Sunday, December 30, 2007

There are luxuries we can't afford

I just got back from Christmas today. It was tiring. I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. Every time I go home I feel like I gain 20 pounds because my mom is bad at portions and not making delicious food that is bad for you. So, I have to spend the next two weeks working out extra hard to get back to where I was two weeks ago. Isn't starting a new year grand?

One of the things I noticed once I got back is that I still haven't killed off the crappy cheap toilet paper that I brought with my from grad school. It is astonishing how much less of everything one person uses. Either that or I eat way too much cheese. But I didn't really notice, because I don't have good toilet paper to compare it to. (Actually, that's not true. I have some good tissue in the bathroom, but I want to use the crappy stuff first. It's a little like this concept.)

It makes a big difference, though, comfortwise. If you get nothing else from this blog, let it be this: spending a little extra on nice toilet paper is worth it. Saving a few pennies is appealing, but don't you remember how awful it was to blow your nose on those rough, brown paper towels they have in the bathrooms in high school? Yeah. I do have some questions about bidets, though, and how they fit into this scheme. I've never used one, but I've heard good things.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007/8 Bowl Picks

Holy cow! Bowl season, the second best and only other good thing about winter besides Christmas, starts tomorrow, and I almost didn't get my picks in on time. Feel free to make your own picks in the comments! And now, in chronological order...

San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Utah (-7.0) vs Navy
I think if PJ hadn't gone to Tech, I'd take Navy to win outright. What's Utah got going for it, other than the prospect of voting for a Mormon this presidential election? I say Utah wins, but Navy wins the spread.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Memphis vs. Florida Altantic (-3.0)
I don't think I've seen either of these teams play this year. But FAU has a national championship coach and Memphis has the Blues and ribs. Unfortunately, kickass music and delicious ribs don't help on the football field. FAU wins.

12/22/07 Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati (-10.5)
I think that is a generous spread for USM. Bearcats win big. I know you are probably thinking "There is no such thing as a bearcat." You are right. Doesn't help the Golden Eagles of USM, sadly.

New Mexico Bowl
Nevada vs. New Mexico (-2.5)
Nevada has a wacky pistol formation, but that didn't help last year against a terrible, terrible Miami team (who you will not see on this list, incidentally). New Mexico is playing in a bowl named after them. I'll take New Mexico, even though I don't know what their mascot is. Nevada is the Wolfpack, though. Just like NC State, who sucks too.

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
UCLA vs. BYU (-6.0)
Ouch. The Bruins were projected to be contenders for the PAC-10 in the preseason, now their coach is unemployed and they are dogs to the Cougars. There's no way UCLA can pull this out, because none of the BYU players will be distracted by the siren's song of Sin City. The Bruins, however, can indulge in whatever debauchery they want. BYU wins the spread.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Boise State (-10.5) vs. East Carolina
I think ECU is coached by Lou Holthz's son. Won't help. Boise State is better, because they have the running back who proposed to the cheerleader last year. How can you not like him? And how awesome is a trip to Hawaii? The Broncos will be happier to be there than the Pirates, because the Carolinas are nice while Idaho is pretty rough this time of year.

Motor City Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Purdue (-8.0)
This is the first game with real teams. Eight points in this game is an outrage. I would bet my insulin money on CMU to cover if I had diabetes. But I don't, and it would be illegal. The point is, I think the Chippewas are better than the Boilers and will win this game.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Arizona State vs. Texas (-2.5)
This has traditionally been the bowl for teams who wish they went to a better one and then get blown out by an inferior team. This is a hard one to pick, because Texas has been a gigantic disappointment and ASU was pretty terrible last year and kind of came out of nowhere with a new coach. I think I like the Sun Devils, though, and sorry UT, but the Horns get hooked.

Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College (-3.5) vs. Michigan State
Boston College. By like two and a half TDs. Jesuits win, and the Spartans have to go back to the Midwest after seeing the glory that is Central Florida.

Texas Bowl
TCU (-4.0) vs. Houston
Two Texas teams playing in the Texas Bowl! Isn't that cute? But that line is very small. That would be a fair line if Houston didn't just lose their coach. Which they did. TCU by 10.

Emerald Bowl
Maryland vs. Oregon State (-4.5)
Maryland is not a good football team or state. Beavers are also a more hilarious mascot than the Terrapins, although they are pretty funny. Gotta go against the ACC. OSU wins by a TD.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
UConn vs. Wake Forest (-2.5)
This is one of the hardest ones to predict of all of them, I think. Which is sad, really, because the Deacs were ACC champs last year and the Huskies have only been 1-A for like 8 years. I have shoes older than that. I still think I like Wake Forest, though.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
UCF (-3.0) vs. Mississippi State
This is a really interesting matchup. UCF has the NCAA rushing leader and MSU has the SEC coach of the year. I think this could be a big momentum builder for UCF, who should have beaten Texas in the Citrus Bowl. UCF wins a close one, but doesn't win the spread.

Valero Alamo Bowl
Penn State (-5.5) vs. Texas A&M
Penn State is going to put such a hurt on ATM that there will be Nittany Lion prints on Kyle Field next bowl season. A&M lost their coach and everybody loves JoePa. Even Hitler would have loved him 60 years ago.

Petro Sun Independence Bowl
Alabama (-3.5) vs. Colorado
I know that they are experts and all in Vegas, but this line is non-sense. Bunk, if you will. I would take Colorado any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays. You see what I did there? I mixed it up at the end.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Cal (-3.5) vs. Air Force
I like AF, but I can't take them over Cal. Sorry, America. I've let you down.

Roady's Humanitarian
Georgia Tech (-5.5) vs. Fresno State
Georgia Tech. I guess.

Brut Sun Bowl
USF (-6.5) vs. Oregon
If Dennis Dixon didn't trade away his future for a chance to lose at Arizona, I'd be picking the Ducks to win the National Championship over Ohio State. But without him, I have to go with Da Bulls.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Florida State vs. Kentucky (even)
This is Christmas right here. Go to your local loan shark and take out as much as he'll give you and put it all on the Wildcats. FSU was a coinflip if they had everyone, but they are going to be without twenty-five players. Good Lord.

Insight Bowl
Indiana vs. Oklahoma State (-4.0)
The line for Gundy is 4.0! He's a man! And he's going to win! (I know this is lazy, but this would be like talking about Howard Dean's primary effort last election and not mentioning the scream.)

Chik-Fil-A Bowl
Clemson (-1.5) vs. Auburn
I wish I could be at this game, but this is a tough venue to get into. I, of course, am picking Clemson. Since the spread is 1.5, I guess I am going to pick them to win that too, but I think it will be close.

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Tennessee (-2.5)
I still like a Cutcliffe-less Tennessee. Vols drink their corn from a jar over Badger corpses.

AT&T Cotton
Mizzou (-3.0) vs. Arky
Ha ha. Arkansas is a confused place right now. The players are all like, "Petrino's a good coach, I guess, thanks for hiring him..." Then again, Missouri got kicked right in the pants by the BCS committees and are probably going Show Me where leaving us out is a good idea. Least motivated teams? I'll trust Vegas, I guess. Tigers by a little.

Konica Minolta Gator
Texas Tech (-5.5) vs. Virginia
I think that Mike Leach might be the closest thing I have to a celebrity man crush. Besides Eddie Vedder, I mean. I am not ashamed to say he is a handsome man. I consider myself a defensive football fan, but how can you not love Mike the Pirate? Texas Tech humiliates UVa by forcing Jacksonville Municipal to use scientific notation to keep score.

Capitol One Bowl
Michigan vs. Florida (-10.5)
It's looking like 10.5 is about as many points as Vegas is willing to give. I'd still take Florida. Michigan lost its coach and is playing a spread offense with way better talent that App State. Florida could win by a bigger margin than they did last year.

Rose Bowl
USC (-13.5) vs. Illinois
I guess I was wrong. Vegas will give the Illini 13.5. I think I'd take that bet, actually. I don't think Illinois can win the game, though. Brink back Illiniwek!

Sugar Bowl
Hawaii vs. Georgia (-7.5)
Man, the BCS matchups suck. UGa wins in a walk. Colt Brennan puts up a bunch of yards but doesn't win because Knowshon Moreno has the best name in college football.

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma (-7.5) vs. West By God Virginia

I wanted to see OU vs. VT so bad. This is ridiculous. The Sooners are going to win, and probably would have won even if RichRod stuck around.

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech (-3.5) vs Kansas
I would have liked to have had another shot at VT , but they probably would have beaten us again. Just like they will beat Kansas. By many, many more points than 3.5. Although the Jayhawk might be my favorite imaginary bird. Behind the fantastakeet, of course.

---Begin Bowls that make me cry---
International Bowl
Rutgers (-10) vs Ball State
What's the point? Ball State? Are you kidding me? At least Toronto picked two teams for whom their awful wintry surroundings will be an improvement from where they have to return. Muncie, IN and Piscattaway, NJ? No thank you.

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa (-5.0)
Tulsa, but I have to say, I don't care that much.

---End Bowls that make me cry---

National Championship
LSU (-4.0) vs. Ohio State
Ohio State is going to stop wanting to get to this game. They just aren't that good. LSU wins by 10, but the team's athleticism will bail Les "I'm stupid, but I think I'm gutsy" Miles out. Tressel will think "I'm a genius (just look at the sweatervest), and I'm losing to this guy? At least Urban Meyer was a good coach." Good defensive game, though.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's like my kryptonite

You folks already know about my various superpowers (if you have forgotten, you can read about them here, here and here. But it's only fair if I tell you about my superpowers I start mentioning some of my weaknesses. After all, I'm Observant, not vain. Well, not so vain that I think this blog is about me.

You might also remember that my purchasing cycle of underwear had reached an increased blip a few months ago, and I neglected to mention a key feature: the button fly. Up until that point, I had been rocking with just ordinary open fly boxers. There are, of course, pluses and minuses for both of those. The pluses of the button fly is that makes you feel fancy because they cost more and the button keeps your peep from popping out. The pluses of the open fly is that it doesn't have a damn button.

I didn't think this would be all that revolutionary before I found myself in the midst of this new sort of fly. But it is. The departure from open to button makes every trip to the urinal a furious race to open the fly, and that takes the experience of relieving oneself in a semi-public place to the next level of awkward. Especially if there is a line, because not only are you taking up valuable real estate, but you are fumbling with your hands on your underwear. Not only that, but afterwards, there is the effort of putting the button back in the eye. Sometimes you just have to abandon ship and forget about the button, reverting back to the open fly arrangement.

I feel, though, that while the button is inconvenient, I never know when I'll need it. Like if my pants are suddenly lost in a horrific tragedy involving a swarm of insects that eats khakis. I'd feel pretty silly in that case if my fly were unbuttoned, wouldn't I?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I feel the need...

Do you ever wonder why everyone on earth is slower than me? (If you want, you can replace the pronoun "me" with "you," but I have to tell you, I like mine better.) It's everywhere: grocery stores, the ATM, the hallways at work, and while I'm on the couch. I know I'm pretty good at things like not taking 45 minutes to buy tomatoes, remembering my PIN, not stopping in my way and watching tv, but what's the deal? Am I really that good?

I hate getting behind people at the ATM. I honestly have no idea what these people do there. It's like they don't understand that there is an actual bank right next to this machine. There are only so many possible button combinations on a machine and it would take like 8 minutes to go through all of them.

You know what holds me up at the grocery store? The fact that almost no cashier knows what a tomatillo is. Blogger is even hitting me with the red underline on it. Other than that, I am flying through the grocery lines like a buttered slip n' slide.

I really have to ask, though, what are the things that are happening in these peoples heads that made you think it is a good idea to do your weekly banking at a glorified drive-thru teller (my bank does not have a clown mouth, sadly)? How about the shock of, after walking through a building full of food and selecting things that you want to take home, and realizing that you might have to pay for it? I guess sometimes Publix ambushes you.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

It's just not worth it

You know how exciting new gadgets are when they seemingly make life easier, but really don't accomplish all that much? I remember when I was a kid, I really wanted a phone that could be a speakerphone. I don't know why; I just thought it was cool. As it turns out, it was not cool. It wasn't even useful. What does an 8 year old need with a speakerphone in his bedroom?

This thing has been out for a while. And frankly, I apologize for being so slow moving on this. This should have been my first post. The bluetooth headset might be the dumbest product ever made. I know you are probably thinking, "But Mr. Sighted, it's hands free!" So was the speakerphone. Doesn't make it any less retarded. Also, you can't use one and not look like a douche bag.

This guy is probably a douche bag.

Maybe it's an issue of unfulfilled fantasies of being Madonna. Maybe it's a question of having such an inflated sense of self-worth that the people who use these that they can't put down the latte in their left hand to hold a telephone. I hate people who carry lattes outside of places that serve lattes and I hate when people are talking on the phone without clearly holding a phone so it makes them sound like the sort of people who are yelling about Nixon on a subway and smell like a ripened combination of Mad Dog and pee. I don't care what the explanation is, I just think you should stop.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The evil citrus

I don't understand grapefruit. It looks like a giant orange on the outside, which is a pretty good start. It even looks pretty nice on the inside, but it's all deception; not unlike a beautiful woman who turns out to have syphilis. Take a bite into what looks like a delicious fruity meal (at least compared to its citrus brethren) and you are shocked and amazed by how frighteningly terrible this actually is. What other fruit to people make a habit of adding sugar to in order to enjoy? Grossberries?

Now, as a Floridian, I have sworn an oath to protect and defend citrus. However, now that I am officially a Georgia resident I can finally speak out publicly. This doesn't change my opinions of the others; oranges, limes, tangerines and lemons are all still pretty great, although lemons are a little boring. Limes are, as always, underrated.

On a recent visit, my dad purchased grapefruit juice, because he was afraid the other items in my refrigerator were being unruly. Grapefruit juice is like the fridge warden. I decided this morning that I might give it a try with my breakfast because I neglected to purchase orange juice, the heavenly citrus juice, yesterday at the grocery store. It is an unforgivable oversight, really. But I couldn't do it. I've said this before and I'll probably say it many, many times in the future: grapefruit juice tastes like bile. It evokes in me the same reaction you get when you burp a little too hard and get some throw up in the back of your mouth. Not my idea of a good experience.

There is good news, though: I do still have limeade. While it's a little bit sugary for a juice, it's still citrusy and satisfied my need for an acidic morning. My throat is frequently dry when I wake up, and orange juice is that cure for that. Among other things. Like scurvy.