After the Buzzer

Mitch plays basketball for a rec league a little bit south of where we live. We got to the gym - old hanging lights, fold-out bleachers, and a wood floor that gave way under the basket - early for his game. The teams playing before his were winding up and it was close, a four-point difference and only a couple minutes left.

Within seconds of the buzzer and at the three-point by the sideline, right where I was sitting, down by two points, this stocky little black guy - he was only around 5'5" - winds up to shoot.

Instead of having the elbow of his shooting arm directly under his wrist and hand, he had it out to the side a bit, and as he raised it up, the ball hovered right above his head, almost equally weighted between both hands. Hanging there like a big goose egg.

The other guy swatted it. The block was about as clean a one as you are ever going to see, it panged of flesh hitting inflated rubber. The buzzer. Game over.

It was pretty awful. The losing team's bench was also right in front of me, and as the block-ee came over to the sidelines, they made the requisite hub-a-loo about refs and bad calls.

The guy was quiet for a little bit, put away his tennis shoes, and then he got into it. "Hey, yeah, that was totally a foul. I can't believe this." He started surveying his teammates and the few spectators in the bleachers about it. He even asked me.

"Oh yeah, a foul."

Satisfied, he looked up the bleachers to his girl. She had long straight blonde hair, wore flip flops, and was enormously pregnant.

"Alright, now I can go enjoy my couch." He said."Come on, we'll go home and do some belly rubbing."

She came down slowly off the bleachers, and they walked out of the gym.


And I'm Like, Okay

"Bein' me isn't as hard as it used to be." - Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)

I watched the Oscars this year, which is weird for me. Mitch and I were having dinner at his folks's house, the living room dismantled, towers of cardboard boxes and Rubbermade tubs crowding the perimeter.

I've never been into the celebrity thing. It's hard for me to care. The obsession with it, stories of various marriages and break ups and weight gain ranking as high in America's general consciousness as wars and economic crisis, has sort of mystified me in the past. But now I think I get it.

The thing about being a celebrity is that you're a regular person only you're a celebrity. Of course there are those celebs that are unobtainably good-looking, god-like in their combination of hair, jaw line, and particularly gifted plastic surgeon. (Listen to me - so cynical. You'd like me in real life, I swear.) But a lot of them are sort of average in everything but their fame.

Donald Glover's (actor on "Community", writer for "30 Rock", etc.) new hip hop album (Camp) talks about the difference between before he became famous and after -- "gettin' time of day from a model is new to me." The allure of celebrity is the thought that I wouldn't have to change, but everybody's attitude towards me would.

Kevin Bacon was on the podcast "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me." He talked about how he had a disguise made that hid his identity so well, that he could go out and not be recognized. He said he stopped wearing it. "People stopped letting me cut in lines and stuff." The potential of getting harassed and not being able to live a "normal" life was out-weighed by the benefit of getting attention from everyone and making everyone's day.

There's this homeless guy who sits in his wheelchair in the same spot at around the same time everyday. It's between my work and my gym, and when I come back from working out, I make sure that I walk on the opposite side of the street. He holds a big gulp cup and rattles change up and down in it. Sometimes he yells at people -- "I'm hungry!" "Why don't you help me!"

It's weird to think that if I came out with a successful album, made a reality TV show appearance, or if everybody, even for no reason, knew who I was, my life could be drastically different. And also that if, without any personal change to himself, everybody saw that homeless man differently his life might be a lot better. Folks might keep to his side of the street, at least.

It's weird to think that the difficulty in "being me" might have so little to do with who I am anyway.


See Courtney Win.


I know, I know, the Bachelor is hookie. But there was something on this show that actually surprised me. If you actually watch this clip, (thanks! and I'm also sorry for wasting your time) one finds that people, (especially if supported by a group) like to make others into evil people. No matter how much someone apologizes for their actions, others are determined to make them into terrible human beings. I am sadden by this. So I wrote a story.

Context if Needed: http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/videos/courtney-robertson-on-the-women-tell-all/

See Courtney Win-

One day there was a silly show called the Bachelor. On the show there was a girl named Courtney. Courtney wasn't nice to the other girls.

Courtney had a hard time being in a house with 25 women who all wanted to marry the same man. Instead of trying to be friends with the girls she became friends with the camera.

This was a bad idea. Courtney said mean things to the girls because she could and because the bachelor liked her.

The other girls said the same mean things about Courtney. They talked about it to each other and behind her back so it wasn't as mean.

The directors of the show decided to show the clips of their filming that made Courtney look bad and the rest of the girls look good. They just wanted to make money and good TV.

After some time Courtney realized that the mean things she said were wrong and that she needed to say she was sorry.

The other girls didn't want to hear her apology and loved to yell at her and blame her.

One girl called Courtney a spider and that she should be squished. Everyone clapped and laughed.

The rest of the world decided it was important to have an opinion about the situation and also wanted her to be evil.

Nothing she could say or do could change the people's minds.

The End.

Westover Visits the Quality Inn

It's not super often that the Westovarians can congregate in one place. Fortunately, the very last of our number (except for Annie) got hitched this weekend in the beautiful non-nautical town of Steamboat Springs, CO.

Dugas and I were wedding dates for the weekend leaving our men at home and incredibly lucky in Austin, TX. Due to an unfortunate Bowers-Olschner mix-up, our original lodging plans fell through at the last minute. Annie booked one of the few rooms she could find in Steamboat, close to the wedding. We were to call the Quality Inn home for Saturday night.

This particular room had a king-sized bed and a Jacuzzi. Tired from dancing and drinking, and a little happy/sad from giving away our beloved Kevka. We decided to use our hotel room for all it was worth.

I was expecting this Jacuzzi to be in a semi-public pool-type area, and when Annie said it came with the room, I thought at most the bath tub would have a few jets in it. As it turns out, the Jacuzzi wasn't even in the bathroom, but rather set up on a small pedestal in the bedroom portion next to the master bed. The bed itself was gorged with pillows and had posts that wound intricately up to the ceiling.

Annie, I think, associated Jacuzzis with bubbles, instead of air bubbles, she thought soap bubbles. She was perplexed when she couldn't find the bubble bath solution.

"I'll ask the front desk," she said and got on the phone.

The front desk, laughing, said they had never had someone ask for bubble bath before and asked if the little shampoos might work. Annie said that we'd give them a try, and when they asked how many she wanted she said three or four. They gave her five.

The shampoos weren't making great bubbles as she poured in all five of them and filled the Jacuzzi with water, but it was sudsy and passable. We turned the heater on in our room as it was kind of chilly and changed into our swimsuits.

I didn't quite realize what we had done until Annie found the button for the jets and what had been a slightly iridescent tub of water became an aggressively foaming tower of bubbles.

The jets were (quite predictably) injecting air into the mix and causing suds to build and go everywhere. As Annie slipped in a tub a serpent of displaced bubbles equal to the volume of her body slid out onto the carpeted floor.

We could control the foam column by simply turning off the jets, but the button had been covered and lost, and we had to push piles of bubbles away from the edge and against the wall in order to find it.

We received a CD from Kevyn and L.J.'s wedding of what we assumed were slideshow pictures of their love and lives. We thought we'd watch it from our bubble bath. I set up my laptop on the bed and played, what ended up being, just the music from their ceremony.

Now, it is not the easiest thing to rid yourself of water and bubbles enough to touch electronic devices. So we ended up sitting in our mound of bubbles, next to our king-sized bed, in our sultry room, listening to love songs.

It might have been the most (accidentally) romantic evening of my life.


News Jokes

That comedy writing class went okay - I wisely avoided French silicone. I found more things funny than I thought I would, and the class developed a warm rhetoric. I also heard more ways to colorfully call the vagina than at any other concentrated point in my life. An example was "Meat Basket" which I argued should be "Meat Box." (Although, if the meat basket is right below the bread basket that says some enlightening things about Texas.)

Despite my fears, I was able to make some news jokes. These are my favorites:

• Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses. Rick thinks swing states are fun. Whee!

• Two hikers found a human head in a plastic bag. They told reporters that the poor thing must have suffocated.

• A Washington snowstorm caused 95 car accidents in 5 hours. In other news, Washington is a state.

• A collapse at a casino construction site hurt a dozen workers. That’s the trouble when the house folds.

• There was a recent ruling banning protesting in National Parks. It’s a shame because Occupy Yellowstone has been going on for years.

• The budget deficit topped one trillion dollars, but economists are upbeat seeing that student loans will cover most of it.

• A Texas Millionaire has adopted his long-time adult girlfriend. After, of course, he asked her real father for her hand in adoption.

• Adele is said to be recovering nicely from her vocal cord surgery. “And if nothing else,” her surgeon says, “She can always learn sign language.”

• There are 1.8 million dead people registered to vote in the U.S., which is good news for Romney because the Mormons have baptized most of them.

• A fire erupted on the roof of an old post office building. 14 long-distance relationships are devastated.

• A woman turned 100 and celebrated by marrying her 87-year-old boyfriend. They spent the day hobbling through forests and across beaches until they found two separate bathtubs…