Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't Believe the Hype

I've been watching a lot of World Cup matches (I know, I know... I'm a total hypocrite... but I'm also unemployed and love sports so if I want to spend my days watching a sport I don't really enjoy all that much while drinking at socially-inappropriate times of day, I will, mmmkay?). I'm particularly bothered by a Sports Authority commercial. The one with the football player that was good and once won a Super Bowl then inexplicably won his own prime time sitcom when his finest work was arguably in a Speed Stick commercial and some ugly child actor playing in goal who has a face I just want to punch.

Yeah, that Sports Authority commercial. Strahan kicks a goal and stupid fatty mc fat fat catches it an calls him some inaudible name that is the punchline which makes zero sense to me. That one. It's so goddamn terrible that YouTube doesn't have a copy of it. It's moments like this that make me think god exists and that he amuses himself with things that drive me insane.

Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret: supplies of World Cup gear aren't going fast. They also aren't limited. They never go fast and are never limited. I know because I worked in sporting goods retail (for a company smaller than but much more upscale than Sports Authority). And every year we were stuck with tons of World Cup soccer crap that we employees thought was cool but only because we got a substantial discount on it.

Every year, we carried World Cup soccer apparel and gear and every year was OUR YEAR. "This is the year that Americans will care about soccer! And they'll totally buy an $85 track jacket emblazoned with some other country's logo! These $25 tees will just fly off the shelves! See them flying? Oops, they're being stolen. We didn't mean 'fly' like that. Okay, let's reduce them to $15. SEE? THAT WORKED! They're moving! Except they're all being bought by tourists who are stoked that the Euro is [nee: was] kicking the dollar's ass and they're getting a t-shirt with the name of their stupid country on it for the price of half a liter of petrol. It's totally our year for soccer."

I'm not dissing my former company's buyers because they're awesome and I really did love the company I worked for. They picked awesome gear across the board that sold really well. Their optimism about America's growing appreciation for World Cup soccer was incredibly exciting and wonderful and worldly. But, alas, it didn't come to fruition. Maybe this year it did, but I doubt it. And I doubt that employing the stunt casting of Michael Strahan in one's commercials indicates that World Cup gear is flying off the shelves. Unless, of course, someone's stealing it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a bad time to be a Russian Studies major

I read news for at least one hour per day. Since I'm unemployed, I read it pretty much all day (although today I ran to the Humane Society, volunteered there, and then ran/walked home... back off, it was 900 degrees here and I got tired).

Anyway, I read that 10 people back East were arrested under suspicion of being spies for Russia's S.V.R. (foreign intelligence service), or, the modern K.G.B.

What... the... hell? Really?

People from Russia are still spying on the U.S.? Did 1988 suddenly come back? I don't understand why. I don't mean to sound naive – I understand why some governments would want to spy on others. But what sort of intelligence info do Medvedev and Russia have to gain by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on randoms who don't even work in government positions? Okay, at least at this point, the media's not telling us where they work, but I'm pretty sure that the government's not doing a whole lot of espionage work in Yonkers. Northern Virginia, possibly, yes. Montclair, N.J.? Not so much.

Being me, I naturally had to wonder how this would affect me. I'm applying for government jobs and, having majored in Russian Studies (along with History) at Hamilton College, I'm hoping it serves more of a help than a hindrance. To all you federal government people who might want to hire me: I promise to never spy for the Russians. I do not promise to renounce my weird, head of state crush on Vladimir Putin. But, let's be honest, what red-blooded American woman could resist this?:

But I digress.

I think it's weird that we're not dealing with spies from a Middle Eastern country or possibly China, but are still dealing with the fallout from the Cold War. I've been to Russia a few times and it doesn't seem to be a hotbed of anti-American sentiment. I was there when the Iraq War started and we did all pretend to be Canadian for a couple days, just in case. I think there's a lot of behind-the-scenes, government-only stuff going on here that the general American public isn't exposed to. In a way, I'm okay with that; I don't need more fear-mongering in my life than what the MSM's already giving me. But this story's not over. I'm hoping that the American MSM comes through and gives us more info, and that the government allows some access to relevant information. There's got to be a deeper reason behind this sudden discovery of Russian spies in the U.S. and to their purposes for still being employed by the S.V.R.

To be continued...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My own hypocrisy

I've been following the BP oil spill in the Gulf about as much as I can bear doing so. However, the news that sea turtles are being burned alive kills me, and honestly, I can't read about it. I did link to it in the previous sentence, because if you can stomach reading about it, go right ahead.

I'm feeling like a bit of a hypocrite right now. An argument I employed in both my thesis and my media ethics paper was that people shouldn't be shielded from news simply because it upsets them. News outlets should publish information without fear of reprisal from government or private authorities over the content being "inappropriate" simply because it's unsettling. I dealt with controversial atrocity and war photography and argued that people should be exposed to the reality of events (in a non-exploitative or sensationalist way), even if the reality is objectionable. The arugment is a bit more complicated than I care to explain here, but that's the most basic premise.

And in this case, I just can't follow my own set of ethics.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stuck in my head: Puscifer, "The Mission"

This song came out a while back, but I'm absolutely obsessed with it at the moment to the extent that it's got the top spot on my Summer 2010 playlist. I think it's because 1) I've been watching the Resident Evil movies and am pretty psyched about the fourth installment (stop judging), 2) I've been thinking about taking a roadie to Jerome, Ariz., to check out Caduceus Cellars and 3) I'm still kicking my own ass about not getting Tool tickets for the Red Rocks shows next week (this has been a source of serious disappointment since May).

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to score tickets to Puscifer's sold-out show at the Paramount in Denver last November and (despite the absence of Milla) it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. The touring players are amazing and the show is... well... it's incredibly Maynard.

I've decided to post a live cut of the song instead of the "official" video (if you want to see that, go here). Why the live cut? Because Milla Jovovich can sing. For real. If her being a hot zombie-killing Ukrainian weren't enough, the chick can wail. I was originally going to post video from Puscifer's Club Nokia shows in L.A. last year, but I think this vid (despite the poor ass quality in the first 40 seconds - suffer through it, it's worth it) showcases Milla's voice better. It's a jazzy little version of the song; I kinda dig it.

But what do you know? Here's Puscifer's "The Mission":

Good morning, beautiful: Zombies!

A few more listens and this post would've been filed under "Stuck in my head."

For you zombie/music aficionados, I present to you the first music video from my friends in The Shakers. Originally a cross-country collaboration between lead guitarist Chris Lee (formerly of Stillicide) and Ron DiSilvestro (drummer for like every important band in Philly and sound engineer/owner of RDStudios), The Shakers began as a Postal Service-type project and have coalesced into a complete rock band. They've been blowing up clubs in L.A., playing residencies at O'Brien's in Santa Monica and killing the Viper Room last week. The left coast line up includes bassist Brad Lee (no relation to CLee), Nick Woods on drums and the always-lovely Jodie Schell rocking out on the vox. I was lucky enough to catch their first show back in March 2009 and they've just totally come together as a band. It's cool to see my friends succeeding at what they love; it's motivating for me as well, and it doesn't hurt that I totally dig their sound.

If you really dig 'em, you can pick up their eponymous debut EP at CD Baby. They're also playing a free, all-ages show tonight at the Whiskey (you gotta email them to get on the guest list, so check out their site and get your shit together).

For all you who feel undead this morning at work, here's some rock to wake your ass up: The Shakers' "Villain."

Monday, June 21, 2010


I've been watching old "Sex and the City" DVDs lately.

Don't judge.

Seriously... stop judging.

Anyway, judger, there's nothing good on TV and my OnDemand has been on the fritz. I also have lingering Stanley Cup depression and can't bring myself to watch sports. So I'm watching this show that I really used to relate to back in college and I feel guilty. I mean, I'm supposed to wear black and chain smoke and listen to angry music and I own a pit bull and now I am wearing a pink t-shirt and crying over the episode where Charlotte's marriage breaks up.

Who the FUCK am I?

I'm Carrie.

I have an unhealthy shoe obsession (mostly Nikes), am a writer, have sickening amounts of debt (it used to be credit cards and as soon as I got that under control, it became student loans for grad school), have wavy hair that I straighten and dye when other things in my life aren't working out, sabotage every relationship I'm in, underwent an overhaul (I quit smoking and stopped eating meat. Really, Adrienne?) and have a quick, witty one-liner for everything.

I'm a fucking cliche.


Stuck in my head: Queen, "Hammer to Fall"

"For we who grew up tall and proud/in the shadow of the mushroom cloud/convinced our voices can't be heard/we just wanna scream it louder and louder..."

I found a CD case underneath the passenger seat of my car the other day and have been rifling through the sleeves, playing a new CD with each mini-trip I take.

CDs. How retro.

Today I popped in one of the two "best of" Queen CDs I have. They're the same CDs that my mom's been asking to have back since I stole them sometime during undergrad. (I should probably make her copies, eh? Or rip them to my laptop and send her the originals since I'm the more technically advanced and they are technically her CDs.)

This is the second Queen-related post I've thrown up here in quite a short period, but this time it's the actual band performing and not a cover. And holy shit, do they sound amazing. This is one of those bands that I would give my amazing, thick, naturally curly hair to have seen live before Freddy passed away. I even own the VHS of his 1992 tribute concert at Wembley and love it (in which the duet with Annie Lennox and David Bowie cemented my fascination with sexual androgyny, safe to say... but that's a video clip for a different, asexual day). Thank god my mom has great taste in music and was open-minded enough to expose me to that VHS and this band at such a young age. I've also (thankfully and, in some ways, unfortunately) been very aware of AIDS and what to do to prevent its transmission, to learn of its consequences and to help end the stigmas attached to those living with it.

Aside from the weight of the disease that cut the career of this band short, I have their songs stuck in my head. Today, I wanted to hear this particular one and, luckily, found a great live performance video of it.

Here's Queen's "Hammer to Fall."

Back to real life

I've returned from Vail/Breckenridge.
I have a huge ass bruise on my forearm from volleyball.
Juno's asleep in my bed.
I'm completely uninspired on what to write.
I'm dying to leave again.

Yep... seems like things are back to normal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shameless Self-promotion

From last week's issue of Boulder Weekly: my profile of Mel Miller, G-Movement athlete and Boulder local. She's climbing and doing a ski descent of Denali in the next two weeks to raise money for Action Against Hunger... and be a bad ass!

Thanks for reading, kids.

Good morning, beautiful: Queen and MJK

I am so excited about this video I am shaking and can barely type.

Things I love about it:

1) Maynard James Keenan
2) at E3, my dream media pass event
3) singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Yeah. It's AWESOME.

And before any of you criticize his vocals... dude... he's singing a song perfected by Freddie freaking Mercury and it's one of the toughest ranges to accomplish. And it's Maynard, man. If you need confirmation of how amazing his voice is, see him live with Tool, Puscifer or (devil willing) A Perfect Circle. He's impeccable. And his wine ain't half bad either.

Thanks to WMMR's Preston and Steve for the original posting.
Dedicated to Jenna and Sayre, for their respective loves of Maynard and Queen.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stuck in My Head: Dedicated to KAM

I read a post over at Deus Ex Malcontent and then had a pretty great conversation with my Philly phriend KAM (aka Kelly) and I realized the connection: Miley. I post this in honor of KAM because I remember how she would roll her eyes when this came on at work, mostly because my rock-groupie, Tool-loving ass would dance around like a crazy 13-year-old every damn time I heard her sweet, Mike-TV voice. She and I had such a good talk that I didn't want her to forget what a Miley-loving asshole I am.

I mean... I paid for this on iTunes. I suck at being 13; I can't even figure out how to steal music anymore.

Let it be known, however, that Brittany Snow bothers the hell out of me and it ignites my inner rage that she's the lead in this video for some inexplicable reason.

So, without further ado, I bring you my guiltiest pleasure, Miley Cyrus, with "See You Again."


Look, this post isn't pretending to be medical advice or even informative news... it's just my experience. That's the awesome thing about having your own blog – I can write whatever the hell I want and leave the informative and researched shit for work. And so, here it is:

I had my third or fourth interaction with chiropractic medicine this morning. Out of my three (or four) experiences two have been awesome, one has sucked terribly and one was either completely unmemorable or has been made up entirely in my head. Regardless, I've had a love/hate relationship with the specialty, and that's probably because the chiropractic philosophy is so individual to the practitioner. Some believe in holistic medicine, some incorporate stim, massage and sports medicine practices, and others just want to adjust the crap out of you and send you on your way.

My first interaction with the chiropractic profession occurred in 2005 after a particularly bad track injury. I landed funny during the long jump at a meet and when I tried to get up and walk out of the sand pit, I couldn't. I just couldn't. Rob, the athletic trainer for our team (who I also incidentally had a ginormous crush on and since I was 21, made no attempt to hide said crush), helped me up and then the pain started. It shot from my lower back through my right leg and was the most debilitating pain I had ever felt. My friend Bob helped me back to my room and even had to carry me to the bathroom because I couldn't walk. When I was on my own, I crawled. It even hurt to sleep.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sleeper debuts Friday!!

Hey Philadelphians! My friend Mark has finally stepped out of the shadows (bwahaha) and is fronting his very own band. Sleeper will debut at the Rox Box in um... Roxborough... on Friday, June 18.

Mark formerly played bass in the band Head, one of my all-time favorite Philly bands. He'll be singing this time around (and judging by the way his sister Lexi railed on vocals in Head, I'm guessing strong pipes run in the family). Filling in on bass in Sleeper is another good pal of mine, Pat Brennan of bands Domi and McRad. He's not only a ridiculously talented musician, but also was a gentleman enough to remain friends with me after I almost vomited all over his self-refurbished custom Saab after one particularly rough Tuesday night at Doc's. You're a good man, Patches.

Back to the musical task at hand! Check out Shannon Frost-Greenstein's write up about Sleeper here. If you go on Friday, tell my boys I said hi. Wish I could be there!

Good morning, beautiful: Let me borrow that top.

Just because it's Monday and this doesn't stop being funny. Unless, of course, it never started being funny to you and then I'm really not sure why we're friends.

Here's everyone's favorite viral tranny Kelly and the bit about borrowing a top. Good morning, betch.

Stuck in my head: Snow Patrol, "Run"

"Light up, light up/as if you have a choice/even if you cannot hear my voice/I'll be right beside you dear."

Lately I've been talking with friends from back home, having dreams about my former life with them and generally missing Philadelphia. I haven't felt this strong a need to return "home" in a while and it's a weird feeling for me. I've built an amazing life in Colorado, but I'm realizing how important a number of people were in making me the person who can enjoy the silence of mountain life, the person who can abide the fear of starting over, and the person I am today.

For Jenna, Tina, mark., Shan, Jaxon, CLee, Mole, Margot, my CS crew, everyone who's carried an amp up to the third floor of Doc's or thrown back a Danger Zone at Grape Street and those of you who I've been lucky enough to have in my life, here's Snow Patrol's "Run":

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vindaloo, vindaloo, na na!

For all of my World Cup apathy, I must admit I'm excited about the match up between the U.S. and England today. It's not so much because of the sport, but because it elicits a really strong memory of a very cool time in my life.

I was 14 when I participated in a US/UK exchange program. Kirsty came over first, for two weeks, and bought jeans and Maybelline mascara (the dollar was super weak compared to the pound at the time). I went over after school ended for two weeks and it was during the 1998 World Cup. It was in France, I believe, and the UK did quite well. The whole Brady family was into soccer and so was I (I was still playing at the time). One of my first purchases (in addition to about 5 pair of cool Adidas wind/snap pants... those were so all the rage and, just like today, Adidas's international lines are way more colorful and interesting than what we have in the U.S.) was a red 3 Lions jersey. Kirsty was totally incredulous at the time and thought I was a spoiled American. I had no idea why until two days later when I did the conversion in my head. The jersey was well over $100. Sorry mom.

I don't remember who played or who won, but I remember the barrage of fight songs that were popular at the time. "Three Lions" was a big one, popular with the boys in our group, but it was a little slow for me. My favorite fight song was "Vindaloo" by Fat Les. The chorus was so damn catchy (in the vein of "Ole ole ole... ole. Ole."). I even bought the CD single (photographic evidence below) but cannot for the life of me find the actual CD.

Again I sing the praises of YouTube; I found the video for "Vindaloo." I love how it glosses over the cultural assimilation element (curry vindaloo... yeah) in favor of nationalism. Whatever, the song rocks. And it makes fun of The Verve. For those of you watching the match today, start this video and turn up your speakers

Is this awesome or awful?

I was rifling through my Google Reader and eventually came across an article in the U.K.'s Daily Mail about the new trend in China of dyeing your pets so that they look like animals.

Seriously, go look at the pictures. Then help me out with these questions:

1) Is this awesome or awful? I mean... I've dressed Juno in sweaters (I use her lack of body fat and the cold Colorado winters as excuses). The irony of a pit bull in a pink sweater just cracks me up. I've even attempted to paint her nails (rest assured that the majority of the polish ended up on my carpet). But I don't think I would dye her hair. I think it's creepy and wrong when people dye their small, white, little, stupid dogs pink.

2) Is putting my dog in the occasional sweater as bad as dyeing her to look like a tiger?

3) If I did have to dye Juno, what animal should she be?

It's weird. And creepy. But those panda dogs are damn adorable.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Enough with the forced fanaticism

Here's my deal with the World Cup: I don't care about it and I'm tired of all of my friends attempting to convince me to care about it. I understand it's importance – soccer is a sport enjoyed world-wide. And like every other American youth, I played soccer for about 10 years so it's not that I'm confounded by the rules or the way the game is played.

I just don't care for it.

There's certainly nothing wrong with liking soccer or playing soccer or the World Cup itself, but I just don't care. Watching 90 minutes of soccer at 7:30 a.m. isn't high on my list of priorities. This doesn't make me less of a sports fan. Actually, I'll probably catch a few matches here and there. But I'm not going to pretend to be overly excited or that I care or that I'm rooting for a specific team. You know why? Because I like what I like and don't feel the need to pretend to care about an event just because Adidas says I should.

What I'm sick of is people who don't care about sports and couldn't name the starting players on any team suddenly acting like they are in love with soccer. Where were you when MLS couldn't sell out stadiums? Do you ever go to professional or collegiate games? Can you name any players besides Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan, David Beckham or Lionel Messi? Yeah, I know who Lionel Messi and Maradona are because I read Sports Illustrated every week and have a general vested interest in athletics. But the posers who suddenly think they're worldly because they watch the World Cup get all pissy and self-righteous because I don't care about it really tick me off. Stop acting like you're the biggest soccer fan around because being a true fan doesn't mean paying attention once every four years.

I love sports. I love the stories and passion and traditions of sports. I think I'm bitter because I played two second-tier sports for most of my life: volleyball and track. Both are played the world over, in some form, but receive little to no prime time or (god forbid) live coverage. Most people don't know the triple jump exists and only watch volleyball when the teams are composed of two chicks in bikinis, but I don't harp on them constantly about how important vball and track events are. So you can go to the bar at the ass crack of dawn and let me be a misanthrope and have my opinion about soccer. I still have about 439,293 games of fantasy baseball I need to focus on. To each their own.

PR problems: one reporter's beef with the industry

As a reporter, I'd say about 75 percent of the stories we pursue come from press releases. I say this only having worked at local publications; maybe the case is different at national papers where one has the financial resources and contacts to have their reporters on the street digging for stories. But, in my world, we get press releases and pursue the more interesting leads. In a way, reporters need PR professionals. The give us ideas, leads. But listen up PR people – you need us to. You need us to give you coverage, preferably positive. And I think a lot of you are forgetting that we can make or break the amount of publicity you get.

My recent communication with PR people has been spotty at best. I had a really great interaction with Hanger's PR person: she responded quickly, professionally and set up my interview appointments. She gave me all the info I needed, made sure that the contact who I interviewed was prepared and deserves probably double what her salary is.

Good morning, beautiful: WC2010

G'morning everyone, especially to all who are waking two hours earlier than usual to watch the opening match of the FIFA World Cup. I'll admit right now that I could care less about this sporting event that more or less captures the attention and ardor of the entire world. No disrespect to soccer, but it's just not my game. I'll catch a match or two during the series, but I'm still reeling from the Stanley Cup finals and we're balls deep into baseball season. But for those of you who are rabid futbol fans, I present to you the 50 Best World Cup goals:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stuck in my head: Catatonia, "Road Rage"

"If all you've got to do today/is find peace of mind/come 'round/you can take a piece of mine."

Thank god for YouTube because 1) this song is stuck in my head 2) it's not imported onto this laptop and 3) the one random mix CD I made in 2002 with this single on it is in my car and it's late and I'm tired and I have 50 lbs. of pit bull sleeping on my legs.

I'm not sure how or where I first heard this song, but since it came out in 1999, I'm guessing it was sometime around my second trip to England. Catatonia had another hit (huge in the UK, decent in the US) called "Mulder and Scully," a homage to the X-Files, but to me this single is above and beyond its more popular sister single.

The song itself is pure power pop: verse, bridge, chorus. But Cerys Matthews' Welsh-accented vocals are inexplicably sexy (and I'm also kind of coveting her suit in the video), the lyrics remind me of being a lovesick 18-year-old and... well, it's catchy enough that I've watched the video three times tonight.

New found inspiration

I had an unexpectedly long phone call with my buddy C-Lee today. I texted him about the cost of living in LA (I just applied to a dream job there, so I decided it would be best for my ego to count my proverbial unhatched chickens) and about some band drama-rama. Chris followed his soul out to LA and started a pretty rockin' band called The Shakers; they're blowing up in Hollywood and C's livin' the dream in a big way right now.

Our conversation roamed over myriad topics, from friends to old times back in Philly, to the future and ourselves. But the thing that I didn't expect to stick with me is C's new commitment to his body. Now, I'm the athletic one... I ran track and played volleyball all through high school and college and pushed myself to the limits of what was physically possible with my body. When I moved out to Colorado, everything familiar went out the window and with it went my commitment to my body. I look pretty much the same, am about the same size, but I've lost a lot of the muscle strength and definition that I worked so hard to accumulate. Now that I'm in a good place mentally, I want to get back into a good place physically.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Temporarily disabled

Hey kids,

I totally planned on posting a GMB and a recap of the Stanley Cup series, but instead I continued to drown my sorrows in New Belgium's stellar "Ranger" IPA and a homemade burrito.

So, no posts from me this morning. I should be able to get my ish together by the late afternoon.

Congratulations to the Blackhawks for their win tonight. And THANK YOU to my Flyers for their grit, determination and heart during this season. Even when I thought I had to give up, you guys never did. Thanks for making me believe in the underdog.

Good morning, beautiful: Heat on the beach

I played volleyball for the first time in two years today to prep for my doubles tournament in Vail. My friends Amy, Koa and I went through some drills on the sand courts at Amy's complex and it brought me back to the summers when I used to follow the AVP religiously. Misty May and Kerri Walsh get the bulk of the media attention on the women's side, but I've always been a big fan of Elaine Youngs and Rachel Wacholder. I think I always felt a kindred with EY's big blocking, badass attitude style of play. Here's a video of the dynamic duo in action, with EY losing her shit at a blown call by the down ref. I love how passionate she is... which is maybe why during college my volleyball teammates nicknamed me "Adge the Rage."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BB: "Murder is not part of your 12-step program."

Breaking Bad has been ridiculous this season. Not only has it broadcast an episode with, arguably, the best final minute on television (the episode "One Minute"), but it's answered every question, has not introduced any red herring plot lines and has gone above and beyond other shows because of the quality of its writing and the nuanced performances of its actors.

If Jonathan Banks doesn't win an Emmy for his performance as Mike, then the terrorists have already won.

I've watched the penultimate episode, "Half Measures," twice since its premiere on Sunday and have some theories about the show and what may happen in next week's season finale. There be spoilers (but also obviously brilliant insights) after the jump...

Good morning, beautiful: Philly Love

I took advantage of my gainful unemployment and slept until 10 this morning, meaning that the GMB's a bit late. I'm throwing some love to my boys in Fat City Reprise and their amazing director Cesar Kuriyama by posting the video for "Long Gone." It was made by compiling over 45,000 photographs – seriously, no video cameras for this one. Great song with a sad backstory... perfect for whatever holy hot hell mugginess you're stuck in this Tuesday.

Here's one of Philly's finest, Fat City Reprise, with "Long Gone":

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good morning, beautiful: You're a slut

I've got to thank my friend John Baker (@audiblevim) for taking advantage of my nerdery and introducing me to the Star Trek: The Next Generation spoof "Happy in Paraguay." However, this related video, also by DJO, cracked me up to the point that regardless of what happened last night during the hockey game (a goddamn massacre) it would still make me smile (hopefully) this morning.

The language is completely NSFW but it's Monday so I'm pretty sure everyone could use a good penis joke.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Exercise fanatics? They look like athletes to me.

I'm a bit disturbed by a trend I've been seeing on television "news documentaries" lately: the trend of examining people obsessed with exercise. Most recently was TLC's "Addicted" which featured an ultra-marathoner and now MSNBC's "Hooked" featuring female bodybuilders. While both shows bring up valid points, they are dramatizing these people as unhealthy and unhappy people using training to hide their pain. While that may be true, I think it's also an unfair assessment of extreme athletes who are training to be the best at their sport. There's no talk of "dedication" or "pride," but only obsession and addiction. And I don't think that's fair.

Having been a college athlete, I understand the problems with "exercise bulimia," or the tendency to exercise to the point where it becomes dangerously unhealthy. I had days where I'd spend five to six hours in the gym (2-3 hours in the a.m., then practice for up to 3 hours in the evening). I would sometimes run 4 or 5 miles after a meet in which I felt I didn't perform exceptionally well (I was a sprinter and jumper, so it was uncommon for us to run that far. Now that's normal for me.). My coach once had to find me at... crap, I think it was Rochester's campus, but I can't remember... because I was running laps around it (and crying), trying to shake off a bad performance in the triple jump. He caught me as I was finishing my sixth mile and physically grabbed me and made me stop. He brought me back to the track, see the trainer (I had performed poorly in part due to a back injury suffered three weeks prior) and make me eat something. Thankfully, I had coaches who recognized the signs of an overworked athlete, especially one whose mental state made their physical state unhealthy.

Good morning, beautiful: Backhanded compliment

I was a bit worried that those of you who aren't Flyers fans would tire of my hockey-related posts, but then I realized that most of you are probably my friends from Philly and that it wouldn't be that offensive at all. I also realized that I love the Flyers more than anything (except the Phillies... when they're not sucking) and I don't care if you're bored.

And look, there is nothing boring about this backhand PPG from Flyers' Captain Mike Richards. The kid's been earning that "C" more and more with every game this postseason and you can list this beauty of a goal among the reasons.

Big game 5 tonight in Chi-town. Puck drops at 8 p.m. EST.

LET'S GO FLYERS! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Saturday, June 5, 2010

F*ck you, I am Legend

Stop reading if you haven't seen the movie or read the book.

Keep reading if you want to imagine me ranting alone in my apartment looking over my sleeping pit bull drinking a Miller High Life and silently weeping.

Good morning, beautiful: Don't Stop Believin'

This video's been making the rounds for a minute now, but it's still one of my favorites. In fact, this video drug me out of my Facebook hiatus; I reactivated my account and posted it on my wall the day it surfaced (at least, the day it surfaced in my world). This video combines many of my favorite music artists, my go-to karaoke song and brings attention to a worthwhile cause. I wish I had been in the audience for this one. The video is shaky and the quality's not great, but I'm really glad that someone captured this legendary moment.

Here's Sting, Lady Gaga, Dame Shirley Bassey, Reginald Dwight (that's Elton John to you), Bruuuuuuuce and Debbie Harry covering Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" at Sting and Trudie Styler's Rainforest Fund benefit. Note the Chesire grin on Elton John's face. Dude looks like he's in heaven.

Exhausted (past v.)

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the definition of "exhaust" (past tense "exhausted") is as follows:
1 a : to consume entirely : use up (exhausted our funds in a week> b : to tire extremely or completely ed by overwork> c : to deprive of a valuable quality or constituent fertility)
2 a : to draw off or let out completely b : to empty by drawing off the contents; specifically : to create a vacuum in
3 a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely b : to try out the whole number of all the possibilities

I'm done.

I'm sick of defending every decision I make.

I'm tired of trying to make people understand my point of view, or how my life experiences have shaped my point of view.

I'm finished trying to make people believe that my life experiences are and were real.

I'm done with the bullshit that people throw at me every day and wish that for ONCE some of the non-believers would get that same bullshit thrown at them.

I'm exhausted.

And I'm tired of giving everyone else the power to wear me out.

Friday, June 4, 2010

That's Sir Jean-Luc Picard to you

Ohhhh snap! Congratulations to the newly knighted SIR Patrick Stewart, who had the honor bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II this past Wednesday. The 69-year-old captained the Starship Enterprise for nearly a decade and also served as the headmaster of a school for mutant children. He is also known as Lecutis of Borg and prefers tea, Earl Grey, hot. He has waited for Godot with fellow knight, Magneto, and starred in the movie "Safe House," in which the only redeeming quality was a gratuitous butt shot of Stewart during a solo shower scene.

To this knighting, I say: Make it so, Number One.

Good morning, beautiful: Giroux made history

In honor of tonight's Stanley Cup game 4, a look back at Claude Giroux's overtime goal Wednesday night that caused ruckus in the Wach, a roar from Pronger and the announcer to exclaim, "Now we have a series!"

Oh, and for you Blackhawk fans (and Flyer fans with a sense of humor), here's another take on how the Flyers have made history... and it's pretty damn hilarious.

Home is where... well, where is it?

Today I received a text message from an unknown number. It was a Philadelphia area code and the message sounded like a specific friend, but since I've gone through four cell phones in the last year, I still had to ask to be sure. Turned out I was right – it was my dear, dear friend Mark, and we caught up over text for a little while. I realized how desperately I miss him and our circle of kindred spirits. A few hours later I heard from my friend Frank, a Philly native who made his way to L.A. to chase his musical dreams. Next came a text conversation with Mole, another Philly native in L.A., the one who just landed his dream job and the one who (despite any setbacks on his part or successes on ours) we've always said would be the most famous out of any of us. This came a week after a three-hour phone call with my friend Tina and a four-hour call with my cousin Jenna, both of whom are back in eastern Pennsylvania. And today I applied for a media job in Philadelphia. And once again, I don't know where to call home.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My favorite villain

In a postgame interview, Flyers' defenseman Chris Pronger talks about his role as "villain" to Chicago fans and to pretty much the rest of the NHL:

Good morning, beautiful: God Bless America

My Flyers won game 3 of the 2010 Stanley Cup final series in overtime last night, 4-3, against the Chicago Blackhawks. To celebrate this morning, do the following: roll over, put your arm around whoever (or whatever) you find yourself waking up next to and take in past and present Stanley Cup memories with the winning combination of Lauren Hart and the legendary Kate Smith singing the (half-posthumous) duet "God Bless America."

Enjoy kids. And GO FLYERS!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Daily goals

On my flight home from Austin I sat next to three guys - all under 35 - who either owned or were founding members of a company. I have no idea what exactly they did, but they were talking about netting at least $1m by August. Even if they were full of it, I figured I could learn something from eavesdropping. Or at least be entertained for the duration of the flight.

The one who seemed to be the "CEO/founder" figure also served the position of "loudest person on the plane," so I ended up listening to most of his stories (one of which involved a psychotic intern, at which I accidentally laughed aloud). He was giving advice to a younger employee whose wife had just given birth to their second child. The younger employee was worried about financial planning; he had tried discussing it with his wife several years ago and it stressed her out. I get that - sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with the big-time shit that comes with living an adult life.

But at some point, you've got to deal with it. The "CEO" gave his friend the advice to sit down and suggest to his wife that they each write down life goals (in this case, ones dealing with finance) and then compare. He said - with an astounding amount of confidence, bordering on arrogance - that he had no doubt that if the man and his wife made a list of goals, that he would have enough saved for his kids' college funds in five years.

Okay, the guy's also probably clearing at least $100k per year, judging by the watches, talks of flight lessons and equity meetings occurring next to me (however, we were all flying Southwest... so they're either not loaded or simply like checking their bags for free). But it was that confidence/arrogance with which this guy arrived at the conclusion that made me consider making the list I made today. I decided to focus on daily goals. They're not quite long term, but all things I need to consider in the two months before my lease is up.

I've posted the list on my front door so that it will bother me every time I leave my apartment. It's a start and I'm hoping it'll help me keep my eyes on the prize (the "prize" being a job with health insurance that's actually - finally - in my field). But I need to remember to constantly hone my skills as a writer, keep this blog moving (especially on the days when I feel like I have zero to say) and to keep my dog and I in shape.

I'm thinking it's a good start and might keep my mind organized and focused. And I think I'm going to hold on to the concept, keeping the goals fresh and changing them as my life changes. God knows there's going to be plenty of that coming up.

Good morning, beautiful: Stanley Cup Preview

My Flyers are currently down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup series against the Blackhawks, but this video made me believe (all over again) that anything is possible. Puck drops for game three tonight at the Wach, a venue that rivals Chicago's in both passion and volume. I got the chills watching this and teared up a little (hockey does that to me, as my friends with me in Austin certainly know, and made fun of me for this when I sobbed at the end of the Broad Street Bullies documentary).

Good morning, beautiful. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Let me hear you scream!

This video has been making the rounds this past weekend and I'm digging it. Even though it's pretty much an ad for Ozzy's new single, the concept is great, the song itself doesn't suck and the reactions of his fans are hilarious. If this happened to me with Sting or Maynard or, hell, even The Prince of Darkness himself, I would probably have a heart attack.

Here's Ozzy Osbourne at Madame Tussaud's in NYC.

Birth of the Reconstruction

June 1 seemed like a good day to launch my site. So here we go...

I'm going to be tinkering with this space for a few days (possibly weeks) to get just the right look and content all up in here. Until then, you might want to check out some of my work at Randomn3ss, Backpacker, The Tribune (Greeley), or Boulder Weekly.