Friday, October 26, 2007

Gopher basketball

Last night we gathered at my dad's house for the annual ritual of divvying up his Gopher basketball season tickets. He has the tickets that originally belonged to his father, so they've been in the family for 50 years, which is kinda cool. And they're great seats (well, as great as seats can be without paying the premium seat deposit). 7th row in the free throw lane.

For as long as I've known, my dad has invited over a few friends with whom he shares the tickets. And in the past several years I've begun inviting a friend or two because none of us really wants to go to more than a few games. In the past 10-12 years it really seems like they've added more non-conference games against weaker opponents. And nobody wants to see Northwestern or Penn State. So basically there are about 6 or 7 desirable games (Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois) and about 10-12 lame games (South Dakota State, Cal-Poly, NE Louisiana, etc.). Also, in recent years they've added 2 exhibition games. At least these are half price ($15), but nobody really wants to go.

The dynamic of the divvying is thus: Rik, Chuck, Whitey, Kirk & Dan sit around Rik's dining room table on which the tickets are displayed. Everybody has their calendar and their checkbook and I often have a proxy list for a friend like Jay who was unable to attend. We passive-aggressively go through the games one-by-one and people speak up if they want it. For instance: "Okay...first game is versus Army. Anybody? ... Anybody? ... Bueller? ..." It goes on like that through the crappy non-conference games until everybody has one or two. God help the proxy person who doesn't show up, because they always get stuck with the worst of the worst. This year Jay will be enjoying Northwestern and South Dakota State. But thems the breaks.

Then we get to the Big Ten games. Now everybody knows that there are 11 teams in the Big Ten, but only 9 of them play here any year because for some amazingly ridiculous reason they choose to play 12 non-conference games, but not everybody in their own conference. I don't get it. This year Purdue does not visit. Last year it was Wisconsin. So there are the 7 good Big Ten games and the 2 bad Big Ten games and nobody wants to see Northwestern or Penn State. This is where the participants get a little more aggressive, but only partly so. Iowa? Hmm....I guess I could take the Iowa game...I mean if nobody else wants it....because the date works particularly well for me this year.

Whatever. It's pretty sad the charade we go through every year. But it's been like this for 30+ years, so who am I to question tradition.

Diamond Dave

Went to the Van Halen show in Mpls the other night. Good stuff. It was a fun show, entertaining and I'm glad I went, though it was a little weird seeing 52-year old Diamond Dave singing some of those lyrics. The crowd was fairly old and I don't think I've ever noticed so much smell of hash at a concert before. But Dave and Eddie were most impressive and it was great to see them genuinely having so much fun. Something certainly flipped the switch on that whole relationship thing between Dave and the others.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bill Moyers

I've been really enjoying watching Bill Moyers Journal of late. He discusses current social, political, cultural and economical issues ranging from deregulation of the financial industry, Iraq and American-Mid East relations to interview with poet Robert Bly.

He's pretty clearly on the liberal side of the spectrum, but that doesn't take away from the impact of the intelligent discussions he brings out of his guests. Check it out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Art Crawl

Lowertown Art Crawl is today and I'll take a stroll through a building or two this afternoon. I have one piece hanging in my place that could certainly be upgraded. Well, two actually. But the second one I envision as being a particularly expensive replacement due to the size and prominence of the space. But one for sure. And I usually end up falling in love with something at these art crawls/-a-whirls. But it's always fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Will Dare

I Will Dare still sends chills up my spine. Such an amazing song. I was listening to Sound Opinions on the bus this morning and the Chicago hosts (Greg Kot & Jim Derogatis) were interviewing Jim Walsh about his new Replacements book coming out soon. In 1984 I was 14 years old and wasn't exactly hip (my hipness didn't arrive until much later), but I still feel a real connection to this band. Only saw 'em once. In a theatre setting. But such great stuff.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Spent the weekend in NYC with a couple friends and had a great time. Highlights included:

- seeing Buddhist monks from Myanmar at the UN
- pepperoni and parmesagne at the Italian market in the Bronx's Little Italy. Gave our leftovers to a homeless guy
- Steve McQueens at Sweet Ups
- being in town while the Yankees lost 2 playoff games
- bumping into an old college pal in Union Square

Also couldn't help but notice the signs saying "No honking $350 fine" along many of the Manhattan streets. It appears to be helping. There was still some honking, but very little and very little red light running like we see in the Twin Cities, too. Seemed quite civil and it is an impressive city.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Off to NYC with Mike and Dan tomorrow. 7am flight will come a little early, but it'll be nice to have three full days there. We used Vacation Rental By Owner to book our lodging and found a good place near Union Park for a very reasonable price. I think it's around $200 for the three of us to stay in somebody's apartment. Our plan is to explore Brooklyn (Williamsburg), check out lots of bars, UN tour, maybe a show through TKTS. I'm psyched.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Your Starving Children

I fed your starving children for a couple hours at work this mean Your starving children. It's a pretty impressive operation they have and I was first introduced to it one year ago when we also did this at work. Check out the website. In 2 hours of work (which included an intro and cleanup) about 30 of us stuffed enough bags with food to feed 51 children for a year. Now my hands smell like chicken, veggies, soy and rice. Yummy!