Thursday, January 31, 2008

The empty box in my living room now has meaning


Holy mother of god, it's finally back. Yes, I'm talking about Lost. Motherfucking Lost. Lost is on tonight, y'all.

As a reformed spoiler whore, I'm still committed to staying on the wagon. I know nothing about tonight's hour of island goodness except for spoiler-free articles and blurbs here and there. I've heard virtually nothing but praise from critics, who say S4 starts off with the same mindfrakkin' pace and quality that marked last year's stellar season finale. (And doesn't feature people sitting in a cage for six hours eating fish biscuits).

Anyone else as giddy as a schoolgirl? To tide you over for the next couple of hours, Here's a fun list of 48 Lost questions (in honor of the 48 remaining eps) to be answered. You can also enjoy some character music videos (h/t: Pop Candy) here: Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley and Locke at ABC.com.

Time to start gettin' the drink on in preparation for the return to "craphole island."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hand jobs for strangers

So I tuned into HBO's latest series, In Treatment, last night. For those of you who may be unaware, the series is based on an Israeli show with the same set up and format: each episode is a 30 minute "shrink session" with one psychologist (Gabriel Byrne) and one patient. The unusual thing is that the show airs every weeknight, and patients keep their regular "appointment." For example, every Monday is always the same patient, former Alias hottie Melissa George. Tonight (and every Tuesday) will feature Blair Underwood as the patient. And on Fridays, Byrne's shrink will visit his own doc, played by Law and Order black whole of charisma (but otherwise extraordinarily talented) Dianne Wiest. Bonus points are sure to be scored when Byrne's wife, played by Michelle Forbes (BSG's Helena Cain and ST: TNG's Ensign Ro) shows up.

The format and pacing of last night's show was a little off-putting. I mean, how many 30 minute dramas are there? And completely staged on one set with only two characters talking? However, I found it interesting enough to keep checking out for a while, especially in this script-free wasteland. Maybe I just like hearing other people bitch about how miserable their lives are, even to break up the monotony of my own complaints. Maybe it's a diverting study in acting, and different enough to stand out. Maybe it's better than the tedious and caterwauling early stages of Idol. Or, maybe I just like spending 30 minutes looking at Melissa George's lips and runny mascara.

Frak! That's Frakkin Awesome! And Frak you, too!

From I09, here's a handy summary of sci-fi swear words. With summer coming up, I think I need to invest in some geeky t-shirts adorned with otherworldly profanity. Farscape's "Frell Me Dead" has always been a favorite, though I'd also be proud to sport one featuring any of the chinese amalgamations from Firefly.

("Frakkin Toaster" is a must).

Also featured is a highlight clip of S1 BSG "Fraks."

Enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"That was a poodle."

Torchwood returned to the tube last night, and it was worth the wait. The Beeb's oversexed Doctor Who spinoff is the closest thing we have to a modern day X-Files, and the season 2 (or "series 2" as they say across the pond) premiere was everything we've come to expect from the better episodes of the show. Captain Jack was more the saucy adventurer we knew and loved from the parent show, and less the brooding "immortality sucks"enigma that appeared too often in season 1. It helped that he had another time agent, played by James Marsters as a raging id combination of Spike and Adam Ant, to liven up the game.

The central plot was more of a poorly thought out macguffin (SPOILER WARNING/SWIPE TO READ: Captain John was looking for a diamond he killed someone to get. When he finds it, it turns there was no diamond. It was a trap designed to blow up the person who killed her to get the diamond. But if there was no diamond at all to begin with, why make the bomb? She would have never had a need to make a "revenge bomb" if she hadn't come up with the fake diamond story in the first place!) but the ride was fun and all the characters got a chance to shine. Plus, how can you not love a show with a talking blowfish who steals a sports car and an alien the gives lecherous looks towards a poodle?

From USA Today's Pop Candy, here's an audio interview with the gorgeous and talented Eve Myles, who plays Gwen.

Welcome back, Torchwood.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This week's Ledger

PLUS:
  • More options for sportstalk on a road trip. Having the XM makes a huge difference for passing the hours in a car voyage. Now, XM Sports has added Tony Kornheiser in the morning, followed by Dan Patrick. Say what you will about TK on MNF (and I find him passable, but not as good as he is on PTI. But then again, I liked Dennis Miller), but he kills on radio.
  • The return of Chuck. I forgot just how damned enjoyable that show is.
  • Speaking of TV, Torchwood returns tonight, and Lost next week.


MINUS:
  • Running out of the last "Georgia Priced" ciggies.
  • Getting a cold.
  • Not having a garage right beside the kitchen door to unload groceries. For some reason, I feel that I must take everything in one trip. Sure, you can cut off all the bloodflow to your fingers looping 14 plastic bags around your digits, but it really gets complicated when you have additional items like cat litter, 12 packs and dry cleaning to schlep up the stairs and down the hall like an abused burro.
  • It's tax time. Also, on the "plus" side, Mike Huckabee is a fairy tale believing loon, but it was nice to hear someone speak up for the Fair Tax in a national forum.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Boldy go...

The teaser trailer for the JJ Abrams Star Trek revival, that aired before weekend showings of Cloverfield, is now live at the official movie site.

Excellent teaser that captures the imagination of space travel the way the original Trek did back in the 60s (with obvious links back to that era).

Beam me up.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Morning Potpourri

Random thoughts and links:

In a post yesterday, I offered my take on the "who we hate" as a Dawg fan. Obviously, your mileage may vary based on a number of factors (where you grew up, who was a pain in the ass during your time 'tween the hedges, experiences with rival fans, etc.). What I didn't point out at the end of the listing is that I would still pull for all the SEC teams -- even Phat Phil's orange-clad cornholers -- out of conference. It's a strange sensation to be watching a team that you despise with every fiber of your being for approximately 50 weeks out of the season, and find yourself cheering them on. Take this past bowl season, for example. From my rankings, we all know that I wouldn't piss on the Vols if they were burning (unless I had just downed a bottle of Everclear, and it might somehow add to the combustion), but I was pulling for them to whip the Wisconsin Badgers -- and I spent a decade in the cheese state and attended my first college football game there! Ahhh, conference loyalty and southern pride is a strange mistress.

Last week, GOP hopeful Mike Huckabee said that he would prefer to change the constitution so that it was more in line with god's word. How did this not get more play in the press? I heard more about Bill and Hil and casino worker unions than I did the ramblings of this wingnut. How can he still get a vote from anyone with an IQ in triple digits? This is also the same doofus who proudly raised his hand during a debate to say that he didn't believe in evolution. Perhaps he'll just go ahead and put fellow intellectual luminary Sherri Shepherd on his Flat Earth ticket.

Yet another reason to want the WGA strike to end? Eliza Dushku is excited about working with Joss again on Dollhouse.

This is so sweet and so sad, I can't muster up anything snarky to say about it. A must read if you're a pet lover. All together now: Awwwwwwwwww.

Paul Finebaum ranks SEC coaches. Guess who tops the list? (hint: he's not wearing a visor, nor is he a threat to bankrupt Knoxville area Golden Corrals)

College football recruiting. The rich get richer? Or is that the Richt get Richter?

Encores of TV's best new show (and newly crowned Golden Globe winner for best drama) Mad Men start tonight. If you haven't watched it, add it to your TiVo for an infusion of quality in the post strike, reality saturated horror. If you've watched the show, you'll appreciate this awesome holiday card from the guy who plays Harry.

Need a little Browncoat goodness to cheer up your cold and snowy Sunday? Check out this Firefly / Serenity video tribute to the Big Damn Heroes, and notice how perfectly the lyrics correspond to the video clips chosen.

Joseph Campbell is responsible for every sci-fi epic. With a nifty chart to prove it.

A lot of college kids had a "skull bong." One takes it a wee bit further.

Another reason to love my favorite female Lostie, Elizabeth Mitchell (her scenes with Angelina in Gia notwithstanding): she loves Battlestar Galactica. Good interview about Lost and Juliet.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Okay, who do I hate now?

From a link on SI on Campus, I found this summary of "current SEC grudge status." From the prison work detail safety vest orange at the top, you can surmise that this is a UT blog. So take the opinions and commentary with a "Cracker Barrel is fine dining" grain of salt. I do give props for the faux SI Saban cover, though.

According to the post, here are the UGA grudges:

-Georgia hates Florida, Alabama, and Auburn. Always looking north and feeling penis envy towards their orange-clad big brother.

It's funny, every Dawg fan has their own particular "hate" list. Several folks I know loathe the North Avenue Trade School with every fiber of their being ("Clean Old Fashioned Hate"), and would rather spend a year in Siberia following a loss the Wreck than listen to the 74 English-speaking, football-supporting Tech grads crow for 365 days. Others, for obvious reasons (a decade plus of misadventures in Jacksonville, Tebow, Wuerffel, Darth Visor, the educational system that taught Emmit Smith elocution, Jorts!) despise the Gators. With so much antipathy to go around, how do you actually classify these grudges? Here's my take:

  1. Tennessee: First and foremost, there's that color. It's like you fed a baby nothing but strained carrots for a two months, emptied the shit stained diaper and wiped it on a jersey. The mind-numbing repetition and idiocy of "Rocky Top." Phat Phil, a black hole of personality, intellect and strategy. The worst stadium facilities known to man. Did I mention the most horrific shade in the spectrum? Also, where I grew up was on the Georgia / Tennessee border (thankfully, on the good side) and all the media -- radio, TV, newspapers -- came from the bad side. So even though press in Chattanooga ostensibly served everyone in their signal range, including a sizable demographic from Georgia, it was all Vols, all the time. I fondly recall my mom writing a letter to the editor of the sports page complaining that the Dawgs obliteration of a highly ranked Gator team got pushed to page 6-E, while the orange clad douchebags win over some patsy like MTSU was splashed across the front page. Plus, their fans make the short bus look like a rolling caravan of Rhodes Scholars.
  2. Florida: See reasons listed above. Even when the streak was lopsided in UGA's favor, I still hated the Gators. They wear orange, too. After coaching at Clempson (more orange! and "p" intentional) AND Florida, no wonder Charlie Pell tried to kill himself.
  3. Georgia Tech: Even though they are no more than an annoying gnat to be swatted away, they are still technically an instate "rival." Plus, there's the aforementioned history, and a fan base that deludes themselves into thinking they are Citizen Kane when they are really more like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
  4. Clempson (spelled phonetically, just like their "grads" say it): This I-85 rivalry isn't what it used to be, but good god, the orange. Not to mention the asshats that have patrolled their sidelines.
  5. South Carolina: Let's keep our hate in the palmetto state. While I do loathe the poultry, I actually have a measure of respect for their fans and their passionate support of inarguable and abject mediocrity. (For more, see this old chesnut). Still, any place where Steve Spurrier and Lou Holth coached, Steve Taneyhill played and George Rogers lucked into a Heisman deserves some contempt.
  6. Auburn: A fierce rivalry, to be sure. The deep south's oldest. Both squads have suffered soul-crushing losses to the other, often with the SEC in the balance. But there's that weird symmetry thing going on between the two schools. Vince went to Auburn. Pat Dye went to UGA. The numerous parallels between Herschel and Bo (without question, the two best RBs ever to lace 'em up in college football). The bizarre "visiting field advantage." And Auburn legend Shug Jordan actually founded the UGA chapter of my frat. They only feature orange as an accent.
  7. LSU: I always respected them from afar, and never had too much of a beef with them. And how can you not love the tiger eye on the field? But some of my close friends have encountered the inbred belligerence of the fanbase up close and personal too many times to ignore, so I'll just call this hate by proxy.
  8. Alabama: Growing up in the south, how could you not respect the history and tradition of the Tide and the man in houndstooth? A best friend went to law school there. You almost felt pity for them during Shula years. But now that they've added Nick Saban, 'Bama could be moving up this list with a bullet.
  9. Arkansas: a latecomer to the SEC party, there's no history of animosity with the Hogs. In fact, the ramblings of Houston Nutt and his adventures with the Springdale boosters was quite amusing. But as noted with 'Bama, a new coach can make all the difference in the world. Put a set of headphones on the walking spineless excrement that is Bobby Petrino, and a desire for multiple 0-12 seasons greatly increases.
  10. Kentucky: Now we're getting into the "don't really have a feeling at all" section of the list. They're good at basketball, right? Not so much this year? Okay.
  11. MSU: Don't give them a thought, really.
  12. Vandy: It was easy to score tickets there.
  13. Ole Miss: Nice unis, and they have The Grove.

This week's Ledger

PLUS
  • Snow. It can be kinda cool.
  • Make your own mocha frappucino. Because nowhere around here is a convenient drive thru, I experimented like a mad scientist with various ingredients to make my own frosty treat. Somehow, between doses of chilled coffee, Starbucks ice cream, Nestle Quik, sugar, ice and milk, I found a mix that was passable.
  • The new Sarah Connor show. Yes, some of the time travel paradoxes can make your head hurt, and some of the established "rules" are bent (how did the "head" go through the time bubble?), but it's a decent enough attempt at fun sci-fi and stands out like the Fountains at Bellagio in a desert of reality glop.
  • Text messaging.
  • iLounge. A must visit site for new (and old) owners of iPods.
  • EZ Pass. No more fumbling for change at a toll booth.

MINUS
  • Snow. It can be a pain in the ass.
  • Cardboard is flammable. Earlier this month, I used a coupon to order a free pizza. I didn't eat it all, and put the box in the oven to keep the cats - mainly Mulder - from trying to have a feline Papa Johns feast. In the old days, I'd just take the box out to the garage and put it in the dumpster. However, I now have neither a garage nor a dumpster, so I have to remember to take the box to the central facility dumpster the next day. Oooops. So this week, I was going to preheat the oven to cook some snack, and just turned the knob to 450 (sadly, no digital touchpad here in apartment land. Nor an eye level window into the the top of two stacked ovens. Just a floor level device that looks like something June Cleaver used) and went about my business. About 20 minutes later, I smelled something. I thought it was outside, so I walked out there, but didn't find burning couches (I don't live in West Virginia, after all). After a while, the whole pizza box in the oven thing dawned on me, and I discovered a smoldering cardboard box in the oven, with charred remnants of a former pie going smoky in the tiny kitchen. I made like Tommy Gavin (without the drinking, fucked up family and sex with random hot chicks) and put the box into the sink, while opening the door to the deck to let the smoke out. Of course, it was about 5 degrees outside. Great experience, and killed my enthusiasm for warming up some cheese sticks. I haven't seen anything this stupid since some college buddies, under the influence of the devil's happy lettuce, tried to cook a Tombstone pizza with the cardboard circle still attached to the bottom.
  • Only 3 more football games left.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This week's Ledger

PLUS

  • In a tiny matchbox of an apartment, the AC can really change the temp quickly. In the old "McMansion," you had to start the AC on a Wednesday in order to get every room to a comfy 67 by Friday. That, or retreat "cave." Of course, I loved it in the cave. Here, when some unseasonably warm weather comes, crank that sucker down and 5 minutes later you can feel the glorious cool of artificially frozen air.
  • The combination of XM radio for the desktop and iTunes when searching for new (more likely, old – since I try to avoid anything "new," since they all have a "featuring" in the artist credit) music. Just scroll along all the genres and formats and you'll find something that makes you go "oh, cool. I wish I had that." Then, one click and 99 cents later, you do!
  • Special Guest Bloggers!
  • The Onion AV Club in general (though the hipper than thou commenters are a bit precious), but particularly the "My Year of Flops" movie review series. Here's a link to the latest, about Prince's Graffiti Bridge. But if you have some time, read through as many as you can. Funny stuff.
  • Mini bags of microwave popcorn.
  • Profit on DVD. I'm more than halfway through, and damn, is this show good.

MINUS

  • Once More With Feeling (the soundtrack, not the ep, which I already have on DVD) is not on iTunes.How can that be?
  • Only 7 more football games until we enter the vast wasteland of sports, with only hockey and hoops to sustain us.Crops aren't the only thing barren in the winter.The WGA strike makes it even worse, as far as being continually entertained and distracted by the big expensive box in the middle of the living room.
  • Parking lot spaces in Maryland.They paint parking spaces here like proprietors of Neyland Stadium do seats:way too small for a normal vehicle/ass.
  • Lack of good interweb blog "countdown timers."I wanted to put up three "countdown timers" in the sidebar:one ticking down until the return of Lost, one for the return of Battlestar Galactica (everyone catch the awesome "Last Supper" pic in EW?) and one for kickoff between the Dawgs and Georgia Southern. The only ones I found are clunky and not that customizable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Linkapalooza

There really is no narrative thread for the following links. Just some things I found amusing or interesting, and have kept posted on a "sticky note" in the crackberry for a while. So it was either keep looking at the note/links while vainly trying to find some editorial connective tissue, or just post them all and finally delete the damned note. Yes, OCD carries over into crackberry note management.

Five things you didn't know about Seinfeld. I have a pretty good grasp of useless trivia, yet these came as a surprise to me.

A case for Dale Murphy in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, I'm a homer, but I think the guy deserves a spot -- or at least a more considered debate. Today's numbers are so overinflated by bandbox ballparks, watered down expansion pitching and this "steroids" thing I keep hearing about, that it's difficult to compare players from different eras. But Murph but up very solid and frequently spectacular numbers, and was among a handful of players that that were true standouts of his era. (And I don't think we'll be seeing any testimony from clubhouse attendants or personal trainers alleging that they frequently jabbed Murph in the ass with a syringe). And though our personal lives and belief systems are not exactly congruous, you have to respect a dude that carried himself with that much humility, dignity and integrity.

While this happened in Poland, I'm sure it won't be long before a similar story emerges from south Georgia.

The only reality show I watch is American Idol. I skip all the audition bullshit, and generally loathe all the "real stories of real people" dross that infects so much of the TV landscape now. Thank the lord for having my beloved TiVo back, so I can FF through all the hometown hijinx, interviews and non-singing/non-judging crap the public seems to have clamored for, and that they are adding back into the mix this year. (Programming Note: once we get to the final 12, look for my TNRLM recaps a day or two after the new Tuesday night show airs). However, if the "behind the scenes" interviews were as illuminating as this one, about one-time contestant Jessica Sierra, I might be less inclined to reflexively hit that 30 second skip button.

I commented previously on the poor quality of the announcers for FOX's Sugar Bowl coverage. This little bit of perfection, courtesy of EDSBS, sums it up.

A great pantheon of sci-fi movie babes. My personal favorites: 50s/60s: Anne Francis in Forbidden Planet. 70s: It's really, really hard to argue with Princess Leia, but I always had a soft spot for Jenny Agutter in the cheesetastic Logan's Run (plus, she was Dr. Pepper Dude's girlfriend in American Werewolf in London). 80s: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was great in the underrated The Abyss; Cindy Morgan was not only in Tron, but she was Lacy Underalls!; Athens, Georgia hottie Kim Basinger was absolutely top shelf in the decade (and after, too, and will probably one day release an "Alec Baldwin's Greatest Voice Mail Messages" CD), but I worshipped at the shrine of Kirstie Alley's Saavik. 90s: I just can't choose here. I remember suffering through the shrill and not-good-campy Tank Girl and wondering who the hell the hot blond Jet Girl was; 12 Monkeys is one of my favorite movies, and I've always lamented the fact that Madeline Stowe wasn't a bigger star (last seen in NBC's too-quickly cancelled Raines); Dina Meyer is another underrated babe who frequently pops us in genre fare (and was even a Romulan in the last Trek movie); I can't wait to see Agent Scully again in the new X-Files movie; Jennifer Connelly is a very talented actress who desperately needs to spend a week or two in a Golden Corral; but their number 2 is my number 1 for the decade. Black leather and short hair goes a long way for me. 00s: Another embarrasment of riches. Queen Amidala? ScarJo? Famke? Angelina? Claudia Black, who could read the ingredient label on a Swanson TV dinner and make it sound sexy? However, based on quality and quantity, I have to go with their choice for number 1: The women of Firefly/Serenity.

Speaking of geeky things, here's a list of the Top 10 genre eps of the year. I disagree with several of their choices (I liked the 4400, but top ep? Don't think so. And I never watched Jericho). But the expected choices are there, too, including stellar outings from Heroes, BSG and Lost.

A running feature on Deadspin has been AJ Daulerio's "Cultural Oddsmaker" column. It's truly the web highlight of a Friday, and I frequently find myself laughing out loud scrolling down the page. Here's one from earlier, on Karma. And here's one of his final columns (sadly, the series ended today) on selecting the Playmate of the Year, and includes must-read sections on which athletes these Rhodes Scholars will wind up with, and my favorite part, their preferred sexual positions. +1 for a reference to the Alma Mater.

A comprehensive look at Simpsons movie homages
.

Merv Griffin brings a smile from the grave

Courtesy of EW, here's a look at Merv Griffin's tombstone. Very amusing.

Plus, I have to give props to any blog post that references both Buffy the Vampire Slayer AND Conan the Barbarian.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We're Number One! We're Number One!


No, there wasn't an uprising by the AP voters to declare UGA number one this year. The Dawgs did finish two in the AP (deservedly so) and three in the coaches poll (debatably so). While there wasn't enough evidence to put USC or UGA atop the AP poll (loss to 41 point underdog Standford, ass-whipping by the accursed Vols, respectively), I'm fine with LSU, even with two losses, being the mythical champ this year. They legitimately won the World's Best Football Conference, their two losses were both in triple overtime, and they continued the honorable and amusing postseason tradition of exsanguinating THE Ohio State University.

What I'm talking about is NEXT year. Barring any preseason keg lifting incidents or hookups with women of questionable moral and medical composition (stay away from Columbus, Matt!), or freakish Soula Boy knee twisting dancing accidents, the Dawgs should come back in the fall loaded, hungry and inspired. And enter the season ranked extraordinarily high. Number One high, in fact.

No less than noted UGA backer (cough, cough) Stewart Mandel of SI has proclaimed the Bulldogs his preseason poll topper.

I just saw on ESPN (home of "oh wait, there's a college football team in Athens?") that Todd McShay has put the Canines number one on his 2008 list.

College football historian and all around southern gentleman Tony Barnhart also says the Dawgs are number one.

However, on that same SportsCenter with McShay, doddering doofus Lee Corso (he of the "Buckeye Head" last night) put UGA number five. Not this year. Number five for next year. Herbstreit put us number two, behind USC (although he did say that the top three were really a toss up). I didn't see any comments from Mark May, though I'm sure he has us just outside the Top 25.*

Of course, we all know how much preseason chatter and rankings really means when the first whistle blows (off the top of my head, I think about the Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen traveling to The Coliseum, or Appy State visiting the Big House). But this is the first time in my post-graduate life where I can honestly say (and not just in the tiny, hopeful, deluded fan voice within) that we have a damned good shot at the mythical national championship. And certainly the first time when I can honestly say that I expect a damned good shot at the MNC.

One thing we can be sure of, to paraphrase legendary Larry Munson, is that there sure is gonna be some property destroyed "tonight" after the Cocktail Party. The world should hang in the balance with that game. (That is, unless the world is hanging in the balance the previous week, when we visit the defending National Champions, and all the property in North America is destroyed that week. Either way, I think there will be some property destroyed late October / Early November).

*Where in Bristol do we have to send a squadron of top flight hookers to get a little love and respect from the World Wide Leader? There's no way the regular reach-arounds for Pete Carroll and his merry band of prophylactics will stop anytime soon, but the Dawgs typically get mentioned on ESPNs various programs about as often tax cuts do at the DNC. Will they still ignore us every week if we're ranked number one heading into next season, or will we still be on "upset alert" every goddamned weekend?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Well, this should dispel any lingering doubts about evolution

We haven't really come a long way from the poor hairy bastards that preceded us, now have we?

Except for inflation.

Dawgs vs. Rainbow Warriors: The Game Day Experience Vol VII

TNRLM Editor's Note: You're in for a treat. A "Special Guest Blog" from the Fabulous Freebirds, who made the trek to the Sugar Bowl. After the game, we were exchanging emails, and I suggested the guest hosting gig so someone who was actually at the game could tell us a little about the "Game Day Experience." I hoped to get a few bullet points along the lines of:
  • Got drunk.
  • Saw transvestite urinating in the streets.
  • Lost $300 at poker.
  • Got drunker.
  • Listened to jazz, had hurricane, got drunker.
  • Moreno for TD! Bada Bing -- (cue music) -- "you got the Know-shon."
  • Colt pummeled, assures team doctor that he IS Batman, put into witness protection.
  • Got drunker.
  • Dawgs win!
  • Flew home.
Instead, I got a recapping of the trip and game, TNRLM style, filled with superfluous and fascinating details. Awesome. So, without further ado, wish you were there, and read on....

Your usual genial host asked the Freebirds to provide him with a “guest blog” of the Sugar Bowl Experience in Nawlins. Although, I’m not sure that anyone is even slightly interested in these details, we will recount the proceedings to the best of our ability (especially given that the vast majority of our time in Nawlins, was of course, spent on Bourbon Street).

First, a note about New Orleans hotels over New Years Weekend – Extremely expensive. Once decided who was attending, a conference call between Freebird, H.B., and Mel Kiper determined that nothing in the French Quarter could be found for less than $225.00/night. So, the group decided to splurge on the Ritz for a paltry $300.00/night. It was one of those “pre-paid” stays on Travelocity in which we all prepaid for all three nights. Ms. Freebird is firmly convinced that the most comfortable place on earth is the bed at the Ritz. It was freakin’ fantastic!

As Freebird arrived home from work on Friday night the 28th, Ms. Freebird advised that the “Wee Free” had an odd looking, blotchy rash on her tummy (although she acted perfectly fine). This led to a Saturday morning trip to the doctor’s office.

It should be known that, without question, Freebird’s first concern was for his child. However, it must also be admitted that there was a bit of concern for the three non-refundable nights at the Ritz, and the already cashed in frequent flier miles. Luckily for all concerned, especially the “Wee Free”, it turned out to be a minor allergic reaction easily treated with Benadryl.

Lesson Learned: those with small children probably have no business booking non-refundable trips. However, with the good news, on Sunday evening, the “Wee Free” was dropped off in Dacula, and the Freebirds were on their way to New Orleans. The flight was uneventful, and we arrived at the Ritz at approximately 10:00 pm.

Apparently, the Hornets and Raptors had played that afternoon, and the Raptors were staying there as well. I did see an extremely tall bald headed Caucasian with a goatee, whom I thought was Matt Geiger (but a quick perusal of NBA.com indicates he last played in 2002 – so I suppose not him. I’m guessing one of the three or four Europeans on the Raptor’s roster).

HB, RB, and the Kipers met us, and although there was some question as to HB and Mel Kiper’s ability to do so, they all agreed to go out to the French Quarter with us. We went to a great blues bar, where, as usually occurs, we heard two songs, and the band went on break. (Although, we did catch the end of the Tide’s win over Colorado there).

With Big Al’s victory in hand, and the band on break, we were soon in a club where a band specializing in 70/80s rock and roll was playing. The keyboardist looked like Sammy Hagar, and the lead singer was a long haired 5’4 sample of androgyny, about whom the man/woman debate would have raged about had he not had an excellent voice.

Sammy Hagar introduced the songs, and apparently wanted to sideline in a comedy club. (Best line: I threw my radio out of my window when Nirvana hit #1 on the charts). After hanging there for a couple of hours, we found a new bar in the quarter that wasn’t too crowded, and Ms. Freebird decided she needed a shooter, so the group decided we needed one as well.

Our bartender recommended “Betsy’s Wet Dream” about which the only ingredient still remembered is “sour apple pucker”. It was served in a frozen everclear shot glass. However, not a bad shooter, all in all….. The evening gets a bit hazy from there, as we headed back to the hotel.

New Year’s Eve morning, everyone met in the lobby, where the Kipers and Ms. Freebird were privileged to see former Cowboys coach, and FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson. “See” would be correct, since it is my understanding that he was merely gawked at, not talked to. It is further my understanding that his hair was indeed slightly out of place. (The hairstylist must not have been on duty that early in the morning).

From there, a long walk around New Orleans to find a shop which sold special glasses for “Absinthe” which apparently, Ms. Kiper had been kind enough to acquire for Mr. Kiper for Xmas. There was some talk about the “green fairy”. www.absinthebuyersguide.com.

A slice of pizza for lunch, given the early New Years Eve planned, and a trip to Pat O’Briens. A few samples from their drink list, some viewing of the “Smurf Turf” bowl game, and back to the Ritz for a quick nap. Gandalf was also seen on the streets of New Orleans.

New Years Eve dinner was at 6:00 at MiLa. Several other members of the crew also joined us for dinner. Great six course meal. I went with the venison as my main entrĂ©e – Mz. Freebird with the poussin (Freebird did know, and was able to advise the table that this was chicken – two years of high school/one year of college French finally pay off).

Great red wine, but I can’t remember what it was. After the AMEX caught fire from having paid our portion of the bill, we went out on the town. The entire Pogo family (sans the parents) wound up joining us for the evening. We wound up back at the same bar with Sammy Hagar/Androgynous Singer Band and a few of the ladies wound up on stage.

Attempted to eat at Krystal on the way home (Krystal in the French Quarter – what an outstanding idea), but after a thirty minute wait in line, settled for snacks from Walgreens.

On New Years, we received an early morning call from the Kipers that they were at Ryans on Decatur Street (Irish Sports Pub – not a steak house) where Wisconsin/Tennessee were kicking off at 10:00 am central time. Mel Kiper is a Wisconsin grad.

Ms. Freebird, despite strong Tennessee leanings, was not quite ready for kickoff, and we arrived in the 2nd Quarter. (Ms. Freebird would like to add a note here: I was texting Ms. Mel Kiper as to their location a long time before the hubby even rolled over. I was being courteous by letting my man sleep……and then I get the blame for delaying us! BOO!) The libations begin early in the French Quarter, and by the end of the SEC’s fourth bowl victory, we were ready to continue on.

The Kipers and HB went back for a nap, Mz. Freebird and I headed to Harrahs for a little entertainment and lunch. Didn’t work out too well for us. You win or lose quickly with $25.00 minimum tables. Unfortunately, it was losses for us, and we were on to the Hilton for a special pre-game edition of the Fifth Quarter Show. After that, an “economically” priced van was arranged to transport the group to the Superdome for kickoff, and great tickets in the 200 level were provided by DJ.

The game itself: what can you say? It was quite obvious from the beginning that Hawaii was greatly overmatched. A finer example of “Look Out” blocking has never been demonstrated.

Georgia usually only rushed four, and with Hawaii in a quick paced run and shoot, you would expect Colt Brennan to occasionally have time to throw. Unfortunately for the third place Heisman finisher, he was pummeled unmercifully on almost every opportunity to pass by Georgia’s speed rush, and the Dawgs tackling was great when he did complete his dink and dunk passes.

(Ms. Freebird speaking) One source of disappointment for me was that Kregg Lumpkin did not score a touchdown. I wanted UGA to give him the ball 3 times at the end of the game, but I guess it wasn’t in the cards.

Ms. Freebird really wanted to see the “soulja boy” dance, but was denied despite the promise of some man next to Freebird at the bathroom urinal who promised (through his inside sources) a team dance to soulja boy…..who can you trust these days?

The Freebirds felt badly for Hawaii’s fans who turned our in great numbers, given their travel time and expense to get to this game. However, as Falcons season ticket holders, there was a bit of retribution in UGA’s exposure of the June Jones gimmick offense.

Back to the Ritz after the game, and back to Ga. on Wednesday. Recovery process appears to be almost complete as of Friday evening.

This Week's Ledger

Plus

  • Obviously, no "plus" list starts off without mentioning the "tallboy" can of whoopass the Dawgs opened up on our visitors from the island. That was a dominant performance across the board, particularly from the D.
  • No more Bryant Gumbel on my TV for the football season.
  • My shiny new iPod. More on that later in a separate post.
  • Friends -- both expected and unexpected -- who call and text during the "Blackout" in the Sugar Bowl.
  • Short work weeks.
  • The return of Original Recipe Law and Order. And I like both the new cast additions, though we've yet to see Sisto go Billy Chenowith craaaazy, and the new ADA has got to put down the CrackBerry in every scene.
  • New Gawker geek/sci-fi blog: IO9.
  • Cate Blanchett looking hot and evil from the new Indiana Jones Flick.
  • The fact that I don't write checks any more, and have to constantly mis-date them with "2007" for a few weeks.

Minus

  • The FOX announcers on the Sugar Bowl. Obviously, they were disappointed to be part of a blowout with no drama (other than if/when Colt Brennan might wind up like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, bloody and limbless) but their ineptitude and dismal, scolding performance was barely listenable. Figures, one of 'em went to Tennessee.
  • Fuck you Maryland Governor. Ciggie taxes are now $2. Not per carton. Per pack! I'm going to have to drive to another state, start doing business with Indian reservations or find kindly friends in tobaccy-friendly states to ship me my fix, man.
  • Coupons for free pizza. I admire Papa Johns for sending a coupon for a free 'za when the service was less than spectacular, but damn, if they send it, I will order it.
  • No more college football for months.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Amphibians falling from the sky!

I saw this story, and would have been more shocked, if I didn't have Magnolia on DVD.