What the Deuce: February 2006

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Good Sports Weekend

Big sports weekend, at least for me. I woke up Saturday and caught about a period and half of the Canada v. Switzerland men's hockey game. The USA hockey game followed that up and at 4p I got to watch Michigan play Michigan State in men's hoops, a rarity for me now that I live in Miami. Last night I had the choice between watching more Olympics or the NBA All Star coverage (which is usually hilarious because of the TNT crew).

This morning I woke up and watched the US play Sweden in hockey and now I'm watching Indiana at Illinois. Tonite I'll watch more Olympics before heading to bed!

Here are some of my thoughts on this sports orgy:

Olympic Hockey

Olympic hockey, in my opinion, is better than the NHL for a number of reasons. First, most of the teams in the Olympics have rosters loaded with stars from the NHL. Yesterday while watching Canada's surprising loss to Switzerland, Mike Emerick commented that when Pat Quinn was asked who he would put together on a line if he needed a goal late a game, Quinn stated, without hesitation, "Bertuzzi, Sakic and Inginla." Basically, these are fantasy rosters coming to life. It aslo fun to watch NHL teammates play against each other. Today's USA v. Sweden game had, I believe, 5 Red Wings in it. It just adds a little twist to the whole tournament.

The second reason Olympic hockey is more entertaining is because every game counts. If a country is stuck in a tough pool, it needs to win or have a great goal differential to get into the quarterfinals. The US fell to 1-2-1 but will get in, but this is only because the only two teams behind it have 1 and 0 poins respectively. This isn't to say something might change, leaving the US on the outside looking in - if Latvia wins big and the US loses to Russia, the US could be going home really early.

Finally, I like the open skating in the Olympics. The game is cleaner and relies more on skill than the brute force which became a hallmark of the NHL. I think the biggest contributing factor to the better play is the open space - the international rink is wider than the NHL rink.

Bottom line: If I can catch a game live, I will. Its great and the only other time I get even this remotely excited about hockey is for the college hockey tournament and the NHL playoffs.

Michigan v. Michigan State

I was lucky enough to get a chance to watch this game. The last game I saw before this one was against Purdue during which I turned off the TV at halftime so I could go get a hamburger at Houston's Steakhouse (which was a good decision).

Michigan was overmatched yesterday, plain and simple. Chris Hunter's knee injury was frustrating more than anything. When I saw him on the bench with the ice pack, I just thought, "Here we go again." I agree with most of the open thread comments at MGoBlog that the injuries have taken a toll on this team. Overcoming them is a tall order for this team, if not any team in the country. State played a good game, got on a roll, and were easily able to pull away.

Two things I'd like to comment on though: the Amadou Ba incident and Courtney Sims. Its really unfortunate what happened before the game, but I can't blame Ba for what he did. Too many fans think that they are a part of the action and can come onto the field of play without any reprecussions. I'm not surprised this happened at State but that isn't to say it couldn't have happened at Michigan or any other school in the country. Schools need to employ more security during the shootaround and warmups before the game to insure both safety to the players and fans. Truly an unfortunate incident but I wasn't surprised that it happened after the Pettway/Ager incident in Ann Arbor. I definitely wasn't surprised the guy was intoxicated.

Courtney Sims needs to go away. He did have 15 points on 6 shots and I'll give him all the credit for that. BUT he only had 1 rebound the entire game. At times he looked lost and although he got called for a couple of debatable calls, the last foul against Sims was deserved. He didn't have position and backed away after he saw the State player driving straight at him. Its one thing if he got called for a blocking foul after holding his ground but he backed away, making it an obvious call for the refs. Sims needs to get more aggressive but its never going to happen and its a disappointment.

Hopefully, Michigan can get a couple more wins to help their tournament resume, but don't hold your breath.

NBA All Star Game

Don't even care. It was a big thing for me when I was younger but now I don't really even care. I can't think of any All-Star Game that I care to watch. I would rather watch basketball with defense and team play...like the Pistons play normally.

I think the reason the NBA All Star Game still means something with most fans is obviously because they get to vote in the starters but also because All Star Weekend is a big party and the players genuinely look like they are having fun out there.

Unfortunately, the reason I have no interest in the game is because the fans vote. I know they "pay the bills" (which they don't, the corporate sponsor do) but the fans usually vote in underserving players. There is no way Yao should be starting for the West. The fans just pick the big name players and not the guys who deserve it. This formula led to the Pistons having no starters but four reserves when 1) they play for the best team in the league and 2) they all are having great seasons. There is no way AI deserves to start over Chauncey. There is no logical argument that can be made for this. This is why I don't watch the All-Star Game anymore.

Personally, I think the Pistons' players should have skipped the game on principle and taken some rest because they are going to need it come playoff time.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Doctor! Doctor!

A doctor I would trust, even with his penchant for laughing at inoppurtune times

Last night my friends and I went to the University of Miami Grad School Mixer (put together in part by my roommate and Donald Wine of Word Life fame) at Opium Garden on South Beach. I was bit skeptical about the whole thing for a few reasons:

1. The start time was 10:30.
2. Open bar from 10:30 to 11:30.
3. Counting all the RSVPs and passes handed out the club was going to exceed capacity.
4. Mixers usually don't accomplish their intended goal.

Let me recap the night: I was at The Editor's when my roommate sent me a text saying that we were leaving at 9:30. This wasn't a big deal because I was heading over back to my house to eat dinner and get ready. Plus, my roommate was driving, which is as rare as spotting an Indian girl at a gym. Anyway, when I got home I asked why we were leaving so early and I found out that between the med school, law school, and b-school, the organizers were expecting 1200 people. Opium holds 850 - max. Basically, if we didn't get there before 10:30, we weren't getting in, period.

We ended up getting in line at about 10:15. There was another problem though. It was three guys and one girl in our group. South Beach bouncers are notorious for having God complexes. Some of these guys act like they are protecting the President rather than an open bar serving shitty well liquour. I was worried that they weren't going to let us in without the proper ratio, even though we all had passes.

I have to give credit to Amit though. By 10:30 there were about 200 people already waiting to get in (open bar + broke grad students = chaos). I also figured that the bouncers would wait until we were ready to riot before letting anyone in, so that the club wouldn't have to give away too much free liquor. They started letting people in at 10:35.

Donald, The Editor, and I got in fine, but somehow Amit got held up. I beelined to the bar to get as many drinks as I could hold. When Amit finally got in, he got me another drink, so I was double fisting. Unfortunately, the alcohol was terrible. The Editor couldn't finish her Vodka Tonic cause it tasted like rubbing alcohol. I had to slog to get through 2 of them. I returned to the bar to get a couple of rum and cokes, about 15 minutes after I had gotten my first round. This time it took me about 10 minutes to get my drinks because of the number of people surrouding the bar. Of course, the bartender was a bitch. She wouldn't serve people unless they were flashing cash for her tips. I wanted to lean over and tell her to do her job, but that would have been the end of the night for me. I got the drinks, got out, and that was the end of the open bar for me.

Like I said, open bars are funny. I am convinced that people will drink liqour that tastes like urine, if it is free. People were ordering 5 drinks at a time and how can you blame them? It was impossible to get drinks, especially when there were only 3 people working the bar for about 800 people. Yet, after the open bar finished at 11:30, there were 5 people working the bar...go figure?

Other thoughts from last night:

1. People don't know how to order drinks. Memo to those people: order your drinks, pay the bartender, and get the hell outta the way. Its cool if you are trying to pick someone up, but don't stand there talking about how it sucks you have Friday class.

2. I hate how places set a minimum amount for opening a tab; at Opium, its $50. First, from what I know this is illegal. Second, these places are in business because people are paying $8 for a beer. It should be good enough that we pay cover to get in and pay stupid prices for drinks. What happened to catering to the customer?

3. Mixers don't accomplish intermingling. People are too concerned with getting their free drinks and no one mingles with people outside of their group. The lawyers hung out with the lawyers. The docs hung out with the docs. I didn't see any bschool people there. Plan one of these things at a club, its definitely not going to work.

4. Why aren't there more Indian girls in bschool? I was trying to find Amit an Indian girl to hook up with last night. Within 5 minutes of getting into Opium, I saw 3 from the med school.

5. I hate when clubs have live performances of muscial acts that aren't famous. I know its a way to get discovered but don't do it on my dime. Plus, taking time out to let these guys perform kills the atmosphere and everyone's buzz. Last night there was a fashion show with a couple of no talent rappers trying to pick up girls. They were horrible. And the models were fat and wearing clothes that were not at all flattering.

6. The congregation of med students was a bacchanalia. The Editor thinks that dealing with mortality on a daily basis induces an alcohol driven frenzy to procreate. I have been around med students for the last 4 years and I've never witnessed anything like this before. Some of my best friends just started residency and when they were in school, they partied pretty hard - but nothing like this. Some of the people there last night reminded me more of Dr. Nick than Dr. Hibbert. Even if I was bleeding profusely, I wouldn't let some of these people within 10 feet of me. I don't know if this is more of an indictment of Miami's med school or med students themselves.

Oh, I forgot one more thing. They are pretentious. A girl in med school walked by my friend Nick and said, "These law school fuckers are so arrogrant." Look, just cause you are going to cut someone open someday means nothing to me. Just make sure that after a night of drunken sex you don't screw up 'cause I know some people who will use your mistake to buy a new Porsche.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More Duplicitous Than Marrying Someone to Cross The Border

The biggest sham of them all.

Sham (adj):

1. Not genuine
2. Having such poor quality as to seem false

Good Shams:

1. Sham marriage: A marriage primarily to circumvent some law. Typically used to get a foreigner a Green Card. Also used for tax benefits.

2. Sham schedules: Not a generally used phrase but mostly in reference to a sports team that has inflated its record against weak opponents ("K-State's non-conference schedule is a sham.").

3. Sham team: Very closely related to the sham schedule. Simply, what a team is when it plays a bunch of creampuffs only to be exposed later (see K-State in the the 1990s).

Bad Shams:

1. Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics

2. Figure Skating scoring

3. Figure Skating in general

Explanation of Categorization:

As a sports fan, teams that are deemed shams are great for a variety of reasons. For example, you can take advantage of the offending team's fans in gambling situations. These teams also give hope - Let's say team A is a sham (for whatever reason) and team B is scheduled to play the aforementioned team A. Team B's fans can take solace in the fact that Team A has probably played weak opponents and thinks its better than it really is. This logic is very much intertwined with schedules that are shams because its arguable that the number one reason a team becomes a sham is because it is playing a schedule that is a sham. Typically these teams are prone to losing big bowl games or have early exit in the elimination rounds of its respective playoff system. Unfortunately, these types of shams could be categorized as Bad Shams because if you are a fan of one of these teams and are unbaised enough to see it, you know problems lie ahead.

So how does figure skating figure into all of this? Figure skating is the biggest sham of all. In the Olympics, this sport is the biggest draw yet its scoring is arbitrary. Yes, there is a new system in place that gives the judges
guidelines on how to score a participant's performance, but a judge's subjective opinion is still heavily involved in determining who does well and who does not. This is quite different than say, Downhill skiing where the winner is the fastest one down the hill.

The other night while watching the Olympics with my girlfriend (hereby know as The Editor; she cleans up my mistakes more times than I can count). We watched a competitor fall and still get a score higher than another skater who successfully landed the same jump earlier.The next night, a Chinese pairs team completely botched its routine but still managed to win the Silver medal. Here's what happened:

The male skater attempted a throw with his partner in which she is supposed to make 4 complete rotations before landing. Only here, she didn't land the jump. She practically killed herself. The replays were brutal. Basically, she landed in an awkward split and was severely injured to the point where they had to stop the routine. The couple had to leave the ice and their Olympic dream seemed to be over....only that they came back onto the ice after she informed the judges she wanted to complete the program. Basically, they got a do over and ended up winning the silver.

I don't watch figure skating religiously. I basically watch it every four years and only to watch the competitors fall (especially the Non-Americans). I know its mean, but hey, I consider it being patriotic. Anyway, my point is this: In no other sport can a competitor leave the field of play until he or she feels better and then come back and win. Yes, I know there are exceptions like a football player getting injured and being replaced for a play, series or quarter. But the big difference there is that football is a team sport. Replacing an injured player is part of the game. Usually, in individual sports, that is not the case.

In golf, if Tiger Woods pulled a hamstring, he'd be forced to withdraw. He wouldn't be able to wait for 3 hours and then come back and golf. In tennis, a sport I played, a competitor can have an injury timeout but if the injury is severe, he is forced to retire. In fact, this happened to multiple women in the Australian Open this past January. In fact, I remember Pete Sampras throwing up between points during the US Open but having to play through it because of the risk of having to withdraw.

During this skating incident, it wasn't as if the skater fell, got up, caught her breath and started to skate again. She left the rink for five minutes after being down on the ice. Now I don't know what the rules are for figure skating but the fact she went down to an injury and left the ice should, in my mind, disqualify them. When Tonya Harding snapped a skate lace she had to lobby to the judges to leave the ice to get another lace and then compete. I believe she had a set amount of time to start her program before she was disqualified.

Ok, so if the judges didn't want to be so harsh, shouldn't they have penalized the pair severely for the incomplete trick and wipeout? After such a mistake, on a key part of their program, how could they have won the silver?

This should not be a medal sport in the Olympics, but just an exhibition. Unfortunately, its such a big draw that this will never happen. And with the IOC becoming more Eurocentric you can expect more "American" sports to be dropped before figure skating does (no baseball and softball in 2012).

Figure skating is a sham. A bad sham. I'll stick to helping immigrants like this one come to America.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

She Likes Me, She Likes Me Not

Michigan basketball is like a girl I once dated in college. I had met her before, at a party, and when I saw her on campus one day, I asked her out. She agreed and we went to dinner. The first red flag appeared as we drove to the restaurant. She told me she was a bit hesitant because she didn't know if we were going out on a "date." She had just broken up with her boyfriend and she didn't want him to feel bad.

Anyway, we had fun at dinner and she told me that she was going to a party later that night and that it would be cool if I met her there. Coincidentally, I had plans to go to the same party, so the night, in my mind, was going well. I told her that she should come to a pre-party with me at a friend's house. She politely declined saying she had to meet friends in South Quad. That's when I noticed red flag number two. Her ex called and asked why she wasn't in her room, if she was going out to a party with him that night, you know, the whole ex-boyfriend stalker thing.

To make a long story short, she met up with me at the party later, but had a guy with her. It wasn't the ex, but, in her words, "my best friend." Red flag number three. I know I should have abandoned ship at that point but since I had just found out that my ex had just started dating a new guy, I decided that I was going to keep at it.

Fast forward a few hours. Me and the girl from dinner end up back at my place. I'm thinking, "okay, this is good, not a total loss." But in fact it was. She gave me the whole I'm-a-good-girl speech and told me that she didn't really want to do anything and that she was too drunk, and blah blah blah. She proved to be complete tease* and to make things worse, she started dating her "best friend" a couple weeks later. Because of my pride and competitive nature, I went down with the ship.

Michigan basketball is as bad as this girl. In November we were bombarded with Tourney Hype. There was no way Michigan was not getting in. Lester Abram was back after losing a season to injury. Daniel Horton was coming back from suspension. Dion Harris had more experience under his belt being forced into a leadship position at the end of last year. I had countless reason to why Michigan would get in the tourney.

The season started with mere flirtation that quickly mushroomed into infactuation. I called friends back home to talk about hoops. If I couldn't watch a game, which is quite often here in Miami, I followed the game on mgoblue.com. I would eagerly read the newspapers and blogs to get other people's opinions on my new love.

But in December the first red flag made its appearance - a home loss to UCLA in a turnover ridden game in conjunction with poor shooting. Courtney Sims was exposed as just a body in the paint. Yet, I just dismissed it as a loss. No big deal, she still likes me.

Michigan ripped off 3 wins before opening the Big Ten season against Indiana in a game which they looked horrible. Red Flag number two. Another game with turnovers and typical play which the fans had become accustomed to in the last decade. Once again, I came up with excuses. No big deal, Indiana was #16 at the time. The Big Ten is tough, they weren't going to win em' all anyway.

After a close loss to Illinois on the road, myself and many fans still felt pretty good about the team. Michigan played well in that game, just coming up short at the end.

The January 18th game against NU was the make or break moment for the team. They needed a win streak to keep their hopes of making the NCAAs alive. It was the last chance. If she doesn't show me some attention now, I'm done. Well, she did and she showed a lot. She locked her eyes with mine, blew me a kiss, and tossled her hair. Damn the two red flags, she was really into ME!

Five straight wins! A win at home over MSU and Wisconsin. All of a sudden a Big Ten Championship wasn't out of the question. She had you buying her flowers and calling her to go out to dinner. A couple more dates and she'd be your girlfriend...and that's when Red Flag 3 came out.

An ugly road loss to Iowa which displayed the weaknesses of Michigan basketball. An injury to Lester Abram. Another loss, this time at home to OSU, a team that just didn't miss that night. A devastating ankle injury to Dion Harris. You knew it was back to normal. She didn't like you in the first place. She was just a tease. But because of your competitive juices and hope, you decided to give her another chance...and what happened? She just laughed and started dating her best friend.

The loss to Purdue on the road was unacceptable - injuries or no injuries. Turnovers, poor shooting, even worse on the defensive end. The hopes of a Big Ten title are just a memory and this team needs to worry about making the postseason (NCAA, not NIT). Three players out with injury. Road stops in East Lansing and Columbus. Difficult home dates against Minnesota and Illinois and Indiana. This team looked horrible on Sunday.

Here's the catch, though. With the girl, I got over it and moved on. At some point, I gathered my pride and said, "forget her, no more chances." But I can't do that with Michigan hoops. I can be teased over and over and still give them a proverbial second chance. Like that night in undergrad, I'll go down with the ship. But here, it'll happen over and over and over again.

Note: By no way am I saying that because she didn't hook up with me that night, she was a tease. I took some journalistic liberties to help the flow of this post

Friday, February 10, 2006


I tried about 5 times now to write about the changes in the Michigan football program and have failed miserably. At first, when I found out that Ron English had left to become DB coach for the Bears, I was infuriated. After hearing the rumors about Loeffler going to New England, I became more frustrated.

My attempts all centered around how Michigan refused to change or was hesistant to do so and its effect on the program. I tried comparing the program to Ford and GM and their struggles in the auto industry. My point was that becauase they didn't change and adapt to the market, Toyota, initally a small player in the US market was able to lap them. GM and Ford didn't take Toyota seriously and it bit them in the ass.

This seemed to be the case with Michigan football; still stuck in the 3 yards and cloud of dust mentality. On defense, the same lack of agressiveness we have become accustomed to in the Herrmann era. While teams like Penn State and even OSU went to some spread sets, Michigan seemed hesitant to do the same. Likewise, on defense, Michigan refused to or couldn't adjust to defending mobile quarterbacks.

On Friday, fans clamoring for Herrmann's departure got some positive news. Ron English deciding to come back to Ann Arbor, to lead the defense. I am excited to see how the defense plays in the upcoming season. I think all of us want to see more aggressive playcalling and we'll see if it comes to fruition.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the ball, there is concern that the team has taken a step back. Or a ride in Doc's Delorean time machine. Mike DeBord takes over the OC postion he once held, most notably in 1997 during Michigan's national championship run. This move concerns me immensely. DeBord has said he wants to open up the offense, an annual promise. I'm curious to see if this happens, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

I would have liked to have seen Loeffler get the OC position but maybe he isn't ready or Carr is really setting up DeBord to succeed Carr after Carr retires. Who knows. My last request for the offseason would to see progress from the O-Line. I grew up watching Michigan football and offenses that heavily relied on the run. The O-Line was a big part of this and it was able to maul defenses. I have not seen that out of the O-Lines in the last two years and while some of that can be attributed to injury, I think there is a strength and conditioning problem also. The current lines remind me more of the Detroit Lions' lines of the early 90s that Barry Sanders used to run behind - they didn't go out and kill anyone, pretty much made sure not to get pushed back until Sanders found/created a hole to run through.

Its encouraging to see Carr make some changes but I'm more curious to see how these changes work out.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Spelling Bee Lawsuit

There are few shows on TV that still grab my attention to the point I'll stop what I'm doing and just watch. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is one of them. It could be the middle of the night and my girlfriend could be calling me to bed and I'd still watch (yes, I know I have problems, major problems).

In fact, this actually happened to me this past December and my girlfriend and I ended up watching a rerun of the 2004 Bee. My girlfriend had never watched one; her only experience with the Bee was watching Spellbound on DVD. If you haven't seen it, its a documentary that follows around contestants from around the country on their road to Washington DC, the home of the National Bee.

I get lots of enjoyment from watching the Bee for a multitude of reasons. The most obvious is the suspense right before a kid has to spell his word. As a viewer, you will get pulled in. I mean, where else can you see elementary aged kids spell words that most people couldn't spell let alone pronounce?

More funny are the moments of subtle humor. I always crack up when a speller second guesses the moderator, Dr. Alex Cameron. Without fail, he tilts his head down, peers over the top of his glasses, and rudely says, "no" with a look that says "kid, you've memorized the dictionary, you're surprised at this?"

Speaking of memorizing the dictionary, these kids actually do memorize the dictionary. One year after a speller was eliminated, he said the interviewer, "I guess I have to go back and memorize the dictionary again."

These contestants are freak shows. Society shuns parents that push their kids in sports, but some of these parents are just as bad. In Spellbound, a parent got his kid a tutor, language coaches (so he could learn the roots of words), and made the kid spell an inordinate number of words everyday. On top of that, the parents paid people in India to pray for the kid and promised a temple something like 5,000 meals if he won the Bee. I would make a snide comment here, but its really not necessary. Just read the paragraph again to see how out of control this event has become.

My girlfriend said these kids are case studies for social disorders. Most look like they just woke up: their Bee issued shirts about eight sizes too big, coke bottle glasses, uncombed hair, and splints on injured fingers (don't ask, cause I don't know). A vast majority of the kids are homeschooled and have hobbies like "throwing rocks" and "playing video games."

Watch the interviews and see how socially deficient they are. Rebecca Sealfon, after winning the Bee, could barely interact with the interviewer. She went to grab the microphone, couldn't formulate coherent sentences, and even said the Bee was a bad idea because of the pressure it puts on the contestants. My girlfriend saw her on tv, turned to me, and in all seriousness said, "I think she's autistic."

What makes the Bee so fun, though, is the antisocial behavior. One of my favorite moments of the bee was when a speller fainted on stage. While he was passed out on the ground, no one came to his assistance. Fortunately, he picked himself up, spelled the word, and acted like nothing had happened.

So you may be asking, why am I rambling about the spelling bee? This is why. This poor girl got eliminated incorrectly and instead of being rude and causing a scene, her parents decided to be polite and wait until the end of the Bee to file a complaint. The judge's response was to say that they should have protested right away, like an NFL coach challenging a bad call.

What bothers me about all of this is that this is the last year the girl is eligible to participate in the Bee. And even though she may be a freak show, this is something she's been practicing for and it would be wrong to have her eliminated because some idiotic adult couldn't spell, hear, and prematurely ring a bell. Of course, the family has now responded by threatening to sue the school district. Only in America.


I have changed my stance. As the rules state, a speller must challenge right away. If the girl didn't know the rules, too damn bad. Luckily the participants in the potential lawsuit have come to an accord. The top 3 speller in the county will go to the Nevada state Bee in Las Vegas (I wonder if the books will take bets on who will win or faint... what's the over/under on participants that are homeschooled?). Read about it here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Midweek Recap

Busy weekend with the Super Bowl, birthday parties, and Michigan football. I'll get right into it.

Super Bowl Thoughts:

This year, I wasn't particularly interested in the game, but I was excited because my house decided to throw a Super Bowl Party. At first, it was a small get together but that quickly changed as word got around the law school. I was worried cause I didn't want people coming to the party without making a food or beverage contribution (it was originally a "potluck"). My girlfriend was worried because my house isn't that big and she didn't know where everyone would sit. Our worries were for naught as people brought more than enough food. Mike Gittleson would have been proud of our spread: Quarter Pounders from McDonald's, chili, chicken fries (complements of the King), bean dip, nachos, mac and cheese, and tons of fried chicken. There were also some healthy contributions like fruit and beer. The party was a big success as at one point we had 31 people and a dog in a three bedroom house. Our front yard was a makeshit parking lot reminiscent of the house on Arch Street on a football Saturday. Oh yeah...I forgot, I won almost $200 playing squares. Overall a great party.

The game itself left more to be desired. I am very happy The Bus got his ring, but I was more happy that Jerame Tuman and Larry Foote got their's. See, I am a die hard Lions fan and every year after they are mathematically eliminated around Thanksgiving, I root for teams that employ ex-Michigan players. That's all I really have to say about that.

Finally, from what I am hearing, Detroit did a great job hosting XL. Let's hope that this is the springboard for bigger and better things for the old rust belt city.

Birthday Parties

Friday night I went to Opium on South Beach with most of my 2L class for a birthday party. Opium is my favorite place on the beach because its essentially 3 clubs in one and they play good hip hop. Unfortunately, this was not the case on Friday. Thank God I drank as much as I did.

Saturday night I went to Automatic Slim's, again on South Beach. I'd never been there before, but I have always wanted to go. My girlfriend and I went for our friend Dish's birthday and it was excellent. I can't really describe the feel of the bar other than saying it reminded me of a mix between Swingers and neighborhood bar. They played a great mix of music, the drinks were relatively cheap (good because my girlfriend accidentally dropped my pint of Sam Adams), and there were attractive girls dancing on poles and on the bar. Great night. Good times. Definitely a place to check out. I will go there again.

Michigan Football

There is just too much for me to write on what I think is going on right now. I'm gonna save it for another post.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Best Haircut Ever

I graduated high school in 1997. Since then, in approximately 9 years I have moved a grand total of 11 times. Granted for 4 years in college, I was moving from place to place around Ann Arbor, but it was still annoying. I hated packing boxes, unpacking, setting up my room, decorating (it has to feel somewhat like home), and then doing it all over again nine months later. Now I know it was my decision to move so much and I realize I was stupid for doing that every year.

After undergrad, I moved to Chicago for 2 years. This move was even harder because it was long distance. Besides dealing with moving into a new apartment, I had to figure out where to grocery shop, run errands, and where to get coffee (luckily I found a place a block from Starbucks). Still, I have to say the most difficult thing about moving to a new city is...Finding a good barber.

Until I left Ann Arbor, I was close enough to my parent's house and my barber Carl. If for some chance, I couldn't make it back to Troy, I found a servicible replacement at the Barbershop on South State Street...the one where they did the Playboy shoot.

Having a good barber is as important as knowing a good lawyer, doctor, or financial advisor. Sometimes, I would say its more important because a good haircut helps getting girls, or so I've been told. For me, I have two requirements in my barber:

1. Gives me a good haircut
2. Cheap

I don't want to pay $20 for a haircut and have moral objections to doing so (and financial ones too). I don't go to salons. I want a old school haircut with scissors, a straight blade razor to get cleaned up around the edges, and a clipper to do the sides of my head. My haircut isn't complicated either. Just give me a one on the sides, taper it in, and keep it short on top. I've been getting this haircut since high school and its amazing how hard its been to find a barber that can do this competently and for a reasonable price (e.g. $15 with tip).

While in Chicago, I went to 2 places and tried out 3 barbers and I really wasn't happy with any of them. I must say the atmosphere at the Italian barbershop was amusing: old Italian guys yelling at each other about which Frank Sinatra cd to listening to, all in a place with framed poster and pictures of Italian icons like...Tony Soprano.

I moved to Miami about a year and half ago and the hunt was on again. My friend Donald told me about a black barbershop near his apartment and I decided to check it out. Tommy, a nice young man with gold teeth, cut my hair. I was impressed. Just the way I like it. Even more, he "lined me up" around my goatee (since gone), sideburns, and the back of my head. He also shaved my face. Total cost: $15 with tip. Fantastic.

I kept visiting Tommy until around April of 2005 when one day I went in and Tommy was no longer there. The story I got was that he was homesick and moved back to NC. Promptly, Tommy's associate, Nooney B. cut my hair but he was no Tommy. The search was on again. I would miss the barbershop and all its antics. Pool table, loud hip hop music (a plus, I love hip hop), and the side businesses (could buy throwbacks and celebrity sex tapes). The hunt was on again.

My friend, Amit, told me about a place close to where I lived. He said to go there and ask for Daisy. So I did. It wasn't the greatest haircut and cost me $17 with tip and Daisy spoke no English. But I saw why Amit liked it there so much. Daisy was always in tight clothing and there was a good chance you would get intimate with her breasts as she cut your hair. I went there twice between August and December as I was on a "let's grow my hair out kick" (prompted by my girlfriend running her fingers through my hair while cooing, "I like your hair longer"). I even started putting gel in my hair.

Luckily over Christmas break I went back to Detroit and had Carl take care of business. Unfortunately my hair grows fast. Today, I went to get a haircut. On a suggestion from my girlfriend, I went to a place walking distance from her apartment. I said "I hope the barber speaks English."

We got there and the place was called "Larry's Barbershop." Good sign. I got my haircut from Carlos and its the best haircut I have gotten in a long time. Carlos could give Carl a run for his money. I wish I would have found him earlier.

Carlos' technique was flawless. First he cleaned up the side of my head with the trimmer and then made sure to shave the back of my neck with a beard/moustache trimmer. Then he did something I had never experienced before. He took a straight razor like tool to cut my hair. While using a comb as a guide he gently flicked his wrist and the razor like device cut my hair. It felt good and was effective. I was in complete awe. After tapering in my hair he used scissors to do the top of my head. Finally, he shaved the back of my neck and around my ears and sideburns with a straight razor.

After he was done, I looked at my girlfriend and he caught me and said, "If she didn't say anything, it looks good." He was right, she didn't say anything and it looks good. He put a little bit of hairspray in my hair, spiked it up a bit and I was on my way. I asked him how much I owed and he said "Eleven." I gave him $13 and was on my way.

The search is over.