Live From Brazil: The Original Street Fighter

As originally seen on fighterjournal.com

If you’re a regular to fighterjournal.com, you probably think you’re something of a hot shot when it comes to UFC, don’t you? You probably have the words “Never Stop Fightin’” (yes, not the full word) tattooed like ‘Pac across your chest. You probably can tell me the origins of the sport, the first time you remember watching Kimbo Slice on youtube, or when you saw Jon Jones and thought, “This guy is nasty.”

Well, my friends and readers, I’m here today to blow your mind, Sonic-chicken-sandwich style: You don’t know shit.

And frankly, neither do I. Even I don’t know nearly as much as I should, what with being an infrequent columnist on the site and all… But that said, what follows is an in-depth look at the man who virtually birthed what came to be known as UFC. From the jungles of one of the serious hotbeds of the sport, rose a man from near-tragedy to certain triumph. This is his story*.

So Wait, The World Didn’t End?

If you’re reading this, the world didn’t end. Either that or you’re a Mayan (wouldn’t that be something if they’d been around this whole time, hiding out somewhere in Mexico or South America only to come back on this exact date?)

Either way, I for one am disappointed.

I know that is terrible to say and that I sound like that ditzy girl from the beginning of Independence Day that can’t wait to meet the aliens (Really? You’re going to dance on top of a building and just hope that they buzz you in? Come on…), but I think I’ve done about all I can. Sad, but true.

Look at it this way… if you had told the 13-year old version of me that by age 26 I’d write a book, have sex with more than one girl, graduate from college and have a full-time job, I’d never have believed you. Maybe I set the bar too low, but I must say I think it’s been a serious win thus far.

Throw in the facts that I live in a pretty nice apartment, I can wipe my own ass, and I have witnessed each of my favorite sports teams winning a championship, and I think I’ve done alright.

Now of course, you could point out all the things I haven’t done and make my life (or, yours for that matter) look like shit. But let’s focus on the positive, shall we?

A few other end of the world notes:

  1. As I walked to my car on Friday morning, I had one thought: “The world may not be ending, but this is some straight apocalypse-type weather right now.”  The wind and rain combo was crazy and yet people still felt the need to force the umbrella issue. I stopped counting after five the number of people whose umbrella was either totally inverted, doing nothing to stop rain in a particular direction, or ripped to shreds.
  2. I can’t be the only one who was hoping that, if in fact the world did end, there would be some sort of incredible sign. Like say, it literally starts raining cats and dogs (imagine that, shar peis coming down in droves from the heavens). Or, hockey became watchable. Things like that.
  3. This was what I wanted to happen if it did end.

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 4: Going Too Fast

So, we’re back with another episode. I wasn’t quite sure how to tell this story because it first happened live, then I told some of my friends about it, then several months (about 8 of them, to be more specific) went by, then I got in contact with her again, and finally she and I discussed it.

Just because we had a great time it does not mean I want to see you again.

I think the more interesting way to share this story is simply to relay facts of what occurred (with any comments placed parenthetically). Then we can move forward.

Actually, before we get going… a few things. This is the first “sort-of” reader inspired Chronicle. This gal, in recent correspondence, actually e-mailed to ask if she had ever made an appearance in any of the previous episodes. I admitted that she hadn’t but that I had her name scribbled somewhere in my room for a future episode. I explained that the way (SPOILER ALERT) it ended was humorous and I felt the need to detail it in this space. What was particularly interesting is that (as she felt when this first happened) she was seemingly confused as to what could’ve been the issue.

OK, here we go, for real.

Facts:

  1. Date two, dinner uptown.
  2. Drinks. We discuss where we’re going to go, I mention I had a party to go to downtown, but we ultimately land on going to a place nearer the restaurant.
  3. A few drinks at that bar.
  4. I walk her home.
  5. En route while walking home, she mentions she’s going to go home and go somewhere else once we separate and that some place else was downtown somewhere. (OK, commentary here… I’m surprised I lasted this long… This part was, frankly, beyond belief that she’d A) say that so plainly to me and B) not mention it earlier when I had actually told her I had something downtown I could’ve gone to.)
  6. Admittedly, I gave her some shit about that.
  7. I use her bathroom (More commentary… very nice apartment, as a side bar.)
  8. She ultimately relents and is the one who sort of convinces me to go to my friends party because I didn’t really want to go. That’s true. I had to work in the morning. (It was a lot of, “No, I mean… if you want to go, I dont want you to think you have to go”-type conversation at that point.)
  9. We go to my friends party, about 5 or 6 people there.

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.

Bah-rump-pah-dump-dump.

1. I love Christmas music. I suppose most people do, but for a Jewish man (albeit, one who was raised to celebrate Christmas and Jesus Comes Back As A Rabbit Day) I think I’ve got to be in the higher percentiles.  It’s really the one “Christmas is a whole month now” tradition that I can actually stomach. The inflatable Santas that liter yards and the lights adorning houses literally by kick-off of the night game on Thanksgiving… Hate both (the former at any point, the latter at that time). But in addition to Christmas music on constantly on one unlucky station, I love discovering new artists/groups that felt compelled to make Christmas albums.  Like say, Justin Bieber. I guess he figures anything he touches people will buy. And that, I’ll buy. But why (or how) Busta Rhymes is on a version of Little Drummer boy… that I’ll never know.

2. I also love old(er) people and their relationship with the internet. They seem to fall in to three distinct categories. One being those that embrace and understand, another being those who flat refuse it (my grandmother had to be convinced to get a fucking answering machine), and yet another being those who reluctantly accept it but secretly hate it. My father is in that last category, and it’s an endless source of frustration for him and enjoyment for me. Most recently, I asked him to check his fantasy football team. He and I are in a family league, he needed to win to help me into the playoffs and yet hadn’t checked in weeks. Is it questionable that I’d even ask someone to do that? Of course. But sue me, I asked and he said he would. Naturally, he didn’t and I thanked him for keeping me out of the playoffs. His excuse? And I quote, “i meant to do it really but i couldnt get on.” Which, I discovered shortly thereafter, was code for “I do not remember my password and now can no longer access anything on Yahoo! Sports.”  He even tried to blame me for using his computer and signing him out, an effort he soon relinquished because it held about as much weight as Fred Davis has for his fantasy team in the last six weeks while he’s been on IR.

3. Before I make this point, let me just say, I love doing it. I’m happy that anyone has any interest in A) purchasing my book, B) reading my book, and especially C) asking me to autograph it for them. That said, it’s a lot of fucking pressure. Sounds pretty stupid on it’s face, doesn’t it? You wrote 355 pages and yet you’re feeling pressure to write a three sentence note to someone? To a friend or family member more often than not, no less. And yet, I feel compelled to write something personal and humorous and slightly touching for each person. I know, I know #doucheproblems. But, it’s harder than it seems.

4. DMX is one of my favorite people. As I outlined already in a previous Five Thoughts post, I really would love to see (or, start myself) a rhetorical DMX blog where we pose questions like, “Seriously, where are my dogs at?”  However, after seeing DMX do his rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” I think what needs to come next in the life of Earl Simmons is audiobooks. I want Dark Man X reading any and everything he can get his hands on. “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, “The Great Gatsby”, Scott Spinelli’s “congratulations?”… literally, anything.

5. The following is a movie idea my friend came up with. Well, in fairness, we both sort of joked about this idea but he was the one who actually said to me, “Idea for a movie:” and then followed up with what I’m about to give ya.  Basically, it comes from the ridiculous stipulations in pro-athlete contracts. There once was a man named Adonal Foyle, a British, tea-drinking big man who would get 500 K if he won MVP. This guy barely could start on his own teams and would never even get a 2nd place vote for MVP. The funny isn’t the clause, but the payout. So the idea he (we) came up with was a player acting as his own agent signs a contract in an attempt to make one last hurrah for his career. Little money up front but a clause that if he wins MVP, he becomes owner of the team. So confident of the deal, the owners snicker in some sort of white/back-door-deal type way and of course, this guy wins the MVP and even more of course, hilarity ensues. I know two people who are fans.

I Love The Meatpacking District

Confession 1: The title of this post is a lie.

Confession 2: This post was originally intended to be about a singles event I attended this week but in the absence of actually humorous things occurring, I decided to go in a slightly different direction.

Confession 3: Took a little over a week off after a death in the family. Moving onward.

—–

So, why the hate, you ask? Well, as I said in Confession #2, I went to a singles event this week. Tuesday, I believe. It was at some douchey bar in the meatpacking district, sponsored by Match.com (more on that in a moment).  I don’t remember the name and don’t want to embarrass the actual club, so I’ll just make one up… Let’s see, what would sound fake? How about, my favorite number… and my favorite month?

Let’s go with elevenaugust.  No, no. That definitely sounds fake.  Fine, how about tenjune? Let’s go with that.

Looks fine with the lights on, doesn’t it?

There is something a little odd about an online dating site having in-person events, but I think of it like what should have happened with Blockbuster deciding to get into the Netflix game (except not years and years too late). Side note: good call by the executives at ‘Buster (No, just wait this out… This whole to-your-door and instant movie thing will fade, trust me!).

Heading into that night I had hoped for two things:

  1. Get some phone numbers, meet some gals.
  2. Remember some funny stories, chronicle them here to benefit off other’s misery.

Neither occurred. Strangely, I forgot about that little part of male-female interaction that you still have to have something to say to them. For all my inability to shut the hell up once I get going, I’ve always seemed to have a faulty starter in my engine when it comes to strangers (male and female alike). Also, the lights were incredibly dim and I don’t have the greatest eyesight, so from the jump I was at a disadvantage.

So instead, I re-focus my energy on this “tenjune” place. The pretentiousness of that whole district is enough to make you want to vomit. Unless of course you’re a hot girl (in which case, you could just puke in the restrooms of these fine establishments to keep up that Meatpacking physique).

Where to start? How about with this insane dress code that exists? I went with two people who were dressed better than I was, one of whom couldn’t stop telling me how under-dressed and out of place I’d look. He wasn’t being obnoxious, simply stating a fact (which on any normal, non-Match.com event night would’ve been true).

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a particularly sharp dresser all the time… But that night I was wearing corduroys, a button down and dress shoes. It wasn’t like I was wearing an enormous jersey and baseball hat… I’m not bitter.

How about the bouncers at these places? First are the ones who won’t let guys come in unless they have women with them. I honestly don’t have the energy or time or space (and this is practically unlimited, so let that sit) to fully describe how much I fucking hate those guys/that attitude.

Second are the bouncers inside. There was a guy at this Match.com event that was camped out by the area where the bar wrapped around. Any time anyone got close, he’d say something unnecessarily tough like “Over there, my man.” This guy (and others like him) need to get punched in the face. Repeatedly. Is there a less aggressive, less threatening group of folks than the people that attend these events? Is it such a crime to let me stand there while I wait my turn (read that again: while I wait my fucking turn!) for a drink?

Finally, I can’t stand the music (or the lines, or the drink prices, or the drugged out clientele, or the…). What happened to playing music we can all relate to? You’re telling me that place wouldn’t jump if “Juicy” came on or “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? Play the oldies for my/our generation… please. Or at the very least, mix them in.

I apologize if this comes off too much like a rant, but that area of the city is so unbelievably pretentious that I can’t get over it. And yet despite being a reasonably intelligent guy, I can never get over that fact no matter how many times I go.

Maybe I’m the moron.