January 31, 2002 - Slush Ball
   • What was truly so amazing about Snow Bowl / BU-BC weekend was that nothing, and I mean nothing, went wrong. Nobody lost (I suppose the B's and Celts losing counts for something... nah), nobody pissed me off and I got to play football twice. That's a weekend.

   It always seems like when things are going well, there always has to be that one nagging thing that just sours everything. Today's honor goes to a certain beautiful Midwesternite, who gave me this to come home to round two in the morning:

"I don't think you like me anymore."

   I feel a rant coming on...

   Instant Messenger, while a wonderful program to allow people to communicate, is not the place where emotional conversations should be held. Ever. You would never propose marriage on IM, would you? If you would, well, we're not going to talk to you anymore... but anyway. You would never break up with a significant other on IM, unless of course you're an asshole.

   If you're an asshole, everything I've ever said doesn't apply to you. Why? Because you're an asshole. How great is it I just worked the a-word into three different sentences? The things that amuse me...

   I'm essentially living in a world where I work two jobs: one pays in money, the other in resume-building... kind of like a bowl of Cookie Crisp for my budding career. It's created a scenario where I'm available to have a social life (outside of work, of course) approximately seven minutes a day. And hey, I gotta go to the bathroom sometime.

   Cereal Note: I've only had Cookie Crisp once in my life, and as I recall, it wasn't very good. It was one of those cereals like Reese's Puffs - the expectations were so high, it could do nothing but suck. I mean, I was thinking "bowl of Chips Ahoy with milk for breakfast." Didn't turn out well... I'll stick to my Oatmeal Raisin Crisp for the time being.

   Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in a typical week, I have five free hours. Five, as in one, two, three, four, five. One on Monday, two on Wednesday, two on Friday. That's it. The 5-10 p.m. period is spent doing collegiate things: napping, eating and dodging phone calls that might result in additional responsibilties. Then from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., I'm at the Free Press. I'm having a good time, but I'm slowly dying.

   You try running on five hours a sleep a night for three weeks. I feel like that Indian chief, standing strong, with that one single tear running down his cheek. That's an image for you. And know what? Here's another one:

-- This is my tiara. Isn't it pretty.

   Things have gotten so bad my PlayStation 2 has dust on it. Dust from misuse. From neglect. From a underabundance of button-mashing, self-commentary and muttered-swearing. Now I really do feel like a crying Indian.

   To All Posse Members, Midwestern, Pictured, Both Or Neither: Each day, this is my gift to you. The carefree days of... well, December, they are gone. Six hours of IM a day is something I leave to Bill now... cherish each update like it was an ugly child. You wouldn't hate a child for being ugly, WOULD YOU ANDI?!

   Thank you.

* * *

   Humanity is a amazing thing, isn't it? In our Radio class today, the annoying girl managed to offend the entire class, and didn't even bat an eyelash. Our professor is an old-school radio journalist, i.e. when she says "cutting tape," she literally means with a razor blade, not on a computer screen. She hasn't been able to learn all the technology we have in the COM editing studios, and I don't fault her for that. I don't know how to use it either.

   Course our fake-nailed, nappy-haired hero has decided this fact makes our professor contemptable and worthy of hate. Something she decided to announce to the class today when teacher stepped out of the studio.

   At what point in one's development does it become a good idea to announce to a class of eight you hate your professor? Is it really possible that there's a portion of humanity that has no inner monologue? How is it that a person like this cow is able to go through life unaware she talks too much, and that she's pissing me off?

   I would answer that question, but it would offend a Posse member. And really, he doesn't deserve it. Right now anyway.

   We had a two-minute piece due in class today. Eight people in the class, half of which are grad students. Three came in with four-minute pieces. One with a three-minute. Two with one-minutes. I'm done now.
January 30, 2002 - Drive
   • [Preface: Today was a good day. I was all set to start writing this in my newfound "crap ahoy" style, when I had one of those 'stream of consciousness' moments that good writers get all salivaty over. Yes, I just used the word 'salivaty.' It was provoked by an event, and such event did get a strong emotional response from me, so I felt compelled to write on it. This will probably come across as ranty, but hey, that's me!

   Nobody had sex, Mom. Relax. :)]

   I want to drive a tractor-trailer.

   That's all. I want to deliver goods across the country, deliver frozen foods to Atlanta, lumber to California. That's all I want.

   I want to be simple. I want to derive all he pleasure I ever need from the open road, from hitting on ugly waitresses in out-of-the-way truck stops. I want to have DirecTV in my Freightliner cab, in the sleeper. I want to sleep in my truck at a rest stop. I want to make mad money, and I want to save it for something large that I'll inevitably never identify. I want that to make me happy.

   I want the insignficiant little things in life. I want them to make me happy.

   You know that feeling you get the day after Christmas? Or, better example, that feeling you get when you get that present you really wanted, then find out it's not all it was cracked up to be? The letdown, the loss of something to look forward to? I know that too well.

   The other night at College Bowl, I got seven tossups right in one game, without a single incorrect answer. Seven of about twenty total read, all by myself. That is so inordinately unimportant it amazes me... there can't be three people in the whole world who would even have that register on their radar other than myself. But it made me so happy... I walked out of practice so inordinately happy, with such a smile and feeling of accomplishment, you'd have thought I was on some mood-enhancing drug. Like Prozac, or Visine... or Clearly Canadian.

   Now I know what you're thinking, but let me assure you... the way it makes your f'ing eyes burn, Visine is damn-well a mood-enhancing drug.

   Why can't the little things just be enough to satiate me all the time? Not even the little things... the things that satiate others? Why can't they just be enough for once? Why do I always have to look for some deeper meaning or happiness?

   I feel better just from having written this, in the quiet Free Press ad office overlooking the street.

   In may ways, I'm jealous of the ignorant masses. From someone who who could derive all their pleasure from driving a truck, having sex and hauling in the dough (in both a figurative and a bad pun kinda way). There's a small part of me that wants to live that life and not overanalyze your basic enjoyables to the point making it tiring.

   I sometimes wonder how much my homelife has affected my view on sex. I haven't had it... but home built my view on alcohol and on cleanliness. The wya I'm thinking, which odds are isn't the way you're thinking (sicko)... I wonder.

   Know what else I wonder? How there's a person in this world as hopelessly and completely devoted to me as Meg is. How there's a person who's more devoted to me than I am to myself. Than I could ever be to any other human being. I just can't get my mind around it... scares the living crap out of me.

   It's amazing. Reading these words on paper, I feel completely different about them than I did when I was walking down the street saying them. I'm embarassed by them... those first two paragraphs are a slap in the face to my family, to those who hold me in any sort of esteem.

   It really is just like alcohol, isn't it? You spend your yout h dreaming of how great it is, dreaming of getting it. Then you get to it (or in my case, reach the point where you could), and see it for what it really is.

   I want to be a PGA Tour pro. That or a football player. I want to be a hero.

   I really gotta get some resumes sent out.
January 29, 2002 - FreeP Flipout
   • First, watch this video of highlights from WWF history. Then, go to this link that completely not related to wrestling. [Both have sound. Loud sound.] You tell me what's more entertaining.

   As the celebration after Super Bowl 25 was just beginning, Dan Dierdorf, who was on the ABC broadcast team that night, said something that has stuck with me for over a decade:

"Great defense beats great offense."

   Never mind the fact Dan Dierdorf is an angry man, booted out of the MNF booth and forced to play Emmanuel Lewis' dad on Webster... (Alex Karras, Dan Dierdorf... they're both big-ass football players. Whatever.)

   SB XXV pitted the defense-minded Giants against the offensive-juggernaut Bills. The teams came into the title game on different winning tracks: New York has pounded out a championship game win over San Francisco with five field goals, Buffalo had beaten the L.A. Raiders by almost seven touchdowns. The oddsmakers saw it as a blowout: the Bills were 10+ point favorites up to and including the time of kickoff.

   But as Chris Berman would say, "That's why they play the games..."

   On a Super Sunday with war raging abroad, the Giants pushed the Bills all over the field, keeping Jim Kelly on the sidelines for two-thirds of the game... literally. Their less-prolific offense, led by backup QB Jeff Hostetler and wily veteran RB Ottis Anderson scored just enough, as they won 20-19. Granted, Scott Norwood hits that field goal and it's all for naught, but fuck him. Actually, no. Bless him.

   I remember sitting in my basement with my father, because Matt had already gone to bed. I remember praying when the Bills were driving, praying when Norwood was setting up for his kick, and just knowing when it left his foot that it going wide right. I've never been that happy over a sporting event since... though the Snow Game came damn close. This was the first championship I can remember one of my teams winning... and I still have that game on tape to this day. Best Super Bowl ever... Rams-Titans be damned.

   Anyway, you see where I'm going with this? Granted, it's the Rams on turf, in a building where the Pats have had their troubles in past title tilts. Still, anyone who thinks this game's gonna be a blowout might want to think again. It's taking all my strength not to throw anything down on that 14-point spread... but a promise to myself is a promise to myself.

   By the way, thanks to Peter King for transcribing my thoughts and posting them on a high-traffic website.

   And yes, I'm well aware this game has serious San Fran-San Diego potential, i.e. prayers they just cover the spread. But I don't need your negativity!

   Back at the beginning of the semester, I said that I'd be shocked if I made it until February 1st working nights at the FreeP. Don't think I'm gonna be far off... that place is slowly killing me day by day. Why don't I have the juice for College Bowl anymore? Why hasn't my PS2 been on for a week, other than for non-playing purposes? You got it.

   Freshman year, I weaned myself down to 4-5 hours of sleep a night, just to see if I could do it. Then I could... now I can't. I just get in that office, start to feel it's going to be a long night and just start sweating. Sweating and eliminating my inner monologue from the thought process.

   It would be much different if I didn't have a 7:30 wake-up call hitting me every morning... we would then call it "the summer" and "fun." But no, it's early to rise for me, meaning that I'm becoming more and more miserable to be around. I'm getting pissed at more things, which really, just gives me that much more content. Today's top pick?

   • At work, it's assumed that I get to use the computer, because sitting in there 24.5 hours a week gets you that kind of pull. This is understood, except by one girl - not yesterday's girl, who I've found out is from Westchester County and thus really is a wannabe ghetto superstar. Every day I come in, she's sitting there, honest to God, talking to her two boyfriends on IM. You know, it's one thing to have two boyfriends. It's entirely another to carry on your relationships with them OVER THE INTERNET.

   This is also a girl who was once complaining that her Adidas massage sandals were hurting her feet... seems all the little nubbins were getting to her this day. So instead of changing her shoes, she decided her best response would be to put pieces of paper between her feet and the sandals. Please bear in mind these are flip-flops... imagine you're seeing someone walking down the street in flip-flops, with paper stuck to their soles. Thank you.

   The exhaustion and my co-worker are the reason the updates are going up so late, by the way. I'll see what I can do over the coming days.

   Memo to WLVI (WB56) Programming Dept.: It's very noble of you to be having a Democratic Gubenatorial debate in January. So noble I almost covered it for the paper, because it'd be an excellent and enjoyable story. But I can't. Why not? Because it's at 10:30 p.m. And why is it at 10:30 p.m.? So they don't have to pre-empt Dawson's Creek!

   These are the times I wish I had a midget to beat as stress relief.
January 28, 2002 - Dude This Sucks
   • There's no better time to be alive than when you're in a New England team's playoff run. It happens so rarely, that when a team actually makes a run at something, reality ceases to exist. I just can't imagine this sort of fervor being thrown around in a New York or a Cleveland... hell, anywhere outside Kansas City or Green Bay. Though I'd imagine things never really subside in Titletown, even if the team sucks. I mean, it is Green Bay.

   As for Kansas City, well, of course they love their sports teams through and through. It's fucking Kansas City. Having been there, it's not a bad city per se... well, nevermind. We've been down this road before.

   Anyway, my point. Sports news took up about half of the six o'clock news tonight, and about half of that was nothing more than the case of Bledsoe v. Brady. It always amazes me that no matter how good things are going in the New England sports world, there's always a controversy about something. Baseball team gets sold? BAM! The Attorney General's nosing around John Harrington's ass. Pats are having their best season in a half decade? QB controversy! I shudder to think if the Celts or B's make a title run... all of a sudden, it'll be discovered Robbie Ftorek is a little too friendly with the stick boys.

"T.J. said when Brady got hurt, the fans were pissed. Then Bledsoe throws the TD. The bar breaks into the chant: 'Drew, Drew, Drew.' Then the Steelers make a second-half comeback. The barflies booed. They chanted: 'Brady, Brady, Brady.' My lord, you chowderheads are a most fascinating lot.
-- Page 2's Brian Murphy, a chunky-ass, loudmouth, West Coast fanboy who could use a Janikowski in the nuts. Of course, he's absolutely right, both here and with this:

"All that said, thank Christ the Eagles didn't make the Super Bowl. Can you, in the depths of your mind at its most macabre, imagine a Super Bowl with Philly fans and Boston fans in New Orleans? Holy Mother of God. It would be like the Middle Ages. People roaming the streets, carrying torches, acting out their most base instincts while fueled by mead."

   Yeah, so Go Pats.

   There's a new girl working in the mail room. She strikes me as very nice... she wants to be a teacher, so she's got that whole "someday, I'm going to be nice to your child" vibe going. However, two things about her trouble me.

   1) She wears a charm necklace with her name on it. Where I'm from, ghetto superstars wear their names around their neck. Ghetto superstars, and people who want to be ghetto superstars. Like Jason Williams... "Hi, I'm white and from West Virginia, but I'm down with the inner city." You know, because West Virginia has an inner city. I don't even know if West Virginia HAS a city.

   Anyway, back to our teacher.

   2) She had sweat rings going on. This is one of those things I would never believe if I hadn't seen it myself. Even seeing it, I wasn't sure if I saw it right... but it's true. Dark pink (dare I say, magenta) sweater, darker pink armpit. These are the things you notice when you spend six hours a day in an office with no windows.

   Don't get me wrong, she's a very nice girl. The whole teacher thing... glorious. I'd even go as far to call her... no, I won't go that far. I can hear Meg already. :)

   I need inspiration. Step up.
January 27, 2002 - Super Pats!!!
Drew and Marshall
-- Yeah. You saw this one coming at the beginning of the season, didn't you?!

   • The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl. Just read that line... just look at the words. It's not like this hasn't happened before... three trips to the NFL's championship game over eighteen years is pretty damn solid by New England sporting standards. There's nothing to say that the Patriots won't be stomped in New Orleans like they were in Januaries past.

   But just the way it's all happening, with no Drew, then the improbable run, the three-straight Oakland losses, the snow game, the knuckler field goals, then back to Drew again... this team of destiny crap might actually be true.

   Course we saw how well that America's Team storyline worked out for the Yankees.

   Part of me feels very guilty about this whole thing. Two years straight, I'll have a team I'm legitimately a fan of in football's biggest game. The Giants are one thing, but the Pats? I'm not a very vocal Pats fan, though it's their logo on my coat and their '96 AFC Champions poster framed on my wall.

   That '96 title game with the Jags was as close to civil war as Matt and I have ever gotten. Honest to God, Matt brought his Jaguars paraphernalia into the living room, and I brought my Pats stuff. There we sat, screaming at the TV (and each other) for three hours. When it was over, I remember being jubilant, and he remembers me being a prick. Now, I'd be a lot calmer, if only because I'd feel bad about the whole thing later.

   Part of me feels guilty about cheering for New England, if only because I have professed Big Blue over all else. The last thing I want to come across as is a bandwagon jumper, even though realistically, anyone who knows me is aware that's about as far from the truth as you could get.

   This will eventually become a section of the Bio page, but since it fits in the discussion:

Cooch's Sporting Hierarchy
Baseball: Boston Red Sox above all else, followed by the Colorado Rockies.
The Sox are probably my favorite team in all of sports, even though baseball's not my favorite sport. Try figuring that one out, Ponch.

Football: Giants and Patriots in a virtual tie, but if they played each other in the Super Bowl, I'd go Big Blue. That said, if the Pats beat them, you know I'd buy a championship T-shirt.

Basketball: The Celtics by association, though the Pacers hold my interest slightly. After Larry Bird retired and Shaq went to the Lakers, the NBA just kind of faded for me. Suppose that would explain why I haven't looked at my fantasy basketball team in six weeks.

Hockey: The Avalanche and Bruins are pretty much even. I would say the Avs are tops in most cases, but if it came to a Cup final, my Ray Bourque jersey would be black and gold, as it were.

   Course today wasn't all about sports, much as I would have liked it to be. Today prayers were dedicated to Tony Brucato at the 6 p.m. Marsh Chapel mass. Needless to say, that was the most difficult thing I've had to do in a while.

   Right off the top, I'm not comfortable in a religious/church setting. Faith and religious beliefs are things held (rightly) in very high regard by many, and for me to step into a house of worship with only loosely, self-assembled doctrine in my hands, it's not somewhere I like to find myself. I never know the prayers that everyone else just rifles off, feel awkward while they all go take communion and I sit quietly motionless, hate the part where you offer peace to everyone around you (because there's always one side where you don't know the people)... I just feel out of place.

   Yeah, I know "offering peace" to those around you is a universal thing, but I'm in a house of God, whose name I take in regular conversation about 439 times a day. I could be eating a buffet in a church basement and I'd still feel like a heathen.

   Elmer, as I soon discovered, is also not comfortable in church. There's probably some convoluted story behind it, but I don't care and neither do you. We deal with our lack of comfort differently: I sit quietly, reading the hymn book and following along as best I can... Elmer talks and repeatedly checks his watch. People around him are praying to their savior, and Elmer is checking to see what time he can leave.

   I was stuck in the middle of it, knowing he was pissing off everyone around him, but feeling bad enough for him to be talking back to him. It just made an uncomfortable situation, a mass for a person who committed suicide, that much more uncomfortable. I'm not good with these inner battles and crap, I'm no Dawson F'ing Leary.

   God I hate that show. See? I did it again!

   After the Mass, the twelve of us from the team went outside to wait to talk to Mr. Brucato, Tony's dad. It was an entirely empty feeling... the fact the the Patriots had won the AFC Championship three hours prior, and that one hell of a NFC Championship was raging on as we stood there, was completely irrelevant. None of us wanted to move... what the hell do you say to a man who had to bury his son?

   I knew I had to be the one to speak for the team, because that's my job. I think that's the biggest change from the high school senior to the college senior Cooch: as much as I was frozen, as much as I didn't know what to say, I wanted to be the one to say it. I love being a leader, being in charge of something, having the responsibilty on my shoulders. It's the same reason I like sports like golf and tennis over something like, say, team handball: if I lose, it's my fault, and not, say, that of NBA legend and commercial pitchman Detlef Schrempf.

   Tony's uncle said to me that our being there did more for the family than we could ever know. I hope he's right, but it still doesn't feel like it's enough.
January 25 & 26, 2002
   • The following entry, while of the normal quality and brevity you've come to expect, is all about a quiz bowl trip. Don't say I didn't warn you.

   The only thing that has ever brought me to Philadelphia has been Penn Bowl, what is perenially the largest quiz tournament hosted by a school annually. Some would debate... well, Matt Bruce would debate that NAQT's Intercollegiate Championship is bigger, and he might be right. Well, whatever.

   Every year, people bitch about how poorly Penn Bowl is run, how doors are locked, alarms go off, it costs too much, there's not enough rounds, there's too few rounds, the questions suck, the moderators suck, life sucks, people don't bathe... the only thing that's often consistent in the quiz bowl world is that everyone likes to bitch. Yet year after year, all the bitches keep coming back, keep paying the fees... you get the idea. Personally, I think they charge too much and I think it's poorly run, but I like going to Philadelphia spending no money out of my pocket. That's why we go.

   I've been to four PB's in my four years in BUCB. The first one doesn't really evoke that many memories, though I seem to remember it being the trip that began my quest to eat a hot dog in all fifty states - we stopped at a Shell station in Connecticut with a 'two hot dogs for a buck' offer. It was the year I spent out one-hour lunch break running into downtown Philly for a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt I've since stained. I believe it was also the year Matt tried to give me a wedgie in a the hotel closet, though that may have been sophomore year.

   Let me tell you, there are few things scarier in this world that Matt Bruce running at you, exclaiming "It's wedgie time!"

   The second is notable because it was the last Penn Bowl I actually played in. I was always considerate enough to place myself on our B team, because I'm by no means good enough to take a spot on our top PB squad. Well, suffice to say things went badly enough at Penn Bowl: Revolution Nein! to ensure I would never play a hardcore academic tournament again.

   We went 3-3 on Friday night I think, then 0-8 on Saturday. We lost a match to Dickinson something like 25-15, and when you factor in that Dickinson is among the worst teams ever to show up on the circuit, that sealed the deal for me.

   So for last year and this one, I've gone to Philly as a moderator (question reader). I enjoy it more, I'm better at it and there's a much smaller chance of being embarassed because I know few of the answers to the questions I'm reading. I suppose a lot of the other moderators find it strange that an undergrad is reading questions instead of playing on them, but then I find most of them strange too.

* * *

   I drove in the neighborhood of 700 miles this weekend, and really, I wouldn't have it any other way. We rent a 15-passenger van for trips like these, and we routinely fill it with people and garbage. It's fun to sit in the back and goof around with friends the whole way down, but I just feel better when I'm behind the wheel. I could tell stories, but really, Matt doesn't need three mentions this early in the scheme of things.

   The most disconcerting thing about driving these vans, aside from their massive size, is that if you stop paying attention to things for even a moment, you start flying. Momentum such as it is, these bitches can move. We were around Newark Airport I think, and I was looking over at the planes coming in. I look back at the speedometer, and we're going 95 on I-95. Course you wouldn't know it from the surrounding traffic, because they're inevitably always going 5 m.p.h. faster than you. I kid you not.

   The ride down was pretty much without incident, other than the following things:

   • On I-84 in Massachusetts, I saw a large roadside sign that read "Food and Books." Aside from this being a rather comical combination for a roadside respite, the and was written very small. So it looked like it just read "Food Books." Mmmm... food books.

   • There was a great deal of excitement from the new people when we passed a sign for Asylum St. in Hartford. It was quelled when I told them there weren't any actual asylums on it anymore.

   • Looking at the New York City skyline from the George Washington Bridge, it really didn't seem all that different to me. If I hadn't known the Twin Towers were gone, I probably wouldn't have noticed. This isn't meant to belittle what happened at all, just to say that my hatred of New York City over the years has waned to the point that I'll look at it when we drive by now.

   • The Vince Lombardi Memorial Rest Area, closed for Penn Bowl 2001, is back and better than ever. And Nathan's? Your hot dogs suck, and your fries are worse.

   • Speaking of sucks, Newark, New Jersey.

   Much hilarity was had during the check-in/pre-tournament period. But since space is an issue, we'll limit it to saying: fit van in parking garage, picked rooms based on which ones would be best to throw things out of windows, collected drink orders from underage students, walked into the West Philadelphia ghetto to buy booze, were late to the theoretical tournament start because of said booze. And here you thought I was a nerd.!

   Seriously, there are few sights better than a bathtub filled entirely with ice, just for the purpose of cooling alcohol. Well that and realizing that's you've been forced to sleep in the couples room, because no one wants to see you snuggle.

   The fun for me is always outside the QB tournament, but since we do go down there to play, I feel I should at least discuss it. BU has never made the Penn Bowl playoffs, which are typically the top 16 out of the 60+ team field. We've come close two or three times, and this year was no exception. Our A team had our wonderchild Erik Nielsen, our law student and Penn alum Josh, plus Elmer, Ken and James - the last two you're not likely to recognize unless you go to meetings and such. 4-1 on the first day, they were 7-3 with four rounds to play, but they just couldn't close it out. Rumor has it they went 8-6, which would probably put them around 6th in their bracket... I don't know. It would have been nice to go, but they would have been fodder in the playoffs.

   Plus it was nice to be able to play football out in the Perelman Quad, where my skills as the next Wayne Chrebet were proudly displayed. Honest.

   My complaints with the tournament are limited this year, as they always tend to be, because I leave the bitching to the assholes who have nothing better to do with their time.

   • The Penn people are mean, considering I'm there to help them. I think the problem lies in the fact they forgot nobody gives a shit they go to Penn. Well that and they're incompetent, but we won't walk down that road.

   • There were these three girls from the University of Chicago (I'm told that's where) who wore cocktail dresses to the tournament. I mean full out, shoes, coat, jewelry... they did it up. Only one of them should have been dressed like that in public. The other two... while I'm no fashion plate, all I'm going to say is "get out your burlap."

   • If a team is an hour late, I should not be waiting for them in an auditorium full of unwashed college bowlers, because damn, that funk fills the room fast.

   • [Insert own "college bowl people suck" joke here.]

   Other than that, I did enjoy myself. I enjoyed the Jelly Krimpets from the Wawa and the chest pain-inducing cheesesteak from Abner's. I enjoyed crossing the lit GW Bridge at night. I enjoyed going 85 m.p.h. for eight bazillion miles, and enjoyed being the only driver the whole damn trip. And oh yes, I enjoyed receiving a warning from a Connecticut State Trooper near Exit 68 on I-84.

   Thank you Officer. You were very kind and fair, which is all I can ask for. That's why I pulled myself over for you. :)
Getting it in under the gun, the cold slap of reality is evident in my picks.

Pittsburgh over New England
St. Louis over Philadelphia

Yeah. Me being wrong would be OK, guys.

January 24, 2002 - Recycling Bin
"I can't help but wince when there's something stabbing me in my ass."
-- Meg, on why lower back pain is a common gateway to butt sex. Don't worry, I know I'm not gonna get away with that one.

   When in a rush, use bullet points:

   • Like most stores, CVS has a special person card program, where they give you dollars off for toothpaste, tampons and the like. As is such, you would assume you have to fill out a form to get the card. That would be why they have the forms, right? It wouldn't make any sense for them to just give out the cards when you, say, pick up a form? Right? That would be retarded!

   Yeah, you'd think that wouldn't you?

   • Long story short, I ended up at the BU-Albany women's basketball game. Two impressions:

   1) Bill continues to give me reasons not to take him to sporting events.
   2) The Lady Terriers would be much better if they grasped the concept of rebounding. Course when you're playing in front of a crowd of 65 people, who gets most excited when people start running around with free pizza... you get the idea.

   • I saw two crazy people walking down the street as I can home from the Free Press at 3 a.m. They were both singing aloud, similar songs in fact. However, they were about thirty feet apart from each other on the sidewalk.

   I pray they meet up someday.

   Why's the little bitch so brief today? Well. first off don't call me a bitch. Second, because I'm off on a trip to Philadelphia for this college bowl tournament. Annually my favorite event on the calendar, because hey, free trip to West Philadelphia.

   I'll be back Sunday with a weekend update, Kevin Nealon style.

January 23, 2002 - Money CAN Buy You Love!
   • [Fearless Meeting Looks At Causes, Prevention of Depression has been added to the Writing section. Please note I've now written two articles in one week, which means it's the first real work I've done since I outed those term paper bastards. Please also note that while I hate Teamsters, I'm ambivelant toward Indians.]

"When writing, please send cocoa envelope."
-- From a Swiss Miss hot chocolate pack. Apparently, they can't get enough of the stuff either.

   Here's a scenario I think we can all identify with, even if you don't live in a community as vibrant as Boston. You're walking down the street or hall, sitting on the train or bus, any such social situation when you see... her.

   (Substitute him as appropriate.)

   Gorgeous, or horse-faced if that's what you're into. Walks with a purpose. Hips swaying, floating down the hallways, mouths agape all around her. You wish you fate would intervene, wish you could cross paths with her in an enchanted storyline, wish that NBC would bring Classic Concentration back to their daytime gameshow lineup...

   Well, don't you worry! For just around $80,000, you can't bring back Classic Concentration, but you can get a meeting with that girl of your dreams! Yes, you heard me. $80,000.

   For those of you too lazy to click a God-damned string of words, let me elaborate. The company is called Coincidence Design, and here's their deal: They arrange coincidences, chance meetings, so the rich and attractive can meet the abjectly attractive. They're essentially private investigatiors: first they do a full background check of your mate, then they compile a dossier all about her and arrange a series of chance meetings in an effort to manufacture your future.

   What's the phrase I'm looking for? Oh yeah, "are you fucking kidding me?!"

   1) This is what we call "reassuring the clientele":
"You can't STALK her. But we can."

   2) Because theirs is a service business and they can't please everybody, service is limited to attractive men who don't work in the media, are straight, live in the continental United States and have no fucking groove.

   3) It's usually not a good sign if you can't release your precise address "for security reasons."

   4) You essentially term those who fall in love like normal human beings as losers.

You know what, I can't even be bothered to waste anymore time bothering to pick out the things that piss me off with Coincidence Design. Please read the FAQ and look around the site to see what I'm talking about.

   It's rather fitting that I started this update out by talking about my article on term paper selling. Their business, selling written papers 'for research purposes only,' is legal, but often exploited by, well, every person who buys anything from them. Who's going to pay $200+ for a neatly-fomatted, bibliographied paper, and then only use it as a "research tool?"

   I can't even find the words to express how angry something like CD makes me. Love is sacred, love is special, love is something you do not fuck with under any circumstances. All of my girlfriends I met under these "lucky circumstances": whether it be in an AP Biology class, by fortunate seating on an airplane or through a mutual interest. How special would it be if I met them because I had a dossier or their interests, and some pencilneck fuckers in an office building put me next to them on an airliner?

   Why is love special? Because it takes work, fortune, persistence... all these things. I don't care if you are rich, run a company, have a gilded gold spoon sticking out of your ass. There are some things money can't buy, and this would be one of them.
January 22, 2002 - Fat Camp
   • [Now that the Free Press site is fixed, Local Teamsters Leader Asked To Resign From Massport has been added to the Writing section.]

   When all is said and done, the record will show I served 36 months, from March of 1999 to February of 2002, as president/Governor General of Boston University College Bowl. This is a news item important only to those within the club, and others who track my life with the passion of a stalker and the cunning of a... cunning thing. We'll say a mongoose, because it's more cunning than, say, a drunken frat brother.

   If you have no interest in College Bowl, please go make yourself a sandwich, have a beer, wash your face... just go do it now. I'll let you know when to start reading again.

   In the three years I've been at the helm, I'd like to think BUCB has grown to levels much loftier than those when I took it over. We've hosted a national championship, won our first-ever academic tournament, added two undergrad national championships since then, had features written on us in the papers, become the dominant tournament host in the Northeast... the list goes on. Not all of these things can be directly attributed to me; more than likely, none of them can. Still though, I believe I've succeeded in making the club better than it was at the start.

   Tonight was the night I officially ran out of gas, and gave up caring.

   My 36th month at the helm will be run on cruise control, because the motivation and the drive to keep running things is gone. There's just no more left, because tonight I came to realize that when I leave, those who take me place won't even know where to begin. I can go as far as to pinpoint the moment when I knew it was over: We open every meeting with 'bidness,' to go over the important things we have coming up over the next few weeks. VP Elmer has been assigned to run an event we're hosting on February 16th, in association with the administrators who run BU's Student Union. He's yet to plan anything, yet to make a phone call to a department, and plans on doing so "sometime next week."

   The usual procedure following this revelation would be for me to yell at Elmer, him to get seethingly pissed off at me, but ultimately do what I asked him to, just so long as I was specific enough in my request. I almost did it again tonight, but I stopped myself. For research purposes, we will call this "The Moment of Divestiture," because titles always sound more academic if you use a word 45% of your audience can't define.

   It occurred to me tonight that there's no more point in yelling at Elmer, because no matter what I say or what I do, no one is going to run this team the way I want it run after I'm gone. Such is the rise and fall of an organization with constant turnover in membership and leadership. There are good times, and there are bad times. As much as I've bitched, I consider my time up as top as good times. If I'm wrong, well... if in 36 months I couldn't create any good, I sure as hell aren't going to do it now.

   I mean no disrespect to Elmer, or anyone else within the club, honestly. I just don't get the sense that he, or others who might be in line to take over the show, have the initiative to do the job right. But that's just me talking... and unlike last weekend when I said I wasn't goint to care anymore, this time I mean it.

   OK kids. Fire drill's over... everyone back in the school.

"In a stunning upset, Vince [McMahon] looks much more ripped than [Ric] Flair, who officially has lovehandles and breasts. I will now light myself on fire."
-- From The Sports Guy's diary on the WWF Royal Rumble. I want you to imagine if I got paid for updating this site everyday. You have now encapsulated Bill Simmons' job at ESPN.com. The law now requires me to hate him.

   In the office tonight, we came across a story in TIME about the obese children of America... thus the title of today's posting. Of course, there were two immediate responses, those programmed into us based on gender:

   • Girls: Feel sorry for the fat kids.
   • Guys: Laugh at the fat kids.

   The story was actually relatively interesting, which for TIME Magazine is quite an accomplishment, given the last time I read something out of time I was probably still a teenager. But it disturbed me as well, and not just because I was looking at a picture of a 5'8" 200-pounder trying to do a sit-up.

   One of the reasons listed as why kids in America are obese is because their parents teach them to ignore their instincts of fullness by making them clean their plates. Am I the only one who thinks this is stupid? America's children are not fat because they're stuffing their faces full of broccoli at the table. They're fat because they don't do anything, and because nobody makes them go outside and play. I was raised in a family that didn't force us to go out and play sports, but encouraged us to get off our asses every now and again.

   It's a magical thing people. This summer, I ran a mile every day and didn't stuff my face every chance I got. I lost 30 pounds. Did I need to lose thirty pounds? Depends on who you ask. Was it hard to make myself run in the heat every day, while little Nashua ghetto children and elderly crack house denizens stared at me from their porches? Of course it was hard, but it was worth it. Did it also help that I had $20 to spend on food every week? Shut up, Meg.

   Running can actually be enjoyable if you allow it to be. Course they say the same thing about reading, and my reading for pleasure really haven't advanced much past Go, Dog. Go! Damn, I miss that book.

   The point is, you can not buy physical fitness via pill or electronic ab belt, America. Believe me, I know because I've tried. Well, not the ab belt thing; even I'm not that desperate.

January 21, 2002 - Crystal Gravy
   • I have taken the liberty of adding the counter back on here so it's viewable. Please understand that all future mood swings will directly relate to whether or not I think you people like me enough.

   Wayne Chrebet first rose to prominence in professional football when his then-teammate on the Jets, Keyshawn Johnson, decided to make him the scapegoat for Keyshawn not getting the damn ball enough. In the end, it all worked out, Johnson ended up in Tampa and Chrebet became the star he deserved to be.

   Now the reason I mention Wayne Chrebet, as opposed to say the seceding state of Jefferson, U.S.A., is that Chrebet has the uncanny ability to catch any football thrown in his direction. No matter if it's over his head, behind him, whatever, Chrebet sprawls around like some pale spider having a seizure.

   For one weekend, I was the Wayne Chrebet of snow football.

   Those of you in the Boston area know yesterday was the most miserable day of the whole weekend: a steady cold rain falling on the powdery snow, producing a pasty slush that would have me an excellent snow cone had it not been full of road salt and motor oil. It was the kind of day where one should sit inside, cuddled up with a hot chick and some cocoa, thinking audibly to themselves, "Wow. I'm living the stereotype of the rainy day. Perhaps I'll do a puzzle."

   Hey, all the jokes can't make sense.

   Anyway, a baker's dozen of FreePers and friends trekked out to Nickerson to do the one thing no one's supposed to do on that field anymore: play college football. Now I know what you're thinking, so please, calm yourself down and leave the nagging to a professional, like my Mom.

   Now, when we usually play FreeP football I can't catch anything. There've been a couple weeks I think they were inviting me just because I had the football, and really, that's probably why I bought the thing in the first place. However this week was different. I've always said when the conditions are at their worst, I'm at my best. Actually, I've never said that. Much like Mariah Carey never said:

"When I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."

   But you so could see her saying it, couldn't you? I swear, Mariah Carey is going to get found naked on a highway someday, not dead or anything, just sitting in a lawn chair or something, right in the middle of I-95. Wait and wonder.

   Anyway, nobody could do much of anything given we were playing in three inches of muck. There was a lot of "Brady Football," previously known as "Bill Football," where any pass thrown over two yards forward is grounds for a beating. At one point during the drubbing, I was just kinda hanging out in the secondary, when Jon Rea tossed one over the middle. I have no idea how I tipped it, nor do I have any idea how I dove across the ground and picked the thing off. All I know is from that moment forward, I caught everything. It started defying logic, given by that point in the afternoon, I was so cold numbness wasn't even doing the trick. Things got so bad, someone walking by the field might have mistaken me for an athlete.

   Don't worry. If I were you, I wouldn't care either. But given that the Free Press website is down and I didn't do anything else of interest today, the only alternative would be for me to write some crappy teen angst poetry or talk about how much I miss Crystal Pepsi.
January 20, 2002 - Mmm... Blue Butter
   • I can not, under any circumstances, cheer for the Baltimore Ravens. I understand that it would be incredible for the Patriots to get to host the AFC Championship Game again, but in order for that to happen, Baltimore has to beat Pittsburgh. In all of sports, there are only two franchises I hate unconditionally: the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Ravens.

   I am not sad the Patriots won't get to host the title game, and I am not sad Foxboro Stadium has seen it's last football game. In my lifetime, I saw three football games played at Foxboro, plus one 1997 New England Revolution tilt with the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. My missing it will be sufficiently covered by CMGI Field, which come hell or high water, I will see a game at next season.

   As for the three Pats games, two were exhibitions: loss to the Falcons in '89 and to the Packers in '90. The only regular season game was a win: 9/22/91, 24-20 over the Warren Moon-led Houston Oilers. I remember it being a very good game, I remember the steel benches and the sunshine and I remember being amazed that I had binoculars that could see the scuffs on Moon's helmet. The Pats sucked in '91, so for them to beat a team that ended up winning the AFC Central that year was quite a feat.

   My only regret from today was that I didn't get to see the Ravens' post-game press conference, so I could watch all those morons eat their crow. Or, if you're Ray Lewis, stab their crow.

"As painful as it is to say this, they have a better football team. We played 60 minutes and had 150 total yards, and I don't think I need to say more."
-- Shannon Sharpe, who I'd like to please remind me how solid the Ravens are on the road. Come on, SS. I'm waiting.

   I've long felt that the best time gets had when nothing is planned, and unlike some of the other throwaway segue lines I preface with "I've long felt," I actually believe this one. It was proven many times this weekend, most notably by the snow football game where I finally proved I can be athletic in short flashes of brilliance *. Today was no exception, and no, it's not because of the unplanned going 4-0 on my picks this weekend. You didn't really think I was going to let that slide without mention, did you?
   * - If the 2001-02 Terrier hockey team ever comes out with a highlight video, it has to be entitled something along the lines of "Short Flashes of Brilliance." If every season has a trait, there's is a short outburst near the midlle of the second or third where they score all the goals they need to win. Not that it's a bad trait, it's just funny that it keeps happening - most notably today's two goals in ten seconds, which you can read about below.

   After the hockey game, eight of us went down to Uno's in Allston for the celebratory meal. Aside from Vito declaring he hates a pop song (which I think means there a frost in hell overnight) and Meg having a knockdown, drag-out truck discussion with Jon Rea, it went without incident, but with onions.

   The incident, or more more accurately, incidents, occurred later in the evening, once everyone returned to my place for an evening of enriching FOX TV. At about 9:15, and I know this because another heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat preview of "The Chamber" was on, the powere went out. Not just in room, not just in my building, not just on my street. We're talking about all of South Campus, plus like three city blocks down Beacon Street. There is nothing funnier than going outside and walking down the street, and everything being black. Hey, maybe screaming about terrorism wasn't the wisest thing to do, but I didn't do it very loudly.

   Really, the power outage ended up working out though, which makes sense because this was the greatest weekend EVER. Meg and Erin had gone off to the store when it went out the first time and, long story short, Justin and I ended up back at Meg's apartment when it went out the second time. Just four kids, eating cookies, whipped cream and Twizzlers until a God-forsaken hour.

   I've really been rather short shrift on this Erin I keep mentioning, and since I haven't written enough diatribes already...

   In my world, meeting the parents and meeting the best friend are the two big hurdles you have to clear before you can actually be secure in your position as a boyfriend. The parents is the obvious one, because hey, no one wants their little princess shacking up with an axe murderer. However, the best friend is just as important. Think about it: if the girl has doubts whether or not you're screwing sorority sisters on the side, Dad is not going to be her first stopover for advice.

   I've been very lucky in the 'best friend' department thusfar. With Karen, it was Lonnie, and being that I've known Lonnie since we were like ten, I think I'm all set. With Ali, it was Amanda, who I liked better than Ali as soon as I met her. With Andi, it was Leia, who I never really hit it off with like the other two, but given that we see each other maybe once a year, I can't fault anyone for that.

   Erin goes to West Point, which right off the top gets respect from me. Anyone who can cut it at a service academy is either a) on the ball, sharp and well worth knowing or b) insane and just waiting to get their firearms, and having met her, she's clearly A. Throw in the fact that she's Meg's best friend, and an excellent person to be around in her own right, and there you go. If I had a picture, I'd probably put her in the Posse, and you know how hard THAT is to get in to.

   Erin, if you read this, my apologies for cutting it so short at the end. Two hours of writing the update has my mind mushy and soft, much like you know what. Three people in America will get the previous joke. The rest of you can go to hell. :)
BU 3 - 1 BC
BU 2 - 1 BC
In college hockey, it doesn't get any better than this.

@ BC - 1/18/02
1 (8)
0 (8)
1 (16)
2 (32)
0 (11)
0 (12)
1 (7)
1 (30)

Read the recap on Hockey East Online.

@ BU - 1/20/02
0 (9)
2 (8)
1 (12)
3 (29)
0 (11)
0 (12)
1 (7)
1 (30)

Read the recap on Hockey East Online.

   • I can't think of any better way to cap a weekend that saw me go 4-0 picking football games, saw the Patriots advance to the AFC Championship game, saw the Ravens get knocked out of the playoffs and saw me meet one of the coolest girls I know than having the BU Terriers sweep the BC Eagles. This weekend may be the greatest I've ever had. If it's not, it's come damn close.

   There is a twinge of sadness to this story, given today's game was the last time I'll see BU-BC in Walter Brown as a student at this university. In my four years here, I went to four of the six BU-BC games played at Walter Brown, missing one over a break (last year, when we beat them and their No. 2 ranking) and another because I was a freshman loser with no one to go with (we won there too). Going into this afternoon's game, we were 1-2 against the Eagles under the tin roof when I was in the crowd, and fortunately, that record is now balanced.

   In the 15 games BU and BC have played in the past four seasons, it's a dead split: 7-7-1, with a 4-2-1 mark in games I've been at. Think the Beanpot first-rounder on February 4 has any significance to anyone? ;)

   I was unhappy going into the game because what have become our posse's personal seats (Sec. 8, Row J, Seats 11-13) were bought up in the rush of BU-BC mania. Now, I would have been fine if the seats were taken by frat boys, drunks, alumni... a group of people who actually appreciated what they were watching. But no, of course, because it's BU-BC, every dumbass student who knows nothing about hockey comes out to pretend like they know what they're watching. There were eight of them, sitting in a row, wearing their designer jeans and their BU sweatshirts. Note I said sitting, which as BU fans know, is legally prohibited in Section 8. I hope they all contract syphilis.

   And yes, while we're on the subject of syphilis, let's address the fans in Section 7, whom the posse (plus special guests Erin and Jon Rea) joined for yesterday's festivities. Now, I am homophobic, there is no doubt about that. The thought of a man hitting on me and taking advantage of me is a legitimate fear in my mind, though it's essentially unwarranted because I'm nowhere near attractive enough. I was homophobic before it was cool to be homophobic, people. That said, even I know there's a line you don't cross, because if you do, you look like a complete asshole. The guys sitting next to us and behind us today easily qualify.

   It was funny for a little while, and I have to respect their enthusiasm in standing the whole game. However, there are only so many gay and sexual references you can make in one afternoon. First it was the "Superfag" T-shirt, with the BC Eagle shown to be thinking "I take it in the ass." Then it was, "Hey [BC goalie Josh] Kelleher! Is that a purple dildo sticking out of your ass?!" Then, "Hey Kelleher! Your mom gave me syphilis!" Then, "Hey Kelleher! Are you the one that gave your mom syphilis?!" I stopped mentally noting them after that. And I suppose it was better than the fat guy in front of us, with "Hey Kelleher! You are white trash! Why don't you go start up your car, I mean, your house?!"

   And I'm sorry, but chanting "I'm blind! I'm deaf! I wanna be a ref!" only works if you legitimately understand hockey enough to know when a penalty has actually been committed. Even then it's stupid, but I'll cut some slack if you only scream it when a bad call is made.

   OK, the bitchfest is over. On to the good stuff.

   First Period: The place is rocking: even though there's a smattering of empty seats, every stairwell, balcony and free area is packed with the standing room crowd. Unfortunately, this game has all the makings of a heartbreaking loss. Fields is strong in keeping it a shutout, but we blow at least five solid scoring opportunities. At least one is a gimme that misses the net by an inch. Period takes over an hour to play, due to a large delay over a broken plexiglass panel in the Sec. 1 corner. We later have a goal waved off because of a skate in the crease - it was a mad rush on the net; I couldn't tell either way, but Justin and Rea think it should have counted. Period is escpaed scoreless, and it feels like a moral victory.

   Second Period: Not many scoring chances for either side during the first fifteen minutes - I remark to Justin that this has the makings of a classic. In my own mind, I predict a 1-0 final, possibly OT related. With five minutes to go, BC begins an onslaught on Fields. As I'm mentally writing this paragraph, I jot down the sentence "BC dominated the last five minutes, and took a 1-0 lead." Then, it happened.

   Aufiero takes it from the back wall, goes the length of the ice and tucks it left post. Hijinx ensue. Justin and I almost give each other concussions when Rea and Meg join us in a mini-mosh pit. At some point, I slam my knee into the armrest of my seat - bear in mind, our seats in Sec. 8 have no armrests. We do the "Sieve" chant. We scream at the end of it.

   Then we scored again.

   Gregg Johnson, ended up with the puck off the post-goal faceoff, streaked down the left side of the ice and went five-hole on Kelleher. As loud as it was after the first goal, it was audibly that much louder after the second. At some point, I picked Meg up off the ground and she squealed. That's about all I remember.

   Two goals; ten seconds. It was far from over, but it significantly took the air out of their tires.

   Third Period: Rhett came out dressed up like the Eagle, and Sasquatch gave one of his weaker performances. BC did cut the lead in half about eight minutes in, and it was disheartening to see all their 80-year old alumni celebrating. But, there was no way that, on this weekend, BU was losing this game. I would not have allowed it. It was nerve-wracking, but when we added the empty-netter in the last minute, there was no jumping. Just the realization the sweep was ours.

   Come to find out that this was Erin's first hockey game ever. Not a bad way to start things, if I do say so myself.
January 19, 2002 - PAAAAAAATS
"Life wouldn't be the same without Lisa's journal. It's like food, you can't live life without it."
-- Anyone who writes this is overtly and obviously gushing. Holy Christmas, if there was a way to say 'I need you now' without actually saying it, this would be it. Sorry Lis.

"Adam Vinatieri? Fucking automatic. Ballgame."
-- Jon Couture, January 18, 2002. BAM!

   • I will readily admit that I am a Giants fan first. Things as they are, in my sporting development, the Giants were always better than the Patriots. Throw that in with my father's leanings, and I would cheer for Big Blue over New England.

   That said, I can't remember a playoff game more exciting, for me anyway, than the one played tonight. The only thing that can come close was Super Bowl XXV, but that was a little different than having a dozen drunk college students screaming at a television.

   I will always wonder just what referee Walt Coleman was looking at when he called Tom Brady's fumble an incomplete pass. Even blinded by fandom, I knew that was a fumble. Amit knew it was a fumble. Josh Karlin-Resnick knew it was a fumble. My mother... well, she probably though it was a pass. But that's not the point. This is one of those moments when you turn quickly, and walk away whistling. Pats win, Pats win.

   In the history of bad calls, for whatever reason one stands out in my mind above all others. 1992 NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16. A young UMass-Amherst basketball team, who that season beat Temple for the first time ever (in their 22nd meeting), led by the likes of Jim McCoy, Anton Brown, Harper Williams, Mike Williams, and Will Herndon (who it's said could jump over a car), was on a Cindarella run in the NCAA tournament. This was UMass before anyone knew of them... their early-season appearance at No. 25 in the rankings was a first in school history. Seeded #3 in the East, they weren't technically upsetting people, but the fact that their program was climbing out of the proverbial shitter made it seem that way.

   UMass drew Kentucky in the Sweet 16, coached by Rick Pitino, who from a distance is a dead ringer for then-UMass savior John Calipari. Kentucky had beaten UM by 21 in Rupp Arena early season, to end UMass' 5-0 start and knock them back out of the polls. That said, we all thought the Minutemen would give the Wildcats a battle in the tourney, which they did.

   Fast forward to the point of the story. Kentucky came out hot, and at one point led the Minutemen by 21. But the boys fought back, as they were prone to do that season. Somehow, using half-court shots and a lot of guts, they closed the gap to just two points late in the second half. At which point, referee Lenny Wirtz called Coach Cal for stepping outside the coach's box on the sideline. The train was derailed: Kentucky hit the free throws, won by ten and the season was over.

   The fact that Pitino had spent the entire game out of the coach's box struck Wirtz as completely irrelevant, as he T'd up Calipari and ended the season. You have to understand, all of Western Massachusetts was emotionally tied to the Minutemen... this was our team. I remember having a log book I was keeping that season, and the next few following, to chart how the team was doing. The loss was devastating, and to this day I wonder how UMass would have fared if they won. Bear in mind, Kentucky went on after the UMass game to face Duke, in what is now widely regarded as the greatest game in NCAA Tournament history.

   Fast forward back to now. The party atmosphere going on here made the night, and to all who came, I thank you immensely. The whole fourth quarter, the room wailed and swayed with every Brady 2-yard dumpoff. The screams for first downs, the tries to calm everyone down, the sighs for incompletions, the screams for first downs. There was actual prayer on several occasions, most notably the replay call and Vinatieri's field goal to tie it. Given the TV reception, I was looking toward the refs on the 45-yarder. God, there was high-fiving... every football game should be watched with a crowd of friends who actually care about the game.

   The best part of the whole night though had to be the football game that spawned in the snow afterwards. No jackets, just six of us in the street playing touch football in a snowstorm. We'd probably still be out there too if I hadn't gotten whaled in the face a few too many times. But I proved I can catch, that's all I know, and that's all that matters. Especially since the thing ended in a tie.

   I went to bed last night happier than I can remember being for a very long time. There's only one way this weekend should end now. Boys, finish the sweep of the fucking Eagles. Full hockey update comes tomorrow. And Meg's pal Erin, welcome to Boston. I'll be sober when you see me next, I promise.
January 18, 2002 - Dude, Heavy
   • [The Links page is always getting stuff added to it, as is the Posse page, so you should look at those. Also, were you to click on the Bio page, it actually leads somewhere now.]

"It took a conversation where a friend of mine had just committed suicide something usually one drops everything to help someone with to realize just how big a fool I have been. My regret is that they last two years have mostly been not a waste, but something that leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, all for her. I built my world around her and I really should not have, I am blaming no one but myself for that."
-- It's rare that I ever do anything other than criticize Jon Rea, going off on him for things that probably aren't the big deal I make them out to be. So what if he can't spell or punctuate... you're a good man, Mr. Rea, and not just because of your return to single life. All I have to say about that.

   There are any number of things I could discuss today, not the least of which is the sheer exhilaration of scoring 17 points in the final quarter to win a game of football... against the computer. Game tied at 17-17, 7 seconds left in regulation, quick 25-yard completion to Troy Brown with a dive out of bounds to stop the clock at 0:01.

   Adam Vinatieri? Fucking automatic. Ballgame. Remember those words, come Saturday night.

   On the note of football, this piece on the Patriots is the Sports Guy's best piece of writing... EVER.

   And as for this weekend, because my 1-3 mark was so stellar last weekend, a handy chart for the gambler out there:

Heart Sez
Head Sez
   Philadelphia in a close one, because the Bears just don't sit well with me. 29th ranked pass defense in the league will be picked apart by McNabb, even if the linemen contain him.
   Pats win! I would never be confident enough to put cash on it, but the Raiders only beat the Jets because they'd just played them the prior week. Throw in a snowstorm, and there's no way. Antowain Smith bowls them over.
   Pittsburgh romps, in a game that will be cathartic to the entire country. The Ravens epitomize everything I hate about sports today: ignorant assholes running their mouth, and who can back it up on occasion. The Bus will teach you bastards to embarass the G-Men.
   Rams by roughly 17,000. I look back to the 15-14 Giants loss in Week 5 as the sole reason the Giants season went like it did. They win that game, they're playing this weekend. Case closed.

   Thus ends our football discussion for today, I promise. Only a little more to go, though it is the bit that inspired today's title.

   I have to write this in a way that both reveals what I'm talking, and yet at the same time, doesn't. Some will get it, some won't. That's just the way I like it... confusing, much like what has copies of Enron's code of ethics selling on eBay for $255.

   Tonight, and truth be told, early Saturday morning, was a very strange time to live in Cooch's World. Things happened that, really, had never happened before. They're not really newsworthy, but suffice to say, they were a direct assault on some beliefs I've had for a very long time.

   As I sit here writing this, I'm both extremely proud and extremely disappointed in myself. The first comes from me, eventually, holding my ground. The fight was baically fought in my own head, but that's not the point. It was there, and I didn't take it - I held off, in the first real case of there being a thing to take, or give, or however you want to word it.

   The second comes from, well, I don't know where the second comes from. That's the dilemma I've placed myself in. I'm not sure if it stems from the strange motivation of the beliefs, or from the fact that I almost went against what I've thought for so long. I feel better about it now, but writing tends to do that for me. It was one of those situations where, honest to God, I had the devil on the one shoulder and the angel on the other. It was liks I had this out-of-body personality experience, then came to realize it. Saying it was the strangest thing to happen to me this week would probably be a lie, and make it sound like it was a negative, which by no means was it.

   I've now succeeded in confusing even myself, so all that's left to say is, "The Teamsters have no comment." You really want to know the story, ask.
January 17, 2002 - Grammar Rodeo
   • Is it just me, or do the words "Yay God!" in an Instant Messenger profile come off as cheap and stupid? Isn't "Long time, no talk" one of the weakest opening lines to a conversation since "Hey baby, what's your sign?" And is there any better pair of words in sport than goalie fight? I don't think so.

"I only have class twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. So today I woke up and said 'Fuck you class. You don't control me.' I then did not go to one class and plan on drinking like a fool. I will miss you one day college."
-- Amit's away message today. My friend, I salute you.

   Apparently I have "a great set of pipes." This is what my professor told my Advanced Radio class as we introduced ourselves today. When I walked into the class five minutes before it was to begin, and was the only one in the room, I think I saw my life flash before my eyes. All I need is to be taking a one-on-one class period. It ended up there's eight of us in the class, or eventually there will be eight of us in the class, so that's at least big enough for me to make glaring errors and get away with it.

   Have you ever noticed that no matter what level course you're in, no matter what the subject matter, there's always that one gregarious student who just makes you look like an ass. Just my luck... this was the second girl to walk into Radio this morning. "Hey! Who are you? Do you like the professor? Isn't she hard? Blah blah fucking blah!" Then throughout the class, this girl seemingly goes out of her way to make you incompetent, just by being all gregarious and hard-working.

   Look. I realize I'm incompetent. I just ask that no one informs the professor of this, ya know what I'm sayin'?

   The all-time worst though had to be when I took U.S. History 1968-Present with Schulman, which could lead to a whole other disturbing story... in good time. There was this one girl in my discussion section who would talk, honest to God, the whole hour. Sixty fucking minutes, she would just go on and on about racism, sexism, you name it, she had a story to tell. I can't fathom having that much to talk about in a discussion... course, having not read any of the books, I was pretty much content with my "hide in the corner" plan.

   The other professor I have today, for the revamped-to-shitty * American Pop Culture class, is essentially a clone of a guy I've had twice before. Now, when I say clone, we're talking same outlines, same lecturing style, same nasal voice, same finish each lecture by saying "next time," the whole nine yards. Course the only difference is this guy sucks. His average gnarly count is one per class, though kinda like Manny's one RBI per game dreams, I expect it to drop off as the temperatures warm in the spring.
* - The old Pop Culture class was subtitled Film and Humor, and essentially was just a forum to watch old movies. I have factual accounts of this being the easiest class this side of the old CS101, for which all you basically had to know was how to spell computer and how to turn it on.

   Lastly, I'm writing about a Teamster over the weekend, so if the updates stop coming in a few days time, assume I've been whacked and send flowers to my family.
January 16, 2002 - Back To The Nothing
   • My roommate, bless his soul, is an absolute waste. This is the conclusion I've come to after many hours of deep reflection in my secluded 'writing cove'... or five minutes after coming home from Meg's apartment. You be the judge.

   I've got no problem with the guy, I really don't. His behavorial cycle has essentially left me with the campus' largest single apartment, and for that I am greatful. Our conversations stray no further than, "Hey, what's up," but we get along as well as two people who never see each other can. That said, I have to vent, lest my brain explode or I turn bitchier than a housewife in the throes of PMS.

   I come home yesterday at about 10 o'clock (I'm back on my Rich Hall schedule of years gone by - out at 9 a.m., back many hours later) and, for whatever reason, end up in the kitchen. Hell, maybe I thought I moved the PS2 in there, I don't know. Anyway, I notice all the cabinet doors are open, and there's this plate just doused in mustard left in the sink. I mean, we're talking mustard all over the sink, like I was having a mustard fight with myself and I lost.

   How busy does a person have to be to not close a cupboard door? I have no problem with him leaving dishes to wash for me, as I'm the one that lives here, has parties here and defacates in the bathroom on occasion. But if I knock my head open on the corner of a cupboard, I'm not gonna be happy. In fact, I'll cry like a girl... a girl with a huge ego.

"Not that I want to pump your ego anymore, but he made several independent references to you... after asking Bethany if she knew you and if anyone else knew who you were... one of these days I'll yet out, "but you have like my writing! I'm Jon Couture's girlfriend!" I'm saving that one."
-- Meg, on Professor Klarfeld talking about how great a student I was in his class now. No, I'm not making this up. OK, maybe he's just talking about how I once spent a whole class sitting on top of a ladder. But that's not the point... a year and a half later, my legend might actually be growing/starting.

   It's really refreshing to be writing about nothing again. On that note, here's a link to Broccoli Town. And here's one to the Natural Law Party... of Canada.

   I'm a little nervous as I write this, because I have my Advanced Radio class tomorrow. My schedule this semester is designed nearly perfect, with four days that I have but a single class to attend. Thursday's the exception, despite me getting to sleep late... all the way to 8:30! See, I never thought I was ready for Advanced Radio to begin with, because really, I didn't think I was all that good at Basic Radio. However, the professor went as far as to ask me to take her Advanced class, and as far as I can tell she wasn't doing it to fail me. Least I hope not.

   I think, more than anything, it's my fear of the unknown that's got me down. Before Monday, when I had a whopping one hour... of GEOGRAPHY in the wings, I had the queasy shakes. At some point, I'll have to get a grip on reality. I don't even want to think what I'll be like at graduation in May.

   Course I'll always have the ego to land on. God bless America.
January 15, 2002 - Who Needs Sleep
   • Little clarification on yesterday. I'm fine. I appreciate those of you who called or wrote to check on this... but it's OK. I feel better now that the entire CB team knows.

   I wonder if when Keith Olbermann decided to leave SportsCenter, he was hoping he'd end up reading the news in Paul Harvey's absence. This would strike me as one of those side roads on a career path that no one had any intention of treading. Granted, if someone asked me to read the news in Paul Harvey's absence, I would fall over myself and probably dampen my pants.

   For those of you who don't know, Paul Harvey is a syndicated radio news guy with one of those 'trademark voices' they've been polishing since they were eating Cream of Wheat at the kitchen table. Calls his show "Paul Harvey News & Comment," and intersperses serious news with cutesy homey stories and radio ads for various powders and such. Today's highlight, for example, was about an Irish counterfeiter whose Euro bills said EUR instead. Yesterday, it was that Justin's hometown of Reading, Penn., had run out of parking tickets. Yeah. Run out.

   Olbermann's career is on a path I'll never figure out. Does he want to be a sports guy, or a news guy? It seems as though he's getting progressively less known as he goes along, so now might be the time to decide.

   And now, tonight's FreeP quote of the night, from News Editor Dan Atkinson.

"It's not even like it was a Combo and he was trying to suck the cheese out of it."
-- Re: George W. Bush's pretzel-choking and passing-out incident.

   With it being a new semester, new things are quietly slipped into the students daily routines. Most of the time they're pointless and have to do with changing the way things used to be, like when you turn a class about designing a newspaper into some fucking froo-froo where you have to give letters emotion and tell how they make you feel.

   OK, I swear I'll never talk about Production and Design again.

   Anyway, throughout the CAS and Psychology classroom buildings (possibly more, but I don't travel far out of my way), there are small 3" x 3" signs next to every door that read "NO FOOD OR BEVERAGES PERMITTED IN CLASSROOM." Seems the bringing of a bottle of water or a Pop Tart into class has become an epidemic with mugs of coffee and platters of chicken cordon bleu ruining it for everyone.

   The thing that amuses me is that when I noticed the signs for the first time, I was looking into a classroom where 75% of the students had some sort of drink on their desks: water, coffee, you get the idea. The professor was teaching, students were looking like they were listening, the world was still spinning despite this rampant abuse of the rules.

   I'm left to wonder if any of the professors have even noticed these signs. Hell, I could be the only one this observant. You know these signs cost like $65 a piece, even if natural science says that's utterly impossible. Somewhere, there's a Trustee buying a pedal-powered Bentley or, better yet, a miniature bicycle with his bonus kickback, I know it.

   How funny would it be to see BU Chancellor John Silber buzzing down the halls of his office on a miniature bicycle! As nice as it was to see him clapping his stump of a right arm after Jane Swift's State of the State address, I can't help but wonder how strange it must be inside his closet. All those sportcoats, tailored to end at the elbow. I dare say, high comedy.

   Course I'm working off five hours of sleep a night, so I don't know what the hell I'm talking about anymore.
January 14, 2002 - Tony
   • I've grappled with how to start writing this, because no matter what I put down on the screen, it doesn't seem like it does things justice. No matter how many rewrites I work on, it always comes out as the same stream-of-consciousness ramble, so I will leave it as such. To understand the whole story, in well-written form, read this first. Bill, I know I give you a lot of shit, but you did as good a job with this as could be done.

   Tony hadn't made many appearances at practices this semester... he had a lab at the same time that we met every week. He did come by once, without much renown. He was a goofy kid, like myself - hell, for a time, the running joke around practice was that he was my protege. A more attractive version of myself, with the same ineptitude with women.

   Word came down yesterday, first from the dean of the engineering college, by the end directly from Tony's father in a message to me, that Tony committed suicide over break. Joe made some passing mention at work about an engineering student killing himself, and upon looking over the e-mail, it turned out to be one of the few that I knew.

   I was not a close friend of Tony's by any means... our relationship was essentially one of nods to each other if we passed on the street. Never once did I see him on the street without friends in tow, so the revelation that he was battling clinical depression struck me as a bit of a surprise.

   I've often wondered at what point in the human psyche does taking your own life strike a person as the next logical step. I've been down in the dumps on any number of occasions, and will be on any number in the future, but to actually take that step is something I can never comprehend. I can't even begin to comprehend it. As the day has worn on, and I've had to be the one to break the news to several of my fellow College Bowl members, my mood has swayed. First hearing the news, it was just too shocking to wrap my head around. Talking to Rosie, who heard from her roommate, made it a bit more real, to know I wasn't the only one aware of this. I was torn whether to tell people as soon as I could, or to wait until our first meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night to make a formal announcement. I first decided to tell people who couldn't make it to the meeting, then the other officers, then the club as a whole. In a perfect world, well, in a perfect world I wouldn't have to tell anybody this happened, because it woudn't have.

   I can't shake this feeling that we, as a club, should have been there for him somehow. All of us who knew him, who considered him a friend (no matter how little we knew him), and there's the inevitable nagging that one of us, somewhere along the line, could have done something for him. I sense it will wane as the realization that this was probably out of our hands sets in, but in me, I'll always wonder if something I said, something I did, somewhere along the line contributed to this.

   It's what scares me a little of being a leader, and yes, being king of the nerds does qualify me as a leader. Meg, before she got to know me and found out I'm a fraud, had this feeling that I was this high-and-mighty guy to be revered. That I was unapproachable. The sheer thought of that scares the hell out of me, that people think I'm unapproachable and that I don't care about them.

   I apologize for the complete and utter lack of a point to this... I just felt like I had to write something when I came home from the paper round 2:30 a.m. It's just been a very stressful day, and to think classes and work had nothing to do with it at all. Tony, we will miss you. That's all I have to say.
January 13, 2002 - Bookalicious
   • Today's Sign I'm Losing It: Because I forgot my alarm clock back to Boston, I bought a little cheap one from the bookstore this afternoon. Seeing that it had a battery door on the bottom, I blindly bought a 9-volt... never realizing that if I plugged the clock in the wall, I could avoid buying a battery altogether.

   This was this semester's most perfect day, not only because I was back with Meg again, but because it's the only day before finals when I literally have nothing to do. No classes yet, no newspaper yet... delightful. Got up at noon, which given my new FreeP schedule, is probably something I'll be doing on Sundays a lot more. But that's a story for later.

   For seven semesters, I managed to avoid the big crush at the bookstore, through sheer will, luck and competence. This semester, the last time running through the mine field, I didn't make it: lines wrapped around the entire floor, meaning that no matter which way you turned, there was a sorority girl from New Jersey chattering on a cell phone. Amazing.

   Last semester, my total book cost was $49. This semester, my Geography book alone was $91. Course I wouldn't have had to pay for any of my books, given my scholarship, but as usual, the bookstore found a way to bend me over the counter.

   My total book cost was $212.45, and I had four $100 gift certificates which were more than enough to cover the cost. So, of course, how much did I have to pay for books? Obviously, $12.45. It seems that you have to spend at least half of any gift certificate before you're allowed to use it, which is essentially the same thing as a convenience store telling you $20 bills aren't accepted.

   The best part of this story is the look I got from this female manager after I asked if she could just pull the $12.45 out of one gift certificate and give me the rest back in store credit. It was like I had asked her to birth a child on the counter, in the middle of the store. This is why I hate people.

   Today, I just found out that BU played on Friday, tying 5-5 at Providence. I really need to get my head out of my ass... never mind my going a stunning 1 for 4 on the wild card games.January 20th, vs. Boston College.

   This update is clearly going nowhere fast, so we'll cut it off here. If being up at the paper until 2 a.m. for one night does this to me, I really might not make it to February 1st.

"Bethany, the page doesn't suck. The editor who made the page sucks.
-- I can still unleash the zingers though.

January 12, 2002 - Bill The Deity
   • Why Chris Berman Is So Great: During the Between Games Report yesterday on ABC, he prefaced the introduction of the NHL's North American All-Star Team by saying the team had "two former Hartford Whalers" on it. Now, that's class.

   It's always tough to leave home, even considering I love Boston and now have a good deal to go back to in the city. This departure, though, was especially hard for me, given the few amount of times I might have to come home again in the future. There'll be Spring Break week (in all likelihood), and then... who knows? Aside from leaving the family again, our cat Mittens, who we've had for at least a dozen years, might not still be around the next time I make Feeding Hills. Enough about depression though... I can almost hear my mother being sad by reading about me being sad.

   A disturbing connection between myself and flu-like symptoms is starting to form, and I'm getting slightly distressed about it. When I went out to visit Andi for Columbus Day Weekend, 2000 - if you're scoring at home, this would be the only time we were dating and were in the same state - I came down with the worst case of the flu I've had my whole life. The day I was supposed to fly out to Indy... I would have skipped class I was so sick, and if you know me, I have to be dead to miss a class on purpose.

   Fast forward to this morning. When I woke up, I felt like I'd been taken from my bed in the night, gutted and placed back between the sheets. I was so congested, my face was just in pain. When I went to blow my nose, it produced a nice blend of mucus and blood... could have hung wallpaper with it, it was so delightful.

   As the day wore on I felt a little better, but apparently the concept of seeing a girlfriend is enough to give me the scurvy.

   After leaving the house late afternoon, hitting as high as 90 m.p.h. on the Turnpike coming back and reassembling the apartment while watching Tampa Bay make an ass out of me, it was off to the airport.

   Notes on Logan:

   • I alloted about 90 minutes to get to Logan, assuming the usual congestion on both Storrow Drive and the Callahan Tunnel. I then proceeded to reach central parking in 15 minutes. To the day I die, I will not understand how I crossed the city of Boston in 15 minutes. Granted, it was 8 p.m., but this is the city that made defensive driving gospel law.

   • United Airlines is based in Terminal C, best known for two things in my world. This is the terminal with my favorite sculpture in it (essentially a gigantic, perpetually moving pinball machine) and the terminal where the quick flight to Cleveland for TRASHionals became the "wait seven hours for a plane" day. Nearly every store in said terminal closes down at around 7 o'clock, meaning I arrived to be one of about six people in the terminal... not counting the Dunkin Donuts workers and the three guys in the airport bar. Bye bye plan to buy a box of Junior Mints!

   • Terminal C, come to think of it, would also be the place Meg and I basically became official. But I still love that sculpture, and that mirrored wall... oh yeah.

   • People who sleep in airports are weird. Next to my sculpture, there was this girl sleeping next to a cart of her luggage. I debated throwing a book of matches at her and running away, but I didn't want to waste a book of matches that I could just as easily light on fire.

   That's pretty much it. There's no romantic story to tell about meeting Meg coming down to the baggage claim. No Michael Bolton misc playing in the background, no slow-motion running and leaping into arms, no cutting camera angles... you people are crazy. I will say though, to the four people who IM'd me tonight, my apologies. Somehow I had better things to do than talk to you. ;)

   A new conquest has been purchased, at discount no less!
January 11, 2002 - The End Is Here
   • When I came home for holiday break, 23 days in Feeding Hills seemed am easy assignment. I figured there'd be a lot of catching up done: on my road to being fat, on Jerry Springer, on berating Matt into filling out all his college applications, on the website... OK, I didn't accomplish everything.

   I have managed to finally make up for all the weight I so lovingly dropped in the summer, which really isn't anything I tried to do, just something I assumed would happen over a period of time. Of course, now I think I'm fat again, so you're all in for a real treat every time I look in the mirror.

   Despite the last week being full-well known as "the last week," at no point did I really say to myself, "Gee, I can't wait to get back to Boston." I naturally fear the unknown, so the thought of a whole new cadre of classes (granted, there's only three of them) always gives me the willies. Still though, I seem to be one of the few people I know who doesn't hate coming home. I didn't have Agawam all that much when I lived here, and I don't really hate it now. I can actually stand to spend extended periods of time with my family, unlike some people round here. I consider myself closer to almost all of my friends from home than I do to a good deal of my friends in Boston, just because we've known each other that much longer.

   As my eighth and (odds are) last semester stands waiting to poke at me with hot poker thingies, I don't know what to think. In a way, I'm happy to be going back, while in another, I wish I had another week with the gang out here. Though I really need another paycheck... and there's that Meg girl I mention every now and again that probably has something to say on this whole issue.

   My credit card spending has gotten to insane levels since this Christmas. Everyone talks about how terrible a shape the economy's is... hey, my bank account was around $1,400 before the holiday season... it's about a quarter that now. Less than a quarter. And what do I have to show for it? A COLD.

   Kudos to Charlie, who actually managed to beat me for a full night of bowling... last time that happened was August, 1765.

   The end is no longer close, it's now punching me in the leg like a little cousin at a family birthday party. When next we speak, I'll be in Boston.
January 10, 2002 - The End Is Near
   • [I've had to slightly modify my playoff picks, because I misinterpreted the seedings in the AFC. The Jets can't play New England in the Divisional Playoffs as the #6 seed, so the Pats will now lose in the title game. No biggie.]

   Today has been a watershed day, a day where a great victory has been achieved. Though it is tempered with some sadness, the feeling of accomplishment overshadows it a slight deal.

   It took me seventeen days to beat Grand Theft Auto 3, but today I finally beat the final mission by killing off about twenty-odd members of the Colombian Cartel. Though I have cleared the story's final mission, and pocketed $1,000,000 in play money for doing it, I've apparently only completed 59 percent of the game. That, my friends, is the sign of an excellent video game. Extended playability, free-form exploration... and the ability to have sex with a hooker, then kill her to get your money back.

   My favorite little side missions, though, are the ones where you pilot around these little remote-control cars with bombs in them. You have two minutes to blow up some specific kind of gang car... $1,000 for each. Mom, this is what you get for not letting us have G.I. Joe's and toy guns when we were children.

   I never really got the "no toy gun" stance put in place as a boy. If you ask me, the more taboo something is made to a child, the more likely acquiring that thing is going to become a pinnacle goal. They were so good with alcohol in this sense, I had a whopping one beer on my 21st birthday. Hell, I had a beer at 13... and besides, once you fall out of a bed and throw up from drinking too much in a foreign country, the romance of being sloshed just kinda dissapates. For this reason, my child, Augustus Walker Couture, will be allowed to shoot pistols and drink Midori Sours just as soon as he can spell. Or drool... whichever comes first.

   Potheads are always so excited about getting a dog high... you gotta wonder if it would be more fun to get a baby high. Well, maybe you don't have to wonder.

   Anyway, since I made such a big deal about it two days ago, I feel it's only right I do the follow-up. N'Sync's scene has apparently been cut from the new Star Wars movie. Course, since I had no intention of watching the movie anyway, I pass this news along only for your benefit. I'm a giver, people, not a taker.

   You know your holiday break is close to finishing up when you start doing things "for the last time." Not just actually doing them, that's no big deal. But the actual calling of something as "the last time," that's something. Tonight was "the last dinner" and "last trip to Brian's for ping pong." I managed to spill ketchup on myself, watch Survivor on a computer screen and lose four consecutive games of ping pong to a guy who easily doubles my weight.

   I would blame the new glasses for all of this happening, but given that no one noticed I had new glasses without me telling them, I doubt I could get away with that.
January 9, 2002 - Seemed A Better Idea
   • Every so often, I read something that I think I'd be remiss in ignoring.

"I'm the Associate News Editor of one of the top twenty newspapers in the country (according to the Pacemaker award), and the best independent student newspaper in the country. This is my Kirsten Dunst, BRING IT ON speech: 'We cheer loud, we work hard, and we win national championships.' That, my friend, is the Daily Free Press."
-- Bill, from a few days back. I like Bill, and I like the Free Press. But that "best independent student newspaper" thing, true or not... it's like me saying I have the best website in the Couture family.

   A Scary Realization: Despite the loss of his nose, Michael Jackson has succeeded in making himself white. Scarier still, his crotch-grabbing can still fill arenas, and make ugly women cry. Ugly, ugly women.

   Anyway, after spending the last three days talking about sex with stuffed animals, football and fake churches, I think it's high time I start doing what I do best... talking about people without using their names, for fear of shunning or public pummeling.

   OK, so I'm not really talking about a specific person... more a conglomeration of different people's behaviors. Some of whom I don't even know, which makes it fun for everyone.

   You can tell a lot about a guy by how he treats the girls he comes in contact with. I could give a long, drawn out list of examples, but you know what I'm talking about. Someone who doesn't like girls, for example, would probably just use them for fashion advice. But that's not what I'm getting at here.

   There's this thing called 'tact.' Tact is defined as "a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense." It's a manner of behaving that doesn't piss people off around you, and allows you to keep your dignity for longer than 15 minutes. It seems to me that when dealing with the opposite sex, tact often goes flying out the window like an important document on a madcap episode of Married... With Children.

   If a friend introduces you to a member of the opposite sex, it 's generally not a good idea to immediately try to pick them up. That makes you what I like to term "the asshole." You may think it's cute, and the new person may even be flattered by it. In the long run though, you're screwing yourself because either people will stop inviting you places, or they'll stop inviting attractive people to hang out with you.

   Heaven forbid you actually start moving in on someone the other person likes too... not a happy scenario for anyone involved. Especially you, because I would then hate you. And you just don't need that.

"I love the fact that Mike Greenwell made the cut. High comedy. Apparently, Carlos Quintana was knocked off at the last minute."
-- Bill Simmons on the 2002 Baseball All-Star voting. I love the Gator as much as anyone, but the two guys who voted him into Cooperstown... sweet mother.

January 8, 2002 - I Think I Miss Meg
   • Question: Who is India.Arie and why is she getting seven Grammy nominations? And why does she have a decimal point in her name? I hate it it when people decide to be cool through punctuation and syntax (e.e. cummings, I'm looking at you).

   As many of you know, I have never watched a single film in the Star Wars saga, nor do I have any immediate plans to watch any film in the Star Wars saga. Now, I have seen parts of "Star Wars" and "Return of the Jedi," but only enough to have a loose grasp on the arc of the films. In my mind, Star Wars is one of those things at the pinnacle of nerdiness... of mockery. Because my instincts tell me to immediately attempt to stereotype everything I see, all Star Wars fans are the geeky ones who wear the costumes, quote the film incessantly and have "problems" with "body image." It's the same rationale that kept me out of the theaters for Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings, good movies that I would ignore the whole time by mocking the audience around me.

   I have problems with quoting The Simpsons daily, but that's off topic and none of your damn business, thank you very much.

   Anyway, my point is I will never again have to worry about the continued success of the Star Wars saga, because George Lucas has finally decided even he's too cool for the series. He's decided it's become time to cash in on all the nerds, because he's putting N'Sync in Attack of The Clones. Boo-fucking-yah. And he's blowing them up. Double-boo-fucking-yah.

   It's thinking like this that, despite my balding and my gaining weight, still let's me believe I'm better than you. Well, maybe not you. But your friend... you know, the one with the Jar Jar Binks * coffee mug. Yes Coen, I know you have a Jar Jar Binks coffee mug. Yes, I know you won it. No, I don't care.
   * - I know some of you don't usually read the links from the updates, but please read the Jar Jar Binks one. The title of the article is: Life Sized Satanic Doll Serves As Masturbation Toy For America's Youth. Too disgusting to be made up.

"Any child that has seen this movie is finding that their natural attraction to members of the opposite sex is being replaced with an attraction to a 7ft devil with elephant feet, a 25 inch tongue, polka dot skin, a fish snout, and two phallic eyes that jut out like hard erotic pokers."

   How can I possibly follow that with anything else. And to think I was going to discuss a serious issue today... this, however, is much funnier.

"We have some sick minds in Hollywood, folks. I think this is a Disney movie and probably a Disney product, so you can bet some homosexual or Democrat in Florida was behind it."
-- The reaction from Pastor Deacon Fred of Landover Baptist Church upon finding a penis on a Grinch doll.

   Note how I've deftly ignored Northeastern's 3-0 win over BU from the weekend. This plan will also be used the next time someone asks me, "So Jon, what are your plans after graduation?"
January 7, 2002 - Football Rant
   • If a nuclear bomb had exploded in PSINet Stadium tonight, killing any and all members of the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens, I don't think I would have batted an eyelash. If they'd showed it on TV, I only would have watched to:

a) see if I could spot spattered body parts of either Ray Lewis or Randy Moss, perhaps my two least-favorite professional athletes
and b) to hear what Dennis Miller would have to say on the affair.

   My hatred of the Ravens is essentially obvious after the debacle of January 28, 2001, quite possibly the blackest day in my sporting life. I have no doubt in my mind that the Giants would have beaten the Raiders had they faced off in Tampa, and if they'd played as well as they did against Minnesota in the title game, they'd have beaten Baltimore too. Instead, it was like Super Bowl 31, where after a dream season, Drew Bledsoe forgot how to play football and lost his team the game.

   So America was then forced to watch Brian Billick, who wasn't yet the stiffened prick this season would cement him as being, stand with the Lombardi Trophy aloft, while his team of hooligans and murderers danced below. Sorry, acquitted murderers... mustn't be libelous.

   Fandom does make for strange bedfellows, as I (theoretically) had to cheer for both the Jets and Vikings this weekend. In the end, I couldn't really cheer for either because the Jets are always going to be the Jets and the Vikings had about as much chance of winning as the Daily Free Press football crew would have. Think of the DFP headlines now...

* Misspelling added for comic effect.

   Just out of curiosity, is there anyone in this country who likes Randy Moss and isn't either black or a white guy who wishes he was black? Think about it... I just can't imagine anyone who could enjoy listening to him otherwise. Though I suppose you can brag when you have more catches for less yardage this year, and your team won six games. Course he is from West Virginia... the mean streets of RAND. Ghetto superstar.

Cooch's Playoff Picks
Mark your calendars, I'm going out on the ledge.


N.Y. Jets over Oakland
Baltimore over Miami

Pittsburgh over N.Y. Jets
New England over Baltimore

PITTSBURGH over New England

Tampa Bay over Philadelphia
San Francisco over Green Bay

Tampa Bay over St. Louis
Chicago over San Francisco

CHICAGO over Tampa Bay

   As for the Super Bowl... well, let's see if we get that far first.

January 6, 2002 - Snow Plows and Circle Jerks
   • Today's Sign Patriotism Is Getting Out Of Hand: On the way through northern Connecticut to buy shoes, I saw an "AmeriCan." A Sani-Can, adorned with an American flag. Our founding fathers would be proud.

   As has become the custom here, I came that close to doing something spectacular today. Had either the Rams or the Falcons scored four more points in their game yesterday, I would stand before you today $1,100 richer. Granted, I didn't actually lose anything, as I was betting comped money to begin with, but when you come that close to tripling your post-Christmas bank account, there's a good deal of swearing to be had. Especially when Michael Vick fumbles at the St. Louis 23 in the last quarter.

   I knew that bastard should have stayed in school.

   Really though, I can't be mad at much of anything, because today has been such an enriching day. It's not because of the season's first real snowfall, nor is it because I hit Jim in the crotch with a ball of the season's first real snowfall. It's also not because the snow washed all the goose crap off of Charlie's car, though I'm sure he's pleased about that as much as anyone.

   It's because as Jim and Erik sat here late last night, drinking Bailey's & Egg Nog, Midori Sours and anything else they could concoct, we watched an enlightening program that both expanded our minds and taught us about a group of people who might otherwise go unnoticed.

MTV presents Sex2K: Plushies and Furries
I took notes, because there was so much knowledge to be had!

Furry Confurence
These are people in animal suits, who want only one thing: to have sex with other people in animal suits.

   Plushies are stuffed animals. You know, like the teddy bears you have in your bedroom or the little terrier you have that sits on your computer monitor. Furries are large suits that people wear, like how Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny walks around their respective theme parks. That's what we're talking about here. And now we're talking about people who like are aroused or like to have sex by looking at stuffed animals or wearing large costumes like those previously mentioned.

   I am dead serious. Type "furry" into Google, and once you get past the Super Furry Animals web site, prepare to be amazed. On an unrelated note, when I was in Wales back in '96, I stayed with a kid related to members of Super Furry Animals. They're really a damn good band... but they have nothing to do with furry sex, so I digress.

   Now, let me make one thing clear: "Furry is not bestiality." They were very clear on this: just because you like to have sex with a stuffed bear or a man in a bear suit doesn't mean you actually like to have sex with bears. Though really, if you're gonna go to the trouble of climaxing at the zoo...

   Most furries were first turned on to their affinities watching Warner Bros. and Disney cartoons, but weren't able to really experience the scene until the birth of the Internet. As scary as it may seem now, if the Internet had never come along, many furries never would have been able to act out their fantasies of having sex with Scooby Doo lookalikes.

   Now, like any group, furries have terms to describe the things they encounter. Mundanes are what they call you and I; people who aren't aroused by looking at stuffed animals with gigantic breasts. Confurences are what's pictured above... Internet-scheduled meetings where furries connect for fashion shows, buying and selling of animals suits, and sexual intercourse in local inns and hotels. A furvert, and I quote, "is like a pervert, but with fur." Adult drawings of furries in carnal acts are cryptically called spooge art, because spooge is Latin for socially acceptable.

   This documentary took the three of us through the heartwarming story of Yote (as in Coyote) and his mother. Yote's a young teen who, by his own account, has "to go out and do things, to see what I like." Apparently, he's "only known about furry, the furry scene, for about five or six years," but has "been furry [his] entire life." Throughout the show, he buys his first furry suit, goes to his first confurence, and tries to explain his way of life to his mother. At first, she doesn't really understand what he means.

"I think my son is a furry, whatever that may mean."
"It's kind of a metaphor for... it's a hobby."

Once her son begins to explain to her the details, she becomes belligerent and closed-minded.

"Putting on a fursuit is not an achievement! I can't take this seriously!"

   What a worthless bitch. How can she not understand that her son likes to wear a coyote costume, sit on the Internet looking at pictures of naked foxes in bathtubs, and go have sex with other men in other costumes that have holes cut in them so genitalia can fit through?

   And people call me prejudicial!
January 5, 2002 - More Than Then
   • Yeah, so about yesterday...

   I've tended to think of this as a place where I can just spew rants about people and things when I see fit. Therefore, it should be something I do when I feel I have something to bitch about... like that they're making a sequel to the movie Baby Geniuses. However, I also know how nice it is to go to your favorite websites and see fresh content every day, no matter if it is shitty and about the movie Baby Geniuses. Since it's the easiest for me to get in a routine of, I post once a day, for every day.

   Yesterday, I just had no desire to write. Call it writer's block, laziness, fat guy in a little coat... whatever works best for you.

   Yesterday I bowled four games (130 per, thank you very much), played a bucketloader full of ping pong and unlocked the third and final island in GTA3. I also made Meg say this:

"So, the letter 'V' got me thinking... you talk about sex with your Mom?"

   Thank God I tune out 65% of the things said to me on any given day.

   So anyway, A Beautiful Mind could very easily be the Best Picture of this year's Oscars, with tour-de-force performances by any number of pretty people. The struggle of a genius, the fight of one man against the machine... I could go on for days. It's a movie I've wanted to see since I saw the first previews for it, something I think I would be remiss if I didn't see.

   Instead of going to see it tonight, I watched three gay men dance in a West Hollywood club, after having a delightful French picnic in the countryside. Then one of them was DisMissed, with a faggoty whip of the arm. MTV, where the M stands for... Meat? Milquetoast? Music!

   Many people would wonder what would cause me to do this, what would lead me to make such a horrid misjudgment of my free time. They'd not see it for what I saw it as: saving money I didn't want to spend, at a time when I just didn't want to sit in a dark room with people who talk during movies. These people would see my skipping the movie as a gross misjudgment.

   Me? I'd probably just say it was retarded and go from there, but I'm a little rough around the edges.

   I did have a good time tonight regardless, because really, whenever you spend time with Lisa, you can't not have a good time. Plus she smelled like candles. Mmm... candles.

   BU beat NU 3-2 on Friday night at Matthews Arena. I'll post something, and I quote, "if I feel like it." Hey, I'm a vacation, give me a break.
January 4, 2002 - So Sad To Say
   • Since I can't say as I have a whole lot to discuss today, because bowling and ping pong aren't all that stimulating, and because I don't feel like writing it up, I leave you with this:

5 Legged Steer
Kansan for "kickin' night out on the town."

January 3, 2002 - Rock You Like A Hurricane
"Your persistence and diligence are appreciated by all."
-- Fortune cookie. See? Even the Chinese read through my entire post yesterday... of which there is now more!

   • So, how would you like to be the guy who ran over Bill Clinton's dog? Rest in peace, my friend. You were always my favorite Clinton, even though I really don't have anything against Chelsea that I know of.

   Last season, I watched the national championship of college football in, of all places, a bar in Pittsboro, Indiana. Pittsboro is known for only two things, that I know of anyway. Jeff Gordon lived there for a little while, and it's the last place I went to an actual church service. Part of the whole New Year's visit to see Andi last year, we ended up at this bar in the center of town three different times. One of the nights, can't remember which, one of her friends who we were there with almost started a barfight. I'd like to think I stopped him, but she seems to believe otherwise.

   Sitting at the bar, drinking nothing, and rarely speaking, I watched an actually captivating game between the two best teams in the country. None of those sentences could apply to the crap that I barely watched in my living room tonight.

   Don't get me wrong, Miami is a deserving national champion as the only undefeated team in the country. But Oregon got hosed, big time. Don't ask me why I've become infatuated with Oregon lately, maybe just because I'm perpetually all about the underdog. But they should have been in Pasadena... what a concept, a Pac 10 team in the ROSE BOWL.

   But they weren't, and the game blew. I hope the ratings end up somewhere around PAX numbers. Speaking of PAX, they've started showing reruns of The Weakest Link. Family-friendly television? My ass! I can hear the kiddies now... "Mommy? Why did Daddy just call the host lady a cold-hearted bitch?"
January 2, 2002 - Taking Stock
"Tape delayed(!!). But at 9 p.m. local time, Californians DO use "hey it's midnight on the east coast" as an excuse to consume (between them) an entire bottle of champagne over the course of a minute or so. Then again, on New Year's Eve everything's an excuse to down an entire bottle."
-- Matt Bruce clears up the NYC ball question. Welcome to the Posse, by the way.

   • To help me look back on 2001 with the proper level of dignity, thoroughness and respect, I referred to literature which I thought adequately covered the year in passing: Star Magazine's year in review issue. Based on this, I've come to the following conclusions:

   • Martha Stewart is really old and fat.
   • Rosie O'Donnell's female lover is sort of hot, until you realize she sleeps next to Rosie O'Donnell.
   • Gary Condit has been married 34 years, he hasn't been a perfect man, but by a special request of the Levy family, he can't say he killed her and fed her body to pigs.
   • JonBenet Ramsey would today be an eleven-year old who dresses like an absolute fucking whore. If nothing else, I hope her murder will ensure that stupid people should never again be allowed to name their children, never mind kill their children.
   • I don't care how hot you think Jennifer Lopez is. In a bikini, she's nothing more than another inner-city chick with a gigantic fat ass.

   I thank God that no matter how many times we're attacked by terrorists, or how many recessions this nation goes through, stupid Americans will keep thinking the National Enquirer, the Metro and Inside Edition count as "keeping themselves informed." Anything that keeps them away from me, all the better.
   The above stories would be greatly enhanced by pictures, but since only three Star magazine readers can operate computers, they saw no need to post them.

   I'm sure the story of my 2002 will make a much better story than of my 2001. College graduations and extended forays into "real life" tend to do that. Still, it's worth looking back on. If nothing else, it makes a better story than talking about Grand Theft Auto again, now doesn't it?

   The year, for Cooch, in letters:

   Andrea barely beats out Agawam - Despite everything that's happened in the past, well, 18 months or so (friends, more than friends, less than friends, friends again), we seem closer now than we were when we actually saw each other on a daily basis. It's incredible to think that two people can be so closely bonded when they see each other, at most, a month out of the year.

   Boston - The city I always had a feeling I'd end up in still has the same romance it did when I first moved there for school. I'm just now starting to come to grips with possibly leaving it, and at best living in the suburbs, and it scares me. I really feel like I'm a city-kind-of-guy now, willing and anxious to just live my life in comfortable obscurity. Yeah, fame would be nice, but then again so would waffle fries every morning.

   College - It's almost over, isn't it? Seven semesters down the shitter of history, three classes away from my expensive piece of paper. Just like high school, I didn't start to realize how much I'd miss it until it was already almost over. Yes, I enjoyed high school.

   Dandruff - I've never had it, though I'm told it gets worse in the wintertime. Hey, this is the first thing I think of for each letter. They can't all be gems.

   Eating - On the day that I left Los Angeles to start the Coast to Coast drive, I weighed 152 pounds. Basically, my weight regressed to what it was at age 15 because I lived on $20 of food a week all summer, then went running on top of it. It only seemed to bother everyone around me, I felt fine the whole way through. Just to shut everyone up, I've gone back to eating three meals a day... or more accurately, eating meals period.

   Friends. Family too. - Meg said to me the other day that she wished she had my friends, just because of how close we are, how often we see each other, etc. etc. You rarely think about how great a group your friends are, because if you have good ones, they're just always there. Some have moved away, some have changed, still others have become people I don't want to associate with anymore. Those that are left though, in Boston, F.H. and elsewhere, are the best thing I have going for me.

   Gambling - I often wonder what things would be like for me if I'd never seen that banner ad on Boston.com way back when. I almost got myself in real trouble with the Super Bowl, but I didn't. Sure, there are probably better things I could be doing with my money, but hey, I enjoy it. I've made a little green, and I've been betting with comped funds since back when Drew Bledsoe had a job.

   Hats - I've basically stopped wearing them, which is ironic, because just these past few months my hair started its grand retreat. Enjoy it while it's still there.

   Intern - It had to happen this summer, and Matt McSorley and The Telegraph saved me from a summer reporting for the nothing town paper. Aside from learning that yes, I am capable of living on my own, I saw a whole new side of journalism that intrigues me in ways that could be career-changing. All the skills I have, plus not having to do interviews. And best of all, my lack of a social life is shielded by working at night!

   Journal - Keeping a diary always struck me a twinge fruity. OK, more than a twinge, a blast. That's why this is the column I'll probably never have again. And I must say, I've really enjoyed it... here you thought I was doing it for you!

   Krispy Kreme - I've never had one, but I'm always going to be pro-Dunkin Donuts. It's in my blood... literally. You know the chemicals there must be in those things?

   Lillis - You know that "old college buddy" everyone has, who they end up hanging out with every weekend or so for the rest of their lives? It's a pretty safe bet to say Justin is going to be mine. May we jump around over a National Championship this April, my friend.

   Meg - Could it really be anything else, especially considering things as they currently are? It all started with a random IM during the spring semester from a girl who I not only hadn't given my name to, but who I had barely spoken to at all. I went over there to drink disgusting booze the night of the Breakers riot, she came down later in the week to watch cable. Next thing you know, I'm driving cross-country and starting to get those butterflies again.

   I could try to put into words a lot of things, but I won't. At least not here. :)

   Nastiness - By my own admission, I've become much less tolerant to things both stupid and disagreeable to me. I'm not proud of it by any means, but by the same token, that's who I am. When something like my bed getting stolen happens, and I get told to "quit whining," I snap when I should probably just acquiesce. Hey, you've got your faults, I've got mine. And Jen, get some manners, and forget it. It's over.

   O - There's no O. Think of it as zero.

   Paper - My time in the Copy/Mail Room is almost over. How weird will it be to walk out of there for the final time, after speding almost 20 hours a week there for almost four years? To think, I might actually have to pay for a photocopy someday... damn.

   Queers - I'm a homophobe. Probably always will be. Doesn't mean I don't like gay people, not at all. I just don't understand them. Hey, you know a better Q word?

   Reporting - I did more news reporting than I've ever done before, and yet by the fall, I just couldn't do it anymore. It's got little to do with my not enjoying it anymore - covering the Marathon is probably the most fun I've ever had as a writer. It's just that this came the realization that the higher-ups at the paper just don't think I have what it takes, so I'm never going to advance there. Like Dan Duquette... lame duck a go-go.

   Simpsons - I need to watch it more.

   Titles - The Giants almost won one, and that hurt. The Red Sox seemed as though they never will, though seeing NY drop one felt like a victory.

   United States - Patriotism is all the rage in this country now. Everyone's all decked out in their red, white and blue. Models in advertisements can stand straddling each other in their aviator sunglasses amidst flags and "United We Stand." 7-11 can sell little cellophane flags for 99 cents each, ironic only 2% of 7-11 employees were actually born in America. Lee Greenwood? Your 15 minutes is going to overtime.

   I should be happy that in the face of tragedy, a country so guilty of taking life for granted is rallying round the flag. But I'm not, and here's why. You know that feeling you have when you've waited a disgusting number of years for your team to win a title, and then when they finally do, all the bandwagoneers cheer the loudest, and you can't get tickets to the championship game?

   Every gun-toting redneck in America has a flag flapping off the back of his truck now, every soccer mom printed a little flag off their computers to tape in their window. Will it be like that a year from now? Doubt it.

   Values - I like to think of myself as not the average college guy: boozing it three nights a week, humping anything that moves, you get the idea. I have never been, and can't see myself becoming, a churchgoer in the future, but that doesn't mean in completely morally bankrupt. To the contrary, I hope. This year, I found myself clinging a little more tight to my beliefs: the good and the bad. One in particular came up on a handful of occasions: my stance on abstinence until marriage. I have my reasons for this, which I'll spare you, but it seemed to come up more than others. A friend changing hers, a mother doubting I'd hold mine, you get the idea.

   I'm now starting to understand why religion attracts people... you need something to believe in. I'm neither for or against it, but I might someday not completely fear it.

   What If? - What if I hadn't bet $800 on the Super Bowl? What if Justin and I just tried to get a double apartment by ourselves in the housing lottery? What if I wasn't around for that first IM from WhoDaMeg? What if the FreeP made me News Editor for the fall? What if I hadn't been so aggressive?

   XYZ Affair - Stupid French bastards. Happy New Year!

December 31, 2001 / January 1, 2002
   • George Washington once said he was against the formation of political parties, feeling that they would divide the country in ways not complimentary to the union of states. He was right, however men like Thomas Jefferson defied his wishes, leading to the system which we have today.

   As far as I know, George Washington never said anything about New Year's parties, so I leave the commentary on them to another great patriot, Charles Frederick Denison IV.

"Sometimes, I think I know what drugs feel like."

   So very deep, especially coming from a man who drinks Arbor Mist. Course, his only competition came from a banged up and venison-filled Erik Sunny.

"I'm all satiated. All I need is a blowjob and I can go to sleep." *
* - Erik Sunny is one of the most moral characters and good guys you'll find anywhere. He was just kidding around, a message I include here because Sunny could pound me stupid.

   It was not as big a party as I'd hoped, nor was it a perfect night, but I'll take it. My get-togethers are becoming the stuff of legend round these parts, which amazes me because I've yet to get arrested or punched out by an angry drunk, had to mop up vomit, or had to join a fraternity. Some people just have skills I guess; I hope I meet one someday.

   Five of the posse: Charlie, Jen, Mario, Sunny and myself left Feeding Hills right around eleven, with video games, techno CDs and sleeping bags in tow. The trip was without incident, though I did overstuff myself with nuggets at the Charlton/MassPike McDonalds around lunchtime. There's just something about eating assorted chicken parts, held together by greasy batter of course, that's always attracted me. To each his own.

   We got to Boston about two o'clock, to find that the foyer of my building was full of construction equipment and a dumpster. Welcome home! The whole week, I've been worried there was going to be something grossly wrong with my apartment when I got there: heat off, roaches back, cops counting the empty liquor bottles in my closet... but all fears were my favorite kind - unwarranted. The Mountfort Estate, after a good vacuuming, will be back to normal soon enough.

   After shunning a rendez-vous with other friends, we made the trip to tax-free Nashua, New Hampshire, which is rapidly becoming a strong contender for where Cooch will start his post-academic life... God willing. Because this website is maintained currently on a Boston University server, and could possibly be read by people not agreeable to the wholesale purchasing of alcohol for minors, the following things were IN NO WAY bought for a party in an on-campus apartment:

Nantucket Potato Chips
Italian Bread and Spaghetti

Midori, Various Smirnoff Products
Cheese Nuggets
Capt. Morgan's, Schnapps, Bass, Guinness
Sodas of Various Flavors and Textures

   You get the idea. $180 later, nothing stops Cooch from having a party and contributing to the corruption of America's future.

   Cooch's World is in no way promoting underage drinking and rampant partying at America's colleges and universities. Children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way. 21 Means 21, which is why if you're underage, you need to make friends with people who aren't underage. This is called "networking," an essential skill in the journalism field.

   Violating the rush hour traffic like the punks we are, the party began in earnest when the mob boss led us into the kitchen where the Black Haus blackberry schnapps sit. As Charlie's camera rolled, the debauchery began. Bethany and her four friends were the only other ones to make it, which did disappoint me greatly, but it didn't matter. Everyone had a smashing good time, to the point of we almost missed the ball drop in NYC because we weren't looking at the clock.

   Sidebar: I can't honestly remember a year where I didn't see the ball drop in Times Square. It's a stupid ball, with no significance other than it's the world's most recognized celebration of the New Year. When it drops, it's nine p.m. in California. Do Californians watch the ball drop and scream, "Happy Nine O'Clock!!!"

   I guess what I'm trying to say is, attack or no attack, I hate New York. It's a extremely exciting slum... no more, no less. If David Letterman and Conan O'Brien didn't tape there... wash it into the sea.

   As with most parties, there were many highlights which ran together as my blood alcohol level rose throughout the evening. The excitement level as I dug out the code for a tank in Grand Theft Auto... the failed attempt at watching Snatch... the confusion as one of Bethany's drunken friends tried to hook her up with another one of her drunken friends... Sunny chugging straight from the Jack Daniels bottle... Mario leading a toast to bow-legged women... me washing dishes at 4 a.m.... I could go on, but I suspect Jen will fire out her collection of quotes before too long.

   Speaking of Jen, a survey question for you. Let's say you're at a party, and the host of the party is lying on his bed getting ready to go to sleep. He gets up to start distributing blankets to people, leaving his bed vacant. Do you:

a) Get yourself the best blankets and stuff you can.
b) Ask your host if he'd mind giving up his bed for the night.
c) Jump on his bed and immediately fall asleep, full well knowing that any attempt he makes to move you is going to be met with "you're a bad host" criticism.

   Funny, I know what I'd do. And it isn't C. There was a point last night where I was sleeping in my own hallway, listening to the heater blare away in the bathroom. There's just something not right about that. Fortunately, the swear count in this paragraph has gone significantly down from when the draft of it was written as the clock struck five.

   But I won't let a crink in my neck and three hours sleep take away from what was a hell of a party. Everyone who was there enjoyed themselves, and now I don't have to blow the New Year's post on faggy resolutions or taking stock on myself as a person. That comes tomorrow.
2001: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05]