Monday, January 30

Ladies, the fake line forms to the left.

You left "Anderson Cooper 360" for Fox? Apparently The Clash was wrong, and Rudi can, in fact, fail.

Two things came up over the past month that have kind of altered the way I function in terms of TV news viewing. The first involves Rudi Bakhtiar, whose eye-popping make-you-wanna-throw-rocks-at-Laurie-Dhue hotness has been well documented at this and previous blogs; mere days after noticing I hadn't seen her on CNN or Headline News in what seemed like ages, I'm flipping through channels on a Sunday morning and I catch a glimpse of a strikingly Rudi-Bakhtiar-esque woman up at channel 53 . . . otherwise known as Fox News. With a feeling of dread rising in my stomach, I flipped back, and there she was. A quick Internet perusal confirmed that Rudi had found a new home at Faux.

I have to give props to the enemy for a genius move on their part, as I can only assume this was the opening salvo in a diabolically Blofeld-like scheme to consolidate as much of the nation's newsreading hotness as possible in one network. If that turns out to be true, then watch out, Betty Nguyen and Robin Meade, y'all are probably next on Faux's hit list. That said, however, I'm obviously not crazy about Rudi's choice. Granted, the idea of Rudi Bakhtiar being employed by a company called Fox is somehow appropriate, yet I still can't help but feel betrayed in the same way I would if, say, Monica Pang announced an intention to go to grad school at Florida. Sure, everything seems hunky-dory now, but how long before they start forcing Rudi to accompany douchenozzle John "Senator Kelly" Gibson to his John Birch Society meetings? Will we soon see leaked photos of Bakhtiar standing over the nude, hooded body of Alan Colmes with a cigarette hanging from her insouciantly smiling lips?

The whole thing did jog my memory, though, of a post I'd seen on TBogg earlier in the month and had intended to comment on (but in my post-Sugar-Bowl state of anguish and malaise I failed to do so). TBogg's post was about Melissa Theuriau, a French newsanchor who's just, like . . . well, see for yourself:

In France she is called "la renarde," and she is hunted with only her cunning to protect her. (By the way, did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played girl bunny? Neither did I. I was just asking.)

See what I'm saying? I mean, I've expounded at length upon the astronomical caliber of female splendor at UGA, but even there we didn't have any girls like this. And you would've known if we did, because the downtown bar scene would've suddenly dried up due to entire sororities saying "Why bother" and spending their Saturday nights at home with a pint of Cherry Garcia and the VHS of "Titanic."

So. Anyway, like I said, I'm kind of re-evaluating my worldview here. Maybe Rudi Bakhtiar doesn't have what it takes to be my fake girlfriend after all, but clearly Melissa Theuriau does. What to do, what to do? I know -- I'll let you, the reader, decide! Yes, you, the reader, get to help pick my fake girlfriend, the one I trot out anytime I want to comment on some grand claim made by George W. Bush that he has nothing to back himself up on, or, hell, when my regular day-to-day drudgery gets too boring to post on and I simply want to trot out my richly embellished fantasy life.

Mind you, that won't be easy, given that I also have connections to scads of other ladies in my fallacious fantasy past. So here's a quick rundown of all the options on your ballot, just so that you're in a position to make the most informed possible choice:

Rudi "The Subcontinental Siren" Bakhtiar

· Is a journalist, so we got that in common.
· I'm assuming Fox News was willing to drop a boatload of money to bogart her from CNN.
· Paychecks now signed by Rupert Murdoch.
· Iranian background means she's probably been on the government's terrorist watch list for months.
· Is a journalist.

Elisha "Kim Bauer" Cuthbert

· Apparently is a sports fan.
· Canadian, which I can use if we ever go on vacation in Europe, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.
· Was in "Old School."
· No confirmed interest in anything football-related -- only hockey, which I can't get excited about unless it's the Thrashers or the Canadiens.
· Unable to guarantee I wouldn't start giggling if she let slip an "eh" or an "aboot."
· Sometimes tends toward belts that verge on the gratuitously large.
· Was in "House of Wax."

Angelina "Homewrecker" Jolie

· The vinyl bustier scene from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Seriously, dude.
· "You know, we have the same birthday" a take-it-to-the-bank pickup line.
· Is an international humanitarian.
· Evidently likes kids.
· Dating her would involve breaking up a family, and I don't do that anymore.
· The whole wearing-a-vial-of-Billy-Bob-Thornton's-blood-around-her-neck thing. Sorry, but you're probably going to have to adopt a few more Third World children before you can take that one off your permanent record.
· Doesn't exactly have a reputation for normal relationships.

Keira "Domino" Knightley

· British accents are teh hott. (Make that an Oscar-nominated British accent.)
· Has abs like whoa.
· Actually picks mostly good movies to appear in.
· Because she's a Brit, I'd probably have to do everything in reverse if I wanted to make a move on her in the front seat of a car. (See also: the "Seinfeld" episode where George "can't go left.")
· Can't legally drink -- in the U.S., at least -- for another two months.

Melissa "Frenchy" Theuriau

· French accents are also teh hott.
· Being from France means there's an 83%-88% chance she's Catholic.
· Predilection for wearing tank tops and flirty sundresses while reporting on suicide bombings or avian flu makes her quite an innovator, at least by American standards.
· Might actually be impressed with the Serge Gainsbourg, Air, and/or Édith Piaf in my music collection. (Which would make her the first.)
· The language barrier, given that 90% of the French words I know are obscenities.
· French nationality probably means she, too, is on the terrorist watch list.
· For similar reasons, being romantically linked to a non-Coalition foreigner probably deep-sixes any chance I'll ever have of getting elected to public office in the state of Alabama. (Just look what it did to John Kerry.)
· Is a journalist.

So there you have it -- cast your vote or make write-in recommendations in the comments thread. (You're also welcome to make recommendations for a real girlfriend, too, which might even be better, now that I think about it -- but shit, I'll take what I can get.)

Saturday, January 28

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new catchphrase . . .

I know that the "Lazy Sunday" video from "Saturday Night Live" is the Internet video that's currently blowing up the spot, but I gotta say Conan O'Brien did them one better with James Lipton's rendition of Kevin Federline's "PopoZao" (link courtesy The Superficial). I will now be randomly hollering out "PopoZao" at awkward and/or inappropriate times in public settings, just to make people feel uncomfortable.

In the meantime, I think Conan should make dramatic readings of "PopoZao" a regular feature, with a different famous figure reciting the lyrics each night. I propose that they start off with the original Brazilian booty herself, Gisele Bundchen, and proceed with Sean Connery, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, et cetera et cetera. What do you think, sirs?

Friday, January 27

Friday Random Ten . . .

Culture warriors, come out and play-ee-ay!

. . . But before we get started, can anyone tell me why in the hell anyone thought this was a good idea? Look, I know that as a good wild-eyed liberal I'm supposed to think Kanye is a hero for calling out Dubya during the Katrina telethon, and I can't honestly say I've ever heard one of his songs I didn't like. (Kanye, I mean, not Bush, though Dubya's remake of "Cocaine Blues" on his last album was eerily compelling.) But this is the kind of stupid bullshit that only feeds the paranoia of the right-wing culture warriors who can't so much as watch a rerun of "The Cosby Show" without picking out sixteen different ways the show is insulting Christianity and accelerating the downfall of American society.

As you might have gathered by now, my sensibilities don't exactly qualify as "delicate," and thus it takes a lot to offend me. So I never thought I'd actually be uttering the phrase "this offends me as a Christian," but . . . I mean, are they actually comparing the suffering of Kanye West to that of Jesus? And I'm not even saying that I agree with what I just know is going to be the right wing's accusation, that Rolling Stone's editors are sitting around trying to come up with ways to persecute Christians, I'm just saying the idea of Kanye West's suffering as being on a par with Jesus's is witheringly inane. I'll confess that I haven't read the article -- I think I gave up on Rolling Stone after their fourth or fifth Britney Spears cover -- but seriously, what could possibly be Kanye West's claim to Christlike suffering? Taking heat for his Bush comments? Not winning a Grammy for "Gold Digger"? (Dude, I catch heat all the time for dissing Bush, and I've never won a Grammy . . . when's RS gonna Jesus me up and put me on the cover?) Howsabout from now on, before any of us decides to compare ourselves to the Big J.C., we stop and take a minute to consider what kind of douchebag company that puts us in.

Anyway, rant over. The Ten:

1. U2, "Where the Streets Have No Name"
2. Depeche Mode, "Rush"
3. The Pretenders, "I'll Stand By You"
4. U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
5. Fugazi, "Public Witness Program"
6. Dave Matthews Band, "Crash"
7. Miles Davis, "Rouge"
8. Blur, "Bank Holiday"
9. 3rd Bass, "The Cactus"
10. Janet Jackson, "Nasty"

Oh, we were doing so well there until the end . . . though it did give me an idea for Kanye's next single. No, my first name ain't "Baby," it's "Kanye" . . . Jesus Christ if you're nasty!

Thursday, January 26

And thus is trod the razor-thin margin between genius and travesty.

No, it's not the 'stache playing tricks on you -- he really is badass.

Every Day Should Be Saturday was on-the-ball enough to bring us the news of an impending big-screen adaptation of the late, great "Magnum, P.I." TV series. Orson and Stranko seem to be convinced that this is a horrible idea, and given the clockwork awfulness of most old TV shows turned into movies, I'm not about to call their fears unfounded. However, I'm willing to hold out hope for the potential awesomeness of a Magnum movie, with one caveat: The movie has to star Tom Selleck in the title role. Has to! If it does, I'm there. If not, I will not only refuse to see the movie but also organize a full-scale nationwide boycott.

My early childhood TV viewing included a steady diet of "Magnum" thanks to my mom, who thought Tom Selleck was teh hott and who also happened to, at the time, be married to a dude who bore a striking resemblance to The Selleck himself. (Small vestiges of this resemblance continued throughout his life, though Dad pretty much forfeited any claim to Selleck-ness when he got rid of his 'stache a couple years ago.) So anyway, it's hard for me not to look upon the character of Thomas Magnum, and therefore The Selleck himself, as a complete badass. Living (by all appearances) rent-free on a massive estate in Hawaii, driving a Ferrari, bedding hot chicks, solving crimes? Every red-blooded male out there, whether he's aware of it or not, strives to live that kind of life.

But my greater point is that nobody other than Selleck can do justice to this role. Various folks in the EDSBS thread suggested people like George Clooney, who is also badass, but my question is, why can't Selleck carry this movie? OK, so maybe his resume over the past few years has been mostly made-for-TV work, but this cat has charisma out the Hawaiian wazoo ("Three Men and a Baby"? That season of "Friends" where he was shagging Courtney Cox? C'mon, people!) and deserves a starring role in something like the "Magnum" movie to be to his career what, say, "Pulp Fiction" was to Travolta's.

As for the rest of the casting, I'm not sure what the producers should do and they're certainly not soliciting my opinion, but here are my thoughts based on personal preferences and what I picked up in the EDSBS thread:

Straight-up casting
Higgins: Ricky Gervais ("The Office")
T.C.: Ving Rhames ("Out of Sight")
Rick: Jeremy Piven ("Grosse Pointe Blank")

Indie-cred casting
Higgins: Ben Kingsley ("Sexy Beast")
T.C.: Andre Braugher ("Get On the Bus")
Rick: Paul Giamatti ("Sideways")

Swing-for-the-fences, outside-the-box casting
Higgins: John Cleese ("Monty Python")
T.C.: Andre Patton (Big Boi of OutKast)
Rick: Zach Braff ("Scrubs")

Just my ideas, of course. But the one constant has to be The Selleck. No compromises on this one, kids. Feel free to make your own casting suggestions (and/or predictions of the movie's probable greatness/suckitude) in the comments thread.

Wednesday, January 25

Things I wish I'd written, Vol. XXVIII, No. 237.

Drink in the rich Haterade goodness of The 50 Most Loathsome People of 2005, as presented by Buffalo alternative rag The Beast. An annual omnibus skewering whose sheer choleric awesomeness must be seen to be believed.

A sampling:

On #24, Jim Guckert: "The most hilariously twisted figure of 2005, including Michael Jackson. Guckert, better known as Jeff Gannon, truly lived a life in need of two names: the upright, macho, McCarthyite Clark Kent and the buff, military-fetish prostitute Superfag. Gannon symbolized so many things: the exponential erosion of journalistic standards, the fundamental hypocrisy in the heart of each Republican (further evidenced by their charges of 'gay-bashing' when liberals could not conceal their amusement at his outing), unseemly conflicts of interest between the press and the GOP, etc. But what was lost in the sauce was that Gannon was a straight-up plagiarist, actually copying and pasting sections of White House press releases into his articles, and we don?t mean quotations. Now that?s a lazy propagandist. Nobody seemed to find that part of the story particularly interesting, but hey, what?s violating the first rule of journalism next to"

On #42, Nancy Grace: "Revenges herself nightly for the murder of her fiancée on every criminal suspect and defendant; facts be damned. Despite her viscous, Gump-like hyper-drawl, her brain can barely keep pace. Looks like a camel in drag. Her crude vindictiveness is to the myth of the southern belle what Roots was to the myth of the genteel South."

On #12, Barbara Bush: "Her polluted womb nurtured the seed of American decadence. The root of America?s decay; the poison tree from whence the fruit loop George W. Bush sprang. This unfeeling, unthinking patrician hag spawned America?s most notorious welfare child, whose every glaring deficiency has been excused or underwritten by undeserved wealth. Chuckling, she remarked of poor people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, 'And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.' Of their plans for permanent relocation, she speculated: 'What I?m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas.' A true aristocrat, she sees poor people as another species."

Who's number one? I'll give you a hint, it isn't Dubya, but it is someone equally worthless. After you read, feel free to make your own nominations in the comments.

Tuesday, January 24

I'm sellin' out, I want the world to know, I got to let it show.

You're going to start seeing some changes on this blog before too long, because I've decided to give Google's AdSense program a whirl. The details of the program, as I understand them, are pretty simple: I let Google throw up some ads on this blog and I get paid when people click on them, or something like that. Yup, apparently this POS blog has revenue-earning potential! Maybe all this means is that I earn enough to super-size one super value meal per month, but hey, that's free french fries in my pocket, beeyatch. Worth a shot, in any case.

Before this all kicks in, two things. First of all, I know some of you may be tempted to think less of me because I'm opening this sucker up to advertising. But I can assure you that this is, in fact, all your fault. Why? Because I started this blog in the hopes that people everywhere would think it was freakin' hilarious and that screenwriting offers, generous checks, and hot girls' phone numbers would start pouring in as society's way of thanking me for making the world a better place. Needless to say, that hasn't happened. So because none of y'all sent me the ducketts I was looking for, I had to sell out and get them myself. Don't worry, I'm not going to lord it over you or anything.

Second of all, the presence of ads on this site will not in any way impact the editorial content. So if/when I start dicussing how the Clorox ReadyMop changed my life or how the Volvo V50 sportwagon is cock diesel, you can rest assured that I do so only with the utmost sincerity.

Anyway. We'll see how this works and if I make any money off of it, and go from there.

Sunday, January 22

Jeez, the one time in my life I want to watch CMT . . .

First time in Vegas and not one of them chose craps or blackjack as their talent?

Last night was the Miss America pageant, carried live from Las Vegas on CMT, otherwise known as Country Music Television. For reasons I'll get to in a minute, I actually wanted to watch this, which makes the first time I would've ever deliberately watched something on that network . . . but guess what? My cable company doesn't carry CMT. In Birmingham, Alabama! Which is like, I don't know, a provider in Miami not carrying Univision. Or one in Brooklyn not carrying . . . uh, the Jewish Network. Sorry, that analogy was a lot harder to make than I thought it was going to be. Anyway, I got my Maryland homegirl Kristen to text-message me updates throughout the event, so that, at least, kept me informed.

The reason that I was so interested in this, of course, was one Monica Pang, for whom you will recall both Kristen and I cheered our asses off as she stormed to victory in the Miss Georgia pageant last June. And here's a true story, hit up the link if you don't believe me: A couple months ago I was hunting through this blog's archives to try and dig up something I'd posted or linked to over the summer, and I randomly clicked on the comments thread for the post I did about Miss Georgia, and who had left a comment that had somehow gone unnoticed for damn near four months? Monica freakin' Pang, that's who, Miss Georgia her ownself. And she didn't even leave something like "You're a 'tard" or "I wish you were funny" like I'm accustomed to getting. So based on that, I actually threw caution to the wind and e-mailed someone from the Miss Georgia organization to see if I could swing an interview with her. I mean, why not, right? And it wasn't going to be the usual crap like "Oooh, are you nervous on stage?" or "What do most pageant contestants use to keep their swimsuits from riding up their asses," none of that bush-league crap -- we were going to sit down over beers or maybe cupcakes and talk about the Bulldogs' season and where she predicted D.J. Shockley would go in the draft, whether she likes George W. Bush, her favorite places to go get hammered in downtown Athens, that kind of thing. Oh, and how the hell she found her way to this blog in the first place. My first question was going to be, "Tell the truth, you Googled yourself to find out if any of the other Miss Georgia contestants were talking shit about you online." Not that I'm judging. I probably would've done the same thing.

Anyway, the Miss Georgia rep probably rumbled pretty quickly the fact that Ms. Pang had better things to do than slum it with this smallest-of-small-time blogs, so the interview (obviously) never came through. But Kristen and I, and no doubt all of Bulldog Nation, were rooting for Monica in Miss America even if we were inexplicably unable to watch it.

Kristen's text messages informed me that Ms. Pang had made the round of ten, then of five, and finally that she had come in second behind Miss Oklahoma. Now, nothing personal against Jennifer Berry, whom I'm sure is delightful, but -- really? Oklahoma? I just get this vibe off her like she jumps around and talks in a really high-pitched voice when she gets excited and has a dog small enough to be carried around in a purse, possibly the currently trendy cockapoo/Maltese mix that my mom thinks should be called a "cocktease." (Which inspired me to try and breed my own dog with a cocker spaniel/Doberman pinscher mix and create the world's first Boston cockpincher, but that's really neither here nor there.) Anyway, I know opinions are like assholes, everyone has them, the Miss America judges have theirs and I have mine, theirs just happen to be wrong. I mean, look, Miss Georgia is gorgeous, she can rock the shit out of some Chopin, she's a UGA journalism graduate which is as sure a sign of genius as there is these days -- what more did they want? Someone to beat Spassky at chess or invent cold fusion right there on stage?

Well, I guess there's no point in getting too chafed over it now. But suffice to say that while she may be #2 on the stage (and maybe #10 or 11 in the program), she'll always be #1 in our hearts.

If the top contestant is unable to fulfill her duties or turns out to have some hard-core porn in her past, this is your 2006 Miss America right here, folks. Don't sweat the technique.

Edited to reflect the fact that Monica was first runner-up, not second (thanks Meghan).

Saturday, January 21

Stuff you didn't want to know about me.

First of all, mad stupid props are in order for Michael from Yummy Brain Gravy and The Drizzle, who gave me the inside dope on how to sneak around Apple's best-laid plans and copy music files back off of my trusty iPod. Now my music library is whole again, and I can get back to using this computer for the use for which it was mainly intended: making an ass of myself on-line.

A week or so ago I was going to throw my own two cents in on Ann's post about the most heinous TV ads of 2005. If you haven't already, you really need to read that post, because she's spot-on in most of her criticisms, particularly the ones directed at the Dr. Scholl's "jellin'" ads (please! stab! me! in! the! face!) and at those Applebee's ads where they rewrite various moldy pop songs to shill for whatever special menu item they've got that month. Though in Applebee's defense, those aren't anywhere near as bad as Kraft taking EMF's 1991 quasi-hit "Unbelievable" (still a good song, I don't care what anyone else says) and rewriting it to pitch their new bagged cheese crumbles, with the end result being -- wait for it -- "Crumble-lievable." No, don't sing it to yourself to try and find out what it sounds like, you'll only end up hating yourself for it later. It's a shame Ann's post came out before this ad did, I can only imagine the field day she would've had with it.

Anyway, I was going to pile on with my own condemnations of ads that suck, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my tolerance for stupid advertising (or stupidity in advertising, as the case may be) might be a lot higher than my sister's. Like, f'rinstance, I know I'm in the minority here, but I think the Wendy's "ranch tooth" ad from last year is one of the funniest freaking ads that's ever been on TV. I'm sorry! I giggle like a little girl every time I see it; I giggled like a little girl when I was linking to it just now. Come on, a big tooth wearing a cowboy hat! It's funny! I also like the Sonic ads with the two guys in the car. I think they're funny! Sue me! You know, the two guys eating Sonic in the front seat of the car and the one on the left looks like Phil Simms.

So what was going to be a vicious skewering of bad ads instead turned into a long list of things about me -- likes, dislikes, the whole lot -- that might make those of you out there in Readerland think less of me, assuming that's possible. But I'm just putting it all out there on the table. Instead of venting my spleen at more bad ads, we're going to play a game called Is it Bad That . . . ? where all the questions are provocative and none of the answers are wrong, unless they're mine. Herewith, a view into the darkest hidden recesses of my soul:

Is it bad that . . . in the Dell ad where the perky blonde chick moves into the college dorm room with the goth chick, and it turns out they both have the same Dell laptop, I think the goth chick is the hotter of the two?

Is it bad that . . . on the subject of hot or kinda-hot chicks, I would, if given the chance, do Paris Hilton? Now, look, I know what the default response is supposed to be if you reveal something like that. "Paris Hilton? Do you even know where she's been? I wouldn't touch her with yours." And there's probably some validity to that, but I figure that anyone with as much money as Paris Hilton probably has a wide array of medical means at her disposal to eradicate whatever, uh, contaminants she may have encountered on her many forays here and there. Which means that if offered the opportunity, I'd have to do her, just for the story. I mean, come on -- this is one of those things that, like the Yankees or "Mallrats," way more people like than will actually admit to it.

Speaking of ads I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoyed.

Is it bad that . . . I don't think Andy Kaufman was the slightest bit funny? I don't even think of him as a comedian so much as I think of him as a second-rate performance artist who managed to Emperor's New Clothes his way onto "Taxi" back in the '70s. I mean, I'm sure the guy was brilliant by some definition, if only because he managed to fool so many people into thinking that getting up on stage and singing children's songs was both avant-garde and hysterical, but does that mean I gotta laugh at it?

Is it bad that . . . I have neither read any of the Harry Potter books nor seen any of the movies? I haven't seen any of the "Lord of the Rings" movies, either, and the more people bitch at me for not having seen them, the more determined I am to not go, just to be contrary.

Is it bad that . . . I once owned Headlines and Deadlines: The Hits of a-ha? Before anyone even makes the obvious joke, no, it wasn't a single (though if they had included only the songs that anyone in America ever heard of, it probably would've been).

"The Sun Always Shines on TV" is the jam, motherf$#!er!

Is it bad that . . . I once subscribed to Playboy and Maxim simultaneously?

Is it bad that . . . I replaced them with The New Yorker and Harper's?

Is it bad that . . . I kind of like the Nissan Armada? Don't get excited, I would never buy one, I just think they're kind of cool.

Is it bad that . . . I didn't actually like the movie "Vertigo"?

Leave your vicious judgments in the comments section, and I may or may not try to improve my life accordingly. Keep in mind I'm kind of baring my soul here.

Friday, January 20

Friday Random Ten, I'm Not Dead Yet Edition.

My apologies if I've given every impression of falling off the face of the earth since leaving for my trip up to D.C. last weekend. I've been here in Birmingham this week, safe and sound, but spending an inordinate amount of time trying to reconstruct my bigger-than-I-thought music library on my computer. Apparently when I was transferring all my .mp3s over from the old laptop to the new one, a bunch of them went overboard in the process, so I've been spending the last few days trying to recover them if possible or re-rip them from CDs if I've still got them.

This was time-consuming but mostly successful, and I'm down to about 100 or so tracks that I'm thinking have pretty much been lost to the ether. Just about all of it is stuff I previously purchased on the Apple Music Store, too, and I'd just as soon not have to re-blow another $100 on .mp3s I already purchased a while back. So here's my question for the day: Can you e-mail an .mp3? This is an obvious enough question that the answer is either "No, you actually can't" or "Yes, what are you, a complete 'tard?", so I know there's a 50% chance I'm leaving myself open for some real denigration here. But I figure it's worth it if I can just get people out there to e-mail me these things if they've got them.

My plan is this: If it turns out I am a 'tard and duh, yes, you can e-mail .mp3s, I'll post a list of the ones I'm still missing up here in the next couple days, and then both all of you loyal readers with musical taste as bad as mine can throw me .mp3s of that crap if you've got it somewhere in your collection and you're feeling unnecessarily generous. Anyway, somebody hook a brother up with an answer to the e-mail question in the comments, and we'll go from there.

With that, here's the Random Ten as spit forth by my iPod. As opposed to my computer, and this is significant, because all the songs I have, even the "missing" ones, are sitting there in my iPod and in a perfect world I'd just be able to copy them off of there onto my computer. But did you know that once you put a song on an iPod, the only way to get it off there is to delete it entirely? As in, you can't copy it off of there and back onto, say, a new computer or something like that? Which I guess makes sense from Apple's perspective, because otherwise you could just have iPod owners around the country swapping iPods like wives at a 1970s key party and loading up on each other's music libraries, and then there'd be no need for people to blow money at the Apple Music Store at the rate of $0.99 a throw, but still, suck! (Yes, I know, I'm the last person on the planet to have figured out this dirty little non-secret of the iPod/iTunes system, but remember, I'm the guy who doesn't even know whether you can e-mail a freaking .mp3, for crying out loud, so don't go overestimating my intelligence just because I found an acorn with that Simpsons thing a couple months ago.)

Anyway. Rant over. Fo' really. The Ten:

1. Pet Shop Boys, "If Love Were All"
2. Afro Man, "She Won't Let Me Fuck"
3. Modern English, "Melt With You"
4. Johnny Cash, "Nobody"
5. Bowery Electric, "Coming Down"
6. Happy Mondays, "Lazyitis"
7. The Fugees, "The Score"
8. Pet Shop Boys, "One and One Make Five"
9. The Chemical Brothers, "Marvo Ging"
10. Dead Kennedys, "Let's Lynch the Landlord"

Don't forget to somebody throw me an answer to the .mp3-e-mailing question in the comments . . . and, of course, drop your own Ten in there if the spirit moves you.

Sunday, January 15

Take it from someone who's been there -- it's a long flight back from Seattle.

Them feets work better if you got 'em on the ground, cousin.

I've been spending the weekend up in Maryland with my best friend from college, who moved here a few months ago, and being up here on the weekend that the Redskins play their first divisional playoff game in 6 years, and only their second in 15 years, is kind of like when I leave Birmingham to go back to Georgia to see my folks for the weekend or something: I smile knowing these are my people. In Georgia it's people with Georgia front license plates and Bulldog stickers on their cars, here it's people with Redskins flags flying from their car windows. On a Friday afternoon, as they drive home from work. It's walking into a bar on Saturday afternoon and realizing that the #56 Lavar Arrington jersey the little blond hostess is wearing just makes her hotter. Somehow it's fitting that after the Redskins' long 15-year trip through the desert, I'd end up watch them finish the trip up here.

Yeah, they lost. Lost despite a +3 turnover margin and rolling up more than twice as many yards as they did the previous week when they somehow won. And look, I thought I wouldn't have to worry about Florida receivers repeatedly ripping my heart out of my chest once the college season was over. But whereas a Georgia loss leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach and usually drives me to confession the following Wednesday evening, feeling certain that I must have really done something to piss God off if he's gonna do me like that, this latest Redskins loss leaves me disappointed but upbeat, because for the first time in 15 years there's light at the end of the tunnel for us 'Skins fans that finally isn't an oncoming train. Clearly, the team is not perfect, as anyone will attest who saw them set offensive football back 20 or 30 years in the win against Tampa a week ago, but we've finally ginned up another playoff run and we've finally gotten the Cowboys monkey emphatically off our backs, and I'll take that in a heartbeat.

Anyway. Annapolis, for y'all who have never been here before, is a pretty cool little town. And the U.S. Naval Academy, for lack of a better word, is badass. As we were walking around the campus on the guided tour yesterday, I got to daydreaming -- you know, everyone has these daydream threads or storylines where they imagine what their lives would be like right now if they'd done X, Y, or Z when they were younger; mine include Where would I be if I'd learned how to play football when I was a kid and gone on to star in college?, Where would I be if I'd started a band with my friends when I was in high school?, etc. etc., that kind of thing. Anyway, to that list I added, Where would I be if I had gone to the Naval Academy and ended up graduating with honors? I can't say for sure, and I don't know that I would've even made it through, given that four years at the Academy requires a level of physical exertion I'm not sure I could've withstood when I was 18 or 19, much less now. But when they show you the promotional, video of all the graduates on commissioning day in their dress whites throwing their caps up into the air -- and I'm sure this is exactly what they were going for when they filmed that -- you can't help but try and picture yourself among them. And I, for one, couldn't help picturing my dad up in the stands, almost wetting himself with pride. Depending on what your kid does and where he/she ends up, some folks are going to be impressed by it and some folks aren't, but saying "My kid just graduated from the Naval Academy" tends to shift that balance to about 90/10.

Anyway, this afternoon it's hop on a train at Union Station and ride on down to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to meet up with some relatives who may or may not have power after the storms last night. Why is it that every time I take a trip up North these days, it snows? Do I have some shamanic snow-creating powers that follow me whenever I travel north of the Mason-Dixon? That might actually be more impressive than being accepted to the Naval Academy, now that I think about it. Well, not really.

Monday, January 9

Gettin' funk like a shoe . . .

Take a good look at the fella in the picture above, because this man is The Truth, son. Here's a number for you: 132. That's the total number of yards the New York Giants accrued on their way to becoming the first team to get shut out in a home playoff game in more than a quarter-century. Now, why am I showing you a picture of the Redskins' coach while quoting the Giants' statistics? Because the Skins had fewer yards than that on Saturday and still won. When your coach is The Truth, you can do these kinds of things.

Now, was it an ugly win? Oh, you bet your ass it was -- on a beauty scale of 10 (the Rose Bowl) to 1 (pick pretty much any win from Georgia's 1999 season), this was a 1, and it may not even make it that high if you decide you want to get decimal points involved. But it was an awesome win to me, because it made the month of January exciting again. With a very few notable exceptions over the last 10 or 15 years, the final gun of the college national-title game has been a profoundly depressing moment, because it means that unless I can find an NFL team to pretend to care about, I don't get to participate in the final glorious month of football as anything more than an impartial observer -- it's kind of like being in Model UN in high school and getting stuck representing the Holy See. Maybe once or twice in a millennium I'll get lucky and I'll get to pretend the Falcons might actually go all the way, but other than that, it's a cold and lonely month since the Redskins are almost assured to have played themselves out of playoff contention by Thanksgiving. But not this year. Now instead of congratulating my friends on how awesome the Jags or the Bucs or the Pats are this year, I get to believe again. It's entirely possible that all this breathless triumphalism is preparing me for nothing more than the Skins getting donkeybonked up in Seattle this weekend, but even if that happens, you won't be able to convince me the Redskins aren't back. Because The Truth is back.

That was the meat of the weekend, but there was also plenty of gravy, including beautiful weather, a Saturday night out with a hot blonde, and a James Bond marathon on AMC. (The girl I went out with Saturday -- do you think it would creep her out if I asked her to wear nothing but a bikini and a knife the next time she comes over? I mean, I'm just asking, but that particular ensemble didn't become iconic by accident.) Not only the best gadgets and the best chicks in movie history, but some of the best theme songs, too. And I'm not even talking just about the classics, either, like "Goldfinger" or "Live and Let Die," but does anyone remember "A View to a Kill"? Made in 1985, Roger Moore was pretty much collecting Social Security checks by then, and the theme song was done by Duran Duran, probably knocked off in between takes for Notorious. And it rocks. Hard. Maybe because it carries that tinge of menace you can only understand once you've seen Christopher Walken play a Bond villain, and you can only understand the creepiness of that once you realize just how much his association with supposedly innocuous "Saturday Night Live" characters such as the Continental and the "more cowbell" guy only intensifies said menace. Or maybe it's just me.

When you're standing next to Grace Jones and you're the one scaring people, that is an accomplishment.

Switching the topic a little here, but speaking of people whose menace is tinged with comedy (or vice versa), how is it that Marcus Vick, whose metamorphosis from football player into rap sheet creator came as absolutely no surprise to anyone who'd ever heard the name "Mo Clarett," still managed to surprise even the most jaded among us with the sheer velocity of his downfall? I mean, here's a guy who was walking on Communion-wafer-thin ice since having applied the old "grass on the field" maxim a little too liberally in Blacksburg a couple years ago, still manages to get kicked off the team thanks to his nifty personal-injury stunt in the Gator Bowl, then waits until after he's declared for the NFL draft to get caught waving a gun at some kids outside a McDonald's. (Before you even ask, yes, the "he was only trying to buy his date a Happy Meal" joke has already been made.) Proving once again that he's really only intimidating when the opponent is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever.

I don't know what kind of a pro prospect the kid's gonna make -- on the one hand, he did manage to injure himself celebrating an ultimately meaningless score (during the ACC championship game) in a manner so embarrassing that only the NFL's Bill Gramatica has been able to match it. On the other hand, even Lawrence Taylor showed some remorse when he fucked up a dude's leg, and that was only by accident. And I don't know that I want to see Marcus showing up in any of those United Way ads, because "Won't somebody think of the children" means something completely different coming out of his mouth from what it does coming out of anything else's, and it involves dabs of Sex Panther cologne and a twenty slipped to the desk clerk at the Days Inn to ensure that he "didn't see nothin'." (OK, I had to make one joke.) In the end, though, this is probably all academic, because I'm willing to bet good money that the closest Little Vick ever gets to an NFL playing field is waiting outside the Georgia Dome next to big brother's H2, with a shammy at the ready in case a pigeon manages to crap on it.

Vica Wear: The bling that says, "I make Billy Carter look respectable."

Sorry if I sound a little schadenfreude-ish about the whole thing. It's not that I wish misfortune or a "Boogie Nights"-like failure spiral on anyone, particularly a Hokie, but the point is I didn't have to wish it -- New Mexico asked for, and got, the whole thing himself. And what I'm worried about is the prospect that, as somebody in the Broncos front office did with Clarett, somebody is (at least temporarily) going to mistake Little Vick's dipshittery for "passion." And if that confusion is enough to somehow get Vick drafted before my boy D.J. Shockley this spring, you're gonna have to bodily restrain me from driving up to Virginia and doing some leg-stomping of my own.

Of course, we could avoid this all right now if someone could gather Little Vick together with Kevin Federline, Mike "Brownie" Brown, Ashlee Simpson, Sean Hannity, and that guy who used to be in Creed and put them all in a house. Then it'd be a reality show called "The Worthless Life." Wouldn't you watch a show like that? Hell, I'd watch it.

Friday, January 6

Friday Random Ten.

1. 3rd Bass, "Derelicts of Dialect"
2. Massive Attack, "Safe From Harm"
3. Nanci Griffith, "Drive-In Movies and Dashboard Lights"
4. Doc and Merle Watson, "Train That Carried My Girl From Town"
5. The English Beat, "Mirror in the Bathroom"
6. The Pretenders, "I'll Stand By You"
7. Bobby Darin, "More"
8. The Pretenders, "Back on the Chain Gang"
9. Stealers Wheel, "Stuck in the Middle With You"
10. David Holmes, "Radio 7"

And because my iPod managed to go through 10 entire songs without pulling up anything by the Pet Shop Boys -- a rare occurrence, if you've ever seen my music library -- I'll go ahead and pass along the announcement that the boys are releasing a new album, "Fundamental," on April 17. I expect everyone who reads this blog or knows me personally to go out and buy it. If you don't, we can still be friends and everything, but it's safe to say I'll probably respect you a little less.

Thursday, January 5

I love the smell of self-promotion in the morning.

It smells like . . . victory:

And with that, I'm done with football until the Redskins take the field this weekend, except to say this: Texas, 44-38. You heard it here first.

Close enough. For all you punters who gambled and won big thanks to this sage advice, no thanks necessary, just e-mail me here and I'll let you know where to send the check.

Speaking of checks, though, the real winner here is Vince Young, who not only just earned himself top-three draft status and an eight-figure contract, but is also certain to be hip-deep in hot and cold running poontang the second he gets off the plane in Austin.

Good show all around, 'Horns. Hook 'em.

ADDED: One Gator fan's take on how The Onion would cover the Rose Bowl upset, and it's funny enough to get me to actually like Florida people. For the next couple days, anyway.

Tuesday, January 3

The postgame report as presented by Dave Attell and Sara Silverman.

A posse of Georgia defenders comes to the unpleasant realization that, at times, the "tackle" part of "tackle football" can be just as important as the "football" part.

I'm too exhausted to say a whole lot about last night's Sugar Bowl, and certainly neither insightful nor clever enough to make any analysis that The Drizzle, Ian or Baby Sis haven't made already, so since obscenity-laced post-bowl-loss e-mail exchanges seem to be all the rage lately, here's what I initially fired off to fellow Jawja alum and Official HJS Bestest Buddy Kristen, currently kickin' it in Maryland:

OK, you know what the worst part of that game was? It wasn't the getting bogged down 28-0 in the second quarter, though that did bring back plenty of juicy PTSD memories of the '99 Auburn-Georgia game which was as close to a living nightmare as I've ever experienced in my lucid, wide-awake life. It was storming back on both offense AND defense to pull within three points at the very end, only to fail to seal the transaction and end up losing anyway. It was like stepping to the absolute hottest woman at the bar, getting shot down, preparing to leave and then have the same woman sidle up to you and say she was sorry for being rude, she'd really like to go home with you, and then you get her home and you've got her pants off and then . . . splack. And you know what, Sugar Bowl? We CAN'T cuddle. It's much too late for that now. And I know this probably DOES happen to a lot of guys, but we are not "a lot of guys," we are the University of Georgia, and when we take a bowl game back to our place we [copulate] THE [feces] OUT OF IT! That's what we DO! . . . We're Georgia and we GET! IT! ON!

I want to apologize for that. That was totally inappropriate.

At first I was going to put Kristen's response up here, but it's basically an analogy comparing the game to men who, uh, finish too soon from the female perspective, and it's probably even fouler than mine.

So, yeah. Colorful, but cathartic. The good ones always are, aren't they?

Anyway, since it is now time for all Bulldogs to salute our Mountain State rulers, I have to bow down to We Must Ignite This Couch, for having, if nothing else, maybe the best blog name in history. And with that, I'm done with football until the Redskins take the field this weekend, except to say this: Texas, 44-38. You heard it here first.

Monday, January 2

2003 lament of the year: "I could've seen boobs."

Well, it's a new year, and two things the other day brought back a bunch of memories of what I was doing three years ago right around this time. The first was this post by official HJS homey Josh, concerning the Draconian anti-tit-flashing policies in place for the Sugar Bowl parade, now that said parade is taking place in Atlanta; the second was an e-mail from homey Darren, whom I've seen only once since we trucked on down for the last Sugar that Georgia played in, the one following the historic SEC-title season of '02.

Ordinarily, hopping in the car and road-tripping down to N.O. for a game wouldn't have been all that big a deal, but this one was a little different. Darren was in Atlanta, assigned to cover the Peach Bowl for the newspaper he works for, and the Peach didn't start until 7:30 p.m. So our plan was that he would cover the bowl game, I would ring in the New Year with some mutual friends of ours in East Atlanta, and then we would meet up at the Krispy Kreme on Ponce and drive all night down to New Orleans. We ended up finally meeting up at Krispy Kreme about one o'clock, and . . . the journey began.

The outcome of the Peach Bowl, which involved Tennessee getting an Ike-Turner-caliber beatdown from Maryland, I mention only because it was a nice dose of karmic come-uppance both for Casey Clausen, perhaps the biggest asscrack to have ever taken a snap for an SEC team, and for Jabari "Talkin' 'Bout the Rose Bowl" Davis. But despite getting a front-row seat from which to witness the richly satisfying donkeypunching of the Vols, Darren, a fellow UGA grad, was in a foul mood when we met up at the Kreme. Not because of the outcome of the game, obviously, but because he'd spent all that time covering a completely half-assed, disinterested performance by the Vols when he could've been partying like a rockstar in the Quarter. "I could've been getting hammered on Bourbon Street, watching girls flashing right and left," he said as we rocketed down I-59 in his Camaro. "Instead, I had to spend four hours watching Clausen and the rest of those douchebags play a game they obviously didn't care about and stink up the Georgia Dome."

Apparently you can spell "citrus" without "UT," but you still can't spell "another excruciatingly lame loss to Georgia" without "Casey Clausen."

This theme repeated itself the next morning, as Darren hunched over his laptop in our hotel room trying to come up with a lead for his follow-up story. "How do I write an interesting story about such a shitty game?" he asked. "Write what you feel," I told him. "Your lead should be, 'I could've seen boobs.' " He typed that as his first sentence, though I don't think that made it into the final story. I'm sure I would've found out if it had.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. About 6:30 a.m. New Year's Day, we rolled into a downtown N.O. that looked like those movies where a nuclear war or other catastrophe has plunged America into a grimy, dystopian future -- trash blowing about in the streets, roving bands of sullen youth who were most likely ending a night as opposed to starting a day. We went up to the hotel room where some friends of Darren's -- 10 of them, if I remember correctly -- were staying, and we squeezed ourselves in there and tried to grab a few hours of sleep.

The following morning, after watching some of the bowl-game action from early in the day, we headed out to tailgate. Downtown New Orleans, it must be said, is not a great place for tailgating unless you're cool with the roar of crowds and marching bands being replaced by the roar of semis racing down I-10 a few dozen feet over your head. But bourbon consumed beneath I-10 gets you just as plastered as bourbon consumed on the north campus quad in Athens, so by the time we headed into the Superdome we were tuned up pretty good.

It goes without saying that Georgia won the game, or I wouldn't even be telling you all this. The game itself wasn't all that compelling, to be honest -- it was pretty much just gravy on top of the best season Georgia had strung together since the Herschel days, and was probably only the 9th or 10th most exciting game out of 14 we played that season -- but it was still an awesome experience just to be watching the Bulldogs, after 14 years of terrifying lows, dizzying highs, and creamy middles since Vince Dooley surrendered the coach's job, finally reclaim elite status. Now, of course, it's hard to look back on that night without also thinking of what transpired in that building three years later, and it almost seems just gratuitously cruel to point out, as we did, that Tulane had more conference/division championship banners up in the Superdome than the Saints did -- but, well, I promise it was funny at the time.

You're my boy . . . uh, DeMario! (Sorry, no picture of Greg Blue available.)

After that, it was naturally off to the Quarter, where the Georgia fans outnumbered the FSU people at least 2 to 1. The story gets a little hazy at this point, for obvious reasons, but I do remember the exact number of pairs of boobs I saw: 2. One pair belonged to me, as I flashed a group of girls on a balcony in the hopes that they'd toss some beads and then return the favor (that's just my steez, ladies, and yes, I'm single); and the other belonged to a trannie stripper who was shaking what his/her momma gave him/her on the corner of Bourbon and some other street. I have to say this came as a disappointment, both to Darren and to me.

I was not disappointed, however, by our trip to Harrah's on Canal, which was jampacked not only with Georgia fans but current and former Georgia players. Including my boy, my dawg, the one and only Champ Bailey, who was hanging out with his "little" brother Boss, a linebacker on the '02 team. I put "little" in quotes because while Champ isn't all that massive a guy, at least when you see him out in public -- I had to look a little closer to make sure it was really him when I first saw him -- Boss is freaking ginormous. There are many celebrated photos of #45 flying straight up into the air like the shark in the opening credits of "Jaws" to block a punt or field-goal kick, and I can assure you The Boss looks even more massive and imposing in person. Darren tried to get me to go over and introduce myself or something, but I was wearing my #4 jersey at the time, which would've looked a little retarded, and jersey or no jersey I have no doubt that whatever I said to them would've quickly devolved into a "Chris Farley Show" of nervous fawning that would've left all three of us uncomfortable.

"Hey . . . remember that time you returned an interception for a touchdown against South Carolina? Remember that? That was awesome."

After a few hours watching other people gamble money, we trucked our drunk asses back to the hotel, packed ourselves back in with 10 or 12 other people, and crashed. The next morning it was back to Georgia.

And thus ends my story, which I guess wasn't really that interesting, but in addition to getting watch Georgia cap off an unexpectedly kick-ass year -- something I hope will be repeated in Sugar Bowl LXXII: The Atlanta Season on Monday -- I got to do something I can now file away with my trip to the top of the World Trade Center in '94 in my Memory Bank of Stuff People Can't Really Do Anymore. I'll always have a special place in my heart for the ATL, I hope the Sugar Bowl returns to New Orleans one day, if for no other reason than because it'll probably be easier to find cheap tickets when a bajillion UGA alums don't live within a 30-minute drive of the venue.

Oh, and because there'll be more boobs. I really want Darren to see some boobs.

Sunday, January 1

The first 10 songs that came up on my iPod in 2006. (After U2's "New Year's Day," of course.)

This is important, because my mom always used to tell me that whatever you're doing on New Year's sets the tone for what you'll be doing the entire year.

1. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, "Misirlou"
2. Avenue Q cast, "Purpose"
3. Underworld, "King of Snake" (Barking mix)
4. Average White Band, "Pick Up the Pieces"
5. U2, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
6. Morrissey, "You Know I Couldn't Last"
7. Enigma, "Return to Innocence"
8. Fatboy Slim, "Everybody Needs a 303"
9. Thievery Corporation, "2001 Spliff Odyssey"
10. Madonna, "Like a Prayer"