Thursday, March 31, 2005

thursday 3.31.05

joel is in town.

the mcdonald's all american game was last night. duke has some players coming in. the theme of the night was white guys dunking. they didn't read the white men can't jump memo... that josh mcroberts is a player. rebounds, has good baby hops, can throw a reverse dunk, will be a duke freshman... and his mother is a MILF.

eben forwarded me an article from ESPN, what if no player went pro early. besides the whole "denying a person the ability to earn a livelihood" argument which was the original rationale, there are reasons for players to go pro early that benefit both the players, the NBA, and the college game. if, of course, they really are going to be picked high in the draft, preferably in the lottery.

- if and when they go back to school, they won't be wasting their time sleeping in and getting tutors to do their work.

- the coaching is probably more developmental in college; but players are undervalued when they come out, costing them a whole lot of money while said players are wiping double cheeseburger grease off their lips, getting sycophants to bring them women and homework, and playing low-level teammate competition who ask for autographs after getting dunked on.

- the college game, especially the march tournament, is better for not having lebron and carmelo, et cetera-- we would expect the same teams to win. and those teams would win more easily-- the way north carolina has been dominant all year. who did they lose to? santa clara with their point guard out, duke who just out-coached them. if no one went pro early, UNC would likely find themselves with even more top-line players; and would likely have a team so dominant they would challenge UCLA's string of 88 straight wins. college basketball is tougher and more unpredictable.


a take on bill james' words of wisdom from soxaholix.


also, take a quiz. which yankee are you?

i'm mariano rivera. so... i'm old?

You scored as Mariano Rivera. You are MARIANO RIVERA! You're the one that people look to end things, save the day, etc. You're also probably the best at what you do... but in small doses of course. You're only human and can only do so much, but regardless you're awesome and OVERALL can perform well under pressure.

Derek Jeter


Mariano Rivera


Tino Martinez


Bernie Williams


Jorge Posada


Alex Rodriguez


Which NY Yankee are you?
created with QuizFarm.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

for your reading pleasure 3.30.05

mcsweeney's baseball preview for american and national leagues.

and from the new yorker, set lists about exes.

Monday, March 28, 2005

revisionist 3.28.05

recovered from a weekend spent with mia and not much sleep. also shooting thing in grand theft auto: vice city. thanks, rice-a-homie! now, back to work.

perhaps it was me... but the michigan state/ kentucky game was some bad basketball. not a thrilling, steal-at-the end classic, but a dumpy, "should we, like, play defense?" debacle.

when you are reading today's nytimes article about the university of north carolina, talent doesn't equal trouble, remember that the university fired matt doherty because of player/ parent unrest and booster unhappiness/ impatience with a freshman-laden team. these are not warm cuddly tarheels.

*since registration is required, here is the article from tom sorenson, linked above, dated 3.29.03:

UNC standing on shaky moral ground

School would be wrong to fire Doherty, who has a chance to be successful


ANAHEIM, Calif. - To find out what the North Carolina men's basketball team thinks of coach Matt Doherty, athletics director Dick Baddour met with players first as a group and the next day individually, although some brought parents.

What's next? Monday: Meet with players and their uncles. Tuesday: Meet with players and their best friends from high school who think they should go for 30 a game. Wednesday: Meet with players and Shirley, their favorite Waffle House waitress.

These meetings are stacked. When people get the opportunity to talk privately about their boss, criticism invariably ensues. If the relationship between management and labor were working, there would be no meeting.

Got a problem with the coach? How about the time he yanked you from the game and said you couldn't return unless you played defense? Here's an adult who cares what you think. Pay Doherty back.

Few of us know what goes on at practice or in the locker room. If Baddour learns Doherty slammed a player into a wall or engaged in the systematic humiliation that could cling to a kid for life -- and I'm not talking about yelling -- then fire him.

But education isn't what these sessions are about. If the school has decided to dump Doherty, who has three seasons left on his contract, North Carolina will want to collect evidence to support its decision.

North Carolina has never been a school that cavalierly ends the career of its coaches. Chapel Hill is more than the name of a town; it's the moral high ground from which the athletic department operates.

Dean Smith, who for 36 seasons coached the basketball team, remembers the names of his stars and subs and student managers, and their children and grandchildren. Smith is the patriarch and the players are his family. And while they might criticize each other internally, they rise up as one when an outsider does.

Doherty was part of the family, a starter on Smith's 1982 national championship team. Now he is close to being cast out, and the school really ought to explain why.

Is it because he did not make the NCAA tournament this season or failed to recruit a dominant big man?

Is it because of the anger he brings to the job, anger that has strained relationships with some players and ruined relationships with others, anger Doherty has worked to check?

Is it because he did not hire family members as assistant coaches? Is it because he cut back the number of tickets Smith had allotted to friends of the family?

Is it because, even though the Tar Heels appear to be on the way back, they might never come all the way back?

Or is it because once Doherty is run off, North Carolina can make a run at Roy Williams, the superb Kansas coach, family member and Carolina guy?

And if a school does this, if it undercuts a man who might have succeeded had it given more time to him, and less to his disgruntled players and their moms and dads, is it any more moral than anybody else?

Friday, March 25, 2005

notes 3.25.05

go louisville!

i was hoping that by now cablevision and time warner would stop their pissing contest and get the mets and knicks back on my television. i miss the knicks. i hear they even beat the spurs and the celtics. and jamal crawford finally saw shots he passed up. i love watching jamal. i want to see him play like a not-knucklehead.

additionally, i want to punch salim stoudamire. i think it was the interview with him and lute about how much of a perfectionist salim is, and how tempermental he is. i can just hear him telling all who will listen "i deserve..." like so many other basketball players.

on the flip side, have you seen a game with as little smooth athletic talent as texas tech/ w. virginia? it was like a tough rec league game out there. ronald ross had to reach for his dunk.

as i told silver, i would love to see john lucas on an NBA team. he's john stockton dirty and quick. not good, but quick. he's a charlie ward/ chris duhon type. and he's got that raspy voice.

last night's OC was a little sleep-inducing. faorite line: people never leave and come back. but the episode was lacking in lines. marisa is kind of adorable sometimes, and you have to love the return of the fistfight. tre (tray?) and his swarthy, rugged good looks are a little tired. he must have been quite popular in prison. and caleb... caleb is newport's last don! he's got henchmen! i love henchmen. what's he playing at?


in non-sports related news:

Canada has denied refugee status to a US paratrooper who deserted from the 82nd Airborne Division to dodge combat in Iraq.


KMart has eaten Sears. It's a mega company, under the name Sears Holding Corporation, but the KMart and Sears names will survive. Read more about the two veteran retailers trying to get into a retail donnybrook with WalMart.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

sweet sixteen 3.24.05

tonight i am watching the arizona/ oklahoma state game, in part because salim stoudamire just done shot off his mouth:

"Some reporter just told me the white guy (6-6 Daniel Bobik) is going to guard me," he said. "I don't know his name.

"I don't think anybody can guard me.

"I'm the only one who can stop me."

ohhhkay, salim. though your cousin is damon, and though you shoot 58% on your three-pointers... well, salim might get his shots off but i think channing "charmin" frye and crew won't go home happy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

backroom 3.23.05

somewhere between innovative and dorky lies this

after a fantasy baseball draft, i look over my squad. besides having a lot of red sox, i really don't have pitching. but i have david ortiz and albert pujols. i don't need 2 second basemen.

i contact mjunior. he is up for the umass basketball job but takes some time to think about the trade. he calls me while being chauffeured home.

let's meet up, he says. you don't have anything that i want but movie-fixer chris (the red sox of LA) wants ortiz, and david wells.

mjunior brings his laptop down and we set up in the town tavern, across from the west 4th street basketball cage. the fat black pussycat has a wireless network for free, apparently, and we pilfer their access. nuge. the bar is busy and cheap, geaorgetown is playing basketball in their ancient, high-school sized on-campus arena which seats about 20.

from there we work out the trade. i end up with pitching. and a first baseman i need to flip for someone else. mjunior gets adrian beltre to shore up his 3B position. chris gets ortiz and some pitching. once it is approved...

this is what the negotiations looked like.
anatomy of a trade

and because this blog needs more cheesecake, here is maria grazia cucinotta, of il postino and the world is not enough. she was a ten minute bond girl. you may remember the opening chase scene in venice with her trying to escape in a hot-air balloon.

maria grazia cucinotta 01

Monday, March 21, 2005

interloper 3.21.05

sweet jesus i have a lot of homework. and spring break shark attack was awful. featuring the oc's shannon lucio's breasts. now that she's famous, will she ever come back to the oc?


i always believe that the difference between the republican and democratic philosophies is that the democrats want to use government to improve the lot of the people and republicans want to allow the market and individuals to make their own decisions.

yet we have a president who flies back on a sunday to sign a bill to restrict a man from pulling the plug on his wife who has been functionally dead for 15 years. this should be a question of who gets to execute her will in absentia, right? actually, come to think about it, i don't know what the precedent has been-- does a husband/ wife get to decide for their significant other?

i need to find new news to read. you can read some pertinent legal documents here. and here is the oc's shannon lucio. in a bikini.
shannon of spring break shark attack

i have been distracted by this year's ncaa tournament. which has been crazy. west virginia? nc state playing like i always thought they would? oklahoma state in trouble in every game? nuts!

best of all is that i finally got to cap off a weekend of watching basketball with eben and silver. they and i had lunch with megan and matt c and mjunior filled with wings, brews, ballin', and those wisconsin men and women next to us. i did think that one was cute. nice kids. eben, thanks for the gifts-- a basketball net and finger sleeves they wear in basketball.

best of all was the guy a table away from them. he was cheering hard for bucknell, like he reps the bisons. like he should have worn an orange jersey and stuck his thumbs in the armpits to better show the cameras that he went to bucknell. anyway, this mop haired fella sat across from two more socially adjusted friends, howling whenever bucknell did anything positive. we're pretty sure he had a bet of some sort on bucknell to cover the spread; this jackass was yelling at free throw shooters after the game was decided, and stood up to see if the last minute heave went in. we and the wisconsin fans clapped and stomped for wisconsin just to spite this tool.

he reminded me of the guy in vegas who asked me to watch his drink while he went to place a bet. "i'm gonna put some money on west virginia," he said, "so i have a reason to watch."

when that comes out of my mouth, slap the black off of me.

props to vermont and also to the senator and taso who drove down from boston, and to matt k who is whooping my ass like i stole something in every fantasy sport. also props to him and the bird-- your boys can swim! your boys can swim! you are a real man!
what i meant to say in the late saturday post 3.21.05

golly, what a keen birfday! gosh, even though i telephoned my pals a bit late, many of them came out! 23 skidoo! but they bought me alcohol, the devil's blood. icky! cripes, was i wobbly!

for reals, it was hot times. even though pixel and starla and haylz were not there. even though i didn't get lit and pop a cabbie in the nose. boy sammy, your joint takes the cake. you will have a prison bound mix made for you once i am done getting my ass kicked by my current assignments. marge, make fun of the guy.

i forgot to mention matt c was there. craig aka c-lo and tevika. elana showed up all curls and a smiles. the bar was ass-to-ass people and i went to the b-side bar down the block to relieve myself, where i ran into elana again. a-alike took lots of pictures, look at her site for a visual recap.

arroz drove me home and we had mcdonald's in his car. i ate like a drunken cro-mag. and it was strange to flip on elimidate and see this kid who is v. familiar then i remembered-- she was the wild kid danielle crawling on the floor. but she was eliminated in the first round. she was much better looking than the rest and looks good on television.

my throat hurts hard. here is myself, tevika, lana.

bday with tevika + lana-p

Sunday, March 20, 2005

me hammered. watching elimidate and this kid danielle-- i met her at paradise hotel dave's party. she's fucking crazy and these kids don't even know! wow. creepy to see someone you remotely know on elimidate. ok, props to lori and thorne and arroz and silver and lana-p and gurney and eben and nascar and cappy and a-alike and ray ray and ray ray's hot sister sorky. and veronica and kate from the lou and she's proud. and also and most of all mia. me go sleep now.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

bill self is the new roy williams.

the vermont game might be the best of the tournament. i knew mcnamara was off this year. he's playing himself right out of the NBA, like chris thomas of notre dame did.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

crap. i forgot about the oc and can't tape it. crapcakes. recap, perhaps?
tourney time! 3.17.05

happy st pat's day

tournament day and i am moving sl-l-low. last night i caught some drinks with dijah and her friend bangabi (i think) and we made the crowd at cedar angry, what with the yelling at all.

thoughts for the day:

what exactly is the senate (or is it the house?) going to do with their steroid meetings? make roids more illegal? why so public?

speaking of public, way to go new york post, putting defensive end michael strahan on blast. and people wonder why barry bonds is so reclusive to the media.

tournament-- i think UNC might show well and i hate to say that. i am liking wisconsin, louisville, pacific, UAB, nc state, and UTEP to spring an upset. i gotta get gone, folks, more later.

Monday, March 14, 2005

wedding plan: wednesday.

a few months back, neverecho approached me with a proposition. las vegas for emily's wedding, with the lodgings paid for, conveniently scheduled around spring break. neither of us had been in the bright lights and seamy aura of sin city. both of us are risk averse, both of us are eager to leave the east coast cold.

we planned to meet in LV around midday, assuming our flights took of as scheduled and our connecting flights did the same.

i spent monday night in the newniversity's library, polishing off some work i should have gotten to earlier, and trying to work on some fiction to take with me. i went home in the morning to find that rain was coming down and i though, hm, i didn't see this in the forecast.

the rain was a bad omen. i woke 3 hours later on tuesday to the howl of a wintry wind and blasting snow. that is never good for airplanes, of course. by evening, airports had delays and cancellations and i had worry. in the District, meanwhile, the snow had left for my northern climes, sitting on us like bitter punishment and leaving my tired ass up half the night on hold, trying to switch to a 4 pm flight from newark.

instead i was rebooked on an 9 pm flight, direct.

didn't sleep much. let echo know where i was. she, meanwhile, touched down, had lunch with emily, and something or other and this and that. i got to the airport with too much time to spare. watched college basketball. i enjoyed the simple broke-assedness of the delta/ song termnial, where i was inspired to actually use the term "ghetto" to describe it. i was happy not to be the people who were there since 6 am.

the flight left at 11 pm. i love waiting on three hours sleep each of three nights. the passengers clapped heartily when we got off the ground. i let echo know when i would come in, and hoped that i would be able to touch down and party at 5 am nyc time/ 2 am pacific.

after all, the city never sleeps.

the vegas airport was spacious and i got the tip to look for the airport shuttle vans. cheap and the driver chatted me up about UNLV sports. the bellagio was still lively, of course, and once i convinced the front desk that my first name and my middle name were the same person.

ate cold pizza. echo and the wedding party were tired of the ghost bar at the palms, so they came back. we drank at caramel in the bellagio. i couldn't tell hooker from not. the groom's name is dave and we talked basketball. he loves illadelph sports.

we're drunk so we drunk dial mjunior.
wedding plan: thursday.

i really needed sleep. so i got up at 9 am and watched more conference basketball games. echo and i talked about basketball from our beds, and about her duke blue devils, and about what punks those unc tar heels are. our hotel had an obscured view of the strip and a good view of the mountains. we had time to get room service breakfast before the wedding rehearsal. i realized i didn't have to be there; went upstairs and passed out.

we had brunch in a restaurant in the bellagio called olive. it's dark and well designed and from my seat, i had a few of the fountain show at the hotel. no, soldati, i didn't pee in the fountain. i sat next to the groom's aunt and uncle who paid for the whole high class shebang; i need a benefactor.

the bridesmaids and groomsmen were also with us, and we talked about ultimate fighting through a lunch that laid us all out with gourmet goodness. i think the flatbread pizzas made us all question whether we could eat the entreés; and the dessert had a grapefruit flavored shaved ice cone stuck in a shortcake.

where's the picture of that, echo?

we walked out of the bellagio, which we found was a difficult thing to do. the hotels are self-contained cities, hundreds of staff, dance clubs and restaurants. the bellagio alone has a wing i never saw, the butterfly cage, the ceiling of blown glass, the awnings to make you feel like you're in open sky, a whole upscale mall.

outside, vegas was hot, busy, filled with slow-walking tourists. slot machines everywhere, men and a woman trying to hand out flyers to strip clubs, people asking if we are a couple. the mgm grand has live lions and a chiller mall. and jello shots.

and then there is new york new york. which is my + echo's favorite-- relaxed atmosphere. people who look like i might want to talk to them- versus the bellagio, where everyone looks like the not-quite-classy suburban parent who is letting their cocknoxious side out. everything was at normal human prices and we threw money into the slot machines.

the streets were hot and we bought an excessively large bottle of water. i checked out the sportsbook, multiple tv's and betting options. i sat with a man who asked me to watch his drink; he had to lay a bet on the west virginia game so he "would have something to watch."

echo and the bridesmaids took emily out for coffee. i slept. we ate an okay dinner-- not great, not awful, at vialé at caesar's palace.
wedding plan: friday.

wake and breakfast buffet at the bellagio. the nascar fans were everywhere; there was a race on sunday and the bellagio was teeming in jean shorts, #3 shirts, and tucked shortsleeves. one of those bastards took the booth we were assigned to, though our ticket was there. so lesson to you kids-- get your coffee and orange juice from your server so no dumb couple with super cuts take your spot.

that aside, and after echo's near temper tantrum, that was the dopest buffet. blintzes, kid, blintzes. i wish my stomach was bigger.

the wedding was 3 pm; the bridesmaids, including echo, left early. i called the other brother at the wedding, curtis. we met for drinks by the sports book. he was playing video blackjack and the bartender told me that my drinks would be comped if i was playing. though risk averse i slid a ten spot in the game and chatted with curtis about his writing and webster u. while talking to the bartender about how sticky moving to vegas simply to make money can be, and about the well known bars in vegas curtis looks over. "i'm not gambling with you again." he's at 4 dollars left on his video blackjack game. i'm up at $42.

i printed out my high rolling lootcakes and moved on to the wedding.

it was a short ceremony and emily, who is beautiful to begin with, looked stunning. neither curtis nor i got many good pictures but some are decent. vows were exchanged and all 50 or so people strolled to the gaugin room. or maybe it was another painter. i don't know.

yes, i was in love with the piano player. he played tunes from norah jones and ben folds five and the isley brothers and my request for marvin gaye. he was a fine fellow who has toured with the bar-kays and enjoys living in vegas. for fun dave and emily left us with those twist-bottom confetti exploder things. we pop 'em off and mine go partly into the turkey option. the server poked fun at me and kept asking me to come over to take gold shiny paper from her area. the featured drink was sweet and the eats were excellent. i spent a good amount of time with emily's parents jim and linda, and with dave's uncle, talking about texas while he sat smoking a cigarette alone in the hallway.

we met upstairs for more drinks and a view from the 33rd floor with the newlyweds; then down to club light- myself, echo, chris, curtis, courtney. yes, in the bellagio. it wasn't bad but it's hard to meet people without a couple of women in tow to either make people want to dance near you or to make a fella look like less of a pariah.

famous person sighting: herman edwards. right in front of me on the bellagio floor. rock.

we went to sleep fairly early, but got a visitor who slept over. in the sad way, not in the slap it up, flip it, rub it down way.
wedding plan: saturday.

we couldn't pick a place to eat breakfast. we should have hit the brunch buffet. but while walking in the streets, we saw a pair of guys, one with his shirt off and the other with a drink in hand, slurring a conversation about abortion. a homeless fellow with his long hair ratty and crap on his pants, no underwear came down the walk talking and laughing to himself. then proceeded to put his face into the fountain at caesar's and all we saw of him was ass-up, legs in the air.

i knew i would miss the heat and the activity, the all night fever, the lights. but it was time to go home. after listening to a long bit on the growing vegas, less sin, more city. my plane back was on time but i got into an argument with a woman who was straight yapping her day away and not moving her backside into her seat. the crazy woman sitting next to me switched seats and i ended up with a window seat and a space. and outside, american cities were shimmering collections of light, strung together by interstates.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

i'm back like jay-z. 3.2.05

let me hear you say PI-CO! PI-CO!

i come back from my week's retirement, back from the accounting studio, armed with new links. i'm here to say to all you rap n***as reading my blog, y'all got to stop with this bussin' off shots and startin' beefs. yeah, you, 50 cent and "the game." mr game-- or should i call you "the?" this whole firing shots outside of hot 97, shooting in front of 50 cent's company? this is silly. the rest of the black people still feel like you're embarrassing us.

come on, fitty. come on, the. why don't y'all play pool instead? or kubb? it's swedish. go somewhere unique. have a ski-off. make humorous rival porno movies so your fans can comment in semi-understandable i-m english.

50 cent may be "over," but i don't want more t-shirts with his face on them, 5 or 6 albums of unreleased music with g-unit mates tony yayo and lloyd banks, murals, and women in southeast queens crying. end this garbage. we're tired of it. fitty-- aka curtis jackson-- you are not bulletproof. your SUV is. if you were, you would not have bullet holes and bullet scars.

okay, y'all got it? don't make me come up from my studies again.

p.s., everyone else, if you happen to be caught in a rap shootout, remember, don't say "what are you gonna do, shoot us?" they're not going to wise up and drop their weapons.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

things i learned this weekend: leave a conversation when you hear "you're too good to be true. you're sweet, well-mannered, and not trying to get into my pants."

as a result of such conversations your darling pico has begun to wonder if he is not a little damaged. coupled with some other conversations about lack of trust in people and pessimism, pico feels he needs a little time to himself.

also, pico's been off of his blog game, such as it were. no political rants, no talking about how 50 cent is kind of embarrassing with his crew getting shot at near/ in the the hot 97 studios, no black history month jokes, no comments aimed at the west side stadium boondoggle (schnapp, if you read this, feel free to make a smart ass comment about the linked new york times article). no comments about how my high school peers are writing for the nytimes (3 of them!) and two are rappers-- one whom i actually like and one whose mother i work with (and never knew about his rappin' styles).

so i will be back in a few days, maybe a week-- right before vegas happens.

until then, read about the mets' kris and anna benson. or, since she updated her site, have a longer look at ms. benson.