Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Terps broom it up on Duke, Dickie hams it up on radio feed

Great, great win for Maryland last night to sweep Duke in the regular season. As SportsCenter anchor and Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt said on this morning's show, "Duke has famously said Maryland is not their rivals. So Maryland will just have to settle for being Duke's nemesis." I heard that, girlfriend!

Speaking of hearing things, I heard that the first six minutes and last three minutes of the game were quite compelling. And I emphasize "heard." As Maryland secured their victory, ESPN's video feed went kaput. Then the audio got spotty. Luckily, Mike Patrick knows Morse code, so we were able to follow the game that way. Thanks, ESPN. Also, the first several minutes were not shown as UConn and Villanova, both mired in down years, limped toward the conclusion of their own game. Of course, ESPN brought us every clock stoppage and missed free throw with crystalline clarity as meanwhile Maryland-Duke jumped out of the gate like...I don't know, some horse that's really fast out of the gate.

Welcome -- ssssssssss -- to this --- sssssss --- ES-P-sssssss
-- telecast -- ssssssssssss -- over.

Here's a thought, ESPN. Historically, you have been one of the priciest channels for cable providers to carry. That cost, of course, is passed along to the consumer, meaning ESPN raises cable bills. Where is all that extra money going? Apparently, not toward the equipment necessary to actually broadcast meaningful games in a reliable way. Maybe consider revisiting that.

A couple of other thoughts on the game:

-- As
Pat Summitt did that cheerleader routine at the Tennessee-Florida game the other day, I was reminded of something. Although I couldn't put my finger on it at the time. Then last night, it came to me:

I know I'm not breaking new ground here, but Dick Vitale is such a Duke-licker it's insufferable. He has always been a Duke-ACC homer, but it's getting worse. When Maryland freshman Greivis Vasquez (13 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds) got a bucket, he'd say something like "Nice player, all the way from Venezuela, he's got a big heart." And when Duke freshman John Scheyer (10 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds) hit a three, the reaction was "OHHHHH! OHHHHH! What a shot by the Diaper Dandy, he's gonna be such a special, special player for the Blue Devils, nothin but nylon, they're goin crazy, what an environment here at Cameron, his parents must be so proud..." It's like he actively wants people to notice he's no longer a serious broadcaster. Great job, Dick.

If you share these sentiments and wish to bring down this rampaging irritation monster before he can inflict more harm, you may want to check out this petition from the fine, fine folks at Clearly, he must be stopped by any means necessary.

-- Maryland now has a better overall record (23-7), conference record (9-6), and head-to-head record (2-0) this season than Duke (22-8, 8-7, 0-2, respectively). And yet, Duke is ranked 14th in
the current ESPN/coaches poll, while Maryland is unranked. Can someone please explain this to me? I must be stupid. Meanwhile, hats off to Duke, the Notre Dame of college basketball.

-- This Maryland turnaround is reaching tremendous proportions. I don't think anyone predicted this just a month ago, when they seemed entirely rudderless. Vasquez, Jones, Gist, Strawberry, Ibekwe, Osby, Hayes...EVERYONE is playing well right now, in ALL phases. This is shaping up to be a VERY interesting late season, which may be deserving of lots of words typed out ENTIRELY in CAPITAL LETTERS. As March blossoms, this blog will become very basketball heavy. Best time of the year, baby.

-- On an unrelated note, Jarvis Hayes sucks. He sucks. He went 4-14 last night, including two consecutive air balls down the stretch. And shooting is his only job. I don't care if the Bullets can't get a half-empty can of Schlitz for him on the trade market. He's dead wood. Get him outta there.

Sweep Success for Terrapins [Washington Post]
- Maryland-Duke: Still the Best Rivalry in College Basketball? [No One Appreciates Me]
ESPN's Face-Off Over Fees [Business Week]
Summitt belts out 'Rocky Top' and Cheers for Vols Men []
Anti-Dick Petition [Truth About Duke]
- Box Score: Heat 92, Wizards 83 [Washington Post]

Technorati tags: ,, , , , ,

(Photo credits: AP, Truth About Duke)

This "Tiger Woods" and his new tournament causing mass chaos in Washington

Ugly, ugly scene in the nation's capital today. As the drama unfolds, one question lingers in the minds of so many innocent bystanders -- why? Why are guys in Izod shirts and checkered pants wreaking havoc in the streets today? Do you think it's because some guy named Tiger Woods is going to host an annual PGA golf tournament here in DC starting this July 4 weekend?

I have noticed that
the local punditry are going a little crazy over this today. But not as crazy as those golfers in the streets. So many slapped many heartily shaken's tough to watch. And you thought Shaun Livingston's injury was bad...this is the real nightmare, man! You don't even know what we're going through down here right now! They're all outside my window as I type this, drinking Scotch and chucking the empty rocks glasses at passing cars, and then yelling out "Fore!" in this really mocking way before speeding off in their golf carts. Ssssh! Don't attract their attention! They're moving in foursomes!

Here comes another one!

Once the dust settles here (if it ever settles) I wonder who in the general population will care about this event beyond this small, beside-itself enclave. I mean, a PGA golf tournament? In the very wealthy nation's capital? Over Independence Day weekend? For charity? How many Mensa society members did they have to cram into an Omega-3 Fatty Acid plant before someone came up with that one? Not many, I'll bet. Yeah. And who is this Tiger Woods gentleman? I wonder if he'll have any drawing power at all. I'm not dealing with that demolition derby they call a parking lot over at Avenel just to see some hacker in yellow capri pants beat that dreamy Phil Mickelson. Again. *Sigh*

Either way, this "Tiger" guy's charitable foundation, called
the Tiger Woods Foundation -- and again, who are the ad wizards? -- is going to be the event's main sponsor, so at least that's something. No longer will the specter of the Booz Allen Classic or Siemens Open hang over the heads of local golf fans.

Speaking of local golf fans, here comes some guy brandishing a three wood at me and shouting something about buying a round of grilled chicken caesar salads to celebrate. Well, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. See you later.

With Woods' Backing, PGA Tour To Return To Area [Washington Post]
Wilbon: The Greatest Draw in Sports [Washington Post]
Boswell: No Longer Waiting in Vain [Washington Post]
Tiger Woods Foundation

Technorati tags:
, , ,

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ellen DeGeneres is overrated, there I said it

Watched every minute of the Oscars on Sunday and read a lot of the ensuing discourse on the telecast -- the coverage of the coverage, if you will. Everyone seemed to agree that the show was too long, the fashion was pretty good overall, and Scorcese's big moment buoyed the ratings.

Basically, everything's been said. Except one thing. Amid all the nattering, I saw no mention of my top complaint -- that Ellen DeGeneres was a crappy host. Tom Shales called her "crisp and unpretentious." Well, so is a carrot. The L.A. Times called her "low-key." Apparently, they meant it as a compliment. What? Is being "low-key" good when you're trying to bring humor and, you know, excitement to a broadcast? Who remembers the truly great low-key performances of all time? Eddie Murphy in his prime? That was one low-key dude. He would get so low-key, I would snort milk out of my nose!

Hi! I have a joke. Okay, here goes. Ready?
Okay. Don't you, you know, hate it when,
you know, your refrigerator stops running?
Oh. Wait. Sorry. I screwed that up.

Ellen's low-keyness is abetted by two classic Ellen traits: her halting way of rambling speaking, and her complete, abject fear of offending someone.

Now, you don't have to be Sacha Baron Cohen to be funny, but sometimes you have to move beyond that happy-happy, we-are-all-so-great pablum that seeps into every Oscar ceremony like nitrous oxide. We can all be likeable if we repeat that everything is great over and over again. But it's not really a virtue. It's just avoidance.

And then there's her style of speech. It's so unsure and meandering. Couple that with her paralyzing dread of saying the wrong thing, and I can barely stand it. And you know what? It doesn't take a lot of talent. To wit:

"Hi, I'm Ellen, and I host a talk show. Well, I don't host it. I guess. I'm the hostess. I hostess it. Know what I mean? Are you with me? Yes. So. Yes. So, hosting -- or hostessing, I guess I should say now -- is like an art form. Well, not really. It's not like writing a novel or anything. Although I'd like to see William Faulkner host a talk show. But he's such a great author, he'd make a better guest than a host. Or hostess. Like hostess cup cakes? Who doesn't like those. Imagine William Faulkner eating hostess cupcakes. On the talk show that I hostessed. How great would that be? Seriously. How great?"

What if a person came up to you at a party and started talking to you like this? You'd be excusing yourself and escaping out the window within seconds. I grant you that Ellen is sometimes funny. But she has to be. If she's one degree less funny, she's a social outcast.

Finally, I think a lot of her fans only like her because "she's so nice," or because they live in Kansas City and want to feel progressive about themselves. The next time someone accuses them of being closed-minded or whatever, they can say they have many gay friends. Or at least they watch Ellen on the TV. Being nice and being gay are great, but do they necessarily make you a successful television personality? They sure don't. So the emperor wears no clothes, I say. Ellen gets the gong.

Now. Here's hoping for Jerry Seinfeld as next year's host. What is with this movie food? What are...these food items?

The Broadcast: Long and Longer [Tom Shales, The Washington Post]
4-hr. Oscarcast reels in almost 40M viewers [N.Y. Daily News]
Elizabeth Snead's Red Carpet Rewind [Los Angeles Times]
Oscar Ratings Report Card [L.A. Times]

Technorati tags: , ,

Monday, February 26, 2007

The book I'm reading is getting boring

Who knew that "A Short History of the World" would be dull? Oh, everyone but me? Okay, sweet. Well why didn't anyone tell me? Hey, the government of the Byzantine empire vis a vis its ability to shield burgeoning European theocratic thought from encroaching Arabic influence is all well and good, and I'm learning a lot. But if I keep falling asleep in mid-page on the Metro like this, I'm going to wake up next to that homeless guy who sings the hymns really loud and then bugs people about abortion. I don't want to be that guy.

I guess I thought the word "short" would mean there would be minimal dwelling. Cavemen...Mesopotamia...the Pyramids...the Greeks...the Romans...the Chinese...Jesus...Arabs...Christianity...Vikings...Europe...America. Aaand we're done. But no. So I'm a little mired. And I have a hard time setting one book down to start another. But I'm stuck. I think I have little choice. Oh well.


Well, that's as big as it gets in the regular season. The Terps secured their first trip to the tournament in three seasons yesterday by picking off mighty North Carolina, 89-87.

It's a good feeling to be in, where the Terps belong.
I ripped D.J. Strawberry and the seniors earlier, but now they really have become team leaders. Somewhere, somehow, some way, a switch was flipped, and the team hasn't looked back. I remember watching Carolina manhandle now-number-one Ohio State earlier in the season and thinking there was no way the Terps could hang with the team, much less beat them. Things change.

The Terps made a big run in the second half, but even that wasn't particularly dramatic. I mean, the whole thing was dramatic, but there was never any amazing moments. The teams were just trading punches the whole time, with Carolina going up, then the Terps chipping away, lather, rinse repeat. Finally, the Terps made a push on the final straightaway, and just got their nose out in front of Carolina for one split second at the finish line. But hey, that's obviously more than enough. And honestly, it's the way great teams finish. Not sure if Maryland can sustain this level for the rest of the season, but as James Gist says in the article, right now they are a threat to anyone.

The one bad spot as I see it was the ridiculous court storming after the game. Hey, Terp fans? We're not Alabama State, okay? Upset, yes. But let's act like we've been there before, huh? Because we have.

But as for the actual game, there's a lot of credit to go around for the balanced effort. But personally, I'm giving credit to
The Montage. Congratulations, men. Soon....the true test will begin.

Terps' Rally Sets Up Busy March [Washington Post]
D.J. Strawberry is Going on My Notice Board [No One Appreciates Me]
It's Time For A Maryland Montage [No One Appreciates Me]

Technorati tags:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Recap of The Office: "Cocktails"

Funny episode last night, but more than that, this was a major episode in terms of advancing the overall storyline. In a moment of what can only be described as absolute and purely abject stupidity, Pam tells ex-fiance/new-boyfriend Roy that Jim came on to her and they kissed while she and Roy were still together. Of course, she waited until they were both drunk, so that was pretty smart, too. Of course, Roy freaks out, breaks a few glasses, and their relationship finally ends for good. So Jim now officially has a stalker for the rest of this season. Hooray! I'm predicting a drunken intra-office encounter leaves Jim bloodied and Roy out of a job (and off the show). Until then, it's a ticking time bomb.

And speaking of Jim, it was nice to see him go beyond his usual comfort zone -- resigned smirk, prank-playing, puppy-eyed over Pam, aw-shucksing it with colleauges -- and actually display some real emotion. I'm beginning to think John Krasinski isn't the actor I maybe thought him to be. Since he is, really, the main character of the show plot-wise, shouldn't they expand him a little bit? As he circulated through a company cocktail party, it was nice to see him berating Karen for her, shall we say, undiscriminating dating past, and then bashfully shooting hoops with the company's CFO, who is hosting the party. But let's see him break out of his shell a little more. Come on, it won't hurt.

Meanwhile, at the same cocktail party, Michael -- guess what -- made a fool of himself. Could ya die? But here's what gets me about this. Michael shows up so early, and carrying a tub of rancid grocery store potato salad to a catered soiree, that the hostess is still wearing her shower towel. He later asks them how much they paid for the house. But of course, shortly thereafter, the CFO is handing him a glass of the 20-year-old scotch Lee Iaccoca once gave him as a gift. Er, what? These kinds of Michael-acts-like-a-jackass scenarios would be MUCH funnier if you could perceive the people around him slowly lowering their opinions of and changing their interactions with him, rather than get momentarily appalled and then seemingly forget anything was awry. Take the Larry David approach, as it were.

Michael also delivered the funniest line of the episode, although it was said so quickly I almost missed it. As Jan pulls him into the bathroom for some canoodling, Michael says "Why are we going into the bathroom? I thought this was where you liked your privacy." I watched the show twice last night, and that cracked me up both times.

Overall, thumbs up on the episode. your back, buddy. You've got an angry bearded man after you now.

The Office [NBC]

Technorati tag:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's time for a Maryland montage

Through much of this college basketball season, Maryland was the underdeveloped and uncertain grade schooler of the ACC, taking tentative strides toward, and away from, respect. It is the dance called coming of age, my friends. A one-eyed king in the myopic early-season world of special-needs teams from South Dakota and Long Island, the Terps seized up when the ACC bullies donned their wedgie gloves.

While the cooler kids cavorted, the Terps stayed home, flexing in front of the mirror and forlornly rifling through Details magazine. Sometimes they would sneak down to the school gymnasium and look in on the others through the cranked-open windows. A waft of pepperoni, Aquanet, and "Love Bites" would glide over them like a blue dolphin.

But one day, things changed. Forever. The girl next door passed a note to the Terps during fifth period social studies. They put the paper to their lips and breathed deep. It smelled of lilac and yellow cake. It smelled of her. After opening the note, the Terps' heart skipped a beat. She was wondering if they could be the ones who emerge from a frantic pack of ACC suitors to take her to the social event of the year. Some call it a sock hop. Some call it a shindig. Personally, I call it a dance. It is a dance of exceptional proportions. So I shall call it The Large Dance. In keeping with the size, you know.

The Terps went home, looked themselves over in the mirror. But this time, they looked different. We don't look half bad, they said to themselves. Why are we always so afraid to fail anyway? Why do we worry what the others think?

And right then, right there, something snapped.

And they began to train. Focused now, the cockiness slowly gave way to confidence, which built on itself like an extremely positive blemish outbreak. And last night, their training to this point culminated with revenge on Florida State, the nasty kid with the Napoleon complex from down the way. It was the first time these Terps took all the punches of an equal and returned them twice over, all the while keeping safe that note from the girl next door.

Now, Terps, it's decision time. Before they can be a lock for this dance, they must confront the
Billy Zabka of the ACC -- North Carolina, who will await them Sunday at the abandoned condom factory. Or, as I call it, Comcast Center.

This is their biggest test yet. Do they have the guts, the will, to go all the way? To push BEYOND THE LIMITS!?!?!

Only a montage....will decide.

And the game, right, the game. But now, the montage...sing along if you know the words. Which you do. You also may listen along here. Montage, go...

First...when there's nothing but a slow-glowing dream...

...that your fear...seems to hide...

...deep insiiiiiiiiiiide your mind...

All alone...I have criiiied...silent teeears full of priiiide...

In a woooooorld...made of steeeeel....

Made of stooooonne.....

Well IIIIIIIII hear the music...close my eyes...

Feel the rhythm...wrap around...

Take a hold of my heeaaaaarrrrtt....

What a feeeelin'!

Bein's belieeeeeevin'!

I can't have it all now I'm dancin' for my liiiiiiiiiife

Take your paaasssion!!!!

And maaaaaaaaake it haaaaappen!!!!!!

Pictures come alive you can dance right through your liiiiiiife...







Now come on, boys. Or excuse me. Men. Come on, men. Let's go give 'em some serious heck.

Terrapins Pull Away [Washington Post]

Technorati tags:,

(photo credits: AP, Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Diamondback)

Finally, a way to get kids interested in history!

Exciting news for Washington area residents. And by "exciting," I mean "boozy." So yes. Boozy news coming your way. And that news is as follows. We may soon get to drink as our proud ancestors once did, as Mount Vernon (that place where once George Washington done lived) may soon begin selling whiskey distilled following the personal recipe of our nation's founding father.

Now see, this is how you do it. You want to get people into history, you booze them up! If Va. Governor Tim Kaine goes ahead and approves this, I think Mount Vernon could become a trendsetter in historical tourism. I understand that Boston patriot Samuel Adams was quite a beer maker. Yes, it's true. Why not revive that old tradition? This could go global, too. Egypt could start marketing whatever it is ancient Egyptians used to intoxicate themselves. It probably involved fermented slave brains or something, but you know what? If you don't try new things, what kind of a life are you leading? That's what.

Finally, Mount Vernon will now be part of the American Whiskey Trail, which runs through distilling sites in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Imagine that foot traffic. A bunch of stumbly-wumbly hillbillies descending on Mount Vernon for they history lesson. Generalizations aside, I really see no downside to this. The Whiskey Trail should be traveled by all people. Just follow the orange vomit road!

I'll be seeing you soon, Mount Vernon. And you better have my Hoe Cakes ready, if you know what I mean. We'll have to crash in George's old bed, but you won't mind. Be a fuckin friend, man. You don't know me.

Mount Vernon May Be Able To Sell Whiskey [WTOP]

Technorati tags:
, , , , , ,

Photo credit: Mount Vernon

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

McMissile case just so unlike Virginia drivers

Good news today for all those who still possess what is known in some parts as "common sense," or "sanity." And that news is that Jessica Hall won't do any more jail time as part of the so-called McMissile case.

Here's what happened: A Virginia law makes it a felony to throw anything into an occupied vehicle. Any thrown object is defined by this law as a missile. It could be a brick. It could be a feather. It could be a highly coveted golden ticket to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. It could be one of those personal pizzas. It could be a large McDonald's soda. Which is what Hall threw into another moving car when the driver of that car was driving like a jackass.


First of all, I have to say wow. Wow -- a story about two Virginians driving like jackasses? Those are NOT the Virginia drivers I know and love. Any chance they both had vanity plates? No way, bro. The day I see "MomsBus" whip a soda at "2Kul4U" as they both swerve across four lanes on I-66 is the day I've seen everything. And by "the day I've seen everything," I mean "yesterday."

But in any case, congrats to logic for prevailing here. Jackass driver, yes. Convicted felon, no. Logic may be quickly becoming the Washington Generals of American society, but it's nice to know that every now and then, even a blind squirrel (or Virginia driver) can still find a nut.

"McMissile" Mom Gets Probation [Washington Post]

Technorati tags:
, , , , ,

I wish I knew how to quit you, American Idol

Pretty good headline, huh? I like a nice fresh joke in a headline. This one was perfect. In sentiment anyway. As much as I struggled to extricate myself from American Idol, it has again sucked me in. It's just the combination of personalities (good and bad), getting to pick and root for your winner (and losers), and generally being an armchair judge. There's just something satisfying about it. And I give up trying to fight it because it lacks musical integrity or whatever. I enjoy American Idol on a non-ironic and ironic level. If that means I must endure the slings and arrows of that decision, then I will endure.

That said,
the season's first voting show, held last night, was pretty dag-gone bad. Self-impressed beat boxer Blake Lewis and sort of Jack Osbourne lookalike Chris Sligh were the standouts to me. Tonight it's the girls' turn. Nevertheless, I can't say I'm that excited. Unlike last year, there is nary a looker in the bunch. Yeah, Antonella's hot, but she doesn't really light the world on fire. Gina Glocksen is cute, too. I like her. But that's about it.

Anyway, the big moment for me last night was Chris Sligh hurting Simon's feelings. And I mean, Chris really got to him. After Simon criticized Chris for sounding like "a student," Chris replied that "this kind of music is popular. Just because I don't sing Il Divo or the Teletubbies doesn't mean I can't sing." At first I thought he just meant he wasn't going to sing something fuzzy or overly accessible, but apparently Simon was involved with those things. Simon immediately shot back "you could certainly pull off the latter," referring to Chris's weight. Very clever, Simon. Not to mention mature. You should have just called him a stupidhead and been done with it. Ryan Seacrest was involved in it, too. It seemed relatively serious for a second there.

Either way, I'm a Simon fan, but it was funny to see him sitting there, repeatedly telling Chris/Ryan "you just made this very uncomfortable," as he literally turned his chair away from the stage and pouted. Simon, you have a phone call backstage. It's the Dish It Out But Can't Take it Department, and they're insisting that they speak with you immediately.

Now bring on the ladies. There's nowere to go but up.

Fakers Dozen [Entertainment Weekly]
American Idol: Season 6 Contestants []
Am I excited about American Idol? [No One Appreciates Me]
American Idol finally gets some hotties [No One Appreciates Me]
Katherine McPhee: Getting warmer... [No One Appreciates Me]
Simon Cowell's Il Divo group debuts fourth on Billboard's 200 chart [Reality World]
- Simon Cowell biography []

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Home sick

I'm slacking off today and taking time off work. This dang stomach flu...I just can't seem to shake it! And I would so hate to infect my fellow co-workers, for whom I have nothing but the utmost respect, and wishing them perfect health and what not. So I'm just erring on the side of caution today, and forcing myself to stay home, where I will survive somehow, largely by eating chicken pot pies and watching a Clint Eastwood movie for all my many readers out there (hi, Mom), I'll be back with "real" posts tomorrow. Good day to you.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Now Britney's shaved all over for you, baby

Crazy news...literally. I'm not much of a celebrity watcher but this is just nuts. What do you say when a girl who was once one of the hottest pop stars on the planet unexpectedly shaves her head amid reports of a rehab trip? All of a sudden, the Matt Lauer interview doesn't look so bad. But either way, this should be great for her flagging musical career and looming child custody battles. And by great, I mean "terrible." And in the meantime, we plebians, who never understood, can only guess at her state of mind...

Britney shaves her f&#$ing head []

Technorati tags:
, ,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Recap of The Office: "Business School"

Amid the stinging wind chills and the frozen snow sludge piled in gray and yellow heaps and packed into dreary treacherous sheets along the thoroughfares this week, I can't help but feel a little Scrantonesque as we hit what, for my money, is the low point of the Gregorian calendar. So what better way to cheer up than to laugh at a depressed fake rendition of the real Scranton, as portrayed in another quality sweeps-month episode of "The Office"?

While Michael is away from Dunder Mifflin for a presentation to Ryan's business class (he needs the extra credit), a little tomfoolery ensues as Dwight unearths a bat that was living in the ceiling. Hijinx! Jim uses it as an opportunity to convince Dwight he was bitten and is becoming a vampire. While it was really hard to believe that was meant to be believeable, it was still funny. Especially at the end, when Jim wraps his coat around himself as he leaves, with Dwight soberly remarking that "Jim is on a path now. An eternal journey. And I wish him well. But I have a destiny in this realm." Specifically, catching the bat in a garbage bag. Good lookin out, Dwight.

The center of this episode, however, was Michael. Predictably (but no less amusing despite that), Michael attempts to give this uber-inspirational speech at Ryan's college, which brings back for him "so many memories, that I would have made." The speech includes tearing pages out of a poor student's text book to remind them to learn life lessons, and throwing theme candy into the crowd ("Once you have a Pay Day" -- throw candy -- "eventually you can make 100 Grand" -- throw candy). Not only was this funny in and of itself, it was clever because it showed how stupid these kinds of things actually are when they are not in movies. No one standing on their desks one by one to slowly applaud here. Perhaps the funniest piece of advice Michael gave the kids was that "There are four kinds of business. Tourism. Food service. Railroads. And sales. And hospitals/manufacturing. And air travel." Indeed. Now there's some wisdom you really can't get from a book.

At the end of the show, Michael gets another forum. Pam is participating in a local art show, and as her ex-fiance Roy (they are now back together, with Roy making ham-fisted attempts to relate to her) painfully pretends to enjoy himself ("Pam, your art is the best art of all the art") and Oscar and his lover trash her work without knowing she can hear them (OF COURSE it's the gay couple that does this), Pam is looking forlorn. Cue Jim to saunter in and offer up double entendres about the beauty all around him -- art-wise, of course. But no. Instead, in comes Michael, who in the same boyish way he made a buffoon of himself in business class, genuinely marvels at her work and buys a sketch she did of the office, to hang in the office. An appreciative Pam gives him a heartfelt hug. It was SO very nice. Until she feels something hard in his pocket. It's a Chunky bar, left over from the business presentation. Does she want half?

And that concluded this week's episode. Still no Andy though -- how do they explain that? I don't know. Maybe next week. In the meantime, back to the seasonal depression.

The Office [NBC]
Last week's recap [No One Appreciates Me]

Technorati tags:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Terps are unstoppable, what!

Yes, indeed. After getting off the Valentine's Day schneid last night with a win over N.C. State 85-70, the Terps are on a streak! A two-game streak! Raise the banner and retire the jerseys. I want to capture this moment forever.

The one noteworthy point about the game was how easy it was for the Terps to just hunker down and outlast the Wolfpack, who are true bottom feeders this year. Of course, with UNC looming, the toughest tests are still in front of them, and their place in the tournament is very shaky, at the absolute best. I thought it was very telling when Gary Williams, after being asked about the "streak," said "don't talk about it, we'll get nervous." Obviously more joking than anything else, but there's a lot of truth in that. If only we could brainwash the team into always thinking they had just lost their fifth straight and were officially under the radar again, we'd be all set.

Terps Finally Make it Two [Washington Post]
Valentine's Day = Bad for Terps [No One Appreciates Me]

Technorati tags:
, , ,

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day = bad for Terps

(As Maryland goes into seemingly innocuous NC State this Valentine's Night, I would remind you of last year's Feb. 14 game...and those before. This was originally posted last Feb. 14 -- and it ended up being just a little bit prophetic, if I do say so myself. It really is weird to see how much of it is still true. Either way, whatever, goterps.)

Looks like another Valentine's Day Massacre for the Maryland Terrapins. At the risk of sounding like a negative nelly, last night's loss to Clemson - their fourth consecutive loss to the Tigers - could be the beginning of the end. This is the same Clemson Tigers team who lost to Elon earlier this season. Elon! The Elon Phoenix! And not only did the Terps lose, they lost by 12!

Of course, this conjures images of the fabled Valentine's Day Massacre of 2001, when Maryland lost at home to then-last-place Florida State. The only thing is, that loss woke up those Terps, and catapulted them on a late-season run that ended in the Final Four. The result of this year's Valentine's Day Massacre remains to be seen. But I'm not holding my breath.

Last night's game almost made me physically ill. The Terps did just about everything wrong. So to that end, here's a list I drew up of all of Maryland's faults. Pull up a chair. In no particular order:

1) Primary scorers disappear for long stretches of games.

2) No discernibly consistent execution of any offensive game plan.

3) Don't capitalize on turnovers or convert fast breaks.

4) They hang their heads and get discouraged when they're down. (Note to James Gist: Eeyore called. He wants his sunny resilient disposition back.)

5) They seem unable and/or unwilling to exploit another team's weaknesses.

6) They take unnecessary risks on both ends of the court.

7) They panic easily.

8) They celebrate prematurely.

9) No viable Division I-caliber point guard.

10) No discernible substitution patterns or set lineups.

11) ZERO interior toughness. (See Shelden Williams, Sharrod Ford last year, etc.)
12) They can neither make nor catch passes. It's true.

13) No strong ballhandlers, guard, forward, or otherwise.

14) They think they are more talented than they are.

15) Lack of consistent defensive presence in all phases.

16) Inability to beat full- and half-court traps.

17) Generally little demonstration of a true competitive spirit.

That's about it. Other than that, they're a great team! Don't get me wrong here, I still love the Terps and I'm going to continue to root hard for them and hope for the best. I'm not throwing in the towel - I think it just might be time to recalibrate the expectations. I'm no longer sure if my previous predictions of a Sweet Sixteen berth or a Mike Jones-led resurgence after Chris McCray's loss are in the cards. It might just be time to cut our losses and turn the page on this maddening season, and this wildly underacheiving team.

When I think sports, I think Panic! At The Disco

who, apparently, are going to be in this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Come on, though. I've got nothing but love for a sports magazine that features a B-grade rock band in its swimsuit issue. After all, haven't you people ever heard off...cross marketing? Yeah...zing, Panic! At The Disco! Bow down. I'm too lazy to do the research, but dollars to donuts Panic! is signed to some label that is owned by the same company that owns SI. Call me crazy.

Apparently, this year's theme is music people. And of course, that is completely in keeping with the central theme of SI. How? Are you really asking? That sounds like hater talk to me. Don't hate, logical person. Appreciate.

Speaking of appreciating, though, Beyonce's on the cover. I heard her husband is involved in sports somehow.

Beyonce Graces 2007 Swimsuit Cover [Washington Post]

Technorati tags:
, , , ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Grammy Awards should really be called the Awesome Awards

I know I'm a couple days late on this, but I wanted to recap the Grammys really quick. Did I watch them this year? No. But such is the nature of this great show that there's really not much you need to know about Grammy Night in order to fully appreciate its full weight and relevance.

The chief item you need to know to gain said appreciation is that the Red Hot Chili Peppers won for best rock album, among other things. Stadium Arcadium (Don't you just LOVE that clever title? I heard it means "Stadium Arcadium" in ancient Greek) was my personal favorite record as well. One mind, Grammy judges. You see me? One mind.

Have you guys heard our song about California?

All those critics who talked up TV on the Radio and Bob Dylan and so forth can take a hike. Fully formed opinions, my eyeball. Hey, "real music critics." Why don't you go eat some ice cream out of a bowl or something? Snobs.
It was also sweet that Imogen Heap was nominated for best new artist. Hey, she's been around since 1998, but what do you expect the Grammy voters to do, not live under rocks? I don't know about you, but I simply don't feel comfortable asking a group of people to compromise their long-practiced traditions like that.

But forget the music. The Grammys aren't about the music anyway. They're about the celebrities. And who, you ask, dotted the red carpet this year? Well, for starters, do you remember Mr. Pink -- you know, he sang that "I'm comin up" song a few years ago? Of course you do. Yeah, he was there. How about Omarosa? Hard to believe, but she was there. And while you're at it, why don't you throw Brooke Hogan and Kimberly Caldwell into the mix as well? Heavyweights, my friend. Freakin heavyweights.

Anita Baker and Matisyahu? On the
same red carpet? I can die now.

So that about sums it up. Another magical night of stars, reality TV contestants, and, of course, music. That's what it's all about. I can't wait until next year. Word is Britney's already got the inside track. You go, girl!

49th Grammy Awards official online coverage [Yahoo! Music]
Music Review: Return to Cookie Mountain [Entertainment Weekly]
Imogen Heap: i, megaphone []
- Britney holds crisis talks with record label [Entertainment Wise]

Technorati tags:
, ,

(photo credits:

And one more thing...

Blogger forced me to switch from the original -- which I liked just fine and had no major problems with -- over to "Blogger Beta" last week. Doesn't that imply that this will be an upgraded and better service? Well so far, the only major change I notice is that I now have to sign in twice to access my account. Once with my Blogger "Alpha" info and once for the Beta. And now, half the time I have to sign in all over again from scratch every time I want to edit a post. Nice upgrade, Blogger. Just deadly efficiency right there. You just wanted to force all your users to set up a Google account so you can spam them, etc. But you're not interested in actually, you know, improving the experience for anybody. So screw you, Blogger Beta. Yeah, I know you're free, but that doesn't mean I should have to put up with a shitty product. Godspeed.

Lady Winter is a teasing harpy

For all the single guys (or once-single guys), did you ever have a night when you found a cute girl, you hit it off, you talked all night, suggestive comments are made, suggestive looks proffered, but then when it's money time, she takes evasive action and won't give up the digits? I know, I know--it's never happened to YOU before, you big pimp. But you understand. Well, that's what the winter weather is doing to us Greater Washingtonians right now.

You don't wanna mess with that...she just likes drama...

The local weather forecast for today shows light a.m. snow, but the surface temperature is 34 -- two measly fucking degrees colder than it needs to be to for it to stick to roads. Then later today -- just in time for the evening commute -- they're calling for sleet and freezing rain, which overnight is then all supposed to freeze, but perhaps not quite enough for conditions to be unmitigatably treacherous, because there is regular rain predicted for Wednesday morning which could turn a lot of it to slush.

So let me ask you, Lady Winter. Is it too damn much for you to just dump some snow/ice on us so we can get a day off already? You're doing every thing you can to make things as difficult as possible without having to dole out the payday. Would it kill you to hook us up just a little? What is your fucking problem? You just like to cause problems? Where was all this precipitation last week, when I had to
trudge to work in below-zero wind chills, but there was nary a cloud in the robin's egg blue fucking sky? And what about those poor people in upstate New York who got like five thousand feet? You can't share the wealth a little bit? What's the major malfunction? You're a meterological prick tease, that's what. Now give us time off, or I'm telling all my friends about you.

Utility Crews on High Alert for Later Today [Washington Post]
This Cold Weather is Freakin Killing Me [No One Appreciates Me]
New Yorkers dig out while another storm looms [CNN]

Technorati tags:
, , ,