Monthly Archives: March 2017

David Letterman has a LOT to say, and it’s fantastic. A mom of a freshman college student sends the best “care package.” And Alabama co-workers do a beautiful thing for a hard-working young man

You know sometimes when you haven’t talked to someone in a while, that as soon as you see them you just start rambling and telling them everything for about 20 minutes, only coming up for air?

Well, that’s kind of how David Letterman feels about interviews these days. After having an hour each night to talk to an audience for about 30 years, the late-night legend admits it’s been a big shift to just talk to a few people a day.

In his retirement from TV, Dave has grown a huge beard, stayed out of the spotlight, and pretty much kept a low profile. Until now. He’s on the cover of New York magazine this week and the interview inside is, well, incredible. Dave just talks and talks and talks, and admits he sounds like a crazy person but he’s just so happy to be talking to someone again.

He expounds on Donald Trump, his own searching for new passions, and much more.

A couple quick excerpts, but I highly recommend checking out the whole thing here. 

On Donald Trump: I always regarded him as, if you’re going to have New York City, you gotta have a Donald Trump. He was a joke of a wealthy guy. We didn’t take him seriously. He’d sit down, and I would just start making fun of him. He never had any retort. He was big and doughy, and you could beat him up. He seemed to have a good time, and the audience loved it, and that was Donald Trump. Beyond that, I remember a friend in the PR business told me that he knew for a fact — this was three or four presidential campaigns ago — that Donald Trump would never run for president; he was just monkeying around for the publicity.

On Trump’s advisors:  I mean, how do you build a dictatorship? First, you undermine the press: “The only truth you’re going to hear is from me.” And he hires the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Steve Bannon, to be his little buddy. Bannon looks like a guy who goes to lunch, gets drunk, and comes back to the office: “Steve, could you have just one drink?” “Fuck you.” How is a white supremacist the chief adviser to our president? Did anybody look that up? I don’t know. How’s this interview going? Do you think you’re talking to a normal person here? Don’t I seem like I’m full of something?

On adjusting to civilian life after being a celebrity:
It’s still hard. I have trouble operating the phone. That’s the God’s truth. I needed a pair of shoelaces. And I thought, Hell, where do you get shoelaces? And my friend said, there’s a place over off I-84, it’s the Designer Shoe Warehouse. So I go over there, and it’s a building the size of the Pentagon. It’s enormous. If you took somebody from — I don’t know, pick a country where they don’t have Designer Shoe Warehouses — blindfolded them and turned them loose in this place, they would just think, You people are insane.

I love unhinged, completely uninhibited Letterman. Again, the whole interview is great.

**Next up today, I love this story so much, even if it does seem a tad cruel.

A freshman student at Westminster College in Pennsylvania named Connor Cox got a care package from his mother a few weeks ago.

He was excited to open it, as we all are when we’re in college and Mom sends stuff. Connor wondered if it’d be his favorite snacks, or some cool game or book from his room.

Nope! It was trash from the Cox’ kitchen that Connor had forgotten to take out as he’d promised he would, on Christmas break.

“I called my mom and we talked about it,” Connor told KDKA. “Asked her if she sent me the wrong box, because that’s how confused I was. But she said it was the right box, and I had to be held responsible for what I didn’t do.”

I love it! I feel bad for the UPS guys who had to smell that package, but Moms have to mold their kids whatever way they can.

**Finally today, a really sweet story about co-workers helping one of their own. In Oxford, Ala., 19-year-old Derrick Taylor woke up in the middle of the night, every workday for a year, to walk five miles to his 4 a.m. shift at UPS. Derrick did this to help support his Mom, who is sick.

According to this story, Derrick’s co-workers were so impressed by his work ethic and dedication that they pitched in for a life-changing gift that left the 19-year-old in tears.

Taylor’s fellow employees pooled together $1,100 to buy him a used Jeep Cherokee that ensured his days of 10-mile treks were over.

Co-worker J.D. Ward presented the car to Taylor in front of everyone on Feb. 22.

“This is a hard-working young man,” Ward said in the video. “He makes me emotional. This young man wants to work so bad, he walks to work from way out of town.”

The video of the co-workers giving Derrick the car is just beautiful.

 

Our lone-wolf President goes on a dangerous Tweetstorm, by himself again. A very cool video about how tennis balls are made. And Duke and Carolina play another classic (the wrong blue won)

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This is how it’s going to be, because this is all he knows how to do.

Once again over the weekend, our President was bored on a Saturday morning, alone at his WASP castle in Florida, frustrated by poor poll numbers and the deepening quicksand of his administration’s ties to Ivan Drago’s homeland.

His normal “babysitters” Ivanka and her husband Jared, aren’t available on Saturdays because they’re Jewish and observe the Sabbath and don’t use electronic devices for 24 hours, and so Donald Trump’s most nutty utterances usually happen on Saturdays. (As a commenter on Twitter pointed out, the man needs a Shabbat babysitter. Clearly someone in America can help out here)

And so this giant baby of a man throws out an entirely fact-free and ridiculous assertion that the former President single-handedly ordered the Justice Dept. to wiretap the phones at Trump Tower last year.

It’s tempting, really tempting, to listen to the narrative many have advised over the past several months, that we shouldn’t react to every insane utterance, every madman theory that he throws out. That we’re just giving him what he wants, to be talked about and get people stirred up.

But I can’t ignore it. Because this man was a sideshow clown for most of the past 30 years, and now he’s the actual President of the actual United States, and he has an incredible amount of power. Never before has America entrusted so high an office to such an unqualified, mentally deranged person. And that’s what he is.

He doesn’t know how to lead, how to govern, any of that.

He just knows how to be the Boy who Cried Wolf: He gets a bunch of matches and a bunch of sticks and tries to light a fire, and when that doesn’t work he just throws so much mud at the wall and hoping that even a fraction of it sticks.

Sunday afternoon, the director of the FBI asked the Dept. of Justice to make a public statement saying the President of the U.S. lied to Americans. THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL.

And we can’t ignore it, we can’t stop reacting to it, because the danger is real, as long as a madman sits in the Oval Office.

God save us all.

**Next up today, I love the website Mental Floss so much because they’re always teaching me things or showing me videos of how things work. I’ve played tennis for 35 of my 41 years on Earth and I’d truly never thought about how a tennis ball gets made. But thanks to this remarkable short video by a guy named Benedict Redgrave from the inside of a Wilson tennis ball factory, we get to see the process up close from start to finish.

Two things immediately jumped out at me: 1, I can’t believe how much “human hands” still do a lot of the work, and 2, I would watch 45 more minutes of this. Really fantastic stuff here.

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**Finally today, Saturday night was another classic installment in the greatest rivalry in American sports, Duke-North Carolina. It was a thrilling game featuring incredible shot-making, terrific defensive plays, and so, so much intensity.

The wrong shade of blue won (at least I think it’s the wrong shade of blue), but Duke played tremendously. I’m thrilled Amile Jefferson and Grayson Allen look healthy-ish, that Luke Kennard plays for the Blue Devils and is awesome, and that I get to see the whole ACC Tournament up-close this week as it comes to Brooklyn (I have no Earthly idea why they moved it here for two years but I’m thrilled I get to see it and make some freelance coin at the same time).

Anyway, Duke-Carolina was awesome, the Heels deserved to win, but also awesome is this fan video a Duke student named Jackson Steger made. It’s a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah,” set to Duke-Carolina highlights, and I thought it was just about perfect.

The Kansas hero of the Indian shootings speaks out. Alicia Keys awesomely channels Stefani and Adele. And 3 amazing buzzer-beaters you must see because it’s March

 

And a Happy Friday to you! As I continue to await the day when we find someone in the Trump administration who didn’t chat with Russia during the 2016 campaign, I give you three things this week that should put a smile on your face.

First of all, you would think there’s absolutely nothing positive to come out of this horrible story in Kansas, when a Caucasian man decided he didn’t want two men of Indian descent to breathe even one more minute. This “human being” who doesn’t deserve to be named walked into a restaurant in Olathe, Kan. on Feb. 23 and shot both Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. Kuchibhotla died, while Madsani was seriously injured.

Ian Grillot, at the bar to watch basketball with his friends, saw what was going on and charged the gunman, getting shot himself in the process.

He has been rightly hailed as a hero; read this story and watch the above video to realize we have way more good people than bad in this country, despite what you hear.

This is my favorite part:

But despite the harrowing circumstances, Grillot told the newspaper he was thrilled to see Madasani standing in his doorway at the hospital.

“It just put the biggest smile on my face,” Grillot said in the video. “I’m just very grateful that one of the gentlemen is fine and alive. It’s terrible what happened to his friend. But I think he was watching over us last night.”

He said he considered the Indian his new “best friend”. A GoFundMe page created for him raised more than $87,000.

“I was just doing what anyone should have done,” Grillot told the newspaper. “It’s not about where he’s from, or ethnicity. We’re all humans.”

**Next up, Alicia Keys is pretty amazing, we can all agree on that, right? The marvelous and soulful singer proved it once again this week, going on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and killing it on his game of “Wheel of Musical Impressions.”

Basically Alicia had to imitate a famous singer crooning a children’s song, and she was so good. If you only have time to watch one of these, fast forward to the 3:20 mark, and hear her do an absolutely beautiful version of the “Alphabet Song” in the style of Adele.

So beautiful.

**Finally today, look, I’m not going to lie to you: this blog is, as usual, going to have A LOT of college basketball content this month, because there’s just so much awesomeness going on and I’m an addict and I must feed that addiction.

We’re still two weeks away from the NCAA Tournament, but this week there were three amazing buzzer-beaters I feel you must see. Two are actually from high school, the Indiana state high school basketball tournament (“No. School this Small. Has EVER been in a state championship!” Sorry, I was channeling Dennis Hopper in “Hoosiers” there.

First up, though, above, is Northwestern’s Nathan Taphorn, making an incredible, Grant Hill-esque (and maybe it was better than Grant’s famous pass?) to Dererk Pardon for a game-winning basket for the Wildcats over Michigan Wednesday night. This basically clinches Northwestern’s first NCAA Tournament bid ever, which is amazing.

But two other shots were equally incredible this week, from the aforementioned state tournament in Indiana. First, this was incredible: Joshua Clanton and his Central Christian Academy team were down 62-61 with less than a second left, when this happened:

I mean, what are the odds of that going in, one in a million? The story behind it is pretty great, too.

One night earlier, this pretty amazing shot happened as well, from Noblesville High School. The old famous Valpo play made famous by Bryce Drew in the NCAA Tournament, executed perfectly here!

Incredible stuff.