you did WHAT?

flaky brick

Lookin’ good.

After I posted stuff about my new tattoo over the weekend, one of the biggest things I was curious about was the reaction of my parents. On Tuesday, Father of Uncle Crappy emailed this:


Couple of afternoons ago, I was in the kitchen chopping celery for a meat loaf and Pat asked, “Guess what YOUR son has done now?”

After thinking of a few possibilities, she said it was a tattoo. Hmmmm.

I considered a few possibilities … A big U of M “M” with a screw going into it … the scores of the Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon games … and my fave: a tank with the gun blazing with a pithy slogan like “Guts. Glory. Tanks.” or perhaps “Give War A Chance”.

Then she said it was a brick from Athens.

Perfect, I thought, a tribute to the ancient writer/philosophers like Plato and Socrates.

Then she said it was Athens, OHIO. Hmmmm.

Why not? You love Athens and OU. I think it is cool.

I came very close to getting a small USMC tat … one less person in line at the parlor at Oceanside and I probably would have one.

I’m anxious to see it (and you guys!)

Love, Dad


And now I’m thinking about a tattoo of Plato. Hmmmm.

bricked.

As mid-life crises go, getting a tattoo is way less expensive than a sports car. And when you’re working with a print-journalism salary, that’s kind of an important thing to consider.

But once that decision is made, you’re faced with another: What’s the tattoo going to be?

I’ve known for several years that I wanted to get one, and I realized late last year that I didn’t care to follow the original plan, which was to get one in observance of my 50th birthday.

Nope. Not waiting. But then — what’s it going to be? Ohio related? Yes. Something football? Nah, that’s too easy. A design featuring the state’s borders? I’d never come up with one as cool as Bethany’s. Something related to OU? That’s closer, but still — a green paw print didn’t seem distinctive enough, and I wanted something to emphasize Athens rather than the university.

And then I came to the things that have always served as my favorite icon of the town that still feels like my spiritual home, the thing that we’ve given to friends as wedding presents and that we’ve used as decoration around our apartments and houses. They’re pretty much ubiquitous in town and, since I left town, they’ve even spawned a merchandise line.

athens street

If you’ve lived in Athens, these will look familiar. They pave the main streets Uptown, and you don’t have to look hard around the rest of town to find them (like, say, in the lightly traveled alley across the street from my apartment on West State at Shafer — which is definitely NOT the source of Athens Block bricks I’ve relied on for several years. Ahem).

With that in mind, I set out to find a Pittsburgh artist who, based on a pretty vague description from me, could draw a convincing, detailed brick on my arm. And as it turned out, I didn’t have to look far — Erin at Kyklops was recommended to me by a couple different people, and because I knew her a little bit already, the decision was easy.

And now that it’s done? The decision seems even smarter now than it did before. With just one brief meeting with our brick — and the previously mentioned vague set of instructions from me — Erin came up with exactly what I had in mind:

FullSizeRender (6)

Answers: No, it didn’t hurt, until Erin finished up with some detail stuff right at the end; beyond that, the physical part of getting a tattoo is just kind of annoying, an irritation. No, I was never concerned about getting one, not from the standpoint of any kind of risk (seeing the attention paid to cleanliness at Kyklops actually reminded me of being in a doctor’s office, with much more interesting stuff on the walls), and not from the standpoint that OH MY GOD YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE THAT ON YOUR BODY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE — which is why I was certain about the design, the shop and the artist. And yes, I’m probably going to get more.

FullSizeRender (5)

A final word about Erin: She’s really good, and she’s fun to hang out with for a couple hours while she pokes at your skin. I will go back to her; if you’re in or around Pittsburgh and you’re looking for an artist, you should go see her too.

In the last few months I went from having a vague notion that this would be something I’d do in a couple years to realizing that it was kind of dumb for me to wait this long. This is the kind of outward expression of who I am that I’ve always done — this version is just a little more permanent. It feels right to have this on my arm. And it will feel just as right to get a couple more.

taucnffc (btybb) tipoff.

Another year, more happy Dayton people.

Another year, more happy Dayton people.

On or about this date every March I post what is inevitably the longest post of the year. And that is this one: the one where we go through each and every entry in the Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

(Except for the ones that I miss. But we’ll get to that in a little bit.)

So. Let’s start with me:

Generally, I don’t need no stinkin’ Badgers, but in this case, I think the B1G champs are one of a select few that has a reasonable shot at beating Kentucky. Thusly:

Wisconsin beats Kentucky, Gonzaga beats Virginia. And Wisky downs the Dogs in the final, 68-65.

My immediate family members are sitting out TAUCNFFC, but Fred and Ethel are like family, so they’re up next.

Ethel:

Butler v. UNC, Louisville v. Iowa State

Final: UNC v. Louisville

Winner: UNC

Total points: 137

(Banking on UNC winning it all in honor/memory of Dean Smith)

Fred:

Final Four: UK v. Arizona, UVA v. Iowa St.

Final: Arizona v. UVA

Winner: Arizona

Total Points: 96

And now, the rest of yinz guys, in no particular order.

Hellohahanarf (NOTE: BECKY’S ENTRY HAS BEEN CORRECTED BECAUSE UNCLE CRAPPY CAN’T READ):

Kentucky beats Arizona, Iowa State beats Northern Iowa, and the Cyclones beat Kentucky in the final; tiebreaker is 142.

Dana Bee:

ok, let’s do this

Final Four:
Kentucky
Arizona
Villanova
Iowa State

Showdown:
Villanova
Arizona

Winner:
Arizona

Tiebreaker: 143

Adam:

Final Four: Butler vs. Wisconsin, Michigan State vs. Gonzaga
Championship game: Wisconsin vs. Gonzaga
Champion: Wisconsin
Tiebreaker: 123 (64-59)

AAA:

Final four: Kentucky, Duke, Arkansas and Louisville. Final two? Kentucky and Louisville. Winner KY. Points? 134.

Father Spoon:

Final Four – Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Robert Morr… I mean Duke
Championship Game – Kentucky vs Duke
Champion – Kentucky
Tie Breaker – 132

While I still have a broken heart over Ashley Judd not taking me up on my offer to stay at my place for the NIT a few years back, I still have to pull for her team.

Work Kelly:

Wisconsin beats Notre Dame, Iowa State beats Louisville.

Wisconsin beats Iowa State, 72-65.

Starts with Dish:

Final Four: Arizona over Kentucky, Virginia over Utah
Championship: Arizona over Virginia
Tiebreaker: 121

The traditional annual Duke upset will be Utah over Duke, with America united in support for a thrilling Utah squad defending America’s honor against those evil blue devils. U-S-A!!!

CFenton23:

FINAL FOUR:
Kentucky (Midwest)
Arizona (West)
Virginia (East)
Iowa State (South)

FINALS
Kentucky over Virginia
139 Total Score

Bonus upset pick for everyone: #14 Eastern Washington over #4 Georgetown and #14 Georgia State over #4 Baylor

Curl Girl Michelle:

Final Four: Kentucky, Arizona, Villanova, Duke

Finals: Kentucky vs. Duke

Winner: Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 132

Chris Humpherys, AKA SportsChump:

Kentucky over Arizona, Duke over Virginia, Kentucky over the Dukies. Combined final score in the big game = 149

Newcomer Jim Hollenbeck (welcome!), who should know that $50 would get him a lot of excellent food at Bocktown even without a single beer (but the choice is his, of course).

OK Unc. Here some picks as good as a teacher’s key…
Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova, Duke
Semi: Kentucky vs Villanova
Wiener: Kentucky
I’m a recovering alcoholic… So I won’t be going to Bocktown…send me a PB&J sandwich instead.

Fellow former Ohioan Bluzdude:

Here’s my buzzer-beater…
Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville, Duke
Semi: Kentucky , Duke
Winner Kentucky
game = 124

Fellow Pittsburgh Buckeye Jaci Dean:

Here’s mine:
Final four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova, Duke
Finals: Kentucky, Duke
Champ: Kentucky
Score: 145

Joe Cernelli:

Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Gonzaga
Championship Game: Kentucky, Virginia
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 125

Michael Fulk:

Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Gonzaga
Championship Game: Kentucky, Virginia
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 125

Jenny Lee:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Wisconsin; Duke vs. Villanova

Championship game: Wisconsin vs. Villanova

Champion: Wisconsin

Tiebreaker: 147

Hoyle13:

Kentucky
Arizona
Virginia
Iowa St.

Kentucky
Iowa St

Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 130 points

Burghbaby:

Final Four: Kentucky vs Arizona, Villanova vs. Gonzaga
Then it’s Kentucky vs Gonzaga
Champs: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 136

Matt Noonan, whose East Coast, anti-college-athletics bias is showing:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Arizona, Iowa State vs. Villanova
Championship game: Kentucky vs. Iowa State
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 142

A team of NBA prospects beats a team with an NBA style offense to prove the uselessness of the college basketball.

Kewyson!

short on time – no commentary –
Kentucky / Wisconsin w the Badgers prevailing
Duke / Villanova w the Blue Devils winning
Duke over Wisconsin 162

A confident Tom Bickert:

I’m going to go with Kentucky vs. Arizona (sort of Yinzer coaching competition) on the left side of the bracket, and Villanova vs. Gonzanga on the right side (because Gonzanga is the only school I see in the tourney with a Z in the name.) From there, I look for Kentucky to take on Gonzanga in the finals. Kentucky will win with a combined final score of 141. I think that covers everything. Let me know when I can pick up the gift card.

PghRugbyRef:

So I had a bracket all set and then you post the link to fivethirtyeight and I fell down that rabbit hole. At least I was at home and didn’t waste any company time. (And I didn’t change my original choices)

Final Four: Maryland, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Gonzaga

Final: Wisconsin, Gonzaga

Champ: Gonzaga, 176 points.

Thanks again to you and Bocktown!

Calipanthergrl:

this is the first I’ve reviewed a bracket and I gave it 2 min of consideration, but here we go: KY, AZ, OK and Gonzaga. AZ vs OK in final. AZ wins. 122 final combined.

I think Abby has created a new verb:

ok, I’m gonna sports now: Indiana, N Carolina, Oklahoma, Gonzaga … OK over NC. 73-64.

AJ:

Kansas, Duke, UVA, Baylor. Kansas and UVA championship. UVA champion. 135 tiebreaker.

Enzo82:

I need in on this. Kentucky, Arizona, N Iowa, Iowa St. Kentucky, Iowa St. Kentucky. 127

Neilson:

UK, WIS, VILL, DUKE
UK, VILL
UK
131

Jason Cercone:

UK, Wisc, VA, Gonzaga / UK, VA / UK. 151. Chalk me up on the big board, Mr. Costanza!

Otimemore:

Kentucky Ariz Okla Iowa St.
Kentucky Okla
Kentucky
127

Daria:

Butler/Baylor/Villanova/Duke, Duke over Butler 78-77

Saylor:

Figured i’ll throw my hat in the TAUCNFFC ring. Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville, Gonzaga. Kentucky over Louisville 89-84

Carla, whose picks might possibly include an unwritten upset of Dook by Robert Morris:

I’m in.

Kentucky-Arizona, Virginia-Iowa State
Kentucky-Iowa State
Kentucky
132

Scooter:

Let’s go chalk….

Kentucky v. Wisconsin, UVA-Duke

Kentucky-Duke

Kentucky

145

Jenn Strang:

Final Four: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky, Gonzaga e vs. Virginia

Championship game: Kentucky vs. Virginia

Champion: Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 131

Will, aka Lunchbox, aka Birdshit:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Arkansas and Michigan St vs Gonzaga
Championship game: Arkansas vs Gonzaga
Champion: Gonzaga
Tiebreaker: 107

This information is based on almost nothing aside from the fact I like the name Gonzaga. I had the cast of Mamas Family in the Final Four before I realized what basketball was.
I CAME TO PLAY.

And as we always do, we close with Juan, oh he of very little basketball knowledge. I was able to track down the picks of Phil’s Mom this year … and they don’t completely suck:

Providence beats Gonzaga, Xavier beats Butler, and Providence beats Xavier in the final.

(No, there’s no tie-breaker. Juan will lose big or win big, and no one else will be close in either case.)

And that’s everyone’s picks, yinz guys. Standard caveat: I almost always overlook someone’s picks in the rush to get this posted; if you have suffered this indignity, let me know and I’ll correct the problem right away.

Thanks to Chris and Bocktown for their participation once again – it’s always nice to be able to offer fabulous prizes that are actually fabulous. And most of all, thanks to you guys, for entering, for reading and for enabling me to continue this thing (AUCNFFC) for 10 years and this other thing (Uncle Crappy the blog) for even longer. Good luck to all – especially me.

fifty.

wilco loves you

My friend Sarah just posted one of these on Facebook, and I decided to not wait until I was invited to jump in (sticking with my usual practice of posting FB memes here, because I try to never pass up a decent blog post these days). If you want to join in, feel free to post your list in my comments, on your own blog, on Facebook, wherever — just let me know, because I want to see your list.

Sarah specified just a few rules: 1) Be sure to note your first concert. 2) Bands you’ve seen as openers or as part of festivals count, but try to come up with 50 headliners first. 3) Don’t worry about what order these are in — a stream-of-consciousness list is fine. And I’ll add one more: 4) Any additional notes you want to add are encouraged.

EDIT: I’m having way too much fun with this, and I’ll probably continue to add notes for a while.

1. Grateful Dead (the band I’ve seen the most, at 40-something shows)

2. Phish (First time should have been at The Dugout in Athens in 1991. First time instead turned out to be a year later at the Newport in Columbus.)

3. moe.

4. Blues Traveler

5. Spin Doctors (They were the biggest of the three likely Grateful Dead replacements [Phish and Blues Traveler were the others] in the early 1990s, and they were easily the worst band of the bunch. Saw them again years later during some festival on Walnut Street and they looked like they absolutely hated being there.)

6. Yonder Mountain String Band

7. Railroad Earth

8. Infamous Stringdusters

9. Sting

10. Steve Winwood

11. The Rolling Stones (In Richfield Coliseum [Tattoo You tour], at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville [Steel Wheels tour] and in Ohio Stadium in Columbus [Bridges to Babylon tour].)

12. Bob Dylan

13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

14. Kiss (Headliner of my first show, in Cincy’s Riverfront Arena, just a few weeks before The Who’s disaster there.)

15. Judas Priest (Opened for Kiss in Cincinnati. Still the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.)

16. Eric Burdon Band (At what is now the Newport in Columbus. He didn’t start until about two hours late, testing my patience of my father, who took junior high-aged Juan and me to the show on a school night; the back of his tour shirts read “Fuck me, I thought he was dead,” testing the patience of pretty much all the adults in my life.)

17. Little Feat

18. B.B. King

19. The Fabulous Thunderbirds

20. Stevie Ray Vaughan (A co-headlining tour with No. 21 Jeff Beck, at Louisville Gardens while I was in the Army. I’d be hard pressed to recall a show with better guitarists. And I was lucky to see Stevie Ray when I did; he was killed in a helicopter crash not long after.)

21. Jeff Beck

22. The Allman Brothers Band

23. Greg Allman Band

24. Gov’t Mule

25. Widespread Panic

26. Jimmy Buffett (A fun thing — sneaking oranges loaded with vodka in to Blossom Music Center.)

27. Pink Floyd

28. Living Colour

29. Wilco (Should be higher on the list, as I continue to maintain they’re the best live band out there today.)

30. Tweedy

31. Black Crowes

32. Tedeschi Trucks Band

33. Georgia Satellites

34. REO Speedwagon (My buddy TJ and I drove from Athens to Cincinnati to see Georgia Satellites, the night’s opening act at Cincinnati Gardens; we didn’t stay for much of the headliner, REO Speedwagon, opting for a late dinner at White Castle instead.)

35. Molly Hatchet

36. .38 Special

38. Blue Oyster Cult

39. Hot Tuna

40. The Pretenders

41. Cheap Trick (My one and only concert at Ohio State’s St. John Arena. There were no tickets sold in the upper deck because it bounced too much.)

42. Foghat

43. Sinead O’Connor

44. Avett Brothers

45. Black Moth Super Rainbow

46. Sonic Youth

47. Bruce Hornsby

48. Keller Williams

49. Disco Biscuits

50. Etta James

Note: I could keep going for a while…

on repeat.

In 2010, Mrs. Crappy and I ventured to Ohio for a terrific Groundhog weekend.

When we returned, our street looked like this:

cropped-img_4012.jpg

This weekend, I am venturing to Ohio — Mrs. Crappy has to work — for what I hope will be a terrific Groundhog weekend.

Check out what could be happening when I return on Sunday:

stormwarning

So. OK then.