Thursday, February 13, 2014

at #15 Michigan

Real big week. It started Sunday with UW holding on for a victory over Izzo. What did we learn in that game?
  1. Traevon Jackson has giant marbles, which are often necessitated by the boneheaded play during the previous 39 minutes.
  2. Adreian Payne spells his name very poorly but plays basketball very well. He will be playing on Sundays. I believe that idiom should work for all sports.
  3. Nigel Hayes is the most unguardable player in basketball history to average less than 8 points a game.
  4. Josh Gasser knows a thing or two about playing defense. If you don't believe me, I'm sure Gary Harris would like to never discuss this, ever.
  5. This team is far from dead.
Can't say I didn't warn you. Peaks and valleys, man. First there was the peak, then there was the valley, and now we begin the ascent back up to the peak. It's really weird - almost like this Bo Ryan guy knows a thing or two about coaching basketball.

The week kept on trucking from there, bringing us to one of my favorite events: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (#WKCDS). Stray observations:
  • That was a scorching hot pun.
  • I don't like terriers. I think 99% of the time they're ugly, and most of them look like they have terrible facial hair:
This is an ugly dog
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pekes are not dogs. They are some kind of bizarre Furby alien creature pretending to be a dog. If someone in Men in Black had a dog like this, it would open up to reveal a tiny alien wielding the controls that looked exactly the same as the dog itself:
  • If there EVER was a year for the bloodhound to go home a winner, it was this year. Nathan was immaculate, and the crowd went as fucking nuts as a dog show crowd can go every single time he moved:
  • Of course, in the end none of this even mattered. The fuck if I know how this abomination of an animal was the runner-up:
  • And here's your winner, modest in victory, living proof that 'no means no' doesn't translate in dog:

With those results, I found myself wondering how? How could this have happened?

There's your answer: get a judge with a lazy eye and let her make the call. Notice that she went real heavy on the eye makeup, because distractions are always an effective technique:

Yeah that's probably mean to make fun of a woman with a lazy eye, but it's a lot meaner to crush the hearts of millions of people around the world by giving that weird-looking terrier Nathan's glory.

Fucking garbage.

PS - Speaking of dogs, one Olympian found all the puppies in Sochi and now it's official that we made a big mistake making fun of Russia because in Russia puppies roam the streets:





1) Michigan, 18-6 (10-2). I fully expect Michigan to win the Big Ten this year, which is incredible given the guys they lost to the NBA AND McGary going down with a back injury. I still have no idea where this team came from, but it's impressive as hell.

2) Michigan State,  20-4 (9-2). Are pandas cute or terrifying?

I'm going with TERRIFYING. Look at those big-ass eyes! Something about them is creeping me out to no end. Are they GIANT human eyes placed in a panda's skull? Don't know; don't like; don't want.

3) Iowa, 18-6 (7-4).  If there's one thing I NEVER miss, it's @drewmagary's weekly #funbag over at Deadspin. They're always entertaining, and the questions are usually about things people tend to think but never say. Some of it is gross. Some of it is inappropriate. But it's always a great read, and the last 'question' this week was amazing:

The summer before my Senior year of college, my boyfriend, "Grant" worked for the a company that put on shows in the downtown "club district" area in a city in upstate New York. Every Thursday night in the summer, the city closed a street and set up a stage and a tent and hosted a big block party type event where faded 90's bands and American Idol second runner ups played for free. He had been doing this for a few summers and had gotten to be a gofer for the promoters and various figures that got the bands to the event, and ended up taking care of the bands' various needs. 
I was interning at an auditing firm downtown, walking distance from the venue, so usually my girlfriends and I would go hang out with Grant and sometimes get to go back stage and get special access to different areas. This fateful Thursday, Marcy Playground was playing, and I was excited to go since I could at least remember one of the songs they played, which couldn't always be said for every band that showed up. That particular day I had been crazy busy and had been out of the office at a client, a marketing firm. The guy we dealt with at the client was a dick, and made a fuss whenever one of the auditors wanted to use the restroom, plus the (unisex) restroom was right in the middle of a bullpen setup full of horny 20-something dudes, so naturally, we avoided it 
I got out of work, stopped back at the office, took a pee, put on some flats and went to the show with 2 other girls. Like usual, I drank a few beers and ate a burger - nothing special, other than the fact that I hadn't pooped since the day before. 
Fast forward towards the end of the show, and I meet up with Grant, and he tells us "Hey, come check out Marcy Playground's bus!" So, he shepherds us under ropes, around barricades, through the "No access" zone and onto their bus. Standard issue tour bus, smoked glass windows, lounge area, beds, bathroom. Frankly it was a much cooler ride than I'd have expected Marcy Playground to have. After we finish checking it out Grant tells us, "Ok, you guys have to go, I need to get their food and drinks and stuff, they'll be here in 10 minutes" so my two friends leave, and I start to head out. By now, the beer, the burger, breakfast and lunch are making their presence known, and I realize that I sort of had to go. Sort of had to go, now. Like, now. The office is a 15-minute walk away. The concert port-a-johns are, well, concert port-a-johns, and the bar bathrooms are gross and getting grosser as the night goes on.
"Sweetie," I said, "I'm just going to use the bathroom before I go, ok?" Grant made a face like he knew this was not something he was supposed to allow, but he shrugged and acquiesced. 
I walked to the back of the bus, opened the door, sat down, sighed with relief and dropped the biggest poop I think I'd ever made. It was stunning, like one of the 3-foot long sausages hanging up at an Italian deli. "Wow, I didn't know I could do that!" I remember thinking as I dropped the TP in the bowl, wincing at the smell. Relieved, I poked my finger toward the flush button which I slowly realized had an piece of paper taped to it "Out of order, do not use." My face flushed with panic, and embarrassment and I bit my lip and tried to think of a way to fix the problem. I pressed the button in a panicked, desperate stab. Nothing, not even a gurgle of green water. I was sweating, and my mind was racing and I just wanted to leave, so I ran the water in the sink for a while, washed my hands, exited the john, and sweetly said said "Bye!" to Grant. "Call me when you finish up, we'll be at McMurphys!" 
I left the bus, head spinning and afraid that I'd get Grant in trouble. 
Later we met up at the bar and Grant, without me saying anything, said, "Yeah, Marcy Playground is pissed. The bus is pretty ripe. They wouldn't even eat dinner in there. They want to know who did it, but there were like 10 people on and off the bus, so they have no idea." 
Grant and I are now married, and he still teases me about the time I blew up Marcy Playground's tour bus toilet.
4) Penn State, 13-12 (4-8). Before you hand your iPhone over to a WGN reporter to use on air, you should probably clear your history:

5) Wisconsin, 19-5 (6-5). Can't watch the game live tonight since I'm stuffing my face with unlimited beer and pizza at Dimo's. And that means I'm avoiding the internet for HOURS and coming home to watch the game very drunk. PLEASE let this be a happy game. Drunk Brandon needs it to be a happy game.

PS - Happy birthday, Josh:

6) Nebraska, 13-10 (5-6). How do you train a dog to smile for a picture?

LOVE the little Miley tongue action.

7) Ohio State, 19-6 (6-6). When I run out of tweets to read and have no service on the Red Line, I'm FORCED to look at the ads:

Why the fuck is 'straight' in quotes? Is 'sexually experimenting' a more common label than 'straight'? I didn't wake up the other day expecting to lead the fight for straight rights, but that's where we're heading.

PS - Is there a group outside of homosexual/bisexual/straight/experimenting that I don't know about? If you're an asexual black male, this ad must be DEVASTATING. Not only do you not want anyone else, but the feeling is apparently TOTALLY mutual. I like to think that even asexuals enjoy the flattery of being wanted. Rough stuff.

PPS - 

8) Northwestern, 12-12 (5-6). Been watching a lot of figure skating, and one thing is clear: the Russians are MACHINES on the ice. Especially the pair that looks like Jenny and her abusive boyfriend in Forrest Gump:

It kinda sucks that they're getting overshadowed by Plushenko withdrawing and retiring, because they were as dominant as it gets in the figure skating world. Their throws were especially outrageous - I have no idea how you can spin a girl 20 feet in the air and have her land perfectly on one foot with such consistency.

9) Minnesota, 16-8 (5-6).  What happens when you're an 18-year-old American freestyle skier in the Olympic Village?

You get bone stoned and take advantage of the free McDonald's. I could not love this picture more if I tried.

10) Purdue, 14-10 (4-7). The people who make these are so fucking smart:

11) Illinois, 14-11 (3-9). 2" of snow in Raleigh and the place goes straight to hell:

See that car on fire? That's the 2013-2014 Illinois basketball team.

12) Indiana, 14-10 (4-7).  Closing out games 101:


To summarize: 1 free throw, 0 field goals, 5 turnovers, 1 Crean.


Mobb Deep is back together, with a new album set for April. The fact that this track and Shook Ones came from the same album is pretty nuts. 2 of the best rap songs ever. (@DannyGoldin)

One of the few British bands (or singers) who actually sound like they're not American. That's a good thing. This is their latest video from their soon to be released fourth album. (JQW)

I found these guys ALL ON MY OWN, which is a really big accomplishment because finding new music is so HARD. Regardless, I'm starting to dig them more and more. Here's your starter song. Give it a couple listens and join me on the We Were Promised Jetpacks bandwagon.

PS - Just found out they're Scottish, THIS IS A PLUS.

PPS - Braveheart was on a few nights ago with STORY NOTES, so that became semi-appointment viewing for me. AMC, if you're listening, my billion dollar idea is still up for grabs if you want it: make the AMCSN channel. ONLY show movies with Story Notes and watch the billions come flying in your face. I NEVER would have known that some historians believe that Robin Hood was loosely based on William Wallace, but now that I think about it that actually makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks, Story Notes!

PPPS - While I was watching Braveheart in my room, I could hear my roommates watching The Patriot in the living room. For the first time in my life, I was able to relate to that whole 'picking your favorite child is impossible' thing.

4xPS - Whoa hey We Were Promised Jetpacks are gonna be in Chicago at Lincoln Hall on Sunday, March 2nd. Sounds like I started digging a band at the EXACT right time.


Off to Ann Arbor

To the land of elitists

Burn it to the ground


MORE GOPRO! Someone 'dropped' their GoPro from an airplane and it landed in a pig pen. If you've ever wanted first person footage of what it's like to fall out of a plane without a parachute, survive, and then get eaten alive by a pig, this video is for YOU. I wanna call that pig gross, but if you put a GoPro on a piece of bacon and watched the footage of me eating it, I'm guessing you'd think a little less of me.

SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam comes out as gay before the NFL draft. Most people are cool with it because most people are not idiots and/or assholes. But some NFL people, hiding under the shroud of anonymity, made comments about how the NFL locker room might not be ready, and that football is still a "man's-man game" (I'm surprised the phrase "man's-man" didn't make that anonymous coward uncomfortable). The opposite end of that spectrum is Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen here dropping nuclear truth bombs. Love this.

Today I learned what rocket science is, and now rocket science makes more sense to me than that cat playing the keys at the end of this video. Guess I haven't reached that level of internet yet.

I was physically uncomfortable watching this video. They waited for the Chinese New Year (no one working) to sneak in, hid for 18 hours, and then climbed up the tallest fucking thing in the world (close enough). When they got to the crane I was PRAYING that they wouldn't try it. But I knew they were going to because they're fucking Euro maniacs. If a gust of wind didn't knock them off, I thought for SURE that high five was going to end them. Insanity, defined.


Pequod's is my favorite pizza in Chicago, but that's only because I don't get Barnaby's often enough to let it properly sink in. This pizza is fucking legit. I don't care if you're firmly on #TeamSlice; these are squares you will learn to love. Or you will learn to never eat pizza again because you don't deserve it. The crust alone puts Barnaby's in the top 10. Pinched edge all the way around, buckets of cornmeal... it all adds up. Hands down the best thin crust you can get, and a true contender for the title of best pizza in Chicago.

(Assuming you count Northbrook as Chicago.)



Good lookin' sunset somewhere in Germany. More importantly, we're VERY close to being able to catch sunsets in Chicago on the way home from work. That's big. Once you start going home with a little sunlight, you know winter is going. And when winter is going, it really means that WINTER IS COMING:

UGHHHHHHHH she is the MOST attractive:

Raging Game of Throner

PS - Never been one of those guys to use a pic of a hot chick as the background on his phone or computer, but Emilia is pushing me to the breaking point right there.


I am also highly amused.


Things are trending in the right direction, but even on your way back up the mountain you still encounter a few minor setbacks. Winning in Ann Arbor will not be easy. I'd give us a 35% chance of pulling off the upset. If we lose, no big deal. If we win? Bo will charter a boat to take the team on an architectural tour of Ann Arbor via the Michigan Tears River. Let's sit back and see what happens. THE PICK:



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