Sunday, March 28, 2010

With apologies to CCR

Before we begin today, I have a confession to make: I kinda want to see Hot Tub Time Machine.

I know! It's just, the previews look rather hilarious. Also, I've never been in a hot tub or a time machine. And while I'll always consider the latter a definite possibility, the former -- given my chronic germophobia -- will likely never happen.

Whew, I'm glad to have that off my chest. Now we can move on to more pressing matters. (Could it get any less pressing?)

The NCAA Tournament has taken up quite a bit of my time these past two weekends. I wish I could say the same for the Kansas Jayhawks, my pick for national champs. Unfortunately, they couldn't be bothered with more than a couple days of March Madness this year.

The Bone bracket was a mixed bag. I correctly picked St. Mary's and Cornell for the Sweet Sixteen. However, I also had Georgetown in the Elite Eight. And only one of my Final Four picks made it: West Virginia.

Finally, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention a topic that is on the minds of many Americans these days. And that is, how to fix our current fantasy baseball team naming system.

Last year my team -- Los Rojos -- finished 3rd. For some people, that might be satisfactory. But I say no! When did 3rd place become good enough? This is America! No one goes around shouting "We're number three!" They don't sell big foam hands with three fingers extended at football games.

Combine that with the fact that I finished in 4th place the year before, and it became obvious to me the current system wasn't working. It was time for a change.

So I put a lot of thought into coming up with a plan which would select the best fantasy team name possible. One which would both display my right-brain creativity and inspire my left-brain baseball knowledge, thus resulting in a first-place finish.

After narrowing down my choices to five finalists, I consulted with several of my trusted inner email circle, then submitted my final choice for approval. Well, the right-wing anti-Bone fat cats at Yahoo Sports were having none of it. Clearly clinging to failed policies of the past, they had placed an ultra-conservative 20-character limit on all fantasy team names. Therefore, the greatest team name in fantasy sports history -- Between Bill Buckner's Legs -- will not be used.

Forced to scramble and come up with an eleventh-hour compromise -- my fantasy draft is Wednesday -- I did my best. I know some of you may view this as nothing more than a heavily watered down version of my original proposal, but my hope is that it will at least be better than what we had.

And so, without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to your 2010 Bone fantasy baseball team: Rolen On The River.

Is this change we can believe in? Time will tell.

"Left a good job in the city, workin' for the man every night and day. And I never lost one minute sleepin', worrying 'bout the way things might have been..."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Asking out a guy

As a guy, one of the toughest things to deal with is rejection. I know times they are a-changin', but for most of my dating life, I have been the one expected to ask out the girl. Sometimes I did and she accepted. Sometimes I asked and was rebuffed with great prejudice. And sometimes I never asked and spent the rest of my life up to and including this very day wondering what if...

Where was I? Oh yes. There is one thing tougher than being rejected by a girl, however. And that is being rejected by a guy.

If a girl rejects you, in a lot of cases you probably never have to see her again, or at the least can avoid her most of the time. But if a guy rejects you, it's likely one of your guy friends, and it can be awkward. Not as awkward as having your hands accidentally touch as you're riding down the road -- that's the single most awkward situation known to modern heterosexual man and must never be spoken of by either party as long as they both shall live -- but awkward, nonetheless.

I dealt with this very situation recently. The being rejected by a guy, not the incidental hand-touching. I called Wolfgang -- OK, texted, everyone knows we don't talk on the phone -- to see if he wanted to hang out one Friday night. For months, we'd (the Darryls and I) had a standing date every weekend. But things were different now. We hadn't been out in weeks since he acquired a significant other (another significant other, other than LJ). As I thought about all the good times we had, I waited nervously for his reply. Then piercing the stillness of the room with my sonar-like text alert, there it was:

"I already have plans for tonight."

OK, so it wasn't outright rejection. But it was still a declination. And still awkward.

Now, once the initial awkwardness subsides after the man-date rejection, you then have to decide when and if to ask this guy out again. And it's a difficult decision, because the only thing worse than being rejected by a guy is to be rejected a second time by that same guy. Am I right ladies?

If you ask a girl out two, three, ten times, you might be considered persistent. But if you ask a guy out more than two times without him accepting, just... don't... ever share that with anyone else.

Being rejected by a girl is also much easier in part, I think, because as guys we almost expect it sometimes. I know I do. I mean, the average guy is probably turned down, what, tens of times in his life, if not more?

Lastly, if you're turned down by a girl, well there are three billion others out there. But if you're turned down by a guy, well you only probably have a handful of guy friends, and at this point in my life anyway, I'm not really out there trying to meet any new guys. Should I be?

That is why I think guys generally just accept any man-date we are asked out on. We understand how difficult it is to ask someone else out, whether it be a girl or another guy. If we really don't want to do something with another guy, then we just won't answer the phone when he calls, thus avoiding having to say "no" and all of the awkwardness that would thereby ensue.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to man-dates. Maybe someday we'll look at some other topics of interest, including who pays, how long should you wait for your man-date to show up before leaving, and last but not least, man-shakes and fist bumps -- how soon is too soon?

"Tell me, why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I waited three years for this?

December, 2006. Oh what a night.

Do you remember where you were?

I sure do. For that was when I somehow coerced a female into an evening out with me. We went to the movies. The film? Rocky Balboa, not surprisingly. That was also the last time I had been to a movie theater. Until last weekend.

I don't know what it was that brought me back. Maybe it was all the talk about the Oscars. Maybe it was the lack of anything better to do. Or maybe it simply took me this long to coerce another female into spending an evening with me. Whatever it was, the almost-three-and-a-half-year streak is over.

It will go down as one of the great streaks of all-time. Right up there with not drinking any carbonated beverages for sixty-three consecutive days in the late nineties, my 18-game winning streak in online Scrabble, and of course, "The Streak" by Ray Stevens.

So what did I see? Well, I considered the usual suspects -- The Blind Side, The Hurt Locker -- but you don't end a streak as impressive as this one with some run-of-the-mill Oscar-nominated Hollywood fluff. Also, neither of those were playing at the quadplex that we attended. No, our choices were Valentine's Day, Alice In Wonderland, Shutter Island, and Cop Out.

So naturally, we/I decided on Cop Out. If the streak was gonna die, it was going out with a classic. Co-starring Tracy Morgan and the incomparable Bruce Willis, along with special guest star Stiffler from American Pie, how could we go wrong?

The theater was pretty much state-of-the-art... for the 1980's. I half-expected to see a Tab dispenser on their soda fountain. And as someone who has only been to the movies twice in the past three-plus years, I won't attempt to do a movie review. But let me just say this was the best Bruce Willis movie I've seen since Sixth Sense.

Of course, it's also the first Bruce Willis movie I've seen since Sixth Sense. But now I'm just splitting hairs.

"Oh, what a night. Late December back in '63. What a very special time for me, 'cause I remember what a night..."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Men will be boys

It snowed this morning. In Alabama. In March. I don't think there's any doubt we are headed for 2012. I never saw the movie, but as I understand it 2012 is a year the ancient Mayans predicted would occur a couple of years from now. It is going to be like Y2K on crack. And there will be mayhem. And Prince will write a song about it. It is our destiny. It is inevitable. And there is nothing we can do to stop it. (Which, I believe, would be the definition of inevitable.)

In other slightly less doom-impending news, I nearly relapsed this weekend.

After venturing out Friday night only long enough to get some catfish, Saturday found me in the familiar position of wanting to spend the entire weekend in Hermitville. This desire was intensified exponentially by SoapNet airing a 90210 marathon during the period of time in question.

It wasn't even the good 90210s, either. It was after Dylan and Brenda left. Jim and Cindy had moved to Hong Kong. Kelly Kapowski had joined the cast and everybody was pretty much living, partying and/or spending the night at Casa Walsh. Still, that theme song gets me every time. Duh-duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh, chh-chh...

So there I was, having the classic devil-on-one-shoulder-angel-on-the-other moment. Active social butterfly angel was imploring, "Get up you lazy schmuck. It's a beautiful day outside. You should go and play golf." Meanwhile, hermit devil was doing his best to lure me back into the throes of hermit-itis: "Stay in bed. You love it here. You can golf anytime. How often does SoapNet have a 90210 marathon? Besides, they might go back and show an old episode like Donna Martin Graduates and you wouldn't wanna miss that, would you?"

As convincing as hermit devil was, after two-and-a-half episodes I'd had my fill of Donna and David's incessant bickering. So I decided to call LJ and we went and golfed. It was fifty degrees and sunny out, but the wind chill must have been about four. I had no idea fifty degrees could feel so cold!

It soon became apparent that my carefully chosen ensemble of khaki pants and thin black mock turtleneck pullover was not going to provide the warmth I desired. One of my fingers did that losing-color-and-going-numb thing from holes three through eight. But after that, the feeling returned, my frostbite fears subsided and it was fun. And for it being my first time golfing this decade, I played OK. I only lost two balls.

And one club.

That's right, upstanding citizen and otherwise mild-mannered blogger Bone lost a nine iron in the lake, accidentally. And by lost, I mean chucked. And by accidentally, I mean sort of on purpose. Cringe.

In my defense, the club did not appear to be working properly. It was supposed to hit the ball high into the air landing on the green. Instead, it scooted the ball along the ground about forty yards. I just as well have hit it with a log.

Oh, I couldn't be more embarrassed. When I wrote the Nine iron over the starboard side post three years ago, I never dreamt it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe the anger management classes will be on the same night and just down the hall from the 90210 support group.

"I didn't go to boarding schools. Preppy girls never looked at me. Why should they? I ain't nobody, got nothing in my pocket. Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be..."