Month: March 2004 (Page 1 of 2)

Monday Poem

The Jayhawks lost, I am sad.
I felt my daughter move, I am glad!

The downside to getting so much joy and satisfaction out of your team’s successes is you generally crash with them when their season ends. You spend five months planning your life around when the next game is and suddenly there’s no next game. I’m pleased to say I was able to get out of bed this morning, unlike April 8 of last year when I used the excuse of getting my truck serviced to stay in bed staring at the ceiling for about three hours. I did charge outside as soon as the game ended yesterday to assemble our new lawn mower and give the yard its first trim of the year. The activity, the noise, and the isolation were a good buffer. Then I sat rather quietly on the couch the entire night.

It was sometime around 9:30 when I put my hand on S’s stomach and for the first time felt our little girlfriend moving around. There wasn’t a lot of force behind it, but she was definitely pushing her legs out, or throwing her arms forward, or somehow letting her presence be known. My hand jumped with her movements, so I guess she’s more forceful that I thought. Over the next 30-40 minutes, I felt her move at least ten times.

March 28, 2004 will go down as the day KU pissed away a chance to get to the Final Four by only playing a B+ game rather than the A+ that was required the last two years. Unfortunately, they played with B- efficiency and let the chance slip away (For the astute followers, this reminds me greatly of the 1996 loss to Syracuse. Far too many missed lay-ups, fumbled passes, and stupid decisions over 45 minutes to not think this was a game we let get away on our own, regardless of how the other team played, how the game was officiated, etc.). However, I’m always going to remember the day for being the first time my daughter let me know that she was around too and I should stop worrying so much about a basketball game I had no control over.

 

 

Quickie From Cali

It’s currently 12:43 AM EST. My alarm went off almost 23 hours ago after a night in which I got about two and a half hours of sleep (following two nights when I probably slept a combined seven hours). Consider yourselves lucky I’m so wiped, as I’m sitting about two miles from the house I lived in for 11 months during our great, California experience in 1986-7. I’m sure I would wax poetic from the Hilton Garden Inn if I had any wits left. Sadly for you, I have a 4:45 AM PST wake up call coming up to catch my flight home tomorrow. Make no mistake, some writing will be done on the plane tomorrow! Rest well, I’ll be back on Friday.

Oh yeah, great comments the last few days! I’m most appreciative of your input. It makes the writing, even small pieces, worth it for me.

Conversations Of A Pregnant Couple, Part 2

(Interior. Couple sitting on the couch, watching NCAA tournament. Husband’s alma mater is playing. They’ve just blown an 11 point lead.)

Husband: GOD DAMMIT! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP PLAYING SO FUCKING STUPID?!?! JESUS!

Wife: You’re going to have to put the earmuffs on Little Girlfriend if you want to talk like that this time next year.

Husband: (Patting wife’s stomach) Sorry.

(Apologies to those who are offended by above blasphemy. Husband tends to lose his head when his alma mater is playing.)

Smorgasboard

If that wasn’t the craziest weekend in the history of the NCAAs, I’d like to know what was. In the opening 32 games, there were three upsets. I picked two of the upsets correctly, but lost three games overall in the first round. Not a bad way to set up your bracket. Now, sitting here on Sunday night, I have one Final Four team left. Tear up your brackets! Two number one seeds gone! Two number two seeds gone! Two seeded teams lose on the same court in four hours on Saturday! And Roy Williams isn’t involved! Amazing, amazing Saturday and Sunday. I’m obviously personally pleased with the results, but my bracket is a shambles and my draft team is in the shitter as well.

Some other thoughts from days two through four:

Who invented the groin pull? I hate that guy!

I thought something incredibly fortuitous had happened on Thursday when I was able to see every game CBS carried. I accidentally found four channels on our cable lineup that were each carrying a different CBS feed. I wasn’t going to say anything, lest I jinx it and lose the feed before the KU game Friday. But I later found out that our local CBS affiliate is providing coverage of every game to Direct TV and digital cable households. Incredibly, insanely sweet. And my wife is a saint for putting up with me. What’s it all mean? Well, Thursday and Friday I was able to watch any of the four games that were in progress at any given time throughout the day. Friday night, after eating dinner, we sat down on our couch about 7:15. I literally didn’t move until almost 11:00. I didn’t even know that I hadn’t moved in that long. I was too busy trying to make sure I wasn’t missing something in the NCAA games or the Pacers-Kings game. Saturday, I watched a full ten hours of basketball. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m not sure if this was just some Indy thing or what, but bless the people down at WISH TV. I take back all the bad things I said about you when I got UConn-Syracuse instead of KU-MU two weeks ago.

The one big complaint I have about CBS’ coverage was what they did during the Nevada-Gonzaga game. 2:00 left in the second half, Gonzaga on the ropes. Greg Gumbel breaks in and says, “Gonzaga’s in trouble, let’s send you to Raleigh and the Wake Forest – Manhattan game.” What?!?! There were 14:00 left in that game and you’re breaking away from a tournament favorite’s last gasp? About a minute later they abruptly switched back to the Nevada upset. Poor.

Crap. Texas suddenly has a solid shot of playing in two weeks. I still say they’re the most overrated team in the tournament. I think, like Kentucky, their luck is going to catch up with them.

I guess the Big 8+4 wasn’t really down after all.

Who is this Bob Wenzel guy and why is he doing games? I know he was an assistant at Duke, but that was before Duke became the modern juggernaut they are now. Wenzel is the epitome of a crappy analyst who has done minimal homework. Two hours of clichés, piss pour analysis, and obvious statements. Worse, he overreacts to every momentum swing. According to him, KU was unbeatable midway through the first half against Pacific. Five minutes later, Pacific had all but iced the upset. How about some consistency and letting the game play out? Why is this guy doing games instead of Jon Sundvold? Why isn’t Doug Gottlieb, who actually breaks things down and goes out on the occasional limb sitting somewhere other than the ESPN studios?

My favorite Wenzelism was “repetitive jumping”. I hope this enters the broader sports lexicon. “We chose DJ Howard with the number one pick because of his defensive knowledge, offensive ability, and repetitive jumping aptitude.”

Has anyone else seen these commercials for the Guns n’ Roses greatest hits package? The announcer claims that GnR was the #1 band in the world for two decades. What two decades? Did it just seem like two decades if you were really into heroin at the time? By my count, they broke in 1988 and were still hanging around in the fall of 1991 when Nirvana blew up the music world. Four years. Not two decades. I guess this makes GnR the Manny Mota of the music world?

Bo Ryan of Wisconsin might be my new, least favorite coach replacing Bob Huggins. Ryan is just a jackass. Every time I saw his ugly mug on the screen this weekend, he was unloading inappropriate language on the refs. Most of the calls that caused his outburst were border line controversial. Nothing worth blowing a gasket over. The guy got the best draw in the tournament and he feels the need to act like a drunken sailor all weekend. Take your sorry ass back to Mad-town, you bastard. (Memo to self: next year, when watching hoops with my little girl next to me on the couch, cover her eyes anytime Bo Ryan is on the screen.)

Is there anything better than Cincinnati players throwing heavy smack towards Illinois before their match-up then getting boat raced out of their near-home court? Beautiful.

If a team with Guillaume Yango had beaten KU, I think I would have quit the game. Who knew a Frenchie would start the game 9-10 from the field in a 12 vs. 4 round of 32 game?

I think the week leading up to the Sweet 16 is my favorite week of the tournament. There’s a day of downtime before the media focuses on the four sites. If your team is still playing, you have 4-5 days to think about the possibilities. “We’re only two wins away from the Final Four, and then who knows what happens!” The Sweet 16 is the barometer, even for great programs. Get that far year after year, and everyone knows you’re a great team who plays well at the right times. The first weekend is about the all you can eat buffet of 48 games in four days. The Sweet 16 is the main course at a high dollar restaurant. You can actually sit back and enjoy the entire experience without sensory overload.

God bless Dick Vitale. Last night he was screaming about Kentucky fans being able to buy tickets for San Antonio after Providence lost. Now he’s firmly, and unashamedly on the Kansas bandwagon. He has so little short term memory it’s ridiculous.

 

 

NCAA Quick Hits

Some quick thoughts from day one of the NCAA tournament (with minimal editing), a day in which I managed to pick 14 of 16 games correctly. Damn you Michigan State and Arizona for blowing those second half leads! Here comes the Wolfpack!!!

I don’t like Jim Nantz much to begin with. Sure, his voice is associated with the Final Four and so many other big games in March over the past 14 years. But he’s a freaking golf announcer, his style perfect for the generic, lifeless, corporate, safe voice the NCAA wants for their marquee event. I’ve just never been convinced he’s an astute watcher of the game. Example, yesterday, 1:10 left in the BYU – Syracuse game, Syracuse up by two points. BYU misses a shot, gets the offensive rebound. “The defending champs are in trouble!” Nantz wildly exclaims. In trouble? They’re up two and just gave up an offensive rebound in the corner of the court. Even if BYU scores, they’ve got 60 seconds to get a guy who’s hit nine threes and ended up with 43 points a shot. BYU missed two more shots on that possession before Syracuse corralled the ball and put the game away at the line. How very Musberger of Nantz to hype something that had yet to happen.

Speaking of bad talking heads, Digger Fucking Phelps didn’t disappoint earlier this week. In calling for a Providence upset of Kansas on Sunday, he said the Friars’ 2-3 zone would stymie KU. Why? Because that’s what Syracuse used against Kansas in last year’s national championship game. Typical DFP logic: finding two events and linking them whether they’re related or not. The fact they both exist means there must be a link. Providence indeed has an excellent chance to beat Kansas. They have a stud on offense, a shot blocker in the middle, and yes their 2-3 zone will force Kansas to hit outside shots, something they’ve not done consistently this year. However, that has absolutely nothing to do with the Syracuse tactics against KU last April. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say, Hakim Warrick’s last second block of Michael Lee excepted, the 2-3 zone had very little to do with Syracuse winning last year. Syracuse won because, in typical stubborn Roy Williams fashion, he waited until Gerry McNamara had hit five first half three pointers and Syracuse had an 18 point lead before he switched Kirk Hinrich over to Gerry Mac. The rest of the game McNamara hit one three pointer. KU was four free throws away from coming back from an almost 20 point lead against the vaunted 2-3 zone, without much help from behind the arc. The myth that the 2-3 zone won the national championship game has been busted, and once again it’s been proven that Digger Fucking Phelps is lazy and has little real analytical ability.

This whole regional name thing has me annoyed. The NCAA says they changed from East, West, etc. to St. Louis, Atlanta, etc. because the pod system made it confusing for fans about who was in what region. How does this make things any easier? Today, teams from the East Rutherford and St. Louis regions will be playing in Kansas City. Last year, teams from the West and East region played in Oklahoma City. Still two different names in one arena. You either understand the pod system, or you don’t.

Did anyone else stay up to watch the Carolina – Air Force game? Joe Scott, Air Force’s coach, refuses to watch his team shoot free throws. For over two years, when an Academy player is at the line, Scott turns away, and drinks from a cup of water. I love superstitions like this. I may try it out tonight.

Anyone else see John Stockton at the Gonzaga game? Does he always have his game face on? I would have hoped he would relax now that he’s retired.

I’m really glad I stayed up until after midnight to watch what could have been the worst NCAA game ever: DePaul’s win over Dayton in double overtime. I haven’t looked at the box score yet, but I think the teams combined to make one free throw in the entire game.

I only picked one upset yesterday, the monumentally popular Manhattan over Florida game that came true. I’ve got one picked today, Pacific over Providence. We shall see if I can repeat my 14-2 performance by sticking with the favorites again.

 

NCAA Picks

Here are my Final Four picks. I have no idea this year; I don’t feel strongly about anyone. Unlike Tulsa in ’00 or Creighton two years ago, I don’t have a feel for any cinderellas that can make a run to the second weekend. Other than some crazy early round choices, most of the “expert” picks I’ve seen, I can’t disagree with because things are so open this year. Anyway, here goes:

Kentucky
Oklahoma State
Mississippi State
Stanford

Kentucky beats Mississippi State for the title.
And I’ll go on record as saying Texas is the most overrated team in the tournament. I think they’ll win a close game over UNC in the second round, then get bounced out. All these people putting the ‘Horns in the Final Four are off their rockers.

 

It’s A…

You want my NCAA picks right? A lengthy ode to the first day of the tournament? 3500 words about how March is a perfect metaphor for life? Wait, you’d rather hear about our trip to the doctor yesterday? OK, OK, I’ll find away to not think about basketball for a few minutes.

As many of you know, we went in for the 20 week ultrasound yesterday. I’ve seen plenty of still shots from ultrasounds, and seen video of scans on TV before, but it’s a whole different thing being in the room. The resolution of the picture is astounding. There are moments when the picture is a little vague; you’re not sure if that’s an arm, a spine, or just a crease in the skin. But for the most part, it’s a really freaky view into the womb. Our fetus was curled up, lying sideways across S’s body. The nurse scanned the head, took some measurements, showed us elements of the brain that could be distinguished and let us know that each showed normal development. (I guess nurses/techs didn’t used to be able to tell you what they saw. They would do the scan silently, and then have the physician come in and tell you what was found. How unnerving would that be? “Hmmm…” “What?” “Oh, nothing, the doctor will be in momentarily.”) She checked the spine, which obviously shows up quite well. There’s the stomach and bladder, which appear to have fluid in them and be functioning properly. Two hands, ten fingers. Lower legs both with two bones each. Two feet.

She moved around for the gender check portion of our program. At first, I didn’t think we’d be able to tell since Fetus was keeping its legs tightly tucked. Despite its late morning nap, it did move around a little and I didn’t see anything picking up the sound waves. The nurse pointed out three spots of light (turns out they’re skin creases) and said “You have a little girl” as she typed GIRL into the screen. First, for the record, I have no real preference on sex. I’m not going to love a girl any more or less than a boy, or raise her differently. She’s still going to sit with daddy on the couch while he yells “Grab the fucking ball!” at Michael Lee next year. Expect it will be “Grab the freaking ball!” But I noticed there’s an odd, almost subliminal let down when it’s a girl. You’re looking for something when it’s a boy. If it’s not there, there’s this flicker of disappointment. “Oh, sorry there’s nothing there. But guess what, you have a girl!” Like I said, not true disappointment, but it’s a strange game your brain plays on you.

The nurse continued scanning and taking measurements. There had only been slight movement so far, so seeing the little heart pumping away, and hearing the heartbeat was confirmation all was well in the womb. For all the old wives out there, fetal heartbeat was 166, and has been above 160 at each measurement. So much for the belief that a rate higher than 160 means boy. Not sure if this is a related note, but I got a call from the Purdue women’s basketball coach asking if I’ve thought about a summer camp for our little girl yet.

“Let’s see if we can get a look at her face.” Some gentle prodding of the stomach, some manipulation of the scanner, and finally she turned her head up a little. Again, totally bizarre. There’s just enough detail so you know exactly what you’re looking at, but still a vague enough image that there’s a phantasm like quality to the image. Is this really a baby girl in my wife’s stomach, or is that a ghost that some special effects house has conjured up for a movie? Are ultrasounds just a diabolical government conspiracy, like Capricorn One? These are the things I think about. “And look, there’s her mouth. Oh! She just stuck her tongue out at us!” That was pretty funny and perfectly appropriate. It’s a shame we didn’t get a frame that showed that moment. It would go perfectly with all the pictures my parents took of me when I was a kid, sleeping on the floor or a couch, glaring at the camera when they tried to wake me up. The nurse’s encouragement did the trick, though. She started moving her hands around more, her legs would come up and down. Head wriggled from side to side. I asked Sanne if she could tie the sensations on the screen to what she felt inside her. She couldn’t at this point, but I’m sure that would be different if we did another ultrasound at 24 weeks. We were checking out the feet and toes again when the little hands came down and grabbed them. Looks like grabbing your toes is the most fun game you can play in the womb. And I can tell our girl already grabs her toes better than 99% of the other babies in the womb! After about 15 minutes, the scan ended with the nurse telling us all the measurements were right where they should be, no signs of trouble, and we had a little, 12 oz. girl who looked like she would show up the first week of August. Our visit with the doctor confirmed all is well. Since we’re delivering at the hospital where Sanne works, she took me down to the nursery and delivery area. We checked out the birthing rooms and family rooms where we’ll spend a couple nights (hopefully that’s all).

So we’re having a girl! I can start becoming a defensive, overbearing father! I can play Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” when it’s bath time. Honestly, it’s a bigger relief to know that so far everything is going well than knowing what we’re going to have. I would want to know anyway, but with Sanne being able to determine sex I figured we might as well let daddy in on the news too. As the father, since I don’t feel the movements, the discomfort, the hormonal changes, there’s this constant worry that everything is really going well. Just this week, Sanne has started to show a little. Her belly button is getting shallower by the day. Her is stomach sticking out a little more each day. Suddenly she’s not sleeping on her back. But without those visual cues, there’s no way for an outsider to be sure that the things that are supposed to be happening are.

I was thinking the other day that the 20 week mark is a strange time. Technically, we’re halfway to a full term baby. Time should fly, right? Then I realized we didn’t know for the first four weeks and kept it a secret for another seven weeks. We’ve only acted like Sanne is pregnant for nine weeks, not 20. Add in the lack of visual evidence, and it’s almost like the first 20 weeks don’t count. August seems a long, long way away! That’s also a lot more updates for you all, so bear with me over the next five months.

Winter Storm

Some NCAA dominated thoughts while wondering if this Winter Storm Watch we’re sitting under is really going to drop 4-6″ by noon tomorrow as one TV station is saying.

Since the NCAA encompasses more than just the Big 8+4, I’ll post my thoughts here. First, most importantly, I was extremely pleased by KU’s #4 seed. There’s no doubt the desire to sell tickets at Kemper played into this. So what? The committee has been making such arrangements for years, and screwed KC three years ago by shipping Iowa State, KU, and MU all the other locales. I thought KU was in play for a 4, probably a 5, but expected a 6. And I fully expected Illinois to be the 3 sitting across from our 6. Apparently it was Roy the committee hated, not KU in general. Homer job or not, Providence is no push over and KU didn’t exactly impress the last time they played in KC in the NCAAs. Figures, the year I move away is the year they get to play close to home. St. Louis is only a four hour drive, though…

Screw jobs: Pittsburgh. I don’t think teams can complain too much if their seed is off by one spot, especially this year when the whole tournament is so well matched. So a 3 instead of a 2 isn’t that big of a deal. But having to potentially play Wisconsin in Milwaukee in the second round? Didn’t the committee promise this wouldn’t happen again after they put #6 Texas in Dallas two years ago?
Utah State. A team that has performed well in recent tournaments gets killed for losing one bad game.
I won’t put Oklahoma State on the list since the committee chair made it clear neither the Big 10+1 nor Big 8+4 championship games were included in the seeding process because of their timing. I’m inclined to think, no matter how good they really are, St. Joe’s deserves a #1 seed for their regular season record. It amazes me how everyone is willing to dismiss them, yet keep Stanford as a #1. St. Joe’s has a higher RPI than Stanford and a much more difficult schedule. Heck, St. Joe’s strength of schedule is higher than OSU’s for that matter. They absolutely deserve a #1 if Stanford deserves one. The A-10 may be full of mid-majors, but the Pac-10 wasn’t exactly a tough conference this year either. Had the 8+4 championship game been in play, I think OSU could make a serious case for a #1 over Stanford, using my logic. If I’m OSU, take the #2 seed and the motivational factor involved in “only” getting a #2 seed. That seemed to work out ok for a Big 8+4 team last year.

There has been some minor discussion about moving the Big 8+4 championship game back to Saturday. KU fans should love that thought (1984) and if a decent TV arrangement can be made (surely a prime time game on ESPN would work) I think it’s best for everyone. It gives the committee time to give proper credit to the teams that make the final. It’s an additional day of rest for conference teams playing the following week. Teams that play on Wednesday would be playing on a normal amount of rest, so that’s not an issue. I would like them to at least explore the option. Heck, let’s go to the pre-1986 set-up when first round games were played on campus!
Is there a bigger shill for the established order than Billy Packer? He looked downright upset that St. Joe’s got a #1 seed. All the more reason to root for St. Joe’s, the delicious potential that Packer has to stand next to Phil Martelli at some point.
I enjoyed Greg Gumbel’s “rolling along through the brackets” comment. He uttered that at 6:28 EST, when CBS was preparing to show another commercial before getting to the third bracket. I say this every year: I understand if you spend a billion dollars to broadcast an event, you have to make some money back. But why the 45 minute screw job on the fans? In the 80’s through the mid 90s, they got all 64 teams on the board in less than ten minutes, then went to commercials and came back for analysis and interviews. Throw each region up for 30 seconds, cut all the background out on each team, the interesting tid-bits about teams Gumbel hasn’t seen play one time all year, you can go to commercial at 6:05 and then spend 50 minutes with exclusive coach interviews, detailed breakdowns, etc. before ESPN comes on at 7:00 with their show. It drove me completely nuts that they’re interviewing coaches before they even get to the second half of the bracket.
Add in to all of that the fact CBS and the NCAA can’t be honest with us. No more sponsors, in the Brave New World we have Corporate Sponsors. The fancy terminology doesn’t make me any less pissed to be sitting through 20 minutes of commercials, errr, Corporate Sponsor Testimonials before I can fill my bracket out.
CBS just couldn’t wait to get the Duke bracket up, could they? While Gumbel was trying to roll through the New Jersey bracket, the network through up the top half of the Duke bracket. Bravo to the NCAA for finally giving a #1 seeded Duke a difficult bracket!
Strangest argument for a team I heard: A Chicago based talk show host was on a local program yesterday afternoon talking through odds for Big 10+1 teams. When discussing Michigan, he said he thought they deserved a spot because they put themselves on probation last year. So let me get this straight, if you cheat, but admit you cheated and punish yourself before the NCAA can get you on their agenda, you should be rewarded down the line for that? I’m not quite grasping that concept.

I’m sure I’ll have more during the week…

 

Baby Clothes And Other Notes

Despite the fact the Big 10+1 tournament is here in Indy, it doesn’t feel like conference tournament season. When you work alone in an office at home, there’s no buzz. I forgot to even check the TV yesterday until I heard St. Joe’s was down by 30. I’ll have to block off my calendar next Thursday and Friday so I don’t have the same problem then.

Another strange thing about working in the office is I don’t always know what day it is. Tuesday, I swore it was Thursday, or at least Wednesday. Yesterday, at least two times I looked at the calendar and said, “Is it really Thursday?” So today is Wednesday, right?

We made our first foray into Babies R Us last night, and it was surprisingly pain free. Baby gear is so high tech these days that it appeals to the “Must Buy Toys” side of the male personality. Need a stroller that resembles an SUV? No problem! Vibrating baby seat? Hey, this is great for days I spend working in the yard and my arms are sore. Do we want the diaper dumpster that locks in all smells but only accept a special kind of bag, or the one that may let out a little odor but can take any plastic bag you can throw at it? These are the questions you’ll be dealing with one day, my childless friends. I was especially pleased we didn’t get hassled by older women who were insistent on telling us what we needed, asking personal details, and sharing their pregnancy stories. I still have emotional scars from our attempts to register at Bed, Bath, & Beyond last spring. I was about ten seconds away from punching a B-cubed employee who seemed to be stalking us.
My favorite moment, however, came when I glanced over in the clothes section. I’ve seen the Nike gear babies can rock these days, so the wide collection Nike produces was no surprise. I saw a rack of Pacers clothing and walked over to check what kind of options there were. Strangely, there was one section full of KC Royals gear! No Cubs, White Sox, Reds, or Cardinals gear just Royals. A little blue and black jumper that came with shorts, perfect for baby’s first pennant stretch! I held off on buying the set, but they may end up in Fetus’ closet sooner rather than later.

I was looking at the Indianapolis Indians’ schedule to see what the possibilities of an Indians O’bash were. Like the Royals, the Indians have only one Saturday afternoon home game all season, and it falls the weekend after the Royals O’bash. Unlucky.

Sign #42 that spring (and summer) is near: an article I read this morning said this is one of the rare years when there are both major 17 year and 13 year broods of cicadas that emerge. As I shared last summer, cicadas are one of my favorite things of summer. I can almost hear the carcasses crunching under my shoes already!

BTW, it’s snowing in Indy this morning. It was like 75 a week ago today. I’ve clearly not escaped the wild weather changes of March by moving 500 miles east.

 

 

A Shining Angel In Times Of Darkness

There are times when I doubt the world, when I think it’s full of cynicism and selfishness. Moments when I believe people are more concerned with getting ahead than the common good. Then there’s a moment like last night, when my faith in man is reaffirmed. Yes, I subjected myself to ten minutes of Jay Leno so I could watch Vince Vaughn in action. The man is a Golden God, to quote his friend Will Ferrell. He’s a beacon in troubled times. He gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.

I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that the Tonight Show hasn’t been this interesting since Johnny exited the scene a decade ago. What truly made the night was Vince’s (obligatory, of course) recounting of a recent trip to Las Vegas. After admitting he enjoys gambling, but isn’t so good at the card games, he replayed his stay at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. As anyone who’s been there knows, the hotel is designed to replicate the Paris, France experience. Signs are in French, there’s French music, lots of mimes, cheese and cigarettes. The Germans march in everyday at noon and people flee in hysterics before them. Also, everyone who works there has some standard French phrases to greet guests with. Vaughn mentioned how he really enjoyed “Bob from Brooklyn” greeting him with “Bonsiour” or “Bonjour”. In fact he enjoyed it so much, he’d often make laps of the hotel telling all the workers “Hello” so he could hear their cheery French responses. (Here it comes) So, as he finished, (Here it is):

“While I was losing in cards, I was winning in fun, Jay.”

Pure brilliance. I laughed my ass off. Those of us who are fans of Mr. Vaughn know that Trent Walker wasn’t a huge stretch for him. This was just another sign that Vince is, as always, the fun-loving, out-going, party guy. I flipped back once later, when Molly Shannon was on, and Vince was the perfect guest on the couch. As soon as she somewhat awkwardly ended a story, he clapped as enthusiastically as a man could clap to lead the audience in appreciation of her effort (never mind Leno audiences clap like mindless, Pavlovian dogs each time the applause light comes on). He leaned over, patted Shannon on her leg, and softly said something to reassure her. All the man needed was a drink and a cigarette and we’d be transported back to a simpler time.

For that, I think Vince Vaughn for renewing my faith in mankind.

 

« Older posts

© 2021 D's Notebook

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑