Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My camera phone turned me into an asshole

For someone who is only 31 years old I really am quite a Luddite when it comes to technology. I have never upgraded a video game system until long after games have stopped being produced for them. I owned the second Stone Temple Pilots album on tape, I think that was some time around 95. Although I'll admit there was a cheapness to that switch, I owned a CD player. I just refused to buy any CDs unless I was 100% sure the album was already kick ass. When it came to cell phones I resisted for as long as I possibly could. I used to give out my friend's numbers like crazy and leave vague messages; "If you need me before 9 I should be hanging out with Jake. Then I'm going to check out some band so call Mike if you need me. After that it'll probably be best to just look for me around the Fireside." Once I finally cracked and bought a cell phone I discovered the most wonderful little gadget, the cell phone camera.

I've always been amused by rubbing my good fortune in the face of others, for some reason I can't completely enjoy anything unless I know that other people I know are at least marginally upset by my fortune. The camera phone is an amazing invention in that it lets you gloat over your friends in the blink of an eye. When I'm in Florida over Christmas you can be damn sure that I am sending pictures of my the beach to all of my friends freezing to death in Illinois. The simple fact of the matter is that I don't think I have ever used my camera for any reason other than being an asshole.

If I'm golfing on a beautiful afternoon I will definitely send a picture to someone stuck in an office.
Are you a fan of a beer that is difficult to find regionally, like Yuengleng? Well prepare to get pictures of me drinking one.
Is your favorite band in town but you just couldn't afford a ticket? What's this? You just got a picture message of me rocking out at the show? Boosh.

I find that I am the most insufferable when it comes to food. Roughly 17% of the pictures on my phone are of different burgers I had at Kuma's. I don't know why I'm such a prick, I just can't help myself. I think it stems from goodness. I'm having an enjoyable experience and it reminds me of a friend who couldn't be there, that's kind of sweet, right? Of course when I respond to this by taking a picture of my XOCO torta and send it along with a message reading "My lunch just kicked your lunch's sorry ass," it doesn't seem to be as good natured as I would have hoped for.

So the next time you see that you have a picture message from me in your inbox be prepared for the dickishness that is about to ensue. If there is one bright side I have yet to send anyone pictures of me in my birthday suit or pictures of toilets I have wrecked. Although I'm guessing that it's only a matter of time.

The 4,326th time I considered giving up on the Red Sox forever

I've done my best to avoid ranting about the Red Sox this season. With the way they are playing I could honestly write about how furious they make me every single day. Even on their off days they find ways to upset me. You would think that when they aren't even playing that I couldn't get worked up but then I find this lovely jewel. Apparently Bobby Valentine spent the weekend wandering the streets of Chicago "rapping." Hopefully he has found a new love and will quit managing the Red Sox post haste. The entire crapfest of a season game to head on Friday as far as I was concerned. Despite everything logic was telling me I decided to spend the afternoon watching the Sox play the worst team in the major leagues.

I knew things were not going my way the second I got to my seat. It was a decent seat, I had managed to avoid sitting behind a pole or anything like that. The problem was the company I would have to keep for the next few hours. To one side of me was a family with four little kids. Sometimes I enjoy sitting near kids, it forces me to act like a civilized human being for one thing. There was just something about these kids. Immediately I could tell that they had never spent more than two minutes sitting still at any point in their short little lives. This ended up being true and they would go on to spend most of the game running around the stadium far away from my seat. Bullet dodged. Then there was the woman next to me. As she turned toward me as I made my way to my seat I saw the two dreaded white letters intertwined upon her navy blue hat. NY. I was sitting next to a fucking Yankee fan, great.

I had fully prepared myself to deal with a very specific kind of asshole; Cubs fans. Meaning I was expecting to sit near some overly drunk men and women who weren't even remotely paying attention to the game. If I was really lucky one of them would throw their arm around me and tell me about how Cub and Red Sox fans are exactly the same, this has happened to me countless times at Wrigley over the years and few things grate at me more. That being said dealing with a Cub fan isn't all that difficult as long as you are in the right mindset. Yankee fans are a completely different breed of awfulness. Any chance that she would be less than obnoxious went out the window as she immediately said to her husband, "Oh no. We have one of those people sitting by us." For the rest of the game every single time something positive happened for the Cubs she would get right in my face to gloat about it. Every time the Sox did something negative she was twice as exuberant. I was deeply shamed by how badly I wanted to smash in the face of a woman pushing 70. She kept going on and on about how great the Yankees were and how horrible the Red Sox have always been. I finally got her to shut up and leave me alone when she started talking about the 27 World Championships the Yankees have won and I naively asked her what it was like to have been alive to see them all. The inning or so of silence that bought was golden.

I truly believe that my seating situation contributed significantly to the fury seething barely beneath my skin, if nothing else it exasperated a rage that was induced by my beloved Red Sox. The game started out promising with Scotty Too Poddy (oh yeah, that's a 90's WWF reference) and Pedroia getting on base to start the game. Sadly this would mark the high water mark of the day. Gonzalez would strike out pathetically and the rest of the game went in the same vein. Later in the game we were treated to a "triple" by the Cubs pitcher. Pitcher triples are so exciting! Of course the only reason this was a triple and not a single with a two base error is that the scorekeepers at Wrigley are huge homers. If it wasn't for Gonzalez misplaying the ball horribly none of it would have happened. Which leads me to my number one gripe about the Sox: WHY THE HELL IS GONZALEZ PLAYING RIGHT FIELD IN THE FIRST PLACE?!!!!

I understand that the Sox have had a tremendous amount of injuries already this year and that the lion's share of them have been in the outfield. I also respect that Gonzalez is willing to play out of position in order to do what is best for the team. My problem is with Bobby Valentine ever putting him in right field to begin with. We just spent a boat load of money to have Gonzalez as our first basemen for the next decade or so. I'm also pretty sure I'm not the first person to notice that since the great collapse last September Gonzalez has been atrocious at the plate. OK, that might be stretch, the point is that he has been worse than he has ever played before. He went damn near a month this year without a walk. Watching him at bat is like watching an impatient kid playing RBI Baseball. Who cares where the pitch is going, let's just swing at everything so that the game doesn't get boring. Instead of letting him get his head right and figure out what exactly is causing this slump Valentine decides to throw him into the outfield so he has to worry about learning to field a completely new position on top of his hitting woes. What the hell? This is completely fucking idiotic. The whole dilemma is caused by interleague play, which I despise, and needing to keep Ortiz in the game. With the way Gonzalez is hitting would it really be that horrible to give him a day or two off? Then Valentine started putting him in right at home where there is no conflict keeping Ortiz out of the game. Why? So that Youkillis and Middlebrooks could both get in the lineup. Look, I love Youk to death, but when he is hitting .215 I don't think you need to completely screw up the psyche of our franchise player to get him in the lineup. Just platoon Youk with Middlebrooks until Youk gets his swing back or Middlebrooks wins the job out right.

While my head was completely frazzled by worrying about how we are destroying Gonzalez and effectively ruining the lynch pin of our offense for years to come I was distracted by the worst free agent signing in the history of baseball. Oh Dice K, it is so wonderful to have you back. What I witnessed was absolutely the most Dice K start of all time. He couldn't find the plate to save his life and walked 3 guys in the first. It took him over 50 pitches to get out of the first two innings. During those innings he gave up 3 runs and then magically figured things out and made it through six innings without any more damage and looking pretty good at times. If you looked at it in a vacuum one would assume this was a bit of a hard luck lice for Dice K. If the team doesn't score any runs it can't be his fault, it was a quality start after all. Yet from watching him pitch it was a fucking travesty from the get go. He tries to paint the strike zone so carefully that he is afraid to actually get that ball over the plate. It's especially infuriating because he never appears to be that wild. There aren't balls bouncing in front of the plate or sailing to the back stop, instead he just throws a lot of really close balls. As a fan this just drives me batty. I'd rather see him go full on Rick Ankiel than to endure watching Dice K nibble at the plate while working his way to 3-2 count for every single batter.

Damn this blog is long. I'll wrap things up. I ended up walking out of Wrigley furious that I had even bothered to head out to begin with. I guess I had a good time, it was a beautiful day and I had a wicked good brat. Of course the Sox would go on to win the games I didn't attend. And of course I took this a little bit personally. I had such high hopes for this season, sooner or later I have to accept that I'm a fan of a last place team and just give up on them. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll torment myself all summer long.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

No anger here, just trying to cure Cancer, no biggie.

I know that this is super late to post this on here, I'm a bit of a screw up that way. I just figured there may be some people out there who read my blog, hate cancer and love drinking. If that's you please come on out to:

Nisei Lounge
3439 N Sheffield, Chicago
7-9 PM

I'm going to be guest bar tending to raise money for Kicks for a Cure. We're going to have a raffle for a signed Blackhawks hockey stick as well. BOOM.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The worst movie character ever

Before we get down to the vehemence I feel that I need to lay out a few ground rules as to what criteria I used to determine the worst movie character ever.

1. The character had to be in a good movie. When you look at a movie that is a complete pile of steaming horse crap then it's more than likely that all of the characters will be of a similar quality. What I'm looking for is a character who stands out due to their extreme crappiness amid an otherwise fantastic cast. I'd love to pick the car from Cars Who Eat People but what's the fun in that? For those who don't know, the car was a crappy beat up VW Bug and at no point in the "film" did it eat a person. Not one.
2. Jar Jar Binks is exempt. Not because he isn't the worst character in film history but because who wants to spend any of their time reading another angry nerd rant about Jar Jar? Everyone knows he sucks, let's move on.
3. The character must be memorable. It would be easy to single out a horrible cameo or a horrendous acting job by a glorified extra (Think Pee Wee Herman playing the bellboy in the movie within Pee Wee's Big Adventure.) For my consideration the character had to have a fairly major role.

Now that I have laid out the ground rules we can get down to the nitty gritty. Drum roll please. . . . and the worst movie character of all time is. . . . ROLLER GIRL FROM BOOGIE NIGHTS!

I watched this movie the other night on the HBO and was completely struck by what an all around lazy character Roller Girl is. Boogie Nights is a fantastic movie. PT Anderson really directs a masterpiece of a film featuring fantastic performances from Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore and Marky Mark. Actually when I really put my mind to it everyone in this movie is above average to great, in fact Heather Graham doesn't do badly acting either. Yet in a movie where seemingly every little aspect had a great deal of thought put into it (I love that the speaker modification is called a TK-421, epic Star Wars reference) Roller Girl seems to be a cliche that was thrown in as a joke. Roller Girl is a porn star who has a quirky little gimmick; she never takes off her roller skates. Ever. For the whole fucking movie. It does not matter what sort of situation she's in.

Taking a test in school? Skates are on.
Out at a wedding? Skates are on.
Cleaning her bedroom? Skates are on.
Hanging out by the pool?
Stomping the crap out of some guy who disrespected her? Oh, you better believe the skates are on.

Look, the whole idea made me giggle a bit. The scene when she first has sex with Dirk while listening to "Brand New Key" is pretty brilliant, I'll concede that. If they want to show her always wearing skates while filming something I'm totally fine with that. But she never takes them off, that's insanity. Look, maybe Mr. Anderson had been out of high school for way too long when he made this movie but there is no way in hell they would let her wear her skates in school. I used to have a wallet chain that was 2 inches longer than regulation and they called me on it every damn day. I also know that the majority of clubs/restaurants in this world would kick her ass out in two seconds flat for skating into the establishment. Yes, hot women can get away with a lot in this world but come on.

Then I came to horrifying realization. The movie takes place in southern California, a locale noted for having warmer than average weather. Roller Girl NEVER takes off her skates. THE SMELL FROM HER FEET WOULD BE HORRENDOUS. For six years we are led to believe that she never takes her skates off. Do you have any idea what the smell would be like? I'm pretty sure that by year 2 she would have become a biohazard.

The absurdity of the character completely threw me for a loop to the point that I couldn't focus on anything other than my undying hatred for Roller Girl. Every time she came on screen I kept hoping that I would catch her walking just one time so that I could let all of this rage go. That scene never comes.

Do you understand just how much I have to hate Roller Girl for her to win this award? Heather Graham is beautiful and naked in this movie, I should have no complaints. Yet the shittiness of the character manages to over rule all of the good feelings that scene gave me. Although, to her credit, it took me roughly 10 years after first seeing the film to realize just how much I hated the character, I assume the nudity distracted me.

You know that awesome montage at the end of the movie where it shows where everyone's life ends up? For the most part it's all happy. Nothing would please me more if they replaced Reed's triumphant magic show scene* with him accidentally cutting Roller Girl in half on stage. Oh yes, that would be glorious. The movie could fade to black as the camera focuses on those stupid roller skates as they hang lifelessly out of a box while the crowd screams in horror. OK, maybe I've gone too far. She's still horrible.

* He completely reminds me of Gob Bluth in that scene. If only The Final Countdown were playing.