Exhibit 27.25

Fantasy Football Postmortem

I know, I know, no one cares. I don’t even care. I only update the roster each week to fantasy honor the fantasy spirit of the fantasy game. But now I’m starting to care again because I think my team might be historically bad. Here are my first five picks in the draft and their ranking on the season.

Round 1, 11th overall – Ryan Matthews. Rank on the season: 152.
In other words, my assessment was only off by 140 players. Seriously, I don’t even know why I ever thought a guy named Ryan Matthews would be good. It’s a name that sounds best when said while sadly shaking your head. I know because this is the only way this name is ever said.

Round 2, 14th overall – Shonn Greene. Rank on the season: 144.
I should have known when I saw how he spelled his name. Like an idiot, that’s how. I should have learned my lesson after the whole Chone Figgins fiasco in fantasy baseball. Okay, that never happened. And now it never will.

Round 3, 35th overall – Tony Romo. Rank on the season: 75th.
This is misleading for two reasons. One, Tony Romo was actually doing fine for me until he got injured for the season after week six. Two, he got injured for the season after week 6.

Round 4, 38th overall – Beanie Wells. Rank on the season: 218th.
The worst part about him is I still expect him to turn it around despite the insistence of statistics, observation, God, and his own coach. I have no idea why I hate Ryan Matthews but love Beanie Wells. The fantasy heart is a cruel mistress. Fantasy-speaking.

Round 5, 59th overall – Wes Welker. Rank on the season: 123rd.
Yes, that’s right, my first receiver was someone who has to wear a knee brace bigger than his torso. On the plus side, he was good two years ago so between him, Barack Obama, and Fergie, my Fantasy 2008 team is looking great.

The problems here:

1. With my first five picks, all under the 60th pick overall, I managed to pick none of the top 100 players in football (Romo will fall out soon).

2. All of these players, Romo excluded, are still on my team.

3. The best player on my team–and this is not a joke–is Mike Wallace the wide receiver who ranks 38th.

4. Mike Wallace the news journalist ranks 19th and he might be dead.

5. I named my fantasy team after the real coach of my least favorite real team and somehow never thought karma would play into this.

6. My move/robbery/re-move right before the draft excuse is wearing a little thin.

7. I’ve started to just pick up random Dolphins because that way I can at least care a little. Hence, I’ll probably start Tyler Thigpen this week, something done only by me and someone named Tyler Thigpen.

8. It’s killing me because I consider myself to be kind of good at fantasy football. Then the fact that I consider myself to be kind of good at fantasy football makes it even worse. I’m caught in a shame spiral. Fantasy-speaking. In real life I’m doing great.

9. Even after a surprising offensive explosion, I am only averaging 83 points per week. For comparison purposes, the top team is averaging 125. Basically, that means they could drop 3-4 players and still beat me easily.

10. And, of course, I would not pick up those players because I’m still waiting for Beanie Wells to turn it around.

2 Comments / Posted in Bad Ideas, Ryans, Sports

Exhibit 27.17


* Octopus 14 is now live and it’s all long poems. It’s amazing how this continues to be a journal that feels new every time out. This is from Jennifer Denrow’s “The Personal History of Wind”:

The people come from themselves. They’re the operations they couldn’t afford. On the other side of the room, they are dressed like clouds. We give them the personal history of wind. When it gets too loud, we shut the door and never go back. The room sits empty for months, filling up with the sound of each drama. We stop imagining what’s happening in the room, and later forget there was ever a room to begin with. Our participation in each other still occurs, but slowly, forgetfully.

* I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but Chris Higgs’s novel The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney is now officially out. If you haven’t already, pick it up right here.

* No link, but I just wanted to let you know that my first two picks in fantasy football were Shonn Greene and Ryan Matthews. My team is terrible. You shouldn’t like me.

* Enjoyed this post by Erin Belieu titled “I Was a Teenage Poetry Bride.” It’s actually pretty surreal how often this still happens.

* I think I only wanted Shonn Greene because I wouldn’t have been able to spell either half of his name correctly on the first try.

* We don’t actually have copies quite yet, but we have updated the website for The Cupboard‘s next volume: Explanations by Andrew Borgstrom. Believe me, I’ll post the full announcement, but feel free to check it out, pre-order, etc. Todd did a fantastic job with the cover we all think:

1 Comment / Posted in Ryans, The Cupboard, Things

Exhibit 26.21


I still don’t have an apartment, but what I do have is a fantasy football team name. So there’s that. In years past I was this and this and this and this. And now:

The Annotated Rex Ryan. I feel pretty good about this. Not about playing fantasy football or talking about it in public–that I still feel terrible about–but the name works, I think. I look forward to writing embarrassed yet oddly self-congratulatory posts about it from the library where I’m living.

Comment / Posted in Annotations, Ryans, Sports

Exhibit 21.5

Weird Things About Houston – It Rains When There Aren’t Clouds

It seems to do this at least once per day. It’s very confusing, and there’s not much to be done about it other than wait it out. Which would be fine if this oddly sunny rain was just a sprinkle or a light mist, but so far it’s always been a really angry downpour, sometimes even with equally rare cloudless thunder. I don’t understand how anyone is able to play Ultimate Frisbee here (or, to be honest, anywhere).

Maybe there are clouds, just clouds that are undetectable to man and our silly science. I mean, there must be, right? For the thunder?

Unfortunately, during North Platte’s summer “Omnibus” program, I did not take the class on meteorology. My friend Ryan took the meteorology class and to this day he can show off by using words like cumulus and nimbus. He nods while watching television weather reports. In the morning, he peers out the window at the sky and says things like, “That might be trouble” or “Ah, yes, I see…” He would be able to explain these axion-like clouds and make a poster demonstrating their altitude relative to the other cloud types.

I took the class on ancient Egypt. That’s why I can whittle a sphinx out of a bar of soap and make a sugarcube pyramid. You’ve probably been meaning to ask me where I learned to do that. Now you know.

2 Comments / Posted in Clouds, Egypt, Ryans

Exhibit 19.16

A Retroactive Running Journal of an Attempt to Beat Streets of Rage 2 on Saturday




0:01 – Ryan and I haven’t even started the game and already my hand hurts from all of the high-fiving. Ryan is a married high school history teacher. I am a guy who still owns a Sega.

0:02 – We choose Hard rather than Hardest. Ryan would like it pointed out that we have beaten it on Hardest and were so excited we took pictures of the television screen. I would like it pointed out that we totally did beat it on Hardest and will prove it if questioned. So, um, feel free to question. I took the framed pictures to work with me today just in case there’s any questioning.

0:03 – As always, Ryan chooses Skate while I go with Axel. Axel is the game’s most balanced character with his power, stamina, etc. all rated three stars. Skate is the game’s most dated character with his power, stamina, etc. all rated Jean-Michel Basquiat.

0:09 – I consider telling Ryan the story of how I bought this Sega from our friend Chris’s ex-girlfriend’s little brother but realize that’s pretty much the entire story.

0:12 – We breeze through the early levels while wondering if some of the hoodlums we’re beating up ever really had a chance at a normal life. I mean, if your name was Stonta what choice would you have except to walk back and forth across an alley holding a knife?

0:13 – We barely even need these turkeys that someone is leaving under street signs to refill our health.

0:14 – Just so we’re clear in case you haven’t played this game, these streets are full of rage. Rage and Butterballs.

0:17 – Skate’s best move is roller skating over to an enemy, jumping on the enemy’s back, and punching the enemy’s head. Skate’s worst move is wearing a yellow tanktop after Labor Day.

0:20 – We’ve lost our first lives after some poor turkey management. It’s not looking good. Ryan has a look on his face like I just told him that Alexander Hamilton is my favorite president.

0:30 – I unwisely mention how I once tried to talk Ryan into using a character other than Skate when we were struggling to beat the game on Hardest. This conversation nearly ended our friendship back when we played this game a lot. We’ve come a long way since 2006.

0:31 – Ryan hasn’t smiled in ten minutes.

0:33 – Things are going a little better since we’ve gotten past the swamp monster and the kick boxers.

0:34 – We get very lucky on the beach level. High five! The only thing that can stop us now is the Sega freezing. There’s at least a thirty percent chance that won’t happen.

0:45 – We’ve spent the last fifteen minutes or so discussing how the bad guy–Mr. X–was able to acquire such a diverse collection of henchmen. Do the jet pack guys hang out with the professional wrestlers after work? Where did he get a monster and does the monster get paid in turkeys? How is it that he has both ninjas and fat guys who breath fire?

0:46 – We both agree that instead of kidnapping Jean-Michel Basquiat’s older brother–Randy Basquiat–Mr. X would be better served putting his considerable freak management skills to work by starting a circus or an all-night Arby’s.

0:47 – So, um, is there an all-night Arby’s? Because I could go for some curly fries served to me by a shirtless guy swinging a lead pipe right about now. It’d be like going to an Arby’s in the afternoon only there wouldn’t be a line.

0:50 – Justin comes over, sees what we’re doing, and looks a little worried about us when he realizes how much we’re talking to ourselves. We tell him that we once beat the game on Hardest and have proof if he questions us. He declines to question us.

0:52 – Things are going okay or at least better than they were. Still, beating the game seems unlikely as we’re out of continues and we still have to make it through the bad guy’s lair.

0:53 – We forgot about the robots. We also have to make it through the robots. So just to recap, the bad guy is spending his time kidnapping 18-year-olds rather than using his army of robots and ninjas to some greater purpose like conquering Spain or opening an all-night Arby’s.

0:57 – This conversation has happened at least ten times tonight:

Ryan: Get your turkey.
Me: No.
Ryan: Get your turkey.
Me: Not yet.
Ryan: Dude, get it.
Me: I know what I’m doing.
Ryan: You won’t make it.
Me: Your mom won’t make it.

1:00 – Axel’s best move is punching people in the face. Axel’s worst move is punching Skate in the face “on accident.”

1:01 – So we’ve surprised ourselves by making it to Mr. X. He rewards us by shooting us with a machine gun. Which makes us wonder why he didn’t give poor Stonta a machine gun back in the first level in order to end this thing before it escalated to Fire-Breathing-Fat-Guys level. Instead poor Stonta took some punches to the face, was kicked by a kid wearing roller skates, and was eventually stabbed with his own knife (which I believe is what Stonta means in Russian).

1:05 – We did it! Where’s the camera?

1:06 – Justin is now refusing to question or fist bump us.

7:04 – Final conversation:

Ryan: Remember how we beat Streets of Rage earlier?
Me: Do you think Arby’s is open yet?
Justin: I don’t think you guys ever did beat it on Hardest.
Our Friend Chris’s Ex-Girlfriend’s Little Brother: Do you want to buy my Dreamcast?
Me: Probably.

1 Comment / Posted in Games, Ryans, Streets of Rage

Exhibit 19.14

Old Pictures of My Friend Ryan Review Summer Blockbusters

1 Comment / Posted in Movies, Reviews, Ryans

Exhibit 19.6

Old Pictures of My Friend Ryan Review Summer Blockbusters

Terminator Salvation
Comment / Posted in Movies, Reviews, Ryans

Exhibit 18.23

Old Pictures of My Friend Ryan Review Summer Blockbusters

Star Trek
1 Comment / Posted in Movies, Reviews, Ryans

Exhibit 18.19

Old Pictures of My Friend Ryan Review Summer Blockbusters

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Comment / Posted in Movies, Reviews, Ryans

Exhibit 18.14

Summer Tennis – Game One

Ryan: 0
Adam: 0
Ryan calling and saying he couldn’t play: 1
Adam glad Ryan called first so he didn’t have to: 1
Adam not telling Ryan he was going to call the game off himself and instead questioning Ryan’s manhood: 14

Comment / Posted in Ryans, Sports, Tennis

Exhibit 18.13

I answered some questions for Ryan Manning’s series of interviews. You should read it–here–if you’ve ever wondered why I keep asking you for your extra Legos then awkwardly declining when you offer some from your space set.

Sorry. I had to keep my castle plans under wraps so the pirates wouldn’t suspect anything.

3 Comments / Posted in Answered Questions, Interviews, Ryans