It’s possible (maybe even likely) that watching sports is a giant waste of time. What’s the point of sitting lazily on a couch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon watching basketball? Wouldn’t it be healthier (and more enjoyable) to grab a ball and head to the park yourself? Sure it would, but every spring I nevertheless find myself tuned in to the NBA playoffs. This year’s tournament is especially exciting since my hometown Chicago Bulls have made it to the conference finals where they’re playing the Miami Heat. The series is currently tied at one game apiece; a tie that will be broken Sunday evening; an evening I’ll spend sitting on the couch.
Archive for the ‘Bizarro’ Category
France is a superpower? I find that hard to believe. When I was growing up, the only superpowers anyone spoke of were the United States and the Soviet Union. Not even Great Britain made it into the exclusive club of countries whose footprints could be felt all over the world. Of course, that definition of “superpower” seems limiting. In my estimation, any country that exports its language to the four corners of the globe, continues to exert influence in its own neighborhood and beyond, and maintains a healthy stockpile of nuclear weapons qualifies as a superpower. The United States qualifies. China qualifies. Great Britian qualifies. Russia, Spain, and India teeter on the cusp. And France? As far as I’m concerned, they’re in.
Two more months. That’s how much time it will take my wife and me to pay off our car. Like many young couples, we financed our ride by trading in a beater (my wife got a lecture for driving such a blatantly unsafe vehicle) and scrounging together whatever cash we could. Needless to say, we were saddled with a sky-high interest rate. But give us credit. We made double payments whenever possible, and as a result we’re poised to pay off a seven-year loan in less than four years. That should buy us a whole lot of payment-free driving. Of course, the time will come when we’ll need to upgrade to a kid-friendly vehicle, but when that happens, we’ll be sure to consult a loan officer at our bank before agreeing to whatever ungodly interest rate the dealer would have us pay.
I like good beer as much as the next guy, which is why I’ll never touch an O’Doul’s. To me, drinking non-alcoholic beer is akin to eating vegetarian steak. I’m not a fan of food (or drink) that tries to be something it’s not. The best grub I’ve had in my life has been made from real, simple ingredients. It’s been straightforward and unpretentious. It hasn’t been trying to pull a fast one on me. How strongly do I feel about this? If I was about to have my leg amputated with a saw and someone offered me an O’Doul’s to dull the pain, I would reject it. Instead of easing my suffering, I’d be afraid such a transparently false near-beer would add to it.
Yesterday, Chicago held its first contested mayoral election in decades. (Our lame-duck mayor, Richard M. Daley, is finishing his sixth term in office and has never faced serious opposition.) Although there were six candidates on the ballot this time around, turnout was embarrassingly low – somewhere around forty percent. More voters participated in last year’s midterm elections, which included a race for governor, and even more voters participated in the 2008 presidential election. This is common. Apparently, Americans are drawn to elections based on the strength of the office, not based on the impact its occupant will have on their neighborhoods. But I’d argue that if we want to build strong communities, we have to get local and pay attention to races for mayor, alderman, and school board. Sure, these aren’t sexy offices; they’re just really, really important ones.
It’s February in Chicago, which means we’re in the middle of cold, stubborn, grueling winter. And while the elements can be gnarly, what really bugs me about winter is the way it saps my energy. Thanks to a small amount of daily sunshine and a large amount of daily indoors time, I find myself sitting in front of the television for hours on end. My elliptical machine goes unused, my books go unread, and my grand creative plans go unfulfilled. This inertia reached a crisis earlier this week when I found myself watching a full hour of RuPaul’s Drag Race with my wife. All I had to do to spare myself the spectacle of a high-maintenance drag queen named Mimi Imfirst was to stand up and leave the room, but winter (yes, I’m blaming winter) kept me glued to the couch. February: what a miserable, uninspiring month.
Judging by the goofy expression on his face, this Ben fellow doesn’t appear to be too bright. He might not be dumb, per se, but he’s certainly oblivious. Let’s face it, people who have a good grasp of the world around them don’t wear smiley face sweatshirts, don’t stare blankly ahead as they paddle down the rapids, and don’t fail to take notice when a menacing frowny face makes its way onto their otherwise unassuming oar. Ben might get lucky and survive his boating trip, but even if he does, his future looks dim.