Friday, September 15, 2006
From the Brain of The Giant Head
Here in Cincinnati we have plenty to complain about: no good form of public transportation, race-relation issues, a Banks project that won't be finished until sometime after 2078. But there is one thing—no matter your age, skin color or gender—that we can rally around: The Bengals. They're family. They're our brother. They went through that adolescent phase in the 90s where they had acne and were hard to stomach, but now they've blossomed into an adult that you enjoy to be around.
And, just when they're ready to shine, some outsider attacks them—and our home. (And no, surprisingly, it wasn't a Steelers' fan).
Elliot Kalb, sports columnist for foxsports.com, ranked Paul Brown Stadium, home of our beloved Bengals, the second worst stadium in all of football. SECOND WORST! That simply can't be true, can it? His review:
"The fans were so vulgar and there were such displays of drunkenness (no, fans, inebriation is not a right) that the team — to its credit — has instituted a jerk line to call out idiots who cross the line. Fans can use their cell phones to rat out their neighbors. Will it help? I'm skeptical. I realize that Cincinnati fans aren't the only ones who exhibit boorish behavior (Philly fans practically wrote the book on it). Besides those issues, however, there are things to dislike about PBS. I found it difficult to navigate in a car to a suitable lot, and to find the entrance to the stadium. Fans screaming about disrespect ("Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?") is hardly worthy of great NFL chants." — msn.foxsports.com/story/5941952?FSO1&ATT=HCP>1=8595
WHAT A BUM! In his reasoning for giving the stadium such low marks, he does very little to actually review the stadium and, instead, directly attacks the fans. To make matters worse, he slams the one thing that's as sacred in this city as Opening Day: the WHO-DEY chant.
NOW IT'S TIME TO FIGHT BACK!
We need to show Mr. Kalb that Bengals' Nation completely disagrees with his ranking of PBS with OPERATION: WHO-DEY!. In the words of the Authority Guru: "I suggest sending him Who-Dey emails until his inbox explodes." So please join me in "WHO-DEY-ing" Mr. Kolb (firstname.lastname@example.org) and letting him know that Bengals' Nation is number 1. No one messes with our family.
Friday, April 28, 2006
From The Brain of The Giant Head
My Six ThingsI’ve become a fairly avid MySpace user. For all you dinosaurs out there, MySpace is an online community for young people to stay in touch with their friends and for perverts to search for underage porn. Since the LGB has somehow programmed our computer to block porn sites—even the PG-13 ones—I can only use MySpace to stay connected with my friends.
Recently I was tagged by two of my friends, Kara and Jack (you’d think I could outrun both of them, but alas … ). Getting “tagged” means that they’ve written something, generally theme-based, on their MySpace page for you to read and then you have to write and post something following that theme. When you’re finished, you tag people and so forth. It’s like a pyramid scheme of fun.
This most recent project asked me to write six weird things about myself that everyone should know. While I doubt most of you think anything I do would fall under the “normal” category, I dug deep to find some items about myself that you may not have known. And, hopefully, you’re all still willing to be my friends after reading it. Here goes:
Six Things Weird About Me, by The BraiN
1. I’m extremely antsy 100% of the time. If my leg isn’t bouncing at a clip of a gillion miles per hour, I’m usually playing with my watch, tearing a napkin into a million pieces or ripping the label off of a beer. I’ve learned my lesson with functional objects, though, as I’ve put a staple clear through my finger. Twice.
2. I drive the LGB (which used to stand for Lovely Girlfriend Brittany, but now stands for Lovely Gwife Brittany) crazy when I eat soft-dough pretzels. Apparently I always peel off the skin and eat it first. After that outer layer is gone, I squeeze the dough into a ball and eat it separately. If you don’t believe me, buy me a pretzel at the Reds game. Even if you do believe me, buy me a pretzel at the Reds game.
3a. When driving in my car, I almost always rock out—and by rock out I mean sing loudly and bounce my head (Not in the I’m-Standing-At-A-Concert-Trying-To-Look-Cool kind of way, but more in a I-Have-A-Swarm-Of-Bees-Around-My-Head-And-I’m-Trying-To-Shake-Them-Off-Cause-I’m-Scared-Shitless kind of way). One time when I was jamming at a stoplight, this little old lady tapped on my window. I rolled it down and she asked (and I am not making this up), “Are you OK?”
3b. I also sing in the shower. Weird? No. But I sing TV theme songs. And yes, I know all the words to “Family Ties,” “Growing Pains,” “Who’s The Boss,” “Mr. Belvedere” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” to name a few. “Now the world don’t move … ”
4. Several times in my life I’ve attempted to take a word, turn it into an expression that means “cool” or “awesome” and subtly slip it into conversations to see if it catches on. See the failed Poison Experiment of 2001 (“That’s so poison”). The jury is still out on “That haircut is so sweet, it’s ergonomical.”
5. I think sweater vests are very ergonomical.
6. I fought getting a cell phone until this January, and not for the typical reasons you would think—don’t want people to get in touch with me, the added monthly expense, having to be one of those guys that clips it to his belt. The truth is, I grew up a punk rock kid. And, while my street cred was all ready on the downswing due to my iTunes including the music of Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory and Hanson, there’s one rule I abided by: Punk Rockers do NOT carry cell phones. So, I’ve officially sold out. No more Mohawk. No more slam-dancing. It’s only a matter of time before I grow the dad mustache.
I encourage everyone to make a list about themselves. It’s fun and it’s a good way to laugh at yourself—and to help others laugh at yourself.
Ps- Stay tuned. You thought this was hot, wait until I write the six weird things about my lovely wife. I’m sure that will go over well.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
From The Brain of The Giant Head
NCAA Bracket Number 234 out of 235
I've never won an NCAA tournament bracket before, and, with 2006's March Madness underway, I'm proudly continuing that trend--I'm in second last place. Fun times. These how-to-fill-out-a-bracket tips will guarantee that you'll never see your entry fee again.
1. Never pick a school if you could beat up the mascot. A California Golden Bear sounds like a stuffed animal you’d spoon as a child. Now the Marquette Warriors, I wouldn't @*#$ with them.
2. If you love a school and want it to do well (like I root for the University of Cincinnati), pick them to lose in the first round. I always pick UC to make the championship game. They have yet to advance past the second round and this year they didn’t even make the tourney. I’m sure it’s my fault.
3. Always pick Duke and North Carolina to go far. Everyone else does.
4. Never pick Montana to win. There are only 17 people who live in Montana and, after careful statistical analysis, there’s no way more than 3 of them can be over 6’2.”
5. If there’s a person in your office who doesn’t know a thing about college basketball but decides to enter your pool for “poops and giggles,” cheat off of them. The less a person knows about the sport, the more likely they are to win.
6. Don’t ever pick a team whose coach wears a blazer that matches the school’s colors, particularly if it’s a blinding orange. Yes, that means YOU Tennessee. While I’m generally not one to give advice on fashion, I think I’m safe in saying that if Coach Bruce Pearl’s bright orange blazer was a disease, it’d be malaria.
7. Make sure the team you pick to win it all doesn’t play their first game until the evening. I’ve made the mistake of picking a team that played in the early afternoon and, when they lose that game—and they WILL lose that game--you’re more prone to throw things. Coworkers don’t appreciate that. (Sorry about that stapler to the head, Kelly. You’d think a scar like that would heal up after three years. Then again, I also thought Iowa State would win it all.)
8. Don’t ever pick any school from Iowa. Three years in a row I picked one to go to the final four, and three years in a row they lost in the first round. If it wasn’t for Indiana, Iowa would be my least favorite state.
9. Don’t tell people that Gonzaga is your sleeper team. Gonzaga is EVERYONE’S sleeper team. You’re better off picking them to lose in the first round, then carefully memorizing this phrase and repeating it to everyone you know, “Everyone knew Gonzaga was so overrated this year.” This will make your friends feel like eggheads.
10. When the championship game comes, don’t be too upset. Just because you’re 347 points out of first place and you have Oral Roberts vs. Winthrop in your championship game, neither of whom advanced beyond the first round, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day. After all, Opening Day is upon you. And instead of watching your team fail in three weeks, it will be spread out over 6 long summer months.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
From The Brain of the Giant Head
100 Better Movie Quotes
I, like many in my generation (the generation of Cabbage Patch Kids), spend many nights holding deep conversations with my friends. We generally talk about important issues such as nuclear war, global warming and Brad Pitt. But no matter what we talk about, there is always one very common theme—we constantly quote movie lines in our arguments.
So, of course, I was super excited when the American Film Institute put together a list of the top 100 movie quotes of all time. After reading the list, I came to the conclusion, like many of you probably did, that it was created by two chimpanzees, a donkey and a paper towel. I mean, how could they include lines from such forgettable movies as Apollo 13 and Beyond The Forest?
In an attempt to rectify things (huh, huh, I said "rectify"), the brain trust at WillYee.com has put together the Top 100 Better Movie Quotes. It’s starts with number 100 so there’s some suspense when you reach number one. We tried not to have too many quotes from the same movie, but some deserved two or three spots. Enjoy.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
From the Brain of the Giant Head
Talking ‘Bout His GirlMany people love trying death defying stunts. Some jump out of planes from thousands of feet in the air with nothing but a flimsy umbrella-like parachute to break their fall to the ground. Others swim deep in the water, tempting sharks to chew through a swimsuit about as thick as a post-it note. I, on the other hand, did something more dangerous and more life-threatening than both of those combined--I asked the LGB’s Papa for his marriage blessing.
It was a Friday just like every other Friday of my life, except that I couldn’t stop urinating myself due to stress and fear. I had spent 6 hours that day composing an e-mail that was about to change my entire life.
I wrote: “Mr. Tracy…How is your day going? Mine is pleasant. Can you meet me after work?” (Meaning: I hope you don’t want to kill me.)
He e-mailed back: “Sure, how about 5:30 at Skyline in Clifton?” (Meaning: I want to kill you and eat some chili.)
I wrote: “Sounds good. See you at 5:30.” (Meaning: I’m currently preparing a will.)
His response: “Good. We can talk over some cheese coneys.” (Meaning: Killing makes me hungry for cheese coneys.)
So I left work promptly at 5 o’clock so I wouldn’t be late. During the 30-minute drive to Skyline I contemplated what I would say, how I would ask. Should I express my love for his daughter? Should I show him my clean medical history? Should I slip him a $50 and a lot of booze to lower his reaction time? I contemplated till my contemplator was sore. Then I finally came to a decision--I wasn’t in the mood for cheese coneys, so I’d get a three-way.
I arrived at the famous Cincinnati eatery at precisely 5:27, three minutes earlier than expected. I sat at a table in-between two couples, figuring he couldn’t harm me if others were around. By 5:32, both couples paid their checks and left.
One hour passes. It was 6:32 and no sign of Papa Tracy. My pores were leaking so much sweat that the Skyline manager ordered his crew to place a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign next to my table. Apparently I was becoming a safety hazard.
Then, 6:57 struck the clock. And it happened.
It’s amazing what one simple question can do to a person. Papa Tracy has always been a fairly tall man, having average build to go along with his nicely-shaped mustache. But somehow (and I’m not quite sure how this is possible) from the time that I e-mailed him until the minute he walked through the Skyline entrance, he added what appeared to be 250 lbs. of rippling muscle. It was as if Papa Tracy was eaten by a beast known as “Super Papa Tracy,” whose superpowers included eating 45 cheese coneys in a single sitting, picking up his car and carrying it over traffic from his Kentucky office, and pounding potential suitors for his daughters.
Unfortunately, suitor number one (me) can only eat 2 cheese coneys and has trouble lifting a glass of water. Panic sets in.
He sat down at my table and glared. Trying to stand my ground and look tough, I sat up straight, pulled my shoulders back and looked him right in the eyes. We were battling it out, mono-a-mono. Seeing who would flinch first. Finally, he cracked and opened his mouth.
“You have some cheese on your face.”
DAMN! I wiped a napkin across my lip and it came away covered in yellow stains. I was beat. I couldn’t win this battle. It was time for me to pack it on up and call it a night. The LGB deserved a prince in shining armor, not a cheese-faced sweat-a-holic.
But just as I was about to go, Papa Tracy flexed his muscles and spoke again:
“My boy, you have a good job, a decent sense of humor and my daughter has taken a liking to you. I’m willing to accept you as long as you abide by my three rules: 1) Take good care of her; 2) Don’t ever wear a fedora; 3) Make my daughter happy. If you don’t follow these, I will have to kill you.”
I was so overjoyed. He hadn’t killed me after all and he actually agreed to let me marry his daughter. For all the stress and build-up, our encounter was friendly. He wasn’t some crazy madman--he was just a man that cares for his daughter as much as I do, and I respected that. I think he respected that too. It is the one thing we will both always have in common.
Suddenly the fountain of sweat ran dry.
I shook his hand and left that Skyline with almost the same feeling I had the day I met the LGB. It was an excitement that I couldn’t fully explain, but felt under every inch of my skin. I was no longer confused by life--I had a set future. I was no longer a boy--I was a man.
And as soon as I got home I threw out my fedora.
Friday, November 07, 2003
From The Brain of The Giant Head
And The Winner is…Whether you remember or not (and most of you do because I’ve been receiving hate mail for months now), before the summer hit I was looking for a theme song. Not just any theme song, I was looking for a theme song to represent myself, The Brain. All good superheroes have one, and since I’m practically a superhero, I felt I needed one too. All the submissions were great, and it was really hard to choose a winner which is why it took so long.
But we do have a winner. The winner of the "The Brain Needs A Theme Song Contest" and our "Undiscovered Genius of the Month" is none other than the one, the only, Ms. Melanie Jo, who not only submitted an idea but also hammered out the new lyrics herself. For winning she gets all my expired McDonald’s Monopoly game pieces, a can of pop of her choice and a ticket to see a Reds game sometime next year with The Brain.
So, without further ado, I give you my Theme Song.
One of Us (aka The Brain’s Theme)
Thanks to everyone that participated. We’ll have another contest sometime down the road and I promise it won’t take five months to announce a winner. I promise to have it done in under three. –The Brian
Friday, October 31, 2003
From The Brain of The Giant Head
The Strike is Over--Playball.It’s been five months. FIVE WHOLE MONTHS since I’ve last written a column. Have you missed me? Where in the world did the time go? Why haven’t I been writing? What has been going on in The Brain of The Giant Head? Well, I’m about to answer all your questions.
As many of you may or may not know, I have been absent from the site because our union, NAFLHI (The National Association For Larger Headed Individuals) went on strike. The Jypsy belongs to it. The Authority Guru belongs to it. James Van Der Beek belongs to it. For years we’ve been underpaid while still carrying the burden of supporting, grooming and feeding unusually large heads. All that hard work takes money, and money isn’t something executives, such as the Wise One, like to just hand out for no reason. They like to hand it out for no reason to beautiful women. And I, unfortunately, am only a beautiful woman on the inside.
So exactly five months ago I sat down at the negotiating table with the Wise One and told him that he needed a haircut. After that, I explained to him that I demanded better treatment and for an increase in pay, which at the time stood at zero dollars per column. He responded by saying that he agreed, he did need a haircut. He also said that what he paid me was fair ($0 per column) and he wasn’t just going to hand me money.
So The Jypsy and I joined the good people at NAFLHI and went on strike. I spent the first month of the impasse outside the Wise One’s apartment, carrying a picket sign that read, "Wise One Not So Wise…Claimed Gigli Was a Good Movie!" But the Wise One was smarter than I gave him credit for, as he sent out his top negotiator, Giant Hose With Impressive Water Pressure, to convince me to leave his premises. It felt like a spit in the face--from a huge elephant. So after doing some watering of his yard on my own, I left.
I spent the next few months the same as most other people: sleeping, playing softball, moving from Chicago to Cincinnati--typical things that people do. And after I moved back to the hometown, the Wise One finally agreed to sit back down at the negotiation table with me one more time. Was it because he missed my enjoyable writing style? Was it because his Web site had become dull without my prose week in and week out? Was it because I got him really drunk, put him in a compromising position and took pictures that I threatened to release via the Web to the general public? I’d like to think it was a little bit of all three.
So we sat down at the rectangular table that had negotiation written all over it (because while the Wise One was in the bathroom, I carved it in five times). We stayed up all night trading proposals, trading counter offers, trading lunches (Moral Victory Note: What the Wise One didn’t know is that the bag of Cheetos I traded him for his pretzels had been opened 3 months ago and were stale. HA HA H…what? There was a prize at the bottom of the bag? $50 gift certificate to Best Buy? DAMNIT!).
I told the Wise One that we demanded better wages, better working conditions and a 12-month subscription to the dirty magazine of our choice. We argued for hours. We argued over money. We argued over whether it was appropriate to wear socks with sandals. Finally, after our jaws were sore, I agreed to no salary increase, no better working conditions, no magazine subscription and periodic steroid testing. He agreed to stop calling me Tina.
So after the months of hibernation, They Jypsy and I are back and better than ever. We roaring and ready to go. We’ve got knowledge pouring out of our ears and need to share it with someone. Hope you join us again.
And the strike wasn’t a total loss, I guess. I’m proud to announce that we now get off for Yom Kippur. And, more importantly, I got the Wise One to drop his idea of getting matching sweat-suits.