Bull Rush in Abril

Posted April 3, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Baseball, Big Daddy Eisner, Big Red Eisner, CFTG, College Basketball, College Football, Eisner, Jeff (Asian), Mr. Tony, O.G., Oregon Ducks, Potato Salad, Sully, TV, Yackie

Ok, I’m here. I’m alive, although I’m not sure anybody equated my death with my lack of posting. If so, you should now be feeling an overwhelming sense of relief.

• Last night I went to the Dodger game with Big Daddy Eisner and BDE’s parents, who gainfully employed me during high school. If by some chance, you’re a casual reader of this blog and need BBQ Catering in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please do go with Rosie’s BBQ. We sat in the orange (second level), which proved to be pretty good. The seats were under the overhang, but still in prime foul ball territory, which always makes things exciting, although BDE and I slightly disagree on catching technique. He opts for catching like an egg, where as I’m of the belief that you should cradle it into the body, rib injury be damned. The game sucked, it was cold, and I made myself even colder by eating an ice cream sandwich in the later innings. Also, I think Scott owes me money for parking. (I will, however, accept BBQ food in the place of money.)

• I did a video with college wrestling fans and participants a couple of weeks ago for SI. You’ve probably already made up your mind about whether this interests you, but it’s up on the new version of my site at SI Tour Guy. Hopefully in the coming months, the SI player will be upgraded so that everybody can watch videos on the site that wants to, with no problems.

• I’ve been running more and more and my body seems to be holding up. I attribute this to my listening to the Tony Kornheiser Show on the ol’ Shuffle. Nothing gets you jacked up to keep pushing yourself like a cranky guy pushing 60 who endlessly complains. Good stuff.

• There’s a Sharky’s five minutes from me that is outstanding, save for their horrible, semi-paved parking lot.

• The Ducks just opened spring practice. I did my best to explain the issues being addressed to Yackie, and I must say, she did a fairly good job of following along. What I’ve done to her may now be more clearly defined as a “near-thorough brainwashing.”

• Frozen custard in St. Louis is excellent. After getting lost (in what must be the most abandoned major city in the country), Sully and I made it to Ted Drewes, where around 60 people were eating frozen custard in 40 degree weather. The other highlight was going into North St. Louis (not East) and getting the best ribs I’ve ever eaten. Were we the only two white people in the neighborhood? Almost. Was it as bad as it was described to us? Not so much.

The best thing was returning the car immediately after eating those ribs and having the Avis employees completely flip out at how great the rib smell was as soon as we opened the door. Good folk in the StL.

• I’ve been watching season one of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (actual title), the 12 minute sketch show on Adult Swim, and it’s pretty funny. It gets a little odd sometimes, but well worth one’s time (if he or she were to have too much of it). Friend of the blog Esa (Garbage blog, see right) recommended Frisky Dingo, also on Adult Swim. I’ve watched four episodes (12 min), also pretty funny. See, this is why I’ve been running so much, I either do nothing or kill myself doing something, I’m strange.

Hulu.com is the best thing ever to help you do nothing. I’ve been watching Arrested Development episodes that I’ve already seen, nonstop.

“You mean he can’t even grow his own hair? C’mon!”

Oregon basketball is not so good. Next year, the team will be completely different, let’s hope Big Ern gets some new assistants, as well. Luckily, Big Mike Dunigan (incoming 5* center) won’t have to deal with those pesky Brothers Lopez. God was this year awful to watch.

• I think I’m going to start doing some new web stuff in the near future, all this time is ridiculous. Stay tuned. Or don’t. Whatever, it’s coo.

• Old friend Sam is moving to London. I ate steaks with him and other people from the Cbas last weekend. Ray Romano was there, but he seemed to want to eat with other people and not recognize that Sam was leaving. Sucker.

We went up to Sam’s office at Google around the corner, where I got way too excited about free candy and played Rock Band for the first time. I killed it on lead vox during Fall Out Boy and The Killers. EPIC.

• Yackie framed my two magazine appearances with the covers of the respective issues they appear in. The thought is great, but I now am constantly distracted by a Playboy cover in front of me with a giant painted ass. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.

• Just so you know, navel oranges are for sure in season.

This is getting long. That’s what she said.

Zing.

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Under the Crazies

Posted March 12, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Big Daddy Eisner, College Basketball, Doolin, Food, TV, Uncategorized, Yackie

Tags: , , , ,

So this past weekend, I filmed one of my little episodes with Casey at Duke before the North Carolina game. It didn’t look like I was going to be able to get in on my non-existent media clout, as the SI credential was rightfully promised to Stewart Mandel, who I would guess would put the credential to good use by taking worthwhile notes from a good vantage point during the game. I found out that he got caught in some sort of storm in New York, so suddenly, if there was nobody else that would use the pass, it was mine. Bingo. I went from hoping to meet a desperate scalper to having to climb over the media table to get to my seat. Not bad.

I wasn’t at all prepared to take notes – I just had Casey’s computer, which was actually Candice‘s, and his man purse, which was devoid of anything respectable to write on. My pad was in my backpack, which was with Casey while he went for a return trip to Cook Out, for another milkshake. Fair enough.

My solution was to write on the one piece of paper that somehow made its way in front of me – a two-sided sheet explaining all the chants the Cameron Crazies would be rolling through, as well as the list of recruits that were at the game. I had a writer from the USA Today (respectable) on one side of me and one from the NY Daily News (tabloid) on the other, so I had to at least make an attempt to look like I belonged, as there was a placard that said SI.com in front of me. My solution was to take unreadable notes in the margins of the paper that I would be able to read a later time for a blog, but that nobody else around me could decipher and realize that I was a fraud. The ensuing is a series of bullet points of what I noticed before, during, and after the game. Let’s hope I can read at least four of these items…

• The Duke cheerleaders seemed very energetic, and it appears that the one who is standing in front of me trying to excite the student section does an ungodly number of sit-ups. I should do more sit-ups.

• One of my best friends in college (Corndog) was in the Oregon Marching Band and he had a friend who was in the Duke Marching Band. Apparently, a ton of people join the football band and sit through an atrocious season every year because being in the basketball pep band is the pot at the end of the rainbow. I can’t remember how the band was during the game, but they rocked the pre-game. Hard.

• You can’t simply walk to your seat at the media table because of the throng of Cameron Crazies smother every conceivable inch of clean air in this place. The solution here is that media types have to climb over the table from the court to get to their seats. I thought it was pretty funny to see if any of the old-timers would hurt themselves during this very basic maneuver, and then I promptly hurt something in my shoulder doing it. Damnit.

• My favorite part of the game was the pre-game. I don’t know if it was seeing semi-famous people walking around, or being excited over pretending that I belonged on the floor before the biggest college basketball game of the year, but there was an unmistakable energy in Cameron that I’ve never been a part of before. Oh, and Erin Andrews was there (scary thin, needs Carolina BBQ).

• The Manning brothers and Matthew McConaughey were apparently at the game. I don’t recall seeing anybody sans shirt, but I’ll assume this is true.

• It’s 2008, and to me anyway, it seems like people have generally evolved past the usage of your common toupee. Not so much among sportswriters. The trend is still very much alive and well on media row, in case you were wondering.

• Yesterday, because I’m very vain, I watched the game on TiVo and found myself. I’m positive it was me because I instantly found the guy who had to constantly try to look around the undercarriage of a specific ref who made it a point to set up shop directly in front of me 70% of the time on that side of floor.

Coach K‘s camp would definitely be better than Coach J’s. And remember, he a leader who just happens to be a coach. How I love commercials.

• At 8:41 in the first half, we get out first Duke flop. The flop simulation in my video makes a little more sense now, although my dad had no idea what I was talking about.

• It may have happened, but I completely missed seeing the Scheyer Face in person. Rats.

• During a TV timeout, Jay Bilas raced around the court, met up with Crazies at half court, and then got on a surfboard that was on top of Duke students who were rolling on the ground and towing the board at the game time. After the board passed over them, they jumped up and ran to the front, where they would then meet the board to tow some more. The end result made it look like Bilas (knees bent, arms out surfer style) was surfing across the court. It was pretty cool looking, but completely insane.

• Duke had a baby mascot come out to do mascot-y things. It appeared to be a seven year old with a uniform and a smaller mascot head. This was way better than the schools that try to have a male and female mascot, which should be abolished immediately.

• I wrote down, “hard dunk, i wish i could.” This seems self-explanatory.

Greg Paulus, at one point, was on fire. I couldn’t hear or see the broadcast, but I have no doubt that Dickie V probably got a little moist watching this.

• At halftime, I had a pretty good M&M cookie and some Sprite in the media room. So strange that sportswriters have a reputation of being gross and overweight…

• Another flop at 16:28 in the second half. The universe was in order.

• The big chant of the night was, “Ty-ler Tra-vels…EVERY TIME.” Well, he sort of does, but Tyler Hansbrough still got hacked for 40 straight minutes. As much as some people don’t like him, he’s exactly the type of player that every team would love to have – he gives tremendous effort, cleans up everything around the basket, and makes his free throws. The chant is still kind of true, though.

• I wasn’t that impressed overall with North Carolina. In person, I could see why they would lose to a better-coached team. There’s always five really good basketball players on the floor for the Tar Heels that can score in crazy-quick bunches, but they can be figured out.

• Duke inched its way back into the game by finally settling down and working towards the best shot. They of course then blew it by turning the ball over and forcing shots. Oops.

• As they got closer, the crowd, as it should have done, exploded with every big shot. There are a lot of reasons not to like Duke, but this was a really good home crowd.

• Jon Scheyer tried for the four point play (fake and up), didn’t get it, and probably cost Duke their final chance at closing the gap in the last minute. There had to have been a Scheyer face here, but I didn’t have the angle.

• Duke loses, people are sad, I leave immediately to meet Casey to beat the crowd and get to a bar to watch the second half of the Oregon game. Oregon wins, all is well.

I should have a legitimate pass to an event coming up soon, so I’ll try to take some more notes if anybody likes reading these long-ish posts. At the very least, Yackie probably will, and Sully and Big Daddy Eisner will hold off on demanding more blog posts.

Out.

Back

Posted March 10, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Uncategorized

I’m back from Duke. All is well. Just finished editing, it should be up soon on SI.

• I am now going to go write two blogs.
• I had a really good sandwich in Durham. Brisket was involved prominently.
• Rain sucks when you’re trying to shoot.
• I sprinted with a camera guy to catch a flight to Washington D.C. yesterday and made it. With much sweat.
• Casey smells.
• So do I.
• Jay Bilas rode a surfboard being pulled along by students beneath the board, laying on the Duke basketball court. Kind of odd.
• Tonight, I bought bagels.
• And apples.

This blog was totally emo.

King of Sa-wing

Posted February 28, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Pete Sampras

Tags: ,

So I’m not generally the type of person to get starstruck. I’ve seen famous people. Fine, whatever. There is, however, a pantheon of Rubenstein Idols that do get me all googly moogly. Until today, I’ve only met one. I met Conan around four years ago in New York roaming the streets like the giant he is. It was awesome, he talked to me for a minute and I took a picture with him. I would’ve been less excited to see people far more famous than he is, but who cares about seeing George Clooney or Jennifer Aniston? I have nothing to say to them. I don’t admire them in any sort of meaningful way. Bleh.

The Rubenstein Idols looks somewhat this (no order):

David Letterman
Conan O’Brien
Jon Stewart
Larry David
Jerry Seinfeld
Ricky Gervais
Howard Stern
Pete Sampras
John Stockton
Kobe Bryant
Mike Bellotti

If I saw any of these people, I’d make an effort to try to speak with them (at least briefly) just to know that I have for my own ego and self-worth.

Today I went to the local driving range to hit some balls and relax (because life is clearly stressful enough to allow me to golf on a Thursday at 11:30 am). I pay for the bucket, walk onto the range, and BOOM, Pete Sampras. I slowed my walk down considerably, took it all in, and started sweating like a pig.

I made my way to a driving stall (with a view of him), and hit for about 40 minutes, watching the King of Swing out of one eye.

He was being videotaped by two coaches giving him a lesson and took a long, long time. I knew there was probably no way I’d ever see him again, so I decided to wait around like I was waiting for somebody or something that I was expecting. I tried to eat a grilled cheese sandwich, which turned out to be awful (mixture of cheese and nacho cheese between bread), and threw it away pretty quickly.

After about 45 minutes of waiting he finished up (used one club the ENTIRE time). I had a strategic location (right by the door he had to use to leave), and as he approached, I said, “Hey Pete, I’m a big fan,” to which he replied, “Thanks, man.”

I’ll sum it up like this: I exchanged pleasantries this afternoon with Pete Sampras and you most likely did not. Boom.

Taken from the dPhone.

There Will Be Parte Dos

Posted February 28, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Jeff (Asian), The Human Uterus, Uncategorized

Hm, this seems like it should’ve been posted quite awhile ago. Oh well.

We continue our story later that night after a shower and other necessary functions after day one of snowboarding.


Hey look! It’s the Oregon-USC game on a giant plasma! Awesome! Oh no, they’re not hitting anything! Oh wait now they’ve decided to storm back with two minutes left to completely overpower the Trojans and tie the game with a second left! And now they just gave up and lost. Blech.


S’mores seemed to be a reasonable way to drown the sorrows of watching Daniel Hackett bank in two crucial threes. Notice the focus.


I’m putting on a brave face. Between what a day of snowboarding did to my body and what another blown Duck game did to my heart, I was in shambles.


The next day, this time we went to Homewood. Oliver looks the part. Me, not so much.


From the beginning, it didn’t seem like it was going to be my day. I never thought I’d long for the days of a gondola, but nothing makes you miss a gondola like taking an eight minute lift ride in heavy snow. I’ll admit it, I was scurrrrrred.


So for obvious reasons, I quit. I did one “Beginner” run, that I still maintain was no such thing. We only did a half day anyway, so it wasn’t a gigantic quit, just an ordinary-sized one.


Homewood is just a front for a mountain of lies. My supposed beginner run has temporarily derailed my dreams of snowboarding superstardom. If and when these dreams play out, I’ve decided to give myself the nickname of “The Flying Bran Muffin.”

After the mountain…


Here’s Jeff (Asian) eating some Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins. This may have been the best part of the trip for me. Any time you can come back from a vacation claiming a new cracker in your repertoire, it’s at least a moderate success.


View from The Chalet. I wouldn’t say we lived in the lap of luxury for a couple days, but we lived in the lap of luxury for a couple days. We cocoaed, ate hummus, overpriced pizza, mozzerella sticks, and almost died from Oliver starting a fire in his fireplace that sent smoke and fumes to the upstairs part of the house.


Chandelier.


Oliver brushing his teeth. You’re welcome for such an inside peek at my life.


Our steed for the drives to and from Reno and Tahoe. I played no part in digging it out because I was too busy fearing that we may be snowed in until April. Turns out everybody else de-snowed the car in about six minutes. Oops.


The Chalet, itself. Honestly, we were just grateful that Oli didn’t burn it down. For serious.


Jeff made this. I’ll be honest, it’s just as funny now as it was then, which, for the record, is very.


Clearly, Jeff (Asian) didn’t have the energy to stay awake during the drive back after crafting such a magnificent snow-peen.


I dominated a video blackjack machine in the Reno Airport. And then I lost a dollar. And then all flights were cancelled. And then we checked into a hotel whose name is also surely the name of a gay bar somewhere.


I give you, The Peppermill! Jeff and Oli gambled more, I watched briefly before slipping into a terrible bed for a three and a half hour nap. I will say this: Reno is the single worst place I’ve ever been to in the world.


You can go to hell, Reno.

No more snowboarding for at least 2008.

Lake Tajoe (soft J) – parte uno

Posted January 29, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Big Daddy Eisner, Food, Jeff (Asian), Jeff (Caucasian), NBA, NFL, O.G.

This past weekend, I went to Tahoe to snowboard (term used loosely) with Yosh Jackman, Oliver (let’s call him O.G.), Jeff (Caucasian), and Jeff (Asian). I decided to take pictures, because, well, I can do that without injuring myself, and there’s little else to do in Tahoe without running the risk of injury. To my knowledge, I have no contracts associated to my name that include any Vladamir Radmanovic or Kellen Winslow clauses, so I should be alright. Let’s get photo-dancin’.


The view from the LAX-Reno flight. The lone flight of the weekend that took off the day it was intended to. The flight itself was uneventful, but I (and the rest of the plane) wasn’t thrilled about having to endure a loud five-way conversation between the ladies going to a bachelorette party. NOBODY CARES ABOUT WHO CAN AND CAN’T SETTLE DOWN, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU MAKE EVERYONE LISTEN WHEN ELECTRONICS AREN’T ALLOWED TO BE ON. Sorry about that.


When we got to Tahoe City, we stopped to get essentials – tortilla chips, beer, orange juice, frosted donettes. Duh. Pictured: O.G.


The next morning. O.G. and Jeff (Asian), the two most coordinated and experienced riders put on their gear and bindings in a coordinated and experienced fashion.


Yosh looked on and posed like he was drunk at 8 am. To my knowledge, he was not.


The drive to Squaw Valley. Jeff (Asian) was excited. So was half of O.G.


I still find it difficult to figure out a pose when I take a picture of myself. This pose has been loosely defined as “Apprehensive Hostage.”


That said, I tried for “Disinterested Hipster.” I think I failed, as not too many hipsters wear fleece pullovers from the Gap. I’m pretty square, kids.


Squaw was nice – the Olympics were here 48 years ago and they’ve kept it looking pretty high class. That way, you can pay hundreds of dollars to rent equipment, take lessons, and end up wondering if you’re single-handedly putting the children of Advil workers through Ive League schools.


Pre-board. Check out the uber-focus by Jeff (Asian).


Jeff (Caucasian)! He had a pretty good day until he hit a soft spot and needed ski patrol to help him find a ski that went flying off somewhere. And he’s good on snow, I can’t imagine what will happen to me if I keep convincing myself to go up and continue with snow sports.


Jeff (Asian) laughing to himself near the Olympic rings. To this day, nobody knows why.


O.G.’s cinnamon roll. Why did I take a picture of this? I have no idea. He seemed to enjoy it.


The view from the gondola up to the runs. Years ago, when I went with Big Daddy Eisner‘s family, the gondolas only sat four and swayed back and forth to the point where I had to start singing “American Pie” to calm myself down. I’m proud to say that I have significantly improved as a man since then.


I can’t say for sure, but this child may have passed me multiple times on the slopes and will probably mock me to all of his pre-kindergarten friends. Bastard.


If the urge ever comes over you to spend time in a room that smells like tens of thousands sweaty feet mixed with bad odor spray, by all means go rent snowboarding equipment.


My steed. She held up well, never gave up on me, and I even got her to look somewhat respectable by the end of the day. Booya.


Lunch. Sadly, nobody met Nooch. We did get to eat with Yosh’s instructor, Lars, who happily told us all the things he will be or we should be drinking. He recommended the ManMosa (mixing Budweiser and orange juice), and almost took too much pleasure in saying “ManMosa.”


After lunch. I somehow managed to master getting off the lift, which was important for me, mostly so I could secretly judge and be annoyed by people who couldn’t.


Wutup homes.

Tomorrow – parte dos.

Wed Nes

Posted January 16, 2008 by danrubenstein
Categories: Uncategorized

So I wrote out the Bests of 07 and wasn’t really happy with it so I’m not posting it. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown ashamed of my taste or maybe it’s just because my memory isn’t that good, who knows. I liked Superbad and Juno for movies. I liked the new Spoon, Bruce Springsteen, and Motion City Soundtrack albums. And finally, I liked Curb, Sopranos, 30 Rock, The Office, and Friday Night Lights. I wouldn’t call it a shocking list. Let’s hammer out some bullets before I go run and listen to Stern talking about how David Spade got a 22 year old Playboy Playmate preggers (and no, it wasn’t the one who was all over me in Lincoln, NE).

• I ate a lot of food on the east coast. I had a Cheesesteak in the suburbs north of Philly (close as I could get), pizza in New York (not a huge deal, but it counts), Italian food in Jersey (one of the top 10 meals of my life), and average wedding cake at my cousin’s wedding. Now you see why I run.

• I’m gonna miss Jonathan Stewart, if for no other reason the laughs he provides every time he barrels over a safety at the end of a 14 yard run. Sigh…

• Speaking of the Ducks (and I’ll be brief), I still have no idea what to make of this year’s basketball team. They go and lose three stupid games (one without Bryce Taylor, but still), Tajuan Porter goes frigid, Joevan Catron tears a muscle in his foot, and then they beat Arizona in Tucson comfortably, take down a good Cal team, and come away with a resumé win against Stanford despite the Lopez twins completely dominating. I have no clue. This weekend up in Washington (Thursday, Sunday) should be a good barometer. And yes, I know I need to move on.

• Despite the strike, Friday Night Lights is inexplicably still on. Not only that, it’s gotten really good, mostly because they got rid of both the Landry murder thing and the Jason Street/Lila thing. Boom, I just checked, another new one this Friday. Hot damn, I love Dillon, TX.

• I like that Katie Holmes acted like she had a semi-lobotomy recently when she was on Letterman. Makes me feel good about all that Scientology has to offer. Also, I liked/got creeped out watching Tom Cruise talk about the little religion that could.

• I ate at the Boneyard Bistro last night and came away very full and very confident that I’ll be back sometime soon. Yackie, defying the odds, ordered fried mac n cheese with her meal.

It’s windy, I’m tired. Ouuuuuuut.