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Monthly Archives: January 2008

In honor of temporarily fallen Washington Post sportswriter and Pardon the Interruption panelist Michael Wilbon, today recovering from a minor angioplasty, I have decided to rip off one of my favorite segments of the show, Toss Up!, where the panelists are supposed to choose between two related items and then defend their position.

Normally, I’d fear a cease-and-desist order from the Worldwide Leader, but 1-my graphics here do nothing to approximate the real thing, 2- I will do almost no-sports related topics, and 3-about eight people read this thing. Let’s get it going.

Who ran the worse Republican Presidential Campaign?

Fesity Fred

Fred “Look Alive” Thompson

Maybe He’ll Be McCain’s Attorney General

Rudolph “9/11” Giuliani

The pick: Thompson. Giuliani was always lunch meat to me, simply because he never went all-out like Mitt Romney in denouncing and reversing his liberal social positions. He tried to minimize them, and it worked for a while. Then Republican voters realized that, in the parlance of Dennis Green, he was who he they thought he was: a thrice-married New Yorker with liberal social positions. Suddenly, John McCain started looking good again. On the other hand, here’s a trait people of all parties like in their Presidents, Fred: Looking awake. I know your hot wife is probably wearing your old ass out, but that’s no excuse. Now go back to playing the gruff police chief/head air-traffic controller/district attorney/military advisor. Good to have you back.

Which American city has developed the most annoying ‘expat’ community?

 Bahhston!

Boston

da bearsda bearsda bearsda bearsda bears

Chicago

The pick: Boston. I used to think it was Chicago, especially having a former roommate from there. I always find it weird how Chicagoland natives rave about how much they loooove the place, and then don’t actually live there! (Including this post’s namesake, who has lived in Washington for over 20 years.) But let’s face it, the absurd success of their sports franchises has pushed Boston over the top these days. Making it worse are guys who work in Boston and then come down to New York to see their supermodel girlfriends and challenge Leonardo DiCaprio to a dance-off at Butter.

(Okay, in the interest of fairness, New York is a distant third. Look, we’re obnoxious and annoying as well, but at least we’ll admit that it was too cold/rents were out of control/the pace was too much/we finally saw the virtue of open spaces and grass when we move to your city strolling around town in a Plaxico Burress jersey.)

Soda product for the vain guy watching his figure?

I’m not actively looking for sponsorship…

Diet Coke

Eat that hero and get with the zero

Coke Zero

The pick: Coke Zero. I had pretty much given up soda, and I was talking about that at work. But I had conveniently forgotten, during this conversation, that I had drank a bottle of Coke zero the night before, and I’m drinking it again tonight (caffeine: every good late-night blogger should have some). The aftertaste is virtually nonexistent, as opposed to Diet Coke, where the aftertaste is sort of part of the experience. And it’s allegedly zero calories. Even if I’m probably still better off drinking juice.

Better Old-Guy Movie?

Yo, I’m old!

“Rambo”

Bucket List.

“The Bucket List”

The pick: Rambo. With apologies to Paul Thomas Anderson, at least there’ll be blood in Rambo. Both seem like slick, manipulative, tired Hollywood entertainments, but at least in Rambo people are getting shot and beat down. Even if it is by a body double. Besides, Charles Bronson was making “Death Wish” movies well into his mid-to-late 70s, so this isn’t nearly as preposterous as you think. Well, on video, anyway.

Last one:

Worst website comments section:

ESPN.com

New York Daily News

The pick: The Daily News. It’s not even close, and that’s saying something considering the not-exactly-high level of discourse on ESPN.com. But a few intelligent comments seem to get through. It seemed as if as soon as the Daily News brought this feature onto their website, it was quickly abandoned by literate, smart commenters and left to the same kind of toolboxes that gum up Rants ‘n Raves on Craigslist with utter foolishness. As always, race brings out the worst in commenters on both websites. But while the comments on ESPN.com merely suggest that these people have a basic lack of reading comprehension, the comments on the Daily News are pretty much overrun by losers of all persuasions who could talk tough behind their computers, if they could complete an actual sentence. It makes the paper’s readership look downright illiterate, and I suggest either the Daily News at least spend a few nickels to hire someone to moderate their comments section or just get rid of it altogether.

Well, I won’t declare victory like Tony Kornheiser usually does, since I played no one. But I hope people enjoyed this odd little tribute.

During some downtime, I checked out a Gawker story about a publicity-starved writer who had a date with a notorious bachelor. The writer seemed sad for doing this, the guy was clearly creepy and strange, and bla, bla ,bla. there wasn’t much else going on here, except that the dude may have some hygiene issues

I didn’t really get all that much into the story, mostly because as awful as the guy sounded, his techniques probably work in general. People say they want to meet honest, genuine people in sex and relationships, but the key more often than not, is really manipulation and knowing what to say, when to say it, and whom to target. Sorry if I’m being a downer, but that’s just the way it is. And yeah, by “people” I probably mean “women”.

Anyway, I moved on to the comments, and one sad commenter said that this article made her feel even sadder about meeting men, and then she related the story of how she found out her ex, who was already clearly a sleaze, was now even sleazier because he was meeting women for random hookups on Adult Friend Finder.

Firtt, let me just say that I hope this woman doesn’t give up, that there are good men out there, and you can’t let yourself get jaded and cynical because of one bad experience. (Maybe I’m one to talk.)

Now, on to the real issue: Adult Friend Finder! Really! People are actually on that? For reals? Finding someone to snowball with? Honestly?

Color me skeptical, because well, that’s just how I roll. I, for the life of me, can’t believe anyone successfully uses that thing. If that were true, I would think it would be way bigger than it is. Right? Right? I mean, every man alive would be on there if it was a goldmine of willing women ready to get down. And I know a lot of guys who are always looking for the next bone. None of them have ever gone, “Yeah, I’m on Adult Friend Finder, and boy, is my pelvis tired!”

I mean, it’s not like they would keep it secret out of shame. There can’t possibly be any stigma left to online dating of any sort, especially, for fellas who have resorted to techniques like introducing their friend at say, Mason Dixon and walking away. If you’re trying to hit on women, there’s already an inherent lack of shame involved.

Another thing that makes me skeptical: the glossy pictures of ‘erotic folks’. Anybody who has ever seen an HBO episode of Real Sex knows swingers often don’t look like your garden-variety Skinemax stars, they more often than not look leather bags with nipples, cocks, asses and feet. Now I’m not saying there aren’t attractive, sexually adventurous people out there who use the internet to make their fantasies come true. (Because an opening line of “Excuse me, miss, but how do you feel about The Shocker?” is probably not going to get you too far.) I’m just saying that I don’t believe it involves Adult Friend Finder.

And no, this isn’t a fishing expedition to find out where the freaks are at. This is just me wondering aloud about an internet service that’s like a sexual Santa Claus and Easter Bunny rolled up into one: you know it’s not true, but a part of you wants to believe. But I just can’t. And that’s why I wrote this. Well, as far as you know.

Tomorrow night is one of the more momentous occasions in the history of this great nation of ours. It’s not only a night for analysis and reflection, but a night of hope. Why?

It’s pretty simple. Tomorrow marks the last State of the Union address from President George W. Bush.

 President Bush

The last! That’s it! It sort of unofficially marks that, less than a year from now, someone else will be the President of the United States.

Come on, that has to make you a little excited no matter what your political affiliation. If you’re a Democrat, you’re excited because his bumbling reign is coming to an end, and it’s sort of weakened the coalition of social conservatives, right-wing hawks, and fiscal conservatives that have helped the Republican Party become the majority party in this country. But the Democrats are poised to take that back now, if they can get out of their own way. (Their control of Congress so far doesn’t really seem to indicate that.)

If you’re a Republican, you have grown tired of seeing this fool be the face of your party. You were loyal, you believed, and now, you look like fools. Oh, you can still try to explain away the war, and there are plenty of excuses for the economy, but we all know down deep, even you guys aren’t still buying. One of my best friends is a die-hard Republican, and when he drunkenly called him an idiot, I knew the Bush mystique was finally done. You feel like, if you just get someone electable in there who’s not a loon and take back the White House, things will be okay.

If you’re an independent, you’re thinking, maybe, just maybe, this time people will wise up and make sound, rational, well thought-out political decisions. To treat this seriously about who is going to bring this country competent, efficient, dynamic, and creative leadership. Who is going to get the job done and get America going in the right direction, and not about bullshit like “Who listens to Jesus more”, “Who seems like they would be cool to have a beer with”, “Or who looks like they could win a bear fight.”

So, there’s something to look forward to for everyone. But to move forward, you gotta look back. So tomorrow, I encourage you to tune in and hear the mangled, nonsensical words of your Commander-In-Chief, take a look at the blank, clueless face of the man who has led us for the last eight years, and has led us to where we are today, (internationally despised and disrespected, locked in an unwinnable war, and an apparently slowing economy) and realize:

Funny faced George

What the fuck were we thinking? Twice?!

theteam.jpg

1. Why? Well, Alice and a few of her friends had formed a team for this year’s Idiotarod 2008, and the team theme/name was Captain Planet. I never saw the show, but apparently, it was Captain Planet, of course, and he had a team of kids do all the grunt work; Captain Planet is kind of more like the face of the organization and a hands-off overseer. Unfortunately, I guess the guy originally slated to be Captain Planet dropped out. The team was in a bind, and Alice thought to herself, “Who could I get at the last minute to project strength, dignity, superherotude, and will have nothing better to do?” Of course, she called me. Knee-deep in an important project for work at the time, I, of course, said yes. Mostly to stop the text messaging.

2. Why were you late? Well, the organizers of this “event” try to keep their locations and route as secret as possible, because in the past, the cops have given these guys a hard time. Five-Oh keeps given them some jive about “public safety” and “rampant drunkenness.” Anyway, the locations are kept secret for as long as possible and then communicated to participants at the last minute. I did not know this, so when Alice told me it started at 12, instead of the 2 I had been told (and spent the previous night drinking accordingly), I had to scramble before finding my teammates.

3. What were the best carts you saw? Clearly the most prepared group was the “Top Gun”-themed cart, complete with “Highway to the Danger Zone” playing on what seemed like an endless loop. Two nits: No “Take My Breath Away” for the slower moments? Plus, there seemed to be a lack of latent homoeroticism, an essential element of “Top Gun” (topless volleyball on the beach, “You can ride my tail anytime, Maverick”) There were three “Indiana Jones”-themed carts, I guess everyone is excited about Indy IV coming out this year. The Jesus-themed cart was rather unwieldy but hilarious, and we managed to get our picture taken with them when Jesus just happened to pass the church.

4. Worst cart? A Heath Ledger themed cart that had balloons inside it, which was supposed to be Valium. The cart had Heath’s “prescription” on it. I’m sure as tasteless as it was, I’m sure they were completely surprised to find out that the race route went through Ledger’s Brooklyn neighborhood. As Captain Planet, I just pointed at them and shook my head disapprovingly. Brian Van (not on a team, but out and about, observing): “Too soon!”

5. So, it got a little violent, no? There were a couple of teams that seemed to be more about tipping over carts than running the race. We didn’t realize it until the tug o’ war, but we had a relatively smallish team, so we were targeted by a couple of cart-tipping crews. Using some speed from our cart pushers, and my ability to at least engage the would be tippers, we were able to fend them off. I didn’t beat anybody up, but I was big and strong enough to occupy them until our cart got away. There was one group of guys with some twine, hoping to trip up our cart like olden-day bank robbers waititng for a stagecoach. But I smelled out their attack and we were able to fend them off once again. I told Alice at one point, “You lied to me about the running, but that’s my fault. You didn’t tell me there would be wrestling.”

6. Why do you look 55 in some of those pictures? During one of the skirmishes, the flour we were using for sabotage got turned on us and ended up all over my hair. So I had flour in my hair for the rest of the day and evening and today until I finally showered at 4pm.

THis is what happens when you drink Trump Vodka

7. Why are you drinking Trump Vodka? It’s yooge. Alice inexplicably brought it, and, let’s face it, we had run out of beer. Katie, one of other team memebers had chased it with Cherry Coke. I just start swigging the stuff straight up. It isn’t appreciably better than any number of mid-to-lower level brand sof vodka. Not surprising for a Trump, who I’m pretty sure does not drink it.

8. So, did you guys win? Well, we finished. Let’s just say there were a lot of people at the bar in Red Hook by the time we got there. But that didn’t mean that we didn’t have a blast, despite the running and the egging, and the wrestling, and the spanking and the rope burns (please don’t ask), I would do it again next year. The cops were cool, and the people in the neighborhoods we ran in were pretty understanding and enjoyed the fun. Thanks to Alice for getting me involved, and Glenn, Chris, Matt, and Katie for being fun and outatanding teammates. Sure we didn’t win anything, except the satisfaction that we could idiot it up with the rest of this city and survive. It’s not much, but I think I might have a better idea of what life in a post-apocalyptic society might be like. And if that doesn’t stay with a man, well, I don’t know what does.

All pictures courtesy of DrunkBrunch.

So, seriously, while I wasn’t paying attention, were all the rules of American film comedy abolished?

Apparently, another dagger at the heart of real film humor comes out on Friday, the latest in a series of parody films. Never having watched a single second of these movies (I guess it starts with “Date Movie”, then it was “Epic Movie”, and now “Meet The Spartans”), it appears that they are made on the cheap with no-name casts and b-list celebrities willing to whore themselves out, and all they do is make fun of movies you might not have even seen yet.

To which I say, has it come to this?

Have we really gotten to the point in our self-referential, pop-culture addled society that the need for some semblance of originality is gone, all that needs to be done is to refer to the happenings of the past two weeks, throw in a few cheap pratfalls and dick jokes, and voila! We got comedy?

I guess this was eventually going to be the result of the rise of the pop-culture reference. It’s gone from occasionally used in a deft and artful manner to some fool badly impersonating Donald Trump going “You’re fired” to Spider-Man (?).

Where are the guys who made “Airplane!” They must be rolling over in their graves! Whaddya mean they’re still alive? Honestly? That’s a shame. Regardless, we all do it now; you can’t display some sense of knowing your culture in this day and age unless you do so. But to do so without context and without originality in no way, shape or form means that we may have post-modernly painted ourselves into a little corner here, no?

It’s one thing to use the past as the fuel to move forward. It’s another not even bother going forward, but to just throw in a gratuitous poop shot or hot piece of ass and call it comedy.

I mean Family Guy does that, but at least what semblance there is of original plot is at least driven by the poop and shock value. I love the show, but let’s be real, without pop culture references, you’ve got a third-class “Simpsons”. The show seems to have barely just enough original material oftentimes for a screenplay credit.

But, in the end, I guess I’m asking, are these movies actually funny? I mean, I’m not really old enough yet to foresee the end of the world just because a few crappy comedies are being made. If that was the case, existence as we know it would have ended around the time Chevy Chase made “Deal of the Century”. So, they’d better bring the funny, so someday in a future far, far away, maybe some second-rate hack screenwriters can rehash their rehashing of pop culture, then throw in some jokes about poop, global radiation, and sex with androids, and make a fortune.

Well Whiskey Friday sponsors You Make the Call, where he has a choice of two social/events with friends and can only pick one. First, the dillemma is presented, and then, You Make The Call. Then, what happened is to follow. 

Tonight I had a choice between going to my friend Dana’s annual post-holiday season regifting party and my longtime former friend and roommate John’s for Wednesday poker night. It was a momentous poker night, it was the first one since he had become the proud father of Charlie, a 7 pound, 12 ounce bundle of life.

That looked like a head sticking out of a burrito, but hey, let’s give the kid a chance to develop.

 You Make the Call. What would you have done?

I had yet to see the kid, and I am always down with gambling, so I chose my former roommates (I lived with him and his wife for a while) over the other party. The regifting party is always barrels of fun, and often at these parties you never know when inappropriate things are going to happen and if there will be pictures of it. (I am always concerned when someone plays “Lap Dance” by N.E.R.D too early.) But I wasn’t going to miss out on a chance to see my “nephew” in all his glory.

Let’s face it, I have all weekend to pull down my pants for no reason.

So, I went just expecting to hang out and see the kid and his mother, who is doing well.

What I wasn’t expecting was free stuff! Tonight’s unexpected haul:

1 – Some buddies of mine had just come back from Las Vegas, where they had attended the Adult Entertainment Expo. Not only did they meet the stars of the adult entertainment industry, but the guys were kind enough to bring back samples! So I have a few DVD’s to look at (should the mood strike me).

Now I know some of you look down on this sort of activity, and I’ll just say this: I don’t care. Sometimes a man has needs a little assistance to keep the beast within under control.

2 – A desktop computer! My friend was giving away his old one, and while his old one is old, it’s still an upgrade from the temporary one I have. For starters it actually has Windows XP on it (yep, that’s right). So the good news is, I finally can use the iPod nano I got with the Christmas gift card I got at work! Sure, I could have just upgraded ye olde laptop, but why bother, when I can haul a new desktop, ready to go, home!

Okay, and now the bad news: I ripped yet another pair of pants. I bent over to pickup the aforementioned computer, and suddenly, I am feeling a draft. I ripped my pants in the back, with my ass cheeks hanging out for the world to see. It kind of worked out, because my friend Hector felt sorry for me and gave me a ride all the way back to the ‘Burg (usually he just drops me off to the bus or the G train). But now I am down to one pair of pants.

To answer commenter Beth’s question in my previous post about this topic, I don’t think the fit is the problem. The pants I was wearing tonight, I thought, were fairly loose.

Overall, though, I think I made the right call. There’s a reason, after all ,the re-gifting gift is being re-gifted. And there’s no chance it would have been 1)porn or 2) a computer.

So if you said “poker night and seeing the baby”, You made the right call.

Unless, of course, I find out there was some sort of supermodels’ orgy.

There Will Be Blood

 THIS IS A SPOILER FILLED REVIEW OF “THERE WILL BE BLOOD”. IF YOU INTEND TO SEE IT, DO NOT GO PAST THE FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS.

So, I caught a 9:45 pm screening of “There Will Be Blood” tonight (or yesterday, technically) with DrunkBrunch and Brian Van. Right now, while I think it is worth seeing, and quite an excellent and ambitious piece of cinema. I’m going to have a real problem considering it the best movie of the year over “No Country For Old Men“.  Daniel Day-Lewis is outstanding, as always. The movie may be worth seeing for his performance alone. Day-Lewis doesn’t just seem to act, his characters are true creations, and I will always look forward to movies he is in. He doesn’t disappoint here, friends. He manages to communicate a very complex character in oilman Daniel Plainview, and show all sides of him. Also excellent is Paul Dano as his sort of rival, a religious man of dubious integrity.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has a few outstanding sequences, and as the story of Plainview’s acquisition of land and discovery of oil advances, the price to be paid with his soul, with his dignity, and some point, with his family, grows more and more powerful. Adapted from the Upton Sinclair book Oil!, it serves as a commentary on the building of empires and what it often took to build the great fortunes of the turn-of-the-century. It also, I think, might be a commentary on Big Oil today and that essentially, what it takes for that industry to succeed is often the plundering of the earth and of the soul.

That being said, SPOILER TIME, the ending of the movie, well, how do I say this? Sucked. Sucked Hard. It was an atrocity. I mean, really. Awful. God-awful. Just horrendous.

What the hell was Paul Thomas Anderson thinking? I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie so good end worse than most of my relationships. Just a freakin’ train wreck. It’s so bad, all I am left with is these cliches.

The movie loses its sanity once his son gets married in 1927. First, Plainview has essentially turned into fat Elvis at the end of his life without the television to shoot out, and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I guess this is to show the toll of his hatred for humanity and his essential loneliness. Look, we know Plainview hates people and is distrustful, but that doesn’t explain his descent into dissipation at all. It just seemed like the thing to do. In a movie that had presented him as such a complex character, this reeks of the easy way out.

Then, we find out that his son is not really his biological son, but a baby he found and adopted to help make deals. This is not a surprise, nor is the sequence where his son wants to strike out on his own, more for the sake of saving their father-son relationship, only to be told there is none, even as you can tell Plainview clearly has affection for the man/child. It’s clear that through all of Plainview’s hatred, he still desires to connect with someone, someone by blood (there is a subplot earlier about a person who impersonates his brother.) I could have lived with this part, though it doesn’t feel particularly developed past anything you’d see in, I dunno, a soap opera.

But, ultimately, the final scene, set in the bowling alley of Plainview’s mansion, has to be seen to be believed, and seen to realize just how close this movie came to greatness. It is, and there’s no mincing words here, completely stupid. Eli Sunday (Dano), still a religious figure, supposedly of some fame, comes back to Plainview with the intention of getting himself and his church some money. To strike the deal, Plainview demands that he admit that he is a fraud, and do it like he means it. What follows is akin to the scene in “Silver Streak” where Richard Pryor teaches Gene Wilder how to “act black” in blackface. Except not as funny, and has no place in the denouement of a serious epic. I totally appreciated that the film was able to be funny in telling such a downbeat story, but that was absurd.

That’s right, they bad!    Then, Plainview admits he tricked Sunday; there is no oil deal to be struck because he found a way to get oil from the land he claimed he was only using for a pipeline. And then, it what is undoubtedly the low point of Daniel Day-Lewis’s career unless he was in some “Benny Hill” sketch from back in the day I don’t know about, he makes a metaphor about two milkshakes that a greeting card writer would be embarassed to take credit for. You’ve got Daniel Day-Lewis, and you give him a half-assed speech about milkshakes and straws?

And finally, to top it all off, he eventually, for no reason I can really figure, he kills Sunday with a bowling pin. Because a “Clue”-style ending is how you have to end a great American movie. I guess killing the two-faced Sunday was a commentary on everything Plainview hates about humanity, and how that hate built up and finally comes back to haunt Plainview. If you’re buying that, you must really want to like this movie.

I wanted to buy, because 90 percent of it, in my opinion, is great. But the ending is so bad, so bad, so bad that you can’t call it great, and you may even have a hard time justifying it as good. Seriously, it’s that bad. The movie is a beautiful melange of subtlety and patience, only to be ruined by an over the top ending that looks more like a pathetic stab at greatness rather than actual greatness. Poor DrunkBrunch had invested so much in the characters, only to feel that the whole thing was ruined and that she had essentially, wasted her time. She might have been angrier than me. Brian Van, firmly in the corner of “No Country for Old Men”, found all the ammo he needed to declare a TKO for Coen Brothers’ film. It’s a testament to Dano and Day-Lewis that this ending has not been more roundly mocked and derided than it has been. Day-Lewis probably needs to call T.J. Hooker if he doesn’t win an Oscar, because he will have been robbed.

The absolute worst thing you can do when ending a movie is to make everything before it seem pointless, which is what happens in “There Will Be Blood”. Oddly enough, this has happened to Day-Lewis before, in “Gangs of New York”, that also provided an ending that essentially said, “You know the last two hours you spent here? Yeah, it really didn’t matter.” But at least I understood that one, that the gangs were deemed irrelevant once the draft riots and the Civil War began. But audiences who invest in characters aren’t trying to hear that. This ending, I can’t even justify.

Oh, P.T. Anderson, you came so close  to something truly outstanding. Unfortunately, you can’t leave the audience feeling like P.T. Barnum directed it, and that he saw three hours’ worth of suckers coming.

Finally got my butt into the theater to see consensus American movie of the year “No Country For Old Men” (I hope to see what appears to be #2, There Will Be Blood, sometime this weekend), and I’ve got some thoughts. If you haven’t seen it, you may possibly be spoiled if you read too much. All six of you.

I really enjoyed it, it’s visually quite stunning. While the story of the average Joe in over his head against a ruthless, psychopathic criminal is nothing new, I think what gives the movie its heft and meaning is the excellent job the file does of evoking the legend and majesty of American West as the backdrop for modern-day savagery. The source material by Cormac McCarthy needs to be credited for that as much as the stunning cinematography.

Also, there’s never not a moment of dread and anticipation in the film once it gets going, even in its calmer scenes. That’s always impressive to me in this day and age when it’s pretty hard to find new ways to keep people on the edge of their seats. The performances are all very good.

The bad news: the ending. While I didn’t hate the ending, and may have a bead on what they were trying to do, I’m not sure if it was the best ending. Having Tommy Lee Jones tell a story about meeting his dad in his dreams probably was meant to continue the theme about the reality versus the legend of the West (it’s just as savage now as ever, there just isn’t any varnish of faded memories on it now) and kind of works.

The final scenes involving Anton Chigurh, and whether he spares the widow of Llewelyn Moss, the ensuing random car accident and interaction with two youths much like Moss’ earlier in the film…I don’t know. I guess it was trying to show that a psychopath has no choice in his fate, it is just who he is, and he’s like the coin flip…wherever it lands, the decision is made for him. Not really sure it worked. But it has engendered discussion, and for a movie to do that after you leave is never really a problem.

So, overall, I can see why many consider it the yeatr’s best movie. I just haven’tt seen enough films this year to say it is, but it doesn’t seem particularly irrational to me.  I definitely classify it as “worth seeing”.

Note: At some point, my buddy Joe and I will make up alternate absurd endings for this movie. It’s been a tradition of ours since we saw “Million Dollar Baby” and amused ourselves for hours afterwards by creating alternate endings. The clear winner in that one, by the way, was Joe’s scenario where Morgan Freeman winds up stealing Hillary Swank’s insurance money from Clint Eastwood and says “…and that why she was my Million Dollar Baby.” Then of course, fade to credits.

Or maybe you had to be there. In any case, next time I see Joe, we’ll do the same, and I’ll share the results with you.

While I was waiting for a chicken cutlet-bacon-and-cheddar sandwich accompanied by a banana Thursday night, I made a couple of observations completely unrelated to each other.

1. It takes a deli to feed a village: How come every time I want a sandwich, end up behind the person who is feeding some sort of small army? Whether it’s Jose from up the block getting sandwiches because he finished last in the dominoes game, Ezra the hipster getting sandwiches for all their friends because they’re all high and they ate all his Pringles, Pretty Tony and his crew getting eats to take back into the Escalade after a night of clubbing, or the other guy named Jose getting a boatload of sandwiches for a dishwashing crew that just got off. No matter the reason, I am always behind this person!

And not only is he ordering 4 to 10 sandwiches, everyone in the crew is picky and have wildly different tastes! No lettuce! No tomoatoes! Extra onions! A mix between cheddar and gorgenzola cheese, but keep the gorgenzola cold and the cheddar melted! Is that dairy-free mayonnaise? You know how Frank gets if he eats dairy, he’ll be farting all the way home!

This is the kind of thing that makes you not want to support the local mom-and-pop deli and go to Subway. I’m not even kidding. And if I was not terrified of being seen inside of one on Bedford Avenue, dammit, I would.

2. Crappy dance music is now ancient classic crappy dance music! At the deli, they were playing “The Beat of New York”, WKTU, our local dance station. I really wasn’t paying attention to the ads that were playing for clubs full of popped-collar douchebags on Long Island and New Jersey (remember, three nights of clubbing this weekend! Thanks, Dr. King!).

But then they started playing a song. And it was your garden-variety club/freestyle song which would be perfectly okay…except that they insist on having lyrics. They went something like

I want to have some fun (dunch-dunch-dun-dun-da-dun-dun) I want to grab someone (dunch-dunch-dun-dun-da-dun-dun) I want to touch someone (dunch-dunch-dun-dun-da-dun-dun) I want to have some fun (dunch-dunch-dun-dun-da-dun-dun)

Okay, that’s probably not how it completely went, but you get the idea. And then I realized, as I was paying for my Diet Mountain Dew, sandwich, and Doritos, that I remeber this somg from fifteen years ago! Heck, it might have been 20 years ago! This was now a clubbing classic! That people may very possibly still be dancing to!

Imagine, douches with too much gel in their hair, tight shirts too shiny, reeking of Drakkar Noir,  have been harassing big-haired girls in hooker boots drinking Long Island Iced Teas to these songs for an entire generation!

Okay, This is the kind of useless topic that people turn to their blogs to tell the world about, and dammit, I intend to share.

I keep splitting my pants in the crotch.

Aren’t you glad I’m back?

No seriously, I got issues with the makers of various styles of slacks. Whether I buy cheap ones or expensive ones, eventually, at some point, I split the damn crotch. It happened for the fourth time this year, unbelievably. My bedroom is littered with the carcasses of pants with holes in the crotch.

I think the problem is that I tend, when I am bored at work, to do the occasional split. Well, not a full split like the kind Jean-Claude Van Damme would gratuitously throw in, but once in a while, I like to, um, let the boys breathe a little bit. I think this puts a short-term strain on the the crotch area, and eventually, one time, I do one of these little stretches and, BAM!

The worst part always is getting home, especially if I’ve made the decision to go commando, as they say.  Usually the crotch rips enough that the pants are no longer usable, but not enough to cause an indecent exposure charge if I am careful. It means standing up even when there are seats on the subway. It means being cognizant of short people, especially ladies. It means walking swiftly but discreetly. And it means sweet, sweet relief when I finally get home.

But now I have five pairs of pants sitting around my room not being used. Unless you want to pee by standing right above the toilet. This weekend, I think I’m going to gather these pants up and head for a tailor. I’m getting a bit tired of spending good money after bad and buying yet another pair of pants. Screw that.

Any of you fashion-minded folk out there have any tips for a the flexible guy who likes to do the occasional split whilst tapping away at an Excel spreadsheet? Suggestions are welcome.