Monday, February 26, 2007

 

PTSD

Over the last month or so, as I was making preparations for a trip to Las Vegas, a number of co-workers and friends lamented that it was too bad I was going to miss out on the craziness of the NBA All Star Weekend since my trip was scheduled for the weekend after the festivities. But after hearing reports about how bad traffic was and how crowded all the casinos were because of the All Star game, I was thankful that I didn't have to deal with any of that crap. After talking to a number of dealers, pit bosses, and cab drivers I didn't realize just how thankful I should be.

I first asked how the All Star Weekend was to a personable dealer named Jim at the Imperial Palace just to make some conversation.

"Oh my god, they were the worst!"

At first I assumed that he just misspoke and meant to say it was the worst, meaning the weekend, and not they. But no, he meant they.

"They were the absolute worst. Never again. Never again. They were all thugs, drug dealers, or gangsters. They didn't tip, they were rude, they abused us. These poor waitresses worked harder than ever for less money that weekend. None of us made anything. We would've all made more if they never came to town. In fact, if they ever have that thing here again, I'm refusing to work it. No one should have to go through what we had to."

At this point I assumed Jim's flair for the dramatic was kicking in. I mean it couldn't have been that bad. But then his pit boss stepped in: "Last weekend was the worst thing that's ever happened to this city." She then assured her dealer that there would be no way the All Star game would return to the city. "If there is any kind of vote involved, there is no way the locals would put themselves through that again. And an NBA team coming here? Not if anyone who lives here has anything to do with it."

Now when I asked the question, I was expecting to hear common complaints about traffic and crowds, or a scripted reply that they've used on the thousand people before me that asked the same question. I wasn't prepared to see how emotional and honest the response was. It was great. So I made it a point to ask as many dealers as possible how they liked the All Star weekend.

Every single person I asked had the exact same initial response to my question. They all immediately closed their eyes and shook their head back and forth. It was like just thinking brought them back to the misery of the weekend previous, and were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Apparently talking is part of the healing process because all the dealers I talked to were happy to regale the table with their own personal accounts of the weekend. Here are some of the more memorable responses:
The thing I can't get over is that these comments are coming from people who live in Sin City. They are used to a fairly high degree of debauchery, violence and general mayhem on a daily basis. I mean, these people have been conditioned to think that it is normal to serve alcohol 24 hours a day and that it isn't a big deal to be able to walk around in public with open alcohol. And yet they are all still shocked and appalled at what happened during the NBA's All-Star Weekend. Now that is a pretty impressive feat. A feat that I'm glad I missed out on, but thankful I got to hear about firsthand.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

 

The Best Video Ever.



Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words (For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn). Literary scholars marvel at how complete the story is despite its brevity. I feel the same way about this video. In a mere 10 seconds, we are taken from the highest high's to the lowest low's. It has everything; misdirection, foreshadowing, violence, and humor. Themes of greed, impatience, irony and the importance of not only building arm strength but also aim are also present.

Some may wonder how I could ever dare to compare potential fodder for Bob Saget with the works of one of America's greatest novelists. Those who find the comparison dubious or who cannot recognize this video as anything more than a simple pratfall are failing to realize that this isn't merely a story about a boy and a basketball. It is a story about what happens when a boy's dream for buzzer-beating glory conflicts with a boy's desire to beat the halftime rush to the snack bar. And because of that this is the greatest sight gag ever recorded.

It should win an award.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

 

Fat Guys Dancing

There is something hypnotic about this.


It is impossible to ignore someone doing the truffle shuffle. And that's a fact. Look it up.



Wait for it...


This kid has got some moves. If he lost the creepy gay sidekick, he'd be a lock as the heir apparent of the dude in the first video.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

 

Anna Ni-Cold Stiff

I really don't have anything much to add about Anna Nicole Smith dying, except to say that I'm probably a little too pleased with the great play on words I came up with shortly after hearing of her death. It's not very classy, but hey, neither was she.

I have to say I wasn't surprised to hear that she had died. Seriously, who didn't see this coming? I haven't been this "shocked" over a celebrity's death since Kurt Cobain. What I was surprised at was how all the people reacted at my work when they found out. They were acting like it was some huge deal; they were texting their friends, running to the television to find out all the details, "reminiscing" about her show. I hadn't seen so much reaction over a celebrity dying since Gerald Levert died.

Don't know who Gerald Levert is? I didn't either. He was an R&B singer who died back in November, and his death sent shockwaves throughout my training class at work. During the middle of class the guy sitting next to me received a text message from his sister. When he read the message he interrupted our trainer and announced, Walter Cronkite style, that Gerald Levert had just died. I shit you not, the whole class started acting like a family member had passed away. People started texting all their friends to let them know what they had just heard. One girl called her dad to confirm the news, other people just sat in shock.

I was one of those people who were sitting in shock. I didn't know what the hell was going on. I had no idea who Gerald Levert was. At first I thought it was this guy, La Van Hawkins, who used to own a bunch of Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises. But that didn't make much sense. I mean the company I was with when Dave Thomas died sure didn't mourn him like this. So I asked "Cronkite" who exactly Gerald Levert was. Again, he interrupts everyone to "break the news" of my ignorance regarding the deceased.

One guy tells me he figured that I wouldn't know who he was, because it is a "black thing." A couple of them couldn't believe that I didn't know that Gerald Levert was a singer and started asking me questions staccato style:

"You've never heard of Gerald Levert?"
"Ooh, you musta never got it on if you ain't never heard of Gerald Levert. He write all them good love songs. Romantic as hell. You put a Gerald Levert song on, if you don't be careful, you'll get in some trouble."
"Gerald Levert...the son of Eddie Levert. You sure you don't know him?"
"Sweet Lord, you don't know who Eddie Levert is?"
"Don't you remember the duet Gerald and Eddie did?" (The whole class, sans the white people, start singing at this point.)
"How about LSG? You gotta know them."

Finally something they are asking me rings a bell. I tell them, yes, I've heard of LSG, the R&B supergroup. I decided not to mention I didn't know anything they sang. Regardless, my co-workers are relieved that they were finally able to find me a point of reference for Mr. Levert.

"He was the 'L' in LSG!"

"Wow," I say, realizing that if I don't feign emotional investment in this guy dying soon, I might never get my co-workers to stop interrogating me. Or to stop singing R&B songs I've never heard of.

I start shaking my head in disbelief and try show my proper respect: "That's crazy. I can't believe he's gone. I remember LSG being pretty big...I think a couple of my friends had some of their albums. You know, they should really give us a day off for this, so we can cope and just clear our heads."

Cronkite's eyes brighten up when I say this and he gives me a fist pound. "Now you're feelin' us!

Whew, crisis averted. At least know I know how to act when Teddy Pendergrass dies.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

 

Vocab Builder

Here is a list of words that my friends and I consider our favorite and the reason why. (If they didn't give me a reason, I made an educated guess as to why.)

Me:
Esplanade - because I like the way it rolls of the tongue and because I'm not exactly sure what it is. I know its got something to do with water and that intrigues me.

Grodzalis:
Egregious - because he is a man of extremes. Why make a simple mistake when you can make an egregious one?

Willis B:
Word - because it can be and is used universally to communicate amongst all. ( I think he means he enjoys the versatility of it.)

5 Mile:
Word - same as above.

Grod:
Serendipitous - because he enjoys describing things as being similar to films that team up John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.

Delaney:
Superfluous - because she enjoys describing things as being similar to her third nipple.

KL:
Moist - because it is the only word that can be used to describe a delicious cake.

Bubs:
Moist - but not because it is the only word that can be used to describe a delicious cake.

D-Man:
Decree - because he enjoys issuing them. He thinks it is a powerful word and he's bringing it back.

(D-Man also claims he's bringing back the tradition of wearing suits to sporting events like it used to be in the 1930's. Ah, yes. The 1930's. Sports fans were enduring the Great Depression, but you never would have known it based on what they were wearing. A classy lot, them.)

Hoodges:
Babaghanoush - because he has a weight problem and all he thinks about is food. And 80's trivia. His second favorite word is "Tackleberry."

 

Can you dig? (We can dig it) Canyoualldigit?

Things I want to hit in the face with a shovel:
  1. The girl in the "Six Feet Under" ad on Bravo that says "Why do people have to die?"
  2. The cat that keeps pissing in my garage.
  3. Mandy Moore
  4. All the customers I deal with at work that make me consider creating a jump to conclusions mat.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

 

Ziggy Is Getting Too Preachy

Some random thoughts on comics:

First off, please check out this post from Joe Mathlete, who explains the Marmaduke comic each day on his website. It is one of my favorites.

The Lockhorns are the best. I hope that one day I can have a marriage as rock solid as Leroy and Loretta's. Sure they constantly fight, their food was shitty, but man do they fucking party. I mean it. For as much as they bicker with each other in the company of others, they sure do get invited to an inordinate amount of cocktail parties. I just wish I knew their secret.

Sometimes I talk myself into trying to get into reading those old timey, soap opera style comics like Mary Worth or Judge Parker. But they are always dense as fuck and the story moves at a snail's pace. Obviously a three panel strip can't have that much story development, but shit, throw a bone to potential new readers. The first panel will show a person on the phone talking to someone. The second panel shows the person that the people on the phone are talking about with the "voiceover" of the phone conversation. Then the final panel will have the words "Meanwhile in Borneo." and they'll show some dude being advanced on by a puma. How the hell is anyone supposed to follow that? We're not given any names or dates or anything. I mean am I supposed to be rooting for the dude or the puma?

They should make car decals of Calvin pissing on a person buying a Calvin Pissing sticker for those people who think they are better than everybody else, but are too stupid to realize that they aren't.

Finally, I agree with my buddy the Grodfather who thinks that Arlo 'n Janis have really been pushing the envelope lately. The creator Jimmy Johnson has really brought subtle sexual/inappropriate innuendo to a new level. And it hasn't gone unappreciated.

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