Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Gleeks Guide to College Basketball

Before I get started I must admit that my knowledge of the show Glee is limited to halfway watching it while trying to ignore that it is on the television, repeatedly watching their Journey mashup on You Tube and from the endless ramblings of my wife and several others I know that claim it is the best show on television. They are wrong, but also entitled to their opinion.
College Football is officially over and while Da Bears still have two games left, most of t-BONE’s attention has moved to college basketball. This is because t-BONE went to a school that was an academic AND basketball powerhouse before it was an academic AND basketball AND football powerhouse. I know it at as MIZZOU, and if YOU call it that without going there t-BONE will get upset. No one wants to see t-BONE get upset, just ask Nigel, the Bouncer from The Globe Pub?

t-BONE follows college basketball pretty closely, not weird don’t leave the couch for six months closely, but pretty closely. I enjoying watching games regularly and reading the box scores in the morning. Like most awesome people, t-BONE really enjoys March Madness. This is really kicked up a notch when the Tigers are in the tourney. t-BONE enjoys the thought of this so much, that I track weekly where the Tigers will play in the NCAA tournament and their predicted seed. This tracking begins somewhere around Week 2 of the season on ESPN.COM’s Bracketology. I know you are thinking that the thought of someone being able to predict these two things two weeks into the season is both insane and stupid. You are correct.
Lady-BONE, being lady-BONE, has absolutely no interest in college basketball and as such no interest in watching college basketball nightly or weekly or even monthly. What she does like is Glee. After a discussion with lady-BONE recently,  I have given this some thought and realized that if I can make college basketball like Glee I can make this work for both BONES. What follows is the Glee Guide to College Basketball and you can thank me later for your partner’s newfound interest in the sport and, as such, your increased hoops viewing time.
Step One: Weekly “Tune up”
First your Gleek needs to understand that each regular season game is similar to the weekly tune ups the “kids” on Glee perform. While each song or game is not all that important, together they help the team make a run at sectionals. It might also help to explain the basics of the game, like that each player represents a singer/student on Glee. For example: Coach K is like the HOT Glee Coach Mr. Schuster (name provided by lady-BONE and yes, he is in her top 5) and that without him the team would have no direction. (Insert your favorite player here) is like the Mohawk kid, your Center is like the tall football playing singer kid, and every player on Kansas is like that whiney chick on the show that thinks only she should get to sing solos.  
TattooStep Two: Sectionals
Now as March Madness is really heating up you are going to need to put on the full press so that you can watch the extra games that come with the increased intensity that is the end of the college basketball season. Your Gleek needs to understand that the conference tournaments are like sectionals on Glee. Each conference team represents a team that will be competing in sectionals: Mizzou is William McKinley High and Duke is the fancy private school with the matching blazers. Kansas is the redneck school you would never want to send your kids to and all of the rest fall somewhere in between. The winners move on to the next stage, the Dance. Be sure to use “dance” as often as possible as it will confuse Gleeks into thinking that the NCAA Tournament actually has something to do with dancing. Glee fans are also usually fans of Dancing with the Stars so this will help get them excited.
Step Three: The Game Changer
At this point your Glee loving companion will probably be pretty excited about seeing the dance but still leery because after all we are still talking about college basketball. You need a game changer, and BOOM: Celebrities. Glee and DWTS fans love celebrities and some celebrities went to college. Like Jon Hamm of Mizzou and Mad Men fame, they regularly show up at NCAA tournament games to support the schools they attended before dropping out of college to wait tables and act. Make sure that the Gleek is aware that there will be celebrities at the dance and many an expert has claimed that watching the dance is really like reading an issue of US Weekly or enjoying TMZ.
If followed properly this will almost always ensure that you will watching “Gwyneth Paltrow” and “Britney Spears” battle it out to determine the best college basketball team in the land.

Stay Thirsty My Friends.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Erin Andrews and Just Useless

As you have probably noticed, footballmania is upon us. While college football season will end tonight with Auburn’s starting cheater and quarterback Cam Newton running all over Oregon and still losing, the NFL playoffs have just started. Since Christmas, it has been difficult to turn on the boob tube (not an accurate description of what is normally on television but for some reason my grandpa always called it that) and not see a game. Unless you’re lady-BONE, this for the most part is AWESOME.
After watching all of these games I have confirmed in my mind that sideline reporting falls into two categories: hot and useless and just useless. I don’t understand why every network has bought into the concept of having some know-nothing hottie or waste of space ex -player (I’m looking at your Siragusa) provide reports from the sidelines. It makes no sense.  Most of the information they provide to the fans adds nothing to the broadcast. The information they provide that has some value, injury reports and coach/player scuffles mostly, can easily be called up to the booth by an intern and provided by the regular announcers who are for the most part solid. The guys calling the Missouri basketball games this season on ESPN3 does not fall into the solid category by the way, but that is discussion for another time.

My best guess is that network executives  think that sideline reporting provides some additional entertainment (through either hottness or comedy) that keeps the fans tuned in. t-BONE thinks that if that’s what’s keeping people tuned in they shouldn’t be watching in the first place. Sports are entertaining on their own; I don’t need to see Inez Sainz right before the break to keep me in my seat  through the commercial. In fact, I think she might cause me to hit the bathroom for a few minutes. HEY-O! INAPPROPRIATE!
Anyway, what I also don’t need to see are pre-game bits about tailgating, local watering holes or Jillian Barberieesque weather reports. I can live with the player profiles, I actually enjoy them quite a bit. Mostly the ones conducted by Erin Andrews, because she is smart, funny and good-looking, like me. I can also certainly go without another bit involving Frank Caliendo as John Madden or Howie Long or anyone else. Sports are about the game, the players, the coaches, the strategies involved. They are not about the distractions that come with watching the game on modern television.  

t-BONE tunes in because he wants to
watch the game and the pre/post-game to get some expert analysis that he can’t come up with on his own. Sports are entertaining on their own.  If you need some other form of entertainment incorporated into your sports watching experience, you should really stop lying to yourself about your “love” of sports (and your manliness) and just tune into Glee or Dancing with the Stars.

Stay Thirsty My Friends

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Holidays: The Good, the Bad and the Fugly.

First Course: The Company Party
While these tough economic times have forced many companies to lay off workers, issue pay cuts and discontinue“perks” once enjoyed by most of the corporate world, it is still pretty common for companies to hold an annual Christmas, err Holiday, Party. t-BONE celebrates Christmas, well diversity and Christmas, but from here on out the Holiday Party will referred to only as the Christmas Party. Don’t like it? Get your own blog and stop harshing my holiday mellow!
Most companies hold their Christmas Party sometime between December 1 and January 30, although I have been known to attend one in November. It was still a hell of a time. I recently attended lady-BONE’s Christmas Party. It was a good time, a celebration and appreciation of the staff that could have put a nice end to a hard year’s work. As the evening came to a close I was flashed. I know what you are thinking, AWESOME PARTY! Well it was not the kind of flash you pay for, it was the kind you pay not to see.
What could possibly be wrong with this situation you may ask? Well let me tell you. For one, she is 64 years old. This in and of itself is not terrible. I had a friend once buy alien porn at TJ’s on Hubbard and leave it at my house. It doesn’t get more disturbing than seeing a Martian “infiltrate” the human species. The more disturbing part of the story as it turns out is that the flasher was my wife’s co-worker. Someone I have given rides home on several occasions and seen frequently during lady-BONE’s work functions.
The image of Flashy McFlasherstein rolling out those two old stockings from under her shirt will never leave me. I can no longer go to one of lady-BONE’s events without seeing her in a different way. I will constantly be looking behind my back thinking that those babies are going to be flying out at me again. I am emotionally traumatized. OK I am being dramatic, but really who wants to feel uncomfortable at a work function, or more uncomfortable in some cases.
kate beckinsale hot scenesDuring this holiday season, t-BONE can’t stress enough that the Christmas Party is no place to flip your lid. It jeopardizes the one remaining celebration of your employer’s appreciation for you and just makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Even if you look like Kate Beckinsale or whoever the kids are looking at these days, just keep ‘em up in your shirt. Until the after party…

Dropping a Deuce: NYE
Ah, another New Year’s Eve. Remember when NYE was exciting, fun and something to look forward to? Me neither. NYE is a celebration in buffoonery! Don’t get t-BONE wrong, he loves him some tomfoolery, but not for Tom Foolery’s sake.
NYE has become a thing to do for people who never have things to do; a celebration of lame and nonsense. If you need NYE to get you out of the house and get crazy you really need to reconsider how you live your life. Paying twice as much for a meal or $100 for three “all you can drink” drinks makes you a buffoon!
This year, t-BONE will once again be participating in the Anti-NYE. We will not be rejoicing the end of the year or the beginning of a new one, but celebrating the good life that we have been blessed with. Like we always do! You don’t need to get all dressed up and hit a “hotspot” to celebrate NYE. If you do, there is a good chance you will end up disappointed. the-BONES have been invited to the most exclusive party in all of Chicago. A small intimate gathering at the home of a very prominent entertainment blogger; scored one of 25 invites thank you very little. Maybe you have seen his work at

This party will be the highlight of my week, but almost certainly not my year. That’s nothing against the party, which will be stocked full of debauchery and tomfoolery I am sure, but because a fulfilling life is never highlighted by a single night of partying. It is defined by a year of outrageous fun spent with great friends and a wonderful companion (lady-BONE).
Come Friday night, if you are getting all stoked up for your big night on the town just ask yourself, why am I so excited about getting overcharged for a mediocre meal and a handful of crap drinks? You need to be spending more being awesome and less time trying to be awesome.
What’s that, we have a suggestion? Devoted reader “Old Boner” has suggested a post on Sideline Reporting. In the words of Michele Tanner, “you got it dude!” Next up, the uselessness that is sideline reporting.

Stay Thirsty My Friends.
p.s. Tori Black, I still miss you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your Junk Ain’t That Pretty, Get Over It!

A few quick words from t-BONE. I have been inundated with requests for new posts over the last week. I appreciate your interest but seriously CHILL THE EFF OUT BRO! It’s not that easy finding time to post when you have to keep on keeping awesome 24/7. That and I don’t want to overexpose myself too early in my career only to fail miserably in sustaining a long and fruitful blog for my fans. I refuse to be the Vanilla Ice of blogging. I am limiting my exposure to just the right amount, I mean this isn't a maximum exposure contest.  Now on the show…

A couple of weeks ago you couldn’t turn on the news without hearing about how the TSA was molesting passengers and trying to scan pictures of their junk with these fancy new machines. I have debated with several friends over the past year about the use of body scan machines. I would say most people really could care less if someone gets to see their junk in order to remain safe on a plane. I agree and would also gladly submit to a full body pat down without insertion to ensure that I get to my destination safely.  There are others who think that pat downs and body scans are over the line and an invasion of their privacy. These people are morons who deserve to spend 18 hours on a Greyhound bus next to a flea infested wino with a wandering hand the next time they need to get somewhere.
Even if the person operating the body scan can see your junk do you really think they care? I mean it’s not like they are looking at high definition imagery of your business. It’s an outline of your body, which is hardly worth getting excited about unless you’re a thirteen year old boy going through puberty and have an endless supply of hormones pumping through the lower half of your body. I am certainly not spending money on a pair of panties that are going to keep TSA from seeing my junk in the case that I do get body scanned. Quite frankly I would be deeply flattered if anyone on the street thought that I had some junk worth photographing.
For those that are embarrassed about how their junk looks or think that someone will doing something with the photos to embarrass you, you need to get a hobby. If you’re embarrassed about your junk and afraid of someone seeing it, don’t be, because then it is definitely not the kind of junk they are looking to see. If you are afraid someone will take your junk image and do something embarrassing with it, get over yourself. I bet there are much more embarrassing photos of you out there on Facebook or under your college roommate’s mattress.
Pat downs on the other hand aren’t ideal but are necessary. Do I want some stranger rubbing me down in front of a bunch of other strangers while I stand there shoeless, beltless and helpless? YES! It sounds like your last trip to the gentleman’s club doesn’t it? Clearly you don’t mind activity; it just needs to be in the right setting. t-BONE gets that, but seriously if it prevents another 9/11 it’s worth it. You can also create the right setting in your mind. Just close your eyes and pretend you just paid $12 for a beer and that the husky TSA agent is a vanilla-scented single mom named Ginger who is trying to put herself through college. Considering you will spend $12 on a beer before you take off and you are getting some physical contact, it will all come together nicely. And it really does make the whole travel experience much better.
In summary, I think we can all agree that being safe is better than not being safe. If someone has to take a picture of our naked bodies to make sure we are safe then we should let them. If we let the fear of nudity keep us from safe travel then the terrorists have won. Just remember: life’s short, party naked. If you party like you travel then it won’t matter much to you anyway. If all else fails, Ginger…
Just to let you know that I was on schedule to post this a week ago. I was writing it on the plane and after a couple of drinks I fell asleep and couldn’t finish it up until now. Because of the delay in postings, and as an apology to my BONERS, I have included a bonus rant on air travel to the right.  Enjoy and stay thirsty my friends.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cooking Up Some Sex Appeal

 Tomorrow night is the Season Premiere of the all new Top Chef. OK it’s not really all new this time around because it is Top Chef All Stars, which means that it features losers from past seasons. Regardless, t-BONE is a fan. So much so that I have donated tens of dollars over the years to a pool that I never seem to be able to win. lady-BONE has a crush on one of this season’s contestants, Fabio. This is completely understandable since the general consensus is that he is tall, dark and handsome with an Italian accent and hips that don’t lie. He is really the only reason she watches.
I on the other hand have a crush on another contestant, Jamie. Jamie is by society’s standards average or maybe a little better than average. She is not Padma.
 Jamie is cute, short and doesn’t like people like me (boys). I think if given the chance I could convert her but that will probably never happen. I visited her restaurant once and she wouldn’t come out. Probably because she feared that if she did she would end up breaking up my marriage and pissing off her lady with a wild romp in the hay. Do they have hay in San Fran? Regardless, she wouldn’t have been able to contain herself so we dined without her that evening. But I digress….
A friend-BONE and I were chatting about this topic the other night and she mentioned that she has a crush Top Chef’s Head Judge, Tom Colicchio. Same deal. Chef Tom is very attractive if you are into Bears. If you are unfamiliar with Chef Tom think bald Tom Arnold in a white coat. In his defense he is not bad looking, just average or slightly better. Definitely not a contender for People’s Sexiest Man though.
So what it is about these less than sexy people that makes them so sexy. To explain this I have developed the food porn theory. You’ve heard of food porn maybe? According to Wikipedia (the modern man’s version of Encyclopedia Britannica), “food porn is a provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.” This is mostly the stuff you will find on Top Chef created regularly by Jamie and Fabio et al. Chef Tom doesn’t create food on the show but everyone on the show pines over his food porn prowess which creates a similar reaction for the viewer.
The food porn theory suggests that you will fall in love when you encounter a slightly better than average individual with the ability to make a meal that makes you want to jump through your tv and get up to your elbows in it. The food you pervert! Just the possibility of a tummy orgasm makes you fall in love with this individual.
 The food porn theory explains why when Jamie lays down a couple of plump and juicy scallops on a plate, dripping with a smooth and succulent sauce, t-BONE falls in love. It explains how a chubby, bald man in an ill-fitted white chef’s coat can get the ladies swooning. It also explains why on Thursday mornings the entire conversation about Top Chef does not revolve around Padma. A lot of it is about Padma, but not all of it. It takes something as powerful as food porn to break your concentration when Padma is involved.

t-BONE loves food, and food porn. Needless to say we will be spending the next several Wednesday nights sitting on the couch. t-BONE will be fantasizing about Jamie and her food porn, Tracey about Fabio and his honest hips.
If you like food and falling in love, you should consider doing the same.
Stay thirsty my friends.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Did I ever tell you about the time I lost The Bachelor?

t-BONE is back from a jaunt out West and is very well rested. Sorry that I could not fulfill your needs with a post last week but even t-BONE needs a break every once in a while so give me a break man. So on to the show…
A couple of weeks ago lady-BONE went out of town on business. As a joke I changed my relationship status on Facebook to single. Hilarious, right? I know. Within minutes, if not seconds, several people responded.  All of them had an opinion. Funny enough, the only person that didn’t seem to care was lady-BONE. Should she have? I mean you leave a smoking hot piece of meat unattended in the dog pound and it’s gonna get eaten.  Well regardless, she has a pretty good sense of humor and didn’t really seem to care much.
t-BONE started to think about the single life and how much fun it was. I decided to make an effort to recreate bachelorhood for a week. I was going to eat pork in my underwear on the couch, leave the dishes in the sink and let the laundry lay on the floor. I also planned to go out for drinks every night. Tracey left on Tuesday so that night I was going to hit the gym and grab dinner and a few beers at the bar with some friends—typical t-BONE Tuesday eight years ago.
Turns out no one I know regularly grabs beers on Tuesdays anymore. I was left going to the gym, cooking dinner and watching the tele. No problem, even real bachelor t-BONE had some down nights and I had all week. I lit the grill and threw on some delicious looking pork. The flame was hot and the sizzle really got my juices flowing. I grabbed a beer to cool myself down. Once inside I decided to eat on the couch, nothing new, but opted to keep my shirt on as it no longer seemed cool to lick pork drippings out of my chest hair. I spent the night switching my attention between TV, Esquire and The Big Short (which is excellent, BTW). A couple of beers later I hit the sack.
Wednesday I planned to see what was going on around town. Nothing looked that appealing but I figured something would come up along the way. I got home, went for a quick run and then decided I really just felt like staying in, eating leftovers and watching Modern Family. It was funny as usual; I LOL’d a couple of times and found it extremely enjoyable. I made a point to save it for lady-BONE to watch once bachelor week was over and I returned to the real world. Against the intent of the exercise I know, but I figured once this little game was over I would be better off if it was on the DVR. Especially after the whole airplane upgrade fiasco.  
Thursday night would be the big night, maybe put together a crew and really take it to the town.  Thursday morning rolled around and I was up for whatever came my way. I got to work, and even started doing some recon on Metromix. Then I got bogged down on some work projects and lost interest. The big night turned out to be finishing off those delicious pork chops (yep three nights in a row) and several drinks with dog-BONE while finishing up some work. I had time to go out after that, but really had no interest or energy.
Turns out bachelorhood seemed fun at the time, and it probably was, but it’s really no longer for me. I will likely never know whether it was really a blast or I just didn’t know any better. I have lost interest in going out and coming home alone every night. I have apparently been reprogrammed to think that eating in your underwear is not cool or comfortable. I can no longer leave dishes sitting in the sink or clothes on the floor overnight. Maybe I can actually, I seem to have no problem doing it when Tracey is around. Maybe I feel like she is somehow here when the place is clean and I am living somewhat civilized like when she is around. I loaded the dishwasher (I still didn’t prewash because it’s useless) and cleaned up my clothes every night before bed. I walked and fed the dog morning, evening and night. I even made sure the clothes were cleaned, folded and put away and that the dishwasher was empty before my lady returned home. I must say at this point in my life I am much happier to no longer be the bachelor.
Stay Thirsty My Friends
By the way, I have noticed that At Home has a real life celebrity follower. Tori, I hope you find my work as entertaining as I find yours. Let me know if you are ever interested in writing a guest blog about your life experiences.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stop Being Lazy and Stupid

I know this is not the Nov. 2010
cover but it is still pretty, pretty nice.
Ah, democracy. In spite of historic health care reform, the Democrats are running for the hills because nary a job is being created in the land. And the Republicans, well, they haven’t had a new idea this century, unless you count tea bags and fear, which we don’t. And yet we have a Congress filled with extraordinary people. Extraordinarily stupid... 
–Esquire Magazine November 2010

Just about every day you hear someone you know complain about government and the people we elected to run it. It is either too big or too small, it spends too much or it is not doing enough. It is not defending our borders or it is wasting a trillion dollars a year defending our rights. For all this chatter, only a little more than half of the voting age public fulfilled their obligation to democracy in the 2008 General Election. And this was a good year! There is a pretty good chance that a third of the people you know over 18 did not vote in the last presidential election, and many more than that will fail to vote tomorrow. To me this is very sad, but not the most depressing part of the story.

Tomorrow nearly 80 million people will cast their vote. They will select the leaders of our nation, and charge them with protecting our families, recovering our economy and securing our futures. For all of that responsibility, the people they elect will be mostly nitwits, and we are the only ones to blame.
Of the millions of people that will vote tomorrow my guess is about 10 million will take the time to thoroughly review the issues and candidates they are deciding. You might say this is way off, and I agree, it is probably less than 1 million. Most voters will not even know what or who they are really voting for until they show up at the polls. The majority of people that do know, only do so because they have been inundated with attack ads for the past month between episodes of Dancing with the Stars and the Jersey Shore. Speaking of, I would bet good money that the average DWTS voter spends more time researching which celebrity they are going to vote for than they do researching any candidate for elected office. I digress.
We live in a world where sound bites rule the way we live; the way we act and react to life. So when you are flipping through the channels and you stop on MSNBC or Fox News you get a slanted, ten second summary of a candidate’s position on some topic, or their latest gaffe , and you make up your mind based on that small and mostly insignificant information. More ridiculous is that people are more than likely making these decisions on what they heard within 24 hours of going to the polls. We have gotten lazy and we are letting someone else do the work and provide us with the thought process. The problem with this is that when you do that you are letting someone else make the decision for you. And if you are going to do that you might as well be living in a communist country.
The fact is that cable news is filled with incredibly entertaining pundits, analysts and “experts”. But this is no excuse. Unfortunately, most people believe that because these so called experts are on TV they know what they are talking about and so they believe everything they say and do not take the time to look into the issues and candidates themselves. The reality is that these people are paid to provide their opinion, and that opinion is usually slanted toward the leanings of the program or to please the owners of the network. So when you let cable news make your decisions for you, you are doing yourself, your fellow citizens and your country a disservice.
A while back we had a military draft in this country. When a young man got drafted to go to war, he had an obligation to serve his country. If he didn’t show up he broke the law, and he was punished. If he showed up but was not fully engaged, he put his life and the lives of his fellow soldiers at risk. If you are a citizen of this country, you have an obligation to vote and if you are not fully engaged you are placing the future of this country at risk. We have low turnout regularly because voting is a not mandatory in this country. Even if it was, people would still have to be engaged and put forth an effort to learn what is going on if we are going to stop electing nitwits to represent us. Tomorrow go out and vote, but only after you take some time to research the candidates and issues and can make an informed decision on who is best to lead this country. If you are counting on a political party or cable news channel to do that for you, you are putting us all at risk.

Stay thirsty my friends.
A side not for my bros: I know we like to look at things that are visual appealing, but should we really be choosing our world leaders based on the hotness of the person providing you with the information? I have noticed a trend of middle-aged men growing more conservative. I blame this on the "quality talent" being hired at Fox News. I mean no one is arguing that
there is a contest in looks category
between Rachel Maddow and Meghan Kelly, but if you are going to get your news from Fox News because it is much more fun to look at, make sure you supplement this information with something that is really fair and balanced.