All posts by ReasonablySober

My religious thoughts for the night

1 – This happened over a year ago and I remember reading about it back then, but the verdict came down last week.

From the AP.

This interested me for a few reasons.

– a mother and father, among others, prayed around young Kara while she lay on the ground dying. She did. It was only then that someone had the bright idea to call 911

– it happened in a town I recently lived in.

– I have a heart and it bleeds when I read stories like these.

I want to rant. I won’t. I’ll just tell an anecdote I heard once…

A man lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was gonna rush up and flood the town. That all the residents should evacuate their homes.

But the man said, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.”

The waters rose up, a man in a boat came by and shouted, “Hey, hey you! You in there! The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety”.

But the man shouted back, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me”.

A helicopter was hovering over head and a guy with a megaphone shouted, “Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and take you to safety”.

But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that god loved him and god would take him to safety.

Well, the man drowned.

So he’s standing at the gates of St. Peter and he demands an audience with god.

“Lord,” he says, “I’m a religious man. I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?”

God said, “I sent you a radio report, a helicopter and a guy in a boat. What the hell are you doing here?”

One, one more thing

The best stretch of music on any album I’ve heard in recent memory belongs to tracks four, five, six and seven on Breaking Benjamin’s Dear Agony.

#4 – Give Me a Sign

#5 – Hopeless

#6 – What Lies Beneath

#7 – Anthem of the Angels

Ridiculously good. I’ve been conditioned to expect crummy music the more an artist or band churns out music, but I’m thrilled to say that the recent stuff from old favorites has been awesome.

One long, slow trainwreck

1) You ever start a movie and almost instantly know it’s gonna be one of your favorites? WALL-E was one. Garden State was another.

500 Days of Summer absolutely is. It’s awesome. Almost immediately I’m seeing myself and my friends in these two characters. It’s impossible not to. Either you’ve been one of these people or you know one of these people. Maybe you’ve been both. I know I have.

I’m trying to write while watching it. It’s 1:00 am and I might be keeping the neighbors and my brother up with my laughter. The scene with the Hall and Oats song is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

On the other-hand, I’m someone who can’t stand to watch embarrassing situations. Or train-wrecks you can see coming a mile away. Or anything that reminds me of a time when I was not-awesome and I look back at myself horrified. There are a shit-ton of scenes like this. Like pretty much to the point where I had to turn my head and plug my ears.

I know, I’m a dope.

1b) I can’t believe the sister from Almost Famous is now this super famous actress depicting everything that frustrates and demolishes men like me.

1c) There can’t be much left of this movie. I don’t know how it can possibly end in a way that doesn’t leave me completely and utterly fucking hopeless and depressed. That said, 500 Days is still super awesome.

1d) OK, it just ended and I’m grinning like a bastard.



A Good Walk Spoiled

Last week I read a blog entry written by a woman in which she describes the various types of men you’re likely to meet on a golf course.

1- The daddy: Older men usually love my presence and take me under their wing. They act like surrogate dads and are really nice to me, even nicer when they see that I can play. I love it ๐Ÿ™‚
2- The flirt: Ohhh, a woman… Maybe she’ll want to have sex with me? I get the phone numbers of the bravests and the others merely flirt with me during the round. They’re usually harmless and sweet, but can sometimes be a bit agressive and become a hassle (when you’re stuck with someone who’s hitting on you for 5 hours and you’re not interested, it can be a bit long…)
3- The couple: Now the guy could fall into the flirt category, but wife is right beside him. So he has to be nice to me while at the same time making sure not to be too nice to me… This guy should never, ever compliment me too much in front of his wife, especially, as it’s often the case, if I play better than her. I remember one who had the nerve to tell his wife: “Do like Sylvie does, honey”. Oh boy… Poor guy ๐Ÿ™‚
4- The macho: Now that’s the type of man I can’t stand. It’s the type of guy who might start by barely noticing my presence and making sure only to talk to his buddies. Then he might act frustrated and humiliated when I’m playing better than him. He might make me feel that I shouldn’t be there and that he’s annoyed to see a woman on the course. These guys are rare. But believe me, when I get paired with one of them, it makes for the longest 5 hours…
5- The nice guy: Now that’s the majority and they’re the reason why I still play on my own, because most often I meet really nice people ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll add these kinds of golfers.

1) The guy who’s only golfing because it’s the one place he knows his wife or girlfriend won’t be. Outside of my brother this is the kind I play golf with most. It’s the single biggest reason I’m happy that I’m single. If you think I’m kidding, really, I’m not. If it’s golf or the love of a good woman, I’m sorry, but I’m hitting the links.

2) The guy who is only in it for the beer. He wants to get drunk and doing it in the sun is more fun than doing it indoors at a bar.

3) The guy who absolutely sucks, owns dogshit Wal-Mart clubs and is really only there because golf makes him feel better about himself than he actually deserves. He might enjoy bowling or softball more, but golf puts him out there with people that wear shirts with sleeves to work every day. He’s probably wearing jeans.

These guys can be serious pains in the ass because they don’t know shit about golf etiquette. I don’t have problem with shitty golfers. If you suck, the best way to learn is probably on the course. But if you’re terrible, observe these simple rules:

– Let the people behind play through. Even if they aren’t on your ass, wait at the next tee box for the people behind you to catch up and let them hit. Who knows. Maybe you see what they’re doing well and you learn something.

– Go easy on the practice swings Chief. Whether you take one or five you’re still hitting a shitty shot.

– Continuous play. Observe it. Even the good players don’t observe the “whomever’s furthest away hits” rule most occasions. If you’re at your ball and are ready to hit, give it a rip.

– You don’t have to walk or drive next to your partners. Few things bug me more than watching groups of people drive up to each other’s shots instead of going right to their own.

– If the beer lady comes around and you flag her down, you better motherfucking let the group behind play through.

– Don’t spend 10 minutes looking for a lost ball if you have people a hole behind you. Don’t worry about it, they aren’t gold fucking nuggets

– If you’re bringing a kid along, don’t let them hit balls unless no one’s behind you. I think it’s awesome when parents bring their little ones out there to hit balls. Just don’t do it if it means holding up everyone else.

– Don’t argue or make a scene when you think you know golf etiquette when you don’t. I’m really only making this rule because of something Ben and I experienced earlier in the summer. We were behind a couple sleeveless, jean wearing fucks that were putting their way up Mill Run and holding everyone up. When we got to a short par four Ben and I literally watched them hit their drives from the box and they wouldn’t let us play through.

When they got to the green I hit my drive. Dead center, a good 315 yards. It was still 40 yards from the green but the twosome ahead of us stopped what they we doing and stared at me for a good minute.

I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. Not only were they playing terribly, playing slow and not letting us go through, but now they felt either threatened and/or insulted.

Look, it’s a 350 yard PAR-FUCKING-FOUR. Anyone would hit their drive if they were in my spot.

So I’m sort of laughing, not believing what I’m witnessing. I tell Ben to go ahead and hit (they’re still staring at us from the green). He does and it goes right down the middle, nearly as far as mine.

They raise their arms as if to say, “What the fuck?!?” and continue to glare. Hell, not only do they glare, but they fuck around on the green for a good five minutes while Ben and I walk up the fairway to our drives. We stop about halfway and just watch. We don’t get any closer because, frankly, one of them looks like Hulk Hogan and I’m positive he could kill us both.

In the meantime a group behind us has caught up and they’re on the box, so now the two fucks in front of us are holding up a few groups. I go back to the group behind us and explain what happened and even they can’t believe what happened.

Eventually they get the hint and move on. Ben and I finish the hole and skip three holes to play 17, 18 and 19 coming back. No need to get into a conversation with a guy that looked as if he wanted to kill me.

But the point of this example is this: if you suck, realize it. Know that there are people on the course that are better and faster. If you don’t let people play through, you not only hold up that group but everyone behind them. You could be holding up people for what amounts to hours, and I’m not even exaggerating.

4) The tenured member. I’m related to a couple of these. They’re easy to locate. For one, they tend to be old(er). Usually 45+. They always wear their shirts tucked in. They never walk.

The defining characteristic? They NEVER let people play through. If you’re on their asses, you’re either cheating or playing too fast and damn it all if you’re just gonna have to slow down or wait. They’ve been playing this game for too long and paid too much money to experience the indignity of letting some kid play through.

It’s these fucks that I can’t stand. Ignorance, like in the example above, I get. They just don’t know any better.

But if you’re an avid golfer and you still don’t let people play through it’s inexcusable. You’re basically giving the rest of the course a big Fuck You and costing people their time and rounds.

This gets into another issue. If you’re rushed or having to wait, your round is likely to suffer. Today is a prime example.

I went to hit nine holes after the Packer game and it started great. Greened a par 4 first hole and birdied. Next hole was a par three that I always bogey, but I knocked one stiff and got out with a par. So now I’m -1 after two quick holes and I’m thinking about having one of my better rounds of the summer.

Unfortunately, I got behind two guys that sucked, played slow and wouldn’t let me go through. I waited on 3, 4, 5 and 6 and my game suffered. They let me play through and I finished with three pars.

Golf is such a mental game. If you’re pissed or nervous or upset or whatever…you won’t be playing well. But if you can focus on your game and don’t worry about everything else, you might have the chance to put up a good score. It’s bullshit like the stuff above that absolutely ruins a good time and turn a goal of playing well into a, “eh, fuck it” kind of round.

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West

Question was posed to me a couple days ago and I didn’t sit down to think about it until tonight.

The world is coming to an end and it’s just you and your spouse left. You can save 80 minutes of music (one CD). What do you chose?

Here was my list (when in doubt I usually went with the shorter tunes):

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (8:01)
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (6:53)
Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You (3:03)
Alicia Keys – Fallin (3:30)
Bob Marley – Redemption Song (3:49)
Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire (2:42)
The Descendants – Silly Girl (live version) (2:09)
Diana Ross & The Supremes – You Keep Me Hangin’ On (3:15)
Massive Attack – Angel (6:19)
The Doors – Break On Through (2:26)
Eminem – Lose Yourself (5:26)
George Straight – I can still make Cheyenne (4:11)
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (4:33)
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (3:59)
Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone (3:09)
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (3:18)
Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (2:42)
Patsy Cline – Crazy (2:44)
Warren G – Regulate (4:09)
Yeah yeah yeah’s – Maps (3:40)


Again there were SERIOUS trade-offs. Lots of tunes I wanted on here, but if they got over 4:30 in length I knew they would be costing a couple shorter songs their spots. In the end I wanted variety instead of the best of the best (which might have only been 8-10 songs).

The first two were the only absolute, stone cold locks. I knew I wanted Stairway and Hallelujah the moment I sat down to figure this out.

The rest is a mixed bag. Certainly not a representation of the best music ever, but then again I’m not an expert on music either. I’ve also got time restraints. Sorry Beethoven.

I tried to get a mix of genres.

– I chose Since U Been Gone over Billy Jean (pop)

– Welcome to the Jungle over Smells like Teen Spirit (honestly, time was the determining factor here)

– The Doors got in because of the instruments and the length of Break on Through.

– George and Patsy help out the country side.

– Warren and Eminem for hip-hop, thought I could have gone with EPMD or Mob Deep.

– Massive Attack, despite the length, had to be on there. Electronica, trippy, big time sound.

– I needed something punk. I thought Dead Kennedys but I don’t know if they have the influence. The Descendants do. They invented pop-punk. When you hear The Ataris, Green Day, Paramore, New Found Glory and countless other four-chord wonders singing about teenage years and lost love, thank The Descendants. Silly Girl works for this list.

– Alicia Keys, her pipes and her piano needed inclusion.

– Jimi had to show what a guitar is capable of.

I’m satisfied.

Time to break the 10 things up

1 – After the Packer game today I was almost despondent. For a month people have been singing their praises and talking up their talent. They were one of the NFC’s best and a good shot to make it to the Super Bowl. No lie, I ate it up. I bought right in.

But after a troubling performance against the Bears and a devastating loss at home to the Bengals, the Packers have been exposed as frauds.

Personally, I was numb. It was like I’d just witnessed a car crash and didn’t know how to act. This happens when you live and die with your favorite teams.

That lasted about an hour, because I soon after went through something much worse:

The Shanks.

Don’t bother to look it up in the Urban Dictionary; none of the definitions work or do it justice. I’ll help you out.

Shanks (nown): A soulless, unforgiving motherfuck that toys with your emotions, kills your spirit and demolishes your will. It will show up unexpectedly, stay as long as it wishes and is nearly impossible to defeat. If you have The Shanks, you know almost instantly, and it’s like your guts have been ripped out from your insides.

Let me paint the picture, set the scene if you will…

Before the Packer game was over I’d chalked it up to a loss. Even as they recovered the on-side kick I didn’t bother watching the final minute. I was already putting on the golf shoes. Ben decided he’d go with. We got to Princeton Valley and got a large bucket of balls to hit before our rounds.

At first, everything was fine. I pulled out the lob wedge and launched a few pretty balls at the green 75 yards away. Then I hit some with the pitching wedge and again, everything was alright. I grabbed the nine-iron, and all of the sudden everything went to shit.


I hit it and my worst nightmare started. The ball (that little dimpled son of a bitch) instead of going straight sliced a hard right. Picture a perfect golf shot as going at a 90 degree angle. This ball went to about 15 degrees. It was so bad that someone hitting up the range from me had to glance my way with a “What the fuck” kind of look.

OK. One shot like that isn’t the end of the world. It’s the second that lets you know whether you’re fine or if you’re in for one of the worst stretches of golf in your life.

Unfortunately for me it was the latter.

There were about forty balls left in that bucket. I would estimate that 80% were shanks that all did the exact same thing. The other 20% were a mix of dubs and chunks. My swing that had done me so well for the last three months was boned.

The Shanks are a funny thing. No one really knows where they come from. You can be going along fine and out of no-where they show up. Nothing you do can get rid of them. Golf is a tough sport, and the golf swing is a complex thing. There are so many moving parts and things to factor in to get that ball to do what you want it to. Swing tempo, foot placement, grip, how far you bring the club back, where your elbows are, follow through…every swing is different but the end goal is the same. Hit that little fucker up the fairway and keep it out of the hazards.

So when you factor all the things that go into the swing and how tough it is to do anything consistently, it really is remarkable to watch shot after shot do the exact same thing. It didn’t matter which club I used, how hard I swung, where I kept my feet or hands or arms…every shot took a hard right at that same 15 degree angle.

My brother was next to me analyzing my swing.

“You’re not staying down on the ball”
“You’re coming up to soon”
“You’re babying the ball”
“Look where your feet are”

Unfortunately for someone who’s never had the shanks, he didn’t know that the real problem isn’t physical, it’s mental. I’ve had them once before and it makes for a miserable stretch of golf. You can try anything and everything, but if your head isn’t right you’re never getting your swing back. If he knew the shanks, he would have stopped with the golf instruction and bought me a shot instead. I’m not positive, but a theory of mine is there are only a few sure ways to get rid of the shanks

1) hard drugs
2) copious amounts of hard liquor
3) frequent carnal knowledge
4) death of a loved one

Those are the only four cures as far as I can tell.

I got to work on #2 before we even teed off on hole number one and was legally drunk by hole number two.

Fortunately for myself, the driver is immune to the shanks. If you’re driving the ball wrong, it’s a physical malady. Today my driver was the only reason I didn’t put up a complete monster. Hell, I actually drove the ball as well as I have for most of the summer. 300+, typically right down the middle. On most holes I had a 60 yard pitch with the sand-wedge to the green and there’s little chance to shank that shot.

On holes I had to bring out any other iron? Again, I’ll set the table…

On #2 I crushed my drive, dead center down the middle of the fairway. I probably out-drove Ben, another big hitter, by 40 yards. All I had to get to the dance was about 110, a soft pitching wedge. Ben was texting someone while I swung. I took my shot, Ben looked up from his phone and asked, “Where’d you go?”. I pointed directly to his right at someone’s yard. Ben just put his head down and walked ahead. That’s the other thing with the shanks; if you have it the other golfers in your party act like you have the H1N1 virus or the Bubonic plague. They don’t want to catch it.

So that’s how my round went.

Driver and lob wedge were great.
4-PW = embarrassment.

Only two questions linger.

1) How long will the shanks stick around?
2) What brought them on in the first place?

It’s always something mental with the shanks. Guilt, sorrow, anger…take your pick. Might even be karma or some kind of god telling me that I fucked up in some way recently.

Oh well. Tomorrow is new day and a new 18 holes.

2) Ben and I got some stuff for the grill after the round. I picked up a bottle of Bloody Mary mix. The grill went on as soon as I got home and the vodka came out of the freezer.

“You’re making a drink already?”, Ben said.
“It’s not a drink, it’s a Bloody Mary. It’s Sunday” I said.
Ben, laughing, “I love how you rationalize that”.

3) Speaking of drinks, my new favorite is the John Daly. My homey Brian of Wausau learned me a couple months ago.

Pour a generous portion of vodka into a tall glass. My preference of late is Sobieski.

Add 1 1/2 tbs of ice tea mix.

Top with lemonade and stir/shake.

Drink many.

4) I can honestly say that one positive from today’s tough loss is I’ll be more productive at work than I have been in months.

Typically I’ll scour the net for any and everything related to the Packers and the NFL. After a loss as bad as today’s I’m gonna avoid sports news like the plague. What’s tough on me should be great for my company.

5)Let August of 2009 be known as the Cautionary Tale of the Green Bay Packers.

It shall forever serve as a reminder that the pre-season means total and complete dick. The Packers were unstoppable in three meaningless games. Two games into the regular season and they look like dogshit.

Moral of the story: don’t tune in to the NFL until September.

6) Twitter has claimed its first Packer victim. After today’s humiliating loss, linebacker Nick Barnett popped off to fans, telling them to, “KISS MY ASS”. He also questioned the coaching staff and their rotations. An hour later he come back on with an apology.

You can bet that the Packers will begin imposing Twitter restrictions on their players, and it’s about time.

7) OGTs

Not much of anything to be honest. This weekend was good and all but it was more like hanging out with a pal and nothing else. Eh, whatever.

8) Almost four years ago I made my last trip to Stout to party. Because I’d crashed the night before I woke up needing new clothes. I drove to a Maurices and bought what I would later consider to be the ugliest shorts I’d ever worn. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I didn’t wear them again after that night, until three weeks ago.

I was at home and looking through my old closet to see if there were any old clothes worth salvaging before they were set to go to St. Vinnies. I saw the old shorts and thought one thing: golfing.

Golfing is the one occasion you have to wear the ugliest checkered patterns and colors and not only look acceptable, but awesome.

So now those old and ugly shorts are a staple. If I’m golfing and they’re clean (and I usually wash them after every time on the course) I’m wearing ’em.

9) On a blog I like the subject of tipping came up. This is one of those things that fascinate me, how people can have such passionate and polar opposite views. Some people are steadfast in 15% being the absolute maximum and only if the service is extraordinary. Some don’t tip at all and will rationalize it in any way possible. Many people can’t bring themselves to give an extra buck if it means the difference between looking cheap and looking generous.

Here’s my take…

Over-tip. Always. 20% or more, for that matter. It’s $15, give them $4. $20, give them $6. If you only have one or two at a bar after work give a 50% tip. If you’re at a bar you regular, go 50%. Expect free drinks down the line. If you’re with a group of people or a date and you’ve racked up a big bar bill, go nuts and give a 25-40% tip.

Big tips will never screw you over. In the end it’s just a matter of a few bucks but the service you get the next time and the way you look to the people around you more than make up for the cash you fork over.

10 Things

1 – There should be a reason to get out of bed in the morning, good or bad in my opinion. Whether it’s going somewhere, seeing an old friend, making progress on a major project at work, facing the music on something you screwed up, telling yourself that today is the day you ask out that girl you’ve been eyeing…whatever it might be, life shouldn’t be the same thing over and over. When it’s not only the days but the weeks that start to blend together, that’s when you should get worried.

I wouldn’t say I’m worried…yet. I guess that would invoke some kind of emotion, something I lack lately. No, lately things just keep repeating, the same thing every day, the same thing every weekend. Maybe I care that I’m slowly realizing that I don’t care about much in my life right now.

2 – Being scared of success has been on my mind today. My dad and I talked about it last week when discussing Ben’s football team. He’s on a staff with coaches that, even though their team completely sucks, are hesitant to try anything different. They won’t change up the personnel, they won’t try new plays or formations. You have to ask yourself that if you’re gonna lose huge by doing the same things you’ve always done, where is the harm in trying something new?

Today I hosted an email marketing meeting. It actually got heated when people defended their positions on a number of matters. I like that. It sparks debate, ideas are floated and people seem more apt to say how they really feel. Ideas bring about change. Change is good.

Now I think about my own life. Time and time again I’m given the choice of status-quo or radical change. Time and time again I choose to keep things the way they are. It isn’t that I’m particularly satisfied with my life. Maybe it’s because if I change and it doesn’t work out I’ll feel like this right here is as good as my life will get and that’s sort of depressing. But I know that there are ways I could be infinitely happier and I can’t seem to bring myself to go after that.

Then again, when I look back on the times I’ve been truly happy or something has gone well for me, it took (what seemed to me at the time) a good amount of risk, some work and some initiative. In the end maybe there wasn’t any risk at all. It just meant changing my approach or thought process or my modus operandi. I’d say 9 out of 10 times I’ve been happy I stepped out onto the ledge. I think it’s time to do so again…I’m just not sure for what.

But something needs to change.

3 – For some reason the high point of my week seems to come when I either

a) finish cleaning the place to the point where it’s spotless
b) right after I hit my drive on hole number one if I’m golfing alone. Golfing with someone else doesn’t seem to bring the same kind of peace of mind. I like being alone on the course, iPhone on and the earbuds in, just walking my way up the fairway as the sun is starting to go down in the evening.

So cleaning and golf. The only two things I look forward to anymore.

4 – My mom is pissed at me. My cousin and a best friend as a kid got married in Cancun a couple months ago. Now he’s having another ceremony and party up here at his folks’ place in Minnesota. My mom wanted a picture of me, him and my other cousin Sara. It’s a big deal for her because we’ve been taking the same pic of us at different stages of our lives for years. Graduations, weddings, other special occasions.

I will not be attending.

For one, it would have required me to take the afternoon off and I don’t have a lot of PTO left. Second, I love my family but all those people would be too much to handle. I’m not in a party and social state of mind right now. Lastly, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m the oldest of us three and I’m the only one not married. Not only that, I’m no where fucking close to getting married. It’s not a huge deal unless it’s right there in my face.

I think had I told my mom she would have understood. Instead I made up some bullshit excuse related with work and now she’s mad at me.

5 – The general incompetence of Milwaukee Bucks’ GM John Hammond is absolutely astounding.

In the NBA, you have to be either really good or really bad. There is no where in-between if your franchise is to have some kind of direction. The best teams, the contenders, have superstar talent. That talent is always acquired with a high draft pick because the prior year that team was one of the worst in the league. The Cavaliers were the worst team in the NBA in the early 2000s. They got the #1 overall pick because of it and took LeBron James. The Magic were terrible, got the top pick one year and took Dwight Howard. The Rockets and Hakeem Olajuwan. Bulls and Jordan. Celtics and Bird. Lakers and Magic. Magic and Shaq. Hornets and Paul.

It’s how the NBA works. You have to get really bad before you can get really good.

Unfortunately for the Bucks, their GM is content on being a middle of the pack team. He refuses to clear salary, play the young guys, go through a rebuilding season or two and get high draft picks. Despite this being the ONLY way to compete long term (it’s been this way for over 30 years), he’s fine with paying mid-level talent and shooting for .500 ball.

Someone I know used to say that your above average NBA fan, someone with knowledge of the draft and how contracts work and the basics of team building, could do an NBA GM’s job. I would laugh and say he’s nuts.

Now I’m 100% in his corner. There isn’t a shred of doubt in my mind that I could do Hammond’s job. I have no professional experience, I’m simply a fan that knows a lot about the NBA and I know with every fiber of my being I could have the Bucks in a better position than this fucking moron.

6 – I love where this season of Supernatural is heading. Ben and I both agreed that last night’s episode was the best in years.


8 – I’m giving serious thought to getting the car when I’m done with work and driving West. No destination in mind, just driving until I’ve had enough. I might not stop until I see the Pacific Ocean. It’s 1749.4 miles to Seattle, Washington. I could be there by this time tomorrow. Stop along the way to take come pictures. Grab one of the Pacific, turn around and come right back.

It’s a coin flip at this point.

9) I’ll finish later.

10 Things

Yea, so it’s back.

The last incarnation of the 10 things blog was a fun (at least for me), sort of interesting look into the head of a dude. Sports, politics, current events, food, dating, times with friends, whatever…I wrote about everything. If it was going through my head it inevitably found it’s way into the blog. My first entry was on May 1st, 2006. The last was on September 14th, 2008. In between there were hundreds of entries, the total amount of pages adding up to the size of your typical Tom Clancy novel. Sometimes I wrote daily and the stuff came out easily; other times I knew I hadn’t written in a week and I had to force myself to write. It wasn’t for public viewing. I mostly wrote it so days, months and years later I could look back at things I’d written and smile when remembering how I felt about something on that particular day. Sometimes people would find out I was writing a blog and if they wanted access I usually gave it to them. By the end of its run the 10 things had around six thousand total views not counting my own. So I was sort of proud that not only would someone care to read what I’d written, but that they would return for subsequent entries.

But anyway, it’s been exactly a year since I’ve done this. Seems like as good a time as any to get back up off the mat.

1) Social media will get me fired one day.

Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, instant messaging…if you’re someone with a number of interests, wired-in friends and access to the internet at your job, it’s damn near fucking impossible to stay focussed. Hell, in-between the first paragraph and #1 on this list I had to take a break to check the usual sites for updates on anything I may have missed in the last twenty minutes (Brian Urlacher is out of the season, by the way). Every once in a while I step back and marvel at the absurdity of it all.

Last night I was watching the Packers take on the Bears. I didn’t know, nor did I care, that the MTV VMAs were on. But on a site I frequent a new thread with the topic, “Kanye does it again…” had started. Thirty seconds later Neder IM’s me with the details. That same moment Twitter is blowing up with the incident. Ten minutes later there’s video on Perez Hilton’s site. Five minutes later it’s tweeted that Swift and her mom were seen crying hysterically backstage. Minutes later there’s a tweet that Kanye was kicked out of the show. Liza asks if I want to kick Kanye’s ass. My brother comes home from his classroom and the first thing out of his mouth and it isn’t about the game, it’s, “Can you believe what Kanye did?”.

This is all in a span of about thirty minutes. I never once flipped over to MTV. I didn’t even care to know about what happened. But just from having a computer, the internet and a phone I couldn’t avoid knowing.

Now, this is all happening on a Sunday night. It would be great if the world stopped Monday through Friday, 8:00-5:00 pm, but it doesn’t. So when I don’t have something pressing to do at work, my day is usually spent in a constant search for up to the minute information. It’s scary but my system is that I can go from one bookmarked site to the next, and by the time I’m finished with my last site I know there’s probably updates on the first. Rince, wash, repeat. Always repeat. Unless I’ve got a project desperately needing my attention, I can spend all day just combing 12 websites.

I’m not saying this is awesome. I’m saying it’s an addiction. I don’t know when it happened, but information (even the most mundane) became a drug. I’m not the only one hooked, either. I have pals that are the exact same way. We send each other updates on AIM or our phones. If something is even fifteen minutes late, you get ripped for being behind or slow. What scares me, though, is where does this take a turn? What happens when one of us gets a job that actually requires eight hours of attention? What will the withdrawal process be like?

I’m nervous.

1b. Classic example. My favorite place to get lunch is a spot called Cicione’s. I love it because I can call for takeout, it’s only a couple blocks away, I’m in and out in a minute and I can eat in my car once I’m back at work. That way I keep the AM radio on, listen in on the conversations and not miss anything if something breaks.

1c. Ironically, on the way to Cicione’s, a radio host was talking about this very topic. He was describing the new Red Zone channel on DirecTV. It’s on Sunday afternoons and the host brings you to live NFL games when a team is in the red-zone (inside the 20 yard line). No commercials, there’s always action, it’s fantastic.

The radio host described the reason it was so outstanding. He doesn’t want commercials, or recaps, or having to wait.

“In today’s caffeinated society, I want more, quicker.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Work is pressing. Nine more later.


3) I don’t get someone like Kanye West.

OK, the VMAs are probably complete bullshit. That seems to be what I’m hearing from people that want to defend Kanye.

“He was making a statement! The VMAs are a joke and he was simply pointing it out. This has nothing to do with Taylor Swift.” I’ve heard that a couple times.

I don’t watch the VMAs. I couldn’t name a song from 90% of those in attendance. But the fact that it’s full of crappy artists that make crappy music isn’t the point. It obviously meant a whole lot to Taylor Swift, who as we know was crying her ass off afterwords. So all he accomplished was making himself look like an ass and hurting a young teenage girl.


3a) OK, then they defend his status. He’s amazing and has earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants. Today I read someone say he’s the closest thing to Michael Jackson since Michael Jackson. My response was if he fell off the face of the planet right now, how many people would even give two shits? Michael Jackson died and the world stopped for almost a week. Everyone talked about him. News coverage 24/7. CNN basically blew up. It was the first time in years you could play your favorite MJ tune and get universal thumbs up.

On the other hand, I guarantee there were thousands of middle age white people that turned to CNN today and saw the headline about Swift and Kanye and wondered, “Who the hell is this guy?”

3b)Alright, then it’s his artistic ability. Nobody puts together better rhymes. I swear to god, I read this today:

“The final verse in Gone is one of the best damn set of lyrics ever written. If you don’t honestly believe that, I seriously question your tastes in music.”

Wait, you mean this?

Uh-uh-uh uh uh onnn, uh uh-uh onnn
Uh-uh onnn, uh uh-uh I’mmmm
Ah-head of my time, sometimes years out
So the powers that be won’t let me get my ideas out
And that make me wanna get my advance out
And move to Oklahoma and just live at my Aunt’s house
Yeah, I romance the thought of leavin it all behind
Kanye step away from the lime-
-light, like, when I was on the grind
In the “One, Nine, Nine, Nine”
Before, model chicks was bendin over or
Dealerships asked me Benz or Rover, man
If I could just get one beat on Hova
We could get up off this cheap-ass sofa
What the summer of the Chi got to offer an 18-year-old
Sell drugs or get a job, you gotta play gyro
My dawg worked at Taco Bell, hooked us up plural
Fired a week later the manager count the churros
Sometimes I can’t believe it when I look up in the mirrow
How we out in Europe, spendin Euros
They claim you never know what you got ’til it’s GONE
I know I got it, I don’t know what y’all on
I’ma open up a store for aspiring MC’s
Won’t sell ’em no dream, but the inspiration is free
But if they ever flip sides like Anakin
You’ll sell everything includin the mannequin
They got a new bitch now you Jennifer Aniston
Hold on I’ll handle it, don’t start panickin, stay calm
Shorty’s at the door cause they need more
Inspiration for they life, they souls, and they songs
They said sorry Mr. West is gone!

Yea….I can totally see the sick lyricism. I was totally feeling the part about the churros. Fucking amazing.

I hate people.

4) Hollywood has become one, big, steaming pile of dogshit. TV on the otherhand…

For years I slammed TV. It wasn’t exactly a leap to say that the little box was churning out a mind-numbing amount of crap. Reality shows, TMZ, MTV, Charlie Sheen…there was an absurd amount of crap. It didn’t help that even the most critically acclaimed shows were pretty damn boring. The Wire and Six Feet Under were coma inducing and only cool if you wanted to up your hipness for being in on how underrated they were. The Sopranos was up and down. House is the same episode every damn week. There are about two million CSIs. Even shows that once had promise like Heroes quickly took a dive.

But recently? There’s actually a decent amount to like.

Start on Bravo and Top Chef. It’s reality TV for people with a brain. No sordid affairs and fighting. It’s cooking from start to end and seeing some of the amazing creations these cats come up with is enough to make your jaw drop.

Next head on over to the Food Network. I could list a couple shows, but honestly, everything on this network is gold. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is a reason to stay home on a Friday night.

One of the best shows in recent memory just ended…

Battlestar Gallactica

Battlestar Galactica was simply amazing. I didn’t come aboard until Season 4, the last, but rolling through the DVDs was worth it. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. They never watch. One, it has a stupid name (not the current show’s fault. It’s actually a remake of a campy 70s show). Second, it’s on the Sci-Fi Network, and no dude that ever wants to get laid again will admit to watching that channel.

BUT! Here’s a transcript of a chat I recently had with one of my main dudes.

Mike: I had a buddy try and get me to watch BSG

Me: I take it you didn’t dig it

Mike: i didnt watch yet

Me: Give it an honest chance. Sit through the three hour mini-series and try and watch the first few episodes

I honestly don’t know how anyone could watch the series and not think it’s one of the top two or three shows of the 00’s

Mike: My buddy has great taste so I will take his word and check it out

Me: I have great taste motherfucker and I’ve been saying it for a year!

Mike: He put it up there with the Wire in terms of depth, accuracy, acting๏ฟผ

and no you dont

Me: lol

Mike: you told me your favorite show was Everybody Loves Raymond

Me: Oh shut the fuck up

Mike: remember, you were trying to decide if that was your #1 or King of Queen

Me: Dude.

Mike: im fucking with you

Me: Dick

The other two shows in the last couple years I won’t stop recommending are Psych and Supernatural. Both are hour long dramadies.



Do yourself a favor and tune in.

5) I’ve been mildly depressed about the knee lately. I demolished it back in January, tore the ACL, MCL and lateral meniscus. I had my surgery back in late Febrary. I still have pain and discomfort every day even though I don’t really walk with a limp anymore. But the normal everyday pain I can live with. It sucks that it’s eight months and I’m still no where near 100%, but that’s not what gets me.

After my surgery my doc told me that the meniscus was much worse than the MRI revealed. He said it looked like a shark went in and took a bite out of it and that it was essentially gone from my knee and was beyond repair. This was disheartening for the following reason…

Without the meniscus present, the weight of your body would be unevenly applied to the bones in your legs (the femur and tibia). This uneven weight distribution would cause excessive forces in specific areas of bone leading to early arthritis of knee joint. Therefore, the function of the meniscus is critical to the health of your knee.

He told me that high impact sports, even jogging or running, would be a no-no for the rest of my life. Forget baseball, basketball, football, etc. I’ve tried jogging lately. I can go for about 20 seconds before the searing pain in my left knee is too much.

My health right now isn’t a huge concern. There are bikes, swimming, ellipticals, etc. What fucking kills ms is that I probably won’t be able playing a lot of one on one with my kid someday. I grew up playing sports with and against my dad. It’s sort of heartbreaking knowing that I’m not gonna be able to do that.

6) On a lighter note, my bro is now interested in cooking. Saturday I made my crowd pleasing chicken and chorizo soup. Just like the last time, it didn’t last long. I got TWO BOWLS out of a massive kettle. Ben wolfed down the rest for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But it did get him thinking about what he might be able to make. At first he suggested I make another soup. He was thinking potato. I told him I’d be happy to tomorrow. Apparently, tomorrow was too late. He called my mom for some pointers, drove to the store to get ingredients and he’s in the kitchen right now concocting his first homemade dish.

But anyway, here’s my ridiculously quick and easy recipe.

Chicken & Chorizo Soup

Chicken & Chorizo Soup

* 2 pounds chicken breasts
* 1 pound chorizo sausage, in packaged meats case near kielbasa
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 cans of corn, drained
* 6 small red potatoes, diced
* 1 15-ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
* 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
* 2 teaspoons Frank’s hot sauce
* white and black ground pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon ground peppercorns
* 1 tablespoon Italian spice
* 1/2 tablespoon chopped red pepper
* 42 oz chicken stock
* 1 bag tortilla chips
* shredded mexican blend cheese
* sour cream

Bake the chicken breasts, covered in tin-foil, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cook the chorizo in a small skillet.

In the meantime chop, cook and simmer the potatoes, onion, pepper in a large dutch oven. Stir regularly to avoid burning.

Remove the chicken and chop into small bite-sized pieces. Drain the chorizo and add all the meat to the dutch oven. Stir in the drained corn and beans. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook covered for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken stock, oil and spices. Stir and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Serve and top with cheese, dollop of sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

7) Patrick Swayze passing on is a fucking downer. Ben and I must have watched Point Break twenty times, many in the last year. Every once in a while I’d get a “Nah, you pull it!” on my Facebook wall. Ben would get a “Vaya con Dios” on his.

Cancer is a bitch.

8) It’s not often that I laugh so hard my face hurts.

But tonight…

Mr. Pearlman is one of my idols. I love his writing, I absolutely love his blog. He’s been published and is a regular on the NY Times best seller list. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated but has never failed to write back when I drop him a line.

That said, I just came upon this tonight when he shared that vid with his audience.

Jeff Pearlman, thank you.

9) I used to say, in a smug sort of way, that I didn’t care about any music (outside of Hendrix) made before I was born. Not sure why I did that. I think it was because of the Beatles and disco. Hate ’em both.

I think I’ve seen the light if my iTunes is any indication.

The Police
The Doors
Bob Seger
The Rolling Stones

All regulars.

10) Obligatory girl thoughts

I am, and maybe forever will be, the go-to guy when my lady-friends have guy issues. It was that way in college, and it seems to have followed me from Marshfield to Wisconsin Rapids to Wausau to Mankato to Eau Claire. I really don’t know how or why it happened, but the list of girls that have come to me for dude-advice is now probably somewhere in the 20s. It’s at times maddening and frustrating and flattering.

I still remember house parties in college and a female friend of mine would grab and pull me into my room, close the door, sit me down on my bed and then ask why her boyfriend is acting the way he does.


OK, maybe a little emasculating. Sure.

Over the years there’s been a common theme. Girls dating douchebags. Most of the time, it’s not tough to spot the douchebag.

Unfortunately for women the d-bag detector often malfunctions as the smooth lines hit their ears. Reasonably intelligent, self-confident women turn into “Was it something I said?” and “But he told me he cared” puddles of shit. I used to empower them. Maybe my responses made them feel better and allowed them to rationalize anything that may be wrong in their relationships. Not sure I can do that any longer.

Ladies, I implore you. Pull your heads out of your asses.

Stop rationalizing. Stop with the cop-outs that all guys are assholes. Stop asking questions you already know the answers to.

Whether I tell you or not, I’m offended when I hear how awful men are and how there’s no one for you.

Sure, there are some bad guys out there. There are guys that will only look for a hookup and forget about you. These dicks aren’t representative of men, they’re representative of the people you hang out with. Find some better company.

Every time I hear a sob story I think of my pals. Guys with personality and stable careers and pets and treat women like their life-long friends and soul mates. These guys that wouldn’t dare do a woman wrong or lie.

Good guys are out there. Trust me.

If you really wanna hear about it

1) Quick question: you had it to do all over again, what profession would you get into?

a) Politician – I never would have picked this five years ago. But after five years of getting everything I want via my powers of persuasion and charm and speech, I think I could have done some serious good. No joke, I could talk a dog off a meat truck.

b) Sportswriter – My family thinks I was made for it. I probably was. I follow sports like it’s my job, I can write and I’ve got alcohol issues. If I could be the next Dan Jenkins I would die a happy man.

c) General Manager – I used to think that being a GM was something way above my level of sports expertise. Not any more. I’m totally convinced I could do John Hammond’s job. Or Zeke’s. Or whoever the hell is doing the job in Memphis.

d) Web developer – My current job.

Honestly, I like my current career. I don’t arrive home stressed. I’m good at my job. I’ve got responsibilities and a say in what we develop. I’m about to be on the street but that’s not an indictment on my abilities. I could have another job in two weeks if I wanted one.



4 – Six months ago Ben swiped and broke my $170 Bose headphones. I MacGyver’d this shit outta ’em and now they’re working. But for the time in between I was listening to earbuds and generic headphones and I got used to the sound quality. I forgot how amazing a great set of headphones could sound.

I implore you: buy a top-notch set of headphones. Not Skull Candy shit or Sony or Phillips…go top shelf.

Normally I’m not a Bose guy. I love the highs but they lack the depth and base in their home audio. But their headphones are sick.

Reviews are up and down, but if i was ever gonna recommend a set it’d be these:

No lie, $140 is a steal.


6 – Gonna share the recipe for a perfect steak.


1 1/2 tbs butter per 12 oz steak
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion power
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. steak sauce

Bring that shit to a mild boil in a small pot and immediately remove it from heat. Stir.

Place the steak on a broiler pan and baste the top and sides in the marinade. I recommend a NY strip, but any reasonably thick cut of meat should be great.

Give it a liberal coat of pepper. Apply a thin layer of regular salt and Lowery’s seasoning salt.

Start the oven broiler on high heat and put the steak in the oven 4-6 inches from the broiler. Leave in the oven for five minutes.

Take it out and flip the steak. Repeat the baste, salt, pepper steps.

Place back in the oven for three minutes.

Take it out and let it sit for four minutes. The steak will continue cooking and end medium.

Top with a dollop of garlic butter and enjoy.

7 – Is it a fundamental thing with women that they believe that they can change or mold men into being the person that they want to marry? I only ask because lately women have bugged the shit outta me. Guys don’t change.

8 – Ti’ll tomorrow.