Friday, December 25, 2009

A Festivus For The Rest Of Us!

Last Friday night started the winter blizzard madness. I of course, loved every second of this. Bring on all the snow you can deliver, I'm always down for that. Once it started coming down, it didn't stop until well until later on Saturday. It picked up again and gave us another dose. We had a good foot and a half in some areas and a plus is that it gave me a longer Christmas vacation, so chalk it up. I can't drive in normal conditions, but something about when it snows, I feel comfortable in. People are probably cussing me on regular days for not knowing how to drive well, but I'm doing that on snow days when people are going 5 miles per hour. We were due for a snow like this and I hear it's going to be a rough winter, that has me excited indeed. Shoveling like a madman was not much fun though, but I won't complain much, everything else about the snow is great to me.

I was doing my Christmas shopping and it was jammed packed as usual around this time of year. I didn't mind, that's part of it, you just deal. You know how they have the tiny trinket shops in the middle of the mall that nobody gives two cares about usually? I was going by one the other day and instead of just ignoring those workers, I was bored and figured I'd at least get a conversation out of things. This Russian girl was working at some nail place and comes up running to me. She asks if I have a girl to buy for this season and blah blah. I told her all I have girl wise to buy for this year is my mom and she's already taken care of with gifts.

I played her game though and let her tell me about her product. She then asks to see my fingernails. I laughed and figured why not, I'd show her my mangled nails that I bite down till no end. She acted all surprised how bad they were, but I told her there isn't much to my nails anyways and they're usually a mess. Still, she started grinding away with some rock looking piece and was working over my thumb. She was describing the steps she was going through and then put this wet junk on it afterwards. Then she wiped it off and it was all shiny like bling. I'm sure there are girl terms for this stuff, but you're talking to a guy who bites his nails nonstop. She said she hoped I didn't care, but that my thumb was going to be shiny for about two weeks. People really buy this garbage though? So I ended up leaving with one thumb shined up, weird. It made for an interesting stop though if nothing else.

Speaking of shopping, here's one that has had me confused for quite a while. It's nothing major, but I'm going to bring it up anyways. You never know what topics I'll throw in here. You're buying your goodies and end up paying for it like you normally would. No biggie yet. Then they give you a receipt. It seems like more and more stores are doing this, but what is the purpose of having a receipt that is 8 feet long? What happened to the old school receipts that you can just throw in a bag or your wallet without having to fold up a zillion times? I'm glancing at one right now from JCPenney and it's crazy. I could list everything on this receipt, but it'd end up being a novel, blog style. Anything from website surveys, how much you can save on eye glasses (seriously, that is on this one), two sections of return/exchange rules, and a lot of other useless things. I'm looking at one from Target and it has half of the receipt being taken up by how you can win a $5000 gift card, a section in Spanish, and then how you can get gift cards. Just keep these things simple is all I ask. I don't need to see any ads on these, offers that I have to email something about to be a part of, or news about the local singles that are awaiting by the phone for you.

Remember a while back how I was talking about the T-Mobile myTouch phone commercials? It had the old crew of Chevy Chase and Whoopi Goldberg in it just to name a few. I personally, not that I know a thing at all about marketing, didn't think it'd be hitting their target age bracket by having these people in the commercial. Sure, they are still "names", but not many in the younger generation are going to be sold on a cell phone commercial with that cast. Weirdly enough, they have a new and updated commercial. This one has Avril Lavigne, Dwight Howard, Wyclef Jean, and Brad Paisley in the mix. Wyclef and Paisley aren't "young", but at least they're not ancient. Plus, they're current as far as what they bring to the table. That still might not make a difference one way or the other on if a person is wanting this exact cell phone or not, but I don't think it can hurt matters. Again, that's just my two cents which might not mean much to anyone.

I haven't done any movie reviews in a while, so I'm finally due. Earlier in the summer, I was watching a lot. The past few months, hardly any at all. A few that everyone and their brother has seen except me until this past week, I'll talk about this time. Yeah, you'll be shocked I haven't seen either when both are movies that are right up my alley. I was hanging with Whip over the weekend and she made it a goal to get me caught up on a few good ones. The first is The Hangover. I haven't heard one single bad report on this movie, so I was hoping that it wouldn't let me down. Some people are calling this their favorite comedy ever and all of that. I'm not going to go that far, but it will rank high on most people's re-watchability chart. The Mike Tyson scenes made it for me and the characters are all well done, especially the guy who played Alan, Zach Galifianakis. We also get an appearance from Heather Graham, better known to me as Roller Girl in Boogie Nights, who has a decent sized role in this one. Hard to believe she'll be 40 next month. Even the great Mike Epps is in for a bit. Go check this one out if you're one of three people in the world who haven't seen it yet, really funny. My final grade? 8.2 Tyson knockout punches out of 10.

Let's go to our next movie from that night. That one would be Wedding Crashers. This one has been out for a while, so when I tell people I hadn't seen it, they don't know how to react. Now, I can say I finally watched this one. I haven't seen a ton, but I'm not sure I've seen an Owen Wilson movie before and came out not liking it. Upon looking through the cast, I didn't pick up on it at the time I guess, but Bradley Cooper who played Phil in The Hangover is also in this one. I enjoyed this movie here as well, another one I haven't heard anyone dislike. The whole idea of this might be something interesting to see tried in real life. I'm sure it's been tried quite a bit since the movie in 2005. He had been big before, but I think this movie for Vince Vaughn really shot him up into a star. Not that I know much on movie critiquing. It doesn't seem like she's done anything too major before or since, but I'm a fan of Isla Fisher. How can ya not be? Ok, you want my final count of this bad boy. I'm going to lock this one in at 7.9 womanizers out of 10. Whip, you took one for the team on watching the Wrestling with the Troops special that night too, I didn't even offer, so I had to get a little laugh out of that.

On Wednesday, it was basketball time. Last year, I didn't go to a single WVU basketball game for some reason. Usually I go to a decent bit each year just because. As I've stated before, I have no problem with WVU basketball and hope they do very well actually, Huggins has some studs in. It's just the football side of things that I always end up having problems with since I'm a Notre Dame guy and we all know that's not a good mix in my area. Big props to Harbert for hooking Sidell and I up with the tickets, as well as Michael who I got to meet that night, a funny dude. This was my first time seeing the new scoreboard in The Coliseum and I went away impressed. The screen's picture is so clear and the new video presentations are top notch. I said a few years ago that Huggs would only need a few years to get his style of players in and then it'd be on. He's already there, been in the Top 10 all year and seems very solid. We'll find out come conference time in January, but I think this team is ready to go. I'm a big fan of Dalton Pepper who is only a freshman, this kid is going to be good. He was the 2009 Pennsylvania Player of the Year and a 3-time all state selection. As an added bonus, his AAU team growing up was called the Jersey Shore Warriors. I wonder if Pauly D was their mascot.

After the game, we all hit up Applebee's. After walking about a mile to get to our car in the freezing cold, we parked at Chick-fil-A, there was hardly anyone at the restaurant for some reason. That's fine by us, get us right in. An hour before the game, we couldn't get into several places it was so packed and settled on Wings Ole, straight up old school in there but I love that place. Applebee's here must be a regular hangout for the basketball team. The last time I went there after a game, most of the team rolled in shortly after and the same was true this time. I'm not star struck often, and these guys are kids to us, but it was still neat to see them come in and be all excited about a Top 20 win against Ole Miss. Wellington Smith who had a career game was there as well as Jon Flowers. Wells eventually walked over to Flowers' section and Flowers started clapping for his big game. He looks over at us and has us do the same for him and it was a funny exchange. Something that normally wouldn't be my first choice, but I wanted something different, the Grilled Shrimp 'N Spinach Salad. The description on the menu? "Tender spinach, crisp bacon, roasted red peppers, red onions, toasted almonds and hot bacon vinaigrette—all topped with succulent shrimp." This is worthy if you're a salad fan, very good. To end that night, it never gets old with the Class of 97 (yeah, we're old) crew getting together and doing it up. Harbert, props again for the tix, we need to do that again one day, except maybe next time we can meet you in Fairmont instead of us driving into the middle of nowhere, hah. Just messing.

Christmas Eve action comes to us next. It's the Annual Boggess/Tate Christmas Eve Bash. It's a tradition that we've been doing for years and we all look forward to it. I'm not sure why, but it seems to work, plus you can't go wrong with family time. The food spread with our family is never any joke and some of the best eating you'll ever have. It's about impossible for me to pick a favorite thing I ate as I was being a big fat boy and literally tearing stuff up all day. On the actual food stuff it'd be a mix between my Aunt Linda's fettuccini which I started eating less than 5 minutes as it came through the door, Jill's spinach/roasted red pepper dip, or my mom's zitis. The dessert side of things? Where do I begin? I'm giving props to Kari's cherry cheesecake and Maria's chocolate thingy that I never know what to call it but I tear it up at every outing. Felisha, your cookies came in the mail at the right time this year. Those were a big hit and even though I've told you and your mom already, a huge thanks goes out for that, they rocked. I'm still impressed with the whole container and wrapping idea for it, you didn't mess around.

I wish there were more games on Christmas Eve, but we did with what was given to us. I'm doing absolutely terrible in Ozzie's bowl pool this year which has 70+ members as part of it, the most ever. Our entertainment for the sports fans was the Nevada/SMU game. Nevada was favored by 11 and got trounced like they were just some bum. That night, I guess they were just that. I would've bet almost anything I had on the over of this game, but it wasn't even close to the 70 number. 45-10 and Nevada was barely lucky to score all game, minus a cheap touchdown in the final minute of the game. Kyle Padron set an SMU record of 460 passing yards. This kid is a freshman and is going to be something. He looks like he's about 12 years old too.

This night also features the gift exchange that Cork and Spank are each part of. One of Cork's gifts might be my favorite part of the night. As him and Kristen did their honeymoon recently in Mexico, he comes back with an authentic lucha libre mask from there. Yes, I'm a wrestling dork, I admit. Not that you don't all know that anyways. But it's a nice collection piece to add to the wall I already have assembled. Cali Jas, another one in there to make ya proud. This gave Jill the idea to have herself, Uncle Bill, and myself all to put on a mask and be idiots with it. Pics should soon be up I'd imagine.

Towards the end of the night, the girls came up with a gag gift idea the day before that was organized over Facebook. People were to bring in either perverted gifts or something that had a stupid meaning that they weren't using anymore. We didn't even get "The Mug" out, it was left behind in the bedroom, doh. Zack will be proud though since it stays in the fam. Hey Jill and Kari, you're responsible for coming to pick up all the gifts you left behind, that's dirty, hah. Either way, I think this idea could be a hit from next year on now that we have an idea of what to use. My gift I got that I didn't trade in for something else? It was way strange and most didn't know what it was at first, from Jill, was a pair of long socks with thumb holes at the end. Yes, you put them up your arm and use them as a goofy glove. Kari, I hear the mailman is going to deliver you a beautiful wreath in the next few days. Word around the fam is that it belongs in your house since there was a great story behind it. I won't get into boring everyone with all of the gifts though. Overall, another fun Eve bash, fairly low key with no trips to the hospital for anyone keeping track.

I'm ending this up by late afternoon on Christmas Day. I'm blessed that everything is going great for everyone around us this season and thankful for all that we have. Some people have nothing at all, so be sure to appreciate all that you have because many aren't nearly as fortunate. As I type this, it's a day of 5 NBA games on national TV. In my mind, that's heaven. You can't beat that with a stick. Sure, football is ok around this time of year, but I'm always in NBA mode for those who know me, obsessed. By the time the next blog comes out, we plan to hit up a Christmas movie tonight at the theater, another tradition. This year's slate of movies for the day is pretty lackluster though, I'm disappointed. Right now the guys are interested in seeing Invictus (can a movie with both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon really end up bad?) and the girls may pick another option. I'll be sure to review whatever we end up seeing. Until then, let's wrap this thing up and you all have a great end of the year!

Bird's Christmas Dirty of the Week: We have a worthty submission this week. Arizona Jas takes her usual spot in recommending another. This is a 19 year old from Cali and she's got a lot we can use. First, I'll start with one of her quotes on her front page, "I would never recommend sex, drugs, or guns to anyone, but they've always worked for me.. i keep it 100, like I'm supposed to.. the life i'm living, the average woman would have broke down a long time ago.!!" Also, I'm usually not much of a tat fan, but they work on this chick, plus she seems to look good, I dunno. What does Arizona Jas say on the matter? "dude, i found you a legit thug ho.. like most of your dirties... are just dirty, this one is a thug and not one I'd fuck with if it came down to it." Here we go, enjoy:

Bird's Christmas Video Moment of the Week: I have a few video requests backed up in the save file that I'll get to eventually. If you're on that list, no worries, I'll take care of ya. For now though, since I'm posting this on Christmas, we have to go with a Christmas theme. Everyone (almost) seems to at least get into the spirit by seeing 24 hours of Raphie doing his thing from A Christmas Story. Mix in a Geto Boys classic that we all know and love and we get this remix. Sidelli, I found this on your FB page, so I'm using it here.

3 Quick Thangs:

1. Who has a birthday on Christmas? We're here to tell you. It starts off with former Oakland Raider, Kenny "The Snake" Stabler, he's now 64. I'd probably take him now over the year that Jay Cutler is having. Jimmy Buffet, who I know everyone but me is fascinated by (not that I'm against him, I just don't know hardly anything about him and wonder why he's so big), 63. Former Miami Dolphins running back and American Gladiators analyst, Larry Csonka, also 63. Barbara Mandell, who I haven't heard her name in ages, singer, 61. Actress Sissy Spacek, 60. Annie Lennox of Eurythmics, 55. The best leadoff guy of all time in baseball, Rickey Henderson, 51. Singer Amy Grant, 49. That's all I have, but based on that, a fairly strong group.

2. Christmas facts, why not.. An average household in America will mail out 28 Christmas cards each year and see 28 eight cards return in their place. I mailed out a lot more than that and received less than that.. During the Christmas buying season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.. Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.. Coca Cola was the first beverage company to use Santa for a winter promotion.

3. Ending the blog and talking to the infamous Corndog, I asked if he had any random words of advice to throw in this week.. He comes at us with these two: "To be the man, you gotta beat the man. Wooooo!" -Ric Flair.. "My biggest pet peeve in the Christmas season...the packaging of kids toys. I tried to take apart one of the Littlest Pet Shop toys yesterday and it took like 20 minutes to get it all apart from the cardboard. Thats insane!!! That's more random if you wanna go with that....but the Ric Flair came to mind first cause I've been watching some Flair videos today."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Walkin' In Memphis

Yep, that's right. It's road trip time again. This time, we're not driving, we did the flight route. Dirty Dirty style! Our blog this week will take you to scenic Memphis, Tennessee. Home of Elvis which I saw WAY too much of during the week, soul food, and overall some really good people. The south is always a great atmosphere as I always say, they're not punks like some of our stops up north. You can chat with random bums and almost always are guaranteed a good conversation out of it. Along for the trip as mentioned before was none other than Posey, the King of Tank Hill (Click here for Posey's Twitter). He runs things up there. Click here for my Twitter.

First off, and I'll bounce all over the place, was the accents. This is the first road trip in a while where I didn't get one single person asking if I was from the deep south or that they picked up on my redneck accent. Imagine that. Not that I mind that, but it's just a good change of pace. We roll out of Shinnston at 3:00 in the morning on Friday. I got about 4 hours of sleep that night and was ready to go. We drove to Pittsburgh because it would've been a lot more expensive flying out of Benedum in Bridgeport. I do want to go out of Bridgeport on a flight though, it'd be a whole lot more simpler than driving 2 hours to Pittsburgh. Not like that is a bad drive, but still.

At 6:41 AM, I get on a big plane for the first time in my life. Yes, I realize that's very lame considering I'm going to be 31 in a few short weeks. I've never been opposed to getting on a plane, just wasn't high on my list I guess. I'm one of few people I know who hadn't been on a plane before outside of my parents. We rolled with Delta and got on a 737. Luckily, the plane wasn't too full, so we got a lot of leg room to chill. I took my car sick pills because I'm pretty bad at getting sick with that type of thing, so better safe than not, right? I wasn't nervous one bit, but when the plane started going up and flattened out on top (I'm sure there's terms for all of this, but you're dealing with a total flight rookie and idiot), it reminded me of an amusement park ride with that sick feeling in my stomach. It was only for a few seconds though, so I made it through without puking. Posey told me go for a window seat since it was my first time and was definitely interesting to to check out the areas we went over, mostly in the middle of nowhere. I'm a wuss when it comes to being afraid of heights, I'll admit, but that part didn't seem to bother me that much when looking out. The success was that I didn't puke, chalk one up for the home team.

Before we boarded, taking care of the flight information and where to go, I was totally clueless. I mean, bad off. It would've been good video to watch me during this mess. If Posey wasn't with me, hard to tell when or where I would've ended up at. He compared me to his 2-year old son Kaiden in that he had to basically do everything for me associated with the flight. Good thing everyone else and their brother flies all the time other than me. I could see me flying a good bit more though, just gotta convince my buddies to make a road trip of it. It's easy for me I guess since I'm wingman and still live at home, can just go whenever. I can't complain about that one bit.

Ok, we get into Memphis and start things out. I said that this town reminded me of the 1970s with a Sanford & Son feel to it. I liked the setup, but the actual "city" wasn't nearly as big as I'd expect. It's a great atmosphere though and everyone is nice to you here, regardless of status. Even though I've said it a zillion times, the southern hospitality I'm a huge fan of when I go on trips down south. Rarely (ever?) do I see punks down here like you may up north some. To my north buddies, I know, that's not everyone, but you know the vibe I'm describing. I'm going to talk to randoms anywhere I go, you never know what kind of conversation you're going to find yourself in. This is the theme of most of my road trips. The town also had a grimey and dirty feel to it, but I felt comfortable in all areas.

How was Beale Street and the food situation? Both were top notch. Beale Street wasn't nearly as big as what I had expected either, a la the city in general. It has a nice old school feel though and you don't feel overcrowded. The interesting thing is that they actually block that street off for traffic, so that helps. It's a mixture of southern restaurants and bars. Mix in a few goofy Elvis shops and things of that nature that didn't interest us and that's your street. Outside of food, we didn't buy anything on Beale Street.

Two main food places I will recommend down there. The first is the Rum Boogie Cafe. This place has had basically most musical talent that you can think of, they've been inside. It's some true soul food and we wanted to treat ourselves to that. I always say on road trips, you can eat boring ol' chain restaurants anymore. I don't want that junk when I'm 12 hours from home. Give me what that area is known for. Here I ended up getting a BBQ chicken sandwich, fries, and coleslaw. The sauce on it was very good. Posey's meal was what I should have ordered. He got red beans and rice (something I'd never think of ordering) that was all sauced up to excellence, kielbasa, and cornbread that was out of this world. Here, they had a bum outside jamming on his trumpet. I had Notre Dame gear on that day and he started cranking the ND Fight Song. Come on now, that's worthy of a tip, even if I am a sucker. Other bums that just beg, not so much.. I also had enough sweet tea on this trip to water the country of Armenia. The other spot I enjoyed was the Blues City Cafe. This had an awesome setting and the staff seemed to actually like their job.

Blues City is where things got serious. I ordered cajun BBQ shrimp that came out in a skillet, new potatoes, garlic bread, and coleslaw. The shrimp was good times indeed, I could've had more of that. The topper though was my favorite munch food of the entire time I was there. Apple dumplin pie, yum yum yummy! If you haven't seen my Facebook pics of this, words won't do it justice. They bring out the dessert in a skillet that was so hot it was spitting out grease when they sat it on the table. The people sitting beside us were pumped that I got it and were salivating over it. I told some woman that she could have a bite of it, it wouldn't offend me. She didn't take the offer, but I was glad of that, more for me to eat. If you're in Memphis, this is one thing you have to do is eat this. No, not the Elvis stuff and everything else you hear about. It's all about the apple dumplin pie, with ice cream on top, crazy delicious.

Walkin' in Memphis. Yes, literally. Posey is great to have along for road trips. Why? He's not a slowpoke that is going to hold up pace. When I'm walking, I'm on the move and ready to rock. I can't stand to be behind people that walk like they are going to kill over. Plus, he's not one to complain about walking a far distance if need be. Spank is the same way on road trips as you remember from our Philly trip this summer. Anyways, one day we walked a good 6-8 miles just on the streets, hard to tell what else. The night of the NBA game, we didn't want to wait anymore on a taxi, so we ran 2 miles on the streets of Memphis in 35 degree weather to get there, got a nice run in, bonus points. Also got a good workout in on Saturday at the hotel. The taxi system in this town, I'm going to give a -10 on the 1-10 scale, it's that bad. We weren't even that far from where we needed to get all weekend, but these guys were bad off. We'd call for a cab, they'd say they would be there and wouldn't even show in most cases. After the games and UFC action, we literally had to sprint around the streets to call one down. The good thing is that we talked to a few cabbies that gave us some good chats on the way to our destinations. Like Posey and I are going to pass up a chance to talk to people we don't know from anything.

Friday afternoon and we were walking around town and ended up at the FedEx Arena, where we'd be both Friday and Saturday night. Friday was the NBA game, so we went to the ticket office early in the afternoon to check on prices. They were practically giving away tickets, no lie. We figured we'd get a seat up high and move down low since attendance wouldn't be that much. $18 was the top deck followed by $34 for the next level. We checked on if we'd be able to get $34 seats and the chick said they just happened to have a deal going on today for that level. She said they were $3. What, $3 for real, you're kidding me right? No, she wasn't. We looked at each other like she was from another planet. Then to play her game, we asked if she had any deals on the $99 club level seats. She said those were going for $33. What a joke. A huge advantage for us though, we jumped on those in about 0.4 seconds. You can't beat that with a stick. If I lived near an NBA arena, I'd go broke. I'd have season tickets, no questions asked. The game itself was a fun one, a plus since I got to see my boy Kevin Durant, the future of the NBA. I could chat about NBA till the end of time, but I'll spare you all in this post. For a Friday night, the crowd was way low. I didn't expect a ton, but we guessed 7000 probably that showed up, horrible. Marc Gasol is a monster in person too, big dude.

Several of the UFC guys were at the game that night. Chuck Lidell, Thiago Silva, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Clay "The Carpenter" Guida to name a few. We kept an eye on these guys through the night to see any fan interaction. Lidell was on the front row and didn't really get approached, but got a nice reaction when put on the screen. Not many even knew Gonzaga or Silva. Guida was by far the most interactive of the bunch and didn't have one problem with fans going up to him. It didn't seem like a lot of the NBA crowd did, so at the end of the game, we figured we'd make our way down and try to hang for a bit and get a pic. We go chat it up with him and he was all about it. He wants to shake our hands before we offer ours to him. One of his boys was a Bears fan I guess and he made a point to start talking about my Bears hat (more on this hat in the next paragraph). A very good dude in person and didn't seem a bit bothered by people recognizing him, he enjoyed it. He's not human though I joked since he's all hyped up and wired 24/7. I thought Posey and I were nonstop energy guys who can't stay still, he has us beat. In the softball reports this summer, you'll remember when Posey told me I can't have anymore Venom Black Mamba energy drinks since it had me crazy bouncing off the walls. Like I need more energy.

For the trip, I had the Bears hat on that Cork gave me as one of the bachelor presents for the dinner before his wedding day. Usually in my area, that'd be no comment or I'd be the only one wearing one since they're terrible. Hey, still gotta wear your team's gear, even if they're nothing special. For some reason though, I got tons and tons of comments on the Bears stuff down there. It became a running joke with Posey and myself when someone would mention it. They were floored I'd even wear such a thing and I got some props for it. Who knew? Also along for the trip were a few TapOut shirts, which I have way too many of to begin with. More on that in a second. On one of our Friday night stops, we hit up Coyote Ugly for a bit just to say we had been there. For all that know me, I'm not a bar guy at all and usually feel fairly uncomfortable in most since I never drink. This however, was nothing like the movie. I'll be honest, 90% (I'm being generous) of these girls who get up there and dance like dirties on the bar have no reason to get up there. Not that I'm a fashion critic, but I play one on TV.

Speaking of Coyote Ugly, one of the highlights was this military guy and his wife. He ended up hanging around us and was a cool dude. Since he was military, he got a discount on drinks and hooked some people up, including Posey. He offered to hook me up and I said thanks man, but that I didn't drink. He didn't know what to think and thought I was messing with him. Anyways, his next comment was what had me laughing. He looks at my shirt that I had on that night, and since I don't drink, asked if I was training hard for MMA. I don't think that's the route for me, hah. Maybe I could cut a few pounds to the lightweight level of 155 pounds and face off with Guida and get my block knocked off. Back to the married couple. This chick was flirting with all kinds of guys at the bar and the husband acted like he didn't care. She was dancing around, strutting her stuff on the bar and going up and getting free drinks off of desperate guys. Soon, the husband started to get annoyed and we could tell. The next thing we know, when we were leaving, he walks out of the place all fired up, she's chasing behind him and it's all out drama. Plus, dude goes to Iraq in January. I can see this marriage working out greeeeeat. On a side note, they have a kid too. To each their own I guess. Maybe she'll get slapped around like Snooki on Jersey Shore, which is one amazing amazing show. Snooki is my favorite character on there so far, at least of the chicks. The married couple we just thought it was strange, but it was awesome entertainment for us, no doubt about that.

Let's just say I would've been completely lost without my internet. Of course I was going to take my laptop if I was gone for 3 days. I would've needed put in a straight jacket if not. For one delay we had in Memphis all day on Sunday, it was a lifesaver to have it nearby. That day I got to watch the Bears game and hangout online, the delay went way faster that way. Also, internet in the hotel. On the plane though, they wanted $9.99 an hour or $25 a day or something. You kidding me? After I gave those bums money for my ticket, they want me to pay for internet on 1-2 hour plane rides? Get out of here with that garbage. I know they want to make their money on everything, but geez. It's not the price that bothered me, but the whole principle. I'll compare it to people putting gratuity on my bills at restaurants which I've talked about a lot before. I know most won't tip good, but we don't need insulted. Also, at airports, people watching rocks. Plus, we're going to talk to randoms as usual there, whether they like it or not.

UFC 107 time. On Friday afternoon, we were 2 hours early in line to see the weigh-ins. By the time we waited more and they didn't open gates, Posey and I were in complete comas. We were almost falling asleep standing in line, so we trekked it back to the hotel instead of the weigh-ins and got a power nap. Our seats at Friday night's pay per view were rather good I thought. We had an awesome view and didn't have to look at the big screens that often. Plus, the crowd is amazing. It was in the same place we saw the NBA game the night before, but a totally different atmosphere. The price we paid for tickets are worth every penny and then some. I'm going to have to start putting all of these free Marines shirts I get from rocking the pullup contests on eBay or give them away to some bum on the street jamming his trumpet, no point of keeping them all.

We lucked out huge with the performance of the card. The only bad fight of the night in our opinion was the Jon Fitch/Mike Pierce battle. We got to watch 11 fights total and were there for every second of it. I never understood the richies who show up late. We're from West Virginia, we're going to get our price worth and watch every undercard match, it's part of the night, why not? Mir choking out Kongo out like a punk in Round 1 had the crowd going wild. Kongo didn't tap though, he passed out at least if that counts for anything different, not really. Our boy Guida got tapped out by the rear naked choke from Kenny "Ken-Flo" Florian. Florian doesn't look like much, but he's a legitimate stud at 155. Guida was #2 as far as crowd cheers went, he was over huge and a bloody mess afterwards. One of our favorite rounds of the night was Round 2 of Big Steven Struve (6'11" from The Netherlands) taking on haymaker throwing veteran Paul Buentello. Ricardo Funch is one weird looking dude, definitely doesn't look like a fighter. Alan Belcher, a Memphis native was mad he didn't get a TV match. Before the game at the place we ate at, we were next to his parents. They were cool and down to earth people.

Main event time and the place was rockin' like no other. BJ Penn is from Hawaii, remember that. Come all the way over to Memphis and you wouldn't think the reactions would be AS huge as they were. We were totally blown away by how much of a god this crowd made Penn. He always takes slack for not being as good with cardio as his opponents. He always shows he has that right with them and punishes them to let them know he's the man. I like Diego, although way cocky, but he just got mangled during this fight. Five rounds of total domination as BJ keeps his belt. I posted links of Diego's face after the fight on FB. He did what he planned, but it was no good. He tried many times to take Penn down, but nobody can do that. Also, there were a nice following of Hawaiians that made the journey out here, that surprised us too. Hands down, nobody is in Penn's league right now at 155, he's a bad bad man at that weight. Best little guy MMA fighter ever and I could see him being in the argument of greatest fighter ever. Dude is only 30 and seems like he's been around for ages, which he has. He's that good though folks, no joke. In route in the mail right now, I have the Penn X Frost Limited Edition tee that looks great, somewhat pumped about that. Hey, it's Christmas time, I spoil others a good bit at this time, but that's not going to stop me from spoiling myself too.

Sunday as I said, we had a long stay at the airport. We had to checkout of the hotel at 11:00 and got to the port at 11:30. We had crazy time to kill, so instead of going around the city, we'd find stuff to do there. That's where the laptop was handy. We were there from 11:30-7:30. One place we ate at was called Corky's Ribs & BBQ. I had to take a pic of that place and send it to Cork right away. Due to rain in the Dirty ATL, they backed our flight an hour later, no biggie. We thought for sure we'd be staying with Joe Johnson in Atlanta though since we also had the last flight out of ATL into Pittsburgh. Luckily, they delayed that flight right as we boarded so we had a tiny chance. They said we'd have to run like maniacs, Guida style, to even have a shot to get home that night. When we got off the plane, we took off, running through people, jumping over bags and the works. Again, slow people get out of our way, quit wasting valuable time and get into the truck lane. We made it home though. I got home at 3:15, went to bed at 4:00, woke up in a few hours, and champed it out at work. Beast. For about a week, I didn't get more than 5 hours sleep in a night, I get stupid like that.

Whew.. that was a long writeup, but hopefully you stuck around and waited a few extra days to get this one. Overall, an awesome trip. I'm always down for road trips definitely. Just let me know ahead of time. Flying wasn't expensive either I didn't think, so I'd do that again too. A flying trip we're going to start scheduling already. The first UFC show in Boston over the summer, I hope to be there as part of that madness. I wish UFC came closer to my area, just like the NBA doesn't either, but that's how it goes here in the middle of nowhere. It could be worse though, I love this area other than that. Ok, now time to wrap this baby up..

Bird's Dirty of the Week: We go to Florida this week and find a 21-year old who is the week's winner. Apparently, according to her, alcohol is her best friend and also worst enemy. The pics we get are a mix. You get regular stuff, you get weird ones, and she likes to bust out in a lot of pics too. That's something we never complain about here in blogland.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: These guys were at the game. The infamous DerekHood said to look for them while I was down there. Not long after he texted, it was funny because they were at the Grizz game doing their thing. Pretty impressive we thought. Maybe it's just me, but this stuff I could watch over and over. The big dude isn't messing around either, gotta give em props. Beale Street Flippers.

3 Quick Thangs:

1. For what it's worth, a random fact.. Cigs were $8 a pack for Posey on Beale Street. Crazy. After UFC 107, before getting into the taxi, Posey throws his cig down. What happens? A bum comes up behind him, picks it up and keeps the remains for future use. That's classic. This was Posey's favorite moment of the trip possibly.

2. Too much Elvis stuff I had to see last weekend, but I might as well give a few Elvis facts for anyone who cares.. Elvis was a black belt in karate.. In 1960 in his military trim days, he was about 170 pounds. When he died in 1977, he was about 265.. Until his late teens, Elvis was blonde.. Elvis' favorite toothpaste was Colgate, his aftershave was Brut, and pop (soda for you weird talkers) was Pepsi.

3. For the gang that was on the annual Christmas card list, I sent those out today. If you're on the list and out of the country, I sent yours out on Wednesday. They should get there before Christmas, we'll see. Again, if you're just signing your name to a Christmas card, why even bother? Get in that truck lane and let life pass you by. Speaking of life, things are great here as usual, it's time to get pumped up for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Santino Marella Should Visit The Jersey Shore

All thanks to this week's blog title goes to TheAnswer, one of the blog's loyal readers and a good buddy of mine from Vegas. He's also a #basketball legend, so easy on rushing him for autographs.

Ok, here we go with some action. We're back for the latest words that you may think are good, but you also may think they're pointless. Either way, we hope you enjoy reading along because I know I have way too much time on my hands to be doing this. What is coming your way with this post? We get thoughts on pro cheerleaders, an array of random West Virginia criminals, Jersey Shore (amazing show), a 5K in the snow, bowl games, Seagal, a good buddy of mine dying at 21-years old, and much more! It's time to jump in and begin this thing..

I'm sure I've talked about this one before, but maybe not. After this long of rambling on, I never know what I touched base on at one time or another. The topic? Cheerleaders in pro sports. I watch way too many NBA games, but that's a passion of mine. I'm not bashing cheerleaders so to speak, but why are they necessary in front of a crowd of 20,000? I think they work on the small scale in a little high school gym and to get people pumped up. Half the time that doesn't work, but hear me out, I could be totally off base. I will give these girls credit for doing a lot of public relations work in the community and being part of that type of setup. I was watching a Bobcats game the other night and they were just getting their brains beat in, although that's no surprise. They were down 20 with a few minutes left and here are these girls trying to get the crowd into it. Come on, the fans there are lucky to go to games, let alone think they have a shot to win. I've come to the conclusion, that outside of the PR machine they do well with and some timeout promotions, their main purpose is to hang around the arena before the game and wait on dirty old men to get pics with them as they fall out of their tops. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Also, when I think of cheerleader, how come no pro cheer girls are flipping around and doing anything impressive? Give me the backflips and the whole works, not just standing there looking pretty.

After the Shinnston Turkey Trot 5K, it was time to jump into another just a week later. This one was the Bridgeport Jingle Jog that I talked about in the last blog. That morning, it was 30 degrees and snow was pouring down. You'd think not many would be in attendance, but it was the most they've had show up in seven years. It was a snowy mess and the course was fairly tough with the hills, some didn't expect the conditions. Despite that, I was happy with the performance and did well enough. My finishing time was 26:10 and I was 10th overall out of 70-some that ran. The conditions cut a few minutes off everyone's time, but that still made everyone have the same playing field. I also was able to win my age group in the 30-39 range. The most impressive thing to me was an old freak in the 70-79 age range ran a 30:00 5K. That's just insane if you ask me. Most people my age could barely run that, but 70-some, that's unheard of. You gotta give props to the old guy. The guy who ended up winning it had a time of 21:00 and he was in the 40-49 range, not bad at all. If you remember, McCollam ran Shinnston's in 16:00 or so, he would've dominated the competition here. Overall, I'd say there were a lot more people at Bridgeport that consistently run, but the top guys in Shinnston's 5K were better than Bridgeport's top. I finished in the same area in both though, so I'm cool with that.

In a bit of an ironic twist, remember how last week I talked about my near 21-year old cat? She had been rocking out and was in great health. During the weekend, things went for a turn downhill. She wasn't hardly walking at all and had no appetite. Her hip was mangled and you could tell she was in some major pain as she could barely get up to move. I'm a wuss when it comes to seeing people or animals in pain and even though she was old, it was still tough to see her in this shape. Hey, I'm a cat guy, I can't help it. Dogs, eh, I'll leave that for the rest of you. Some are cool, but in general give me a cat instead. On Monday, Yogi started getting worse. We decided that we would put her to sleep and went to get her checked out by the docs. The doc said that she had a renal failure, which basically shut down her kidneys and blocked everything up. Even if we cranked her full of medicine, the doc said we made the right choice in wanting to not have her suffer anymore. I'm glad she didn't have to suffer, forget putting her through that. A great cat indeed, gonna miss my buddy. Yeah, we bring emotion to the blog every now and then, you know how it goes. Barnes, you still hold the record, we'll see if your cat can still do its thing and make it to 30.

How's the TV watching been going? Two new shows opened up for me last week and I like them both, even if they are totally different. One I am going to be ate up with and that's Jersey Shore on MTV. This stuff is off the charts good in that it's so bad it's good type of thing. You get these goofball Italians with an insane amount of ego from New Jersey and New York, throw them into a house and just watch it implode. I've had a lot of my crew that first week say they really didn't want to watch, but just kept getting hooked by it. I'm not really sure there's a point to it, but if you like drama and people stirring up fights, sleeping around, and putting on a show, this is for you. My favorite "characters" and they're definitely that would be Snooki on the chicks side and probably Vinny on the guy side. Snooki on the first episode was just a filthy mess. The first day they were in the house wasn't a good impression for her. She was all bawling the next day and said she was packing up and leaving since she didn't get attention. Add in the fact that she has no common sense and it's a hit. That next day, she changed her mind and is going to stay around, but we know she'll be a lot of drama. You can't help but like this girl though and even though she's not way hot, something about her does it for me. Vinny, think of the stereotypical fist pump guy. For some reason, that cracks me up. I'm sure it'd get old living in that area and seeing these guys act like this, but on TV, it's excellent. I bet for the people in that area, they hate this show, but so be it. I could write a whole blog just on the first night, but I'll be tame for now. Thursday nights on MTV, 10:00 Eastern. With MTV though, you know you have a zillion chances to see reruns through the week though.

If I kept you from being too bored after that big paragraph, there's another show. That would be A&E's new one with the legendary Steven Seagal. It's titled Steven Seagal: Lawman. I know Seagal gets a bad reputation for being a C-level actor, but I've always liked his movies and what he brings to the table. Maybe that's not saying much, but I'm simple and give me a good head busting movie and I'm in. He's always compared with Van Damme and I wish they would've done a movie together. They each get a bad rep, but I'm on their side. As far as Lawman, it's a reality cop show. For anyone who hasn't seen the tons of ads for this show, Seagal is actually with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. You'd think it'd be dorky, but he comes across as a guy that really likes the job and does good with it. I couldn't see the concept of this show being good if he wasn't on though, he's why people watch, whether good or bad. He's intimidating, but with a sense of humor to go with it. He surprised me by being a marksman with the gun too. Don't knock this till you try it, you just may like it. Each episode is a half hour each and you get two per week, so they're quick to go through.

Here's one that has bugged me for quite some time. Let's take a guy who is losing his hair. It happens to most guys eventually, right? That's not the issue. Take a guy who is losing his hair or has very little left at all that it looks horrible. Why do they leave just a little patch on their head and the rest is balding? Don't they know that looks pathetic? I know if I start losing my hair, I'm just going to shave it off and go with the clean look. I keep mine way short anyways, so that won't bother me one bit. With the advent of HD, you can really tell with TV people and some look horrendous. Some are so bad that it's funny. To each their own I guess, but man up and shave that tiny bit you have left off. You'll look better for it. But what do I know about fashion? Probably not a ton. That's just my advice for whatever it's worth.

I'm easily entertained, but I check the local jail site a few times a day just because. As I've said before, I always run into mug shots of people I know, at least a few a day that gets booked. Sad, but true. Some people never learn. What I'm going to do today is throw a few random mug shots that have been book recently in a West Virginia jail. Yeah, it's going to make our state look worse, but how much lower can that look get? You might as well go along with the jokes. Apologies to anyone who is close to these people, it's just all in fun. Here are a few of the finest. This guy fell asleep during his mug shot:, this guy has a great mullet:, this one might be dead:, he's been up for 6 days straight:, he's on just about everything:, and those that are pumped up to get a mug shot pic:

The next blog I'll have a road trip writeup scheduled. That's the one to Memphis if you didn't follow along last week. Those are simple to write, but just take a while to get things how I want them. It'll be my first flight which hopefully I don't get all sick during. I'm not nervous or worried about the flight, but I could see plane sickness coming along. Hopefully I'm wrong. Then it'll be off to the UFC 107 weigh-ins, followed by the Thunder/Grizz game to see my boys Durant and Mayo go head-to-head. Saturday will be the UFC pay per view and we have pretty good seats or so it seems anyways. The way the flights are worked out, I'll be rolling back to Pittsburgh on Sunday night around midnight, drive a few hours back home, and get a couple of hours of sleep and then go to work like a champ. Should be interesting.

I've gotten a good bit of new CDs in the past week, so I'll throw a few in every so often for some quick reviews. This time we'll talk about two..

Clipse: Til The Casket Drops. For those who have been reading the blog for a while, you'll know I still say that Clipse is the best live rap performance I've seen. They did their thing and didn't have a million goofy posse members jumping around like puppets and screaming over the lyrics. They usually bring the goods on their albums too. This one has been a long awaited showing. It's a short CD, just 13 tracks, but it's good. There's several songs that if you're a rap fan, you've already heard from this. Those would be Popular Demand with Pharrell and Cam'Ron, Kinda Like a Big Deal with Kanye, and I'm Good with Pharrell. Outside of that I'll recommend Life Change and then Counseling featuring Nicole Hurst. Malice and Pusha-T, you need to check out these guys if you haven't been around.

Drake: Heartbreak Drake 2. This is a mixtape that made its movement around the internet and got nice reviews. If you like Drake's stuff, all of his main things are on this as well as a few others you might not be familiar with. If you already have So Far Gone, there's not a big reason to pick this one up too unless you're just a big fan and want to be have his entire collection of everything. As far as mixtapes go, it's not one that's going to annoy you with a DJ nonstop plugging his own name instead of the rapper himself. I liked it, but it's not something I'm going to play over and over.

College football huh? My Irish had enough wins to qualify for a bowl, but they straight up said they don't want that. I'd like to see a really good team turn down a bowl one year just to shake things up and make a statement, but it won't happen. I wish my boys would've taken a bowl though, just to at least give the seniors another game, even if they weren't any good. Now my boy Jimmy and cousin Golden Tate are heading to make the big bucks. Supposedly Jimmy is the #1 ranked QB at the moment in the draft and Tate is the #2 wideout. I'm sure those numbers will change a lot from now to spring. I wish they would've stayed, but you can't blame them in their situation with a lot of guaranteed money. WVU fans? Gator Bowl time against Florida State, Bobby Bowden's last game, and he's also a former WVU coach from the 70s, so that'll be interesting. This game sold out tickets like crazy. I can say what I want about WVU fans, a lot are knuckleheads, but I'll give them credit for traveling almost as well as any team in the country. One thing that cracks me up is how everyone here is bashing Coach Stewart and wanting him out of town, yet everyone and their brother is heading to the Gator Bowl for support of the team, go figure. Can't go wrong with road trips though. I don't mind that though, I think WVU can get the win here if my prediction means a thing. I'd give props to their fans if they won, but this is a trip I won't be making.

Bird's Dirty of the Week: I have a lot to throw at you for this week's post. We're going 43 folders of pics deep. Yes, I said 43. You literally get just about everything in these pics too with that many set aside. Her occupation is that she apparently sucks blood. She has so many different looks that it's tough to keep up with, but something about her I'll give the thumbs up to. There's definitely some weird pics in there too, you'll have that with 43 folders. Anyways, we go to a 26-year old from Cali:

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This will show my age, but if you're a computer dork, you'll remember the MS-DOS days. Hard to believe we actually had to type out so many of those commands, but I remember about all of the DOS stuff till this day. Speaking of operating systems, if anyone has tried Windows 7 yet, let me know. Here's a vid from back in the day of DOS 5.0, which actually makes the original we all used look like a major upgrade. Check how cheesy this vid is and the reactions these people have.

3 Quick Thangs:

1. It's not too late for the internet crew to be part of the Christmas card tradition I've been doing for years if you already aren't. I don't do much locally, but worldwide we pump em out. My goal is to get them out no later than Friday the 18th. Of course, if you're farther away, I'll send them out earlier than that. I've already received some way early.

2. A few of the latest good tweets from RevRunWisdom: "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have NO time to criticize others.." "When you go easy on yourself life's hard on u, when u go hard on ur self life's easy on u... real tlk" "Happiness is not chasing what u want,, but the realization of what you already have.."

3. I know, you want some useless facts to end the day with. How about the average bank teller loses about $250 each year.. Everytime Beethoven sat down to write music, he poured ice water over his head.. When snakes are born with two heads, they fight each other for food.. The most money ever paid for a cow in an auction was $1.3 million.