Her eyes, shades on the darkside, neutralize every man in sight

Quick hitters today:

1 – For the first time in a while I’ve got new music to digest.

AFI – Crash Love
Paramore – Brand New Eyes
Breaking Benjamin – Dear Agony
Three Days Grace – Life Starts Now

Early returns make me think they’re all winners. I’ll say more once I get through my 4th and 5th listens.

2 – I shouldn’t have even come to work today. I’ve been totally useless to SP. My accomplishments have been:

• Got the guest list in order for tonight

• Debated the Milwaukee Bucks at RealGM.com for a good two hours

• Picked up the latest AFI and TDG.

• Figured out what food I’d be providing later

• wrote most of this blog

3 – OGT’s.

At what point do you sort of start to feel guilty about who you’re dating? In high school it’d happen if you were a senior dating the super hot freshman or sophomore. In college it was calling your layup at bar-time and getting her out of your place before your boys woke up the next morning. Is there an equivalent now when you become a young professional?

3b – If this goes bad what’ll hurt most is probably the notion that I’ll have to get my coffee somewhere else in the morning.

3c – I should have thought this through long ago.

4 – Crash Love is the surprise of the year. Like I keep looking at the iPod to make sure I’m actually listening to AFI. It’s remarkable.

5 – My mom is funny. Year in and year out she straight dominates an NFL pick ’em pool myself, her and about 120 other family and friends are in. She might win $600 over the course of a year.

So when I got a phone call at 9:30 last night I knew it was gonna be her. I had just nailed 14/15 games on the day, only losing my lowest pick. I was in 4th place on the week and depending on tonight’s game I could either be 2nd or 4th on the week.

If the Vikes win I’m in the money.
If the Pack wins I’m happy as shit for the week and likely longer.

6 – Another question was posed this weekend. What do you think is better: a great TV show or a great movie.

I didn’t even think it was a question. Great TV easily.

Look, I love Casablanca. But if it’s Bogie for 90 minutes or President Josiah Bartlett for 100 hours, I’m going with The West Wing.

I loved Se7en, but give me four seasons of Battlestar Galactica.

Here is what someone else had to say on the subject:

Anyway, both have their own strengths. I would personally prefer comedy, and since I think it is generally more effectively designed for a TV format, I would say I prefer TV–I definitely spend a lot more time watching shows than movies simply because there is a lot more entertainment out there. And in the last decade general movie quality has been relatively weak, while TV quality has been outstanding. TV is kicking the crap out of film right now.

I think the general rule with lots of things–but with TV in particular–is that over time, things go to greater extremes. There isn’t as much on now that’s just kind of “meh”. Like things like Friends, or That 70’s Show where you’re like “this isn’t terrible, but ultimately…meh”. Most things now are either total dogs**t, or really damn good. And if you avoid the dogs**t, you’ll see what’s so great about a lot of TV now. It’s diverse (not stupid diverse–I mean real diversity–formats, styles, approaches), it’s smart, and it’s more boundless than ever. We are in a golden age of television. So as an over all question, it’s debatable. Right now, I think it’s definitely TV.

Good call. I love my TV dramas. Not CSI or ER or Law & Order. I’m talking long arches, the ones that take years to wrap up. The ones with twists out of left field, characters being killed off, stories that make you think and trigger emotion. The best movies can do that, but not all. The best dramas can invoke those thoughts dozens of times over the course their runs.

7 – Speaking of good drama, last night before I fell asleep I watched what is one of the greatest episodes of TV in the last ten years.

It’s the second to last episode of season 4 of The West Wing. It’s called Commencement.

Let me set the scene:

– The President’s daughter just graduated from Georgetown and she’s set to tour Europe with her lame French boyfriend for the summer
– They’re celebrating at a DC night club before they fly away
– The President, the NSA and the Joint Chiefs had a middle-eastern diplomat killed a year earlier because he had ties to a terrorist cell
– A reporter has figured it out and is now questioning the Press Secretary. Not wanting to call it, “That time we killed the brown dude”, they refer to it as the “Mudross Research Project”.
– Everything else isn’t exactly important for the sake of the following video (though it is fucking awesome when Mary Louise Parker asks, “Donna, are you in love with Josh”…all the more reason to watch the show!)

How it was done is something I don’t know if I’ll ever see on TV again. Everything about it was perfect. The soundtrack, the camera work, the dialogue, the shifting between characters…it was all awesome. When you see the reaction and then the closing credits, no joke, you’ll get chills.

I cut it up and dropped it on youtube:

8 – 12:18 am…

This one hurts. It isn’t the loss. It isn’t because I thought this one could have necessarily been ours. It’s not even because we stopped AD cold. It’s because Favre won it and he didn’t even have to work for it.

I would have to watch the game again, but it appeared as if the Packers were able to stop Peterson with their front seven, sometimes six. Give the line and the linebackers credit, they stayed true to their gaps and didn’t make many mistakes tackling.

But my god…the defensive playcalling on obvious passing downs. How, in the name of everything holy, can you only rush three against a guy that’s been in the league for nearly two decades. Give this guy time to throw and of course he’s going to pick you apart.

Yes, the DBs had some mental errors. But any defense is gonna give up big passing plays when the QB has time to bake a cake in the pocket. Favre never once in looked uncomfortable. It was rare that he was forced to give up the ball early. For fuck’s sake, if he’s picking you apart when you’re dropping eight, could it really hurt to rush five or six? Whatever happened to the exotic schemes we saw against Cutler? What we saw tonight was the Bob Sanders defense all over again, and it just leaves me feeling disgusted.

Second, not all the sacks were on the offensive line. That unit on the left side obviously didn’t play well, but Rodgers has got to learn to GET RID OF THE FUCKING BALL. The safety is entirely on him. So were at least three of the other sacks. Against line like that, he’s got to have that clock in his head ticking. 1, 2, 3, get rid of the ball or fucking run with it. Again, without watching it a second time I don’t know how much the play calling had to do with this. But if Rodgers doesn’t have an easy checkdown on every throw, namely to the TE, something is seriously wrong.

The Packers offense is obviously at its best when Rodgers can take a couple steps and deliver a quick strike. Make him roll out, maybe. But if he’s gotta take a 5 or 7 step drop he’s gonna get killed. The line can’t block that long and Rodgers holds the ball too often.

This game could have been different. Lee drops a TD that turns out to be a death sentence. Rodgers throws a terrible INT deep in their territory. The fumble.

This is a game that I think looks worse than it really was and it was for the eye popping plays. The sacks, the big strikes by Favre. Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the Packers ran the ball when they attempted it. Rodgers had a good completion percentage and yards per attempt. They stopped AD cold.

Despite the defensive scheme and the sacks, this game was still relatively close.

9 – Good turnout here, though.

I’m surprised we didn’t get complaints from the neighbors but it was a good time.

Getting the food and making it was a pain in the ass. Only now is it dawning on me that I paid $91 for food and drinks tonight. There are a lot of leftovers but unless I want to live at the gym this week I’m not sure how much I want to indulge on cream cheese, Mayo, beef, sour cream and Velveeta.

9b – I liked the compliments on got on my place. Everyone that came through mentioned how great it looked. Glad to know the hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

9c – Neither did the food. “Fucking amazing” was the term I most often heard.

*

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.

GO SEE IT!

🙂

Let’s see how long this lasts

I’m shutting myself out of my favorite websites, at least during work hours. Today I blocked the following domains:

Realgm
Facebook
Twitter
ESPN
Sports Illustrated
Football’s Future
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
Brewerfan.net
Deadspin

Those nine sites take up a shameful portion of my day. If they aren’t available, my hope is my focus gets funneled back into my job.

Yes, I can unblock them whenever I wish. But this is about staying focused and productive at work and I’m gonna at least try to take away my avenues for slacking.

Editor’s note: it lasted about a day

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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂

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)

1:19:58

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.

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)

1:19:58

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.

The Four Happiest Girls to Ever Be Arrested

are found here.

Five actresses and a cameraman from the CW show “The Vampire Diaries” were arrested and charged after police said the actresses were dangling off a Georgia overpass and flashing drivers.

Several drivers called 911 on Aug. 22 to report seeing the young women flashing drivers on I-75 from the side of the Rumble Road overpass just north of Macon.

The women told Monroe County authorities they were just filming for the show.

I have a long, shameless history of watching whatever the CW churns out.

First it was Smallville. Then One Tree Hill. Then Supernatural. Then Reaper. I’ve resisted checking out The Vampire Diaries and The Beautiful Life. Both just look too god damn stupid.

But alright, I’m sold. I’ll be tuning in next week.

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.

*ting!*

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?
and
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.

F.U.C.K.E.D

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.

*ting!*

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?
and
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.