Friday, January 30, 2009

This 25 random things thing

1. I've recently started a period of self re-discovery.
2. "Alt-Country" -- I hate that term. "Alternative" country acts -- Drive-By Truckers, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Shooter Jennings, The Old 97s, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, etc. -- are far more country than anything on country radio these days. Rascal Flatts is not country, it's pop.
3. Gram Parsons called it "Cosmic American Music" -- I like that.
4. I was born in Missouri, lived in Maryland for about 15 years... but I still consider myself a Southerner. I was just raised in the wrong place. I believe in family, a slow-paced life, fried food and the word "y'all." Half my family is from about a 50-mile radius in northeast Alabama, and I feel more in touch with them than my New Englander kin.
5. I make some pretty damn good Kool-Aid. Real talk.
6. According to the federal government, I'm poor. I sure as hell don't feel poor. I can pay my bills, feed myself, and can afford great times with even greater friends. Shit, that ain't poor. I'm fucking rich, beotch.
7. I don't trust any man who doesn't like sports in at least some way.
8. I really, really want to start getting my tattoos. I have so many ideas...
9. I believe you should learn to embrace your vices.
10. I was always told I was a good writer in grade school. But I hated the way we did it. It was so boring, so formulaic. Then in 11th grade things started turning around. My English teacher, Mr. Lantzy, showed me ways to express myself through writing, ways to enjoy it, ways to reach parts of my soul I never did before. Made me want to do it for a living. Thank you Mr. Lantzy.
11. I also discovered Hunter S. Thompson, that helped. If I had to emulate any writer's life, it'd be a combination of Thompson and Hank Moody, David Duchovny's character from Californication.
12. I've made mistakes, plenty of them. I've hurt friends, people I love. It still pains me. But, I think anyway, I've hurt myself more in making those mistakes. That's a sacrifice I gladly take.
13. "Howl" by Ginsberg, that really hit home with me at the perfect time.
14. Our generation needs a movement. A big one. A creative one, maybe more than one. A literary and an art movement, that's what we need.
15. I still buy CDs. I just love the experience of going to a record store with no plans. Just go in, walk around for about half an hour, feel it out. You never go wrong with what you select.
16. When I was about 9 or 10, I saw a guitar in a store and asked my dad to get it for me for Christmas. But, I was a kid. I didn't really push for it. I'm sure some Sega Genesis flavor of the month game came out and stole my attention. So I didn't get the guitar. Man, I really wish I did.
17. Go buy/download Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won, sit in a room alone and crank it up. Fully immerse yourself. Tell me that's not the greatest assemblage of rock musicians ever.
18. Everyone has a little bit of the devil down deep inside. I'm proud of mine.
19. Someone once told me "Man, you define the term Rebellious Youth." Maybe the best compliment I've ever received.
20. I want to learn more about my Cherokee heritage.
21. I love my long hair. I love my beard. I don't plan on changing either of them anytime soon. I'm really, really stubborn about this.
22. Women... man, what can I say about them. I love them, I adore them, I worship them. People always talk about a mountain lake or a beach sunrise as God's greatest creation... nah, wake up with a beautiful woman in your arms, look her deep in the eyes, soak in her smile. There's the greatest thing ever put on this earth.
23. I believe there is a God, a Great Spirit, a Creator... whatever you call it. I don't think anything is possible without one. But I don't believe in organized religion. It only serves personal greed and political purposes. We went wrong when we started putting our faith in different factions.
24. I still believe in people as a whole. We've been misguided for a little while, but we still know what's right. We're gonna get with the program, and soon.
25. I'm just living, man.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Watched it tonight, worth your time if you have any remote interest in the guy at all. But that's not really what this is about.

Question: If the Duke hadn't killed himself in 2005, what he think of recent events, specifically Obama's election. The American Dream died with the Kennedy's and Nixon's election to him, so would he view this as a rebirth of the dream?

Perhaps more importantly: do we the people see is as the rebirth? Does this mean we can finally be citizens again, not just people living in America? Our will has been beaten for decades, do we regain it now? Can we finally make our government fear us? The people need to be feared, government's should be wary of overstepping boundaries. Our voices should be heard. Maybe they have been. We shall see. It's a shame Thompson won't.

Or maybe it isn't. I can't blame a man for being true to himself. I don't ever condone suicide, but our goal is to first be ourselves, and to be happy with that. He wasn't happy, he was torn between being Hunter S. Thompson and Raoul Duke. But still, what if... which is an entirely unfair question.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A little live blogging for today's game

We'll see how this works.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bowl Bonanza!

Today we have a guest writer (ooh, fancy!) boys and girls. This bowl season breakdown comes courtesy of my buddy Joseph, and you can read more of his musings here. Enjoy.

Okay, before I get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joseph, and I am a college football fan. I have been for most of my 31 years of life on Earth, and I probably will be until I die. Being that I am a college football fan, I get to enjoy the spectacle (skeptical? - for those who remember Tonya Harding) of the bowl games. Now, let me go on record as saying that there are too many of these bowls, and most of them are irrelevant, but it's what we have, and I take it for what it's worth. More about me, I am a mid-major fan, and I actively root for UAB and Navy; UAB just because I can, and Navy because I spent 11 years of my life in the World's Greatest Navy. I'm currently shopping my allegiance for major programs around to the highest bidder - with exceptions, of course - but we shall see what happens. Anyway, we are now moving to the point of this blog, and that is talking about the bowl games up to the BCS National Championship Game.

And, away we go!

Eagle Bank Bowl
Wake Forest – 29 Navy – 19

Being that I am a Navy fan, I was obligated to watch this game. The game itself was fairly good, but I was naturally disappointed with the outcome. Such is life, I suppose. It took me a while to get used to Navy's new jerseys, but I hope they don't wear them again. I'm not the Athletic Equipment Manager for the Academy, so they probably don't want my opinion anyway. But, I digress...

New Mexico Bowl
Colorado State – 40 Fresno State – 35

I didn't watch this game at all; in fact, I didn't even know it was on. But, looking at the boxscore and the recap, Fresno State had a 28-20 lead going into the 4th quarter. Then, Colorado State rolled off 20 unanswered points to seal the win. Fresno State added a TD with less than a minute left, and it's safe to assume that Fresno State attempted an onside kick and failed. It probably was a good game, but I'll never know for sure.

St. Petersburg Bowl
Memphis – 14 South Florida – 41

I am allergic to most things Memphis; I can't watch them play any sort of sport without wanting to drink in large quantities. I know they're in the same conference as UAB, but I don't really have conference pride, either. That being said, I didn't watch this game. I did enjoy the outcome though, because nothing makes me happier than watching Memphis lose. Well, that and UAB winning, but that's not the point here - and who knows when that'll happen again. The point is that the Tigers lost, and all is happy in the land of Denmark.

Las Vegas Bowl
BYU – 21 Arizona – 31

I watched this game a little bit, and I had a rooting interest for...yep, you guessed it - Arizona. I like BYU okay, but I considered Arizona an underdog. Arizona played as well a game as they could have, and BYU did not. The best team won that game, and it wasn't then #17 BYU. If Mike Stoops can carry on the success from this season into next, Arizona is gonna be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Maybe not as good as Southern Cal, but they're going to be impressive nonetheless.

New Orleans Bowl
Southern Miss – 30 Troy – 27 (OT)

There are two other teams I hate more than Memphis, and they are Southern Miss - henceforth known as Hattiesburg State Community College - and the artists formerly known as Troy State. I turned to this game as they were heading into overtime, and let me just say that I am not a fan of one-color uniforms. The teams looked like a mishmash of ketchup and mustard, and it appeared that they played that way. The most interesting thing was that the Troy State kicker had a hissy fit when his field goal was blocked. Fun times were had by me.

Poinsettia Bowl
Boise State – 16 TCU – 17

I watched every second of this game, and the outcome was unexpected. The Poinsettia Bowl is one of those bowls where you expect points to be scored en masse, y'know, like a video game rendition or something. Instead, we were treated to a very entertaining defensive struggle where trick plays didn't really work too well, but you had to try it anyway to try and get an advantage. It was a fun game to watch, and my only gripe was that there weren't enough points scored.

Hawaii Bowl
Hawaii – 21 Notre Dame – 49

I normally use the Hawaii Bowl as a distraction from uncomfortable family moments. My wife's family likes to meet up at one of the houses and exchange Christmas gifts with one another, while the rest of us just sit there and watch. I would usually watch the Hawaii Bowl and enjoy the scoreboard lighting up like the proverbial Christmas Tree. Well, the scoreboard lit up, but I wasn't interested. I'll watch Hawaii, but I don't really have a vested interest in them. I wouldn't watch Notre Dame - also known as the University of Football in America™ - if Jesus Christ himself came down and tapped me on the shoulder asking me to watch. So, I have the Fighting Irish to thank for me suffering through another uncomfortable moment of family time. Thanks. Jerks.

Motor City Bowl
Florida Atlantic – 24 Central Michigan – 21

Didn't watch it. Looks like it was a close one, so we'll just leave it at that. That being said, is there anyone in college football that can turn around a program quite like Howard Schnellenberger? If I were starting up a program or wanted to rebuild a program, he would be number one on my speed dial list. I don't care how much he wanted, he'd get it. That, and how can you not respect a man who wears suits on the sidelines all the time?

Meineke Bowl
West Virginia – 31 North Carolina – 30

I don't know what this kid's middle name is, but it should be Pat Frikkin' White. How he managed to leave the state of Alabama is a mystery to me, and he should have never made it to Morgantown. He's the kind of player you build a team around, much like Rich Rod did. To go 4-0 in all of his bowl game appearances in this day and age is nothing short of amazing. That, and North Carolina wasn't a slouch by any means; don't let their record fool you. It was amazing to watch him will his team to a win, and he carried himself with such grace throughout his career. I wish him nothing but the best.

Champs Sports Bowl
Wisconsin – 13 Florida State – 42

Wisky didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. This was a prime example of one team wanting it more than the other. P.J. Hill had a great game on the ground, but he couldn't carry it by himself; the rest of his team let him down, and they were an embarassment to the Big 10+1 Conference.

Emerald Bowl
Miami – 17 Cal – 24

It's all about "The U"! Well, not really. Cal and Miami played as hard a game as you could imagine, but Miami's playcalling let them down in the end. This is going to be a recurring trend, I think. Shortly after the game, Robert Marve realized that he wasn't going to be the man in Coral Gables, so he turned tail and ran. Where he'll land, no one knows. Personally, I don't care. I think Jacoby Harris is going to be a better QB anyway. But, only time will tell on that one.

Independence Bowl
Northern Illinois – 10 Louisiana Tech – 17

Didn't watch this game at all, and I haven't cared about the Independence Bowl since Wayne Madkin and the Mississippi State Bulldogs beat Ja'Mar Toombs and the Texas A&M Aggies in the snow in 2000. So, I can't even B.S. my way through this one. Sorry.

Papa John’ Bowl
North Carolina State – 23 Rutgers – 29

I'm from Birmingham, so I felt obligated to watch this game. I do have a gripe with this game, BTW. This game was not embraced until a team from a "major" conference was included into the mix. Beforehand, it was a C-USA sanctioned bowl, probably in an attempt to get UAB in a bowl game. Well, that obviously didn't happen, and now that I think the SEC is involved, the local media is just fawning over it. Well, I call shenanigans! The game should have been treated the same way as it had been when C-USA was there.

Alamo Bowl
Missouri – 30 Northwestern – 23 (OT)

Mizzou was everyone's dark horse pick to go to the National Championship game, but then the wheels fell off. Those wheels were then transported to Northwestern, where they really played like they did when Darnell Autry was in the backfield. That being said, the game itself was entertaining, and it was amazing to watch as the game went into OT and Mizzou came out on top. I don't know what the future holds for the Tigers, since Chase Daniel is leaving, but we'll see what happens next year.

Humanitarian Bowl
Maryland – 42 Nevada – 35

Didn't watch the smurf turf game, so I won't even try to give a recap.

Texas Bowl
Western Michigan – 14 Rice – 38

Don't have NFL Network, so I can't critique this one, either.

Holiday Bowl
Oklahoma State – 31 Oregon – 42

San Diego has been home to some fantastic games, and this was no exception to the rule. Oregon actually had decent uniforms, and Okie St. had the orange juice going. There were points aplenty in this one, and Oregon decided to put their foot on the gas near the end and accelerated past the Cowboys. It was a good game, and I had fun watching it.

Armed Forces Bowl
Houston – 34 Air Force – 28

All servicemembers are brothers and sisters in arms under a common flag, but I still can't bring myself to root for the Falcons in sports. That being said, I couldn't really root for Houston either, being that they are conference rivals and all. So, I watched it for what it was, and saw an interesting game in the process. The right team won, but I wouldn't have been too surprised had the score gone the other way.

Sun Bowl
Oregon State – 3 Pittsburgh – 0

Worst. Bowl. Game. Ever. I think this was the lowest scoring bowl game in NCAA history. To make matters worse, I actually watched a great deal of this one. So, I guess that makes me a glutton for punishment, huh? All joking aside, UTEP has a beautiful stadium; I wouldn't mind going to a game one day. It ain't happenin', but I still wouldn't mind going.

Music City Bowl
Boston College – 14 Vanderbilt – 16

The last time Vandy won a bowl game, no one could spell internet, and no one would have known what an ESPN was. This was an absolute triumph for Vandy, and it could really help to jumpstart this program. Either that, or they could stump back down into mediocrity again. The choice is theirs and theirs alone, but I think it would be cool if the "smart" schools were consistent winners. Schools like Vandy, Duke, Rice, and Northwestern really show what student-athletes are supposed to be.

Insight Bowl
Kansas – 42 Minnesota – 21

Don't have NFL Network, so I can't critique this one, either.

Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl
LSU – 38 Georgia Tech – 3

This game just needs to be renamed to the LSU bowl, because LSU wins whenever they go. I watched a lot of this game as well, and Georgia Tech just laid down and died. They couldn't do anything, and their defense couldn't stop a sweat on a cold day. It looks like LSU has their QB of the future, and Jared Lee just needs to either sit his down somewhere or transfer, because it's very unlikely he starts again.

Outback Bowl
South Carolina – 10 Iowa – 31

South Carolina took a page out of Georgia Tech's playbook and took one on the chin against Iowa. They had no defense against Shon Greene, and the fact that they didn't score until the 4th quarter either speaks volumes against South Carolina's offense or for Iowa's defense. Seeing that South Carolina hasn't been that impressive at all this season, I'll go with the former. This was one of those, "I'm not showing up" games, and the Gamecocks didn't even bother.

Capital One Bowl
Georgia – 24 Michigan State 12

I wanted to watch this game, but something else came up. I'm not sure what off the top of my head, but it did. So, at least Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno went out on top. We'll see how they work out in the NFL.

Gator Bowl
Nebraska – 26 Clemson – 21

This was another good game, and since I have a penchant for watching games on CBS, I got a kick out of watching this one. This was another one of those games that started off slow but picked up the pace near the end. It sucks that Dabo didn't win his first bowl game, but hopefully he'll have an ample opportunity next year.

Rose Bowl
Penn State – 24 USC – 38

Let me go on record as saying I'm sick of the USC show. USC starts off their season impressive, then they blow their load against somebody they're not supposed to (Oregon State, Stanford, Oregon, Cal), then they complain about not getting in the championship game. Beat the teams you're supposed to, and you'll be fine. Either that, or keep going to the Rose Bowl and taking your frustrations out on teams like Penn State. Poor Penn State...they didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in that one. The first half was a complete romp, and whereas the Nittany Lions made it interesting near the end, the death knell had already sounded. Sorry, Joe Pa; I was pullin' for ya.

Orange Bowl
Cincinnati – 7 Virginia Tech – 20

Cincinnati got their pee-pee smacked in this game, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer group of people. They complained and whined their way out of Conference USA and end up winning the Big (L)East, only to end up going up against a very angry Virginia Tech team. This team underachieved royally, but they peaked at the right moment and showed Cincy that they're not quite big league yet. The conference may think they are, but they're not. The teams are getting there, but it's gonna take a while.

Cotton Bowl
Mississippi – 47 Texas Tech – 34

Didn't see this one coming. I figured Texas Tech would sling the ball all around the Cotton Bowl, and the Wild Rebel would be neutered. It certainly looked that way in the beginning until Jevan Sneed realized who the hell he was and put a kibosh on that REAL quick-like! The Rebels passed well, they ran well, and they just embarassed the Red Raiders. I'm sure Mike Leach will be just fine, and he'll plug someone else in that Tecmo Super Bowl offense of his, but that is not the way to end a season. On another note, I will proudly go on record as saying that Graham Harrell should have at least gotten an invite to the Heisman Trophy Presentation. Even if he wasn't gonna win, he should have at least gotten to go.

AXA Equitable Liberty Bowl
Kentucky – 25 East Carolina – 19

Didn't watch it; didn't care. I'm not a big fan of East Carolina anyway, so to see them lose was no skin off my nose.

USF&G Sugar Bowl
Utah – 31 Alabama – 17

I really didn't see this one coming. No one had really seen Utah play a full game, so no one really knew what to expect. You can't swing a dead cat in the state of Alabama and not see the Crimson Tide play a game. A lot of prognosticators will say a lot of silly things as to why the Tide didn't roll in this one; you'll hear that their OT was suspended, so that had something to do with it. Or, you'll hear they had a makeshift offensive line plagued by injuries. But, the truth of the matter is, Utah came in with a chip on their shoulder and dared Alabama to knock it off. Alabama came in not really wanting to be there. When the haves go up against the have nots, it's usually a safe bet to root for the have nots; they tend to have a greater purpose.

International Bowl
Buffalo – 20 Connecticut – 38

The International Bowl? Really? Buffalo's offense was slow as molasses in the wintertime in Alaska. They couldn't complete a pass, they couldn't run the ball, they couldn't do much of anything. Sure, their QB ended up with 213 yds through the air, but it took an act of Congress for him to get that. Meanwhile, the Huskies didn't really pass a lot, but when your back gets you 261 yds on the ground, why bother to pass? Way to represent the MAC, Buffalo. But, don't feel bad; you're not the only one to lay an egg, but more on them later.

Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State – 21 Texas – 24

This was an exciting game to watch. I didn't get to watch it live because I was in class, so I had to tape it, and it was definitely worth the space on the DVR. It started off slow at first, with Terrell Pryor and Chris Wells effortlessly slicing through the Longhorns defense like a hot knife to butter, but Texas put a stop to that almost immediately. Colt McCoy (*bang bang*) did it with his arm and his legs, and kept the Longhorns in it. A late score thanks to a Pryor reception by Boeckman put the Buckeyes up late in the game, but McCoy drove his team down the field - aided by a gutsy fourth down call - and McCoy found Quan Cosby on a slant to put them up for good. Hook 'em Horns, indeed.

Ball State – 13 Tulsa - 45

Ball State is another example of someone who decided to roll over and die. They were about as bad as Buffalo was in their bowl game. Nate Davis got a bad case of fumbilitis and kept turning the ball over like it was a steak on the grill. Tulsa ran and passed all over the Cardinals, and even when the weather got atrocious - which it did - they kept on doing their thing, and ended up running away with it. On a side note, if I wouldn't have had class, I would have been at this game, but when I heard the deluge during class, I'm glad I wasn't there. Oh, well; better luck next year.

Which brings us to the BCS Championship game. I'm not smart enough to pick a winner on this one, but this is almost like what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Something's gonna have to give, and we'll find out who gives in soon enough. Enjoy the game; I know I will.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Can you hear that singing? Sounds like gold

Reason No. 763 I want college football playoffs: The time between the last regular season game and the bowl game. Ridiculous. Too much shit can happen in-between.

808s and Heartbreak? Love it.

Resolutions: WRITE. Do not buy anymore books until current 20 owned and unread are read. Eat at home. Work out. write. Tattoo. Pick up a new vice (not that I'm displeased the current one, I just want to spice things up a tad). Relearn guitar. Write more. Have more lofty 2010 resolutions. And as per usual, practice peace, free love and rock & roll.