I bought a yoga ball the other day, to replace my chair with. I had heard they are good for posture, core strength, and kind of fun. So I got it, and I noticed on the box it was labeled “Burst Resistant” and I simultaneously thought “Awesome” and “Fooey”. Because I have the ability to think many things at the same time, which does get a little confusing.???
So when I got home and inflated it with the handy dandy little air pump that came in the box, I was overcome with the smell of the thing. I mean, it didn’t smell bad or anything, but just weird mix of rubber, mothballs, and something else. I suspect the makers package it with the gym smell pre-imbedded, so people who buy them for installation in a workout area aren’t wierded out by something that doesn’t smell terrible. In short, it’s a blast to sit on when doing anything, and I recommend it to anyone who sits at a desk for an extended period of time. I never knew that sitting down could be so exhausting. You can bounce on it, roll around, topple off it hilariously and giggle in a heap afterward. I’m not saying I did that, but I can vouch that it’s possible.
Then, while rummaging around my closet the other day, I spied the box the ball came in. The “Burst Resistant” labeling stood out at me again, and as I stared at the box, for about 10 minutes (I can neither confirm nor deny mind altering substances were in use) I took it as a challenge. “Alright, Bally Total Fitness 75 centimeter exercise ball,” I muttered, “we’ll see about this.” I threw a book at it, which bounced back onto my foot, which hurt. It was a big book.
One of my tools to destroy the ball
And from there I began to whale on the damn thing. When before I would absently bounce up and down when watching TV or writing or surfing the Internets, now I began to bounce as high as I could. I began to use it as a large soccer ball. Incidentally, it’s amazing how far the ball bounces, and how much destruction it can cause. In a short time I had broken a light, a small terra cotta warrior, three glasses, and nearly knocked my TV off the box it sits on like eight times. I’ve thrown it out the window a couple times, but all that happened there was I hit a bird on the bounce, which was kind of impressive. I’ve contemplated poking it with stuff, but that feels like cheating, right? I feel like only concussive force can be used in this “science” quest. But the damn thing continues to not break. I am impressed with these Bally’s people. I must call their scientists, because this strangely scented polymer they’ve made the ball out of is seemingly invincible. Maybe a fat guy could help me.
I’ve tried rolling over sharp stuff, because that’s just incidental action when it comes to rolling around, but the thing is amazing in its resiliency. I even used it as a weapon against my little brother, but again its bounciness struck back at me, hitting me in the belly. Perhaps if I knew karate, I could chop it in half. But alas, I don’t have the time to spend years in the Orient learning from the Shaolin masters. I have a yoga ball to pop. I hit it with a hammer a couple times, but nothing. Really, I am at the end of my rope. I’ve been throwing playing cards at it the last couple hours in hopes paper cuts will wear away at it, but so far nothing. Maybe if we lived somewhere near trains, I could put it on a train track. But I have a sneaking suspicion it would just make the train derail, and I’d be back to square one. Maybe even square zero, because I’d have to deal with a derailed train.
If you have suggestions for me, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can find success, and kick this stupid, core solidifying, good time creating, son of a bitch back to where it came from, or at least assert our dominance as human beings over it. I’ll not be stopped by this inanimate object. I’m better than that. Maybe I’ll try running it over with my car.
“To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold–brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.” – A. MacLeish
I need to go to space.
The world is such a massive place, full of literally everything there is to do in the world. Everything we know is here on Earth, every existence, every action, every idea we’ve heard of. Then I’m reading Beetle Bailey today, and old dummy Zero asks the question of what space means. Is it the space between everything, or is it the distant stars?
Now, I have experienced a vast nothingness. I went to school in Illinois and vistas of nothing but cornfields were never far off. I drove from Minnesota to California, and I haven’t seen such nothing as is in Nebraska, or Utah. But even in this nothingness, there’s stuff. There’s dirt, sand, in Utah’s case, salt. Obviously corn in the corn fields. But there’s never nothing, like there is in space. I want, I need to experience this nothingness, an empty void where all that surrounds is a cold, dark vacuum. Emptiness, the true emptiness that smells strong, metallic, and unique, according to astronauts. And who doesn’t believe astronauts?
I’ve always had a place in my heart for space travel. That sounds a little weird, because who wouldn’t like to go into outer space? But even as a kid when Star Wars enraptured me I would look to the heavens and wonder. Not about anything in particular, you understand, just wonder. Let the mind travel to wherever it wanted, even to the stars. Looking at these points of light and realizing they were the same thing as the sun that was so bright during the day, sometimes even bigger and brighter. As a young’un this was incredible. When someone told me that the light we see from stars is thousands of years old, that if you were in that stars’ solar system you would see Roman centurions and whatnot, I was floored. That was incredible to me. That meant that even if I had a telescope to look that far, I would be seeing the past! That opened up whole new avenues of thought into time travel, but that’s a story for another day.
The picture entitled Earthrise (it’s at the top of this post), taken by some astronaut whose name you could find out if you were less lazy than I, is to me one of the most thought provoking pictures ever taken. Maybe not even thought provoking as contemplation provoking. Someone once said that the unexamined life is a life not worth living, and a picture like that, to me, forces a look at oneself. We all have a sense of self worth, whether high or low (personally, I feel like I’m worth my weight in gold, which equals out to $3.6 million, from my last weigh in) but a picture like that just makes you think about existence. If the light from other stars is thousands of years old, that means that all you’re looking at is dead light, and if you see another life form, you have no idea if they’re still there. It’s just a dead image. That means that if they see Earth with a telescope, they’d either see the centurions, or, if they see you they see you dead 1000 years. I don’t mean to be morbid, but more just that images of Earth as this little rock, the Blue Marble photo, things like that just make you realize how big it all is, and how small you are. Seriously, the earth is 3.6 billion years old, the sun almost 6 billion or something, and we’re around for about 80 years if we’re lucky to live in the US or whatever. What does that mean, what do we mean, in the scheme of things?
I’m not going to sit here and say go crazy, life doesn’t matter, but I don’t think I can agree with taking life as seriously as some do. I mean really, we are only here for a little while when it gets down to it, so doesn’t it seem like there’s no room for getting all worked up over bullshit. There’s things that matter, sure, like nuclear war or global warming, things that impact future life on Earth that could impact eventual growth into space. But the bullshit? Nah, man, that’s nothing to get pissed about, that’s something to have fun with. Although I wouldn’t suggest actually finding bull feces and playing with it, that sounds unsanitary.
Earth is a big small place, just as a peanut M&M Is salty-sweet. Best of both sides I guess. We have room to look around, explore, but it’s like a big ol’ play pen before we break out into the universe. And we weren’t allowed to fight or be mean in kindergarten, it wasn’t copacetic. So what’s the deal with doing it to other countries? Anti-war, etc. Space is big, and we need to get there. So do I. I’m out of words. Good luck.
This is an essay about cheeses, nothing more, nothing less. Though certainly there’s quite a bit on the “less” side of the scale than the ‘more’, when it comes to cheese. Take, for instance, anteaters . I feel in terms of importance, anteaters are way less so than cheese. I mean, cheese gives nutritional content including vitamins, calcium, deliciousness, and the ability to make a grilled cheese sandwich, if you have bread and a spread of some kind. Anteaters are nutritional I suppose, if you were to kill then cook one. And you’d think they’d be pretty lean, considering they only eat ants. I had always heard ants were high in protein, though that could have been cockroaches. Is there such a thing as a cockroacheater?
Anyhow, cheese. Now I’ve always been offended that there is a cheese called American, that isn’t cheddar. I’ve always thought cheddar is the ultimate American cheese rather than that processed stuff, though the processed stuff does speak volumes about the American “Culture” that we supposedly have. I mean seriously, I had some Muenster from a deli the other day, and while it made a slammin’ grilled cheese, what with the stretch factor and all, it just wasn’t Muenster. The real stuff stinks, but that’s America for you, we don’t have any real depth. I mean seriously, one of our best artists is Andy Worhol? The guy painted a can of soup. Not to mention our additions to classical music. I love John Williams as much as the next guy, you couldnt find a bigger closet Star Wars geek than me. But he made the same thing like TEN TIMES!! SERIOUSLY, SHOW SOME GROWTH!! IT’s not like Beethoven’s symphonies all sound the same, because they don’t. I’ve listened to them.
Anyway, cheddar really is fantastic, and the day I had a really good, sharp cheddar, that was the day I realized what cheese could bring me. I have friends who won’t eat it because it’s high in fat, which it is. But you know, I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life where I know what’s good and not good for me, at least for the most part. It bothers me when people question life choices, or butt in and try to tell me how to live my life. Classic case, I’m listening to music, the new Kanye album, at like midnight, and I wanted to FEEL the music. So I turned the bass up real high, and cranked the volume. I wanted to LIVE the music. Wouldn’t you know it, ol’ Buzzkill Betty herself, my mother, is yelling from the bottom of the stairs. I’m like, “LET ME LIVE, MOM! LET ME LIVE!” Then I turned the music down.
I think when I realized salads could have these fancy cheeses on them, your gorgonzolas and fetas and what not, that was when I realized I could have cheese on literally anything. Like apple pie, either a piece of cheddar or American (GOD DAMMIT!) on it and microwave it for a few seconds. You’ll eat it and go WHOA! It’s a good time, I wouldn’t lie to you.
It’s those blue-veined cheeses, real pale and wet sounding when you slap them, that put me off. But then I realized, the stinkier a cheese, the better. The stench is in truth flavor, though remember not to put that stuff on your ham sandwich. That’s what the mustard is for.
It’s rare you can have a product that goes good with all meals like cheese, b ut cheesy eggs, then a ham and cheese, and a cheese burger for dinner, that’s a day’s eating. You see, if you don’t eat the cheese, you deprive yourself of an essential ingredient to enjoying life. You know who else deprived themselves of things? Hitler.
Roy Halladay joylessly throwing ANOTHER strike (Getty)
Roy Halladay won 20 games this year. Roy Halladay has the inside track to the NL Cy Young Award. Roy Halladay is generally considered the best pitcher in baseball. Roy Halladay is going to the postseason for the first time in his career. Roy Halladay very well could win a championship this year. Roy Halladay is great, plain and simple. And one more thing.
Roy Halladay is boring.
It is astonishing to watch Doc Halladay at work. He is so good, so consistent, so old-school, you’d think his pitching days would be celebrated like they do in Seattle for their man. Felix Hernandez has Felix Day every day he pitches, and the fans adore him, flock to the stadium to see him throw. Halladay performs in front of sell-out crowds, but that has a lot to do with his team being the best in the Senior Circuit, no so much his drawing power. No, every time I watch Halladay work, he makes it seem like work. Other aces and award winners go to work, sure. CC Sabathia sweats gallons every time it’s his turn. Albert Pujols puts in time watching tape and in the cage, then empties his chamber every at-bat. But at least they make it fun to watch. In a game that is just that, a game, Roy Halladay seems to suck the fun out of the whole event. (more…)
Delicately carved from the woods west of Naugatuck State Forest, the Golf Club at Oxford Greens is one of Connecticut’s most impressive golf courses and has been named the “3rd Best Public Course in Connecticut” by Golfweek. Taking full advantage of more than 680 acres of natural beauty, breathtaking vistas, and ever-changing terrain, The Golf Club combines New England’s greatest resources with a neoclassical design. (more…)
So seeing as how I made all these picks, I guess it would behoove me to get a sense of finality for this whole football season. Lets start with the NFC. The divisional winners would be the 49ers in the west, Saints in the South, the Vikings in the North and the Cowboys in the East. That gives Wildcard berths to the Eagles and Packers. Based on my predictions of records I give New Orleans and Minnesota byes the first week, which leaves the Cowboys hosting the Packers (because you can’t host an interdivisional rival if you can help it) and the Niners hosting the Eagles.
‘Boys vs. Packers is an intriguing matchup, and probably will end up being the best game of the weekend. Based on QB play, overall defense and talent at offensive line, I have to give it all to the Packers. Rogers is a better QB already than Romo, the defense has a legitimate secondary and doesn’t rely solely on pass rush to get stops, and the run defense, top 5 last season, is only getting better now that Aaron Kampman has been removed. This is addition by subtraction right there, and allows for someone to play that’s not out of position. It won’t be a blowout, but it will definitely make Jerry Jones start complaining real quick. The Cowboys are too offensively minded, and this will be to their detriment in the postseason. Out west, despite a new hard-nosed approach, the Niners don’t have the talent to beat the receiving corps of the Eagles. Kevin Kolb is looking shakier than most had hoped in the preseason, but he has a lot of talent around him to pick him up. Though San Francisco has the front seven to battle anyone, their secondary even with Taylor Mays at safety needs a little more time, especially against a pass-happy coach like Andy Reid. Frank Gore will have a good game, but the defense will hold on enough to give Philly the game.
Round two in the NFC then would look like the Vikings hosting the Eagles and the Packers on the road to New Orleans. That Vikings-Eagles matchup looks like a second coming of the Niners a week earlier, but the Vikings are built like the Niners, just better in all aspects. All-everything Adrian Peterson will be able to run over even LB Patrick Willis, and Brett Favre being healthy or hopped up on pain killers is a definite upgreade over Alex Smith. I have to give it to the Vikings, even with all the talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Eagles. Plus, with Jared Allen and company desiring only to behead him, Kolb will be too shook up to be effective. In New Orleans, it looks like we’d have another shootout like Arizona had against the Pack last year. I would say the defense would carry the Pack because the QB’s match up so evenly to me, but Sean Peyton isn’t one to be fooled by something so simple as a 3-4 scheme with talent. The Packers are better defensively, make no mistake about that, but the Superdome is a tough place to win any time of the year and no matter who you are. You know what though? I think this is a year for Aaron Rogers to really emerge as he and Drew Brees trade TDs, and they’ll squeak by on a Mason Crosby last-second field goal from the 40.
Vikings-Packers in the NFC Championship? I say hell yes. I can’t imagine the Packers would be easy on Favre, since there were reports last year of the entire team including Rogers rooting against the Vikings while watching the NFC Championshipat a bar last year. This would probably be the best game of the postseason, two divisional rivals with loathing on top of hatred facing off. And though it would be story-book for Favre to pull one out over his old team and finally make it back to the Super Bowl, I feel instant karma will rear its ugly head again and Charles Woodson will waltz into the endzone with the deciding TD after Brett throws it right to him. Yes, after many years, the Green and Gold will see the big one once again.
AFC Playoff Picture
Image via Getty
Plainly the best records in the AFC will go to the Colts and the Patriots. The other teams have too brutal of schedules in their own division (yes, the Jets and Dolphins are tough, but playing the Steelers and Ravens twice is just too much) so the Pats and Colts will rest for a week, seemingly like usual. So a Jets-Bengals rematch, the same two teams that faced eachother last Wildcard Week. If you’ll remember, Chad Ochocinco said that if CB Darrelle Revis shut him down, he would change his name back to Johnson. It happened, and nothing came of it. Now, with the whole Revis situation killing the Jets along with Terrell Owens on the Bengals, this is a whole new ballgame. T.O. may not be what he once was, but him as a number 2, plus Jordan SHipley in the slot, gives Carson Palmer a pile of weapons to rival Rambo. I don’t see the Jets pulling this one out, even if Revis comes back, because there’s just too much talent for the Bengals to beat them with. Recent injuries and too much tough talk are going to sink the Jets season and Mike Francesa will be impossible to shut up.
Out in San Diego, the Ravens, plain and simple, are going to utterly dismantle the Chargers. Recent developments of wide receiver Vincent Jackson holding out combined with too many losses of talent are going to doom San Diego. Plus, the Ravens are a dangerous team in every respect now, with offensive threats to match number 52 and the rest of the big D. Like the Vikings-Packers game will be the best game, this will be the ugliest and most one-sided.
Divisional week would see the Bengals in Foxboro to face the Patriots and the Colts playing host to the Ravens. Much as I like the Bengals, Bill Belichick is just too good at what he does and will have too much time prior to the game to be able to lose. Brady and Palmer will have a shootout, with TD’s lighting the board up everywhere, but vintage Brady will show up in the last 1:30 of the game with a game-winning drive down the field. The Colts meanwhile will have their hands full. Despite upgreades to the D, the Ravens will be able to do as they please and it will be on Manning, as always, to win. This time though I think the Ravens are just too good in every respect, and will be able to bludgeon Manning out of his comfort zone. Flacco won’t outgun the great QB, but the rest of the team, healthy, will do it Baltimore style and take the game in Lucas Oil Stadium.
A a win in Indy would send the Ravens to New England the next week, and though it won’t be the same as last year, the outcome will be the same. Brady is now two years removed from knee surgery, and traditionally that’s how long it takes to come all the way back. He will have a clean game and the offense will be as-ever unstoppable, but the defense is either too old or too young at this point, and will be beaten right back. A key stop by one of the big guys in purple will be the deciding factor, whether its a tackle behind the line by Lewis or a late pick by Reed, but over the season it will become apparent the Ravens are a team of destiny. Maybe it’s a once-a-decade thing, but the Ravens will get back to the Promised Land again this season.
So a Packers-Ravens Super Bowl would be in the offing. Unlike the last time Baltimore was there, this opponent isn’t a surprise that rode some good luck like the 2000 Giants. The Packers are a real threat, and will show it quickly. This game will be more balanced than anyone would expect, neither a defensive battle or an offensive shootout. Rogers is really good, and will have his way at times with that Baltimore secondary. Ed Reed will show what makes him so great with a couple picks though, and the hard-nosedness of the Ravens will be the deciding factor. Ray Lewis is too dominating to be forgotten, and will spend a lot of time in the backfield. The Packers are expecting a lot out of a young o-line, and Terrell Suggs, Lewis, Ngata, and the rest will have a good time with them. A matchup like this has to go Ravens, with Lewis (hopefully not) riding off into the sunset. So there it is, through process of elimination and stream of consciousness thinking, the Baltimore Ravens will be Super Bowl Champs. Out on a limb? Maybe, but they’re a good team and could be great. And any time I get to watch 52 play is a bonus.