Friday, January 20, 2012

I Can See It In Your Eyes

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, it has started raining… and apparently won’t stop through the weekend so that’s cool. We need the water & the mountains need the snow. Freaky stuff up in Washington state apparently with snow double what their previous record was. That’s crazy! Still nothing compared to the other places I’ve lived but they’re not prepared for it… so be safe out there Washingtonians. Aside from that, I’ll enjoy the rainy weather by watching some football divisional championships on Sunday, maybe do some cleaning & cooking, and on Saturday I may be delivering my old TV to my roommate’s friend in El Cerrito. She’s promised me food for my troubles… so how can I say no to that? Also, I convinced my mom to get a PSeye so that we can chat over the PS3… which means that I’ll get to see my niece & nephew (or rather a grainy representation of them) and that’s pretty cool. Technology nowadays is pretty amazing… and only getting more so every day.

Gretchen is going on a trip to Tahoe this weekend. No, I won’t be going with her. Allow me to explain. Y’all know Bubbles, right? One of my best friends for many years now? Well, this time of year is a rough patch for her… as well as she’s had a rough few months recently… and she has a surgery coming up pretty quick… so she could use a vacation. Her family’s in town (brother’s birthday) and they were looking to go to Lake Tahoe for a little ski & spa weekend… but since the NFC Championship is going to be here, rental cars are RIDICULOUSLY priced. She’s a little strapped for cash… so she was going to call the whole thing off… and she really needs it. So… being the ultimate badass that I am… I offered Gretchen’s services… for several reasons:

1) She really needed this vacation & I didn’t want her to have to give up a spa weekend in Tahoe
2) I’d rather have her in a safe Jeep fully loaded, prepared & experienced for Tahoe weather since it’ll probably be snowing all weekend, than in a broken down rental car anyway
3) It saves her enough money to really enjoy herself & I know she’ll be paying for her family too
4) I wasn’t planning on going anywhere this weekend anyway except maybe to El Cerrito to help with the TV, but I can take a bus there & it only takes an extra 15 minutes or so each way & I don’t have to drive
5) I can trust her & I know she’s good for it
6) Karma comes back around
7) Did I mention that I’m the ultimate badass? Cuz I feel like that’s pretty important when I’m entrusting my most financially valuable possession to a friend.

I’m sure she’ll have a great time up in Tahoe & say hello to some of my peeps who may remember her from the Anniversary Party last December. Meanwhile I’ll be chillaxing, resting up my knee that’s still a little sore from basketball last weekend (and walking 2-3 miles a day on slick uneven terrain doesn’t help much), do another good deed by donating my old TV to someone in need across the bay, maybe enjoy a museum or something along the way back through downtown, watching some great football games & hopefully play a basketball game Sunday night. Also, maybe get to see my mom, niece & nephew via PS3. Sounds like a pretty great weekend to me… though I’ll admit, Tahoe may be more fun. Oh well… next time.

Also, pretty big news on the engagement front. No, not for me… at least directly. Remember in November when we went to Vegas for Jackie D’s 25th birthday extravaganza? Well, the couple that we went with… are now engaged. Congratulations to them first & foremost… but there’s more. They live in Philadelphia… but want to get married… in Vegas. Not only that… but they want to get married in Vegas… in the Cosmopolitan hotel that we were staying at… in one of the bars… on Doomsday, December 21st, 2012. Granted this is if the snakes haven’t completely taken over by then (more on that later) but… I can’t help but feel pretty much responsible for this. Like… a LOT. According to Jackie D, I was even mentioned by name ($tev-OOOOH!!!) when she was told about it. So what does that mean? Well, I’m more than likely going to be invited to the wedding… and I may even have to make a speech (excuse me, SPREECH!!!) during the ceremony at some point. The only concern… is that Friday, December 21st date means that I might have to make a combination Las Vegas / Christmas in Utah trip. That may require some of the family parties to tone it down as Uncle $teve tries to recuperate. Anyway, that’s a long ways down the line… so again, congratulations to them, and here’s the news…

Tebow IS Mortal – After being shellacked by the Patriots on Sunday, it appears Tim Tebow actually needed more R&R than anyone thought. The Broncos quarterback played through rib, lung and chest injuries he sustained in Denver’s 45-10 loss at New England in the AFC divisional playoffs last weekend. He won’t need surgery, is expected to make a full recovery with some down time and his offseason training program shouldn’t be affected in any way. ESPN first reported Wednesday that Tebow got hurt on a third-quarter tackle, then had trouble sleeping because of the pain and underwent an MRI on his chest Monday. Team spokesman Patrick Smyth said that while he couldn’t confirm the exact extent or nature of the injuries due to team policy, he acknowledged that Tebow finished the game in considerable pain. Backup Brady Quinn quickly got ready to go into the game after Tebow was hit by Vince Wilfork and Rob Ninkovich, but Tebow stayed in and finished up. “It’s just the physicality of playing football. Sometimes you get hit and it can hurt a little bit. But, I wanted to play a lot of the game,” Tebow said after the game. The outcome had long been decided by the time Tebow got hurt. “I just wanted to show character. You just continue to fight and it doesn’t change who you are, how you play, how you go out there, you should be the same at all times. That’s what I wanted to show, it didn’t matter if it was the first play or the last play or you were down by 42. I was going to be the same player and I was still going to give everything I have. Because that’s all I have to give.” Tebow wasn’t in the locker room during a one-hour media window on Sunday, emerging with a smile from the trainer’s room as reporters were filing out as the players streamed to their end-of-season meeting with coach John Fox. On Monday, Broncos boss John Elway declared Tebow the incumbent starting QB entering training camp next summer and reiterated his plan to work with him during the offseason to help polish his passing game. Tebow went 8-5 as the Broncos starter after supplanting Kyle Orton following a 1-4 start. He engineered a six-game winning streak that included four straight fourth-quarter comebacks that sent Tebowmania into full pitch. He faded at the end, losing his last three starts, including one to the Kansas City Chiefs and Orton, but the Broncos backed into the playoffs nevertheless at 8-8 as champions of the middling AFC West. Tebow had the best game of his pro career in the wild card round, when he averaged 31.6 yards per completion, the best in the NFL in 40 years, and threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime for a 29-23 win over heavily favored Pittsburgh and the league’s No. 1 defense. That was Denver’s first playoff game in six seasons. Tebow, who didn’t get the first-team snaps during training camp or for the first month of the season, realizes he has a long way to go himself. “Just work and improve, fundamentals, understanding defenses, footwork, everything,” he said. Some say the injury was only a matter of time as Tebow’s style of play this year with the read option is very rare because the NFL usually protects their quarterbacks like China dolls 100% of the time… but Tebow noted that he actually takes glancing blows, if any, from smaller defenders while on the run, making him less vulnerable than when he stays in the pocket and might get sandwiched by 300-pound linemen… but for any team to win, you need balance in your running & passing offense. “We’re always looking for balance,” Elway said. “Balance is what we won Super Bowls with.” Elway and Tebow are eager to see what a difference an offseason can make— they didn’t have that luxury last year during the NFL lockout. As Tebow put it, “I feel like I’ve improved a lot in a lot of different forms of my game. And I continue to improve and continue to get a lot better, and I believe I can, and I’m looking forward to putting in work.” Best of luck, Mr. Tebow… and I hope that you feel better soon too. It’s gonna be a lot of work… especially since the team kind of sabotaged your chances by trading away your best receiver the week you became starter & didn’t really have a lot of weapons on offense to begin with. Oh well… still, best of luck in getting the tools you need to succeed. You’ve got the right attitude.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar Update – Okay, since I was a little boy about 7-8 years old, there were two players that I really respected both as players & men. I know that most of you probably think it’s a tandem like Michael Jordan & Magic Johnson or something like that… and they get mad respect… but not them. First & foremost was David Robinson, a Hall of Fame center who had just started with the San Antonio Spurs after being drafted two years earlier… but fulfilling his commitment to the Navy. He also played piano, saxophone & had several charitable organizations that he worked with… and could also play some serious ball. Did you know he scored over 70 points in a game once? MJ didn’t do that. Anyway, he was one… and the other was a man whom I had just read an autobiography about in my spare time at school (while I was waiting for others to learn math that I had been doing for years). It was about a kid named Lewis Ferdinand Alcindor, jr growing up in Brooklyn. He was pretty gangly & incredibly tall… and pretty much made to play basketball as he was nearly seven feet tall by the time he got to high school in the early 60’s during the Civil Rights Movement. He not only became a great athlete but also focused on expanding his mind & abilities beyond basketball, learned from the legendary coach John Wooden at UCLA (while losing like twice in his four years there), was the #1 pick of the 1969 NBA Draft, in a career spanning twenty years, he’s won six championships, six MVP awards, is the league’s all-time leading scorer, rebounder & probably shot blocker except they didn’t keep the stats until he was well into his career… and beyond that he’s written several books, helped countless young stars balance their careers & personal lives as an assistant coach, starred in a movies with the likes of Bruce Lee, Leslie Nielsen & the creators of South Park… oh and somewhere in there he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Well now, another giant milestone…

The NBA's all-time scoring leader is now a global cultural ambassador. The State Department announced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's appointment Wednesday. Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, says Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy. Stock says the appointment is part of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's vision of "Smart Power" that combines diplomacy, defense and development to "bridge the gap in a tense world through young people." Abdul-Jabbar will travel to Brazil on January 22nd for a number of events centering on education, using his own experiences to help connect with young people. Not bad for a lanky kid from Brooklyn, huh? Yet another example of how education, hard work & a little bit of God-given ability can go a long way. Congratulations Kareem!

Apocalypse Update – It has finally happened… Big Brother has found my blog & the US Government is actually heading my advice. God help us all. Tuesday, the United States announced a ban on Burmese pythons, after years of unsuccessful efforts to eradicate the giant snakes from the Everglades National Park in Florida. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has championed the ban, said it would take effect within about 60 days and make it illegal to import the snakes or transport them across state lines. A bit extreme you may be saying? Keep reading. Salazar announced the measure at a news conference at a flood control pumping station in a corner of the Everglades just outside Miami, where he was joined by Florida Senator Ben Nelson and two senior park and Florida Wildlife Commission officials as they held aloft a recently captured 13-foot python. Too extreme now? "The action we’re taking today is a milestone in the protection of the Everglades," Salazar said. Biologists say most pythons in the Everglades are thought to have been released there by their owners once they realized that the "pets" can grow from just a foot to 12 feet long within their first two years of life. So instead of stray domesticated cats & dogs… you’ve got giant irate constrictors prowling your neighborhood. In addition to the Burmese python, which has become one of the most notorious invasive species in U.S. history, the ban affects the yellow anaconda and northern and southern African pythons.

That’s not all you have to worry about as other invasive species in subtropical parts of Florida include dragon-like Nile Monitor lizards and raccoon-sized African rats. That’s right… rodents of an unusual size… combined with apparently fire-breathing, dragon-like lizards have turned the Everglades into a veritable Fire Swamp not unlike “The Princess Bride.” However of all of these invaders, Burmese pythons, which are native to southeast Asia, have become the stuff of legend in the Everglades since they were first sighted in the wildlife haven in the mid-1970s. With their razor-sharp teeth, they have been known to eat practically anything that moves in the park, from small mammals to large wading birds. Last year, a 15.7-foot Burmese was found with a huge bulge from a recently consumed 76-pound deer. Compounding eradication problems, however, the bone-crushing snakes have also bred in the wild in the savanna and steamy swamps of the Everglades. One of the creatures was aggressive enough to try devouring a 6-foot alligator in the park in 2005. The alligator was believed to have been dead already and the snake also died trying to digest it… but that’s not the point. I think the next stop is military action. Sure, they’re using our precious national parks as a hostage in this case so that we can’t completely eradicate the whole area… but I’m sure the military is already coordinating a major tactical movement against this invaders… you know, once they settle all that stuff in other countries. We may just have to grab our machetes & go into the glades ourselves to settle this once & for all. Sure, they have the home field advantage… and their ability to reproduce their numbers gives them an advantage… but I’m sure once they see our camouflage becomes the skins of their fallen comrades, we will strike fear deep into their bile-pumping black hearts & other species will think twice before forming an allegiance with these Burmese bastards. Who will lead us into this battle? I can think of only one man who’s perfectly equipped for the job…

(You’re welcome for the premise of your next movie, Robert Rodriguez…)

G Spot Update – That’s right ladies… read carefully. We about to talk about… the G Spot… and no, not the club on Columbus. Many women swear they have one, but a new review of 60 years of sex research shows science still can't definitively find the G-spot (though they’ve tried many black holes). Researchers have used surveys, imaging scans and biopsies of women, all trying to locate and define the presumably orgasmic area on the vaginal wall known as the G-spot. Based on a review of 96 published studies, an Israeli and American research team came to one conclusion. "Without a doubt, a discreet anatomic entity called the G-spot does not exist," said Dr. Amichai Kilchevsky, a urology resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, and lead author of the review, published Jan. 12 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (call now for subscriptions). Kilchevsky conceded the work is not "1,000 percent conclusive," allowing that other scientists could one day find something his team missed. But they would need new technology to do it, he said. Fun fact: The G-spot was named in honor of the late Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg, who in 1950 described a particularly sensitive 1- to 2-centimeter wide area on the vaginal wall. How’s that for a legacy? Having the G-spot named after you? Gräfenberg's description put Western medicine on a quest to define and learn more about the spot, purported to be a few centimeters in from the vaginal opening, on the vaginal wall toward the front of a woman's body. But Gräfenberg wasn't the first to write about such an erogenous zone. The Kamasastra and Jayamangala scripts dating back to 11th century India describe a similar sensitive area, according to the new study. Modern surveys of women on the subject only confounded the search. From a review of 29 surveys and observational studies, Kilchevsky concluded that a majority of women believe a G-spot actually exists, although some of those women also say they can't locate it. Other researchers have looked for physical evidence. Biopsies of tissue taken from the vaginal wall often find more nerve endings in the area of the purported G-spot than in other regions of the vaginal wall. But Kilchevsky and his colleagues also found biopsy studies with inconclusive results, and the authors point out that sensitivity in the human body isn't determined by the number of nerve endings alone. One 2008 study used ultrasound imaging to explore the vaginal wall of women, and found evidence of thicker tissue in the area of the G-spot among women who reported having vaginal orgasms. Women who said they had never had vaginal orgasms had thinner tissue in that area. However, other imaging studies included in Kilchevsky's review couldn't find a conclusive G-spot. Ultimately, Kilchevsky said he hopes his conclusions support women who worry they can't find the G-spot at home. "Women who can't achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration don't have anything wrong with them," he said. Kilchevsky doesn't think women who claim to have a G-spot are crazy either. "What they're likely experiencing is a continuation of the clitoris," he said. G-spot skeptics often point out that the tissue of the clitoris extends into the body, behind it where the G-spot would be located. One study in the review kept "the possibility of a discrete G-spot viable," according to Kilchevsky. A Rutgers University research team recently asked several women to stimulate themselves in a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) machine (you know, I need to be a researcher in these f**king experiments). Brain scans showed stimulating the clitoris, vagina and cervix lit up distinct areas of the women's sensory cortex. This means the brain registered distinct feelings between stimulating the clitoris, the cervix and the vaginal wall – where the G-spot is famed to be. Barry Komisaruk, the lead author of the fMRI study and professor of psychology at Rutgers University, advocates calling it the G-area, or G-region, instead. Why not G-zone? G-plaza? G-park? G-district? Or G-G-G-G UNIT? I’ve got more… "I think that the bulk of the evidence shows that the G-spot is not a particular thing. It's not like saying, 'What is the thyroid gland?'" Komisaruk said. "The G-spot is more of a thing like New York City is a thing. It's a region, it's a convergence of many different structures." Komisaruk said that pressing on the area proclaimed to be the G-spot also presses the urethra and a structure called Skene's gland, which is analogous to the male prostate. "Each of those areas have different nerve sites," said Komisaruk. "I think there's good enough data that a lot of women feel that that is a particularly sensitive region." Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of "Great in Bed" (DK Publishing, 2011), pointed out that ambiguity is nothing new in sexual research. "I'm not sure why some people get caught up in this desire to find this anatomic thing that is the end all be all," Herbenick said. I agree… trying to find it in different ways is half the fun anyway… the other half is finding it. Findings from the well-known Australian researcher Dr. Helen O'Connell show the vagina, clitoris and urethra may act as "clitoral complex," during sex, Herbenick said. Any time one of these parts is moved or stimulated, it moves and stimulates the others. "We don't even have orgasm all figured out yet, I don't why we would expect to have the G-spot figured out," Herbenick said. Here here!!! So ladies… now is the time for us to stand united. I know that together we can find out the mysteries of your last frontier & show the world that your G-spot does in fact exist. I’m accepting applications for a study at no cost to you and the benefits… let’s just say they’re priceless. You’re welcome.

Lionel Richie “Hello” Remix – Since I’ve been talking about the end of the world & the extinction of the G-spot, I just thought I’d end this entry with a little bit of bright side before we prepare for battle. Please enjoy this video combining the legendary love ballad “Hello” with a dozen or so movies… Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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