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8. not feelin’ it.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about college football here.

There are a couple reasons for that. Most of what I have to say goes on Killer Nuts Tailgating, the blog I set up for that express purpose a couple years ago.

And then there’s this: I haven’t had much happy stuff to say about college football recently.

Ohio State plays at Nebraska tonight. It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve been waiting for this game since the very day we heard Nebraska might be joining the Big Ten. And now that it’s here … I’m just not nearly as engaged as I should be.

Some of that has to do with my expectations of what will happen in Lincoln tonight. I’m generally OK with the notion that this is going to be a rough season, but that isn’t going to make it any easier to get ready for a game that Ohio State doesn’t have much of a chance to win.

Some of it has to do with what I’ve been calling The Unpleasantness at KNT, and the fact that it hasn’t really let up with the dismissal of Jim Tressel and that other guy who would have been starting at quarterback this year. The newest suspensions, particularly those of players who had already been suspended because of the tattoo thing, is disheartening. I’m not naive, and I know no college football program, including the one I support with everything I have, is completely clean; it’s almost impossible to do. But every single time this year I’ve thought the university has turned a corner and I could get back to cheering for a program that I could also be proud of, something else — cash at charity events, no-work summer jobs — buries me again.

We’re going to a party tonight, a going-away shindig for a very good friend of ours. I’ll do my best to keep an eye on the game — as I would have done if this had been a more typical football season — but I’m not expecting to have to watch very closely.

And I’m not sure I’ll want to anyway.

4. i didn’t die.

It was still dark at 6:45 this morning. A little misty, a little cool.

And not once did I think about going back to bed.

No, I wandered around the neighborhood for about two miles. A little more walking than running. The running part felt pretty good, and when the nice British lady on Couch to 5K told me to go, I tried to avoid lapsing into a shuffle. It worked.

About 35 minutes later, I arrived back at our house. I didn’t throw up in anyone’s yard. I didn’t feel like collapsing in a heap on the floor when I went inside.

And I even thought I might do this again.

Something that helped: The reaction from a bunch of you to yesterday’s post and the links I posted elsewhere. And the reaction I got when I signed up for Daily Mile this morning. I am set up with a list of races that’ll come around at just about the time that I’m finishing C25K, and I already have a couple volunteers to run with me when I pick one. Very gratifying stuff, especially for someone who’s just starting.

And that’s the point of doing it this way. I’ve tried before, but I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing — and that made it way too easy to quit. I know I have a bunch of people watching — and supporting me — this time; and I know they’ll let me have it if I slack.

Again — no promises beyond the short-term stuff. But I feel pretty good about the start.

coming soon.

OK. This not posting stuff is bullshit.

Not only does Saturday mark the start of Birthday Month — you knew I had to work that in there someplace, right? — it will mark the start of a month of daily blog posts.

See you Saturday morning.


My relationship with MTV was always a little different.

Once I got past the initial thrill of just seeing the network, which turns 30 today, I was a little dismissive of MTV. There was some remarkable stuff there, sure, but between the endless stream of Top 40 stuff that I never found all that interesting and the fact that MTV largely ignored the music I was interested in — with the exception of 1987, otherwise known as the Summer of Touch — I generally didn’t find much there for me.

As I think about it now — more than a decade after MTV traded in music for crappy reality programming — I wish I had paid a little more attention. There was more good stuff there than I gave it credit for, and some of my favorite musical moments — and some sort of non-musical ones— were a direct result of watching.

I got to watch portions of the revived Woodstock festival — the fun one, not the ugly one a few years later — and seeing the Nine Inch Nails set — remember the mud flinging? — was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen on television anywhere; also, seeing the Allman Brothers set on that Sunday mornings was priceless.

But this is about video, right? I liked Nirvana, but I didn’t love them until I saw this:

The chilling Leadbelly song was the perfect way to wrap up their Unplugged set.

The 1993 VMAs did two things for me: I got the perfect version of “Rockin’ in the Free World” with Pearl Jam backing Neil Young, but that was preceded by something even better:


I can’t find the clip of my favorite REM appearance on MTV, even though I know it used to be available on YouTube. The band did a live set on the network not long after Bill Berry left the band. Before the launched into “Radio Free Europe,” Stipe urged the audience to shout FUCK throughout the song in hopes that MTV couldn’t use it on air. And then the band roared through a sloppy, garage-y and joyful version of the song. This is similar , especially in that Stipe can’t remember the words, but I have to find that clip again someday:

And yeah, the Summer of Touch:

I still love it. Happy birthday, MTV — turns out you weren’t so bad after all.

brain missed the target.

I know I’ve talked about this before (although I can’t find the reference at the moment) — my brain works, um, differently.

I say this thinking specifically of music and what my brain chooses to hear when I come across a snippet of a song. My ears lock in on the melody, often to the detriment of whatever might be happening with the song’s lyrics. Mrs. Crappy is the opposite. After two or three plays, she’ll know the lyrics all the way through — but she might not be able to hum a bar of the melody.

The best example I can offer is Wilco’s Via Chicago. I hear a soaring country song, interspersed with sharp dissonant interludes, something that never fails to thrill. Mrs. Crappy hears the lyrics — “I dreamed about killing you again last night/and it felt all right to me” — and, at least the first time she heard the song, was sort of horrified.

This quirk of my synapses nearly drove me nuts earlier this week. While watching Dancing With the Stars — strictly for work, I swear — I noticed a newish Target commercial. There’s a kid, trying to drag one of those giant plastic balls out of one of those giant bins; he knocks several balls out on the floor of the store … and then Target erupts into a swirl of summertime activity: grilling, setting up tents, sliding on Slip ‘n Slides and other general merriment involving products you can purchase at a Target store near you.

And of course, I am paying attention to the music. It’s a Sixties song, with a pretty distinctive fuzzy electric guitar riff. I know the song. But something in my brain locks up, and before I can hear even just a snippet of the words — which is more than enough to find a song title these days — the commercial is over.

Crap. I know the song. And for the life of me, I can’t recall what it is.

I took to Twitter; Gina saw the commercial too, but with her family and 18 dogs and cats running around, she didn’t hear the music. The spot is apparently new enough that it hasn’t yet shown up on any of the sites I usually hit to find out the name of that song in that damn commercial I just saw.

If my brain were wired differently — if I heard the words first — I would have been able to look up the song title before the commercial break was done. And while most of the time this arrangement between my brain and me works out pretty well, this time my brain definitely left me hanging.

As soon as Dancing was over — Did I mention that I was watching strictly for work? I did? Allow me to stress that once again — I marched upstairs and fired up iTunes, thinking that Apple’s Essentials mixes would lead me to the promised land.

After an hour of searching, I came up empty. And I would have searched longer, but Mrs. Crappy arrived home from the school board meeting she had to cover and she needed the iMac to write up her story and email it to her newsroom.

I went to bed, defeated.

I was saved the next morning, though. I woke to find a tweet from @LeeDrever, a dude from Vancouver, who had the song title and the artist all ready for me. I don’t follow Lee and he doesn’t follow me; I have no idea how he came across my tweets about the Target commercial, but if I ever meet him, my brain and I are going to buy him a beer.

The song?

How’s that for a bit of obscure Sixties bubblegum psychedelia?

My brain is filled with this kind of stuff; my fear is that it will only become harder and harder to retrieve as the years pass. But my brain and I will be OK. As long as it continues to help me out once in a while.


I am pathetic.

I have a veritable stack of potential posts — and one that is literally stacking up on the stand next to our living room couch — and I am still unable to find time to sit down and write.

So I am falling back on the last refuge of the blogging scoundrel — NaBloPoMo.

I’m in a slump, and I apparently need the kick in the ass that the daily blogging … suggestion? requirement? … that NaBloPoMo provides. The theme for March is simple and open-ended: In A Word. That doesn’t necessarily mean one-word posts — although we all know I’m not above such a thing — but it should provide a nice way to focus throughout the month.

(And no — I haven’t forgotten about the Sixth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge. Those posts will exist outside of the framework of the NaBloPoMo posts. Maybe.)

The fun starts tomorrow, boys and girls. I hope you’ll join me.