Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Beat Barack Obama on My Final Four picks

I actually got more teams in my Final Four than Barack Obama did!

Yes, I did vote for him, but I am still smitten by the fact that I got two of the teams I picked in my Final Four, and he only got one.

In fact, I almost got all four of Final Four teams in there, but alas both Pitt and Missouri lost in the Elite Eight.

Obama did pick the UNC Tarheels to win it all though and they face Villanova at 8:47 p.m. on Saturday in Detroit.

Since I picked Pitt to win it all, I may as well join Tarheel Nation, at least for the weekend, though they did beat my alma mater Radford University in the first round.

Political Confusion Test (14 of 21) Soccer or NASCAR

My cousin Erroll Gokbudak of Chicago is a huge NASCAR fan who traveled to Bristol, Tenn., to see a car race last year. Amazingly enough, he is a Democrat, but it seems like 95 percent of NASCAR nation thinks Sarah Palin is the new Princess Diana.

I prefer soccer, and it seems like most people who follow the sport don't vote Republican. Speaking for myself, I certainly don't see Sarah Palin as the new Princess Diana though I wouldn't mind if she got eaten by a polar bear! (see earlier entry).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

William Shakespeare's Final Four Picks

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., has weighed in on which teams that playwright/poet William Shakespeare would have chosen as his Final Four, based on passages from many of his plays, including my personal favorite "Othello."

They have apparently decided that those teams would be Michigan State, the University of Connecticut, Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina.

Everyone in North Carolina is talking about the Sweet 16 today as Duke faces Villanova tonight and UNC plays Gonzaga tomorrow night. Both games tip at 9:57 p.m.

I think both the Blue Devils and Tarheeels will advance, but I'm picking Syracuse to upset Oklahoma and Missouri to upset Memphis, but when it comes to picking b-ball games, I'm not exactly Dick Vitale or Digger Phelps, but perhaps Will Shakespeare is!

UPDATE: Wow_ it looks like William got three out of the four picks right!

UPDATE TWO: The Bard is apparently now picking UNC to win it all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Sister Was Eating When a Car Crashed....

...........through the freaking window.

The incident happened at Arugula Restaurant in Boulder, Col., on Tuesday.

At around 11:49 a.m., Judith Reid of Boulder crashed her SUV into a brick wall and the window of the restaurant.

She apparently mistook her gas pedal for her brake.

My sister Lale Lovell was one of five people eating there, forutnately she was not in the front of the restaurant!

She was quoted as saying: "I've never had anything like this happen before, it was like a bad action movie."

Congrats to North Carolina State Women's Gym Team

I had a chance to attend the EAGL Conference Women's Gymnastics Meet at North Carolina State University over the weekend.

The host Wolfpack managed to edge second-place West Virginia and third-place University of North Carolina to take its fourth conference title.

The team, coached by Mark Stevenson, was lead by junior Lauren Deuser and sophomore Brittany Vontz, both of whom tied first on bars.

Senior Ashley Shepard from Rock Hill, SC (we think that's her pictured here) was second on the floor.

Sophomore Brittney Hardiman was third on the vault, and junior Taylor Seaman was fifth on the bars.

The Wolf Pack host regionals on April 4th when the four-time national champion Georgia Bulldogs will be among the five other teams coming to Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quote of the Week- Mike Krzyzewski

"Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication."

The Duke BlueDevils will play the Villanova Wildcats in the Sweet 16 in Boston on Thursday night. The tip-off time is 9:57 p.m. (EDT)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congratulations to the Tarheels

Well, my alma mater Radford University lost to the University of North Carolina today by a 101-53 margin in Greensboro.

I salute my school on a terrific season, which included a Big South championship, and I also congratulate the Tarheels who I expect will win over LSU on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Turkish Connection

Previously on this blog, we have talked about the men's basketball team from my alma mater Radford University in Radford, Va.

The RU Highlanders will be playing the University of North Carolina at 2:50 p.m., on Thursday, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro.

The assistant coach of that team Ali Ton happens to hail from my late father's country, Turkey.

Ton is credited brining the Highlanders' star player Art Parakhouski to Radford from Belarus by way of Southern Idaho University.

The Highlanders are a 26-point underdog, but having watched the team play, I think Tarheel fans who expect a major route are in for a big surprise.

But, Ton will not be the only Turkish person trying to get his head to advance to the second round in Greensboro.

University of Texas guard Dogus Balbay (pictured here) is a 20-year-old basketball player who helped guide Turkey to an under 16 European title in 2005. Balbay also played for the Fenerbahce team in Istanbul.

The Texas Longhorns will play Minnesota in the first round of the tourney and the winner would likely meet second-seeded Duke, whose campus in Durham, NC, is a mere 45 miles from the Greensboro Coliseum. But, Texas is a team which ESPN analyst Digger Phelps says could be dangerous in the tournament because of their size and depth.

Texas coach Rick Barnes said that Balbay is vital for the Longhorns because he provides quality depth at the point guard position.

We wish Ton and Balbay well at the NCAA Tourney.......if only tickets weren't (yikes!) $160*

*-that's how much someone I know paid to see both rounds in Greensboro on Thursday and Saturday. He maintains that it is a 'bargain.'

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here is My Final Four

I have watched an unholy amount of college basketball game this year. I even saw each of the six overtimes between Syracuse and Connecticut last week. But, I would not call myself an expert.

Nevertheless, I am in the process of putting together my bracket selections.

And, my Final Four has Michigan State ( a two-seed) playing Missouri (a three-seed) and two number one seeds Pitt and UNC playing each other in the other Final 4 game in Detroit.

I am also picking Pitt to beat Michigan State in the final game. I must profess that one of the main reasons why I am picking the Spartans to lose in their home state is because my Facebook friend Timothy Heyer of Charlotte, NC, who is an ardent right-winger (we have exchanged our differences!), happens to be an alumnus of Michigan State.

Given the way Republican Senators have been blocking President Barack Obama, it seems like choosing Michigan State over Pitt is just not something I can do....at least, not this year!

Happy Birthday, Lale Lovell

My sister Lale Lovell turns 35 today........

Since today is her birthday (yes, she is a St. Patty's Day baby), I will not mention that neither of her schools, Virginia Tech or the University of Colorado, got into the NCAA tournament but my beloved Radford University Highlanders are in baby.

Alas, we have to play the University of North Carolina in Greensboro....how is that a 'neutral court?'!!!!!!

At any rate, I sincerely wish Lale a happy birthday. I hope she likes the Chia Pet I sent her in the mail!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Radford University is in the NCAA Tournament

After a week-long hiatus, we return to The Daily Vampire. I've had a major setback in my personal life, but we don't discuss such matters here.

But, I will talk about the Radford University men's basketball team, which go by the nickname of the Highlanders.

The RU Highlanders, who won the Big South tournament over VMI on March 7, will play the UNC Tarheels in Greensboro on Thursday. The tip-off time is 2:50 p.m.

I am excited that the game is close to home, but of course, there are some factors which are seemingly going to prevent me from going the game, including work, ticket prices/availability and parking. Hmmm...there are probably about 15 more which I left off.

All of which proves I'd almost be better off if they were playing in Boise, Idaho (which is another first round tournament site).

The Highlanders, who are a 16-seed this time around, last got into the tournament a decade ago when we lost to Duke in the first round.

For my part, I hope to post a series of blog entries about the Highlanders team and the game this week.

Next week, we shall 'return to our regular program.'

Monday, March 9, 2009

Know Your Congress Reps and Senators (Entry 10 of 21)

Since right wing idiot said that President Barack Obama's pursuit of health care should be called the Teddy Kennedy Memorial Bill in reference to a senior senator who is very much alive, we are dedicating this entry to Ted Kennedy even though I am a centrist Democrat and well, he is not:)

Ted Kennedy was born on Feb. 22, 1932.

He became a U.S. senator at age 29 in 1962.

Kennedy is known as 'the lion of the Senate' for his many years in office.

He is second only to Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) in years of service in the Senate. They are also the two longest serving Democratic senators.

Kennedy announced that he had a malignant brain tumor last year, and he underwent treatment at Duke University.

An early endorser of Obama, Kennedy was in a serious plane crash in 1964.

He is known for his education and health care reform bills.

Scandal prevented him from pursuing the presidency in his younger years, but he did run an insurgent campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Kennedy's political opponents have included recent Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quote of the Week- Stan Lee

"I always felt that if I had super-power, I wouldn't immediately run into a store and buy a costume," Stan Lee.

SIDEBAR: My favorite comic book "Howard the Duck" was turned into a much-panned (but interesting) film. It is now on dvd. My friend Moviezzz from Springfield, Mass., has an article about the film which captured the life of Cleveland's most famous fowl that was posted this past week on his blog:

An Actual Conversation I Had With My Mom

My mom thought it might be a good idea for us to go see a movie at the historic Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, Va., for my 39th birthday which was on Wednesday.

It should be pointed out that in spite of what one might infer from these graphics, I am not a woman, but once you read the text, you will understand why I chose to use them.

This is pretty much the exact verbiage of that discussion:

Mom: What's showing at the Grandin?

Me: 'Waltz with Bashir,' 'The Reader' and that French movie.

Mom: The French movie with the British actress?

Me: Yes. (pause) Want to see it?

Mom: It's about a woman who gets out of jail right?

Me: Yes. I think so.

Mom: Too depressing. Bashir's a war movie, right?

Me: Yes

Mom: No (pause) I really don't want to see 'The Reader' either.

Me: Kate Winslet won an Oscar for it.

Mom: I know, but it's about the Holocaust. Is there something more uplifting at the other theatres?

Me: (Long pause) There's 'Confessions of a Shopaholic.'

Mom: That's too much in the other direction (pause). I guess we can go see 'The Reader.'

Saturday, March 7, 2009

True Confessions Quiz (5 of 11)

True or False: I am one of the few people I know who has met liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and right-wing action star Chuck Norris.

Norris (amazingly enough) turns 69 on March 10th.

I don't agree with his politics, but maybe the Boflex is working.

The answer to the last True Confessions Quiz is 'True.' My father Mehmet Gokbudak died from a heart attack at age 62 on my 13th birthday in 1983. My first stepfather Ralph Wright died exactly 13 years later on my 26th birthday on March 4, 1996.

But, no one died this year! For that, I am very thankful.

SIDEBAR: Today, my alma mater Radford University plays for the Big South championship against their rival VMI at 4 p.m. Amazingly enough, I will not be able to watch the game because of other plans!

REMINDER: This blog is actually one that goes with our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

It is found at: http://politicscultureandotherwastesoft.blogspot.com

Friday, March 6, 2009

Political Confusion Quiz (Entry 13 of 21)

It has come to our attention that liberal tv talk show Bill Maher who more or less shares my views on religion (I hope a supreme being or my mom isn't reading my blog) will debate Anne Coulter, a right-wing extremist who we firmly believe once had a wee wee.

If you are joining me in rooting for Maher, you are clearly not a Republican, and these days that is most certainly a very good thing.

Zip Code USA- Provo, Utah 84601

It has taken us awhile to run the follow-up to our last entry in this series which was Provincetown, Mass., which is believed to be the most liberal city in America.

Today, we focus on Provo, Utah 84601- which might very well the most conservative zip code here in les etats unis.

Provo is home to the entire Osmond family. Donny and Marie both live there, but we presumed neither actually lives with mom and dad.

84601 is also home to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who is an alumnus of Brigham Young University in Provo (pictured here).

Provo is 43 miles south of Salt Lake City. It is the county seat of Utah County.
The city lies between the towns of Orem and Springville.

Provo was originally called Fort Utah.

The city is fairly large for a college town as it has a population of 117,592.

Provo is the third largest city in Utah.

84601 is 88.5% white (and we presume Republican), 57% of its residents are married, 22% are under 18, and 88% are Mormon..........I imagine a Jewish person would feel even lonelier there than they would in a NASCAR town like Martinsville, Va.

The mayor of Provo is Lewis K. Billings, and the police chief is J. Craig Geslison.

It is interesting to note that some Brigham Young students actually protested the school's choice for a commencement speaker in 2007. He was none other than Dick Cheney.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eden Drive-In in Eden,NC, Reopens for the Season

Perhaps, if there is a 'benefit' to global warming, it is that one can now pretty much go see a movie at a drive-in twelve months of the year.

The Bright Leaf Drive-In in Mount Airy, NC, is already open for the season and starting Friday, The Eden Drive-In in Eden, NC, is open for business once again.

The Eden Drive-In, which typically starts showing films at sun-down, will screen a double-header of popular box office hit "Medea Goes to Jail" and the Dirty Harry rip-off "Taken."

Cereals of Our Youth (Entry 11 of 11)

Alpha-Bits Cereal.........

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this one is no longer on the market.

This cereal beat out Cocoa Crisp as the choice for my last entry.

This series also runs on my sister blog Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time (see link).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Celebrity Birthday- Catherine O'Hara is 55

It was a coin toss between this SCTV-alumnus and Paula Prentiss, who turns 70 today.

Along with crime writer James Ellroy, movie directors Curtis Hanson and Adrien Lyne, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas (who is unfortunately a Republican), they each share a birthday with me.

Although none of these people were actually born on March 4, 1970, as retired motorcycle racer Alex Criville was (yes, I had never heard of him either!).

O'Hara has starred in films like "For Your Consideration," "Lemony Snicket....," "A Mighty Wind," "Best in Show," "Orange County" and (of course) "Home Alone."

She also had a guest role in the HBO series "Six Feet Under."

I just hope for her sake that no one has died on her birthday, as has happened to me! (My father actually died on my 13th birthday).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Know Your Congress Reps and Senators (Entry 9 of 21)

Today, we return to another neglected series (last entry was New Year's Day). We initially hoped to profile Al Franken but the status of his race with Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn) is still held up in courts.

So, today we go with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct), who was born on May 27, 1944. He is the fifth of six children of the late Sen. Thomas Dodd, who was a leading prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials.

Dodd was elected to Congress in 1974 and to the Senate in 1980.

He chairs the Senate banking committee as well as the housing and urban affairs committee.

Dodd helped provide $3 billion to help towns and cities equip firefighters.

He also ran for president before formally backing Barack Obama.

I also happen to have a Facebook friend named Chris Dodd.

And, Dodd happens to be right wing talk show host Sean Hannity's favorite Democrat....oh wait, that was the other senator from Connecticut (Joe Lieberman).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quote of the Week_ Magic Johnson

Since March Madness is upon us, and it has been 30 years since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird meet in an NCAA final between Michigan State (MJ's alma mater) and Indiana State (Bird's alma mater), we thought we'd go with quotes from the two stars on our respective blogs:

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates."

Incidentally, Michigan State won that game.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

True Confessions Quiz (4 of 11)

Since it is a snowy day here in Roanoke, Va., we thought we'd bring our series "True Confessions" (last entry was in late December of 2008) back from the dead with this True or False question:

My 39th birthday is coming up soon here on Wednesday.

So, the question is: True or False_ Both my father and my first stepfather have died on my birthday in years past.............

Sorry, if you get this right, we can't offer you anything except maybe a 'meow' from Gizmo the family cat.............!

Political Confusion Test (12 of 21)

It has recently come to our attention that the former veep/president Dick Cheney thinks Obama is going to be 'soft and cuddly' towards the likes of Osama bin Laden. In the mean time, it appears that a mere 17 percent think Cheney did a good job.

To most of us that number is shockingly high, but then again it does lead one to wonder what percentage of people out there think the late Tiny Tim (1932-1996) was actually a good singer.

And, this leads us to today's political confusion question:

If you are more likely to thing the man who sang "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" was a good singer than Cheney, aka the ark angel of death, was a good vice president, then you are either a Democrat or a very smart/hip Republican (are there any of them out there???!).