Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Damn You, Farrago!

It seems I've been tagged. Again. I don't know if you're familiar with the process, but once tagged, you are required by law to divulge five previously unknown facts about yourself that will inform and frighten anyone foolish enough to stumble onto them. So let's get started...

1. I read a quote in the sports section of the Metro this morning that I haven't been able to figure out all day. The quote belonged to a park ranger, who was commenting on three survivors of a plane crash. He said, "If these guys were a cat with nine lives, they just used up three of them." I know he was trying to convey that they were lucky, but if the three guys were one cat? What does that mean? Why do you need three guys to make a cat? Are they forming Voltron? Could he have meant if each of the three guys were individual cats, each would have used up three of their nine lives, as if to say surviving a plane crash is so harrowing it uses up extra lives? If it was only two guys, at least you could imagine them in a two-person cat costume, like the cow costumes they make where one person is the front and one makes up the back. But three? I don't get the analogy.

2. If you go back to the beginning of this blog, it would appear that I've been blogging since November 2003. Lies! All lies! It's true that I signed up for a Blogger account on November 29, 2003, but I didn't start writing in it until nearly a year later. I think the first real post was the Arafat one the following November. And all those posts before that? Well, I wanted readers to stick around after reading the current post, so I added a whole bunch before it so they'd have something else to read, as well as give the appearance of being an established blog. So I took some of my favorite topics from threads that I'd created on a message board I used to go to, and spread them around the previous year. The dates weren't necessarily arbitrary; if I wrote something on the message board on July 24, 2004, I gave it that date on the blog.

This was dumb for any number of reasons, but two that come to mind are that when I first started blogging, the only people who read my stuff were from that message board, and had already seen all those stories. There's a 68-page thread about Joe there, but the same Joe story here barely got any comments. The second reason it was dumb is the fact that here I had the perfect opportunity to store about thirty posts for times when I either couldn't think of anything to write, or didn't have any time. And as I would later find out, those times came fairly often. Oh, If only I hadn't prematurely blown my wad!

3. I actually deliberated for about fifteen minutes as to whether or not to write that last sentence. And believe me, I'm just as disappointed with my final decision as you are.

4.The night after writing about the corpse dream, I dreamed that all my teeth fell out. Not even gradually; they just all fell out at once. I could feel my tongue going over the tender gums where my teeth used to be, and since I couldn't fly and didn't live n a castle, I was sure it couldn't be a dream. It was horrifying. But then I woke up and everything was okay. Dooped again. I hate my brain.

I'm a little afraid to go to sleep now. who knows what's in store for me tonight?

Remember the recurring dream about my grandfather? It always starts with a party at my grandparents' house, and I'd walk by the den and see him sitting in his chair. He'd start to get up to go into the next room to see what everyone is doing, but someone comes in and tells him that he can't sit with us because he's dead. He gets this really sad, disappointed look on his face and fades away. Seriously, that's like the saddest thing imaginable. Why can't I have nice, pleasant dreams? The really creepy thing is I was talking to my brother the other day and he mentioned having nearly the same dream. What the heck is that?!!

5. I never owned the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I had a friend that lived down the street that had one, so I'd go over there a lot. Most of the time, we'd play Ice Hockey. I didn't know much about the controls, and even less about hockey, but it was nonetheless really fun. One time we were going to camp out in his back yard. We had a tent and everything. Then, a little after it got dark, we heard this noise, like...mooing.


We must have been around twelve years old. Certainly old enough to know that there were no cows around. But we were a little worried. We figured some neighborhood teenagers were out causing trouble, and we didn't want any part of it. You know those rowdy teenagers, always running around town mooing at everyone. So we went inside and told his parent that we heard mooing.

"Yes. Mooing."
"Are you afraid of cows?"
"No, it's just...I think we should seep inside tonight."

So we went back and got our stuff, and went up to his room. We played some more NES, then he got tired and said he was going to sleep, but I could keep playing if I wanted. I was playing Super Mario Bros. 3. I wasn't as quite as good at it as Fred Savage or his mute brother, but I was getting the hang of it. But eventually I got tired and wanted to go to sleep. Just one problem. This was the first time I'd used a Nintendo by myself, so I wasn't sure how to turn it off. I didn't want to press the wrong button and wreck the kid's Nintendo. And since I didn't really know much about them, I really thought one wrong move could erase the game or short circuit the whole thing. So I just kept playing. I think I stayed up all night, too nervous to try and shut the thing off.

Oh, and the mooing? He had two younger sisters that were twins. One of them opened up her bedroom window and started mooing into a microphone. I guess she was actually saying "OOOoooOOOO..." like she was trying to be a ghost, but it sounded like moo to us.

Anyway there's your five things. You read them. You can't unread them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Phone is Dead. Long Live the Phone!

Last weekend we watched Click. I'm sure you remember how that turned out. This weekend we saw Bridge to Terabithia. Wow. I've got to start researching these movies before we watch them. I knew it was based on a book, but having never read the book, I didn't really know what to expect. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, but it's not even close to what I was expecting based on the previews. The commercials made it look like a Chronicles of Narnia sort of movie. Yeah. Not so much. It was a lot closer to My Girl. I remember seeing My Girl on HBO, unknowingly assuming I was watching an innocent, care-free little kid's movie, then BLAM! I remember thinking, "What the hell, movie?"

In this movie, everything was moving along nicely, although halfway through I was starting to wonder why they called it Bridge to Terabithia, since they used a rope to get there. The main character goes to the museum with his hot music teacher. When they get back, his parents flip out, and I figured it was because they thought the hot music teacher was putting the moves on their sweet little boy. Then the My Girl moment happens, and once again, all I could think was, "What the hell, movie?"

Fortunately, Brianna didn't leave the theater traumatized for life. I peeked over at her at one point to see how she was doing, and her eyes looked red and filled with about as much water as they can possibly hold without actually crying. Later, she swore what actually happened was she had a hair in her eye. But she was fine, she even said afterwards that it was a great movie and she wanted to get it on DVD.

I do take issue with whoever made the previews, though. I was so certain that at some point, the kids were going to be magically transported to this Terabitha place, Even well into the second act, when it was become clear that movie was pretty much an extended episode of Muppet Babies, I was thinking, "Okay, so they're just running around in the woods imagining fighting giant trolls and weird killer squirrels now, but eventually they're going to find out that the art set the girl gave the boy was enchanted by a wizard or something and brought his drawings to life." Why would I think this? Because the trailer is filled with trolls and fairies flying around all over the place and a giant castle off in the distance. Half of the commercial is taken directly from the last thirty seconds of the film. Really.

In short, "Boo" misleading trailer maker. "Hurray" movie!

Also, I got a new phone the other day, after my old one was tragically stung by bees. I mean, somehow broke in half.

I've had my old phone since December 2003. I got it from the Sprint store down the street from my work, along with identical phones for Michele and Ryan. As the years went on, theirs continued to appear brand-new; Michele's because she had a leather case for it, and Ryan's because he barely ever used it. But the ravages of time were not kind to mine, and before long the edges were worn and covered in chips and scrapes. Michele would say, "I bought you a cover for that phone, put it on before you wreck it!" But the cover always got dirty and sometimes little crumbs would slip in underneath the plastic covering and just make a mess. Plus I could never hit the buttons when they were covered in hermetically-sealed plastic. It was like an old lady's couch. So the cover didn't last very long. I thought it looked better without it anyway. Why hide the phone's natural silver majesty with an unimpressive black cover? I didn't even mind all the scratches; they gave it character. And they made it look a bit like Bobba Fett's Mandalorian armor.

The bottom of the phone had a removable cap to protect where the phone plugs into the charger. That was the first to go. I don't know what happened, it just fell off one day, never to be seen again. The next to go were the little rubber stoppers that covered where you plug in peripherals. One was for headphones. I'm not sure what the other was for, but both rubber things eventually crumbled and fell off, exposing the holes. There's got to be a better way to say that.

But those were all cosmetic issues. They didn't keep the phone from working. I constantly lost calls in the middle of conversations, but that was Sprint's fault, not the phone's. That little phone worked just fine for years, until about six months ago, when it wouldn't stay connected to the charger. It'd beep to indicate that it was hooked up to the charger, then immediately beep again to say it's not connected. Yes, it seems that losing the cap that covered the charger slot finally caught up with me. Something must have got stuck in there or bent the...the...metal thing in there that the charger connected to. Luckily, a small amount of force was all that was needed to keep the plug from falling out, so I just wrapped a rubber band around it when it was charging.

Then, tragedy struck. A few months ago I went to a Bruins game with a bunch of people. We drove to Boston in Jose's car, and parked in the garage next to the Garden. No one ever seems to remember where they park in these giant garages, so I pulled out my trusty camera phone and took a picture of the "P-4" pillar next to the car. That way, we'd remember where the car was. This was the last time anyone saw my phone that way again.

After the comically lopsided Bruins loss, we somehow got separated on the way back to the car. Okay, I got separated. But it was no big deal, because I had a picture on my phone of where we parked. I took a staircase (that someone had recently puked in) back down to our section of the garage. I remembered "P-4," and his car was right next to the sign, so I didn't bother looking at the phone. It turns out there are several "P-4" columns, and the staircase I took brought me to the wrong section of the garage. I looked at one signs and noticed that underneath P-4 there's another reference point, to distinguish it further from the other P-4s. I took out my phone to see if I could see which P-4 I was looking for. My horror at what I discovered was twofold. Not only had I cropped the photo just above where the smaller writing was, but when I flipped open the phone, it cracked and broke right where the left hinge is! Dammit, my phone!

I eventually found my way to Jose's car and told everyone about the puke-filled stairwell and my newly-broken phone. It still worked fine, but the hinge was broken. I was crushed. How could this have happened? It's not like I jumped out of a moving train, I was just sitting down. How can a phone break while seated?

The My Girl moment happened a few weeks ago. I had gotten used to the broken lid, and even had a method of opening it . Then, it just couldn't take it anymore, and the right hinge broke as well. The cover didn't fall completely off; it was held together by some wires in the middle. It was in pretty bad shape, but it still worked fine. By that time, we were already unhappy with Sprint and knew that we were going to be switching to another company, so it should have been the end. But we had to wait until our tax refunds came in to switch services, so I contined using my poor, beat-up phone for a few more weeks. The rubber band trick didn't really work anymore since the top of the phone broke in half, but I found that using an extra band to keep the top on solved that. So while it was charging, my phone had a rubber band wrapped around it horizontally to keep the top on, and one vertically to keep the charger plugged in. It looked like it was wrapped up in a rubber band ribbon.

Well, goodbye phone. You served me well.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What's the Deal with All These Corpses?

While I was in bed last night, I thought of the perfect topic for today's post. I was going to write about this obnoxious and disturbing trend that'd really been bugging me, but no one had really mentioned until now. I was really surprised at how many people had just jumped on board with it, and I thought of all this funny stuff to stay. The only problem is, the trend doesn't exist. I was having some kind of insane dream. I hate when that happens.

In the dream, for whatever reason, people started displaying corpses all over the place. Human freaking corpses. Most were fakes; just decorative life-like lifeless bodies littering suburban lawns. You know those things they have now that are dressed in children's clothing that you prop up against the wall so it looks like a kid in "time out?" Well, everyone had like four or five bodies like that, only they were tipped over and positioned to look like there was a massacre on their lawns. Some of the bodies were just wire frames covered in clothing; others were more detailed and had realistic faces fraught with agony.

The more affluent among us displayed real corpses. And not simply dead bodies dug out of a grave to rot on the front porch, but carefully embalmed and mummified remains; either strewn about as if a massive tragedy had just occurred, or placed in elaborate scenes depicting either the departed's life or how they died. Some were happy, some sad, some were funny, and some were just in it for the gross factor. It all depended on the owner of the corpses' tastes. But no matter how they were displayed, each was painstakingly preserved for all eternity.

Even my parents' had some fake dead children spread throughout their yard, and on the hill leading up to my grandmother's house. I just kept thinking, "What the hell is going on? What's the deal with all these corpses?"

So...yeah. I don't know what brought all that up. Maybe my subconscious pulled it up from memories of watching something on the Discovery Channel a few months ago about a museum that showcased mummified human remains that are propped up in action poses, or the similar traveling exhibit that came to the Museum of Science last year. Maybe it's because of the My Name is Earl I saw a while ago where John Waters owned a funeral parlor that specialized in placing the deceased's body in a set piece that captured what they loved most in life. Maybe I was remembering the news story that the episode was probably based on, about the football fan who's last request was to be stuffed and placed in his favorite chair in front of a television watching a loop of his favorite team. I can't find a link, but I think it was either the Vikings or the Packers. Then there was another news story just a few days ago about a mummified body that was found in front of a blaring TV. The guy had been dead for over a year, with the TV on the whole time. Low humidity kept him preserved.

Maybe my subconscious was trying to make some kind of ironic statement about taxidermy. We display dead animals in all kinds of poses and positions. There's bears propped up to look menacing, various mounted heads...there's even fake dead animals. People have fake singing mounted bass, for Christ's sake. It's pretty sick. Especially if you imagine human corpses in their place. Or fake singing mounted human corpses. Imagine an isle full of those at Wal-Mart.

Who knows, maybe it's some combination of all of the above, or maybe it's just the way my twisted mind works. All I know is that was one messed-up dream. And I always get mad at myself when I wake up after a particularly surreal dream, for not realizing it was a dream while I was still asleep. Do you ever just get made at yourself like, "Come on, man! Your high school had your parents' living room in it and you could fly! How could you not know you were dreaming!"

Anyway, hopefully it was just a sick dream and not a prophetic vision of a dystopian future.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Mystery of The Cannibal King

Trina shared some of her grandpa's crazy-ass old-timey songs, and while some of them helped to explain how she got where she is today, a few of them I recognized from my own impressionable youth. But one of the songs absent from her list has been running through my head lately, and as is the case with such things, I can't get it out until I pass it along to someone else. If you or anyone you know has an AARP card, then you've probably sang, or were forcibly made to listen to someone else sing, about the enigmatic Cannibal King.

The Cannibal King, the legend goes, had a big nose ring. The king falls in love, but after that, the legend gets a bit hazy. My dad, and to a lesser extent, his sister, always used to sing this song, but apart from them, I'd never heard it anywhere else. Ever. It's been a while since I heard it, but I think it went something like this:

Oh, the Cannibal King
With the big nose ring
Fell in love with the dusting maid.
And every night by the mellow moonlight
Across the lake he came

He hugged and kissed his pretty little miss
Under the bamboo tree,
And every night in the mellow moonlight,
It sounded like this to me
Arr-Rump (kiss)(kiss)
Arr-Rump (kiss)(kiss)
Under the bamboo tree
Arr-Rump (kiss)(kiss)
Arr-Rump (kiss)(kiss)
Under the bamboo tree

We'll build a bungalow big enough for two,
Big enough for two, my darling, big enough for two
And when we're married happy we'll be,
Under the bamboo, under the bamboo tree

If you'll be m-i-n-e, mine...I'll be t-h-i-n-e, thine
And I'll l-o-v-e, love you...all the t-i-m-e, time

I guess you can't tell by reading it, but the song inexplicably changes melody after each little section, at least the way my dad does it. So it's like a bunch of mini-songs, like the second half of Abbey Road. Like I said, I'd never heard it anywhere else, but thanks to the internet, I've found hundreds of sites that list the lyrics to this song. Apparently everyone over fifty knows this song. And nearly every one of them knows slightly different words.

With seemingly no author on record, people have taken to changing the words all willy-nilly to whatever they want. Sometimes ol' Cannibal King falls in love with a dusty maid, or a dusky maid. Sometimes it's a sweet young maid. At least one time it was a husky maid. And sometimes it's a maiden, which puts a totally different image in your head. I think I prefer dusting maid, because it's a pretty good adjective for the maid/service profession. According to some guy named David Lynch, who almost certainly isn't the weirdo director by the same name, the original lyric was "dusky," but was changed in the mid-sixties to "very young," because dusky was sort of...overtly racist. He says the correct "dusky" is sometimes misheard as "dusting." But the hell with him. Fake David Lynch.

The moonlight could alternately be described as pale moonlight, but mellow moonlight has a nice ring to it. A big nose ring.And the weird noises that the singer hears change with virtually every version, from Karumph to Boom Boom. Sometimes it's not even under a bamboo tree; the weird noises are followed by...even more weird noises.

Why can't these people make up there minds? Who is this Cannibal King? And who does he really fall in love with? Is it a black chick, or the maid? And not that I really want to know, but what kind of filthy noises did they make under the bamboo tree? I can only imagine what "harrumph" is supposed to be. And, being a cannibal and all, is he like, taking a bite out of her? This song raises more questions than it answers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Good Grief, The Comedian's a Bear!

Sunday night we decided to watch the movie Click. Brianna wanted to see it when it came out last year, because they showed commercials for it on Nickelodeon, but we didn't get around to seeing it in the theater. But here it was On Demand, for three bucks. I didn't know how age-appropriate an Adam Sandler movie was, but if they advertised on Nickelodeon it can't be too bad. So we watched it. It's Adam Sandler. It's a light-hearted comedy. Ha Ha! What fun! What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently they forgot to mention that midway through the movie, they drop the light-hearted comedy in favor of hardcore depression.

If you don't know the plot, the story is that Adam Sandler plays Michael Newman, an architect who keeps opening the garage door every time he wants to change the channel. So he goes to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get a universal remote. (I guess the rest would be considered spoilers, but if you haven't seen it, read on anyway or my story won't make any sense.) In the mysterious "Beyond" section, crazy-haired Morty (played by crazy-assed Christopher Walken) shows him a truly "Universal Remote" that lets him control the universe. It brings up a DVD-style menu that he can use to navigate through different chapters of his life, and the "making of" sections shows, well, the making of Michael Newman. It's not pretty.

Morty lets Michael keep the remote, because he seems like a good guy and good guys need a break once in a while. Micheal uses the remote to fast forward through sicknesses, fights, boring conversations...all the stuff you wish you could skip. He can also rewind, but only to rewatch his life; he can't change what's already happened.

One of the features of the remote is that it remembers what he skipped, so the next time he fights with his wife, for example, it automatically skips the fight without him pressing anything. Eventually it keeps skipping forward in time uncontrollably. His dog dies, his marriage fails, his kids grow up without him and his dad (Henry Winkler) passes away without him even remembering. After Michael finds out that his dad died, he rewinds back to the last time he saw him. His aging father came in to see him at work, but he was too busy to talk. His father offered to finally show him the secret to a magic trick he'd done since he was little. Man, so many pronouns. Anyway, Michael brushes him off, and says he always knew how the stupid trick was done, and completely dejected, his father says, "You always knew how it was done?" The father hangs his head and turns away, and says "I love you, son." This is about the time Brianna started crying. And it just went downhill from there. Even after the happy ending, she was still crying because she missed her Papa, who's still down in South Carolina. The poor kid. One minute she's laughing at the dog humping a giant stuffed animal, and the next she's bawling her eyes out because Operaman never got to tell the Fonz he loved him.

She went to bed in tears. She left a note on my bedroom door that said "I feel a little better about the sad movie." Geez, I hope she isn't scarred for life. Well, I thought it was okay anyway. It was a little more dramatic than I was expecting, but it had a happy ending. Happy!

The next day I was watching a few episodes of Arrested Development while Brianna was in the room and sort of forgot that Henry Winkler played the lawyer. I said, "Hey, It's the grandfather from Click!" And she started at it again. I never thought an Adam Sandler movie could make an eight-year-old sad. I don't know, if it had been Tom Hanks instead of Adam Sandler, I probably would have been crying like a little girl, too. And if the little mousy guy from Evening Shade was his dad instead of Fonzie...and poor Mr. Jangles...and...Jenny...sniffle...damn you, Tom Hanks!

Okay, change of pace. Here's the adorable little bear card I made for Brianna. Awww. But what's this? His cringe-worthy bear pun-laced message is missing! You know what to do. On my command, unleash hell. Or puns. Same thing.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Okay, first of all, it's Valentine's Day. For one more hour, anyway. Yesterday I drew and printed out cards with little bears on them for Brianna to give to the kids in her class, to break up the monotony of all the Disney Princess/SpongeBob Squarepants/Ninja Turtle store-bought cards all the rest of the kids brought in.

Drawing the bear was the easy part. The hard part was thinking of something to write on them. I thought of just going with a generic "Happy Valentine's Day!" But according to the school calender, February 14 is "Red and Pink Day". I didn't know if this was some asinine PC re-imaging of Valentine's Day, which would be completely stupid, or simply an extension of "School Spirit Week," (Monday was "Crazy Hat Day", etc.), which is slightly less stupid. Anyway, just to safeguard myself from some parent complaining that by getting a card with the words "Valentine's Day" on it, their kid was coerced into participating in a vaguely Christian pseudo-holiday fueled by greeting card companies, and said participation somehow force-fed religious dogma that shouldn't be allowed in schools into their kid, which in turn would leave me no choice but to beat the parent senseless with their own shoes, I decided to pass on using the V word all together.

But the cards had to say something, so I thought up some groan-inducing puns on the word "bear," settling on "You're my BEARst friend!" Yeah, not my best effort, but you've got to play to your audience, and I didn't think eight-year-olds would appreciate my other choice, "Cards with cutesy puns are unBEARable!" I figured for today's post I could put up a picture of the card, with no text, and encourage you, the four people who still read this thing, to come up with some equally bad bear-themed puns. or whatever else you think should have gone on the card. But alas, it was not to be. Last month I switched from Blogger Beta to, um, whatever you call the non-Beta version, and some weird stuff has been happening ever since (if you're viewing this with Mozilla Firefox, maybe you know what I'm talking about). One of the fun side effects is not being able to access my blog on my laptop, because my username and password changed somehow.

Fortunately (I suppose) I can still log in at home, but the image of the card is at work. And since most people won't even see this until Thursday, I guess I'm just going to have to write about something else. Which, logically, brings me to today's (and more than likely tomorrow's) topic: A Moratorium on LOL

As I've stated before, the only time I've ever written "LOL" was to illustrate my disdain for it. Not just because it's unnecessary and...ugh...ubiquitous, but most of the time, it's a flat-out lie. Seriously, if you've ever typed LOL, can you honestly say that at that moment you were actually laughing out loud? Really?

Even more to the point, has anyone in recorded history ever literally rolled on the floor laughing out loud (ROTFLOL), or the dreaded ROTFLMAO? My guess is no, unless they suddenly found themselves on fire and got down to stop, drop and roll, and while they were rolling they started to think about something they saw on The Office the night before. Oh, Dwight, will you ever win? I mean, Ow! There are burns on over 70% of my body!

By the way, before I discovered they were acronyms, whenever I read ROTFLOL and ROTFLMAO I pronounced them phonetically, assuming they were onomatopoeias for the sounds people make when they burst out laughing. Actually, that's still how I read them. ROTFLMAO sounds to me like someone trying to hold in laughter until they just can't hold it anymore. ROTFLMAO! It kind of sounds like puking, too. Laughing so hard you actually puked is a pretty bold statement.

Anyway, barring the catching on fire scenario, I'd say that most of these tired memes are, among other things, grossly exaggerated. For example, I happen to be easily amused, and while I find a lot of different things funny, most of the time I just sort of laugh quietly to myself, without it ever reaching as far as vocalization. It doesn't mean it's any less funny; I'm just laughing in my head. If I laughed out loud at every little thing, people would thing I'm nuts. You know, moreso.

I think from now on, if you read something online that's funny enough to warrant an internal "Heh," or even a quick exhale through the nostrils and a knowing nod of the head, but not enough to strain your vocal chords, you should type LOTI (laughing on the inside) or LIMH (laughing in my head.) Sometimes when I laugh to myself, I visualize a little me in my head laughing, so I guess that would be LMLIMH (little me laughing in my head). Maybe that one's s a bit much. But the other two, I say you're looking at the future of internet shorthand. Sure they're not as accessible as LOL, they're admittedly kind of clunky, but give them time; they'll catch on. Show your approval of something humorous without resorting to hyperbole! OMG, LOTI!

Here's some more helpful, real-world acronyms for use on the internets:

EQTN (exhaled quickly through nose)
LSHIS (laughed so hard I snorted)
CMPAL(crapped my pants a little)
LOOP (laughed out of pity)
GID (groaned in disgust)
LFIH (lost faith in humanity)

There's the list. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Robert Goulet is Messing With my Stuff

Yesterday was the Super Bowl. I watched the game at Eric's house like last year. I don't really want to talk about the game, but to sum up, Rex Grossman proved to be the better quarterback by single-handedly winning the game for the Colts. Yet he was robbed of the MVP award just because of all the sentimental fawning over perennial bridesmaid Peyton Manning. Grossman (or "Gross, Man!" as every sports headline writer on the planet referred to him this morning) did everything he could to ensure the Colts' victory. He threw interceptions, fumbled, turned an easy second and one into third and twenty-two, and otherwise made sure that Chicago's offense was on the field for as little time as possible. And did anyone on the Colts' side even bother to thank him for his tireless effort to help their cause? Did Manning thank Lovie Smith for inexplicably not benching Grossman for Brian Griese in a game that was still totally winnable even up until the last moronic drive? I hope Indianapolis fans will at least send these two guys a thank you card or something.

Unless you're one of those people that are "happy to see a nice guy like Manning" finally get his dues and blah blah blah, the game was completely unwatchable after such a great first quarter. As for me, (and probably Dan Marino) I think Manning should stick to doing commercials. Especially since this year's crop was pretty weak. And by pretty weak I mean mind-numbingly awful. There were a couple of good ones, like the suicidal robot (which some people apparently found offensive. People need to lighten up.) And can someone please get godaddy.com to stop making what they imagine to be "outrageous and controversial" commercials? They're not outrageous or controversial; they're stupid and lame. Not as lame as trucks on giant see-saws, or Rex Grossman, but pretty damn close.

Also, I'm glad I'm not black, because I think the level of pandering Frito-Lay stooped to with their "Whoever wins, we all win"--or whatever it was with all the black people watching the game while eating Frito-Lay products--was borderline insulting. When the Bears beat the Saints, a big deal was made about him being the first black head coach to get to the Superbowl. And when the Colts won their game a few hours later and it was clear that both teams headed to the Superbowl had black coaches, the media took it and drilled it into our collective heads and made sure that every man, woman and child knew it. Hey, did you know that Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are black? Really? And they're friends? You don't say! And that it's Black History Month? Let's milk this thing for two solid weeks! How long have they been black coaches? I did giggle like a schoolgirl when they said this is the first time in Super Bowl history that two brothers (Carl and Perry Paganel) were officiating the game.

It's 2007. Why is this a big deal? I mean, hey good for them (Smith and Dungy, not the brothers, but good for them, too, I guess). I think it's great, but the reason it hasn't happened until now is simply because no team that played in previous Super Bowls was coached by a black man. It wasn't malevolent forces keeping black coaches from going to the Super Bowl, just better teams (or being named Dennis Green). The Patriots got there and won it all three times with Romeo Crennel, but he was a defensive coordinator so he doesn't count. I don't know, making a big deal out of something that was inevitable but hadn't happened yet almost seemed like taking a big step backward. Aren't we beyond looking at people in terms of skin color? Can't they just be coaches? I guess what I'm really trying to say, when you get right down to it, is Rex Grossman sucks. Hard.