Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Born on the Bayou

”Wish I was back on the Bayou.
Rollin' with some Cajun Queen.
Wishin' I were a fast freight train,

Just a chooglin' on down to New Orleans.”

I’m not sure if I can get across how excited I am for the New Orleans trip. Just talking to Tommy as he selected his flight on Sunday threw me into a hour of just thinking about how fantastically awesome the trip is going to be. If we were just playing in a BCS bowl against LSU, that would be pretty exciting. If just a few friends were going down to New Orleans, that would be pretty sweet as well.

But oh no, let’s combine. We’re officially up to the point where I can say there’s a lot of people I know going down somewhere between December 31st and January 4th, thanks to the relatively little trouble everyone had acquiring tickets through the lottery. I’ll be seeing a few people for the first time since spring semester, as they jet in from London, Dublin, Mexico City and Australia. There’s Bourbon Street, and the entire French Quarter, with apparently no real age restrictions. There’s jazz and blues clubs everywhere. There’s a casino – a real, true life, non-Indian-owned American casino that I can go to because I’ll be of age – two blocks away towards the canal. If we want to, Avants (who turns 21 the day of the f’n Sugar Bowl) and I will be in town early enough on the 31st to go watch the high-flying New Orleans Saints clinch their first round bye against the Carolina Panthers.

(We’re not sure really how much that’ll cost, but I have a feeling this trip will reach the point where a phrase like “Seventy-five bucks for standing room only Saints tickets? What a deal!” will seem rather normal.)

Because I’m an idiot and don’t book airline tickets all too often – plus, I was just giddy to get roundtrip that got me into the bayou before noon on New Year’s Eve for under two hundred bucks – my flight leaves the morning after the Sugar Bowl at 5:35 in the morning. This seemed like a problem for about two seconds, until I realized that just gave me a legitimate excuse not to even consider going to bed that night. We’ll celebrate our covering the spread (doubtful, but we think positively here at the Blog O’ Fun!) until I need to hop in a cab and take the eleven-hour journey from the French Quarter to the airport. Also brightening the trip is some newfound information that Jess is also on my ungodly-early-arrive-in-Pittsburgh-still-drunk connecting flight to Houston, so I won’t be the only person in Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at five in the morning.

I just have a feeling – since even a loss can’t soil the trip, since we’re all not only ready for it, but predicting it – that this is going to be one of those experiences we can look back on long after graduation and laugh about. Rob will get arrested, MacKrell will end up in a ditch somewhere and I’ll probably have to borrow money for a cab after I stick around the twenty-five dollar blackjack tables at Harrah’s too long.

It’s going to be an absolutely great trip, packed into the hotel room like a sardine can or not. I’d promise you all sorts of pictures, but I have the feeling that taking anything of value, like my severely underused camera, might be an extremely poor idea…

. . .so I’ll just go ahead promise you all sorts of pictures.


I’m addicted to Amazon.com: You want to talk about fantastic timing?

I finish up my Irish final today and get back to the room. Start going through my e-mail, skimming the usual haunts and there’s an immediate knock on my door. It’s UPS guy with my Amazon.com order from two weeks ago! I chose the free, slow-as-sloth shipping, not factoring in the holiday season, but it came at the absolutely best time possible.

So now I have the first season of How I Met Your Mother, the new Phoenix Suns book by Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum and the Barenaked Ladies’ Christmas CD to help keep me entertained as I nap, write, pack and annoy those who still have work to do over the next three days.

I’m debating over what television series to soak in over Christmas break, with the Cost and Replay Values factoring in most. I think I have it narrowed down to either Scrubs, The West Wing or The Wire, but they’re all so damn costly. I think the best plan I have at this point is to fire up the Netflix subscription for a month and go crazy, or else find something I can watch online/download in an attempt to catch up. Any suggestions, or perhaps DVD sets to loan? I won’t have much time, but I will be making the most of the limited lounge time available.


Miami Dolphins 21, New England Patriots 0.

From today’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback over on ESPN Page 2:

As to Miami tactics, Jason Taylor has switched this season to a hybrid defensive end-linebacker position, similar to the old "elephant" role played by Charles Haley in his heyday. Taylor has been terrific, and if Miami were playoff-bound, would be a contender for defensive MVP. On Sunday, Dolphins' coaches reached still further back into the past and let Taylor be a 1960s University of Michigan style "monster man," lining up wherever he pleased. New England blockers clearly could not figure out the rhyme or reason to where Taylor was, and he gave them fits all day. The reason New England blockers couldn't figure out the rhyme or reason to Taylor's movements was that there wasn't any -- Taylor was using his instinct to decide for himself where to line up on each down. Essentially, Taylor was calling his own plays. In the hyper-organized NFL, it's interesting to see that giving a top player the green light to use his instincts worked out really well.

Aw, you shouldn’t, Gregg. Really. Phin fans everywhere are blushing.

I’ll be up in Buffalo on Sunday to see the Playing Surprisingly Well Bills take on the Playing Surprisingly Well Dolphins in, at least as it was projected by Weather.com this morning, 47-degree weather! In the middle of December in Buffalo! Global warming, you might destroy the world for future generations, but I’ve got no qualms with you, friend.


FTT 30405: Critical Theory and Existentialism in Relation to Buffy the Vampire Slayer: or, the name of the class I will most certainly teach if I ever end up as a professor somewhere.

Which is why it angers me to no end that they decide to finally have a class revolving around Buffy - the meh fourth season, in particular, for a Gender Studies Introduction to Feminism – and Tim and Patrick are both taking it. Tim came up last week, asking if I could send him Season Four when I got home, and Patrick’s taking it a step further, asking for the outright Sarah Michelle Gellar onslaught over Christmas break, getting his learn on for seasons one through three (For the record, seasons two and three of Buffy have to be two of the top ten or fifteen television seasons of all time. Truth.).

I’m happy a Buffy-themed class has finally sprung up, because there certainly are a great deal of scholarly-to-just-random works about the show – here here here and here, for example – even though I won’t be able to take it. Hopefully it’s a smashing success and gets offered up sometime next year, although I’m sure someone will complain and write a nasty letter to The Observer about how they’re forced to watch it. Still, the more people realizing the awesomeness of Buffy, the better.


California, we used to come…”: So I stopped watching The OC this year. You all did, too, I’m pretty sure, as nobody ever mentions it to me anymore and there’s a decided lack of “Happy OC Thursdayness” going around anymore. And that’s fine: it was so terrible by the end of last year, why in the world would anyone want to continue watching another season of it, especially when everyone was going to be so damn morose about Marissa dying.

Well, remember when I immediately fell in love with Autumn Reeser’s Taylor Townsend last year, bringing up how when she was on the screen, it made up for Mischa Barton’s decided lack of talent? As it turns out, killing off Marissa and getting rid of the horrid, soul-sucking Barton and hooking Ryan up with – wait for it – Taylor Townsend has saved the quality of the show. Sure, the ratings are still terrible as it goes up against the monstrosities of Grey’s Anatomy and CSI, and it’s likely to be cancelled, but hey, it’s good to know that I’ve still got it.

(How do I know The OC is good when I don’t watch it? Trusted sources, such as Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch and Alan Sepinwall, who runs a great television blog on the side of being the television writer for The Star Ledger.)

It pains me to have abandoned a show just when they did all the things I’ve ever dreamed of – kill Marissa, feature the ever-delicious Autumn Reeser as much as possible – but maybe I’ll make the point of catching up with The OC over break.

Attention anyone who’s ever watched The OC at any point in time: Please click this link from the past and enjoy. I posted it after TVGasm originally posted it, but in an attempt to find Marissa either attacking her keyboard or the pool furniture, I dug it up again.


Representing Notre Dame as well as anyone (and no, that’s not Kristen Bell): This will be gone by December 15th, but for now, the delightful Ms. Katie Lydiatt is representing Notre Dame against the evil that is Oklahoma, with their vile skank cheerleader uniforms. I already told Katie I’m entering her in the Athlon competition next fall, which actually requires more than one random picture – look at how badly the West Virginia girl was represented, not that she had a chance against the Bruins – so this is just a meaningless practice run to work out the bugs.

So Blogger switched over to this new Beta thing which lets me add tags to stuff, meaning you can simply click on the tags over on the side and be privy to posts only relating to that type of information. You’ll notice them on the latest three posts or so, and I’ll spend some time over Christmas break going through and editing some tags into stuff in recent months, but there’s obviously a rather large problem in the fact that most posts are going to have a whole lotta tags. This one won’t be too bad, as I can probably get away with “Television”, “NFL”, “Traveling” and maybe a “Dolphins” or “Buffy” thrown in, but this might get sticky in some of the more rambling posts.

But, we’ll see how it goes and wing it. Good luck to everyone with the remainder of their finals, and this site may be humming for procrastinating purposes. You'll at least have a bevy of links to distract you from the finishing touches of the semester.

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