Wednesday, May 31, 2006

To all those people...

that have been calling my apartment. No, I am not dating anyone. I don't know the woman whose voice is on the message. I have called the phone company and apparently they are working on fixing the problem. There seem to be some wires crossed. So, if you have been leaving messages for the past couple weeks and have put me on the "bastard list" for not returning your calls, I apologize. I never got your message. Some unknown woman has. I am still a bastard though.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Media Update!

First of all, Rescue Me's season three begins tonight on FX. You should be watching the second best show currently on TV. The Shield's number one. Sure you probably haven't seen that last two seasons but it doesn't matter. Watch it.

The Da Vinci Code: boooooring

X-men: The Last Stand: eh. I'm getting tired of this blue hue that seems to be in every comic book movie these days. Do they all use the same cinematographer? Is this a standard now set for all comic book movies? All it does is scream we shot this on a set. Is it really a Last Stand when there are only six good X-men fighting. This could've been a much better three season TV show with the story of each movie being the finale of each season. Then you could include other X-men and not have some lost in the shuffle. One more question: Halle Berry won an Oscar? Really? Are we sure this happened? Are we sure that was Halle Berry?

Lost: I'd like to thank the creators for the last four episodes of Lost. You've reeled me back in you bastards. Now please say you've learned your lessons from this season.

During my once a week "Let's see what's in heavy rotation on the music video channels" viewing I came across a show on FUSE called "Dance-Off, Pants-Off." If you can't tell from the title, the concept is that people dance and strip while a music video plays in the background. Oh what I would've paid to be in the meeting where they came up with this. People earn money coming up with these ideas, and they can live with themselves. In case you think this show is simply about the sex, here is the highest rated "dancer."

I completely apologize for that.

Channel B: What? You haven't heard of Channel B? That might be because it only exists in my head. Over the past few years, films that were at first lost to the world unless you wanted to pay $180 for a crappy VHS copy are being made available on DVD. There is obviously a market for these cult films. Why can't there be a channel that feeds that market as well? I've based my idea on the Z Channel. If you don't know of Z Channel, I recommend the documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession. It was one of the first pay cable stations back in 1974 and they were all about the art of cinema. They showed "1900" in it's full 5 hour form. They showed the severely edited Once Upon a Time in America and then showed the full four hour director's cut back to back.

Channel B though isn't designed for the art house crowd. It's for those who snuck out of bed on weekend nights to watch the local channel's late night monster movies. It's for those who lived for the Saturday Afternoon movies. I don't plan this to be like a Sci-Fi classics channel. It's simply a channel for those that enjoy those movies on the fringe of popularity in both the mainstream and art house. What I have planned so far is that Friday night is the horror night. I'd bring back Fritz the Night Owl, and do a six hour block of horror movies. Saturday morning and early afternoon is your black and white "Creature Features." Saturday night would be the "Crapfest." This is where we'd have a double feature of wonderfully crappy movies. This is where the "R.O.T.O.R." and "For Your Height Only" would be shown. Sunday night would be director's choice. That would be where a director or a group of directors would pick a movie of importance to them. They would talk a little before and after it to place it in context to how it influenced them. del Toro, Tarantino, Anderson, Gilliam, and others would bring in their movies, and get to share. Then there is still the special event days like the Samuel Z. Arkoff day or month, or the Shaw Brothers month or day. Clearly this is all in it's early stages, but once I make my first billion you can plan on seeing Channel B among the 200+ channels you already receive.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

If Only MOL Jr. Was There.

One my friends from undergrad, Sara, came into town this weekend. She was in on business which seems to happen about once or twice a year. It's always great to catch up with her, and she always a blast. This time around she and her co-worker were put up in the Roosevelt Hotel. We had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. Which at first I would think is a no-no, but it was actually outstanding. I highly recommend he kobe flat iron steak. Anyway, it seems that if you are a guest at the hotel you can get into any party the hotel happens to be hosting. For example, they got into the American Idol party Thursday night. Who knew this was protocol? No there was not a teary eyed Hasselhoff sighting.

After the dinner, we went out to the party area by the pool for some drinks. There didn't seem to be any special event planned, just a bunch of LA types lounging around. Thirty minutes later and who do I see walk in but Drama and the two other guys. I didn't see any Turtle or Ari though. I began hoping Piven would show up. My first thought was "Celebrities hang out at the Roosevelt pool?" Then I thought of where they ranked as celebrities. I was torn between B or C list. As with most things I graded down to a C for two reasons. First, I could only remember Kevin Dillon's name. Second, would my family know who they were? If my family would recognize them that bumps them up to B list. If they could name the actually actors name and two things they've been in then that puts them up to A. It's not fool proof but works in a pinch. Still, not even being a huge fan of the show I found it kind of cool seeing Drama walking around. Then James Franco walked in, who fits into B list I think. Then I saw this guy, who I couldn't begin to come up with a name or anything he's been in. I do remember always thinking "How the hell did this guy get on TV?"

So, if you happen to be in LA and want to see some minor celebs, I suggest the Roosevelt Hotel. Of course you have to have a hotel room to get poolside, but it's the price you pay to see blips on the celebrity radar.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dear Crazy Homeless Man,

I will not give you a ride to Manhattan Beach. My Mom always said never get into a car with a stranger, and you are a stranger. What makes you think I would consider giving a stranger a thirty minute ride in my car? Is it because we have the same facial hair? Is it because I gave you a cigarette? I gave you that cigarette so you would stop hassling me. Are you tired of hitting up the young gay population of Long Beach, and want to take a shot at the yuppies in Manhattan Beach? I even take offense to you being offended by my rejection. I've seen "The Hitcher." I know how this will turn out. I drive you to Manhattan Beach, and half an hour later two cops are dead, a gas station erupts into a ball of flames, and poor bobby is being ripped apart by an semi-truck. I couldn't live with myself if that happened to bobby. Really, that has to be in the top 10 of worse ways someone dies in a movie. I still cringe just thinking about that scene. That movie should be shown to kids as an educational film. Don't get into cars with strangers or this will happen. It might scar the kid for life after seeing that at such a young age, but I bet they would never get into a car with a stranger. But back to the stranger. I would like to know what morons have given you a ride, that you were actually offended that I didn't. Did you kill them? My kindness to strangers only goes so far, and threatening my own life is way past that mark. I suggest asking for change instead of cigarette. That way you could simply take the bus which has air conditioning something my car doesn't have.

Do We Need a Two Hour American Idol Finale?

With this season of American Idol wrapping up, I thought it'd be good to do another newbie recap. Last night I was actually blessed? to watch the show with a few American Idol fans. I joined uber-couple Mike O. and Allyson, and the very pregnant and adorable Ildy. All three are Idols fans, so I was at least able to view it through the eyes of fans. For the record, Mike O. and Ildy are part of the "Soul Patrol?" and Allyson has a bad case of McPheever. On to the show.

Oooh. Seacrest is standing alone in the darkness as he rambles on like this show will solve the world peace. Which is ridiculous because we all know the FIFA World Cup is going to do that, or at least that's what Bono says. Anyway, the Kodak Center lights up and the people go nuts. Seacrest keeps talking, I tune out-wait is that Ben Stiller trying to hide from the cameras? Could he get the standing room only tickets? There's Tyrese, and 90210's Brenda looking tore up. I at least she's making an effort to be a good step-mom to her husband's kids. Still, why haven't people learned to say no to plastic surgery? Is it like tattoos where once you start you can't stop? I'm still baffled by this. I could maybe see a nose job or a boob job if you are that self conscious about it, but when you start doing face lifts and tucks things go to hell. But I'm getting away from the American Idol.

So the final two contestants are the cute McPhee and El MOL clone Hicks. Apparently they flipped a coin and Hicks won, so he will be singing last each round. At this point I have to be thinking those behind the Idol curtain have to be hoping McPhee wins. I realize Hicks has a huge following and is the front runner, but how marketable is he? I can't see him being more than the goofy guy that covers R&B songs. He is though the only contestant that actually performs with any kind of personality. Anyway, my point is I'm fully expecting to see the show rigged in McPhee's favor. I may be wrong with Hicks winning the coin toss. On to round one.

McPhee comes out and does that song about a blackbird and a cherry tree. Didn't she already perform this? Are all these songs going to be repeats? Ridiculous. Are they not allowed to sing new songs? I don't understand this. McPhee cutes her way through her performance. I'll admit I find her awfully attractive in that bouncy cute take home to Mom kind of way. Still, her weakness is she's a big voice ballad girl. I don't think she could pull off a "Since You've Been Gone." I wonder what's the over/under when she moves into diva mode. Side note: I was glad that I wasn't the only one who noticed that her belly button seemed abnormally high on her stomach. In fact it looked like she didn't even have a belly button. Completely weirded me out.

Hicks comes out and "dances" his way through Stevie Wonder. It's clear he won this round within five seconds of the song. McPhee you should've started out big. Always open with a bang, and that's what Hicks did. Also, do they keep Paula in a padded cell between shows? Is there an IV of drugs running under the table? Is she really a robot learning about human emotions. I think I saw a similar episode in Star Trek. Round one goes to the Soul Patrol.

Aww they brought all the losers back to sit in the audience. Seacrest even has the Creed wanna-be stand up and then completely blows him off. Is that his girlfriend sitting next to him? Yeah, that's going to last till some groupie approaches him after performing at the Teluca County Fair. The biggest surprise is how Lita Ford suddenly transformed into a tan in the can soccer mom. It's like she aged 20 years in a month. Round two.

McPhee does Over the Rainbow while sitting down. She does better this time. Has she already sung this too? Everyone seems to love it. Simon says it's her best performance ever. Hmm. My only question is what does she have with singing while sitting? Does she do this every show?

Hicks does a repeat as well of Elton John's "Levon." I'm completely bored at this point. Any investment into this talent show has fully evaporated. If they did new songs, I might be a little more interested. It's like finding out they are showing a repeat of Lost...again. If I wasn't with friends I would be watching the Pistons-Heat game. Simon gives round two to McPhee. I concur.

Before they head out to commercial Seacrest says McPhee will be singing her new single next? New single? So she already has a contract? I'm confused. Is Hicks going to sing his new single? Does this mean they both have contracts? If so, then this whole thing is pointless. I wonder if the powers that be knew Hicks was going to win, so they signed McPhee as a back up plan. Hicks must be so far ahead in votes that they see it as already locked up.

Time for the new songs. McPhee comes out and does a hack job on a shitty song. Maybe the PTB are rigging this for Hicks. That song isn't written for McPhee it's too low. Did I mention that the song is awful. I like that they brought out a choir to distract from the song. Or maybe the blue man group tryouts were next door. Either way this whole thing is painful. McPhee even knows it. She can't do anything with this song, and has absolutely no confidence. The judges try to be nice. You know how things went when their first comment is how good you looked. It's officially locked up. Hicks is your American Idol.

As the coronation begins, Hicks now sings his new single. Who the hell is writing these songs? This song doesn't play to Hicks strengths either. This is a song for that Creed guy not Hicks. The thing is anyone can crap out a bad ballad. I imagine who or what ever cranks out these songs doesn't have a lot of time to do them, and they have to be generic so no matter who wins can sing it. There's no reason for this single crap. Let them cover another song and have the winner sing one single when they win. Hicks does a better job with his song anyway. Do they even need to bother with the votes? Simon even concedes that Hicks is your winner.

Seacrest wraps its up. McPhee even knows she's lost. It's written all over her face. Don't worry McPhee. I'm sure Beauty and the Beast on Broadway would give you a shot as Beauty.

I'm interested to see how they fill up two hours of clips. Just not interested enough to actually watch it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Who Knew I Was This Much of a Nerd?

Ok, so I know I have nerd tendencies. I don't fight these tendencies, but do try to keep them in check. They could get out of hand since I have such an addictive nature. I could easily become a junkie on one snort. Well, I've gone to the darkside of nerdom. When I finally bought my Xbox 360, I was debating on what game to get along with it. I wanted something that would last me till Prey and then Gears of War came out. I picked up Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It's a role playing game and I thought that would occupy me for awhile. I could play it in little increments and pass the time when I hit writer's block or need to just relax. Well it's stolen my soul. The main quest in the game is to close these Oblivion gates that have sprung up in the land and return the long lost son of the murdered king to throne. I've had this game for two weeks, and have barely even touched that quest. The game is huge. I closed one gate at the beginning, and haven't touched one since. In fact, I've walked by numerous gates without thinking twice. I had better things to do than close some stupid gates. There was the paranoid guy that wanted me to see if certain people were following him. When I told him they weren't following him, he then tried to kill me because he thought I was in on it. I also had to go save a painter who was trapped in one of his paintings. I had to kill painted trolls with turpentine to get out of there. I also had the task of finding a lady's husband who had disappeared when he tried to settle some gambling debts. Turns out he was sent to some island to retrieve a special axe to clear his debt. Turns out it was all a set-up to involve him into a game where he becomes the prey to hunters. It's just like that Van Damme and John Woo movie, Hard Hunted! I of course had to kill the hunters and find a way out. Unfortunately, I got back in time to see the organizer kill the husband. It was a sad day when I returned to tell the wife he had been killed. Still, she gave me a sweet book for my effort. Then there's all the quests once you join the mage's, fighters', or thieves guild. I've done all of this and only scratched the surface. The game also look fantastic. There are a few glitches, but the world is so huge that it's excusable. I've played maybe twenty hours of this game over the past two weeks, and I've only scratched the surface. It's consumed me in the most embarrassing way. It's gotten so bad, I think about what to do next in the game while at work. How sad. Yet, I can't wait to go back to the shipwreck and find the body of the ghost so I can release it from the world. Or, maybe I should go see that Count and figure out why the necromancers have been attacking people lately? Or maybe...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Obscure Celebrity Crushes of My Youth

Farrah Fawcett, Bo Derek, Pamela Anderson, Christie Brinkley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, there's a long list of celebrities that held the male population enthralled. Growing up, my celebrity crushes were not what you would consider top bill actresses. I don't know why I picked these women over the hottest trend in celebrity crushes. Maybe it was because they appeared more attainable. Maybe it's because I lean toward brunettes while blondes are usually the entertainment world's taste. Maybe I prefer classic over bombshell. I don't know. Anyway, here are some that came to mind when I first posed this question.

First of all, how great was Remote Control? Second, why couldn't anyone win the final round? Did they purposefully pick people that never watched MTV? Third, who could've predicted Adam Sandler would be the breakout star from that show. My money was on Kari Wuhrer. Sure, Colin Quinn had that devil may care Irish attitude going on, but Denis Leary kind of put his whole stamp on that already. Ms. Wuhrer though had spunk and the looks, and the smile. Oh how I enjoyed her Kondensed Klassics. Yes, Ms. Wuhrer you went on and did other things like a few Skinemax movies, but I will always though think of you as the Remote Control girl. Yes, you were part of the reason I saw Eight Legged Freaks in the theater. No, Arquette wasn't the other reason.

I only remember Lucy Deakins from The Great Outdoors. She was the semi-bad townie girl that the son fell in love with. I think she was also in Little Nikita. I could be wrong though.

Wow, do you see a pattern here? Jean Louisa Kelly first registered with my teenage crush when she appeared in Uncle Buck. Man, that's two Candy movies. Weird. Anyway, Ms. Kelly has actually gone on to do many other things, which has led her to be in my top ten of celebrity crushes. She tempted Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland's Opus. She was the AT&T girl during my grad years. And now she's in that awful sitcom "Yes Dear." I admit now I did actually watch the first few episodes. The odd thing was that I met a girl in grad school that kind of looked like her, but that's a whole other post that will never see the light of day.

I know all the guys drooled over Kelly in "Saved By The Bell." They were all wrong. Lark Voorhies who played Lisa was clearly the babe of the three even with her big hair.

Kerri Green, you nearly died trying to find an old pirate ship in Goonies. Then you nearly got Corey Haim killed in Lucas as he tried to prove his was worthy of your love. Why does death surround you so? Also, I did an IMDB check on her, and she was in "Summer Rental." That's three Candy movies. Look, I'm as bewildered as you are. I don't know what it means.

Has neon blue ever looked so attractive? Why would you want to leave the computer world when Cindy Morgan was in it? I would also like to point out that this crush began with Tron. It wasn't till much later that I saw Caddyshack. I wasn't allowed to watch the 'R' movies back then.

Amanda Peterson, what ever happened to you? Anyway, I completely understood why Ronald "rented" you. I would've given up my comic book collection for you. Ok, the whole "rented" part is just now creeping me out, and I've seen the movie quite a few times. Also, this is one of those movies that led me to believe the nerd could get the girl by doing things that while cute in movie land are actually creepy in real life. I still have some emotional scars thanks to Dempsey.

So, there are some of them, and I'm certain my siblings will remind me of the ones I missed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Screener Hell

It's that time of year kids. Hiatus means many things to many people in the television business. One of those things is screeners. Screeners are what companies send out academy members to remind them to vote for their show when the Emmys come along. Every hiatus boxes upon boxes start flooding our mailbox. Inside are attempts at packaging creativity. Apparently packaging has an influence over the quality of the show on the DVD. Some are pretty clever. For example, for the show "Everyone Hates Chris" the DVD was sent out in a box the shape of those milk cartons you got at school for a quarter. Some are simple standard DVD cases. Some are slick portfolio pieces that could pass for coffee table books. Some though cross the line and venture into the realm of absurd lavishness. This year's winner arrived today. In fact it might be the winner of the decade. It's for the Ten Commandments mini-series, and lucky for you I took pictures.Simple enough box with fake leather for that bible feel. Then you open it up.
Yes, those are plastic "Ten Commandments." Ooooh. And they're written in the original language! Ben I, could you please transcribe them? For all I know, they are actually the cast listing. But where are the DVD's? A lavish box and all I get is a couple toy commandments? Oh it says here on the insert: "Thou Shalt Lift Tablets for Emmy DVD Screener."What do ya know? The tablets are magnetic, so they stick to the box. I don't even want to know how much this cost, and how many of these were even sent out. Can't they do something better with the money spent on this crap? Do they think this actually has an impact on how people vote? "Hmmm. Who should I vote for in best Miniseries? Ten Commandments did give me toy tablets. I'll vote for them." On second thought I bet everyone will remember this crap, so maybe it does work on that level. Who really remembers what miniseries were aired in what year? I would like to thank Rescue Me for sending out the all the episodes of Season 2 in a simple DVD case. Actually, I should thank Ann who passed it on to me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Ben I!

Along with celebrating Mother's Day, our family celebrates our mother's gift to us: my brother Ben I. Thirty years ago, an ornery little squirt was brought into this world. Looks wise we were complete opposites, but we enjoyed the same things. We watched TV.

Played in the leavesLucky for me, Mom never dressed me like a sailor.
For many years after that we were the dynamic duo.
Don't be deceived by Ben I's stature. Back in the day, he was a wolverine when it came to fights. Sure his fuse was a little short when he was young, but his heart was in the right. His early fights were always in my defense or a friends. In South Carolina, we ran the "circle" once we showed up. We built forts and tunnels out in the woods. We once got lost for almost two hours. That might have been my fault, but I still think it was the other kids' fault for running off and leaving us behind.
Anyway, even up through high school we still would still go play by the railroad tracks, and spend the late night hours of summer just being brothers. Eventually, I had to go to college, and I came back to find a mature and confident little brother. He was no longer my little sidekick. He had his own entourage of friends. Then some girl named Jaime kept hanging around too.
One day I was driving Ben and myself from Dad's house to Mom's. He was in his first year of college and I was languishing in my after college life. We were shooting the shit, when Ben matter of factly said he was married to that Jaime girl. After the initial shock and a swear to secrecy, I was honored that I was the first family member to know. I will always remember that.

While my hair got thinner, his got longer. He and Jaime also added to our family. He gave Mom her first grandkid. Okay, Jaime did most of the work. There was nothing like seeing Mom with Moira and eventually Evie.Thirty years have passed and I'm proud to call Ben my brother. Through the years we survived the crazy guy on the motorcycle, babysitter Peggy, brotherly arguments, and numerous fireworks mishaps, and I wouldn't change a thing. Happy Birthday little brother. I leave you with one of Ben I's early moments of zen.

Now, It's Not Even Funny.

Meet the Kansas City Royals of the National League, yooouuuuur Chicago Cubs. Wow. They really suck! In fact that might be a little harsh associating the Royals with the Cubs right now. The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 13 games. It's become utterly painful to watch them find creative ways to lose. Back in 1997 the Cubs started the season 0-14, that sucked as well but there was a certain comical nature behind it. They trotted out a goat at home games to try to end the losing streak. Back then nothing was really expected. Now? Now, the fans are waiting for something to go wrong so they can boo. The players are doing their best to make those fans happy. From three error innings to back to back wild pitches to stupid base-running blunders, the Cubs have done it all. I have yet to watch a full game since this losing started, it's become that unbearable. It's one thing to watch a team get beat, yet still enjoy watching them because they are still playing the game the right way. To watch your team lose because they don't hit the cut-off man or can't seem to take a pitch is completely different. Now I've had people say they could turn things around once they get Wood and Prior back. Those people aren't Cubs fans. They haven't previously invested their hope in those two for the past four years only to see a trainer walk them off the mound. Others have pointed out that this could get Dusty booted, which has to be a positive. Sure, that could happen, and I wouldn't be opposed to Dusty being sent packing. The problem I've had is that I don't think this is all Dusty's fault. This problem of not drawing walks, baserunning blunders, and damaged talent was a problem before Dusty. So why would it change if he leaves? I think this whole system needs to be restructured from the ground up. Changes need to be made starting at the Chicago Tribune and ending at the batboy for the Mesa Cubs. The Cubs need to stop trying to find pieces, and start building a team. For this season, I'd see if the injury riddled Yankees would like Jacque Jones and or Juan Pierre? Call up Pie. I'd see if the Mets would be interested in Prior for Milledge. See what talent you can get for Aramis Ramirez. Heck, trade Zambrano if the deal's good enough. I don't know what you could get for the three man platoon of Walker, Hairston, and Dusty's man-crush Neifi Perez. Bring up Theriot to play full time. Send Wood to anyone that will take him. Keep Lee and Maddux to show the kids how to play. In fact I'd sign Maddux for what ever contract he wants as long as he promises to become the pitching coach once he's finished pitching. I still think Terry Pendleton deserves a shot at managing. Then bring in Mark Grace as the voice of the franchise and the batting coach.

This of course means there will be a couple years of the young kids learning the ropes, which means some losing seasons. But here's part of my point. The Cubs have the money to keep the young players that play well. They don't have to trade them like the Royals or the Marlins. This will give the fans some stability, and they don't have to watch the revolving door of right fielders. It's a drastic change that will never happen, but I can dream can't I? It's better than watching the nightmare on the field.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

To the greatest Mom ever.I think of you every day, and miss you greatly. I feel like it's not till now that I truly appreciate everything you did for us kids. As your first born I was blessed to know you the longest, but the time spent still wasn't enough. Thank you for letting me make mistakes and learning from them. Thank you for always being by my side when I was sick. Thank you for always showing your love for us. I hope you can see how much better we all are for having you as a mom, step-mom, mom-in-law, and grandmother. I love you.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Killer B's

No. This isn't about the Houston Astros. This post is about a trio of high school teachers so mean and diabolical that you had to give them nickname. I was reminded of them when my sister in law posted the other day. Meet the Killer B's: business and typing teacher-Miss Brohard (Is it any guess what her nickname was?), Librarian-Mrs. Bosley, and finally the head witch and English teacher Miss (Man Hater) Bell. Sometimes the history and geography teacher Baeslack was included, but she was just certifiable. This is the woman that would switch from laughter to full out bawling in a millisecond all while reading from the history book. Like I said she was certifiably looney. As for the others, Macbeth never met witches like these.

First let us look at Miss Blowhard. First of all she was the typing teacher, and basically all typing teachers have a bug up their ass. How can typing teachers not be anal? I don't think I ever saw her laugh at anything except when she was holding her seance with the other Killer B's. I don't even what to know what they were taking joy in. Secondly, she lived a single life for a long, long, long time, which basically meant she wasn't a big fan of the male population. Every man was the devil in her eyes. Thirdly, she really looked like a witch, pointy nose, jet black hair, the whole deal. It was frightening. Luckily, I only had her for one class. I still have scars though. The fear every time her beady little eyes would peer deep into your soul. She would do that little head shake of shame, and then stick you in detention. She was the kind of teacher that would give you detention simply for standing when the bell rang.

Next we have the snitch of a librarian in Bosley. I still don't even know why we needed a librarian. Yes, we had a library containing books. But those books were never opened unless we were forced to during the "How to use a library" portion of our education. Our high school obviously didn't have a budget for the library. They were either donated by somebody's grandmother or stolen from various garbage cans. Her real job was to be the eyes of the head Killer B, Miss Bell. You see, Miss Bell was blind.

Now wait a minute. You are probably thinking, how I could possibly have a problem with a blind person. Look, I realize that a blind person's life has to be strictly controlled. Things have to be highly organized. I understand that. It's still no excuse to act the way she did. She too hated the male population. She hated them so much that she would grade down the guys. I'm not even going to use myself as an example. Hell I gave up once I got docked points for answering knife instead of dagger. After that and a few other questionable "wrong" answers, I just mailed it in. How did I "mail it in?" For my "How to" speech, I spoke on how to be a couch potato. My poem reading was something I picked out the second I was called up. Thank goodness she was blind. I don't think she liked that the poem was about a guy decomposing in his grave. It was a Christian high school. The only line I can remember is "The worms go in. The worms go out. The worms play pinochle on my snout." Yeah, definitely some classic literature. Back to my example. I will actually use class genius Craig. How smart is this guy? He's off designing government "things" that he can't talk about. This guy never got anything below an A- except maybe for gym class. He'd get an A on all her standardized tests, but on the essay questions she would always find ways to dock him points. Actually, I don't know a single guy in my class that ever got an A on one of her test. There were plenty of girls though that got A's. Then there was the whole revelation that she really graded you on her perception of you and not what you actually did. If she thought you were a C student you always got C's no matter how well you did. Then there was the whole week of detention I got for tapping my pen. Tapping my damn pen! I didn't even get a warning. Sorry, I didn't even want to get to Bell yet.

Anyway, Bosley was the eyes for Bell. Every twenty minutes you could count on seeing her peering through the door window. Which I can kind of understand because my class wasn't exactly the best behaved. Still, if you see someone cheating, I can see trying to deter that. But taking notes on who looked like they might be possibly doing something is going a little far. She worked really hard to "find" things we were doing wrong. One odd event I do remember is when half my class cheated on our final. How did she not see that? They were laying the answers in the isle and passing them around. Come on! Which makes me wonder how the grades varied so much. That brings us back to the Hecate of the coven, Bell. I never met a male student that liked her or a female student that didn't like her. Her favoritism was that clearly defined.

The thing is she really did frighten me. She would do that robotic tilt of the head when ever she heard a noise. Then hold it for an ungodly amount of time. I would actually freeze whenever she did that. I wouldn't even breathe till she moved her head again. She was the teacher in those "B" movies that always ends up being the alien. The kids know it, but nobody else believes them till students start disappearing. What do you think she fed her seeing eye dog? Yeah, I wouldn't have been suprised if her head kept turning. There was a reason she taught high school. The younger kids would be too scared to learn.

What makes it worse was she wasn't even that good of a teacher. She actually sucked, but that was par for the course at my school. Even though she sucked, she always received awards because she was blind. It's admirable how she was able to be independent with her disability, but that doesn't make her a good teacher.

I realize this sounds like simply a bitter kid letting out a few grudges that he should've put behind him a long time ago. Maybe I am. But I was basically a very well behaved kid. No, I really was. I swear! The only time I got in trouble was when it came to the Killer B's. In fact I didn't even give these three the Killer B nickname. The nickname actually came from a fellow English teacher...My Dad. Sigh, I love my Dad. I think Bell actually has it out for my Dad. I don't know why. He still apologizes for not getting me out of taking Bell for Junior English. I forgive you Dad. But I clearly haven't forgiven the Killer B's.

Dear Fat Man On a Bike:

"Hey skinny man! Why don't you put some fucking meat on your bones?" Why did you say this to me? I was simply walking to my apartment after a long day of sitting in solitary confinement, and out of the blue you felt obliged to comment about my weight in passing? What caused this hostility toward skinny people? Did a gang of skinny kids beat you up as a kid? Are you the only fat guy in your family, and your father berated you? Have you constantly been rejected by women because of your weight? How long have you been riding a bike, because it isn't helping.

As to me putting on weight dear sir, I have in fact tried. Perhaps, I should say my Mom tried. Do you know how much Ensure my Mom attempted to feed me. She tried both the shakes at first, and then moved on to the powder form. For some reason she thought being able to mix the powder into all the major food groups would make me eat more of it. Would you eat anything knowing that someone mixed an unknown white powder into it? She even tried to get me to put it in my Pepsi. None of that worked.

The thing is I don't like being this skinny. In fact I think most guys who are as skinny as me don't like it either. Most women go for the larger guys over the skinny guy. I call it the big bear effect. The bigger men provide a sense of strength and protection that us skinny guys don't. So, I'm sorry something happened to you that makes you hold a grudge against the skinny people of the world. Some of us are blessed/cursed with the inability to gain large amounts of weight. I don't hold the fact that your eat twinkies in your sleep against you. Therefore please don't hold the fact that I can eat a whole pizza and not gain a pound against me. And keep peddling.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Which One Are You?

Last weekend Southern California was graced with the presence of M.O.L. Jr. Saturday night, M.O.L. Jr., bobby, and myself went to the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at the Roxy. It was a great show, and the first time I'd ever been to a concert with bobby. (I think) Anyway, while I was doing a little people watching I started categorizing everyone. No matter what concert there are always these types of people there. So which one are you?

Front Row Mom: When men hit their mid-life crisis they buy sports cars, hire young attractive secretaries, and dye their hair. Women in their mid-life crisis end up at the front row of concerts. They usually are hammered, and trying to touch the crotch of every person on stage.

The Female Hardcore Fan: She too is in the front row, and usually leaning on lead singer's monitor singing every word to every song. You go through the whole catalogue of emotions in one night. They often travel in pairs or with Front Row Mom.

The Crazy Female Hardcore Fan: Ohmigod! Ohmigod! Ohmigod! I looooooooove this band! Sob. Sob. Sob. They mean so much to me. Sob. Sob. Sob. Eek! I love this song! I don't know why I'm crying. I would do anything for them. Sadly, you often do end up doing anything.

The above categories come in a Skank version as well.

The Stoic Male Hardcore Fan: He is a few rows back. He nods to the beat during the whole concert. Occasionally he'll sing along. He smiles when the band changes something up from the previous 15 shows he's been to. He always hopes they play that one song from that German import EP he got six years ago for $40, but they never do. His only distraction is the cute girl to the left who sings along. If he only had the guts.

The Crazy Male Hardcore Fan: Take everything about SMHF and add flailing of the arms and a lot of screaming. Everyone in the venue hates him, even the band.

The Judge: Not to be confused with the Stoic, even though you have the same records that Stoic has. The difference is you hate the band now. They've never been as good since they got rid of their original guitartist. This new direction the band has taken sucks. You don't sing along except for when they play that first single from their first record, but you eventually catch yourself and feel guilty about it. Some might ask why you are even there or why you still buy every album. You'd give an answer, if you knew yourself.

The Party Girl Fan: As far as you are concerned the band isn't the only show in the building. You are there to drink and dance away the worst week you ever had at work. Heaven help anyone that gets in your way. No boys tonight (unless they are really really cute) just you and your girls. They can sometimes turn into...

The Grinders: Sometimes a couple and sometimes a couple of strangers. Drunk off of your ass you and your partner seem to think that the lack of light allows you to begin the mating ritual. Everyone around you is extremely disgusted, but you're too drunk to care. How you don't rub your hips raw, I have no idea.

The Non-Fan: You can't believe you got suckered into this. Does your life suck this bad? Are you this desperate to please your girlfriend/wife? The band sucks, but your significant other loves them. So you pay your dues for the hope of a little something something afterwards, if she gets drunk enough. The bar is your refuge from the crap on stage. You want to beat the shit out of CMHF.

The Creepy Touchy Drunk: Man, the world is great, man. Man, I love you, and you, and you man. These guys rock, man. Man, you're beautiful, baby. Can I touch your boobies? People are frightened by you. They pray you won't touch them, or that you will stop touching them. Problems really arise when you touch the wrong person. Why would anyone punch someone who loves them so much? You also probably need a ride home.

The Frat Boys: You aren't really a fan. You just heard this band is hot (according to Spin and/or Rollingstone). If they say they are an "it" band they must be right. In your glove compartment your real music collection consists of Creed, Dave Matthews Band, and Candlebox. You also hope there will be some hot chicks. You and your friends travel in packs hitting on anything with heels. You are the one that still thinks it's funny to yell, "Freebird!" You are usually the one punching CTD when he touches you. You hate fags.

The Scenester: You aren't a fan either. You only show up at the concerts of bands who appear on the cover of magazines. You are there to be seen, and hope someone recognizes you. You spend the whole concert chatting and chatting and chatting. When you get home you check to see if anyone puts you up there. You're still waiting for the background work on Saved by the Bell to payoff.

The Rest: You want to have fun and listen to good music. Unfortunately, you often have to deal with those listed above. God bless you.

I will admit sometimes I fall into the Stoic Hardcore Fan category.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Lone Bright Spot

"You're a Cubs fan?"
"Yeah. That's why I don't date. I have enough pain in my life."

As predicted, the Cubs offense has vanished now that Lee is on the DL. During their last six games, do you know how many runs the Cubs have scored? Four! Four runs in the six games combined. In three of those six games the Cubs have been shutout. One of those shutouts even went to 11 innings. The most runs the Cubs have scored in one game during this six game span? Two! The miraculous thing is they won that game. Why did they win that game? Sean Marshall. Out of nowhere this season, a bit of sunshine has poked through. Marshall is a rookie who got a chance during spring training. Before then he had never pitched above AA. Now the big left hander along with old man Maddux have at least kept the Cubs in games. In Marshall's last four starts he has given up only 11 hits and 4 ER through a little over 25 innings. His ERA is a measly 1.42. He was never really touted as a top prospect, yet here he is. Why has he been successful? I think it's poise...and a really nasty curveball. Prior used to have that poise till Alou threw a tantrum in that certain playoff game in 2003. Wood has never had it, or at least never consistently had it. Now there's talk of him being the odd man out when Wood and Prior come back. Whaaat? Of course he's not going to keep up this ridiculous pace. He is still a rookie. He hasn't exactly faced power line-ups. I still think he's deserved to be locked into the rotation. Scouts often talk about players having "it." Well, Marshall has "it."

Of course I realize he's going to suck now that I posted about him.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My New Addiction: MLB 06: The Show

I bought this game for the PS2 almost 2 weeks ago, and I can't get enough. The thing is I have yet to play a major league game. My addiction is the career mode. Currently I am a 2B for Cleveland's AAA team. I'm in my second year. My first in a three year deal. I expect to be called up to the show later this year or next year because I'm tearing it up. That's the greatness of this game. You can have nearly all the detail of a baseball career while sitting at your couch. Don't like the team you are on? Demand a trade. Is your team in a funk? Have a closed door team meeting. You can even complain to the media. Another nice feature is that you don't have to play every out of every game. You can simply fast forward to your next appearance. If you're a position player you can ignore the fielding and simply fast forward to each at bat. This makes the season progress at much quicker pace.

To improve as a baseball player you have to achieve goals like drive in 90 runs in a season, or draw 4 walks in a series. These goals along with doing well in each game earn you training hours so you can improve your contact or power against left handed or right handed pitching. You can improve different aspects of your defense. There's a bar for nearly everything you can imagine. You can even improve your clutch hitting.

The game play is solid. The fielding can be a little slow particularly when trying to pull off a double play. But it's not nearly as awful as MLB 2K6. The pitching meter is solid. Not quite as good as EA's MVP meter, but good. When your pitcher starts getting nervous the meter bar moves faster. I hate how 2K6 has the ball icon bouncing around when the pitcher is in a tight spot. I like the graphics better on The Show as well. They seem cleaner.

There are few complaints with the game. First of all, every now and then you run into something implausible. For example, last night I faced a pitcher that threw over a 180 pitches. 180! Are you kidding me? What even made it worse was that his fastball was still clocking in at 97 around pitch 170. Also, your manager will be a moron sometimes. For example, bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. You are up to bat, and what does your manager do? He sends the base runner on 3rd. What manager does that with three outs, and your stud 2B who is batting .398 is at the plate? Also, does every minor league park have a green monster at dead center? I've had at least 10 HR's turn into doubles because of this thing. Why does nearly every team have one? There are also a few glitches. The biggest glitch is that player number 99 doesn't have a head. Every time 99 comes to bat he has no head. How did the programmers miss this?

Overall The Show is solid baseball game, and much better than 2K6. It has a solid online that's incorporated with There are other modes like franchise mode and rivalry mode, but career mode is where it's at. There is also a fun King of the Diamond mini-game, that can make an hour disappear quickly. MVP '05 was my favorite baseball game. I still think MVP is a more polished game than The Show, but the career mode puts The Show on top.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ramblings (Hiatus Edition)

When I agree to work over hiatus I expect it to be easy going and relaxing. This past week has proven to be anything but that. This of course means I'm now really behind on the show bible. And I mean really behind.

Hey look the Cub's hitters are pressing. That or Dusty has implemented a clubhouse rule that requires them to see only 3 pitches at the most per at bat. Where would we be without old man Maddux and the kid Marshall? I know many will say that Prior and Wood will be coming back soon, but come on. I think it's best if the Cubs look at Prior and Wood as gravy. If they come back and pitch well, great, but don't plan on it actually happening.

A couple Twilight Singers items: First of all, has a bonus track available for free download. I really like the track. They haven't rocked this hard on a chorus in some time. In fact it's one of the few tracks that sound like their concerts. They always rock their songs a little harder live, and that's how this track sounds to me. Secondly, has become a daily minefield of goodness. There are 25 music videos and live performances by the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers on there. Some of them are even from The Afghan Whigs really early stuff that I haven't seen in ages. There's tons of other great sports and music stuff on there you just have to search for it.

Ladies, is your boyfriend/husband's birthday coming up? Perhaps your anniversary is in the near future? Maybe you are getting married soon and want something special for that special night? Let me offer this advice. All those embarrassing unmentionables your friends got you that one weekend that you still can't really remember what happened? Toss them out. That frilly and lacy crap stores keep trying to pawn off on you is worthless as well. All you need is this:
And if it's his, all the better. This came out much racier than I intended. I just wanted to say there is something very attractive about a woman in a white oxford shirt. I apologize.

For those wondering if you should buy MLB: The Show or MLB 2K6, the answer is MLB: The Show. 2K6 is awful. More on this later.

My next big week is the second to last week of June. Lucha Vavoom is returning to the Myan! FlavaD and I got ringside tickets this time. We are going on the 20th if you are in town, and want to see one of the greatest spectacles in your life. Also, after Nacho Libre hits the multiplexes that same month, it's gonna blow up! The next night. I have tickets for the Twilight Singers concert. I haven't had a back to back night of genius like this since…I had a girlfriend. That sounds dirty too. I didn't mean it that way.

Has anyone seen the Wes Anderson American Express commercial?

Finally, I stole this idea from Kerri. This is perhaps one of the most nerdish ways to be pompous, but screw it. I made a quiz about myself too. I also don't think its half bad. 90 percent of the answers I believe can be found in this blog, but study ahead of time people. No cheating. We are on the honor system here. Take the quiz here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sitting by Myself

The office empty and quiet today. I sit here, alone, watching time tick by. To entertain myself, this has been running through my head all day.