Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pretending To Understand The Winter Olympics: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

If you're like me, 95% of the Winter Olympic Games are beyond your understanding. I mean, almost every time I turn it on to watch, some sport is going on that seems nonsensical to me.

Guys pushing one another with sticks. Sledders sledding on their butts. People doing flips on skis. Announcers screaming about "more emotion than I've ever seen in all my years of broadcasting" when it looks to me as if no one has made any sort of facial expression whatsoever.

I'm lost. I admit it. As this year's Winter Olympics conclude tomorrow, I confess that I have no clue what's going on. I mean, I truly am lost. My wife Ramona has been totally into the Olympics, talking about how "the artistry of the South Koreans was just captivating" when all I see are a couple of people wearing sequins and doing random spins.

When I hear people talking about the Olympics and sounding like they know what they're talking about, I nod and smile and say things like "Oh yeah, the Russians are definitely making more of an impact than I expected." But I have no clue what I'm talking about. I really don't.

So here's my take on these Olympics, from the "what the hell is it that I'm watching" perspective:

---The Olympics consist of exactly five athletes: The two hot female skiers, Bode Miller, the guy with the long red hair, and Apolo Ohno (but only because of his soul patch and headbands).

---Everyone in America hates Canadians.

---Everyone in Canada hates Americans.

---Canadian judges are trying to screw over Americans.

---The Olympics are the only time that watching hockey on TV is fun.

---The only other countries involved in the Olympics besides the U.S. and Canada are: Russia, China and South Korea. None of the other countries are on TV; I guess it's because they don't get snow.

---All the athletes pretend to like each other, when really they're thrilled when one of them fails.

---All Olympic married couples announce after their event that they're having kids.

---All Olympic boyfriend-girlfriend couples announce after their event that they're getting married.

---All the women are blonde.

---All the guys, except for the red-headed dude, have dark hair.

---Victory laps on skis are boring.

---Bob Costas knows all.

---And I am convinced that there is a random Olympic sport that I can quickly pick up, try it a few times, and be ready to make a run at a medal in 2014.

You are, too.

Don't lie.


And now for this week's:


A man who recently bought an online virtual island for $26,500 is making more than $100,000 in real money per year off of it.

Apparently, the owner of this virtual island runs Amethera Treasure Island, which he purchased in the virtual world Entropia, as a rare game preserve and taxes hunters on his land.

Reading that last paragraph back, I feel like I'm reading back the minutes of some Star Trek fan club meeting.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Stupidity Of Movie Reviews: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I don't get movie reviews. I mean, I truly never understood people's obsession with them. Why the hell do people care about the opinion of movies critics when you don't even know who these people are or what their tastes are like?

My wife Ramona and I are big movie goers, and we have this argument all the time. It's the same scenario. I look up the movie times online, I give Ramona some options, and she says:

What do the reviews say?

Then I say:

Who cares?

Then she says:

I just want to know.

Then I say:

But what makes you think that they like what you like?

Then she says:

Would you just tell me?

Then I say:

What difference does it make what they say?

Then she says:

It matters to me.

Then I say:

Well it shouldn't.

Then she rolls her eyes.

Then I roll my eyes.

Then she looks up the reviews herself.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I just never understood why we care so much about some random person's opinion. Do people think they're experts just because their opinion can be found in print or online? As a former journalist who spent 13 years in TV, print, online and magazine writing and editing, I can tell you: This isn't so. Most of these people don't have two brain cells in their head. They simply tell you what they like and don't like, and use fancy words and catchy phrases to make it seem like they have some deeper knowledge of what makes a movie good or not.

In reality, it's like going clothes shopping, trying something on, and grabbing the arm of some random stranger passing by and asking them: "Excuse me, person who I have never met before in my life and whose taste I know nothing about, what do you think of this color on me?" Do you do this when you go clothes shopping? No. Why? Because you don't give a damn what that person thinks. Because you don't know them!! They're not a fashion expert!! And they know nothing about your taste. And even if they answered you with fancy words and catchy phrases, you still wouldn't care.

The movie critic is like that random stranger. I don't care what he or she thinks because he or she doesn't care what I think. We don't know each other, we have no clue of each others' tastes, and I for one want to keep it that way.

I was watching the movie Street Kings the other day, starring Keanu Reeves. It was your typical dumb action flick, with a moronic plot and filled with such Keanu lines as "We were black and white when black and white was a big deal" and "Quicks? Not quick enough." I loved it. I thought it was entertaining as hell. I'm told movie critics hated it. Did I listen? No. Did I even read? No.

And thank God I didn't.

Because if I did, I would've missed Keanu go into a convenience store to break his ex-partner's jaw, try to save him when some gang bangers come in to kill the ex-partner, and then Keanu accidentally shoot his partner in the back.

And that would've been a real shame.


And now for this week's:


Ramona and I put our first offer on a home today.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bane Of Male Existence (aka Valentine's Day): A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Nevdogg Note: One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about how men hated Valentine's Day. And with the "holiday" two days away, I thought I would repost my Valentine's Day blog from 2008, since my feelings haven't changed. For my new readers, enjoy. For my original readers, enjoy this trip down memory lane.

This Sunday marks one of the most painful days of the year in the life of the non-single man. It's a day we dread, a day we fear, a day that makes us sag our shoulders at the mere thought.

They call this horror of horrors: Valentine's Day.

Now, all the men reading this know exactly where I'm coming from, nodding and thinking, "Amen, my brother. The truth must finally be told." So it's to you, female audience of Nevin's blogs, that I'm speaking to today.

If a man has a girlfriend, fiancee or wife, he despises Valentine's Day. Why?

1) Money. When Valentine's Day is over, the man's wallet is going to be a couple of hundred dollars less (and that's IF the woman in question is easy to please). Flowers, candy, dinner...everything is jacked up price-wise on this Hallmark-created holiday. And businesses know that a man can't skimp on the festivities, lest he do so at his own peril.

I once suggested to a former girlfriend that we go to Dennys on Feb. 14 and that she pretend to be 56 in order to get the senior citizen price on the pancakes.

The idea didn't fly.

So businesses charge their exorbitant fees on Valentine's Day and laugh to themselves, knowing that they've got us by the testicles.

2) Pressure. Here's an interesting observation I've made over the last several Valentine's Days. Giving in and paying $50 for $10 roses is no longer good enough. Today's women want something different, special, something that sets them apart from their girlfriends. It's like the man is caught in the middle of a female pissing contest.

So not only does the man have to shell out a lot of money, but now he's expected to put in some thought? What are we supposed to do? Learn the guitar and write you a love song? Take you to the circus and arrange to be shot out of a cannon while we scream "I love you" as we go soaring over the horizon? Buy you a car?

Money and thought? C'mon!!

3) It's not fair. I saw a jewelry commercial the other day with the tagline, "This Valentine's Day, show her how much you care." Well, where's the "show him" commercials? When was it decided that Valentine's Day was only about one gender? When did men get left out in the cold? Do we not have some sort of role in the whole "couples" concept?

All I want is for there to be a commercial for me. How about: "On Valentine's Day, show him you care: Madden 2010 for the Playstation 3."

Is that too much to ask?

So, non-single ladies, I'd like to end with this:

If on Valentine's Day, your man did not step up to your expectations, remember: It's not that he doesn't love you...'s that he can't afford you.


And now for this week's:


ESPN has launched a wildlife cam.

Apparently, a camera focuses on a lot of land, and people can watch the plot of land all day long on their computer and view...nature.

One in a while, a bird flies onto the screen. Or a deer roams on the land for a few seconds.

But mainly, you're just watching a plot of land.

Thousands of people are watching the ESPN wildlife cam.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yearly Rant On The De-Evolution Of Super Bowl Parties: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Nevdogg Note: Two years ago, I wrote a blog talking about how Super Bowl parties had devolved into a mess of people who don't even like football getting together to eat healthy, organic food. A sickening trend indeed. Because the Super Bowl is this Sunday and because my opinion hasn't changed since last year, I decided to repost my 2008 blog on the subject. Enjoy, and please: If you're at a Super Bowl party and don't like football or potato chips, be silent. Because believe me, no one who is into the game wants to hear what you have to say. :-)

When I was growing up, we watched the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday.

Let me say that again.

When I was growing up, we watched the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday.

As in, we watched the game. We had a vested interest in the outcome. We knew what was going on. We knew which teams were actually playing.

Many of you (myself included) will be going to a Super Bowl party this Sunday. I was speaking to several of my co-workers recently, and here were some of their Super Bowl comments:

I don't even like football that much.

I'm just going for the commercials.

Who is playing again?

I'm making hummus!!

My point is: Somewhere along the line, the dynamics of Super Bowl parties changed. It no longer became about the game. It was about being trendy, with it, a part of the scene.

When you go to your event on Sunday, 90% of the people present will be there simply because "it's the thing to do." And the 10% who actually want to focus on the game will be forced to listen to things like, "Why are they wearing red uniforms? It clashes with their helmets."

And let me say something about the food.

When I was a kid, Super Bowl parties consisted of three things:




Simple. Direct. Manly.

With today's Super Bowl parties, it's like being on an episode of Iron Chef. Homemade brownies. Sweet and sour chicken. Chex.

(Freakin' Chex.)

And no more Pepsi, folks. Because God forbid we should have regular soda and all those empty calories. Diet Pepsi is now the beverage of choice.

And pizza?

"Oh God, that's so 1980s!!" I heard someone recently declare.

And then there's my personal favorite:

The veggie tray.

Because at one point, some patrons of these parties who had never seen a football in their lives were aghast that there were no healthy vegatables at these things and bitched and moaned until someone raced out to the market and got a veggie tray just to shut them up.

And because of that, veggie trays and the Super Bowl are now linked. For better or worse.

I was asked to bring a veggie tray this year.

The cost: $10.

$10 for a couple of carrots and a teensy bit of special "veggie dip" that'

Oh well.

At least veggie trays are American.

Unlike hummus.

And now for this week's:


This is an older SOTA involving me and my sister Blake, but it is rather timeless. :-)

She and I once had the following conversation:

Blake: I have a chia pet.

Nev: That's nice.

Blake: Its name is Pickles.

Sometimes, I wonder about my family...