Monday, February 28, 2005

Pitt is IN the NCAA Tournament

There has been some uncertainty about Pitt's basketball team the last few weeks, but they are unofficially in the NCAA Tournament after beating #5 ranked Boston College 72-50 at Boston College. Pitt had five players score in double figures including John DeGroat, who has barely played this season, scoring 10. Pitt played excellent defense and out rebounded BC by at least 20.

I was going to write about Pitt's disappointing loss against UConn on Saturday. I'm glad I waited until tonight.

Post-Oscar Ramblings

I initially wrote last night, although I didn't post it, that I thought Chris Rock was good, not great, but good. He was at his best doing the one-liners before introducing a presenter and after someone won an award.

Although I don't think Rock needed to discuss politics in his monologue, what is wrong with people that they had to call ABC to complain that Rock was anti-Bush? How many people called ABC to complain about Rock's comment that Oprah is so rich, I saw John Kerry proposing to her? I would guess...none. I should call ABC to complain about Sean Penn. He may be a good/great actor, but he has no sense of humor.

I was 5 for 8 in my Oscar picks, 4 out of 5 for the acting and best picture categories. Not too shabby.

Maybe I will actually go see these movies. It's not that I'm against going to the movie theater. I just don't like paying $9 for it. I should start using my Entertainment Book coupons.

Finally, after hearing all last night and this morning that the DC area is going to get crushed by a massive snow storm (up to 10 inches and every school system closed AGAIN), there was maybe 2 inches today. Apparently, the weather-people are apologizing for wrong predictions. Thanks.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Ramblings

8:45: Chris Rock was good. He has my vote if he wants to host again.

8:46: Why are the nominees for Art Direction on stage? Are they trying to save time for the awards that most people care about?

8:48: Direct deposit went through for my new job. There’s money in the checking account. Just in time to pay bills.

8:50: Morgan Freeman wins. I’m 1 for 1 on my predictions.

9:00: The Make-Up winners are now speaking in the middle of the aisle. They really are trying to save time for the more-important awards. Why is Dustin Hoffman so excited for the people who just won in this category?

9:08: Beyonce’s French sounds much better than Celine Dion’s English.

9:10: MasterCard commercial: not priceless, but funny.

9:13: The Chris Rock-Magic Johnson theatre sketch was extremely funny. Apparently, I was not the only person who thought White Chicks got snubbed. A+ for the Martin Lawrence cameo.

9:14: Was Scarlett Johansson really honored to host the Science and Technical Awards?

9:20: I completely forgot that Tim Robbins won last year for Best Supporting Actor. Was it for Bull Durham?

9:22: 1 for 2. Cate Blanchett was my second choice.

9:24: Oh yeah. Mystic River. We actually rented that movie. Tim Robbins was very good. Meat.

9:32: The Aviator is winning all of the “minor” awards. It’s looking like this could be their night.

9:37: The question of the night: Are Adam Duritz’s dreds aren’t real? Discuss.

9:48: Is John Dykstra, who just won for visual effects for Spiderman 2, related to former Met and Phillie Lenny Dykstra?

10:05: Beyonce twice in one night. Look out! The Phantom of the Opera is right next to you! I’m sure Jay-Z has her back.

10:16: I take it Gisele is not at the Oscars for her role in Taxi with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon

10:21: It’s not like this is news, but Salma Hayek looks really good.

10:28: I knew Beyonce. Beyonce was a friend of mine. Antonio Banderas, you’re no Beyonce. Was Marc Anthony unavailable?

10:48: I say or think this every year. When the Oscars do the tribute to those in the movie world who have died in the past year, I always feel bad for those who don’t get much or any applause.

10:56: Why isn’t P Diddy wearing a T-shirt saying Listen to the Polar Express song or Die?

10:57: Beyonce is back again. She might as well get the rest of Destiny’s Child, kick Josh Groban off stage and start singing Jumpin’ Jumpin’ or Soldier.

11:03: Sean Penn - get off the stage. The Jude Law comment was 2.5 hours ago. Are you really that offended? Don’t answer that question.

11:07: Hilary Swank won her second Academy Award for Best Actress. I really should see this movie as well as Boys Don’t Cry and The Next Karate Kid.

11:12: The snow is coming. No school delays or closings yet, but I’m sure there is panic throughout the region.

11:20: Not as much money in the checking account.

11:26: Congrats to Jamie Foxx!

11:30: I know the Oscars are only minutes away from being over, but I’m going to sleep. I’ll have final Oscar thoughts tomorrow.


Is this thing ever going to start? There is no way I'm going to make it until the end.

One final Oscar prediction...I think Chris Rock is going to be great!

Look for my Oscar comments later tonight or tomorrow.

Oscar Predictions

Jason did his Oscar picks first, but I wanted to share my predictions of the major categories.

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx (Has there ever been this big a lock for a major category?)

Best Actress: Hilary Swank (What does Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth think of Hilary Swank's success? Do they think they are better actresses from their days on 90210?)

Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman

Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen

Best Director: Martin Scorsese (his lifetime achievement award)

Best Original Screenplay: Hotel Rwanda

Best Adapted Screenplay: Sideways

Now that you made it this far, I should probably point out that I didn't see any movie nominated. Well, I take that back. I saw Collateral (Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx & Best Film Editing), Shrek 2 (Best Animated Film and Original Song) and Spiderman 2 (Sound Mixing, Sound Editing & Visual Effects). I tried to rent Ray, but Blockbuster was out. I want to see Million Dollar Baby, and I almost saw Sideways, but it wasn't playing at a convenient time.

Maybe not as thorough as Epert & Roeper, but I'm already preparing for the 2006 Oscars. I saw Hitch featuring potential Best Supporting Actor, Kevin James.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Sports Guy Intern Search (Chuck Bell Update)

Round II of the ESPN Sports Guy Intern search has cut the number of finalists from 25 to 16. Ithaca College grad and all-around good guy, Chuck Bell has made the cut. I wrote this last week, but if it comes down to a vote, please vote for Chuck.

Of the 9 candidates who were eliminated from the intern search are the two grads from the University of Rhode Island (also my brother's alma mater). But it's not a total loss for URI; the men's basketball team defeated Saint Joseph's 65-60. In honor of URI's win (they only have five this year), they get the lyric of the day (or week).

We're Rhode Island born;
and we're Rhode Island bred;
and when we die we'll be Rhode Island dead!
So, go go Rhode Island, Island!
Go, go Rhode Island, Island!
Go Rhode Island, U - R - I!

- URI's fight song

Cholesterol Update

While I was away from my desk yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from my doctor's office. They left a message saying that my cholesterol is "much better" and that it wasn't necessary for me to call them back. Naturally, I called them back because I wanted my cholesterol number (is my cholesterol reading more or less than the guy being chased by his cholesterol number while skiing in the Lipitor commercial?). I'm still waiting for an answer, because the person who has my information was with a patient. Hopefully, I'll hear back on Monday.

In the meantime, to celebrate my better cholesterol reading, cheese omelets everyday!!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Tel Aviv Bombing

Sad news tonight as four people were killed at a nightclub in Tel Aviv by a suicide bomber. Things have been so quiet in Israel lately that there was hope (at least my hope) that the bombings were over. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are saying all the right things, but we'll see how they respond. I'm still optimistic about the latest round of peace talks, but how Abbas responds to this is critical.

More on DC Weather

After having a post about nothing yesterday, I actually have a lot today. I'll spread it out tonight and throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for more!

In today's Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein (a columnist who I never heard of before today), has an article titled Washington, The Nation's Weather Wimp. Interesting and probably true article, although I think he's a little harsh towards public works directors.

As always, registration for Washington Post articles is required. You might as well register. It's free, I share articles from the Post frequently and it's one of the best newspapers in the country. Bob Woodward, Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser forced me to write this last statement. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Post About...Nothing

This post will be like a Seinfeld episode, except that it will most likely not be funny. Nothing exciting is happening. The news and conversation around the area is dominated by the weather. EVERY major school district in the DC Metro area was closed today. The Federal Government and my office closed at 3:00. All for about 3 inches of snow so far today. But there is a WINTER STORM WARNING until 1:00AM where we may get another few inches. Like every snowstorm, the grocery stores are probably low on milk and toilet paper.

In an entirely unrelated note (this could be played by Kramer), I went to see my doctor yesterday as a follow-up from August when I had a high cholesterol reading. Before August's appointment, I had some form of cheese (cheese sandwiches, pizza, etc.) and Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls almost everyday. I am optimistic that my cholesterol reading will be much better, not only because I have cut back on cheese, but I have also lost 16 pounds since the appointment! Granted I gained 10 pounds on my honeymoon just before August's appointment, but hooray for me.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom & Dad!

It's true. My parents have the same birthday. And as my Dad likes to say, they also have the same anniversary.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Seeking Travel Advice

Last week, I asked (and received) feedback about an argument my brother and I were having. Thanks for the comments, particularly since I was right. :)

This week, I am looking for advice on finding cheap flights. I am flying from Washington (either National or Dulles) to Chicago on Friday, April 1st. I have found some cheap flights in the morning, but since I just started work, I can't take a day off. Therefore, I need an evening flight. I fly back to DC (preferably Dulles) on Sunday, April 3rd. At this time I have no preference between Midway and O'Hare, but that could change.

Anyway, I have tried Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz plus many airline websites like (Independence Air). Are there other sites you have used for cheap flights?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Monday's Thoughts

Why does it take longer to clean a George Foreman Grill than actually cook a burger on it?

Squirrels are really quick climbing up and down trees when being chased.

Over the weekend, I watched a few episodes of MTV's My Super Sweet 16. I'll admit it...I also watched the show before this weekend. MTV follows spoiled teenagers as they plan and then have their Sweet 16 party. I am really conflicted about this show. On one hand, I really don't like spoiled people, especially the teens who are featured in this series. These kids have never had to work for anything in their lives, and these parties cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, the show is addicted and entertaining. There is so much drama involved in figuring out the guest list and what they are going to wear. I'm somewhat addicted to the show, but hate myself for it. :)

Finally, continuing with MTV, they have an entire section on the website for casting calls. Some of the shows (this is real): Are You a Lesbian Latina Professional Interviewing for Jobs or Internships? Do You Live in a Trailer Park with Your Family? and lastly (this one hits close to home) Are you a college student who wants to makeover your R.A. or T.A?

Back in VA

First, I'd like to thank our host and hostess (who both actually read this) for a great time in Atlanta this weekend. For any Atlanta residents or visitors, I highly recommend Piedmont Park. It's a great place to walk around on a nice day (which it was), and they have a huge dog park with dozens of dogs running around. As with most vacations, we ate well and often. We also went to an improv comedy show on Saturday night, and stayed up much, much later than we usually do.

Now, it's back to reality. I'm off work today for Presidents Day. Thanks to the former Presidents for having a day! Unfortunately, this is my last day off until Memorial Day. There really should be at least one holiday a month. I'm sure we can come up with something historic for March and April. Baseball opening day could be a holiday. Same with the Thursday and Friday of the first round of the NCAA Tournament. How about a day for the Supreme Court Justices?

So what am I doing on the day off? Well, a new company is currently (as I typing) checking out our heater. For the first time ever, the noise is actually happening as someone is here. I think the last 4 technicians all thought we were nuts. I've never been so excited to hear that noise. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Sports Guy Intern Contest

ESPN's Sports Guy is doing an intern contest on his website. He had 4500 entries and has narrowed it down to 25 finalists. I actually know one of the finalists (Finalist #6). His name is Chuck Bell, and we went to Ithaca College together. He is a great guy, and a fun person to have a drink (or more) with. If the intern selection is decided by votes, definitely vote for him!

I'm leaving for Atlanta in about 5 minutes for the weekend. I'll be back to blog on Monday. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Help Requested

As happens fairly often, my brother and I had a debate/discussion/argument last night about a topic that really only interests us. Usually it lasts just a few minutes, and we change the subject. Last night, we went in circles for a good 25 minutes until my cell phone went into an area where I have no reception. I still don't know who is right, so I'm looking for some help.

The debate: can a person change their body type (and we never defined what exactly body type is)? I won't say who was on what side, but here are the points. One of us said yes and used Jared from Subway as an example. The other said no unless the person uses steroids or an outside substance is involved. The example for this side (and the entire reason for the conversation) is Barry Bonds.

Any answers are welcome.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sean's Sports World

My sports world is looking good right now. The new baseball team in town, the Washington Nationals, has already had their pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The Pirates Spring Training starts tomorrow. I love this time of year for baseball. Even though the Pirates have no chance on getting to the playoffs and probably will not even get to .500 again this year, there's always hope in February and March. I really need to get to Bradenton, Florida for Spring Training sometime (hopefully soon). This is on my list of things to do in my life as well as going to Punxsutawney, PA for Groundhog's Day.

I also love this time of year for college basketball, particularly since my teams are doing well. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers are now 18-4 after beating Syracuse on Monday. My adopted team, George Mason University, is also doing well. Although the only way they will get to the NCAA Tournament is to win the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Tournament, they are now 15-10 after defeating 23-4 Old Dominion. I went to tonight's game, in which the Patriots (that's George Mason) dominated. Very good win.

The only minus is that the hockey season is officially over. I'm totally fine with this. Having a hockey season with only 20-some games and playoffs isn't worth having. Hopefully, the players and owners can work something out so that the league can survive.

Pirates official Countdown to Spring Training (for pitchers and catchers) is 13 hours 33 minutes and 21 seconds!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Best Show on TV...

...or at the very least, the best comedy on TV, is Scrubs. The cast is solid and compliments each other extremely well. In 10 years, I can see people looking at Zach Braff on Scrubs like people now do Tom Hanks on Bosom Buddies. He's got huge star potential. Two big differences between those shows. First, Scrubs is a much better, and second, the main characters are not generally dressed as women. In tonight's show, J.D. (Braff) sees his life as a sitcom, complete with a studio audience laughing at mediocre jokes and a talent show. At the end, the show goes back to normal with a cafeteria employee getting fired because of budget cuts and a patient getting bad news. It was very well done. The annoying Clay Aiken was even good as the cafeteria employee. What made me like the show even more was a friend of mine in medical school told me that Scrubs is the most realistic medical show on TV.

Scrubs is really the only show that I consciously try not to miss. It's nice to know that there is at least one good sitcom still around.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A Non-Grammy Post

Almost non-Grammy. After seeing Jack White last night, I wonder if he and Jack Black ever get together.

HUGE win for Pitt against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome tonight. Like Saturday against Notre Dame and earlier this year against UConn, Pitt seems to do well as soon as I start watching the game. After going out for a Valentine's Day dinner, I got back with about 8 minutes to go and Pitt down by 8. Carl Krauser made several big three-pointers and Chevy Troutman sealed the win at the free throw line. I'm still not sure how far Pitt can realistically go in the NCAA tournament, but I'll enjoy the win tonight (and for the next few days).

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Grammy Ramblings II

Scroll down for Part I of my ramblings.

Is it bad that after Tim McGraw performed, they show the audience and only Faith Hill was giving him a standing ovation?

Way to go Grammys! Tim McGraw performed and then did NOT win the award he was nominated for.

Loretta Lynn and Jack White are an extremely odd couple.

They just showed Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong. She is wearing a yellow dress to match her yellow Live Strong bracelet. Definitely a tangent, but Lance Armstrong has won 6 Tour de France races, beat cancer and is now dating Sheryl Crow. I’d bet that he is best known for the bracelets.

U2 won for best rock performance by a group. While accepting the award, Larry of U2 apologized to the fans that waited in line and did not get tickets for their tour. Interesting statement.

Who would have ever thought that Slash, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder and Brian Wilson would perform together?

To quote Dick Vitale, are you serious? John Mayer did not just win Song of the Year over Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Tim McGraw (and Hoobastank too). This has to be the upset of the night. Even bigger upset than Maroon 5 winning best new artist.

I don’t know how I missed this earlier, but Britney Spears won a Grammy for Toxic (extremely catchy song) in the dance category. Zach Braff also won a Grammy as the compilation producer of the Garden State soundtrack. I think that they are now tied for career Grammy wins.

This just in…Usher is a good dancer.

It’s past my bedtime, so I’m done for the night.

Grammy Ramblings

I flipped between three pre-Grammy shows, all of them worse than the next. On E!, Star Jones and Kathy Griffith were terrible. When interviewing Los Lonely Boys, Star Jones asked, is it nice being back in your hometown. Los Lonely Boys: we’re from Texas. Kathy Griffith just asks random questions that aren’t very funny. Most of the people she talks to look frightened. I will give her credit for one question to Jordan Knight: who’s Lil’er, Kim or Jon?

On the TV Guide network, Joan Rivers has no idea who she is interviewing. She needs to stick to the Oscars.

To the other extreme, MTV won’t interview anyone older than 30. Is it really necessary for their title to be All Up at the Grammys? I guess pre-show isn’t exciting enough. Or maybe I’m just getting too old.

Opening Number: I’m never tired of Black Eyed Peas. I love their energy. Memo to Gwen Stefani: You are a rich girl. I also don’t see the correlation between Fiddler on the Roof, Harajuku girls and pirates. Can someone please tell me: How far is heaven? Please tell me. Pretty please?

I've been on the phone the last half hour, so I can’t fully concentrate on the Grammys. I really should get Tivo. I don’t think I missed very much. I could be wrong, but I think Led Zeppelin just got a lifetime achievement award. It happened so quick (no highlights and they didn’t go on stage), that maybe it didn’t happen.

Bill Clinton won a Grammy for the best spoken word category. That's now 2 Grammys for the family (Hillary won one a few years ago). How many artists and performers would give everything for 2 Grammys?

I think there was some hype about J Lo and Marc Anthony. That was a pretty boring performance. J. Lo combed her hair. The Black Eyed Peas should have joined in.

Maroon 5 just won best new artist. Maybe it’s me, but I see them as a one album wonder. They seem like Matchbox 20, but without the star power or talent of Rob Thomas. I don’t understand why they are so big.

They just introduced Ricky Martin, Mario and someone else. I was wondering what Mario was doing now that the NHL is officially over. Oh, that’s not the same Mario.

The commercial with the monkeys are still funny.

If you ever saw Guys and Dolls, Kanye West's performance reminds me of the Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat scene.

I hate when the Grammys do this. Someone performs and then immediately wins. Why announce the other nominees when the winner is already on stage.

Congrats to Kanye West, but I think he just referenced Al Bundy.

It is now 9:57 p.m., and I may not make it through the end of the show. To answer my question from above, yes, I am getting old.

Congratulations Jordan Bratman!

According to reports, you're engaged to Pittsburgher Christina Aguilera. She's a genie in a bottle.

Grammy Predictions - Part 2

Best Female Pop Vocal: Norah Jones - Sunrise. This seems like a pretty weak category this year. The First Cut is the Deepest is not Sheryl Crow's best and I can't see Gwen Stefani winning a Grammy with the lyric "Take a chance you stupid ho," although it's a catchy song. Who knew that Bjork was still making music?

Male Pop Vocal: Maybe my definition of pop is different than the Grammys version. I think this category is pretty weak too. I'll go with Prince.

Rock Performance by Duo or Group (I did album yesterday, this is song): This is a really tough category. I think Green Day - American Idiot will win, but I really like Somebody Told Me by The Killers.

As I'm going through the list of categories, there is also Best Rock Song, which goes to the songwriter. I'm really confused by all the categories. Gobo, thanks for your comment yesterday, which helped clear things up. For the most part, everyone who was nominated for Rock Performance was nominated for Best Rock Song. Do Grammy voters usually pick the same artist for both? Well, I'll pick The Killers nearly beating Green Day and U2 - Vertigo.

There's too many categories, so my predictions are over. I'll just replace it with other notes:

R. Kelly is nominated for Best R&B Performance. I'll go out on a limb and say that he won't win.

- Eminem was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance for Just Lose It. This is a terrible song.

- Jamie Foxx is nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Twista and Kanye West. If Foxx wins, would he be the first person ever to win a Grammy and acting Oscar in the same year?

- I'm rooting for Kanye West to do well tonight. Why? One of his main collaborators is Miri Ben-Ari, the Hip-Hop violinist who grew up near Tel Aviv.

- I'll pick Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones to win Best Polka. Personally, I think the Pennsylvania Polka should win every year!

- In the best spoken word category, Bill Clinton is going up against Steve Martin. To nominees David Sedaris and David Holt & Zeb Holt, I'd say your chances are not very good.

I'll do a Grammy recap later tonight.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sean's Grammy Picks

The Grammy awards are tomorrow night, so I thought I would share my predictions. I have the right to change my prediction on Monday. :)

Album of the Year: I'm torn on this because Usher has had a monster year and Alicia Keys is a Grammy favorite, but Ray Charles has to win. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the Grammys are a lifetime achievement award. Ray Charles will win to honor his life work. Of course, having an Academy Award nominated movie about you doesn't hurt.

Record of the Year: I love Let's Get It Started by The Black Eyed Peas and I can see Ray Charles and Norah Jones winning (even though I have never heard of their song), but I like Yeah! by Usher, Lil Jon & Ludacris. I'll be honest, I just want to see Lil' Jon win an award!

Song of the Year (I don't know the difference between this and Record of the Year, but there is a difference): If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys.

New Artist: Kanye West. If you get 10 Grammy nominations, you're going to win at least one.

Pop Vocal Album: Even though Ray Charles and Norah Jones are here, for some reason I think Brian Wilson will win.

Rock Album: American Idiot by Green Day wins this. I don't know if they have ever won before, but this is their year. Question: the Killers are nominated for this award and I love their first two singles. Has anyone heard the entire album? How is it?

R&B Album: The Diary of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys. I think she barely beats Prince for the win.

Rap Album: Get that dirt off your shoulder, Jay-Z, you're going to win for The Black Album. Consider it a retirement gift.

Country Album: Here for the Party by Gretchen Wilson. She knows all the words to every Charlie Daniels song. That should be worth something.
Question: Is Tift Merritt's first name short for Tiftany? Probably not.

I'm going out for dinner, I'll have more predictions later tonight or tomorrow.

Pitt Survives

I got back in time to watch the last 12 minutes of the Pitt-Notre Dame college basketball game. Pitt's bench played very well, and Carl Krauser made some big shots down the stretch. A little concerning is that Chris Taft, who was Big East conference Rookie of the Year and on the Preseason Big East first team, didn't play for any of the 12 minutes I watched. He was not in foul trouble or hurt. Apparently, he wasn't playing well and was benched by Coach Jamie Dixon. Taft has been talked about as Top 15-20 pick in the NBA. It will be interesting to see if he bounces back against Syracuse on Monday.

Why You Shouldn't Blog About Work

This article was originally in The Washington Post yesterday, and it has now been picked up by Yahoo! News. There is no chance that I'm going to discuss work on my blog.

Friday, February 11, 2005


It's nice to know that I can relax the next 2 days. I don't have anything really excited planned; just a relaxing weekend with the possible exception of tomorrow morning. I'm still doing the soccer referee thing, and there is an indoor tournament all weekend. Somehow, I am the ref for 5 games, the first being at 7:30. 7:30!?!?! I'm going to be awake earlier than I am during the week. However, I should be done in time to watch most of the Pitt-Notre Dame basketball game.

I just discovered that Comcast has HBO OnDemand. There are free movies!! Tonight, I may watch The Cooler with Alec Baldwin and William H. Macy. If it turns out not to be good, I can stop it and watch something else. Thank you Comcast (well, until I get my next bill).

Sometime over the weekend: Sean's Grammy predictions.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


The Virginia Senate dropped the bill! Smart move. As I mentioned yesterday, now work on transportation, education and budget issues. Stay away from gay marriage, gun laws and other clothing restriction legislation.

More on Virginia Madness

I feel vindicated by my post yesterday. Marc Fisher of The Washington Post wrote a great article about the Virginia House vote to impose a $50 fine on anyone found wearing pants low enough that a substantial portion of undergarments is showing (Washington Post registration required). Fisher was also on for an online chat earlier today. Some good questions including:

- Does Va.'s droopy pants legislation mean that plumbers can be fined for, um, exposing too much below the belt?

- When my one-and-a-half-year-old son crouches down, his diaper is clearly visible over the top of his pants. Will he be fined $50 for exposing his diapers?

- In today's column you quote Del. Brian Moran attacking those who voted for the "droopy drawers" bill. Yet Brian Moran himself was one of the 60 delegates who voted for this bill! He also voted to report the bill out of the Criminal Justice committee. Is Del. Brian Moran a hypocrite? How can he attack others for voting for the "droopy drawers" bill when he himself also voted for it?
The response: Moran and a number of other Dems were in a bind because while they thought the pants bill was ludicrous, it was sponsored by one of their own, Algie Howell, a Democrat from Norfolk. So while the Dems would surely have opposed the pants bill if it were one more piece of idiotic babbitry from the Repo right, the Dems impaled themselves on their own partisan rigidity (what an awful bit of writing) and voted against the low-riding pants.

Partisan politics at its worse.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Virginia is for Heterosexual Lovers Who Aren't Wearing Thongs

How about that for a title? For those of you who don't know, the Virginia state tourism motto or theme is Virginia is for Lovers. Based on some of the proposed laws by the Virginia legislature, the motto may need to be changed. First, the Virginia House approved a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The vote was 78-18! The Senate approved a similar resolution on Monday. If the measure passes both chambers, it will be put on the ballot in November 2006. I still do not understand why this needs to be a law. The current divorce rate in the U.S. is over 50%. People really think that banning gay marriage (even though it's not currently legal to begin with) will solve the nation's problems?

Want an extremely ridiculous law? (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP). The Virginia House passed a bill that "Provides that any person who exposes his below-waist undergarments in a lewd or indecent manner shall be assessed a $50 civil penalty." Basically, if a woman shows her thong, she will be fined $50.

To Virginia lawmakers: focus your time on the budget, education, and fixing the traffic problems!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Stuff I Forgot to Write About

In my "Pittsburgh Sports Update" entry, I mentioned former Pitt football player Hank Poteat. Somehow, I forgot to mention that Pitt and Central Catholic H.S. star Dan Marino has been named to the NFL Hall of Fame. I know a few Dolphins fans who will probably remind me that I forgot about this for years.

You may have seen or heard about the story over the last few days, but apparently a 4-year-old wanted to get a game from the video store, so he took the car to the store. Since the kid was OK, this is a light-hearted, funny story. If the kid got even a little hurt, there would be mass chaos across the county and exclusives all over the news about very young kids driving. I'm guessing that it's the liberals fault 4-year-olds are driving.

After seeing the Esuvee commercial for days with people riding scary looking animals/vehicles, I finally went to the website to see what it was. It's the Esuvee safety campaign sponsored by the Attorney General and the consumer protection agencies of all the states, DC and Puerto Rico. I wonder who created the scary vehicle/monster thing?

Speaking of websites I visited after seeing it on TV, I also went to So I guess they sell domain names. Very exciting (note sarcasm). A huge congratulations to them for getting so much publicity.

Lyric of the day: "Hot like wasabi when I bust rhymes." Congratulations to Barenaked Ladies for the best use of wasabi in a song!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Pittsburgh Sports Update

Even though the football season is completely over, I am still following Pittsburgh sports. OK, I'll be honest, I never stop following Pittsburgh sports. Some positives and negatives in the Pittsburgh sports scene.

Plus: The University of Pittsburgh football team hired Greg Gattuso to be on the recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach. Gattuso did a great job turning Duquesne into a Division I-AA power. With the hiring of Dave Wannstedt, I'm excited about Pitt's football future.

Minus: Pitt basketball lost to West Virginia on Saturday night. I don't understand this team. They beat Syracuse and Connecticut, the past two national champions and both in the Top 15, but lose to Bucknell and St. Johns.

Plus: Former Pitt football player Hank Poteat was out of the NFL pretty much all season. Now he has a Super Bowl ring with New England.

Plus: Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 9 days, 15 hours and 28 minutes.

Minus: The Pittsburgh Penguins won't be playing hockey for a long, long time.

Minus: Terry Bradshaw's goatee looked terrible.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

One Last Super Bowl Thought

New England Patriot coach Bill Belichick may be one of the best coaches in the history of the NFL. He also has the distinction of being the worst dressed coach in the NFL. What happened to the days when coaches wore nice coats and ties? Tom Landry's hat looks so much nicer than the baseball hats coaches wear these days.

Super Bowl Observations

I should be going to sleep since I need to get up for work tomorrow. That's my first observation, why not have the Super Bowl on a Saturday? That way people don't have to struggle at work on the Monday after the game.

The game and entire Super Bowl experience pretty much lived up to my low expectations. The game did turn out to be decent in the second half, but nothing very exciting. There was not many WOW moments. Throughout the game, I found that I was never rooting for one team over the other. Congrats to Josh Miller for getting a Super Bowl ring.

As for the commercials, pretty much mediocre. I like MC Hammer, but why was he in commercials for two different companies? Do advertisers realize it's 2005, not 1992? Was he that good in the Surreal Life to get these gigs? Well, it's not MC Hammer's fault. I'm glad he is still entertaining after going bankrupt. My favorite commercial of the evening, the FedEx Kinkos one with Burt Reynolds and the dancing/talking bear. It was well done.

Best moment of the pre-game show: the end of the entertainment. To be more precise, Charlie Daniels took off his hat and gave it to the guy from the Black Eyed Peas to wear, which he did. Then the Black Eyed Peas guy gave a shout out to themselves and their fellow performers: Charlie Daniels and Earth, Wind & Fire. I guess they forgot that Gretchen Wilson performed too.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Worst Commercial EVER

Since I'll probably write about Super Bowl commercials over the next few days, I thought I would start a little early. I just saw a terrible commercial. It was one of those Dr. Scholl's Are You Gellin'? commercials. In this ad, a guy is admiring his new plasma, flat screen TV when a baseball comes through window and into the TV breaking both. A kid rings the doorbell to apologize and the guy is fine. The kid says Wow you must really be gellin'. That was it. I'm sure a guy who just had his window broken and plasma TV ruined is going to be fine.

I just thought of another band with a city, state or country in its title: The Presidents of the United States of America.

Soccer Ref Update

I have some faith in humanity! I was a ref for 4 youth soccer games this afternoon, and they went well. The kids played fairly cleanly, (and when I called them for a foul, they didn't complain) and the coaches and parents didn't yell and scream.

Music Help Needed

While driving on this beautiful 50+ degree Northern Virginia afternoon, I heard a song by Boston on the radio. I started thinking about bands that have a city, state or country as part of the name. I could only think of a handful (I'll list them below), but I'm sure there's a bunch that I'm missing. Help!!

Europe (I figured I would count a continent)
Eddie of (or it could be from) Ohio
St. Lunatics (this could be a stretch, but I'll give Nelly and company the benefit of the doubt)
Blind Boys of Alabama (of O Brother Where Art Thou fame)

I'm looking for band names not songs with cities, states, etc. in the title. I can think of a ton of these (Africa - Toto; tons of New York songs - Billy Joel, Sinatra, Ryan Adams; I Left My Heart In San Francisco - Tony Bennett; Sweet Home Alabama, Pennsylvania Polka, etc.)

I need your help since I'll be thinking about this all weekend (and probably into next week)!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Random Thoughts

- As a Steeler fan, it's hard to get excited for the Super Bowl. Both New England and Philly are good teams, but I honestly don't care who wins.

- To make things worse, the commercials sound like they are going to be tame and not very good this year. Every advertiser is so worried about the Janet Jackson backlash (accept for the Cialis, Levitra, & Viagra). I saw a story on NBC News tonight where a woman said that she will give the Super Bowl "another try this year."

- Speaking of regulation, would the FCC allow "That's My Bush" to come back? It only lasted on Comedy Central for a few months and I don't remember if it was funny or if anyone watched it (my guess is no to both).

- Has a DVD of the TV series Perfect Strangers come out yet?

- I'm looking forward to The Simpsons Super Bowl special.

- I haven't totally given up being a soccer ref yet. I'm doing 4 youth games tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

- Recruiting in college football is much tougher than I thought. Thanks to X-Box and NCAA Football 2005, I'm now the head coach for the Miami Redhawks. After a 10-3 season and a bowl victory, I thought recruiting would be easier. I did turn down head coaching jobs at Alabama and Washington to stay in Oxford, Ohio. X-Box is great!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Nerd Test

I saw this on Solipsist and had to take it. I actually thought I was a much bigger nerd. My result was: Not nerdy, but then again maybe not all that cool either.

I am nerdier than 17% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Take it and share how you did.

Public Transportation Fun

While on the bus this afternoon, a woman calls another parent on her cell to discuss summer camp for their children. There's a little irony that they are talking about summer camp while it is snowing, but I digress. As soon as she starts talking, I realized that this woman did the exact same thing yesterday. Same woman, same bus, similar conversation. I never recognize anyone on the bus or Metro. Anyway, as we're walking off the bus (she's still on the phone), a woman in front of her yells "Shut up. Honestly." The woman didn't react, but the bus driver looked stunned. I just laughed.

This was the most significant event of my day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

More Groundhog

As I'm sure you know by now, Phil saw his shadow this morning, which means 6 more weeks of winter. The more I thought about it and talked to colleagues about it today, the more I'm thinking I'll go to Punxsutawney next year. I should have some comp time by next year, so I may just go. If anyone else is interested in going with me, let me know!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Happy Groundhog Day!

If you're reading this on February 2nd, Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhog Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. People from all-around gather in Punxsutawney, PA to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow determining the weather for the rest of winter. I have already been on, the official site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Going to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day is one of my goals in life. By my calculations (I like using that phrase), Groundhog Day 2007 is on a Friday and 2008 will be a Sunday. The gates open at 3:00 a.m. so 2008 might work best. Maybe I'll just take some vacation days next year. Now I need to figure out how to join the Inner Circle.

1:17 AM Rant

Yes, I know what time it is. I also know that I will be awake to get ready for work in 5 hours. So why am I awake? I just finished being a soccer referee for three indoor games. The first game was scheduled to start at 9:45, but because the games were already running last, did not start until after 10.

People who I have known for years may not know this, but yes, I am a soccer ref. I started when I was 13 or 14 doing Under-8 & Under-10 games. It was great money to a kid in Jr. High & High School, and I continued being a ref when I returned home from college. After graduation, I stopped being a ref until the beginning of last year. Figuring that I could again use some extra money, but more importantly, try to get some exercise and get back into shape, I started doing youth games (under-12 through under-19) and the occasional outdoor adult league game.

Fast-forward to the last few months. I'm now being a ref for indoor soccer. Most of the games I have done are Over-30 Women, Division 1 Women (mostly college players and recent college grads) and Adult Co-Ed. After being a ref for 9 years, I'm tired of it. At the very least, I'm tired of doing adult indoor soccer. There is no out of bounds and constant action in a confined area. Anytime someone touches another player they complain. "Why aren't you calling that a foul?" "Why did you call that a foul?" Of course, usually the comments are "you can't be serious." "C'mon, ref!" I've also heard "you have to be f***ing kidding me." I'm a very patient person and I really want to be there to promote a fun game. However, some of these players (especially Division 1 Women and the co-ed Men) are obnoxious. It doesn't help that I'm really tired right now, and am not looking forward to getting ready for work in 5 hours. I think I'll continue to ref youth outdoor soccer, but I'm done with indoor.

On the bright side, today is officially my 6-month anniversary! Hooray!