Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long Beach State Basketball Improves

The Long Beach State basketball team is beginning to turn heads. With today's first ever win (in school history) over UCLA, the 49ers not only become the 4th team to beat the lowly Bruins, but they also put themselves on the college basketball map once again.

Long Beach State is not going out of their way to stick to low level teams in and out of their conference this year; rather they are traveling to play the best. They challenge 6 AP top 25 teams this season and 4 of them are currently in the AP top 10 (Texas, Kentucky, Duke, West Virginia). To be the best you have to play the best...consistently. All of these games are away games: including their 3 losses on the season so far to Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Clemson (all AP top 25 teams), but they are battling no matter where the court may be.

In State's recent 3 game tournament run (the 76 Classic), sophomore T.J. Robinson averaged 20 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, while making 60.5 percent (23-of-38) of his shots. Robinson put up these numbers against tough Clemson and West Virginia teams, and the usually competitive UCLA.

For the future Long Beach is trying to build by recruiting more talent than in previous years. In 2008 rated State's recruiting class 10 overall among mid-major schools. This year has rated Long Beach 6 overall among the mid-majors. Leading this class is shooting guard Jacob Thomas from Minnesota. He is ranked 89th on's top 100 class of 2010 recruits. Mid-major teams like Long Beach State rarely get players ranked within the top 100 in the nation. says that Thomas is, "widely considered one of the most prolific jump shooters in the country." Thomas passed on schools like Notre Dame, Iowa, and Wisconsin: teams much more established than Long Beach.

So far believes Long Beach State is the team out of the Big West Conference that will prove to be the best, both this year and beyond. They have fought hard so far this season and with continued improvement in play, coaching, and especially recruiting, I think they can eventually rise to a national competitive level. We can one day get back to the golden years of 1970 to 1973 when we went to the elite 8 twice and sweet 16 twice. This being the 40th anniversary of that run I say...


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Multiple Christmas Lists

As I get older and bring more people into my life, I run into a problem around Christmas time. I want so many things and I don't know who will or could get it for me. Such a problem to have...

If I create a list of things I would like to receive and give it to everyone I may get several of the same gifts. Then I have to return one of the gifts and that can be a hassle. Also, if I have already received the gift from another person I have to put on the fake happy face.

"Oh what?! Firefly, the complete DVD set! Man, I love this gift so much I wouldn't mind having three...which is a good thing because this is my third. Oh, it was ordered online so I have to ship it back...not a problem! I'll use my cash and ship it to get your account reimbursed. But again...great gift! Thanks!"

Some people will say to me, "Maybe you shouldn't get anything then, if you do not want to get the same gifts. It is the only way to know for sure the gift won't be repeated."

I of course reply by calling them a dumb bitch and pointing out they could always just give me money, a gift card, or something I specifically told them. Granted I have just called them a dumb bitch, so I usually get nothing from that person. You call them one harmless name...

I obviously have put some thought into this, and that is why I make multiple lists for different people. I access the giver's income, thoughtfulness, willingness to search for a gift, and overall mood when it comes to gift giving. I give different people different objects (books, electronics, random goods) per list and include the same type of gift cards on everyone's list.

Often times people will try to be creative and get me something off the list. Sometimes you get an unexpected gem and other times you get a 2 pack DVD combo: Police Academy 3/Big Mama's House 2. My mom is good at giving me a mix of gifts I want and things I didn't know I wanted. (Cologne? What is she trying to say?) She understands how my mind works and she makes every Christmas a good time.

In conclusion, I am not being greedy or ungrateful. I am being practical. I suggest every person make multiple Christmas lists.

...unless of course all you want are jars and jars of the popcorn flavored jelly belly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Short Poem For All Ages

I once knew a girl who made princess toys.
Well no, not the toys, but the boxes.
These plastic figurines were not made for boys;
Rather, they were made for children without coxes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Words That Sound Like Inappropriate Words

Once in a great while one will come across a term that does not fit its situation. Words that are spoken too quickly in certain situations can make someone appear to be an ass. The following example is one of my shining moments which will further explain exactly what I mean.

Once upon a time...

I was working at P.F Chang's China Bistro as a server late one night, when I received a table of two old black ladies in the mood for some dinner. The table started off like any other: I asked how they were, they were friendly, and we chatted briefly. By the time the old ladies were through with their meal we had spoken about different subjects and had pockets of nice conversation throughout the night. Normally that is where every story about a nice table ends, and in a way, that is still true for this story. Yet, just before I left and said goodbye to the old black ladies, they asked me one last question.

“We were trying to think of the name of this old horror movie we saw, maybe you can help us? Have you ever seen a movie where a woman is sewing a quilt together and when some man walks up to the lady she jumps up and stabs him in the eyes with her quilting tools?”

With some shock to such a random question, I quickly replied, with some emphasis towards the end, “No! But it sounds like that’s one crazy knitter!”

Looking back, I do not remember how long I stood there. The old black ladies and I just stared at each other in shock, confusion, and with a tad bit of horror. I only remember the quite walk back to the kitchen.

Was it subconscious racism that sparked such a witty comment, or was it sheer coincidence that the term I used was unfortunately similar to an ignorant slur? Either way, I hate the term knitter for being too much like a callous word.

(Knitting Needle stabbed into an eye - X-Ray)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween is a series of 13 issues (1996-1997) written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. It basically picks up in the Batman universe after Batman: Year One (Miller & Mazzucchelli), the origins of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jim Gordon. The Long Halloween tells the story of Batman, Gordon, and Harvey Dent's relationship towards each other and their attempts to save the rotting city of Gotham.

The story is at it's core a murder mystery or a "who done it?" It examines the bond between men with the same wants, but different ideas on how to achieve goals. The characters are fleshed out very well. From the examination of Bruce Wayne's connection to his deceased parents, to the Gotham city mobsters' connection to family and power; Loeb and Sale craft a tale that keeps you in suspense and keeps you guessing.

Going into this graphic novel I had only read one Loeb & Sale collaboration: Daredevil: Yellow (also really good). I liked Sale's art in Yellow, but it was still new to was growing on me. By the time I got through The Long Halloween I became a full on fan. Not a crisp style like a Steve McNiven (amazing artist), but rather a slightly exaggerated form of quick-hand drawings that give the characters personality through their visuals: a large Batman, shadowy Harvey Dent, and sleek Joker are some examples.

I am planning on picking up more of Loeb & Sale's work including their other Marvel "color" books such as: Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Grey, and Captain America: White. Along with The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory won the duo an Eisner Award for best Graphic Album reprint.

Being 13 issues long, The Long Halloween is quite the read. Affordable at no more than $20, it feels like you are reading an actual novel (non-graphic) which you must set down from time to time to catch your breath. I recommend this read for a rainy Sunday when you have no plans. It will make your weekend.

I believe in Batman: The Long Halloween.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Last of the Skipping Stones

Flat and round,
upon the ground,
the last of the skipping stones lie.

Others splash.
No skip, no dash.
They sink to the bottom and die.

Which to choose?
Without some grooves,
How does one tell them apart?

Not by size,
a solid guise,
but how it beats in it's heart.

Held in hand,
if pulse is bland,
disregard and go find a new.

On water,
sinks without her,
skipping heartbeats being with you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

5 Reasons to Watch the Browns This Monday

This Monday night the Cleveland Browns face the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN's Monday Night Football. The Browns have only one win on the season and have a total of 4 good players (that's counting the punter). It seams like a game any casual football fan may want to pass, but maybe not. I submit 5 reasons to watch Monday Night Football this week.

5. The Fantasy Impact

Sure the Browns are horrible, and most leagues probably don't have a single one of their players, but the are playing the Ravens. Most every player on Baltimore's roster is projected to have a huge game. I, myself (sounds redundant), have WR Derrick Mason who went for 118 yards and a touchdown against the browns in week 3. I also have the Ravens' defense who gave up just 3 points to the Browns while intercepting 4 passes. I do not expect this week to be any different then week 3.

4. Josh Cribbs On & Off The Field

Over the past 3 seasons Josh Cribbs has been one of the best (if not the best) kick/punt returners in the NFL. This season he has a punt returned for a touchdown and a kickoff returned for a TD. He is rated either 1 or 2 on most experts top returners in the league lists. He is a source of pride for Cleveland fans on the field, and more recently oof the field. In a display of his quality as an individual, Cribbs walked a high school senior-night with the son of his former college football coach. Cribbs late coach died in 2005 of lymphoma leaving behind his son Michael Drake. Cribbs, unannounced, showed up to walk Drake onto the football field and be there for the son of a coach who was like a father to Cribbs. Read the story here.

3. Brady Quin: Medicine Man?

With the lowest passer rating (36.2) and the lowest completion percentage (42.9%) in the NFL this season, Derrick Anderson has been benched by the Cleveland Browns. His 9 interceptions in 6 games has lead the team to turn the ball back over to their opening day starter Brady Quinn. A move, expected, but depressing. Quinn started week 3 against the Ravens: throwing one interception with a total of 34 yards. He was benched at the half, giving way to Anderson who lit up the Ravens by throwing 3 interceptions. Is Quinn, the former Notre Dame collegiate star, the medicine the browns need to turn things around. The numbers say no, but Sean Connery believes the Browns' flower has bloomed and revealed that Quinn is the rare ant that can cure the Browns' losing cancer.

2. The Lovable Losers

Who can honestly say they hate a Cleveland team? They once in a great while put up a fight, but they never win it in the end. If anything, they give your team a free victory. Besides LeBron with the Cavs, Cleveland has been a push over for more years than I have been alive. People love an underdog and the Browns are almost always the underdog. Secretly, I think most people would like to see the Browns win. If're either a front runner or from Pittsburgh. Either way, I hate you.

1. Pst...Nothing is on

If you live on the west coast nothing else is on at 5:30pm worth watching. However, if you are on the east coast... I suggest starting with House (8pm) on Fox, laughing at the Browns for an hour on ESPN, then flipping over to Castle on ABC (10pm, one of my favorite shows).

Enjoy the game!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Lion and The Fly

He's a big ol' putty cat with a mane, crown of fur
The lionesses dig him, his scent, his allure.

The females crowd the king and lick at his face,
but his liege swats them away to give him his space.

He sits alone, licks his chops stained blood red.
Just the king in the shade of a tree old and dead.

One ear twitches. The tail jerks. Now both ears.
Slight touches. Light buzzing. Then he appears.

The pest of the dead, the speck of black in the sky.
Paradoxical in origin. The smell or the fly?

Again the king swats. "Away with you tormentor."
The fly takes no notice, and remains a dissenter.

Given no choice the lion lets his paws go,
he bites at the sky and tail he does throw.

The fly carries on. Land. Fly. Land. will.
While the king begins to tire from his illusive kill.

The lord falls to the dirt, pants hard, head on ground,
as the fly still continues to effortlessly dance around.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Owned by Hulu

Last month I did a post about how much I enjoyed the Marvel Spider-Woman motion comics. You can re-read that post here. This statement is still true, however, I do like Marvel a little less now.

The way to obtain these motion comic episodes it to purchase them through iTunes. They are $1.99 (less than what an average comic costs) and you keep them in your iTunes player. Currently, The Astonishing X-Men motion comics are being sold, and are the newest of Marvel's motion comic line. I am currently buying those episodes. But should I be?

The Hulu-loop

For awhile Marvel let viewers watch the first episode of Spider-Woman for free on their site or through an embedding on other's sites, like my own. Now, Marvel has released all of the episodes for free through Hulu. It may be for a limited time, but I still feel cheated in some way. I paid for the episodes and now they are just giving them away!

  • Hulu may just be showing them for a limited time only.
  • I do have the download to watch on the go if I choose.
  • I did get to watch the episodes when the first came out.

...But Still!

Oh well, at least by showing them for free this can expand the awareness of the Marvel motion comics line. Feel free to watch from the Marvel Hulu page, or the Hulu show page. freeloaders.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hate Love Dilemmas: Croutons

Air never tasted so good.

Who knew that when eating stale porous pieces of bread one could enjoy a salad so much? Croutons have become so popular that many different flavors and shapes of the dried out bread have been created. I, like millions, love croutons. And I, like millions, hate croutons.

To eat salad you stab the leaves or lettuce with a fork. Sure the veggies stay on the fork, but when a crouton is stabbed the crouton cracks in half and falls from the fork. This, of course, assumes the crouton isn't too hard to even be punctured. One ends up using the fork like a spoon to eat stale bread bits. My, how the might have fallen. The fork has been reduced to the depths of the spoon. Anything can scoop, but it takes a true tool to impale. I love and hate croutons.

While we're on the subject...

Like croutons, I do love myself a yellow apple and week old Mother's frosted oatmeal cookies. The yellow apple is an oddity. A mixing of both red and green apple. Not sour like the green, yet not crispy and solid like the red. A yellow apple is an inbred of the two. Not natural and almost rotten. Yet, that is how I like my apples...almost rotten. Just like the week old Mother's frosted oatmeal cookies.

Soft. Tasty. Almost rotten.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hate Love Dilemmas: Chunky Peanut Butter

I love chunky peanut butter. I am a crazy fiend for peanuts, so then I must obviously love extra peanuts in my peanut butter. Possibly the weirdest thing ever, yet it worked so well.

Chunky peanut butter really is an odd thing. They (the executive at JIF, Peter Pan, etc.) decided they would not grind up all the peanuts, but rather, leave some just broken. Not crushed. Just damaged.

Despite all of it's success, and even the amount of joy I receive from the damaged product...

I hate it!

Have you ever tried to spread chunky peanut butter on a piece of soft bread? It takes half the jar! It crumples up the bread as you spread, and it over powers the jelly on a PB&J like a strong wind to old people. Sorry Jelly. I never wanted it like this, but these are the thing that must be with chunky peanut butter. I hate and love chunky peanut butter.

Oh, and I hate telling people I like "peanuts." When you say it quickly it sounds like "penis." There is always a moment of uncomfortable silence while the person I tell registers that I have said "peanuts" and not "penis." Or maybe there isn't a moment and I am unknowingly gay...

(uncomfortable silence)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

13 Degrees of Neil No Knees

I didn't know him,
his existence and presence never in mind.
Yet somehow our lives,
Strangely and eventually became entwined.

I knew Slutty Sarah,
just as everyone does.
She slept with Mickey Molar,
well... just because.

Now Mickey had this dentist,
whom pulled out all his back teeth:
a dentist named Lack Luster Larry,
a molar pulling thief.

Larry's looks were forgettable,
just ask his ex wife.
It lead to their divorce,
and Move-on Malinda's new life.

Malinda's second marriage canned,
like the third, forth and fifth.
So she hired Yiddish Yente,
to see whom she'd be matched with.

Yente knew women and men,
she knew many straight, many gay.
She even knew Nancy Opel,
who played Yente on Broadway.

Nancy has also done TV,
including every Law & Order.
And like Bolder Bowling Bill,
She grew up on a border.

Bill loved his Kansas bowling,
which is done with rocks not balls.
His stiffest competition:
none other than Walter Waterfalls.

Walter cried like a baby,
every time he lost a rolling round.
Which angered Janitor Jerry,
who mopped his tears off the ground.

Jerry was a simple man,
who did as he was told.
Unlike his wife Commanding Camilla,
who controlled the young and the old.

Camilla was a Principal,
and read bingo numbers Wednesday nights.
She worked with Doorman Darrel,
who broke-up all the old people fights.

Darrel was surprised by old-folk scuffles,
and broke them up with care.
For he had heard all the stories,
of Mr. Hulking Harry Hair.

With green hair and large muscles,
Harry once knocked an old lady down.
The lady's son Victory Verdict Vincent,
got green Hair cut from the town.

Vincent leads us to our destination,
his oddest client, which everyone agrees.
The case of the missing lower joints,
the case of Neil No Knees.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Multiple Monkey Matters

In the beginning there was one. No name. Just one. When there is only one, a name is of no importance. He stood. He laid. He eventual found a knife. He would go days, weeks, and months holding his knife firmly (as if it was taped to his hand) and just stare at people. Intimidation is the past-time of the singular.

People talked. They would pass by and wonder. Understanding of the loner with the knife was limited. Some laughed. Big mistake. Most went about their days and never knew his purpose or meaning. They soon found out.

Look Who Came Swinging Into Town

It was months ago now, but still fresh in his mind. Hanging over there in "his" jungle like corner. An oasis of performance. A regular tropical skeeze sector. Later "he" moved inward. No big deal everyone thought. Most people cared not for the new. "He" was quiet. Kept to himself. Didn't wield a knife.

"His" presence alone destroyed the singularity of his existence! Something must be done! He scratched his cap with his trusty knife and remembered a line from his favorite movie...

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Fifth Ninja Turtle

The lesser known, and often forgotten 5th ninja turtle, Jimmy, attended a Halloween party a couple of nights ago. He came alone. He left alone.

Do You Know Your Jimmistory?

Jimmy, the older brother of the well known teenage mutant ninja turtles Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo, was raised by Splinter, yet was treated much differently. Jimmy excelled in school in communication and was the captain of the debate team. He did not attack with weapons, but rather he assaulted his enemies with his mind and words.

He went to college but took out plenty of student loans due to Splinter spending all of his money on weapons, elbow and knee bands, and pizzas for the younger turtles. Jimmy received a degree in philosophy, learned Splinter's teaching were bogus, and moved out to Los Angeles. After that Jimmy slipped into obscurity...until this Halloween.

Jimmy hanging out with some of his pals.

Jimmy and Dog picking up some chicks.

Jimmy with some younger brother impostors.