Sunday, December 30, 2007

Damn Browns.

Another year of dangling hope in front of us only to just tear it away in a brutal manner. 10-6 is still a helluva lot better than last year, but still..."what could have been"? Just had to split the two games against the Steelers instead of losing both, or win that most recent game against Cincinnati, or beat a lowly Raiders team, or Arizona even. But no. Not to be. The Browns will watch the playoffs like the rest of us peons do: on television.

I'd like to give the Indianapolis Colt backups a big F.U. for laying such a stinker against the Titans on Sunday night. Get a goddamn first down, Jim Sorgi. But it's not all Indy's fault. If we can't get in on our own accord, we don't deserve to get in at all.


(Go Packers!)

Possibly our most favorite Far Side cartoon of all time. EVER.

Obama groupies + beer geek heaven

Saturday night found the Gordons traveling over to Durham for a get-together of Obama supporters. It was billed as "Partying for Change in the New Year", and was described as such in the event listing: "There's going to be a Wang Dang Doodle for Barack to celebrate Change and our coming victories across the nation! It will be held at Tyler's Tap Room and Restaurant in Downtown Durham, near the ball park on the American Tobacco Campus. 324 Blackwell St., Suite 400, Durham NC 27701. It will be on Saturday December 29th from 8-10 pm. And I would like everyone to come and join in the festivities and contribute to the Presidential Campaign. I hope we will have t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers to sell and give away. Post cards or letters to write to Campaign volunteers and Captains. Food/beverage is not included but maybe purchased from the establishment."

How could we go wrong? It just happened to be hosted at one of Chris's favorite beer destinations: Tyler's Taproom. I mean, look at all the taps!
Tyler's is a 55-minute drive to the Historic American Tobacco Complex, a converted tobacco processing campus with warehouses now occupied by restaurants, a YMCA, offices, and even the Durham studios of NPR's WUNC. All this complete with Lucky Strike water tower and smokestack:
We met with a bunch of Obama supporters, ate some great food, imbibed some great beverages, and discussed our hero for 3 hours. Our end of the tables explored the healthcare discussion, with two nurses and a pharmacist talking shop and the deplorable condition of a majority of citizens' coverage. There was also banter for a trip down to South Carolina on January 26th for their primary day. It was a fun evening meeting fellow supporters. There was little to no current administration bashing, just a good full dose of hope and inspiration. A worthy Wang Dang Doodle for Barack indeed.

The Darjeeling Limited

We enjoy all things Wes Anderson, the director of such Gordon favorites as Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), and even the critically-panned The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). So we were met with great joy when "The Darjeeling Limited" was to grace the Greensboro movie screens this past autumn. Sadly, the film endured a frighteningly miniscule stay in our town, and our work schedules thwarted an attempt to view it before it left. Luckily, it made a return engagement this past Friday to the Carousel Cinema in one of their quaint, tiny theaters seating maybe 40 people or so. We were off this weekend, so a Saturday matinee was in store.

Enjoy the trailer:

"The Darjeeling Limited" is a story about three brothers who, a year after their father's death and their mother's pointed absence from the funeral, make a spiritual journey through India. The eldest brother promotes it to the others as a way to find their center and come together again as brothers. However, there is an ulterior motive by the eldest to get the siblings to find their mother who has stolen away to the Himalayas to run a convent. The boys find their destination is not as important and life-altering as the journey itself.

In typical Anderson style, there is the theme of a dysfunctional family, novel cinematic angles (the overhead shot in particular), a robust mix of triumph followed by disappointment, and an underlying level of melancholy in each character. It was another fun Wes Anderson ride and we were sad to have to get off once the final credits rolled.

On the Gordon Scale, we both gave the "The Darjeeling Limited" a strong Matinee vote. If there were pluses and minuses in our grading, it would have garnered a "Full-Price Minus".

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The dogs are at the groomers all day, Kimberly is at work, so what to do to pass the time away from an empty dog-less house? Why, see an 11:05am matinee of "Sweeney Todd"! Even though it is a Johnny Depp film, the preview of "graphic bloody violence" was too great an obstacle for Kimberly to overcome, so a solo trip to the theater would have to be in store for Chris. Here's the trailer:

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is a film adaptation of the 1979 Stephen Sondheim musical. Bright and cheery Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) is a mild-mannered barber with a beautiful wife and lovely young daughter. When an evil judge (Alan Rickman, the outstanding angel from the film "Dogma") views Mrs. Barker and wants her for his own, a trumped up charge is brought against the barber and he is sent away to prison for life. The beautiful woman, with accompanying daughter, is now the judge's to be had.

15 years later, Barker somehow returns to London via ship. Dark and brooding, he changes his name to Sweeney Todd and vows revenge. He makes an acquaintance with Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) who runs a local meat pie bakery. He rents the upstairs from her, which at one time he resided in while Barker, then proceeds to exact his revenge. Revenge on one turns to revenge on all of humanity. But what to do with the bodies? Hmmm....meat pie, anyone?

The majority of the film is sung. Depp and Carter, historically not known for their singing, perform wonderfully. Per the usual Tim Burton film, the scenes are dark, the makeup ashy, and the story a touch twisted. "Graphic bloody violence" is indeed in full force here. I mean, how else to off someone while in a barber's chair? The blood however forsakes true realism in favor of a thick, bright, syrupy viscosity; the brilliant ruby hue is one of the few brightly lit spots in this otherwise somber atmosphere. Still, I couldn't bring Kimberly to see it even warning her to shield her eyes from the upcoming carnage.

Secondary storylines involve a sailor who befriends Todd on the ship who falls smitten for the judge's ward Johanna. That's right, the judge's ward: Todd's daughter. Another involves Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat; Da Ali G Show) as a flamboyant barber rival with a boy apprentice. The boy joins the Todd/Lovett team after "becoming unemployed". But it's best not to pry or know too much.

A twisted tale with engaging songs, subtle (and not-so-subtle) turns, irony, and tragedy. A good movie when all is said and done. Just watch out for those bloody neck pumpers.

Way back when, we had a fledgling site called that included a movie section of films we've seen. We "invented" a Gordon Movie Scale based on how much of your hard-earned money it was worth investing in the film. This included from worst-to-best:
  • Avoid
  • Wait for HBO
  • Order PPV
  • Matinee
  • Full-Price

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" scores a rare "Full-Price" from Chris, and due to the gratuitous gore, an understandable "Avoid" from Kimberly.

The loot

Another Christmas day has come and gone.

Kimberly and Chris both worked until 3pm (and both Forsyth Medical Center and Walgreens were insanely busy, leading to a rather grumpy holiday...until we got home and unwound), so the festivities began late in the afternoon.

Honeybaked Ham, Honeybaked Turkey, Honeybaked Cornbread Stuffing, plus the famous Gordonian broccoli cheese casserole would all wait until after the frenzy of gift opening. The gifts were brought out from underneath the rotund Canadian Fir tree (I mean, look at that tree! It's FAT!), and the unwrapping let loose with reckless abandon.

Highlights for the day include two super sweet nutcrackers (we told you Chris was a nutcracker junkie) to flank the fireplace hearth,

a personalized corkboard world map to document "Chris and Kimberly's World Travels" (2008 German Oktoberfest here we come!),

and the coup d'etat, a Romanian cello and cello lessons for Kimberly!A teary-eyed Kimberly proclaimed this to be our "best Christmas ever" and I tend to agree. She's done with her nurse anesthesia masters program, so there is, GASP!, actual free time to engage in leisurely reading (she got books by Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama) and pursuing the mastering of the cello. (It's rent-to-own, so there's 90 days to find out if the cello will "stick" to get a substantial discount in purchasing it outright.) Chris may in fact finally get that piano repairman out here to replace the one broken piano wire and tune it up so he can retake lessons. A proper Gordon piano/cello duet would indeed be killer, dont'cha think?

Afterwards, we invited the neighbors over for dinner, wine, beer, dessert, and our gift exchange. Receiving the game Chocolate-opoly and also the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie on DVD? Sa-weet!!!

We reveled in our new clothes, our new books, our new grilling impelements and sauces, our new European travel guides, our new nutcrackers, and most of all: a cello, and called it a pleasant night.

We hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ovation TV's "Battle of the Nutcrackers"

Anyone who comes in contact with Chris during December knows his fascination and adoration of the ballet "The Nutcracker". The House of Gordon is adorned with the wooden figures come Christmastime. Tooling around on TV after Monday Night Football while doing laundry as Kimberly slumbers for her 4:40am wakeup on Christmas day (whew, a househusband's job is NEVER done), I stumbled across a 12am showing of the winner of the "Battle of the Nutcrackers".

Apparently, Ovation TV, a culture and arts station, had run 4 different interpretations of the ballet this past month and viewers could vote for their choice. I must say, the winner has an interesting take. Ovation TV is yet another nifty channel on our DirecTV listing.

If you missed it like we did, there will be an encore performance of all four performances later today on Christmas day. Fire up the TiVo! It stinks that we both work day shift and will miss them, but hey, we both DID volunteer to do so. So a commercial-free TiVo'd version of all four ballets is in our future very soon after work.

Here is the lineup:
8am - George Balachine's The Nutcracker
10am - Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker
12pm - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker
2pm - Mark Norris: The Hard Nut

It then repeats at 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm.
Hopefully you'll be able to see them!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Feed the World

Let them know it's Christmastime again.

Six to Eight Black Men

Pure and simple, David Sedaris is a genius. We are unabashed groupies.

In the spirit of the holidays, here's another David Sedaris reading. Back on December 20th, we posted his radio recording of "The Santaland Diaries" and hope you enjoyed it. Below is a three-part video of his reading of the Christmas essay "Six to Eight Black Men", 15 minutes or so of holiday frivolity. We love it, and hope you will too.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

The Gordons are HUGE Colts fans.

So, the Browns again turned the Gordon switch from rapturously exciting to deliriously frustrating Sunday by losing to the Cincinnitucky Bungholes. Beat them and a spot in the playoffs is ours. What'd we do?

Lose 19-14.


So now, the Brownies and the Tennessee Titans are both 9-6. The Browns play the NFC's 49ers next week, and the Titans play their AFC rival Colts. The Browns losing to the Bungholes (an AFC team) has resulted in the scenario that if the Titans beat the Colts (an AFC team), the Titans would have a better conference record and thereby make the playoffs...even if the Browns win and they end up with identical 10-6 records.

Tennessee wins and Tennessee's in. Tennessee loses and Tennessee's out. The Browns can just sit and watch, they don't even need to beat the 49ers. By virtue of a Titan AFC loss dropping them to 9-7, the Browns gain the edge in the tiebreaker if they too end up 9-7.

Confused yet?

Basically, the House of Gordon is banking on this man to take it to the Titans and drop them to 9-7 this Sunday:

But of course, the Colts have the #2 seed locked up for the AFC playoffs no matter the outcome, so the above-pictured hero will most probably sit on the bench for most of the game, making a Titan victory all the more possible, leaving the Browns to yet again watch January football on TV like the rest of us.

It's so painful to be a Browns fan sometimes....


edit: per the Browns email newsletter, they state it much more succinctly:

The Browns and Titans are both 9-6 heading into the season's final week. The Titans play at Indianapolis in a game that means nothing to the Colts, who have clinched a first-round bye. If the Colts win, the Browns are in. If the Titans win, the Browns are out. Here's why...

**The Titans are 6-5 in AFC play; the Browns are 7-5. If the Titans win next week and finish 7-5, it goes to the third tiebreaker, common opponents, and the Titans win that based on the Browns' losses to Oakland and Cincinnati. The Titans lost to Cincinnati but beat Oakland, the Jets and Houston twice.

**The only way the Browns' result next week against San Francisco means anything in regards to the playoff race is if the Titans and Colts would tie. In that case, the Browns would be in with a win.

**Assuming the Titans and Colts don't tie, here's what lies ahead for the Browns: A win, and they're 10-6 and looking at the tiebreakers. A loss, and they'd still be in if Tennessee loses at Indy based on their 7-5 conference record.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Boyfriends again vie for the Gordons

So, a while back the Edwards family sends Chris an email holiday greeting. Then the Obama family sends Kimberly an email holiday greeting with a video. Now the Edwards camp raises the stakes for Gordonian love by sending an email yesterday with another warm holiday greeting along with a video. (And yet, neither has matched Jimmy Carter with sending the Gordons a paper card in the mail...)

Dear Friend,

The holiday season is a time for family, a time to give thanks -- and a time to think back on the year past.There have been many special moments this year as John and I have traveled around the country. It has been exciting and energizing to see thousands of people connect with John and respond to his message of change. And we have both been inspired by the support of people like you.This past week, John was joined by two of my favorite singers, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Take a moment to watch this video clip -- it captures the feeling of warmth and hope that we feel every day on the campaign trail. This is one of my favorite songs. I hope you will take a couple of minutes to watch it, and share it with your family and friends over the holidays.

John and I want to wish you and your family all the best for this holiday season. May it be a time filled with hope, warmth, happiness -- and special moments like these!

Elizabeth Edwards
December 22, 2007

Sadly, Kimberly's boyfriend Barack always sends emails with "Dear Kimberly", whereas Chris's boyfriend John sends them as "Dear Friend". Come on, show Chris a little more love, John!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Winter Solstice!

The days will start getting longer now, and that in itself is cause enough for celebration. This Christmas season, we're sure you'll run into folks, some rather zealously, proclaiming that a certain someone is the "reason for the season", but in all actuality the reason for the season was the sheer joy of the shortest day of the year giving way to more and more sunlight in each day from now until June. Moving out of the darkness. The early church flippantly moved the birthday boy's day to December to thwart those fun-loving festival pagans and their dastardly celebration of the earth. The whole point of the ancient family traveling to the county seat and learning of "no room at the inn" was indeed (per the good book) for the census...which just happened to NOT in fact occur in December. Guess if the early church can't beat 'em, join 'em. Damn pagans and all their fun.

Anyways, I (Chris) found a neat blog post written earlier this month that "spoke to me" and thought I'd share it here. Whatever your religious or non-religious persuasion, just enjoy these cold dark nights of late December with someone close and look forward to the warming and sunning that is sure to follow in the coming months. Keep an open mind and enjoy "The Pagan Roots of Christmas:"

December 3, 2007

I’m spiritually torn – I’m decidedly not a Christian (no offence intended if you are), but I’m absolutely in love with Christmas. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m an atheist - I just don’t like any of the options I’ve been presented with so far. I’ve witnessed, for lack of a better term, the “miracle” of birth twice, and with each new arrival I’ve slowly come around to the notion that maybe there’s something, maybe even a “higher intelligence,” behind the intricate wonder of creation. Let’s face it - if homo sapiens is the most powerful intellect ever, the universe has thus far been a terrible waste of space.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a hypocrite to be riding on the coattails of a religious celebration when I don’t subscribe to that particular religion, but recent research has shown me that, if anything, what we know today as a Christian holiday is pretty much a hodge-podge of icons and symbols borrowed from several pagan traditions, some of which could possibly predate Christ himself. According to the Wikipedia Christmas page, just about everything comes from somewhere else. For instance the Christmas tree was borrowed from an ancient Germanic pagan ritual. When the Romans decided it was time to start listening to Christians (as opposed to their previous tradition of feeding them to the lions) and decided Jesus was the way and the light, they decided to take what was already a well established celebration of the winter solstice turned it into a birthday party for their newfound savior.

As a proud yet sometimes resentful Canadian, I for one can really appreciate the winter solstice, that magical time of year when the days finally start to get longer. Even now, in early December, I have to have my headlights on when it’s time to pick my girl up from school in the afternoon if the skies are the least bit overcast. You can bet I’m waiting for the sun to return. If that’s the true meaning of Christmas, count me in.

What we partake in at the end of each December is not the remembrance of some guy who got nailed up for having the audacity to suggest we start being nice to each other (we should, by the way). It’s a celebration of what it means to be members of the human race and while some people will bemoan the fact that Christmas is becoming secularized (not to mention the nut-jobs who warn against Santa Claus being a code for Satan’s Claws), I embrace it. What’s wrong with taking a day or two off work to spend time with friends and loved ones? Shouldn’t everyone have a special time set aside once a year to tell the people that matter most to them that they’re the people that matter most to them?

Thanks to the wage-labour economic system we’ve all been duped into working for, most of us spend the vast majority of our time to trying to please people we don’t actually like (honestly, this is your boss we’re talking about). All I’m saying is that everyone should invest a little time enjoying the company of loved ones. I choose to do this while everyone else is telling me that Christ is the Reason for the Season (and more power to him if he is for you), but for me I get to gather my friends and family around the tree, consume a little egg nog, listen to some cheesy music (Nat King Cole singing the Christmas Song is enough to restore my faith in humanity every time), exchange a few gifts, and let the people that matter most to me know that in the darkest days of the year there’s no one else I’d rather be with.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Obama family Christmas greeting

Sure, John Edwards sends Chris a family picture in an email with a holiday greeting. Nice. Understated. Basic. But today, Barack Obama ups the ante and sends Kimberly a YouTube video in email. Well actually, his wife Michelle sent it. I see who loves the Gordons more. Anyhoo, here 'tis:

Dear Kimberly,

This is the season where many of us get to leave the pressures of daily life behind and focus on what keeps us grounded -- being together with our families. For our family, it's been so important for us to maintain our traditions no matter how hectic life gets. Just a few weeks ago, Barack left the frenzy of the campaign trail to come home to get the Christmas tree with the girls and me.

Today, I'd like to share a special holiday greeting from our family to yours:

This is also the season to remember that we're all in this together by helping those in need in our own communities and around the world. You can find a way to help here:

Thank you for welcoming us into your lives and believing in what we are trying to do.
Wishing you a very Happy Holiday,

"He's too much."

Tune in Friday night 12/21 at 7pm on ABC Family channel (or on Monday 12/24 at 4pm), it's the 1974 classic that doesn't get nearly enough attention as other stop-animation specials: The Year Without a Santa Claus. One of our favorites.

1974! Wow.

Let's get you in the mood:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let's go bowling!

So Chris gets home from work late Thursday night, and as our sucky schedules would have it, Kimberly is already in bed for her 4:40am wake-up. Working 2p-10p sucks sometimes. So a growler of Merrifield, VA's Sweetwater Tavern Kokopelli IPA is cracked open, and this football-loving arse is planted on the couch for some Steelers/Rams on the NFL Network (DirecTV rules!). Once it becomes a 41-24 shellacking late in the 4th quarter, the telly is switched over to ESPN for the first college football bowl game of the season:

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

What a name. I giggle every time. You can't make that stuff up.

So, for to properly plan all your college viewing pleasure, here is the schedule for bowl games for the next 3 weeks or so. As work permits, you can find Chris on the couch for most of these:

San Diego
Dec. 20, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)
Last season: No. 25 TCU 37, Northern Illinois 7

New Orleans
Dec. 21, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)
Last season: Troy 41, Rice 17

Birmingham, Ala.
Dec. 22, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Southern Miss (7-5)
Last season: South Florida 24, East Carolina 7

Albuquerque, N.M.
Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
New Mexico (8-4) vs. Nevada (6-6)
Last season: San Jose State 20, New Mexico 12

Las Vegas
Dec. 22, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
BYU (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)
Last season: No. 19 BYU 38, Oregon 8

Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec. 23, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
East Carolina (7-5) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Last season: Hawaii 41, Arizona State 24

Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Central Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)
Last season: Central Michigan 31, Middle Tennessee 14

San Diego
Dec. 27, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)
Last season: No. 20 Cal 45, No. 21 Texas A&M 10

Orlando, Fla.
Dec. 28, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan State (7-5)
Last season: Maryland 24, Purdue 7

Dec. 28, 8 p.m. (NFL Network)
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)
Last season: No. 16 Rutgers 37, Kansas State 10

San Francisco
Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)
Last season: Florida State 44, UCLA 27

Charlotte, N.C.
Dec. 29, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
UConn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
Last season: No. 23 Boston College 25, Navy 24

Memphis, Tenn.
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Mississippi State (7-5) vs. UCF (10-3)
Last season: South Carolina 44, Houston 36

San Antonio
Dec. 29, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
Last season: No. 18 Texas 26, Iowa 24

Shreveport, La.
Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado (6-6) vs. Alabama (6-6)
Last season: Oklahoma State 34, Alabama 31

Fort Worth, Texas
Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Cal (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
Last season: Utah 25, Tulsa 13

El Paso, Texas
Dec. 31, 2 p.m.(CBS)
USF (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)
Last season: Oregon State 39, Missouri 38

Boise, Idaho
Dec. 31, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Fresno State (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)
Last season: Miami 21, Nevada 20

Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 31, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida State (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
Last season: Kentucky 28, Clemson 20

Tempe, Ariz.
Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)
Last season: Texas Tech 44, Minnesota 41 (OT)

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)
Last season: Georgia 31, No. 14 Virginia Tech 24

Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 1, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Tennessee (9-4)
Last season: Penn State 20, No. 17 Tennessee 10

Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m. (FOX)
Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)
Last season: No. 10 Auburn, No. 22 Nebraska

Jacksonville, Fla.
Jan. 1, Noon (CBS)
Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)
Last season: No. 13 West Virginia 38, Georgia Tech 35

Orlando, Fla.
Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)
Last season: No. 6 Wisconsin 17, No. 12 Arkansas 14

Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. (ABC)
USC (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)
Last season: No. 8 USC 32, No. 3 Michigan 18

New Orleans
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (FOX)
Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)
Last season: No. 4 LSU 41, No. 11 Notre Dame 14

Glendale, Ariz.
Jan. 2, 8:00 p.m. (FOX)
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)
Last season: No. 9 Boise State 43, No. 7 Oklahoma 42 (OT)

Jan. 3, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Last season: No. 5 Louisville 24, No. 15 Wake Forest 13

Jan. 5, Noon (ESPN2)
Rutgers (7-5) vs. Ball State (7-5)
Last season: Cincinnati 27, Western Michigan 24

Mobile, Ala.
Jan. 6, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)
Last season: Southern Miss 28, Ohio 7

New Orleans
Jan. 7, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (11-2)
Last season: No. 2 Florida 41, No. 1 Ohio State 14

Santaland Diaries

Christmas is a mere 5 days away, and to get you into the "holiday spirit", there is nothing more sarcastically entertaining than humorist David Sedaris and his "Santaland Diaries". It's a litany of his experiences as Crumpet the Elf at Macy's in New York. Truly classic.
We're Sedaris groupies. We have all of his books. We have the audio verions on tape. We've seen David do readings live over in Raleigh a few times. We've gone to see Greensboro's Triad Stage and Preston Lane's one-man performance of "Santaland Diaries". And don't EVEN get us started on our adoration of his sister Amy Sedaris and HER crazy adventures!

Spend just 7 minutes and 18 seconds during this holiday season and take a listen to this radio snippet.

You'll never listen to Billie Holiday quite the same....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unified Theory

Behold the genius that is the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine":

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

10 years without Chris Farley

December 18, 1997 saw the genius light of Chris Farley extinguished. Remember him today (and always) with a hearty guffaw. To help, here's Chris as Matt Foley, motivational speaker:

1 outta 2

Both versions of the Greensboro Kosars finished their fake football seasons yesterday. The Brews + Blitzes version lost their 2-week first round playoff series 188-158, so good beers will need to be packed up and shipped FROM Greensboro to a far-away locale; no goodies coming in to fill the garage beer fridge with delights from afar. Damn.

However, the Hope Football League version won the consolation bracket Toilet Bowl 67-57 and will recoup the $70 entrance fee. There was modest rejoicing and a quiet smile.

Now all's quiet until baseball season. Well, actually there is still fake sporting hijinks to be followed: the Carolina Slush in "Yahoo Public Hockey League 92219" is in 2nd place.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The House of Gordon scoops NPR

November 29:

December 17:


Christmas in DC

This past weekend saw a jam-packed three-day jaunt up to DC to see Christmas lights and to celebrate all things festive. The full story can be found here in pictures, but a quick recap will follow here below:

- A 9:30am Greensboro departure brings us to the Brannon household in Alexandria by 2pm. We drop off the dogs, kibitz for a while with James, then make our way to the hotel.

- On to DC for dinner at Capitol City Brewing Co. on Massachusetts Ave. Kimberly discovers The Little Penguin pinot noir, and Chris enjoys a nice bitter and porter with dinner.

- Union Station across the street for Christmas displays:
- We take the Metro to The White House for the National Christmas Tree. (Hey, come on, work at it a little, wouldya?? It was a pre-lit net draped over the tree. How hard is THAT to do?....)
- Back over to The Capitol (via the Metro again, it's so damn COLD!) for the Capitol Christmas Tree (a MUCH better tree with individual strands of lights and ornaments):
- Lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street. Holy crap! This was fantastic! Yum!
- A 2pm matinee performance of Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre

- Dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill, and everything was fantastic (The Gordons and Brannons had a free-for-all with sharing crabcakes, parmesan trout, ham and cheese pasta, peanut butter pie, bourbon walnut pie)
- An 8pm performance at The Kennedy Center of the National Symphony Orchestra. Quite easily the BEST Christmas concert we have EVER seen. EVER! And this includes growing up and going to the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra every year. Incredible. Moving. Incredibly moving.

- brunch at The Chart House in Alexandria. Mimosas, seafood quiche, crabcakes 'n eggs, yum.
- the boys then went back to the Brannons' to drain some Sweetwater Tavern growlers of beer while the girls shopped; the fantastic film "Waitress" was viewed on DVD; Coldstone ice cream was consumed with reckless abandon; then the Gordons hit the road for a 4 & 1/2 hour drive and arrived back home Monday in the wee dark hours of the A.M.

Another great trip to DC for a fix of Christmas cheer and decoration. We loved every second of it. Until next time, DC!

December Football

Wow. Sunday the beloved Cleveland Browns defeat the Buffalo Bills at home 8-0. That's right. 8-0. Two field goals and a safety. had a great photo gallery from the game. Here are some favorites. Now THIS is how December football should be played. What a fun game....

Merry Steroid Christmas!

After baseball's "Mitchell Report" investigating steroid use was released, the Gordons had sadly neglected to make any sort of post concerning it.

Until now.

Enjoy this little holiday tune.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


If you've ever been in an office setting, you've most assuredly seen those silly "motivational posters" that adorn the walls to "inspire" the minions to work harder and give their all to The Man. Heck, even when Chris worked for Target he laughed at them daily when venturing behind the scenes in the offices. Here's an example of such corporate drivel:"Confidence: Those who possess the courage to stand apart gain a rare perspective." Gag.

It didn't take long for the sharp website to make a mockery of these, and with quite the witty edge to them:

And one of our absolute all-time favorites:

Classic. Do yourself a favor and sign up for the Despair mailing list. Some of the most biting and sarcastic correspondence your inbox will ever receive.

At any rate, the good folks over at Despair have generated a wildly hypnotic time-consuming device that allows you to make your own poster with any picture, title, and saying you can dream up:
Sheer genius.

Here are just a sample of some we've toyed around with, not being terribly creative and using the actual titles and sayings from Enjoy:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Edwards family greeting card

Received this in email from the campaign today:

Happiness. Health. Hope.

But our words are just a promise about our actions. Live deliberately, sacrifice for what is truly important, and, above all, in these times -- and all times -- trust your heart.

John & Elizabeth Edwards, Cate, Emma Claire & Jack

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Toilet Bowl 2007

One of Chris's fantasy football leagues ends this weekend, and the respective final games in the championship and consolation rounds are all set. Banners hang high at headquarters for the Hope Football League version of the Greensboro Kosars: 2004 Division Champs, 2006 Conference Champs, 2006 HFL runner-up. But the 2007 version fell mightily upon hard times. A modest 3-4 start then saw a brutal 5 game losing streak to fall out of the running at 3-9. With just two games to go, four teams in the conference were tied with a paltry 3-7 record, and if the Kosars would have just been the one to get that 4th win, top dollar spoils would have been within reach. I mean come on, the 5-7 Westerville Wolfpack were a wildcard! But 3-9? The worst year yet by far by the Kosars.

Here's the scoop on Championship Weekend:

HFL Championship: Bob Bowl 7
Week 13 - Round 1
The Waterboys (10-2) - Bye
125 Burly Irishmen (7-5) - 102 Zanesvillean ZZZers (8-4)
141 Joeville Juggernauts (8-4) - 122 Westerville Wolfpack (5-7)
Hugh Jardon (10-2) - Bye

Week 14 - Round 2
144 The Waterboys - 121 Burly Irishmen
151 Joeville Juggernauts - 94 Hugh Jardon

Week 15 - Finals
The Waterboys vs. Joeville Juggernauts

And playing for pride and just the chance to break even and recoup the $70 entrance fee, I bring you the venerable....

Toilet Bowl
Week 13 - Round 1
We Sum Head Busta's (7-5) - Bye
98 Greensboro Kosars (3-9) - 75 Caerbannog Rabbits (3-9)
133 Underdawgs (3-9) - 83 Dog Pound408 (2-10)
Cardiac Cats (6-6) - Bye

Week 14 - Round 2
134 Greensboro Kosars - 121 We Sum Head Busta's
146 Cardiac Cats - 116 Underdawgs

Week 15 - Finals
Greensboro Kosars vs. Cardiac Cats

Strangely enough, this Ohio-based fake sports league will have its only two North Carolina teams battle for the Toilet Bowl crown. I know you're all on the edges of your seats over this one, sports fans.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kimberly's date with Barack

As a dues-paying, card-carrying member of Obama Nation, Kimberly had received advance email news of a rally in Columbia, SC at the University of South Carolina scheduled for today. Since Columbia is a mere 180 miles due south of us via nothing but freeway, she gladly made the trip. Sadly, Chris was chained to the pharmacy counter and could not attend. Crap. Goddamn work.

A 9:00am Greensboro departure brought our heroine onto the campus of USC before noon. Doors opened at 12:30pm, and the shenanigans began at 2:30pm. To entertain the crowd, a college favorite blast from our past, Arrested Development (and no, not the TV show you young whippersnappers) performed; to the amusement of Kimberly and the puzzlement of the youngsters, there was many a "Who???"

What was originally to be held at the basketball arena was moved to the football stadium to accommodate the Oprah- and Barack-adoring crowds:
Senator Obama's wife Michelle spoke first, then Oprah, then the man himself. Sadly, the banner's posts thwarted any good photo op with the zoom,
so pics of the scoreboard's monitor would have to do:
Some buttons, bumper stickers, a baseball cap, and a whoooole lotta hope and inspiration later, it's 4:00pm and time to return back home. Secret Service swarms the Senator as he exits for another rally in New Hampshire this very same day,

and masses of humanity gravitate over to get one last look at the Senator (and Oprah) as they depart:

A rather quick 7:00pm arrival back at homebase occurs, and the Gordons discuss this wave of hope over takeout and a TiVo'd Browns/Jets game. A warming John F. Kennedy-esque aura of hope and positivity is building, and the female member of the House of Gordon is quite swept up in it.

The business establishment heretofore known as "Scrooge and Marley"

Saturday night December 8th saw the Gordons make their way again to High Point, NC and the High Point Theatre for a production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". This and the Nutcracker ballet are two of the most endearing holiday performances we enjoy greatly. "A Christmas Carol" at the HPT is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and local actor Allan Edwards, pictured above as Ebenezer Scrooge, once again played the part splendidly.

The Gordons met our friends Greg and Louise at Giovanni's restaurant in Greensboro (or is it Jamestown?) for yummy Italian fare before going. Chris beat the pants off Kimberly with his Lobster Ravioli kicking her Crab Meat Linguini all about the face and head. Score one for the husband in this round of the "Who Wins?" dinner competition.

Louise had never seen "A Christmas Carol" before. Ever. I don't know who was more excited for her to see it: her or Chris!

"A Christmas Carol" is part of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival at the High Point Theatre, of which the Gordons were once season pass holders; that is until Triad Stage opened up in Greensboro and we switched allegiances. It had been a while since we've been to the High Point Theatre, and it was good to return for such a festive evening.

God bless us, every one.

YMCA Angel Tree dinner

We had a dinner date on Friday December 7th at the Jamestown YMCA (where in the past 2 months Chris has lost 7 pounds and Kimberly a whopping 15!). It was the donor and recipient Angel Tree Dinner. Kimberly grabbed an "ornament" from the tree for a "6-year old boy". We then got more info than we ever received in any previous years' gift donation we've done anywhere. Shoe sizes, clothing sizes, explicit gift lists, the works. Knowing that our friends and family are comparably well-off, our little boy won out volume-wise and received quite the motherload of Christmas gifts from us.

After Chris got out of work, he raced home to pick up Kimberly and the broccoli cheese casserole we were bringing. Upon entering and writing out our name tags, whom do we see? Dakari, our little 6-year old whom we got gifts for. Adorable. (He's 2nd from the left in the above photo.) Mind you, recipients do not know who their donors are, unless the parent requests to get in contact with us. So when we stood there in line for dinner and saw how precious Dakari was, our hearts just leapt. What coincidence! What luck!

So we make our way to a table, and who sits right next to us? Dakari's family. We chit-chat, we mingle, we offer to take a family photo with their camera. Chris then takes his digital camera out to take some pictures and say that we'd leave them at the YMCA's front desk for them when we print them. Dakari is enamored and poses like a Hollywood star on the red carpet. I then ask if he'd like to take our camera and "work the room". His eyes light up and he is gone for at least 45 minutes. 40 or so of some of the best (albeit blurry) impromptu pictures we have ever seen in a long. long while result.

Dinner finishes up, and with all the picture sharing and modest tomfoolery, Darkari's family and the Gordons are in fact the last to leave. We exit with a warmth in our hearts that is unmatched, knowing that we could give a 6-year old little boy the Christmas of a lifetime. As far as Dakari knows, he just had dinner and some fun with the camera of these two strangers at the local YMCA.

It may in fact be just the best Christmas yet for both Dakari AND the Gordons.

Here are some shots from the evening, with two self-portraits by Dakari in the mix:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Washington Post's "Choose Your Candidate" quiz

Another 2008 election quizzy nugget:
Choose Your Candidate

I guess the House of Gordon "kinda" scooped The Post with the quiz we posted here on November 20, but this new one is much more involved. Sadly however, Chris's boy Dennis isn't included: submitted a series of issue questions to each of the principal Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson chose not to reply to all of the questions. But since Thompson and Giuliani are both polling in the top tier of GOP candidates, we included issue stances for them based on the candidates' public statements, speeches and information on their campaign Web sites. We did not choose to research and prepare responses for a short list of second-tier candidates who also did not respond: Democrats Joe Biden, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich, and Republicans Alan Keyes and Tom Tancredo. We have invited the candidates who have not yet responded to join the quiz at any time by answering our issue questions.

Stay strong, Dennis. Stay strong. Fight the good fight.

"I think this would be a good time for a beer." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

74 years ago today on December 5, 1933, Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the 21st Ammendment, repealing Prohibition. Enjoy a good beer today because you legally can. A crusade to change the law that was brought about not by lawmakers, but rather by the common citizen; a grassroots effort to mandate a change in the Constitution. Power to the people!

In celebration, a fellow in Oregon has started a movement to make this an actual holiday: Repeal Day.

Here's a bit of history culled from the National Archives in Washington, DC:

Prosit! Slainte! Cheers!!!