Joe And Marco At The Movies!

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) - IMDb

Marco: Welcome to yet another first here at Sorryless, as yours truly will sit on the aisle with the inimitable Joe Pesci to review the sequel to The Conjuring. It is the third movie in the series and the eighth movie in the Conjuring Universe. This sequel follows real life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren’s involvement in a historic 1981 murder trial in which demonic possession was used as a defense . .

Joe: Wait one fucking minute! Those people was real? And they really used that defense in a murder trial?

Marco: Yeah pal, it was true life shit, I told you that while we were watching it, but you were too busy lip-schtupping that bottle of Chivas to listen. And hey . . before we go any further, let’s make sure to let our readers know this post contains spoilers.

Joe: A-fucking-gain with the spoilers, you stuttering prick? What is with the bug up your ass when it comes to spoilers? They KNOW we’re reviewing the movie! Whaddaya think they’re coming here to read about the World Cup? 

Marco: It’s just a courtesy, Joe.

Joe: Yeah, like da mints they leave in a bowl when you go up to pay your bill at a restaurant. And you know what that courtesy is full of? Shit. Literally, they did a study on it.

Marco: Thanks Dr. Fauci. So yes, in answer to your question, the Warrens were consultants in a murder investigation that took place in Connecticut.  They claimed that Arne Johnson was possessed by a demon when he stabbed his landlord twenty-two times.

Joe: Where . . . da fuck were the Warrens when I was on trial for allegedly murdering Jimmy “Nine Toes” Benedetti?

Marco: Refresh my memory on that one.

Joe: The prosecution claimed that I shot Jimmy thirty-five times. But they didn’t have a case!

Marco: Why’s that Joe?

Joe: Well, the alleged witness who saw me going in Jimmy’s place . . disappeared. And the other alleged witness who saw me leaving Jimmy’s place . . disappeared. And the other alleged witness who heard gunshots . .

Marco: Lemme guess, disappeared?

Joe: Bingo! No case. But it took a couple months to come to dat conclusion. I coulda used the demonic possession defense and been out in time for Christmas!

Marco: But you didn’t shoot Jimmy, right?

Joe: (Winking) Of course not. 

Marco: Before this movie review leads to a criminal investigation, why don’t you give my peeps a synopsis of the movie?

Joe: If by synopsis you mean why don’t I talk about the movie, sure. Whoa! What a novel fucking concept, you mope! And do me a favah, will ya? Stop with da French . . just ask me in plain English?

Marco: Actually, the origin of synopsis is Greek . .

Joe: I never heard Jimmy the Greek use that fucking word so shut the fuck up. Anyways, about this movie. It begins at this little kid’s birthday party where things get outta hand . . .

Marco: Joe, it wasn’t a birthday party, it was an exorcism.

Joe: What da fuck does it matter what it was? The family was a bunch of wackadoos and the kid was having a temper tantrum is all.

Marco: The Warrens were trying to exorcise the demon and Arne called for it to enter his body.

Joe: Oh, you mean da guy with that nut-job defense. Yeah . . yeah, I remember now. So this guy ends up stabbing his landlord. Oh . . sorry. .  the devil ends up stabbing his landlord twenty-two times. Holy shit, talk about being under the influence! So then the Warrens go to Massachusetts because there’s this chick that was also stabbed twenty-two times.

Marco: They believed it was a curse passed on through a witch’s totem, and they meet with a priest who had dealings with a satanic cult. It was their belief the curse was passed to the kid and then to Arne.

Joe: (Making a lewd gesture with his right hand) Rich white people will do anything to get outta trouble. So anyways, this Warren chick almost gets killed by her husband, which I thought was pretty realistic. Turns out, this demon gets around.

Marco: I take it you don’t believe in demonic possession?

Joe: Listen pal, the husband can blame it on Nixon for all I care.

Marco: You’re missing the point. The totem held certain powers, which is why they had to take it with them when they visited the altar where the rituals had been performed. They had to get rid of the evil. And that’s where they find the occultist responsible for the death of the young girl from Massachusetts. And that’s why the occultist paid the ultimate vig . . so the demon could move on, through her.

Joe: Is that what all the gymnastics was about? I haven’t seen a body twist and turn like that since I dated a Russian stripper.

Marco: Nonetheless, I found this movie to be utterly predictable. It followed the same tired possession flick formula. Boy meets demon, boy falls for demon . . demon ends up skipping town.

Joe: And the asshole with the possession defense got five years. Which ain’t horrible.

Marco: So . . how did Jimmy “Nine Toes” get his nickname?

Joe: He was a lousy dancer.

To Bee Or Not To . . . Okay, That Sounded Way Better In My Head

Run Away by Luciano Laborde for Indicius on Dribbble

Bees have always fascinated me, from the first time a couple of wasps rolled up and capped my ass when I was seven years old. I remember screaming all the way home as my arm burned with the intensity of a thousand suns. This might sound like hyperbole, if you’ve never experienced the lava laced lip-lock of this miniaturized fighter jet. But if you know how it feels to be kabobbed by the little fuckers, then you understand.

Ever since then, it has been my wish to admire the little buggers from afar. And by that I mean from as afar away as I can get without having to price real estate in Antarctica. And yes, I realize how important bees are to our eco-system. They’re more essential to humankind than Amazon. They work harder than an Alaskan crab fisherman. And their final drafts are tastier than anything the Cohen Brothers ever dreamt up.

I know a beekeeper. Well, let me rephrase that. I know a hobbyist who has decided that honey bees would be a really interesting hobby. I can only assume this is out of geographical necessity, since she would have to travel extensively if she wanted to chase storms or wrestle alligators. Lucky for her, bees live everywhere . . . excepting for Antarctica.

My curiosity was piqued when she told me that working with bees was her Zen. I asked her if she understood what Zen meant before diving into more pertinent questions, such as . . . why beekeeping? Admittedly, I never got past that initial question, because I think it’s a really great fucking question.

“I’m learning a lot,” Was her cheery response.

“And so rather than Google bees, you decided to take the scenic route?”

“I love working with bees . .”

I do not understand this mentality since I’ve never actively sought the company of bees in my life. Any interaction I’ve ever had with a bee was purely accidental; it came as the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, either for the bee or for yours truly. Oftentimes both. As Vito Corleone would say, as best as their interests don’t conflict with mine, we cool.

More than 75 Percent of All 'Honey' Sold in Grocery Stores contains No Honey At All - HealthyLifeBoxx

My relationship with bees works like that of a dedicated pot smoker. I don’t approach the farmers who grow the stuff because that’s not how it works in a civilized society. Instead, I do my business through a third party in order to score my fix, and this risk-averse arrangement works splendidly.

I get that honeybees come in peace and all they wanna do is keep mama happy, and that’s great. I also understand that the following sentence never would have happened if she had taken up, oh . . I don’t know, chess as a hobby?

“I was stung twice, but it was my fault . . ”

She explained to me that honeybees are not aggressive by nature and will only sting you if they feel threatened. And of course I’d heard that somewhere and had dismissed it entirely, and you know why? Because an insect that comes packing heat and who cannot communicate with you until the shot has already been fired is not my idea of a hobby so much as a dare.

“Hey. you know what doesn’t sting you? Chess pieces,” I said, the ratio of snark to sense delivered up as expertly as a well done Martini.

Good for her though, really. And for bees . . . and for the whole wide world. That there are people who do this kind of thing so that the rest of us can reap the sweet rewards is proof that love is indeed crazy. All I know is, us humans best keep our house in order. Because if there ever comes a day when our resources are so depleted that every individual is enlisted to work with bees in order to nurse the world back to health?

Well . . you know where you can find me.

 

 

 

 

 

The Pipp List

404 - PAGE NOT FOUND | Giants dodgers, New york yankees, Baseball players

Wally Pipp was a slugger for the Bronx Bombers inside an era when home runs were hard to come by. The first baseman was part of a formidable lineup that included Bob Meusel, Joe Dugan, Waite Hoyt and Babe Ruth; a club that would win three consecutive AL pennants as well as the 1923 World Series.

It was the kind of resume that was sure to land Pipp on the list of Yankees all-timers, considering the team was set up for more title runs over the next half dozen years. And then Pipp was benched for a diesel engine named Lou Gehrig and the rest, as they say, would become history.

Lou Gehrig would set the record for consecutive games played with 2,130. Gary Cooper even played the “Iron Horse” in the movie Pride of the Yankees. By the time Gehrig’s streak came to an end, Pipp had become a cautionary tale: Don’t call in sick or you might not have a job when you get back.

Gehrig has proven to be a tough act to follow, so it got me thinking. And when me thinks, it usually ends up in a list. Here then, my short list of some of the toughest acts to follow. And no, the former occupant of the White House who is currently auditioning for the show My 600-lb Life ain’t on it . . .

A Brief History of Air Jordan's - KLEKT Blog

Michael Jordan- Twenty three years after Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their sixth and final title in a dynastic run that may never be duplicated again, the Bulls are simply meh. Not a single trip to the NBA finals since Number 23 left town. The closest a player has come to even getting into the conversation as the heir to MJ’s throne was Derrick Rose. Injuries short-circuited his career as a Bull, and his second and third acts have happened in other NBA cities.

As for the rest of the league, apologies to Kobe and Lebron, but that debate is about second place. MJ went 6-0 in the finals, whilst collecting six Finals MVP’s for good measure.

Billy Crystal- The host of hosts for any award show, in my opinion. As Oscar host, Crystal’s brilliance was always taken for granted. Only after he left did we realize how tough this gig really is, because no one has come close to filling his dancing shoes.

Bear Bryant- Nick Saban is the anomaly in that he might well have surpassed Bryant. But it took eight coaches to get to Saban, with Gene Stallings having been the only one to win a title in that time as Alabama boss. I’d take Saban only because I’ve seen him long enough to know he’s the best of this era.

Mario Puzo at 100: The Godfather author never met a real gangster, but his mafia melodrama remains timeless | The Independent

Marlon Brando as Movie Mob Boss- What Brando did with the role of Vito Corleone changed the game. Possessing an unsaintly cool with nary a wasted movement, Brando created a prototype Hollywood crime boss . . . that Al Pacino would match as his son Michael. Since then, you’ve had a handful of great performances but I’m sticking with the Corleones as the standard.

Joe Torre- He was called “Joe Bozo” in an infamous New York Daily News headline that ‘welcomed’ him to town in ’96. And then he led the Yankees to a title in his first season, and then won it three more times in the next four years. It has been fourteen years since he left, and the Yankees have one title to show for it.

Sean Connery as James Bond- I never paid much attention to the 007 franchise until Daniel Craig made the scene. I admit it, I’ve got little patience for nuance. While Craig is my choice, I’m guessing I’d get outvoted on this one.

Mickey Mantle- The Yankees have yet to replace Number 7 in center field and the chances are slim that they ever will.

Alex Trebek- The list of candidates to replace Trebek as host of Jeopardy is a who’s who list of celebrities with several names who I think would nail the gig. But to my way of thinking, that is testament to the man who captained the ship for thirty-seven years.

David Lee Roth, Van Halen - New York, 1979 | Charlyn Zlotnik

David Lee Roth- Roth was a bourbon milkshake and everything that came after his exit from Van Halen? Diet Coke.

Muhammad Ali- Larry Holmes was a worthy heavyweight champion who never deserved the criticism he received for not being Ali. No fighter in the heavyweight division was, is or probably ever will be Ali.

Welp, that’ll do it until the next list. And I send you off into this Tuesday with a classic tune from a gal who will turn 75 next week. She’s had quite the love life, and I bet you all the luminaries whom she’s crossed paths with have her on their short list. Yeah Warren . . I’m talking to you!

 

 

 

 

Yellow Brick Roads, Amanda Peet and Roundabouts

Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were the royal road to knowledge, while the late comedian Mitch Hedberg complained that he was sick of following his dreams so he was just going to ask them where they were going and hook up with them later. I relate to both of these mindsets. So then, here in my interpretation of the dream I had last night.

In the dream I was riding along on a double-decker bus in a city whose identity is a mystery. I’m sipping on an Orange Crush adult beverage and I am the only person there. I navigate the stairs to the second floor where Amanda Peet and Zach Braff are canoodling in a seat as dusk approaches.

Okay, Amanda Peet and Zach Braff played a married couple in a forgettable comedy called The Ex back in the aughts of 2000. I never saw the movie. Consciously, I had no blessed idea these two had been a cinematic pairing, which goes to show you the power of advertising. Oh and My friend Jess sent out a group text last week in which she was sipping on an Orange Crush whilst playing arcade games with her husband.

Obviously, I’m the humorous sidekick because they ain’t upset with me for disturbing their romantic moment. I ask what our next stop is and Peet wants to try the new Bobby Flay restaurant while Braff wants pizza. I side with Peet, because even in my dreams I side with the lady.

I don’t know who’s driving the bus and I don’t care because a Rob Zombie tune starts kicking in which he plays the violin while a lyric soprano provides me with the most soothing rendition of a song I have never heard, but is instantly my favorite.

My son had texted me last night before to let me know the Rob Zombie Munsters movie was a go.

The bus stops and a party group boards. It might be early evening but their Drink-O-Meters are already working on 1 am, so I stay on the top level as we ride along. We pass a billboard featuring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas and then we come to a huge Roundabout. I mean, this sucker is so big there is a lake in the center of it. We’re winding around this thing for quite a long time and then we come to our destination, or so I thought.

I had a discussion about Roundabouts with my daughter last week. She was complaining about how they’re popping up everywhere. As for the billboard, I’m currently watching The Kominsky Method. with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

It’s night when we arrive at a vacant strip mall, an abandoned baby carriage sits in the middle of the parking lot. We walk for a while before coming to a restaurant that looks nothing like a Bobby Flay joint. Seated at a table in the front is Post Malone, and he shows us a gleaming white tooth he just pulled out of his dinner. Sara Bareilles “Yellow Brick Road” comes on as we reach our table, where our meal awaits.

And then I wake up.

As for that last part? I have no clue. But I’m holding out hope for the sequel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Aliens . . .

I know what you’re probably thinking right about now. Life on earth looks like a peach tree pie with fresh whipped cream on top. I mean, we’re one big swimming pool with myriad endeavors to turf your toes on. If you dig endorphin chow, you can eat well. If you just dig real chow, you can eat even better. All that and Vera Farmiga lives here!

But there’s a flip side your realtor ain’t so eager to fess on. We are a genuinely crazy ass lot, and scrums just so happen to be our wheelhouse. The bigger the scrum, the more ferocious we become.

What? You need a few examples? Ooookay . . .

We go to war so that we can create future trade partners . . . There are tons of casualties, and they will be memorialized in big budget motion pictures and federally funded memorials. Their sacrifice will be remembered but the lesson will be lost as soon as the next conflict arises.

About those trade partners . . . The leaders of industry and government are the protected class when it comes to these wars. Their offspring are also protected so that they can broker future business deals with the vanquished enemy. Its a bloody racket, and I mean that quite literally.

When something wicked this way comes . . there’s sports! . . . No matter how untethered we become as a society, we can turn to sports as an avoidance mechanism a way to bring people together. Much like the corrupt senators of ancient Rome, today’s power brokers feast on the indifference of a population that really doesn’t care to know just how fucked we really are. LeBron James is our modern day Spartacus, with the only difference being, everything.

And if you’re wondering where ancient Rome is located, well . . that’s the point.

We love our reality television . . . Even if there isn’t a lick of reality to it. We consume it in vast quantities and then we cull a diabolical poetry from the ashes. The particulates fuel much of the population, providing them with a manifest-ish destiny. Imagine going to war against an endless procession of armies who fear public speaking more than death. Good. Luck. With. That.

Brands, algorithms and metrics have replaced the human soul . . . See, we can be every bit as bloodless and uncaring as you! No offense.

Okay, I’m being totally presumptious on that last count. But I can’t help it, seeing as how the more advanced a species becomes, the less time they spend focusing on their warts. And really, who am I to say? Maybe you guys have actually learned from the mistakes of your ancestors. Hell, maybe we’re you’re ancestors . . in which case, this is awkward. For you. But going to war with relatives, distant or otherwise . . that’s freshly baked into our DNA.

Yeah sorry but, the chances are good you’re like any other life form that drives and votes and screws. You only think you’re the next step in the evolutionary cycle. But as our American philosopher Mike Tyson once said, everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face. And we have one helluva right hook. And we’re ignorant. And with every day that goes by, we get closer to that dead end town called Nothing To Lose-Ville. So if you’re here to throw down with us, I would suggest you get to stepping.

Seriously, time is of the essence here. Wolf Blitzer ain’t getting any younger, Chuck Norris is jonesing for one more epic bar fight, and I’ve heard Will Smith owns the F/A 18 Hornet he ‘flew’ in the movie Independence Day and he really wants to try it on for size. I suggest you watch the movie before you make any rash decisions. And should you decide to come in peace instead, super cool decision. Starbucks is going to name a series of drinks after you, Netflix is going to hand you a blank check and you’ll score a summit meeting with our leader.

Her name is Oprah, and she has a book club. You’re gonna love her.

Today’s Birthday! Gemini

The truth is not always pleasant, so it’s a good thing you don’t concern yourself with it. Thing is, the truth is going to be of vital importance in upcoming events . . so . .  you better start practicing. Remember the immortal words of George Costanza: It’s not a lie if you believe it. Trust your higher wisdom . . and when you fall short on that count, call in some favors.

Your dual personalities will come in handy this week, as long as you don’t get caught this time. Seriously, you’re about as nuanced as a sledgehammer. It wouldn’t kill you to read up on your Zen . . skip Happy Hour . . quit the Chia pet fetish . . find a new gig . . move out of the country.

Avoid those who wish to cause you harm, unless your spouse insists that you attend the family re-union. In which case, don’t forget the Xanax. Proceed with caution, and if possible, you should put off important decisions until clarity prevails. Never mind that clarity will probably arrive in the form of divorce papers. Hey . . it still counts!

Cosmic tip: Sleep in. Until July . . .

 

There Is No F In Accountability

When I was an old man, I thought I was a kid.

That’s how ass backwards the world feels to me sometimes. Because whenever I opine on how things used to be, it makes me feel as if I Benjamin Buttoned myself into the here and now. Where once I was lost to the thankless mysteries of the world, now I’m finding myself in this vapid little pill that keeps its insanity on retainer.

As with most things that fruit my loop, these changes whittled themselves into a monolithic curiosity with the wicked patience of a well done knuckleball. In the process, they turned yesterday into a bell jar full of pennies, which is about as yesterday as you’re gonna get.

This particular assessment came about as I was telling my daughter what school used to look like. Yanno . . back in the day. She’s a teacher, and as such, she’s taken to wearing steel toe boots whenever she has occasion to conference with those hard pipe hitting advocates known as parents. Because we’re living in an age where an unhealthy percentage of the parent population has gone and shoved accountability out of a speeding car. Why pass the buck when you can burn the fucker to a crisp?

I could never be a teacher, because for one thing . . I don’t like kids. And for another, I don’t like parents. My days would be spent drinking heavily and chasing it with painkillers and anti-depressants. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

“Most parents get that their kid can do better and that it’s a shared responsibility. But every once in a while you get a parent who isn’t having it . . ” My daughter said. Calmly, I might add. Which is why she’s going to be a great teacher, because that kind of thing doesn’t piss her off.

As for yours truly? Hell, nawh.

“When I got a bad grade on a report card, or I failed a test . . I caught hell for it. In waves. First it was my teacher giving me shit and then I got home and I had to hear it from my mother. And if the offense was serious enough, it went into the evening when the old man got home. I earned that shit and I remembered that shit. Because it was incredibly unpleasant shit,” I ranted, rather un-sweetly.

“Yeah . . it’s different now,” She laughed.

No shit.

I tell you what, even in a deliciously vegetative state of insobriety, I wouldn’t be able to stem my Cobra Kai when a parent gave their kid the look-away pass and followed that up by delivering a few misplaced adjectives in my direction. Nope. I would be teaching a very different kind of lesson at that point.

The kind I learned, a long time ago.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Rains Drench Migrants Crossing Rio Grande River Into United States | Top News | US News

A migrant mother from Central America seeks asylum after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States- Photo courtesy of Reuters

Wherever you stand on the immigration issue, it’s important to remember that it is about people. The front lines are comprised by uniforms who are paid to do a job no matter what, and those who simply want a chance at a better life. The suits and the loud mouth talking heads will turn them into numbers, but they are not numbers. Let’s stop pretending we wouldn’t do the same thing in that mother’s situation.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

a person jumping up in the air: Davison senior Bradly Rainwater clears the bar in the Pole Vault Monday, May 17, 2021 at Lapeer High School. Rainwater was born blind and uses step counts and a specialized track to aid him in competition.Bradly Rainwater of Davison High School in Lapeer, Michigan makes it a point to touch the sky on a daily basis. The senior track and field star comes from a long line of pole vaulters, and he’s done the family proud with his exploits: This year alone he’s won three events while finishing second-place in another four. His personal best is a 10 foot jump, which he’s accomplished twice. Impressive stuff made all the more so when you learn that Bradly has been blind since birth.

“He’s a pretty remarkable kid,” says coach Michael Crongeyer. “I’ve been competing and coaching for over 20 years and he’s the first (blind pole vaulter) I’ve seen. We think he’s the only one in Michigan to be a blind pole vaulter. It’s very rare,”

The kid is sporting a 3.5 GPA and plans on attending Spring Arbor University in the fall, where he’ll major in psychology and music. He says he might even try and make the track and field team, because why not? And his goal for the regionals coming up in June is to jump 11 feet . . . which would qualify him to vault in college.

I wouldn’t bet against it.

(Gracias to Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for this sky-high get.)

I’m all for fan involvement in a sporting event, excepting for the Tampa Bay Rays . . whose fans rarely show up at all. But here’s the thing. Fans ain’t the story, they’re simply the accompaniment to the story.

This week saw two separate incidents where fans behaving badly became the story. The above image shows Russell Westbrook of the Wizards being restrained after a Philadelphia fan dumped popcorn on him. In the image below, a New York Knicks fan spit on Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.

Trae Young Won't Press Charges Against Knicks Fan That Spit on Him | BlackSportsOnlineBoth of these fans ass-hats were escorted from the respective arenas and were banned for life. Which is great, but not enough in my opinion. Charge them, even if the charges won’t go anywhere. Hell, they should be doing community service. Say . . 5,000 hours worth of it.

Hey, I was gonna say give the players a minute alone with these degenerates, but there’s been enough line crossing for one week.

To paraphrase the Hal David classic, what the world needs now . . is ducks, sweet ducks. More specifically, rubber duckies.

That’s how Jim Preston of Menlo Park, California is going about it. He’s been delivering up messages of inspiration to his neighbors for several months now, and he pens them in rubber duckies. Everything from “Be Kind” to “No Fear” to . . requests. The man will even take requests, I mean . . . can you imagine living next door to a guy who can double down on your sunshine intake? Sign me up!

When the COVID-19 lockdown made celebrations harder to come by, Jim provided his neighbor Locke Anderson with best wishes for his sixtieth birthday. So yeah, you can keep your mountains and oceans.

I want what this guy is supplying.

An Honor Long Overdue:' After 70 Years, Ranger Legend Ralph Puckett Receives Medal of Honor | Military.comCongratulations to Ralph Puckett, who was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Biden last week. It is the highest award you can receive and it was a very long time coming for a man whose deep-seated belief in service to his country mattered more than anything else, and still does. Puckett never expected a thing in return. When he received his invite to the White House for the ceremony, he cracked “Why all the fuss? Can’t they just mail it to me?”.

On November 25, 1950, Puckett was serving as a first-lieutenant when he led a company of 51 US and nine South Korean soldiers into battle against several hundred Chinese troops. Puckett’s men were able to capture and hold Hill 205- a strategic point overlooking the Chongchon River in Korea.

During the ceremony, President Biden referenced the Colonel’s response to his invite by saying, “Col. Puckett, after 70 years rather than mail it to you I would have walked it to you,”

Nice comeback, Joe.

HeroHomes completes 4th home for a veteran | News | loudountimes.comImma wrap up this week’s episode with a story of struggle and redemption, and a man whose life’s journey bears a haunting resemblance to the Robert Frost poem; because it has been lovely, dark and deep. And for veteran Vainuupo “AV” Avegalio, the beauty of it all has been a hard earned thing.

The retired US Army veteran served his country proudly, but as with most veterans, the next chapter of his life proved to be an epic challenge. Having experienced the polar opposite of normalcy for more than a dozen years, he found it damn near impossible to wrap his head around life as a civilian.

“Military life was both a blessing and a curse. It took me to places I could have only dreamed of growing up on the Samoan Islands. I witnessed horror, destruction, merciless acts of inhumanity. I saw acts of gallantry and heroism. I sent and welcomed many good friends home. I was shot at by enemies. I was spit on by the people we fought to protect. Through 12 years of service and even today, a battle deep within me grew stronger with each breath and every thought, a battle with myself.”

After leaving the military, Avegalio struggled to find purpose. He found it in the arts, with poetry and painting. It was his conduit, a shared language he could share with a world that seemed so foreign to his senses. He volunteered at correctional facilities and worked with at-risk youth, all the while living in his car. He traveled the country this way, conducting workshops with the money he received from the Army.

Life caught up with his beautiful soul and the fates had a big fat IOU at the ready in the form of a brand new house for Avegalio. It was all made possible by HeroHomes, a non-profit organization that gives veterans the ability to live independently. Add to that AV recently made his big screen debut in the HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet.

This turn of events has led Avegalio to . . you guessed it, pay it forward. He plans on using the basement of his new home as an art studio so that he can continue to do his great good work, for others. It’s what he knows.

He has promises to keep, and miles to go . . . lots of them.

When Faith Makes The Scene

My relationship with God has always been awkward, because I was never really certain as to what I was supposed to be looking for. It’s a signature of the human condition that compels us to define relationships, even those that can prove least definable. And as humans, we want something out of the deal.

When I was young and impressionable, I was seeking answers to the biggest questions the same way most young people of my generation did: By watching movies and listening to music. I had it figured that George Burns was God, John Denver was an Apostle and Ozzy Osbourne was the Antichrist. Looking back now I wish I’d been right. Shit, a God who smoked cigars and had a great sense of humor, an Apostle who sang folk songs and a devil who penned Ironman, one of the greatest rock songs ever? Sold!

When I was a teenager, I negotiated all manner of adversity by by dialing up the high and mighty hotline. It was more about kitsch than catechism. Mix too many adult beverages . . . put in a call. Bend a rule . . or maybe even a law . . put in a call. Get myself in a bind with a girlfriend’s girlfriend . . put in a call. Find out girlfriend or girlfriend’s girlfriend was late . . . put in a series of calls.

Adulthood is where I stopped calling on God because I didn’t feel like dealing with a busy signal. This is how adults survive. When we ain’t listened to in a way we deem appropriate, we look elsewhere: Financial advisors, general practitioners, insurance agents, mechanics, bookies, bartenders and therapists. Mediation comes at a price that we’re more than willing to pay because we’re assured that someone is listening.

Getting married meant churching, for a while, but the arrangement was never a fit for me because I was never much for country clubs. And that’s what church felt like, with all the networking and gossip mongering. I knew I could get more religion out of a bottle of wine or a baseball diamond than a Sunday morning in church.

Of course, it all comes down to faith. And faith is one of those things that isn’t found in a book or a house or a hymn. No doubt, these things can serve to inspire you, but they’ll never make you believe. No, that kind of thing usually makes the scene when we least expect it.

It’s been twenty years since I woke up in a hospital bed after having undergone a thyroidectomy to remove two separate cancerous growths. I remember feeling super groovy, as if Jimi Hendrix had just supplied me with some magical feel goods and chased it with a song. Needless to say, I didn’t give a flip about the tubes that were sticking out of me or the fact that I was sharing a room with a guy who was hacking up a lung. Before I could start doing the math on what came next, I passed out again.

Waking up at night in a hospital room is some truly creepy shit. For most people. But I guess I always had a morbid streak and a genuine curiosity for that kind of thing because I felt nothing but peace. And yes, the primo stock that was running through my veins helped. But it was more than that, because now my brain was working plenty well enough to remember back to that morning. The pastor at the church I’d stop attending had come by before my surgery to talk with me. He was a good man and I was genuine in my warm greeting. We talked for a while, about baseball and kids and steak houses. But I remember one simple exchange.

“Are you scared?”

“No, I’m not. Everything’s cool, it’s really cool,”

“Good, that’s good,” He examined my face as if searching for the lie, and not finding it.

It was as if I had waited all my life to feel the kind of peace I did on that morning. Uncertain as to what came next, and remarkably okay with that. I chatted with the nurses as they rolled me through the corridors until we arrived at a frosty operating room and I was introduced to all the players. And then they were serving me up a tonic to help me sleep and then I cracked a few jokes just to let them know it was paying off handsomely.

Something mystical was riding shotgun with me as I began to tiptoe through the tulips, because that’s when David Gilmour and Roger Waters started doing their thing. As my eyes grew heavy, I could feel the dumbest smile taking hold of my face as I muttered sleepily “Great fucking song . . .”

If there’s more to faith than that? I don’t need it.

 

 

 

Joe Pesci Reviews Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead Review: Angelina Jolie's Throwback Action Movie | IndieWire

I was doing a stakeout of Bob Baffert’s place in Boca when Marco interrupted my business with a text. The asshole decided that was a good time to ask me if I wanted to do another movie review. His timing is worse than my first wife, who sent me a fax to tell me she was breaking up with me right before I went on trial in a double homicide case. No . . wait . . that was my first lawyer . . even worse!

So I called Marco and I asked him what movie he wanted me to watch for this oh so important movie review. You know what the ingrate says to me?

“I just watched Those Who Wish Me Dead and holy shit did it blow! You’ve GOT to review it for the blog!”

The balls on this guy! He wanted me to forget the fact I lost half a million clams because Bob Fucking Baffert decided to treat his horse like it was A-Rod . . . and instead . . watch a movie that is a complete waste of my time. And then he told me Angelina Jolie was in it, and I said okay. It’s probably for the best since that silver haired prick Baffert has better lawyers than I do.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Reviews - Metacritic

Before I get started with this review, you should know I’m scoring it a perfect four out of four stars because Angelina Jolie is in it. And while Marco may be a stuttering prick, he was right about the flick. It really does blow, in spite of Angelina, who should win an Oscar, just for existing.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Is A Straight Shot of Adrenaline

For Those Who Wish Me Dead is a movie title I can totally relate to, so points for that.

Okay, so in the first scene, Aiden Gillen and his associate pose as fire inspectors. When the lady of the house answers the door, they ask if her husband is home. When she says yes, they tell her that the house may have a gas leak and they ask if they can check it out. It’s the oldest trick in the book, and it works like a charm, every time. Trust me on that.

So once dat guy is outta da picture, we learn there is another guy who needs to be quieted because of some top secret shit. This fellow is what they call a forensic accountant, which in laymen’s terms means bad news for guys like us. He knows they’re after him so he skips town but of course they find him, but his kid gets away.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie: Showtimes, Review, Songs, Trailer, Posters, News & Videos | eTimes

That’s when we get to meet Angelina, who plays a smoke jumper named Hannah Faber in this buttfuck of a town in Montana. I was familiar with the term- smoke jumper-but my definition is much different and since Angelina is supposed to be one, I’m gonna stick with my definition. Anyway, Hannah has a lot of guilt because she fucked up and and some kids died in a wildfire because of it. So she drinks whiskey and jumps out of flat bed trucks for fun in order to bury the pain. I really love that.

How to Watch Angelina Jolie's 'Those Who Wish Me Dead' | Entertainment Tonight

Jon Bernthal plays a Sheriff who basically just takes scenes away from Angelina, because his wife actually inflicts more damage on the two villains than he does. Fucking Sheriffs, it’s always the same thing with those guys!

So this kid who just lost his father runs into Hannah in the forest and holy fucking shit if that isn’t every twelve-year old boy’s wildest dream! I mean, if my old man woulda had to get offed for me to meet up with Angelina in the woods? I’m sorry Pop, but I ain’t gonna be twelve forever, yanno?

The ending is predictable shit. The bad guys get killed, the good guys win and Angelina is the only reason this movie wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Oh yeah . . I’m supposed to tell you there are spoilers in this post.

Da End