Five Thoughts Longer Than 140 Characters

The following are scattered thoughts too long for twitter and too long for their own post.  They are presented in no particular order of importance or design.

1. I’d love to start a reflective blog or tumblr or dig’em (is that a real thing? I’ve seen it underneath some articles every so often, have no idea what it means or if it is intentionally supposed to remind me of the cereal Smacks) account on Earl Simmons. You know him as DMX, or Dark Man X. I prefer to call him Earl, as the government calls him.  It would simply be a stream of conscious-styled blog filled with quotes and musings inspired by the Earl of Yonkers. Sometimes just a quote, something like “I fucks with these hoes from a distance, The instant they start to catch feelings, I start to stealin they shit.”  My favorite part would be where I’d would just ask reflective questions like, “Honestly, what do these bitches want?” or “Seriously, where are my dogs at? I honestly lost them about an hour or so ago.” Also, everything would be in capitals and followed by at least 1 !

2. For Halloween this year, I was at a little bit of a loss. I had wanted to be Willy Wonka at first (not the Johnny Depp version, the Gene Wilder version), but the only costume I found cost around 80 dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with wasting money on a number of things (alcohol, food, women) but there’s a limit to Halloween, I think. Spending that much money on a ridiculous purple outfit that you can only wear, what, three times max? That seems silly to me. On the other hand, I do like dressing up and would prefer not to repeat (spoiler alert: I went as Where’s Waldo, again) so to the store I went. After seeing a jailbird costume, I had the idea of combining that with a dog face and going as… the dog from Cookie Crisp. This guy. And the award for most obscure, bizarre costume goes to…

3. The NBA starts tonight and I don’t think I could be more excited. It took a while for me to get into it, what with the Yankees pretending down the stretch run of the season that they were an actual baseball team (only to reveal, sadly, they weren’t). But folks, let me tell you, they’re may not be a white, under-30 male more excited for this season on the planet. Then again, the pool of white, under-30 males that actually give a shit about the NBA isn’t a deep one, but still. Quick prediction time: Kevin Durant wins MVP, Evan Turner wins Most Improved, Lakers have a slow season but win the Championship, and the Spurs continue to excel in the regular season and flake out at some point in the playoffs. I know, real bold stuff.

4. This one is probably cheating the “Five Thoughts” Gods, because I’ve already tweeted about it.  So, I suppose I did sum up my thoughts about Cloud Atlas, albeit sarcastically, in fewer than 140 characters. However, I wanted to go back to it. I just can’t believe a number of things about this movie. I can’t believe it got made, I can’t believe Tom Hanks is in it (then again, he’ll do just about anything nowadays, it seems), I can’t believe it’s not 15 hours long, I can’t figure out what that Chinese woman is doing in the movie, and I can’t decide if it’s going to be universally lauded or panned (picture a less cultish Battlefield Earth). There’s absolutely no way I’ll see the movie (and that includes if they broke into my apartment and screened it in my room), but at the least I’m hoping the reaction is very strong one way or the other.

5. So, I’m a substitute teacher. At my old high school. There’s a ton of things I could say about it, so many I could likely fill up a full post on it (and/or get myself in trouble with the school). What I want to talk about is what it’s like to go back to your old school as an adult (or in my version, as someone who is doing his best approximation of an adult). I’m amazed at how clearly I’m an authority figure to these kids. It has to be something relating to sitting in the front of the room, because in my own mind, I’m still one of them. Then, they open their mouths and I realize, oh yeah, they’re 15. And I’m 25. That’s right. One final note… I’d hate to have to see what I was like in high school. To have to watch video of how I acted… Good lord. Even if I wasn’t as annoying as I think I was, I totally get why I wasn’t getting any ass. I wore everything way too big (and that was even somewhat in back then) and never combed or did my hair at all. *Sigh*

How To Properly Alienate A Girl On A First Date

As featured on EliteDaily.com

I’ve been on a number of first dates in my life. Second dates, third dates, bad dates, good dates, meet-up-at-the-bar-and-buy-one-drink-before-we-have-sex-so-you-don’t-feel-cheap dates. I’ve pretty much run the gamut in my 25-years and counting, and I have to say, that’s pretty impressive considering I started dating fairly late into what would be considered my sexual prime (which, for those counting, has already ended if my current success rate is any indicator).

With all my experience considered, I’m pretty confident with regards to knowing how to act if you’re looking to impress a woman. Honest admission time: I am a single man, no girlfriend to my name or Facebook account. I can hear you, reader, wondering how it is I can claim to be so all-knowing, yet not have any actual current success to prove it.

Well, to you I say, just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can actually do it.  I know how to dunk a basketball (I believe it involves some combination of jumping, palming a basketball, and ramming it through the hoop with loud grunting noises optional), but I can’t actually touch the backboard.

However, it isn’t much fun to talk about impressing a woman on a first date, now is it? No, I prefer the rarer topic of alienation. If your mission was to completely and totally alienate a woman that put her trust and faith in you on a first date (trust that you won’t kill her, faith that she’ll have a decent time with you), how would you go about it?

Of course, there’s the obvious tactics.  Eat with your mouth open, talk constantly, watch SportsCenter the entire time. Those choices are so simple they don’t even deserve to be expounded upon.

No, I wanted to go a little deeper. I thought about writing this as a numerical list of the best ways to achieve full alienation but ultimately scrapped that idea after realizing that none of these are really better than any other. They’re all good. Which is to say, they’re all bad.

Go Out Late For Several Nights In A Row Before The Night Of Your Date

I actually did this recently, but not on purpose. Wednesday and Thursday nights of the week I had a Friday night date I went out until around 2 or 3 a.m., only to have to get up for work by 7 a.m. By the time Friday night rolled around, I was beyond exhausted but the prospect of eventual intercourse excited me enough to at least pay for a few rounds of drinks with a girl I had (at best) limited interest in from Match.com

Beyond the facts that I wasn’t attracted to her physically (the photos, frankly, could very well have been of someone else, but that’s for another article) and the conversation was numbingly mechanical, I was exhausted by 10:30 or so for obvious reasons.

No matter who was talking, I couldn’t stop yawning. I’d given up apologizing and explaining each one, despite internally trying to stave off the inevitable.  Eventually, I couldn’t fight it any longer.

I wouldn’t say I fell asleep, per se. It was more like one of those long blinks, the ones where your chin hits your chest and breaks your stupor long enough to realize: Hey, I don’t recall anything that just happened, I must have been asleep.

Nothing more flattering to a woman than falling asleep during one of her stories. Trust me.

The Reverse Bill

When the time comes for your check, be a gentleman. Take it before she can even sneak a peak, push it back towards your date once you’ve satisfied your curiosities, and confidently say “Don’t worry, I’ll get the next one.” Girls love confidence, so I’ve heard.

That’ll make her think twice about that nauseating “Oh come on, let me leave a little bit” line. Then again, nothing’s worse than the staged hand-in-pocket/purse move that might as well be one of those fake cabinets in your kitchen that never opens.

Ask Her Out To Dinner

But don’t meet her out until you’ve already had a satiating meal of your own. Without her.

Upon arrival at the pre-determined bar or restaurant, simply explain that you forgot you were meeting for dinner (Note: For this method to work best, it’s preferred that you set up the dinner date within 24-48 hours of the actual meeting). Continue to explain, without expressing even the slightest hint of remorse, that you should still proceed as planned and that she should definitely still have dinner. No, you aren’t hungry at all any longer, but you wouldn’t want to stop her from eating.

Order For Her

If that last one isn’t your speed (if this article was a college course, that last one would be for advanced students only), try actually taking her to dinner but don’t allow her to order for herself. There’s nothing a woman in this century loves more than being told what to do and what to eat by a man she just met.

You can go one of two ways, depending on how big of a dick you feel like being. After you’re done placing your order, pause for a second as if you’re actually going to let her order for herself like the adult she is. Then, a word (or even a syllable) into her order, cut her off and ask for either an enormous, fatty meal or its polar opposite. Either go with the steak and loaded baked potato or a side version of the house salad with dressing on the side. Personally, I think the latter choice is the best one, so far as alienation goes but as our friends from Legends of the Hidden Temple said, “the choice is yours, and yours alone.”

Allow For Flexibility When It Comes to Scheduling

Work to find a time for a first date when you have friends from out of town coming in and staying with you. Instead of being a bad friend, bring one of your old pals on the first date with you. Bonus points if that friend is a girl, even better if that girl is hotter than the one you’re on the date with, and best if that girl is your actual current girlfriend (Note: In the history of civilization, the last version of this move has never been successfully pulled off and not for lack of effort of the male species.)

Relax

Being comfortable on a date is of the utmost importance. I don’t care if you went to private school since you were a zygote, there’s no way you feel better in a pair of khakis or pressed jeans and button down than you do in a baggy, worn t-shirt and sweatpants.

If she can get away with a soft, flowing dress and yoga pants, why can’t you be comfortable and thus cagey of your less-than-desirable physical attributes.

So, that’s my list. Of course, there’s more obvious ones like the timeless “flirting with the waitress (or, any woman you’re not on the date with)” move, showing up incredibly late, saying awkward things (When did you first get your period? My sister got hers at 11, was that normal?) or talking exclusively about other dates you’ve gone on recently and women you can’t wait to see again.

None of those are bad and trust me, they’ll all work wonders, but is it fun to do what everyone else has done? I say, if you’re going for alienation, go for originality as well.

My Dog Ate All My Homework: 90s Sitcoms, Revisited

One of the benefits of working frequently between the hours of 4 PM and 2 AM is that you are available to watch some great afternoon TV.  Recently, I discovered that MTV2, in addition to actually existing, shows two hours of Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World back-to-back from noon til 4.  As you’d imagine, this was a revelation and ever since I’ve been reliving some of my favorite childhood shows.  What follows is the fourth of several look-backs at some of those incredible shows and what made them so (not-so) great.

Good lord. I honestly have no idea where to start with this one. Truth is, the idea for this whole ‘let’s review ’90s sitcoms’ thing came from watching this show on MTV2 at noon nearly every weekday for the last month or so.

At first I waited to write this one because I figured it would be obvious to start with The Bell, too predictable. As time went on, I realized I was putting it off because I had no idea where to start, where to finish, where to go. There’s just so damn much.

Without exaggeration, I think I could honestly write a full post on any of the following topics related to this show:

  • How fucking hot was/is Kelly Kapowski? Is it possible that she’s hotter now than she was then? Was there a more masturbated to teen star from 1990 to 1995?
  • This book. How much of it was true? How much of it was made up to stir trouble? Would it be better or worse if it was mostly accurate? (I vote, better, personally)
  • The cool of Zack Morris. Topics of discussion include making the prep look “in”, his slicked blonde locks, the ability to freeze time by saying “Time Out”*, how he macked it with basically every female on the show and none of them ever really seemed to mind, and his amazing, Frank Abagnale-esque ability to con anyone.
  • The incredibly awful overacting job by Screech (and subsequently, the over-reacting to his role on the show by becoming the what he’s become).
  • Why didn’t they actually do a full reunion on Jimmy Fallon?
  • The incredible theme song, those great MTV2 commercials (this, this, or that), or the great openings where Zack would talk to the camera to open up the episode. So smooth.
  • How incredibly old they all looked as the show clearly went on too long.
  • The fact that they even had the nerve to make the New Class. Or, that they made the College Years as awful as they made them.

I could keep going, but I’ll spare you.

Instead, what I decided to do was just go character-by-character and give my random thoughts on each. It’s not the best idea, but it’s better than writing a book about it. Which, best believe, I considered.

We Don’t Need Roads: Back to the Future, the Remake

It seems like nowadays, when it comes to movies, all we see are remakes. Updated (and some cases, not even) versions of movies from years past that lack any real originality. Whether it’s a black version of The Hooneymooners or a Will Smith-ed version of Karate Kid or even the same movie that we just finished watching a few years before… Hollywood seems to think we love seeing these retread movies.

And in some cases, I guess we do. Not every one of them decides Jack Black is somehow a good idea to star in a King Kong movie. Not everyone of them is Arthur or Godzilla.  Some of them are worth while, like Manchurian Candidate or Ocean’s Eleven (In doing some research on these types of movies, I think Nutty Professor is my favorite. Probably one of Eddie Murphy’s last great films, too.)*

What cracks me up though is when people complain about these movies incessantly and yet still go to see them. The best complaint I heard recently came from a friend who was annoyed that there are plans to make another Scarface. “How can they remake Scarface? There are some movies you just don’t touch, you know?” I responded, politely, saying, “You are aware that the Scarface you love is actually a remake of an older movie itself, right? You do know that?” This person said he was aware, but it still didn’t change his mind. I had nothing else to say.

And so, in response to all of this, I’ve done some thinking about what film I’d like to see remade if it was up to me. If you have higher than a 4th grade education, it’s not a shock that I’m talking about Back to the Future. Before you get your panties in a bunch, let me say this: remaking a movie doesn’t always mean doing it over again. No, in this case, I’d hope that a remake simply takes the framework of a story we all know and love, updates and modernizes it, and makes it better.

If done properly, that ain’t disrespect, it’s tribute.

Five Thoughts Longer Than 140 Characters

The following are scattered thoughts too long for twitter and too long for their own post.  They are presented in no particular order of importance or design.

1. I haven’t seen the movie Looper yet (although I want to) and I can already tell I’m going to leave that movie and be at least some what confused as to what exactly happened. It can’t be a good sign when you’re finished with a 1:45 trailer and have several questions you need answers to just to follow the trailer.  Questions like, Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt the young version of Bruce Willis? Who is the character that looks a little like JGL, but also a little like a fucked-up version of JGL? Am I going to start each of these posts about a movie JGL is in? Why isn’t this movie about Braden Looper? Is there going to be a Danny Graves movie coming out any time soon?

2. The process of purchasing a new car is absolutely ridiculous. I just got done finalizing paper work on my second lease with Toyota and once again, the whole thing has left me wondering how anything gets done at those places. First off, they’re not open on Sundays. Not that that particularly has an impact on me, but I find it strange to be closed for half of the allotted time most of the working world has off. Second, the fact that it’s an accepted part of the transaction that you’re buying something that is immediately devalued shows how big a ripoff it is. Third, and best of all I say, is that there’s no such thing as the “actual” price. I hate that I have to haggle. I hate that the salesman will say shit like, “What do I have to do to get you in this car?” or “What’s a number you feel comfortable with?” Rumor has it my mom actually said, “$1”.  Rumor also has it my dad never went with my mom to buy a car again. Either way, I wish it was just a matter of this is the price, take it or leave it. Could you imagine if it worked that way at say, the grocery store? Attention shoppers, Florida’s Natural Orange Juice, normally priced at $10,000 is now on sale! Use your Shop Rite card and tell us how much you think it should cost!

3. DJ Khaled could be the worst thing in rap right now. Matter of fact, he could be the worst thing in music. Here’s a guy who doesn’t actually rap or sing, he barely produces on his own records, and he shouts obnoxiously loud over every song he’s on. Worse than all of that are those asinine claims he makes. “I introduced you to the streets” and “We the best” are just some of the moronic things he shouts.  Granted, he’s no Funk Flex (though, this guy does a hell of an impression) but how has no one had a stern talking to him yet? Hey, Mr. Khaled. Yes, nice to meet you. We just were wondering when you were going to do… well, anything. Oh, you’re not? OK, that’s fine, just stop claiming to be the best at anything other than making unsubstantiated claims. Sincerely, The Rap Fan Community.  Oh yeah, tell 2 Chainz to give it a rest as well. Thanks again.

4. I wish I was making this up, but at a bar I went to recently the bouncer wouldn’t let my friends and I in because, and I quote, “We’re only letting in couples and single ladies right now.” Had he not been enormous, had I not been the size I am, and had there not been any consequences for unprovoked physical violence in this country, I’d have totally kicked his ass. So, honest admission time: we were in the meatpacking district in New York City. For those of you unaware, it’s a really trendy (read: douchey, overpriced) area of the city that I’ve only ever been to a few times but know very well as a place where good-looking, yet off-putting women and Gordon Gekko wannabees hang out. I understand that it’s not great policy to let in nine pretty drunk dudes at midnight in an area like that, but who do you think is buying those single ladies their drinks?

5. Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a documentary about something or someone that didn’t work out well? I’m not talking about a tragedy or something serious. No, I just think it would be funny if someone focused on an athlete or musician that never was successful and never had a great ending. Like, a Behind the Music: Those Guys Who Made The No Scrubs ParodyOur story starts with three young friends who had no concept of how the word Thieves was spelled… Or a Ken Burns documentary (meaning it would be about 15 parts, each an hour and a half long) about a failed project or athlete. For those of you in the New Jersey area, I’m thinking along the lines of Xanadu and The Techni-colored Dream Ski Jump.  For the rest of you, maybe a 6-part series on JaMarcus Russell (possible title: From 60 Yards to Broke: JaMarcus Russell Stayed on His Knees).