Mega Millions: inspiring uninspiring daydreaming (in words and pictures)

Totally worth the wait for a 1-in-176 million chance

Well look what we’ve got here…not since the days of Wonka’s five golden tickets have people gone this crazy over a game of chance.  I’m talking of course about the Mega Millions lottery.  You know this story has gotten big when even I’ve heard of it.  I’ve said it before: I don’t read the news, I don’t watch the news, I seriously have no idea what channel the news would even be on…so for me to be hearing all about this alleged $640 million jackpot, it’s gotta be big.  How big?  Well I’ve been approached by no less than six people asking whether or not I’ve bought a ticket for this drawing.  Up to this point in my life, I never had a single person ask me if I was playing the lottery.  So that’s a pretty large increase of people asking me about this.

At this moment I’m still refusing to buy even 1 ticket.  My take is that if I stay out of this mess, when it’s all said and done, I will be $1 more wealthy than everyone in this country who is poorer than me (distancing myself from the pack), and I’ll be $1 closer to catching all the rich people in this country who currently make more money than me.  It’s a very small but important step in my plan to be the richest person in the world.

So what I’ve been doing when people either ask me if I’m playing the lottery or tell me they bought some tickets is to get very serious with them and say, “Listen, I think you’ve honestly got a good chance to win this thing…have you thought about what you’re gonna do with the money yet?  You don’t wanna win $640 million and not have a plan, right?”  It really gets people thinking.

And I’ve heard plenty of people rationalize their spending on this certain disappointment by saying it gives them a few days to daydream about the possibilities, which is a nice escape from the real world.  Well, let’s see how imaginative some of these people can get.

In no particular order, here are the results of me asking five people what are the top things they’d spend the money on:

-Quit my job

-Move out of my shitty neighborhood

-Build myself a regulation basketball court

-Buy a new car

-Build an incredible media room

-offer Bob Sagat $1 million to blow me just to see if he will.  Turn him down if he says yes, of course

-Spend more time with my family (maybe four weekends a year instead of three)

-Buy a bunch of pork shoulders and donate to will-blog-for-food.com (THANK YOU, anonymous hero)

-Take a year’s vacation and travel the entire world

-Give a couple million each to the family members and friends that I don’t hate

-Rent Fenway Park for a weekend to organize the coolest softball tournament ever

-Hold a contest with a $5 million reward for the person willing to humiliate themselves the worst, as judged by me

-Finance my own movie

-Buy some real estate like a beach house, ski cabin or condo

-Give a bunch of money away since I could never spend it all

-Take a ridiculous vacation around the world

-Start a company

-I’m getting a coke habit

-Start building churches in Nicaragua

-Sponsor a little league team

-Spend $100K in a strip club

-Go to Vegas and do a free roll on Roulette

-Pay off my school loans and all my debt

-Pay off my parents’ house

-Go on a year long vacation

-Either buy a car a boat or a craft store

That’s some pretty weak daydreaming for the most part.  I love how someone knows if they could only afford it, they’d have a coke habit.  I also like that someone is so overly responsible with their money that they won’t splurge for a car, boat AND a craft store…they’ll have to choose just one.  Taking a long vacation is the most popular answer, and building an incredible media room is the most confusing answer.

If I won the money, I’d go overboard.  Every piece of clothing I own would be made out of either gold or dollar bills.  I would never wipe my own ass again, I can promise you that.  I would buy a new house in a new location each month, and live there for only that month.  I would buy a minority stake in the Cadbury company and push them to make Cadbury mini-eggs year-round.  I would most certainly be the next person to step foot on the moon, and I’d potentially buy it.  Safe to say eight months after winning the money, you’d find me back at my corporate job on the bottom rung of the ladder, scraping to get buy again.

I was searching for one good picture to attach to this post, but I found a lot of them.  Let’s kick the weekend off with photos of people who have won the lottery:

Don’t worry, this guy’s got enough money now to get that head enlargement surgery.  Those glasses will be fitting in no time.

Oh, I see.  Those are official lottery-winners glasses.  How exclusive.

Yes!  That’s how you celebrate winning millions.  You act like you just won the World Series and then some.

Ok, looks like her first time ever holding a champagne bottle, but still, she’s getting it.

Exactly…you just won how many millions of dollars?  Do something stupid, flush part of it down the toilet.  This screams “I’m so rich one dollar bills are my toilet paper!”

Yikes.  Let’s quickly get that will updated, shall we?

Ehh, whatever.  At least he can afford rehab to go along with the habit.

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The Vegas Blueprint – Part Two

(If you missed Part One of the Vegas Blueprint earlier today, be sure to click here and read it first.  Now on to Part Two.)

Friday

Surely I don’t have to rewrite all of the nonsense from Thursday’s blueprint.  Friday is almost exactly like Thursday in terms of timing and pacing of the games.  One big difference is that the amount of people in the sports book will double on Friday.  And this will annoy you.  If you’re unlucky enough, you’ll even get the loudest, most illogical fans standing next to you rooting for their shitty basketball team.  Like this guy for instance:

On Friday, you’ll get a little more risky with how you approach the alcohol situation.  You’ll buy multiple bottles of liquor, mixers, plastic cups and a bag of ice from Walgreen’s.  You’ll effectively open up a mini-bar underneath your table.  Don’t hesitate on this because it will be GLORIOUS.

Friday is also the only night you’ll interact with a restaurant waiter all weekend.  This is the night to do a “nice” dinner with the whole group.  At least that’s the intention…unfortunately a few members of the group will be bitter about all the money they lost earlier in the day and will decide to go to bed at 9:45pm.  Even worse, two guys won’t realize that they should just go to bed because they’re blacked out, but instead they’ll go to dinner.  They’ll proceed to light a cigar at the table (not legal), cram into a booth with strangers to take pictures of a “unique” sign on the wall while the strangers are trying to enjoy their meal (not cool), and try to light an electronic/fake candle at the table with actual matches (not safe).  If you can identify who these people are ahead of time (hint: they are the ones calling your Asian blackjack dealer “Jerry Wong” even though his last name isn’t on his badge), figure out a way to ditch them before dinner.

After dinner, you’ll want to gamble.  You spent the entire day making $10 bets on basketball teams you’ve never heard of.  Now is the time to throw down unnecessary $150 bets on a single hand of blackjack.  Go for it; you deserve it.  Or…you could take a cue from the guy who disappeared after dinner and texted you, “I’m taking a giant dump because of that dinner.  Might just call it a night after I’m done,” and you could go to bed, knowing you still have two full days to go.  Easy excuse to use your bowel movement as a reason to call it quits, and you’ll once again get some great sleep.

Saturday

This is the toughest day to wake up on time for the morning games.  Over the last two-and-a-half days, you’ve drank more than ever, you’ve drastically altered your eating patterns, and you’ve expended an enormous amount of energy doing nonstop calculations in your head.  If you’ve listened to anything I said, you already made your bets on the Saturday morning game the night before.  Sleep in and watch the opening game from your bed.  After all, this is the last you’ll be sleeping in Vegas.  But force yourself to get downstairs for the second game (Oh, and did I mention that you should shower each morning so you’re not tempted to go back to the room anytime during the day?  Going back to the room during or after the games is a death wish…your bed will grab you and not let go.  Stay away).

While Saturday’s events play out a lot like Thursday and Friday, there are less games and overall less energy in the sports book.  This is why you’ll want to know a couple of guys who can’t come to Vegas for a full weekend because they’re afraid to ask their wives.  Luckily, you were smart enough to convince them three months earlier to fly down on Saturday morning, not bother to get a hotel room, and fly out first thing on Sunday.  These people will inject the energy into your group that you need to finish off the weekend.  Think about the boost you’ll get from seeing two guys trying to cram four days worth of outrageous Vegas activities into 20 hours.  These are the guys who will have a bottle of bourbon under your table in the sports book by 10:15am.  These are also the guys who will be so eager to place as many bets on the basketball games as possible that they accidentally have two bets that are in direct competition with each other.

Saturday night is your own personal time.  I can’t tell you what to do here.  Some guys realize they’ve been staring at sweaty men on TV for the last four days while standing in a room with pretty much all dudes, and they decide to go look at some breasts in their final hours.  Other guys have that same four-day experience, and decide to go on a man date to the top of the Stratosphere in those waning moments before the 6am death plane comes to take them home.

The one thing I’m sure of on late Saturday/early Sunday is that if you’re done with your tit show or platonic soulmate date and there are still a few hours to kill before heading to the saddest airport in the world, choose the unneeded meal at Denny’s over two more hours of blackjack.  Even making yourself sick by overeating bottomless pancakes is less painful than dropping $200-$300 right before you step on the plane.

And finally, here are some Do’s and Don’ts that didn’t fit anywhere else:

-DON’T book a hotel and count on the poker discount for your room rate unless you have people in the room who are happy to forego the basketball watching in order to log enough poker hours (at the Venetian, six hours per day per room is what you need to qualify for a heavy discount).

-DON’T go back to the cashier and double your bet if you accidentally put down less money on one of the games than you wanted.  Take it as a sign and enjoy losing only half your intended bet when your team  those fuckers from Duke inevitably lose .

-DO try to make a couple small bets that are extremely unpopular with the rest of the people at the sports book.  When the team you bet on makes a run in the second half, you will be the only person out of hundreds screaming with delight.  The looks you’ll get from the crowd is worth the cost of the bet itself.  This doesn’t mean pick a few underdogs…the ‘dogs actually are pretty popular most of the time.  Through various websites, you can find out which side of a game has most of the betting action on it and then go with the opposite.

-DON’T storm off from your group when you lose a bet on Friday afternoon.  Even if it’s your 10th consecutive loss, remember that this is a marathon.

-DON’T switch over to betting on the horse races no matter how much they entice you.  You don’t know horse racing, you’ll never know horse racing, you’ll continually come close to winning but will never actually win…you are here to lose your money on BASKETBALL.

-DO accept free drinks from the hot promo girls, even if it’s something that automatically makes you puke, like Jameson.

-DON’T try to be sneaky and hide your mini-bar at the sports book from the security guards.  The casino probably has 140 cameras trained on you at any given time.  If they really didn’t want you drinking your own alcohol, you wouldn’t be.

-DON’T write a 3,000 word blog post on an extremely successful blogging site about all the ways to get by on the cheap in Vegas unless you want thousands of other people to steal your idea and ruin the secrecy of it all.

The Vegas Blueprint – Part One

(Editor’s Note: This is Part One of a Two-Part Series on Vegas.  Check in later today for Part Two.)

If you’re reading this post expecting a genius idea on how to take down Vegas, you’ve come to the wrong place.  The blueprint isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.  As a matter of fact, you’re almost guaranteed to lose money if you follow it.  If you’re looking to make money in Vegas, go read Bringing Down the House or something, jerk.

The blueprint also isn’t for anyone who goes to Vegas planning to spend a lot of money.  It’s not for people who enjoy the dance clubs or going outdoors at any point.  This blueprint is not something you should follow if you’re in Vegas with your wife because SHE WILL DIVORCE YOU.

This blueprint is for people who go to Vegas looking to have an incredible weekend while only enduring a slow bleed of their money.  It’s for people who have no interest in buying expensive drinks or eating fancy dinners (actually one nice dinner is acceptable).

Let’s cut to the chase: this blueprint is specifically for anyone who comes to Vegas for the first weekend of March Madness and wants to hang out with my group of friends.  Because honestly, I’m not sure any other type of person can endure this schedule.

Let’s jump into it:

The Objective

To withdraw just enough money on the Tuesday before the trip (known as Transaction Tuesday) to be able to gamble for four days, pay for everything you eat and drink with cash, basically not use a credit or debit card at any point, and return to your home city with just enough money to pay for the cab from the airport to your apartment (and by the way, if you get to your home airport with an absurd amount of one dollar bills because you didn’t “make it rain” in the strip club as much as you thought you would on Saturday night, be sure to use those on the cab ride…nothing sets off a spouse’s suspicions quite like a wallet full of one’s).

The Daily Schedule

Let’s say you’re like me and you arrive in Vegas on Wednesday evening.  You’re also taking the first flight out of Vegas on Sunday morning; yes, that would be the 6am “everyone looks like a Zombie” flight.

Wednesday

This is your only day without basketball so you want to maximize your gambling with the casino games (Poker, BlackJack, Craps, Casino War, etc).  This is also the “calm before the storm” time.  Just 24 hours from now, Vegas will be overrun with middle-aged men who have more money to blow than you, meaning all of the casino games will be out of your price range.  Take advantage of the “cheap” tables tonight.

Plan to meet up with your group as soon as you arrive, poll everyone on their plans for the rest of the night and then play some poker (especially if you have to log a certain amount of poker hours over the weekend to get your discounted room rate – more on this later).  This first poker stint should go well because it’s the first thing you’re doing in Vegas…you always win during those first few hours, and then Vegas has you right where it wants you.  When you finally leave the table, you’ll be surprised that it’s already 10:30pm.  At this point, your only food option is the food court in whatever hotel you’re in.  That’s fine.  Take a 20-minute break and grab a sandwich with your friends.  Gambling over these four days is grueling; you need your energy.  Once dinner is finished, some genius in your group will suggest playing Paigow Poker because “it’s a game where you constantly push your bet (that means you tie against the casino and don’t lose your money) and you’re basically just getting free drinks for as long as you play.”  Go ahead and follow this guy’s lead.  When you’re 30 minutes into playing Paigow, check out his stack of chips.  While the rest of your table has actually pushed most of their bets like he promised, his money will be close to gone.  That’s just how it works.

Now it’s past midnight and you’ve got a solid six to eight drinks in you (which, by the way is the least amount of alcohol you’re gonna have in you for the rest of this trip), and you’re wondering what to do next.  After six years of getting this part wrong, I finally have the right advice: GO TO BED.  I know: it’s Vegas, your first night, the partying is just beginning for many visitors, you’ve got an erection because you’re up $300 for the trip already.  Trust me.  Get a solid night’s sleep on this first night.  You want to be fresh for the next three days of non-stop basketball and the disgusting amount of drinking that goes with it.

Before we move on to Thursday, there’s one more thing.  Sometime on Wednesday evening, take a close look at the first couple basketball games that tip off on Thursday morning.  The first game begins at 9:15am, and unfortunately every person in Vegas feels the need to bet on the opening game.  That means if you save your bet for Thursday morning, you’ll be fighting a line of 500 other people who had the same idea as you, and chances are you won’t get the bet down in time.  Make your bets on the first two or three games on Wednesday night and then laugh at all the idiots who are standing in line for over two hours the next day.  You will kiss me for this one piece of advice.

Thursday

Oh, hey there…good morning.  Did you get a good night’s sleep?  Feeling fresh, rested and ready to take on the world?  You’re welcome.  Are you ready for 12 straight hours of basketball?  Because that’s exactly what you’re doing today (and Friday and Saturday).  Every sports book is different as far as the layout, the seating options and the amount of people.  No matter where you plan to watch the games, it’s great to have someone in your group who doesn’t drink and goes to bed early.  This person becomes the guy who gets to the sports book by 7am each morning to reserve as many tables and chairs as he can.  If you don’t have someone in your group like this, try recruiting one through craigslist or facebook.  And then feel free to offer him beers all day long as a thank you for reserving the tables…he won’t take you up on it, and you get to feel like a nice person.

Even though there’s not much else to say in terms of your itinerary for this day, there is plenty of advice on how to maximize your fun during the games.  You need to think about the flow of the games and how that’s going to affect the line you’ll stand in whenever you want to place a bet.  It’s a good rule of thumb to always be placing bets on “the next three games” that are coming up.  It’s obnoxious to stand in line all day, so don’t be the idiot who makes only one bet every time he goes to the cashier.  I can’t advise you on how many bets to make or who to bet on, but I can advise you to keep the bets small.  Personally, I’d rather have five $20 bets on five different games than have one $100 bet on a single game.  That hundred dollars in the first scenario will provide you with six hours of entertainment.  The other scenario gives you only two hours of entertainment, and is of course a lot more stressful.  This is also a good time to point out one other gambling theory I have.  A blackjack player who knows the rule book inside and out and is sitting at a $10 per hand table can still easily lose $200 in thirty minutes.  A person who’s never heard of basketball can take that same $200, walk into the sports book and be entertained for 12 hours.  And their odds of winning some of those bets are just as good as the blackjack player’s chances.  How would you rather spend your day?  As far as the group dynamic goes, you actually want a couple of loose cannons who can’t sit still as part of your crew.  These are the guys who will make a bunch of basketball bets in the morning, then go sit at a poker table for seven hours, but then come hang out with you to watch the end of each game.  You want these people because during commercials they’ll entertain you with fun stories like how they were bored with basketball, bored with their poker table, so they just spent 45 minutes jumping between roulette, blackjack and craps.  These people literally have money spread out all over the casino so there’s bound to be some absurd stories (bonus points if these guys also like to start trouble at the poker table by asking the casino to “go to the video tapes” to review a move from an opponent that they thought was illegal).

The final thing to mention about this day is around alcohol consumption: do it.  It wouldn’t be Vegas if you weren’t drinking from sunrise to sunset.  The problem is that many of the casinos have started to make it unreasonably expensive to spend an entire day at the sports book and pay for alcohol.  In the past, they’ve given out drink tickets when you go place a bet.  This allows the people who are actually gambling to receive a complimentary drink or two, and it keeps the non-gamblers from getting freebee’s.  It used to be a “$20 bet for every one drink ticket,” but this year they told us it was $500 bet for each ticket.  Alternatively we could pay $6.50 per Bud Light and order them straight from the bar.  Well to those options, I say, “no thank you, and fuck you.”  Here’s what you do…buy your alcohol from the outside and bring it into the casino.  In Vegas, you’re allowed to bring open drinks into any casino and continue to drink it.  Directly outside the main entrance to the Venetian is a Walgreen’s.  Within three minutes of discovering the casino’s policy on drink tickets this year, we had our first 20-pack of Bud Light hidden under our table at the sports book.  We saved $90 for each 20-pack we bought compared with the price at the Venetian bar.  That money was funneled right back into our betting for the weekend.  And if your brain is as slow as ours was, it’ll take you until about 7pm that night to realize you can do the same thing with a bottle of liquor.  Go to Walgreen’s, buy a $25 bottle of Jameson, a bunch of plastic cups and start pouring shots at your table while watching the games.

Now you’re asking, “what the hell am I gonna do after the games end and I’m borderline shitfaced?”  Good question.  This is one of several times over the weekend where you’ll be tempted to play blackjack at a $25 per hand minimum table just because those are the only tables close by.  Force yourself to take the five minute walk over to Casino Royale where you can find $10 craps and blackjack.  Bring the Jameson with you and drink it right out of the bottle while sitting at your table.  That casino is seedy enough where you’ll just look like any other gambler.  Call it a night when you start making a plan to steal one of the gondola’s and ride the Venetian’s canals at 2am.


(Part Two is located HERE.  In it, we discuss Friday and Saturday, pulling an all-nighter, and a list of Do’s and Don’t’s for a successful Vegas trip.)

My Life is Complete: Boo Urns!

The 2nd best line in the history of The Simpsons, captured on this license plate

It finally happened!  After 17 years of constantly quoting this one particular Simpsons line, where Hans Moleman brings down the house by stating, “I was saying Boo-urns,” I finally realized my purpose in life was to see this license plate.  I don’t think there’s a single line from any movie, TV show or Broadway play that I’ve quoted more in my lifetime than this.  The episode where he says this aired in 1995, and for these 17 years, every single time I’ve heard booing at a sporting event, I’ve never missed a chance to say, “I was saying Boo-urns.”  And here we have someone else who obviously obsessed over this line as much as me (someone rather successful I’d add, driving that nice 5-series BMW).  This person is probably my soulmate, but I guess I’ll never know.  What a day!

For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, here it is in all it’s glory:

And for anyone sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting for me to say what the best line in the history of The Simpsons is, it’s what Homer says at the end of this clip:

The Magical Shredding of my Boxers

These boxers were in fine condition when I went to bed

Has this ever happened to anyone else’s boxers?  I woke up this morning in utter shock to find my boxers ripped all the way up the leg…what in the hell went on in my sleep last night?  Did I have an Incredible Hulk transformation momentarily, but only in my right leg?  (And please, relax with the penis jokes)

Anyway, I’m contemplating keeping them…you never know when you’ll need that extra pair of boxers, regardless of what condition they’re in.

Wandering my way through TV and Film while waiting for Pinterest to accept me

My hiatus from blogging is over, but I’ve basically been in a three-day coma since coming back from Vegas.  This post might be rambling, incoherent and a waste of your time.  I’ll be back with something on Vegas before the week’s over though.

-As usual, I’m late to the party, but I’ve been hearing about this Pinterest contraption for the last couple weeks.  Curiosity and wikipedia tell me that it’s most popular with women.  I knew it was a perfect fit for me so I tried to sign up.  Pinterest was kind enough to send me an email saying, “Thanks for joining the Pinterest waiting list. We’ll be sure to send you an invite soon.  In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also explore a few pins.  We’re excited to get you pinning soon!  – Ben and the Pinterest Team”

We’re excited to get you pinning soon?  Thanks for joining the waiting list?  Does Pinterest realize I’m not putting my name in for Patriots season tickets here?  I’m trying to log on to a G.D. website.  I work in the web-based applications industry.  The whole point is for the customer to be able to use the software immediately, and have as many people as they want on it.  This whole “exclusive” thing just isn’t gonna fly for me.  Oh, and I can follow you on Twitter so you can continue to taunt me about not being a member?  Pinterest, you just lost your worst customer.

I shouldn’t complain though because March is the perfect time for this thing to catch on.  I know a certain girlfriend who went to a bar with her boyfriend two Saturdays ago and proceeded to sit through six hours of basketball.  Pinterest literally babysat her the whole time.  Same goes for that half hour every night where you just wanna watch ESPNNEWS to catch up on the day’s events.  It’s like that very repetitive joke from a million TV shows where the parents plop their kid in front of the TV, turn it on and leave the house for hours.  Just pull up Pinterest on your iPad or computer, hand it to the girl and let her pin away.

The best part is that after you watch her spend an entire day on Pinterest, you can actually get mad at her for ignoring you the whole time.  And she won’t even realize you just watched eight straight basketball games.

From what I can tell, Pinterest is a place where women tell each other all the things they’re not going to accomplish in their lives (“I’m definitely gonna start knitting and make everyone a scarf.”  or “I’m gonna collect a bunch of jars and then fill them with old bottle caps, wine corks and fortunes from fortune cookies.”)

-Even though I hated to put the blog on hiatus for a week, I thought it would be a good litmus test to see if people were excited enough about it to think something was broken since they weren’t receiving the emails or twitter updates.  I expected people would be checking the website to see if they missed something.  Not only do the page view stats not support this idea, but WordPress is threatening to evict me if I don’t start pulling in more than two viewers a day.  Let’s move on to my very random thought on TV:

-I’m loyal to a fault when it comes to my favorite TV shows, especially with ranking who’s at the top of my Favorite Comedies list.  Up until a few years ago, it was The Office, even if that show had already peaked years earlier.  More recently it’s been It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has had an amazing five or six year run.  The true measuring stick of which show I love the best is whether I watch each episode multiple times.  There’s always a show that I need to re-watch, sometimes three or four times in a week.  Based on this information, I’m happy to announce a new top dog in my thirty-minute comedy power rankings.  And that dog is Parks & Recreation.  If you’re not watching it, you’re making a huge mistake.

And if you do watch Parks & Rec religiously, and Andy Dwyer isn’t your favorite character, then you’re a goddamned moron.  How can you not love this guy:

Moving on to movies…

-If you’re considering seeing Wanderlust in theaters, consider this first: A movie for two will cost you about $22 (not counting that extra large popcorn, soda and jujubes, you fat ass), but for free I can send you Role Models and you can imagine Jennifer Aniston playing Paul Rudd’s girlfriend/wife instead of Elizabeth Banks.  If you just picture that movie plus a little more nudity and drugs, you’ve got Wanderlust.  And that’s actually giving it too much credit.  Role Models was solid; this abortion of a movie managed to ruin my entire night and ruin my faith in comedy.  Friedchips better temper his expectations for the not-yet-made Wet Hot American Summer 2 based on what I just witnessed from David Wain.

-The only movies in my lifetime that I’ve needed to see on their opening day were the three newest Star Wars, and I’m not ashamed at all to admit that.  I am, however, slightly ashamed to admit that I’m taking work off this Friday to see the Hunger Games on its opening day.  I bought tickets ahead of time, planning to show up nice & early, and sacrificing a vacation day that could be used for something like vacation eventually to see this movie.  You can laugh…it’s a movie for teenagers/young adults.  I like to think 29 is still considered “young adult” but I don’t think so.  If this movie is as “good” as Wanderlust, I’m going to slit my wrists.

friedchips tips for successful life living: tip 2

Be careful when you eat Resee’s Peanut Butter Cups, especially the mini ones.  Don’t forget about the extra rapper.  Imagine the embarrassment when you are living it up, about to pop a delicious peanut buttery treat into your mouth and then BAM! Disaster strikes as you realize something is amiss and you awkwardly spit out a mangled P-cup, while your coworkers look on in utter disbelief at the spectacle in front of them.  Not cool.

Blog Hiatus Due to Vegas Bender

What happens in Vegas...gets put in next week's blog post

The blog’s been a little bit quiet lately.  I’m blaming it on the Vegas trip that I leave for in 3 hours.  Unfortunately when you tell your boss you are working a two-and-a-half day week before taking off for four days of gambling, he actually wants you to work hard over those days.  And all other free time since Sunday has gone into prepping for all of the basketball bets I’ll lose this week.

As we take this brief hiatus, I encourage you to read through my past Vegas Trip blog posts, which you can find HERE and HERE.

And if you’re really itching for some Rmurdera this week, you can follow me on Twitter where I’ll likely be tweeting incoherent ramblings about basketball, gambling, the 70-to-1 male/female ratio in Vegas, and much more.

Just follow @rossgariepy

Should I really let this irrelevant argument go on?

I apologize in advance to my outraged readers who are wondering why the fuck we're spending time discussing the NFL's worst franchises

(Editor’s Note: This is a painful post to put up.  Not because I have something against the Washington Redskins, but because an argument between a Redskins fan and a 49ers fan is just so unimportant when it comes to discussing good football.  It’s kind of cute actually, and I feel compelled to let it happen because Friedchips and Wernermania have been arguing about their teams since our college days when the Patriots were putting up Super Bowl banners on the regular.  And even though the 2011-12 season was yet another year where the Patriots were far more relevant than these god-awful teams, at least the 9ers got to the playoffs and now the Redskins are making news by trading their future for a top QB prospect.  I’m going to post this knowing many of you don’t give a rat’s ass about these two teams.  But that’s fine…the early offseason is a perfect time for this post.  Once the football season gets closer, we’ll put up posts about teams that actually have a chance in 2012.  It does seem a bit unfair to Friedchips that his team and his character are getting attacked so badly when all he tried to do was analyze a huge football transaction, but you need to know that Wernermania is an irrational sports fan.  He’s the type of guy who writes angry letters to his favorite teams with suggestions on how to improve.  So here we go.  Making his WBFF blog debut, I give you the foul-mouthed, dick-obsessed Wernermania.)

A Gentle Rebuttal to Friedchips’ Idiotic Redskins Post

Let me start with the most revealing portion of Friedchips’ argument against the recent trade by the Redskins to move into the #2 position in the draft and likely take Robert Griffin III:

“Does this seem crazy to anyone else?…if Griffin works out and becomes a franchise type QB, it’s worth it.”

That contradiction sums up why this trade makes sense for the Redskins, and also proves that Friedchips is, as those of us who know him have long suspected, retarded.

You see, to win consistently in the NFL you need a great QB (i.e. the Pats, old Colts, Saints, Packers).  The great running game/great defense thing works sometimes (i.e. Ravens, 49ers) but is increasingly difficult to sustain and not much fun to watch.  That’s why franchise QBs, or franchise QB prospects, are very rarely available (usually one or fewer per year), and very expensive to try and attain.  It’s the same reason that some team is going to guarantee Peyton Manning $30 million praying that he can last two years without really knowing if he can throw a pass harder than your mom, or even last a quarter without dropping dead the first time he gets hit.

Before I go any further, I will admit that I have a huge homer boner for the ‘Skins.  I have bought into many of their prior mistakes and have been justifiably ridiculed.  Our owner is bit of a douchebag and deserves a lot of the criticism he receives from ass-clowns like Friedchips.  We also have been mostly bad for the past 20 years; I won’t deny it.

The price is also pretty staggering, even if he does play football’s most important position and the new collective bargaining rules take a lot of the risk out of drafting young QBs in the top few picks (he will make $22 million over four years, about one-third of what Ryan Fitzpatrick will make in the same time period).  The price of trading up into the top few picks has always been expensive and has become more so over the years, and I think that this trade probably establishes the new value of those picks following the changes made in rookie salaries (proven by the fact that reports say the Browns offered the same package with a higher #1 this year after we had closed the deal).  Given that since 2006, six Super Bowls have been won by 1st round pick QBs (with the only exception being Brees, a 2nd rounder), I would also argue that calling drafting QBs a “crapshoot” is not accurate, even if it isn’t an exact science and there have been several failures.

Despite some of those issues, we also have the biggest fan base in the NFL, are in an important market, have won 3 super bowls, have a 2-time super bowl winning head coach, a good defense and $40 million in cap room.  And when we’re winning, we are the most profitable sports franchise in the NFL (the Cowboys edge us for now with their new stadium but we are going to build one in a few years and when we win we are bigger than them anyways) and second to only the Yankees in the world.  The Redskins, even as bad as they have been, dominate DC’s attention and RG3 just became the most important guy in town – in a town that has a lot of important people.  He most certainly does not “feel like he was just punched in the dick” and if he is what his potential suggests, he will become a god to several million people.

Now for some of my own dick punching: First off, Friedchips lives in and is from NY and yet roots for the 49ers because he is a front-running ass-sniffer who liked to beat off to Steve Young when he was little and thought that was more important than his home town.  As far as I know he’s only actually been to SF once, and that was about a year ago.  I have about as much respect for those types of sports fans as I do the French.  Let me also point out that SF was good for the first time in about a hundred years this past season; Friedchips is being a bit hypocritical calling the ‘Skins losers if you ask me.  On a side note let me also point out that Alex Smith still sucks despite people celebrating the fact that he shocked everyone by being average last year and will probably get a $40 million contract based on that fact. Also, SF will not make the playoffs next year – book it.

Wernermania out.

Skins trade up in the draft, Griffin on suicide watch

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ESPN.COM – In a predraft blockbuster trade, the St. Louis Rams have agreed in principle to send the second overall pick in this year’s draft to the Washington Redskins for three first-round draft picks and a second-round pick.

So the Redskins trade 3 first round picks (this year’s 6th pick, and 2013 and 2014 picks which will almost definitely be top 10’s as well) all to move up 4 spots so they can take Robert Griffin.  Does this seem crazy to anyone else? I mean, listen, I guess if Griffin works out and becomes a franchise type QB, it’s worth it.  But that’s a big gamble.  Most first round QB’s turn out to be busts… Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, David Carr, Tim Couch, Alex Smith (until this year), and of course Heath Shuler… just to name a few.  Obviously a no brainer for the Rams.  They’re not drafting a QB anyway with Bradford there, so now they can still fill a hole this year with a solid 6th and they are set up well for the future.

I think the bigger story here is how depressed Robert Griffin must be.  What a punch in the dick for this guy. Is there a worse place you could land in the NFL than Washington?  I don’t think so.  Crappy weather, ugly uniforms, idiot owner, perennial joke team.  Dude was riding high after winning the Heisman, looking forward to a promising future in the NFL, and then bam!  Instant career ruiner.  Over before it’s even begun.

So Easy a Caveman Can Do It?

It's very unlikely I'll be getting my food this way anytime soon

With the calendar hitting March last week, most of my close friends are starting to think about getting their beach bodies in order for the summer.  There’s only three more months before it’s officially beach season so I guess it makes sense to be exercising and eating healthy.  Actually, that sentence made no sense.  I’ve never once dieted or worked out based on trying to look good for the summer.  But just the other day, someone suggested that I start doing the “Paleo Diet.”  First of all, that’s the nicest way anyone’s ever called me fat.  It’s even nicer than when I went to buy a suit a couple months ago and the guy at Men’s Wearhouse looked at me in the mirror and said, “He’s just like me…a little happy in the middle.”

Anyway, why the paleo diet, right?

First, let’s make sure we all understand exactly what this diet entails.  Paleo is short for paleolithic, which was apparently an era that ended about 10,000 years ago.  This diet is also referred to as the caveman diet.  I’ll be honest, the person who suggested this almost had me convinced when she mentioned caveman and then sold it as, “you just have to eat a lot of meat.”  It boils down to only being allowed to eat things that could be “hunted” or “gathered’ since people of the paleolithic times were known as hunter-gatherers.  No grains, dairy products, processed stuff or refined sugars allowed.

Sounds like a decent diet, right?  Well according to my in-depth research, in back-to-back years, a group of scientists have ranked the paleo diet as the worst diet in terms of health, weight-loss and ease of following (Basically the Big Mac Diet is more effective).  My guess is that it’s become trendy because being on this diet allows you to say you’re only eating natural food.  Good luck eating that salad without any dressing, bro (not even oils are allowed technically under this diet).

Which brings me to my final point…if you’re gonna suggest I do a certain diet, it’s probably wise to know which diets I’ve tried in the past.  This is a good indication of the type of diets I might be willing to try in the future.  Here you go:

-The “all waffle with syrup on the side diet” (ages 5-7)

-The “all peanut butter & jelly diet” (ages 8 – 10)

-The “all pizza as long as the cheese is completely covering every inch of sauce diet” (ages 10-13)

-The “all chinese food and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups diet” (ages 14-18)

-The “all beef jerky and pre-made italian sub from Store 24 diet” (ages 18-22)

-The “all ice cream diet” (I haven’t started this one yet, but thinking about implementing it for most of my 30’s)

Obviously my previous forays into dieting don’t set me up for success with the Paleo diet.  So I’ll leave it up to you, dear readers.  Vote for whether I should try this diet in the poll below.

March Madness: More Than Just Basketball to Help End Relationships

Well, it took four long weeks, but it finally happened…I’ve been published on another blog/website.  I’ve sold out and given this other publication a chance to post my material before I even posted it on WBFF blog.  Entrepreneurs like me start a business for one of two reasons: either to be acquired for a ridiculous amount of money, or to take the company public, also making ridiculous bank.  My exit strategy with the blog has always been to reach that coveted 45 views per day benchmark and then sell.  We’re not there yet, so don’t worry, the blog’s not going anywhere.  But with my posts now in high demand, it’s only a matter of time.  The post below was published on caughtinsouthie.com last week, and you can either read it below or click on the following link to see it on that site: http://www.caughtinsouthie.com/feature/march-madness.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it.  If you don’t, I don’t care since I just got published on another website.)

As a rule I try to never feel bad for anyone.  Who wants to feel bad for someone else?  It just makes you feel awful…ruins your day, really.

But I gotta admit, at this time of year, I truly feel bad for women.  Specifically women with husbands or boyfriends, or even those weird girls who hang out mostly with dudes in a platonic way.  You see, it’s this time of year, the February/March timeframe, where these women think they’re gonna recoup all those lost hours with their men from the 10-month disaster known as Baseball & Football season.  I can understand the thinking… Football season ended after the first weekend of February, and everyone knows baseball doesn’t start until April 1st.  So that’s about eight weeks for couples to spend all their time together: taking cooking classes, doing couples’ massages, tripping on mushrooms together, whatever.

The obvious problem with this arrangement?  These eight weeks are actually when some of the best sporting events of the year take place.

Let’s start with the biggie: March Madness.  Now some people might say, “wait a minute, the tournament doesn’t start until March 13th this year.  What do you mean it’s eight weeks long?”  Well, for the irrational sports fan, March Madness really begins in mid-February.  That’s when the college hoops schedule somehow creates intriguing matchup after intriguing matchup.  And these teams don’t just play once a week.  So this week, for example, there are about 31 interesting college basketball games over seven days.  Ladies, when you get home on Wednesday night and your guy’s watching a “random game” on TV, think twice before you touch that remote control.  This game could give him that extra insight he needs to determine if Team X is gonna lose in the 1st round of the March Tourney or the 2nd round.  March Madness is a strange phenomenon.  For instance, I have absolutely no loyalties to any of the big basketball programs.  Sadly, I attended BU (not the Baylor version, the Boston version), and they make the tournament once every five years.  But for some reason, I can get fired up for a Duke/UNC or Kansas/Missouri game like I’ve had season tickets for 40 years.  This past Saturday I actually went to a bar for the 1pm KU/Mizzou game, and I felt nervous…even though I had no clue who I was rooting for.  It’s unhealthy; it’s inexplicable; but it’s completely necessary (a big factor in play for me is that I’m so sick of seeing the winner of the March Madness bracket turn out to be someone who picked the teams based on mascot, uniform or perceived sexiness of the team.  It’s my life’s goal to win that damn pool).

Let’s explore what else is going on this time of year.

Well, ladies, your dude plays fantasy sports right?  Guess what?  We all just got our automated emails from espn.com last week saying it’s time to activate our league for the 2012 baseball season!!  That’s right, it’s officially fantasy baseball season.  The regular season might not begin for another five weeks, but in that time we need to refresh our memories on all the players that changed teams in the offseason (when we weren’t paying attention because we were too busy managing our fantasy football teams), read numerous magazines and websites offering advice on who to draft, and then, when we don’t trust those websites’ rankings, we create our own formula for ranking players.  Then we need to do the actual draft (which will definitely go through dinner time on a weeknight).  If you happen to be with someone who wants to watch spring training games, forget it.  Break up now.

Other than college basketball and baseball, add in the final regular season push for hockey and professional basketball, where we might be hanging on every game to see if our team will qualify for the playoffs.  And then finally, multiply it all by some more football.  What?  More football?  That’s right.  For some fans, it’s actually their favorite time of year.  You’ve got the scouting combine where NFL teams are evaluating college players (they actually broadcast this stuff…you could watch a herd of 300lb guys run 40-yard dashes all day long if you really wanted).  You’ve got free agency beginning on March 13th (oh no, our players might leave to play for another team!), and finally, you have the NFL draft at the end of April (which means we spend most of March and April watching the same two guys on Sportscenter argue about who each team might pick in the draft).

And while I’m feeling bad for women in general, let me give a special shout out to the wives/girlfriends of Boston sports fans specifically.  Our teams’ season always goes longer, and it always seems to end with us going on a bender…either an ecstatic “our team is the greatest” bender or (as in the case of the Patriots this year) a “how in God’s name did this happen AGAIN” bender.  No matter the result, it seems like the Boston sports schedule never has a break.

Ladies, you’ve got it rough.  No one’s doubting that.  So here’s what I’m gonna do for you: I’m officially giving you permission to force your man to watch whatever TV shows you want.  You wanna watch “My Bridezilla’s a Teenage Mom who also happens to be a Real Housewife of Miami?”  Fine.  He’ll watch it with you.  Just as long as there’s not a game on.

The Great Quake of 2012

San Francisco will be in recovery mode for a long time

Dear Bay Area,

Hi, Rmurdera here.  We need to have a talk.  I think we all need to come to an agreement on when an earthquake is newsworthy.  I don’t mind that the morning news mentions every time there’s a little jolt while we’re all sleeping, but to treat these minor tremors like high priority, press-stopping news is really fucking annoying.

Here’s the deal I’m willing to make: when an earthquake causes death, serious injury or property damage over $45, we can scrap the regular news for hours upon hours of “breaking news: special earthquake coverage.”  But in return, whenever an earthquake can be best described as “a 10 second jolt that didn’t knock anything over,” we’re gonna have the news anchor come on TV and say, “this just in: a 4.0 magnitude earthquake hit just now.  It was centered in El Cerrito…no harm was done.  Let’s continue on with actual news.”  And that’s it.

Otherwise we have a situation like what I witnessed this morning.  I woke up at 5:30 to the 10 seconds of shaking.  It seemed similar to the other 200 quakes I’ve felt in six years of living in San Francisco so I thought no big deal.  I go back to sleep until about 6:45.  When I woke up and turned on the news, I thought for a second that I had slept through a history-making quake.  We’re talking breaking news, geologist experts on the phone every five minutes explaining what happened, all of the station’s reporters being sent to random towns throughout the bay area to collect stories of all the horror that residents witnessed when the shaking started (“wow, so this bottle of soda slid right off your counter?”).  My god, it was such a huge tragedy here that one poor woman lost a whole container of lemonade mix when it fell off her shelf! (I’m not even exaggerating…KRON4 spent 10 minutes where the reporter scrolled through the station’s facebook page on her phone relaying what residents were experiencing, and sure enough, the biggest incident was the lemonade falling over…oh the humanity!)

By the way, the Red Cross has setup a website for anyone who wants to help out the people who have been affected by the falling lemonade and soda: The Great Quake of 2012 Fund

Not only did this earthquake not cause any damage, but just today there have technically been 12 earthquakes in the SF Bay Area.  Check it out for yourself: earthquake list for San Francisco.  Let’s say anything under a 6.0 doesn’t get wall-to-wall news coverage anymore.  Let’s save that for the real disasters.

Speaking of the real disasters, I don’t know if other Bay Area residents feel like me, but I’m screwed when the big one comes.  All these little shakes have conditioned me to ignore an earthquake as if it’s a rain shower.  When the 9.0 hits later this year, you can find my body under a pile of rubble, iphone in hand, mid-tweeting “hahaha, another little shake to scare the masses.”

How low can the Mets go?

ABC News – The New York Mets’ owners must pay up to $83 million to the trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff investors, a judge said Monday, though he expressed doubt that the trustee will succeed in proving at a trial this month that he’s entitled to as much as $300 million more.

 Another week, another installment.  This blog practically writes itself.  Hope Fred has a shit ton more of those 5 dollar bills.  I actually don’t know how to feel about this.  On the surface, it’s obviously a huge setback to a team who’s finances make the Greek economy look like it’s run by fucking Warren Buffett.  On the other hand, maybe if it keeps getting worse, Wilpon will have no choice but to sell the team.
 
PS – Great article here about how the Mets have absolutely no depth and will essentially be fielding a farm team if anyone gets hurt this year.  Good thing the Mets are great at staying healthy, ahem… Apparently their best lefty off the bench is a former pitcher with 39 major league at bats.  Couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.