Thursday, May 28, 2009

Five By Five

5 Band’s New Releases I Would Buy Immediately (Circa 1985)

1: Rush
2: AC/DC
3: Def Leppard (what?)
4: Pink Floyd
5: Black Sabbath

5 Band’s New Releases I Would Buy Immediately (Circa 2009)

1: Alkaline Trio
2: The Hold Steady
3: Kings of Leon
4: Elbow
5: Mastodon

5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self If I Could Travel Back In Time

1: While it will be tough, 2004 will make it all worth it.
2: Don’t get too attached to Len Bias.
3: Stay away from Sara. She’s trouble. Fun. Sexy. Creative. Trouble.
4: Buy Microsoft.
5: *cracking open a beer* Dude, try this!!!

5 Things Our Parents Never Taught Us

1: Don’t trust rich, white guys.
2: All women are crazy. Every single one.
3: Buying a house isn’t necessarily a good thing.
4: Dogs are more work than children.
5: Find something you enjoy and find a way to make a living off it. Working simply to pay the bills blows.

5 Things I Will Teach My Boys

1: All women are crazy. If you find one you like enough to over look the insanity, that’s the one you should marry.
2: As Alan Arkin’s characters says in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’: ‘Fuck as many women as possible’. I’ll wait until they’re old enough and will encourage condom use. So I’m not totally irresponsible.
3: Make a career out of something you enjoy.
4: Stand up for yourself all of the time. Don’t have to be mean spirited about it, but never let others play you for a sucker.
5: Treat everyone with respect. Even if you have to fake it.

5 ‘L’s To Finding Happiness

1: Love
2: Laugh
3: Listen
4: Look
5: Liquor

5 Reasons ESPN Is Becoming Irrelevant

1: Brett Favre
2: Tom Brady (Look, he’s practicing. Oh, look, he’s practicing again today!)
3: Kobe, LeBron, Kobe, LeBron, Kobe, LeBron
4: Covering the BCS like it’s a real championship
5: Anything steroid related.

5 Reasons Why I’ll Still Visit ESPN Nearly Every Hour

1: Scores
2: Bill Simmons
3: Streak For The Cash
4: DJ Gallo
5: Uni Watch

5 Vacations I Want To Take

1: Grand Cayman
2: Some sort of kayaking/camping trip
3: Grand Canyon
4: Hawaii (stopping a few days in Cali thrown in)
5: Ireland

5 Current News Stories I Could Care Less About

1: The Rockefeller Trial
2: The Sotomayer Pick
3: This bullshit
4: Anything about Jon and Kate Plus Eight
5: The U.S. Torture investigation

5 Of My Favorite Pixar Movies

1: Ratatouille
2: The Incredibles
3: Monsters, Inc
4: Toy Story 2
5: Cars

5 Things That Make Me Laugh On A Consistent Basis

1: Cracked
2: The Office
3: Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends
4: Wipeout
5: The Onion

5 Things I Want To Do This Weekend

1: Sleep
2: Drink
3: Watch movies
4: Relax
5: Drink

5 Things I Will Wind Up Doing Instead

1: Painting the kitchen
2: Mowing the lawn
3: Watching an excruciating Little League game
4: Drinking
5: Watch a movie. If I’m lucky.


5 Half Assed, Not At All Thought Out Steps To Success

1: Accept that you will have to deal with assholes in life
2: How tactfully you deal with those assholes will dictate your success
3: If you find yourself surrounded by assholes, you are one. Quit and find a new line of work.
4: Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed while realizing there are too many assholes in life
5: Once you achieve a certain level of success you can fire all the assholes.

Today’s distraction: 5 games to play on a long road trip. Surprisingly, none of them are drinking games.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Crush of the Month

Wow, May is almost over already. I would use today to update you on my holiday weekend, but nothing much happened. The biggest event was my starting to paint the new kitchen. Yeah, that’s real exciting.

Instead, I’ll unveil May’s Crush of the Month. As always, there will be no stalking involved as I have no idea where she is at the moment and I simply don’t have the motivation nor the finances to find out.

Who?: It’s Emily Haines. I know, you've probably never heard of her. That’s why I’m here to introduce you. She’s the lead singer of Metric, who’s latest album is on steady rotation on my iPod. Addictive, dark, pop infused rock that stimulates the mind while getting your foot tapping while riding the train.

Maybe that’s just me.

Here is what she looks like.

Admittedly she isn’t as stunning as past BeachBum Award Winners (see Watney, Heidi) but she has a certain European/possible criminal allure to her. Besides Emily is here for reasons more than looks.

For one, she writes some deliriously devilish lyrics that entertain me no end.

Lyrics like the open letter to Cupid in ‘Sick Muse’:

‘Watch out, Cupid, mama is a sick muse
Pull your little arrows out and let me live my life’

Before reminding us all that not everybody falls in love or ‘plays the lead’ in life. Reality check, please!

Or the open ended question to an unnamed male wondering why ‘all the gold and all the guns and all the girls couldn’t get you off?’

Sunny isn’t a description that many would apply to Emily.

What Else?: While lyrics are all well and good, it’s Emily’s voice that presents male listeners with a contradictory sensory experience. Alternating between sweetly angelic and a ‘Go ahead, I fucking dare you to say something’ vibe that is downright intimidating. The way she sings to Cupid should have him cowering in fear on whatever cloud he happens to be hanging out on.

I’m sure it has something to do with her being born in India, raised in Canada but her entire family being from America which presents her with a self described 'identity crisis'. She spent a majority of time in New York City (where she met James Shaw, co-founder of Metric) when trying to break into the music industry and was quoted as saying ‘The feeling that no one gives a shit about you is such a wonderful thing about New York, and America in general’, which is a rather direct way of saying she isn’t sure she enjoys the newfound fame her band’s budding success is starting to gain her.

That all?: You new here? Of course not.

While some female rockers would downplay their femininity, Emily doesn’t hide that ‘I’m a chick for sure’. I mean, look at this outfit.

Not slutty or crazy, but certainly shows off some kick ass legs.

That said, she also doesn’t want to be in it for her looks. She writes and plays music because it’s what she loves to do. And let’s face it, a woman who is successful at what she loves is sexy as hell!

There is also indications she’ll be releasing some solo material which would be an alternative take on Metric’s current song archive. As she explained, she writes all the songs on a piano as ‘sad’. Then James Shaw takes the song and makes it into a Metric song. Emily may release the original recordings of those piano driven songs, which would be an interesting take on some of their harder material.

One more thing, that puts her solidly in my heart. She has a very low tolerance for bullshit. A few quotes from a Popmatters interview that will illustrate my point.

On her musical inspirations:

‘I guess it's one of those things that you don't want to be conscious of everything. Of course there are influences, of course there are things that are inspiring, but it's weird to think that I'm trying to keep a mental inventory of them and report them clearly to whomever might ask. You feel like you're trying to show off your cool by mentioning the five bands that you know are great and the five books that will reflect well on you. I can't do it. I should take the time to but I don't want to take the time to do that.’

On doing interviews:

‘I know I could give a better interview, but I'd rather just have a conversation with you. I don't feel like being clever with it or something.’

On being a rock star:

‘This is the thing I've noticed is that the greater the distance between you and any ordinary task is the measurement of how much rockstar potential you have. The complete self-absorption, and childish indulgence and disregard, and having to feel as though everything you're doing is so people can live vicariously through you, so you have to pursue more and more unpleasant pastimes in order to satisfy the armchair people. That's a kind of scary existence. I'm into a little glamour and certainly, I think it would be interesting to be an icon. But I think more like Charlie Chaplin than like Jennifer Anniston.’

That’s right. A hot chick who sings cool, tough, lyrically dark songs and thinks more in terms of Charlie Chaplin than Jennifer Anniston.

Sounds like a winner to me!

Today’s distraction: Don’t take my word for it. Listen to one of Metric’s songs for yourself. Here is the video for ‘Gimme Sympathy’. Just hit play at the bottom of the page and enjoy. Too bad she didn’t have a shorter skirt.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Male Enhancement

I am in a fantastic mood today and, since my goal is to spread my goodwill (and pissiness when the occasion calls for it) around, here is why I’m happy today.

In no order.

- The weather is fucking perfect! Just perfect. 80 degrees on the nose with a gentle ocean breeze reminding everyone in Boston why we live on the water. There is nothing like walking out your front door and smelling that crisp, slightly salty air to lift my spirits.

- American Idol Finale. Let’s break this one down.

1: Adam (Fisher Cat) Lambert did not win, which is a significant victory for people with hearing and dogs everywhere. After his abysmal turn fronting Kiss, it’s more than apparent Fisher Cat is not destined to be a rocker. He’s more Broadway Theatrical then Heavy Metal. Think Hedwig and the Angry Inch and not Judas Priest.

2: Kris’s victory was a collective middle finger to the judges who kept pushing Fisher Cat’s over the top theatrics and screeches on everyone. Objectivity went out the window when it came to him and I couldn’t figure out why. Glad I was not alone in my loathing for him.

3: Kara’s performance versus the new and improved (nice implants) bikini girl. Not only did she show off her singing chops, but whipped open her dress to reveal a nicely toned body. By the way, Kara, you are wrong. Bikini girl doesn’t have a better body because she is surgically enhanced. Of course, if I find out you’re on steroids, I take it all back. As annoying as she was all season, last night’s show made me like Kara more.

4: Kris’ victory also secured my buddy’s win in the office pool. A cool $200 going her way. Hopefully, this means a free lunch for me.

5: Fisher Cat’s laughable outfit during his Kiss performance. Were those bird cages on his shoulders? Hilarious in his usually unintentional way. If there were fake birds in them it would have at least made it possible he was joking around. Instead we’re all laughing at him.

- As I’m taking off tomorrow, today is my Friday!! Fuck YEAH!!!

- My refrigerator is currently fully stocked with three kinds of beer: Stella, Michelob Ultra and Corona. Life is good.

- Lastly, in about 6 hours I will be packing things up and heading to my seats at Fenway for tonight’s Red Sox game. Wifey and oldest son will be meeting me there for our first game of the season. One good thing about the recession is tickets are much easier to get this year. I simply went online, picked a game and paid face value. Score!

Even better, we’ll get to watch Jon Lester pitch again. Eldest and I witnessed his major league debut and he’s been fixated on him ever since.

I should point out that many thanks are in order for Jason Bay. Manny was my son’s favorite player and was PISSED when the Sox traded him. Thanks to Bay’s scorching hot start, my boy has a new favorite player. In fact, he just picked up his jersey (t-shirt variety) the other day and will be wearing it to the game.

Thanks, Mr. Bay, and keep up the great work.

One last thing. I had my son convinced we would get to see Papi’s first home run of the season. Only he had to go ruin it by hitting one last night. Thanks a lot.

That’s it folks. Have a fantastic long weekend and we’ll catch up next week.

Today’s distraction: Some great movie poster recreations with Legos. My favorite, you ask? Scarface.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ra Ra Riot

No, sorry, this isn’t some tribute to the group sharing the name of the title.

This is actually about a riot. Rob’s post about Green Day’s new release and his impending trip to their upcoming concert opened a flood of memories from one infamous night that not only cemented my relationship to wifey, but validated my belief Green Day was a band to be reckoned with. Even if that meant in a legal way.

Allow me to set the stage (pun intended).

Green Day had just released ‘Dookie’ and was beginning to gather a following. A fresh infusion of punk mixed with melodic pop written by kids (not even sure they were of drinking age) who were depressed and hated life. Needless to say I loved it and latched onto them. That ‘Dookie’ is still one of the best debuts I can remember certainly helped their cause.

Over that summer they played the new Woodstock concert and managed to put themselves on the map by instigating a mud fight among the concert goers there. The weekend was marred by torrential down pours that created a mud bath in the field where the concerts were being played.

It was supposed to be harmless fun that escalated a bit. One of the band members lost three teeth when security mistook him for a stage rushing member of the audience and tackled him. This made me like Green Day more, mainly because this Woodstock was supposed to be encouraging peace and love (although it was really about the almighty dollar as anyone who attended and wanted to buy bottled water could tell you). And what better way to encourage peace and love than by provoking a fight among several hundred thousand people?

The Woodstock happened late summer. I think August but it may have been late July.

In September came word that Green Day would not only be playing in Boston, but they would be part of our local alternative radio station’s Free Concerts on the Hatch Shell. WFNX had already sponsored Cake’s concert (which I also went to) and a few other lesser known bands throughout the summer.

Green Day was going to the final free show of the year and FNX’s crowning achievement.

Oh, and I would most certainly be there. It’s one thing to listen to a band on a slickly produced CD, but hearing them in concert would verify whether these guys were for real.

Wait! Before I continue…for those unfamiliar with Boston: The Hatch Shell (which is often pronounced ‘HatShell’ ‘round these parts) is a stage set down by the Charles River that is most widely known as the place where the Boston Pops play their Fourth of July concert. Then fireworks go off over the river after the Pops are done playing. The Shell itself is right next to Storrow Drive and neighbors the Beacon Hill area. There are walkways over Storrow Drive that will get you to the river and concert areas without having to cross the heavily travelled highway.

I managed to talk wifey (who was not yet wifey), my buddy G, and my youngest brother to join me for the festivities. We trained it in, got to the field area just in time to realize ‘Holy shit, there are a LOT of people here’.

So many, in fact, that state police quickly estimated they were hopelessly outnumbered if things turned ugly. Considering the Woodstock incident and the popularity of moshing at shows of this kind, the odds of ugly occurring were far above average. More on the police later. I’ll focus on my own experience for now.

The crowd in front of the stage was so densely packed 30 minutes before the show was going to start, we decided to stay back by the street. I just wanted to listen, anyway, and had no desire to get pushed and shoved by a bunch of punks out to cause trouble. We hung out, soaked up the carnival atmosphere and slowly worked our way into the less populated section of the field.

FNX was being broadcast over the speakers and a few songs would come on that would get the crowd bouncing and jumping.

Then one of the DJs came on and introduced Green Day. My brother says to me ‘I’m going to see if I can get a better view’ and heads off into the throng of people. The three of us stay put and enjoy a couple of songs from Dookie. I must admit, even now, I can remember how good they sounded. Loud, ferocious and energetic. They had me jumping up and down and singing along.

Before the third song even starts up, Rob (?) (Green Day’s bassist) says into his mike ‘Hey, can everyone take one step back? Just one step back’. It wasn’t a panicked request, just a simple and calm statement.

Song three starts up and during a break in the lyrics Rob again tells everyone to take a step back. Green Day kept playing, but it was an odd moment. Halfway through the song, Rob drops any pretense of things being ok. He stops playing and yells into his mike ‘Everyone needs to take a step back. Just take one step back’. For the first time everyone realizes there is something seriously wrong. You could hear it in his voice.

I glance to the left of the stage and notice one of the light poles swaying back and forth; like the mast on a ship. To the right, people were trying to jump onstage only to be tackled by very large security guys (more on them in a bit). When I look back to the center of the crowd, it is moving like a single creature. I never understood the term ‘ocean of people’ before this moment. Crowds this densely packed move like tides; flowing and swaying and swirling. What’s frightening is how you have no control over any of it. Once you’re caught up in something this powerful, it’s either sink or swim. We found that out quickly enough.

Someone bumps into by buddy, G, who in turn pushes into me. One second later I’m hit from another side, only it doesn’t feel like one person but a force of nature. G is again hit so hard he almost goes down. I turn to wifey, who was on my opposite side and tell her to just move. I notice a semi clear pathway that will take us away from the crowd and towards the street and point her in that direction. ‘Just go and don’t fall down’.

We manage about 5 steps before the crowd surges again and hits us from behind. Wifey almost goes down, but I grab her under the shoulders and keep her moving. Up ahead the crowd is closing in on and blocking the path. People are swarming in from all angles. Some running, some still jumping around despite no music, others trying to join in what they thought was going to be the biggest mosh pit of all time.

At this point I knew it was critical we get out of the crush of people. I start pushing and shoving, just trying to keep everyone moving towards the opening. I still remember one poor teenager I pinned against a tree in order to get through. I nailed him in the chest with my forearm and told him ‘Stay there’ before pushing past. He looked absolutely terrified.

We finally manage to separate from the worst of the crowd and turn back to the stage. The lights are still swaying with people now hanging from them in order to either survive the onslaught or bring them down. The stage is over flowing with people who are jumping into the crowd or kicking down anything they can find. That would include the drum set, the mike stands and any lighting they could reach. Green Day is long gone.

With the three of us out of harm’s way, I now need to find my brother who has waded into the worst of it. Keep in mind this was before everyone had cell phones, so there was no simple way to text or call him and see if he was ok. Taking one look at the crowd I know there is no way in hell I’m going to be able to find him. I climb a small tree and try to scan the crowd, but there are just too many people.

Besides, from the looks of things, the worst is over as the crowd has knocked down the barriers and is now running around behind the stage as well. We start slowly walking back towards the train station hoping my brother will catch up to us. We hear sirens coming (which is never a good thing) and now both sides of Storrow Drive are shut down to traffic. We stop for a while to see if he’s coming to meet us before moving on.

As we are walking (now right down the middle of the closed highway) we approach a staggering kid. We all assume he’s drunk and start cracking jokes at his expense. I yell to him ‘Dude, you have anything for us?’ and he turns to face us. Blood is pouring down his face; over his mouth and down his neck. His nose is pushed all the way to the right of his face and he laughs and says ‘I took a shot, man. Does it look bad?’

All three of us keep walking past and I tell him ‘Nah, man, you’ll be fine. Just check in with one of the ambulances at the end of the line’. Wifey has turned white.

Our initial plan was to use the walkways to get back to the train station, but approaching we could see them swaying with weight of all the people on them and decide that might not be the safest route.

NOTE: Boston Police later admitted that the amount of people using the walkways far exceeded the limits they were built for. Only they never said anything to the people because they didn’t want to stoke the riot to even more intense levels. Thanks, guys. One of them could have collapsed and killed hundreds of people, but let’s not rock the boat.

The trains, as expected were a disaster with everyone trying to get the hell out of the city, so we decided to hit one of the local bars and let things thin out. What surprised me about the entire incident is how pumped I was. My blood was roiling and I wanted to fucking fight someone. One college aged goon bumped into wifey without paying attention and I shoved him so hard he nearly toppled over. He looked at me, quickly apologized and went on his way. Wifey told me to calm down, but that was difficult. I was amped to level 10 from being in the wild.

A few beers helped, but not before watching more police cars rushing to the concert (including what I thought was a SWAT van) and more bloodied people walking from it. Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Onto the official reports.

Turns out the State and City Police were woefully unprepared for the amount of people that showed up. Originally promoters estimated 5 – 10 thousand people would show, so police prepared for that number. They also brought in 15 prisoners from the neighboring jail to assist in security. Yup. Prisoners. Those were the dudes tackling and throwing people off the stage when things started going south. I’m sure they helped out a lot in this entire scenario. According to Tre (the drummer) many of them hung out and asked for autographs. ‘The thing is", noted Tre, ‘not one of them fucked off, they all went back to jail the next day!’

It certainly didn’t help that the 10 thousand expected turned out to be 100 thousand. Fuck, yeah. You can see how that would be a problem. Police were so overwhelmed that many were beaten up and trampled by the crowd. They did make 60 arrests, but most of those were after the main event was over.

What I didn’t know at the time was the rioting was spilling into other parts of the city as people from the concert decided to take their blood lust into other areas. I also learned that police had to use tear gas at some point, although whether that was at the concert site or somewhere else was never clear. I certainly don’t remember any.

As for brother. I called him the following morning and gave me this account:

‘I was up front but on the opposite side from where you guys were. When everyone started crushing against the security barricades is when the bassist started telling everyone to move back, but there was no way anyone was listening. People were just throwing themselves against anyone in their area. Fist fights were happening right in the middle of this crush of people and I saw one girl get punched right in the face by accident. It was ugly.’

When I asked how he got out:

‘I was right by a light pole and climbed to get out of the worst of it (he was one of the people clinging to that light pole). Then things moved away I jumped down and went behind the stage to get away from everyone. I wound up hanging out with the band backstage!’

Wait! What?

‘Yeah, everyone was just standing around in confusion trying to figure out what to do. I was standing right next to Billie Joe. All three of them were laughing that this was going on at one of their shows.

I think they were high.’

Today’s distraction: Find your own musical festival. Maybe you’ll experience something similar to Green Day’s Boston visit.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Decision Time

Forgive my brevity today. I’m exhausted from making several piss poor decisions last night. Let’s count down the ways things went wrong.

1: Last minute call from my buddy to go out and watch Game 7 of the Celtics – Magic. The call results in an internal debate in which I talk myself into ‘Well, I guess I could go out and at least watch the first half' despite…

A: the game starting at 8pm
B: needing to get up for work the next morning and
C: knowing damn well I would be staying out for the entire game regardless of what I’m telling myself.

Sidenote to Item #1: In what world does it make sense to start a west coast Game 7 at 3:30 Eastern Time (12:30 in L.A.) while holding off the east coast Game 7 until 8pm on a Sunday night? Isn’t Kobe the bigger ratings draw, anyway? Wouldn’t the NBA want him in primetime?

2: Declaring ‘No, I’ll come get you’ to my buddy which meant driving north for 30 minutes to pick him up, then another 15 minutes west to visit our favorite sports bar.

Sidenote to Item #2: I don’t trust this friend as far as I can throw him when it comes to drinking and driving. He once flipped his car over so many times that it basically disintegrated while he was inside. Then he tried to convince the police that a deer ran in front of him on the highway which caused him to swerve out of the way. What really happened was he was so shitfaced that he passed out while driving, which, ironically probably saved his life as he was completely relaxed (or asleep, if you will) when his car flipped and flopped down the middle of the highway.

3: Expressing to said friend upon pickup ‘Hey, what’s R---- doing? Let’s see if he wants to join us’. This led to picking him up along the way to the bar. You’ll see how this decision comes back to bite me in the ass later.

Sidenote to Item #3: Two friends during a Game 7 never seems like enough. Minimum number of friends needs to be three for a season deciding game. Otherwise, just stay home.

4: Responding ‘Absolutely’ when asked if another pitcher was required before the end of the first half.

Sidenote to Item #4: It’s beer. Like I’m going to say no? Do you know me at all?

5: Deciding – like I knew I would – to stick out the rest of the game while refilling another pitcher.

Sidenote to Item #5: The Celtics finally started showing signs of life near the end of the first half and they were only down by eight when they realistically should have been down 25. They played that poorly.

6: Repeat Item 4.

7: Friend #2 putting the idea of going to a strip joint into Friend #1's head. This is the friend I insisted on inviting, by the way. See how quickly things go to shit?

Sidenote to Item 7: My buddy is ADD defined. Once something gets into his head there is no reasoning with him. He will keep mentioning it over and over and over while negotiating some sort of ‘deal’. It usually begins with ‘Yes, let’s go see some pussy’ steps into ‘C’mon, I’m having a kid and this might be my last chance’ before winding up with the trump card ‘Fine. My treat!’.

8: Repeat Item 4

9: The aggravation of my buddy insisting on a strip club visit combined with the Magic raining threes down on the Celtics heads combined with some dipshit screaming inanities at the television set for no reason (‘KNOCK HIM DOWN!’) finally broke me and I agree to hit a strip club. Only we repeat Item 4. Again.

Sidenote to Item 9: I could have easily said no and had no guilt over it, but our other friend had never been to this particular strip joint. It truly is one of those places that defies description. The only way to understand is to visit. So visit we did.

10: Staying for one beer too many at said strip club.

Sidenote to Item 10: Either fatherhood has changed me or I’m getting too old for this shit (or both), but I left the club depressed and disgusted with myself. None of the girls looked like they wanted to be there; all looking like they were being held against their will and eyeing the entrance like a fugitive, the DJ insisted on using the creepy, strip club voice (you know the one: ‘And now welcome to the stage….Victoooorrrria’), even the other guys looked predatory and nobody was smiling. Of all the decisions on the night, coming here was the worst.

11: The decision to pick everyone up now meant I have to drop everyone back at their respective houses. This means I don’t get back to my house until 1 am.

Sidenote to Item 11: Me sleepy.

Today’s distraction: As atonement to my debauchery and depressing depravity, here are 12 Powerful Women Throughout History. Be warned, a couple of pictures are not safe for work. Leave it to me to celebrate and denigrate women at the same time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raw Deal

When my crazy sister in law arrived for the funeral of a member of her family, she brought with her the latest controversial topic for discussion.

I should probably lay the background for this psycho. She is my wife’s older sister by 2 years. Something happened in her formative years that created an attention craving, self obsessed monster who will do anything to get people talking about her and her lifestyle decisions.

These lifestyle choices included the following:

- Major drug use. She even dated a drug dealer for easy access. I use the term ‘dated’ loosely as I’m pretty sure she just blew him for coke.

- Befriending and bringing home an assortment of gay friends. I have no issue with this, but it was done more to provoke her strictly Catholic parents. Keep this in mind as most of what she does relates to sticking it to her parents.

- Marrying a black guy. Again, I have no issue with this. He and I get along great and tend to find a way to separate from the rest of the family whenever we get together. Often we’ll need to ‘go out’ and get ‘some supplies’ which is code for ‘let’s go watch the game at the bar down the street’. I miss him. They moved south a few years ago and I’ve only seen them a few times since. But, again, you can see why this would get her conservative parents worked up.

- Surrounding herself with dysfunctional friends. Wifey and I used to hang out with this sister and her husband all the time, but the amount of certifiably insane friends that would hang out with us became too much. The last straw for me was her raging alcoholic friend who came to her son’s first communion party, proceeded to get rip roaring drunk in less than an hour then started dropping F-bombs in front of all the kids. Not just one or two slips, either. She was a one woman blitzkrieg of curses who had to be escorted back to her house; staggering all the way up the hill while we watched in disbelief. It wasn’t even noon.

You’d think she would no longer be friends with people like that, but she still stays at that same woman’s house every time she comes back to visit.

- Home schooling her two kids. This gets wifey so worked up that they won’t even discuss it any longer. Wifey works in public schools and has seen first hand how most home schooled children fare when they finally merge with the other kids. Not well. Not well, at all.

Side note here: I’m convinced their move south was dictated by the home schooling. She had just finished her first year and the Massachusetts Department of Education requires all home teachers to submit their course outlines and paper work so they know the kids are actually getting an education. Well, when her lessons were due, suddenly they had to move. I should note that the state they moved to and currently live is notoriously lax regarding home schooling. Or any schooling for that matter.

Their moving out of state was the best thing that ever happened. It wasn’t just the constant ‘guess what she’s doing now’ daily discussions that were a grind, but the way she would play pointless, stupid mind games with her family. Telling one sister one thing, another sister a completely opposite thing, then her mother a third thing which all contradicted each other. I’m fairly certain she’s a compulsive liar who thinks every guy who has a conversation with her is trying to get in her pants.

In short, the first term that comes to mind when I think of her is ‘damaged goods’. There is something short circuiting in the cranium of this woman’s head and it’s much too late to do anything about it now.

Therefore, it was of no surprise that when she arrived last week, she brought with her the Raw Diet. When I first heard this I asked ‘What the fuck is that?’

Here’s what the fuck it is:
‘The raw food diet is a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed.

Heating food above 116 degrees F is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and "life force" of food.

Typically, at least 75% of the diet must be living or raw.’

That’s right, there is a diet that incorporates the ‘life force’ of berries and nuts into it. I get that everyone’s diet should be diverse and nutritional, but this is a bit extreme. Still, I withheld judgment until I could see the results. She has been on this for a few months before her visit, so we should have a good idea how things are working.

Of course, she has never been what anyone in their right mind would consider over weight. Always a fitness freak there have always been internal discussions that she has an eating disorder. Yeah, she’s been that skinny for most of her life.

Still, let us wait and see.

Well, we saw.

Verdict: Don’t ever go on the Raw Food Diet.

Putting aside the abysmal look of whatever the hell she was eating (she packed her own food and brought it with her everywhere), her skin looked awful. She literally looked yellow with lines and creases she never had on her face before. I assume this means her diet is lacking in whatever vitamins and nutrients make us all look human. Vitamin B? D? Whatever, she isn’t getting it.

During her visit to our house she pulled out a bag of what I thought was marijuana. I’m not even kidding, it looked like a big bag of weed and she must have noticed my eyes go wide with glee and excitement because she quickly told me it was kale. I don’t know what kale is, but I was ready to smoke the living shit out of it. The kids were at my parents for the day and I was ready to get it ON!!!

Instead she started eating it. She ate that shit. Being one to try anything (Really. Ask around), I asked to try some. Well, I didn’t get past the smell. Apparently it isn’t enough to just eat raw, but there are some foods you need to dehydrate before you can officially call them ‘raw’. For example, any processed foods or anything with additives and preservatives in it. Basically anything we normal people call food.

That it looked like weed made the smell all the more confusing to my senses. I don’t think I can properly describe it other than to have you imagine the worst shit you’ve even taken combined with skunk and a decomposing body and you’ll be getting close. There was some other scent I couldn’t identify, but by this point I was pushing the bag away from my nose while trying to keep my lunch down. And she eats this.
How does she look? Well, fucking skinny. And I don’t consider skinny a compliment. She disgustingly thin to the point where she could pull off impersonating a man. Easily. Her voices is hoarse and deep now (diet? Or is she smoking crack?) and she looks 50. She’s really 42.
This, of course, means every topic of conversation always revolves back to how this person thought she looked too thin or that person couldn’t believe how much weight she’s lost or how this other person didn’t even see her because she was standing sideways. That last one may have been me.

Does this make me look fat?

Personally, I like meat on my women. I like them to have curves and flesh and healthy hair and good teeth and…I don’t know…look, smell, feel, taste HEALTHY! There’s a reason the term ‘hourglass shape’ is considered ideal. Curves I like. Breasts I like. Nice round ass I like. Pencils I don’t like.

I mean, Christ almighty, compared to my sister in law fucking Olive Oyl looks like Marilyn Munroe.

Frankly, I could get forgive all of the above. I don’t care about her personal choices or her nearly psychotic cravings for attention or that she has smaller breasts than me.

It was the smell I couldn’t take. She laid down a funk where ever she went. I don’t know if it was the food she ate emanating from her body or skin or whether it was her breath, but she stank. Badly. I didn’t want to be within five feet of her. One moment would be over powering garlic like stink. The next would be an as yet to be identified shit like smell. The next was something like rotten olives.

It was nauseating. On more than one occasion, wifey offered her a mint which she refused. Wifey finally said to her, ‘No really, HAVE ONE!’ Again she refused, laughing as she thought wifey was joking around.

She wasn’t. You fucking stink, you crazy, malnourished, straw shaped freak of nature. Stay away from me.

I can’t imagine how this diet could be good for you. There’s a reason human have been eating eggs and beef and chicken and milk for thousands of years. Just like there is a reason we’ve been cooking food since fire was discovered.

I predicted to my wife that one of two things will happen with her sister.

1: She will contract some parasite or worm from eating everything raw.


2: We’ll get a call from her husband that she’s been admitted to the hospital for some strange medical reason. After tests and misdiagnoses they’ll finally figure out she’s malnourished and suffering from scurvy or some rare African tropical disease.

Since it’s about lunch time, I heading off to pick up a steak and cheese sub. Fuck raw! I’ll have mine well done, thank you very much.

Enjoy your weekends, friends.

Today’s distraction: A first person account of going on the Raw Food Diet for a full 30 days. The author seemed to enjoy it to the point where he decided to stay on it for good. He does mention the bad breath, by the way, but only for the first two weeks. He may want to ask his family and friends whether that actually stopped or he just got used to it. My guess is he still reeks.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost - Season Finale

Watching Lost is an exercise in patience that – so far – rewards loyalty with blow out episodes like last night.

While it’s not on par with the Season 3 finale of Jack yelling to Kate that ‘We have to go back!!’ which turned the entire show upside down and inside out (Frankly, what could match that? I still consider that one of the best season finales in television history), last night’s episode certainly kicked some ass, added to the Lost mythology and raised yet another series of questions while stirring in more mind bending confusion.

While that’s all well and good, the reason Lost continues to grab and keep our attention is the characters and our emotional investment in each of them. I even felt for Ben last night when he pleads for an answer to his ‘What about me?’

Heartbreak certainly seemed to be the theme last night, causing many of the characters into decisions they may not have made otherwise. I’ll hit on those during the recap.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For the last time this year (how sad is that?), we all know the drill.

Read no further if you haven’t watched.

What Happened

A hell of a lot, actually. Rather than get bogged down in the details, let’s sum things up by running down how our Lost friends fared and the introduction of the chess master himself, Jacob.

Jacob: Yeah, never seen him before. He may have been in some of the flashback episodes, but I don’t remember him. One thing’s for sure, if he wasn’t in Lost before now the producers will be busy digitally inserting him on the DVDs.

Anyway, we meet Jacob in some dimly lit dwelling making his contribution to the AIDS quilt or a sweater or something before hanging out at the beach watching a ship passing by (visiting the island?). Another bearded dude shows up for everyday small talk like ‘Do you know how much I want to kill you?’ and ‘I’m sure you brought them here’ (referring to the ship) before sulking off. He isn’t given a name in the episode, so I’ll refer to him as Mr. Sunshine for all the cheer and goodwill he spreads.

Two notes here. 1: Anyone else think Jacob was Charlie when they first showed him? I was so excited for a few moments. 2: That boat passing by sure looked like the boat Richard Alpert was making last week. You know the one in the bottle? Was that the boat that initially brought The Ageless Wonder to the island?

While we have never met Jacob, our Oceanic 815 people sure have. Jacob shows up to help Kate as a little girl get out of a shoplifting dilemma (What was on that lunchbox? Anyone catch that?), visits Sawyer during his mother and father’s funeral, attends Jin and Sun’s wedding and wishes them well in perfect Korean while not even staying to enjoy the open bar, seemingly brings Locke back to life after he is thrown from an eighth floor window (the ‘accident’ that left him paralyzed), prevents Sayid from getting run down by the same car that kills his wife by pretending to need directions, helps Jack get candy from a vending machine which was nice, and shares a cab with Hurley.

While Jacob seems to be everywhere, never ages and in complete control, even he has his problems.

John Locke: And this would be one of them. During the hike to Jacob’s house, Locke spends a majority of his time provoking Ben; instigating him with comments like ‘All this time on the island and your reward is getting to watch your daughter die. Why wouldn’t you want to kill Jacob?’. Granted, that’s a legitimate argument and certainly sets the emotional stage for what happens later.

Let’s return to Locke near the end.

Kate, Sawyer, Juliette: They make their escape from the departing sub when Kate tells them about Jack’s master plan to detonate a Hydrogen bomb. Sawyer, initially reluctant, is spurred on by Juliette to return and stop the bomb from going off. Gotta admit, I felt for Juliette as she turned to watch the sub disappear. Another opportunity for her to leave the island missed.

Upon return to the island they run into none other than…

Rose and Bernard: Rose greets them with an ‘Oh, shit’ look on her face and an even more distasteful ‘They found us’ alert to Bernard. Turns out they decided to just camp out in the woods and stay out of the entire, messy Lost fiasco. ’30 years in the past and you still want to go around shooting each other,’ Rose says in disbelief.

It’s during this meeting that Juliette catches Sawyer looking at Kate in a way she doesn’t like at all. Heartbreak #2 stage is set.

Jack and Sayid: After removing the core of the hydrogen bomb, Richard helps them find a way out, then tells them ‘It’s all you from now on’. They attempt to escape Dharmaville, but a gun fight breaks out and Sayid is shot. Badly. Fortunately….

Jin, Hurley, PAD: Show up in a Dharma-mobile and help them escape. Jack tells Hurley to head for the Swan. On the way there they meet resistance from…

Kate, Sawyer, and Juliette: Jack and Sawyer have a sit down (‘Just five minutes,’ Sawyer asks, ‘You owe me at least that much’) where Jack admits that losing Kate is his motivating factor for wanting to prevent Oceanic 815 from crashing. ‘I had her and I lost her’. His reasoning being he would rather have never known her than go through the heartbreak of losing her. There’s that word again. Sawyer, ever the realist, points out ‘Doc, she’s right over there. You want her, then go get her’. Have to agree with Sawyer on this one, Jack. Kind of a wuss move to wipe out never want to meet someone as smoking hot as Kate just because it didn’t work out. Man up, you big baby.

Jack is still adamant about dropping the bomb and he and Sawyer get into THE most over due fist fight of all time. Both taking out the aggression and frustration over their past differences in a very man like manner. Juliette, however, interferes and tells Sawyer ‘Jack’s right. We need to blow it up.’

Sawyer, understandably confused, demands to know why Juliette has changed her mind. She confesses that he caught him looking at Kate. Sawyer counters with ‘I don’t care who I was looking at, I know who I love’. Good for him.

While we’re here, a special shout out to Juliette’s mother who planted the demented and illogical reasoning that just because two people love each other doesn’t mean they should be together. Way to emotionally damage your daughter and ruin any chance at a meaningful relationship she would ever have.

By the way, that’s officially the second open confession of heartbreak dictating someone’s behavior. Juliette and Jack are both ready to vaporize themselves because they’re weepy inside.

So where are we?

Kate, Jack, Sawyer, PAD, Hurley, Juliette, Sayid: All are united on a mission to destroy the hatch before it can crash Oceanic 815. At least they’re all working towards a common goal for once. Sayid is bleeding to death, Jack and Sawyer are beaten up, Kate obviously wants to tell Jack she still loves him and manages to do so the only way she knows how – by shooting people and blowing up a 200 megaton bomb. She’s such a romantic.

Sayid has rigged the bomb to detonate upon impact which must have been tricky as his hands were probably all slippery with blood. Once the drilling by that douche Radzinski starts going bad, Jack and company shoot their way to the hole and Jack drops in the bomb after everyone takes one last loving look at one another.

Everyone cringes…and…..

Nothing. The bomb never goes off. Instead metal comes flying from every direction, gets sucked into the drill hole, nearly takes off Dr Chang’s arm (who is saved by his son from the future – paradox alert!), and kills Phil the Weasel in the most satisfying death in Lost history.

Unfortunately, it also sucks in Juliette who is wrapped in metal chains. Sawyer – ever the macho man – grabs a hold and tries to pull her out. Kate tries to help, but it’s no use as Juliette can’t hold on and plummets into the Swan hole. Didn’t see that coming.

Special note to the Lost actors: Fantastic job by all of you. Sawyer’s despair, Jack and Kate’s unspoken (but so wanting to speak it) love for each other, Ben’s anger, and especially Locke who is changed, menacing and creepy even while maintaining his innate Locke-ness. Great work all around.

But wait, there is another group we need to catch up on.

Shadow of the Statue Group: Ilana (sp?) and her band of grumpy men are hauling a metal crate through the jungle. They befriend Pilot Frank and show him the surprise in the box. I immediately thought ‘hmmm, another hydrogen bomb, by any chance?’

Boy was I wrong.

They trek through the jungle, find Jacob’s cabin (??) Ilana says ‘Someone else has been using it’, notices a break in the ashes surrounding it and decides to burn the thing to the ground.

In a fantastic bit of timing, they catch up to Locke and Alpert’s group to dump out it’s contents onto the beach: Locke’s dead body. I know!!!

John Locke: Back to Locke again. Only he’s not really Locke. We can assume he’s some form of Mr. Sunshine reincarnated or the spirit of Locke with much of Mr. Sunshine thrown in to make things more interesting. We know it’s Mr. Sunshine because Jacob looks at him, looks at Ben and says to him ‘Looks like you found your loophole’ which refers back to the opening scene and Jacob’s reply to Sunshine’s friendly ‘You know how much I want to kill you’ chit chat.

Ben, for his part, finally gets to meet Jacob and wonders why he had to wait so long. Why he wasn’t deemed important enough to merit a Jacob sit down? Hurt, he explicitly asks ‘What about me?’

Jacob coldly eyes Ben and replies ‘What about you?’

In the third behavior defined by heartbreak, Ben stabs Jacob repeatedly. Talk about a crime of passion. Before he dies however, Jacob tells pseudo Locke ‘They’re coming’. Pseudo Locke appears alarmed by this news, but not enough to make sure he finishes Jacob off by shoving him into the fire. Ouch.

Juliette: Why are we back to a dead Juliette? Why it’s because she’s not dead, yet. She awakes with a bloody cough and finds herself next to Jughead’s brain. In one last attempt to get the thing to go off, she starts hammering at it with a rock. On her third strike…

…white screen.

Oh no!!!

LOST shows up on screen while I scream ‘NOOOOOOOO!!!’

What We Learned

- I know absolutely nothing.

- Jacob has had contact with Hurley, Jack, Locke (the real one), Sayid, Kate, Sun, Jin and Sawyer. Interestingly, not all the contact occurred before the Oceanic 815 flight. Sayid and Hurley didn’t meet Jacob until after they left the island. I don’t know if that’s important, but I think it is.

- Jacob and Mr. Sunshine don’t get along real well.

- Kate was a criminal from a very early age.

- Jack likes chocolate.

- Locke really is dead. Maybe. Or not. He could be party alive, but possessed.

- Juliette should never have come to the island.

- Chang loses the use of his arm during The Incident.

- Jacob is what lies in the shadow of the statue. Most likely in a newly knitted, form fitting, self made sweater.

- Rose and Bernard are the only well adjusted people on this show. And they took good care of Walt’s dog.

- Sawyer fights dirty. That shot to Jack’s crotch will be felt for generations.

- Jack does love Kate. Kate does love Jack. Sawyer may love Kate, but definitely loves Juliette. Juliette loves Sawyer, but is so messed up by her stupid mother doesn’t know how to deal with it.

- Lost can’t afford realistic looking submarines.

- Mother Faraday (Eloise) was the leader of The Others and not Widmore. Verrrrry interesting.

- Jacob somehow marked all the people he came in contact with: Touched Kate’s nose, handed Jack his candy bar, gave Hurley the guitar case he brought back to the island, handed Sawyer the pen to write his letter, touched Sayid on the shoulder which prevented him from following his soon to be ex-wife into the street to get run down by a car, wished Sun and Jin well at their wedding (Anyone remember if he touched them? Think he touched both of them on their shoulders, right? Shook hands?) and appeared to bring Locke back to life after his 8 story fall. Physical contact seems to be the common denominator.

- When everyone works together, they can accomplish anything. Except getting a hyper sensitive H-Bomb to go off.

- Ben lies. It’s what he does.

- He’s also bitter about how Jacob treated him.

- Richard doesn’t age because of something Jacob did to him. Considering Richard wears makeup, I’m guessing we may have a ‘Brokeback Mountain’ scenario to deal with next season. Brokeback Island?

New Questions

Man, where do we begin….

- Who – or what – is Jacob? Why did he select the Oceanic people and what are they being selected for?

- Did Juliette manage to set off the bomb? Or was everyone white flashied back to the present? Or was it simply the original Incident occurring while she lay dying at the bottom of the drilling site?

- If she did set it off, is that a good thing or bad thing? In other words, did setting off the bomb actually trigger The Incident, make building the Swan a necessity, make Desmond push the button, make Oceanic 815 crash, etc.

Or, did setting off the bomb ‘course correct’ something so the Oceanic 815 never crashed and the future has changed in which case why are we even having this conversation?

- On a related note, if they managed to set off the bomb and change the future will all my Lost entries disappear? That would be a pity.

- Where can I get a Drive Shaft ring?

- How does Jacob keep his beard looking so neat? Think he has one of those beard trimming things with the built in light?

- Who is Mr. Sunshine and why can’t he kill Jacob himself? He even had to use Ben as his murdering tool (pun intended as Ben is kind of a tool) instead of doing it himself.

- Is it even possible to kill Jacob? I mean, if his beard can stay perfect for centuries it must take more than a few stab wounds to off him, wouldn’t you think?

- If it is possible, do you think Jacob intentionally got himself killed by provoking Ben? Sort of like Obi Wan in Star Wars? Now that he’s dead he’s even more powerful?

- If the H-Bomb did go off, does it kill everyone on the island? I would think yes, but remember the end of season 2 where Desmond blew the hatch and we thought Locke, Charlie, Ekko and Desmond were dust only to have them fully intact (except for Desmond’s clothes) the next season?

Fun Fact: That season 2 finale where Michael betrays Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sawyer and Desmond blows up the hatch was titled ‘Live Together, Die Alone’ which is exactly what Juliette says to Sawyer before they attack the still-being-built Swan station. Ironically, she does die alone. Maybe.

- What’s in Hurley’s guitar case? Figured it was Charlie’s, but it was left for him in the cab by Jacob.

- Who are the Shadow of the Statue group? Ilana knew Jacob from before. We see her all bandaged up in a hospital and when he sits down she says ‘It’s good to see you’. Is Ilana part of some original island tribe that never ages and asks cryptic questions?

- And what happened to Ilana’s face that she was bandaged up that severely? Looked extremely painful.

- What did Jacob mean by ‘They are coming’? Was he referring to the crew led by Ilana? Or – as I suspect – was he actually referring to Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Kate, Sun, Jin and Locke (even though he’s officially dead)? Are the ones he visited and ‘touched’ some elite army he has hand picked to fight some holy war?

- Was Mr. Sunshine (or his spirit) being held captive in Jacob’s cabin? I’m thinking the circle of ashes was a kind of spell meant to keep him in the confines of that area. That it’s now broken means he can move about as he pleases.

- Also, if that was the case, was the figure Locke saw in the cabin not really Jacob? Could it have been Mr. Sunshine using Locke to finally escape his prison to take control of the island and kill Jacob? That would explain that ‘Help Me’ Locke heard while things were thrown around.

- One final thought: How do we know who to root for? Is Jacob the good guy? Or maybe Mr. Sunshine wants to kill Jacob because Jacob is evil and kicks puppies around for amusement or doesn’t wipe down his gym equipment.

- Are all of these questions going to be answered in only 18 hours? Because that is all we have left of this Lost epic, my friends.

With sadness we have to wait until next season.

Today's distraction: Some random notes to make you think. The 'Friends don't let you do stupid things' really speaks to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seething Hatred

Despite a great game 5 last night (This Celtics team is becoming the love of my middle aged life), I am in a pissy mood. Since I’m petty and trivial and immature, I’m taking it out on life in general.

For your consideration, things that I hate today. Note that this may change in the next hour, may never change or slowly morph from out right hatred to simmering disgust over the next few months.

My Sister: I have three, but it’s the youngest who gets under my skin every time there is a family gathering. Since Sunday was Mother’s Day you can be sure she was there to bug the living shit out of me. She is loud, laughs at the inappropriate times (which is nearly all the time), and is obnoxious on levels I can’t get into because it makes my blood pressure rise and my vision turn red.

The worst part is she now has three daughters who are just as socially maladjusted as she is. With every child she and her NASCAR loving husband have the white trash quotient rises in our family. I don’t even like my boys playing with their kids because they always wind up with some disgusting disease. They’ve had lice several times, one had whooping cough and another had scarlet fever. Fucking scarlet fever!!! I didn’t even know that still existed.

I’m guessing that their house being an absolute pig sty contributes to their health issues. Clothes are everywhere, they only eat in front of the television and what they do eat is shit food. Meaning all of them are over weight (even the kids).

And you know what? I could over look all of that if they all weren’t so self centered and rude. Their daughters never say ‘Hi’ when you greet them; never making eye contact as shove their way past. The oldest daughter is a diabolical bitch in the making. I’ve caught her more than once whispering something to my eldest while he looks uncomfortable. When I ask him later, he tells me she’s always trying to get him to do something to one of the other kids in order to cause problems. I have since told him to simply keep away from her, which has the added benefit of keeping her lice ridden, fat, ugly head away from his.

Ironically, the only one in that family I do like is her husband. An affable, friendly, sports loving guy who gets walked all over by his wife. Whenever she launches into another of her famous 'It’s your turn to get the girls dinner’ or ‘I did it last time!’ the rest of her family starts making fun of her and defends the husband.

I will leave it to my blunt speaking father to sum things up for our entire family. Watching my sister and her husband walking away from the house while she bitches to him about some other trivial nonsense, he says, almost to himself, ‘I don’t know what he sees in her’.

American Idol Judges: We get it. You have a throbbing hard on for Adam Lambert, but let’s dispense with the ass kissing and at least pretend to be objective talent evaluators. His rendition of Aerosmith’s ‘Crying’ was abysmal. But instead of critiquing his performance, all four of you collectively try to brain wash the voters into getting him into the finals. Randy ‘You can sing!’ (no shit, or he wouldn’t be here). Kara ‘Un-BULIEV-ABLE!’ (what’s unbelievable is you coming back next season). Paula ‘See you in the finals’ (Please, no!). Simon ‘I hope everyone votes for you’. (Simon, you of all people should have told it like it was. You’ve ruined your credibility as the only Idol judge that speaks for everyone watching. No longer. You suck, too!).

Wifey has summed it up best with this comment from last night: ‘If Lambert wins I am never watching Idol again.’

Yeah, right.

I hope Lambert gets booted tonight if only to send a message to the judges that we know good performances better then they do. Or more succinctly: ‘We ain’t buying what you’re selling.’

The MBTA: You’re here for two reasons.

1: Actually scheduling a press conference to tell the state that your cell phone policy is ‘no texting while operating a train’. In the aftermath of an accident on the Green Line where one train plowed into the back of another because the driver was texting his girlfriend the T (as it’s known around here) felt it necessary to let everyone know that texting isn’t approved.

What you should have said is ‘The guy driving our train is a fucking moron. Why he somehow thought texting while operating a train that was carrying over 100 people was a good idea is beyond our imaginations. He will be fired and anyone caught texting, emailing, Twittering, or talking on their phones while working will also be fired. I would, however, like to apologize that we hired such a retard in the first place. Obviously our hiring practices need to be scrutinized and reformed. Please let our HR Department know we’re coming for them.’

I really wish they addressed how the fuck he was actually getting a signal underground, too, since my BlackBerry won’t work until I emerge from the tunnels.

2: Once again my train was delayed and crowded due to a ‘signal problem at Wellington’. Whenever there is a signal problem it is always at Wellington. Well, shit, I have an idea – upgrade the fucking signal system at Wellington.

See? Get me a job and I’ll kick some ass for you. And I don’t like texting, so I’m a safe hire.

People Who Walk Into My Office While I’m On The Phone Then Simply Stare At Me Until My Conversation Is Over: It ever occur to you that I may not want you listening to my conversation, shitdick? That’s why I have my own office.

The Airlines: Who have somehow decided to cave in to every Type A personality the world has ever seen. Declaring Wi-Fi access a ‘necessity, not a luxury’ most airlines are going to be installing internet Wi-Fi access on their flights. While personally I would love to be able to surf the web while on a flight, this is by no means a ‘necessity’ for me to fly. We’ve lived without airborne internet access since the invention of flight; we can survive just fine without it. Like smokers who can last 3 hours without lighting up, we web junkies can also survive.

Besides, we all know this means the next step will be allowing cell phone use during flights and nobody wants to hear Hot Shot’s overly loud conversation about how he’s ‘closing this deal today one way or another’ while sucking down his third shot of Jack Daniels.

Steve Phillips: During last Sunday’s Red Sox – Rays game he mentioned that Julio Lugo (who had just entered the game due to Pedroia getting hurt) had made some errors lately but that ‘none of them were costly’.

Really, Steve? Fucking really? That dropping the transfer on a double play ball that allowed one run to score wasn’t costly. Or misplaying another ball then throwing it 10 feet short of his intended target which allowed another run to score wasn’t costly? Or how about the fact that the Red Sox lost that game by TWO RUNS???!!!! Not costly, my ass!

Roger Clemens and Brett Favre: Clemens, just shut the hell up. Nobody believes anything you say. Favre, just go the fuck away once and for all.

ESPN: For feeding into both those egomaniacs with 24 hour coverage. Stay with me on this: We. Don’t. Care.

Media Everywhere: Stop making up new, idiotic words. Leisure and work do not create ‘weisure’. It’s called being a fucking workaholic and we’ve used that term for decades now. Technology is just making it easier and more socially acceptable to be one.

Texting naked photos of yourself is not ‘sexting’. It may sound catchy in a pedophiliac kind of way, but they aren’t having sex over the phone. That’s called phone sex which, in itself, is sad and pathetic. It isn’t possible to have sex via text or phone. It just isn’t. And so help me if we’re heading in that ‘Demolition Man’ direction of only virtual sex with no physical contact, you can just let me off at the next stop. Thanks for the ride.

John and Kate Plus Eight: You can no longer claim to be struggling with anything ‘privately’ when you are currently on the cover of People magazine airing your dirty laundry to anyone that has an extra $1.50 and no taste. That you’ve allowed cameras into your home to record every waking moment means you have forfeited any right at self pity for the next 10 years. If you want your marriage to work then cancel the show and go to counseling instead of pimping out your children for a life of luxury.

I honestly hope you come to the realization that you are destroying both the future of your marriage and the future mental stability of your children because you enjoy the lifestyle and fame that has come along with pumping out six offspring at one time. Congrats, you’re just like every other bitch in the world.

Top 40 Radio: Because all you do is play songs that have been digitally altered so that every female singing now sounds EXACTLY the same. I can’t tell who is singing what because Auto Tune somehow became a new instrument in every band. Yeah, Kanye, I’m looking at you, too.

Criticize and ridicule American Idol all you want, but at least we know they can really sing. In fact, Kris Allen just performed Kanye’s ‘Heartless’ last night and it blew away the original. And you know why? Cause there was no computer accompanying his version, which makes it highly ironic Paula Abdul is a judge for these real singers.

One positive note since my rage has been soothed a bit. Finally picked up Mastodon’s ‘Crack The Skye’ and it’s even better than I imagined (Thanks, Trib). If you never thought metal could be intelligent and artistic you need to listen to this. Even if you aren’t a metal fan, you’ll appreciate it.

I would also recommend ‘The Pains of Being Pure At Heart’ for anyone looking for some smart, alternative, indie rock. Reminds me of the glory days of the 90s college radio. Good times, those were. Good times.

That’s all for now. If I offended anyone with the above comments that’s just too fucking bad. Deal with it!

Today’s distraction: An interview with one of the most creative and entertaining writers around today. If you haven’t read ‘Choke’, yet, I highly recommend you do. If only to experience the funniest rape scene ever put to paper. Yes, funny. You’ll understand when you read it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Massacre

Some random notes while I recover from the kiss ass weekend celebration known as Mother’s Day.

- Due to a death in the family, my psychotic sister in law decided to fly in for the funeral and wake ceremonies. She is an emotional tornado in human form. Comes in, riles everyone up, then leaves with everyone a fucking mess. Considering she’s in her mid-40s and has two kids you would think she’d grow out of this bullshit. Nope. She’s still as self obsessed and hostile as ever, but comes off as if she is sweet and innocent and projects a ‘What? I didn’t do anything!’ persona that not one person believes.

She flew out Sunday afternoon to the relief of all.

Bad news: She’s coming back this summer for a week and will be joined by her entire family. Woo fucking hoo.

- In a rather odd verification of my atheism, my wife’s 83 year old aunt was diagnosed with cancer a month or two back. She decided she wanted to fight it with chemo and radiation. The doctors checked her out and learned the cancer was too far advanced for those treatments to be effective. She was adamant, but the doctors refused.

I understand why as an 83 year old heart and body would probably not survive the punishment. What I didn’t understand was why she was so reluctant to face death. See, she was a nun and had been her entire adult life. You would think someone that has devoted her life to the teachings of Christ and preaching to others what a wonderful world awaits them upon death would graciously accept the step into the next (hypothetical) world. Perhaps it was just a human moment to fear death. Perhaps she didn’t believe quite as thoroughly as she thought.

- On the way to the funeral, wifey and I had a discussion about the state of nuns and priests in the Catholic church. Every single nun who worked with wifey’s aunt was 65 or older. Every one. There are no new sisters joining the church and there haven’t been for years. Women have careers and compete with men for the same jobs now. Premarital sex just isn’t taboo any longer; it’s nearly a prerequisite. Something I endorse whole heartedly. I wonder how many nuns would have agreed to a chaste lifestyle if they had experience a pleasurable sexual relationship pre-marriage (to the church or otherwise)?

Of course, many may have as it now appears premarital sex was more prevalent than thought back in the days, but it’s nowhere near as acceptable as it is now. I would think a solid 80-90 percent of nuns have never had sex. That makes me sad for them.

Anyway, the same goes for the priesthood where the numbers are rapidly dwindling. I heard the church near us has one priest who does every single mass. He’s in his 50s and there doesn’t appear to be any relief coming.

Which brought me to declare to wifey that we may be seeing the end of the Catholic church as we know it. If they don’t do something to loosen the binds of becoming a priest or nun they’ll never recruit any new people. No priests – no masses – no money coming in. Let’s be honest, money is what Catholicism is all about. Once they see revenues drop to historic lows, they will have three choices:

1: Start letting priests marry and have children and/or relationships.

2: Same as above while letting women have a larger role in the church. That would include becoming a priest. Let’s face it, a woman who’s given birth to three children would have a better understanding of spirituality than any dick that put her in that condition.

3: Close up shop. I get the feeling the lack of accountability regarding the sexual abuse scandals and it’s failure to keep up with modern technology and morals is going to be the end for the church, but it will be a long, painfully slow process. My guess is that by the time my oldest is ready for confirmation (if he even wants to do that) the church will be teetering on the edge.

Two generations from now it may be a relic. Can’t happen soon enough for me.

- This 2009 Celtic team is quickly becoming one of my favorite teams of all time. Having lost Garnett and Powe to season ending injuries, they still fought their way through a grueling and exhausting seven game war with the Bulls. In a shocking turn of events, Rajon Rondo has decided to take over the starring role in this playoff run, collecting triple doubles like candy on Halloween.

Then last night happens. Paul Pierce (THE Paul Pierce) makes one of the smartest basketball decisions of his career (no joke) and allows Glen Davis to take the game deciding shot because his man dropped off to double Pierce. This wasn’t just a player making the perfect decision at the perfect time, this was Paul Fucking Pierce – the same man I watched launch off balance, fall away shots from three point land for a majority of his career – voluntarily giving up the big shot to a teammate.

Yes, Davis hit the shot to win the game, but I can’t stress enough how different Pierce has played since KG and Ray Allen have come to town. He’s playing team basketball. He isn’t trying to do it all himself. Sure, there are times the Celtics need him to take control, but he never forces the issue and plays in control nearly all the time now.

The Celtics probably won’t win the title this year, but that won’t keep them from becoming one of my favorites. They have shown me more during these playoffs than they did all of last season. Whether you thought they deserved last year’s title or not, you have to admit they’re defending it nobly and ferociously.

With two of their best players out and Brian Scalabrine playing major minutes, I’m just enjoying the ride and appreciating the effort.

- Wifey has been giving me some shit about increasing my coffee input from one cup to two. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. It helps get me through that 3 pm lag where I just want to put my head down and sleep for a half hour. Well, now I have ammo that I should be drinking coffee. Take that, wife!! This doesn’t even mention studies that have concluded drinking coffee after a workout helps your muscles recover quicker. Too bad Manny and A-Rod didn’t know that!

Here’s the part that really got me excited: ‘Coffee also seems to protect the liver against cirrhosis, especially that caused by alcoholism’. You can see why that would be relevant to my lifestyle.

A few things to note, however. The article stresses that you should always drink filtered coffee and not the kind made by French presses. Seems the filters take out a substance called cafestol which promotes bad cholesterol and will be the name of any coffee shop I open up during my retirement.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, it’s time for an iced coffee which will counter act the 55 beers I had this past weekend.


Today’s distraction: Kangaroos are punks of the animal world. Funny, hilarious punks.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lost - Part 15

Sorry for the delayed post, but life – or in this case death – has a habit of cutting into my fun. Stupid death.

I’m mixing it up today only because the episode is no longer fresh in my head and I want to get everyone thinking about next week’s two hour finale. I would run a section about what we learned, but we really didn’t learn much except Jughead being in the underwater bat cave.

Also, with the extra day to think things over I have come up with a SPECTACULAR new theory. Thanks in part to this EW.COM article recapping episode 14. I’ll get to that at the end.

Before we too involved, I want to remind everyone of the very first scene of this entire series. Everyone remember the introduction? Jack suddenly jerks awake in a strange jungle, staring up at lush, beautiful trees? Keep that in mind for a bit. We’ll get back to it soon.

Let’s check out our favorite dysfunctional character’s status heading into the last show of the season. This might be a bit stream of consciousness, but so seems this entire show. Apologies in advance.

Jack: Take charge Jack has come back to us. Finally! The feeble, ‘just let things happen’ Jack was even more annoying than the stumbling, drug addicted, ‘we need to go BACK!’, horribly bearded Jack.

After taking a rifle to the head from horse’s ass Charles Widmore (who, symbolically was on a horse), he easily convinces Mother Faraday that ‘none of this needs to happen. You don’t have to kill your own son!’. Jack has drunk for the well of Faraday and is now driven to try and change everything that has happened. He tells Kate ‘This is why we’re here!’

He, Sayid (making his murderously triumphant return), Richard The Ageless Wonder, and young Mother Faraday swim to some hideout where the bomb sits in wait. Jack’s plan is basically to make island go boom – a plan that may need some tweaking.

Jack As A Cruel Reminder: In one of the more emotional scenes of the season, Jack and Kate debate whether having the ability to change everything that’s happened means they should go through with trying to do so.

Kate is obviously hurt that Jack would rather have the plane never crash, never have met Kate, had glorious sex (my assumption) with her on many occasions, never been in love with her and helped her raise Aaron for three years.

Jack states ‘We have a chance to change everything! We can avoid all that misery.’

Kate: ‘It wasn’t all misery’

Jack: ‘A lot of it was’

And, there, my Lost friends may be the key to how this show wraps up. With a simple statement, Jack reminds all of us that while time on the island has changed many of them for the better, there HAS been a lot of misery. Think of all the characters we’ve seen die: Charlie, Arnst (my favorite death of the entire show), Ana Lucia, Micheal, Rousseau and her daughter, a lot of the Others (or Hostiles), the entire frigginDharma initiative. The Oceanic pilot and Ekko are killed by the monster. Boone and his sister. Claire (we think). This doesn’t even include all the people that were killed when the both planes crashed. I could go on, but you get the idea.

A lot of death and destruction has occurred since The Incident. Jack not only reminds Kate of this, but all of us watching. This has been a torturous – if highly entertaining – ride.

Jack’s naturally heroic thinking leans towards being able to save all those lives even if it means sacrificing his time with Kate. That his love for her should not over shadow all the hell they’ve all been through.

Kate: And since we’re here, Kate abandons Jack and his attempt to change the past. Or future. Something. He’s trying to change something. She heads back to camp and manages to get on the same sub leaving the island as Sawyer and Juliette which made me realize something very important: The only thing more awkward than running into an ex is being stuck with an ex that looks like Kate in a small sub with your current love while escaping a magic island. Poor Sawyer can’t catch a break.

Quick note to Kate: You can’t call Locke ‘crazy’ any longer. You use that on Jack when you tell him he’s sounding like Locke. Take a look at what’s going on. You are back on the island 30 years if the effing past after being white flashied off another crashing airplane! Do you really still not buy into this entire ‘Hey, maybe there really is something weird going on here’ idea, yet? What exactly is it going to take? Unicorns flying out Richard Alpert’s butt?

Sayid: He returns in his usual manner – killing a Hostile before he can kill Kate. He also joins forces with Jack with a casual ‘Well, if you don’t fix things at least you’ll put us out of our misery’ which I loved! Note: Again that word ‘misery’ shows up.

Still, where has he been this whole time? Stalking Jack and Kate? Hanging out with Smokey? Wandering around aimlessly?

He also didn’t take well to Kate informing him that Little Ben was still alive.

Hurley, Jin, PAD: While attempting to escape to the beach, they’re confronted by Chang and they confirm in the most hilarious way possible (‘You’re telling me your 46?’) that they are indeed from the future and that PAD is the same Miles he was feeding earlier. Only in adult form. PAD gets to witness first hand his father forcing his mother off the island in order to save them. Father issue #458 of Lost resolved. 457 to go.

Sawyer and Juliette: After getting the royal piss beat out of him by King Dink Radzinsky, they manage to get themselves on the escaping sub by agreeing to map where the Others camp is located. Something tells me that decision is going to end badly. King Dink is gung ho on starting a war and now he knows where the Others are located.

Question: If you remember it’s mentioned that King Dink (which is what I’ll call Radzinsky going forward) blew his brains out after mapping out all the Dharma stations in that station where the button pushing took place. Do you think he does something that haunts him and finally drives him to suicide? Are his actions what causes The Incident and all that follows?

Sawyer and Juliette are all lovey dovey and ready to marry and become millionaires by buying Microsoft stock before Kate literally drops in on their romantic submarine picnic. Quite possibly the worst timed entrance in television history.

Faraday: Yup, still dead. The question now is did he get himself killed on purpose? Is his death by his own mother the change needed to kick Jack in the ass and do something?

Locke: And here is where things get very interesting. At least for me. Because it was Locke’s all knowing smile and not so subtle jabs at both Richard and Ben that got my mind cranking away. He is pushing the limits of everything this little society of The Others is based on. And it’s about time.

While I can’t totally explain how my demented brain works (and I think we can all agree that’s for the best), I do know that there are certain aspects of the show that I always wonder about. Things that are coming into form and slowly linking together as we get closer to the end.

First, Locke crashes in on a totally shocked and confused Richard with barely a nod. ‘We have some things to do first.’ While Richard openly wonders where Locke has been for the past three years, both he and Ben exchange some very ominous and scared looks.

New Question: Did Richard and Ben have it planned out that Ben would get rid of Locke by murdering him? That both Richard and Ben were totally and thoroughly shocked to see Locke still alive means their plans have not gone accordingly. Both are reeling and on their heels, scrambling to figure out what the hell is going on. So basically, Richard and Ben are like everyone watching.

Sun, who hasn’t had nearly enough screen time this season, grills Richard on whether he remembers Jin back in 1977. He does because he ‘watched them all die’.

New Question: Is Alpert telling Sun the truth? I think we’ll find out soon enough.

Locke takes Ben and Richard into the jungle to that heroin filled airplane and tells Richard to take the medical pack to a man that is about to come out of the jungle. Tell him that he needs to bring everyone back to the island and the only way to do it is to die.

That man turns out to be Locke himself as he was skipping through time, just after Ethan shot him in the leg. So basically, Locke is engineering everything that’s already happened to him. On a related note, I have a headache.

New Question: Why is Locke doing this? He says ‘the island told me to’, before goading Ben with ‘hasn’t the island ever talked to you?’ Ben tells him it hasn’t and Locke smiles at him with a ‘yeah, I know’ gleam in his eye.

But is that true? I have my suspicions which I’ll get to in a sec.

After this little trip is over, all three head back to Other Camp where Locke says ‘Saddle up, everyone, we’re going to see Jacob’. When Richard questions this, Locke simply says ‘Well, if I’m taking orders from somebody, I feel we should all meet him’.

Ben, after the group hike is underway, asks Locke what he hopes to accomplish by pushing this. Locke calmly tells Ben he’s planning on killing Jacob. Duh, Ben.

New Theory

Now that we’re caught up, here is what happened to stimulate my over caffeinated mind.

In that link above, the writer mentions how he’s caught some of the new inconsistencies of this season. Including different phrasing of some of the flashbacks and something I mentioned earlier: Little Ben’s mysterious moving gun shot wound. We saw Sayid shoot Ben in the chest, but when he’s found it’s closer to his stomach and on the opposite side.

The author suggests that we could be seeing alternate takes on the same events. In other words, our favorite airline crash survivors have been attempting to correct or prevent things on more than one occasion. Each time they fail, Oceanic 815 crashes and everything starts all over again. So we go through Ben moving the island, the time skips, Charlotte’s brain melting, Sayin killing Widmore’s people, Charlie drowning, Desmond pushing the button. Only with slight variations.

Bear with me for a few minutes. I’m winging this.

In one instance, Sayid shoots Ben in the chest, but he’s still saved by Kate and Sawyer and history starts all over again. The Incident happens, the button pushing happens, Desmond doesn’t push the button and Oceanic 815 crashes, Jack and Kate escape the island only to come back in 1977 when Locke dies.

And they try again.

Jack tries to blow up the island, Sayid shoots Ben (only in the chest this time), Ben recruits all the off island Oceanic people to come back, Kate ‘adopts’ Aaron only to give him up.

It can also explain how in one instance Desmond is hurt enough to beat Ben up and toss him in the water after being shot and in another be shot so seriously he nearly dies. We are witnessing the same events but with minor tweaks and changes because these events have happened many times over.

The show is caught in a time loop. An endless cycle of Jack and company trying to change the original plan. If it can even be changed.

This, of course, brings up several questions. Real quick.

- What behavior needs to change so that Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash?

- Is the crash of Oceanic 815 even the event they’re trying to stop?

- Is it even possible to change anything? Are free will and people really the variables Faraday was referring to or is it something else?

- Is everyone doomed to repeat things over and over until some event is either changed or skipped altogether?

Or more importantly, has that already happened?

Some evidence to support that it has:

1: Mother Faraday admitting that ‘for the first time in a long time I have no idea what will happen next.’

2: Ben and Richard confused and scared at the return of Locke when they have been in total control for nearly the entire run of this show.

3: Locke seemingly knowing what is going on and what will happen for the first time ever.

And here is where my big, shiny, new theory take on a new twist.

The John Locke we know really is dead. As Ben said ‘Dead is dead, even on this island’. Which means Ben is dead wrong (get it?) or Locke is dead and the Locke messing with Ben and Richard’s head is one of the following:

- Locke from the past who has been skipping through time and has landed after Ben murdered him on the mainland. Or perhaps Locke has figured out the time traveling mystery and knows how to use it to go where he wants.

- Locke as an manifestation of the island itself. Sort of like Christian has been to this point.

Think about this: We never actually see Locke raised from the dead. He’s reintroduced to us simply standing on the beach. We never see the empty coffin. It also explains how he knows what is going to happen and where. The island isn’t talking to him, he’s been observing this time loop for a while and has finally figured out how to use it to his benefit.

Which brings me back to Jack and the very opening of this show. If you recall, our introduction to this show begins with Jack jumping awake; nearly gasping as though he were taking a breath for the first time in a while. He stares up at the canopy of the jungle and slowly takes inventory of himself. A few scratches on his face, more serious wound on his side. He stumbles around and finally begins to run and run and run. Jack finally emerges on the beach to find the wreckage of 815.

But, let’s consider this: What if Jack were never on that flight? What if his jerking away in the jungle isn’t because he just fell from the sky but because his last attempt at changing the course of history has failed yet again and he skips back to the time of the crash? The island transports him back to the crash so he can try again. And again. And as many times as needed until he gets it right.

I know, during flashbacks we see Jack on the flight but maybe that Jack on the actual flight dies and the Jack waking in the jungle is from 1977, doomed to restart another confusing and futile attempt at rectifying whatever he needs to rectify.

Recall, also, that Richard says to Kate and Sawyer upon taking Little Ben for healing ‘He won’t remember any of this’. Perhaps Jack is seriously wounded during his attempt to stop The Incident, is saved by the same means Little Ben was saved and is sent back to the crash site to try again.

Is that what Jack subconsciously refers to as his misery? Does he somehow sense he’s been through all of this before? That his personal misery is repeating the same actions over and over and over until he figures out what to do differently?

Enough of that. Here are some key things to keep in mind for next week and the rest of the series. I don’t know if they are all important, but I sense they are. Feel free to let me know if something else sticks out that I missed.

- Ben telling Locke ‘Sorry I made your life so miserable’. Get the feeling that Ben and Richard have schemed to keep Locke from becoming leader of the Others for reasons not yet clear. Remember that Richard shows up at his birth, tests him as a child and all the strange ‘accidents’ that seem to happen to Locke throughout his life.

- The children. More than once they were referred to as ‘being safe’ but there was no further details. Where are they?

- The select few. Remember that girl with Ana Lucia’s group? I don’t remember her name, but she was in the tail section and suddenly disappeared. You know…just like Locke disappeared in front of Richard and like Faraday disappeared in front of his mother. Could she have been white flashied somewhere safe?

Also, she reappears again while Jack is locked in the polar bear cage. When Jack asks what everyone is doing there, she replies ‘We’re here to observe’. Are they observing who does what so they can report back to Jacob (or whoever) the timeline of events?

- Jacob. Who is he? I have many thoughts, but my favorite is Jacob is Locke himself. Only way in the future. The only glimpse of him we get is an older, almost ancient looking guy with very long hair who asks Locke ‘Help me!’.

Help you? Help me! My mind is mush trying to make sense of everything.

One final question: What the holy hell lies in the shadow of the statue? It doesn’t appear to be the bomb.

Sorry to be so long winded, but needed to get that out of my system.

Today's distraction: Enjoy the crisis that is Manny Ramirez. Which do you think is worse? Getting upset that one of the members involved in the Red Sox current resurgence was busted for PEDs or that fact that when I learned about this I had no reaction at all? I didn't feel sad or disappointed or angry. I simply laughed and groaned that I wouldn't be able to watch SportsCenter for the next three days due to the relentless coverage this will receive. Baseball has reached the point where I now think EVERYONE is either on something or has been before. From a fan's perspective, that is much worse.