blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bloggers, valid be thy name

Michael Wilbon and Jeffrey Goldberg have lathered up various corners of the Internet today with similar cries of derision over just what these lousy blogger types thing they're doing, anyway. Certainly not any reporting! Or anything that's credentialed! No sir. And, because I read it in the same afternoon as these others, I'll throw Daily Show producer Adam Chodikoff's practice of never looking to blogs for information into the mix. However, ya know, I love TDS, and the product they turn out serves mainly to skewer the MSM right along with the silly politicians, so sticking with MSM resources is probably right. But it's a big day for brushing aside the validity of this particular medium, for some reason. My favorite take downs are here and here.

Oh, while you're at it, go read some good reporting from blogger Ezra Klein.

My Greek Experience

A post on Jezebel got my wheels turning about Greek life. It's a story about a potential hazing incident at a local sorority at Hofstra University. ("Local" means not affiliated with a national organization, and therefore not part of their rules/doctrines/systems/network. AKA, no governing force.) Moe ended the post with, "please Greek Organizations of America: remind me once again what purpose you serve?"

The comment thread there focused mainly on that aspect -- pro vs. anti greek, and did a sufficient job of discussing it from all sides. (Defense, cries of "thank god for art school," jabs about buying your friends, etc.) But since I have my own blog here, I thought I'd give my perspective. Also, Spencer asked me to.

I was in a sorority. I went to a big-ish southern state school with a pretty huge Greek system. While there were certainly plenty of other social networks that made life at UVA livable, I chose to rush out of curiosity. I didn't go into it thinking I would pledge anywhere. But I found a house that I felt really comfortable in. So I pledged. And I'm really glad I did! Though I spent lots more money and time on this group that I never previously imagined myself being part of than I ever dreamed of, I got to meet so many people and do so many things I wouldn't have otherwise. I made my absolute closest friends in college through the sorority. We're still close to this day. I've been in the weddings of two sorority sisters in the past year. We have dinners regularly. We have an email list for sharing news. We go on trips together. And when one of us was killed this past fall, the power of being part of an organization like that had never been more apparent. Like any group, there are people you're closer to and people that you aren't. But we all went through the same things together for four years -- weekly meetings, date functions, ritual, service projects, parties, beach trips, etc. There's a real bond there, even between the sisters I don't keep in close touch with. And when Jayne died, the support of that group at large was incredible. I hadn't put much thought into the connection between us before that, but that experience showed me that (and I know this sounds cheesey) all of that ceremony and experience really did form a sisterhood, not just a club. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Now, yes. There were parts of it that were pure crap. Stupid rules, dues, politics. More excuses to get drunk than I probably needed, but hey let's face it, I'd have found those on my own. But that's not the stuff that sticks out to me about my experience. I think of that pledge sleepover we had at the house our first semester. I think of purple beach buckets full of jello shots. I think of playing pranks on older sisters' with old composite photos. I think of practicing those rush songs for hours on end. I think of practicing our derby days dance. I think of all those fucking tshirts and cups we had printed. I think of riding the bus home from Foxfield. I think sitting on the porch of the house with Beth, Betsy, Becky and the other people that are still my closest friends to this day. I realize the lameness factor is high when I type this, but it's the truth. I really did get lifelong, meaningful connections out of my days in my sorority.

As many commenters on Jezebel noted, the "new member" process in a school with a monitored Greek system full of houses with their own national governance on top of that is NOT what you imagine it to be. You do not get hazed. You get presents. You get parties. You get surprise ice cream dates from cute boys. UVA sororities didn't have any sort of punishment or process through which to earn your sisterhood. You went through pledge education -- learning the history and ritual of the house, but that was the extend of it. Of course, there is ritual -- there are ceremonies with candles and weird robes and special knocks and the "sisterly embrace" -- but that's pretty standard Greek fare. Every house has their bizarro traditions that are part and parcel of it. And as I mentioned before, I probably would have dismissed those as unnecessary before Jayne's death, but now I think it's important.

Fraternities... well, that's a different story. They absolutely did haze. The only thing that came close to "hazing" on my part was the initiation to the "4th year drinking society" -- which the current 4th years would induct rising ones into. It was supposed to be fun and they did things inspired by Dazed and Confused, but I hated it. As the name would suggest, the people running it got even drunker than the people they were inducting. So they got a little heavy handed. And I don't respond well to demands. Or demeaning situations. And I was vocal about it and walked out. And beyond that evening (hey, remember when B.Po was wasted and slapped me in the face that night everybody??), suffered no ill will or consequences. There was no blackballing or anything of that nature. In fact, I think the others were more embarrassed by their own behavior than disappointed or mad at the decision I and a few others made to walk out. So, I have very minimal experience with hazing, but it was not requisite for my involvement in anything whatsoever.

There were some incredibly horrifying and embarrassing incidents within UVA's Greek system at large while I was in school -- black face parties and the like. And while those houses got dragged through the mud and maybe went on social probation for a while, there weren't any major repercussions. And that incident at Hoffstra? Probably not far-fetched. The system is certainly flawed. There's no doubt about that. But as far as whether or not it has a value, I argue whole heartedly that in my case the answer is that it does. You have to keep your grades up to be in a house. You have to serve the community. And I still swear that NOTHING prepared me for business better than sorority rush. Do I think it's necessary to having a full college experience? Of course not! Am I involved in my sorority's alumni association? 'fraid not. But at the time, it was really important to me. And the things that made it important then are still a big part of my life now. So, that's my take on the Greek system.

Sigma Love And Mine,

Support Sean

My good friend Sean Hemeon is riding a bike from San Francisco to L.A. to raise money for people living with HIV and AIDS. As if a 545-mile bike ride wasn't enough to inspire a donation, there's a bit of tragedy that's leading me to bleg people to donate. One of his teammates, a good friend of his, recently took his own life after a long battle with substance abuse. In that light, he's trying to drum up some extra donations in the final push. If you were sitting on your economic stimulus check and thinking, "hmmm, I wish I could do something good with this thing," then here's your chance! And, isn't donating to someone THAT HANDSOME even more fulfilling? (I kid. Kind of -- he really is incredibly good looking.) Sean's donation page is here. Good luck, friend!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A) Get Dawn off of my television please

I still cannot stand Michelle Trachtenberg. She is no better as a conniving and insane bitch on Gossip Girl than she was as a listless and obnoxious addition on Buffy. Seriously, roofying your friend so you'll have someone to party with? WTF. I'm willing to look beyond it though, because:

B) Chuck Bass' wardrobe has gone completely off the rails, in the most amazing way. That orange trench coat was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Until he turned around I half expected him to be wearing pearls and an evening gown underneath. Goldenfiddle describes him as shopping in the women's department of j. crew. Not far off. Though it's almost more Talbots than j. crew. It was amazing and hilarious and so insane and perfect. Long live Gossip Girl.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaack

Hola! Pura vida! I've (begrudgingly) returned from Costa Rica. I'll tell you much more about it and how it was the best vacation ever and Costa Rica is magical and beautiful and wonderful and I want to be there all the time later, but for the time being I'll fill your time with a contest. Winner receives a beer or beer substitute courtesy of me at galaxy hut or something along those lines. The challenge: come up with the best lolcats line for this picture. Nabob: get busy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

As I left the house this morning I looked in the mirror and thought, "Ok I must be imagining this, but I already look tan. I am seeing things in a pre-Costa Rica haze." But apparently, I am not insane, because people at work have been telling me the same thing all morning. Behold, the amazing mental self-tanner. Think real hard about vacation and your skin darkens!

I am beside myself with excitement. I have overpacked to an amazing degree. Nobody could ever need as many bathing suits as I've packed. Warm-weather clothes are smaller, so how is my ginormous suitcase already full? *Sigh.

I've been distressed recently because I couldn't find the amazingly awesome and incredible Neutrogena After Sun Treatment on the shelves anywhere. I inquired with Neutrogena and they informed me that it was discontinued because it wasn't selling. Dammit! This stuff was incredible! It took ridiculously lobstery skin and turned it into pain-free, brown, smooth tan over night. And it smelled so nice. If you ever see it somewhere -- maybe somewhere that might have held on to last year's stock -- please buy whatever they have. I will pay you for it.

I had several topics flitting through my mind to blog about today, but they've all been zapped away by "I'm So Excited" playing on repeat in my head. OH! Big ups to my boy Sam, who is doing me the solidest of solids and driving me to the airport at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow. That is a true best friend.

Bloggers of the world: see you at Forgetting Sarah Marshall tonight. Everybody else: see you when I return! Have an awesome week!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I just discovered the most amazing lunch place in Tysons Corner.

I can't believe I didn't know about this sooner. I will now probably eat there... a lot.

The Piazza di Giorgio is way up on the 3rd floor (aka, a place no one ever goes, hence me not knowing about this place) of Tysons II. It's a cafeteria essentially -- with a huge salad station, sandwiches, paninis, hot foods, pizza, chinese, udon noodle soups, other soups, sushi, smoothies, coffee... it is lunch hour mecca. I got a salmon salad and it was fantastic. A little on the pricey side, but holy crap. This is exactly what I've been lamenting the absence of for the past 5 years, only to find out that it was right here all along.

Unfortunately, I had to walk by J.Crew on the way there and bought a light weight sweater for my trip. But I got it on sale, I promise!

Must. Stop. Shopping.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kelly Taylor, Graduate!

I'm sorry TV Squad, but there is something majorly wrong with Jennie Garth reprising her role as Kelly Taylor on the new 90210 spin off. I assume Luke Perry isn't also considering a return to the ole' zip code, which raises my problem. In my mind, Kelly & Dylan have been married for a few years now and have children and are happy and hot and watch Casablanca on date night every now and again. Sometimes they may double with other fantasy-in-love-forever-couples-of-my-mind, like Veronica & Logan, Buffy & Angel and Michael & Maria. I love Kelly Taylor as much as the next child of the 90s. But, this is how Kelly & Dylan went out, and it's how I want them to stay. FREVR.

UPDATE: Catherine tips me off that these rumors seem to be untrue. Thank jeebus.

No, Steve Madden

This is not "hot." This is horrifying.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Not as far off as she thought

Maybe it's just the "Egypsies" part we're supposed to giggle at, but the word "gypsies" really does come from "Egyptian." And I know this because I recently looked it up because I've been reading His Dark Materials.

Unrelated, reading these books (finished the first one/started the second one yesterday) has made me even madder about Stinker than ever. I know there's a serious distinction between a pet and a dæmon, but, it's way more fun reading these with an animal by your side.

Take Cover

My good friend Spencer Ackerman's thoughts are no longer too hot for tnr. He's gone and moved his blog under the Think Progress umbrella, with a new name, a new design and newly awesome pennies for his thoughts. Go ahead and add Attackerman to your RSS reader, and have a nice day.

Wait a minute.

So you're trying to tell me, IMDB, that the "new boyfriend" from Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn't played by Brett from Flight of the Conchords? Because my brain tells me otherwise. I guess it'll still be funny.

Night of Nights

Friday night was the culmination of all my rock & roll dreams come true. Well, pretty much. There was no BD/HL throwdown for my affections. But I did get to see my two very favorite bands (The Walkmen and Spoon for those of you sitting in the back) play fantastic sets, and take a super fun mini-road trip with extremely awesome people.

Jenna, Will, Alyssa, Mitchell and I piled in my VW and made the way up 95 to Charm City. Mitchell managed to find every ridiculous track hidden in my iPod. I didn't even know I had some of the stuff he found. It made for a boom-shaka-lakin good time on the drive up. We got to Sonar just as White Rabbits were finishing, which is a shame because I thoroughly enjoyed them at Otto Bar. Sonar is very cool -- the stage should be a little higher for that big a space, but I didn't have many complaints otherwise.

The Walkmen played a set mostly of new material, and mostly of the new new material I haven't heard much of yet. They have a song called "Canadian Girl" that is faaaaaaantastic. And "On The Water" is a CCR & Johnny Cash-inspired barn burner. They also played "The Rat" for the first time in a while, as well as old favorites "Wake Up", "All Hands & The Cook", "Another One Goes By"... that may have been it for old songs. The band was in high spirits -- I've never seen Ham be such a talky bird on stage. Unfortunately, they were openers, so no encore or long set. But it was still awesome. And the Walkmen newbies in my group liked it too, so, yay.

Then, SPOON! God, they are really just the best band around. The set, much like the one from the 9:30 Club a few months back, pulled from their entire catalog. They opened with "Chicago At Night" and hit high points across all their albums. They had the Antibalas horn section with them, which filled out a lot of their songs nicely. The new album obviously has a lot of horns, but they brought them in on some older ones just for a little extra, which was nice. They played a 2nd encore -- in which they covered the Rolling Stones' "Rocks Off", which was badass. They sounded completely and totally perfect and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Really.

The End.

So, London!

So, after much delay, here's my London trip blog. I carried around my journal with me all last week hoping to reference it to put this together, but never had time. Now I am journal-less, so here is your from memory, incomplete but hopefully still illuminating and amusing tale of my trip to the motherland.

I've spent a lot of time in London before this trip, so the touristy stuff was already taken care of. This trip was more about seeing what Liz's life of a person actually living in London was all about. And it was great! Expensive, but great!

Liz lives in Newington Green, a neighborhood in the north eastern part of the city. No tube stop, but it's close to Angel -- the neighborhood where Andrew lives and she hangs out the most. No tube meant we spend a lot of time on the buses. I am incalculably impressed that Liz has been able to interpret the bus system's density to be able to use it all the time. There are about a bajillion different lines, and the maps -- while great once you get the hang of them -- are about as clear as a Magic Eye puzzle before you know how to look through them or whatever. I think the best exposure I had to London people was on the buses. The "stereotypical London trash" (not my phrasing, but I really can't think of another way to put it) with their ridiculous accents that sound as though their tongues are 8 sizes too big for their mouths and using "f" sounds where so many other consonants would have been correct, and their pit bulls and bull terriers and their stolen DVDs poking up out of their pant waists. The children -- who ride both the buses and underground for free -- who get on in gaggles and always seem to be eating candy. And wow, I can't imagine having a baby in that city. Everyone lugs their strollers (buggies?) up onto the buses and down the super long escalators in the tube all over the place. Pregnant women must spend a large part of that preparatory 9 months lifting.

Whoa that was a long paragraph.

We revisited Regents Park, where I lived when I studied over there. It's as beautiful as ever. We also went by my favorite pub, the Hobgoblin, though didn't make it there during the window time where they're serving their delicious Thai food. I did, however, eat Indian food on Brick Lane. I've always had an aversion to Indian food -- mainly because I don't like yellow curry, I don't like safron and I'm not wild about the other flavors I'd had involved in whatever had passed for Indian food previously in my life. Andrew took Liz and I out and ordered a feast and ever last bite of it was unbelievably good. I am now an Indian food convert. Brick Lane is really cool -- all these Indian restaurants on this one narrow little street, with all the hosts and proprietors jumping out at you to try and convince you to choose their place. Offers of free drinks, discounts, bottles of wine abound. You basically stroll back and forth till you find the deal you want. Pretty sweet.

That same night we went to the Ten Bells, the pub where Jack the Ripper supposedly found his victims. If he were in that business still today, his victims would have thick black eyeliner and big tall combat boots, combined with an unexpected love of Nickel Back and Whitney Houston.

I really wish blogger had page breaks. Anyhow. We also saw a really stupid art show while we were there. The conceit was, what if Martians found earth and interpolated things about our society from contemporary art? It was all very self-serving of the curator ("Look how clever we were to write up these signs in the Martian voice about "terrestrial" society! You see that panel about communication? Isn't it clever that we wrote it all in "Martian" symbols?!?") I didn't like it much. Some of the selected works were interesting, but for the most part, not worth my 8 pounds.

Also, I got to sample just about every kind of weather London ever has. My first day there was high 60s, sunny, gorgeous. Second day -- rainy and cold. Sunday? Woke up to SNOW. A lady on the plane back told me it's the first time she's seen accumulation like that in London since the mid eighties. Of course, it melted by noon or so, but was still neat to see.

I got to get a taste of London's music venues too! We went to Scala to see Thee Silver Mount Zion Orchestra and Tra La La Band (uf) on Monday. Their songs are about 10 minutes long each, so they only played about 8 of them, but it was a good show. And the venue was so cool! From talking to Liz, Andrew & Dan about it, it seems that most of the venues were old churches or theaters, so they all have several levels of balconies and really high, ornate ceilings. The Scala was no exception to that. Still a small club space -- the floor was smaller than the black cat or 9:30's -- but high reaching. Very cool. Oh, and the sound was perfect. And the audience wasn't rude. It's really refreshing to go somewhere where the crowd doesn't chat the entire way through a performance.

And in summation... I ate lots of great food, stocked up on British sweets (digestives, milky bar buttons, etc.), drank many pints of delicious beer, played scrabble in a really cool bar with a free jukebox, walked around a ton, took about 85 naps with Liz, hung out with Russell (the latest Vienna-to-London transplant), reinvigorated my crush on Andrew (move back to D.C.!), ate fish and chips with mushy peas (mushy peas: exactly what you'd imagine they're like, only with a little less flavor), experienced a couple instances of pure, unadulterated Liz (unconsciously putting a half-full cup of coffee in her purse, and losing her Oyster -- home to her tube and bus passes, her key card to her apartment, her library card, her student ID, etc. -- on the bus), witnessed a child of about 6 call a child of about 12 "mommy", saw what I'm pretty sure was a bandage covering a recently removed vestigial tail on a barrista, and felt very good about my recent binge on Doctor Who just in time for my trip, because those people LOVE them some Doctor Who. Everywhere I went, Doctor Who mania. Oh, also, filtered coffee is damn near impossible to find over there. And when you can find it, it's kind of gross. Stick to tea and lattes, but steer clear of Americanos. Boy oh holy crap they were not good. I was also happy to discover that Virgin Atlantic still gives you the little pack with socks, a sleeping mask, toothpaste and toothbrush for your journey. And really happy that I hadn't booked on British Air while they're having their Terminal 5 crisis.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Looking at the world from the bottom of a well

*What follows is not the usual subject matter of this blog, so feel free to skip this potentially over-personal memo about my currently fragile state of mind.

I've been a little... off lately. In addition to a deepening funk based (I think) on the fact that nothing has changed in my life in a long time and I feel the need to shake something up, I think all the losses from last year are starting to catch up with me. Grief is a long process, and apparently my mental breakdown is scheduled for 6 to 8 months after people die. Especially with what happened to Jayne, I keep finding myself being more and more suspicious of people and paranoid. I'm preoccupied with violence and don't feel safe. For the past month or two, I tense up and freak out a little when I'm in an elevator or a stairwell with a man I don't know. This is not normal for me. Confidence and a sense of security -- these are things I have always had in spades. And some days, like today, I am just flat out depressed. I've spent most of the day sleeping or laying down. I just read the words "dead body" in a novel and burst into heaving, blubbering tears. I am hitting "ignore" instead of picking up the calls of my closest friends. I don't feel like doing anything -- not cooking or going for a walk or shopping or cleaning or reading or watching tv or having a beer or any of the things that usually clear my head -- and I don't like it one bit. (I thought, maybe writing it out would help. It has, a bit.) In fact, the only thing I have any desire to do right now is sort of inexplicable. All that sounds worthwhile to me at this very moment is going swimming.

Now, where the fuck can I do that?

I just remembered that I will be in Costa Rica this time next week, so presumably the answer is, Costa Rica. So, that's amazing. But I'm thinking this need to dunk my head in cold water is sort of immediate for some reason. Off to see if running water from the tap will suffice.

We will now continue with the regularly scheduled blogging about bands and cheese and what television shows I'm obsessed with at the moment*. Thank you for allowing this short deviation.

*I haven't written about it yet, but that would be Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Welcome back, H&M

Way back in August, Stace Dawg gave me an H&M gift card for my birthday. I haven't been able to use it yet, because, H&M's clothes have completely and totally sucked for quite a while. But, thanks to summertime and Merimekko, they are back. And, dishing out their goods on a discount today (maybe through the weekend? I'm not sure.). Thanks to their $10 off for every $50 you spend, plus the giftcard I had, I got almost $400 worth of stuff for about $250. And now have some kickass new stuff. I don't know if it will be quite as flattering on everyone, but the long black & white Merimekko dress is incredibly beautifully cut. It's the most flattering thing I've tried on in quite some time. Anyhow, it's nice to have you back H&M!

Chris Cooley's blog is proof that the gods love us

In case you didn't take my original suggestion to start reading #47's blog, please do. Here's a taste -- from a post where he answers 20 reader questions:

1. If there was a "Name That Tune" game, would you rather be on that than "Deal or No Deal"? I think there really is some kind of Name That Tune game, and I think I would be awesome at it. I know that I am the champion of Name That Tune. (At least in my own car,when I control the radio). Deal or No deal would be really hard to pass up. How could I not be excited about all the case girls.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I order the club sandwich all the time, but I'm not even a member, man. I don't know how I get away with it.

New Mitch Hedberg CD cometh?


While this is cool, it doesn't hold a candle to The XYZ Affair's version at Unbuckled 6.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cheerio then, I'm home

I'll blog at length about my wonderful trip to London later, but for now, have a look at my pictures. In a nutshell: Liz! Beer! Andrew! Pubs! Food! Russell! Buses! Naps! Brits say the darndest things!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Thoughts I Dropped As I Crossed the Pond

If I were to ever move to the UK, I'd get two dogs. I'd name one of them Crackers, and the other one Crisps.

Stinker would rule both with an iron paw.


Also I realized why I like pubs so much. No matter how crowded or loud one is, it's almost always still terribly pleasant. And there's absolutely no scene. Old, young, professionals, slackers, footballers, fatties, whatever! It's just a local hang, and everyone hangs and it's great. And potatoes covered in cheese and bacon? The tits.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Things I will be too many miles away to do this weekend, but you should

  • Watch great basketball games
  • See Dirty Projectors @ Black Cat 4/7
  • Also, Les Savy Fav 4/4, Georgie James & Olivia Mancini & the Housemates 4/5
  • And Mike Doughty @ 9:30 4/5
  • Watch the Battlestar Galactica final season premiere!!!!
  • Celebrate the birth of Kate Steadman
  • Go to Kyle's Information Leafblower show featuring Robbers on High Street and our very own City Veins on Thursday
  • Pick crabs at Cap't Pell's with Stace Dawg & others on Sunday
But I'll be in jolly old, getting my pint and indian food and tate and all that on with my bestie Liz. I can't say I'm terribly sad to miss these things, given the alternative. See you guys next week!

Unbuckled 7: Mark Your Calendars, Rock Your Bodies

Unbuckled 7
DJ v:shal kanwar
April 24
9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stories from Pops

Tonight over an absurdly decadent and delicious meal (ahi tuna, crab cocktail, bone-in NY strip, broccoli, shrooms, martinis, fine wine, chocolate exlosion cake), I asked my dad, "So who do you want to see win the tourny this weekend?" Which launched the following tale. I've hard the end of this story a lot of times: whenever somebody at a family gathering drinks too much, my gramma tells the tale of the time my dad and his buddies went out, each drank a bottle of cold duck, went out to a bar in D.C., then dropped my dad at home -- lurching him up against the front door to my grandparents' apartment, ringing the doorbell and running. That story always ends with the term, "hugging the toilet." But I've never heard the story of the beginning of that day. Which frankly, is much better, and much more suitable for a fabled family origin story.

It's the year after my dad graduated high school. A basketball superstar in high school, his potential collegiate career was cut short when my grandmother passed away and a coach with a vendetta came into my dad's life (long, sad story). So he was at NOVA, playing on an AAU team. Back then, AAU was lower level college teams (not in NCAA -- at that time including Mason, Georgetown), roughly-college-aged people not in school, as well as sponsored teams of other players. A catch all, non-NCAA league. I hope I got all those details right, but even if not, you get the idea.

So, the morning of this fabled day, my dad finds out something. Something huge. He's already been in for the physical and all that, and he finally hears back: he's not being drafted. The draft class quota is 195, and he's #206. In the late 60s, finding out you're not going to viet fucking nam already qualifies for the best day ever. But this day is even better. It's the beginning of the AAU tournament. My dad's NOVA team is set to play Brothers' Furniture.

Brothers' Furniture is a team from Texas. Brothers' is the members of the Dallas Cowboys who also like to play basketball. So in addition to finding out he's not going to nam, my dad gets a chance to play against the effing Cowboys on this day. Now, you all know me, and my rabid Redskins fandom. This comes from somewhere. It's a definitive lineage passed down from my father and my father's father before him. We love the Redskins. We hate the Cowboys. This is a big game.

My dad proceeds to score 34 points (pre-3 point line) and have aproximately one bajillion assists (he told me the number, but I've forgotten it). His point guard (the guy, Gene, who he's been in the post with since they were about 9 years old), scores 39 points. They DESTROY Brothers' Furniture.

That's when the whole cold duck thing happens. But anyhow.

So what does all this have to do with this year's tournament and who my dad's supporting, you ask? Well, let me explain. After the Brothers' Furniture victory, next up was a game against Georgetown (the spring before John Thompson came on board that fall; a bunch of fairly talentless white boys at that point). That year's NCAA championship was being held at Cole Field House at Maryland, so the teams in the finals pulled practice spaces from local facilities. UCLA pulled Georgetown. Near the end of my dad's game against Georgetown, officials flood the floor and clear the court. UCLA's practice time was starting.

This was UCLA under John Wooden. They allowed the guys who'd been playing to stay and watch the practice. My dad says that the control Wooden had over that team is the most impressive thing he's ever seen, to this day. He'd snap his fingers and they'd run the plays in perfect formation, each time. He said JW barely opened his mouth the entire practice, but the team was completely under his thumb. Good coaching is a gift.

So, he's got an affinity for UCLA. And also UNC (woo, ACC). And both other teams are premiere organizations. So, congratulations you lucky jerks who will be in America and be able to watch these amazing games this weekend. Enjoy!

Buyouts: Don't Be Foolish

The hottest April Fools trend of 08? Announcing that your site has been bought by a big media company. Stuff White People Life, Jezebel (who've definitely taken the joke the farthest) and Stereogum (or, BYT on behalf of Stereogum?) are all in on the act. If any of these outlets has actually been sold and chose today to break the news, then that was really poor timing. But I'm going to go with my gut and call bullshit on all three.

Update: If there was any doubt in your mind that Jezebel was kidding, please see exhibit A and exhibit B under the category No Fucking Way.