Thursday, December 17, 2009

25 Favorite Movies of the 2000s

These are not in any sort of a ranking, just a Top 25. Further, these are not necessarily the best movies but rather my favorite movies, meaning rewatchability is a big factor.

Up (2009)

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Wall-E (2008)

Across the Universe (2007)

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

Once (2007)

Ratatouille (2007)

Casino Royale (2006)

The Prestige (2006)

Stranger than Fiction (2006)

Thank You for Smoking (2006)

Finding Neverland (2004)

Garden State (2004)

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Mean Girls (2004)

Saved! (2004)

Love Actually (2003)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Minority Report (2002)

Serendipity (2001)

Almost Famous (2000)

O Brother Where Art Thou (2000)

I also invited Snives to make his own list, but I'm too lazy to insert movie posters for his so he just gets a list. Repeats from my list are marked with an asterisk.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The Dark Knight (2008)
*Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Speed Racer (2008)
*WALL-E (2008)
*Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
*The Prestige (2006)
*Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
*Thank you for Smoking (2006)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
*Hotel Rwanda (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
*Mean Girls (2004)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
*Love Actually (2003)
*Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Memento (2002)
Ocean's Eleven (2002)
Zoolander (2002)
*Almost Famous (2000)
Gladiator (2000)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Week in College Football: Championship Week

I'm only going to pick the Championship games this week, sorry Pac 10 and Big East.

Ohio (+13) vs. Central Michigan

Houston (-3) at East Carolina

Alabama (+6) vs. Florida

Texas (-14) vs. Nebraska

Clemson (+1) vs. Georgia Tech

Last Week: 10-10
Overall: 115-109-1

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week 13 aka 'Fuck kansas Week'

Florida State (+24.5) at #1 Florida
#2 Alabama (-10) at Auburn
#3 Texas at Texas A&M (+21.5)
New Mexico (+44.5) at #4 TCU
Illinois (+21) at #5 Cincinnati
Nevada at #6 Boise State (-13.5)
Georgia (+7.5) at #7 Georgia Tech
 #8 Pitt (Pick 'em) at West Virgnia
#11 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-9.5)
#14 Virginia Tech (-16) at Virginia
#15 Clemson at South Carolina (+3)
Arkansas at #17 LSU (-3.5)
#22 Utah at #18 BYU (-7.5)
#19 Miami at South Florida (+5.5)
#20 Mississippi at Mississippi State (+8)
#23 North Carolina (-6) at North Carolina State
UCLA at #24 Southern Cal (-13)
Rice (+29.5) at #25 Houston

Nebraska at Colorado (+10)
Mizzou (-3) vs. Kansas
Texas Tech vs. Baylor (+20.5)

Last Week: 12-12
Overall: 105-99-1

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Twelve

Florida International (+44.5) at #1 Florida
Kansas at #3 Texas (-27.5)
Wyoming (+31) at #4 TCU
#6 Boise State at Utah State(+23)
#9 Ohio State (-12) at Michigan
#10 LSU (+4) at Ole Miss
#11 Oregon (-6) at Arizona
Colorado (+17) at #12 Oklahoma State
#13 Penn State (-3) at Michigan State
Cal (+7) at #14 Stanford
Minnesota at #15 Iowa (-10)
North Carolina State at #16 Virginia Tech (-21)
#17 Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern
Virginia (+21) at #18 Clemson
Air Force at #19 BYU (-10)
#20 Oregon State at Wazzou (+31)
Duke at #21 Miami (-19.5)
San Diego State at #23 Utah (-20)
#24 Houston at Memphis (+23.5)
#25 Rutgers at Syracuse (+9.5)

Oklahoma (-6.5) at Texas Tech
Iowa State at Missouri (-14.5)
Baylor at Texas A&M (-5)
Kansas State at Nebraska (-16.5)

Last week: 14-11
Overall: 93-87-1

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Week on College Football: Week 11

Pretty brutal showing last week, going 10-15, and 0-3 in non-top 25 Big 12 games. Now just teetering above .500 on the year.

#1 Florida (-17) at South Carolina
#2 Texas at Baylor (+23.5)
#3 Alabama (-12.5) at Mississippi State
#16 Utah (+20) at #4 TCU
West Virginia at #5 Cincinnati (-8.5)
Idaho at #6 Boise State (-32)
#7 Georgia Tech (-12.5) at Duke
Notre Dame (+7) at #8 Pittsburgh
Louisiana Tech at #9 LSU (-24)
#15 Iowa (+17) at #10 Ohio State
#25 Stanford at #11 USC (-10.5)
#12 Miami (-3) at North Carolina
#13 Houston (-4.5) at Central Florida
Arizona State at #14 Oregon (-18)
Texas Tech at #17 Oklahoma State (-4)
#18 Arizona (+1) at California
Indiana at #19 Penn State (-25)
#20 Virginia Tech (-18.5) at Maryland
Michigan at #21 Wisconsin (-8.5)
#22 BYU at New Mexico (+26.5)
#24 Clemson (-8) at North Carolina State

Missouri (-1) at Kansas State
Colorado (+5.5) at Iowa State
Nebraska (-4) at Kansas
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (-20)

Last week: 10-15
Overall: 79-76-1

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week 10

Decent enough week last week. Still above .500.

Vanderbilt at #1 Florida (-35)
Central Florida (+35) at #2 Texas
#12 LSU at #3 Alabama (-7.5)
#4 TCU at San Diego State (+24.5)
#5 Boise State at Louisiana Tech (+21.5)
Northwestern at #6 Iowa (-16.5)
Connecticut (+16.5) at #7 Cincinnati
#8 Oregon (-6.5) at Stanford
#12 Ohio State at #10 Penn State (-4)
Wake Forest at #11 Georgia Tech (-16)
#13 Southern Cal (-10) at Arizona State
Syracuse (+21.5) at #14 Pittsburgh
#15 Houston at Tulsa (-1.5)
New Mexico at #16 Utah (-27.5)
Virginia at #17 Miami (-13.5)
#18 Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Iowa State
Washington State (+32) at #19 Arizona
#20 Oklahoma (-5) at Nebraska
Navy at #21 Notre Dame (-11)
#22 Wisconsin at Indiana (+10.5)
Oregon State (+7.5) at #23 California
#24 Virginia Tech (-13.5) at East Carolina
#25 BYU at Wyoming (+13)

Kansas (-2.5) at Kansas State
Texas A&M (-3) at Colorado
Baylor at Missouri (-14.5)

Last Week: 13-11
Season: 69-61-1

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I hate crime victims

I'm not going to write about gay marriage and Maine because I would just end up venting and cursing out Mormons and Catholics and that would be unproductive. So moving on...

I was having this conversation with Kyle the other night and he decided we should continue it on my blog. I've had this conversation before, namely in the comments of my buddy Vik's blog about Dante Stallworth and on but it's a favorite of mine and I've never written about it on here so who cares.

So anyway, this post was originally entitled 'The Importance of Intent' but I figured why not be catchy and inflammatory with my title. So the gist of my position is that I think intent should be the single most important factor in criminal prosecutions and sentencing. In other words, I think that we should punish people based on the act they intended to commit rather than based upon the random and arbitrary outcome or consequences of their action.

One major instance where we punish people based on the random outcome of their actions rather than their intended action is intoxication manslaughter. Under Texas law, the crime of driving while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. On the other hand, intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of no less than 2 years and no greater than 20.

Now at first glance, this seems to make perfect sense. I mean one person caused another person's death and one person did not. But think about it a little bit more closely. What purpose is served by punishing the drunk driver who kills more severely than the drunk driver is not so unlucky?

The fundamental purpose of the criminal justice system should be to protect society. Not to protect individual crime victims, or to make those victims feel better in any way, but to protect society as a whole (this is where the me hating crime victims part comes in). Punishing people who commit crimes accomplishes this purpose in two distinct ways. Firstly, it takes criminals and confines them away from society where they cannot commit crimes. Secondly, the threat of confinement is presumed to deter people from committing crimes. Victim advocates would argue there is a third purpose, retribution. Retribution is just another word for revenge but because we all intuitively know that revenge is not an admirable purpose, victim advocates attempt to hide that fact by calling it retribution.

So the question is, how does punishing the intoxicated manslaughterer (not a word, deal with it) more than the intoxicated driver promote those two purposes of criminal punishment?

The first purpose is removing the criminal from the street. Is someone who drives drunk and kills another inherently more dangerous to society than someone who drives drunk but does not? The incredibly slim chance of a drunk driver actually killing someone would indicate that whether a drunk driver kills a person is just dumbass luck. In 2005, 182,414 people were arrested for DUI in California while 1,574 people were killed in an alcohol related auto accident. So even if we grant that 100% of drunk drivers were arrested (an assumption which is obviously absurd as the number of drunk drivers arrested is probably closer to 5%), the chance of a drunk driver killing someone is 0.8%. Any time a particular act has a less than 1% chance of a particular consequence, I have zero problem assuming the occurrence of that consequence is random absent evidence to the contrary. Due to the seemingly randomness as to which drunk drivers kill and which do not, there seems to be no indication that an intoxicated manslaughterer poses a greater threat to society than a drunk driver.

The second purpose is deterrence. Because intoxication manslaughter is by nature an accidental consequence of drunk driving, it's impossible to only deter intoxication manslaughter without also deterring driving while intoxicated. Because of this, this is no deterrent value in punishing one greater than the other because the goal of both punishments is to deter the same act of driving while intoxicated.

Now of course, punishing intent rather than consequence does not always benefit the criminal, namely when it comes to attempt crimes. In Texas, to attempt, but fail, to commit a crime results a the punishment being downgraded one step, such as murder being a first degree felony while attempted murder is a second degree felony. Again, we are punishing two people who intended to do the exact same thing in different manners based on random consequence. Assume a man walks up to me and shoots me in the chest. Unbeknownst to him, I wore my bulletproof vest that day so his bullet was stopped by the vest, leaving me alive and well. Assume a second, wholly unrelated man walks up to the person next to me and shoots her in the chest. She is not wearing a bulletproof vest and so she dies.

Going back to our two purposes, why should the guy who tried to kill me but failed get a break just because he had bad luck? Deterrence isn't even an issue here because the person is attempting to commit the greater crime so it is that is the punishment they would have in mind when weighing the risks of the crime. So that only leaves removing the criminal from society. Ceteris paribus, do the two men not pose the exact same danger to society. Both have tried to kill someone and arguably would kill again. One just had the crappy luck of picking a target who was wearing a bulletproof vest. So why give the attempted murderer a lesser sentence than the murderer?

So ultimately, would it not better serve society by punishing people for the act they intended rather than the random consequences of said act? Agree? Disagree? You're not sure or just want to argue with me for sport?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Nine

So week eight picks never happened. May bad. On that note, I'm going to start mixing it up and just start picking the Top 25 plus Big 12 rather than picking the games on the TV schedule.

Georgia (+14.5) vs. #1 Florida
#3 Texas (-8.5) at #13 Oklahoma State
#4 Southern Cal at #12 Oregon (+3)
San Jose State (+35) at #5 Boise State
UNLV (+35) at #6 TCU
#7 Cincinnati at Syracuse (+15)
Indiana at #8 Iowa (-17)
Tulane (+35.5) at #9 LSU
#10 Penn State (-14.5) at Northwestern
#11 Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt (+11.5)
New Mexico State (+44) at #15 Ohio State
North Carolina at #14 Virginia Tech (-15.5)
Southern Miss at #16 Houston (-6.5)
#18 Miami (-7) at Wake Forest
Wyoming (+17) at #19 Utah
#20 West Virginia at South Florida (+3)
#21 South Carolina at Tennessee (-6)
#22 Ole Miss at Auburn (+4) 
Kansas State at #23 Oklahoma (-28)
Washington State (+28) vs. #25 Notre Dame

Nebraska (-13) at Baylor
Missouri (-3.5) at Colorado
Iowa State at Texas A&M (-7)
Kansas at Texas Tech (-6)

Last Week: n/a
Season: 56-50-1

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Seven

Another nice little week last week. That was the first weekend in four weeks (and the last for three weeks) that I actually got to just hang out and watch football all day, so that was nice. Anyway, on to this week.

Thursday, October 15
Cincinnati (-2) at South Florida; 6:30pm ESPNHD

Friday, October 16
Pitt (-4) at Rutgers; 7pm ESPNHD

Saturday, October 17
Oklahoma (+2.5) at Texas; 11am ABCHD
Iowa at Wisconsin (-2.5); 11am ESPNHD
Northwestern at Michigan State (-14); 11am ESPN2HD
Arkansas (+25) at Florida; 2:30pm CBSHD
USC at Notre Dame (+10); 2:30pm NBCHD
Texas Tech at Nebraska (-10.5); 2:30pm ABCHD
Minnesota (+16.5) at Penn State; 2:30pm ESPNHD
Virginia Tech (-3) at Georgia Tech; 5pm ESPN2HD
Kansas at Colorado (+9.5); 6pm FSNHD
Stanford at Arizona (-4.5); 6:30pm VersusHD
Alabama (-17) at South Carolina; 6:45pm ESPNHD
Missouri (+7) at Oklahoma State; 8:15pm ESPN2HD
Washington (+6.5) at Arizona State; 9:15pm FSNHD

Last Week: 9-6
Overall: 56-50-1

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Six

I freaking owned last week, going 10-4 against the spread. Maybe the lack of nerves for not having Mizzou games enabled me to focus. So I expect to go 0-15 this week after being able to think about nothing except for how much I hate Nebraska all week.

Thursday, October 8
Nebraska at Mizzou (+3.5); 8pm ESPNHD

Friday, October 9
Lousiana Tech at Nevada (-10.5); 8pm ESPNHD

Saturday, October 10
Auburn at Arkansas (+2.5); 11am ESPNHD
Purdue at Minnesota (-3.5); 11am ESPN2HD
Oklahoma State (-5.5) at Texas A&M; 11:30am FSNHD
Iowa State at Kansas (-20); 11:30am VersusHD
Alabama (-4.5) at Ole Miss; 2:30pm CBSHD
Wisconsin (+16.5) at Ohio State; 2:30pm ESPNHD
Baylor at Oklahoma (-26); 2:30pm ABCHD
Kansas State (+16.5) at Texas Tech; 6pm FSNHD
Colorado (+32) at Texas; 6:15pm ESPNHD
Florida (-7.5) at LSU; 7pm CBSHD
Michigan (+8) at Iowa; 7pm ABCHD
Georgia Tech at Florida State (-3); 7pm ESPN2HD
Arizona at Washington (+3); 9:15pm FSN

Last week: 10-4
Overall: 47-44-1

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chris's Air/Road Trip: Seattle

So I got to Seattle on Monday night and picked Clyde up at the airport. Our hotel had a freaking awesome view of the Spaceneedle, so that was nice.

On Tuesday, Clyde woke up early and went to do some work for a client so I slept in and then grabbed breakfast at the hotel. When he got back to the hotel around lunchtime, we went to some old drive-in that's apparently a Seattle landmark of sorts and had some quality burgers. We then drove around the University of Washington campus as well as some of the neighborhoods on the north side of town.

Then we went to the Experience Music Project, which was very cool. It was initially supposed to be a Hendrix museum but then involved into a Pacific Northwest music museum and then into an 'experience'. In addition to all of the cool exhibits about Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Heart, etc., there is a room with a bunch of instruments and little software tutorials on playing them. I learned to play a reggae bass line so that was fun. The EMP is attached to the SciFi Museum, which is pretty much just Paul Allen's personal nerd collection. I think Clyde probably enjoyed this part more than me but it was pretty cool. From there we hit up Pike Street and had some crab cakes.

That night, we met up with one of Clyde's business associates and his son and went to the Mariners game. Safeco is a very cool ballpark. It reminded me a lot of Minute Maid (my guess is they were designed by the same firm) if Minute Maid were just less douchey (i.e. normal field dimensions, no flag pole in fair play, a little less constant light and noise). Safeco had fantastic food. I had an Ichiroll, which was quality. I also had some clam strips, an old favorite that's tough to find in Texas. In addition to the food, I got to see King Felix pitch and quite possibly saw one of the last home runs of Ken Griffey Jr.'s HOF career. The Mariners won and it was a great time.

So I looked it up and Safeco was not designed by the same architecture firm as Minute Maid but Safeco was designed by the same firm as Mizzou Arena, so there's that.

The next day, we woke up and went down to the pier to grab some lunch and check out the aquarium. I had crab legs and they were fantastic. The aquarium wasn't noteworthy but whatever. From there, we drove out to Snoqualmie to check out the waterfall and hit up the Indian casino. The trail to the bottom of the falls was closed so we weren't able to get the Twin Peaks shot from down below but it was still pretty cool. The casino was a good time as always.

From the falls, we headed back to town to grab some more seafood for dinner. This time I had a salmon burger (as well as my first pumpkin ale of the fall). The salmon burger was excellent but really rich so I could only eat like half of it. After dinner, we just headed back to the hotel to watch Modern Family and crash so that I could catch my flight to San Fran the next morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Five

Last week wasn't quite the unmitigated disaster I thought it was, going 9-9. Let's keep it up.

Thursday, October 1
Colorado (+17) at West Virginia; 6:30pm ESPNHD

Friday, October 2
Pittsburgh at Louisville (+6.5); 7pm ESPNHD

Saturday, October 3
Wisconsin at Minnesota (-2.5); 11am ESPNHD
Arkansas State at Iowa (-21); 11am ESPN2HD
LSU (+3.5) at Georgia; 2:30pm CBSHD
Washington (+12.5) at Notre Dame; 2:30pm NBCHD
Penn State (-7.5) at Illinois; 2:30pm ABCHD
Florida State at Boston College (+3.5); 2:30pm ESPNHD
New Mexico (+35.5) at Texas Tech; 2:30pm FSNHD
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-1.5); 6:30pm ESPN2HD
Auburn at Tennessee (-2.5); 6:45pm ESPNHD
Oklahoma at Miami (+7.5); 7pm ABCHD
Kansas State (+3) vs. Iowa State
Kent State (+22.5) at Baylor

Last week: 9-9
Season: 37-40-1

Chris's Air/Road Trip: Oregon

So after the Mizzou-Nevada game, I began the 475-mile trek from Reno to Eugene, OR. I had to be in Eugene by ~11am Saturday, so I drove almost all night, stopping for about a 2-hour nap. A good share of the drive was through the Lassen National Forest, which was probably quite lovely, but it was pitch black so hell if I know.

So I got to Eugene right about on time. I found a ticket and then went to the football practice facility. They have a bunch of chairs and televisions where people can watch other games before/after the Oregon game. Autzen Stadium is known as one of the loudest stadiums in college football and it did not disappoint. It's not huge, maybe 65k, but those 65k yelled their asses off, especially on third downs. That they were absolutely kicking Cal's ass probably motivated them a little bit as well. Great atmosphere and I highly recommend checking it out.

After the game, I met up with my old FIG PA Scott, who is at UO for grad school. It was good catching up with Scotty, who I don't think I've seen in five years, maybe more. We just went to some pub and grabbed a late lunch/early dinner.

From there, I made my way to Portland. Portland was awesome. It's a beautiful city with beautiful weather and is a marvel of urban planning. I was pretty wiped out after not sleeping much Friday night and then spending Saturday in the sun, so I just went to the hotel and crashed Saturday night.

On Sunday, I found a sports bar to watch the Texans play like shit against the Jags. Weird thing I'd never really thought about before but west coast sports bars serve breakfast since the games start at 10am on Sunday, so that was a little strange. After the game, I just kinda putzed around town. I walked around just checking out the Pearl area. I went to a bookstore called Powell's. It's the largest independent bookstore in the country I've been told. It occupies an entire city block and is four stories tall. It's a bit overwhelming but it was cool. I think went to a brewery/cafe for Duschetes brewery to watch football and grab a beer or four. At the brewery, I met two fun and beautiful girls from Houston who were also in town for the weekend. We hung out at the brewery for a little while and then they invited to go find another bar to hit up. Portland isn't a huge Sunday night drinking city apparently  so a lot of places are pretty dead but we found an Irish pub that had a bunch of Irish musicians jamming out. Good times.

On Monday, I left Portland to drive up to Seattle. I took the coastal highway because I was in no rush whatsoever. A lot of the coastal highway is inland a little ways so it isn't quite the PCH in SoCal but it was still pretty. I stopped in Astoria for lunch, and to relive The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop. I found the school used in Kindergarten Cop and after ensuring the Astoria PD officer that I simply wanted to take a picture of the school and not of small children, snapped a photo. I then grabbed lunch at a nice place on the water, beginning my week of eating almost nothing but seafood. From Astoria, I continued my uneventful drive up to Seattle to meet up with Clyde.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chris's Air/Road Trip: LA/Tahoe/Reno

So after three nights of resting and doing laundry back home, it was back to the air/road. On Wednesday, I flew to LA. The JetBlue flight to Long Beach doesn't get to LA early enough to catch the last flight to Sacramento, so I stayed the night in LA to hang out with E-Chance. Unfortunately, she ditched me to go see Britney Spears with her boss, so I hung out with Erin's roommates instead. Erin's roommates were cool and one of them is the host of a TV show that may or may not be seen anywhere outside of San Diego, so I was hoping I'd end up on Perez but no such luck. We went to some bar/restaurant (I think the name was Barney's), which Erin accurately described as "just like Abel's, great food, lots of beer, shitty service". After Erin got back from Britney, we hung out and chatted at her apt before going to bed. Then the next morning, it was on to Sacramento, which was really just a means of getting to Reno.

So I flew to Sacramento, rented a car, and called my sister so she could get online and find me the most convenient In-n-Out location. In-n-Out was fantastic as always, I'm sure I'll hit it up again in San Fran this weekend. So from there, I continued on to Lake Tahoe, which was a beautiful drive through mountains and forest. Thursday night, I stayed the night in Tahoe, because that seemed better than staying in Reno, plus it was cheaper because of the biker convention going on in Reno. So I stayed at Harvey's Hotel & Casino, a hotel very close to my heart because we stayed there every spring break from age 11-16. Ole Miss was playing South Carolina that night so I figured I'd head to the sportsbook and make the game more interesting. Thanks to Jevan Snead sucking complete ass, that turned out to be a total disaster and I'll be sending him a bill for $100. I played a little blackjack, broke even and then crashed.

The next morning, it was on to Reno. I went to the team hotel to have lunch and play some blackjack, knowing there would be plenty of Mizzou fans and family there. The place was crawling with black and gold, which was awesome to see. I played blackjack for a few hours, making $150 in the process. While playing, this guy about my age with gauged ears and two lip piercings sat down. When the waitress came by, he proceeded to order a Shirley Temple while I proceeded to piss my pants laughing. Then I headed over the stadium. The stadium was extremely small, holding ~30,000 and it was nowhere near a capacity crowd but Mizzou fans did their best, making up what seemed like 35% of the crowd. It wasn't easy, but we won, 31-21. Survive and advance. A win is a win.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Four

I had a nice little week last week. Let's see if I can make it two in a row. Either way, I get to see Mizzou in person for the first time this weekend so that's super exciting. I'm also seeing Cal play at Oregon.

Thursday, September 24
Ole Miss (-3.5) at South Carolina; 6:30pm ESPNHD

Friday, September 25
Mizzou (-7) at Nevada; 8pm ESPNHD

Saturday, September 26
Michigan State (+3) at Wisconsin; 11am ESPNHD
Indiana at Michigan (-20.5); 11am ESPN2HD
Southern Miss at Kansas (-14); 11am FSNHD
Arkansas (+17.5) at Alabama; 2:30pm CBSHD
California at Oregon (+5.5); 2:30pm ABCHD
Illinois at Ohio State (-14); 2:30pm ABC
Miami at Virginia Tech (+3); 2:30pm ESPNHD
UTEP (+36) at Texas; 2:30pm FSNHD
Florida (-21.5) at Kentucky; 5pm ESPN2HD
Army at Iowa State (-9.5); 6pm
UL Lafayette at Nebraska (-27.5); 6pm
UAB at Texas A&M (-14); 6pm
Iowa at Penn State (-9.5); 7pm ABCHD
Notre Dame (-7) at Purdue; 7pm ESPNHD
Texas Tech (+1) at Houston; 8:15pm ESPN2HD
Washington State (+45) at USC; 9:15pm FSNHD

Last week: 13-9-1
Season: 28-31-1

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chris's Air/Road Trip: DC/Blacksburg

So from Chicago, it was onto DC. I rented a car because I was going to be driving to Blacksburg and because transportation to/from Dulles sucks, so it just made life easier. I got in late afternoon on Thursday and drove to Rockville, MD to meet up with Danielle for dinner after she got off work. I had some time to kill before she'd be ready and there was a movie theatre so I went to see the only movie starting right around that time and shorter than two hours, 9. It's an animated movie from the co-creator of The Corpse Bride. It's very dark and sci-fi, but interesting. If you like sci-fi and aren't distracted by animation, I'd check it out, but it's definitely not for everyone. After the movie, we just grabbed dinner and went home and crashed. Nothing too exciting.

On Friday, I again drove out to Rockville, this time to grab some Potbelly for lunch with Danielle. I love me some Potbelly and again I hit up the movie theatre, this time seeing The Informant. Again, it was meh. It was funny at times and Damon does a good job but it was kinda boring and got really jumbled and confusing toward the end. Danielle's judge went to the beach so she was able to leave work early, so we went back to her place and then walked to Bourbon for drinks/snacks. I had an Old Fashioned because I'd just watched the previous week's Mad Men on my computer and because Don Draper was my hero even before I learned Jon Hamm went to Mizzou. Bourbon also has amazing french fries (seasoned waffle) and some dang good chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, as tasty as the booze, fries, and nuggets was, they didn't sit too well so I ended up staying in the rest of the night while Danielle and some friends went out for a late dinner and drinks.

Saturday morning, I woke up early and made the 4.5-hour drive to Blacksburg, VA for the Nebraska-Virginia Tech game. Since I loathe Nebraska with every ounce of my being, I was really looking forward to some Husker misery. I also was able to hit up Chick-fil-a for the first time in almost two weeks, so that was nice. I honestly don't remember the last time I went two weeks without Chick-fil-a but it was probably during college. So I didn't really see a whole lot of Blacksburg or the campus but it's in the middle of the freaking nowhere. It's essentially the Texas A&M of Appalachia from what I could gather. So obviously, these people wouldn't normally be my cup of tea, but we bonded over our common enemy. Both teams sucked pretty equally the entire game, with Nebraska taking a 15-10 lead late. With a minute remaining, VT drove all the way down from their own 11 and took a 16-10 lead with like 12 seconds remaining. It was ridiculous and the Husker heartbreak and misery was more than I could've asked for. The only thing better than the Huskers just getting crushed was the Huskers having victory snatched from them at the last second.

So I made the long drive back to DC and got in around midnight. Danielle was running a 10k the next morning so she fell asleep and left me stranded outside of her apartment. Fortunately, I talked a resident into letting me in and then banged on her door until her roommate woke up and let me in, so I didn't have to sleep on the stoop. After her run Sunday morning, we met up in Arlington with some of her friends for brunch, after which, I got suckered into a miserably long trip to Target. Then I just headed back to Dulles to fly back home to Austin for a few days of rest and laundry.

Off to LA today, where E-Chance is pawning me off on her roommate because she got invited to Britney Spears by her boss. But it's cool, I love ya anyway Chancellor.

Chris's Road/Air Trip: Chicago

Sorry this took so long to get up. I was traveling non-stop until Sunday night and since then, our neighbor's internet has been out and so I haven't been able to steal their internet for the past two days. So anyway, Chi-town was next on the itinerary after Hotlanta.

I got into Chicago late Sunday night and crashed with Erin and Joe that night, getting some laundry done in the process. Monday morning, my mom flew up and met me to hang out until Thursday. On Monday, we walked around the River North and Michigan Ave. area for a while, just kinda putzing around. Then we took a riverboat architecture tour by way of the Chicago River. Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper and there is tons of cool architecture in town. Lots of art deco and I learned about the difference between New York art deco and Chicago art deco. New York art deco buildings get smaller as they get higher, like a wedding cake, while Chicago art deco buildings look like armchairs or loveseats. My favorite building is the Tribune building, but they may be slightly colored by my love of newspapers and a longing for the days where a newspaper was such an institution that a building like the Tribune building could be built. Plus it's just a cool ass building.

After the river tour, we meet up with Erin and Joe for some deep dish at Lou Malnati's. A lot of Chicagoans tout Lou Malnati's as the best pizza place but meh. It was fine but it was a huge step below Gino's East so I don't know why the hell it's considered the local favorite.

On Tuesday, we had lunch at Frontera Grill. For you Top Chef fans out there, that's Rick Bayless's place. It's interior Mexican and was pretty solid, but I'll take Sazon. From there, we went to Shedd Aquarium. I also wanted to go to the Field Museum, where they have a pirates exhibit right now, but we didn't have enough time because we were going to the Cubs game that night. The Cubs suck, but on the bright side, that made tickets a little easier to come by. I found a guy on craigslist who had 4 tickets just 5 rows up right behind third base for only $120 total (face value of the tickets was $80/each). So we snatched those up and invited Erin and Joe. We got to see Zambrano start, which is always entertaining, and we got to see the Cubs kick the Brewers' ass, so that was a good time.

On Wednesday, we continued our theme of Chicago architecture by heading to a western suburb called Oak Park, where Frank Lloyd Wright lived and designed quite a few homes. For a few years of my childhood, I really wanted to be an architect, but my mother told me when I was like 12 that I in fact, did not want to be an architect. So it was a tad ironic that she wanted to do all this architecture stuff after crushing my dreams of being an architect. But anyway, so we went to Oak Park and took a self-guided audio walking tour of the neighborhood. Oak Park has the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright homes anywhere so it was very cool. It's not Falling Water or anything, but still lots of very cool homes. I took a ton or pictures on the Oak Park tour, as well as of the Chicago River tour, all of which are on Facebook if you want to see more.

When we got back to Chicago, we hit up Gino's East for a late lunch to make up for our earlier trip to Lou Malnati's. It was obviously delicious. We then walked from Gino's down to Millennium Park and walked around the park for a little while. I'd walked past Millennium Park before but had never actually gone into the park, so that was cool.

We both flew out Thursday morning, Carroll to St. Louis to visit Brooke at Mizzou and me to Washington, D.C. to visit Danielle and go to the Nebraska-Virginia Tech game.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Three

Chillin in Chicago right now; flying to DC tomorrow to hang out with Stwumps and go to the Nebraska - Virginia Tech game (Go Hokies!!!). So here are my picks for this weekend, again with all the games on TV as well as Big 12 games.

Thursday, September 17
Georgia Tech (+5.5) at Miami; 6:30pm ESPNHD

Friday, September 18
Boise State (-7) at Fresno State; 8pm ESPNHD

Saturday, September 19
Cal at Minnesota (+14); 11am ESPNHD
East Carolina at North Carolina (-7.5); 11am ESPN2HD
Duke at Kansas (-22.5); 11am VersusHD
Eastern Michigan at Michigan (-24); 11am BigTenNetworkHD
Tennessee (+29.5) at Florida; 2:30pm CBSHD
Michigan State (+10) at Notre Dame; 2:30pm NBCHD
Nebraska at Virginia Tech (-5); 2:30pm ABCHD
Arizona at Iowa (-5.5); 2:30pm ESPN2HD
Utah at Oregon (-5); 2:30pm ESPNHD
Tulsa (+17.5) at Oklahoma; 2:30pm FSNHD
Wyoming (+7) at Colorado; 2:30pm
UConn (+10.5) at Baylor; 4pm
Cincinnati at Oregon State (+1); 5:45 FSNHD
Florida State (+7.5) at BYU; 6pm VersusHD
Utah State at Texas A&M (-17.5); 6pm
Iowa State (-3) at Kent State; 6pm
Rice at Oklahoma State (-32.5); 6pm
Georgia at Arkansas (-1.5); 6:45pm ESPNHD
West Virginia at Auburn (-7); 6:45pm ESPN2HD
Texas Tech at Texas (-17.5); 7pm ESPNHD
Kansas State at UCLA (-12.5); 9:15pm FSNHD

Last week: 8-9
Season: 15-22

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chris's Road/Air Trip: Atlanta

So the first leg of my road trip is over. I flew to Boston last Tuesday to see Caroline. She had school and I was sick (plus she tells me Cambridge sucks) so we stayed in and watched Hook. Unfortunately, I left my camera sitting in my desk so the Boston/Cambridge portion of my trip is completely undocumented.

So I left Boston on Wednesday and flew to Charlotte to rent a car and drive to Atlanta. We sat on the runway for about 2 hours in Boston because we were grounded while President Obama was flying in and out of JFK (where I was connecting through). Normally, this would have sucked ass, but I was on Jet Blue so I didn't care at all because I could watch the US Open there at my seat. So anyway, I uneventfully made it to Charlotte and then drove the 3.5 hours to Atlanta, also uneventfully.

On Thursday, I went and found a Best Buy so I could get a new camera. Then I went and had a pre-game meal at The Varsity, because KatieMac told me I had to. The Varsity is an awesome old drive-in with even older carhops. They even have the little trays that hook onto your window to put your food on. Great call KatieMac.

So after The Varsity, I went to the Clemson - Georgia Tech game at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The stadium was very cool and historic (how many stadiums can put John Heisman's name on their wall of fame?) and the game was even better. Plus I found a great ticket for just $40. Georgia Tech prevailed after blowing a huge lead with a last-minute field goal.

Friday, I had a day to kill while waiting for Kyle, Amanda and Elijah to arrive, so I went to the Coca-Cola Museum and the Zoo. They're next door to each other and you can buy a combination ticket for both. I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend grabbing lunch at this bistro called Peasant where I had a grilled cheese with spinach that changed my life.

I've been to the Coke Museum before but they have renovated it a great deal so it was like a whole new museum to me. They had a 4-D show, which confused me because I thought the fourth dimension is time. But apparently the fourth dimension is a seat that moves and getting sprayed with water and air. I planned to try all 64 worldwide flavors of Coke products but my stomach started fizzing right around the 40th. I didn't really want to throw up in the middle of the museum so I decided to go ahead and pass on  the remaining 24 flavors and head to the Aquarium.

The Atlanta Aquarium is really new, like five years old I think. It's also allegedly the largest in the world. It's also the only aquarium in North America to have whale sharks, so that was cool. You can't fully appreciate how huge the whale sharks were from this photo but trust me, they're ginormous.  I was supposed to see a feeding but for some reason it was delayed and I gave up on waiting after like 30 minutes. Oh well.

They also had a huge tank you could walk under where the fish swam above you, including whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. Here's the hammerhead shark looking scary as crap. Seriously, how ominous looking is that thing. This is why I don't go in the ocean.

After that, Kyle called me because he, Amanda, and Elijah had arrived. So I drove out to Amanda's parents house to meet up with them and take part in the big Humphrey family cookout. I haven't seen the Parrish clan since Eli was born three months ago so it was great to see everybody. They are all doing very well. Kyle and Amanda are naturals at the whole parent thing and Eli loves television, so good for him. I also saw Amanda's sister and her husband and baby so it was just a baby fest at the Humphrey house.
The next day, Kyle and I went to Athens for a battle between the hedges between Georgia and South Carolina. Athens is only like 30-45 minutes from Amanda's parents house so we just drove up that afternoon. We walked around campus and the stadium for a little while, assessing the ticket situation. Then we went back downtown to find a bar. Not only did we find a bar, we found a bar that served Lone Star. So score one for us. 
We then walked down the stadium where the scalping situation was suddenly looking very bleak. We saw probably ten different people holding up two fingers and couldn't find anyone with tickets. We finally found a guy that had a pair, so we paid him $160 and got our asses inside. Sanford Stadium is very impressive. Everyone is wearing red and it's really loud, much moreso than I expected. Everyone in the stands also seems very knowledgeable. There was a guy behind us who was basically a walking media guide. Unfortunately for him, he was under the false impression this talent was going to get him laid, so he continually explained to the girl he was with about how good each player was, where they were from, how old they were, what their favorite movie was, etc. The girl looked like she wanted to off herself. Kyle and I got a money shot (well it's a bit blurry, but whatever) of us next to the famous hedges. We had an awesome time at the game and it was great to do another college football trip with Kyle after a few years break.
So now I'm in Chicago starting the next leg of my trip. Atlanta was great and the next few weeks are sure to be great as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Two

Hopefully you followed my advice and put huge money against my picks as I went a completely unsurprising 7-13 against the spread. Fortunately for you, I'm giving you another chance to make money off of how little I clearly know about college football lines. So again, here are all the games on TV in Austin this weekend (plus all other Big 12 games), although I'm not in Austin, but whatever.

Thursday, September 10
Clemson at Georgia Tech (-5); 6:30pm ESPNHD - This is your first opportunity of the weekend to look for me on TV

Friday, September 11
Colorado at Toledo (+3.5); 8pm ESPNHD

Saturday, September 12
Fresno State (+8.5) at Wisconsin; 11am ESPNHD
Central Michigan at Michigan State (-14.5); 11am ESPN2HD
Iowa at Iowa State (+6.5); 11am FSNHD
Notre Dame at Michigan (+3.5); 2:30pm ABCHD
BYU (-17.5) at Tulane; 2:30pm ESPN2HD
Houston at Oklahoma State (-15.5); 2:30pm FSNHD
Texas at Wyoming (+32.5); 2:30pm VersusHD
UCLA at Tennessee (-10); 3pm ESPNHD
South Carolina at Georgia (-7); 6pm ESPN2HD - Your second chance to see me on TV
Bowling Green at Missouri (-19.5); 6pm FSNPPV
Rice (+27.5) at Texas Tech; 6pm
Kansas State at UL-Lafayette (+7); 6pm
Kansas (-12.5) at UTEP; 6:30pm CBSCollegeSports
Southern Cal at Ohio State (+6.5); 7pm ESPNHD
Purdue at Oregon (-12); 9:15pm FSNHD

Last week: 7-13
Season: 7-13

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Jet Blue All-You-Can-Jet RoadAir Trip

As many of you know, I jumped all over the JetBlue $599 All-You-Can-Jet pass since I'm bored as hell and have pretty much nothing else to do all September. So I embark next week and here is my itinerary:

9/8 - Fly to Boston
9/9 - Orioles at Red Sox
9/10 - Fly to Charlotte, then drive to Atlanta for Clemson at Georgia Tech
9/12 - South Carolina at Georgia
9/13 - Fly to Chicago
9/14 - Brewers at Cubs
9/17 - Fly to DC
9/19 - Nebraska at Virginia Tech
9/20 - Fly home to Austin to relax and do laundry
9/23 - Fly to LA
9/24 - Fly to Sacramento, then drive to Lake Tahoe
9/25 - Drive to Reno for Mizzou at Nevada
9/26 - Drive to Eugene, OR for Cal at Oregon then drive to Portland
9/28 - Drive to Seattle
9/30 - A's at Mariners
10/1 - Fly to San Francisco
10/3 - Southern Cal at Cal
10/5 - Fly home

Suggestions for anything to do along the way? Places to eat and drink? Do you happen to be in one of the places I'll be along the way and want to grab drinks, some food, and/or a game? Are you just jealous you have a job and can't putz around the US for a month?

This Week in College Football: Week One

The 2009 college football season kicks off tonight and because I want you to make some money, I'm going to give you my picks every week (but no analysis so that when I miss 80% of my picks at least there will look like there wasn't any thought behind my epic failure). You should then bet a lot of money the opposite way and retire at age 30. I'm basically just going to pick the games that are TV here in Austin. So here we go.

Thursday, September 3rd
South Carolina at North Carolina State (-5); 6pm ESPNHD
Oregon (+3.5) at Boise State; 9:15pm ESPNHD

Friday, September 4th
Tulsa (-13.5) at Tulane; 7pm ESPNHD

Saturday, September 5th
Navy at Ohio State (-21.5); 11am ESPNHD
Minnesota (-6.5) at Syracuse; 11am ESPN2HD
Georgia (+5) at Oklahoma State; 2:30pm ABCHD
Baylor at Wake Forest (-2); 2:30pm ABC
Nevada (+14.5) at Notre Dame; 2:30pm NBCHD
San Jose State at Southern Cal (-32.5); 2:30pm FSNHD
Western Michigan at Michigan (-12.5); 2:30pm ESPN2HD
Missouri (+6.5) at Illinois; 2:40pm ESPNHD
BYU (+22) at Oklahoma; 6pm ESPNHD
UL-Monroe at Texas (-41.5); 6pm FSNPPV
Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (+6.5); 7pm ABCHD
Maryland (+21) at California; 9pm ESPN2HD
LSU (-17.5) at Washington; 9:30pm ESPNHD

Sunday, September 6th
Ole Miss (-17) at Memphis; 2:30pm ESPNHD
Colorado State (+10) vs. Colorado; 6pm FSNHD

Monday, September 7th
Cincinnati at Rutgers (-5); 3pm ESPNHD
Miami at Florida State (-6.5); 7pm ESPNHD

SOTD: Landlocked US States

Finished with 53 seconds remaining

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Are men sexist in their media choices?

So I was talking with Seth the other day and for some reason Gilmore Girls came up, and Seth called it a 'girl show'. (For the purposes of this post, we're going to disregard Seth's criticism of a show for being a 'girl show' while he watches The Bachelor(ette), NYC Prep, Miami Social, Millionaire Matchmaker, and The Hills) and focus on the greater issue, i.e. the perception by men that shows involving female leads are 'girl shows'.

So this caused me to look into what I perceive as a bias by men against shows where the characters are more strongly female. This bias can really be seen in looking at crime dramas.

Law and Order is a show dominated by male characters (two male detectives, a male DA, a male lead prosecutor and a female assistant prosecutor). Law and Order: SVU has a stronger female presence, with a female lead detective as well as a female prosecutor. Law and Order's viewership is 45% male while SVU's is 33% male.

All three CSIs have a fairly mixed cast but all three feature a male lead detective. Bones on the other hand, another scientific crime drama, has a female title character. All three CSIs have 41% male viewership while Bones has 36% male viewership.

Both Lie to Me and The Mentalist feature a male character who solves crimes through superior perceptive abilities. The Mentalist however features Robin Tunney as a co-lead and a token hot chick while Lie to Me is really just the Tim Roth show. Lie to Me's viewership is 45% male while The Mentalist's is 41%.

Cold Case is another detective show featuring a female lead detective. Unsurprisingly, it's viewership is just 38% male.

So just by looking at the gender breakdown of crime drama viewership, there appears to be a decided bias by men against shows with female leads. Is this subconscious, or even overt, sexism or is there some other reason I'm not seeing for this disparity? Are shows featuring men or mixed casts just 'shows' while shows featuring female casts are 'girl shows'? Can you think of any TV shows or movies dominated by a female character or characters (other than porn) that don't cause most men to turn of the TV?

SOTD: Name that Movie

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SOTD: Most Visited Cities

29/40. I'm really shocked Las Vegas isn't one of the 40 most visited cities in the world (it's 48 apparently).

Monday, August 31, 2009

SOTD: Sports Logos

26/30. If this quiz had only included real sports, I would've finished it with 5.5 minutes to spare.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Road trip to Mizzou with Brookie Cookie

We started the trip with some Round Rock donuts, as any good fat kid would.

Then we rocked down to...

Then a stop at the world's second largest McDonald's.

When we got to Columbia, I went to check out the new jumbotron

While Brooke and McGoo rode in the football helmet cart

Then headed to the Quad

and checked out the new J-School

Then went across the street for a porkloin sandwich and some Boulevard Wheat at the Berg

Ok, so I forgot to take pictures after the first day. I'm going to have to work on that.