Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Diarrhea of the Mind, Episode 3: Clearly Being Productive at Work

Definitely can't continue this when I start my full-time job in eight weeks.

Thinking about changing this column name to “Cubicle Relief,” but gonna stick with DOM for now.

The more I try to eat healthy and stay in shape (not that I couldn’t lose a few pounds, but at least the effort is there), the more I realize the obesity epidemic in the United States, especially in the state of Wisconsin. Last night was bacon night at a bar called Wando’s on University Ave. in Madison. You’ve got literally obese people eating mounds of bacon, slurping down Miller Lites at midnight, a few hours after they put down a couple bratwursts and beers for dinner, probably followed by some frozen custard for dessert. It’s actually disgusting. Look around; you’ll notice it if you begin to remotely look for it. Go to Europe and you don’t see that kind of nasty shit.

Good talkin’ NBA basketball with Pat Sofen at Wando’s last night, who got to experience all three Finals games in Boston as well as a Red Sox game at Fenway all for the first time. Good to know he enjoyed the city. Unfortunately he’s been working for the Lakers for a few years now. Thankfully he only modestly rubbed it in my face while we were slurping (that’s a mild verb for what was actually happening) a fishbowl at the bar.

Monster shoutout to my longtime friend Ben Camiel after his bone marrow transplant. Kid’s tough as nails. Stay up, my man, we’re all pullin’ for you.

Shoutout to Henry Aschauer – one of my roommates in Prague – for waking me up at 3am, almost breaking my bed, just to say goodbye. Have a safe trip home kid. We’ll go heli skiing together before 2017 for sure.

Mark my words: Yanni Hufnagel will be a Division I NCAA basketball coach before 2018. Just remember that you heard it here first.

Wow, people in Detroit are actually miserable. I’ve been calling that area for work for a few hours now, and either the number doesn’t exist anymore, or people have no interest in a FREE service that could help their businesses. It’s actually pretty sad.

OK so I think I’ve got it figured out. LeBron and Chris Bosh go to Chicago. Amare and Joe Johnson go to New York and wait for Carmelo to come a year from now. Pierce, Ray Allen and Doc Rivers re-sign with the Celtics. But who plays with D-Wade in Miami? Dirk? Nah, he’s staying in Dallas with my boy Mark Cuban. Shit…

But if the Nets move to Brooklyn, LeBron has to play there. God damn it.

Will Uncle Eric join me to shred pow in Chile next month? Tik, tok, tik, tok [insert Jeopardy theme music here].

Shoutout to longtime friends Jeremy and Alex Hyman on their journey to see all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums this summer. Check out their blog here. Too bad I’m going to be home while they’re in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Another shoutout to longtime friend Mike “Mikey V” Vinci doin’ his radio thing in Ithaca, N.Y. Kid’s as motivated as anyone I know (behind Yanni, that is).

Can’t wait for Entourage Sunday.

Gotta have a going away party in August. Wanna go back to New York one more time. Gotta book this flight to Santiago, Chile. Most important of all, gotta get an apartment sometime in the next 25 days.

This is how my brain works. I know I’m fucking crazy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Diarrhea of the Mind, Episode 2: Back from New York

For those of you who aren’t aware or simply forgot, New York is fucking nuts. Chicago, the third largest city in the U.S., seems big, but the Big Apple makes the Windy City look like me next to Dwight Howard; granted, it is over four times the size (and so is he). But still, you forget just how big it is until you’re standing on 34th Street, surrounded by monstrosities that make you wonder how the hell anybody every built this massive place.

New York is awesome, but it revolves a bit too much around money for my liking, being the 22-year-old recent graduate that I am. People are packed like sardines into tiny little apartments for a quarter-million dollars a month and every conversation somehow alludes to Franklin or Jackson, or at least Lincoln, if you’re only taking a three-block cab ride.

Ok enough about New York; time for Diarrhea of the Mind (DOM), Episode 2:

What the hell is LeBron James worried about a max contract for? The majority of his future bankroll will come from endorsements and appearances, not his NBA salary. In which case, doesn’t he and Chris Bosh have to play for the Knicks? Geoff Thaw, Russell’s dad is certain he’ll be a Knick within a few weeks. The flatlanders out here seem to disagree…

It’s funny how our Camp Cedar crew remains so close, even though we haven’t really spent more than a weekend together in seven years when we were 15. I guess that’s what you get for spending over a year’s worth of your gambling (kidding, sort of) and playing sports with the same people while aged 9-15. That said, great seeing Russell, Danny Tuckman, Josh Dembling, Glenn Alterman, Eric Cohen, Harry and Jared Freid and Keith Benjamin in Manhattan over the weekend. Oh the friendships the Hackers have created…

Shoutout to my boy Zubair (also known as Pooh Bear, thanks to Jeff Shocket) for just being a boss.

Anti-shoutout to Shocket for being absent this weekend and not answering any of our 73 calls during that time.

As obnoxious as New York can be in regards to money, it does get your business wheels spinning. Although, maybe it’s just hanging out with Tuckman that does that for me. We’d talk business in Fargo, N.D., too. But it is extremely motivating to see everyone working so hard in the city, as I wait on deck for my Aug. 23 start date at Coyote.

I thought I said enough about New York?

Quote of the Weekend: “Mother, I’d like to have dinner with you; would you like to have dinner with me?” – Tuckman. Kid’s just a businessman.

Shoutout to Jared Freid for following his dream of being a comedian in New York. Keep it up kid; don’t anyone discourage you. Until you're broke. Kidding, I thought you were fuckin' funny.

Did Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz and Victor Martinez really all get hurt in one weekend? God damn it.

Great seeing Tessa Drake in New York, too, even though she didn’t go to Cedar. Keep workin’ hard, Tess. If I ever need a project translated, you’re my girl.

Also very nice to meet Glenn's girlfriend, Anne Michael Langguth, also known to the general, plebeian public as "Miss Iowa." Attaboy, Glenn.

On second (more like ninth or tenth) thought, maybe it’s better if LeBron and Bosh go to Chicago and Carmelo goes to New York next year after Eddie Curry’s contract expires. I just don’t want the Bulls to dominate while I’m living there. I hate Chicago fans, maybe even more than New York fans.

Whoever invented the stock market never intended for this kind of ridiculous volatility.

Speaking of markets, if you have any interest in economics whatsoever, you have to read Michael Lewis’ The Big Short. Not only is he the best writer of this generation, but the book is insane. Man AIG, Moody’s and S&P really fucked up bad (not to mention pretty much everyone else on Wall Street, except for a select few). More thoughts on the book in DOMs to come, since I'm only 120 pages in…

Wish I had enough money to invest in real estate right now. My real estate professor told us he took loans out to invest when he was 22. I think I’m all set, but thanks.

Will anyone be able to throw against the Jets this season? Damn I hate (but modestly respect) Rex Ryan.

For work, I just called a farmers’ market called “Famers’ Market.” The lady answered the phone, “farmers’ market?” It’s like naming your supermarket, “Supermarket.” Only in Detroit, I guess.

American sports need to adopt the rigid regulations that FIFA has on its referees. You fuck up, you’re gone. No more Joe Crawford T-ing up Tim Duncan for smiling from the bench and no more Jim Joyce fucking up perfect games. As Trump would say, You’re Fired!

My friends from Dublin, Eric and Alan Flanagan, make fun of Americans for saying “PKs,” as in Penalty Kicks. Apparently the rest of the world just calls them “penalties.” Who knew?

Thought about flying back to Barcelona for the Spain-Portugal match today (and by “thought,” I mean, “dreamed”). Atmosphere’s got to be insane. Extremely jealous of Kristine Chau for being there right now.

The FIFA Final Four could be full of South Americans after Saturday. Spain should be there, but if Paraguay can come up with a miracle, it’s very possible.

Can you tell I’m into the World Cup? My money’s on (not really) Brazil. Glad I won’t be in Framingham yet for that nonsense.

Should I go skiing by myself in Portillo, Chile next month? I know no Spanish. Still thinking about rolling the dice…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My comeback: Diarrhea of the Mind, Episode 1

As relaxing of a summer as I am having out here in Madison, there’s definitely a void in my life that’s been eating away at me for quite some time now.

Last night, an old Camp Cedar friend of mine named Billy said he stumbled upon my blog and was impressed with what he read (without realizing that the last post was several months old). Thanks, Billy, not only for reminding me how awesome I am, but for reminding me how much I enjoy writing, venting via keyboard and being an all-out dork.

But after a senior year inundated with interviews, 32 credits and way too much Ron Diaz, NHL ’09 and time-wasting on the Brownge Lounge Couch, in the spirit of Eminem’s comeback “Recovery” album, it’s time for the revival of “Boston, Badgers, Business and Banter.”

I changed the name of the blog in the fall from its original title, “From Boston to Badgers” because I wanted to write about more than just sports. And I did. I wanted to implement the “Zetcast,” a podcast radio-like show that I would post weekly on my blog. The first episode debuted on Sept. 15, 2009 with my longtime friend Frankie V as the show’s first guest. The show went well, but unfortunately it was not only the first episode, it also happened to be the last to date.

I do plan on continuing the Zetcast because I think it’s not only fun and easy to broadcast, but because I know too many interesting people that deserve to be heard en mass.

However, in the mean time, it’s time for me to pick the pen (well, keyboard) back up and get back to writing; I have way too much time to waste at my summer job not to. Though I won’t be writing professionally, as I had envisioned myself doing 24 months ago, I enjoy it too much as a hobby to rid it from my weekly routines.

That said, I’m going to switch my game up just a bit, hopefully for the better, or at least for the more enjoyable. This morning, my grandfather sent me a Bob Ryan column from the Boston Globe, which was basically a bunch of disconnected thoughts thrown onto a page. Though traditionalists scoff at such “journalistic” endeavors, in the age of Facebook and Twitter microblogging, I thought it was pure genius.

“But I need a title,” I thought…

So without further adieu, I bring to you the first edition of “Diarrhea of the Mind”:

Speaking of Eminem, “Recovery” is one of the best albums to hit the (virtual) shelves in a long time. He’s back, and hip hop – riddled with mindless emcees and bullshit auto-tone hooks – needs him, too. Lyrics you can relate to are always refreshing; that’s why he’s the best. Not to mention his ridiculous verbal talents.

Is John Wall really as good as Derrick Rose? Is DeMarcus Cousins the next Kendrick Perkins? Would that even be a good thing if he was?

This whole BP mess in the Gulf Coast is beyond describable. Do the words “catastrophe” or “disaster” even do it justice? Whatever happened to accountability?

Would the Red Sox dare trade Jonathan Papelbon in the midst of another playoff run? No way he’s back next year, but could they really do that?

How big of a nerd am I if I’m already thinking about fantasy football?

Answer: Not at all ‘cuz our draft’s gonna be in Vegas.

I’m tired of 22-year-old graduates using the “job market” and the “economy” as excuses for not finding a job. There are jobs out there. Get off the couch and go find them. Check that; stay on the couch and use the 724 different Internet resources to find them.

If I could meet one person in the world it would be Mark Cuban. Although Mikhail Prohorov is closing in on a close second. And I don’t even like the NBA that much.

Speaking of the NBA, I typically begin to hate topics that the media tend to overhype, but this NBA offseason is everything but a turnoff. Wouldn’t LeBron + Jay-Z + Prokhorov = International Dynasty?

I wonder what Dana Lampert is up to with I owe him a phone call, or at least a BBM. When I reintroduce the Zetcast, he’s going to be my first guest. A true entrepreneurial pioneer indeed. Is that redundant?

Shoutout to JD Lawson’s RapAddicts blog. Getting me excited about rap again. I’ve missed it since moving to the Midwest four years ago. Huge after losing all my iTunes.

Isner vs. Mahut was absolutely incredible, but despite what everyone else keeps saying, I definitely think it could happen again. The service game will evolve faster than the return game. Serving 150 mph will be easier to reach than returning it, right?

Anyone who doesn’t appreciate the World Cup because they don’t like soccer is a fool. Don’t call yourself a sports fan if you fit into that category.

The United States, among other things, needs to work on its education system. Too much ignorance in this country for how powerful we are and how much money we have. That YouTube video that Julie Swiderski posted on Facebook about the lady who thought Obama paid her welfare checks out of his “secret stash” (verbatim quote) made me cringe.

Time to catch the bus. Off to New York tomorrow. See you next week.