Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bye Week Mailbag!

No more talk about the OSU game. This is really long. On to your questions:

Katie G:
Do men hate or love sock buns?
I had to google 'sock buns' because I wasn't sure if an actual sock was used. Looks like some doughnut shaped loofa is preferred. Weird. Anyway, GIRL HAIRSTYLE POWER RANKINGS:

1) Loose Waves

Oh hell yes. Didn't take me long in my deliberations to go with the old LOOSE WAVES at numero uno. That's just a damn good look. I bet other girls fucking HATE you if you got the hair for this.

2) Side Braid

Fancy, but not too fancy. And probably the only time someone is justified in saying 'make sure you get me from my good side.' Because that braid side is for DAMN sure your good side.

3) High Ponytail


4) Half Up

Still trying to wrap my brain around what this one actually means, but it seems like another one of those 'girls who can't do it secretly despise girls who can do it' styles. Passive-aggressive hair jealousy is the BEST.

5) Low Ponytail

I'm not even sure if this technically qualifies as a low ponytail (seems a little side ponyish if you ask me), but yes this is good looking hair. I am having a little bit of fun with this whole 'googling really attractive girls' thing.

6) Low Bun

High Pony > Low Pony, Low Bun > High Bun. BIZARRE.

7) Side Bangs

A rare instance where bangs work.

8) Chignon

'Hey, I really like your chignon!'

-Me to a girl at Burton's around 3 AM this Saturday

(Actually Burton's seems like too dirty of a place to go if you spent 9 hours massaging your hair into a fine chignon.)

9) Top Knot Bun

Messy? That works. Tightly wound and perfectly symmetrical? Not so much.

10) The Rachel

Mmmmm, tastes like 1997.

11) French Braid

I think this is some fancy, modified French braid. But in my defense, a) it features Hayden, and b) I'm not posting a picture of a 12 year old going to her soccer game.

Last Place) Blunt Bangs

WOOF. Summer is way over, and I'm not just saying that because it's October. 

Ajit I:
How much do you think the sale of meth amphetamine has increased over the last 6 years? Do you think there was a significant increase in sales over the last 8 weeks?
Oh, AU CONTRAIRE: Turns out meth usage is actually on the decline:
According to the most recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 400,000 people age 12 and over were users of methamphetamine in 2011. That is similar to the total each year from 2007 to 2010 but a drop from peak use, between 2002 and 2006, when the number of users was consistently closer to 700,000.
On the surface that might be a bit surprising since some would accuse Breaking Bad of glorifying the meth industry (not a lot of glory in that industry, nope). But here's how I see it:

No, you see, instead of people gathering around the ol' meth pipe at their BrBa watch parties, this type of shit happened instead:

People who watch Breaking Bad don't do meth - they garnish watch party cupcakes with blue rock candy. The closest they get to the chemicals Walt and Jesse are cooking with is writing their names in icing on some baked goods.

PS - My biggest regret in not being caught up with the show is that I didn't get to go to a watch party and eat meth-themed cupcakes. They look DELIGHTFUL.

Ryan G:
Do you think Melvin Gordon will go to the NFL Draft after this season?
Before the season started, I would have given this about a 5-10% chance of happening. Now that he's starting to show up on the national radar? Let's put this smack dab at 50%. The conventional wisdom with running backs is that they should go to the NFL as soon as possible and strike while the iron is hot. I guess it makes sense - teams want to invest in a running back with as little wear on his tires as possible. Running backs and their legs don't exactly have the longest shelf-life in the National Football League (I feel like such an asshole typing out those words), so getting a fresh pair of legs is certainly ideal. And by the end of the year, MGIII will have minimal carries despite playing 2 years of college ball and potentially leading the nation in rushing this year. That's the combination of proven success and minimal usage that NFL personnel guys salivate over.

So that's the 50% chance that he does go to the NFL after this season. Our hopes of one more year with MGIII in Madison rest on two things in my opinion:

  1. With White graduating, Clement's presence will not be enough to prevent MGIII from toting the rock 20+ times a game in a run-first, run-friendly offense that will be returning 5 offensive linemen and its quarterback.
  2. Maybe MGIII enjoys the relaxed nature of college, loves Madison, and isn't ready to be a professional football player.
I'm sure it's a little different for athletes, but when I was 20 years old the last thing I wanted to do was leave college and be a real-life adult. I'm 27 years old and I STILL don't wanna be a real-life adult. So Melvin strikes me as the kid who will take out one of those crazy 'if my knees get destroyed at least I'll get $5 million' insurance policies (how do student athletes afford those, BTW?), come back for his junior year, rush for 9,000 yards and 600 touchdowns, and be a first round pick in the ensuing draft. I'm not sure he catches the ball as well as Jamaal Charles, but that's the comp I've seen bandied about for him. He's deceptively fast and incredible strong. He's a home run threat. If he can work on his blocking and start catching a few more passes out of the backfield, he could have a long and successful NFL career. And he's getting like 9 carries a game. Yikes.

Tim S:
1. I'm on vacation all week and have chosen a staycation.  Have you ever done a staycation?  Debate its merits versus a trip home to your parents all week, assess the pros and cons.
I'm only moderately embarrassed to admit that I wasn't 100% sure what a staycation was. Is it related to funemployment? Not sure. And now that I've spent 30 seconds thinking about it I realize how painfully obvious it was. Whatever.

You want pros and cons? YOU GOT 'EM. Pros/cons of doing a staycation or going home for a week:

  • You literally will not do a damn thing that you do not want to do. Picking up the dog poop in your family's backyard? Nope. Running to the grocery store to grab some butter? YEAH RIGHT.
  • Sleeping in your own bed is one of life's blessings. Fuck a hotel bed, fuck a couch, fuck an air mattress. None of them compare to the joy and satisfaction of collapsing into your own bed with your own pillow and your giant, oversized purple comforter. I LOVE me some purple.
  • If you live somewhere cool like Chicago, you get to experience a lot of things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible during a normal 9-5 week. Go to Hot Doug's on a Tuesday for lunch and not have to wait in line for 2 hours like you would on a Saturday. Check out a museum without 10 million other people there. Be one of those assholes in jeans and a t-shirt at 2 PM in the Loop on a Wednesday. Seriously, do those people have jobs? A staycation essentially grants your tourist rights and privileges without having to be an asshole tourist standing in front of CTA stairwells taking 14 million pictures.
  • This seems like it should be cheaper than flying/traveling anywhere. And anytime you can do fun without breaking the bank, you probably should.
  • No access to your family's well-stocked kitchen. My mom works at Trader Joe's, so on any given occasion I can open the fridge or freezer and find something good. Orange chicken, mini tacos, Trader Joe's Parmesan Pastry Pups... there's always something there to nibble on. Seriously, those pastry pups are outrageously good and just don't look at the nutritional info and you should be fine.
  • Does your family have a dog? If so, this is one of your rare opportunities to get some quality time with the pooch. The Rifkins got Stella about a year and a half ago,which means I haven't really been around since she was a puppy. It sucks. Sometimes you wonder if she looks at you the same way she looks at the members of your family still living at home (don't worry, Stella fucking loves me). Plus, poop pick-up really gets delegated down the sibling chain. Oldest of four, I ain't picking up poop on one of the rare occasions that I'm home.
  • 'Hey, what'd you do last week?' 'Nothing, really.' That's an inevitable conversation you're going to have after a staycation. Even if you did a bunch of shit and stayed pretty busy, you'll still feel like you really didn't do much since you didn't go anywhere.
  • Every time you go home, there's always that one night where everyone you know is at the same bar you went to 5 years ago. Those nights are the best. They usually end up very drunk and with a gullet full of Oakland Gyros. I treasure those nights.
Thankfully, you didn't ask me to pick one or the other, because there are some seriously strong advantages for both. Let's just get one thing straight: I'd be happy on fucking Mars if it meant getting a week off from work. 
2. My Instagram feed is kind of lame.  Any accounts you recommend I should follow?
Off the top of my head, you should be following Snoop (pictures of dope and socks), Nick Uliveri (professional photographer based in Chicago, he's good), Dekker (#dekker), National Geographic (you should know their deal by now), UW-Madison (DROWN IN NOSTALGIA), and Sunset Madness (for your #skyporn needs). I don't really follow a lot of professional athletes on Insta, but I think some of them are legit.

If any of you have some good Insta recommendations, throw 'em my way. Always looking to liven up the feed.

Aaron W-O:
Here's my situation. I get on a train car with at least one passenger in every bench except for one, not wanting to double up, I sit in the one empty bench (diagram attached). Little do I know when I go to sit down there's a giant razor scooter in the legroom below my seat. Not knowing how to handle this, I put my bag down on top of the scooter and wedge my feet in the remaining room, making for a less than comfortable ride. So, what is proper CTA scooter storing etiquette? Things to remember:
  • The seat next to him was open the whole ride  
  • The empty area meant for wheelchairs across from him was open the whole ride
  • This was an adult size razor scooter, wheels & platform about twice as big as normal
  • Bikes are not allowed on trains during rush hour

My initial reaction was, 'fuck this guy', but the more I think about it, the more difficult this situation is. First off, he can't put his adult scooter on the seat next to him, because that's telling every person that gets on the train that he thinks his adult scooter is more important than their personal comfort. If he does, he has to awkwardly lift his adult scooter and offer the seat to every old person/woman that gets on the train. Not ideal.

It also appears that his adult scooter is a little too big to put betwixt his legs.  Could he have in theory put it upright between his legs and held on to the top of it? That would maximize efficiency. But maybe the adult scooter is too big for that. Which leaves us with three options:
  1. Stash it on the side of his bench where he knows no one will stand.
  2. Stand against a divider by the door and hold it upright between him and the doors.
  3. Be a fucking normal person and not take an adult scooter anywhere, let alone on the 'L' during rush hour.
I'm going with option 3. There really isn't any good place to put that honker on a crowded train, and it's the same reason that bikes aren't allowed during rush hour. If I were you, I probably would've put my feet up on top of that thing because fuck him and his adult scooter during rush hour.

Jeremy W:
Who will be a better pro: Abbrederis or Borland?
TRICK QUESTION: Both will be first ballot Hall of Famers.

I give the slightest of edges to Abby. The main reason? I worry about Borland's shoulders holding up under the rigors of tackling NFL monsters 16+ times a year. Otherwise I don't know how you could pick one over the other.

Borland is built like a fucking boulder, has a Jewish nose for the ball, and has shown he can rush off the edge just as well as he can dance around in the middle of the field. He's a sure-motherfucking tackler (just ask Carlos Hyde) who will not back down from hitting ANYONE, no matter how big, fast, or strong he is. I'm sure he won't run a sexy 40 time, and at 5'11 he's not the tallest linebacker in the draft class. But any team looking to draft a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball would be wise to give Borland multiple looks before passing.

Abby, meanwhile, has a pretty good shot at a 10 year NFL career. The number one thing for a wide receiver is obviously the ability to run a route and make a catch - I highly doubt there's a better route-runner in NCAA football this year. People are always wondering how he's so wide open when there's no other receiver for the defense to key on... well, when you run perfect route after perfect route, there's only so much a defense can do to stop you. But like Borland, I doubt his measurables at the combine are gonna jump off the page. Solid speed, good vertical, etc.  What should help him stick in the League for a while is that he's a great blocker and he's a capable returner. Most highly sought-after wide receivers probably shy away from honing their blocking skills, but Abby has clearly put the work in. Watch just about any run that gets to the next level and you'll probably see #4 holding his block 25 yards down the field.

If both of these guys stay healthy, they should be playing on Sundays for a long time. Gonna be real hard replacing them next year.

Danny G:
You are in the world of Game of Thrones. You are a 27-yr-old dude. You are not some lowly serf, but you are not highborn. You come from a "middle class" family. You have aspirations to one day rise to power and leave your house as one of the more powerful houses in Westeros. What is your strategy? You can choose what land you're from, what house your family is aligned with, and which characters you will network with on your path to the throne. And let's say you're stepping into this situation at the current timeline of the show, so post Season 3.
OK, first of all, if you're not caught up on Game of Thrones then you should obviously skip the shit out of everything I'm about to write. Invest that time in watching the show, which I consider the best show of all-time (1. GoT 2. Sopranos 3. Wire 4. LOST).

With that said, Brandon of House Rifkin is CLEARLY a Northerner. Not only am I a Midwest boy in real life, but I lived in Wrigleyville for an entire YEAR. I've got the blood of the First Men in me if ANYONE does.

The sigil of House Rifkin: A raptor claw impaling a chicken tender, dripping ranch. The ranch symbolizes the blood of my enemies. Also, first family in Westeros to use a hashtag for their words. CUTTING EDGE HOUSE RIFKIN.

As a Northerner, I obviously have an allegiance to the Starks, but that's kind of a problem right now... Bran and Rickon are either missing or dead. Robb, Catelyn, and Ned ARE all dead. Jon is fighting spooky White Walkers north of the Wall. Sansa is essentially held captive in King's Landing, and the Karstarks are kinda pissed right now. Who does that leave?


Arya is the key to House Rifkin's ascent to Westerosi power. Much like that weirdo brother/sister combo hunted down Bran/Rickon, I'll track Arya down and FREE her from the cold, dead grasp of the Hound (side note: as a fan of the show I kinda like the Hound, but if I were Westerosi for realsies I'd be so scared of him and think he's a bad guy). What do we know about Arya? Well, for starters, she's got some of the most badass blood in her in all of Westeros. She's not afraid to kill. She has some powerful friends. And... she's not afraid to ally herself with 'common' folk. It's true that Gendry had king's blood in him, but Arya has shown a willingness to team up with people regardless of their house. Because of these reasons, I'm joining #TEAMWINTERFELL.

NOTE: Zero editing, actual physique pictured.

First order of business: convincing Arya to cash in her Braavosi coin. This will take us on a wacky and wild adventure to Braavos where we become export swordsmen AND learn the ways of the faceless men. This also gives Arya a chance to hit puberty, erasing all suspicions of House Rifkin being kinda creepy for hanging out with a little girl all the time. WHY DON'T YA HAVE A SEAT OVER THERE, MY LORD?

Fast forward 3-4 years, Arya and I arrive back in Westeros as certified badasses. We make for the North and rally the troops. At this time, Joffrey is still somehow the douchebag in charge, only now his lands are under siege from Super Sexy Dany and her Dragons of Doom. This is a good thing! The North does not want to reign over the continent - they simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace. Arya and I ride to Dragonstone with 30,000 Northerners that want nothing more than Joffrey's head and a long summer. The Northerners form an uncommon bond with Dany's Unsullied, and the two forces combine to kill the fuck out of the Lannisters from King's Landing to Casterly Rock.

When the fires have died and the blood spills no more, Dany, Arya and I stand in the Throne Room staring at the Iron Throne itself. Arya and I reiterate that we simply want to go home. As we kneel before Queen Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Queen of the Andals, Protector of Men AND WOMEN BECAUSE DANY, she smiles and tells us we need not kneel. 'I am not a tyrant, friends. If you want freedom, it is freedom you shall have. Go home, be in peace.' Arya and I exchange relieved glances and rally our bannermen for the long ride back North. The Lannisters shall haunt us no more. Our family's deaths have been avenged. All is well.

And then Dany has her dragons burn our fucking heads off while the Unsullied stab every one of our soldiers in their fucking eyes because George RR Martin is a real shithead and if you haven't figured it out by now on the show no one will have a happy ending and everyone's just gonna die the second you think they're happy and safe, fucking WESTEROS. #ScorchEm #ChewHard

Erin N:
Can we get a bye week haiku?
No game means more sleep

And no crippling loss this week

Yeah, I'm good with that

Greg M:
Two parter (which i think should be renamed to Mr. Caramel Corn Man for the record).
1. What is your favorite/the best way to eat popcorn (and other sized foods)? The way I see it there are a few options: 
a. One-by-one, slowly savoring the deliciousness that is popcorn
b. Handfuls at a time (gotta get as much into my mouth as physically possible)
c. Throwing individual "KERNELS" into your (or a friend's) mouth. Both fun and tasty!
d. Dumping bag fulls in and around your mouth while by yourself hammered in a monsoon watching your team lose by 38 at home ? I chose D
I also choose D:

(I know the only real reason Greg asked me this was to give me an excuse to post Popcorn Guy here. For the record, popcorn is firmly behind Goldfish and tater tots in the 'tossing food into someone's mouth' pecking order. And if you're eating popcorn, you have to just fucking FEAST and shovel fistfuls into your mouth. Same thing with Skittles. Eating it kernel by kernel is like when Jerry's girlfriend eats her peas one at a time. Total dealbreaker.

2. In honor of Mr. Popcorn man, what are top 5 "sloppy drunk in public" videos?
1) Booze Guy

I have no idea how anything will ever top this. If you've never watched before, it's worth every second. I've never seen a person's body struggle so mightily to communicate with their brain. Incredible. Also, it's like 10:45 in the morning and I'm DYING to know the back story here.

2) Popcorn Guy

That he's in a torrential downpour, during a 30 point game, sprawled out across 5 seats, clinging to his Cougar mask... it's all so perfect. I love you, Popcorn Guy.

3) Coachella Flip Flop Guy

Love that quick second talking to the circle of girls after finally standing up and then losing his flip flops again.

4) Drunk Joe Namath

'He's a quality, classy quarterback... He's not a thrower, he's a passer.' Slays me every single time.

PS - 'I couldn't care less about the team shtruggaling' Even shitfaced he still got the 'couldn't care less' usage correct. Better than 90% of the population. Fuck yeah, Joe.

5) Drunk Baby


Thanks for your questions. Homecoming game against Northwestern coming up next. Kinda seems like a big game.


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