I Read the News Today Oh Five

I don't normally read the news.

Not that I prefer to stay uniformed, I actually like knowing stuff, it's just that I used to get all my current events spoon fed to me by NPR during my morning/evening commute, and I don't commute any more. I also don't get the paper anymore either.

But news is really good for when I can't think of things to write about. Not that I ever suffer from writer's block (that's a sissy's way out) No . . . mostly I have too many competing ideas and then there's always that weird smoonch on the hardwood floors that I have to clean up before my mother comes over. So I check the news sites for something quick and decisive.

Anyway, today's five was going to be something about babies, or music, or excercise, or christmas present wrapping, and there is always that smoonch and I also need to get some tuna, which we're out of, so I kinda puttered around instead of writing.

After about an hour, I realized I was off schedule and it was time to dig in, but I didn't really have much rolling around, so it's off the the BBC.

Now, I'm not advocating the BBC as a go to news ap. I just happen to like it because it doesn't have as much adware, it uses the convention of putting the day-month-year (instead of the month-day-year that we use for some odd reason), and for each story it puts up the basic facts and if you continue scrolling, you can also get the OpEd pieces. I like to see all the moving parts before I'm told howto think about them.

Anyway, there wasn't anything big/awesome that stuck out, so I thought I'd just share the Top Five:

First Up: Rendition
That would be TORTURE to you and me. In fact, it didn't even use the word Rendition. We're now just back to using the word Torture. Spades being spades and all. There's still a bit about Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, but we're not using Rendition any longer. In all truth . . . I knew that we used to use the word, but I couldn't remember what the word was. I had to Google "Terms for Torture" which gave me nothing. The I remembered that there was a movie with Glenn Close that used the euphamism as it's title, and went to IMDB and searched her filmography, but that gave me nothing either. Then I decided to actually use the word "Euphamism Torture" and found a list of them, of which Rendition was one.

Turns out it was Meryl Streep and not Glenn Close who starred in the movie "Rendition"

Anway, torture was used post 9/11, but it wasn't very effective. So says the new report.

Go figure.

Second Up: New Star Wars Character Names Revealed
My wife asked me when the new Star Wars film was coming out and I told her it wasn't for another year. She was like "What!? Then why is there so much stuff being posted about it?"

"Foreplay" was really my only answer.

Thirdly: The Pope denies audience with the Dalai Lama
This one was kind of interesting. Apparently there are two versions of Catholicism in China. A state sanctioned group and an underground group and there's a fight going on as to which group gets to pick bishops. Since China gets all ruffled when any statesperson talks to the Dalai Lama, the Pope decided it would be best to just keep their relationship casual. Friends without benefits, as it were.

Fourth: Sea World stocks are "Drowning"
If you got a chance to see the documentary "Blackfish" then you'll know why. If you haven't and feel that you haven't gone to bed in a while with that sick feeling in your gut, you should watch it. If you much prefer a good night's rest, then watch "Free Willy" instead.

Fifth: Facebook contemplates "Dislike" button.
Now, if you've spent any time on Facebook, you know that all of your friends either live wonderful beautiful lives, or in Greek Tragedies. There is very little in between. Anyway . . . the only way for you to respond to these peak/valley lives is by commenting, or "Liking"

But lets say your cousin's girlfriend is like really totally stuck at the airport.

You can't "Like" it because who likes to be stuck at the airport?

But you don't really know your cousin's girlfriend all that well, so writing actual words of condolence might seem a little creepy.

But you really want her to read your blog, so engaging in the moment is important.

What do you do?

Well . . . I guess you could add a "Dislike" button, but I gotta tell you, that would probably be more hurtful than supportive in just about every situation I can think of.

I think they should get rid of "Like" all together and just have a "Damn Girl" button.

It could go both ways.

Like your sister posts that she broke her leg in a snowblower accident and you can just hit the "Damn Girl!" button as in "Damn Girl . . . that sucks."

But then her roomate posts a semi-naked selfie from the hospital bathroom asking people if they like her new bikini bottom and instead of hitting "Like" you can hit the "Damn Girl" button to send the message that "Damn Girl. . . you look hot!" while simultaneously keeping things from getting awkward when your wife asks you about it and trying to sound convincing that what you meant was "Damn Girl . . . don't you have any self respect?"

And just so I'm covered, I have officially copyrighted the "Damn Girl" button.

If Facebook would like to purchase the rights to the Damn Girl my asking price would be a tuna sandwich and a visit with the Pope.

Assuming I haven't angered the Chinese.









The 40ft POST: Throwing 'Em Open

So I'm having this conversation with my pops about QB's.

Kaepernick in particular.

I was venting my morbid curiosity about how bad the Niners look and how I just can't see why Colin isn't lighting it up. After watching guys like Rodgers and Brady and Peyton and well . . . just about anyone else, I noticed a trend. I noticed that when a QB has time in the pocket and open receivers, that seems to help a lot.

Now, of course they make their money pushing an oblong ball through tight holes . . . (that was a testicle joke), but having time in the pocket and open receivers makes more sense.

My pops disagreed.

He said, the thing about those guys is they THROW their receivers open.

Meaning that they get the ball out of their hands quickly (assuredly) and place the ball with such laser-beam accuracy that puts it in the hands of guys like Nelson and just out of reach of guys like Revis.

Intrigued by this idea, I watched for things like that.

And okay, yeah, sort of.

But you know what I saw much much much more of?

You guessed it.

Time in the pocket and open receivers.

I also felt strongly that the Niner play calling wasn't, hmmm, well, it wasn't working. They huddle, go to the line of scrimmage, get set, CALL KILL, and rearrange the play to something else. I found out later that Kaep calls two plays in the huddle and then picks the one he likes based on the looks the defense is giving him.

I'm not saying that's a bad idea, I mean . . . what the shit do I know . . .  but if your offense is adjusting each play to what the defense is showing you . . . isn't that what a defense does?

Watch any game, even the ones that the Niners have won and you'll see it pretty clear. They're playing defense on the offensive side of the ball.

Again . . . I'm not saying that's a bad idea . . . it just doesn't seem to be working . . . and you know . . . hasn't really worked since September.

If I owned a refrigerator that hadn't worked since September, I don't know . . . but I'd probably have a new refrigerator by now.

THE BIG NEWS:
The Raiders look like a football team. (Okay, maybe not Week 13, but you know)  Carr threw for 254yrds and 3TD's hitting 7 different receivers and got sacked six times less than Kaepernick. Latavious Murray ran for exactly 76 yards on 23 carries (not great, but not McFadden) and the Oakland Defense sacked Colin 6 times.

Those stats say a lot of things about a lot of things, but it warms my Bay Area heart to see at least one of my teams moving in a non-embarrassing direction.

INJURIES AND BAD DECISIONS:
Bad week to be a receiver. All I can really say is get well everyone.

WHAT TO WATCH:
So last week I predicted the Dallas/Chicago game to be the offensive barnstromer with Murray lighting it up and Cutler being a garbage time Magician. Called it.

Arizona and Kansas City being the defensive watch. 14-17, but Michael Bush got dropped before the game even began, so I get half points. Though who the hell was thinking Kerwynn Williams would go for 100 yrds?

And the WTF game? Yup. Niners vs Oakland. And all I gots to say is . . . WTF?

This week: Offense going to Dallas/Phillie. McCoy has his best game. Murray gets frequent flier miles from TWA. Defense, Vikings/Lions. Gonna be a good day to own Golden Tate. And the WTF Game goes to the The Saints vs. The Bears, the two teams with all the offensive weapons imaginable (sans Marshall) and no idea how to win games.


FANTASYLAND:
ForFuns League 7th place (Highest total score)
ForReals League 5th place (3rd highest total score)

Well . . . I'm out of contention. Too bad really. I was very proud of my ForReals Team. They just got out played.

For next week (Possibly my final 40ft POST this year) I'm gonna do a total Fantasy Breakdown, from draft theories and results, to waiverwire darlings, so I won't go into it too terribly much now.

However, there were some fun results (aside from fodder for this blog) that I thought were worth mentioning.

First: Out of the two leagues, and twenty six head to head match-ups, the were only two games where a bench choice would've made the difference in the game. One in each league. That could mean that I had a terrible bench, or I picked the right guys.

Aftter further review . . . I just usually picked the right guys . . . except for that time when I loaded up Crabtree instead of Golden Tate and the time I went Kaepernick instead of Tannehil, but you know, that happens.

What I was looking for was "That One Decision" that derailed my games and there just weren't many to choose from.

On the other hand, I can look at the "If only" moments and there I found something funny. There was one game where (ForFuns) I lost by a fraction of a point. Had I won that particular game, i would've made the playoffs and the first round. That happened to be the game where I had Percy Harvin loaded up and he had three (count 'em) three TD's called back. One single dubious holding call reversed and I'd be the league leader. Funny. Haha. LOL.

Now this week - a game I lost by twenty points - (damn you Leveon Bell) there were actually four things that went sour. 1. It was the Julian Edelman Game when I had Lafell (Cause . . . The Patriots). 2. The Panthers dominated time of posession against The Saints rendering Kuechly unformidable. 3.Lavonte David went out early with a concussion and 4. Without a single mention anywhere, from TV to every iPad Ap, D'Onetello Hightower didn't play, like . . . at all. (Damn you Belechick). No notes from CBS, Yahoo, NFL, nothing. I couldn't even find news of it after the fact. He just didn't play.

Now, had two of those four things not happened, I might have won,  but alas, cookies are bound to crumble.

Speaking of Crumbling Cookies

TRADEFUN:
So just as a refresher, I did some massive trading with my brother this season. Trading that might have looked crazy. Stupid crazy. But aside from how much fun it was texting back and forth, wheeling and dealing like Billy Bean at the GoFish Championships, it turned out to be a wash.

I gave him McCoy, Gordon, & Kaepernick for Kuechly, L. David, Blue, and Maclin.

He got what he wanted, I got what I wanted, we both had good games, we both had bad games.

The trade got both of us into the playoffs, and we both lost in the first round.

Total Plus Points for Me ended at 46 over five games. (I didn't calculate his +/- because I can't read his mind and know who he would've gone with otherwise)

But that turns out to be a little over 9 points per game.

That's like an extra TE.

Think about that next year.

anyway . . . 


CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS LAST WEEK:

Colt McCoy throws 350 and 2TDs. (199, 2int, 2 sacks, 1 fum, Injury) Bad Call.

The Leading Receiver in NE vs SD will not be a TE (Julian Edelman, 141yrds.) Good Call

CJ2K rolls another 100yrd game (53, but Ivory went 73, Damn You RBBC) Bad Call.

ATL vs GB is a 73pnt game and Jordy and Julio go nuts  (80pts, JD 146, JJ 259) Damn Good Call

Matt Shaub throws a Pick 6 (Nope. Unfortunately his dog ate his car keys and he was unable to make the game.)


CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS THIS WEEK:

SF Beat Seattle because Gore sends Harbaugh a lovely gift basket of scented bubble baths and fruit carved into the shape of flowers and Jim decides it's time to let Frank off his leash.

JJ Watt spends so much time with his arms wrapped around Andrew Luck that they decide to open up a cupcake kiosk in the Houston airport.

Kerwynn Williams rocks another 100yrd game.

Johnny Football gets pulled in the 3rd quarter because he can't seem to throw open Josh Gordon.


That's enough for today folks. Storm's a coming and I got stew to prep.










How To Breakfast

It is, of course, the most important meal of the day.

I think.

I wouldn't know.

I like all meals. Big Breakfasts with bagels, cream cheese, eggs, toast (sourdough), bacon, roasted potatos, and bacon.

and coffee.

Lunch should be something all together frightening as if I was planning on waging war with my intestines. Dinner should be a banquet trifecta with massive amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and lots of broccoli. Lots of broccoli.

But I'm really not supposed to eat like that anymore, seeing as how I'd like to live just long enough to see my son land a front side kick-flip, and or take my wife to Europe at some point.

So now, since I'm older, and presumably in charge of the calorie intake of an entire household, it is of utmost importance that I supply my army with delicious and nutricious food stuffs so that I can send them on their way, so I can get enough quiet to try to write between episodes of West Wing, of which Netflix only gives me about ten seconds.

Pausing is for sissies.

Anyway . . . so it's lean protein and fiber for myself and my wife, and as many calories as I can shovel into the mouth of my stick figure nine year old.

Thank god for Frosted Cookie Sugar Flakes.

I also, during this time, have to set up their lunches so that over the next eight hours of their productive lives they don't starve to death or resort to cannabalism.

Breakfast is a process of manufacturing that would make Henry Ford proud. (That is . . . until Henry Ford realizes I'm not a Nazi and insists upon shunning me from the Vaterland)

Anyway . . . 

Step One: Getting up
Now my wife likes to get up about three to four hours early. This is for two reasons. One, she doesn't sleep very well, and two, hair care of the magnitude that she has to deal with everyday is not for the weak. Somedays her alarm will wake me up too, but I am not the early worm.

At about 7:00am she will start poking me in the face, get up get up get up, which will take her six or seven tries before I respond with human noises. I will remain angry and confused until about 7:30am.

First order of business (after I've finished doing my business) is coffee. If I haven't done anything wrong/stupid in a while, she will already have a pot brewing for me. It's a 1:10 ratio in favor of me making my own.

Once coffee is a brewing we go to step two.

Step Two: Frittata.
Since the goal is high protein, high fiber, and low carb, there is nothing like a well crafted frittata filled with black beans and spinach (to be topped with garlic salt and hot sauce).

To start, preheat the oven to 385. Saute the spinach until it looks inedible, add the beans and warm in the pan. Crack open 5 eggs, add some water, and scramble with a fork. Pour the scrambled yellow stuff on top of the spinach/beans and place the pan in the oven. Wait . . . and move on to step three.

Step Three: Tween Food.
Things he likes: Bagels, english muffins, apple slices, yogurt, toast with butter, toast with jam, oatmeal (as long as it doesn't have any chunks in it), egg whites, and sugary cereals.

Things he doesn't like: Whatever you make this particular morning.

This is the first time you will use big-boy words to describe your feelings.

You will say something like "Eat your FUCKING FOOD! Goddam It!"

You probably shouldn't. Doing so will likely elicit more crying and screaming and a stern look from your wife, but if you can't help yourself it's okay.

Step Four: Check the fritatta.
It still looks runny. Move on.

Step Five: Wife Lunch
A super serious/healthy lunch consisting of chopped kale, purple cabbage, black beans, chicken/tuna. Include in her lunch box salad dressing, and lots of toppings (Nuts and the like). Make sure you supply her with a fork. And top it all off with a bottle of water.

Don't forget the fork.

Step Six: Tween Lunch
This is so complicated that I simply do not have the time or the energy to go into much detail, but this particular morning he has been sent off with a turkey sandwich on a dinner roll, High-C Cherry flavor (which he will not drink), a box of raisins, a bag of cheeze-its, and a packet of cheese and crackers which have to be placed strategically throughout his knapsack in very particular pockets. He will either eat all of it, or almost none of it. There is almost no physical understanding of where he gets his energy from. Best to leave it up to god.

Step Seven: Frittata is done.
Make sure you remove the pan from the oven with an oven mitt, since the handle will be very hot. Also. pro tip, leave the oven mitt on top of the handle before you walk away, otherwise, you will forget how hot the handle is and you will burn yourself. This only took me thirteen times to discover.

The frittata is actually four servings, which you will discect with a spatula, placing one wedge on your wife's plate, one wedge on yours, and leave the other two for tomorrow morning.

Set the table with a fork, napkin, two kinds of hot sauce, three kinds of salt, and dig in.

Check your email and the Fantasy Footbal scores.

Step Eight: Up and Out
Your wife will recheck her lunch box, because of that one time you forgot the fork. She will gently kiss the back of your neck and tell you to keep your phone near you all day. She will then check her lunch box again, because of that one time when you forgot her fork, and dash out the door, unless she has any particular chores she would like you to attend to some time during the day.

You son will walk into the kitchen, look at the clock and say something like "Dad! We have to go!"

To which you will repsond "Then why don't you have your shoes on?"

Then he will run to his room for ten minutes while you sip your coffee and then come out flustered and impatient and still not wearing any shoes.

At this point you're just tired of being a responsible parent, so you get up, and stand by the doorway, mumbling "hurryuphuuryuphurryuphurryup . . . "

He will make a big show of how heavy his back pack is, then drag his feet to the car, all the while complaining that we're gonna be late, and you can just sit in the car quietly while the engine warms up and he's finished adjusting his seat belt.

There will be lots of silence until you get to the school and then you will kiss him on top of his beautiful head and tell him politely to get out of your car.

You will watch him struggle with his back-pack and then dash across the street without looking both ways and you will wonder what kind of person are you raising. That thought will last until he turns the corner and then you're on your way home.

When you get home, you will check your email and then make a decision between starting your blog or catching the new episode of Sonic Highways on HBO GO.

Either way.

Breakfast is served.




Writing Day Five

So yeah.

I guess I've been a bit lazy about getting these blogs out over the last few weeks.

It's not that I don't love you all, it's just that . . . well . . . while waiting to hear back from several publishers I've decided to take on a newer more ambitious novel because I hate waiting and because life is just so much more interesting when you attempt to do things that you have no earthly business attempting.

Last time I wrote like this, I could rock eight to ten pages a day and still pop out a blog and still crunch some chords on the guitar, nap, make dinner, help my son with his homework, and other things too.

There is also a case to be made that it wasn't football season.

Anyway, now I'll find myself five hours deep with only a page and a half to show for it and no idea where the time or my mind went.

Which would be cool if I was single and independently wealthy.

But I'm a whole lot of neither of those things.

Yet in order to write well, it's important that you drift off, let things wander around, find that space in your brain that is walled off from all those other things. It's like being twenty minutes into an afternoon nap or half way between your second and third scotch. It can be a hard place to find and a terrible place to leave.

There are long stretches of days where i don't even really get there. 

Which is okay.

I guess.

But there are definitely signs that I'm having a Bad Writing Day and the sooner I recognize it, the sooner I can give up and go do other things. Like raking the leaves or showering.

Anyway, I'm back on blog duty, but for a few months they're gonna be shorter, not like Twitter short, but close, so I can dedicate the rest of my morning to staring off into space and calling myself a "real" artist.

So since you now know what I'm doing, I thought I'd share The Top Five Ways You Know You're Having A Bad Writing Day:

Number One:
You've read the Guitar Center Magazine cover to cover . . . twice.

Number Two:
You missed your nap.

Number Three:
You answer the phone when it rings.

Number Four:
You're not exactly sure how many days you've been wearing the same jeans.

Number Five:
You run out of Chex Mix halfway through the fourth episode of Band of Brothers.


So, If any of that happens to you while you're writing, go ahead, stand up, and rethink almost all of your priorities. And if nothing is on fire right that second, sit back down and get back to work.


The 40ft POST: Oh, Oh, Oh, Fitz-Magic

Sorry.

I saw that joke on a CBS blog when someone was jokingly disgusted that the Texans were going to have to turn to Fitzpatrick in Week 13.

Little did we know.

Apparently, all Mr. Snuffalupogus needed was a two week nap and then he's like all good.

Like 358 yards and 6 TDs good . . . causse . . . you know . . . NFL.

Anyway, we were having this conversation at my brother's house a few nights ago about Fantasy Football and QB's. My brother, a staunch supporter of the RB, RB, RB Theory, even before I knew what the hell that was, talked startlingly that next year he was going QB, WR, cause absolutely screw RB's (He was one of the unlucky fellows to draft Adrian Peterson). In fact, all three of his first round picks ended up duds (Don't feel bad, he scrounged and traded his way into the playoffs, and had no where near the shameful record I had last year).

But I don't disagree with him.

Except, sorta.

I mean, if Manning, Brees, Rodgers, or Luck fall to me in the first round, I'll probably cave. I will absolutely grab anyone of those in the early second round. But Brady? Yeah he's great now, but he torpedoed your fantasy team the first half of the season and can still have a slow day. And the next tier? Rivers, Stafford, Wilson (Yes, No, Maybe), next tier, Romo and whoever else? I don't know. What about Cutler or Big Ben? They were ninth and tenth round draft picks respectively. I drafted Devonte Freeman before I drafted a Top Seven QB.

If Carolina and San Francisco upgrade their offensive lines I'd go Kaepernick and Newton all day long.

Which sorta leads me to my first point. I read an article this morning talking about the death of the running QB. Which, yeah, like totally makes sense. Why subject your Franchise All Star to that sort of physical punishment?

But the article went on to talk about how not good Colin and Cam turned out to be, which, I kinda wondered if the writer had actually watched a game.

I get that the teams are trying to turn their Running QBs into Pocket Passers. Sure . . . smart. But maybe, just maybe, you might consider hiring an O-Line that doesn't open up lanes for every Outside Linebacker to saunter through?

Ever see how much time Rodgers has in the pocket?

I shit you not, during the Partriots/Packers game I put a rump roast in the oven at 375 degrees when a play started and it was finished cooking by the time Rodgers threw the ball.

Not saying that Aaron doesn't get rushed, or doesn't hold the ball too long, but, you know, team effort.

Anyway, if you were reading anything about drafting QBs this summer, the majority opinion was that you should consider drafting one just before you draft your kicker.

Had you loaded up that theory, you got Tannehill, or RGIII. Sorrry about that.

Since just about everyone at the top of the boards drafted Peyton over, lets say, Megatron, I'm willing to bet that the prevailing wind is going to all aboutgrabbing QBs early next year.

Oh, and just for S&G's, all you guys that went with industry analysis and went Megatron/AjGreen, or Julio/Marshall, yeah dude, sorry about your season. Better luck next year.

So if you didn't do that, and are now into the playoffs, congrats.

Point is . . . no hard and fast rules.

THE BIG NEWS:
Man . . . it's been all about RB 2011 fun for the past week. Ray Rice could be back, Michael Bush back to a warm place, Chris Ogbanana gets grabbed by the NY Giants (cause . . . David Wilson wasn't answering his pager?) and CJ2K has his first 100yd performance this year.

Didn't he look good? It was as if Rex Ryan had a vision of Moses parting the Red Sea and thought to himself "Gee, I wonder what my running game would look like if we could create some space between the opposing defensive lineman?"

I'm kinda hoping (for all your Gore owners) that Harbaugh saw the Jets game and was all "So that's what that looks like"

I'M SKIPPING THE INJURIES SECTION: LOOK UP CBS SPORTS FOR ACTUAL NEWS:

WHAT TO WATCH:
I didn't do a blog last week, cause, get this, I was writing a theme song for a television show, so, yeah.

Anyway, this weekend, I noticed that just about all the games look interesting. So much drama! But I'm gonna call out three fron fun anyway:

Offense Lovers: Dallas vs Chicago. I gots a feeling Murray is gonna light it up and Cutler's gonna have to respond with an aerial attack that resembles a drone strike in Pakistan. There's gonna be a lot of collateral damage but I, like the pentagon, will take volume over accuracy.

Defense Lovers: Arizona/Kansas City. I bet we see a bunch of Michael Bush, which means it's gonna be like watching the entire game in slow motion.

WTF Lovers: SanFran v Oakland: This is gonna be an absolute dumpster fire. Honestly, there's no calling any of it.


NORCAL NOTES:
See above.


FANTASYLAND:
ForFuns Team 6-7 (7th place) #1 total points
ForReals Team 7-6 (5th place) #3 total points

So I made the playoffs where it mattered.

Yay.

But I didn't where it doesn't. And it doesn't matter, but since I was taking seriously a game where half the league didn't bother taking much interest, I'm a trifle confused as to how and what went wrong.

So let's take a look: (Note: I'll do the same thing in ForReals at the end of my season)

To begin, the draft went wonky when my wifi cut out and I ended up drafting Lavonte David instead of Antonio Brown. This happened because I hadn't prepped my queue properly beforehand with rankings and was loading it up with DEF players for the later rounds so I could see when people started drafting LBs. Oooops.

So I kinda missed out on the Top WR in a league that has two WR spots and two Flex spots (WR/RB and WR/TE) and no dedicated TE spot. Having four potential WR spots in the line-up was a thing I was not prepared for emotionally and filled up my bench with RB like I thought I was supposed to.

I did end up with a nice crew of Forte/Bernard/Jennings/Bradshaw, but my WR core started at Percy Harvin and went downhill from there. It was a PPR league, but no points for "Return Yards" which made Harvin . . . hmm . . . pretty shitty after that first game.

Anyway, the league had only two defensive spots, and an eight man bench. Which the other guys were much more clever with (as in having lots of WR's and QB's) Also, the Waiver Wire didn't go live until Wednesday night, which meant that you not only had to grab guys fast, you had to have a high priority, which I didn't cause the first part of my season was awesome. Anyway, just as I was getting my WR up, my RB crew went lame and I just had this string of games where I was going against teams that lucked out (like loading up Big Ben the night he threw 6 TDs) and I got hammered (Like the night Harvin had 3 TDs called back.)

The good thing: I ended up with the highest total score in the league, which means I did some things right, and there was only a single game where I would've won if I'd made a correct roster call. But that's it.

We'll just chalk that up to bad luck and via con dios.

But I am in the REAL playoffs going up against the second highest scorer in the league. This is going to be the toughest match because both of us had record scores last week and the projections a 250 to 235 (both insanely high) Though, he's got Romo and I've got Culter, so tomorrow night is going to be a game to watch.


TRADEFUN:
Now last blog I mentioned that my trades this year had netted me a rolling total of +54.

No bad. (hadn't won me a game, but hadn't cost me one either)

The week after one of my trade guys goes down (Lavonte David) and the other guy on Bye (Kuechly) so that week was a sad -34. Still didn't cost me the game, Cutler and Blue can take the blame for that one.

Last week, I'm back up +13.

So now the trades have netted me a rolling totall of +34, and launched my brother into the playoffs.

He told me that a person in our league mentioned that it wasn't fair that we both got good deals.

I'm not sure that person knows that that's how that's supposed to work.

He gets a bankable offense, I get a bankable defense. That's a lot of wins.

Remember that for next year: Trading = superFun = goodhappythings


CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS:
(Note: these are from week 12, not last week)

Oakland Beats KC (Awe, heel, yeah)

McCoy goes for 174yds 1TD  (130-1)

Gordon goes 98 yrds (120, but there was a point at the beginning of the 4th when Gordon was at 97 yrds and I just knew Adam was having a heart attack)

Eli gets pulled (not quite, but I don't know how he stays in after five interceptions, one more game like that and I think he should surrender a SuperBowl Ring.)


CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS NEXT WEEK:

Colt McCoy throws 350 and 2 TDs (NFL starts scouting highschool coaches for the next Franchise QB)

In NE vs SD, the leading receiver is NOT a tight end (Gronk and Gates still have good games though)

Chris Johnson runs for another 100yrds. (He's sitting on my bench, so why not?)

Atlanta and Green Bay combined score of 73 (Jordy and Julio down by the schoolyard)

Matt Shaub doesn't play, but still manages to throw a Pick-Six from the sidelines.


Remember: Only three more weeks of Fantasy and then it's Christmas.




'tis

That's right. As the left-over turkey starts to dwindle, and most of the wine is gone, and the sky is gray, and the death reports from Walmart have been filed . . . 

It's December.

Christmas Time!

Yay!

and the biggest problem with a blog is that you can't hear the sarcasm oozing out of everyword.

I'll have to fix that at some point.

Anyway, it's Christmas time. And I'm not talking about the religious festival/celebration/whatever, I'm talking about the American Appropriated Season of Stuff.

The Season of which Black Friday meets Baby Jesus in a UFC cage match. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about consumerism.

'Taint Obamanomics that's going to save capitalism, it's Target and Pinterest and The Food Channel.

Washington may be all about Big Oil, but Rachel Ray is all about Big Beef.

I can't sure if this is true or not, but I heard a rumor that Hallmark actually paid for Martha Stewart's bail bond.

Anyway . . . my secondary point is . . . go! . . . spend . . . spend!

My primary point, however, is that I was hoping this year to be filled with more Christmas spirit than I currently am.

Decades in the retail business have sucked out all the love I have for tinsel and the smell of nutmeg and peppermint and human kindness. I was hoping, that this being my second holiday season away from my monogrammed apron, that I would sort of relax into the spirit and start looking forward toward decoarations and pine and wrapping paper and strolling mindlessly through mega-malls looking for things that can only be described as "Cute".

I wanna pull something off the shelf after hours of digging around and squeal with glee "Oh, she'll love this!"

Yeah . . . you heard me.

Squeal With Glee.

Though, I must admit, if my wife ever caught me with any sort of sense of glee, she might actually die of a heart attack.

My joy could kill her.

So I'm gonna have to take it easy. I'm gonna have to hold off on any high pitched baby talk for at least another few seasons, but maybe this year I could suggest a few of those activities that I know she loves. Like, I could say something like "Hey . . . after dinner . . . lets take a ride and go look at the christmas lights."

That might shock her a bit . . . but it won't kill her outright.

I could put up the christmas lights before she gets home, so that she can drive into a winter wonderland.

(I did this the first year we were married and the look on her face was the happiest face I'd ever seen from her and the first time I had to warm up the defribulatar.)

And you might ask yourself "Why be such a humbug when just a little effort of cheer would make all the difference in the world to the people you love?"

My answer of course "Really? . . . You wanna talk easy fixes? When was the last time you were at the gym asshole?"

But no . . . it's true . . . a little cheer goes a long way.

So for those of you, who, like me, treat the Christmas Season like it's a serial killer and find yourself hiding in closets instead of shopping for mistel-toe, consider making a few consessions.

Learn some Christmas Carols. Wear a sweater with pinecones on the front. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life." sometime this week instead of having it on in the background on Boxing Day. Call your mother.

There's an advent calendar (one of those cheapie ones with the terrible chocolate) that's been sitting on my piano since late October and looking at it again for the millionth time, I just realized that today is December 1st, and it's time to start popping those little flaps open to begin the countdown.

It's Christmas Time isn't it?

'tis.

 


Don't You Forget About Me

So we're sitting at the dinner table having the back and forth banter people have at dinner parties between the wine course and the grappa course.

I said something funny (I don't remember what) and then was asked what I had just said, to which I replied "Did I stutter?"

A super totally funny reference from The Breakfast Club.

This elicited a few peels of laughter from my neices, and I quickly took that as a sign that I can still throw out a pop culture reference that apeals to their demographic. Girls 18-25.

Now, I know that initially sounds mildy creepy.

Actually it sounds really creepy.

I'm a grown-ass man and shouldn't be concerning myself with Girls 18-25.

But here's the thing: My chief demographic, the largest by far, who like/retweet/share my work happens to be Women 30&over, and there is a real reason for that. I write to make my wife laugh, and I am in no way going to say how old she is, but let's just say she's in there somewhere.

So, as the logic follows, if I can remain funny and relevant to Girls 18-25 now, in a few years, I double my reach, cause Girls 18-25 don't stay like that forever.

Also, they're the ones who take things viral. One good repost from an neice or nephew or step-son, and I could quadrupal my 'looks' in a matter of hours.

And if the work is good, there is no telling where it will go.

Anyway . . .

I don't listen to EDM or have a tattoo, but Breakfast Club is the universal sign of coolness.

Except they weren't laughing about my totally cool Breakfast Club reference.

They were laughing about my unwitting "The Office" reference.

Season 4, Episode 16.

Entitled: Did I Stutter?

After about 30 seconds of debate, my neice, with one simple Google search showed that my reference was clearly from The Office.

It even has it's own Wikipedia page, which, and this blew my mind, doesn't even make note of the fact that it is a clear rereference to The Breakfast Club.

Blew my mind.

That's like Lady Gaga doing a cover of "Thriller" without citing Michael Jackson.

Or Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk without citing Bob Fosse.

Oh . . . shit . . . wait . . . that actually happened.

And it happens all the time.

It made me think of this story about songwriter Jimmy Webb. My parents will know him as the guy who wrote "Up, up, and Away." or "MacArthur Park." My neices will know him because he wrote the music for "Fern Gully"

Anyway, Jimmy was at a bar, like one does, and having a conversation with Richard Page (The lead singer of 80's rock band Mr. Mister, who my neices might know as the band referenced in Train's "Hey Soul Sister")

"Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio . . ."

Anyway, Jimmy and Richard are at a bar . . . like you do . . . having a conversation about plaguerism in lyrics. Jimmy brings up a current top ten hit, "Take These Broken Wings" which was an obvious reference/steal to the Beatles' "Blackbird"

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly . . ."

Richard Page got sullen and walked away.

Why?

Cause he was the lead singer of Mr. Mister, a band whose top ten hit at the time was . . . you guessed it . . . "Take These Broken Wings."

Now . . . there is no conceivable universe in which Poor Richard didn't know his Top Ten hit was a direct reference/rip-off of the Beatles.

But what if he didn't?

He might have thought that the line was his.

OMG . . . what if he thought it was his and really proud of that fact?

Ew.

Now there have been times I am guilty of stuff like that. I once spent hours on a bridge to a tune I was writing, until I listened back and realized it was actually the chorus to Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It,  but for obvious reasons, I have never released that particular song.

Also . . . this one time . . . while talking about a customer I said "She's like fingernails down the chalkboard of my soul." Which my best friend thought was the funniest thing he had ever heard until he realized I had stolen that line from Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).

In fact, this essay has reference steals from Eddie Izzard ( . . . like you do . . . ), Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard), and American Pie (. . . this one time . . .), but each of those direct 'takes' are purposeful and are used to enhance the funny.

If you get it, it's awesome, if you don't, no worries, find one you do.

But since pop culture references are my bread and butter, I find it disconcerting that I missed a reference so universal that it has it's own Wikipedia page.

What it means frankly, is that my reference bag has a clear shelf life.

Which means all my work won't have any relevance five years from now.

Ew.

Or, I just have to learn how to write like an adult.

Double Ew.

But, of course there is that glimmer of hope - that all of this is circular.

Perhaps . . . maybe a few years down the line . . . it all comes back. A reference to a reference to a reference. Let's say Hey Soul Sister becomes a thing, which is a reference to Train, who referenced Mr. Mister, who referenced Blackbird. Or "Did I stutter?" to my neice's neices.

I get to be funny again again.

And not like totally super forgotten.