ALDLAND Archives: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Our Super Bowl coverage continues with another selection from the ALDLAND Vault. This time, we look back to the day after last year’s Super Bowl, through the feelings of bdoyk. -Ed.


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

February 6, 2012

You know that feeling when you go through a break up? You wake up the next morning. You feel tired despite hours of sleep. You check your phone hoping for a text that will make you realize that what happened the night before hadn’t really happened; it was just a bad dream. … Read the rest…


ALDLAND Archives: Why I Hate Harbaugh

A Cinderella Story of the Hip Hop Variety (via A Kaleidoscoped Life)

It all started on Monday night: “Congratulations, You’re a Winner!” the email read. It was so nondescript that I assumed it was junkmail, but read it anyways. Turned out my hasty decision to submit a sweepstakes entry for a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis YouTube Presents taping had worked out in my favor and I was one of 200 people picked to attend. Great news, right? Well…you see, despite living in Music City, this was going to go down in New York City…in about 48 hours. Cue Clay Davis. My PhD budget barely has enough in it for drinks at 3Crow, definitely not for last minute flights to NYC. I forwarded the email to my main girl, Lauren, and suddenly things happened…fast. … Read More

(via A Kaleidoscoped Life)


Nearly two weeks ago, I touched down in South Africa for a 6-week field school (alternately known as a way to do some international research on my graduate institution’s dime). Most of the time thus far has been spent in a tour bus, seeing various parts of Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Flats. Today, however, was different. We pulled up at 7:30 am to a high school in a township notorious for its high incidence of gang violence, dropout, and teen pregnancy. We were there to speak with some students about their thoughts on the school, their community, and what might inspire their peers to stop showing up (which approximately 75% of them will do by the time they reach Grade 12). My final set of interviews was with two 13 year old girls, who happened to still be on campus because they had softball practice. For the next 30 minutes, they told me about their experience of growing up in the surrounding community and at the school. Their stories were heartbreaking, but more importantly, their attitudes were inspiring. They distinguished themselves from their surroundings, aspiring to graduate, enroll in university, and pursue careers (of bank teller/author and fashion designer, respectively). Throughout their narratives, they continuously returned to the roll that softball had in their day-to-day life. For them, it was way more than a sport, but a safe place, a collective of like-minded peers, and a way to be young and have fun, something that is not often acknowledged as a luxury.

Upon reflection, their stories correlated with that told by David Fine’s documentary debut Salaam Dunk. I must admit on the front end that the director was one of my college roommates, so perhaps I’m biased. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if it comes to your city, you’ve got to see it. The film spotlights the women’s basketball team at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani and their American coach. While it could very well have documented the strife of growing up a young woman in northern Iraq during a time of national unrest, it instead focuses on the resilience of the young women. The surrounding context is exceptional, but in many ways, the girls’ experience on the team is similar to that of anyone who played (and truly loved) a sport at any time in his or her life. Of course, I blubbered (both with pride and at the story line) at multiple points. However, I walked away feeling great.

If you live in New York City, please go catch this film this weekend at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. It’s just so good. I flew to San Francisco for a showing in March, and it was just phenomenal (if you don’t believe me, ask friend of ALDland, Alice Wheat and various other unaffiliated sources, such as Variety, ESPN, etc.). And while you’re there, give Buddy David a big ole hug for me.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I’m taking ALDland in a different direction here this evening, just stick with me…

You know that feeling when you go through a break up? You wake up the next morning. You feel tired despite hours of sleep. You check your phone hoping for a text that will make you realize that what happened the night before hadn’t really happened; it was just a bad dream. You drag yourself out of bed, and put on the clothes that make you feel the most comfortable and secure (sweat material, a big scarf, and a glamorous pair of sunglasses are always in the mix). You tell yourself it will be ok, and haltingly pull yourself together and get out the door. You go to your favorite coffeshop, in hopes that a cup of your favorite dark roast will wake you up and make you productive once more. But as you sit, trying to avoid songs that inspire memories, occasionally accidentally stumbling upon photos, you get flashes of sadness and hurt, maybe even an occasional tear. You rehash everything, and think to yourself, “If only we had done ____ differently, things would be so different.” You sigh deeply, and your friend walks in and says, “You look…..sad.” You drop your head on the table in a way that you think Carrie Bradshaw did once, and make some absurd sound and make the conjecture that you’re likely doomed to a lonely future of multiple cats and maybe some Golden Girl-esque roommates. The whole day passes by in a woosh of general malaise. Oh that doesn’t happen to you? Yeah, me neither…

This is how the day has passed. The low level nausea, the sadness, the strange groans. However, this time, it wasn’t attributable to a relationship gone south, but rather the demise of my beloved Patriots. Three plays. Had three plays turned out differently, I think it would have been the Pats to win; however, as it played out, the right team won and my heart is a little broken. For the next million years, I will shield my eyes from the butt slide seen round the world. I’m grieving this as I do any break up, with a few glasses of wine, some retail therapy, and bad reality television (seriously, y’all, that Alicia Keyes back up singer can SING, right?). Pretty soon, it will be onto Phase 2: my favorite outfit, hottest heels, and a little extra swagger with which to confront those who offer you a sympathy, “Oh, I’m so…sorry?” Yep, I will mourn and I will move on. I will always have love in my heart for the 2011 squad though.

The good news is: pitchers and catchers is so so soon. AND we got a Beckham commercial and TWO Tim Riggins sightings, so the night wasn’t a total wash. Oh, and I got a solid chuckle when my dad called in earnest at halftime to ask me if Vince Wilfork was on stage with Madonna (granted, this is the same man who asked me after last year’s Grammy’s who was on stage with “Christina Pullthrough”–yep, that’s right, Gwyneth Paltrow.) In the end, it’ll be ok, but I am secretly hoping that this break up with the 2011 season comes with a bit of a break-up diet too.

Words I never thought I’d Say

“I’m super bummed not to be going to Indianapolis this weekend.”

But seriously. I am. At the conclusion of highstepping through the middle of my local watering hole, celebrating the shank heard ’round the world, I high-5ed my New England brethren and we declared, “We’re going to Indy!” Our hopes were shattered, however, when a Kayak search yielded $500 rooms at the Days Inn. Therefore, you’ll find us at a local duplex, unbothered by non-Patriots fans. A modern day foxhole of gametime anxiety and unfettered love for TB12.

As the youngest of 8 kids, my dad instilled a love for Boston sports early and often. However, his one true love are the New England Patriots and I have to say that I think I agree. I spent many Sundays in my younger years watching the atrocious squad get devastated over and over and over again. Then, something awesome happened. They got great (and I got accused of being a new, bandwagon fan. I mean, my favorite player used to be Tom Tupa, so…there’s that.). It’s been a good ride, and I’m  so so so so so excited to be heading to SB46. However, the last 10 days have been brutal. The Ravens victory locked up, I immediately turned my attention to how nervous I was for this game. I’m talking about literal nerves. Can’t sit still, can’t focus, feel a little grab in my chest every time I breathe, nerves. You see, I haven’t quite recovered from the last postseason match up of these two squads. I consider it to be the Voldemort of Superbowls. After the Balitimore game, I got the following email from my former (Boston loving) roommate, with whom I watched the disaster unfold (from our friend, Luke’s, apartment in NYC):

fyi – under no circumstance should you and I watch this Pats/Giants Super Bowl game together….and you should prob tell Luke not to have people over to his apt for a watching party…and none of us should spontaneously move back to NYC in the next two weeks.
I feel better getting that off my chest.
Go Pats.


I laughed. Seriously though…I will be sure that none of those things happen.

Every time I sit down at my computer and prepare to do work, , I think to myself, let me just check my Twitter feed one more time…it’s a time sucking cycle that’s led to infinite articles, Spotify playlists, image galleries, video clips, etc etc. I just cannot wait. I love this team. It’s hard not to (yeah, yeah, I know a ton of you disagree). Even the stars started as down on their luck guys with a chip on their shoulders and something to prove. I really, really hope that they prove it on Sunday. In the meantime…..eeeeeeeeks.

Bdoyk’s year in review

My favorite time of year is when my go to blogs begin to slowly unveil what they thought was the best of the previous 11-12 months. I tend to nod my head in visible agreement or audibly exclaim a Gob Bluth-esque “C’mon!” as certain selections grace their lists. I anticipate that you, fair readers, will do precisely the same. Thus, without further ado…here goes nothing.


1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver

It’s no secret that I adore Bon Iver. I have had their first album and any live material I could get my hands on in frequent rotation for the last 3 years. I’ve even changed the way I say their name multiple times (specifically after being scoffed at when say both Bahn Eye-ver and Bone Ee-vehr, now I just sort of mumble it and tend to swoon over Justin Vernon instead). Anyways, this album was highly anticipated by me and many others, and did not disappoint. In fact, it also produced the best song of the year. And to cap it off, it was the best concert of the year. [note to fans: Bon Iver + Ryman + Acoustic = Unreal]

2. Adele, 21

Similar to Bon Iver, I’ve been waiting for Adele’s sophomore release for a long time. As the days led up to its release, she began her media tour and I fell in love with her all over again. When I lived in New York, I had the chance to see her twice. Both times I was struck that her live performance was better than her first album, a feat I previously thought impossible, and, to top it all off, she was just so damn likeable, chatting with the audience, giggling like an excited school girl. Fortunately/unfortunately she performed a ton in support of this album, so much so she found herself under the knife, and isn’t expecting to make another album for another 2-3 years. In the meantime, I’ll be watching this and definitely not not getting teary eyed.

3. The Head and the Heart, The Head and the Heart

I’m not sure how/when this band popped on my radar, but boy am I glad they did. Their album is simple, but fabulous. Like the previous two on this list, I can listen to it beginning to end, never skipping a song. I’ve probably listened to Down in the Valley close to 2,398,509,259 times since May, and still haven’t gotten sick of it.

4. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Ok, so this is sooo 2010, but I’m going to go ahead and include it. Hopefully ‘Ye will feel better about not getting an Album of the Year nod with this honor. Perhaps even more interesting than the album is the story behind how it came to be. Kanye’s a nut, that’s for sure. He also has a lot of feelings. He also is a pretty brilliant producer and each of these combine for some serious hotness. Throw on the full album next time you’re at the gym and tell me you didn’t do some fist pumping. Also, Nicki Minaj’s verse on Monster is one of the best rap verses maybe ever, and makes me want to get in a fight.

Well I don’t have a 5th so I’m going to throw out my Honorable Mentions and miscellaneous awards here:

Black Keys, El Camino. Haven’t listened quite enough to put it on the list, but I can tell you there are some gems on here. My personal favorite, Mind Eraser, is like a song version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I’m super into it. Sister and Lonely Boy are also pretty epic.

Jay Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne. Seems too easy to have on there. However, it’s really, really good. Some of the lyrics are absurd slash offensive, but the beats are undeniably super hot and may inspire an instant party no matter where you are (don’t ask me how I know this).

Best Cover:  TIE! Both are too good for me not to include them

Take Care (Drake), Florence + the Machine

Dirty Diana (Michael Jackson), The Weeknd

Best Jam: Girl I Want You to Know, Lupe Fiasco

Best Love Song: A Million Years, Alexander

Sports Moments

1. The end of the NFL lockout

Sundays from February to August feel empty enough to me as is; thus, the prospect of not having a season was a little bit much for me to realistically consider. There were some desperate points in there. However, as the end came, just days after the passing of the Pats’ owner’s beloved wife, and Bob Kraft played an instrumental role in the negotiations, it felt doubly sweet.

2. The epic collapse of the Red Sox/Eva(n) Longoria’s extra innings walk-off

I am still  not in a place where I can talk about this. But, boy, was it memorable.

3. Brees surpassing Marino for single season yardage

See? Sometimes procrastinating has its perks. The inclusion of this moment comes less than 24 hours after it happened. Sure, the talking heads will all point to how the game has changed sufficiently, making the comparison of Marino and Brees’ accomplishments laughable. However, Brees seems like a great guy. His post-game speech in the locker room was as genuine as they come. All in all, excellent work for an excellent dude.

Exexpatriate’s year in review
Bpbrady’s year in review
ALDLAND’s year in review

Farewell, Petey

It was the best of times, it was the best of times. Fall 2004. I was hot out of college. Wide eyed and lost, living in the Bean and trying to make sense of life. There was one thing I knew for real, and that was that I loved the Boston Red Sox. Having been devastated the previous year by the terrible coaching decisions of Grady Little and the fortuitous swing of Aaron f’ing Boone, I nervously watched every game of the playoffs, accompanied by friends and strangers, alike. High fives were distributed liberally, so too were fist pumps. The curse was broken.

Pedro Martínez was an integral part of the team, and the root of so much of the success. His affable personality and pointed confidence on the field made him a much-loved hero. He was also quirky (who can forget the Zimmer incident), but his strengths outweighed his weaknesses. To me, he is a rare example of someone who left the club and I bid adieu with fondness and a wish of luck.


Today, he officially announced his retirement, well announced he was going to announce. Although he hasn’t pitched since 2009 and this doesn’t come much of a surprise, I find it fitting to send him off in style. Pedro was one of the best. His statistics speak for themselves. One particularly impressive set of numbers to consider: From 1997-2003, in the heart of the steroids era, Pedro Martinez AVERAGED 201 IP, 144 H, 45 BB, 252 K, 13 HR, a 2.20 ERA, a 17-5 record. Dude was no joke. A dream to have on the mound, you felt good on days he was slated to pitch. When there were rumors that he may sign a minor league contract with the Sox back in April, I think we all secretly hoped we’d see him in Fenway one final time. Alas, it is not meant to be. Thus, I bid you farewell, Pedro. May your retirement be filled with gardening and revelry.

Separated at Birth?

For the last several months, I’ve been trying to figure out how I could contribute to this fine electronic publication. Today’s that day. Why today? Because today (er, yesterday) I violated my self-imposed avoidance of all things Red Sox that commenced approximately 3 minutes after the worst 3 minutes of my sporting life. Ok, second worst. Well, no, third worst. Anyways, I had planned on extending this to Spring Training, but with the news of a new manager, I was forced to check in a little bit.

While grabbing a beverage at the neighborhood watering hole last night, the surrounding TVs were all tuned into a muted Sportscenter and the Bobby Valentine story was in heavy rotation. From the headlines I gathered some elementary information about the signing (and boy was I peeved that Aaron f’ing Boone was the man on the scene). As Valentine’s smug grin repeatedly flashed on the screen, I kept thinking, “Man, he looks so similar to someone…” My first thought…an extra on Happy Days? No, that wasn’t it. I went to bed trying to figure it out. Then, suddenly, it came to me.

Bobby V and Nat from the Pitch Pit are totally twinzies! I was really hoping that as the new skipper, he’d emulate the fatherly Nat, minus the high drama. Alas, seems like things are already off to a rocky start. And with that, it’s back to my Red Sox foxhole I go… See you in Fawt Mayahs.