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Friday Fivehouser: Bye Week Edition

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Worried that the Cats’ week off is going to throw your tail-gaiting, pre-gaming, or yelling-at-the-screen routine off-track? Here are five things to do this weekend instead of hoping no one catches you quietly singing along to “It’s My Life” every time it plays over the loudspeakers at Commonwealth:

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1. Start sprint training

The weekend’s no-brainer top priority. As has already been documented, KSR caller James — or, as I’ve come to think of him, “The .22 Bullet” — laid claim to both “top-five caller” and “fastest living member of BBN” status on Thursday’s radio show. I don’t know about y’all, but I consider that a challenge. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man (Whoooo!), so the rest of us need to step our games up if we’re going to have any hope of testing James in a footrace (once he gets over his pneumonia, of course).

But how do you trim enough time from your 40-yard dash to make a run at 4.1 James? Well, you could go the sucker route and read a wikihow article or download an app. Or, you could follow this handy Funkhouser 10-step sprint-training program:

1. Stretch (always stretch)

2. Run 40 yards as fast as you can

3. Try to catch your breath

4. Bend over, still trying to catch your breath

5. Say “oh God, oh God, oh God,” as you realize you can’t catch your breath

6. Try not to pass out

7. Fail

8. Vomit while unconscious

9. Wake up in a hospital

10. Repeat

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Orange is the New Black

2. Catch up on a Netflix original

Speaking of stepping games up, it was only two years ago that Netflix looked like it was starting to circle the drain. Remember how the company split its streaming and mail-delivery services, and renamed the latter Qwikster, only to call a mulligan on the whole name-change thing a few weeks later? At the time, it looked exactly like the sort of move that sends a revolutionary company into the dustbin of history, but Netflix has turned it around. Most notably, it’s made a huge splash in the world of original programming, putting out the sort of water cooler shows that usually only come from premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime.

But if you’re like me, there isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with all of the shows that everyone says you just have to watch. So why not take advantage of the extra free time this weekend to watch House of CardsHemlock Grove, the new season of Arrested Development, or Ricky Gervais’s latest, Derek — all Netflix originals? I’d suggest checking out Orange is the New Black, from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, if you haven’t already. The story of an upper-middle-class, organic foodie, NPR-listening woman convicted for youthful transgressions and sent to a minimal-security correctional facility in upstate New York, Orange is the New Black has just the right mix of humor, drama, and captivating characters for a weekend of binge viewing. Plus, there are only thirteen 45-minute episodes in the first season. Just the right amount to fill a weekend with no UK football. 

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3. Watch a movie (or five)

We’re right on the cusp of awards season, so studios are starting to release a few films that might be worth your time. This weekend, you could watch that one where Hugh Jackman yells at Jake Gyllenhaal or that really serious racing movie that obviously doesn’t realize it has the exact same plot as Talladega Nights. Or, you could check out the 3D re-release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. 

But if you’re not into the whole quality thing, this week also saw the release of two of the least-asked-for sequels ever. First, there’s Easy Rider: The Ride Back, which besmirches the memory of one of the most iconic endings in movie history with an entirely unnecessary coda 44 years after the original. And just in case that doesn’t fulfill your appetite for terrible sequels that nobody wanted, there’s Showgirls 2: Penny’s from Heaven (questionable SFWness). Which, honestly, looks terrible enough that it might be a better hate-watch than the original. And that’s saying something.

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4. Read all 15 years of American Elf

If you’re looking for something to really immerse yourself in this weekend, jump into the deep-end of American Elf. Every day from October 26, 1998 to December 31, 2012, James Kochalka drew a four-panel comic strip about his life. You can read all of them on his website, and if you have any interest in comics, they are absolutely worth your time. First of all, the sheer effort that Kochalka put into the project is impressive enough to make American Elf one of the most monumental accomplishments in the history of comics. The difficulty of keeping that effort up shows through in many of the strips, which Kochalka drew even after long nights of drinking, in the throes of early parenthood, and while watching his father slip into dementia.

But the cumulative impact of Kochalka’s honesty, humor, and earnest commitment to finding beauty in the mundane details of life is really what makes American Elf a masterpiece. If there’s a piece of art that’s a better representation of what it’s like to be alive, I’d like to see it. GTA-V-big

5. Ah, screw it. Just spend the whole weekend playing GTA V.

You know that’s what you were going to do anyway.

Article written by J.D. Holler