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’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m a pretty big fan of people named Earl. In two straight “Five Thoughts” entries, I’ve detailed my love of Earl Simmons (to you and yours as DMX) so I think we’re pretty clear where I stand there. Recently, another Earl from my younger days came back to the forefront. This one is a Clark and (at least as of now) plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Earl Clark, rangy power forward with athleticism and enough shooting range to make you respect it, played his college ball at Louisville (back when I gave a shit about college ball), was drafted by Phoenix, spent a few years on Orlando, and prior to the top three big men on LA getting hurt*, he was basically watching his career get flushed down the toilet. I didn’t get it then, still don’t now. At least he’s getting a shot and doing something with it. Good on ya, Earl.
2. For the first time in a long time recently I listened to music on the radio. Power 105.1 in New York City, to be specific. To be more specific, the Midnight Mix, with DJ Self. I had been told by a friend that they play some great old school** rap/hip-hop at that time, so I tuned in on a drive home. In short, I was blown away. When I first heard R. Kelly and Cassidy’s “Hotel”, I was amped but skeptical. There still were the ridiculous earmarks of what we all hate about DJs on hip-hop stations (the incessant shouting over tracks, the insatiable need to continuously restart songs, the awful habit of simply playing 30 seconds of a song before moving on, those horn sound effects). In no order though, the hits kept coming. Some Mobb Deep, some In Essence, some Biggie. By the drive’s end, I was literally sitting in my garage under my apartment in my parked car because I didn’t want to leave. However, the moment of the mix came after he shouted, “I GOT SOMETHING FOR ALL Y’ALL 90’s BABIES!!! HOLLER AT ME IF YOU WERE COMIN’ UP IN THE 90’s!!! YOU AIN’T HEARD THIS IN A MINUTE!!!” This was what came next and I went ballistic. From the street it looked like a rave was going on in my car, what with me shouting every word of the song and dancing around like a lunatic. I was in my glory. Well done music radio, well done.
3. When you have a kid, you should have to go to the Town Hall wherever you live and clear the name you plan on giving your child. That sounds like a joke, and I suppose it is on some level, but mainly I’m serious. No more of this bullshit. OK, so that one definitely is a joke. But, a week or so after I had seen that sketch, I see these two names on the ESPN ticker (1 and 2). When is enough enough? Just because Jay-Z and Beyonce have more money and fame than is humanly conceivable, it doesn’t make it OK for them to name a child Blue Ivy. If my plan was in place, they’d have gone to Mayor Bloomberg, suggested Blue Ivy, he’d have laughed, they’d have laughed that laugh you do when something you were serious about isn’t taken as such so you play it off as if you were kidding the whole time, and then they’d name it anything else. That’s what I want.
4. What am I missing about marathons? When did this become the go-to bucket list item for people? Why? Not to be that guy (but what follows will certainly paint me as such), but are these folks aware of how actually bad those things are for your knees? Why not save yourself (and your friends… more in a second) the time and just have the cartilage removed from your knee? And the whole while, you’ll save your friends the trouble of having to congratulate you on running… and not stopping. And of having to watch you run. Watching a marathon live could be one of the most boring things I can think of. Hockey even tops it. It’s not that completing a marathon isn’t a great accomplishment, but I’d much rather watch you run 26.2 on a treadmill. At least there I’d get to see more than a flash of you in a crowd for 30 seconds. Lastly, a little history lesson. The term marathon comes from Ancient Greece, when a messenger ran from the town of Marathon to Athens to let them know who won. He got there alright. Then he dropped dead. Good luck, folks.
5. This just happened to me, with The Wire. I finished it this Saturday, but I ran into the same problem that Gaffigan talked about there. The show ended almost five years ago at this point, so while there’s no short supply of people to chat about with it now that I’ve finished, I can’t have that “Holy shit, can you believe Omar just got got!” convo with anyone. And yes, I talk like that about The Wire. You try watching five seasons (it’s about 65 hours of television) about inner city Baltimore and tell me you don’t come out picking up some of that shit (On the flip side, the Snoop character—a real person in literally almost every way—had/has the most grating voice of all-time). Either way, obviously loved the show. I think, in a way, my love of it was hurt by how much it had been hyped up by my friends (and anyone I’d ask). I’d detail my issues with it, but as it’s no longer 2008, I think we can move on.
*Jordan Hill, by the way, is one of those big men. How on this Earth he qualifies for way more playing time than Earl is beyond my comprehension. Prior to the injury: Hill – 16 minutes a night in 29 games Clark – 37 minutes total on the season.
**That time period, for me, is between 1992 and 2004. Give or take a year or two.