorghies that's fratres Mark Ludvigsen and Mike Edwards. As you've read here before.

I will always remember Lud as the guy who positively pestered me to play rugby (and join a certain fraternity). His love of the game was the most compelling reason for me to get involved, and doing so changed my college experience irrevocably for the better. Without question.  I'm grateful.

Scoop, second from left getting cupped

Speaking of which, for Edwards, I will remember listening to the Dead and taking heat alongside him from most of the guys in the house who'd much rather hear AC/DC and the like... but then him rallying a fairly large group of the dudes to go to Hampton Coliseum for the now-legendary "Formerly the Warlocks" shows.  That was a win.  And I was happy to be a part of it.

Little thoughts to stoke the embers of their memories.  I'll expect the same from you clowns when I'm gone.

TR's comment is worth re-airing
Today is a Tuesday, just like 9/11/01. But it’s not a crystal blue sky like that day. I worked downtown from ‘97 to early ‘03, then happily moved to midtown. Fate brought me a new job downtown. Will be my first 9/11 in the area since ‘02. Not too psyched to be here, staring out my window at my old work bldg, the one I evacuated that day.

Not sure anybody under 30 around these parts really gets it, and there’s a lot of them here b/c the Financial District is morphing into more of a residential neighborhood. Newspapers make the anniversary less of a big deal every year. Hoping to bury myself in work all day.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Random Post

Happy Sunday everrrybody! Lots to be excited about and namely Jags/Giants. Jags coming in with unparalleled expectations for this largely suffering franchise. I'm going to go ahead and keep mine low if you don't mind.

It's been a nutty month or two here. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Lots of travel. Good travel. Work travel. Family travel combined with work travel. California - North Carolina - South Florida - California - Indiana - England. A couple of images here from the Indiana trip....South Bend. I think the most of you were up on the fact that I was heading there or there or had been there. If not, "now ya know".
A completely random run-in w/Coach Brey as we headed into the stadium. Very kind, gracious and must always be selling. As he walked away he chimed, "future point guard for us?"

It had been 10+ years since my last trip to South Bend and I think this was my 3rd or 4th ever. It was just about perfect, only the heat/humidity and especially long day made it less than, but not much. We walked so much of the campus he and I between cornhole & beers, non-alcoholic for him. I tried to keep things in check from a party standpoint - was on a pitch count if you will.

Completely non-chronological, early a.m....Decco wanted a haircut. Found an OOOLD School barbershop just off campus -Armondo's. The memorabilia was something to behold. As Armondo cut, I browsed. He noticed me paying attention to one of he and Ara when he offered, "I was the only one ever to cut Ara's hair....EVER!" I believed him.

Above is a pic of Buckles & Jean Pierre on the ground laughing at the fact that Declan dominated the big guy...knocking in aces while TW chucked up airbag after airbag. I guess you had to be there. Next slide please.
I thought it'd be cool but difficult to throw a pass to D with the golden dome in the background while catching a picture of it. Not hard at all if I'm being honest.

Just prior to kick-off.
The trip was simply phenomenal. I don't know what it is....surpassing middle age, learning of people my age or younger that become sick or worse, that my dad is pushing mid-80's and well, or the fact that I know Declan is appreciative b/c he tells me so, but throughout the day I'd get a little misty eyed as we roamed. And as they are w/the Jags, the expectations were low. For them to come out with the W - just awesome.

More to come later, including a pic of the brisket that I just took off the egg and placed wrapped in a cooler where it will sit until after the game. I'm glad I put it on last night - 11.5 hours on the button.  Fam and I heading to neighbor's, a Giants fan of all things. (Here's a pre-wrap pic...about 170 degrees) Keep it your pants guys!

Enjoy your football everybody!

Saturday, September 08, 2018

The Gheorghian Singularity

We've been at this for nearly 15* years, and I hope to keep it up for at least another 15. We've had no particular aim other than to entertain ourselves, and use our blog-level celebrity to meet the occasional famous person. We've more than succeeded by any measure we might've initially applied.

But even if we stay in the blog game for another three decades, we'll never exceed this moment. Friends, this is peak Gheorghe:

This is my thesis, man. This is my closing argument. I can stop blogging.

But I won't.

* Seriously, though, our 15th blogday is November 7. Start planning the mini-summit.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Better Know Your Minor League Mascot

Alabama, long reliably one of the more ass-backward states in our fair union, is having a bit of a moment. (I mean, we'll not reference educational scores, teacher pay, per-capita income - just go with the bit, man.) The Crimson Tide reign supreme as the undisputed apex predator in the jungle of semi-professional American football. Semi, in this case meaning that the coaches and administrators are professional, at least. And the state did manage to send Doug Jones to the Senate, if only because the GOP nominated a literal crazy pedophile to oppose him.

This week, the Heart of Dixie added another tally to the good side of the ledger, minor league mascot category.

The Mobile BayBears of the Double-A Southern League are moving to Madison, AL for the 2020 season. Madison is a suburb of Huntsville, known as a technology center, and the place where the U.S. space program was born. (Lesser known, but not less importantly, as my home from 1978 to 1983.) In a contest to choose the name of the new team, the people of Northern Alabama chose a name that's crying out for the BKYMLM treatment.

Name: Rocket City Trash Pandas
League: Southern (AA)
Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels
Logo: TBD

Self-Absorbed East Coast Elitist Commentary:

The term 'trash panda' as a nickname for the common raccoon is a new invention, first finding life on Reddit in early 2014. Pretty meteoric rise for the fitting moniker for that craft scavenger. I love it on principle, as it's all kinds of whimsical and silly, and while raccoons can be found across the United States, they're identified with a certain strain of redneck usually found in the South.

I've got a bit of a quibble, though, about the nickname in this context. Huntsville is actually a pretty cosmopolitan city, at least by the standards of the deep South. It's got a burgeoning tech economy, a major Army base, the aforementioned space program, and a highly educated workforce. Trash Pandas feels a little like the town is trying too hard to convince its neighbors that it actually hasn't put on airs.

In the end, though, we'll allow it. Whimsy always wins. And given that the alternatives were Space Chimps, Moon Possums, ThunderSharks, and Comet Jockeys, Madison dodged a bullet.

Gheorgheness Quotient: 63/77

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Superior Beings

So I'm sitting around, browsing through old issues of Science magazine, minding my own business.

And it all suddenly makes sense.

"The ancestor of all placental mammals—the diverse lineage that includes almost all species of mammals living today, including humans—was a tiny, furry-tailed creature that evolved shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared, a new study suggests."

I've long suggested that smaller mammals (like, for instance, me) are more evolutionarily perfect. More coordinated, shorter distances for blood to be pumped, more efficient movements, able to fit into smaller spaces. Now I have definitive, irrefutable scientific proof.

You're welcome, fellow mammals.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Revisit, Reuse, Recycle

We've been doing this for nearly 15 years, generally without much introspection, which is probably for the best. But we've had enough posts that it's a reliable content generator to take a swing through our archives and revisit some of the things we said.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago in the everlasting Deuce thread (don't think too hard about it), I made what's likely the last trip I'll ever make to visit my Mom in Myrtle Beach this weekend. I referenced local breakfast joint Tar Baby's in my comment, sure that I'd written about it here before.

Only in passing, as part of a story about South Carolina's bugfuck politics. Or, as compared to our current national political climate, South Carolina's perfectly normal and sweet Jesus can we just go back to a time when that was considered bugfuck politics. For posterity's sake, here's a picture of the venerable pancake house's signage.

I saw another sign that drew a double-take on my trip. Still causing a few mirthful shakes of the head.

Ivory's Accessible Transport Service does important work in the Castle Hayne, NC area (it's near Wilmington), making sure people can get to doctor's appointments and such. What Ivory's lacks is a graphic design partner that has an editor. To wit:

God bless you, rural coastal Carolinas. I'm not all that sad I won't see much of you any more, but I will miss your signs. Some of them.

When we last checked in on Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min, the South Korean was staring down the barrel of a mandatory 21-month military commitment, required of all males in his country prior to their 28th birthday. The Asian Games in Jakarta represented his last opportunity after his national side failed (against extremely long odds) to win the World Cup.

South Korea advanced to the finals of the tournament against Japan. After 90 scoreless minutes, Son played a part in two extra-time tallies before Japan scored a late goal to make the final score 2-1. The winning team all received an exemption from their military service obligation. It wasn't exactly the final scene of Victory, but it was an escape of sorts for Kim and his teammates. He was pretty fired up.

We'll close out this remix with a nod to a couple of new sports franchises that should eventually get the Better Know Your Mascot treatment.

You already know about the Capital City Go Go, because we told you, but now they've got merch and a schedule. Don't make me tell you twice. See you at St. E's this winter.

You're likely less aware of a new East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) franchise based in St. John's, Newfoundland. The Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate is known as the Newfoundland Growlers, and their logo is one of the best I've seen in a dog's age:

If you've ever had the pleasure to spend time with a Newfie, you'll know how lovable and loyal those shaggy bastards are. The gear in their merch store is priced in Canadian dollars, which makes it a steal. Christmas is coming, my friends.

The 2018-19 ECHL schedule hasn't been released yet, but when it is, I'll let you know when the Growlers are slated to play the Norfolk Admirals. That's as good a reason for a mini-summit as any I can think of.

Let this post be a lesson to you if you're looking for filler. And judging from this week, you are. Just reach back into the GTB grab bag and pull out a few nuggets. It's good for the planet, and it's good for our postcount.