Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thank you Maxim Magazine

For the most part, Maxim Magazine is a piece of trash. But when it's right, it's right:

Apparently, Maxim Magazine ranked Sex and the City star Sara Jessica Parker the unsexiest woman in the world. I've been saying this for years. Actually, that's not quite true. I think she's the third unsexiest woman in Hollywood. Two of her three co-stars take the top two spots. You know which two I'm talking about. My problem with her entire show was the leap of logic it took to buy that men might find her and her ugly friends attractive. It's not like any of them had good personalities either.

SJP is all pissed that Maxim is telling it like it is. She's clearly a glass-is-half-empty kind of person. She shouldn't be upset that she is an ugly movie start. She should be happy that despite being ugly, she still became a movie star. She also made some public response about how she's not unsexy just because she doesn't have fake boobs and fake lips or something. This is true. She's unsexy because her face is shaped like a foot. That has nothing to do with boobs or lips.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"That's Kenseth country."

That's what the lady at the rental car place in North Carolina told me when she looked at my drivers license and saw that I'm from Milwaukee.

Danny from Milwaukee: Excuse me?

Rental Car Lady: Milwaukee is Kenseth country.

DFM: What's Kenseth?

RCL: Matt Kenseth is from Milwaukee.

DFM: Who's Matt Kenseth?

RCL: You must not be a racing fan.

DFM: Racing isn't actually very big in Milwaukee. I'm sure Matt Kenseth is very good, but it's more like Favre country up there. Of Fielder country.

I assume she meant auto-racing because I actually am a racing fan. I ran in college and everything. This woman seemed appalled that I could live in "Kenseth country" and not even appreciate the significance. I looked up Matt Kenseth on wikipedia and found out that he is in fact a stock car driver from Wisconsin (Cambridge, not Milwaukee). I actually remember some of the dudes at the Wisconsin Sport Bar blog talking about him in the past, but that's about it. It's funny that a whole segment of society (if all Nascar fans think like the rental car lady) could think of Wisconsin as "Kenseth country" when most of us up here don't really give a crap about him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On Wisconsin

I don't really give a crap about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I somehow maintain my sanity throughout the madness. I'm usually too excited about spring training and the upcoming baseball season to be much more than a casual basketball fan. I fill out a bracket and I cheer on my alma mater, Wisconsin, and the local team, Marquette, but that's about it.

And I also read, which had some pretty mean-spirited things to say about Wisconsin in their "Teams we hate" article:

University of Wisconsin, Big Ten Conference, No. 3 in Midwest Region

Everyone bags on Big Ten football, and appropriately so, but the Midwestern brand of pigskin is easy on the eyes compared with Big Ten hoops: a raft of mediocre teams, plenty of flow-restricting physicality, and, all-too-often, Brent Musberger, looking live from Champaign or Iowa City. The most painful Big Ten team to endure is the Badgers, a team that combines brutishness and blandness into an unwatchable goulash.

I blame Bo Ryan, the coach who has created a top program in Madison by installing all manner of defensive tactics while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment. To use a soccer analogy, the Badgers always appear to be playing for a draw but manage to get enough muscled-in offensive rebounds from the likes of Brian Butch to get past the league's weak competition. Wisconsin will muck along in the tournament until it runs into a team that knows how to execute a crossover dribble. Until then, I'll be singing my own version of the Badgers' fight song every time they clog up my TV: "Off, Wisconsin!"—Robert Weintraub

First of all, all basketball games are brutish and bland. The problem with basketball is that scoring a point is virtually meaningless since it's so easy to score. Most games have half time scores of something like 34 to 32. To me, that translates to zero-zero. Why'd they even play that half? Then the time outs and the fouls start. Borrrr-rrrinng. And, although I don't know what a "crossover dribble" is, I'm guessing it's part of the reason that scoring is so easy and games are so boring.

Wisconsin basketball is good basketball - at least comparatively. It's like baseball, sort of. First, they sign guys that will stick around until they are juniors and seniors. Bo Ryan and Dick Bennet knew that a team full of experienced players with good fundamentals and strong defense would be competitive from year to year and make the tournament in most years. Let Ohio State and Florida have the superstars (how's that NIT tournament going this year anyway?). Also, they know that a prevented basket is the same as a scored basket, even if it isn't as entertaining for shit-chucking chimps like Robert Weintraub of So they prevent baskets, and it works pretty well.

Strategy is what makes sports exciting, not cross-over dribbles.

Go Badgers!

Did you bring treats?

It's my last day at the old job today. I'm starting my new one on Monday. When they found out I was leaving, no less than four of the secretaries asked me if I'd be bringing in treats for my last day. The answer to that, of course, is "no." My last day on the job, particularly when I'm leaving for a different firm, does not strike me as a treat occasion. Am I wrong about this?

I have to admit, I don't really understand this treat-based culture of the staff here. Is it like this in all offices? They bring in treats for every occasion you can imagine. Cookies, cakes, doughnuts, etc. And they talk about it. What they eat or have eaten is actually a topic of conversation. It's weird. And I thought that one thing that defined a "treat" was its rarity? It's not exactly special if it happens every day. And it's really really unhealthy if it's every day too!!! I certainly don't want to be a part of that.

I went 20 rounds with "Cindy" last night.

A bunch of the Crossfit benchmark workouts have girls' names. So in this particular case, Cindy isn't a real person, she's a workout, and those "rounds" I did with her consisted of pull-ups, push-ups and squats. The workout is as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. I got 20 rounds. One round per minute. That's 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats in less time than it takes to listen to one song at a Phish concert. I was gassed. I also got on the record board again. This time, the guy I knocked off is the stud of my gym.* He has almost all of the records. I really can't say enough about this stuff. Doing 100 pull-ups in 20 minutes seemed unfathomable to me a few months ago.

*Full disclosure: he had been lifting heavy for about an hour before he did the workout. He got 19 rounds + the pull-ups and push-ups. If he tried "Cindy" again he'd take his record right back.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Air-Cobain sneaker to "honor" Kurt

I never understood the concept of naming a shoe after a person that wasn't the designer. I guess naming a basketball sneaker after the best basketball player makes a certain amount of sense, but it always seemed silly to me. But not this silly.

Converse have announced plans to release a new limited edition series of shoes inspired by late-Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, each decorated with drawings and writing from his posthumously released journals. The line will include Converse High Tops and rather more morbidly a pair of black One Tops, the shoes Cobain was wearing when he committed suicide in 1994.

In a press release, Converse said: "To honor Cobain, in May, Converse will debut their Kurt Cobain collection of shoes featuring artwork and scribbles borrowed from Cobain's personal notebooks.

Actually, that's more than just silly. It's kind of sick. Remember, this is Kurt Cobain we're talking about. You know, the guy that wore this t-shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine:

Kidneys not for sale

Lately I've been watching ReasonTV's Drew Carey Project. It's a series of videos available for free on line at ReasonTV that discuss a number of political issues and hosted by Drew Carey. They are straight-forward, informative and entertaining. And you can watch them on your iPod when you're in the waiting room at the doctor's office or whatever (but not if you're waiting in the doctor's office to sell a kidney because that's illegal). You should really check them all out, but I found the most recent one very compelling:

Although I don't like to talk too much about politics on this here rag, this is one issue where I just can't wrap my head around the other side's position. 3,000 Americans die each year waiting for a kidney while 300,000,000 of us have an extra one. At least some of that latter number could really use $15,000 or so too.

What do you think? Should we be allowed to sell our kidneys?