I Solved the Donald Sterling Problem

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

By now, unless you actively ignore any news that is sport and/or race related, you've probably heard of Donald Sterling.  For those of you who haven't, I will give you the five sentence run-down.

Donald Sterling and his estranged wife Rochelle own the L.A. Clippers basketball team, as well as a continent's worth of other holdings.  Donald also has a long track record of racism, including being sued for racially profiling potential tenants for his residential properties (oh, the wife may be estranged, but she's a horrible racist too fyi). Recently, Donald was chatting with his half-Black half-Mexican mistress about how he firmly disapproves of her posting pictures of herself talking, walking, or in any way associating herself with Black people.  And not just "run of the mill" Black people either. We're talking famous sportsmen such as Matt Kemp (LA Dodgers) and Magic friggin Johnson!!!

The catch here, as you might imagine, is that the mistress, V. Stiviano (yes, she changed her name to "V period") decided to record this 15-minute conversation chocked full of some of the most elaborately spun webs of old-timey racism with just that perfect soup├žon of "I'm not a racist" modern racism.  If you still want more information into the background of this crumbling empire, read about it here.

But I'm a solutions guys.  I have no interest in looking backward at the offense, I want to move forward into rectifying this hullabaloo.  And I'm not the only one.

It's hard to tell who is the most offended by Donald Sterling.  The players on his team (almost all Black) certainly rank right up there.  His African-American coach is on the list as well.  The NBA.  The fans.  Pretty much everybody believes that the only way to seek justice in this case is to force Sterling to sell the team.  The problem with that solution, unfortunately, is that the NBA's executive structure, much the same as Wall St., insurance agencies, and the NCAA, is rigged to protect the richest investors from almost any and all sanctions.  Which leaves us at our current impasse.

Which I've solved.  Your welcome.

TBRARUMUD All-Stars: Fantasy Children

Monday, April 28, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

I've been sick for three days now, so I thought I'd bless ya'll with another one of my favorite blasts from the past.  For anyone who ever wanted to play a Fantasy Sport without having to actually care about sports in the slightest, this one's for you.

So once again, this is either brilliant or deranged.  Let me know.

As fantasy baseball season is gearing up (no, i will not talk to you about it--this isn't Guantanamo), I realize that one of the things that people like about fantasy sports is the perceived control over the things that they have interest in.  Fantasy baseball, for instance, allows you to be the General Manager of your own baseball team.  That's cool yo.

A Gramp to Remember

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

My grandfather-in-law passed away a week ago last Sunday.  And while I only had the privilege of his company for the past six years, he left an indelible mark on both my heart and my life.

In a multitude of ways, James Grew Wheeler was lucky.  The man I always knew as "Gramp" (and not  Gramps, James, or godforbidyoucalledhim 'Sir') lived until the age of 90 at his home outside Boston with the love of his life, Emlen. They've been married for over 65 years.  And to say that Gramp had his wits about him until his last day would be to understate how brazen and brilliant the man was. I have a video of him dancing a jig with my wife a few weeks ago during his 90th birthday celebration.

But in many more ways, I was lucky to have Gramp. Not having had the pleasure of knowing my biological grandfathers, I am forthright about the fact that I have an elderly-man shaped hollow in my emotional lexicon.  A few mentors have spent moments filling portions of that negative space, most notably a brilliant and caring professor from back when I was an undergraduate.  But gaps as vast as missing relatives almost never get filled, especially as I got older and the number of senior men in my life became comparatively less abundant.

Fast Times at the Pet Store High

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

I rarely talk about pot on the blog because it is increasingly becoming a non-divisive issue, and I like to dig into meatier issues.  But, to fully understand the glory of the story I'm about to tell, you need to know a bit about the mindset I was in.

And here it is.  My mindset was very stoned.

The wife and I were running some Sunday errands, and the next stop on our list was the pet supply store.  The extremely pet-friendly pet supply store, which is conveniently located adjacent a Whole Foods (duh) and therefore allows my wife and I to divide and conquer.  She gets to run in and grab the ingredients for dinner (aka. browse the cheese and wine selection), while I grab dog treats and poop bags (aka. pet every furry loveball in the joint).

Not Playing Possum

Monday, April 7, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

Something horrible is happening.  At night.  While we're sleeping.  And it's the subtle kind of Soylent Green madness that, were I not to bring it up here, may go on unnoticed until it's too late.

The opossums are committing suicide ya'll. In force. To wit, I have personally seen the remnants of 8 such vehicle-assisted suicides in just the past week.

What is happening to depress the northeastern opossum? I am worried for them.

Look at those cold troubled eyes.
I guess the first question is, what the hell do opossums even eat? Thankfully, my friend google had the answer:

Opossums are not picky eaters. As scavenger omnivores, opossums eat everything from last night's meatloaf to grass. Food sources typically include dead animals, berries and nuts. Opossums will also hunt mice, birds, snakes and chickens. If it's edible and accessible, the opossum will eat it. This means you need to securely store your trash to prevent the animal from raiding your leftovers.

So, in a word, they eat friggin everything. Not a ton of help there. So I digged deeper. I looked at some zoo websites to see what their captive possums enjoy. And then I found this golden nugget.

At the Zoo, older opossums are limited to (because of their limited exercise):
  • Lite Dog Chow 
  • Fruits and vegetables 
And then it hit me. With all the dogs in the neighborhood, I bet these opossums are hooked on our pets' bougie dog chow. I mean, my dogs alone have a limited ingredient diet of venison and sweet potatoes. Not exactly a hard knock life.

And, this is Amherst, so there is no way that I am at the highest end of the high-end dog-food market. These poor possums are getting a taste of the good life, the filet mignon, champagne, and caviar ways of the fuzzy and pampered, when they are built for an omnivore's diet of garbage, fruit, birds, and carcasses.

And all those fortified complex vitamin-enriched proteins are DRIVING THEM INSANE!!!!

adorably insane!

The way I picture it, these Woody Allen-esc nebbish possums are walking around in jerky circles, kvetching about how they can't find a decent wet cat food in the Valley anymore.  They lament the day's when they could just eat the meatloaf tossed into the backyard by non-composting heretics.

And eventually, with no reliable source of antidepressants on the possum market (Thanks Obama!), it just doesn't seem worth it anymore.  Who wants to hunt for Cheetos' wrappers after dining in the Lincoln Ballroom.  It's enough to make you want to hang yourself . . . upside down.

terrifyingly insane!

But obviously, that's redundant for creatures like the possum, sloth, and bats.  And so, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, these opossums approach the road as a final desperate attempt to find some effective way of ending themselves.

Enter the automobile.

Never has the forrest world encountered a more successful world-ender than the car.  Be it the emissions that erode the ozone, the pavement paths burned into the once fertile landscape, or the casual ubiquity with which our grills dispatch small creatures from this earth execution-style, the automobile industry has had a unrepentantly negative impact on the Earth's natural habitat. And so when those funnel-faced rat-tailed scavengers head toward the light(s), I suspect they don't fully comprehend the finality that is about to meet them head on.

And then, all that remains, are remains.  Crimson brush strokes against a pavement canvas. While the possums' reputation for faking death is famous, passerbys quickly look away, confident this particular possum won't bolting to life and scurrying off any time soon.

Unless my dogs find em. 

Like a Bird Turd Full of Art

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 1 Comment(s)

There are some moments in time that defy understanding.  The moment in question that you are about to witness was akin to a bird shitting art on my face when I looked up to glance the sky.  What began as the most irritating rage-inducing side-chatter, when engaged, became a performance art piece beyond anything I could have previously imagined.

I have only edited the following Facebook update/liveblog for grammar and closed parentheticals.

Whatever the Hampshire College version of a "Kelly" is . . . I have two of them regaling each other with the most inane and misguided life stories and experiences. I want to smack them both in the face. Favorite phrase: "It's sooo Hampshire though . ." "So Hampshire."
Like ·  · 
  • Paul  and Casey Elizabeth  like this.
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler The girl just full on laughed in the guys face about something he said for 15 seconds, then reeled it in and said, "no, actually i like it."
  • Casey  Kelly with an I, I think. Kelli. Or Kellie.
    38 mins · Unlike · 1
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler If someone reads this, and I have already put these too out of their winy complaining over-privileged misery, remember: they really had it coming.
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler The girl: "I hear she has a bit of a Dad complex. AND SO DO I. I have Daddy issues!"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler Oh, this just turned into a liveblog bitches
    37 mins · Like · 2
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "Oh apparently he moved out of his house because he wanted to start his pot business"
    35 mins · Like · 1
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "I mean. I've never met a guy so, like, crafty. Like, the merch he made for our band. No matter how you look at it, that's amazing."
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "The aesthetic is so, like, spot on. He like, " I am the utilitarian punk"
    34 mins · Like · 1
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "(Paraphrase: They are arguing which state of their origins (Vermont and Washington State) have a bigger heir of self-importance regarding their drug culture."
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler  (re: washington state) "As soon as you go over the Cascades in your rig. Oh, they call em rigs. Like, "What kinda rig you drive?"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "I just wanna chill here this summer and I can't tell if this summer program is gonna be, like, you know, a good experience"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "I think its totally rad. Most of the places where i grew up, were so, like, whatever. And I'm like, I don't want to do architecture now. I want to do it went I'm like 30 or 40. But you have to plan for that shit. Like, go to school for it"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler Talking about inventing low cost cars/houses for Ethiopia: "It was basically like a square box and wheels cause like, you have to give them a design they can build"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "My sister's friend was talking about her village back home and how they outsource materials from india. "
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler reply, "Yah, i've seen a lot of that." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "See this is the problem, I just want to be doing it instead of fucking talk about it" (no sense of understand the irony here)
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler Guy: "and thats the problem with hampshire, there's no one who knows how to like, build buildings. you know. and I'm building, like, real structures. And she's giving me like art critiques saying, that will fall apart.  Here, here, and here.  And I'm like, whatever, I need someone who knows how to build!"
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler Girl: "I want to build "Earth Ships"
    24 mins · Unlike · 2
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler wow. that last one almost made me laugh out loud and blow my cover.
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "How long do you think it takes to get to Hampshire from here.? 8 min? You have class at 12:30? Yah? Cool, I'm just gonna roll this then . . ."
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "Those growlers you got man, that is mad shit insane." Who got them? That dude Astro-dude? ASTRO-dude? woo.
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler "I think he's a great guitarist I just hate what that music is."
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler  (con) "It's just dense, like a lot of sound going in your ears."
  • Mattitiyahu Zimbler AAAAAAAAAnnnnnnnddddddd scene. They just left. with 13 min. to get to class.