Wednesday, December 26, 2007

winter break

winter break is always a slightly bittersweet thing for me in that obviously it is awesome to get 10 days off of work, but at the same time i can easily find myself being lazy and then feeling guilty about not getting anything accomplished while i am away from work. i am going to try to have a nice balance of getting some things done, while at the same time relaxing, playing videogames and watching movies.

so far break has been good. louise and i took a nice trip to philadelphia, which i will blog about later. we spent christmas with louise's parents, then our roommates and some friends, then my family. all 3 were very nice. we exchanged some presents, ate a lot of bad food and drank a lot. we got a lot of the usual fare of dvd's, gift cards, videogames, some liquor, and fun little toys to play with (like my strangely compelling robot dog). my parents got me a roomba which has already become a huge hit in our house. there's just something funny about doing other stuff while a little robot is navigating around your room. i believe dave and i will be videotaping it and editing the footage into an awesome roomba movie. there hasn't been the predicted tension between jessie and roomba, but we have already been cracking the jokes about how jessie is now obsolete, referring to roomba as jessie 2.0 and the now i am blogging which i guess is sort of like doing something productive. here is a list of things i would like to try and accomplish before i have to go back to work:
  • get my car's oil changed
  • get my car's emissions checked
  • exercise (aiming for 4 good workouts before january 2)
  • get the small crack in my car's windshield fixed
  • eat healthier
  • limit my drinking
  • hang out with eskay, amanda and jevon up in baltimore
  • figure out what (if anything) is going on for new year's
  • clean my closet and throw some stuff out
  • fix my computer
  • blog a lot
  • do something musical or otherwise creative
  • clean out the fridge
so that's a lot of stuff to get to. i know i won't get to all of it and some things are more important than others for now, but hopefully i get an adequate amount done and feel good about my winter break. i think i will try to get my oil changed and emissions checked this afternoon when louise goes to work, clean out the fridge and then go grocery shopping. throw in a short home workout and i will be feeling pretty good. i may even reinstall windows on my computer. then i can just sit back and be lazy, maybe play my new videogame, mass effect, or watch one of my new dvd's guilt-free. also i think i will be working on some best of 2007 lists...but i don't want to get carried away and get too much done.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


i saw buck at the rivetti family christmas party on saturday. he looked ok...especially considering he is a reasonably large dog and a ridiculous 14 years old. i seem to think that he might even be older than that because i am sure i remember buck being around when i hung out with nick in middle school. anyways, it was really nice to see him. while he no longer barks a lot when people walk in through the front door, he still has the same goofy expression on his face and still seems to get around ok.

i guess the significance of all this for me is that buck is definitely a part of my childhood. he was the first dog i ever really got to know. i have fond memories of him howling and barking over us playing and recording music at nick's house. i remember him getting in trouble for getting out of the backyard and chasing some horrified neighborhood kid down the street. i remember when he ate and then subsequently shit out a rag. one of bub's friends had a knack for luring buck to put his front paws on his shoulders and then walking (air-humping) his way with him around the room. there are countless other memories.

bub made a comment saying that this is buck's last christmas, which made me sad, but it sounds like after 14 years, the rivetti family is more or less ready for the inevitable. maybe he will be around this time next year, who knows? his longevity also gives me a little hope that jessie will be around for a long time or until i get tired of her and return her to the woods. here's to jessie snoring on my couch for another 10 years...

Monday, December 17, 2007

even now, i'm pretty sure i can race helltrack

referring to how a 12 year old version of me would interact in kid nation got me to thinking about stuff that i was into when i was a kid. thinking back on my interests, say 1990 and earlier, i have no regrets. below i have detailed 2 of my favorite movies and 2 of my favorite tv shows from back then.


i don't know what to say about this movie, other than it was the coolest thing in the world to me for a long time. it introduced me to the celebrity love of my life, lori loughlin and it had cool bmx bike moves. i think i was into that kind of stuff back at age 9, even though i had no idea how to do any of those tricks. i remember renting this movie probably around 10 times and enjoying it every time. a few years ago i managed to purchase an unauthorized version of the movie on dvd, which came with the soundtrack! talk about a deal! below is the bike dancing scene that will be etched into my memory forever. the graceful lori performing incredible stunts on her bike, managing to bike-dance with cru brings nostalgic tears to my eyes. and anyone trying to say that that is really a stuntman...haters.

teen wolf

a great movie that balances both the whimsical side of teenage life along with the very serious social issues that young adults must deal with as they grow up. it has 5'2 michael j fox on the high school basketball team, styles the awesome best friend, some hot girls, crazy parties, a wolf playing basketball, a bad guy named nick and general zany hijinks. note the inclusion of an awesome, upbeat randy newman-esque song. i would also like to recall watching louis film nick and dave reenacting the scene where teen wolf discovers he is a werewolf...that scene ended with both of them not being able to handle their shit and had dave army crawling across my kitchen floor. anyways, for all you fucking nerds who love back to the future, i think that after watching the clip below, you all will agree that teen wolf is a 10 times better movie.

small wonder

another in a line of media that reflected the current political climate in the united states, this situation comedy blurred the lines between general fiction and surrealism. some dude who i think was an inventor, managed to create a robot girl, named vicki, who then served as the family's maid. she looked just like a girl, but because she was a robot, she had robot strength, robot speed and robot sensibilities. the mom in the show would ask "vicki, can you please pick up the house, it's getting dirty..." vicki would respond in her robot voice "affirmative, picking up house." using state-of-the-art special effect wizardry, she would then proceed to actually lift the entire house into the air.'s some clips that make me laugh:

perfect strangers

the ol' fish out of water tale retold in hilarious fashion. balki bartokomous travels to america in search of a better life. he ends up staying with distant co0-zin, larry appleton. since balki is from the fictitious island of meapos, general traditions and accepted behavior is foreign to him. but he also has a lot to teach the high strung and neurotic larry. it's an odd couple that brings the funny every week on abc's legendary t.g.i.f. lineup. when in a social setting, to find out who's down with the strangers, ask if anyone knows how to do the dance of joy. i particularly recall an episode where balki bakes a special dessert from meapos called bibibopkas, that, get this, explode if they are not made correctly!

i guess the thing with these shows and movies is that i still enjoy them to this day. for the most part, not in an "ironic, haha, these are so lame they're funny", but in authentic enjoyment and fondness for them. what were some of your favorite shows or movies from back in the day? why did you like them? did you also enjoy any of the above? comment!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

what's in a name?

louise and i were talking to our new and awesome roomie nicki yesterday. (is it spelled nicki? i keep getting different spellings...and i remember her telling me her name was spelled nikkie or some crazy spelling when i put her number in my phone.) anyways, we were talking about her also awesome sister renee who is currently with child and i asked if they had decided on a name...they haven't and i realized how huge of a decision that is. that's the kid's name forever. i was always ok with my name, but i know there are plenty of people that hate their name. sure you can change it later in life, but that's only for people that aren't lazy.

well this got me thinking about names. like how i am glad that somebody else named jessie. i wasn't so hot on it initially...but now the name is perfect for her and i couldn't imagine it being anything matter how many times dave tries to change it to laser or cocoa or something else silly. i wonder what her name used to be when she was with her previous owner?

seeing that i don't have any kids, i haven't had to make many big name decisions in my life. but even the little name decisions make me kind of neurotic. when i first got my ipod, i discovered i had to give it a name. "that's cute." i though at the time. i brainstormed for a while. i wanted it to be something kind of funny to me and sort of unique and possibly witty...which is often a problem for me, where i forgo more obvious and possibly fitting names to reach for something that i think is "cool" or "witty" or "unique" or "faux-intellectual". well i ended up going with el chupacabra which has always fascinated me somewhat and it sounds kinda cool i guess. well after not very long, i started to hate it. some woman claimed to have the head of a chupacabra that she killed on her farm. people were talking about it a little and it became less of a unique thing. recently i have reset my ipod and realized i had a chance to rename it. sweet! i decided to not put as much thought into it and i stared at my ipod for about 5 seconds and blurted out "kpod!" it's much simpler, not as unique i guess, but that wasn't the goal this time. i am much happier with this name.

hey kpod...i thought i had my bono blocker setting on...oh you rascally kpod! you got me again!

i have had to choose names for stuff like e-mail. i stopped caring about that naming and have forgone the clever to me at the time names like "sogreat". i am now old and dull and go with some variation of my full name and numbers like my birth year or date.

choosing a gamertag for xbox live was also kind of a tough task for me. i had initially gone with jessiethejerk in honor of my dog. well everyone thought my name was jessie and it was a name that never really clicked for me. luckily it was a trial membership and when i signed up, i just went with a new membership and username. i went with diaps, which i have been ok with, but not always completely satisfied with. it is a reference to one of my favorite shows from the 90's, austin stories. i guess it is kind of a cult show that was on mtv one year. they never officially put the show out on dvd, but i ended up buying a self-produced version of the dvd from one of the stars of the show over ebay. in case you are wondering, diaps (rhymes with pipes) is a name one character was called because he smelled like clean diapers. almost everyone i meet over xbox live is confused by my name and i hear a lot of "heh, you sure do suck at halo die-aps..."

"is it because of the di-polarity of the sun?

i even get a little antsy choosing the name for my fantasy football teams. sometimes i went with a general message about how i felt at the time (fuckbush, eat your veggies) and sometimes it was in reference to something i enjoyed at the time (the cogs, avagodro). i also have the habbit of changing my team names to either refelct something in my current opponent and why they are inferior or else to just piss off dan who seems to strongly dislike this practice of mine.

i obviously have problems choosing names and often times overthink them. if i ever have kids, this will become a major issue for me. i will probably think too much about what potential names mean or how they would be interpreted. i'll be like...can't name my future son "dave", people will automatically assume he is a big jerk....i can't name my future daughter "laura", people will automatically know that she is awful at fantasy football....i can't name my kid "phil", he's gonna automatically hate on everything....i can't name my kid "kevin" that's kind of an unrealistic amount of cool to live up to...i could go on.

anybody have any good methods for naming kids, pets, cars, whatever?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a surprise turnaround

after bitching and moaning on this blog about all of my fantasy misfortunes, i have somehow managed to make the playoffs in 3 out of my 4 football leagues. the particularly surprising turnaround was in the league with some friends where i was in 11th place out of 12 teams going into this week's games. well everybody who i needed to lose lost and i managed to nab that 6th place spot. in fact, i had been reviewing the rules and the ongoing games from sunday and realized yesterday that i had a real shot at getting in. thus i went ahead and initiated a conversation with laura in an attempt to get her hopes up....only to crush her!!!

me: hey laura...looks like you're playoff-bound!
laura: nah, i don't think banana hammock is gonna win his game and he will take the last playoff spot
me: nope, he's done for the week...he's already're basically a shoo-in for the're gonna beat chris (in my head i pretty much knew chris' qb drew brees was gonna blow up against atlanta)
laura: yeah! you're right! woo-hoo!
me: yup, enjoy the playoffs laura (smiling menacingly)

why do i do these things? i guess i am kind of a jerk...also, i feel like laura tends to take great pleasure when something unfortunate happens to me, or if she beats me at something. i have no specific examples of this, but it's a general vibe of our friendship i guess.

ring! ring! this just in, you're not going to the playoffs.

don't look sad, there's always next year...maybe your secret strategy will work then...

so of course chris ended up winning and i got the last playoff spot. i attempted to instant message her this morning to rub her face in my playoff afterbirth, but she did not respond...i don't think i will press my luck...also, i write this feeling safe in that i know laura is not one of the three people (myself included) that reads this blog. now i have to face off against her brother eskay who will undoubtedly smash my team like i smashed laura's playoff dreams.

in other news in that league...

phil posted a humorous discussion board comment on how his team got screwed by dan's haphazard setup of the league...and also noted that dan is conveniently on a road trip as all of this playoff drama unravels. basically, the league was set up with 2 divisions, which was a change from previous seasons, thus allowing the highest ranked team from each division to get a first round bye. phil's complaint is that while he has the same record as nam, and more total points scored, nam's team won the game they played each other, thus winning the division and gets that first round bye.

here's my take on that situation. i got into the playoffs!!! hahahahahahahah!!!! oh and well phil has a valid complaint in that this was clearly not the ideal way to set up the tie breakers...but these rules have been around since the season started. he had a chance to complain then. next year i am willing to serve as league commissioner as long as i have certain requirements met:
  1. we do an auction draft
  2. people at least consider an auction system for free agents (trust me, it won't be difficult...i would end up doing the work...also it adds some strategy and it is fair)
  3. no divisions in the league
  4. i get an automatic playoff spot
  5. assisted tackles get counted
  6. no more lame people that quit on their teams...i am perfectly fine with an 8 team league if that's all we can find
  7. we never use flea flicker again...that shit sucks
  8. championship is week 16 not 17
in fantasy basketball team has turned it around...sort of. bosh is back! but now peja is hurt and i am going to be lacking in the 3's category. i kind of want to drop him at this point, but i know that's the type of move that i will quickly regret. my team won last week, catapulting me back up to the #2 position in the league. i dropped andray blatche for the second time this season. he and haywood are eating into each other's stats too much. although i like blatche much more, i decided to keep haywood over him since he is technically the starter. i might eventually drop him too though. i picked up kirk hinrich who is seriously slumping, but i can't believe someone dropped him...i am confident he will pick it up and start giving me 15, 7, and 5 with some 3's. so things are looking up for the west laurel cogs. i am losing this week so far, but it just started, and i only had 2 players play last night. also, arenas seems to be ahead of schedule in his recovery...i can't wait for him to get back.

Monday, December 10, 2007

are you philly'n me?

louise and i are planning a brief trip to philadelphia at the end of next week. i have been to philly a few times and have enjoyed the city. it will be nice to get away for a few days, even though it will probably be freezing. here are my notes for things i might want to go see, do, things i need to get before we go, etc.

i think we have narrowed down the hotel choices. the hotel we are probably going to book has sleep number beds! i am embarrassingly excited about this and can't wait to find out what my number is. they also allows dogs! while it would be awesome to bring jessie, the hotel might not want to house a dog of her gigantic, oafish girth. also, bringing jessie may limit the places we can go and it will be cold outside, so jessie might not like going outside...even if she wears her sweater. i think we will probably leave jessie at home to hang out with dave, nicki and a visiting seamus.

i am interested in the following:
  • the franklin institute science museum - this is a nice and nerdy source of edutainment and also has an imax theater
  • the reading terminal market - i love places like this...farmer's market, produce, baked good, crafts, junk, etc.
  • philadelphia museum of art - i like to pretend i am slightly intellectual...actually i think i have been here before and it was cool
  • shopping - christmas shopping sucks....hopefully we can get some more of it done here
  • dining - one of my favorite aspects of traveling...i hope to find a lot of vegetarian eating options...maybe i will ask for a veggie steak and cheese at gino's...and maybe i will get beat up
  • drinking - another nice change-up from my suburban lifestyle is going to bars, getting drunk and walking back to my hotel room
  • something historic - maybe we will go see the liberty bell or ben franklin's house...
  • u.s. mint - so i can see how thick my paper is gonna be
  • spend some time with louise - we are not one of those weirdo romantic couples, but it will be nice to spend some time together

here are some things we need to do/get before we go:
  • thermal underwear
  • new winter coat for louise
  • find gloves, hat, scarf
  • book the hotel
  • schedule out what we both want to do/see (3 days will go by quickly)
  • get a philly travel book or at least visit some websites to know where to eat, what else to see, etc.
it will be nice to get away...and also nice in that it leads right into my winter break, so when we return, i won't have work the next day. i hope to take a bunch of pictures and post about the trip when i return. for anyone who has spent any time in philly...any suggestions or ideas?

Friday, December 7, 2007

celebrities/historical figues math equals my friends

this is a new feature in my blog where multiple celebrities get mashed up/procreate/combine/whatever to form my friends. here are the first 2. agree? disagree? what do you think?

abraham lincoln + andrew jackson = louis

even after louis has moved out of our house, he remains a hot topic of discussion. while i have often associated louis with abraham lincoln, dave thinks he shares more similarities with another u.s. president, andrew jackson. they all have longish faces with similar features. i know louis is skinny and i assume abe and jackson were as well.while we never held a $5 bill and $20 bill next to louis' face, i think the combination of the 2 presidents would probably equal louis.

devendra banhart + john stamos = nick?

i think these pictures do a decent job in showing their similarities. he and devendra are tall, skinny and musicians. actually...stamos is a musician too. proof of both of their musical prowess are shown in the videos at the end. nick and stamos share some similar facial features. the combo of these 2 equaling nick is a "if they mated" slam dunk.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

the ultimate fighter finale

in continuing in my tv-heavy week in this blog, i wanted to discuss the show the ultimate fighter, which aired an hour after kid nation last night. for those that don't know, this is a reality tv show that focuses on mixed martial artists. they compete for a couple of months (or weeks?) until all but 2 are left standing, leading up to the finale which will air saturday night. the fighters are split into 2 teams, each coached by 2 top fighters in the ufc.

well one team is coached by douchebag extraordinaire, matt hughes and his creepy-ass, dr. evil looking assistant coach.

the other team is coached by really personable and awesome coach (with kind of annoying accent, but whatever) matt serra.

anyways, i have not ordered the last 2 or 3 ufc fights on pay-per-view for a couple of reasons. first of all, the fight cards have been kind of lame and secondly it seems like nobody else besides louise has much interest in watching them now...leading to me paying for the whole thing, spending $50 on it.

so now that they are having this ultimate fighter finale coming up on saturday and it's free. i like things that are free. i have been looking forward to this for a few weeks now, and have been simply itching to watch some new the point where i rented some old pride dvd's from netflix earlier this week. it was fun watching phil "the new york juicer" baroni talk all sorts of shit pre-fight, only to lose.

even though team serra had a 6-2 advantage going into the quarter finals, the finals had it even with 2 fighters from each team left. and of course, both of hughes' guys win just to piss me off and ruin an event that i was looking forward to for a while.

below are the finalized matchups for saturday night:

headline fight - roger huerta vs. clay guida
analysis - both are excellent up and coming fighters in the lightweight division. both are intense fights and this should prove to be an exciting fight. huerta is on louise's celebrity crush list i gotta go with clay "the carpenter" guida to nail the hurt into huerta!...hmm, that doesn't sound quite right...oh well
prediction - guida via tko in round 3

fight #2 - mac danzig vs. tommy spears
analysis - so this is the final fight to decide the winner of the ultimate's the vegan vs. the farmer. spears is a giant man boy who can crush you in his hands like lennie from of mice and men. danzig is ridiculously talented and skilled, very experienced, but much smaller...even though they technically weigh the same. i think danzig makes spears grow some veggies for him to eat.
prediction - danzig via submission in round 2

fight #3 - jared rollins vs. john koppenhaver
analysis - neither of these guys really impressed on the show...but i think that this fight is being billed prominently due to the fact that they almost fought in the house because of a poop-related prank. i believe rollins said "pranks are one thing, but once you bring doo-doo into the equation, you've gone too far..." wise words j-roc...wise words. i dunno about this fight.
prediction - koppenhaver via decision

fight #4 - billy miles vs. george sotiropoulos
anaylsis - miles is big and strong. george does not look "fit" or "ripped", but is apparently up there with mac in terms of skills. as long as george has mentally moved past getting knocked out by spears, this looks like a bad matchup for the kid.
prediction - sotiropoulos via tko in round 1

fight #5 - ben saunders vs. dan barrera
analysis - this fight should start the evening and i am excited about this one. they can both strike, but with his 6'3 frame, ben should have the advantage there. barrera seems really he might go buck wild in the octagon...who knows?
prediction - draw via simultaneous tko in round 2

there are a few other fights in the undercard that will not be aired on tv unless a bunch of the aired fights end quickly. among those, i hope rude boy ko's the dirty samurai, roman mitichyan submits dorian price to bring pride to dave and his armenian brethren, and that my favorite fighter from the show, john kolosci can outduel the dangerous matt arroyo.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

kid nation live blog

7:50 pm

i am currently watching the wizards whoop up on the lebron-less cavs, but only for a few minutes because it's almost time for kid nation. i am going to attempt to live blog this show. (oh snap, the geico caveman is in the audience of the wiz game!) anyways, live blogging is a new venture for me so we'll see how it goes. i guess in the meantime i can continue my discussion of kid nation. now while i only named 5 kids i hate, i generally hate most of these kids...and that's part of what makes it a fun show for me to watch. phil seems to want to be motherly towards a majority of these kids. basically we had discussions like this:

me: man, what's up with that perv greg always picking up young girls and carrying them around like they're his personal perverted accessories for perverted pleasure?
phil: you shouldn't judge these kids. they're young and haven't formed their real personalities, and i bet that he has some problems at home and....blah blah blah, etc.

...wait, the book says it's not appropriate to pick up small girls and carry them around?

whatever phil. you always hate on everything else. why not join me in hating these kids? it's way more fun, trust me.


ok, so i will try to recap anything i find noteworthy and add any commentary that seems appropriate. i aim to finish everything by 9 pm, but will probably do a little cleaning up of the post before i publish it and add some pictures later tonight or tomorrow.


they are showing a recap from last week...ack! there's greg carrying tyler! oh i hope sophia doesn't do anything bad with her new power as sheriff.


hmmm...sophia has ceded from bonanza city and is claiming a patch of land as her so crazy! but yeah...the forshadowing does not look good.


sophia is gonna be left in charge as the city council is leaving for some spiritual journey or something...many in the town are unhappy, mouths agape. they show a clip of mike bitching about it...he seriously makes the most annoying faces this side of dane cook.


sophia is checking to make sure all of the jobs are done before opening the arcade...this is looking to be a pretty sophia-centric episode. the council meet with a group of native americans and i think that maybe only michael should open his mouth...


kelsey speaks and i hate. hate hate hate hate hate.


sophia proves to be an excellent (i'm a little surprised) leader and motivator and whips the town into shape, gets the arcade open and even shares a sweet moment with taylor of all people. that's it...12 year old kevin would definitely have had an unrequited crush on her.


zach mentions his awesome goat milking powers (i think i like him a little bit more now) and i am excited to see alex and jared team up to dig up bones, accurately identifying a femur and nerdily talking about carbon-dating processes.


the council talk to the native americans about smart kids or something....i'm calling it now... gold star goes to alex this week!


it's showdown time and well these tend to be the more boring part of the show. hmmm...homestead act? alpacas? i'm intrigued. well kids are carrying parts of a house...and well when i was 12, i was basically as strong as i am now, i would do well in this competition. hahahaha some kid fell on a cactus! jared is leading the way for the red team...maybe he's the (nerd) kid who wins the g.s.


green district are the upper class, red district are the merchants, blue district are the cooks...and the yellow district...are the yellow district. mike spazzes out. yellow district finish in time for the reward!
  • choice #1: a kid nation monument that commemorates the bonanza city kid nation...hmm...i hope choice #2 is better.
  • choice #2: hot air balloon rides over bonanza city....meh. i guess they're both ok rewards, but kind of a letdown after last week's arcade. i think i would choose the balloon ride.

it's unrelated, and they are showing commercials right now, but i just found $60 in my old pajama pants pocket!!!


it's up to sophia to choose, and she decides on the hot air balloons. i think that was a wise choice and all the kids cheer. the kids have their rides and it looks like fun. i still hate you mike...stop making faces!


alex is cooking something and it is adorable. jared talks about winning the golden star to make a teleporter. i am intrigued jared...very intrigued.


council members are accepting nominations for the gold star and i hope i get to see jasmine nominate herself yet again...what a tool. zach cries and greg laughs. zach storms off and pulls a rodney dangerfield. zach looks like he's gonna fight someone. i know he wants to punch greg or blaine...but zach, seriously, they are a lot bigger...go for someone smaller that you could beat...i nominate mike...i heard he said your mom's not a hard worker.


zach pours his heart out and greg consoles him. greg gets called out by dk for saying zach was fake crying and then turning around and saying that he respects him.


town hall meeting time! lots of screaming over the arcade. the council decides to close it down for good...nice move guys. i guess for every obnoxious, bullyish or perverted move that greg makes he balances it out with a decent act. his behavior is kinda manic like that. the golden star goes to alex! and i am correct again...what else is new? $20,000 is apparently a paradox and a 9 year old kid with one giant tooth is making me feel retarded.

my tooth is bigger than my thumb!


anjay cries about leaving and i realize he is kind of an indian milhouse.


preview of next's the season finale. there is gonna be a bigger gold star? someone resorts to arson to prove that they are a hard worker? interesting. this episode was good, but not as good as last week's. hopefully they really bring the crazy next week...i will miss watching this show...but with the writers' strike, i guess i can expect kid nation 2 to premiere soon....maybe in about 3 weeks? live blogging was a challenge and fun. it went pretty smoothly except when my roommate nicky sat down next to me and i was acting nonchalantly, pretending like i wasn't live blogging a reality show about kids.

that's nut what i'm talking about

i have always enjoyed eating nuts. as i become more health conscious, i find that they serve as a healthier snack than the usual chips, crackers, pretzels, etc. while i have nutted it up more than the average person, there are still many nuts that remain unmined for me. i have decided to rank the nuts i have eaten based on taste, health benefits, aesthetics and cost.

#7 brazil nuts
these gigantic nuts originate from brazil (i assume). they are kind of bland tasting and truthfully, i have only had these in mixed nut containers or some sort of trail mix. also i occassionally get an allergic reaction to these nuts when i eat them. healthwise, 100g of brazils contain 12g protein, 61g fat, 2.8mg iron, 180mg calcium, 4.2mg zinc. all of these things contribute to the lowest ranking on this list.

nut rating: deez!

#6 pine nuts
these small nuts are pretty tasty and are apparently the seeds (not technically a nut) of pines believe it or not. my experience with pine nuts have been solely through cooking with them or eating food that have been cooked with them to serve as an accent to the dish. they are very expensive and do not not really lend themselves to snacking. pine nuts have slightly more protein than brazil nuts.

nut rating: nut bad

#5 peanuts
also not technically a nut (it's a legume), peanuts are the most common of nuts that i have been around. they are cheap to buy, have a moderate grade taste and are versatile in both snacking and cooking. they are also pretty healthy where 100g of peanuts contain 24.3g protein, 2mg iron and 3mg zinc. while i don't ever do this, nor condone it, people can bulk up their nut mixes by adding copious amounts of peanuts.

nut rating: nuttish

#4 macadamia nuts
ah...the nut from hawaii (actually native to australia). this is a deliciously sweet nut with a softer consistency. while these nuts are very tasty, they are very high in fat (though also high in the good fats) and 100g of macadamia nuts contain 7g protein and 40mg calcium. macadamia nuts are also very pricey.

nut rating: nut

#3 pistachio nuts
these nuts are generally sold still in their shells. while delicious, half the fun is getting these shells open. they are often times dyed red for some reason. they are also reasonably healthy where 100g of pistachios contain 19.3g protein, 14mg iron, 140mg calcium.

nut rating: nutstanding

#2 cashews
cashews are my favorite nut taste-wise. i like cashews like garfield likes lasagna.
almonds. the nut grows in a curious way on the tree, hanging below a fleshy, apple-like fruit. it is related to the mango, pistachio and poison ivy. crazy huh? cashews are also very expensive, making them more of a treat than daily snack. they are pretty healthy as well where 100g of cashews contain 17.2g protein, 60 micrograms vitamin A, 3.8mg iron.

nut rating: nutlicious

#1 almonds
almonds combine the best aspects i am looking for in my nuts. they are not as cheap as peanuts, but cheaper than pine nuts. they don't taste quite as good as cashews, but they are very tasty. they might also be the healthiest nut where 100g contain 16.9g protein, 4.2mg iron, 250mg calcium, 20mg vitamin E, 3.1mg zinc and 0.92mg vitamin B2.

nut rating: nutnificent

some other nuts i didn't list include walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and chestnuts among others. walnuts are ok, but i don't really care about this list as a whole. what do you think about the rankings? did i miss any obvious nuts?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

seriously, who sits ladanian tomlinson???

the regular season for fantasy football is just about over and while 2 out of 4 of my teams are going to go on to the playoffs, i have a few things to gripe about.

gripe #1
in one league with some friends i will be missing the playoffs for the first time ever. i managed to have the 4th highest point total, and yet i am in 11th place, only besting the intern who gave up on her team in week 3. i'm not saying my team was the best, but i think i would have stood a better chance of beating the top 3 teams in the playoffs than the current teams ranked #4-6.

gripe #2
in my keeper league, where i have been doing well, and my team is playoff-bound, i noticed some shady business going on. team 1 has a bad record and is out of the playoff race. they are playing team 2, who is only 1 game behind me for a playoff spot. team 1 decides they will:
  • not play a qb
  • only start 2 rb's instead of the normal 3
  • sit the following players: peyton manning, ladanian tomlinson, purple jesus, mjd, frank gore and steve smith
well team 2 goes on to crush team 1 by 100 points. luckily i won my game or i would be tied with team 2. that is some blatant cheating, and while i would like to call team 1 out on this, i don't really know most of these guys. also, i believe that as the new guy in the league, they are kind of unhappy with my success this season. i might e-mail the commish about this....i dunno.

onto basketball....reading back on my last fantasy update, i sounded pretty cocky. well i was in 1st place and even without arenas, my team was showing up. well my run ended last week, when i lost to blumpkin 7-2, dropping me from 1st place to 4th. ouch. what happened you ask? well chris bosh re-injured his groin. great. marvin williams got hurt. a lot of my good players (mainly roy and granger) decided to get streaky, having shooting nights like 1-12. i discovered that rajon rondo is afraid to shoot. blatche and haywood are cannibalizing each others' stats. peja scores 25 one night and 4 the next. ugh...i feel like my team is becoming the knicks of yahoo league 145124.

can my team sustain itself without arenas? when will bosh be back? i have no idea. i do know that i have to make some roster moves. players i would consider dropping are brendan haywood, andray blatche, udonis haslem, and marvin williams. i am not feeling that comfortable dropping any of these players, but i need some serious help in points, threes, steals and assists.

right now i am considering picking up the following:

pg rashad mccants
sf travis outlaw
pg beno udrih
sg juan carlos navarro
sg willie green
pg sebastian telfair

i dunno...none of these guys really jump out at me. they are either inconsistent, not getting starter minutes or i just feel lukewarm about. i will monitor these guys along with a few others, hope that bosh gets back in the lineup, my players start showing some consistency and maybe make a move that will help me stay competitive.

Monday, December 3, 2007

the genius of appatow, rogen, etc.

i have been a huge fan of everything judd appatow since freaks and geeks. i'm also glad that seth rogen has broken out and become sort of a star now. i feel like their writing and sense of humor is right in line with mine and if i were very talented and an actor or writer, i would be either doing stuff with them or copying their style, which i still maintain is my style as well.

everyone has seen all of the current movies, so i will not detail their specific genius. instead, i wanted to share few short videos online where they really bring the funny.

this first one is a fake (i think, but hope not) trailer for an end of the world movie. the inclusion of some upbeat randy newman song adds to the silly buddy comedy premise in what is normally a sci-fi or horror scenario. jay baruchel, who was awesome in undeclared, plays rogen's apocalyptic partner in crime. maybe they will turn this into an actual movie someday. i would see it.

this next video is a clip from an actual movie with rogen re-teaming with james franco of daniel desario fame. all i know is that this movie star these 2 guys who i think are hilarious in different ways, drugs are involved and it's sort of an action movie. also, there are scenes like this:

"this is it...this is what your grandchildren are gonna be smoking....future...the future..."

one can only hope that all of these guys continue working together, making movies. one thing that is noticeable from these videos is how entertaining their work is just based on dialogue...and that's natural-sounding dialogue, not tarantino nonsense. also, now that rogen has started to blow up, it's time to get some others from the crew into more prominent roles.

how about a starring vehicle for the ever-intense jason segel. he and baruchel could star in the first appatow sci-fi movie where they play 2 young space cadets who find themselves in the middle of an intergalactic war. throw in jonah hill and michael cera and the movie basically writes itself.

i feel like an asshole

this weekend i was planning on going to see food for animals at some warehouse in baltimore. i was looking forward to it. dave called nick to tell him we would be going and while i'm sure that it really didn't matter that much to nick, dave said that he sounded excited to know we were gonna show up. we lazed about saturday afternoon, gearing it up on insane, cheating by changing the difficulty level for the stupid driving part, only to realize that the game credited us with beating that section on "casual" difficulty.

then we pulled our not really cool maneuver of getting drunk prior to people showing up at our house in hopes that it would lead to someone else driving us. well a couple of things happened. first of all everybody that showed up at our house seemed pretty indifferent about actually going out, let alone driving us there. secondly, dave maybe should not have drank while he was taking his antibiotics. as a result he did not feel well and that left me as the main pursuer in convincing someone to drive. i discovered i am not very good at this and without dave charming his way into getting us a ride, i quickly realized that this was not going to happen.

in hindsight, i should have known that there was a strong possibility that this would occur. i should have just sucked it up and agreed to drive, i know i would have had a much more interesting saturday night if i did. also, i think both dave and i know that we should stop pulling this maneuver on our friends. i even had my little pocket-sized video camera, set to record some of the show and blog about it. instead i am blogging about how i was completely lame.

as i finally gave in on trying to get someone to drive, i texted nick and told him i was sorry that we didn't show up. i really do feel bad, both about us trying to get other people to drive as well as not going to nick's show. i think they're going to europe soon, so hopefully i will get to see them at some other show soon.

i have been playing with photoshop, maybe i will superimpose my head in this picture, so it will be kinda like i was there.

Friday, November 30, 2007

web-based memberships

over the last few years i have been involved with a few different online memberships where i pay a monthly fee in order to receive certain goods. i have enjoyed these for the most part. some are better than others, at least based on my needs. here's what i have learned.

emusic is a music downloading service. it differs from memberships like napster and rhapsody in that the files you download are yours to keep forever. it differs from services like the itunes store i that songs are cheaper than 99 cents/each.

when things were great

i originally signed up in january 2006. after a free trial of 30 songs, i really liked their selection of varying genres of music with a lot of harder to find independent stuff. i decided to go for their highest membership level of 90 songs/month at $20/month. it worked out to be about 22 cents a song and another nice things was that i could cancel it was very low risk. it was a great way of downloading stuff legally and on the cheap. the downloading process was very user-friendly. i discovered a bunch of bands that i didn't really know about prior. some of those include:
  • antony and the johnsons
  • beirut
  • the unicorns
  • islands
  • cannibal ox
  • girl talk
  • midlake
  • the subways
  • dozens of other bands/musicians that now fill my ipod

when things went bad

ok, so things didn't actually go bad as much as i started to run out of things to download and i also did not have enough time to really listen to 8 or 9 new albums a month. after a while i ended up with a lot of music that i had not listened to at all. often times louise would play some band on my ipod and i had to ask her what was playing. so my collection grew faster than i could handle. so while i really enjoyed the service and would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of good and often times not mainstream music, i had to eventually cancel it this summer. i may one day return to emusic after i have had time to digest all of my current music.

overall grade - 8.5/10


after spending absurd amounts of money on videogames, wasting my money to feed the evil empire of gamestop, i finally had had enough. all too often i would get excited about a game, but it for $60 only to not be that into it and then selling it back to gamestop for a third of what i had paid. i joined goozex, which is not a monthly-fee service, is a good and fair way to trade games. i also signed up for gamefly, the videogame rental service. it is an online service that send you your games via usps. i signed up for the 2 games out at a time for $22/month.

when things were great

ever since i was a little kid, i have always loved videogames. i have an xbox 360 and they have been pumping out the games this year. joining gamefly would allow me to try out all of these games before buying. it was exciting getting games through the mail. i had heard horror stories about delivery time since they only had a west coast distribution center. well now they had one in pittsburgh. so there was basically a 2 day delivery time. if i were to send a game back through the mail on a monday, they would receive it wednesday, ship my next game and i would receive it friday. not great, but reasonable. on top of this, i found a site,, where i would watch commercials and they would pay for $10 of my gamefly membership a month! i got to play a lot of games (some good, some bad) and as a result, save some money:
  • call of duty 4
  • earth defense force 2017
  • beautiful katamari
  • various sports games

when things went bad

well i am still currently a member, but i won't be for long. first of all, brightspot shut down. secondly, like emusic, i had begun to run out of games that i really wanted to rent. thirdly, the service has begun to slip. now the delivery times are usually 3 days, which is pretty unreasonable if you ask me. on top of that, they just do not carry enough copies of popular games. you really have to time your returns right if you want to have any chance at a new popular game and if you shorten your list to better your odds of getting a new game, they just don't send you anything....which is the case for me right now. i have currently had only one game in my possession for about a week and a half. unacceptable. i plan on canceling this service next week before the membership renews for another month. i would recommend this service hesitantly and only if the person was a huge game nerd.

overall grade - 5/10


i joined this dvd rental service in 2004. for $18/month i get 3 dvd's out at a time. they have a gigantic selection of movies and they deliver the movies through the mail.

when things were great

movies galore! i love watching movies, especially on my giant tv. the turnaround time shames gamefly's. i put a movie in the mail on monday, they receive it tuesday, send one that day and i get it in the mail on wednesday. now that's how you run one of these services. they have like 5 million (i am making that number up...but it's a lot) movies to choose from that you set up in a queue for delivery. the website is easy to navigate, does a good job of recommending movies based on other movies you have rated. there is even a friend system that allows you to see what your friends are watching as well as leave them notes and recommend movies you think they would like. this year they have added a very nice feature that allows you to watch a number of different movies and shows on your computer. over the last 3 or 4 years...way too many movies to remember.

when things went bad

ok, things never went bad with netflix. their service has always been great. i never run out of movies that i want to watch. they seem like a company that is always trying to provide a better service for their customers. i find their pricing to be very fair. although if i am being picky (and cheap) that is probably the only aspect that they could improve upon. i would recommend this to everyone i know, even if you don't like movies, it's just that good of a product.

overall rating - 9.5/10

ugh...don't read this...i'm already embarassed

i have to hand it to me, i've stuck with this blog thing for a solid month, authoring around 25 posts. it has been fun. i guess i haven't had an outlet for creativity in a little while and i missed it. i know that i am still not a good writer, but i think overall my posts have been successful, at least in my eyes.

i know i had written originally that i didn't care if anyone else read this and that it was just for me. but as with any creative process, it's important to receive feedback, which has been tough to say the least. i guess i jumped into this blog thing about 4 years too late, so i really don't know the first thing about getting people to read my stuff. i never really was much of a discussion board poster, so i was never really involved in any online communities. i have been urging most of my close friends to read the blog, although i get the feeling that about 90% either don't actually read it or briefly skim it and think it's lame. i mean, they all work and have busy lives and do not really have the downtime that i have at my work, so it's understandable. i also don't want to be annoying and constantly update people on stuff that they could care less about. i guess i need to decide whether or not i should really push it on people and hope that if given the time, they will read it and like it, or else, just stop asking people to read it. currently i am straddling the line in between and it is simultaneously making me feel needy and embarrassed to keep asking people as well as disappointed that nobody actually reads this.

this week i have made some attempts at venturing out to getting strangers to read my blog. i joined blogrush which is actually a really cool site from what i can tell, that would be a good way to connect blog readers to content that they would be interested in reading. i have also posted comments on other blogs and discussion boards using my blog's url as my signature. that has worked ok, in as much as interacting with strangers, but it has not had any effect on getting more people to click on my blog. i am not delusional with hopes of hundreds of readers...but if say 5 people i didn't previously know were to read and comment on my blog, that would make a big difference.

i believe another obstacle for this blog is that i write about too many subjects that are not really related in any way other than the fact that they are things that i personally am interested in. so unless theres a bunch of people out there just like me, i'm kinda sol. i was considering breaking this up into multiple blogs that are more subject specific. that way i could "promote" it easily and possibly attract more readers. the problem is, while i have basic knowledge and interest in many of these subjects, i am in no way an expert in any of them. in diluting my blog with various unrelated subjects, i can make up for my lack of expertise in all of them, but if i were to focus on specific ones, the posts would not be up to par with those written by people that actually know what they are talking about.

so i am currently at a crossroads in my blogging experience. i dunno. i find my posts to be funny, and although technically poorly written, they effectively communicate my intended points. maybe if i wasn't so happy with so many of them, this wouldn't bother me as much. if i had just written posts and was like "eh...nothing to write brown about...", then i would just continue along posting my thoughts and not be so neurotic about it. but it's a creative product, along with some of my efforts in the past (king kevin, forresstfeud, beautiful art) that i am proud of and think that if anyone actually checked it out, would enjoy it, share it with others. but alas, they all continue to go unappreciated. i dunno, maybe i am grossly overestimating my abilities and my projects are actually not very good, but i love them just because i created them, like they were my children. that could be it too.

so yeah, i want people to read my blog like the awkward wow dork wants the hot goth girl to ask him out. i want to interact with readers, read their blogs, be a part of some online community that shares similar interests and sensibilities. i am tired of "alerting" my friends when i post a blog cause i feel ridiculous when i do it. i believe my blog is good and can improve. i am enjoying the writing process so far. i need to be more organized, consistent and persistent with my efforts to share my work. all of this is really way more personal and embarrassing than what i usually write about, but hey, chances are only i am reading i right?...yes you are me. as i read over what i have written, it definitely has a tone of feeling sad or sorry for myself, but i'm not...just a little frustrated and unsure what to do. as with some posts in the past, writing stuff out has helped me focus my thoughts and i am hoping that this post helps me move forward with my blog in a good way.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

do you think i should trust you with my english to navaho dictionary?

as i have become tired and annoyed by about 95% of adult reality "stars", i realized that kid nation would provide a refreshing cast of characters that didn't fit into the 5 or 6 of the general cliches found in every reality show. what's that? 40 kids are gonna be left alone in a ghost town to fend for themselves? won't be like jamie kennedy's child island? that's ok...i guess.

well i am pretty much hooked and have watched every show. first of all, it is very nostalgic in reminding me of my younger days at summer camp. in that sense it is fun to imagine how you would personally interact and fit in with these kids, say at age 12. secondly, these are kids, and while they have some sense of self awareness and the cameras, it's much less forced and viewed as a chance to become a celebrity, as it would in shows with adults as the stars. thirdly, there is a class system based on competition performance. the upper class gets paid the most and have no work to do, then the merchants get paid half of that and have the easier, cleaner jobs, then the cooks, get paid half of that and have a tough but not awful job, while the lowest class are the laborers who have to do all the shitty manual work and get paid the least. it's fucked up, unfair and awesome all at the same time. lastly, the producers did a very good job of casting many kids that you either love or hate. sounds wrong...i know.

kids that are cool
  • laurel - the leadah from baaahstun
  • alex - genius 9 year old with missing tooth
  • sophia - also way smarter than everyone, independent thinker, acts and sounds like she is older than me
  • michael - smart, very nice, a little too "teacher's pet-ish"
  • jared - the kid who is from outer space

kids that are lame
  • mike - deposed leader, spaz, is it wrong to call an 11 year old a loser?
  • taylor - little beauty pageant, annoying and obnoxious
  • divad - every week she hilariously (unintentionally) nominates herself for the golden star (weekly prize)
  • kelsey - taylor's mindless cronie
  • greg - biggest kid, bully, in love with 2nd biggest kid

anyways, the episode that aired last night was pretty indicative of why i enjoy this show. sophia, who i think a 12 year old kevin would have an unrequited crush on, decides that the town should have a big chicken feast. that meant killing a bunch of chickens that taylor had befriended. while i am against killing animals, i am for upsetting awful children.

the town receives some history books, which many realize would be integral to that day's challenge. well everyone in town is studying, taylor and one of her cronies decides they don't like school and refuse to participate. the leaders tell them that they won't be able to share in that weeks prize as a result. i think 12 year old kevin would go along with the crowd and study, hate it, but secretly love it.

then there is the challenge where the host would ask questions based on the history books, and then team members used sling shots to pop balloons that had the incorrect answers, leaving only the correct answer. ok, this was lame, but i know 12 year old me would really like shooting the slingshot...actually, 29 year old me wants to do that as well. anyways, teams win and lose, but the town as a whole wins the big reward, which is a choice.

option #1 - a library
option #2 - an arcade (where all the games are free)

well the choice is quite obvious to me as even the 29 year old me would choose the arcade without hesitation, but the 12 year old me? i would have crapped my pants. this is seriously the kind of thing i dreamt of as a kid. meanwhile, taylor is stewing on the side, hoping that they choose the books since she won't be able to participate. well the town's leaders make the obvious choice and the kids go apeshit. taylor is about to cry and i smile like when the grinch's heart grew. is that wrong?


the kids are unprepared for the effect of the arcade as it essentially becomes a drug. nobody is doing their work. sophia wants nothing to do with the arcade and decides to start her own makeshift tee-pee library, which prompts adorable alex to pop his head in and ask "do you think i should trust you with my english to navaho dictionary?" yes alex, you should.

at the same time, we get to see more of this southern kid, hunter, who was a beast in the challenge with his slingshot skills. he's the quiet, polite kid that works hard even when he doesn't have to and never makes a big deal about it. well he ended up winning the golden star that week and had a sweet conversation with his parents afterwards.

so this show gives me entertaining, but mostly unfiltered, non-manufactured personalities, fighting, villains, kids to cheer for and a chance for me to imagine how i would interact as a kid. there's still a few more episodes left, but i believe they are already filming kid nation 2. yes!


dave and i were chatting online today when he passed along this video gem:

it got me thinking...what are most of these guys up to these days? we should propose a show about old wwf wrestlers from the 80's and 90's living in a house together working on making comebacks to vh1. they have done very similar shows, and i could very easily see them putting this show on the air. with the writers' strike continuing with no end in sight, the demand for addictive reality shows is high.

preliminary pitch:

a group of 6-8 former wwf/wwe stars sign up to live in a mansion in an effort to revive their wrestling/entertainment/other careers. along with general training, they are put through a series of varying (and sometimes comical) tasks and competitions that show the home viewers new sides of the former wrestlers. it helps humanize them to their fans and viewers.

all of this progresses as the former wrestlers work to reach their own specific goals. some of the younger wrestlers would obviously want to return to the ring. some may want to pursue acting or some other profession. some may want to simply be of relevance again and enjoy the media exposure. others (and this may be a bit of a stretch, wishful thinking...i dunno) may want to use their publicity to bring a cause/charity/issue to light.

potential wrestlers i would want in the show:
  • the ultimate warrior
  • the honkey tonk man
  • the iron sheik
  • the junkyard dog
  • jimmy superfly snucka (sp?)
  • koko b. ware
  • rowdy roddy piper
  • bam bam bigelow
  • big john stud
  • ricky the dragon steamboat
  • rick flair
  • jimmy hart
potential hosts
  • jim mcmahon
  • the fabulous moolah (i have a sneaking suspicion she is my next door neighbor)
  • that old wwf ref with the moustache
  • some current wwe superstar
  • the rock (he would be the #1 option i think)
  • dance contest
  • working with kindergarten kids
  • baking competition
  • karaoke
  • debate
  • other dumb stuff that is funny since really big wrestlers are doing it
ideally there would be a good blend of drama, fighting, hilarity, bonding, heart-warming moments and silliness. many people who grew up in the 80's and 90's would want to revisit their favorite wrestlers from back then. others would simply tune in to watch people with crazy personalities clash and argue and compete. as i mentioned before, i could see this as a show on vh1, and i have no doubt that it would be very successful. phil and dan have already raised their eyebrow in skepticism, but that's all phil knows. hate hate hate. i know i would watch every episode. dave and i will need to tighten up the premise and details and then submit it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

i'm pretty sure that's not an appropriate use of "torrential"

i've been kinda slackin on my blog a little after my torrential start this month. i guess there have actually been more things than usual to blog about, thus making it tougher for me to focus on anything specific. thanksgiving was good, although i had to go to 2 thanksgiving meals...ugh. i learn that gilbert arenas had surgery on his knee, thus severely hurting both the wizards and my fantasy team. matt "the terror" serra gets a herniated disc in his back and has to pull out of his fight with matt "the douchebag" hughes. i was so looking forward to serra smashing hughes and his chipmunk smirk. gsp, my favorite mma fighter, will be filling in as a replacement and will undoubtedly destroy hughes, but i am still torn since i have been so hyped about seeing serra vs. hughes. injuries are part of the game, and really gsp was the only replacement that made any sense.

matt hughes senior picture checklist

1. neatly coiffed mullet - check

2. trusty, reliable suspenders - check

3. stylish bolo tie (for the ladies) - check!

on a very serious and sad note, redskins safety sean taylor passed away this morning after being shot in his leg during a break-in in his home. he will be missed. he was an intimidating force who was having his best season ever before getting injured a few weeks ago. he made a few mistakes off the field, but by all accounts was maturing and becoming a leader on the team. it's a shame.

so, yeah, there have been a lot of things going on that would normally lend themselves to their own entry. instead i will mash them all up here and try to end on a positive note, mainly, this picture below that made me smile.

Monday, November 26, 2007

awesome ref

wow! that was awesome! my favorite penalty call of all time. i'm glad he announces the call with a straight face. i also hope that he was planning on calling a normal penalty, but after witnessing the play, he realized that that was a more fitting call to make.

hopefully this trailblazer of a ref will open the door for more expansive and descriptive calls. how about "personal foul..offense...#32...he was up in his grill..." or "personal foul...defense...#72...for not backin up off..."

anyone else have one?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

it's tofurkey time!

thanksgiving in 2000 was the last time i chose to eat meat. it's kind of crazy to think that i have been vegetarian now for 7 years. and while i have softened my stances on most subjects political and ethical, choosing to not eat meat is one thing that has remained constant and unflinching in my personal actions and views. during my early 20's i had a political fire lit under me. i was extremely liberal, idealistic and angry about not only the way our government dealt with issues both abroad and domestically, but also the way many people just went along with everything, never questioning what the government was doing. well eventually i realized there was not much i could actually do. i know, that sounds awful, but it was true. i was tired of arguing with right-winged idiots about the war, all of the anger burned out and i became much more indifferent to all of the shit.

it seems a little inconsequential compared to wars, corrupt governments, food and water shortages, other awful things, but being vegetarian is something tangible to me. it's something that i have direct control over (except for the time i accidentally ate crab dip at the rivetti christmas party). it hasn't been much of a struggle for me, like my parents probably assumed it would be. my reasons for being vegetarian remain sort of the same as when i started 7 years ago.

- i love animals, and while i used to love eating turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. i no longer think of animals as food. there are many excellent meat substitutes as well as other good forms of protein available in every grocery store due to the growing number of vegetarians. i just could not justify killing an animal when it is not necessary...and it's not. we are not living in a world where humans need to eat animals in order to survive, and if it's not necessary, i would obviously rather go the route that didn't involve killing an animal. while the animals are living, many live very painful lives in horrible conditions.also, most of the animals that we eat are cute and smart. seriously...pigs are like big dogs. having a pet like jessie has given me a new appreciation for animals in general. although i don't ever like hearing the standard vegetarian question "would you eat meat if you had to kill the animal yourself?", it is something i think about whenever some meat eater is eating something that looks appetizing to me.

environmental - animals take up a lot of space. they need to graze. we breed them at abnormal rates. in order to handle all of this, a lot of open area must be used and forests are cut down. i forget the exact numbers, but basically the land, water and food used for breeding animals could be used to grow vegetables and grains that could feed everyone and end starvation. the large amount of animals housed on these farms also generate a lot of methane which contribute greatly to the destruction of the ozone. the runoff from their waste is getting into our waterways, polluting our water.

personal health - admittedly, this was one aspect that barely concerned me 7 years ago. i considered it more of a positive side effect. now, as i become more health-conscious, it matters more to me. ideally, eat lots of plants and vegetables, while still making sure to eat sufficient plant-based protein. staying away from meats means you eat less saturated fats, lower your cholesterol, your risk for many types of cancers and a whole bunch of other health perks. i guess for a while i somehow managed to be an unhealthy vegetarian. i am working at getting better about that, staying vegetarian, but eating a more balanced diet, not just a lot of empty carbs.

so that about breaks down why i am vegetarian. it hasn't been too tough, though i have been tempted. i hope to continue this for a while, but there are moments, where i consider trying things like raw sushi. i am interested in the health benefits of eating fish. while i was not a big seafood fan before, i think that my sense of taste has evolved and matured over the years to the point where i would enjoy eating fish. i dunno. we'll see.

this thanksgiving, i will eat my green bean casserole, potatoes and possibly some tofurkey and be happy that i am doing something that i think is right; good for me, the planet and many animals, and also be proud that i have stuck with something that would be so easy to give up for so long.

Monday, November 19, 2007

fantasy update

it was another downer of a week for me in fantasy football. i had originally thought i lost all 4 of my matchups, as i closed my laptop in disgust. but then t.o. started to go off. too bad it was against my redskins and he was the main reason why we lost...but it did help me salvage the one victory in my keeper league. the redskins are awful and do not deserve to go to the playoffs...thanks again dan snyder...(i know you can't be fired so hurry up and die so we might be good again...hmm...that's much harsher than i intended...)

instead of my failings in fantasy football, i prefer to focus this week's update on my success in fantasy basketball. after winning week 1 by the score of 7-2, i narrowly edged out my week 2 opponent 5-4. this week i dominated my opponent 8-1, only losing the category of turnovers to my overwhelmed foe. the west laurel cogs now currently reside in 1st place with a record of 20-7, 2 games ahead of the 2nd place team, blumpkin.

while i have been very pleased with my team's early success, i had a few minor issues. first and foremost, my 2 top draft picks have not performed as well as i had hoped. both arenas and bosh have been slow to return to form following their injuries. also, my team is very deep, where all of my players have value to my team. now this might not sound like a problem, but i am a fantasy player that likes to make moves. i enjoy having a roster spot that serves mainly as a spot for taking a chance on a hot player.

luckily arenas and bosh have been improving and the wizards have won 3 straight. arenas actually sat out the last game, but i am keeping my fingers crossed that this will help in the long run. also, one of my players, john salmons, who had had such a hot start to the season due to ron artest being suspended, was placed back on the bench, did not play well and had a tantrum after the game. well i decided to go ahead and drop him and pick up the new starting point guard for the kings, beno udrih. he played ok.

then i discovered that the new jersey net rookie, sean williams had just started his first game and responded with a team-high 22 points, eight rebounds, two steals, two blocks, shot 7-11 from the field and made 8-of-10 free-throws. wow. while i already had an overabundance of very good centers (bosh, chandler, kaman and hawood) who all produce rebounds and blocks, i had to grab this kid and dropped udrih. i am a sucker for upside.

now if he works out and starts to average 16/8/2 with good percentages, i will have some decisions to make. that would be 5 top 20 centers on my team. ideally i could trade one for another point guard to pick up any slack in the assists category, although arenas, iverson and rondo have all been quality contributors there.

looking ahead to this week, i am facing 9-18 chicago hustlers. his noteable players include:
  • pg deron williams - ok, this guy is a beast in just about every category, particularly points and assists, but so far has been having an erratic season
  • sf lebron james - superstar, top 5 player in the nba, contributes everywhere, not as funny as shaq, etc.
  • c ben wallace - former defensive looking real old now
  • sf luol deng - he is a future all star, but has been hampered with injuries, and really all of the bulls have looked bad this year
that's about it. the rest of his team is pretty scrubby. he's got darko, brad miller, mopete, nene, luther head, ryan gomes and white chocolate. my team should seriously crush this one...but you never know. arenas could stay hurt, my guys could get cold and we could see lebron and deron carry his team to victory....but i doubt it. i predict a 7-2 victory for me, losing the turnover category (which i will probably lose every week due to the baller status of all of my players) and maybe a shooting percentage or possibly assists.

in the meantime i will keep up with the hot players, constantly decide who my most expendable players are (right now stojakovic, due to his streaky play, although i would hate to miss out on the potential 10 3's any given night) if i have to grab a hot player and make the best lineup calls i can make. fantasy is a lot of fun when you are winning.