Tuesday, September 25, 2007

College Football Coaches Speak Out

When Bo Schembechler died ESPN ran an AMAZING clip of a speech he made about TEAM.

Sadly, I've been searching YouTube ever since, but have not found this clip.

Please watch these two clips you tide you over.

One is from this year, the other is from last year.

Let the record show that I am in total agreement with both coaches.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ties & Ocean

Me and a coworker were picked to go on a business trip a few weeks ago. The destination was Southern California. A very strict dress code of a White Shirt and Tie was required. Having had to overdress on business trips before, it was nothing new to me. However, my coworker was not as happy with the idea. This picture, was my coworker's idea. Personally, the strict dress code of our host made it very easy to pack. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed our act of deviance before our flight left.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It doesn’t have to be good to be a classic (repost from 2/2/06)

Due to the constant onslaught of friend requests from webcam girls on MySpace, I don't check my "Friend Requests" frequently. Which is why now, past 2 am in my insomniac daze, I am so happy to have added one of my dearest friends Kat(i)e. Her and I were raised in the backyards of Prospect Heights, and she is EASILY the longest non-family member I know.

Obviously, she has been instantly vaulted to Top 8 status.

Apologies to jenN, no offense. The sad thing is that jenN is an avid reader of this unassuming blog and I'm sorry to deal her another crushing loss. Speaking of which, she may not care because she has to come to grips with her beloved Saints starting the year with two losses. It just keeps piling on, doesn't it?

Regardless, the latest addition of Kat(i)e warrants a re-posting - originally posted on Feb. 2, 2006:

Old Fashioned Hamburgers

I was in a Kat(i)e & Dave's wedding party. It was the first wedding in which I had a role. I was an usher.

After we had been verbally assaulted by a very authoritative photographer, "I NEED ALL THE TUXEDOS UP HERE… NOW… OKAY, MOVE – ALL COUSINS UP HERE NOW…" the wedding party crammed into a stretch Lincoln Navigator to take a few outdoor pictures in downtown Arlington Heights near a huge Christmas tree…. Me and a few others wanted to get some photos near a gigantic mechanical perpetually spinning 20 foot tall dradle – but the photographer was NOT in a joking mood.

We were on our way to the reception when I realize that everybody is starving. All of the women have been on some kind of pseudo-dress-fitting-fast and haven't had anything to eat all day… All the men in the limo kept asking each other what time dinner is going to start…. I saw this as an opportunity.

Knowing the route to the reception, I told the driver to stop at Wendy's – me and the brother of the bride get out and walk into a half-filled Wendy's in full tuxedo galore. We get an odd look and I say, "I'll have fifteen cheeseburgers and fifteen fries." The Wendy's girl shoots me a puzzled look and chuckles. I slap a Ulysses (that's a $50 bill for the uninformed) and say smiling, "make it happen."

Ten minuets later I return victoriously to the stretch Navigator limo to a very happy and no longer in jeopardy of passing out from starvation

Soon I hope to get to see the DVD of the event. I missed nearly all of the toasts because I was in charge of getting all the gifts up to the parents' suite and the money envelopes into the safety deposit box…. I wish the videoographer had the ability to splice in Wendy's security camera footage.


Kat(i)e and Dave recently bought their first home in Mundelein. Ironically, it is less than 1,000 yards from Skip and Tamara's first home: a couple who will be married in less than one month. Skip and Tamara's wedding will be the second ceremony in which I have been honored to play a part, this time as a groomsman.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is why I love living in the early 21st Century

A friend, that is also my coworker, said this to me today:
It seems finding great, new and original music is getting easier every day.

I am in total agreement.
Bands can be creative, act differently and try ideas that can be as far away from the mainstream as they choose. MySpace is making up for is Dateline NBC fodder in my mind for its accessibility to new music.


Broken Social Scene is going to be playing at the Metro in early November. Please contact me if you are interested in going! Meanwhile, here is another new talent: Feist

Thursday, September 6, 2007

No Final Table This Year (No success at Green Tie)

Tonight was the second annual Poker Tournament for the Green Tie Ball.
I did not make the Final Table.
I won every single pot I entered, except my last.

Why did I lose? Many reasons:
-nobody called my continuation bets
-maybe I didn't play enough hands
-time eventually run out on me

At least I made it to the break. That was two hours into the tournament. By the time we started again we were left with 6 tables and 55 players total. Blinds were at 1000 - 2000 and I had 12,000. (Starting chips was 10,000)

In the first hand from the break a large stack made a standard raised and everybody folded.

The second hand, in which I was on the button, the same large stack makes the same standard raise and the small blind shoves all in. The large stack calls. The shover shows the Ace of Hearts and the King of Diamonds. The large stack shows Ace of Diamonds and the 10 of diamonds. The AK was a 68.06% favorite, but loses as the large stack rivered a 10 high straight.

Someone raised the 3rd hand to 4,000 when I was in the big blind. Having Ace-9 unsuited I decide to fold my hand and pick a better spot. The large stack again calls. The hand is checked down and when they both reveal their hands, I see that I would have lost.

In the next hand, only the button limped.
From the small blind, I rose All-In.
The Big Blind, who is the same large stack, folds.
The button (a mid-forties woman) thinks a while, and finally calls the 8,000 more (she only had me covered by 4,000)

I show King of Clubs and Jack of Hearts.
She shows the Queen of Clubs and the Jack of Clubs.
According to the Card Player Odds Calculator, I am all in as a 69.54% favorite (2.51% chance to tie).

This was great news to me.

The flop was 6 of clubs, 6 of diamonds, 10 of clubs.
With her now on a flush draw, she improves, but I am still in the lead and a 56.46% favorite to win the hand.

The turn is a 3 of clubs. She hits her flush and takes a commanding 84.09% chance to win.

That leaves me with 15.91% chance of getting a club on the river to catch a higher flush.

The River brought a 9 of hearts, and I was eliminated.

Looking back, I'm surprised how little emotion I displayed. I shook her hand, calmly walked away, and reconstructed the hand in my mind. Half of that was shock, the other half is that I can not fault myself for having all the chips in with the better hand.

I expect to see pictures of me with my Lucky Charms watch and Wynn Visor to hit the Internet soon. Another cool pick of me in a tournament will be my only victory.

The first place winner from last year was the FIRST person eliminated. That was earth-shatteringly shocking to me.
The fourth place finisher from last year was busted before level two (less than 20 minutes)
The second place finisher from last year was not in attendance.
I thought I saw Richard Roeper (last year's 6th place finisher), but he must've been bounced EARLY.
And me, last year's 3rd place finisher, finished somewhere in the low 50s out of a much smaller than last year's tournament size of just over 100.

There's a long time for me to rethink every single hand I played.
Good Night Green Tie Ball, I'll try it again next year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Another Original Short Story (AGAIN - FICTION)

I can not sleep tonight.
In my insomnia, I thought up another FICTION piece. Sadly, it is also romantic in nature. Worse, it's also long winded.
They had first met each other at the Engagement Party. He had worked with the groom-to-be for going on six years, while she was a neighbor and childhood friend of the bride-to-be.

Most of the party was family, or those close enough to the couple to be actively involved in the wedding. They finally started talking a few hours into the party, when the game he was concentrating on ended and she had a well timed beverage refill.

She had noticed him because of his detachment. Sure, she also noticed his physical appeal, but it was how he had an aura of indifference. There was a slight twinge of envy, she was becoming exhausted by feigning interest at wedding details and nearby pregnancies. She kept an eye on him, nobody in her current talking circle realized when she left. Thankfully, nobody gave her an order. She wasn't planning on returning to that conversation.

They found sanctuary from the love circus of a background in each other's company. He wanted to ask for her number. She wanted him to ask for her number too, but neither wanted to back down off their current countenance of shared nuptial annoyance.
Three months later, at the wedding, he looked for her. She was not there.

The coworker table was positioned closest to the bar, and at the back of the reception hall. It was perfect for his coworkers, who didn't know the groom as well, but capitalized on the potential of an open bar. His coworkers were quite gregarious, quite entertaining, quite-

He noticed her as she turned away from the bar holding a bright drink in conical glass. He lost his train of thought and now began looking over to her vicinity every two to four minutes. Neither knew the similarity inherit in him now waiting for her to go back to the bar to reconnect.

In the middle of her country line dance, she only briefly considered if it was rude to leave him back at the bar as she ran to be one of the first dancers. Quickly, she rationalized her decision because she was there to dance and have fun. Besides, the hard to get angle always works and she wanted to make sure he watched her out on the floor. Having him hold her drink guaranteed that much.
Neither the wedding party, all the coworkers, or anybody left in attendance under 35 wanted to stop drinking merely because it was now midnight. The groom proudly announced they picked this location for the bar across the parking lot. A parking lot that also shared a hotel that many of the aforementioned attendees had rooms booked.

Less than an hour into the new venue, their conversation stalled. They probably won't see each other again. Unless they meet again at a first birthday party of the new couple (but both secretly believed the holy union wouldn't last long enough for that)?

He was becoming overwhelmed by his crush. He had thought about her for nearly three months, wanting this moment - but he was lost in her green eyes.

She wanted to kiss him, but not there - she believed in meaningful first kisses. Standing that close, using the music volume as the excuse, was a great compromise. The silence made her notice things she wasn't before - that her favorite heels were exactly one inch less than their height difference and that his palm fit her shoulder perfectly. It also strengthened her first impressions - that he looked at her eyes and that every word he said felt heavy.

"What now?" is something she meant to just say to herself, but had zero doubt or regret that it was said out loud.

He replied, "I don't know... but... You have a beautiful soul..."
She was speechless, he did not seem like someone to her that would use a line like that.
He continued, "I've been wanting to say something for months now, to you, I didn't know what... I want to know more about you. I couldn't explain your beauty - and my feelings about you to myself, but I'm sure people that know you understand-"

Out of the corner of his eye he realized multiple pairs of eyes from the coworker group had noticed this. Thankfully they couldn't hear, but that could also mean much worse. This sudden fear of Monday morning gossip had jarred him his tunnel vision.

She did not appreciate the distraction. Now feeling stronger about him, but conflicted, she dragged him out of the bar - to the adjacent hotel.
He was glad that his coworkers were still in the bar when he returned. He was welcomed with a chorus of cheers and many probing questions. He was not in the mood for any discussion.

What he said was all true. They talked. He got her phone number. He regrets that he should've done more. A few coworkers didn't respond well to the story, borderline upset that he didn't "hit that." Some coworkers were more sensitive, and after a few atta-boys continued back on their path.

It was in the cab ride home, that he took out the card in his pocket that had her phone number. He kept thinking about one of the last things he said to her. "If we do this now, this will be it... I don't want this to be it... I want more."

The most depressing thing for him: this is what he wanted... This is what he planned. A no risk win-win situation in which he appears romantic, coworkers have an improved but respectable opinion about him, and that he can live with himself that he seized an opportunity with someone who he has been thinking about for a long time.

She was beautiful, He was in her hotel room, they were both on the bed and he walked away. "How do you walk back to that?" he thought. The questions continued well past the tipping of the cab driver and settling under the covers. Questions of rejection and pessimism that was the romantic paralysis that has come to define his later young adult life.

A life seemingly opposite one of his favorite quotes by John Lennon, who said, "Life is what happens when you're making plans."

No, sadly, he was making plans instead of living life.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Is Tom Brady A Nasty Boy?

First things first, I absolutely love this YouTube clip of (Retired) Senator Larry Craig.

So what does Tom Brady have to do with it?

Tom Brady is a ladies man:

He knocked up his Hollywood actress girlfriend shortly before leaving her:

To date a Brazilian Supermodel:

Who was quickly (and untruthfully) rumored to also be pregnant:

Tom Brady is potent.

Most importantly, Tom Brady was my second round pick in my fantasy football league and is the man charged with the task of leading my team to the playoffs and a championship.

So is does this forgive him from being bad to bridget Moynihan?
Or naughty with Giselle Bundchen?

Those answers are no.

But, I don't want him to be bad this season - and I sure as hell don't want him to be naughty and get his ass suspended.

I want Tom Brady to be Nasty on the defenses he goes up against. I want him to know that I hope he's more potent now than ever when it comes to performing on the football field.

The National Football League begins on Thursday. Will you be Bad, Naughty or Nasty?