Friday, January 30, 2009


While wasting time before practice I find that this little yellow notepad has been checked out in coastal Asia and Western Europe. Quite a day, I must say. To whoever you's are, I salute you.

And to everyone else, you know what they say," The only way your thoughts seem weird is when other people hear them." Or something like that, right?

Happy Friday. Cheers.

Facebook Computers and Cellphones, Oh My...

So this morning I had an athletic department staff meeting. Basically they're pretty painful most of the time. It's just a chance for the AD to get everyone together and keep people up on other college business. We get breakfast and they're always crispy bacon so I can usually manage. For the last hour or so it's just the head coaches meeting, and since that's my title I also hang out and listen to the conversation. Usually it's not too bad, talking about admissions protocol and some other nuts and bolts things, but today the group discussed Facebook. For 45 minutes. Shoot me.

Like most athletic departments (and other professional settings i'm sure, too) there's an old school and a new school, with the old school still resistant to email and the new school trying to find loopholes in the NCAA's communication policies with recruits (or email at all hours in other settings, but you get the idea...). As usual the extremes of any two sides are the most comical and this did not disappoint me today. The under 30 crowd (besides me) love Facebook for its ability to get the word out massively about events and keep alumni up to date on the status of the program. Old schoolers think it's just a bunch of crap and the people who want to follow the program will keep up to date in traditional ways.

But facebook aside some of these young folks can't even shut their cell phones off to get through the breakfast. They're constantly responding to emails and recruits and keeping their phones on all night to do the same. I guess my stance is this: That's not me. No matter what your profession find a way to separate your professional and personal life. When I leave the office I leave the office. I don't check email. I don't follow up with recruits. I don't think about my job. When I'm in from day to day I'm doing all that. Some days I'm in until 7:30 or 8pm to get things done. But when I leave, that's it. I said it a lot this summer (in a comical sense) but I'm not here for a long time, I'm here for a good time. And I don't care who you are but responding to a recruit at 11pm on a Tuesday when I've been asleep for a half hour is not my idea of living the good life.

And this goes for everybody. Some technological advancements are great but we're getting to the point of sensory and information overload. I don't need to know that Jimmy Jones went from being "out at the movies" to "thinking about Becky <3 (one moment ago)" I ask all of you to try this. Pick a day you're at home and not working. Hell, a night evening. And shut off your TV. Then shut off your computer. Then shut off your cell phone. And just relax. Take a break. Cut the cord and separate yourself from all of that newfangled bullshit. You'll feel better in the morning. Then try to do it more often. This is just my $.02, but it's a nice feeling. Cheers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


It's been brought to my attention by multiple sources that I posted "headline news" a couple of weeks ago. That should tell you it's been a long week. I hope you enjoyed it the 2nd time around as much as the first. I'll try to lock it back up from now on. Cheers.

Headline News

Editor's Note: I wrote this January 18 but forgot to post b. This was also written during my sailor phase so I think there may be a couple cusses in it. But, seriously, this troubled me...

I don’t usually read the news because I’m lazy and figure I can pick up enough of the goings-on via word of mouth or that newfangled "internet," but I happened to pick up the Sun Journal sports page a couple Saturdays ago. A few of us had planned to return to Edward Little High School and catch the 2nd half of the basketball game there but by the time we made it across town cars were rolling away and our plans were forced to change. So I was interested to see if they had played well or not. The front page said they won by about 30, so I flipped through to the sports section to read about how this occurred and who they played and saw the headline: “EDDIES BOIL WITCHES.” I don’t know why but I just found this to be pretty inappropriate.

Well, actually I do know why and I’m going to tell you right now…maybe because there weren’t any real witches, just hysteria created by wormshit little 17th century girls in Puritan New England villages which caused 20 or so people to be killed. Real cool. And boiling was a torture device used to force the accused to confess their wicked ways and discovered God before they were hanged or shot or burned to death at the stake. Really cool. Religion is great (don’t worry, I’m not about to go down that road. If you like God or Jesus or G-d or Mohammad or Vishnu or any of the dillion others that’s your business, not mine)… So kudos to the S-J for thinking that headline was PC. Newsflash: NOT EVERYONE IN THE U.S. IS CHRISTIAN…AS “SCARY” AS IT IS SOME PEOPLE ARE EVEN ::GASP:: AGNOSTICS OR ATHEISTS AND DON’T BELIEVE IN REGION AT ALL…This again just points out the blatant Judeo-Christian bias present in this country, which trickles from the Federal Government on down to municipal governments and workplaces and even homes. Free exercise my ass. While Wicca’s don’t generally consider themselves witches I’m sure that headline is not something which they’d like to begin their Saturday with especially with all the other backhanded shit I’m sure they take on a regular basis.

I apologize for the mini rant but this is just a pretty big pet peeve of mine. Be happy the holiday season is over or I could go on for hours. The city councilors who put out “holiday” trees and “multi-faith” decorations can go piss up a rope. Christmas should not be a federal holiday. If you choose to not open your business on a given day that is…your business. That’s what you have personal days for, too. Sorry this has been a tangent but government interference on this shit just grinds my gears. Anyways to conclude, Randy Whitehouse and S-J editors: clean it up.

Sneaky Comfort

I have to say one of the best feelings in the world is getting home from a nice day at work and, after removing your coat, shoes and socks and slipping into some slippers, but prior to sitting down for dinner or tv or to a book, is the feeling of unbuckling your belt and unbuttoning the top button on your pants and unzipping your fly to about halfway and just relaxing. No more snug waist to get in the way of your lounge. Sometimes you get home from work but may need to go back out, to see a movie or to go shopping or to a bar and grill so there’s no point in getting home and changing into sweats to only have to change back into a decent pair of pants an hour later – that’s just way too much work. Just loosen the fly. The half-zipped zipper is loose enough for comfort but just tight enough around your hips to be able to walk without holding your pants up. I’m telling you, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll instantly feel like your sitting with your friends around a campfire after a long day of doing whatever it is you all had been doing while camping. It’s a must. And by no means is it inappropriate. Even if you have a roommate who may find this distasteful you can just untuck your shirt so it hangs over your fly and they’ll never be the wiser. Home is where your rump rests, and when you’re resting in your home you should be comfortable. That’s my $.02. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brace for impact...

(The blue only stretches back to Ohio...)

Snow began falling about 2 hours ago. This could get ugly. Some sources say this could be up to 24" Yikes. I'm bringing a sleeping bag to the office just in case, I'm not confident in the Blue Bird's ability to fly home in this. For up to the minute radar check the Weather Underground, endorsed by President Barack Obama and the best source for weather on the "internet."

HAH, as I'm writing this the mail truck just went by. Usually we get our mail delievered in the 2-5pm range..."The U.S. Postal Service: If sleet, snow or freezing rain are scheduled, we'll just deliver early and get the hell home." Now I'm nervous, if the Postal Service is altering their schedule then we're about to get shit on. Stay tuned...cheers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On shoes and Sandwiches...

Picked out last years' Ascis Cumulus' for some new kicks. perhaps this is the final step I need to take to actually begin the exercise regimen I planned to start just about a month ago...but I'm not losing sleep over it. Actually I'm getting more sleep, because the past week and a half I haven't bothered to set my alarm early to make an attempt to get up and get to work early so I have time to sweat. Maybe tomorrow will be the day...stay tuned.

I got these on sale. It was the 2nd time I had been in to try them on. Both times the were on sale and both times I tried to talk the manager down in price and both times I was rejected. Olympia Sports apparently are sticklers for price tags. No overriding prices here. I'm happy with them thus far; they feel fairly light and are well-cushioned, the latter my fat ass will need a lot of to come back into shape. I am, however, nervous about how the toe box doesn't have a lot of support on top. I hope my toesies don't slide around. I just plan to jog straight, so we'll see how things shake out. I had been a Trainer's guy in the past, in fact the pair I've been wearing recently to work out I picked up in 2005 and are just flat busted. I guess it was time for a change.


And because I was at the Lewiston Mall it goes without saying I swung into Bull Moose to stroll around the racks. It also goes without saying I came out with some new (to me) CD's. The new Boss cd was up front and they sucked me in with "Including bonus track: 'The Wrestler.' " O really, fool? Don't threaten me with a good time. That, and it was marked a third off so I really couldn't pass it up. It's back with the E-Street band; I'm really hoping it's a lot more Devils and Dust than The Rising. We shall see.

Also went with some older goodies, Tom Waits' Closing Time from 1973 and Warren Zevon's eponymous album from '76. I had a shitty quality .mp3 Closing Time but wanted to upgrade for awhile now. It's very, very, very good. He's not incredibly well-known but a lot of his songs have been covered by some big time acts, the most recent I can think of is Robert Plant & Alison Krauss covering "Trampled Rose" (Raising Sand by these two is another great CD...). This was his first album with a major label, he got pretty experimental and dark in his later stuff and I'm not a huge fan of that but his early stuff is just great.
Warren Zevon was really the Z-man's breakout album; it has some of my absolute favorites of all time. He's just an incredibly gifted songwriter and I suggest you look closely at his entire body of work. His cynical tone and sharp lyrics always make you think. He wanted to be a rock star and succeeded living the life until his untimely demise. He did it for himself, and that's why he is still so beloved and respected within the music industry. Enjoy every sandwich, sir.

I could pass up neither. Cheers.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Useless information...or not!

So today I had to take CPR and first aid recertification so that I could be be of service if one of my student-athletes gets hurt at practice. Now when I see someone go down and I yell, "Trainer," I'll know what I should be doing if it wasn't the training staff's responsibility to deal with these hurt and injured folks. Let me tell you, these 5 hours of class really made my Monday.

Anyways, I thought the woman who taught the class provided me with some useless trivia concerning the Lifesaver's candy company which I could pull out for the amusement of others the next time I came upon a pack of these delicious, sugary treats. According to this middle-aged woman with a who had a pretty significant background with the American Red Cross, Lifesavers were named because the hole in the middle was supposed to stop people from choking on them. I thought it was an interesting claim, but I have to say I was a bit skeptical (Me, skeptical? Shocking, right?). There's no guarantee the 'saver gets lodged in your esophagus with the hole in the middle allowing airflow, what if it's sideways? It doesn't take much girth or width to choke people, does it?

I didn't call her on it, mainly because I just wanted to get the hell out of the class. I decided to wait until I got home and then refer to Wikipedia. The most trusted name in news... And Wikipedia refeutes this claim as an urban legend. And I trust Wiki on this one. Just my gut. Wiki claims:
"In 1912, chocolate manufacturer Clarence Crane of Garretsville, Ohio invented Life Savers as a "summer candy" that could withstand heat better than chocolate. Since the mints looked like miniature life preservers, he called them Life Savers."
They go on to claim the anti-choking design is an urban legend predicated on a rumor Crane's daughter died by choking on a hard candy and it's design was to present further casualties from terrorist hard candies who go rouge. Intriguing, but it doesn't seem as though anyone has attempted to examine the family history of Clarence Crane in any detail so I will leave the door open for this possibility. This look inside this myth of pop culture lore, however, made me question of of my own widely held random factoids: That Dave Thomas made Wendy's hamburgers square because his foster grandmother told him never to cut corners.

Before I continue I just have to say that if I'm going to eat fast food, I very much like Wendy's. Junior Bacon Chee for $.99? That's like stealing. Just glorious on the tastebuds. And who doesn't like a Frosty? Lactose intolerant and those who are allergic to artificial colors, those are who, but more often than not the lactose intolerant will take a bellyache for the joy of such a tasty creation. But I digress, and wondered, "Have I been spreading lies to you all for the past 10 years?"

The answer is a (moderately) resounding NO, I HAVE NOT! I saw this on a tv show (probably on the Food Network or the History Channel) but I have forgotten exactly where and when as the years have passed. It's like you don't remember when you learned that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but you know it's true. This is how I've felt about my Wendy's story. But this innacuracy inspired me to scour the "internet" for substance and I was able to piece together some information to corroborate my story, it lies below. First, from Dave's Wiki article:
"He would become a well-known advocate for adoption, founding the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption in 1992. At a young age, he spent much time with his grandmother Minnie Sinclair, whom he credits with teaching him the importance of service and treating others well and with respect, lessons that helped him in his future business life"
Now, from Dave's Biography on the Wendy's site:
"Dave revolutionized the industry in other ways as well. Wendy’s became known for fresh (not frozen) ground beef hamburgers that are square rather than round. Dave explained, “At Wendy’s, we don’t cut corners!” ...When you passionately believe in quality, as Dave did, it becomes part of your everyday life – in how you work; how you treat your customers and your staff; and how you live your personal life."
You may not see the corollary, But I do. His Grandma taught him his values and these values created his attitude not to cut corners. This lead to him not cutting the corners on his burgers. The rest is history. And truth. A to B to C. Not B to S.

(Editor's Note...I searched the "internet" far and wide for a "don't cut corners" quote involving Dave's grandmother for close to an hour before finally just fudging together the "a to b to c" humor because I couldn't find the frigging thing...Then, no lie, 5 minutes after I threw this post up I found: "The greatest lesson she taught me: Don't cut corners on quality." - Dave Thomas, on lessons from his grandmother. So puke a strike through the "moderately" included in paragraph five and give me some love. Who tells the truth? Two thumbs...this guy.)

Now some random Dave and Wendy's trivia:
-Before opening Wendy's he is credited with saving Kentucky Fried Chicken and revolutionizing the fast food industry by simplifying its menu. At the time Dave came on board there was an excessive number of items on the menu (possibly more than one hundred). Working with KFC founder Col. Sanders Thomas stripped the menu down to just the basic fried chicken and salads.

-Dave was a member of the Freemasons and a Shriner. He was also an honoray Kentucky Colonel.

-Other fast food innovations he added to Wendy's which were picked up by other chains include the pick up window as we know it today and, equally important, the first fixed-price value menu.

-The Guinness World Records™ recognized the Dave Thomas Campaign as the “Longest Running Television Advertising Campaign Starring a Company Founder" for his nearly 13-year run (and 800+ commercials) as Wendy’s spokesman.

-In 1990, President G.H.W. Bush asked Dave to head the White House Initiative on Adoption.

-Dave's favorite "gourmet" (Wendy's words, not mine. Quotes added to highlight the unintentional comedy) meal was a Wendy’s Single with cheese, mustard, pickle and onion, fries, bowl of chili, a Frosty and a diet Coke.
The Wendy's nutrition facts site tells me this meal is approximately 1280 calories (the burger with aforementioned items, then small chili, frosty and fries because sizes didn't get huge until long after Dave opened Wendy's so for this projection I'll give him the benefit of the doubt). Nice call on the diet coke though, right? But seriously, if you want to feel gross with some of the late night decisions you've made with a dollar menu follow these steps:
1. Click that little link a couple lines up
2. Plug in some food options you generally choose
3. Proceed to vomit into your nearest trash can.
Cheers to that...?

Shout out to Dixon…

Not to Juan Dixon…who may or may not still be playing basketball in the U.S. as a card-carrying member of the NBA or D-League or somewhere on the continent of Eurasia in Greece or Spain or Israel or some other basketball-playing location. This is praise for my favorite pencil, the only pencil I use and the best pencil on earth: The Dixon Ticonderoga #2HB. Made with premium cedar and black graphite they are unmatched for quality and durability. They sharpen well and resist breaking like none other. But what is most underrated about the Ticonderoga’s is their eraser. You know how if you leave a pencil for a year or so then you try to use it again after it’s been lying out the eraser is dryer than a cat’s tongue and they just make a big black mess on your paper? That doesn’t happen with the Ticonderoga. No mark, no leftover letters. Ever. Simply the best. I recommend you go out and buy a box today (or pick up a box from your office supply station if you have one of those in your workplace). Mechanical pencils and all other inferior woodies are for suckers.

For pens: get the Bic Classic Roundstic mediums, in black ink. Not blue. Be professional. They’re cheap yet dependable and last quite awhile. If I splurge or happen to find one lying around I’ll use a Precise V-ball, too, but I don’t trust those in the ruler pocket of my pants. I think they may break accidentally when I sit down and ruin my pants. I don’t have many pairs of pants (read: three) I wear regularly so this would be a significant casualty. Roundstic’s have some good flex to them. Perfect for a mid-leg pocket. The roundstics are also nice because you can hook them in the neck of a polo for safekeeping and the cap is sturdy enough to stay on the pen. This comes in handy when you don’t have a ruler pocket to safely hold a writing implement. You’ll never catch me with a pen (or pencil for that matter) in a side-seam pocket. I think George Costanza is right; it is certainly possible to puncture a scrotum in a freak pen-in-the-side-seam-pocket accident. I’ll always play it safe.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

I want to apologize...

...for swearing so much in some of my more recent posts. I've been trying to clean up my salty language in the recent months, especially now that I have to maintain a certain level of professionalism again at the office, but sometimes I drift in and out in my free time. Only when things grind my gears. So, mainly the federal government. And hangnails. And running out of gas (which happened 2 weeks ago but I never got around to writing about it. It was pretty amusing...not!). But I'll try to keep it clean on here from now on. Any degenerate can cuss left and right and up and down a page but, to be honest, I don't believe profanity is a very good way of getting your point across. I think it was George Carlin that made millions of dollars awhile ago by stating the many different ways the word "fuck" can be used. With so many meanings it just doesn't seem an effective adjective. My color from here on will (hopefully) be due to vividness and pointed description, not due to four letter words. Cheers.

Get rid of the UNRATED!!!!! Hoopla...

This unrated DVD release crap has just gotten ridiculous. Actually it’s more than ridiculous. It’s ridonkulous. Camps, Corm, Welch and I watched Max Payne UNRATED!!!!!!(exclamation points added for demeaning emphasis, obviously…) Saturday night upon my return from Waltham, MA, and all of us came to the same conclusion…what the hell was so wild and crazy that the silly US ratings board would have objected to being in a theatre. Granted, this was a PG-13 release which is just dumb, in my opinion. Any movie that is premised upon a video game where you’re continually busting caps into people has no business being rated pg-13. Clever marketing ploy, production company…

Obviously the movie sucked donkey balls. Mark Wahlberg hasn’t been in a good role involving a gun (Not counting Boogie Nights, where he was packing the whole movie. Heh. I’ve got jokes, let me tell you…) since The Big Hit, where he plays a hitman with a conscience and he’s supposed to not be taken seriously. Granted, in this case he was given a script of absolute garbage. But I’m losing focus, back to the issue of the unrated-ness. The preview shows hot women, one of them removing her tiny ass dress providing an above average backside and no bra to speak of. HOW CAN YOU NOT SHOW BOOBIES IF YOU HAVE THAT IN THE PREVIEW FOR AN UNRATED MOVIE?!?!?!?! Come on, fellas. That’s just pathetic. Be honest. They lead you in with this short red-dressed character (I don’t remember her name. Some no name who SHOULD be looking to get topless to jump start her “career”) walking away from Marky-Mark, taking off her dress over her head while heading into his bedroom. A hush falls among the four of us, anxious to see how they present her. “On the bed? I hope she’s topless on the bed; that would be nice. She’s on the bed, niiic…WHAT THE SHIT? SHE’S GOT THE COVERS OVER HER CHEST?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! WHAT, WAIT?! NOW SHE’S LEAVING?! WE’RE ONLY SEEING HER BACK AGAIN?!?!? wait that’s it? that’s all? I already thought this movie sucked. Now I demand the previous 30 and the next 70 minutes of my life back…” It went something like that in my head…

A 16 second tease is all you need. It sucks. Don’t waste your time on Max Payne, Unrated(!!!!!!) or otherwise. It does not have one, single redeeming quality. The Wrestler, however, has gratuitous nudity courtesy of the feisty, free-spirited, risk-taker Marisa Tomei. More actresses should be so dedicated to their craft…Cheers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here we go again...

Meant to get this up last week but obviously needed the fine video of the speech. My good friend and former boos Jeffrey Haggerty presented me with an 18"x24" The Wrestler poster and it just brought all these warm feelings back into my belly. It will look lovely when framed on my wall...
But anyway Mickey Rourke won the Golden Globe for Best Actor and just received his Oscar nomination this week. It was well deserved, as I've said all along. Great speech, too. The guy just gets it, he's a lucky one and is gracious and thankful just to have gotten another shot.

Though I was a little depressed the film itself didn't garner a nomination I was much more unhappy to find out Springsteen's song from the movie got no love for Best Song. Two songs from Slumdog and one from Wall-E and that's it?! Three Flipping songs? Get real. Give me five and show me you're alive. Because I didn't post Rourke's speech last week I was able to stumble upon Spreegsteen's song in the meantime so I've felt the need to include it below. This is a serious bootleg clip straight out of Asia. The quality is just OK but it is by far the best compliation on youtube featuring the song. This brought it all back to me; chances are I'll be in Portland on Sunday at the Nickelodeon if anyone from town is interested.

One of these day's I'll get off of this Wrestler kick. Let me apologize to those who I bore with this line of discussion. But, seriously this is a quality flick. I'll tell you a story next time or something but that probably won't be until Sunday. Cheers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am a slug...

So I played racquetball for the first time this year...and let's just say it did not go well. I have figured a few things out about my not-so-active lifestyle that should probably be remedied. One major thing is I don't fall as well as I used to. Back in the heyday of my racquetball career (about this time last year) I was covering the court like a cat. I was everywhere and floorburns were my middle name. I was laying out then hopping right back up to keep playing and get position back on the T. Today...let's just say I fell like a rock into a lake. I landed hard and was never seen from again. And even with my fat ass breaking my fall it was not fun. These weren't layout falls. These suckers were just unathletic, tired, lost balance flops where I landed flat on my tookus with abosulutely no opportunity to recover.

2nd, I couldn't hit the ball for shit today. I don't know if I need a new contact prescription or what but I couldn't return a jacket to LL Bean today. Strike one! Strike two! Strike three! Strike...shit, you get the point. It was pathetic. I played four games today and scored 16 point. Total. In case you're a racquetball novice games go to 15. I was beaten 15-7, 15-1 (Ya, awful...), 15-4, 15-5. If it was a fight they would have stopped it. If it was a horse they would have shot it. U-G-L-Y.

But I will not be defeated so easily. I will rally. This too shall pass. I will buy a new pair of sneakers tomorrow and my $70 investment will force me to get my act together. Because the only thing worse than a day wasted is money wasted. Write that down. TODAY IS THE DAY. You will see me on a bike by 9:00am Friday morning. Actually make it 10...tomorrow is going to be a slow news day so filling myday with exercise is better than filling it surfing the "internet." Cheers.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I need your help...

And this is important. I need a new book to read. I'm looking for something funny, but not stupid. Think: witty. And Kathy: David Sedaris sucks. I could only make it 75 pages in Barrel Fever before I gave up. It was about absolutely nothing...

My last 4 reads were Three Cups of Tea about a guy who liked to climb mountains but then almost died on one so decided to build schools in the Himalaya. It was well reviewed by critics and well-received by me. Then I read The Winter of our Discontents by John Steinbeck. It took me awhile but I plugged through it and found it clever and amusing. It was a later work so it was a little bit more refined and to the point than some of his earlier stuff. It was also not set in the Salinas valley but rather in coastal New York...I think, it very well could have been New England I do not recall. But, it was good. Into Thin Air wasn't that impressive. You know the outcome. People fucked up. Hindsight tells me I didn't need 300 pages to tell me that. Such is life. Then just finished The Year of Living Biblically about a guy who tries to live according to the Bible for 12 months. He's an agnostic Jew and spends 9 months in the Old Testament lifestyle and then his last 3 more focused on the Good News. It's rather amusing and learned a little bit more Bible. The Bible fascinates me but I've already tried (very unsuccessfully) to read it. I'd fall asleep at every mention of "A" beget "B" who beget "C" and so on down the line for 3 columns in size 6 font. Painful. Maybe in the mean time I'll skip Genesis and go from there...

I think I've already recommended this but if you are looking for a good book and are mildly interested in music read Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live:85% of a True Story (This actually came while I was reading the Steinbeck book, but I pounded through this one in 2 days and then proceeded to forget all about it until now). It's very, very good (Shit, I did mention this already because I said this blog would get many more hits if I was actually a margainally talented writer like he is. Darn). Well, consider this my offering, in exchange for your suggestions. If it's good I'll massage your feet. If it's lousy I won't worry about it, as I've said my choices are not always spot-on.


Also, I don't care if you've never heard much of them but the next time your at a music store (read: Bull Moose or some other store that sells used cd's. FYE or whatever the hell that store is can piss up a rope if they think I'm paying seventeen bones for a cd in this economy.) buy The Black Crowes' Three Snakes and One Charm. Heavy blues riffs, solid lyrics. 12 songs of quality. Spans all ranges of music from heartfelt unrequitted-love ballads to fun songs you could listen to while imbibing in your favorite spirit. You should expect nothing less from "The Most Rock & Roll Rock & Roll Band of All Time (their quote, not mine...but I think it's pretty true)..."

Bull Moose usually has it for $3 used. That's where I found it. Short story: I had heard of The Black Crowes but had never "heard them" (you know? Like, you remember one or two of their songs? Like finally putting a name with a face...) until this past spring. Wandering through Bull Moose I said to myself "I've heard of these Black Crowes, Let me see the cd's they have in stock here." Three Snakes and One Charm was the only used one they had that day, for $2.98. I purchased said cd and it is now solidly in my top 7 cd's and convinced me to buy four other Crowes cd's as used ones have crossed in front of my path. All are good, but something about your first holds a memory in your head that continually captures your heart. Kind of like your first love. And the first time you had celery sticks with peanut butter AND raisins on them. Those are ants on a log. Brilliant.

But I told you that story to tell you this story: Buy Three Snakes and One Charm (used...) and you will not regret your decision. It's that good (Under a Mountain and Girl from a Pawnshop are personal fav's...). Girl From a Pawnshop bootleg video courtesy of youtube for your viewing and listening pleasure is provided free of charge below. I may or may not like these fellers just because Chris Robinson rocks some sick flow (which I had and want again) and a thick beard (which I've never had, never will, but always will want for...)...


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaguration hoopla? More like horseshit...

Hey, Federal Government...I know we're ushering in the party notorious for big spending but $170 million on the god damn inauguration? Are you kidding me? We're in a recession for christsakes. Cut the Shit. So much for trimming the fat with a scalpel. Seriously, hearing that number made me want to puke. The Democrat will say this was actually a good thing because a lot of the money went to wages for blue collar folks involved in the set up, police and fire support, and was a boon to the tourism industry...but the cheap bastard in me says those same fuckers are guaranteed a 40 hour week. The excess which was on display the last 4 days sickens me.

And why the fuck did I have to watch an interview with Bono Sunday night talking about our inauguration...The guy's from Ireland or Scotland or some other island that I'm pretty sure isn't included in the 50 + Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Stick to raising money for micronesia and Africa and leave America alone. I don't like you, nobody else does. The only good thing about you was you had a filthy mullet in the 80's but that was 20 years ago. You're useless. You, sir (and I use the term loosely), are not Bill Gates.

But seriously people, this is the party of change? I missed the memo the change those donkeys (literally. HA. HA.) were talking about spending MORE FUCKING MONEY THAN WE HAVE THE PAST 8 YEARS. $45 million is coming from donors...which doesn't leave more than, oh, $125 FUCKING MILLION TO GET PICKED UP BY THE FED. And I voted for this shit. Fuck me. You have my permission to punch me in the face the next time you see me. Makes me want to puke. No cheers tonight, just jeers. Dammit.

Dam You, GMC...

This has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks but I haven’t been able to find it on youtube so I can embed the video with it. But I’m sure you’ve all seen the new GMC commercial by now that shows compares the new GMC Sierra to the construction of a big dam (probably the Hoover dam. I’m pretty sure it is but I’m no expert). The voiceover is something along the lines of “You didn’t think building this big dam was possible, but we’re AMERICANS and we did it! Buy this American truck that is full of good ol’ American craftsmanship, too (emphasis added, obviously because the commercial doesn’t actually say any of that…But it’s implied. Trust me).”

Yes…I want to buy a truck that compares itself to a concrete monstrosity which has crippled an ecosystem for 1000 miles below the dam to make some god damn electricity for posh skiers in their Vail condos and the filthy Vegas strip and every other building of excess in that region. Who cares about sustainability below the dam? We’ve got enough electricity to run 7 flat screen TV’s and a washing machine in our house all at once! Oh, there’s a desert below? And the Colorado River was about the only source of water in the region? And this dam will cut the flow significantly all the way down to barely a trickle whereas it used to steamroll all the way to Mexico? And wait, there used to be fish in the river? Tough shit.

Nice work, GMC. Fuck you and your bailout money you bunch of fucking donkeys. Look for this ad at least 3 times during the Superbowl and at least a half dozen times during other sporting event. And I hope we collectively flip the bird to our respective television sets with each airing. Spread the word. Cheers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Waxing on various sports

How much do the Celtics just not respect the Suns? Starting Scal...hah. that just made me laugh. And how about Scal with his two missed 3's in the first half with the clock winding down...and no benching. Everyone is just feeding his ego. Classic, really.

Second, am I glad Anquan Boldin sucked it up during the season and just caught the damn ball. I rode his 12 game stretch (not including the two games when he was out with a BROKEN FACE. Only two games? Nails) of huge weeks all the way to the bizzank. So of course now that the playoffs have come he goes all pouty face and acts like a little crybaby even while they're winning ballgames. If the speculation is true that my G-men are targetting him to replace Plax I will say, "Hell Yes." G's in '10, BABAY (That's with or without AQ, the Giants are a force, you all know that)!!!

Third and last, kudos to the lesser known New York football franchise for giving Rex Ryan the reigns at Jet central. This guy is legit and expect big things if he tells Brett Farve to go fuck himself. He'll bring in a solid offensive mind and watch for an even more exciting AFC East next year with Brady's knee still in a brace and Matt Cassel heading back to Earth (he'll still be around the Pats have enough cap flexibility to keep both QB's, it just makes sense.

I said last already but I can't sign off without giving props to Claud Lemeiux making it back to the league, too. Guy's 43 and just loves hockey. I respect it, but hockey players are tied with lax players for "most disgusting human beings on the planet." 1 and 1a. Put all those fuckers on an island. A cold island, though, so hockey games can still be televised. Cheers.

Sandwich Tip

So here I was an hour ago saying I hate to blog from work because I feel guilty about not working and now I'm blogging from work. The truth of the matter is I got kicked out of my office where all the work I should be doing is located so this time I don't feel guilty about getting some good info out to all who care to read and follow some simple instructions. This is a good sandwich tip. Applicable for either wraps or traditional two(or three if you're a crazy club-sandwich kind of a person. I'm not, far to much bread for my liking even with thin slices)-slice bread sandwiches.

Romaine Lettuce. That's the secret ingredient to eggsaronious. but the romaine has to be used correctly. Take your wrap/bread slices and line with some nice, thick, crisp leaves of romaine. Iceberg is for suckers. Then place your meat and/or condiments on the lettuce, not on the wrap/bread outer! The hearty lettuce contains the moisture allowing you to have fresh bread, rather than soggy bread. I've been using this for quite some time, but today I put a healthy dollop of hummus in the turkey wrap I made last night which I'm consuming right now prior to practice. The hummus was contained within the lettuce with great success and I thought I should share that with you. fresh bread tastes better. So do sandwiches with condiments. Write that down. cheers.

Headline News

I don’t usually read the news because I’m lazy and figure I can pick up enough of the goings-on via word of mouth or that newfangled internet, but I happened to pick up the Sun Journal sports page on Saturday morning. A few of us had planned to return to Edward Little High School and catch the 2nd half of the basketball game there but by the time we made it across town cars were rolling away and our plans were forced to change. So I was interested to see if they had played well or not. The front page said they won by about 30, so I flipped through to the sports section to read about how this occurred and who they played and saw the headline: “EDDIES BOIL WITCHES.” I don’t know why but I just found this to be pretty inappropriate.

Well, actually I do know why and I’m going to tell you right now…maybe because there weren’t any real witches, just hysteria created by wormshit little 17th century girls in Puritan New England villages which caused 20 or so people to be killed. Real cool. And boiling was a torture device used to force the accused to confess their wicked ways and discovered God before they were hanged or shot or burned to death at the stake. Really cool. Religion is great (don’t worry, I’m not about to go down that road. If you like God or Jesus or G-d or Mohammed or Vishnu or any of the dillion others that’s your business, not mine)… So kudos to the S-J for thinking that headline was PC. Newsflash: NOT EVERYONE IN THE U.S. IS CHRISTIAN…AS “SCARY” AS IT IS SOME PEOPLE ARE EVEN ::GASP:: AGNOSTICS OR ATHEISTS AND DON’T BELIEVE IN REGILION AT ALL…This again just points out the blatant Judeo-Christian bias present in this country, which trickles from the Federal Government on down to municipal governments and workplaces and even homes. Free exercise my ass. While Wicca’s don’t generally consider themselves witches I’m sure that headline is not something which they’d like to begin their Saturday with especially with all the other backhanded shit I’m sure they take on a regular basis.

I apologize for the mini rant but this is just a pretty big pet peeve of mine. Be happy the holiday season is over or I could go on for hours. The city councilors who put out “holiday” trees and “multi-faith” decorations can go piss up a rope. Christmas should not be a federal holiday. If you choose to not open your business on a given day that is…your business. That’s what you have personal days for, too. Sorry this has been a tangent but government interference on this shit just grinds my gears. Anyways to conclude, Randy Whitehouse and S-J editors: clean it up.

p.s. I wrote this on Sunday without internet and then forgot to post it this morning when I got into the office. I keep a strict separation between work and blogging. I'll get it up earlier next time. cheers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thoughts & Prayers...

Please send your thoughts and prayers to Shawn and his family as they are going through an unbelievably hard time right now. Your support and love is greatly appreciated.

This will be posted on Facebook shortly, but to alert the few people who read this regularly services for Andrew are listed below:

The wake is being held on Friday, January 16 at Pinette & Lynch Funeral Home in Lewiston. The address is 305 Alfred Plourde Parkway in Lewiston. This is to the left of Lisbon St headed out of town, in between Lisbon St. and Webster St. Viewings are from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm.

Saturday a service will be held at the Universalist church on Spring St. in Auburn beginning at 1pm. This is right across from the Dairy Joy, near the Hannaford Bros. I'm pretty sure there is limited parking at this location so please try to spread the word to carpool; the Mechanics Bank parking lot could also be used as they are closed on Saturday.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to call me 207-333-0160. Love to Tammy, Jeff, Shawn, & family.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back to Fantasy...

So up until now I don't think I've seen a Titans game all year. But when Chris Johnson scored a TD to factor into his huge first half I remembered why I enjoyed having him on my fantasy team so much. He's impressive to watch and I wish I had seen more of him other than highlights and a two digit number in my fantasy scoresheet every week. He's a stud and is faster than most other folks, even by NFL standards. This game is pissing me off because I hate Ray Lewis. Ed Reed is the man but my hatred for Ray Lewis trumps my Ed Reed mancrush. Anyway Chris Johnson and LenDale White (I had both of them to carry me to the playoffs then dumped them when they went into cruise mode once they clinched. Revisionist history I know and it's not like I would have won if I kept them, but this fabrication helps me sleep at night) had a pretty neat choreographed handshake on the sideline following CJ's aforementioned touchdown but (of course...) I can't find any goddamn video of it. CBS is a horseshit network (or no one else was impressed. I'm hoping it was the former, though. I really thought it was good) The best I can do is the picture above. Go Titans, boo Ray Lewis. Cheers.

Friday, January 9, 2009

End of an era...

At 8:42 this morning a gentleman from West Gardiner came with a trailer to take my horse to the glue factory. Yes. this morning I traded almost 8 years of memories with the Red Dragon for $800 cash money. It was time. If this doesn't demonstrate my biggest New Years resolution I don't know what does. I have resolved to cut the fat (double entendre implied). This is a goal I've had for awhile: to trim away the clutter and things I really don't need. Clothes I don't wear, gone. Paintball gun I bought in high school for no good reason (like 1785 other dumbass purchases I've made over the years...), hello pawn shop. Get the shit out of here. Those of you who know my collection of crap just ask and it's probably yours. Except books. I like books. If you view this in the 100 things challenge sort of a way (which I don't...) "books" would be considered one thing. I could own a goddamn library and not feel bad about it, that's just the way I am. But if you'd like to borrow a book by all means just ask me (except for Jenn who has had my copy of Beloved for about 10 months now...I'd like that back if you ever stop working for 15 seconds and read this...). This isn't Barack with a scalpel; This is Matt with a hatchet. Watch out.

But this cut the fat is not just related to objects. I'd like to actually get in better shape, not just say that I want to (see, double entendre...I don't lie). Hell, I'm even planning to get to the office early on Monday so I can make sure I get a workout in. I've already cut back on my alcohol intake (Sorry but I'm not going stupid like I did in college when I didn't drink from November thru the middle of May for track. That was just silliness). I got a water (A WATER!) after I had two beers at Gipper's last night. If I had ordered a bottled water it probably would have been more expensive than the 32oz Buds I had (And thanks to the waitstaff at Gippers who have accepted my blatant cheapness with open arms. Last night I arrived at 8:55 and Mel didn't come to take our order until 8:59 and 57 seconds. I've turned her away before one time when I got there at 8:40. I am pathetic.). But it's pretty much everywhere. There's a lot in life that just doesn't matter. My goal is to make that stuff truly not matter to me. CUT IT OUT!

I also resolve to get back to my staunch support of oral hygenie. I've always been an avid tooth brusher, but I've never really liked to floss. I also hate dentists. I haven't been in nearly 4 years (I think, it very well could be 5 I'm not sure). But this year I plan to say hello to a dental hygenist and get a good scrubbing. I've also been flossing at least daily, sometimes twice. I like the feeling of breathing through my teeth. It's neat. I have a little bottle of Listerine on my desk so I can freshen up after lunch. Gingivitis, I'm coming for you.

This was really just to distract myself from my decision to sell the Jeep. Robert Plant once said "Good times, bad times, you know I've had my share." I find this to be very appropriate for my baby and I. Though it was much more good than bad. She's been a close friend for almost 8 years, along with you few other close friends. We've been famous in Freeport. We've been too sexy. We've played at EL in the snow. Countless good memories. It's seen my first date. It's been the CAP1 mobile for as long as I can remember. It's been me, and I've been it. I think we can all say it was quite a ride in that red rag top. And I won't stop, loving you. Cheers (and Nick I'm interested to hear your thoughts on The Wrestler. This movie has consumed my life...).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One more thing I forgot about The Wrestler...

...And I'll try to make this the last I write on this subject. The first is kudos to whoever got Tony Atlas to help with the wrestling aspects of the movie. He was by no means the only person listed but that guys been around forever and it's good to hear he's still very well respected within the sport. An L/A legend who was big time in the 80's when pro wrestling was king. Held the Tag Team belt a couple of times. And who fell just about as hard as The Ram but is still smiling and loving life for all it's worth. When I was actually having to shop for myself last year I'd see Tony in the Hannaford Bros. on Spring St. in Auburn at least once a month. A lot of times on Tuesdays when I would walk over from Beal's while my laundry was drying. Any rate, just an absolute great guy and I guarantee you'd hear the same thing from anyone else who's met him. Just a class act.

So if you know Tony then go see The Wrestler. Make it happen. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Watch out for the Electricity Vultures!

Spread the word. I've known about this for a couple few years but I don't think I mention it enough. Turning off your computer at night (and any other time it doesn't need to be on for long periods) is not enough. Standby modes on monitors, cpu's and other electronics continue to suck current even when you think they are off. Turn off your surge protectors or unplug these devices altogether when they are not in use, pre-programmed settings be damned.
And break down and by some goddamn CFL bulbs next time. They cost as much as a friggin' six pack, it's really not too much to ask. Even better than that turn off the switch when you're not in the room, and use task lighting not fixtures that have multiple bulbs when you're only looking to read. Write all that down and implement it into your daily lives.

Snowed and shitted sleet and ice all day up here but supposedly the mountains are getting 10-12". We were supposed to get 3-6" and got about 1.5" and it switched form snow around 11am so all I have to say is that Joe Cupo is full of shit. Driving wasn't bad, but I give it a 0 on a 1-10 ranking because that's how many snowballs I was able to make today. Cheers (and sorry for the potty mouth. I don't know what came over me, I've tried to be better than that lately).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fiesta Bowl Update...

The UTexas band's choice for their halftime performance in the Fiesta Bowl? Led Zep...Black Dog into Stairway...what the deuce? I guess I should be happy, I thought Drumline was a shitty movie (Though my favorite school band moment came while attending the UVA-VaTech game when their respective percussionists were battling at halftime. The UVA guys partner rolled over one another while playing their drums and prceded to "win" the battle...though it was not a neutral site. It was neat). Here's to hoping the Oklahoma band pulls out some Toby Keith at halftime for the BCS title game...

And you all should of stayed up for the end of the game; it was a mighty exciting finish. I neither like nor dislike either of these teams, but at least it was an entertaining game (I know the post will say 10:something pm but that was when I posted the UTexas band factoid, which is still messing with my head. It's now 11:57pm, trust me on that).

Also, I don't read The Onion often but through my random clicks on wikipedia, and AJ Jacobs' (author of my next read, The Know-It-All) personal website and blog I ended up there and feel this is a fitting little post related to my living situation. I laughed, I don't really care if you laugh. cheers.

Monday morning thoughts

This is stuff left over from the past weekend. I was going to have a very productive day today. Then I didn't. So it goes. Anyhow...

Slash does the guitar background throughout The Wrestler. I saw that in the ending credits. Another reason why the movie is strong and why you should go see it.

As I start I've realized (again this morning, for the 1007th time) that I need to get one of those voice recorders that records what you say and then you can plug it into a usb and download it to your computer as an .mp3. I may just be making up the fact that these exist but I'm a two (or three) finger (I have an itchy right pinkie that sneaks into the fold every now and again) typer so my wandering mind can't keep up with my (obviously shitty) typing ability. Just thought you'd all like to know that. Feel sorry for me knowing now I had to write my thesis using only 20% of my hands (actually, don't. It was only 19 pages before charts and appendicies for an 8 month output of 31 total pages. You should respect me for somehow graduating.) But when this technology comes into my hands watch out.

If you want to know how I'd like to write if I was creative and lingustically savvy then read Chuck Klosterman. I finally found one of his books (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story) at the Auburn Public Library and was very impressed. Seemlessly relates his life to cheesy musical and pop culture references like I can only dream about. For the past 3 days when I think about random factoids from my life I think, "What would Chuck have to say in this instance?" only to immediately decide if I wrote anything like that I'd be a unoriginal fraud and then I give up.

Which brings me to another point: Does anyone else feel like the window of originality is closing by the second? I mean with the internet as it is and information is everywhere how long is it going to take before everything has been said? I mean, everything. For all I know this has already been said. Am I original right now or just a no good hack repeater? Or am I just trying to find an excuse to veil my laziness? This shit bugs me (But it's probably the last one. Damn.)...

Student loans are the bane of my existence. I'm just realizing this as I'm getting paid Thursday and this means another big hunk of dough immediately exits my account mere hours after it enters. For you cake eaters out there consider yourslef lucky. For the common folks I feel your pain. I guess student loans aren't the bane of my existence, but rather credit in general. If I catch that disease (myfunsarelow) then I don't really need whatever it is I am wanting at that particular time. Other than a mortgage for a house I don't see myself buying anything on credit. Ever. Call me crazy. Call me a clown. But I just don't want to deal with it. I call it a savings account.

I'll leave you with one last thing about The Wrestler and this is absolute genius on the writer's part. And I'm not going to give it away. But just think for a second the way a 1980's wrestler could be enshrined forever but has gone out of style with advanced technologies while still holding strong amongst a cult following of college kids and those too broke to upgrade. Then picture "The Ram" added to this equation in all its glory. I'm sure this sounds cryptic but I don't want to give too much away (it was a throwback in 2000 we'd bring it back to life in Sloat's basement on the small screen) because if I say anything more it will be blatantly obvious. This might actually be my favorite part of the movie. Cheers.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Wrestler, finally saw it and worth the drive...

Had nothing to do this weekend so took a drive down to the Bean Friday night, crashed with an old acquaintance slept late and then made it into Cambridge to catch The Wrestler for a mid-afternoon show. Shit on me all you want, I don't care what you think. Though I know what you're thinking and you're right...there's no way in hell I would have done this in the summertime when gas prices were $4+ a gallon. But I could handle a 20spot round trip to get me out of Maine for a bit and see some folks I hadn't seen enough of in awhile. I hung around in Cambridge afterward and had dinner and wasn't in much of a hurry to get back (Sorry, Nick) so I didn't end up heading for home until a tad after 11pm. The roads were clear and this afforded me plenty of time to reflect on the hour and fifty minutes of film I viewed earlier in the afternoon. And reflect I did. I only saw four sets of taillights once I hit the Maine border (5 if you count the set I saw on 202 coming back through Gray), so it was a quiet and relaxing trip back. but I'm left still mulling over some bits and pieces. I'd love to see it again but this probably won't happen until it opens up in Portland on the 23rd. If you read no further at least read this: If you can, go see this movie.

Let me preface my discussion by informing you I was (and still am to some degree) a big professional wrestling fan though my middle school years (I was also real big into it early, early on in my life when Hulk was still a young face [if you don't know what this means you're useless] and "Ravishing" Rick Roode was a king in WCW but I do not consider those my formative years...). I don't know what brought it on, just everyone I was close to was into it. We watched Raw every week, went to the shows when they came to Portland, and even staged our own matches in a friend's basement after school for a solid 9 months. There were 15 of us and not that backyard horseshit but true, classic professional wrestling modeled after characters in the then-WWF which we taped and laughed at afterward. I'm sure we would all be ridiculed to no end if those tapes ever were to resurface (I have a copy, don't worry). Mick Foley and "The Road Dogg" Jesse James were my heros. The latter may have actually subconsiously motivated me to get braids my sophomore year in high school, but I haven't picked a shrink yet to worry about digging up more dirt on that subject.

Also, for any one who was pro wrestling is fake, I say fuck you. Sorry for swearing, I know it's not very becoming. If you say it's fake, I implore you to just stand on a hard floor and fall straight onto your back 10 times in a row. Just 10. And then tell me how you feel. Then multiply that by 3-10, adding in occaisional falls from 10+ feet onto concrete, awkward landnings, hardcore gimmicks and the like. Then do this 300 days a year. For 10-20 years if you want to get real technical. You'll hurt, I'm confident in that. Yes, outcomes are pre-determined and rabbit punches are thrown from time to time. But bumps will always be real, there's no faking those. You can also just read Mick Foley's first book, Have a Nice Day. He's (actually) a pretty solid writer and it's an quick read, but it sheds a lot of light on this indie and regional wrestling scene and also what he puts his body through for the love of the ring. The bumps this guy took are mindblowing and I'm not about to go into them now.

Also, as with Chinese Democracy I haven't read anything on it directly other than the start of articles where people say to go see it and Mick Foley (read: god) saying the wrestling was well done, so I guess this is as close to original thought as I can claim recently. Now, to begin (and I'll try not to be a bitch and spoil too much because I know a lot of people [read: one person] who read me semi-regularly plan to see this), Mickey Rourke absolutely brought it. In the ring, out of the ring, it didn't matter. He was "The Ram." Nothing about his performance seemed fake to me. Granted he's a specimen physically so a few months in the gym and a spray tan and he's back at it, but his hair was real. He boxed in his early 30's so his f-ed up face is real. Just everything he did and said seemed 100% genuine to me. "The Ram" did one thing well, and that was wrestle. He's not a high flying wrestler but straight out of the '80s when a lot of the moves were punches, kicks, clotheslines and suplexes that quite a few people can manage with a little training in taking bumps. So I didn't feel like I was watching a stunt man, ever. One of the matches gets a bit intense, but even in that case 99% of the moves I felt like I could handle (not today, but if I was actually semi-fit and in shape, say, 12 months from now or 12 months ago), with about the same amount of blood that he spilled (Some of you may want to throw a red challenge flag on this, but let me say a: I've already been shot with staple and bb guns for no good reason and b: you can't teach crazy. If I'm crying I'm lying, and I ain't shed a tear). That's how authentic I felt it to be. I'm sure there was fake blood and a body double here and there but I don't want to believe it. In a certain grimey, "holy shit" sort of way, it was perfect.

His life is the mat, and I found that to be a blessing and a curse (obviously...). But what I still can't decide is if I feel sorry for him or idolize him. I can't tell if I should feel sorry for him because he ruins every aspect of his life: family, his body, his job, because he can't separate himself from wrestling. But at the same time I almost want to idolize him because he found his true calling, his passion (Don't read Christ's passion into this. You can, it's there and the film brings it up rather explicitly but I'm not going to bother because I just don't feel like going down that road right now. Watch Rocky. Stallone, in my opinion, creates a better passion play in Rocky. But forget that, wow, I really can't stay focused right now...) and he lived for his time in the ring. He comes to work and sees his family of other wrestlers and the fans, who all idolize him. The wrestlers are honored to work with him, fans are honored to see him (though after 30 years in the business this can be hard to handle at times, I'm sure)'s really fairly remarkable and I want to think this is what they mean when people say follow your bliss...but then I say to myself: this bliss has crippled him emotionally and physically...back and forth, back and forth, you get the idea...

I struggled with some of the under-development of the two supporting characters in the film, his daughter and the stripper he falls in love with, but as I look back I almost feel like that was intentional. If "The Ram" could handle meaningful relationships with either of them then the audience would have had a chance to learn more about them. But Randy cannot, and thus we are not granted the opportunity. Before I go further I just have to say that speaking of bringing it, Marisa Tomei is lights out as a stripper. She's just phenomenal and is topless in about 65% of her scenes. Worth the price of admission for that alone, but what I found equally impressive is Rourke consistently stole the spotlight from her in many of the scenes in which they appeared together and she was without a top (or with see-through top). Seriously, I don't care if he wins but this is worthy of an Oscar nomination (whatever that means...How about this, "Rourke's performance was good enough for me to not wait a year to buy the DVD when it drops to below 10 bucks. I'll buy it the first week it comes out when it's on sale for $14.99. WOW!!). I'm all for down and out.

My favorite scene was a little corny because it's with his daughter and they share a cliche (in my opinion) moment together after many years separated while walking along a Jersey Shore pier. There's an old casino in the middle of demolition and they break into the ballroom and dance and smile and finish with a hug. But, what I found intriguing was this is exactly where "The Ram" would be most comfortable. This ballroom is just like every other gym and convention center and arena he's been the star of for the last 25 years of his life. I don't know if it's subtle or not, if it's meant that way, or if other people think it's supposed to be meant that way, but that's where I shed a tear. No joke, and screw you for judging me. (Rocky actually made me notice this because if you watch the beginning of Rocky closely his first fight during the opening credits is in a ring set up in a converted church. Tangent, I know, but another reason why Rocky has more subtle Christ cues than The Wrestler. But forget I said anything, read on I'm just rambling dribble now...)

I'll leave you with this last, just because it amuses me. I just can't help but notice how close I think Mickey Rourke looks to one of my old Monty Sopp, aka Bad Ass Billy Gunn, who teamed with the Road Dogg to form the New Age Outlaws. They were a fun bunch. I guess that could have been when "The sketchy guy and the guy no one likes" first began, but that's a story for another day. Striking, no? cheers (Sorry for just stopping I ran out of steam it's now new year's resolutions will come, eventually).