Someone broke into our Jeep and stole Missy's purse while we were out hiking this morning. I think we have everything cancelled and payment for the hotel worked out, but I'm still shaking and angry and sick-feeling. Our credit cards, her debit card, both of our phones - they're all gone. The Honolulu police department could not care less - they told us they had more important things to do and told us to maybe call next week when we get back to Wisconsin. The pictures of the hikes are so gorgeous and I don't even want to post them because they're going to make me so angry all over again.

Gretchen just told me to solicit donations -

It was Thursday in Hawaii

Missy just reminded me that I didn't mention the people sitting on either side of us on the dinner cruise last night. To my right, Missy's left, were The Elderly Folks - he couldn't hear, so yelled at everyone, and she showed us many pictures (very worn pictures - they'd been making the rounds) of the Strawberry Shortcake quilt she was working on back home. To my left, Missy's right, was Uncomfortable Family - the mom got seasick as soon as the Starlet pulled anchor and spent the rest of the night either glaring at the dancers, reminding the wait staff that she was too sick to eat anything, or filling her coffee cup with vomit, while the rest of the family looked like they couldn't be having a worse time with her. Until she went to the deck for air, that is - then the father and two teenage girls started smiling, talking, and taking pictures. The mom may not make it back to the mainland alive.


Because Matt and Gretchen forced us to let them chauffer us, we saved a bunch of money by not renting a car in Honolulu. We wanted a couple days to do things by ourselves though (some of those things are pictured below), and the hotel offers its military discount to guests-of-military that are staying here. We took them up on the discount to rent a Jeep Wrangler for two days. Blazey - I know you probably aren't reading this, but Missy is going to have a hard time not trading you to Smart Motors for an orange Jeep when we get back. Your time in our family may be limited, is what I'm saying.


The first place we took the Jeep was Hanauma Bay, an underwater state park on the southeast tip of Oahu. We were there and snorkel-clad by 8:00 a.m., which ended up being the perfect time to arrive - by the time we left at noon, the beach was full and there was a line of 200+ would-be snorklers at the front gate.


You can see the coral reefs from the top of the bluffs at Hanauma - the clear parts are 8-10' deep and sandy-bottomed, and the darker spots are coral and rocks that often sat inches below the surface. There were sections of coral that were like underwater mazes - terrifying (what if I get lost? what if that fish eats me? What if that fish looks at me?) but indescribably gorgeous. We took a pair of underwater cameras, which we didn't drop off at the photo place in time to pick up tonight. Waiting for film to develop annoys me now - I've been completely spoiled by our digital camera and I don't know if I'll ever use our 35mm camera again. Blazey and Eos Rebel - your days are numbered.


Jeepey decided to take us to North Shore next - this is Bonzai Pipeline, but we also went to Waimea Bay. The camera doesn't convey the size of the waves worth a gosh-darn though. These are 3-5 foot swells according to the surf report on the shop next to the shrimp place where we ate lunch, and Waimea can get waves in the 25-30' range.



"I want to see a turtle." No problem, homie - Matt told us where we might be able to find some. There were three that washed up on one of the North Shore beaches - apparently the rain muddies the water and confuses them. There were two people in uniforms from the National Oceanographic Something or Other that had a red rope laid down and stern warning signs about touching, riding, harassing, or saying mean things in the direction of the turtles.



Instead of backtracking around the east shore of the island, we took H1 (which is an interstate, but I don't think I can officially call it an interstate if it's on only Oahu) back through the center of the island. On the way, we stopped at the Dole pineapple plantation, saw the entrance to the world's largest human maze, learned that pineapples don't grow on trees like any normal god-fearing fruit, and that pineapple ice cream is delicious. Thanks, food conglomerate!

Tonight was a luau at the hotel, but our seats were too far from the stage for any pictures to turn out well. Without photographic evidence, our memories of it are already slipping away.

A Photo Collection


This was yesterday afternoon, at mile 10 or so of the hike, right after the weather turned from misty to soaking-my-purse-shut-up-it's-a-bag wet.


Last night, Matt and Gretchen took us, parents, and friends to a Moroccan restaraunt, which involved sitting on pillows and eating shared food without utensils. This photo is the waiter pouring mint tea from way up in the sky. TOWWAS - I don't know how to get there, or even the name of the place. Up a mountain and then down a mountain and then a bunch of stoplights or something.


This morning, after breakfast and picking up some souveneirs for Darrell to take home to Missy's brothers and sisters, Matt and Gretchen drove us up the coast toward North Shore. If you look closely, there's a lighthouse in this photo. It's like a little game for your brain. "Find the lighthouse" is the name of the game.


There's a story about this giant rock in the sea - apparently the Hawaiian gods killed the giant lizard that protected Oahu in order to allow their people to live here. After it was killed, the lizard broke into five pieces - this is the tail section.


We didn't quite make it to the North Shore before we had to turn around and get back to Honolulu - Missy and I had tickets to a sunset dinner luau aboard the Starlet. Cheers to mai tais on the ocean!


Missy says, "These waves are bigger than I'm comfortable with," and the captain agreed - instead of being a sea-going vessel, the Starlet stayed in the bay for two hours.


The luau was hampered by 6 1/2' ceilings, but still managed to pack in seven or eight costume changes. No fire-twirlers though.


Awwww.

Diamond Head Hike

This afternoon, M.Bro and I braved the mist ("What ho, Mist - verily art though dampening! Thou shant!") to hike Diamond Head ("Le'ahi") Crater. According to a damp brochure,
The creation of Oahu began 2.5-3 million years ago with the volcanic eruptions from two shield volcanoes. A period of extensive erosion followed, leaving the Ko'olau and Wai'anae mountain ranges as remnants of these very eroded volcanoes. Le'ahi is believed to have been created about 300,000 years ago during a single brief eruption. The broad saucer-shaped crater covers 350 acres, with its width being greater than its height. The soutwestern rim is the highest because winds were blowing ash in this direction during the eruption. It is the most recognized landmark in Hawaii.


Here's Diamond Head from our hotel and from above (I cannot fly - it is from an airplane) -



Before we could hike the crater, though, we had to walk to it - almost 5 miles from our hotel.


The climb to the top is only 0.8 miles long, but covers 761 vertical feet and 271 stairs. I don't want to make it out to be some arduous, Lord of the Rings-like task, though - little kids and the elderly were out in force.







From hotel room door to hotel room door, including a stop for scrumptions avacado hamburgers for lunch, Diamond Head was a six-hour adventure. On the way home, the weather turned from a pleasant (for anywhere but Hawaii) drizzle to a not-quite-a-downpour. Stay tuned for pictures of that -

A half-million words

To complement the long post below, here are a handful of the 479 photos I just moved from our camera to my laptop. I thought maybe we'd burn our familes a CD of the pictures we took on the trip, but we may have to use sort of eight-layer Blu-ray DVD to fit them all.

Walking down Waikiki Beach our first day here. That's Diamonhead in the background - it's in most of the Oahu postcards, and we're hiking it later this afternoon.


It's disgusting, but I don't think it's alive (anymore)


There was a woman who died, and as she was looking back on her life from heaven, she saw it as a set of footprints on the beach. She noticed two sets of footprints and God was like, "THAT WAS BECAUSE I WAS WALKING WITH YOU, LIKE TO KEEP THE CABS FROM SPRAYING YOU AND STUFF." But the woman noticed that during the hardest points in her life, there was only one set of footprints. "What's up with that, God?" She asked. God looked at her thoughtfully and explained, "DUDE - I WAS HOVERING"


One of the many surf-rental places on Waikiki Beach


Coconuts are neither good to eat nor to drink, nor to toast and put on bars. A good rule of thumb - don't put coconut in your mouth.


Gretchen's friend, that looks like a tall ELF. I'll let the rest of you know if I find your taller dopplegangers in Hawaii too


TOWWAS - I don't know if you're staying on Oahu, or in Honolulu, or downtown, if you are, you are, and you are, the Wailana Coffee House is just down Ala Moana Dr from the giant Hilton complex. The coffee is fantastic, the pancakes are top-notch, and it's all rural-Nebraska cheap.


The start of the wedding pictures - this is the walk to the ceremony, which was held between the two trees on the far right edge of the picture.


The native-Hawaiian officiant, who was hilarious and often unintelligble.


Matt and Gretchen getting "lei'd" - ha! I bet no one has made that joke before, ever!


More pictures will be coming. We're headed out running, then possibly back to the Wailana Coffee House, then to the top of Diamondhead. Matt is taking everyone to a restaraunt that involves bringing your own drinks, sitting on the floor, sharing food, and eating with our hands tonight.

Ha'akimualo means pineapples are delicious

Here's what's been happening on Oahu the last couple days. Pictures will follow later tonight, but Missy and I are going to dinner with her brother (Matt), his new wife (Gretchen), and Missy and Matt's dad (Darrell) in a couple minutes.

Saturday 3/25 9:45 p.m. HST
I just realized I phrased my question slightly incorrectly when I called the hotel about internet access. When I called, I think my exact question was, “I didn’t see free wireless or internet access on your website – does that mean you don’t offer it?” Their answer was, “Oh no, sir, we have high-speed internet access in every room, with the network cords provided.” I must have interrupted them to say “Thanks! Bye,” before they could add, “…for $10 per day.” I wouldn’t mind paying that for two, maybe three, days, but the website is a little vague and seems to imply that clicking the OK button will bill us for every night we’re staying. I’m going to call the front desk about it, but for now, my plan is to find a local coffee shop with free wireless. Until I figure it out, I’m going to write a couple blog posts from the last couple days

Saturday 3/ 25 11:30 p.m. HST, 4:30 a.m. CST (out of order, all Memento-style)
We drove out of our garage at 6:00 this morning, so I think today qualifies as 22 ½ hours of traveling – 1 to get to and wait for the bus, 2 in a bus to O’Hare, 2 waiting for a plane, 4 flying to LAX, 5 more waiting at the airport in LA, 6 more getting to Honolulu, and another hour getting our luggage and to our hotel. I just added that – there must have been various 15-minute increments in there that added up.

Anyway, I’m not as exhausted as I thought I’d be, thanks to your internet advice. Hawaii is, as you might guess, gorgeous, even at midnight. It’s humid, but 77 degrees almost round-the-clock. Gretchen, Matt’s fiancĂ©, called us “taller than she expected” and gave us leis and hugs, so I like her already.

Saturday 3/25 10:00 p.m. HST – Wedding Eve

Hawaii exhausts my feet. After not being able to sleep past 4:00 HST this morning, I read a McSweeney’s collection of short stories on our balcony, which I recommend if you have the chance – both reading McSweeney’s Thrilling Tales and watching the Hawaiian sunrise from your hotel balcony (which they have some non-balcony name for – laii’ana or something. All the native names for streets and things sound the same to me). Missy managed to sleep until 6:00, so we got some coffee and made our way through the Hale Koa hotel’s massive garden to their beach. I touched some disgusting thing that had washed up on the beach, just so you wouldn’t think I was a pansy after the disgusting-ocean-creature post.

We walked from our beach along the shore all the way down to Waikiki beach, saw Diamond Head mountain (which we’ll be hiking up in a few days), watched some pretty cute little kids try to catch a fish with nets (but ocean fish are crafty and the boys were foiled), saw the biggest sea turtle I’ve ever seen (which was also the biggest dead sea turtle I’ve ever seen, so no pictures out of respect for its honomakue’u, which might mean soul or something), and walked back to the hotel through a very chic shopping area (Coach next to Louis Vitton next to Prada and on and on like that for blocks – the stores were all empty). All told, it was in the neighborhood of four hours of walking in sandals that were meant for going to the beach and then being taken off immediately. Once our toes have recovered, we’re going running along the bike path that follows the shore.

The afternoon was filled with meeting strangers at Matt and Gretchen’s apartment – various parents, old friends that had traveled from Nebraska and Pennsylvania, and new friends from Oahu. I only remember Sabrina and Miguele, because everyone else was named Ryan or Sarah or other normal things. The rehearsal dinner was burgers on a very cool communal grill near Matt and Gretchen’s place, which had a small roof-covered area – a little too small for 30 people to hide under when it started to rain. Rain? Yeah, rain – apparently the Honolulu has had more rain the last 30 days than they’ve had since the 1970’s. This is not comforting to those young couples that might be, say, planning a beach wedding.

You know what really strikes me about Hawaii? The non-separation of what’s inside and what’s outside. There are very few exterior doors – instead, it’s mostly overhangs and open-air lobbies. We walked through the lobby of the enormous Hilton next door (which had penguins. In the lobby) and were often rained on, then covered by some roof three stories above us, then rained on again, then under a lower roof, then out in the open again – all within 30 feet of walking.

The green-ness of the grass and trees is also very, very striking, but I can't tell whether that's Hawaii-specific, or just because the world has been dead since November where I live.

Sunday 3/26 2:22 p.m. HST
Blogging from the midst of pre-wedding jitters and last-minute scrambling. It’s raining, as it has been for a month, but Matt and Gretchen decided to go ahead with the beach ceremony. The alternative is to hold it in the hotel ballroom where the reception is being held, but I think that’s just a bad, bad alternative – either it’s going to clear up in the next 90 minutes or we’ll have a wedding under umbrellas. None of us are made of sugar and your wedding happens one time – we can handle getting a little wet.

Missy and I are unofficially in charge of background photography – the preparations and information stuff that the official photographers don’t get (including pictures of the official photographers working). They were our favorite pictures from our wedding – everyone should have a background photographers. Missy also made them a scrapbook with no pictures in it – we’re going to take our memory card to a 1-hour photo place down the street and print photos from the ceremony, put them in the book, and give it to them tomorrow morning.

We’re being picked up from our hotel in a stretch Escalade in about an hour. No word on whether it will have spinning rims. The Escalade will bring us back to the Hale Koa for the reception, which is just down the hallway from our room – we’ll be stumbling home, I assume arm-in-arm, singing Irish drinking songs.

Stupid Villanova. Seriously? Three three-pointers? THREE?!? When Connecticut lost earlier this afternoon, I thought the pool was mine – everyone else in the top few spots had them picked to win, and I could already smell that sweet, sweet cash. Who would have picked this final four?? No one – that’s who. I hope George Mason wins the whole dumb stupid thing now.

Internet access is $10 for 24 hours only, so I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow night and Wednesday – maybe again on the weekend before we leave. We also decided to pay a little extra to upgrade from our second-floor-facing-the-street room to an ocean-view room for Saturday and Sunday night, which will be great not only for the views, but for giving me some reason not to be quite so sad-faced about our last couple nights here.

Monday 3/27, 8:05 a.m. HST
It’s the wedding aftermath. The ceremony was gorgeous – on a little peninsula with two small islands in the immediate distance and full of Hawaiian traditions. The officiant was steeped in Polynesian tradition and there were large parts of the ceremony that no one in the audience could understand. The rain – just a little creeping-outingly – stopped for about 20 minutes after he did a chant for us. Rain on a wedding day, he said, was the highest blessing that nature could give to a couple, but he didn’t want the cameras to short out.

We sat with five guys in their early 20’s from Nebraska and Missy’s dad at the reception, which started with a traditional Hawaiian first-course of seaweed, poi, salmon, and pineapple. Although pineapple-so-fresh-its-still-feeling-the-pain-of-being-picked is a food that I could live on happily for weeks at a time, I thought the rest of it was very good as well. The Nebraska contingent was less impressed with the food-that-wasn’t-beef. They came around on the main course, though, which was teriyaki steak, roasted pork (Matt says roasted by burying it on the beach and covering it with hot coals, but I’m not believing it wasn’t made in the hotel kitchen without seeing this burying in the sand with my own eyes), and lua-lua leaves (like spinach) with some sort of fish.

While the dinner part of the reception was a little alien to them, the dance was right up their alley – the DJ, at what I have to assume was request, kicked things off with Cotton-eyed Joe, Fishin’ in the Dark, and a handful of other country-gimmick songs that were ideal for showing Gretchen’s family from Pennsylvania and Matt’s Hawaiian friends how to line-dance properly. Then, job finished, they retired to the bar to flirt with the native Hawaiian bartender. Fair’s fair, though, and I have to confess that they ended up being quite a bit more interesting and funnier than I gave them credit for, with my stereotype of small-town Nebraska guys.

Unless I know the couple really, really well (little-siblings Kyle and Kim – I’m looking at you here), I rarely find myself having a good time at wedding dances. There were only about 80 people at the reception last night, including a 15-person wedding party, so it was like being on display on the dancefloor. That, I imagine, is ideal for a certain type of person, but I’m more of a melt-into-the-crowd type of dancer. But it was an open bar, and good times were had by all – although I didn’t take advantage of the open bar so much that I can’t blog at 8:00 the next morning.

Missy’s dad had been staying in Matt and Gretchen’s extra bedroom, but they had a room at the Hale Koa after the reception, so he stayed in our hotel room last night. We’re going to take him out for pancakes and buckets of Kona coffee at a great little place just down the street, and then we have to pick a few dozen of the 200+ pictures we took last night for their scrapbook, get digital prints, and put the book together. It’s still raining, so it doesn’t look like I’ll get a chance to kill a shark to prove my manhood today either.

Monday 3/27 7:43 p.m. HST
IS THIS A HALLWAY OR AN ALLEYWAY - AM I INSIDE OR OUTSIDE?

The crazy Polynesian gods were still raining on us this morning, and we quickly realized that our new umbrella is still in the stretch-SUV. The little shop at the hotel - sold out. The ABC (tourist crap) shop down the street - sold out. The ABC shop a block further down the street - sold out - everybody's sold out. The headline on the paper today - "Rain May Overcome Aging Drainage System". The bellhop gave us some ponchos, though, and we made our way to breakfast dryly.

Being toted with us in the rain, protected by the bellhop's ponchos, was the scrapbook Missy made for Gretchen and Matt. The pages were done before we left, save pictures, and our first stop after breakfast was a photo store to make digital prints to fill the empty spaces. We spent the next two hours choosing photos, cropping them to fit the mats, and adhesive-ing (no - I think it's "adhering") them down. If the finished product doesn't make them cry, then they're robots.

By 1:00, just as we were finishing the scrapbook, the skies had cleared and the beaches had filled. Filled, partly, by our new reed beach mats. I swam in ocean, made a bad face at the saltwater, dove into a few more waves anyway, threw Missy into a wave, and then slept in the sun like a giant pink lizard (Missy was next to me - not still in a wave). Matt called around 4:30 to ask if we wanted to be picked up around 5:30 for dinner - unbeknownst to him, also a perfect chance to give them the scrapbook. He called later, though, to say they wouldn't be coming until 7:30.

As I was writing this just now (LIVE BLOGGING!!), Missy called to find out whether we were still eating at 7:30, but it doesn't look like we're going to be able to. So we need a new plan for dinner - one that, unfortunately, doesn't make anyone cry. Or I could make Missy cry. Missy - do you remember when Toby died? That was sad, huh? Wait, nope - nevermind - I misinterpreted the single-sided conversation I was hearing. They'll be here in half an hour.

Sans Threads

The $10 sale at Threadless is over, but apparently secret coupon-code parsons-nyc will get you $5 off any order, which is a $10 shirt if you just order one. I will soon be the proud owner of Flowers in the Attic and Hipster Doll (who should have a fixed-gear, but alas) for $8.50 each.

Aren't all crackers survival-crackers?


It's not exactly ancient archaeology, but this is pretty fascinating - a bridge-worker in NYC just found a giant cache of Cold War provisions tucked away under the Brooklyn Bridge. Flickr photostreams are available here and here.
Some of the items were stamped with two especially significant years in cold-war history: 1957, when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, and 1962, when the Cuban missile crisis seemed to bring the world to the precipice of nuclear destruction.

Fallout shelters were common around the country in the 1950s, but such finds are rare, said John Lewis Gaddis, a historian at Yale University.

“Most of those have been dismantled; the crackers got moldy a very long time ago,” he said. “It’s kind of unusual to find one fully intact — one that is rediscovered, almost in an archaeological sense.”

The 17.5-gallon metal drums, presumably once filled with water, were labeled, “Reuse as a commode.” The Civil Defense All-Purpose Survival Crackers were sealed in dozens of metal canisters. One of the canisters, however, had broken open.

Weinshall tasted a cracker.

“It tasted,” she said, “like cardboard.”

Lend me your experience

This is a question for those of you with more long-distance traveling experience than me (read: probably all of you. Maybe not Kyle). M.Bro and I get on the bus to Chicago at 7:00 a.m. on Friday and, barring any delays, arrive in Honolulu at what will feel like 3:00 a.m. our time - that's 20 hours of various buses, airports, and jetplanes. My question is what we can do to keep ourselves from feeling wiped out all weekend. Even relatively short domestic flights make me tired and dehydrated for a day or two. It's obvsiously not jet lag, since I've never gone more than a couple time zones away. Other than drink a lot of water, are there preventative steps I can take?

Mercantilism

What's better than writing a lecture on free trade while drinking a Heineken from a chilled mug (engraved with my initials, natch - one of the perks of being a groomsman)?

On a slightly-related matter, American Apparel t-shirts are made in LA, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of the 48-hour $10 sale that Threadless is having (ends Wed at 10 a.m. CST). You wouldn't want to miss this, for example. I hear from secret sources that you can get another $3 off your order total by entering "hupdawg" as a coupon code, but I can't verify this confirmed: hupdawg saves you three bucks, even if you're just ordering one $10 shirt.

Do they have private rooms at Gitmo?

I just covered a lecture for my advisor, who's in Kansas with a family emergency. He asked me to lecture on terrorism, so that's what I did - and it was a good lecture, if I do say so myself. All about terrorists as political actors denied alternative outlets for participation in international politics. The bulk of it was about the causes of terrorism, and it was structured like this:

I) What makes terrorism a viable option?
II) What makes terrorism the most effection option?
___A) Permissive causes
___B) Motivating factors
___C) Catalysts
III) What makes an individual participate rather than free-ride?


It was during this third section, when I was talking about understanding the psychology of a potential terrorist, that I'm afraid I earned myself a chapter in this book. I was ad-libbing and said, "For academics, the biggest problem with terrorists is that they won't sit down for interviews or respond to phone surveys" or something close to that. It probably didn't help my cause that I ended lecture by talking about potential ways to address terrorism, including the idea that we should stop thinking about them as criminals and invite them to the negotiating table. I think I unwittingly hate America now.

If you have some time, read the reviews of Horowitz's book, sorted with the highest scores at the top. This is my favorite quote: "And this one is NO EXCEPTION. The left wing will give the book low ratings, the right wing will give it high ratings, and the conservatives, as usual, will be caught in the middle of these lunatics."

This one's fun too -
In a perfect world the professors in David Horowitz book would be charged for hate crimes. What makes their hate for America more odious is the fact they are benefiting from the very Nation and way of life they so much hate. I just wish all their ilk could be sent to Iran or China and try and teach the same type of hatred for Islam or the Communist state and see how long they survive. Ofcourse the fact they live in America, the Nation they hate so much, protects them from such persecution. I am just grateful that David Horowitz has the guts to expose them for the hate mongers they really are.

Frestonia


Frestonia - London's abandoned urban space that became unabandoned, seceded from England, and asked the UN to send peacekeepers. It's a story told in photographs -
This was never a project carried out with professional detachment and sang froid. Nor is it a polemical piece, that would be too simple to carry the reality. In 1974 I moved into one of the houses in Freston Road and became a squatter. I was there 8 years. I am extremely grateful for the experience, of communal living, and of community, which was unique. Moreover, I doubt I would ever have become a professional photographer without the freedom from rent, and the cupboard darkroom no landlord would have permitted. Of course, there was a price - the endless insecurity, the thefts of cameras, the deep erosion of self-respect for being, in society's terms, an outsider and a failure. But what the hell, I learned a lot, and was briefly a Minister of State.


Don't get too caught up in the photography to catch the NCAA updates below! Two people picked Kansas to lose (what? why?), so I've been bumped to fourth place.

NCAA Update, or Just Keep Scrolling Down

C'mon Texas A&M - eight points for you beating Syracuse could move me from second up to first (of forty-nine!)! Don't let me down, jerks - Seton Hall already regrets it.

Update update: Yes yes, y'all. Now we're pulling for San Diego State to upset Indiana.

Update-update update: Oh, come ON. I'm not even holding out hope for Utah State to upset Washington, so that means I went 12/16 in the first day of round 1.

Update^4: Wit' therdy-forr big points, that's the top o' the leader board to ya!

Update V: I should have expected this out of Wisconsin, but god damn it, you Iowa hippies!

Update 17 or something: Wow - what a great night of basketball. I have Uconn picked to not only win this game, but go to the Final 4 - and I'm rooting for 16-seed Albany (up by 12 right now!) to beat them anyway. As M.Bro just pointed out, lots of other people at the top of the department pool have UConn picked to win the whole thing, so I'm less bad off in a relative sense than they are if Albany pulls this off. I'm also hoping to get some points with a fantastic-playing (although, now jinxed) George Mason and California. Go underdogs!

Update Eleventy: NC-State and George Mason - I love you both and I'm eternally grateful for the upset points, but I need you to lose in the next round. UConn went on a 35-7 run in the last 10:00 against Albany - I suppose that means they deserved to win.

Update n, where n~[7,10]: CBS' breakneck editing just made me cheer for Kentucky when I meant to be cheering for Kansas. At the halftimes, this set of four games is giving me high blood pressure. Kansas (4-seed), UNC (3-seed), and Texas (2-seed) - you're all killin' me here!

Updatus Maximus: 6-for-8 for today's games, which moved me from fourth to second in the department pool. The two games I missed were Illinois and Tennessee - higher seeds losing in crazy-close games. And my grandpa's a big Gonzaga fan - who knew? Sadly, I have them picked to lose to UCLA in the Sweet 16, who will then lose to Memphis, who will lose to Duke, who will lose to Villanova in the championship. Go Villanova.

Monday morning: I've never felt as let down by a conference as I do by the Big 10 this morning. Villanova looked fantastic against Arizona, though, so my hopes are high for my overall bracket. There's a break until the Sweet 16 games start on Thursday, so I'll probably just start a new post. Or I'll go to Hawaii and ignore basketball.

That's not funny...or is it?

I don't know about you, but M.Bro and I always celebrate St. Patrick's Eve with some offensive jokes. And happy holidays to you!
Three women were in the waiting room of a gynecologist, and each of them was knitting a sweater for their baby-to-be. The first one stopped and took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked her. "Oh, it was Vitamin C - I want my baby to be healthy."A few minutes later, another woman took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked. "Oh, it was iron - I want my baby to be big and strong."They continued knitting. Finally the third woman took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked her.

"It was thalidomide," she said, "I just can't get the arms right on this sweater!"
_____________________________________________________________________

What's more disgusting than a pile of dead babies in your backyard?

Knowing that one's alive and eating it's way out.
____________________________________________________________________

Two fish are in a tank.One turns to the other and says "Hey, how do you drive this thing?"

Oops - I got "offensive" and "stupid" confused there at the end.

WTF(ish)

I'll go to Hawaii, and I'll probably even stand on the beach, but fuck the ocean. Seriously...

FUCK


THE


OCEAN

I live on the same planet as these things?!? I wish more sea monsters would try to evolve cute, snuggly appendages like the furry-crab -it's a godless beast of the deep your kids won't run screaming from.

The Game Show Network?




GSN (because I'm watching The Amazing Race, that's why) just aired a commercial for Anything To Win: Tonya Harding: Her Story. You know 90% of the people are going to watch just because she looks sooo te-eh-eh-eh-errrrrible. I can't find a picture from the show, but you're just going to have to believe she doesn't look anything like this -




And not even like this -










But Nancy Kerrigan, who 13 year-old J.Bro had a serious little-boy crush on in 1992, is still lookin' the opposite of terrible (and skating with "celebrity" Uncle Joey apparently).

Are you paranoid enough?

No, I don't think you are. "Sure I am" I beg to differ.

Championship Attempt: Operation Little Bear Has Failed


Admittedly, after four hours of spinning and four hours on my outdoors bike in the last three days, I wasn't really taking the 50-Furlong World Championship very seriously this afternoon. More than anything else, it was a way to force my shaky, stick-feeling legs to work hard, in the hopes they'd come out of it stronger, like the pasty, chubby kids that turn into killing machines at boot camp. My legs aren't ready to bomb a mosque quite yet, but is defeating an insurgency like the Horribly Hilly Hundred something you achieve in a weekend? No, it isn't. Do I know it'll take a lot more hard, hilly runs after hard, hilly bike rides? Yes, I do. Does any of that guarantee success? No, of course not. Are there known and unknown unknowns? Maybe.

On a 6.25 mile very open, rural course with a ridiculous amount of wind and a 3/4-mile hill that we ran up both sides of, I turned in a 51:30. M.Bro said the winner crossed the line just after 40:00, so that's what kind of a course we're dealing with here. Results aren't posted yet, but I think I was somewhere in the middle - or, alternatively, one of the top 30 50-Furlong runners in the world. I'm holding off with the custom t-shirt until I get my official place.

Now go play TurboTanks, ye worthy children o' the internet.