Thursday, October 30, 2008

Walter Sharpe wants to steal Amir Johnson's Shoes

Via Detroit Bad Boys, here's a funny little breakdown of the Piston's roster this season. Learn such exciting things as:
  • Jason Maxiell plays the trumpet!
  • If Cheik Samb were not playing basketball he'd be working with his father and brother in "export-import fishing businesses."
  • Rodney Stuckey is good at "dancing, eating and sleeping"
I'm really trying to get myself excited again about basketball, but I don't know how many times I can take the Pistons' recurring Eastern Conference Finals losses before I decide I need a year off from the team or something. It's pretty hard to believe that this team, as constructed, will be able to win the championship, but there are two things that have me optimistic:
  • There's a very good chance that Joe D. will finally pull the trigger on a trade before the trade deadline this year. I don't blame him for not doing a "fifty cents on the dollar" trade this offseason, but it seems clear that the team as it doesn't quite have what it takes. There is, however, very good reason to believe that this winter they'll be some disgruntled star on a bad team that will pretty much force them to trade him. It happens almost every year, and the last time Dumars capitalized on it, it netted the team Rasheed Wallace.
  • There really is a lot of good, young talent on the team. Jason Maxiell, Rodney Stuckey, and Amir Johnson in particular make the season worth watching even if you don't think the Pistons have what it takes this year. Stuckey in particular (i.e. "the poor man's Dwyane Wade) seems ready for a great second year as the go-to 3rd guard off the bench.
  • Although the top-half of the roster may be aging, there really does seem to be a good foundation forming that can begin to take their place. The fact that Amir Johnson is now in the starting lineup gives me hope that Michael Curry is actually willing to play these young guys, too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

That Bizarre HSBC Ad

There's an interesting article in Slate this morning that breaks down this bizarre, and unusually compelling, commercial for HSBC bank. It's been running a lot lately and if you can't recall seeing it, I suspect you'll recognize it once you hear Joanna Newsom's memorable voice pop up:

This new trend of financial industry ads that present the virtues of their product in such an unusually oblique way seems to be catching on. I'm not exactly proud to admit that this sprightly ad from Traveler's Insurance was probably the one that I liked the most from the summer:

I guess it's kind of unusual to be charmed by an ad in general, but when in comes to the banking industry it seems especially dirty, right? Anyone have any ads of late that they've particularly liked or disliked? I was arguing late night about whether those "realistic" ads for are cute or cloying. I still lean towards cute, but that new one in the sushi restaurant is, I admit, pretty hard to watch.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Great Mid to Late Twenties Dilemma

I had to break from my convalescence in order to share with all my fellow mid-to-late twentysomethings "Happy Birthday, You Bastard," John Swansburg's excellent and hilarious article about going to birthday parties in that weird period between post-collegiate life and true adulthood (ie mortgages, kids, etc). I can't even articulate how great it was for a cheap bastard like me to read an article like this. This passage in particular killed me:

Early in the evening, I noticed Simon's friend Justin, a legendarily frugal graduate student, engage our waiter in an extended colloquy. After dinner, I sidled up to Justin to complain about the exorbitant bill, knowing my outrage would fall on sympathetic ears. Instead, he flashed a wicked grin and revealed that he had "seceded from the check, Jefferson Davis-style." That is, having realized things were getting out of hand, he had worked out an understanding with the waiter whereby he would order on a separate tab that would include only his appetizer, entrée, and beverages. It was a brilliant stroke, though it required Justin's unabashed cheapskatedness, which, like his taste in metaphor, is rare indeed.

Also, don't forget than another NBA season is sneaking up on us in it's typically under-the-radar fashion. I know it's pretty much only the diehards that even follow the season until January or so, but this is nevertheless big news for me. Would be bigger, I guess, were I not still bearing the scars of their defeat to the Celtics last June and kind of despondent over the fact that the team that failed to win the title last year is back basically entirely unchanged.

That being said, how can I not be excited about Amir Johnson and Rodney Stuckey. They're the future, peeps!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Questions I See Being Asked By Moderator Gwen Ifill At Some Point in Tonight's VP Debate

To Gov. Palin
Q: Are you serious?

To Sen. Biden
Q: Is she serious?

Just a friendly reminder to make sure you watch history unfold tonight at 9pm EST

UNRELATED UPDATE: I'm very proud of my home state right now.