Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don Draper, Manti Te'o and Me

  • Before I really begin (or start to cook, as they like to say in basketball) I should tell you I originally wanted to label this post "Return of the Mack", partially because it's my first post in an incredibly long time but mostly so I would have an excuse to link to one of my favorite '90's jams. I then realized it would be an awfully pretentious title to a post on a blog that hardly anyone read to begin with, few people realized had been gone, and no one really cares that it's back. That said, screw it:

  • Now that we have that out of the way, I want to take a brief amount of time on the Manti Te'o saga. I, as I'm sure everyone else is, am tired of the story. The thing is, every layer that gets peeled back is worse and worse. Kind of like a bad onion...although I don't care much for onions anyway, so I guess it would be like all onions to me...except for onion rings, which are a delight...or Bloomin' Onions! It's like we go to Outback for the Bloomin' Onions and stay for the steaks, amirite?!?!...wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, Te'o. You know what, I got my onion joke in, so I think I will leave this story alone.
  • As for why it's been so long since I've posted, I'm not quite sure. It could be that I used up all of my good ideas (I use that term incredibly loosely) the first few years I had this bad boy. Another theory would be I'm not as creative as I once was, but saying this thing was ever real creative is quite the stretch. The last possibility is that I'm happier that I was during much of my time at the helm of this starship. That much is true. Let's face it, some of my posts were pretty dark. Make no mistake, my best way of getting out of a funk was then and always will be talking to my family and all those close to me. That said, I often used my tiny corner of the internet as a way to vent and complain. Now, I have a great girlfriend, a puppy and am employed, all things that couldn't be said for much of the existence of Shefonomics/Brews and Balls (Who remembers that?!). Even though things aren't perfect, I am very happy, and maybe that slowed me down here, too. It's no coincidence so many comedians (please believe me; I'm not calling myself one by any means) are miserable in real life. Honestly, I think it's a combination of all of these factors. This is getting too serious. 1xv3x_medium That's better.
  • Finally, I just found out "Mad Men" is coming back April 7. I'm sure a great many of you great few don't care, but dammit, I do. It's been my favorite show for years now. Don Draper is clearly the star of the show, and what has always interested me is why I, and basically everyone else, always roots for him, even though he really isn't a very good person. He is a lousy dad and a worse husband. I guess for me, part of it is I always root for him to turn the corner and be a better person...except that I really don't. It would be temporarily satisfying, yet would probably mark the end of the show, which is certainly not what I want. Probably the more accurate answer is that he came from nothing and used his smarts and charm to make it in Manhattan. It's a cool pair of dress shoes to put yourself into, even if you would never be the charlatan he is in his personal life (which I wouldn't).
  • Welp, that's about all I've got for you for now, until next time, leave a message at the beep.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The 4 S Process

I spent this past weekend down in Iowa with my buddies Aaron and Joe. While down there, we may have gone out, and I may have tried to put some moves on some women. As hilarious as I'm sure this was to watch, I also learned something: I have the same move every single time. The beginning, middle and (unfortunately) end is almost always the same. One afternoon we got to thinking, and I decided to put a name to my move. It is "The 4 S Process".

Once again, this is an idea taken from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (It's almost like I like that show or something) and "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System". The way it works is Dennis' character has a foolproof method for picking up women, and the steps in the system all coincide with the letters in his name. The differences are that first of all, I didn't cram it into my name because I wanted it to be accurate to what I do on a weekly basis, and also that my system is horribly ineffective. With no adieu at all, here is "The 4 S Process".

1. Sidle up to a group of girls

The key is to acting like you belong there. Maybe they will even think you know one of the other girls at first. The point is, if you creep up slowly and obviously, you will be spotted right away. On the other hand, if you swoop in quickly and seemingly with a purpose, you might not get bounced out right away. If I'm not immediately shunned, I move on to step two, which is...

2. Strike up a conversation

Sometimes when I take my spot at their table by force, there is a natural break in the conversation which allows me to begin a new one. Other times they may be talking about something and I will have a chance to interject. The thing that care least about is the topic. As long as everyone is talking and I'm not getting kicked to the curb, I'm happy. This can get me into hot water, though. This past weekend I asked someone if she was as excited as I am about the new Vikings stadium agreement despite the political implications. She looked at me like I'm the dumbest person alive and said, "I'm in Iowa, I don't care." I forgot I was in Iowa! The little care I put into the conversations may be the first major flaw in my process. Regardless, if I avoid all landmines, I hone in on my target. This part is easy. Sometimes one of the girls seems somewhat interested in me where the rest don't, other times I have clearly off-put all but one, and I'm holding on for dear life. Either way, I then move on to step three, and...

3. Slide my arm around my target

This step is a little different from time to time. If the girl actually seems into me, I will full-on sling my arm around her. If not so much, I will put it around her chair. Still, it essentially works out the same. This is where my process tends to fall apart. She realizes I haven't said anything of real value the whole time, I realize that I made virtually no impression, so I...

4. Slink away in shame

Since I am a terrible dancer and hate doing it, this is the only move I've got. Probably time to go back to the drawing board. Anyway, we thought it was humorous so I decided to share. Stay tuned for the Beer Postseason.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Beer-offs: A Prelude to a Championship

It's no secret that I am obsessed with sports. The best part of any sports season is the playoffs, to see who will be crowned the champion (Unless you're a Minnesota sports fan like myself, and your team either missed the playoffs again or otherwise break your hearts. Yet, I digress.).

It's no secret beer and I go back like my hairline. I don't always drink beer, I just drink it a lot, and when I do drink beer, I prefer...the eight beers I am about to introduce.

I got to thinking, and I've decided to combine two of my favorite things into one, and create a completely arbitrary and ultimately pointless beer playoffs. Think "The Bud Bowl" but with more teams and beers that taste less like dog farts.

Also, if these were strictly my eight favorite beers, the list would look  slightly different. However, I have decided not to include microbrews. They aren't readily available to all and are tough to sort through.

The Contestants

(Seeds are listed top to bottom.)


 Summit EPA has been my favorite beer ever since the first time I tried it. Very flavorful and definitely has a bite. I have found that this beer specifically and pale ales in general tend to be an acquired taste. That said, I am the judge, jury and executioner of this playoff, so the number one seed it is.

 Quick tangent: This is the first time I've ever seen this Honey Weiss logo, and I immediately want it on a shirt. So cool. Anyway, I've always liked Leinie's Honey Weiss because it is smooth but still has kick, flavored but not overly, and around here is available most everywhere. A strong contender for the crown.


Yes I did use the old logo; I prefer it and can do whatever I want. The highest ranking "economy" beer, but it has earned it's spot. It is a light beer that, you know, actually tastes like beer. I realize a lot of people who drink light beer don't actually like beer, but I do. Being light, it's drinkability is high and so is its value. Plus, I've been on Team Miller Lite in softball for years, so there is some loyalty involved too (I am still looking for someone to play our mascot, "Mittens the Miller Lite Cat, BTW).  


Back-to-back Miller reps. Besides being "The Champagne of Beers", it's delicious and cheap. I've spent many a weekend shower with the lady in the moon. She never disappoints. Those memories last; unfortunately for High Life, I have saddled them with a very difficult first round match-up.


If Canadians know anything, it's hockey. If they know anything else, it's beer...or maple syrup. Anyway, hockey and beer collide perfectly in the above tap handle. I've ordered tallboys of Labatt's strictly because of that thing. I get easily enamored with stupid things, so this bodes well for the representative from across the border. Forgetting how awesome that mitt is, the beer is damn tasty on it's own merit.


  • Fat Tire is a flavorful beer that packs a solid punch, but isn't as strongly flavored as some other brews. That isn't necessarily a positive in my book; however, I do think it makes it more drinkable for those who would normally prefer light beer. On the other hand, that doesn't matter since I have the only vote on this very important matter. Fat Tire is more than good enough to make the playoffs, but they have an uphill road to the championship.

    Leinenkugel's joins Miller with their second representative in the playoffs. Summer Shandy is crisp, smooth, delicious and perfect for a hot summer day. That said, this spot mostly represents all of the wonderful seasonal offerings out there. I easily could have slid Summit Oktoberfest or any number of other beers into this slot. But, I have summer on the brain, so here we stand.


    Hipsters have ruined it a little bit, but PBR is cheap, delicious and the blue ribbon logo kicks ass. So there.

    On the Outside Looking In

    (Since I'm still a child trapped in a man's body, right now I'm picturing these beers watching a selection show a la the NCAA tourney, feeling crushed, some crying and some hugging their coaches, left to wait for next year. I'm a loser.)

    Dos Equis (both Amber and Lager), South Shore Nut Brown, Coors Original

    Now that the field is set and the representatives have been introduced, it is time to decide a champion...soon. Hey, this is the first blog idea I've had in forever; I'd be a fool to not stretch it into multiple posts. Also, I realize that the spacing between logos is messed up, but I'm too lazy to figure it out and also think that extremely low production value is one of the things that gives this blog it's "charm".

    Stay tuned for the first round. 

    Warrior Dash Update 1

    Still fat.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Rickety Shef-chiket

    For those who don't get the title.

    I am balding. In fact, I have been balding since I was 18. I wear ankle braces to work because I had not one but two strained ankles last year. I become forgetful to the point where I don't even remember I have a blog. (Ok, that part is made up. I just have had a dearth of ideas the last couple months. I could just post mundane events in my day to day life, but no one has interest in reading it, nor do I have interest in writing it.) The tipping point was a week ago. It was an unseasonably warm day, and it was foggy and humid. My knees started to ache. After a second I thought, "Well, that makes sense. People's joints can ache due to weather changes affecting their arthritis in their joints." Then I remembered...

    I'M ONLY 25!!!!!!!

    I'm not 40. I'm not supposed to have joint issues! I've never been seriously injured, why the hell do I feel creaky already? I'm not supposed to have to shave my head already! Hair, I hardly knew thee. Now, naps, "Monk" reruns, and Johnny Carson YouTube clips, as old as they may make me seem, I'm okay with, but the rest of it is ridiculous.

    In a very roundabout way, all of this brings us to June 30th's "Warrior Dash". If you've never heard of it, it is a 5k run on a ski hill with a bunch of obstacles in the way, and I am doing it. I have a big group of friends in it and decided, "What the Hell?" This is problematic for all of the reasons I have already laid out, and because even when I was in shape over half a decade ago, I still had an aversion to distance running.

    But dammit, I'm doing it anyway. First of all, I need to start working out. I've pulled of the relatively skinny fat guy routine well for years, but it will catch up to me sooner rather than later. The problem is, motivation is difficult for me. Again, I'm still not overweight at all, and I don't have anyone to workout with. Besides, "Law & Order" and "Seinfeld" reruns are way more appealing than benching and squatting are. The thing is, I will probably literally die if I attempt this race without training heavily first. Self, meet motivation. Finishing isn't the only goal either. Believe it or not, I have some pride lurking around somewhere and I would like to do well. As my roommate bluntly and accurately pointed out to me, there are only 12 more weekends between now and then. Time to pound the pavement...


    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Heartbreak at CiCi's Pizza

    A middle-aged man pulls into a strip mall parking lot. With family in tow, he sidles up to the door of his local CiCi's Pizza Buffet. A sign is taped to the door. It reads, "Closed Permanently".

    "WHAT THE?!?!?!?" exclaims the man. His day is ruined. Crestfallen, he and his young family pile back into their minivan to leave for some other place offering food-stuffs, but all know it just won't be the same.

    That is a scene that played out on the stage called life this past fall on the western edge of the Twin Cities on a bright, sunny afternoon. My friends and I witnessed the whole thing, and laughed because we are bad people.

    When we saw the sign on the door on our way to Fat Nat's, we thought nothing of it. Honestly, CiCi's Pizza is like Popeye's Chicken to me. I see commercials for it all the time but have never seen one of their restaurants, so a small part of me always thought the commercials was some sort of elaborate practical joke. When I've seen the commercials for CiCi's, I've never been bummed out that we don't have one. As a general rule, buffet-style pizza is mediocre, so a restaurant full of it doesn't get me too excited.

    Then that poor guy walked up. It is impossible to convey in writing how disappointed he was. Usually the words "what" and "the" are nondescript unless paired with other, descriptive nouns, verbs and/or adjectives. However, this guy's outburst painted a heartbreaking picture.

    I've never met this man. Maybe he was just really hungry and knew his kids were going to be a nightmare if they had to drive somewhere else. To me though, it sounded like a guy who was already on the edge. Maybe life hadn't gone as planned to that point. Maybe he had a crater-sized hole in his being that could only be filled by pizza slathered in macaroni and cheese. Maybe he was hanging on by a thread.

    I can only hope there was another CiCi's in the area. Again, until that point I was incredulous that they existed at all, so I honestly have no idea. If not, I hope he and his family found fast food peace on that fateful afternoon.

    Much like Schindler's List and Indiana Jones, drama such as this just can't be made up.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Hot Dog Thoughts

    I like mustard (particularly brown and dijon) but if you don't shake the bottle first, mustard juice is one of the grossest things in the world.

    Hunt's ketchup is better than Heinz. Yeah, I said it.

    Relish is impossible to evenly distribute out of a squeeze bottle. There is always a bottleneck at the bottle's neck, then once you squeeze hard enough, there is an avalanche of the green stuff. I love relish, but not half a bottle of it on one dog.

    Bun length should be the only length...except for footlong.

    Sesame seed buns are clearly the best but I'm generally too cheap to buy them.

    If I have my plate in my lap, at least one of the hot dogs is going to roll over onto its top when I shift my weight, leaving a pile of toppings in its wake. Dunking your dog in a mass of ketchup, mustard and relish just isn't the same as having them resting comfortably on top of the dog.

    Two hot dogs are never quite enough, but three are almost always too many.

    As a general rule, I prefer french fries to potato chips, but there's something about the crispy saltiness of chips that complements the dogs just perfectly. They go together like lamb and tuna fish.

    A lot of people like to make a big deal about all of the gross stuff that goes into a hot dog. I honestly don't care. I'm sure I'm eating terrible things all the time. Hardly any food is truly "clean", yet I've never once had food poisoning. Bring it, food. I'm not hiding; you know where to find me.

    BBQing dogs is far and away the best way to have them (as all other meat) and when I grill them, burning the shit out of them is the only way to go. Think a burnt marshmallow, just meatier.

    I never knew how opinionated I am about hot dogs until just now.