The Cooler: This week in…

28 Aug

While I continue to glow unabashedly after Senator Barack Obama’s chill-inducing Presidential nomination acceptance speech – I’m not kidding, I imagine telling my kids about his speeches – here are a few links to get you through your Friday.

ODD THANK YOU GIFTS: Jon alerted me to this story about Jason Kidd committing to give his gold medal away to a casino hotel owner. Why? Well, because she was such an outstanding host, that’s why.

“Last summer, we stayed at the Wynn (resort) for a lifetime, close to three weeks,” Kidd said. “We met at a banquet, we got to talking, and she really understands the game. I told her I’d make a deal with her, that if we won the gold medal, I’d give it to her. She thought I was kidding. But I told her I had one already, and the way they treated us at the Wynn, it was the least I could do.”

What a fantastic display of humility and judgment.

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FREE MUSIC, IT’S FREE I SAY, FREE: Go, right now, to Jonk Music and download Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” set to appear on his upcoming album “Gossip in the Grain.” So, so good.

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UNMISSABLE WEEKLY WRITE-UPS: I hate to bury this tip three links down, because it surely deserves more, but whatever: anyone watching the insanely good Mad Man needs to read Vulture’s episode recaps. They’re almost as perfect as the show.

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HEAD-SCRATCHING DECISIONS: American Idol, a former juggernaut show that drew a pathetic 20 million viewers per show last season, had some changes to make to regain its foothold as the most popular television show in history. Faced with a stale format, incompetent judges, talented competitors routinely sent home in favor of Sanjaya Hung’s and the like, and horrifying product placement commercials, the Idol executives calmly and coolly addressed zero of those problems and instead decided to, aw what the hell, add a fourth judge. Nice fake try, but I’m still ignoring you, American Idol.

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THE DARK SIDE OF UNCLE JOEY: So, it’s confirmed: Alanis Morrissette’s mid-90s anthem to angst “You Oughta Know” was written about Dave Coulier, the one and only Uncle Joey on “Full House.” I was thinking about finding footage from the show and compiling clips of Uncle Joey with the song in the background, but then I got distracted and it probably wouldn’t have been funny anyway. And besides, no news about this song will ever make me think of anything except Kevin performing it in “The Office.”

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MORE FREE MUSIC, YES, THIS ONE IS FREE TOO: Reader “Randball’s Stu,” the screen name of my dear old friend Willie Fisterbottom, sent along a link to the Whigs’ “Right Hand on my Heart.” Thanks, Big Willie.

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PROUD YOUTH ATHLETE PARENTING: Most of you have already heard the story of young fireballer Jericho Scott, the nine-year-old pitcher who was so dominant in his league he was actually banned from pitching. Yes, this is a true story, and, if you’re the type to have your day ruined by hearing about the ridiculous behavior from your fellow Americans, you should probably steer clear. Because this story has one crazy amount of wrong.

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UPDATES ON THE LIFE OF BILL BAILEY: I bet you thought you didn’t care about the Guns N Roses anymore. Well, think again. I defy you to read this excerpt on the upcoming GNR biography and not want to read the book. Speaking as a kid who did Axl’s side sway dance for about six years straight, I was sold pretty easily.

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ANOTHER GREAT ESSAY FROM ‘THE MORNING NEWS’: “Second Place is First to Lose,” by Todd Levin, about his obsession with the new video game consoles. Choice excerpt, about his purchase of a PS3 on ebay:

What followed is still a mystery to me, but I do recall the release I experienced after “winning” my auction. It was a familiar sensation, eerily like one I’d experienced years earlier when, in full sprint, less than one hundred feet from my apartment, I finally succumbed in my struggle against a sudden, crippling, clammy intestinal illness and defecated in my khakis right in the middle of the sidewalk. A warm euphoric feeling, quickly cooled by a sad, fetid reality that seemed to linger forever, as it settled in my shoes. The main difference between that, and spending almost $1,000 on a video game console, was I didn’t have to tell my girlfriend I shat my pants.

Yeah. It’s a good piece.

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One Response to “The Cooler: This week in…”

  1. RandBall's Stu August 29, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    RE: Whigs. Anything I can do to help America.

    I, too, can’t help but think of Kevin when I hear “You Oughta Know.” He owns that song like Hendrix owns “All Along the Watchtower.”

    And it turns out that I’m on the shortlist for McCain’s Veep. Complete ideological incompatibility aside, it turns out they’re looking for someone with “internet savvy” to balance the ticket. You heard it here first.

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