Custom Search

January 4t h , 2007

...and I don't feel any different.

So this is the New Year. Seems kind of like an arbitrary passage of time to me. Like birthdays (at this point in my life), New Years seems like A.) An excuse to drink and B.) A reason for people to remind you that things need to change in your life. Since I don't need an excuse to drink, guess how I feel the rest of New Years?

But since its an easy way to crank out a blog post and god forbid I go against societal conventions about being reflective, here are some things that went right in 2006, and how they could be better in 2007.

- I finally started going to the gym in 2006, thus making me the thinnest and in-shape I've been since high school. Now if I could get rid of the gut in 2007...

- Michigan football crushed Notre Dame and had 11 wins, giving me one of the greatest weekends and home seasons in memory. Now if we could teach Morgan Trent not to bite on every juke and make better second half adjustments, 2007 might be even better.

- Work kept promoting me and giving me more money in 2006. But the real test is how they'll compensate me for the new position in 2007.

- I posted my best year ever gambling in 2006. Now if the MAC can cover this weekend, 2007 will start off with a bang.

- I started 2006 a non-smoker, and ended it back on the nicotine. It doesn't take a rehab counselor to figure out how to improve that scenario.

- Sid started junior high with spectacular results. I have no worries about continued successes.

Of course the biggest change for me in '06 was the introduction of a significant other into my life. Certainly the largest shake up my little stagnant bubble has undergone in sometime. I don't know how it could get much better in the upcoming 365 - I guess I hope it stays as good as its been to this point. And I get better at dealing with some the issues that seem to come up between us. As with all significant changes in your life, there's a learning curve - and I hope to be on the upside of it in 2007.

So best of luck on your resolutions, be they general (be a better person) or more specific (cut masturbating down to twice a day). I wish nothing but health and happiness for you. Unless you're my enemy; then I wish you nothing but STDs and despair. And always remember, if you have to ability to read this right now, you're already an extremely fortunate individual (and not just because I write such brilliant prose).

Posted 9:45am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 25th , 2006

There's no reason for the picture other than it makes me laugh.

So this will forever be known as the Xmas of the Wii in my house. I won't bore you with another drawn out account of how down to the wire it was. Needless to say, everything turned out OK and everything that was pretext was totally worth it. Sid is in heaven, as evidenced by his 10+ hours playing the thing today. I don't blame him. In a word - Its fucking awesome.

So its finally over. Kinda. Headed to Ohio tomorrow to hang with the Brubaker clan. But that's just hanging and listening to my brothers and sisters have a bitch-off while I sip my cocktail and laugh in the corner. I bitch a lot about all the BS that the season brings, but despite all the hassles and running around, the arguments and the worrying about reciprocity and doing the right things with your new relationship, its usually all right in the end. Tonight I'll go to bed happy, and that's all we can really ask for on any Christmas. Here's hoping you all have the same good fortune.

Posted 11:35pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 21st , 2006

How to wish a boozehound a Merry Christmas

Here's some stuff floating around the interweb that might waste some of your time, as I'm sure you're all working hard on your second to last day before vacation.

- I loved the Transformers when I was a kid. Finding Optimus Prime under the tree 20+ years ago is one of my fondest memories. Too bad that this is directed by Michael Bay.

- I think everyone but me hated Ocean's 12. Yeah, self-indulgent and a tad incoherent, but my man crush on Steven Soderbergh can bear no ill fruit. That means I'll be first in line for this.

- Apparently not even Slate has the answer for everything. Which is unfortunate, because now I really want to know the answer to some of these.

- Harry Potter just found out how his showdown with Voldemort will be billed. To find out the title of HP7, just click this portkey.

- Last night the woman and I exchanged gifts. Its always a tricky situation opening a gift from someone you care about - especially for me since since anyone remotely astute will pick up on my disappointment if I'm saying 'What the fuck?' on the inside. Luckily, Ayesha came through:

I don't know if she knew about my insistence on rocks glasses with heft to them, but these are about the most beautiful things I've ever seen. And now when she breaks up with me for being a drunk, I can point to her contributing to my delinquency. Hooray!

This may be it until Xmas. I'm still waiting on the Ultimate Gift 2006. My stomach is turning like I gorged on draft beer and chili all night (when only half of that is true). Those with religious convictions, pray for me. And to everyone, Merry Christmas.

Posted 2:50pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 20th , 2006

I support the Judean People's Front, not the People's Front of Judea!

It goes without saying that anytime someone yells 'Fuck Bill O'Reilly' it should immediately be followed by a hearty 'Fuck Yeah!' Especially when it comes to this whole war on Christmas bullshit.

Growing up, this was an obvious non-issue. I knew no one who wasn't at least raised Christian. That is not an exaggeration of the truth. No Jews, Muslims, Jehovah's witnesses until I got to Ann Arbor. I was barely even aware of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa until I was in high school. Wait, did Kwanzaa exist before I got to high school? I digress.

Anyway, I could give two shits as to how I'm greeted during December. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greeting, Fuck Off - they're pretty interchangeable to me. I usually go with 'Happy Holidays' myself, because it seems appropriate from Thanksgiving through New Years. Its certainly got nothing to do with my liberal elite attitude towards the secularization of Christmas. People bitch about this to hear the sound of their own voice. I honestly don't think anyone really cares.

The only reason I gave this a nanosecond of thought is because on at least 5 (5!) separate occasions in the past week I was greeted (or goodbyed) with 'Happy Holidays' - only to hear the person in front or behind me get a 'Merry Christmas.' And again, not that I care, but the coincidence seemed strange to me. Am I giving off a particularly jewy vibe? I mean I've got the nose for it, and hair curls up nice when its long, but still. Maybe they have special Christ-dar that can tell I haven't been to Mass in 10 years. Or perhaps they've seen me around town with Ayesha and they're thinking 'No Merry Christmas for the infidels!' I know I can't wait for all this joy-spreading to be over so I can go back to my usual 'eh' hello/goodbye routine. Because if this goes on much longer, some poor salvation army worker's gonna end up with that bell up his ass.

Posted 2:28pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 19th , 2006

Fighting complacency

Apologies in advance for the bitchfaced solipsism that's about to follow. This post really serves no one other than myself. Its all because someone made this semi-innocuous comment to me:

you seem complacent here

I don't think it was said to be necessarily derogatory or offensive. You may be thinking to yourself eh, not a big deal. But the idea makes me pretty livid. First, let's synchronize our watches on a definition

com-pla-cent
adj. 1. Contented to a fault; self-satisfied and unconcerned

Obviously I'm a pretty self-satisfied person, and from time to time (I guess especially recently) I'm pretty content. But to a fault and unconcerned I take deep umbrage with.

I've made some compromises and sacrifices in my day, but through it all I've always strived to be a person of big ideas. Someone who wants to be well-rounded and intelligent. A person that wants to make himself better or more at every opportunity. When I begin to feel stodgy, I try to make a change. I try to challenge people on their ideas and confront some of the things that they take for granted. I want everyone to hold themselves to a higher standard. Probably a little cliché and pretentious, but if more people fought against out of date paradigms and sought out things that may be a tad more difficult than what they're used to, the world would end up a better place.

To me, complacency is an ugly ideal. To think that everything is OK is not, in fact, actually OK. Maybe I've become fat and happy. Maybe when looking at certain things in my life that I tend to ignore I have become flaccid and routine. But the thought of being complacent on things I care about or in my life in general makes me want to bite the head off of a chicken.

And right now I choose not to believe it. When I look at my life at this moment compared to what I was a year ago, the term complacency never enters my mind. Maybe its just that being happy and being complacent lie too close to one another. I hope that's not true. But for me, if someone close enough to you uses the phrase you seem complacent here that it has to at least be partly true - be afraid. Be very afraid. I hate to say rage against the dying of the light, but, fuck, I just did. I'm off to try and figure out where I fucked up.

Posted 5:28pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 18th , 2006

Wii have had a problem

I actually felt good about my chances. After some dilligent intelligence gathering it was confirmed that Target would be receiving a Sunday morning shipment of the ever elusive make-or-break ultimate Xmas gift for 2006. So alarms were set, our bodies bundled up, and we headed out into the chilling morning air to wait in the rain at 5:30am. How many people could possibly be as stupid as I?

Turns out about 24. My heart sank as we pulled up. Surely we were to be defeated. Yet undeterred, we dropped off a recon party to stand in line whilst we went across the road to check the line at Best Buy. Of course, the line there was even more ricockulous, so we returned to the upscale dirt merchants to stand as a huddled mass and await our fate.

Thankfully, at 7am (an hour before the store opened for business) a kindly employee came out to hand out reservation tickets to the lucky few who obviously required less sleep than us - all 12 of them. As we walked away dejected, we heard the 13th person in line say he'd been there since 3am. Three fucking a.m.! At least we weren't screwed by hitting the snooze alarm or stopping for coffee.

So after a day of scouring eBay and craigslist, the game is finally over - at only a 70% markup over retail. I feel like I should include a note when I wrap it detailing the ordeal that this has been (including the next two nights of not being able to sleep until the thing is actually in my posssession.) But of course, making your kid feel guilty isn't what its all about, seeing his face light up when he finally opens it is. Because '...don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted ... He lived happily ever after.'

And a p.s. addendum - Thanks to Ayesha, AJ, MJ, Moeman and my babymama for both their help and paitence through the whole ordeal. In different ways you've made an anxiety riddled process bearable. And dare I say this somehow served as a reminder that I'm pretty lucky to have such amazing people in my life. Its almost as if the holidays can actually bring people together and make you feel thankful for your good fortune (despite all the bullshit).

Posted 1:59pm
permalink - comments (1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 15th , 2006

We're gonna need a shit ton of booze

I'm not prepared. I couldn't possibly be. There's no way for anyone with my proclivities to properly brace themselves for the impact of a weekend like this one. For I get to endure not once, but twice (TWICE!) this weekend, the ultimate hot poker in the eyeball of the holiday season: the holiday work party.

Its not bad enough that I have to spend more time with these people than my actual loved ones, now I have to see them on the weekend? I have to have causal conversations with these troglodytes and smile at their stupid faces whilst in my head I'm screaming 'You're the most boring person in the world and I'm actually amazed people don't just fall dead asleep while talking to you.'

And of course now I get to do all of it twice, as I have Ayesha's party tonight and mine tomorrow. Which means I get to have the same introductory conversation 15 times tonight about what I do and where I'm from, and tomorrow Ayesha gets to do the same (while I panic and try not to make eye contact with my coworkers who's names I can't remember.)

Thank Christ there's the saving grace of every awkward social situation: our friend the booze. Two or three cocktails can make the world's most tedious person almost bearable. And of course there's plenty of coworkers I actually enjoy. Most of the evening will be spent in the corner, snickering to them and making fun of everyone else while they stand 5 feet away. Come to think of it, that part is kinda fun. Because what are the holidays for if not getting loaded and pretending to tolerate people you loathe? God bless us, everyone. All of this is his fault anyway.

Posted 11:08am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 14th , 2006

More bile and venom than you can shake a stick at

Just a little update: I just found this and its making me pee my pants. Its the best of craigslist, and its hilarious. Fuck reality TV, this shit is where its at. Enjoy the vitriol.

p.s. - This was my favorite one: Keep Your Goddamn Anal Beads Out of the Dishwasher!

Posted 3:36pm

Best of 2006 - Music Edition

As with everything here on the bloggy blog, what you are about to read has been written hastily and wasn't really thought through before I started typing. It also has the extra benefit of being about something that most of you will be in the dark about. So here they are, my ten favorite albums of the year, at least right now at this moment, out of the 84 albums I have that were released this year. I'm sure it'll change. 10 blog points for every artist you've heard of (outside of tbaggervance.com) and 20 if you've heard the entire album. Ready? Set? Go.

10. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Yup, technically a 2005 release. But I found them in '06, and they rule. They'd be much farther up the list were we evaluating completely objectively, but we're sneaking them in at 10 due to the whole 'not released in 2006' thing. Check out the illegitimate love child of David Byrne and a carnival barker. Its glorious.
Myspace

9. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
By the end of the album, The Long Winters style may wear out its welcome on you. But not before getting you completely drunk on its indie pop goodness. I heard a song of theirs on the radio and in reading about them, I saw a review that mentioned Nada Surf and Death Cab. Good enough for me.
Myspace

8. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
Something keeps screaming at me to hate Ben Kweller. He can't go an entire song without a line that at least makes me roll my eyes. But I'll be damned if he doesn't couple it with a one that's a gem everytime. Pop songwriting at its best.
Myspace

7. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
I'll always be a fan of bands that I can't describe their sound. Which will always lead me to try. So The Decemberists are what I would imagine an indie rock band would sound like in the late 1800's. Best I can do.
Myspace

6. Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
This should be a one-off experiment where an indie rock princess steps into another genre in order to scratch some itch. And maybe on some level that's what this is, but then why is it absolutely perfect? And just thinking about the indie-rock all star lineup on her cover of 'Handle Me With Care' makes me moist.
Myspace

5. What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying to Never Catch Up
Its a little like the Postal Service rocking out hard. Though not exactly. I can tell you that their songs will roll around in your head like the scent of the really hot girl you rubbed up against at the bar last night. Which is fabulous.
Myspace

4. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
I really resisted B+S for the longest time. 'Fuck them up their stupid asses.' I would say. But I'll be damned if I didn't get sucked in by The Life Pursuit. Just give in and listen to it already.
Myspace

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
If I saw the YYYs at a bar I'd pry want to punch them in their stupid faces (except for Karen O, whom I would meekly admire from afar). But I'll be damned if they can't play. This album will rock your face. That's all you need to know.
Myspace

2. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Craig Finn spits lyrics like a drunken savant. This album somehow encompasses the best of everything else on the list. Its as literate as the Decemberists, as rocking as the YYYs, and its songwriting could go toe to toe with anyone else. Its not for everybody, but that which polarizes tends to end up on the end of the spectrum for both the lovers and the haters. And I love the Hold Steady.
Myspace

1. Maritime - We, the Vehicles
I nearly cried when The Promise Ring broke up. I then rejoiced when Maritime arose from its ashes. But the first album was just OK. Then the second album came out. Eh, I thought at first. But somehow it grew on me. I found the intricacies and eccentricities of the album. Then I heard the stuff live and I was blown away. Very few people will ever hear this album, and that's a damn shame.
Myspace

Posted 10:51am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 13th , 2006

What took you so long?

Being a drunk, you'd think one bar would be as good as the next to me. Assuming that the prices weren't outrageous, the right people came with you, and the atmosphere not terribly pretentious - any bar will do ya. And that's true, to an extent.

Ask me where I want to go on any given night and I generally don't care. Going out to watch a game? Frasers, Cubs, Scorekeepers - I don't care. Going out to hang? ABC, BW3s, Connors - pick one. Booze, folks and fun can be had at any of these fine establishments and many more. Stay away from any long enough and you'll get an itch to go there. Attend one too often and you'll switch it up to avoid the rut. But there was a time when a bar existed that operated outside these parameters for me. A bar that didn't even require a drinking buddy, because you always knew there'd be one there. A place that was always top of the list and that never got old. A place, for lack of a better word, that was home.

Now this all may be romanticized hyperbole, but man have I missed Mitch's. It shut down just over two years ago (can that be right?) with a promise of a new venue and immediate return. A million promises and several false starts later, it finally reopened Monday night. When I walked in and saw all my friends (and only my friends) sitting across the front of the bar, I may have mentally shed a tear. The default is back, bitches. And while I'm sure that there will come a night not long from now, where I'll be deciding where to go for the evening and complian that Mitch's isn't worth fighting through a bunch of college assholes for. But right now, it just feels good to have a place to call home.

Posted 9:02am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 10th , 2006

Pot Kettle Black

Prepare for one of those vague posts where I skirt the issue, dance around the point, and generally hint at things I never get around to saying. I never know who's reading this garbage, and despite massive evidence to the contrary, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Then again, maybe I'll finish another cocktail as I type and I'll just blurt everything anyway. As you can probably routinely tell, I make this shit up as I go anyway.

Being someone's 'friend'* (*for an in-depth discussion of the term, see here) is usually pretty easy. I'm of course thinking of this from a guy's perspective, which I know is often the opposite of a girls, but its what I have to go on, so bare with me. Anyway, friendship - not that hard. You stay in touch, you listen to them even when they are boring, you occasionally drive them to the airport and (god forbid) help them move. And those are the more difficult aspects. The rest is booze, sex stories, sports and well, booze.

But of course occasionally a friendship is tested in ways that make even carrying a dinette set seem like a walk in the park. And I'm not talking about they wrecked your car or slept with your sister. Because when somebody obviously fucks up you have it out and its over. You either get around it or you don't. Again, I'm basically talking dudes here. But from time to time a friend will force you to have a conversation that's on par with anal cavity search.

These are the things that you and your other mutual friends say about the person behind their back. The gossip and head shaking that goes on when they leave the room. Things that everyone agrees should be said to their face, but that no one wants to undertake. Your buddy who has a girlfriend that everyone hates. Your friend the drunk who's gotten out of control lately - even for him. But if its a good enough friend, sometimes you have to bite the bullet.

Recently I saw one of my friends have a sit down with another friend, ostensibly about some drunken behavior. The irony was, the person giving the sit down was one of the all-time blackout jackasses. I wasn't privy to the details of the conversation, but all I could think of was 'How many people have had to do this for you in the past?' Now maybe those experiences made that person the one guy who could actually make sense to the person who need some sense pounded into him. But all I could think of was that my response would have been 'Hey Kettle, this it Pot. You're black.' Maybe that's why no one has ever sat me down and tried to talk some sense into me.

Posted 10:38pm
permalink - comments (1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 8th , 2006

Don't you people have lives?

I'm not a very indulgent father. I have no problem telling Siddhartha no. He's familiar with the phrase 'My last name isn't Rockefeller.' (Which, I realize, is a reference most 20 year olds may not get - but I refuse to say 'May last name ain't Trump.') But when it comes to unextravagant things that excite him and I feel he deserves, I will walk to the ends of the earth to make it happen.

To that end, I took the morning off today after I got a hot tip that a certain store would be getting a shipment of a certain hard-to-find Xmas gift today. There were no guarantees, the store manager said, but he 'should' be getting 'some' of the prized item in on Friday. The store opened at 10, so I figured that waiting in the cold for an hour in order to see the look on my son's face Xmas morn' would be well worth it.

Thanks to Ayesha, I was up nice and early. And rather than go back to bed and milk my day off for all its worth, I milled around, worked on the computer and watched last night's episode of The O.C. on TiVo. Around 9, I bundled up and headed the two miles down the road to stake a spot in front of said store.

The nervousness and trepidation I felt as I drove the short distance turned out to be well founded. I pulled up to see no fewer than 20 (fucking 20!) people already waiting outside the store. So rather than wait in the cold for something that A.) May or may not actually happen and 2.)Likely result in only the first 10 or so people being rewarded should it come to fruition, I headed home defeated.

I'm old enough to remember news reports of adults maiming each other over cabbage patch kids. And I remember the look on my sister's face when my dad managed to find a copy of Thriller in 1982. I'll be damned if my boy (and of course by extension, me) will be denied the serene pleasure of getting exactly what you want, when everyone is fighting for the same thing. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that instead of winning an elbow-throwing battle at Best Buy on Sunday morning, I'll likely end up paying twice the price of retail on eBay. Which in a Machiavellian 'ends-justify-the-means' situation is fine (I guess), I just wish my last name was Rockefeller.

Posted 10:28am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 6th , 2006

Happy Birthday

They grow up so fast...

tbaggervance.com is two (fucking TWO!) years old today. For those of you too young to remember (or lazy to go into the archives) it all started with the declaration of our mission statement:

This is the first of what I hope to be several entries on this space relating to things I find interesting. The name will hopefully change to something more humorous, the focus will remain on me. Those things include, but are not exclusive to music, movies, books, the internet, events both local and global and things that happen to me. Boring? More than likely. Trivial? For sure. But perhaps from time to time I can find something that will make you laugh, question, ponder, or just say "Hey, that's all right."

I know, the word ambitious doesn't exactly come to mind. But this was 2004. Most people had never even heard the word blog. MySpace was in its infancy and there was no youtube to link to. tbaggervance.com has been around to watch them all rise to prominence.

And while yes, this space has largely become a repository for 'What a drunk am I' stories, I never intended for it to get this way. I certainly never intended to publish drunken voice mails, much less have them remixed into jewish techno. But I guess that putting something like this in the hands of someone like me meant it was bound to happen.

So thanks, loyal readers. More people come here to read this (on even the occasional basis) than I ever would have imagined. Hopefully that means you're being entertained on some level. I promise to always be here - providing you with indie rock updates, tirades on the moronic and most of all, reflections on my alcoholic existence (in often way too much detail.)

Posted 11:07am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 5th , 2006

Splitting the check

A while back we talked about the credit card shuffle - a time honored tradition for drunks to gamble on getting out of the bill all together. But there's another, more common staple of group dining that can be almost as precarious - splitting the check.

Now the stakes for check splitting are never as high as ye ole credit card shuffle, but they can be even more frustrating. This of course is due in large part to the fact that its a gamble you don't know your making when you order your meal.

If your like me and usually don't order the most expensive thing on the menu, check splitting can be a severe kick in the junk. You're out with friends, people are ordering appetizers and desserts while you're looking for the cheapest thing on the menu. No skin off your nose, right? Until the bill comes and some jackass grabs it from the waitress, whips out his pocket calculator and announces 'That'll be $35.50 a piece.' $35.50? For chicken fingers and two beers? Unfortunately, it happens to everyone sooner or later.

But tonight, I was on the other end. And as per usual, by savior was alcohol. I had ordered an average priced entrée whilst others were splitting salads and ordering only appetizers. It was a small group gathering and I had figured on separate checks, while everyone throwing in for the guest of honor. But when the bill came, someone grabbed the check and gave us a 'split the bill' price. The catch? I had 3 beers when everyone else drank water.

So when all was said and done, I figured to save about $5. Which means others paid for my drinking. For once, I won split the check. Alcohol lets me win again.

On a quick side note - this site has me totally addicted. It will mesmerize you as well, I promise. Pure fucking genius.

Posted 11:14pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 4th , 2006

Please allow me to seethe with anger

Saturday afternoon was like any other. Hung over, I crawled out of bed and got myself around in time to make Michigan's 2pm basketball game. We weakly discussed if UCLA had any chance of beating USC later that day, thus vaulting Michigan into a rematch National Championship game. The consensus was 'meh'.

After the game and a nap, I started to get around to attend a 'Merry Chrismukkah' party that evening. I cooked. I primped. I watched UCLA lead the game in the fourth quarter. I barely allowed myself to entertain the possibility of our 'Hail Mary' of USC losing becoming reality. But I started to drink. I started to receive text messages along the lines of 'Why must the BCS toy with my emotions?' I paced the floor and commiserated with the other lone Michigan fan in the room. Before you could say 'Oy Humbug' the unlikely (if not impossible) became our Chrismukkah miracle.

For the next 12-16 hours I had visions of LaMarr Woodley dancing in my head - laying that one perfect hit right in Troy Smith's chest cavity. 'This was pay back for Stewart to Westbrook 12 years earlier' I told myself. But five minutes on the internet the following morning made me feel I had just hooked up with my best friend's unattractive sister. This couldn't possibly be happening, could it?

By 8 o'clock we already knew the outcome. Stov and I went to the bar anyway to bitch and partake as what can only be referred to as 'angry drinking.' We spit venom at the shallow arguments for Florida's inclusion. We decried the injustice of the myriad factors that worked against Michigan. Mostly, we cursed the hypocrisy of a system that's supposed to provide for the best two teams in country to play each other doing, well, not that.

So yeah, something I had given up on two weeks earlier and pretended not to care about reared its ugly head and has me fuming again. Such is life for anyone who lives and breathes for a team and situation that they have zero control over. Its only football, right?

p.s. Fuck Urban Meyer.

Posted 3:19pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 1st , 2006

Going under the knife

After living with it for 15+ years, I decided it was time to lop it off. It didn't really bother me, except for the few times I'd catch it when looking in the mirror. Some people didn't know it existed - others said they noticed the first time they met me. But I figured everybody else was doing it, why not try a little cosmetic surgery?

When I went in for my initial consult, I got the one phrase no one wants to hear from their doctor, "I don't know what that is." Truthfully I wasn't that worried. It was just this tiny little extra piece of skin on the end of my tongue. A dentist once told me I probably just barely bit the end of my tongue once and voila! there it was. Don't know when it happened or how. Chances are alcohol was involved.

In any case, my little tongue buddy is no more, removed by the quick flick of the dermatologist's scalpel. And other than having a needle stuck in my tongue, not being able to eat lunch today and having to abstain from doing the fun things one gets to do with one's tongue for a while - it wasn't that bad. I think this cosmetic surgery thing is really gonna catch on.

Posted 2:10pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 30th, 2006

That makes baby Jesus cry

Thanksgiving is many things. A celebration of gluttony? Sure. Compulsory family time? Of course. But what its begun to become for me in the past few years is a starter's pistol for the 'Are-we-having-fun-yet?' holiday season.

Thanksgiving gives you a concentrated dose of what you'll likely have to endure over the following four to six weeks:

- Travel enunciated by traffic worse then being in the back of the parking lot at an Aerosmith concert.
- Parties and gatherings that have requisite attendance but which will make you want to stick a knitting needle through your nostril and into your brain.
- Spending time with people that you despise and loathe yet have to smile at for hours at a time while tasting the bile build up in the back of your throat.

And let us not forget the little things like buying gifts for the unappreciative, enduring bad food, and god forbid, being stuck doing any of the aforementioned when there's no alcohol.

Looking at such a list (as non-exhaustive as it even is) is enough to make an evangelical want to move to China for the month of December. But even a grinch like me can admit that there's a lot to look forward to: the really good parties, the better friends, and all that booze (oh the booze). Even the long weekend with your family is bound to have a few good moments (probably right after they all get tipsy and before the first of you gets really drunk). And honestly, when the Buddha opens his gifts Xmas morn', it'll almost make it all worth it. If it wasn't for the fucking traffic...

Posted 2:10pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 28th, 2006

Forays into competitive eating

My relationship with food is a mysterious one. Much of the time, taking the time to eat something seems like a hassle. There's other things I'd frankly spend my time doing. But mmmmm food. I'd have no problem going to Mongolian every night of the week. And someone who spends as much time both drunk and hungover as I do has a constant need for pizza.

Pound for pound, I'll put away the grub with the best of them. I'm no Kobayashi, but I'll devastate a Li'l Caesars Hot and Ready on a Sunday afternoon like nobody's business. And anyone who's ever been with me to the Fleetwood or watched me eat a BBIT at the truckstop knows that if you're not paying attention, I'll be shoving the last of my hashbrowns onto my fork while you're still buttering your toast.

Still, last night as Stov and I pounded back 22oz'ers at BW3s, the pleas of the waitstaff to join their wing eating contest garnered little interest from either of us. Neither the desperation for contestants nor the batting of eyelashes by attractive waitresses was that enticing. The prospect of gorging ourselves on wings (when we had had dinner there less than two hours ago) was meh at best. That's when the mini-helmets caught my eye.

I tapped Stov on the shoulder and pointed to the box in the corner of the bar. 'What the fuck is that?' I wondered. He immediately perked up. 'Mini helmets? Is that part of the wing eating contest?' And as if the contestant hungry contest runner saw the childlike glee in our eyes, he immediately grabbed the box and walked right by our table with it. 'Last chance to sign up' he offered. We got a closer look at the box. All 32 teams. A display shelf with sliding glass doors. Sliding glass doors! Stov looked me dead in the eye, 'I'll do it if you do it.' Well we all know where this is going. I'm nothing if not peer pressure's bitch. Next thing I know I'm signing some release form that could have said 'I agree to shove a dozen blazin' wings up my ass'.

The next few minutes were a blur. Rules and directions were given - kinda. I had wings in front of me. It seemed as if the first person to eat all the wings in front of them would be the winner. Before I could get the clarification I wanted there was a 'GO!' shouted from somewhere and I threw myself into the gluttonous spirit of the contest. My face and hands were covered in sauce (Later it was found out to be 'Hot', one notch below 'Blazin' on the Bdubs hot scale) I tried to look up and gauge how I was doing, but the table was just a sea of bones. I looked back down and there was but one lone wing left in my basket. That's when I heard 'We have a winner.'

Ended up that Stov and I were both about one wing too slow to grasp the glory of the mini-helmets. Five minutes later we realized the folly of 30 year olds trying to eat a dozen wings in 90 seconds when the heartburn set in. We asked our waitress for some milk of magnesia. Apparently not on the menu. More beer helped, but only some. We were left to commiserate on what could be described at best as a poor decision. But now I have my competitive eating story. And with all that food I ingested, I shouldn't have to eat for a while.

Posted 9:28am
permalink - comments (2)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 27th, 2006

Back from the dead.

Coming off the weekend in Columbus and heading into the holiday weekend in Chicago, the blog suffered from the schizophrenicness of last week. But we're back bitches - ready to get back to the business of pointless blogging. You'll notice that the bloggy blog is pine scented and peppermint flavored - from now until Xmas. Happy Holidays from the entire staff of tbaggervance.com.

So I spent Thanksgiving at my brothers in Chicago. Well, its technically an hour outside of the city, but for whatever reason its always been referred to as 'Chicago' - even though we as a family have never gone to the city in the 50 or so times I've visited him there. But I digress. The whole family was present for at least part of the weekend - which means a lot of screaming kids, cranky grandparents, drunken uncles and absent aunts out shopping.

I love my family. I really do. But there are times when I feel like I don't have much in common with them. There was country music on the radio. Film choices included The Transporter, The Da Vinci Code and The Punisher. Kids screamed and were ignored. Arguments were had ad naseum about how long people were out shopping. Everyone was in bed by midnight.

All the while I sat by with iPod on, reading Bret Easton Ellis, waiting for the calm in the storm when we actually took a minute to enjoy each other. And those calms did come. But by Saturday night I was ready to return home. Because seeing my nieces and nephews is great. And I love drinking with my brother. And playing games with a roomful of Brubakers is one of the finest things ever. But getting back to my liberal, indie, a-religious existence in my college oasis of a town feels even better.

Posted 9:44am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 20th, 2006

Reality sets in.

This is about my third attempt to quantify everything that went down this weekend. Attempts one and two were semi-upbeat musings on spending time with a multitude of friends and not having enough time to properly enjoy any of it. I tried writing about old friends and new ones coming together and how amazing the atmosphere was and how in defeat you turn to different people for different things. But it was all meh. It seemed trite and cheesy and none of it appropriately captured the profound sense of feeling pleasure and anguish all at once.

It was a rollercoaster of a weekend to be sure. Getting interviewed by HBO and then postponing the trip to the following morning. Laughing our balls off on the way down and then the feeling of getting punched in the chest when we heard Bo passed away. Partying like rock stars on Friday night and the the awkwardness of having your girlfriend and your baby mama in the same room for the first time. Having OSU fans treat you like a human being (!) and then losing the game by 3 points. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. Such is life.

All in all I had fun. Without giant in-game controversy or rabid Buckeye fans dumping beer on me or punching me randomly in the arm, there's little to hang my hat on in terms of "should have beens" or "if onlys". We came, we drank, we lost. That's the reality. And minus the final score of the game, I guess I can't complain. Sometimes reality is harsh.

Posted 11:30am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 16th, 2006

Don't ever change...

I've had the same friends for 20 years. Sure I've picked up quite a few more along the way, but some of my best friends in the world are the same guys who I played little league with. And I don't mean "Let's get together when we're all home for Christmas" friends. I mean these are the people I go on vacation with. These are the people I call and count on when something good or bad happens in my life. These are the folks I get drunk with for the love of Christ.

And its occurred to me that most people my age don't necessarily have this same experience. By the time you're my age and the people you knew in high school spread across the country, you lose touch. You replace these people with those in your immediate vicinity. They become headlines when you talk to your parents - "So-and-so got married." "You're old friend what's-his-name had another baby." The maintaining of friendships across distance is a Herculean task, and let's face it, most of us don't have the energy. Especially when the person you were in high school is rarely the person you are at 30.

Which is why this weekend is so special. I'm about to go spend the weekend with every friend I had in High School. 30 of us? More? And if you squint your eyes to blur the extra pounds, receding hair lines and wrinkles on the face, you'd have a hard time telling 2006 from 1994. Maybe I know too many drunks. Maybe its that my friendships are based on juvenile humor and football allegiances. I know that when I tell people that I've been doing this for 12 years with people I've known for a lot longer, they look at me funny. Maybe its not normal, but I know I'm about to have the time of my life. Maybe I'm just a lucky, lucky guy.

Posted 11:40am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 13th, 2006

Recapping the weekend and the end of productivity

So bachelor party debauchery got relegated to the casino Friday night. One party member did get cut off from the bar at the casino, which is fairly unheard of. Truthfully, it was mostly to do with his liberal use of the F-bomb rather than his ability to hold his liquor. But still, cut off at the casino? I guess they wanted to remind us why Vegas is still and will always be king. Other than that, it was a healthy dose of cock sandings pretty much all around. Rumors persist that some got healthy (monetarily only) Saturday, but most were sanded down to the nub Friday night.

Sunday provided the annual 'Mitch's and Friends' Thanksgiving potluck - proving that as long as everyone knows how to make one dish really well, you can eat like kings. It was a stellar event that was capped with a drubbing in Trivial Pursuit at the hands of Stov and myself. The room scoffed at our ability to take on everyone and dominate. They were quickly silenced when we had finished the game and they had yet to gain one legitimate pie wedge.

Of course I managed to bury the headline - but only because the obsession begins now and my brain will no longer permit focus on anything but The Game from now to perpetuity. Michigan and Ohio State handily took care of business Saturday to set up what can only be described as an apocalyptic matchup for the ages. I've been a fortunate soul to witness some of the greatest matchups in the history of the greatest rivalry in all of sports - and now they all seem like poop. The ramifications are endless and emotions are likely to hit levels not even seen in a woman on ritalin and pregnant with triplets. So don't be surprised if sister site mgovan.com gets a little more love this week. We're in the middle of something that dreams are made of.

Posted 3:06pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 10th, 2006

Last hurrahs

So I'm headed to Mt. Pleasant tonight for some bachelor party shenanigans. I'm not sure of the specific agenda, but you can bet your bottom dollar that booze, gambling, girls and booze will be involved.

I've been to my share (and probably some other people's shares) of bachelor parties. Other than the higher-than-usual preponderance of scantily clad women, I'd say they're not much different than a really good Saturday night. You drink to much, you throw money around that you don't have, someone does something they'll regret in the morning - all in a good night's work. At least that's how it used to be. Then people started to get older. And married. And have childrens. All of a sudden, what used to be just a better-than-average regular old night turned into a once-in-year chance for some people to really revel in the debauchery. When you go out and drink and do dumb stuff on a regular basis, a bachelor party is just kind of a guarantee that good times will be had. When you only do that stuff when you have written permission from your spouse, the sense of urgency that permeates the proceedings is palpable. Things get ramped up faster, which is saying something if you know the dead beats that I hang out with.

I may be overstating the actual effect here. Hell, there's a good chance that I'll be the one making an ass of myself by going off the deep end. One thing is for sure, good times will be had. Much alcohol will be consumed and someone will do something colossaly stupid. And regardless of what happens, much like the Tom Hanks movie, it will be remembered with more fondness than it probably deserves.

Posted 11:16am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 9th, 2006

Careful what you wish for

The Times is reporting that the Evil Empire has conceded defeat. Hurray! The wicked witch is dead. Hurray! Now what?

Yes, this probably was a catalyst for giving Rummy the boot, so one in the plus column. Yes, we should be able to get some things at least on the agenda and up for discussion that otherwise may have never seen the light of day, so 2-0. And hopefully, we can stop talking about banning gay marriage and flag burning and prayer in schools. Though maybe not...

And most of all, this hopefully serves as a wake up call to the most conceited, solipsistic, bumbling administration in at least my lifetime - if not this century or, well, ever. But again, probably not. A long time ago GW pinned his legacy to a plot of sand that his dad used to build castles in, and convinced himself that history would see him as ahead of his time and visionary, even though his contemporaries clearly do not. So how does that figure into the fact that checks and balances are now back in fashion? The sad news is, probably not much in the next two years.

I don't want to be too pessimistic about what is out and out good news, but hey, W is still the leader of the free world. Let's not all start sucking each other's dicks just yet. And does anyone have any confidence that the Democrats are gonna deliver a unified agenda? That's what I thought. Careful what you wish for...

Posted 3:47pm
permalink - comments (2)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 8th, 2006

Sparkling new indie pop makes me giddy as a schoolgirl.

I listen to a lot of music. I've been told by some that they've never met anyone who 'needs' music as much as I do. I don't necessarily believe that to be true, but I do spend an inordinate amount of time searching out new music and its always on at least in the background whatever I'm doing. So lets just call the matter subjective, relative and a question of degree. Moving on...

There's also the little matter of me getting so excited when I find incredible new music that I sometimes pee just a little bit - right down my leg. Such was the case when I finally managed to get my hands on Trying to Never Catch Up by What Made Milwaukee Famous. Someone once referred to them as the illegitimate lovechild of Death Cab and Spoon - a description that makes the hair on my arm stand on end. (OK, so I paraphrased the shit out of the description, sue me).

WMMF is surely an amalgam of a lot of current indie rock trends, but like the best bands of any genre, the heart of this record is pure pop songwriting that will leave your toe tapping and likely haunt your dreams. I feel like a junior high kid whose heart just skipped a beat at the sight of the gorgeous new transfer student - so beautiful, so mysterious - and she has no idea yet that I'm a tool. Oh the possibilities...

Posted 10:59am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 7th, 2006

Vote or Die, Bitches.

So I don't want to proselytize here, so I'll make this brief. Vote. If you do so only to pick one person you deem worthy or to vote yea or nay on one issue you care about, get your ass out and vote. Write in Dick Hurtz and Mike Hunt for everything else for all I care, but pick up a paper, find something that makes sense to you and drag your sorry butt to the polls. If the last six year have taught us anything, its that every vote counts and a small group of people can make a difference. Plus you get to wear a cool sticker for the day and condescend to everyone who can't be bothered - and that should be reason enough for anyone.

Posted 12:44pm
permalink - comments (1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 6th, 2006

Living up to expectations

Once in a while something gets built up in your head so much that when it actually comes around it has little chance of living up to the expectations you've made for it - much less exceeding them. Often the truly transcendent and memorable experiences we have are the ones that sneak up on us. Its a giant problem for those of us who refuse to lower expectations for anything.

There is an upside of course. Much like getting there is half the fun, the anticipation of an event or experience is just as good as whatever we're waiting for. When I go to Vegas every year, the weeks leading up to the event can bring just as much enjoyment as the trip itself - especially if you end up blowing $500 at the tables in a weekend. The idle times spent thinking and planning about what you're going to do and how much fun you're going to have certainly end up occupying more time than the event itself.

When it comes to 'pop culture' events, like waiting to see a movie or hear an album for the first time, you can get an inkling of what your reaction will be before you have it. Albums beget singles long before their release dates; movies have trailers and interviews on Letterman. These inevitably raise and lower expectations to the point where half of your experience is just evaluating yourself on how right or wrong you were about your expectations.

Last night I finally got around to seeing Borat. My infatuation with the film caused me to see about a third of the movie via clips and interviews before I stepped foot in the theater. My friends and I spoke in Borat catchphrases for weeks leading up to the premiere. There was zero chance I would come out more enthusiastic about the movie than I was going in, because I had already reached the pinnacle of excitement. Free handjobs in the lobby couldn't have made the experience any better should the film live up to my expectations. OK, maybe free handjobs.

Sexual gratification notwithstanding, Borat bulls-eyed what I had crafted in my head as the perfect awkward comedy. I found myself laughing at bits I'd already seen a hundred times, and generally being shocked at how far they went with gags I'd heard about. I had built this film up as one of the funniest things I was likely to see in some time, and it delivered in spades. It may not have been the experience I would have had if I had stumbled upon it haphazardly and unknowingly, but knowing that some things in life will refuse to disappoint you is worth the trade off.

Posted 1:16pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 3rd, 2006

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

There's certain things in life you should never turn down. Free booze. NSA sex (OK probably sex period, but that's a discussion for later). A sober ride home after you've been drinking. You get the idea. That's why when Boike graciously offered me a chance to go see the freewheelin' Bob Dylan with him last night, I said yes faster than I got naked the first time a girl said she wanted to sleep with me.

Before we get to Zimmy, did I mention that Foo Fighters were the opening band? I've always liked Dave Grohl and his music. After last night, it may be full-on man crush time. They played an 'acoustic' set, which basically meant that the guitars were hollow bodied and they had a girl on stage and a dude playing weird elementary school percussion instruments. Otherwise, I imagine its only slightly different than seeing them plugged in. Grohl was one of the more charismatic performers I've seen in a while, chatting up the crowd and name-dropping Detroit bars during some technical difficulties. After telling the crowd that he normally didn't do this song 'and you'll see why...' his solo performance of 'The Best of You' brought a standing O near the end of the show. 'Maybe I should do that more often,' he quipped.

Grohl's gregarious stage persona stood in stark contrast to the legendary Bobby D's. Dylan took the stage facing sideways behind a keyboard and proceeded to blaze through songs from said spot for the entire night. He didn't say a word to the crowd, he didn't strap on an ax and step to center stage. I'd heard stories about Dylan's moodiness, and how his performance on a given night can be wholly dictated by how he's feeling at the time. Last night he seemed to be stuck between totally annoyed with the situation and wanting to rock your face off.

Dylan may be pushing 70 and crotchety, but he's still a bad ass. It was undeniable that you were in the presence of a legend. Someone who will remain in the public consciousness long after he and I are both gone. He played stuff from his newest record, some obscure stuff even a music snob such as myself didn't recognize, and he even placated us by closing the night with 'Like a Rolling Stone' and 'All Along the Watchtower.' So yeah, I saw Dylan rock 'All Along the Watchtower.' How can you turn down a once in a lifetime chance like that?

Posted 10:00am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 2nd, 2006

You never call when you say you're gonna call...

So yeah, I've been neglecting my blog 'responsibilities'. Its great/guilty feeling when someone says to you 'What's your deal? You haven't blogged in days!' Yes, it feels good to know anyone is that interested in what you have to say, but yes, you've let them down. So what profound wisdom do I have to wow you with today? Good question. I was gonna talk the other day about adults co-opting Halloween from children and using it to be drunk and slutty (don't worry - it was a 'pro' argument.) But then someone got drunk and someone else decided to IM me for hours and hours. Now it seems late and not all that interesting.

I was going to write this esoteric bit about how asking someone to tell you the truth can hurt the asker more than the askee. You know - how you may be fine with the truth, whatever it may be, but you do that person a disservice by making them have to say something unpleasant to you. But that would lead to too much speculation and potentially awkward questions.

There's the super-secret OSU/Michigan development, but the fact that its super-secret precludes me telling you about it. So this is a tease - you'll get to hear about *probably* next week. It'll either be the crowning achievement of my existence or something that was almost so. I've got the entry written in my head like an election night speech - two versions: one if we win, one if we have to cede it to some dumbfucks.

There's my trip to see Zimmy tonight, but that's an entry for tomorrow. There's Ayesha stories, Buddha stories, Imadrunk stories - there's always those - but none of it seems particularly relevant right now. And more important, I don't feel insightful about any of it. Maybe all this overt happiness has made me soft? If that turns out to be the case, then I'm sorry people. I'm not about to trade it for being 'interesting' again. Even if that means I have to let you all down once more.

Posted 1:56pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 29th, 2006

Welcome to the O(ld) C, bitch

There's an added stress to Halloween when you're a couple. Costumes must be coordinated, and if you have any sense of self respect and dignity, not be trite or cliché. If you're like me, its more important that a few people find your costume inspired than having everyone immediately recognize what you're going for. I'm willing to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining what I am if I get a few "That's fucking sweet"s.

Last night I went to a party with Ayesha and her roommates - the Jesuses (which requires an explanation that I won't give here, just trust me, they're the Jesuses.) Mrs. Jesus was super-excited for the four of us to go together with a theme. It took very little time (after an initial foray into being the cast of 'My So-Called Life') to settle on the cast of 'The OC'. Which was awesome for me, as my turn as Seth Cohen allowed me to wear clothes completely from my own wardrobe. A bad dye job and I was as Cohen-y as would get.

Sure not a lot of people immediately recognized what we were. (There was a lot of explaining to do on the yamaclauses) But watching Mr. Jesus brood as Ryan Atwood and Mrs. Jesus pretend be lush Marissa was all worth it. One 'You are so Seth Cohen right now.' was all I needed to make my night. It was pointed out that I should have had a Spider-man mask to really complete the outfit, but making out upside down sounds incredibly overrated (not to mention incredibly treacherous for a drunk like me.)

Posted 3:27pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 27th, 2006

We're not here to cause no trouble...

There is no booze like free booze. That fact and drunken bridesmaids are the two things that make weddings tolerable. An while 'open bar' are two of my favorite words in the English language when spoken back to back, there is an even greater kind of free booze. I speak of the free booze that is not given of free will. I'm talking booze that is won.

Last night a few of us crammed into Bdubs to watch the Tigers and drink our faces off. Let's just say that if the Tigers would have played like we drank, the series would be tied right now. Anyway, some point in the later part of the night (after we all sang and clapped along to the theme from Smoky and the Bandit) I had an idea. It wasn't an original idea, just one that I hadn't had in quite some time. It was time for the credit card shuffle.

For those unfamiliar, the shuffle is where everyone at the table (at least those willing to participate) throws their credit cards into a pile, the waitress chooses one, and that card is responsible for the entire bill. It ended up being Me vs. Pete vs. Stov for our portion of the bill. Credit cards were handed over and shuffled, then fanned out for the waitress. 'Pick a card, any card.' When it was turned over, my night turned out to be free.

Turns out Stov didn't think our 47 verses of 'Credit Card Shuffle' as sung to the tune of the 'Super Bowl Shuffle' were as funny post-losing as he did before his card got pulled. But as I left to go pick up my dirty pirate hooker girlfriend (another long story) I had a smile from ear to ear. Because every beer and every hot wing I had that evening were suddenly all the more delicious.

Posted 9:56am
permalink - comments (1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 24th, 2006

Let the vandemonium ensue

It was to big to either be contained or properly served by tbaggervance.com. That's why we started our new official sister site: mgovan.com. Its the official repository for all the dumb stuff we'll be doing with our shitty van over the next few months/years/until its totally rusted through. Keep in mind its a work in progress and it'll take me a week or so to catch up on the shit we've already done. But for those who love either vans, Michigan football, or drunken idiots, I highly recommend it. If you love all three, make a daily destination. You'll undoubtedly be disappointed by the lack of updates.

- For movie fans, this quiz is fairly easy and mildly clever. I got 19/20 in about 10 minutes. I had to look up the last one. If you finish it, it shouldn't be hard to guess which one I had trouble with.

- Jagshemash! My name a Borat. I have many new clips of my movie film on the gootube. You watch. I liiike. Nice!

- Starting tomorrow, for two days you can get a free trial of Sirius satellite radio - including Howard Stern. I've had Sirius ever since Howard switched over at the start of the year and its been a life changing experience. Anyone who spends any significant time in the car needs this yesterday. Especially if you're a sports junkie/music snob living in a town with no decent radio station or ESPN radio affiliate, like me.

Posted 1:26pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 23rd, 2006

My dream date with Davey von Bohlen

It will be difficult to articulate what it meant to me. Its a band no one's really heard of. Even his former, more popular band was only known by a relatively small group of people for a relatively short amount of time. But as any music snob will tell you, sometimes the fewer people that know about something, the better it is.

I started listening to The Promise Ring by complete chance. I couldn't even tell you how I first came across them. It was back in the days of Napster, when you could find any song ever recorded in 10 seconds and have it on your computer in 20. The point is that I was smitten from the flop. Something about the songwriting and sound clicked for me, and I started to crush hard. I devoured every Promise Ring album I could find. I searched for albums by his all-acoustic side project Vermont. When the Promise Ring was no more, I anxiously skulked around the internet, waiting to see where Davey von Bohlen would pop up next.

Eventually he started touring under the moniker Maritime, bringing his penchant for indie pop goodness back into my life. Before we headed down to show Friday, I told Ayesha that I would be able to die happy if I got my picture taken with Davey. After the show, we waited patiently to meet the man and make my life complete. More often than not, you hear stories about people meeting their idols and being disappointed. My 20 minutes with my favorite emo frontman were anything but. Of course Ayesha did a lot of talking, telling him how he was one of five people I said I'd want to meet on MySpace, about how she was worried that I might like him more than her and about how she begged me for a free pass to make out with his bass player. And of course she had to have him give 3 adjectives to describe his wife (because nobody puts people on the spot like Ayesha). I just soaked it all in, in accordance with my new policy of trying to enjoy the moment.

After we left the club, I had to stop to appreciate the perfection of the evening. I've left out tons of details - from the Thai restaurant we ate at (and so did the band - we actually saw them there before the show) to the drive down, to the surprisingly awesome opening act, to pretty much every last minutiae of the night. I hope someday everyone will know who these guys are, so they can have some of the enjoyment that I've received from their music over the years. But if not, I'll still sit in smug satisfaction - knowing that I know something that few other people do.

Posted 9:48pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 20th, 2006

We don't think we're punk rock, we know

Back when I was in college we used to go to Chicago a lot. Sometimes we'd lay in the bed of a pickup truck the whole way there. While it rained. And was 40 degrees. At least it had a cover over it. And sometimes we'd go for the day. Four hours there, four hours back in less than a day. Fueled by coffee and cigarettes, we'd get up early, drive out to go to a museum or a Cubs game, and then come back 'round midnight. They were some of the finest road trips ever.

Somehow stuff like that gets lost as you get older. At least it has for me. I'm by no stretch of the imagination very mature or responsible, but somehow ridonkuloid things like driving to Cedar Point at 2 in the afternoon to catch their 'after 5' special on a random Tuesday don't happen as much as they used to. Notions like that scare and depress the shit out of me.

Which is why tonight I will be driving 180 miles to lovely downtown Dayton, Ohio to see Maritime. First, Maritime is the phoenix that arose from the ashes of The Promise Ring, one of all-time favorite "I-love-them-you've-never-heard-of-them" bands. Maritime is not playing in Michigan, so what's a boy to do? Six hours in the car to see a 90 minute show makes all the sense in the world to me. I get to see one of my most beloved musicians (man crush extraordinare Davey von Bohlen) and fix my conundrum of not making enough silly decisions in my life (yes, I know - $200 van. Shut up.) I do however, think that I'll ride comfortably up front this time.

Posted 11:13am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 19th, 2006

Staving off boredom

"I'm bored." Its the rallying cry for the under 18 set. At least for those who haven't discovered alcohol, at which point there's always at least something to do. Personally, I feel those who moan about being bored are usually some of the most boring people you'd ever want to meet. Give me the internets, my iPod, a book and a stack of DVDs and you'll never hear me cry 'bored'. As long as the supply of alcohol is abundant, put me under house arrest. Sequester me in my living room for 6 months and you'll never get a voicemail asking you to provide me with entertainment. Pick me up something from the library maybe. Make a booze run more than likely, but stir crazy I'd never succumb to.

Today however is testing the limits of even a man with an iron will such as myself. I'm at a conference today to ensure 'nothing goes wrong' with any of the technical equipment. Go ahead fuckers, make your little AV club jokes. I'm getting paid a stupid amount of money to sit here, surf the 'net, and listen to The Promise Ring. The only problem is my ability to deeply delve into anything specific. I'm technically on call for any problems that may arise (though the chances of anything happening are slim) so my neurotic ass can't zone out into the new Bret Easton Ellis too much, or blare Nothing Feels Good at the appropriate volume. Its really hindering my enjoyment of the day. Maybe this is what boredom feels like...

Posted 1:10pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 18th, 2006

Its what all the cool kids are doing

Things have been a little 'T is a drunk/He realized this about himself' heavy lately. While I realize how fascinating that probably is for everybody, its time to clear the palate with some TWIR notes, or for those who don't know who Mel Allen is, you may simply refer to it as This Week in Indie Rock.

- Right now, we can't mention the Indie Rock without mentioning The Hold Steady. Lucky for us, they've given us something worth mentioning by releasing their video for 'Chips Ahoy!' Its a nice blend of Huey Lewis by way of Jared Hess.

- Everybody knows that Jeff Tweedy kicks figurative ass. Turns out he's not afraid to get literal on you as well. See? Not all indie rock guys are pussies.

- Every band who has ever been asked the question 'How do you feel about being referred to as 'emo'?' has immediately flipped out and railed against the moniker. I'll stay away from diatribing about the definition of emo, but suffice to say, P!ATD shouldn't worry, as they're about as far away from emo as the B-52s.

- This may sound like a stretch, but hear me out. Here's a link to some preview footage of The O.C. Yes, teenage melodrama, but this show has one of the best all-time track records for showcasing great new indie rock. Christ, they had a show centered around Death Cab! Not to mention that Beck premiered a bunch of songs on the show last season. Oh yeah, pick up The Information. It rules.

That's all for now. If you got every reference in this post without clicking on the links, give yourself 50 blogpoints.

Posted 3:23pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 17th, 2006

Fighting the battle of who-could-care-less

Depending on who's to be believed, I'm a member of Generation X. (This Wikipedia entry says I am, but its all convoluted and overlappy. I once heard 1965-1975. I always liked that, because it made my brother the last of the baby boomers and me the last of the Gen Xers, so those'll be our operating thesis numbers. Not that it matters. I just wanted to see how long people would read this pointless non-sequitor.) ANYWAY, being part of said generation, I'm prone to its stereotypical slacker behavior. Oh sure, the apathy, the alienation, the general post-modern ennui too, but somehow Linklater's movie title ended up encapsulating us all. From the long hair to the flannel, we were glanced at and immediately labeled, which we found ironic, as it was the first thing our elders ever got right (at least in our little solipsistic worldview.)

I became first familiar with all these feelings somewhere in junior high when I discovered the law of diminishing returns. It was probably always there, but like a lot of things, I became aware of it junior high. Maybe its because you'll concentrate on anything mundane and boring at that age to keep from having a hard-on 24-7. So it came to my attention that in my scholastic endeavors, I could spend no time doing anything and receive top of my class type grades, or I could work hard and get all A's. Guess which I chose? To this day it makes sense to me. If the difference between a 3.8 and 4.0 GPA is 10 extra hours of work a week, who would want to make that trade off? Fair point, a lot of people do all the time. But I was in junior high, my sense of entitlement was skyrocketing, and I set myself on a course of putting forth minimal effort and expecting less than perfect returns.

So I was rereading the bloggy-blog the other day - looking for something that's immaterial now - and realizing that sometimes I don't make any sense. I'm prone to losing points in mid-paragraph and a lot of posts have a Simpsons-esque quality of starting as one thing and ending up being about something completely different (though in my defense sometimes that's a conscience effort to be clever. But not always.) I immediately recognized this phenomena as detritus from my diminishing returns days. I write this blog in about 5 to 15 minutes every couple days. I rarely reread it after writing it. Editing is minimal at best. I did start to spell check a while back, because even I was getting annoyed with that. But lets face it, I'm not sending this to a publisher of getting graded. A few people read this from time to time, and I hope to make them laugh or smile or occasionally think about something differently. Or its just a repository from tales of me being a drunk. EITHER WAY, if you read something on here that wants for prolific prose, just remember that my effort is minimal. If you read something you enjoy, think how much you could have enjoyed it if the author put in some effort and wasn't a giant slacker.

Posted 12:04pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 16th, 2006

If a tree falls and the woods and you're wasted, will you hear it?

In Vino Veritas. Or so the saying goes. Anyone who has ever imbibed enough alcohol to get even the slightest bit tipsy knows the peril that can lie within. Just ask Mel "Oy Vey!" Gibson. And today the peril is even more perilous. Its terrible peril. One hundred years ago you only had to worry about saying something inappropriate to those around you. Then came the advent of drunk dialing and all of a sudden you could make an ass of yourself to people that were hundreds of miles away. Today we even have drunk emailing - which is nice because then you have a record of how much of a drunken idiot you were right there in your sent mail folder.

But ancient Latin proverbs aside, does saying something when you're hammered give it more weight or less? Do you ignore a confession someone makes to you through a boozy slur because they won't remember it? Or do you take it to heart because their guard is down and they're giving you the unabashed truth? Unfortunately, there's no cut and dried answer. It'd be nice to think that professions of love and longing are always true and nasty tirades of resentment never are - but life doesn't work that way either.

The upside is that drunks who run their mouths and those around to hear it can all play both sides of the coin. When someone tells you that you were at the bar last night telling the 350lb girl with no teeth that you're in love with her, you can totally blame the booze and go about your day knowing that nothing could be further from the truth. If you're girlfriend calls you at 2:40 in the morning telling you she needs you and wants to do illicit and explicit things to you, that's a binding sexual contract.

But let's face it, most of the time you're both drunk. And you'll both remember what was said differently - and you'll both be wrong to some degree. Because the bottom line is that truth is a subjective concept anyway. The stupid things we do under the influence are either embarrassing because they're true, or embarrassing because they're things we would never do in the sober light of day. In both cases, how we view our own motives determine the reality of the situation. And that's as close to the truth as any of us are likely to get. That is until we get drunk again.

Posted 9:47am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 12th, 2006

Reassessing the tenets of my identity

There's certain things in life that we take for granted about ourselves. Things that have always been true and as far as you know, will always be true. These range from the fairly significant to the trivial. For instance, I'm smart. I've always been smart. Most people who know me would say I'm smart. Its part of who I am and I'm assuming its never going to change. I also don't like to eat salads. I like to stay up late and sleep in the next day. I'm overly confident and not very athletic. These things have been true as long as I can remember. I would expect anyone who knows me to give the exact same answers if asked about me.

Along with all of the aforementioned, I've also always been a redhead. I don't know how most people feel about their hair color, but its pretty significant to me. Growing up in Podunk, Ohio, people knew I was a Brubaker based on my hair color alone. Blondes and brunettes are a dime a dozen, but redheads are a little more scarce. And while the sun and time have changed the color of my hair throughout the years, I've never not considered myself a redhead for a second.

But now some people are trying to tell me I'm not a redhead. That while I may have been one when I was younger, my hair is now more brown than anything. That my hair - MY hair - is not red. Preposterous. Lighter in the summer, darker in the winter, but always red. Always. You might as well tell me I'm not Irish. Or a drunk. Its just not true. And I refuse to believe differently - no matter what people's perceptions are. We spend a lot of life trying to figure out who we are and what we want to be. The little things we take for granted on that journey can be a big comfort. Even something as trivial as what color your hair is.

- In other news, the album collection hit another unofficial milestone today: Album #700 is Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady. And its about time. I mean Jesus, I've been waiting on this one for months. Its finally on my hard drive, making me giddy as a schoolgirl. See ya in two weeks Craig. I'll be the drunk guy in the back.

Posted 10:36am
permalink - comments (1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 9th, 2006

You'll have plenty of time to live in a van down by the river... when you're living in a van down by the river.

Surprises rarely live up to their billing. Usually someone tells you they have a surprise for you, and you end up going 'Oh. That's cool.' while hiding your disdain for the person who built up your expectations over something so trivial. Stov stopped by last Thursday to pick up a few pieces of tailgating equipment and as he was leaving pulled the 'There may be a surprise guest at the tailgate Saturday. Just throwing it out there - that's all I'm going to say.' I wondered - his mythical girlfriend? His racist cousin? Jer? I didn't think much about it after that. That is until Saturday morning.

Stov had the satellite and TV for Saturday, so it was his duty and responsibility to get there early and have everything set up for our viewing pleasure. When he was a half hour late we called him to bitch. No answer. After an hour we began to wonder 'Who could this fucking mystery guest be and why are they keeping us from watching our satellite TV?' That's when we saw the thick cloud of smoke coming around the corner. When I saw Stov hanging out of the window of the biggest piece of shit van ever, I nearly lost it.

Turns out the 'mystery guest' wasn't a person after all. Apparently the Stovbakers are now a three car family. Here's the beast:

Pete got it running (sort of) and its now up to the rest of us to get things up to snuff. Its gonna take some time. Especially if we continue to treat her like this:

That's right bitches, drinking and grilling on the roof of the van. Life is good.

And so was the rest of the weekend. Wilco rocked (minus 'the incident' which will be kept under wraps for the time being - yes, I'm an idiot, its over, let's move on) Ayesha met the Moeman, Michigan was victorious and I accomplished more yesterday than I had on the previous 10 Sundays. We've been joking around the blog lately about waiting for the other shoe to drop - that things have been so good lately that something big and bad is right around the corner. Boike's been referring to it as 'ICE' (Imminent Catastrophic Event). Saturday he told me that he's beginning to believe it might not come; that maybe all that was prologue to now was the bad juice we had to swallow to get here. I want to believe too. As mgoblog wrote a week or two ago, 'Lucy, I am ready to kick the football.' If she doesn't pull it this time, it'll truly be a surprise that was worth waiting for.

**UPDATE**
I swear to Christ I was looking up links for this post when I see this. It appears I have tempted fate too much. I take complete and utter responsibility if this turns out to be any more than a 'that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger' scenario.

Posted 1:22pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 6th, 2006

Jagshemash! My name a Borat.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a comedy. That's not true. I know exactly when it was. It was for South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. And I wasn't disappointed in the least. I put myself heavily under the influence and literally couldn't catch my breath for the first twenty minutes of the movie. I don't know if the Borat movie will have the same effect on me, but clips like this make me think maybe.

But in more pertinent matters, as of last night this weekend just got a whole lot better. Not that it needed to mind you. Michigan/Michigan State (with a 4:30 start no less) is enough to be excited about. But then Ayesha called me last night and asked if I'd be interested in going to see a little band called Wilco tonight. I think I said "FUCK YEAH" or something equivalent. Supposedly the venue sucks and attending requires me to be in ELansing the day before UM/MSU, but to quote the great Matthew Wilder, 'Ain't nothing gonna break-a my stride.' I get to hang with Jeff Tweedy and the boys for an evening, so all continues to be right with the world. I'm having trouble finding good things to wish for at this point. I guess if Oberon started coming out of my faucets at home it'd be OK...

Posted 9:43am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 3rd, 2006

Never quit quitting

So as most of you probably know, I quit smoking about a year ago. It was actually easier than I thought it was going to be. I was totally ready to try heroin after a few months, because they always tell you quitting smoking is harder than quitting anything. I made it a solid six months without a single cigarette. Then Vegas hit.

Me being the degenerate that I am, it was about two steps off of the tarmac before I knew I'd never last 5 days in Vegas nicotine free. So I gave in to the sweet, sweet goodness that are my cancer giving buddies. And it was good. I smoked my head off up and down the strip, thinking that once I returned from my smoking utopia I'd go back to living the life of good breath and non-yellowed fingers. I was almost right.

The next few weeks and months I became the scourge of the regular smoker - the social smoker. I'd bum from my friends when at the bar or sitting around drinking - receiving those dirty looks that say both 'You shouldn't be smoking' and 'Get your own pack' at the same time. It escalated from there. By mid summer I was rationalizing - 'I'll never make through Put-in-Bay without smoking the entire time.' September brought on smoking in my car again and having a cigarette at noon. So yeah, time to quit again.

I was thinking of the best way to describe what its like trying to quit for those of you who've never had the displeasure. You know that one relationship you had that was really bad for you? The one where you waited way too long to break it off and then once you did, you kept getting back together, whether for a few weeks at a time or just to have sex again. You knew it was a mistake; that it was bad for you. But it was sooooo easy and for a time it felt really good. So you kept going back to it, thinking that after this one last time, you'd be done forever. Its like having one more drink at the bar. Life just doesn't seem to work like that.

Come to think of it, most relationships are like that - but none more so than the one you have with nicotine. I know all the reasons to quit. I know I'm capable of doing it. Now its just using that will power to trade what's easy and feels good for what is good for me. I guess it could be worse. I could be trying to quit drinking. But that's just crazy...

Posted 9:31pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 2nd, 2006

What the fuck have I gotten myself into this time?

I'm not sure how it happened, but it did. I'm not sure why it happened in only three weeks, but it did. Someway, somehow I have a girlfriend. And for once it doesn't involve the usual 'Do you think she's your girlfriend at this point?' conjecture. All doubt was removed when, swear to Christ, she passed me a note that ostensibly said 'Will you be my boyfriend?' I thought hard about scanning it and putting it up here for everyone to see, but I think for once I'm going to keep a little to myself. I'll save it for 6 months from now when she breaks my heart and I can do a whole 'Why did I have to check yes....' thing. Hi Ayesha. Just kidding. But probably not.

But enough of me droning on about the intimate details of my life. How did this thing become what it is anyway? Wasn't this supposed to be about pop culture and found things on the internet? A place for me to write about music and movies and vent when people make a Vin Diesel movie #1 at the box office? Time to kick it old school:

- I was never more excited to watch a bitch die. The O.C. had lost its way last season and was in need of a serious reboot. What better way to shake things up than by killing off the least likable main character? So I've been waiting since the season finale to see how they were going to fix things; how they were going to return the show to its funny, trashy glory. I had such high hopes. Then I saw this. What the fuck? That's really all I can say.

- Please, please, please listen to this album. Better yet, love this album. Wrap your arms around it and give it the affection it so warmly deserves. Close your eyes and pretend its 1982. Pretend you're in high school driving around town on a Friday night trying to score a case of beer. If it doesn't make you smile just a little, then I don't even know who you are anymore.

Posted 9:44am
permalink - comments (3)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 29th, 2006

Nobody knows anything

There's a bunch of philosophical musings out there about how wisdom is knowing how stupid you are. I may be paraphrasing a bit there, but there seems to be a consensus that you're not wise until you know that you're not. That's always seemed a little circular to me. But its philosophy, so I guess its supposed to be.

Anyway, what I am starting to realize is that wisdom and knowledge aside, people have no idea what they want. Of course most of the time people will be able to enumerate to you exactly what it is they desire. And when it comes to things like places to eat dinner, what car to drive, and whether or not to have one more drink before they go - they're exactly right (OK, maybe there's some wiggle room on that last one) But when it comes to the bigger, more abstract things in life, people haven't a clue.

Yes, I'm being abstract and vague and even I'm not sure exactly where this is going. My point is that too many times in my life things have happened to me that I thought I didn't want and yet they've made me immeasurably happy. A lot of times I've resisted things that have been wonderful once I surrendered to them. And worst of all, I've turned things away because I thought they weren't for me, only to see in hindsight what an opportunity I missed out on. And of course we've all had the experience of getting exactly what we want, only to find to its the most miserable thing imaginable. There needs to be a word beyond disappointing for that experience, because it'll knock the wind out of you like nobody's business.

So, dear friends, how do we fix this universal, age old problem that will continue to haunt mankind until the end of existence? My theory is to stop being so specific. Don't say you unequivocally don't want something to happen. Don't concentrate on obtaining one thing that you think can solve all your ills. Its harder than you think. As with everything in life, alcohol helps. Or maybe just knowing that you don't know what you want is enough.

Posted 10:09am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 24th, 2006

Birthday Shenanigans

Another year older. I think its in my best interest to stop counting. Friday night involved lots of bar games, including my robin hood-esque double 15s to win the game (thanks to Markie C for the photo) Apparently my dart throwing prowess was not enough to keep the bouncer from cutting me off from the bar. Fucking Nazis.

Saturday involved an almost legendary 18 hour drinking binge, with a little 3 hour break to watch some more Michigan domination (we're soooooo good). The real capper was watching MSU choke away another certain victory. Sparty on.

So thanks everyone who came out to celebrate. All the drinks were appreciated. Hope you had as much fun as I did. And one last thing - I received one of the funniest and best gifts ever Saturday. I have no choice but to share it with you now. I present DJ Boike's latest mish mash/clish clash - Tnagila

Posted 7:28pm
permalink - comments (2)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 21st, 2006

I'm at the nexus of the universe

Those who've drank with me enough know that from time to time I'm prone to head off into into the night on foot. I have a little too much to drink, and before I even know it, I'm walking down unknown streets looking for something familiar to steer me in the direction of a bed. Its not a great personality trait, but we are who we are.

Chicago not withstanding, I usually handle myself fairly well considering. Last Saturday was another exception. Upon leaving the bar solo around midnight, I started walking and talking on my cell phone. When I finally looked up, I had no clue where I was. So I walked. And I walked. After an hour or so, I found a group of dudes hanging out on a back porch. I asked directions to the house where I was staying and they blatantly laughed at me. They told me it would take me all night to get there on foot, and given the route I would have to take, I likely wouldn't make it there alive. They offered me a beer and then a ride home. I owe those cats big time.

But the reason for the post is that before I found the dudes who so graciously took me home, I made a few desperate phone calls. I don't know what I was looking for or what I expected anyone to do, but apparently I was desperate. Let it never be said that I'm not willing to turn the spotlight around and make enormous fun of myself. With that in mind, I give you a drunken, desperate, pathetic, T - The Message.

Posted 10:05am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 20th, 2006

Can I give a quick shout out?

I'm so neurotic. Things are so good right now, I'm literally concentrating on not waiting for the other shoe to drop. Michigan is soooo good, the Buddha tested out of 6th grade math (prompting a million annoying Good Will Hunting references from his father), the dating situation is strange and wonderful, and now, I get a shout out from the best Michigan blog on the internet.

Mgoblog is one of my daily destinations on the internet. No one provides better or more comical insights on my alma matter and its (dominating) sports programs. I like him so much, I bought two of his shirts. In appreciation, he gave tbaggervance.com a shout out. Its mid page and totally forgettable, unless your me, in which case it prompts warm all over feelings. So thanks Mgoblog - kinda made my day. I keep thinking of the wise man that once said '...don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted ... He lived happily ever after.'

Posted 3:39pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 19th, 2006

Man Crush: verified

Last night I got to meet one of my favorite authors and uber man crushes: Chuck Klosterman. Unlike my other major man crushes (Tom Brady, Steve Soderbergh, Davey von Bohlen) who I admire for doing something I could never possibly fathom being good at, my love from Chuck stems from the fact that I believe in a parallel universe somewhere, I could have been him.

But let's not delve too deeply into that little conceited statement and let is pass as one of those 'Man, T can be an arrogant prick' moments. The point is, I met Chuck and he was exactly what I expected. The crowd was packed with alternakids in the All-Stars, all probably thinking that they too, with the right breaks, could have been Chuck Klosterman. I think he would argue that its no great feat.

When I finally made it face to face with the man I asked him if he found that his fans had a disproportionate love affair with Chuck Taylors. He took one look at me and said 'Not as much as they tend to have glasses like you and me.' I think I briefly swooned. We totally should be best friends.

Posted 9:44am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 18th, 2006

This just in: We're good at football

In true vini vidi vici fashion, we are back from laying waste to the town of South Bend, Indiana. It can only be described as perfect. I commend the fans and residents of South Bend - you're all class. To the point that its annoying (except for the shithead at Corby's - you owe me a $100). Anyway, were back, still smiling - except for the pain that body is still experiencing - and ready to take on the next challenge (which turns out is a home football weekend coupled with me turning very, very old). All the pics and commentary are right here (or through the link on the right)

Posted 10:32am
permalink - comments (2)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 14th, 2006

Let's Pretend we don't exist

Life is good. I am currently partially inebriated. I just found out that the Buddha was one of a few students to test out of 6th grade math. I'm currently seeing a girl that I think I might actually like (and secretly hoping she's oblivious to this blog - because we all play the game and I don't need her reading that). And perhaps most importantly, I'm about to embark on a weekend that has 100% chance of being one of the more rememberable of my life to this point (and that's saying something.) So why am I blogging about an Outback Steakhouse commercial?

Many years ago I interviewed Chris Coburn ( I think I got his name right, I'm too drunk to check) of Buffalo Tom. They were a minor indie rock band I did a story on for the Michigan Daily when I was a student at the U. They had some minor success with their album Big Red Letter Day, were on My So Called Life, and had one of their songs used in a car commercial. I asked Coburn about the concept of 'selling out', about being on TV and having their music used to sell products they couldn't afford. Without going back to the tape, I remember him saying something to the effect of getting their music out in any way possible, and the fact that being in an indie rock band didn't pay much, and anytime someone would offer them some cash that would enable them to keep doing what they loved to do, they were reticent to decline.

All of which is understandable. Never having been a psuedo-celebrity on that level, I can't say I would act any differently. But tonight I saw something that turned my stomach. Now I'm not a huge Of Montreal fan by any standard. They're a minor indie band that's not exactly in my wheelhouse. But I really loved their single 'Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games'. Which is why my jaw dropped when I heard it in an Outback Steakhouse commercial. And it wasn't just that they used the song, because that's not what they did. They took Of Montreal's undeniably hooky melody and co-opted to sell meat (I think - I was so shocked I have no idea what they were pushing).

My buddy Markie C claims that that the industry went to shit went Sting premiered a song in a luxury car commercial. That may or may not be true, but why agree to let them use your song when they'll only bastardize it to sell cheap steaks? No one will recognize it. Its not like those iPod commercials where people go "I need to download that song". They took a quick buck from someplace that everyone in Of Montreal probably laughs at when they drive by it.

And maybe the better question is why do I give a shit about a band I'm not even into selling their song so that they can get a new water pump on their VW bus? I obviously have issues. And if that's all you take from this post, please remember that I'm partially inebriated. and I rarely go back and edit these posts. Yes, that explains alot. I'm sure I'll forget it all when I step up into the Escalade ESV tomorrow, and I start neuroticizing over another completely trivial matter.

Posted 11:11pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 13th, 2006

Significant distractions

As a single alcoholic, I spend a lot of time in bars. And being of a certain age and disposition, I'm basically left with three areas of conversation: sports, pop culture, and sex. All are equally fertile ground to attempt to wax poetic on, but put members of opposing genders together and eventually it all comes back to sex.

And again, given the age and disposition thing, we spend a lot time going over the same basic stuff. After telling your hookup and horror stories, it all comes back to the basic conundrum of how to navigate the single world. The ability to pick your friend's brains on how your experiences relate and differ is an indispensable tool in becoming better at playing the game we all force upon ourselves. The more others can point out your mistakes and learn from your successes, the better off we all are.

And while I think that is true, I'm also becoming convinced that its all a case-by-case basis. I've spent several months talking with a particular friend on the particulars of being 30 (*cough*) and single. We've argued and bandied about a myriad points, getting others involved at every chance along the way (which, by the way, included one severely painful session of both of us recounting recent sexual dalliances in front of people we dated but didn't sleep with. Ouch.) We've come to some conclusions, happened upon some trends, and thrown out advice - to varying degrees of success. And while its lively banter and great conversation, I have no idea how much any of it means.

That's because I've spent the last few days pulling a Costanza and doing the opposite of what I thought were the rules and having the opposite experiences I've been claiming never happen to me. Its a mind bending, Dali-an reality. Its not that I believe everything we discussed was wrong - the opposite is true. Its just that sometimes you find yourself not thinking and not calculating everything and it still works out. I'm sure said 'particular 30yo friend' will be giddy to hear me have to recant some of my positions. Then again, if I know anything, its that everything could change tomorrow, and then we're right back at square one. And we can have all those great, drunken conversations all over again. I picked a great week for such distractions. T-minus 47 hours till I'm rollin' in the Escalade. Distractions forgotten.

Posted 1:46pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 11th, 2006

Jesus Loves Michigan

First off, the weekend was good. Tailgating was drunken, sitting in the press box was dry, my date Sunday night went better than I could have drawn it up. Second, yup - its 9/11. I have nothing to offer in the way of meaningful insight to offer you here. Thanks to those who've done their due diligence to rebuild, repair and keep us safe. Burn in the ultimate circle of hell those of you who used tragedy to promote personal agenda. Both groups know who they are.

On to better things. This week my brain will be spending all of its energy that isn't already evolutionarily earmarked for booze and thinking about sex to Michigan/Notre Dame. For those who haven't heard or have forgotten, a quick recap:

1. We are staying here. 8+ drunks in this house. Yes, that's the virgin Mary in the corner. Yes, if still possible, my trip to hell will likely be hastened after the events of the weekend.
2. Boike and I are going to the game, thanks to a trade we made with some poor bastard who I almost feel sorry for.
3. Capt. Stizorch is procuring us a Suburban for the trip down. We will be completely prepared should we need to go Delta House on the campus Sat. night.
4:30 update: The Suburban is now an Escalade ESV. We're officially off the hook.

So yes, its on. Those of you view this as a desperate last grasp at our youth by a bunch of aging drunks, we say 'Desperate sure, but who said anything about last?' I hope to remain cognizant enough to blog the shit out of the weekend, so hopefully Monday we can celebrate a victory and reminisce about the myriad ways we stuck it to those Catholic undergrads Friday and Saturday night. Hopefully the Ann Arbor Tippy Cup All-Stars™ will find somewhere to assert their dominance. Its going to be a long week of waiting people, let's find some distractions.

Posted 2:53pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 7th, 2006

Full tilt gambling

When someone comes up to me and says something along the lines of 'You know, you may have a problem,' its a myriad things that they could be worried about. I'm usually actively working on making one of my 'problems' less of one, but that's usually to the detriment of the rest of my vices.

Right now, #1 with a bullet is gambling. I'm now in a total of 7 weekly pools/fantasy leagues/squares that in some way involve my financial health being decided by 350lb lineman and 20 year old head case wide receivers. And that's before I start looking at which games I'm going to take straight up.

Some wise philosopher once noted that gambling is a lot like drinking - you don't need either to enjoy what you're doing, but everything's better with both. I guess that makes my life pretty fucking fabulous.

Posted 2:45pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 4th, 2006

Getting sunburnt when its overcast is the cross I have to bare

Football season is here. I'd forgotten how all-encompasing and consuming it is. Its totally awesome. There are some big things in the works in the next few weeks. I'll keep them under my hat for now, but let's just say I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl with anticipation.

So summer is all but over. Before you know it, even the Oberon will be gone. The Buddha starts junior high tomorrow. I'm saving the freak out for a few months from now when the attitude change begins and I start saying things like "I don't even know you anymore." Its going to be a great fall.

So before I end this all-too-quick post, two gems from youtube I became privy to this weekend:

- Quick, picture Bobby Knight on a golf course. Now stop, because you don't have to. Check out the long shoreman's winning attitude here.

- We all agree that the original RBI Baseball for Nintendo is the greatest sports videogame ever. So simple, yet so intricate. Which makes these guys my hero. How long it must've taken to get that error to happen boggles the mind.

Posted 9:25pm
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 1st, 2006

Exercises in ineptitude

The last four months have moved to the archives - look to your right.

I consider myself a lucky guy on a lot of levels. Save your sarcasm, just go with me on this. Most kids grow up and learn to watch sports by spending time with their dad. As dudes, its one of the few ways were comfortable relating to each other. If your dad watched baseball, you watched baseball. If you're dad watched NASCAR, you had a mullet at 7. And of course it goes without saying, you're probably a fan of the teams that your dad was. And maybe its not your dad in your case. Maybe an older brother, maybe a cousin. Somebody influenced you along the way, and in their influence they tied your fate to that team for the rest of your life.

Which is why I feel lucky. Last night I attended the Detroit Lions preseason football game against the Bills. Tix were free, and I went as much to see Ford Field (I'd never been - its gorgeous) as anything. But man did I end up feeling sorry for Lions fans. All the prematurely bought Mike Williams jerseys, all the diminished expectations, all those years of futility - you wanted to put your arm around them and tell them 'No one's horrible forever.'

We did have fun though. I mean, how can you beat $8 beers? Plus Stov and Boike really got into the Lions Touchdown song (which sort of explains the picture) But honestly, I was kind of glad when it was over. It was a lot like watching a really sad movie. Or a retarded kid with a pinata. Let's just move on and concentrate on Saturday's game - which is what I'll spend my day at 'work' today doing. I'm a lucky guy.

Posted 9:30am
permalink - comments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is me


Other stuff:
wearesogoodatfootball.com
Musée d'tbaggervance
Uncle t-bags Podcast
Chloecast
tbaggervance RSS feed
tbaggervance on Yelp
tbaggervance on twitter
tbaggervance on flickr
tbaggervance on facebook
Marquee pics
Studybots!

The Archives:
Apr. '12 - June '12
Jan. '12 - Mar. '12
Oct. '11 - Dec. '11
July '11 - Sep. '11
Apr. '11 - June '11

Jan. '11 - Mar. '11

Oct. '10 - Dec. '10
Jul. '10 - Sept. '10
Apr. '10 - June '10
Jan. '10 - Mar. '10
Oct. '09 - Dec. '09
July '09 - Sept. '09
Apr. '09 - June '09

Jan. '09 - Mar. '09
Oct. '08 - Dec. '08
July '08 - Sept. '08
Apr. '08 - June '08
Jan. '08 - Mar. '08
Sept. '07 - Dec. '07
May '07 - August '07
Jan. '07 - Apr. '07
Sept. '06 - Dec. '06

May '06 - August '06
Jan. '06 - April '06
Sept. '05 - Dec. '05
Dec. '04 - August '05

The Essay Essays
Southern accents.
This is for the people of the sun...
Budget Boozehounding
Hamtramck Blowout '06
Notre Dame 2006
Put-in-Bay '06
My Very Own Stalker
PIB Photo Essay
Cubs AC pics

 

 

This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.