Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Shark

A news story today… "A swimmer has lost his legs after being attacked by a great white shark in South Africa. The 42-year-old man, who ignored warnings to stay out of the water at a beach near Cape Town, entered the ocean 90 minutes after the shark had been spotted and the beach closed. The man, believed to be British, has been airlifted to hospital for treatment."

I don’t know what to focus on first on this news story. I have seen the British on vacation. Something I can tell you with great certainty is the man that went in the water after being warned about a Great White was shitfaced. How do I know this? Because every single time I have seen an English guy walking around a tourist area, he has been staggering drunk and ready to mix it up with locals, in this case a 16 foot killing machine that is the top of the ocean food chain. This should come as no surprise to anyone that has ever been in Amsterdam. Lay the story out to any prostitute in the Red Light District. “Oh, a British guy dove in the water on holiday when he was directly warned about a giant man eating shark? Sure, I could see that. Probably the same pasty guy that barfed on his Manchester United jersey after I gave him a golden shower last summer.” It’s a fucking Great White Shark, right?

Now, you would have to feel pretty stupid as you wheel your way around London in your wheelchair for the next 35 years. “No luv, I wasn’t in the war. Shark attack. Well, what happened was I was directly told not to jump into the water, as there was a giant angry two-ton creature with razor sharp teeth that was very hungry. I was really drunk though, and figured that the locals were trying to pull one over on me. I mean, I paid good money for this vacation, and I was not going to be told what to do on MY vacation. So I hopped in the water and had a go! Boy did I have egg on my face when he chewed my legs off! Bloody good crying about it now, eh? Spare a pound for a good bloke?” or some such nonsense.

Still, I identify with the guy. I was in Cancun one time, all cranked up on “all inclusive” Mexican beer and well tequila. I was swimming around the ocean, way the hell out there as I usually do. (I am of the opinion I am a much stronger swimmer than I actually am, which will explain my tragic early death in a kayaking accident in the next few years.) While I was lazily backstroking around, I hear a whistle and see a little Mexican lifeguard jumping around the beach like a monkey. Hmmm. Everyone is getting out of the water. What’s the issue here?

I look behind me about 40 yards and see a dorsal fin clipping towards my general direction. The thing is, I’m so buzzed up from drinking in the sun, I am nowhere near a state of panic. “Hey man, that shark isn’t going to hurt me man. They are more afraid of me than I am of them. I wonder if I brought any Donovan records on my iPod?”, I thought as I casually backstroked into the beach. I was in no particular hurry, still, I thought I’d pacify the silly lifeguard, and the crowd on the beach and come on in. It was probably a 6-8 foot shark of no real danger to me (I guess). The way my girlfriend and other hotel guests went on about it, you’d thought I had just out swum Jaws. I was so mellowed out; I laughed it off and went to the bar.


Now if someone had told me there was a 16-foot Great White out there (which is roughly the width of a Volkswagen), I’d have said “See you at the swim up bar Pedro, I’m all about the pool”. But then again, I’m not British and on vacation.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Still Hate Football

I chased last night, getting on LSU when I realized that the hopes and dreams of West Virginia rarely come true, much less on national television. WVU doesn’t do their marketing department any favors by letting all those people show up to games with animal skins on their heads. If you are considering an economics degree, do you want to go to a place with ivy covered buildings, or do you want to go to a place with a guy with a raccoon head draped over his dome screaming profanity at LSU? If I’m an 18 year old kid from the suburbs, I’m playing it safe and taking WVU off of my “short list”. Regardless, LSU covered easily and this leaves me back at even. I’m ready to go today. Here’s what I like.

The Browns are not an exciting team. In fact, they are broadcast to such a small national TV audience, I wouldn’t be surprised if the announcers today were James Garner and a local weatherman. Maybe that guy that used to play “Tubbs” on Miami Vice since the equally boring Dolphins are in town. But business is business, and I love a home underdog. The Browns are +110 on the money line, Chad Henne sucked at Michigan and sucks as a Dolphin, and Reggie Bush has already fallen out of favor. I may sleep on my couch during the entire broadcast, unless James Garner starts telling old “Rockford Files” stories, but I’m still getting on Cleveland. As an aside, why did that guy get pistol whipped so often? Eh, who knows… Take Cleveland +110.

The Giants have so many injuries, I had to scan the headlines to see if their team bus had taken a plunge down a cliff and I somehow missed it. This leaves the always slightly confused looking Eli Manning and some guys they found in the Terminal at Grand Central have to play Philadelphia today. Mike Vick is coming back after having his skull busted by smacking his face into one of his lineman, spitting out blood, and still finding time to shit talk Atlanta. Yet Philadelphia is somehow in better shape than the New York Football Giants. By the way, how in God's name was Vince Young not ready to go last week? The guy has a chance to go from "Lowest Wonderlick and Total Fucking Head Case" to "Redeemed Prospect That Overcame Adversity", but he's out with a tweaked hamstring? I'd like to "Sell" my Vince Young stock please. The Giants are getting nine, which seems like it must be some kind of trick to get me to take them and the points. OK. I'll bite. These NFC East games are always decided by a pasty kicker at the end, no matter how much better one team is than another. Why not again today? Giants +9.

I don’t know how good the Chargers are. I also have no idea if the Chiefs are as bad as they appear. I do know that San Diego will probably score a fuckload of points today. You know how many that is? Well, let me tell you, it’s a lot. I also feel fairly secure in saying that San Diego’s special teams will either blow a kickoff return coverage, or allow a blocked punt in their own end zone, so KC will at least get on the board that way. Some guy you never heard of on KC will probably also run into the end zone for an otherwise meaningless score while the stands empty and the clock runs out. San Diego/KC OVER 44.5.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate College Football Again

Ohio State Guy is in a full panic. His beloved Buckeyes are not following the script to provide him with easy wins on a Fall afternoon. There is no jacking off watching Ohio State “students” beating the crap out of the amateur teams placed in front of them. That back slapping self congratulatory Coors Light swilling “O! H!” I! O!” time is over. This is a “transitional year”. To use a very technical football term, Ohio State looked totally fucking horrible last week against a Miami team that doesn’t exactly bring to mind the Teams of Thugs Past. This week Ohio State plays a very ordinary Colorado team that kinda sucks. However, I don’t believe they kinda suck 16.5 points less than Ohio State. I think OSU wins, but have a hard time seeing Ohio State scoring a zillion points. Take Colorado +16.5.

My favorite team of thugs is Oregon. If the NCAA really wanted to get serious about “cleaning up college football”, this would be a good place to start assuming you had a SWAT team.. The NCAA wouldn’t place Oregon on probation. They would go up there and execute most of the team just for being sociopaths and dangerous criminals. Various players have been arrested in recent years for fist fights, robbery, sexual assault, firearms, and probably abusing a corpse for all I know. The good news is that the University of Oregon football team doesn’t know where I live, and probably won’t come to my house and commit violent crimes against me. Even better news is that they will commit these crimes against a reliably shitty University of Arizona team. Arizona lost to Oklahoma State and Stanford by 27 and 23 respectively. They sure as hell aren’t staying within 15.5 of Oregon. Take Oregon -15.5.

There are three things you need to know about Ball State. 1) David Letterman went there. 2) They have an ugly flat campus that looks like it might double as a mail order house processing and distribution center. 3) They are 3-14 against the spread at home in their last 17. This week Ball State plays Army at home. Look, I’m not all excited about Army or anything. Army will roll into town with their bad haircuts and repressed rage, and regret not going to a school where they can have drunken sexual misadventures as opposed to getting screamed at for not making their bed correctly. That rage should help them cover a flimsy four point spread. Take Army -4.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Childhood

When I was a kid, I spent most of my childhood embarrassed by my parents. In retrospect, they were neither cooler nor any less dorky than anyone else’s parents though. Peer pressure is a monster when you are a child though, and my childhood ideal was always a strange mish-mosh of the Brady Family and Eight Is Enough. I was never clear why we didn’t have a pool table in the garage, have Joe Namath drop by the house, or have a housekeeper prepare me a tray of food for when I was upset and stewing in my room. I spent the years of eight to twelve pitching fits, stomping to my room, and waiting expectedly for a tray of delicious food and soothing talk that never came. Where was Alice the Maid when I needed her? That Bobby Brady had it all, that little fucker.

I also went through a period of time where I pretended I had no parents. I think almost every kid got dropped off at the mall at a secret doorway where you could then meet your friends by suddenly appearing. I liked to play it like I was just a single dude that had no back story. A real international man of mystery. It was as if I was a 13 year old that had my own apartment, and just happened to be attending Garwood Middle School as a brief sojourn on my way to getting involved in an Import/Export business based in Buenos Aires. “Hey guys! It’s just drove over from my condo on the wharf. I was knee deep in shit like coloring in my map for Geography Class and just thought I’d swing by. Who’s up for a brandy?”

Looking back, my father may have been way ahead of his time when he was mowing the lawn in black work socks, grass stained Stan Smith Adidas, and giveaway t-shirt. You put that outfit on some indie dude in Wicker Park, he’s beating back the pierced skinny jean chicks with a rawhide mallet. My Dad didn’t even know he was ironic. In 1978, it wasn’t considered such a rocking look though. I think he may have been a man slightly ahead of his time. You combine that look with my mother’s innate ability to yell embarrassing things across any retail store (Greg!?! Do you need more acne medicine???), and you had a real Power Couple.

It’s a damn shame I don’t have any kids. I looked at myself this morning as I walked out to get the newspaper. I had on a pair of brownish cargo shorts, an inside out and backwards brownish t-shirt, and sandals. I looked like a hippie Israeli commando in a strange wrestling onesey/unitard. I was talking to one of the bassets from the end of the driveway, while shuffling and farting my way back up the driveway. I really needed a 12 year old son/daughter standing with their friends at a bus stop so I could have yelled “Remember to add bleach to the laundry when you get home so we can get the stains out of your underwear!”. I need to pay it forward. I may adopt.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Football

After a nice start to the weekend (LSU -3.5), I am hoping for the best as I try not to overreact to the first week of NFL and NCAA action. It’s not so easy to do. After watching Pittsburgh get fucking destroyed by Baltimore, every sports talk radio show has jumped to the conclusion it is time for the Steelers to rebuild, and the Ravens are an unstoppable force of nature. Why, the Ravens just might be the best team since the 1985 Chicago Bears. It is also logical to assume the Steelers may never score an offensive touchdown again, and their best available option may be to shut the franchise down. I would think condos would do well on that riverfront location where the stadium currently sits.

Last week Iowa State beat arch rival Iowa in an overtime game that lasted about as long as the first Gulf War, and may have left roughly the same amount of casualties. They say that the pig farmers go to Iowa. The pigs go to Iowa State. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know teams have letdowns going on the road after a game with their interstate rival. While ESPN shows college football as giant programs battling each other in a gladiatorial contest of wills, it’s actually a bunch of 20 year old dumbfucks playing each other. These are jock kids concerned with having intercourse with that girl from their Intro to World Geography class, where is the location of the keg party, and if their roommate ate the last Hot Pocket from the freezer. They haven’t learned about the week to week grind of a football season. This week Iowa State goes out to the East Coast to play U Conn in the Hood. Take UConn -4.

I am not sure why my alma mater Kent State can never seem to get a football team together. The only things most people care about in this part of the country are football, drinking beer, and watching football while they drink beer. Yet somehow Kent always blows. They have sent some of the most explosive players to the NFL in the last few years (The Steeler’s Harrison, Josh Cribbs on the Browns, a couple DBs, etc). Do they win games? Nah. They suck every year. This year they have a new coach that has installed a “winning attitude”. It’s worked out pretty well. They are 0-2, including a really embarrassing (even for Kent) loss to University of Louisiana at Lafayette in last week’s home opener. Now they go on the road to play Kansas State, who is a legitimate football program as I recall. Kansas State is 6-2 ATS in their last eight vs the MAC. I love Kansas State -17 despite squeaking by Eastern KY last week 10-7. This is Kent. They don’t win, much less on the road far from home. Note, I would probably take DeVry +6.5 against Kent.

I have liked the Chargers ever since I watched them lose a playoff game in a San Diego bar filled with friendly good looking people in sky blue jerseys. When the game was over, everyone finished their amazing local microbrew and went to the beach, the game out of their minds. Ah, to be on that beach instead of a NE Ohio chicken wing bar where people beat their dogs after a Browns loss… The Chargers have probably the best team in the AFC, but their special teams are so horrible they missed the playoffs last year. They addressed that issue and promptly allowed an opening kickoff return touchdown to the Vikings. “Hey Brah, don’t sweat it! We’ll totally come back. Let’s go get sushi!” The Chargers will probably lose to New England, but they’ll lose by a field goal. Take San Diego +7.

Can Atlanta be as bad as they looked last week? Can Philly be as good? I think there is too much hype on Philadelphia and not enough on Atlanta. I am taking Atlanta money line over the Eagles and hope to dodge the “Michael Vick returns to Atlanta” sports media onslaught. If the line moves to +3, take the points.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Retirement

It becomes apparent that this whole “Golden Age of Retirement” scam is a fixed game. My understanding of the social contract is this. You work hard from your early twenties though your mid sixties. You scrimp, save, and don’t allow yourself to enjoy things TODAY as you are saving The FUTURE. According to the 401k website at work and most TV commercials I see, you will then be somewhat grey but still athletic, and paired up with an equally trim and attractive age appropriate woman. You will probably be walking holding hands on a beach, or maybe having a picnic. You will be laughing, or maybe just a smug smile that says “I gave an investment house all my capital, and they placed it in a variety of securities that have allowed me to have the world by the balls. Look at what a smug fuck I am with my implied beachfront property and frisky wife.” That would be great if that happened.

I am fairly certain it will play out like this. The only ones that make money on the 401K will be the company that holds my money hostage until age 65. I will get roughly what I put in over the last 40 odd years if I somehow miraculously make it to retirement age prior to an ugly death. Phantom fees and unexplained market lapses will erode the rest of the “profit” leaving me a slim monthly budget. Social Security will be a trivia answer on Jeopardy (which will still be broadcast, and I will now in my sixties be oddly fascinated by).

If I make that Golden Age, the pharmaceutical companies will have conspired with Corporate Medicine to have me hooked up on a variety of expensive pills that actually cost pennies to make by Burmese Slave Boys whipped by Oppressive Dictator Slave Lords. I will have no insurance as I am no longer working, so my beachfront smug smile money will only go far enough for me to sit in a one bedroom apartment that smells vaguely like socks while watching TV and waiting for death. God forbid if I linger too long after retirement age, as I will have to empty out my coffers completely to get shoved into an “assisted living” home. The “assisted living” is just me in a ranch style cheap hotel attended to by a variety of high school dropouts that may or may not flip me over on my soiled mattress so I don’t get bed sores. I will stare vacantly ahead, and wish I was walking along a particular stretch of California coastline with the breeze in my face.

Do I really have another 25 years of labor? Another 25 years of listening to people fearfully discussing the Economy like Chicken Little? Six more presidential elections to have to watch coverage on and pretend I care? Should I just empty out the fund, buy a Porsche and start writing stupid songs 24/7? Do the Daredevils have a benefits package? Has Leo been stashing money away for a rainy day? God, I hope so.

I think the real answer is to stop screwing around with the 401K scam, and just get down to real gambling. The bookies at least hit you with fees you understand. $11 to win $10. Winner take all. If I took everything in my savings, and just let it ride on one game this weekend, and hit… What if you didn’t have to work again? Is it worth the risk? What if you just took a year’s salary? If you hit, you take next year off. It is an interesting idea, isn’t it? And to think I had Oakland +145 last night. Damn.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Virgin

There is no better conversation than when someone tells you about how they lost their virginity. While most teen movies have revealed that moment for men to either be with a) someone's really hot Mom, b) the previously unattainable head cheerleader, or c) the mousy nice girl that takes off her glasses to reveal she is actually Megan Fox. "You know, after Missy took off those ugly prescription glasses, I couldn't help but notice that she is as attractive as a Brazilian bikini model. Maybe I will take her to Prom!" I don't know anyone that had any of those scenarios happen. I do read about guys having sex with the Hot Mom once in awhile. That's usually in the newspaper and the Mom is going to jail as a "sexual predator". Ah, life was so much simpler in the 80s, wasn't it? What was once considered "hot" is now a "crime". Potato potahto, eh?

Things just aren't like the movies, are they? It's always nice and clean and sweet. In the movies there is usually a touching moment of reflection before the actual deed, perhaps inside a cozy sleeping bag near a picturesque lake. The boy will lovingly stroke the hair of his True Love and say something thoughtful and romantic, and then this moment of connection of body and soul commences like a rainbow arching over a meadow. This is not the experience most people have I am guessing. Allow me to present the composite I have created from my not very extensive interviews on this subject...

"My three buddies and I bought a 12 pack of Mickey's Big Mouth with my older brother's fake ID. We were sitting around Larry's basement drinking the twelve and listening to Iron Maiden pre-gaming for the party at Karen Stevens house. There was this girl from my third period English class who said she was going to go, and I figured I could probably hook up with her since I had heard she blew this Senior at a graduation party last year. Well, we finish the Mickey's and by this point we're all shitfaced. We show up at the party, and then I'm hanging out in the kitchen doing shots of Rumpleman's with the Kraus Brothers. I don't really remember the next couple hours all that well, but somehow I am hanging out with Tammi. You remember that girl that used to work at the old Dairy Queen by the Putt Putt course? Right, the one with the brother in jail! OK, so we're hanging out in the basement watching MTV, and by this time everybody is pretty much cleared out. We started to make out, and we're dry humping on the futon downstairs. Her breath tasted like cigarettes really bad, and something like Fritos. One thing leads to another, and I have her jeans pulled down, and I'm trying to cram my fingers down her panties. She's rubbing me really hard outside of my jeans, and it's like I have fucking friction burn at this point. She asks me if I have a condom, and I pull out that one I had in my wallet that I got in the men's room of USA Skates two years ago. I couldn't put it on for a really long time, and then Tammi helped me. It was pretty embarrassing. I put it inside her, and I came in 26 seconds. Afterwards we talked awkwardly for a little bit, and I wasn't sure where to put the used condom, so I dropped it behind the couch. I told her I was going to call her, and then I left. I didn't call her that weekend, and then when I saw her in the cafeteria at school on Monday it was really weird."

You can change the details, but this is the basic story almost everyone tells. The more horrible the story, the more I like it. Having a terrible location makes it perfect. You know it's going to be awful, so why not go all the way and have sex in an abandoned warehouse? Your dad's garage maybe? The back of a Toyota Tercel is always good. Nothing says romance like having Night Ranger playing on the cassette deck while you attempt to maneuver in a space roughly the size of a veal pen. I know a guy that lost his virginity to a girl named "Pop Bottle" Perishon, so named after an incident where she inserted a coke bottle in her vagina at a party. Allegedly. How great is that? It totally beats the Lake with the nice sleeping bag. Unless you are with The Hot Mom of course.

Gambling Opportunities: I really love the Arizona Cardinals this week as I am having a hard time seeing Cam Newton flying across the country and actually converting third downs. Maybe I'm off the mark, because the NFL is a total crapshoot, but rookie QBs don't win on the road. All the rubes betting in Vegas will remember how the Cardinals really sucked last year, but they'll forget that Kevin Kolb is there now, and appears to be a legit NFL QB. Take AZ -6.5.... The Cincinnati Bengals should be really horrible. Even for on the Bengals scale they'll be bad. However, I don't see the Cleveland Browns beating anyone by big scores this year. If that line moves to 7.5 by kickoff, I may actually take Cincinnati with the points. God help me.