Thursday, September 30, 2010

Borrowed NYT Title: What Is It About 20-Somethings?


Much has been made of the twenty-somethings and what’s happening with this Gen-Y/millennial group.  It’s been said that we are entitled, narcissistic, worldly, jobless, educated, overqualified, and under-motivated.  We’re growing up later, putting off financial independence - and perhaps independence in general – living with mom and dad, traveling, and not marrying.  Sociologists have suggested a new growth stage, emerging adolescence, to be respected and recognized for today’s twenty-somethings.  The millennial generation is not the baby boomer generation.

I am a millennial and it was never more evident than in a recent DVD fiasco.

About one month ago I rented a movie, The Informant!  This is a boring movie and a waste of Matt Damon’s talent and your time.  Don’t bother.  The film is irrelevant to this generational tale.

I’d rented the movie on a Friday evening from Le Video on 9th Avenue and Lincoln.  I do not have a NetFlix account.  Post-watching, I wasn’t sure whether to return the DVD to its case or leave it in the player.  I awkwardly opened the DVD player, took out the DVD, then put it back into the what-I-assumed-to-be-functioning-player; a strange sequence, yes, but a safe holding place.  Or so I thought.

I drove Rose, my movie accompanying friend, home and thought nothing of the movie until Tuesday when I rented more movies.  I wanted to return The Informant! and pickup some better flicks.  But, The Informant! was nowhere to be found.  For the next six days – as the due date came and went – I searched high-and-low for that damn DVD.  It wasn’t even a good movie and because I rented it from a local and indie movie house, I was on the hook for an arm and a leg if I couldn’t find it.  I even resorted to passively accusing Rose of theft.  For that Rose, I apologize.

But seriously, where could that DVD have gone?  

Finally, in a flurry of desperation and as a half-joke, I grabbed a screwdriver, dramatically unplugged the DVD player and performed open player surgery.  With the parts and screws of the DVD player tossed about my living room, I slowly slid the top of the player off the device, fearful of what I might find.  Low and behold, pinned under an I-don’t-know-what, sat The Informant!  Son-of-a-bitch.



You might be thinking to yourself, “What the hell does this have to do with millenials or emerging adolescence?  It’s a god damn DVD Adam.  Get a grip.”  

NetFlix.

NetFlix is the ultimate millennial tool.  It is Gen-Y.  It’s non-commital, cheap, internet based, completely personalized, and on-demand.  It’s created for us except one fatal flaw: a permanent address.  I do not have a NetFlix account because I’ve known the address of only one of seven places I have lived in over the last three years.  No complaints.  It’s just my path; but because of this path I have not been able to reap the sweet fruit of the NetFlix tree: streaming video, queues, prepaid postage, and no late fees. 

No late fees.

How much money in late fees have we transient millenials accumulated?  Likely upwards of one-gabillion dollars but I won’t venture to speculate.  It’s a lot.  But as any given one of us – millennial or otherwise – works to make his or her mark in this ginormous, beautiful, fucked-up, wonderful world, may we strive to find harmonious balance in a little red envelope.

So now, with a fa├žade of stability and a permanent address I can call my own (I even have it memorized), I will be getting my own NetFlix account.  It’s exhilarating and terrifying, mind-blowing and simplistic.
 
Such is growing up.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Open Letter to San Diego

Dear San Diego,

Your weather is sublime and everyone knows it.  Every morning I hear the weather report: "Cloudy in the morning, giving way to sunshine by midday, high in the mid seventies."  Sometimes it's a bit cooler, maybe a little warmer, and sometimes it stays cloudy; but no one actively checks the weather because it's the same every day: mostly nice, and awesome at times.

San Diego, your citizens take great pride in their weather.  No one swims when the water is cold, no one goes to the beach if it's not a perfect beach day.  And why would they?  After all, the water will probably be warmer tomorrow, and tomorrow will probably be a perfect beach day.  There is no need for one to make themselves uncomfortable on account of less than perfect weather, because perfect weather is always just around the corner.  No wonder you are one of the most desirable places to live.

But San Diego, your citizens truly flip out when the weather changes--even if just for a day. 

Yesterday you were hot.  To be fair, you were not just hot relative to your norm.  You were truly fry an egg on the sidewalk, melt in your car, 100 degrees, desert hot.  This was cause for alarm among your citizens.    People treated your temperature like the End of Days--they didn't even want to leave the office for lunch if it meant leaving the safe harbor of air conditioning.  This was the day to end all days:

"You remember that day back in 2010 when it was hot?"

"Boy do I!  I was sweating when I was outside, even though I was wearing shorts!"

"I know, I went for a swim, even though the water was only 65 degrees!"

I'm not surprised San Diego.  You treat your citizens to the most temperate weather in all the land and they expect nothing less.  They are not impressed with a partly sunny 80 degree day--in fact that may be too hot.  They care not for a mostly sunny 68 degree day--nothing special.  But you crank the heat one one day out of three-hundred-and-sixty-five and your citizens are appalled; and when it rains... "OH THE HUMANITY!"

But I understand.  If you never consider the weather a cause for discomfort, or even mild annoyance, then a 100 degree day will blow your mind farther than some Maui Wowi.  But what I don't understand is that today--when the temperature returned to a balmy 78 degrees--your citizens weren't  happy or thankful, they were placated. 

No hard feelings San Diegans, but given that your winter sport is surfing, and the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" signs don't apply to you, complaints about just one uncomfortably hot day might fall on deaf ears.  I enjoy your weather as much as the next, but I spent the last seven years of my life in places where the first nice sunny day in spring is cause for celebration and impromptu "sick days."  Moreover, I grew up in the desert where 100-degree days are what's going on during the summer.  So get over it, it's not that bad.

My advice would would be to take the next 100-degree day to give thanks for the fact that it's just one day, and remember tomorrow the weather will be mostly nice, and awesome at times.

Sincerely,

B.H. Homer

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Monday Roast: Smart Cars

1.  Why would I buy half a car for the price of one?  Boom, roasted.

2.  If you drive your Porsche to work and drive your smart car to buy groceries then you're not making a difference.  Boom, roasted.

3.  Global warming sucks, but so does being hit by a truck while you're driving your golf cart.  Boom, roasted.

4.  Maybe if flowers and trees came out of the exhaust pipe--like the Prius--your sales would be better.  Boom, roasted.

5.  Since when is driving a shoe box smart?  Boom, roasted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yeah, I foresee a good weekend

Foresight is a great thing.  Just ask Steve Jobs, George Lucas, or Bernie Madoff.  Well scratch the third one, but nonetheless, the ability to see ahead of the curve is a lucrative and successful talent.  

Don't you effing do it Wildcats.  I swear to god you overlook these Cal Bears and I'm gonna be pissed.

In the meantime, I am going to look ahead to the Vampire Weekend concert which I will have the foresight to go ahead and say is going to be epic at the Greek Theater in Berkeley.  That's me Saturday night.

As the sequel to Oliver Stone's 1987 money hungry dialogue "Wall Street" is set to open this weekend, I will steal a line from that: Greed is good.  Yes, indeed.  It's good to be greedy for good concerts and Wildcat W's.  I'll run with that.

Disorganized, abstract, reaching post anyone?  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If I Were Mike Stoops....

This is what I'd say at Thursday's practice:


Bring it in fellas.  Bring it in tight.  I want you to hear this.

Congratulations on beating the Iowa Hawkeyes.  That was a top-10 team coming off a BCS Bowl game season with a staunch defense and a helluva running game.  They racked up 29 rushing yards on you gentlemen.  Be proud of yourselves. 

And that was an impressive sequence of offense and defense to close that game out.  I called it a "program drive" to win the ballgame.  You know what that means?  It means we know we're winners now.  We couldn't do that against Cal or Oregon last year.  We know we can today.

I know that we can throw a game tying pick six and block the extra point.  I know that we can come out, crowd rambunctious, cameras rolling, and put the #9 team in the country in a 14-0 hole.  I know that we can muff punts and drop passes, but still secure the game winner a play later.  And I know, with the game on the line, we can get to the quarterback...three.  straight.  times.

I also know that the game's over.  And that we did get picked late, and muffed punts, and dropped passes.  I know that we were penalized twelve times for 103 yards.  That's not OK.

And you know who doesn't give two shits about you beating Iowa?  The California Bears.

Hell they just lost to Nevada.  Ya think they're a little pissed off?  I know they're a lot pissed off and they want to beat you.  We are the hunted now gentlemen.  The talking heads of ESPN and all the rest don't want to stop talking about the little program that could out of Tucson, Arizona.  

Well do you want to be yesterday's news or do you want to win?  Do you want to go to the Hyundai Sun bowl?  How about the Valero Alamo Bowl?

I don't know about you, but I'm not much for Korean cars or gasoline companies.


Call me sissy or whatever you will, but I like Roses gentlemen.  Big, red, Pasadena Roses.

Now let's get to work.

 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Monday Roast: That Guy

  1. Who just cut me off in a hyper-financed German car?  Boom, roasted.
  2. Who's that wearing two popped collars?  Boom, roasted.
  3. Who boasts they don't drink soda due to the sugar content then boasts about the 30-rack they just took down alone?  Boom, roasted.
  4. Who just looked at his bicep in the gym?  Boom, roasted.
  5. Who's got a strategically cropped FaceBook pic?  Boom, roasted.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arizona/Iowa: A Big Game for Program, Town and Team


Let's get one thing straight: by the end of the year Saturday's game doesn't figure to significantly impact season goals for this Wildcat football team.  There are two goals for this team: 1) Win the Pac-10 2) Beat ASU--Saturday will not come to bear on either goal.  However, make no mistake: Saturday's showdown with Iowa is a BIG effing game.

Any time you welcome a top ten team into your house it's a big game, but this game has added importance for Arizona.  These type of games build programs, buoy recruiting, and make money.  ESPN is in the house.  The students are in town.  The old stadium will be sold out, and even apathetic Tucson football fans have pulled their heads out of the sand to take a look.  The electricity in the air is palpable, but excitement among Wildcat fans is still gently guarded by years of "almost" and "not quite enough."  A win tomorrow and fans will let their guards down, fasten their bandwagon seat belts, cross their fingers, and think Pasadena.

Can't you just imagine the scene already?

The UA Mall will be jammed full of alumni, students, and Tucsonans all decked out in red, hours before the game.  Strangers on University Ave will be high fivin' and screaming bear down.  Old college friends will fly into town to rendezvous at their old stomping grounds and revel in the on campus fervor.   The student section will be shaking the entire eastern side of the stadium with red pom poms.  Prominent former basketball players and football players will be on the field (Channing Frye, Damon Stoudamire, and Joe McLean are in town--I bet that list grows).  People are going to turn out in droves to celebrate Arizona.

So will Arizona seize the moment?

If they do, the excitement surrounding the football program as it enters Pac-10 play will be as high as it's ever been.  Tucson will become a hostile place to play for reasons besides heat this season.  TV listings for UA games will say ABC instead of TBA.  Arizona basketball recruiting target Josiah Turner and recruiting commit Nick Johnson--visiting this weekend--will see a party that most 18-year-olds can't even dream about.  But a victory will have an impact that will ripple far beyond this season and this football team.

A victory will make a statement about how far this program has come under Mike Stoops and where it is going. This game is an opportunity for Arizona to position itself in the national conversation which hasn't happened in over a decade.  This game is a chance for a program, not just a team, to make some serious noise--so let's hear it!

The stage is set, the actors are cast, the battle lines are drawn, and the kegs are cold...

...the only thing left to do is BEAR DOWN and beat the Hawkeyes!

Just remember, stay off the field until the game is actually over.

PS: Click the Damon Stoudamire link, seriously.

The Tea Party Won a Vote This Week, Too

The people have spoken and you hate John Calipari and love Tom Edison (unanimously).  But keep in mind that the man below did just win a national championship and looks just like Kevin Spacey (doppelganger courtesy of Zack).




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Open Letter to San Francisco


Dear San Francisco,

What an amazing city you are.  The culture, sites, history, food, art, diversity; you’re an immaculate city nestled into some of the most beautiful coastline in the world.
 
Within a brief drive, any and every type of outdoor activity is accessible.  In three hours you offer skiing in Tahoe, surfing in Santa Cruz, or climbing in Yosemite; all world renowned as among the best.  Remarkable. 

Each of your neighborhoods offers an incredibly diverse cultural experience; from the Marina to the Mission, the Sunset to North Beach, you offer everything to everyone.

I have so much to see and learn from you San Francisco, thank you.  Thank you one-thousand times over.

But please, San Francisco, allow me this.  With all you have to offer, allow me to offer you this: when the thermometer hops over 73 and the sun comes out to shine on the eucalypti of the Presidio, the hills of Delores Park, and the western gate that is that glorious red bridge, San Francisco: LOSE THE JEANS AND HOODY AND MIX IN SHORTS AND FLIP FLOPS.  

In fact, I command this of you.  I cannot stand to see another North Face fleece on an 85 degree day.  Dammit that’s winter garb.  

A wise man once said, “Act like you’ve been there before.”  That is to say, we’ve all seen a nice day, act accordingly.  Yes, I understand it’s rare that this weather rolls around.  But seriously, act like you’ve been there before and do the right thing.  If we’re all pasty and white then technically no one loses, right?  If we all get burnt then it’s ok.  Fear not the sun.  Embrace it.  

And so that is what I can give to you, San Francisco: pants that end before your knees and shoes that cover just a portion of the foot.  Try it.  I beg of you.

Love,
AB

PS.  But bring a jacket.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Monday Roast: Convenience Charges

1.  Oxymoron.  Boom, roasted.

2.  If there's only one place to buy the ticket, it's not convenience, it's the price.  Boom, roasted.

3.  The sketchy dude around the corner doesn't have a convenience charge.  He's just an undercover cop.  boom, roasted.

4.  How do you get to call scalping convenient?  Boom, roasted.

5.  What's next?  A fee to bring my baggage on an airplane - wait a second.  Boom, roasted?

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Who do you LOVE more: Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison


    Bell
    We love poking fun at all sorts of people; we love writing The Monday Roast; and we have no problem expressing disdain for various sports and public figures.  However, we don't just want to be haters, so we want to spread a little love through another poll.


    Edison


    We want to know which "do gooder" you all LOVE more: Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison?

    Cast your vote on the poll to the right, and leave your comments below.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Who do you hate more: Nick Saban or John Calipari?

    This Saturday Alabama faces off against Penn State.  Undoubtedly Nick Saban will be there--potentially in his Carrollesque mock turtle neck.  This got me to thinking: I really don't like Nick Saban; a bit too arrogant and self indulged for his own good.  In fact the only person who might be worse is John Calipari.




    So I want to know, who do you all hate more: Nick Saban or John Calipari? 

    Cast your vote on this poll to the right, and leave your comments below.  I really can't stand these shady blowhards.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    The Monday Roast: 5-Hour Energy

    1.  Do you know what 2:30 in the afternoon feels like?  Yes, and now I know what 3 in the morning feels like too.  Boom, roasted.

    2.  I've asked someone if they want to get coffee, but asking someone to get five hour energy feels like a drug deal.  Boom, roasted.

    3.  If 5 hour energy turns me into a perky-gelled-hair-uber-douche that floats around the office, points at everyone who yawns, and tells them they should have had 5-Hour Energy, then I would rather be tired.  Boom, roasted.

    4.  This drink is perfect for anyone who wants to sprint up a mountain, mountain bike, play professional football or deliver interoffice mail. Boom, roasted.

    5.  You offer a shot of mystery liquid with a protective plastic seal as a healthy alternative to a delicious beverage I can make at home with beans and water.  Boom, roasted.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Homers Preview the Pac Ten (for the last time. Ever)


    Fear not, it's not the last time we'll ever talk about sports on the West Coast. Quite the contrary. Today starts the end of the Pacific 10 Conference as a pack of 10. Next year we'll grow to twelve or eleven which has to be extra bad news for WSU.

    This season hinges on the arms of a lot of guys who no one seems to know anything about. From Barkley to Luck, Foles to Thomas the boys under center will dictate who wins this wide open conference season.

    Here's the Homer take.







    Arizona Wildcats
    The most salient memory from Arizona's 2009 campaign: a 33-0 destruction at the hands of Ndamukong Nebraska. Ironically, Arizona capped it's best offensive season in school history with the worst offensive performance in Holiday Bowl history. So who knows where that leaves the Wildcats. Fortunately, Arizona brings back starting quarterback Nick Foles. He will also be complimented in the back field by returning backs Keola Antolin and Nicholas Grigsby. That said, pass minded offesnive coordinator Sonny Dykes left after 2009 to pursue a head coaching gig, and left OC duties to Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell. But have no fear, Bednbaugh and Littrell are a combined 25-11 coaching together at both Texas Tech and Arizona and are very familiar with their predecessor's playbook. The defense will have to step up, but head coach Mike Stoops has been defense oriented since his days at Oklahoma, and he has a pre-season Jim Thorpe Award candidate in Trevin Wade to shape another defense around. Arizona has been picked to finish anywhere from last to first in the Pac-10, so shut your yapper Harbaugh, the Wildcats are smelling Roses this year (or at least this Homer is).





    arizona state Scum devils
    Dennis Erickson came onto the scene at ASU in 2007 and went 10-3. Since then his teams have gotten progressively worse. Three years, countless team felonies, and a floundering football program: sounds like the timing is right for Erickson to bolt--unless he's fired first--and leave ASU baking like a maroon raisin in LA wanna be Phoenix. On the other hand ASU brings in QB Steve Threet from Michigan, who challenged for the starting job at Big Blue not too long ago. That said, a new QB and a new offensive coordinator spell trouble after the scummies plod through their opening two games against Div. I-AA foes Portland State and Northern Arizona. Look for the sun to set on Erickson's tenure in the valley of mediocrity. AS-Who?








    California Golden Bears
    Da' Bears. Whoops, wrong perennially overrated forest creature. The fact is, Tedford has made Cal a legitimate football program, deservedly respected across the nation. They're arguably Tailback-U since he took over a 1-10 team in 2002. So, while all of the Pac rests on the shoulders of a bunch of semi-proven quarterbacks, the Golden Bears will look to replace the likes of Jahvid Best with Shane Vereen. The shifty but physical back quietly ran for 952 yards a year ago and torched Arizona as a fill-in for 159 yards. What will he do as the centerpiece? Toss in that Cal is finally not uber-hyped this September and things might be less foggy in the Bay come November/December.








    Oregon Ducks
    Holy-Moly-MacBook-Masoli! Despite a puzzling loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl last year, Oregon seemed poise to compete for a Pac-10 and National Championship this year. Then the off season brought reports of dual threat QB Jeremiah Masoli stealing a lap top from a frat house in Eugene. Now the season is starting and Masoli has been excused from the Ducks and is suiting up down in Mississippi. However, last year's champs bring back 17 starters including sophomore sensation LaMichael James--who rushed for over 1500 yards as a freshman. The Ducks will start sophomore Darron Thomas under center. Thomas has drawn comparisons to former duck star Dennis Dixon due to his mobility and had to beat 5th year senior Nate Costa for the position. The Ducks have been the best team in the Pac-10 for several years and may emerge as national title contenders from the west--they'll just have to watch out for those upstart Wildcats.








    Oregon State Beavers
    When will the Rodgers family leave Corvallis? Shifty does not describe what these children can do. 'Quizz is like that motorcycle we all hate that zips its way through traffic but deep down, regardless of how loud we drop an eff bomb in our stagnant sedan, we want to be that guy. Dammit. The Beavers are always solid but lost their very stable QB in Lefty Canfield. They already fired one possible candidate, Peter Lalich, for drunk boating. No one ever said Corvallis wasn't fun. Anyhow, let's see what Ryan Katz (tribe member?) can do under center. OSU plays a great schedule with TCU, Boise State, and Louisville filling out their non-conference slate before opening Pac-10 play against - chuckles - ASU. Look for the Mike Riley Beavers to be solid as always and don't be surprised if the Civil War in Corvallis has Rose Bowl implications again.








    Stanford Cardinal
    While the Rodgers family is indeed a nuisance, I think the entire Pac-10 is glad to see Toby Gerhart (the reigning should-have-been Heisman Trophy Winner) gone. That said, with his departure, the Cardinal are in Luck. Andrew Luck. Arguably the best QB in the league - some have said country - the athlete can flat out play. And speaking of flat out being able to do things, Jim Harbough can clearly coach. I love the brash booze hound and like the attitude he brings to the league. He's one of those figures you hate until he's on your team. Then you're all, "Fuck yeah I hate Pete Carrol, too. Besides, I already hated Lane Kiffin." And how fun is it going to be watching Kiffin and Harbough go at it. At least until Kiffin gets a new job. Experts have the Cardinal as a Pac-10 favorite, but without Gerhart we'll have to see it to believe it.









    Southern California Trojans
    My prediction is that USC does not play in a bowl game this year. What is that based on? Fact. Why is that a fact? Because USC players accepted more money than Don King over the past several years. Moreover, the silver fox of the University of Spoiled Children (Steve Carrol), jumped out of the burning building faster than Wall Street execs and put himself in the witness protection program in Seattle where he can work on jumping out of his California tan. What did USC do to address the problem? Hire Lane Kiffin. Why? (That was a rhetorical question). The only upside here is the national media will have to figure out another team to follow on the West Coast besides USC--maybe they wont. Either way, the boys from Troy still return a highly touted quarterback in Barkley and enter the season ranked behind only Oregon amongst Pac-10 teams. We'll see, but I don't like what Lane Kiffin's cookin'.







    UCLA Bruins
    QB extraordinaire and awkward looking football coach Rick Neuheisel has been a disappointment in Pasadena. I'm going to do it: is there a correlation between the basketball team not making the NCAA Tournament and Neuheisel's presence? I'm just saying. What I also need to say is that if UCLA can't keep a QB healthy, what's anything matter? Don't look now, but projected QB Kevin Prince has a small muscle tear in his back... Whoop-de-doo you kept Norm Chow, dude's been irrelevant since Matt Leinart. On that note, are those two just inseparable? Neither has been successful since Vince Young ripped their hearts out. Poor 'SC alum. Not really. In a league that's wide open, the Bruins' door is more closed than open.








    Washington Huskies
    Okay, so we all know about Jake Locker. America needs a good ol' white boy to get behind every college football season, and Locker fits the bill: a clean cut Heisman candidate, foregoing riches to return for his senior season to pursue college glory for the good of the team--sounds strangely familiar, just mix in a bible. Besides, who would have wanted to be in a draft with Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and Jimmy Clausen? Hint: Not Jimmy Clausen. Anyway, before you get on the Dawg bandwagon pinch yourself because U-Dubb is still just a year removed from a winless season. With that in mind, Steve Sarkisiann did have some success last year. Not only did he topple his former employer and third ranked Trojans at home last year, his team went 5-2 in Seattle. However, his team collected a whopping zero wins when playing away from the Dawg Palace on the Lake. That said, the team as a whole has reportedly dropped a lot of weight to compete in the speedy top ten. Moreover, they bring back Chris Polk: the first Washington freshman to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. But don't hold your breath Washington fans, the scenery doesn't change unless you're the lead dog. Your post season looks like Las Vegas or San Francisco at best.







    Washington State Cougars
    The only thing more certain than USC not playing in the post season is Washington State finishing last in the Pac. However, they do win the award for most walk-ons starting for one team, and they're going to be on College Game Day. Jokes aside, let me give a shout out to my friends who are Cougar fans: I ask why, and you ask why not--Go Cougs!(?)