Sunday, January 31, 2010

Forget the Super Bowl

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, or, say, overseas, then you would inevitably be aware that the Super Bowl is due in around a week. I even bothered to blog about it, and you just know that if I bother to blog about it, then it must be noteworthy.

All that aside, let's continue on with the genre of sport. About a week ago (yes, I'm a lazy blogger, get over it) a story hit the headlines about a Kansas basketball coach who made a seemingly impossible basket. In an attempt to repeat a prank performed on CollegeHumor, students at a local Kansas high school blindfolded the women's basketball coach and promised tickets to the NCAA Final Four, if he made the half-court shot. In a stroke of luck, the shot was sunk and the crowd went wild for Coach Branstorm.

Of course, there were no tickets to be spoken of. Feeling guilty, the students pooled together enough money to purchase a gift card to a local restaurant.

Back to the water-cooler topic at hand: the Indianapolis Colts and New Orlean Saints could both use a Branstorm on their team. Or a Flutie. Or, you know, a Manning.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Day the Nation Stops

It's nearly that time of year again folks. The day grown men cry tears of joy and happiness; the day people of all races, creeds or gender come together in solidarity against a common enemy. It is the only day of the year that you will see the streets of New York, Philadelphia or Dallas desertedand desolate. It is Super Bowl Sunday.

As the days push further into the new year, the nation quickly forgets the Christmases/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year celebrations, to make way for the biggest day in American t.v. From mid-January (coinciding with the New Year Rule) the nation gradually becomes further and further obsessed with the national sport. The excitement becomes undeniably contagious during the days leading up to the conference playoffs. Water-cooler talk becomes more monopolized than North Korea.

It is such an important feature of the nation's psyche that it is classified as an National Security Event, subject to the same security measures as Presiden Brack Obama's Inauguration, or former-President Ronald Reagan's state funeral. And post-911 you just know you're chances of an rectal search just skyrocketed.

Then, on the first Sunday of February, the streets empty and the power bill goes through the roof. Welcome to the Super Bowl.

Close to 100 million people around the nation tune in to watch. Some for the sport, some for the half-time show, some for the eye candy and, increasingly, some for the ads.

It's the day that defines and fulfills the nation's love of sport, family and friends. Only mere days til the day the nation stops.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And the Genre is...

As the New Year inches closer and closer slowly becomes more distant a memory with each passing day, I become slightly more guilty about neglecting my promised year-end lists. I've decided to make up for it by knocking off perhaps the most wide berthed list: The Genre of the Decade.

And unlike some of my other lists out there, this has no specific order due to the subjectiveness of music.

First off the list, it's one of my more favorite genres: Indie. It's a genre most commonly associated with snobby hipsters, who refuse to have anything to do with anything which is known by more than 50 people. I am the first to admit that there are those indie loving hipsters who are so committed to anything indie that they will snob anything that is mainstream. To them I say, go live in your skinny, strange colored jeans, because that's not what I'm celebrating.

Indie has brought us artists such as Vampire Weekend, White Lies, Wilco, Bon Iver etc. That's why indie makes it into the top 5.

While you ponder the wisdom of my decision, I'll leave you with a little sample from Vampire Weekend's latest album.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Ettiquette

Its the obligatory phrase that the world yells when the second hand hits the 12, and the year jumps forward. Its the phrase you hear for weeks after the big day, but just when is enough enough? When will the madness cease?

I must admit that I do get sick of hearing that casual phrase. I don't mind using it when i is applicable but February 8th is not New Years. I don't care if you haven't seen your friend since 2009 but you cannot still use that greeting. However, I admit that there is a significant grey area that needs to be addressed. Just when is using that phrase appropriate?

Today, I'm putting my foot down and defining the appropriate dates from which the phrase "Happy New Year" is applicable and acceptable to be used in conversation.

  • Any day after Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa
  • New Year's Eve
  • New Year's Day
Here's where it starts to get a little tricky. By all means, you can use the greeting in early January, but when is it too late to continue the trend? I say the first half of January is in the clear; greet to your heart's content. But what about after the 14th. I propose a grace period lasting around a few days. Using the greeting on th 15th is partially acceptable, the 16th passable and the 17th endurable.

So it's acceptable to use the phrasing on:
  • Up till, and including, January 14th
  • 15th, 16th and 17th but use is not encouraged

The 18th is the day that the the greeting is entering its redundant phase. On this day, expect to be looked at strangely when using the greeting. On the 19th expect a few more weird looks and a shake of the head or two. But on the 20th, you're dead wrong. Congratulations, you have entered the black zone.

It is never acceptable to use the greeting past this date. That is unless you have amnesia. Or want it...

So there we go folks. Spread this post to your friends and family, to outline to them the proper New Year greeting etiquette.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome back!

After nearly 2 months of absence from the blogosphere my non-existent following has most probably somehow managed to grow even smaller. So I guess I'm into negative numbers here. Nevertheless, welcome back and Happy New Year!

With the first decade of this millenia already out of the way, what is in store for us over the next year? More bad music, fame hogging wannabes, mysterious celebrity deaths? Well put your feet up because that's not what I'm going to be discussing today.

Instead, let's talk about New Year/New Year's Eve protocol. If you're like me, its the day before the biggest party night of the year/next year, and you have no firm plans. Sure there's Johnny's party, but what about Jordan's? But there's also Jamie's...

Just like Ohio you're the swing vote, with friends who are going to either of the parties telling you why "[Insert name here]'s party is going to be crazy". Well of course it's going to be an awesome party, it's NYE! You should be shot, gutted and hanged if you're hosting a boring NYE party.

Nevertheless, you fail to decide which party to attend because your best buddy Phil is going to Jamie's (because he's got a thing for her and New Year's is the perfect opportunity) but that Andrea, that one who got away, is going to Johnny's. 'Tis the curse of NYE.

Suddenly NYE hits, with you and a few other friends still undecided. Then out of nowhere, someone has the then brilliant idea of "Why don't we go to Johnny's, then Jordan's, then Jamie's. If the party sucks, we have an excuse and we can leave. Then we can go to the best one when midnight hits." But that's not how its going to turn out.

You'll plan to go to Johnny's first, at around 9. Stay for maybe 30-45 mins and then on to Jordan's. But here's what will really happen:

Its 8.25 pm and you're thinking "We should really get going now". So you call your friends who are doing the party-hop with you. You manage to get in contact with 2 out of the other 5 but figure that they must be getting ready. So you jump into the shower and 10 minutes later you've finished you're NYE transformation.

Its now 8.40 pm and you're feeling good. You try to contact your friends again, making contact with 2 of the 3 who didn't answer last time but unable to reach the others. The people who you do make contact with are still getting ready.

8.55 and you've only gotten back in contact with 1 more person, but you've yet to here anything from Jessie. The others haven't gotten back to you yet, so you send out a text message to your fellow party-hoppers saying "Leaving for Johnny's now. See you there".

Its 9.15 and you just arrived at Johnny's, albeit behind schedule. Tim, one of your good friends from college and a fellow party-hopper, comes in bumbling through the door a few minutes after you. After the obligatory "Hey! Happy new Year! How are you?"s are out of the way, and a drink or two, its already 9.35. None of your other friends who were supposed to party-hop with you have arrived. "We'll just wait another 5 minutes for them" you say to Tim, after trying to make contact with them yet again.

The 5 minutes tick by, with you glancing at the door so often that it looks like you have a tick. Just as you say your goodbyes (taking up valuable time) and are about to head out the door, Jules comes bursting through the door, already a bit tipsy.

"Hi! Happy New Year!" she says sloppily to you, while giving you a hug. You ask where everyone else is. It turns out 2 of them decided to skip Johnny's and go straight to Jordan's. All without telling you! That is, until you check your cell phone and realize that they sent you a text telling you the same thing 10 minutes ago. Cursing yourself, you ask Jules "What about Riley?". "Dunno" she manages to mumble before spotting someone else she knows and running off.

"We should wait for Riley" you say to Tim who nods in agreement. But 10 minutes pass and its already 9.50, yet you remain at the party waiting for Riley out of your years of friendship. Its 10.00 and there's no sign of Riley. "We can just skip Jordan's" you say to yourself, telling Tim the same, who agrees that you "can't ditch Riley!"

You head back into the thick of it and enjoy your last few hours of the decade. You soon forget about leaving to catch up the others, and its soon 11, with no sign of Riley. "He could be in a ditch somewhere" an inebriated Tim says to you, before both of you laugh it off. Precious time slips through your fingers and its soon the last half hour of the year. "We can still make it to Jamie's" Tim says to you. "Cool, gimme five minutes" you reply. "Sweet!" Time calls out before making his way through the crowd to catch up with an old high school friend.

All signs point to you never leaving, but you still insist that you're going to make it to Jamie's, even calling to reinforce the point directly to Jamie. But as we all know, you're never going to leave. You're going to spend you last few minutes here. The next day you wake up at noon in a drunken haze. You grab your phone to send an angry message to your friends who never turned up but see "15 new messages" glaring at you from your mobile. As you scroll through the messages (i.e. Where are you man!? or You at Jordan's yet?) you realize that your poor planning abilities have let you down yet again. Some were under the impression that it was Jordan's, Jamie's then Johnny's. Some thought it was Jordan's, Johnny's then Jamie's. And, like you, none of them could be bothered changing parties to find one another. As for Riley, he went to Jim's party, which you completely forgot about!

The conclusion: NEVER party-hop. It never fails to fail every time.

It's what I call the False Party Dilemma. If you have the choice of changing parties, you will consider these factors. Distance (D), cost (C), laziness (L), perceived fun/enjoyment (E) (including alcohol and/or other recreational drugs present), chance of sexual intimacy (S), friends attending (F) and ex-s present (Ex).

It is measured at the approximate values .8D + 1.8C + 1.6L + 1.8E + 5S + 1.1F + 1.0F = False Party Dilemma decision. As long as the party you are currently at outweighs the next best option, then you will stay where you are. Keep in mind that All of the variables are subjective, so Ex may be a positive or negative issue for different people.

Oh yeah, and unless its being held at a monastry, the present party will always win.