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’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.

“When you come at the king, you best not miss.”

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.

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 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.

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*

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).

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. Sometimes I’m convinced I could be a big-time movie writer.  Premium Rush, with budding über-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, came out 2 weeks ago and I was convinced when I saw the trailer that it had to be a joke. Forget what it’s called or who it stars, if I told you I had an idea for a film where someone needs to deliver a package of the utmost importance while being chased by cops and bad guys and all sorts of folk and he’s going to be doing it all on a bike, you’d laugh in my face.  How is this movie any more than, at the most, 10 minutes long? Are the people chasing him also on bikes? Is this some futuristic world where no one is allowed to drive cars or use any machine with an engine?  Honestly, it would be like if they made a movie where Jason Statham starred as a mounted police officer that apprehends criminals and somehow he manages to do an amazing job, despite the fact that most criminals in 2012 aren’t committing their crimes on horses.  You could call it Equine Justice, or Extra Premium Rush.

2. A couple of days ago I watched Batman Forever and Batman and Robin and still, several days later, I can’t decide which of them was worse. I had so many questions. I do remember enjoying those movies when I was younger, but was that just because I was a kid and didn’t know any better? Were those movies intentionally awful? How did we get from the first two good Batman movies to these two? Did people back then think they were as campy and ridiculous as they appear now? How did Tommy Lee Jones, George Clooney, Nicole Kidman and Uma Thurman EVER agree to put their names to these movies? Was the Bane character made of the same material as those weird inflatable NBA mascots? How many other actors were sick the day that Val Kilmer tried out for the role of Batman? How had I never heard of this movie and why wasn’t it made? Also, Batwoman? Batgirl? Alicia Silverstone?

3. I wish there was one day a year where you couldn’t exaggerate. Everything you said had to be true and accurate. I bring this up because I recently found out that Jersey Shore, a show I used to watch (scout’s honor… watched it like a fiend those first few seasons, haven’t tuned in since), is closing up shop after this upcoming season.  The men in the house would sleep with all sorts of gals and if one of them wasn’t particularly attractive, there would be a whole slew of things said about her… like say, calling her a cow. But how funny would it be if The Situation actually did sleep with a cow. The next morning she leaves the shore house in his studded, designer sweatpants and as she does so the whole house wakes up because, after all, she is a cow and the bell around her neck is a nuisance.  Then, the next night when the gang is back at Karma again, the cow is there with her friends (who, by the way, are humans).  There’s those solo shots of Mike and of the cow awkwardly avoiding each other, drinking and dancing alone.  Ultimately, Mike gets drunk and winds up doing body shots off the cow’s udders and the two sloppily go home together once again.

4. I’m reading 50 Shades of Grey right now and I’m not sure what’s worse… The fact that I want to finish it and see what happens or the writing and grammar contained within.  Maybe I’m just a little jealous because I’ll never sell a zillionth of the copies that this woman has, but I have to believe it’s more than just that.  This book is, frankly, poorly written and the whole scandalous, sexy nature of it is lost on me.  Why? Because I have the internet at my house and there’s some photos of naked women on there.  Videos too, I’ve heard.

5. I’m really happy Roger Clemens is trying to make a comeback at this point in his life.  Nothing says legitimate like a 50-year old, past-his-prime guy trying to pitch for the worst team in the league at a level he clearly isn’t ready for. I’m sure this has nothing to do with pushing Hall of Fame clocks back or selling tickets.  Here’s what likely will happen: Clemens will do fine in his last Atlantic League start this Friday, the Astros will sign him to a contract, he’ll come in and pitch one or two meaningless regular season home games, do alright, and leave to a standing ovation.  Here’s what should happen (aside from the Astros saying, “Hey wait a minute… We’re the worst team in the league by far, in the midst of a youth and league movement, and trying to get out of a nearly decade long doldrums, we shouldn’t be helping a 50-year old, out-of-his-league former flamethrower make a mockery of this system and game): he’ll get signed by the Astros and then get the absolute shit beaten out of him by actual major league players because 85 mph fastballs and hanging curveballs don’t tend to work the same against major leaguers as they do against Bridgeport Bluefish. Houston area fans shouldn’t be supporting this. It’s a farce and should be treated as such by fans that deserve better.