Sunday, December 21, 2008

College Football Hiring Is Unfair

If you follow college football much, you've probably observed hand-wringing about the number of black coaches. And this is fair. There are only (with the hiring of New Mexico's new coach) four out of 118 head coaches who are black in a sport where about half the players are black. (What I wonder is: where does the disparity start? How many black assistant coaches are there? If there aren't enough black coaches on that level, then there's where any changes would need to start, because it's no use trying to increase the number of head coaches if there just aren't qualified guys.)

Plus, if you look at the case of Auburn, there's clearly a problem. On the one hand, they could have hired Turner Gill, who took the historically terrible Buffalo program to a conference championship (by soundly beating the formerly unbeaten Ball State) and their FIRST EVER bowl game. On the other hand, they had Gene Chizik, who took the historically terrible Iowa State program, which had comparatively flourished under its previous coach, back to its regularly-scheduled terribleness, winning 5 games in two years, including ending this season on a 10-game losing streak. Aaaaaand they picked Chizik. (Hint: this was a stupid hire no matter who else was in the running. Of course, you'd expect a stupid hire from the athletic department who forced out Tommy Tuberville for having one mediocre season. Idiots.)

Just because Charles Barkley agrees with me doesn't mean I'm wrong.


This is not the only way in which college football hiring is, as indicated, unfair.

Mike Leach is still the coach at Texas Tech, despite having a really great season and putting himself out there for a whole bunch of jobs. It really seems like he wanted to leave, so why didn't anybody take him?

The answer: he's weird. (Google search "Mike Leach weird." You will come up with many relevant pages.)

Clearly, atheletic diretors look at his record, look at what he's done with a school with a lot of disadvantages (facilities, location, history, neighboring powerhouses), and despite all the good that says about him, once they interview him or get him on the phone, they're like " . . . Nah."

Example the second!

What kind of coach gets mentioned for vacancies? Picture this guy: he coaches under Jim Tressel, Bill Snyder during the good years at K-State, then becomes offensive coordinator for a team that wins the national championship. He then becomes the head coach at a major conference school, though one that has traditionally languished in mediocrity, but after a few years, takes it to a BCS bowl. Wouldn't the guy you pictured come up in every Coaching Carousel discussion?

What if you pictured him like this:
Seriously--nobody talks about Mark Mangino as highly sought-after. And when you think about it, why not? I contend that it's because, you know, He Big.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Many 5 Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight?

I saw a link on TexAgs to, and between when I clicked it and when it loaded I was thinking "Please be real! Please be real!"

And it was. And was hilarious.


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Who Would You Vote For?

It has come down to this.

Almost. Pretty sure it will, though.

At least since Texas Tech beat Texas, it's looked like there could be a three-way tie for the lead in the Big XII South. Now that Oklahoma has beaten Tech--and if the three of them all beat their opponents next week (which only seems reasonably iffy in Oklahoma's case)--it will come true.

As has been discussed on Tim Griffin's blog many times, the South champion will be decided by the fifth tiebreaker, BCS standings. This is clearly a horrible system, but I'm sure nobody really thought it would really come down to the fifth tiebreaker. The horror is that it's going to come down to coach votes instead of being decided in some way on the field, and it's probably going to be a terrible, terrible situation. (You know, speaking relative to college football, not world events. I'm not trying to compare this to Darfur, I'm just saying that in the limited scope of Div I college football, it will be bad.)

So I've been thinking all evening: if I were a coach, who would I put closest to the top of my ballot? There are several different factors to take into account.

1. Their games against each other
Craig James was giving Doug Flutie a hard time because Doug would put OU ahead of t.u., when t.u. beat OU. But then, texas lost to the Tech team that OU was able to beat.

Margins of victory aren't technically supposed to matter, but of course they do.
  • Tech beat t.u. by only one point (one of the announcers tonight was saying, "Well, if [that kid from texas who dropped a possible interception near the end of that game] hadn't dropped that interception near the end of that game, texas would have won!" Which monumentally stupid, because he did drop the interception. Tech would have lost if Crabtree hadn't made the amazing catch at the end, but he did, so who cares? Sorry, I think it was Brent Musberger that said that and I hate that guy).
  • t.u. beat OU by ten points
  • OU beat Tech by eleventy billion. OK, 44. Which might as well be eleventy billion. (Sidenote: Tech got beat worse by OU than A&M did. I choose to feel a little smug about that because it's all I have.)
If there's an advantage here, I think it has to be texas's. Maybe Tech's score vs. OU makes Tech look like a bad team to lose to, but it was only by one point. And a 10-point victory over the Sooners is pretty solid.

2. Out-of-conference schedule
  • t.u.: Florida Atlantic, UTEP, Arkansas, Rice
  • OU: Chattanooga, Cinncinnati, Washington, TCU
  • Tech: East Washington, Nevada, SMU, Massachusetts.
Tech's non-conference schedule was, as usual, horrible. That right there is K-State levels of cupcakitude. The commentators I've heard and read count Tech out in the three-way tie, deciding it comes down to texas and OU, and it's probably for the unfair reason that Tech just doesn't have the reputation or the history. However, the non-conference is in my opinion a fair reason to count Tech out. texas's isn't great either, so the clear advantage here is Oklahoma's. There are two conference champions on that list and one more that even though they are TERRRRRRRIBLE this year, is at least from a BCS conference. That is the way that everybody ought to schedule. If every big team scheduled like OU did this year, college football would be much better for it.

3. North slate
This is one I haven't seen anybody talking about, because I don't think people on the national scene think about the North-South disparity in terms of how it affects schedules of teams in the same division.
  • t.u. played Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas
  • OU played Kansas, K-State, and Nebraska
  • Tech played K-State, Nebraska, and Kansas
They all played KU, so that cancels out, and OU and Tech played the very same slate. CU and K-State are pretty even in their not-goodness, but Colorado did win the head-to-head matchup. And if Missouri loses to KU, it'll be a fluke. Missouri is not as good as 2/3 of the south division, but they're better than Kansas. Advantage: texas.

So . . . I'm still not sure who I would vote for. I agree with the talking heads that this is actually a two-horse race. Tech has done a heck of a job this season, but they struggled with Nebraska and they were losing at the half to A&M (who--and I don't know if you've heard this--is not very good this season). texas and OU have each lost a game, but neither of them got embarassed doing it.

If you were to pretend it were an actual two-way tie (say Tech manages to lose to Baylor somehow--some people do), t.u. wins it simply. But then, OU has been looking really good. And there's that non-conference schedule that boosts their schedule strength. (The voters may also reward them because they finish with a tougher schedule than texas and apparently coaches are like goldfish.)

(Another thing about the coaches voting: Leach and Mack have votes, while Stoops does not. Wouldn't it be a travesty [again, a travesty in a sports sense] if OU gets passed over just because there's no coach making a ridiculous ballot with his team at #1 and the other two at like 19 and 22?)

So I'm kind of hoping one or two of those teams lose next week (I can think of one in particular that would be super!) to clear this thing up and keep it (kind of) out of the hands of the coaches and the computers (if computers had hands. Someday).

Of course, if all three of them lose, that creates a four-way tie with Oklahoma State! It's too late at night for me to try to figure out the tiebreakers for that.

ETA: For kicks and giggles, I went and checked out what would happen if they all lose and Ok State gets in the mix: it would still come down to Infamous Tiebreaker #5. Presumably, OSU would get discounted because they got steamrolled by Tech. So, not as interesting as I thought it might be.

EMTA (edited more to add): All right, fine. Pending any crazy developments next week, I would say texas (even though at this point the real voters are saying OU). OU is playing extremely well right now, but when you get right down to it, t.u. beat them. On a neutral field, even.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Music Quiz!

(I took this from Meg.)

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (unless the first line reveals the song title) from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and song title correctly.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!

(I didn't entirely follow the rules--I discarded bunches and bunches of songs. [I went through about 100 to get these 25.] I have a lot of obscure and, frankly, many boring songs. Mostly though, I didn't realize until I went through this exercise how very many songs have their title in the first line. Bucketloads, people. Bucketloads.)

1. Standing on the dock at Southampton, trying to get to Holland or France
2. Get a load of me, get a load of you, walking down the street and I hardly know you
3. I could feel it from the start--couldn't stand to be apart
4. Billy Ray was a preacher's son, and when his daddy would visit he'd come along
5. I don't care if you wreck my car or shave off all my hair
6. Well, I had two weeks of vacation time coming after working all year down at Big Roy's Heating and Plumbing
7. We've been together for so very long but now things are changing and I wonder what's wrong
8. I don't want to hold you and feel so helpless
9. Tale as old as time, true as it can be
10. I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told
11. Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth, yeah
12. I got sunshine on a cloudy day
13. Momma, hey Momma, come lookin' for me
14. Caroline (Caroline); Oh Caroline all the guys would say she's mighty fine
15. Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
16. Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know something wasn't right here?
17. We've been together since way back when, sometimes I never want to see you again
18. I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind
19. All I can ever be to you is the darkness that we know, and this regret I got accustomed to
20. I packed my bags last night pre-flight
21. Does he love me, I wanna know--how can I tell if he loves me so?
22. Dear, I fear we're facing a problem: you love me no longer, I know
23. I had a match, but she had a lighter; I had a flame but she had a fire
24. Well, let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Charlie on a tragic and fateful day
25. Life was kinda hectic and I was having trouble sleepin'

ETA: I realized once I came back to cross things off that I don't know how to do strikethrough in Blogger (help, anybody?), so that's why the "got" ones are italicized.
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dream Semi-Ephiphany

It came to me in a dream last night that Barack Obama's inauguration day would be on the same date as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Now, it's not actually true, but dreams are kind of stupid.

I checked the calendar when I woke up and it's actually the day after MLK Day, which is still kind of cool. I'm surprised that during the media frenzy of "OH NO WAY YOU GUYS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT" that that didn't come up, but maybe they're saving it for the inauguration.

(By the way, be sure to scroll down after this post, because I posted not once but twice yesterday. Side note: what is the correct way to punctuate "not once but twice"?)
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Keeping Up With My Correspondence

Dear Barack Obama,

Hi! Again, I would like to ask you not to pick Hillary. At least not for Secretary of State. I mean, is that really the best job for her? More importantly, is she the best person for that job?

The answer is no. Most news outlets are making it sound like Hillary is a done deal, so my only ray of hope is that there are also stray mentions that it might turn out to be Bill Richardson instead. (This story talks about them as fairly even options for you, which I find encouraging. Although I did have to shudder when it pointed out how gross and ugly a Hillary confirmation hearing would get. [Shuddershudder]). As I have previously established, Bill Richardson is totally cool. He'd be great for that job!

Look, you and I both know you don't want to have to work with Hillary that closely. Sure, find her something since she doesn't care about being a Senator anyway, but Secretary of State is too big to hand out as a consolation prize. She's a smart, pretty competent lady, but no way does she have the foreign policy chops for this. No. Way.

And of course, you can take your sweet time with this. (Like you did with the Biden pick. I had to wait forever for that text message!) Don't rush into anything, especially anything that would bring more spotlight onto Bill (because Hillary? Comes with baggage).


* * * * * * * *

Dear Fightin' Texas Aggie Football Team,

I don't even want to talk about it. Just try not to give up 70 points to t.u., and we'll meet back here after Thanksgiving. OK?

Gig 'em,
Click here to read more . . .

College Football Joke

Did you hear that this year's Ohio State-Michigan game was cancelled? The game's in Columbus, and Michigan can't get past Toledo!

(What makes this really great is that it's a geography joke too!)
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, November 10, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I found a webcomic today. I can't put it better than the author does:

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

I think it's pretty hilarious. This one might be my favorite so far:
Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I don't really have anything substantive to say here (I could complain about how well Texas Tech is doing but . . . I just don't have the energy. This is the worst season ever [albeit the Aggies have dramatically improved; you just wouldn't know that from their score today]), I just had to mention: there is a picture of Graham Harrell on's homepage, and it is terrible.

And I just had to share that in some venue. (I thought about posting it in a "Caption this!" thread on TexAgs, but I was afraid of the answers it would get.)

Nothing against Graham Harrell personally (I've come to realize that I don't actually hate Texas Tech's teams so much, I mostly just loathe their fans. Except for Angela.*) This is just a very bad picture.

*Angela: if you leave the names of some of your Tech friends that you would be willing to vouch for (as in, they don't throw stuff on visiting fans--you know, Coke, batteries, bleachers, goalposts), I will make sure to mentally exempt them as well.
Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Uninteresting Post about Late Night Talk Shows

Lucky me: I saw Paris Hilton interviewed by David Letterman last night, and I'm watching her on Craig Ferguson tonight. (Not that this isn't my own fault. I should really start going to bed earlier.) I prefer Craig to Dave, but this is proving that David Letterman is a much better interviewer.

Craig is really enthusiastic and fun when he's interviewing somebody he cares about or likes, but he's really stilted with this. He's being perfectly nice and everything, but he can't put Paris at her ease. He also can't really talk her on a level where he can start a fluid conversation. (He tried to talk to her about his favorite subject, Project Runway, but she doesn't watch and it was a very awkward non-starter.)

This is strangely increasing my respect for David Letterman, that he can talk to Paris Hilton in a way that it sounds like a real conversation. Of course, this could just be that Dave has been doing this a lot longer. For example, Jon Stewart isn't a great interviewer, but he's gotten so much better since he started doing The Daily Show that it's really astounding. (He was SO BAD at first.)

Then again, one of the reasons I like Ferguson is that he's a little too honest. In his position, he ought to come off like he likes all the celebrities he interviews equally, but you can tell he doesn't. That's how I would feel! If I had a show, there would be people I'd be totally psyched to meet and talk to (and that group would overlap pretty well with Craig's, from what I've seen) and some people I'd just have to force myself to chat with. He also endeared himself to me the other night when he was talking to Bill Maher about his Religulous thing and you could tell he was uncomfortable with Bill Maher's deal with that.

This is also an interesting demonstration/reminder that interviewing people is a skill, a craft even. And I can't decide whether I wish Craig Ferguson was better at it or not.
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hee hee hee!

The NBC analyst is saying Nebraska is going to split its electoral votes. Nebraska and Maine are the only states that assign their votes to districts, instead of winner-take all, but they've never actually given their votes to more than one candidate. The analyst thought it happening for the first time was really cool, and he was like, "But that's the sort of thing that only I care about." Not true, NBC guy! I think it's awesome!
Click here to read more . . .

Item of Interest from Election Coverage

NBC had an interview with David Paterson, the governor of New York. They made a big deal about him being black--which makes sense, since black governors are not a dime a dozen--but I think it's a little more interesting that he's blind. I would think that would be a bigger obstacle to overcome. What do you think?
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Thoughts of the Day

On campus today, I saw a guy riding a bike with a toothbrush in his mouth. That's gotta be a safety hazard.

Leggings have never been, and never will be, pants. I don't think these undergrad girls who walk around in leggings and a big shirt realize that they're just walking around in public pantsless. On the other hand, maybe they're doing it on purpose.

I went with my friend when she bought some candy. I couldn't decide whether to get some for myself or not, so I bought a single Airhead. I figured that was a compromise.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I used to be dead set against all covers of all songs. In high school, I got into a debate ("argument" would be too strong a word) about it with the art teacher, whose position was that it some ways, there are no truly new ideas.

(Before you ask--and I know you're thinking it--Weird Al doesn't do covers. Unless you count his polka medleys, but those are so ridiculous as to also fall under the umbrella of parody.)

I still think most covers out there are pretty derivative, but there are some that are truly excellent. For instance, did you know that Aretha Franklin's "Respect" is a cover? Otis Redding did it first, and let me tell you, it is not in the same universe of good (also, it just doesn't have the same kick to it coming from a dude).

But there are a couple of covers I have in mind that are not only pretty fantastic on their own merits, but give me new appreciation for the originals--one version makes me love two songs, basically.

The first is Stevie Wonder's "We Can Work it Out," which is probably not everyone's cup of tea. But I love because it's just so . . . exuberant!

Before I started listening to Stevie's version, I liked the Beatles' version fine, but it didn't really stand out from the pack of Beatles songs. But now, the differences between it and the cover bring out the elements of it that are really interesting that I never really noticed before.

More embarassingly, I also really like the David Cook version of "Billie Jean." You know. . . . American Idol #7.

(Try to ignore the audience, who can't figure out that they should be neither clapping nor doing the arms-waving thing.) Sure, it's angsty, but it's a pretty angsty song when you think about it. And I suppose that's what my point is: when you're presented with a really different version of a song you know well, it makes you think about it anew.

(I guess this post was pretty dry. I don't feel very funny today, I just felt like telling you about some songs. Sorry.)
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Check It Out!

As I am apparently a little wont to do, I wrote to a guy who writes a column on the internet about Aggie sports. And he replied! (I'm Rachel from Madison, a little more than halfway down the page.)

I'll be the first to admit that it isn't really a question, just a complaint. Also, I think I regret using "whereas." I blame it on my being in thesis-writing mode.

Edit: I decided, on the 'sband's advice, to take a screenshot in case the page ever goes away.And that reminded me (in case anyone but me cares): I didn't put quotes around "almost," I put asterisks, to denote that I wanted italics or bold. But I guess Tim Griffin isn't hip to that.
Click here to read more . . .

Keeping Up With My Correspondence

Dear people in the library who think that it helps when they talk on the phone as long as they duck into a stairwell to do so,

Obvious lesson of the day: when you talk in large, empty spaces with concrete walls? It makes your voice louder.


* * * * * * * *

Dear blonde girl who was talking on her cell phone in full voice while just hanging out in a regular library area,

I am actually a nice person. You received my Icy Glare of Death, which then ratcheted up to Are You Actually a Moron? Glare of Death because you had the misfortune to cross paths with me while I was mentally composing the previous letter.




Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Liveblog! K-State at A&M, Part 2

(See part 1 below, or at this link.)

2:44 Just about back from halftime. Sideline reporter Tom Turkeyville is giving the stats: K-State has 18 first downs, Aggies have 9. That's . . . telling.

2:46 Aggie have the ball, doing OK so far. Goodson started the second half, by the way. I should try to figure out whether he was in trouble, or very mildly injured, or what.

2:47 That Jamie McCoy is pretty good! The Ags keep moving the ball down the field. This is a good drive so far (knock on wood).

2:48 I find the phrase "empty in the backfield" strangely melodious. I love it--"empty in the backfield."

McCoy just got his third catch of the drive, for a first down even! Rack those things up, boys!

2:50 Well, I jinxed McCoy. He dropped one. To be fair, I guess if I'd really jinxed him, it would have been intercepted. Where's some more wood to knock on?!

2:51 Going for it on fourth down again. Gutsy--I like that!

Sounds like it didn't pay off.

Who can tell? Did Jerrod make a first down or not? Dave, Dave, and the refs keep getting confused about things.

2:54 Oh my gosh, they're still reviewing this. In general, I am pro-review, but this particular call is getting ridiculous. It's not even a touchdown question.

2:55 Me, Dave, and Dave don't know what the official just said. I'm not sure it was English syntax. In any case, K-State has the ball now.

2:58 The Tennessee-Georgia game is on our tv right now. They just showed Uga's doghouse--he's got an air conditioner in there! Spoiled.

2:59 I'll admit, I'm not paying attention as closely anymore. Getting a little drowsy. I knew I should have bought two bags of Pixy Stix.

3:00 Dave and Dave have mancrushes on Josh Freeman. Seriously though guys, he doesn't look this good against OK defenses.

3:01 K-State is going for a 50-yard field goal. Again--I'm jealous. He made it, even. They have a kicker who can make a 50-yard field goal! 30-10.

3:04 FYI: Other Dave just said the attendance today is 78,669. So there you go.

3:05 Ugh. Goodson lost 7 yards on his run, and we have an offensive lineman down. We do not have o-linemen to spare!

3:07 Dave: "On second down and a bunch . . ." Indeed, Dave, indeed.

3:08 But on third and ten, voila! A good play! Go, Jerrod! Go, Tannehill! Tannehill is good too. Though it's really easy to get bummed out about the team this year, it's really promising how well a few of the true freshmen are playing. This is why I still think Sherman can turn out to be a good coach. The few guys he got to recruit are some of the brightest spots on the whole team.

3:10 Ooh, Jeff Fuller catches and takes it to the K-State 16. Get those fingers crossed! Knock on that wood! Throw that salt over your shoulder!

3:11 Sweet--Goodson got a first down and knocked at least one dude down on his way. Goodson smash!

3:13 And Jerrod runs in for the touchdown! Whoop.

Extra point no good. That's, well that's inexcusable. It's worse than missing free throws in basketball. It's like if a guy whose only job on the team is to shoot free throws misses free throws. I know I'm being hard on our kickers, but I feel like when your job is so specialized, you ought to be at least dependable and competent. Whatever.

30-16. Still within reach.

3:16 Hey, a penalty on the other team! (Holding.) That's refreshing.

3:17 I still think it's weird that Texas beat Oklahoma. Oklahoma looked crazy good in that first half.

3:18 I know it sounded like I was being snarky about the other team having a penalty for once, but I looked it up: Aggie penalties 5 for 35 yards, K State 1 for 10. That's disparate.

3:19 Dave just said re: Josh Freeman: "That guy is a speciman." I told you. Mancrush.

3:21 K-State is punting . . . for the first time in the whole game. Bright side again: Goodson returned for the first time all season, and did very nicely. The Ags get to start the next drive at their own 37. Goodson smash!

3:22 Two good plays in a row again--one first down and one almost first down. My optimism is coming back. I can't decide whether that's good or not.

3:24 On third and two, we get penalty #6. Fantastic.

But we convert the third anyway. Fantastic, unsarcastically!

3:25 And since it's the end of the third quarter, I get to hear a bit of the War Hymn under the announcers' voices. I hoard crumbs of Aggie game day like this.

3:27 In his stats, Tom Turkeyville lets me know that the Ags have more offensive yards than K-State. That's another baby step.

3:30 Another third down conversion, and Tannehill has almost 100 yards today. Yay.

3:31 First and goal at the 9. That's the kind of thing I like to hear. (When it's my team, obviously.) Also, Jerrod is doing pretty darn well today. I don't think I'll ever make a jersey with his number on it or anything, but there's no doubt in my mind that even if he and McGee are equally healthy, Johnson should start for the rest of the season.

3:32 Two yards from the endzone, and here's the J-Train!

Aw, didn't get in though. But it was still the right call!

3:33 Dangit, J-Train didn't get in again, so we turn it over on downs. That's a downer, but it was still the right call.

3:35 The more I think about it, the sadder and sadder I am that the last drive didn't turn into a touchdown. That really would have made this game winnable.

3:38 Dave just really scared me. He was describing a run by a K-State player: "He's gonna go all the way . . . to midfield."

3:40 Dave quote: "If they're going to keep this interesting, they need to stop this here." He is right, but the Ags do not stop them here; they get yet another first down. Sigh.

3:45 Josh Freeman runs in for another touchdown. Now it's a three score game with four and a half minutes left to go. Previous optimism: good only for additional pain. 37-16.

3:48 Dave mentioned the Texas Tech game again. It gave me the jibblies.

3:51 Another nice catch for Tannehill--he's up to 112 yards now. Come on Ags, let's get some garbage points! (Or, if you prefer, dignity points. Dignity points!)

3:52 And there they are! Touchdown for Goodson! Extra point . . . delayed by illegal formation. Way to go Ags. Again, these are stupidity penalties.

Tannehill set a freshman record for catches with 11. That's pretty cool.

The extra point is good, so 37-23.

3:55 Tom Turkeyville isn't giving up hope, insisting that stranger things have happened. OK, Tom. Name three.

3:56 Onside kick, which Other Dave calls "Unsuccessful, but a good try." Fair enough.

3:57 A facemask penalty brings it up to 8 for 60 yards. That's ugly. That has to stop.

4:01 The Daves just mentioned that this was a pretty close game, statisically (as long as you don't count score as a statistic), which was also true last week. That is improvement from early in the season, and I suppose it's more than I expected in Big XII play. Still, as has often been observed, "Statistics are for losers."

4:03 Crap! Garbage points aren't dignity points if you let the winning team score them too! Freeman scores another touchdown. 44-23.

4:06 About a minute to go, no timeouts, and the Aggies start their final drive.

4:07 Tannehill scores. Other Dave, knowing that this game is on TV precisely nowhere, insists that you'd have to see this catch to believe it. Thanks.

Made the extra point, 44-30.

4:10 K-State runs out the clock, so 44-30 is the final.

So let's summarize this game: it was worse than I expected. I thought K-State would be bad enough that we could beat them, but I was mistaken. I never expected that they would score more than forty points.

There were some bright spots on the offense, mostly Ryan Tannehill. Jerrod didn't make the hideous errors that he did last week. So I think we continued to improve, but the defense is still so bad that we were never really in this game. We were close to being in it, but not really in it.

Texas Tech won't be able to completely shut down our offense--if Jerrod & co really crank it up, we might score thirty or almost thirty again, but I can easily see them hanging 70 or more on us. It's going to be grizzly.
Click here to read more . . .

Liveblog! K-State at A&M

1:08 I start listening to the game. It would have been 10 minutes ago, but Aggies All-Access isn't supported by Firefox, and Internet Explorer is terrible.

1:09 Aaaand Josh Freeman scores a touchdown for K-State. Welcome to the game, Rachel!

1:10 This isn't unique to this minute, but Dave South has a great voice. So comforting.

Aggie trivia commercial: which 3 Aggies have received more than 800 yds in a season? Um . . . Jason Carter? I don't know.

1:11 Answer: OK, it's nobody I've ever heard of.

1:12 Aggies CAN is today. It's a good program. And much less stupid than holding a "Blow-Out" during the Texas Tech game. I know it's for Hurricane Ike relief fundraising, and I don't care. COME ON, Aggies. Don't live up to the reputation for stupidity.

1:13 Ooh, it's Jerrod. I guess I should have known he was starting. You know I love Stevie, but I feel better that it's Jerrod.

Ooh! Cyrus Gray for 20 yards! I get so happy when we makes plays like a real team. Also, he broke 3 tackles, so apparently K-State has similar defensive prowess to the Ags.

1:14 And Cyrus loses a bunch of yards. It's the circle of life.

1:15 Sweet! Another 20+ yard catch! I love real football!

1:16 Note: I bought Pixy Stix fifteen minutes ago. I am so happy.

1:17 Jamie McCoy gets tackled a little before the goal line. The cannon goes off, which is made even more embarrassing since the catch gets called back by a penalty.

1:18 With that and a sack, it's 2nd and 22 just like that. And with our kicker, we are not in field goal range.

How hard is it to find a decent kicker, by the way?

1:19 Going for it on fourth and two . . .
Oh, got it! That's excellent (although I'm still going to begrudge that our terrible kicker probably motivated, in part, that decision.)

1:21 Jerrod was apparently "dancing around." Would that Dave meant that literally . . . .

1:22 Aggies trying a field goal, with freshman kicker Bullock (instead of Bean, the one who's been stinking up the place [sorry, Bean, it's true]). And it's good! Ok! Well done, fish.

1:24 All right, 7-3. That's decent; that's respectable.

1:25 Maybe someday, with practice, I'll be able to pay attention to two games at once. Right now, I'm listening to the Ags while the Red River Shootout is on tv. The 'sips are happy about something right now--I have no idea what.

1:28 Ah, dang it. Me, Dave, and Dave thought K-State would be called for holding, which would have killed their drive. Instead, it turns out the Ags roughed their passer. (Rejuvenating their drive.)

Other Dave just admitted he's "thinking with his heart today." Awww, me too Other Dave, me too.

1:30 FUMBLE! Huzzah! Gig that! As the annoying women's baskteball announcer would say, "AGgies Ball!"

1:32 Man, that Texas-Oklahoma game still looks really interesting. I wonder what's going on.

1:33 Direct snap to Cyrus Gray. Those direct snap plays kind of weird me out.

Mmm . . . War Hymn. I can make out the words as the crowd sings. That's so impressive. Sadly, it gets cut off by the stupid Raising Cane's commercial. I never went there, but how could they possibly be as good as Layne's?

(They can't. That was a rhetorical question.)

1:35 The Ags are behind in score, but ahead in time of possession. That's mildly comforting to me for some reason.

1:36 Oh, Texas is leading. I see now.

1:37 Darn, we have to punt. Oh no, they blocked it! As Dave says, "And a touchdown, just like that." I guess it makes me feel better that it's their fifth blocked punt of the season. That's actually pretty impressive.

Poor Brantly. I like that guy.

1:38 Is it at all comforting that they missed the extra point? . . . Maybe. 13-3.

1:39 I'll note at this point that I have been thinking that the Ags can win this game. K-State is worse than expected, and I was actually rather pleased at the Ags' performance against Oklahoma State last week. Sure, some may consider a 56-28 loss a bad thing, but it was the first radio broadcast game this year I didn't end up turning off in disgust. Baby steps!

1:42 The teeny little upside of an opponent's special teams touchdown is that we gett the ball right back. Offense is fun!

1:43 Dave: Did he catch that?
Other Dave: Well, he almost did.

1:44 OK, sounds like he actually did catch it. Will the replay booth agree?

1:45 Nope. Very sad. Dave and Dave are not impressed.

1:47 Wait, what? Dave and Dave just made it sound like two of our receivers "started running" before the play started. I'm imagining them just jogging down the field while Jerrod is still waiting for the snap.

1:48 Bad news: we had to punt. Good news: They didn't block it, and Brantly is great, and we made a big tackle on the return guy.

1:50 Now K-State seems to be making first downs at will. That's discouraging.

1:52 I just finished my bag of Pixy Stix. That's also discouraging. (I saved the blue one for last. Mmm . . . blue.)

1:53 Let's quote Dave again: "They're into Aggie territory for yet another time."

1:54 Oh, FANTASTIC. The broadcast cut out. The computerized voice is telling me that the event hasn't begun. I hate you, computerized voice.

1:55 Since I'm not listening to the Aggies, I got to hear Kirk Herbstreit invite Brent Musberger to ride the ferris wheel with him after the game.

1:56 OK, the game is back.

1:57 Touchdown K-State. I should really stop tuning in to this game! 20-3.
My optimistic may have been misplaced.

1:58 No, no Rachel. Keep up the hope! It's still within reach! We just have to . . . play much better. Problem solved!

2:00 Hey, a thirty-one yard kickoff return! Well done, Cyrus Gray.

Waitwaitwait. Dave just told me Gray started instead of Goodson? That's weird. Man, I wish I'd gotten to hear the beginning of the game.

2:02 Ew, the Ags are 1 for 5 on 3rd down efficiency, and only 5 first downs.

On the bright side, this third down worked out. Good job, Tannehill.

2:02 "And Tannehill dropped the football, and it's a catch, and are they going to count it?" What does tat mean, Dave? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Oh, it means Tannehill fumbled it? Yeah, K-State has it now. Bummer.

2:04 Neal sees my Pixy Stix wrappers: "OH MY GOSH, YOU ATE ALL THOSE?!" I maintain it was a small bag. He worries my heart will explode.

Oh, and they're reviewing the fumble.

2:05 The play stands. Oh well.

2:07 Wow, Freeman is 13 for 14. Good quarterback, or bad defense? The defense's case is not helped by getting a 12 men on the field penalty just now. Come on. That's a stupidity penalty.

2:09 The crowd goes wild for a K-State incompletion. Good for them for keeping up the enthusiasm; sad that they don't have more to celebrate.

2:10 Speaking of, K-State touchdown. I really thought the Ags would do better than this, I really did. How do they keep failing to meet my expectations when I keep them so low? 27-3.

2:13 Oh man, Texas Tech is next week. It's going to be SO BAD.

At least Goodson just had a good carry.

2:14 Two good plays in a row? Woo hoo!

2:15 Three! Three in a row! A catch so good, Dave and Dave got so excited that it sounded like we scored a 19-point touchdown. First and goal.

2:16 Jerrod scrambled to the one yard line. The cannon went off again.

2:16 Jorvorskie! Sherman sent Jorvorskie in--it's 4th and goal at the one. That's what Jorvorskie is for. I can't even tell you how relieved this makes me. K-State timeout.

2:18 So . . . t.u. is beating Oklahoma by ten in the fourth quarter? I'm surprised.

2:19 I'm so nervous for Jorvorskie. If he makes this touchdown, he sets the Aggie record for touchdowns. So nervous! Aggie timeout.

2:20 WHOOP! 45 rushing touchdowns, J-Train sets the school record! I love that guy.

Apparently, Bullock is kicking because Bean pulled a groin. Riiiight.

Oh, right, the score. 27-10. I don't even care, I'm so happy for Jorvorskie, I'm going to consider this game at least a partial success no matter what happens.

2:24 Halftime. This is where I take out my headphones and, apparently, watch the first bit of the Tennessee game.
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Football, Why Must You Taunt Me So?!?

It has been a very sad two weeks of football in the Wisconsin Adventures household. The week before last, there was the flattening of the Aggies by Miami, the embarrassment of Tennessee by Florida, and the Packers' loss to the stupid Cowboys. (And Wisconsin had an off week.)

Last week, it was the Aggies beating a strong contender for Worst Div I Team in the Nation by a mere four points, Tennessee not managing to overcome a lackluster Auburn thanks to their incompetent quarterback, Wisconsin going from 19-0 at the end of the first half to 27-25 at the end of the second, and the Packers' loss to the stupid Buccaneers. We've decided that football hates us.

On that note, I guess it's time for me to predict how the Aggie's Big XII slate will turn out. (Siiiiiiiigh.)Here's the thing: A&M has a really bad team this year. Like, really bad. Don't get me wrong, there have been some little flashes of hope--over the first three games, the Ags seemed to improve with every outing (not so much with the Army game, for which there was no excuse for us not winning by at least a couple touchdowns. I mean, we're bad. But Army is awwwwfffuuulllll. It's very distressing). And it seems like Jerrod Johnson will be pretty good eventually. He has the ability to make things happen, and once the things-he-makes-happen no longer include nasty rookie mistakes, he could be a very good leader for this team. Finally, I am not a person who thinks that we made a horrible, horrible mistake in hiring Mike Sherman. As ever, one must cut a first-year coach slack.

That being said, if we don't improve by leaps and bounds next year, fire him. Fire him fire him fire him fire him. (No more waiting around for five years for a coach to miraculously get better!)

Because here's the thing: "improving by leaps and bounds next year" will mean getting bowl-eligible. I don't know if we're going to win another game this year.

I keep reading the Big XII blogger on ESPN, and he keeps hammering home how great a year this is for the conference. Probably the best ever! he seems to say. It's like the Big XII threw a party and everyone's invited . . . except Texas A&M.

I don't think we're going to beat Baylor, is what I'm saying. This is in part because Baylor is better than usual (they hired a coach who could make them better in his first year . . . siiiigh.) Like everybody else.

We may beat Iowa State. It's at Iowa State, but it's not like home field advantage has really been an advantage for the Ags, so what the hey.

There is also always the possibility that we'll pull an upset. You know how there's always somebody who gets beaten by some terrible team you would never in a million years think could beat them? We could be that terrible team! (The nice thing about this scenario is that Texas Tech usually manages one of these stunning losses. Wouldn't it be great if it were to the Aggies? You know, "great" relatively speaking?)

So, uh, yeah maybe one more win. Or two? Two would be good, I guess. Obviously more good than one.

On the other hand, I could be totally wrong. After all, there are dozens of cheesy movies where the hero team starts out frighteningly awful and ends up winning The Big Game. That happens in real life, too, right?


(Interesting side note: when Google Image-searched "Aggie football Sherman" the third picture was a link to this blog! And strangely, it was to the picture of my hand from this post. Weird!)
Click here to read more . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008


Man, I love Tim Gunn. Also, I'm starting to love Craig Ferguson. I've only recently started watching a significant amount of late night television (the 'sband likes it), and I've just decided that Craig Ferguson is the funniest late night host there is.

So when Craig interviewed Tim last night, it was a perfect storm. And hilarious!

Disclaimer: I don't know how long this will stay up on YouTube. Forgive me if this becomes a big box with a little X in it soon.
Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes, I Am the Highly Suggestible Type

Sometimes, ads work on me. Like the time I saw a Reach toothbrush commercial, and it pointed out that all dentist's tools are bent at the very same angle as their toothbrushes, and I was like, "That's TRUE!" and the next time I bought a toothbrush, it was a Reach. Also, that Dyson vacuum cleaner guy consistently convinces me that he's a vacuum cleaner genius. Lucky for me I'm not going to buy a vacuum anytime soon.

I am also apparently susceptible to songs in commercials. Well, if they're good. I have now purchased two songs on iTunes because I liked them so much on ads: the one for that very lightweight Mac (actually, come to think of it, I bought the singer's entire album) and, now, the McRib song. You know--the McRib song:

I'm pretty pleased with it.

*Note: the title is a quote from The Simpsons. Homer starts getting involved with a cult, and Lisa tells him, "Be careful Dad. You're the highly suggestible type." And the title is his answer. My opinion: it's funny every time!
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hmmm . . .

Looking at my Google News just now, I saw these headlines:

FOXNews: Why some feminists hate Sarah Palin
Wall Street Journal: Why feminists hate Sarah Palin

and I found the dichotomy from the two different sources interesting.

Someday, I'd like to write a blog entry about the whole Sarah Palin deal, but right now I should be doing real work. However, since I just got an email with this link in it, I'll put that in here too.

"Alaska Women Reject Palin" Rally is Huge
Click here to read more . . .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thoughts on Childrearing from an Interested Observer

Neal and I went to Chili's tonight (mmm . . . Chili's) and, as is not unusual, we got to see some Parenting in Action (babies love Chili's, you know). I worry sometimes about how I'll know the right way to discipline children, but I do know when I see the wrong way out in public. As annoying as it is when a parent lets their children run around, misbehaving all over the place without saying anything, I think it's even worse when the parent constantly berates, bullies, and orders around their children. After all, this usually has the same result as doing nothing, because if you yell at a kid all the time, the kid stops thinking it means anything. We sat next to a threating-without-results family tonight--both when we were waiting to be seated and then again after we were seated, because we're just that lucky--and it just kept reminding me of a poem that my parents had taped to the refrigerator. It always made good sense to me, even when I was one of the children in question. (And, of course, when I think of examples of good parenting, I think of my parents. Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Here it is:

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, September 1, 2008

Reporting Live from a Gas Station of Sadness Just Outside of Grumpytown

When I posted my report from Grumpytown on Saturday immediately after the Aggies' ignominious loss to Arkansas State, I anticipated that I would get up the next day and feel more optimistic. That didn't happen.

I am of two minds about the outlook for the rest of A&M's season, but it's not optimism vs. pessism. No; on the one hand there's gloom and on the other there's doom.

Gloom: It's possible that this game was a fluke. You know, last year Alabama went 6-6 (which I would be fine with for the Ags) but they dropped a game to Louisiana-Monroe in the middle of the season. Maybe this is like that, but at the beginning of the season?

Doom: This is unlikely. It's far more plausible that we dropped the second-easiest game on our schedule because we're worse than 11 of the teams that we're going to play.

Gloom: But Ark State did scare Texas last year. They were within a touchdown, and that was with some sort of questionable call giving the 'sips a break.

Doom: And yet, they're still the second-worst team we're going to play.

Gloom: Well, a lot of the problem was just Aggies making (tons of) mistakes, so maybe those can be fixed?

Doom: Or we're just bad at playing football.

Gloom: It is just one game.

Doom: Which might be comforting, was this basketball.

Gloom: In any event, you don't give up on a coach after one game. . . . Even if you don't see a reason not to give up on the current season.

Doom: Yeah, but remember the athletic department giving Fran all that time to prove he was good? And how well that worked out?

Gloom: Don't be silly. Sherman is not Fran.

Doom: What if Sherman is worse than Fran?!? Fran managed to beat Arkansas State!

Gloom: He's not. Surely . . . surely he's not.

Doom: Maybe you're right.

Gloom: You know, it's always possible that the boys will work out the kinks; they'll get more used to the real system; those freshmen on the O-line will have a fast learning curve; and Jorvorskie will get healthy and boost our offense. And in that case . . . we'll probably scrape together four or five wins, right?

Doom: Or none of those will happen. In that case, we beat Army. And nobody else. Even Baylor.
Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meme II: The Revenge

I took a meme from Hannah's blog. The game is to put in the answers to these questions into Google image search and put up the first picture that came up. (I was going to do the first one and the best one, but once I started, many of the first ones were really good. And of course, Blogger is pretty horrible to work with when you have a lot of pictures.)

Place you grew up

Place you live now

Your school

Your work

Favorite food

Favorite drink

Favorite song
(I cheated a little here; since I never really have one favorite song, I just picked the one that had the best picture.)

Favorite smell

Favorite shoes
(That was the first hit for "I hate shoes")

Favorite movie

Favorite color
Favorite game

Favorite animal(For the record, I searched "cat," not "baby.")

Favorite mythological creature
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reporting Live from Grumpytown

You know what? Forget yesterday's predictions. We're going 2-10. Peace out.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, August 18, 2008


Well, it's now officially college football season! (You can tell because Baylor already has a losing record.)

That means it's time for Coach Sherman: Year One!

I am trying not to get my hopes up too far about The Shermanator, especially for his first year. Some people (and by "some people," I mean "idiots on TexAgs") think that anything less than nine wins is unacceptable, or than ten wins shouldn't be a problem. Ten wins?!? The Ags haven't gotten double-digit wins since 1998. Come on, people! First year coach! Ease up on the expectations.

Ergo, I am setting my expectation bar here: six wins. Just six, just get bowl eligible. (We would go to a lame bowl at six wins--I don't think we'd get passed over because Aggies travel well--but the name will never be lamer than the GalleryFurniture.Com Bowl, and at least we won that one.) I think, given this year's relatively forgiving schedule, that we could do better than that, but I refuse to be up in arms if we are not.

The exception, of course, is if in racking up six losses, we look horrible. Despite the saying "a win is a win," I am going to be very disappointed if our wins come from being just-barely-less-horrible than the other team, or if our losses are by monumental margins. Because I am just too familiar with that, thanks to our previous coach.

That's why it's oddly fitting that the Aggies' season opener is against Arkansas State, the same cupcake the "Coach Fran Era" began with. Back in 2003, it was a fairly unimpressive outing. I am anxious to see (well, hear--it's not like this baby is going to be on network TV) if the ShermAggies can do better than a field-goal-heavy 15-point not-really-a-beatdown of Ark State.

After tomorrow's game, it's on to New Mexico at New Mexico and Miami at Kyle (I predict that we may lose one of those two, but as long as it's not flat out embarrassing like last year's Miami at Miami [when Miami turned out to be awful against opponents that we . . . anyone other than us], I think I'll be OK with it), and then Army at Kyle (which, if we lose it or have to win it with "a last-second goal-line stand" AGAIN, will make me very unhappy). So, I'm thinking 3-1 or 4-0 for what I keep trying to remember not to call "preseason." Depending on those performances, we'll see what may be possible in the Big XII.

One note about that Big XII schedule now, though--many football analysts have us losing to Iowa State at Iowa State. Um . . . no? They're . . . the Baylor of the North? You guys are . . . high? But I guess I'll have to eat my words if and only if we are much, much worse than we ought to be.

Special bonus time! Here are three non-Aggie football stories I'll be following:

1) How good is Kansas?

I never totally felt like I knew the answer to this last year. Basically, they had two tough games--Missouri and Virginia Tech--which they split. However, this year they have a real non-conference game (South Florida) instead of all cupcakes, all the time (Mangino's motto! [I'm sorry; Mark Mangino fat jokes are one of those things that you think will get old, but they never do]). They also trade the easiest-possible slate of South games they had last year (Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Baylor) for the tougher counterparts to each of those teams (Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech). It will be amazing if they do as well this year as they did last year, but even if they drop two of their games against the South + Missouri, I'll be more convinced that they're legit than last year.

2) Can Texas Tech live up to the hype?

Man, sportswriters are going crazy over Tech this summer. I've seen BCS bowl predictions, and at least one national championship prediction. O . . . K? I mean, I do think Tech will have the best team they've had in recent memory. That being said, they're still in the Big XII South. They have to get past Texas (which they may be able to do this year, sure) and Oklahoma--and I can't think that really, even if I try to put aside my semi-irrational hatred for Texas Tech, that that's really going to happen, last year's head-to-head matchup aside. (Maybe if Bradford gets all concussed again?) Plus, Tech has that pesky tendency to drop games to terrible teams. So my guess on the original question is . . . no, not really.

3) So . . . how about those Badgers?

I do live in Madison, WI, and attend the University of Wisconsin, so I feel like I ought to care about this. And I guess I do. After all, the Badgers are predicted to be the second best team in the Big Televen and are figured to have the best shot in the conference of taking down Ohio State. And yet . . . it's the Big Ten. They play boring, boring football here, that's all I'm saying. Maybe someday the 'sband and I will move back to Big XII or even SEC country. One can hope.
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Got Memed!

MacKenzie tagged me for a meme:

"List seven songs that you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your Summer of 2008. Post these instructions in your blog, along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what their favorites are this year!"

I'm going to list seven songs, but I'm not going to tag seven people (I don't have seven people to tag. Unless I went facebook with this thing, which I don't particularly feel like doing. I guess I could tag seven people to list their songs in a comment, but I'm not sure that seven people comment here on anything like a regular basis. Anyway. Songs!)

Songs 1-3.
I'm pretty sure I watched every episode of Scrubs that exists this summer. Seriously, I went on a kick for at least a month, and it bordered on the unhealthy. So several of my songs are Scrubs related.

"Guy Love"
This one is actually from Scrubs: The Musical! Donald Faison is really a pretty good singer (Zach Braff is OK). Also, it's hilarious. My favorite lines are "We're closer than the average man and wife / That's why our matching bracelets say Turk and JD!"

"Hey Julie" by Fountains of Wayne
This song was the background for a montage on Scrubs about JD being happy with his girlfriend Julie. I'm certain they chose the name for the character just for the song because of the song, since they had already had a Julie (Heather Locklear in Season 2. . . . I watched a lot of Scrubs, people.) The song was so catchy that I downloaded it, and if the meme was the one song that defines your summer because you can't stop listening to it, this would be the only song on the list.

"Closer" by Joshua Radin
This is another song that played in the background on Scrubs that I liked and downloaded. It's pretty.
("embedding disabled by request," so here's a link. The song doesn't start til about the 1:00 mark anyway.)

4-5. Wedding!

"I Will" by the Beatles
This is "our song" so we danced to it for our first dance. Yay!

"Canon in D" by Pachelbel
This was our processional, because it's pretty. (I chose the "fantastic version" instead of the "very nice" version. You're welcome.)

6-7. Late spring holdovers
These are songs that I actually got really into before summer proper, but I haven't been listening to music as much since I stopped riding the bus to campus (with my iPod) every weekday.

"Roses" by Outkast
I don't know why I listened to this so much. (The song as it is on the album doesn't start until about 1:00. I really like the piano leading into the main part of the song.)

"Tears Dry on Their Own" by Amy Winehouse
It's yet another Amy Winehouse song about her being the Other Woman and she's a mess and she looks like a mess in the video, etc. But this is a great song. I plain old love it. I really like how she uses the sample from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" underneath the entire song and makes something entirely different with it.
WARNING! Strong language.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wedding Pictures!

Rachel and I just received the link to our wedding photos from Adam the photographer, check 'em out:
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Look, now Neal is going to blog here too! Make sure to be very welcoming, everyone.

In other now-I'm-a-married-lady news, I also have to change how I refer to my Neal. He can't be the gentleman caller anymore; since we live together, it's technically impossible for him to call on me. I've been kicking some ideas around in my mind, but feel free to add your own suggestions.

--He Who Used to be The Gentleman Caller
but that's kind of Voldemort-y. And also kind of Prince-y. (I think we all know which of those comparisons is less flattering.)

--The 'Sband
short for husband. I like this one because it reminds me of how Strong Bad pronounces "sbemail."

--the other half
or possibly "the better half." I think I would abbreviate either one, though: O.H. or B.H.

--I wish I could do what the ladies in the romance novels I like do after they get married, but unfortunately it's lame. According to Patricia Veryan, apparently 18th century ladies called their husbands by their last name, so I would go with "Davidson." But it's just so . . . gym coachy.

--my baby
This works in songs from the sixties, but I don't know if it would work in this medium. Also, someday we're going to have a baby, and then I'd have to call him something else and we'd have to go through this whole rigmarole again. And who wants that?

OK, so I don't have that many ideas. Don't worry, I'll keep working on it.

(P.S. There's another new post below this one. Read that too!)
Click here to read more . . .



So, clearly, the ol' blog has been out of commission for a while. I mean, I have been kinda busy trying to write a masters thesis and moving and, you know, gettin' hitched.

(photo credit: MacKenzie!)

I was thinking this morning in the shower (where I get all my greatest ideas, for some reason) about what I could write on this blog about marriage. And the word marriage made me think, of course, of "Mawwiage! Mawwiage is what bwings us togetho . . . today." And then I thought of one of the most amazing potential events a person could ever hold: a Princess Bride theme wedding!

Imagine it:

You hire Peter Cook to officiate, in character.

Of course, first you'd have to get him ordained in one of those internet religions, like they do on TV, or possibly you could just rig an election in a small community and get him elected a Justice of the Peace. Either one.

The bride would wear Buttercup's wedding dress, but clearly the groom couldn't wear the Humperdinck outfit, because that wedding just didn't work out and who wants to emulate that? No, the groom would need to dress in all black and would preferably grow out a weaselly ponytail and sad little blonde mustache. (If possible, he would somehow despite these things continue to radiate animal magnetism.) So the bridal couple would be like so:

We're lucky we're not going with groom-as-Humperdinck, because then you'd need to find a six-fingered best man. What you'd actually need is one with flowing locks and an impressive sword.

The bride would obviously either ride in on a white pony or be carried in by a giant. If you can find one, I'd recommend the giant option.

The tricky part is bridesmaids, because there are barely any female-types in Princess Bride besides Buttercup. Also, according the the novel version, Buttercup didn't have any friends. On the other hand, Buttercup does wear some pretty rockin' dresses, especially when Humperdinck is keeping her all cooped up. You could probably just adapt one of those, or maybe the red one she wears when she's kidnapped.

So, anyway, this idea is awesome. If only I had thought of it six months ago! Oh well. Frankly, the wedding I did have was pretty sweet anyway. And probably less expensive and complicated than a Princess Bride one would have been. We couldn't have ordered four Inigo Montoya costumes through Men's Warehouse, that's for sure.

Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get Smart. Or Don't.

Here's the deal: Get Smart isn't funny. And it doesn't have much to do with Get Smart, in any other way, either. It's pretty much just a regular ol' spy movie with some regular ol' jokes in it. This person who is named Maxwelll Smart is just some guy who's pretty nice and pretty humble and a fairly competent spy (except for a couple sequences where he hurts himself in not particularly funny ways), and he fails to be oblivious, which is the real Maxwell Smart's central character trait.

But, again, the main problem is that the movie just isn't that funny. Alan Arkin as the Chief? Not funny. The main villain and his sidekick? Not funny. Anne Hathaway's Agent 99 isn't funny. Not-even-thinly veiled President Bush isn't funny.The CONTROL nerds and the CONTROL jocks: slightly funny. Big scary villain henchman--a tiny bit funny, near the end. Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart has some funny moments, but he averages out at sort of funny. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson isn't all that funny, but I continue to find him really likeable, so that's something. And . . . I've run out of characters.

Another way to put it is that the movie Get Smart is just a waste of time. I haven't seen them yet, but my bet is that if you're looking for an excuse to eat popcorn while sitting on a cupholder-adjacent chair in the air conditioning, Kung Fu Panda or Wall-E or maybe The Incredible Hulk** would be better ways to go.

**Admittedly, I'm only tempted by the Hulk movie because of its tenuous connections to Iron Man. Apparently I only like to write about movies that I dislike, because I never wrote anything about Iron Man, which I LOVED. Seriously, LOVED IT. And not even in the way I loved Live Free or Die Hard, but loved in it a "This is some quality, lovingly-crafted cinema!"-type way.
Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wedding-O-Rama: One Month to Go!

It's June 19th! Which is exactly one month away from July 19th! Here's how things stand:

Cake: paid in full!

Menu: not finalized. It's hard to tell how many dozen chicken kabobs one needs for such an event.

Dress: altered! (And pretty. Naturally.) I got a petite dress, which is three inches shorter to begin with, but they needed to take it up another inch anyway.

Invitations: mailed and coming back to me steadily. Man, receiving respons cards is fun. They're so tiny; they're like fun-size mail. Today was the first day since Saturday before last that I didn't get at least one in the mail. (I was a little sad that the streak was broken.)

All bridesmaids have dresses; way to go bridesmaids!

Photographer, florist, DJ: booked, given at least their deposit money.

Here's a question: do you think we should do that disposable-cameras-on-the-tables thing?
Click here to read more . . .

Friday, June 6, 2008

Keeping Up With My Correspondence

Dear Obama,

Please don't pick Hillary for your running mate. She's mean and not vice-presidential material and apparently given to making stupid remarks and who knows what Bill will say on your campaign trail? Plus we all know now that you two hate each other, and that just would not inspire confidence.

I don't even know where this "Dream Ticket" thing came from. Who would think you two were a dream ticket? I would make a nightmare ticket joke, but The Onion beat me to it.

Also, you know that vocal minority of people who voted for her in the primaries and say they'll vote for McCain instead if you don't pick her? They're totally bluffing.


* * * * * * * * *

Dear college football season,

I'm already excited--I can't wait til you show up! Ever since my gentleman caller bought me the Athlon preview magazine, I've getting all antsy.

Do you think you'll be crazy with upsets like last year? My bet is that you won't, because my guess is that that was a law-of-averages instead of a new-trend-in-football thing. But I'll be happy to be wrong. Upsets are awesome, especially when my own team is usually an underdog. Go upsets!

Anyway, I'll let you go now, but I just wanted to let you know that I miss you and am eagerly awaiting your arrival.


* * * * * * * *

Dear bus people,

I have to say, you guys are really outdoing yourselves. Bravo.

When we're on the bus, some of us read to pass the time. Some of us listen to music on headphones, some chat to our friends, and some chat to random strangers who don't care about us whatsoever, which some of us would be able to tell had we any social radar at all. And then there's the girl who entertained herself on the bus by using her bus pass to scrape dry skin off her legs and onto the floor. That was a really special time for all of us, I think.

Oh, and I should also take this time to give a shout-out to whoever it was who sat in my seat ahead of me yesterday, leaving behind a half-eaten chicken wing (left just sitting between the seat and the wall, though thoughtfully half-concealed under a Sprite bottle [A Sprite bottle that was empty except for the dregs . . . of mysterious brown fluid.]).

Again, bus people, you're just shattering your old records of bus-people-ness. You are truly the wind beneath my wings. If it were physically possible for wind to need a shower.

Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Sparkling MacGuffin

The gentleman caller escorted me to Indiana Jones: Episode IV last night. Luckily, my expectations were low, so I thought it was . . . ok. (If I had expected it to be good, I would have been disappointed. This is why low expectations are so great!) Now, " . . . ok" (which is a couple of steps below plain "ok") is its average score.

The beginning was just barely not-terrible. Barely. It was clunky and dumb and the effects weren't that good and the acting was ridiculous. Also, Cate Blanchett's character is pretty stupid, and that takes some getting used to. And so does her accent--she's supposed to be Russian, but during those first few scenes I thought, maybe she's supposed to be a Russian who's trying to sound English? Or something? I came close to laughter that the movie did not intend quite a few times.

Also, I realize it's an Indiana Jones movie, so I need to suspend me some disbelief. But seriously, Indy should have died a good five times over. In the first fifteen minutes. (If you think I'm being a stickler and you haven't seen the movie yet, watch it and then tell me I'm wrong.)

After the first handful of scenes, it does get better. I started to feel like everything just might turn out all right once Janitor showed up as an FBI agent. (My gentleman caller and I have been watching far more Scrubs than is healthy for the human mind, so we were both pretty psyched about that cameo. And then Mr. Meade showed up, too! That scene was good times.)

The movie didn't really pick up though until about the time Shia LaBeouf showed up. I assure you: this is a coincidence. I'm not saying Shia is bad in this movie. There was no point at which I wanted his character to be impaled by a spike or anything! But . . . it's not that Shia LaBeouf is a charisma-free zone. It's just that charisma is a little thin on the ground there. This isn't all his fault; the character isn't written to be interesting. He really only has one consistent character trait (SPOILER: it's combing his hair).

The middle of the movie, the bulk of it, is pretty good. It's not great cinema, of course, but it's entertaining. Why, there are points when it even approaches rollicking. It was, for the most part, very enjoyable. Except for one of the stupidest scenes I've witnessed in a major motion picture outside Zoolander. Oh man, you guys. It's so stupid. In fact, I'll describe it at the bottom of this post with a spoiler tag in front of it, for those of you who are curious.

The ending, unfortunately, is not so good. It's not as badly done as the first part; it's just pointless. I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you that there's massive destruction at the end of this movie, because it's an Indiana Jones movie. But in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade (I've never seen even little bits of the second one, I have to admit), there's a concrete reason that makes sense within the story why the destruction takes place. With this one, not so much. The underlying problem is that the over-arching quest of the movie just isn't very well thought-out. Or cool.

For that reason above all others, it just felt like the script should have gone through another draft. It could have and should have been more cohesive and had fewer plot holes. Again, I realize Indiana Jones isn't supposed to be high art, but the plot holes! They gape.

In conclusion, don't feel bad about waiting until the DVD for this one. As I mentioned, the special effects aren't quite up to the 2008 standard, so you won't be missing out by settling for the small screen. And if you do go see it at the theater, remember my magic ingredient: low expectations.


So, there's a chase through a jungle, naturally. Shia somehow gets thrown up in the trees and entangled in some vines and what does he see there? Why, it's a monkey. And not just any monkey, but a monkey with Shia's stupid greaser hairdo. (No, really.) Then Shia starts swinging from vine to vine (more lame special effects) a la cartoon Tarzan. And he is accompanied by dozens upon dozens of greaser monkeys. I hope this sounds as lame as it was on the screen.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chronicling Me Some Narnia, Part 1

Wherein I Review the movie Prince Caspian

First of all, I have to admit: I'm not very demanding when it comes to Narnia movies.

For example, when I first saw The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I didn't really care about the acting or the dialogue or what have you. I was pretty much just thinking something like, "That's just what I imagined! Right up there on the screen!"

I read all the Narnia books when I was a kid, and even though I probably couldn't have told you much more than the skeletons of the plots of them (before I re-read them this week--more on that later), when I saw the first movie, it all came rushing back to me. Because it was just what I imagined! Right up there on the screen! Then I went back and read the book, and realized it was actually pretty bare-bones. Still, it had given my pre-tween imagination plenty to work with.

So the Narnia books aren't like Harry Potter, where they have to cut stuff to make it a movie (which is usually what angers the people who love Harry Potter books but hate the films). If anything, the screenwriters add a little bit, and I think they're pretty good--on the whole--at adding things that are in the spirit of the book. (On the whole. More on that momentarily.)

Ergo, I really liked Prince Caspian. What's not to like? Pretty landscapes! Talking beasts! Big ol' battles! Children with British accents! C'mon, it's Narnia!

As I was saying, I generally liked what they did with the book to make it into a movie. I think the screenwriters did a pretty good job. Structurally, the book Prince Caspian is kind of a mess. (Watch out, I'm about to give some SPOILERS on a 57-year-old book!) The Pevensie children are in England, for about half a page. Then, BAM! They're in Narnia. They spend quite some time trying to figure out where they are and what they should be doing and eating nothing but apples, and it's fairly tiresome. They finally figure out that they're in their old castle, but hundreds and hundreds of years after they left. Then, finally finally, they meet somebody else, who is the dwarf Trumpkin. Then he tells them the story of Prince Caspian, so you have a flashback that goes on for a good three chapters. Then the narrative switches back and forth from the kids walking and walking and walking, trying to meet up with Caspian to Caspian hanging out with his army, holding off the enemy in a fairly boring fashion. In, like, the last quarter (or fifth, I don't remember and I don't have it handy) of the book, the kids and Caspian meet up (again: finally) and then there's some short battling with the enemy, and then The End.

So (movie SPOILERS now!) the movie balances Caspian and the kids much more neatly in the beginning and has them get together much more quickly. The movie also adds a battle at Caspian's evil uncle's castle, which is much better cinematically than Caspian's boring defense of his stronghold. So, good good and good.

More ambivalently: Aslan's role is scaled down from what it is in the book. On the one hand, his not being in it very much might seem to sideline him. However, because of the nature of the Aslan plotline in Prince Caspian, I think it just hammers home the point better. It's all about how having faith that Aslan will show up is important, and that's just made even clearer by how long they have to wait for Aslan. It also makes Lucy's unwavering certainty more impressive, since she has to hold out longer. In conclusion, I approve.

Then there are two Peter issues. First of all, in the book, there's a literary tension because you have two heroes, Caspian and Peter. (Action heroes, that is. I'm discounting Lucy here because she does her own thing which, while ultimately more important, is more subtle in the story structure.) Which one of the young men is the hero? Who needs The Defining Moment more? Who, when you get right down to it, gets the glory? Lewis, I think, leaves that unresolved, and while in real life that wouldn't be a problem, in a fairly simple story, it just doesn't quite work. the movie solves this literary tension by making it actual tension--Peter and Caspian have a real power struggle. This very acknowledgement of the impossibility of having two hero/leaders makes it possible--after Learning Their Lessons, each of them accepts their role, but it is Caspian that emerges as the Official Hero. And he should be, since it's his world, his kingdom (Peter did already have his turn), and his movie--he is the title character, after all. So again, the point goes to the screenwriters.

The second Peter problem is that, in the movie, he's whiny, angry, and kind of insufferable. I don't want to go overboard on the Potter references, but he's not unlike Harry, c. Order of the Phoenix. He got on my nerves, is what I'm saying. Still, I can see the reasons for this choice. Especially in the earlier books, Lewis just didn't do that much character development. Book Peter is perfect, but blandly so. He does what needs done and does it well; he's The Man--but he has no personality. I peg this difference mostly on time period. In the 40's and 50's, who didn't want a stoic man's man for the hero? But in the 21st century, we like our characters flawed. So we get a flawed Peter. . . . Yet, because he was really annoying, I'm going to call this one a draw.

Furthermore, in the movie, we get the addition of a flirtation and even a kiss (!) between Susan and Caspian. First of all, I'm pretty sure that were he alive to see it, that would have given C. S. Lewis some kind of seizure. As MacKenzie pointed out, it really did come out of nowhere. I guess that the motivation was, again, character development, but it really did feel gratuitious.

Oh, also the bad guys are Mediterrean/Latino, for some reason. Well, so is Caspian, but still. That's kind of random. Unnecessary/somewhat demeaning, am I right? (I was also irresistably reminded of a reviewer I had read comparing Caspian's fakey accent to Inigo Montoya's, when Caspian had a sword up to his uncle's neck and was being all threatening about how the uncle had killed his father. I mean, come on.)

Even so, my tally shows two cons to one tie and five pros. And those structure pros are big ones--I read the book right before I saw the movie, and I was really wondering how they were going to pull it off. Overall, I've got to say it was a very good adaptation.

Here ends my needlessly long (and probably fairly boring) analysis, but stayed tuned for over-thought musings on Narnia. It's going to be good times.
Click here to read more . . .