Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Good...the Bad...the Beautiful #33


I'm not a musical fan by any means...communicating in song grates on my nerves, but if you want to see a performance blow everyone out of the water, check out this. And Jennifer Hudson, you might have won the Oscar, but you still have some work to do.

Bad and Beautiful on the flip side...

It's Walken. Singing Tom Jones. And yet, it just doesn't work. It certainly doesn't want me to see the movie. Actually, I wanted to put this video up, but I can't embed. Seriously though, you should check it out.


What do you think...someone lost their keys on the beach? Beware of the language on this one, though you don't even need the volume up to appreciate it.

Nanowrimo Update 11/30: Finished!

50,195 words. And I didn't even have to cancel Thanksgiving.

This weekend was tough. I think I went into it with around 24,000 words, give or take. Maybe I had half finished. And I'll be honest, it didn't look good. I had no ending, hated it and wanted to simply forget about it. But that's the funny thing. Continuing to write, I somehow came up with a conclusion that while, wholly implausible, it definitely wasn't impossible.

I still hate it, but it's finished. So there's that.

Thanks to all of you who followed and supported. You might not buy it, but you all helped. And to all of those who might still be in the process, with a few hours to go - keep at it. It's a cool feeling when you get done.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week 13 NFL Picks With Cline (NOW WITH A LOT MORE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!)-- I Miss Kevin Butler

It's very late and I got back from Athens not too long ago. I have about enough energy to upload a few pics and describe the scene, but any in-depth analysis of my picks, as well as some YouTube goodness, will have to wait. I'm gonna lead with a recap of my trip to my college football Mecca:


As some of you know, I've had another reason to look forward to my annual trip to Atlanta to see the family for Thanksgiving. This year, for the first time ever, I was going to see my beloved Georgia Bulldogs play live. Plus, they would be playing their in-state rival Georgia Tech. Plus, the game would be at Sanford Stadium in beautiful Athens, GA. I paid through the nose on StubHub to get my ducat and insure my entrance a few months back. But a combination of a disappointing season and truly shitty weather kept enough people away that I probably could've paid 1/4th of that from a scalper. Ah well, live and learn.

The kickoff was annoyingly early at noon. This meant getting up at 6:30, to drive an hour+ to meet up with some folks I kinda know for tailgating. This guy (let's call him Whitlo) is a character whose motor never quit running, even though he had gone out the night before till the wee hours and was up at 6 to set up his tailgating station. I randomly met him at a charity event (BreastFest) in Baltimore and we bonded over the UGA/Tennessee game that was on the bar's TV at the time. I mentioned that I would be at the Tech game, so he invited me to tailgate with him and his cronies. Oh, also I had a mustache at the time, so he still calls me Earl because of that. For those of you know a certain lad named Jimmy, this guy is in his class for having a saintly wife.

So after some aggravating u-turns required to find a place to park, I finally met up with the crew and got acquainted. Everyone was really nice to me, but it didn't hurt that I brought a 12-pack of God's piss and some homemade monkey bread. Even though the weather was cold & rainy all day, the beer and trash talk flowed. Kickoff was on me before I knew it.

I pretty much bounced across the street and between the hedges. After taking a few pictures from the one endzone (so close to the field), I climbed up to my seat in 327. Here was my view:


The first half was a giddy blur. Georgia moved the ball at will, but also gave up an INT for a TD and struggled against Tech's option offense. At the half it was 28-12 and I figured one more score would put Tech in a passing situation and thus the rout would ensue. Except for one thing. Tech scored on the first play from scrimmage and didn't let up till they were up 38-28 late in the 3rd. Things just went 180 degrees the opposite direction and everyone was stunned and frustrated.

Well, maybe not stunned, because the Georgia defense has been shaky for most of the year. And it just could not stop the option at all in the 2nd half. It's tough when they got 4-5 yards on 1st down almost every time. You have to make tremendous individual plays for the offense to not get a minimum of 2-3 yards every play.

In related news, I hate the option (or wishbone or whatever) and always have. It is and extremely frustrating offense, especially when run well. And that's exactly what Georgia Tech did all day long. Georgia tried to come back, but couldn't stop the Yellow Jackets and get the ball back one last time down 45-42.

It was a bittersweet end to a lot of things. My first visit to Sanford Stadium, a roller coaster game, a disappointing season that held so much promise, and likely to the careers of NFL-bound Matthew Stafford & Knowshon Moreno. Mohammed Massaquoi also had a huge game in his last one as a senior. I would think he gets drafted, but probably not real high.

Regardless, I'm hooked. I'm going to the game next year, even though it's at Tech's boring stadium in downtown Atlanta.

After the game, the socializing continued as we retired to a sushi restaurant and everyone drowned their sorrows in drinks poured by an Asian man nicknamed Buddha. Well, I mostly held my sorrows' underwater for a spell then allowed them to breathe. I nursed a few beers knowing that I would have to drive back to my parents' place at some point. We hit another bar, then Whitlo had a hook-up to get us into a sold-out Zac Brown concert at the Georgia Theater. The most exciting thing I saw in an hour of that show was a brawl that broke out and I was briefly and barely sucked into. One of my colleagues described them as a "young Alabama". That wasn't far off. They were way too slick for my tastes, but they were clearly a local favorite, as I was in the minority of not digging them. The only dim highlight was a decent cover of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Check out these awesome lyrics which stuck out to me as being particularly atrocious:

Because every time I try and tell her how I feel
it comes out "I love you"

I'm not anti-romantic songs, since love has obviously been the inspiration for some of the greatest songs ever. But if that's what gets you laid nowadays, I'm gonna take a cheese grater to my dick. So I called it a night and schlepped home.

Thanks to the warm hospitality of my Southern gentlemen and ladies, I had one hell of a day. Now... some pictures:

The view from the hedges:


This was taken while the scoreboard still worked. They announced that for the 1st time, everything in the stadium was powered by renewable energy. And it showed.



Top 10 Pick in the NFL Draft: Matthew Stafford:



As good as my view was, the constant rain resulted in 3 inches of standing water. Yes, I'm an idiot for wearing sandals & shorts, but I was in the South. I had to dress appropriately.P1030704


Now on to Week 13 in the league where they play... FOR PAY!

Week 12 Records:

Cline -- 9-6-1 (+$140) (LOTW=L -- BDCS=L)
Goose -- 5-10-1 (-$660)

Overall Records:

Cline -- 85-58-2 (.594) +$1250 (LOTW=5-4 -- BDCS=4-5)
Goose -- 77-66-2 (.538) -$350


  • Thursday, Nov. 27 (3-0)

    In honor of the results of these games already being written, I give you this clip of a post-Survivor Series promo where The Ultimate Warrior begins with that very sentiment. Hang in there for his analysis of how some crayon drawings his fans (i.e. him) made and how Hulk Hogan should be scared that they're seeping into the walls of Joe Louis Arena. Hang in there a little longer for Mean Gene's understatement of the century and a quick promo that they would be talking to James "Buster" Douglas next.

    • TENNESSEE (-11) at Detroit

      I'd like Detroit's chances better if Tennessee hadn't gotten smoked by the Jets last week. I think the Titans work out some anger mgmt. issues on the Lions as they start to see 0-16 looming on the horizon.

    • Seattle at DALLAS (-12.5)

      Seattle stinks, and Dallas is looking to score points. Too bad this newfound desire to score points came too late to get me into the Fantasy playoffs. I still have an outside shot, but I need a lot of help. Pray for me.

    • Arizona at PHILADELPHIA(-3)

      I talked myself into taking the Cardinals against my better judgement last week. They still almost covered. I just don't like them traveling to the East Coast in presumably cold conditions. For absolutely no reason, I think this Eagles team will chafe at all the doom & gloom pronouncements and make one last stand

  • Sunday, Nov. 30
    • San Francisco at BUFFALO (-7)

      My analysis of this game will be as brief as this promo.

    • BALTIMORE (-7) at Cincinnati

      I would include some analysis about how I am going to stay with the Ravens and how the Bengals are in a season-long nosedive. But that led me to this video, and I have to go alert someone in power that the Ultimate Warrior may have been involved with 9/11:

    • INDIANAPOLIS (-5) at Cleveland

      It's hard to be intimidating with a fey Australian accent ("We're socked up?"). It's also hard to intimidate anyone when your name is Romeo. Or Dingo.

    • Carolina at GREEN BAY (-3)

      Words fail me.

    • MIAMI (-9.5) at St. Louis

      I still don't fully trust Miami, but I trust St. Louis less. In unrelated news, there's some nice use of Patty Smythe and action figures by TMZ here:

    • New Orleans at TAMPA BAY (-3.5)

      On the road, on grass, against a better defense than Green Bay's, the Saints are gonna be slapped kinda like this:

    • N.Y. GIANTS (-3.5) at Washington

      Vince McMahon loves Zubaz like Heenan loves comedy (and the China Club) and Plaxico hates gun laws:

    • ATLANTA at San Diego (-4.5)

      Not that it was a realistic consideration at the time, but I imagine that San Diego GM Randy Smith's reaction to the Turner/LT matchup Sunday will resemble the Warrior's when one of Vince McMahon's greatest creations (Papa Shango) put a curse on him:

    • And a bonus report from the immortal Lord Alfred Hayes

    • Pittsburgh at NEW ENGLAND (-1)

      In this Christmas season, please allow the Ultimate Warrior to make you feel guilty for having any problems because there's always someone else out there who has it worse (also, I think the female announcer's panties could have stopped a Saharan drought):

    • DENVER at N.Y. Jets (-7.5)

      Favre's been playing since The Ultimate Warrior was known as The Dingo Warrior and threatened to write his name in puke on Rick Rude's body:

    • KANSAS CITY at Oakland (-3)

      I don't really care about this game, so I'll take you to a shocking confession by the Ultimate Warrior:

    • Chicago at MINNESOTA (-3.5)

      As crazy as the Warrior is, at least he was original and did it on a big stage. This guy slapped some paint on, injected some steroids and gives dull interviews.

  • Monday, Dec. 01
    • JACKSONVILLE at Houston (-3)

      Got an hour to kill? Check out a waste of some UConn Student Activity Fees. It'll probably also be a better use of your time than watching this game.

A bonus clip of Shawn Michael's shocking turn. Again, Heenan=Comedy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week 13 NFL PIcks with Goose - Desperate Times call for sexy redhead measures

As you may or may not have read, I am behind Cline with my picks. While I am still confident I am going to win, and thus be able to bathe in a tub full of Schlitz while gorging myself on only the finest buffet sushi, there is a bit of concern with how many games are left. (That Green Bay, fighting for their division, went down to New Orleans on Monday night and bombed, I mean, how can you be a fan of that team right now? It almost makes me want to root for Favre). And after last week's very poor performance, I find myself in a somewhat larger hole. So I have to come out stronger than ever, and call on the big guns.


Find out more on the flip side...

Yes, I'll be taking a look at both teams' cheerleader squads in an effort to help me decide who is going to win. It's a very complicated formula I'm using here.

So, let's begin with the Thursday Turkey Games.

As always, picks are CAPITALIZED and bold...

Tennessee -11 @ DETROIT

Right off the bat, we step into a void so deep I almost can't believe it. Apparently, the Detroit Lions do not have an official cheerleading squad! What is this, North Korea? That can't possibly be true. No wonder they stink. Is anyone in Detroit outraged? This is much worse than taking wide receivers in the draft for the last 37 years. To not have a cheerleading squad, well I don't believe it.

I mean Tennessee has a squad, and while I don't really appreciate the daisy duke look (wasn't a big Dukes of Hazard fan - I know, you can throw rocks in my direction, but even at age eleven I found it a little silly that the police could never catch the Duke boys. I mean they have to know where they lived. They couldn't get a warrant? The judge was Boss Hog and he HATED the Duke Boys. Something was very fishy in Hazard county), fuck, at least they're sexing it up for the fans.

Anyway, I searched but found no Lions cheerleaders. But there is something we can do . We all know the power of the petition. It's gotten presidential candidates on state ballots and, well not much else. But if we don't try something then Detroit is destined to fall into more obscurity. And I hope, that by uncovering this horrible misstep by the Detroit Lions organization, the Lions will at the very least rise up and show they will not take playing in front of cheerleaderless fans - or at least cover the 11 points they're getting.

Seattle +12.5 @ DALLAS

Another huge reveal about myself - I hate the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Perhaps it's because I hate the Dallas Cowboys, but I just can't get behind their outfits. You know, i might have a bias against western attire in general. Frills do not make things sexy, and neither do accesories - two things western garb seems to have a plethora of.

However, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfits are absolutely stunning compared to the monstrosities the Seahawk gals are wearing. What the fuck is going on here? They appear to be dressed as white footballs. I'm embarrassed - for them, for me, for all of us.

ARIZONA +3 @ Philadelphia

Quick story. Watching the Eagles game on Sunday at a friend's house, I made a couple of smart bets on the activity of the game. When McNabb got benched (in a close game for a back up quaterback that made Koy Detmer look like the Marlboro Man) we immediately made an o/u on times the camera would pan over to McNabb on the sidelines. At 14.5, the over was free money. I mean free. FOX Sports would cut to a particularly bad roadkill carcass if it was titilating enough (and had something to do with the broadcast). We stopped counting at 19, and I left $2 richer. Thank you FOX.

What does that have to do with the game tonight? Nothing. I just like bragging about gambling stories in which I win.

Now, in the world of cheerleading, this is an epic battle. The Eagles cheerleaders for years have been given their props (rightly so) for being an attractive bunch. And Arizona, well they're Arizona. You can walk down the street and get hit by a beautiful girl falling out of a tree they're so plentiful. I mean, here you go...


And then on the other hand we're treated to this...

Simple...classy...ok not classy, but you get the point. So who do I pick?

I'm going with Arizona. After Sunday's dismal Eagles performance, followed by a near mutiny on talk radio against McNabb, Reid, and whatever else, I thought I would get a respite from the team, since the game is to be on the NFL Network, which I don't get. Sadly, one of the local stations will be picking up the broadcast, which means I'll have to watch. And with the cold weather, I doubt the cheerleaders will be much less than a parka. So I'm going with the team that could win their division getting points, and not the team that might not win another game the whole year. But remember, at least we have this:

Ok, what did we learn after Thursday's games other than I need an act of God or Cline to miss posting his picks to win this bet. We learned:

  • Dallas, when all its star players are healthy, is a good team
  • Donovan McNabb has his best games with adversity swarming around him
  • The Lions quit on their fans and the sport awhile ago, and couldn't even muster a decent performance for their traditional Thanksgiving game. And they definitely don't deserve cheerleaders.
Oh and one more thing - never underestimate the power of the redhead.

Seriously, how else do the Eagles win? With that nugget of information, I'm going to tweak my cheerleader searching to focus on any redheads in the squads, since it obviously fired up the Eagles. So, let's get into Sunday's games...

SAN FRANCISCO +7 @ Buffalo

Both squads have redheads...

San Fran's Amy:

vs. Buffalo's Alison:

I don't know about you, but I think Amy might be able to start for the 49ers on Sunday. And I mean that in the very sexiest way possible. I live the 49ers to cover, even in the cold of Buffalo.

BALTIMORE @ Cincinnati +7

Tricky. The Ben-gals boast a number of different types of redheads. They also have an awesome flash thing on their website that is cool. Go see for yourself. However, the Ravens one up them by going to individual videos of the ladies, including swimsuit shoots and interviews. And while it seems Adrienne is the only redhead on the squad, she more than makes up for the lack of quantity. But see for yourself here.

Cincy has been playing teams tough, and the Ravens are coming off a big win, but I can no longer put stock in things like that. I've just spent the last 30 minutes watching cheerleader videos. But I do it all for you guys.

COLTS -5 @ Cleveland

As we learned Thursday, a team without an official cheerleading squad is terrible. If I had any inclination to doing research, I'd take a look at the numbers of teams without cheerleaders and see what they've done historically against the spread. Of course, the other question I'd like to throw out there is what kind of message are teams sending to the city's female population when it can't put forth a little effort and get twenty-five attractive women to cheer?

While we ponder that, please enjoy Larissa, from the Colts official cheerleading squad. And take them minus the points. Quinn, who seemed to at least have a rhythm with the Browns is out, and Anderson is back in. That can't be good if you're a Browns fan.

Carolina @ Green Bay -3

I chose Green Bay last week based on the argument that they can't afford to lose more games in their division. It backfired on me. But who says you should learn from your mistakes?

Wait, scratch that. I just did a couple searches, and yes, you see that right, Green Bay also does not have cheerleading squad. Are you kidding me? What's worse, it seems that the fans had a say in the matter. I don't understand - why would you vote against them? What does it hurt you?

I'm changing my mind and going with Carolina here.

CAROLINA +3 @ Green Bay

Carolina needs to stay on track in the south. Look for them to cover. Besides, you know their cheerleaders are frisky. My research has also uncovered a red head on the Carolina Panthers' cheer squad, as well as a cheerleader named "Hodges." I don't know about you, but Hodges sounds less like a name for a cheerleader and more for a renegade detective working the streets and getting chewed out for his maverick style by the boss. If her last name is McGettigan I'm officially done making picks.

Miami -9.5 @ ST. LOUIS

Not only is the driving euro-techno beat that meets you at the Dolphins' cheerleader website annoying, it also appears at first glance they have no redheads to speak of. Meanwhile, the Rams, who seem to know what they're doing (in cheerleading hiring only - let's not discuss the on field decisions they make) have employed a red head, the lovely Shannon. I can't ignore statistics like that, so I'll take the Rams to cover at home, and force the Dolphins to show me they can cover that big a number on the road. And while the picture of Shannon I've included certainly doesn't show her as a redhead, if you click here and scroll down, you can see what I'm basing my very scientific picks on.

New Orleans @ TAMPA BAY -3.5

Sadly, neither cheerleading squad appears to have a redhead. So it looks like I'll just have to give this game my astute analysis (you've been warned). New Orleans is coming off a short week and a big win, so I like the Bucs at home. Though I do like the Saints cheerleader's squad name: The Saintsations.

Giants -3.5 @ WASHINGTON

I'm finding it amazing that so many teams are in this league sans cheerleaders. I thought it was an officially sanctioned thing by the NFL. Turns out that's not the case. The New York Giants don't have a cheerleading squad? Blasphemy!

Luckily, the same can't be said for the Washington Redskins. They most certainly have a squad, and a lovely redhead named Heather to boot. Gotta go with Washington here. Heather's not gonna let the Redskins lose!

Atlanta @ SAN DIEGO -4.5

Battle of possibly the fake red heads, ironically in a game that suggests the two teams might also be fake. And don't get me wrong, I'd love for Atlanta to be the real deal, I'm just not sure how much stock we can put in a rookie QB. But as long as he keeps winning, he'll prove me wrong. I'm still going San Diego here. Carissa just seems like she could take Courtney in a mud wrestling venue. But don't take my word for it. If yo have the means, then please, set it up. And give me a call. I'd love to watch.

Pittsburgh @ NEW ENGLAND -1

I wanted to go with Pittsburgh here. I really did. I think they're going to play for revenge and get fired up and it's going to be a tough game. But then I saw they don't have a cheerleading squad. What's worse, is that they once did, going back to 1961. For whatever reason however, they disbanded, and no one picked up the torch after that.

And not only does New England have a squad, and not only does it boast a red head, it gives you more information about each cheerleader I've ever seen. For example, I know Brittany's favorite color is blue, she loves R. Kelly's Ignition remix (who doesn't) and she's not going to survive for very long on a deserted island with chapstick, a water bottle and a toothbrush.

DENVER @ Jets -7.5

So the Jets are coming off a huge win against Tennessee, and the Broncos are coming off a horrendous loss against the Raiders. If only I knew what this meant. The Jets are flying high right now, kicking ass and taking names. The Broncos are...well they're just the Broncos and I don't think that's going to help them this week. And since I'm now a Favre fan after the Packers absolutely got destroyed Monday night in a very crucial game, everything points toward me taking the Jets. Everything except the most important thing of course...

You see, on the redhead front, the Jets are lacking, and the Broncos aren't (oh they certainly aren't). So I gots to stay true to my formula and take the Broncos. I mean, I guess I could argue that Laura here could potentially be a redhead, but the bio says brown, so I am too.

Kansas City at OAKLAND -3

This one was easy. Kansas City has no one on the squad that I can even squint at and pretend they have red hair, while Oakland at least forced one of their cheerleaders to die their hair a totally unnatural yet totally sexy shade of red. What? No one else is turned on by artificial hair colors? Um, me neither. Let's move on.

Chicago Bears @ MINNESOTA -3.5

Another easy one, another team without an official cheerleading squad. It's hard to believe. How can the Bears, one of the most storied franchises in the league, not have the wherewithal to get a bunch of scantily clad ladies to dance around during games? Is that so hard?

Meanwhile, someone up in Minnesota has a serious redhead fetish, and I don't mind at all. Going on the redhead formula I've put together, the Vikings should win on Sunday 126-6 and the six points will be a touchdown with a missed extra point.

Jacksonville @ HOUSTON -3

Tough one since Jacksonville has redheads:

and so does Houston:

How do you break the stalemate? You go with the team that has identical twins cheering for them on the sidelines:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some music to get you through your afternoon


As I'm sure everyone has dreams of turkey and yams dancing through their head, I figured today would be a great day to throw some music up for your listening enjoyment.

Who wouldn't love to be a deejay, to be able to choose songs at random for thousands of people to hear? So I've decided to create an afternoon playlist (not for thousands of course) for you to chill out and possibly hear something you've never heard before.


Podcast 10.009 Recap -- Pics, Vids, Links, and More!

After more aborted beginnings than a Planned Parenthood yard sale, The Popcorn Trick finally started spurting digital chatter into your collective podholes. To ease us back into things, we tackled some broad topics and even a few topics about broads.


10+ days after the Popcorn Trick and most of their fanbase attended the Drive-By Truckers show, we kicked off the show with a live recording from that show, as captured in this video:

In case you haven't already, you can check out Goose's review of the show and my treatise on what it meant for the future of the Truckers.
As the music faded, we seamlessly rejoined the light banter our fans have come to know and envy. And we totally didn't have a better opening segment deleted due to technical difficulties, in case you were wondering.

The Best

5 months between podcasts, and we both went with something fresh in our memories for our respective The Bests.

I kicked things off recounting a late-night trip to an apparently legendary jazz club north of Harlem (not really Upper West Side as I initially though) called St. Nick's Pub (also this). Drinks were shared, stories told, business cards swapped, sandwiches made, and other people laid.

An exterior shot:

A little Latin flavor:

Not great video, but this is a decent approximation of what I remember in terms of music and visibility:

Jayne Kennedy's daughter doing some jazz vocals:

After trying to sow seeds of distrust between me and my alleged girlfriend, Goose went on to detail his The Best. You can't go wrong with the mad genius that is R. Kelly. Especially on The Popcorn Trick.

This is Kels' latest video, or as it some day may be known, Exhibit A:

A little taste of the brilliance of Trapped in the Closet:
And then,this:

Musical Interlude

We kept it broad, and directly in Goose's wheelhouse by going with songs that have horns in them. All of them, in some form or another can be listened to via this here thing:

podcast 10

Other stuff:

  • Good Onion article (mentioned by me in a deleted scene) about songs nearly ruined by saxophone.
  • Marah doing Can't Hardly Wait (sans horns):
  • Fathead has a reunion show 1/24/09 at the North Star
  • More info on the Elephant 6 collective, which includes one of Goose's choices (Neutral Milk Hotel)
  • Neutral Milk Hotel
    • Weird MS Paint video for an NMH song:
    • NMH's Jeff Mangum doing Holland, 1945:
  • Beck doing "Debra" live
  • Trailer for documentary (Dig!) about the Dandy Warhols & the Brian Jonestown Massacre:
  • Spiritualized
    • Live version of "Come Together" from earlier this year :

    • John Prine's "Sam Stone", which had a few lyrics borrowed for "Come Together"
  • Phil Collins
    • I couldn't find any clips of him acting, but here's what he looked like when he was on Miami Vice and what he sounded like when he was singing songs from Buster:

Underrated Hotties

We kept it broad, this time going with the vague concept of "Underrated Hot Chicks". Whether it was someone well known but under-lusted-after or someone who is obviously hot, but less famous, these are some of the people we would love to handcuff to our mental radiator.

  • Angela from the Office
  • Christa Miller

  • Maura Tierney
  • Jordana Brewster (DEBS - other chick)

  • Jill Ritchie (from D.E.B.S, Arrested Development, and being Kid Rock's sister)
  • Cobie Smulders
  • Jenny Lewis

  • Michelle Obama
  • Mary Steenburgen
  • Diane Kruger
  • Dana Delaney