Thanks to Kansas crapping out and playing a horrible game against UCLA, I went from near first to a distant position in my NCAA pool, but fortunately I have a backup bracket, which was actually originally my main bracket, that called all four Final Four teams correctly. Rather impressive, except that bracket did so horribly early on that there is no mathematical way that I can win the pool. I could still come in 2nd, though, with a Florida and Georgetown win on Saturday and Florida winning it all. If that happened, I'd finish in 2nd behind Todd, and Billy would finish in 3rd. Switsky would finish just out of the money. Nice. Go Big East!!
In other news, I finished a somewhat disappointing 3rd in the Tournament of Champions for the NJPT poker group. Sure, I outlasted Switsky (not that difficult), Billy (ditto), and Lenny (out first despite having the most points on the season), but I played an excellent game with really good cards (that helps) and got beaten by a couple clearly inferior hands, including my final all-in of QQ vs. A-10, which Jeff didn't hesitate to call, leaving me in third after he flopped an ace. Jeff ended up winning, powered by the huge chip lead he accumulated by knocking me out, and Rocco came in 2nd after leading for most of the day. On the bright side, I can pay 1/5th of my insurance deductible after coming in 3rd in the year-end tournament for a 52-week poker game between upwards of 15 players a week. Big money, baby. I'm pretty sure I spent the same amount on beer and soda and snacks after hosting two poker games this weekend. Woo hoo!
I've spent a lot of time listening to Modest Mouse's new album over the past week and I may have actually underestimated its appeal. It's possibly as good as their three classic albums, clearly better than their last release, and perhaps a revelation in itself. I mean, I think the 3rd worst track on the album is "Dashboard," which, while kind of annoying and played out, is not horrible - and there's 11 better songs on the release. Very excellent album, indeed. We shall see where it lands on the slate of new releases by Thursday. I'm hoping for #1, but a Top 5 would be a more realistic accomplishment.
And last but not least, I caught the first two episodes of Andy Richter's new sitcom, which I don't even know the name of, so this won't be much of a plug, but while the first episode only had one really funny scene, the 2nd episode had a bunch of laugh-out-loud parts that were downright hilarious. Tony Hale from Arrested Development plays his friend, and he has the hots for Andy's new secretary, a black woman, so Tony comes into the office holding a black-and-white cookie and the "boom-chicka-boom" music goes off -- I mean, I know it was easy, but damn, I couldn't stop laughing. Tony Hale is the best. Andy Richter's not bad either. I don't think I've ever watched any of his other failed sitcoms, nor was I ever that into Conan, but if you get a chance, check this one out. It's on Thursdays on NBC, and will probably be canceled soon. But it's really funny.