Sunday, June 29, 2008


I may go back to coffee cans on a string:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not so bad...

Things happen to me. I swear.

I saw Incredible Hulk tonight, and enjoyed it, which is odd enough, but that's not the really strange part of the evening. I was on my way home, walking up Kelton St. near Comm. Ave, and listening to Warren Zevon (who was an actual bad person), and this woman flags me down, motioning to her car, which is pretty much in the middle of the street. She proceeds to tell me, in a very heavy accent, that she has only been driving for two days and can't seem to park her car. I was trying to figure out what she wanted me to do, but my first reaction was that she wanted me to wave her in. Not so much.

She wanted me to park her car.

I tried to tell her that I wasn't a very good driver myself, but she seems to understand very little English (which makes me wonder how she even got a license, let alone a prime parking space in my neighborhood.) So, I get in her car, which is running, and has her purse sitting on the passenger's seat. Bear in mind, I'm listening to Warren Zevon, the guy who wrote "Mr. Bad Example."

Cursing my Catholic upbringing, I actually did a very sweet parallel parking job, probably due to the fact that I didn't give a crap what happened to her car. I wished her luck and walked on, taking note to stay on the sidewalk from now on.

Now, I should be thinking about what a good deed I had just done. However, I mind keeps drifting to a wild ride through Brookline, leaving the car on some side street with the engine running and taking all her cash and leaving the purse. What was she going to do? Chase me? Identify me to the cops? it was pitch black out there? She would almost deserve it for being such a trusting fool. One day she'll ask the wrong person to be her valet and that will happen. Better it happen with someone like me who would only concern himself with the cash and not out-and-out steal her car.

Sometimes I hate being good person, because I see so many opportunities to be lousy. Like Robin Hood or something, robbing from the rich to feed the poor. It just so happens in this situation, I'm the Robin Hood and The Poor. Let's face it, there are billionaires who cheated their way to the top, and poor people like me who do the right thing most of the time. And what does it get me? A spot in Heaven? Good karma? Yeah, well, karma can't pay the rent, folks.

Now I'm mad.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apathy Kills

I've discovered my new favorite show: Californication, starring David Duchovny and that gay dude from Sex in the City (who has been decidedly un-gayed on this one. He's got a thing going with his bondage-liking secretary.) Anyway, it's a brilliantly written show, the kind of show I wish I could write. Maybe I'll do a more in-depth review once I finish watching the whole season, but don't be afraid to go watch it now. And I'm not just saying this because they have a lot of Warren Zevon on the show. I feel some sort of connection with the characters. For example, one of Duchovny's chicks says to him, "Apathy kills," and his perfect response was, "I don't care."

This weekend was the American Crafters Beer Festival (or something like that), and there was much rejoicing. I went with some friends, and we all enjoyed our tiny cups of high alcohol -content beers for about three hours. And if you've never been to one of these, those little cups catch up to you quick.

But the apathy; near the end of the festival, a girl walks up to me and asks if I ever worked at Cardinal Cushing, a school for developmentally disabled kids that I did indeed work at about five years ago when I still only worked nine months at BU and needed a job every summer. This was one of my gigs, and believe me, there was no way I could have actually worked there all year without killing myself. Also, the pay was rather meager.

I had no recollection of this girl at all, so my friends were trying to convince her that she only recognized me because I look like Jay Leno. Anyways, I played along for a few minutes, and we joked about what a crappy job it was and how we've moved onto bigger and better things, and then I moved along to the next booth. My friends tried to convince me that she was cute and I perhaps should have made an attempt to "Californicate" with her (after all, we had both been drinking heavily all evening). Still, I honestly didn't find her very cute (Perhaps alcohol has the
opposite affect on me?) and the fact that I didn't remember her at all probably would have made for awkward pillow talk. For this, I was of course chastised, but like David Duchovny, I didn't care.

Oddly, I did eventually remember her, and I hope she doesn't ever read this because, well, the years have not been kind. She looked used-up or something. Her skin was leathery from too much tanning, and she wore too much eye make-up.

I know what you're thinking (as I always do), "Dude, you're being way too critical. You hate everyone. How do you expect to ever have sex again?" Well, in fact, I don't, but I also don't hate everyone (in fact, I love women, especially the ones I can't have) and I also don't care all that much right now. And that, my friends, is real apathy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Review

On Saturday, my friend Brom and I saw Bigger, Stronger, Faster, a documentary on the steroid culture (There was a subtitle on the movie, too, something with an asterisk, an ode to Barry Bonds in the MLB record books, I imagine). It was a very interesting take on the whole performance-enhancing drug culture in this country. So interesting that it kind of made me sad because it threw everything i ever thought about steroid users into disarray.

Here's the lowdown: Chris Bell, the filmmaker, was a wannabe body-builder, one of three body-building brothers, and the only one not regularly using steroids. his brother Mike "Mad Dog" Bell was one of those wrestlers who would regularly get beaten up by guys like The Undertaker every week. Don't remember him? That's okay, that was his role. Sometimes those guys broke through (author and crazy guy Mick Foley started out that way), but Mike Bell never did, and yet he still has this dream that he can, even though he is well into his 30's. Because of this dream he refuses to let die, he stays on the juice so he can keep his physique.

Youngest brother, "Stinky," is a champion weight-lifter, who is shown in the film bench-pressing over 700 pounds, while his older brother, Chris, is shown benching 13o pounds less. They are both huge, scary dudes. The difference? "Stinky" is openly using steroids, while Chris abstains for moral reasons. This is where it gets interesting.

The moral issue is the one touched on the most. The film establishes early on that steroids have only been known to cause about 3 deaths in this country, far less than alcohol or cigarettes, which are legal to consenting adults. Still, the idea that professional athletes are doping, in effect cheating, with banned substances is enough to bring Congress into it. Mind you, in 2005, they spent more time talking to current and former baseball players than they did deliberating the war in Iraq and health care, but hey, the kiddies can't be looking up to cheaters now can they?

But wait, the film also brings up the fact that the term "performance-enhancing" is a bit skewed. Tiger Woods got laser eye surgery so he could see the hole better. His vision is about as perfect as you can get. Isn't that enhancing his performance? There are tons of vitamins and supplements that are not banned substances that are available at your local GNC that the FDA doesn't even need to approve in order for them to be sold (Bell even makes his own right in his kitchen, bottles and all.) They help athletes train harder, run faster, hit the ball farther, essentially enhancing their performance. Why are these things legal and steroids are not? because Lyle Alzado died of a brain tumor that was attributed to steroids? Is that it? Because I'm pretty sure Lyle was probably a coke head, too.

The problem is that since steroids are not "legal" (despite the fact that you can convince a chiropractor to tell your doctor that your testosterone was low and you should be on them, as Chris Benoit probably did), nobody has really done a study on the long-term effects of them. They just decided they were bad and said don't use them. But wait? Isn't aspirin used the wrong way bad? Isn't chocolate pretty bad when eaten in great quantities?

This is what the film gets at, and this is what makes me kind of sad. I used to know that Barry Bonds was a cheater and a liar and a jerk and I wanted him to rot in jail for the rest of his life. I think I still do, but now there is a little bit of doubt. I mean, he obviously cheated and lied to Congress about it, so yeah, he should go to jail for perjury, if nothing else, but that's kind of like putting Capone away for not paying his taxes. The real question is did he really do anything wrong. Mark McGwire did it. Sammy Sosa did it. Jason Giambi did it. Jose Canseco brags that he did it. Roger Clemens vehemently denies he did, but he probably is lying. The Governor of California did it. Rambo did it. They all wanted to compete at the highest level possible, so they took something that enhanced their physique, something that wasn't really seen as all that bad, especially back in the day. So, what's the big deal? That's the mantra of the steroid culture. "Hey, everyone is doing it. if you want to stay on top, you have to do what they're doing." David Wells admits to being drunk when he pitched his perfect game, should he have an asterisk after his name in the record book, too? Kevin Millar admits that all of the Red Sox took a shot before they beat the Yankees in '04. Should we give the trophy to New York? Did the alcohol enhance their performance? I'll say this, it probably took the edge off.

Anyway, even though it made me question my beliefs (which is what a good documentary should do), I recommend this movie, not only to sports fans, but Americans in general. If you can find it somewhere at a local theater, make it your business instead of spending ten bucks on some crappy action flick. You won't regret it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Found the Answers in Bad Movies

Maybe it was my huge disappointment at the hands of Indiana Jones, but I decided to go back and watch a couple of the Star Wars movies, just to see if they were as bad. They couldn't have been, could they? Or is it really just me? Do I hate everything?

Well, the Phantom Menace is still pretty lame, and I still believe Hayden Christensen is a terrible actor, and the dialogue is pretty awful at times. But when I got to Return of the Jedi, I came to a pretty positive realization. I was watching the "special edition" DVD's, which featured the new scenes at the end showing the galactic-wide celebration of the fall of the Empire, and I think that they really cap off the whole story now that we've seen how it all went down. I realized that, taken as a whole (one story, as opposed to six individual movies), it's really not that bad. It may be a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and maybe that's what George was going for all along. The individual movies are far from perfect, obviously, but the story itself, the story of Luke Skywalker rising from the obscurity of shooting wamp rats or whatever they were called and taking down an entire empire, is actually kind of okay.

So, there it is. I don't hate everything. I don't hate everything from my childhood, or even every movie. I'm not nearly as bad off as I thought. I still like Return of the Jedi. Even with the Muppets.

Friday, June 06, 2008

My Brother Blogs

Once again following in my illustrious footsteps, my big brother has staretd a blog of his own here. Now, I'm not trying to start a whole Cain and Abel thing here, but note his use of blogspot, as well as the very same template that I have here. Curiouser and curiouser.

In all seriousness, i wish him well, and I think it'll make for some fine reading, as he is one of the best writers I've ever encountered, and actually has things to say in his blog, whereas all i do is complain about movies and women and money.

Did I mention that I hated the last Indiana Jones movie?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Our Labor

I hope this is legal, but whatever. So, Heidi and I were charged with making a promotional video for this program they have at BU for incoming freshmen to help them get a jump on university life. We culled about 4 hours of video and filmed six testimonials, and spent several days at work. This is what we came up with:

And our lighter one: