Monday, January 25, 2010

2009 Redux

I’ve been writing this blog for close to a year so I thought I’d take a look back at some of the things I wrote about and see where they stand now.

In October I wrote about my consternation at sports talk show hosts who jump on a team or coach’s bandwagon too soon without giving it enough time to honestly evaluate them. I used the Denver Broncos and their new coach Josh McDaniels as an example. Back then they were 4-0 and the blathering jabberjaws at ESPN had anointed Josh McDaniels as Wunderkind of the Year. I argued it was too early and they had only played so-so competition. So what happened? Things didn’t look good for my points of contention as the Broncos won the next 2 games to go 6-0, but they came through for me in the end by losing 8 of their last 10 to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

That same month I posted an entry ruminating on what luck was, so you may be wondering if I’ve had any new insights. Well, at Christmas I received several instant lottery tickets which netted me $2 and a free ticket. So my only insight is that whatever luck is, it still hates me.

Way back in April I wrote a response to someone I had heard on the radio making fun of anyone over the age of 12 who still listened to Motley Crue. At the time I didn’t know the talking monkey’s name but now I do. I recognized his voice one day as he is the new co-host of the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN radio. Ryan Russillo is the self important oaf and after listening to him for a while I realized I don’t like him.

It’s not the Crue slight either. I’m not championing Motley Crue as the greatest band ever; he just made an unnecessarily rude comment. But listening to him on the radio, every opinion Ryan gives he states with an air of finality as if to say: I’m on radio so obviously I know more than you. Ryan did give me a frisson of schadenfreude this weekend. On Friday, talking about the Texas-Connecticut men’s basketball game, Ryan said, “I can’t see any way Connecticut can win this game.” So Saturday night when I found out Connecticut won by 14 points, I had a hearty laugh at Ryan’s expense.

Also in April I said goodbye to Texas many times and in many ways as they threatened to secede. Sadly, as of this writing, they are still a member of the union.

May saw a blog on the comeback of the band Creed. I postulated that no one cared and wrote a playlet to illustrate my point. I would like to claim victory as the latest issue of Rolling Stone announced the tanking of both their new CD and their summer tour.

I spent a lot of time making fun of republicans this past year so with a new year upon us, I resolve to continue making fun of republicans as often as possible.

What has all of this taught us? Not a damn thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let's All Go to the Movies

I was watching a few minutes of Star Wars Episode 2 on TV yesterday. Episode 2 is subtitled “Attack of the Clones” and I started thinking that these sequels should actually have subtitles that more accurately describe the movie. This would help movie goers know whether they should bother seeing the sequel. I’ve written some suggestions for already existing films:

Star Wars Episode 1: The Beginning of the End
Star Wars Episode 2: Ruining the Franchise
Star Wars Episode 3: Too Painful to Watch Any Longer
Rambo 2: Less Dialogue, More Killing
Rambo 3: Plot? What plot?
Spiderman 2: 100% Less Willem Dafoe
Spiderman 3: Look How Much Money We Spent
Speed 2: A Boat? Really?
Friday the 13th part 10: We Found a Way to Get Jason into Space, What More Do You Want?
Aliens: The Plural “S” Says it All
Transformers 2: BIGGER, LOUDER, DUMBER
Highlander 2: They’re Aliens! Bet You Didn’t See That Twist Coming
Highlander 3: Their Can Be Only . . . 2 . . . ‘Cause We Found Another One
Highlander 4: No One is Watching Anymore, Are They?
Star Trek 2: Scenery Chewing 101 by Ricardo Montalban
Star Trek 3: Search for Fan Appeasement
Star Trek 4: Goin’ for the Funny
Star Trek 5: Shatner Directs, ‘Nuff Said
Star Trek 6: Hey, This One is Pretty Good
Star Trek 7: The First One With the Bald Guy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Open Letter to the Truck in Front of Me Driving 10 Miles below the Speed Limit

Dear F-150 Truck Driver,

I don’t know what state you learned to drive in but here in Pennsylvania we have things called speed limit signs. These signs are conveniently located at the side of the road every few hundred yards and their purpose is to let you know the maximum speed but also the MINIMUM speed you should travel at to keep someone behind you in a Chevy Cavalier from trying to ram their grill through your tailpipe and questioning your parentage and whether monkeys were involved.

I can understand perhaps going a few mph slower than the posted limit, but 25 in a 35 zone? Really? Dude, I can skip faster than that and I’m not a skipper. It was 3 a.m., roads were empty, no ice or snow on the ground. So what was the problem?

I looked up the specs for your truck and it does come with a gas pedal as standard equipment. Maybe you modified your truck by removing the gas pedal and putting in a second brake. Did you somehow not know what that large “35” meant? Did you think it was an animal crossing so you drove real slowly so if one ran out in front of you, you could snap a picture of the elusive “35”?

When we came to the side-by-side straight lanes on Queen Street and I passed you, did you notice how I accelerated to 35? Ok, I accelerated to 45, but the point is I went AT LEAST 35. Hellfire and damnation did not rain down upon me, I didn’t burst into flames, and I wasn’t transformed into a poly-headed beast named Dan with sulfur-based body odor that is doomed to roam the Earth preaching the ills of driving at the posted speed limit.

It’s ok sir. Your truck has the equipment and I’m sure you have the right leg/ankle/foot combination necessary to depress the pedal. Take a deep breath and Go Speedracer! Go!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Love Story

August 2008 I went through a bad breakup. I didn’t want to end the relationship, I was happy with our arrangement. But I was out of work and my significant other was demanding in a monetary way. I couldn’t afford our liaisons any longer. So I made the call.

It ended abruptly. There were no tears, I wouldn’t allow myself to cry and my paramour seemed unfazed. A while later the day I was dreading came. The van parked in the street, I heard the ladder rattling as it was leaned against the telephone pole. A few minutes later it was done. My cable had been turned off.

The months ahead were dark. I railed at the sun, the moon and the stars. I mourned the loss of ESPN and their bloated opinions of themselves. How would I survive without their misguided and self important predictions of the football playoffs? If I didn’t know what dirty job Mike Rowe was doing, how could I feel better about my job? I couldn’t feel superior if I didn’t have MTV and VH1’s bran cell killing line up of fetid egomaniacs to decry and ridicule?

No Phillies games, no North Carolina Tar Heels basketball and worst of all, no football. I was in a circle of Dante’s hell; the one I thought was saved for people who take 107 items through the express line at the grocery store. I tried to start another friendship with an indoor antenna, but it didn’t work out. I gave it $30 and received back 4 channels that didn’t always come in. It ended badly between us. The antenna still drunk dials me from time to time. Sad really.

I’m a TV guy, always have been. I used to do my homework after school while watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island, Gomer Pyle, The Monkees, Get Smart and Hogan’s Heroes. If you’re one of those people who sniff, “I never watch TV, it rots your brain”, then bite me.

Just a few days ago cable TV sauntered back into my life dressed up like a cheap trick: half price for a full year. What did I do? I leapt on it like Rush Limbaugh on the liberal agenda.

Cable TV and I are once again in a symbiotic relationship. I pay my monthly bill and it gives me dozens of channels to surf through to satiate my appetite for entertainment, both good and bad, thought provoking and mindless. I am back to the comfort of the Law and Order chu chung, CSI: whatever city, poker tournaments and basketball games between two teams I know nothing about.

It’s good to be in love again.