Monday, March 29, 2010
2. Get real and call it what it is: an e-diary. Boom, roasted.
3. The pen is not mightier than the sword if it goes unread. Boom, roasted.
4. You're not an expert, stop pretending to be one. Boom, roasted.
5. Google adsense owns you. Boom, roasted.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thanks for reading.
--BH & AB Homer
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I really liked the new feature of having former co-stars talk about personal experiences with the nominees for Best Actor and Actress. The tributes were brief and genuine and humanized these otherwise unworldly celebrities. I thought Colin Farrell’s praise of his friend and Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner was unbelievable real and quite touching. Michele Pfeiffer had nothing but gushing things to say about Jeff Bridges. It was very nice.
Bridges won the award for Best Actor for his role in Crazy Heart. I really liked this movie and loved his performance. I saw the movie awhile back and had meant to post this earlier; but with the Oscar’s so close by, I figured I’d post around Oscar time. What follows is my account of the movie.
I saw Crazy Heart a few weeks ago. It’s a flick about a washed up country singer, playing dives and any gig he can book to make ends meet or at least get his next bottle of whiskey. He’s four times divorced, an alcoholic, and drives a 1978 Suburban named Bessie. His name is Bad.
It’s a narrow fence we walk between independent and lost. Bad Blake, played brilliantly by Bridges, falls on both sides of that fence throughout the story. There’s a certain romance to his whiskey drinking and pain that enables him to write memorable and beautiful songs. The flip side is that he manages to spoil anything good that may come his way.
To date, I’m still unsure whether I was a lost or independent soul when I saw this movie. I went alone on a rainy Wednesday night with a bar of dark chocolate. But we digress.
The point I want to highlight about this film isn’t the cliché story of a burnout saved by love and throwing it away for old habits. No, we can get that story many places (Good Will Hunting, Billy Madison). What I loved about this movie was the friendship between Bad Blake and Wayne, played by Robert Duval.
Wayne is the owner of the bar Bad plays nightly in his hometown of Houston. Wayne plays a small role in the movie but a big role in Bad’s life. Wayne tells Bad he did the right thing by calling his son no matter their history and Wayne tells Bad he’s going to help him sober up when Bad gives it a shot. Bad called Wayne to say he wanted to get sober. That’s all he had to say and Wayne was there.
Their relationship is overshadowed by the boy-meets-girl saga of Bad and Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), but it resonated with me. The difference between being independent and lost lies behind the scenes. When you’re done being alone, I mean physically alone, what’s there for you? Better yet, who? If you can answer this – and you usually can – you’re never lost.
See the movie for a number of reasons: the subtle bromance, Bridges’ performance, the music, or – very underrated – the Southwestern scenery. One romanticized aspect of the film are the beautiful plains of Arizona and New Mexico. Often these wonders of the Southwest are overshadowed by the mountains (no pun intended) and their proximity to the timeless beauty of the sea; but director/writer Scott Cooper does an incredible job shooting the solitary, expansive wonder that is the Southwest.
And if you really don’t care about seeing the movie, the lesson you can take from reading this is that if you want to see a movie alone and have a bar of chocolate, well by-gollie go do it.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
2. At home. Boom, roasted.
3. This isn't little league, not everyone gets to play. Boom, roasted.
4. Take the pacifier out and don't you dare mention expansion. Boom, roasted.
5. You weren't going to get to the second weekend anyway. Boom, roasted.
Friday, March 12, 2010
In the wake of the conclusion to the second longest streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances of all time, we would like to throw out some thank you’s.
First and foremost, we’d like to thank god. While this seems cliché in sports, without him and his strength we would not be here. When he came to Tucson in the fall of 1983, he inherited that four-win team. Quickly, the streak began. Without Lute, AP stories would still list Tucson with the AZ attached. So, thank you god.
We’d also like to thank Tom Tolbert, K-Lo, Jud Buechler and any of the other players we don’t quite remember. Thanks Steve Kerr for tearing your ACL allowing you to stick around to get us to that first Final Four. Thanks Sean for starting it all.
Thanks Damon and Khalid and Baby Blair for legitimizing it. Thanks Ray Owes, Ben Davis, Matt Muehlbach, and Reggie. Thanks Joe McClain; if you hadn’t been sick it might have been back-to-back Sweet 16 upsets of Kansas. Which brings us to, a more modern era.
Thanks Jason for those high socks. Thanks Mike for banking that three home against Carolina. Thanks Donnell for putting off possession one year to come off the bench. Thanks Bennett for the springs in your legs. Thanks Miles for the floaters and the shoulder shake. Thanks Eugene for the first branding I ever saw. Thanks Michael Dickerson for being so graceful and so underrated. Thanks AJ for somehow making it work. Thanks Josh for coaching as a player. Thanks Jason Stewart for your God.
Thanks Loren for transferring in. Thanks Michael Wright for being a beast. Thanks Ricky Anderson, how were you a star for a two-loss team? Thanks Richard for jumping. Thanks Gilbert for flying under the radar, at least early in your career. Thanks Jason for PGU. Thanks Luke for the star power. Thanks Isaiah for being chubby. Thanks Andre for those monkey arms. Thanks Hasaan for that one game at Washington and the dunks. Thanks Rock Walters for 5 years of Mono. Thanks Mustafa for trying hard. Thanks Ivan for some Euro (no thanks Robertas Javtokas). Thanks J-Mac for not pissing on any teenagers. Thanks Chase for bump-set-spike. Thanks Jordan for getting SO good SO fast. Thanks Nic for losing the weight. Thanks Kyle for your emergence. Thanks Salim for raining. Thanks Fendi for the bows. Thanks Channing for poetry. Thank you Momo and Kyryl and Derrick and Solomon and Kevin for what’s to come.
Thanks for beating Kansas in 1997. Thanks for that run in 2001. Thanks for outplaying Illinois. Thanks for the Pac-10 championships. Forget the early exits. Thanks for fighting ‘Nova. Thanks for 24 of 25 against ASU. Thanks for the start of the 2001-02 season (Maryland-boom, Texas-boom, Illinois-boom). Thanks for the SI covers.
Thanks for all the tickets we mooched. Thanks for parents who bought tickets. Thanks to everyone who sat in that nasty, sweaty, stinky, hot guest bedroom at my parents’ house humping, face painting, and screaming us to that overtime victory against Gonzaga. Thanks for the cable package in San Diego that got me FSN-AZ. Thanks for that one afternoon where we got to see the basketball team in the football stadium on a school day in April.
Thanks to Jim Harrick and Steve Lavin for running UCLA into the ground for about a decade. Thanks to the rest of the Pac10 for never catching up and your mediocrity (see: Ben Braun, Rob Evans, Bill Frieder, Ernie Kent). Thanks Henry Bibby for your son.
Thanks George for staying clean. Thanks Coach Ros. Thanks Greg Hansen, eh. Thanks Jody Oehler for giving me a forum. Thanks Bobbi for keeping Lute sane. No thanks KO. Thanks Reggie for still recruiting. Thanks Russ for that 7 game run. Thanks for saying “No”, Tim. Thanks for saying “Yes”, Sean.
I do not want this to come across as a Eulogy. AbsoLUTEly not. This is a celebration of Arizona Basketball and all that it has accomplished and the greatness that has been displayed for twenty-five years. This is meant to remember the past and usher in the future. There is so much more to come and this program will once again be on top. After all, Sean said so.
So there you have it. A Silver Anniversary Thank You inspired by a generation of Arizona hoops. If you have any thanks you’d like to add, please post a comment. Don’t bother blaming or pointing fingers; you’re just a Debbie-downer.
As Arizona moves into next season and a new era of greatness, keep in mind that March, springtime, is a season of new beginnings. Let us celebrate that.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
1. You can’t even pull off a frat party. Boom, roasted.
2. Not everyone goes to college to become a doctor or an engineer. Boom, roasted.
3. How pissed can the aministration really be? They only allow 3% African-Americans in as it is. Boom, roasted.
4. It is not cool to play – and consequently brag about – 20 consecutive hours of WOW. Boom, roasted.
5. Only at UCSD could a hate crime be most visible when conducted in the library. Boom, roasted.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I am writing today to tell you the story of a program and the legacy of a player.
In the beginning there was Lute Olson. He came to the caliche hardened earth of the Tucson desert and grew from nothing one of the most prominent, successful basketball programs in the nation. For years, Tucsonans basked in the glow of Lute's silver hair and unmatched success: 11 Pac-10 Championships, 22 consecutive tournament appearances, 4 Final Fours, 21 20 win seasons, 17 All Americans, and of course 1997. Lute Olson was the face of the program and immediately the most recognizable man in Tucson. His stature, good looks, and even keel gave him an aura and mystique that was rare for a desert town with no movie stars or professional athletes. We thought he would never leave.
Of course Lute would eventually leave; not even he could withstand the hands of time. People will talk about the mess he left in his bumpy exit. National talking heads will compare him to Eddie Sutton and scold him for not being more dignified in his departure. However, in Tucson--where time stops for a University of Arizona game--fans have come to realize something else: though it was Lute who built the program, it is Arizona that endures.
Our allegiance lies with the players on the court; it lives in McKale Center, with the banners in the rafters, the retired jerseys, the barber pole striped pep band, and with Ooh-Ah man. Our allegiance has been tested in these years of turmoil, but it could not leave with Lute because it is mercilessly tied to the players that don the cardinal and blue and proudly strap Arizona across their chest. Never has the unwavering allegiance to our players been more needed than during these last several years where we watched the last of Lute's recruiting well dry up and teams struggle to uncertain conclusions to their seasons.
However, there was one player that never gave in or gave up. He endured the waning years of Lute; he lasted through a volatile year with the temporary heir apparent Kevin O'Neil; treated us to a season with Russ, Mike, Dewey and the Big Three; and for his victory lap has ushered in the era of Sean Miller. He allowed tormented Arizona fans to hold onto a thread of continuity and hope. And he proudly, without faltering, represented the University, his teammates, his fans and our town.
He is Nic Wise.
Nic Wise: the last remaining vestige of a bygone era; the kid who wanted to play for Arizona when he was 15 years old; the young man who put his faith in the Arizona program despite the storm of uncertainty raging around him; the competitor who played through injuries, and fatigue; the senior who will play his last home game Saturday in front of three of his last four college coaches; the man who took a back seat to a coach and helped guide a group of boys (who will be the future of Arizona basketball) in the right direction for the first time in four years.
He was never the player of the year--not even an All-American. He didn't win a Pac-10 Championship and never went to the final four. Yet he--perhaps more than any other--deserves to have his jersey hang with Kerr, Elliot, Bibby and Gardner. His numbers will never compare. Yet here is a man that devoted four years of his life so that a program we took for granted for decades could survive.
When fans look back on these last four years, many will remember the end of the Lute Olson era. Many more will remember the beginning of the Sean Miller era. However, it is Nic Wise --the only perceivable element of stability in the last four years--that should be remembered. Nic Wise proudly wore the Arizona jersey despite a coaching carousel; despite lagging attendance; and in lieu of other opportunities. No one would have blamed him if he left.
Instead, Nic Wise reminded us that it is the A-R-I-Z-O-N-A that endures, and he gave his entire body, mind and soul to make sure that it would.
And for that Coach Miller, please see to it that Nic Wise's jersey hangs in the rafters.
Please submit your letters to Coach Miller in our comments section or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply leave a comment. You know Nic deserves it.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Two-hundred-and-two miles is a very long distance to run. It would take a solid runner (8 minute miles) over 26 hours to complete. That’s why we did it with twelve runners (and two drivers, but don’t tell the race officials) in over 30 hours.
This past weekend was the RAGNAR Del Sol Relay Race. This is a relay from Prescott, AZ to Tempe, AZ covering 202 miles of terrain and 5000 feet of elevation (6100 at the start, 1100 at the end). The race is broken into 36 legs ranging from 3 to 8.8 miles and each runner completes three total legs. Runners are split into two vans (Van 1 and Van 2) of six runners each. The vans leap frog one another as their six runners complete their series’ of legs and move on to the next exchange. Example: Van 1, with runners 1-6, completes legs 1-6 then passes the baton at exchange 6 from runner 6 to runner 7. Van 1 then moves on to exchange 12, and waits for Van 2 and runners 7-12 to complete legs 7-12. This continues throughout the night and into day until legs 1-36 have been completed. The baton is an early 90’s snap bracelet.
This year, I ran for team CBR, my company team. The team was a combination of both lab personnel (Tucson) and corporate personnel (San Bruno). I work in the lab so I only knew the San Brunans by name; I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup. But this is the best way to do a super relay. In my experience (four relays) the most fun part is getting to know the strangers in your van over the isolated, dense, smelly, trying 30+ hours together. While a 15-passenger van sounds big, it isn’t.
The CBR race became a cause with the creation of the Newborn Possibilities program. This is a terrific program created to raise money to assist families participating in clinical cord blood trials combatting neurological damage or disability – such as Cerebral Palsy. The objective of the fund is to offset the significant expenses these families incur traveling to and from the trials. Our runners took pledges (and still are) to support the program and the at-risk newborns. If - when you’re done reading this - you feel you’d like to support the cause, follow this LINK TO THE NEWBORN POSSIBILITIES FUND.
We kicked race weekend off by interviewing with the local NBC news affiliate who shared the story of our race and a little boy who has seen tremendous improvement in his dexterity since he was infused with his own cord blood. We were able to interact with wee Luke Fryar and his family and it was amazing to see this youngin’ move in ways his family had never thought possible (to see the story, CLICK HERE). It was a great way to start the weekend, establishing some big picture perspective for why we were running.
Running for a cause and amongst employed strangers set the stage for a race of epic proportions; however, because what happens at RAGNAR stays at RAGNAR, I will not divulge the details. I will say this: HR Directors are people too, sunrises are majestic, farts are always funny, “Eye of the Tiger” can pump anyone up (but especially a Philadelphian), men should not wear thongs unless they want to get viciously passed, Red Vines are amazing, Backgammon is dirty, just because a restaurant has a sign that says “Italian” doesn’t mean they serve pasta, Lulu Lemon is for everyone, you can’t make up your own nickname, and the f***ing Catalina Wine Mixer. Think what you will of that list, CBR RAGNAR 2010 was a glorious debacle – as are all overnight adventures.
My recommendation (other than to contribute to the Newborn Possibilities fund) is to find a race and do it. I know I said this after the PF Chang’s Half-Marathon, but this is an entirely different experience. After PF Chang’s I talked about the “we” mentality of the running community. The RAGNAR Race creates a “we” extreme (among other extremes). As a runner, you’re reliant on your teammates to get from start-to-finish. They’re supporting you no matter whether it’s 1pm or 3am. They’re sleeping next to you on middle school wrestling mats. They’ll snore like a sonic boom. They’ll pick up parts (if not all) of your run if you’re coughing up blood or about to pop an Achilles. They’ll put fake snakes next to your sleeping bag after you’ve expressed a primal fear of reptiles. They’ll hog-tie you into your own sweatshirt. It’s an opportunity to embark amongst strangers and depart amongst family. (By the way, the Homers will have tons more information on great races throughout the west coast coming soon and will also be regularly accepting invites to participate in these races)
In our case, a group of co-workers bonded over a passion for the outdoors, running, and sophomoric humor. We were lucky to have superb weather and 15-passenger vans instead of mini-vans. I feel lucky to have been included. Happy Birthday Johnnie and happy trails to me. The race was a success as we raised over $8000 (and counting) for the Newborn Possibilities fund. It was a success because we did it.
And we did it for the kids.
On a somber note, Robby Mayasich, an 18-year-old Phoenician, was struck by a car and killed early Saturday morning during the race. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mayasich family.
Monday, March 1, 2010
2. You deny being a hack despite having made a movie for ten bucks (Clerks), and then making your money by referring to Clerks in subsequent movies and charging people to hear you talk about it. Boom, roasted.
3. Putting the same skinny junkie and fat mute in all your movies does not make you a movie a genius it makes you a comic book obsessed nerd. Boom, roasted.
4. You were kicked off a plane for being too fat. Boom, roasted.
5. Jersey Girl. Boom, roasted.