Speaking Of . . .

The great Leonard Cohen once remarked that he felt no urgency as far as his writing was concerned. It was his opinion that mankind would not be damaged if he never put out another record or wrote another book.

Now here was a dude whose works could talk gravity into another million years worth of bubbles. And he’s speaking as if he’s a high school newspaper editor. His point, however, is inviolable. The best part of us, as writers, is the part that can never be taken away.

Speaking of . . .

Urgency, there seems to be a little more of the stuff when it comes to Bryce Harper and the Phillies. And I’m rooting like hell for them to ink the slugger before Brian Cashman sweeps in with a drunken sailor offering that ties the Yankees to a .240 hitter through a third Trump term (Spoiler Alert!). These “Till Meth Do Us Part” unions in sports are onerous for the fans more than anyone. Because in eight years, the fans will be paying Fabulous Bryce Hair prices for Bald Bryce production. Simple as that.

Speaking of . . .

Bald men, the Oscars are tonight. And I’m sorta/kinda excited for the first time in a while. If only because of Queen.

Speaking of . . .

Queens, they’re making a biopic about Elton John. Which is a little strange seeing as how he’s still alive.

Speaking of . . .

Bad jokes (such as the one I just made), Trump and Kim Jong (Pizzeria)-Un will be holding their second summit this week to discuss UN sanctions, nuclear disarmament and Adam Sandler’s curious lack of Oscar hardware.

Speaking of . . .

Oscar, I only saw one Best Picture nominee (Bohemian Rhapsody) and I am only halfway interested in seeing A Star Is Born. I definitely will see Black Klansman when it comes out on video.

Speaking Of . . .

Movies? I tend to gravitate to the flicks that have no blessed chance of winning gold. Take yesterday for example, when I went to see Happy Death Day 2 U. Not as good as the original, but man . . Jessica Rothe is going to win an Oscar for something, some day. And I do not plan on being wrong about that. Girl’s got game.

Speaking of . . .

Game . . I am rocking the Casbah after a two month hiatus from my Fitbit. A week and a half in, and the results are sweetly plucked juiciness. Lost a few pounds already, and am up to three and a half miles. I truly enjoyed my vacation from the the wrist candy, but the reunion is Peaches and Herb righteous.

Speaking of . . .

Righteous deeds, big props to the Ole Miss basketball players for taking a knee during the National Anthem. They knelt together in response to a confederacy rally near their home arena in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the right thing to do.

Speaking of . . .

The right thing, I’m down with Terrance Howard’s support of his former co-star Jussie Smollett. Howard isn’t taking the easy road by staying in Smollett’s corner, but it’s where he started out and it’s what he’s sticking to. Howard isn’t interested in the optics, and that’s commendable in a profession where too many peeps run for higher ground when the shit hits the fan. Come what may, Smollett has a corner man. Emphasis on man.

Speaking of . . .

Yesterday, I was turned onto this cat with the cool threads and the space age folk songs. He’s got a voice that could skate on the icy rings of Saturn and come back hotter than Fortuna’s pocketbook after a Vegas jaunt. His musical roam fits the proverbs of a lazy Sunday afternoon just fine.

And the hat, that’s just bonus round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Post

I sat down and wrote up a brief letter I was gonna send to the White House, requesting an interview with Trump. Short, concise and pleasant. And then I started filling in all the required information and learned that my email had to be shorter than a tweet. No pun intended, I’m being totally serious. All I was able to write was that I was requesting an interview with Covfefe (I didn’t use that name) before it cut me off at the pass.

Upon careful consideration, I thought it better not to send a request that was going to relegate me to a list which consists of fifth graders and nut jobs. Soooooo . . . the Trump fake interview will happen instead. Unlike the legit interview I would’ve done with Trump . . I get to make up my own rules with this ‘boob job’.

A few more thoughts that zig inside the zag of voices in my head? Sure why not . . .

  • Never, ever run in frozen winds that whip harder than a Dominatrix with anger issues. I know this rule. I abide by this rule, like almost all the time. Excepting for today, when I ran into the face of an arctic blast that put my face on ice as if it were a button man for the mob. And what’s worse, I ran after having imbibed a couple glasses of water. There I was, a mile out when my nether region was called on to provide a service that wasn’t feeling natural in the least bit. I did an about face, prayed to Jesus, Mary and Joe and went Sun Tzu and Mojave with my thoughts until I arrived back home safe and dry. Moral of the story: Failure to prepare is akin to pissing in the wind (almost).
  • Four episodes into Mr. Robot and loving every minute of it. Rami Malek plays a hacker with a righteous soul who’s trying not to drown inside an evil world. Dark, dastardly, delightful. Thanks to Frank for the 411 on this show.
  • My body has returned to it’s regularly scheduled programming (a wind chilled run notwithstanding) after taking on the black diamonds of Blue Mountain last week. I never realized I was taking my life in my hands when I used to do this shit on a regular basis.  I gotta say, I felt downright fucking heroic after surviving it. Also stupid, a little stupid. Bourbon is a great peacemaker . . just saying.
  • I wouldn’t give a penny to this wall. A strong leader doesn’t need a wall, because a strong leader makes the existing policies work where they failed before. A strong leader doesn’t make promises he knows he can’t keep for the sake of political expediency. A strong leader doesn’t blame everyone but himself when shit goes wrong, because he knows where the buck is supposed to stop. I didn’t name names, because I don’t have to.
  • Besides, a moat would be so much more cost effective. And way cooler. Way . . .
  • Potato salad always seems like a good idea until I’m eating it.
  • Bundt cake . . it never disappoints like that.
  • Tom Brady crying “poor me” just doesn’t work. Feeling sorry for Brady and his team because they’re Vegas underdogs is like feeling sorry for Brad Pitt’s penis . . or Bill Gates’s bank account. Ain’t. Happening.
  • I never got on the craft beer bandwagon. Craft beers are like sliders, they don’t jibe with my particular opinions on beer and burgers. But . . I do have a few faves as per the former. Rogue Dead Guy Ale is one of ’em. Linds B reminded me about it recently when she told me she picked some up. We are not easy customers, so let’s just say the stuff really is very tasty.
  • Storms, more winter storms and freezing temps. And not a single Dennis Quaid sighting. I think we’re safe . . .
  • I want to pet a lion before I die. I mean, not right before I die from being mauled and then eaten by said lion. Like . . I pet the lion, survive . . and then many years later I remember that moment on my death bed. Okay, you know what . . I just like lions. I don’t really need to pet one.

Welp, I could go on. And on. But there’s only so much time in the day, and I have to go in fresh when I see my therapist.

Peace and warmth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorryless Sunday Morning

Halloween Poster

It’s the end (or beginning) of another week, as summer loses its grip and the leaves swim in caramel and fire. Shorts turns into sweaters and apples into pumpkins and the sky goes thick with slumber.

Music is different inside the fall; tethered to its annual rites rather than a fresh new bundle served up weekly. This time of year is the domain to which the standards rule, and membership is exclusive. We own the music and the music owns us. As it should be.

Tricky Pumpkin

Music should never behave, as far as I’m concerned. It should thrill and provoke and surprise you into places you’ve never been, while at the same time casting a spell that makes you feel as if the moments have your name on them. It should be a place where we can fall in and out of love. Where we can sublime the ordinary, provoke our wicked moods and tease the nickel and dime concerns into million dollar dreams.

I love when a tune has its way with me, as if it has been eyeing me up from the get. And then it feeds me its best line and then I’m falling and then it has me, right where it wants me. Because the right song, it makes you want it that way.

The Only Truth

Personally, this is my favorite month of the fall when it comes to music. Nothing against Bing Crosby and Perry Como, but those fellers is gonna own the deed from November through January while the spooky nooks and crannies of October are left to their thirty one days and nights.

So here’s one from the inimitable Screamin’ Jay Hawkins who tuned it up and shook it loose inside the year of nineteen hundred and fifty six. And in so doing, he delivered up one of my all time favorite Halloween songs. This naughty little thing was originally intended to be a ballad, but it quickly turned into something else entirely on account of Jay and his boys liking their drink rather artfully. And so while he didn’t spill this into vinyl with any spooky ideas, it’s got October written all over it from where I’m sitting.

Lucky thing for me old Jay wasn’t much for good behavior.

 

Going 4th with my Oval Fixation

Warhol Nixon

In honor of Independence Day, I felt like jumping into the pool of patriotism and taking a swim. And then the feeling passed and I decided to compile a list of my favorite Presidents. Which is basically the same shit, really.

Before I get to this Presidential list ‘o mine, I’ve a couple thoughts about the 4th of July that have been running around inside ‘me noggin and so Imma clearinghouse their asses before they get my straggling voices all riled up.

Beautiful funny fourth of july memes 117 best 4th of July images on Pinterest

Independent (Day) Thinking: 

  • If John Adams had a blog, it would be called Shit Happens
  • Note to all those “Buy American” peeps out there. When y’all are blowing shit up to celebrate our independence . . just know that fireworks were first invented in medieval China.
  • The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were not meant to be subverted, retrofitted and reconfigured to contemporary whims and agendas. Just. Saying.
  • Fireworks wouldn’t work in space, which is really too bad . . .
  • You say “May the 4th be with you” and I say “Go 4th and prosper”.
  • Joey Chestnut’s win in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest reminds me that I have never actually watched the fucking thing. Because it’s grosser than a Senator’s secret Instagram page.
  • I’m still hoping there will be a Nas cover to Yankee Doodle Dandy 
  • Ben Franklin be like . . “Bitches be crazy!”
  • Is it wrong that of all the things I could have given thanks to yesterday, I chose Sam Adams? The beer, not the founding father.
  • Apologies to the Cowboys and Yankees, but the real America’s Team is the Tampa Bay Rays. Many of their fans have given up, they’re always shipping their best talent away and they’re broke.

As far as my Commander and Chief is concerned, the First Dude has to be bold and decisive. My President must love sports, beer and ’80’s music. My President is tough yet compassionate; he’s flexible as per the big picture and firm as to the details. My President understands that being fair and open minded isn’t a weakness but an impenetrable strength. So with all of those qualities in mind, my favorite President will in fact be a fictional character. Of course.

I’ve divvied up fictional Presidents of tube and silver screen into three categories. There is the Ridiculous . . those Presidential turns that rival November 2016. There is the I Can See That . . those slightly more feasible renditions. And then there is the Sublime . . those fictional characters I would really vote for (and maybe, just maybe . . did).

Special thank you to my Canadian counterpart, Dale “Q-ditty” Rogerson of A Dalectable Life for helping me compile this list. And to anyone who has a problem with this list? Please direct your complaints here.

The Ridiculous: 

Kevin James- Yes, Kevin James played President Will Cooper in the movie Pixels. Yes, it was an Adam Sandler flick. Duh!

Mark Cuban- He played President Marcus Robbins in Sharknado. I mean . . in a movie that is one long commercial, how in the hell did they whiff on the name? Baskin Robbins people . . it’s not that hard!

President Machete

Lynda Carter- Not because her President-Olivia Marsdin- was an alien or that she ruled the world in Supergirl  . . nah. What makes this turn utterly ridiculous is that Lynda Carter IS Wonder Woman!

Aaron Eckhardt- I’ve watched White House Down numerous times because I love B movies that think they’re A movies. That is all.

Jamie Foxx- If quoting Abraham Lincoln and wearing Nikes make you President, my neighbor would be running things. So .  . no.

Danny Glover- Of all the names they could’ve slapped on Glover for his turn as Prez in 2012, they go with Thomas Wilson? Impeached!

Bill Pullman- Thomas J. Whitmore is a very Presidential name. Being a former fighter pilot and Gulf War vet is great stuff. Too bad it all happened in Independence Day. 

Gene Hackman- I have very few rules to which I abide with no deviation, but one of them is that Gene Hackman will never be my President.

Kevin Klein- In the movie Dave, Klein basically played a stunt double.

Martin Sheen- Sorry West Wing fans, but all I know about this show and President Josiah Barlet is that Sheen really thought he could’ve been President. A television celebrity as President? How ridiculous is that?!

I Can See That: 

Cherry Jones- She played President Allison Taylor in 24; which just so happens to be one of my favorite shows ever. (The Kiefer Sutherland 24). She falls into the middle because her character was loosely based on Hilary Clinton. Which is sublime and ridiculous. It’s sublime for its idealistic nature and it’s ridiculous because Hilary won an election. Too soon?

Alfre Woodard- As Constance Payton in State of Affairs, there really is nothing not to like. She has the name, she rocks the look and she has the Presidential vibe. But I never watched the show, so there’s that.

99 Problems

Jeff Bridges- He’s my favorite actor, so it pains me NOT to put him in my imaginary Oval Office. Couple reasons why. Jackson Evans? Sounds like a furniture store that does taxes. And another . . The Contender was totally based on Monica-gate and it wasn’t very good, at all.

James Earl Jones- His President Douglas Dilman attains the office without being elected in the 1972 political thriller The Man. The plot was eerily prescient, as Gerald Ford would so just that less than two years later when he replaced Nixon. But I never saw the flick, so outside of his magnificent voice . . I ain’t solid enough on President Dilman to elect him to my highest office.

Harrison Ford- He shows his Chuck Norris side as President in Air Force One. And that’s about it.

And now for my Fantastic Four.

The Sublime: 

4. Michael Douglas- As President Andrew Shepherd, Douglas is quite fetching as Oval Office Boss. He rocks the look, talks the talk and knows all about the science of women’s shoes. But he’s bottom four because it’s a completely unbelievable role served by by Rob Reiner.

3. Geena Davis- Okay . . I never saw her play MacKenzie Allen in Commander in Chief. But this is Geena Fucking Davis we’re talking about. So she’s in, even if I have to stage a coup to make it happen.

2. Tom Kirkman- You may notice there is a Sutherland vibe to this Presidential post of mine. Because while the current administration consorts with the “Red Menace” , I prefer the red maple leaf. Much friendlier, and they know their beer.

Designated Survivor’s President Kirkman is an idealist of the very best kind. It’s why I do not hold it against him for story lines that have little reality to them. Here’s a President who’s willing to admit when he’s wrong. He listens, and then he goes with his gut. He relates to those he disagrees with. He trusts and verifies. He ain’t against bombing your ass if you fuck with his peeps, but he realizes this isn’t a paint ball contest so he will exhaust all other possibilities first.

I hope the show has one more season in it, somewhere. Because I want me some more President Kirkman.

David Palmer

1. Dennis Haysbert- There is no doubt that Hollywood takes itself way too seriously when it comes to politics. And the idea that Haysbert’s turn as President in 24 was the catalyst for Barack Obama’s ascent to the Oval Office is a tad bit simplistic, to put it nicely.

But there is little doubt that Haysbert owned the role. President David Palmer was a Boss who understood delegation on a doctorate level. And he was so damned efficient! I mean, why mobilize a couple hundred thousand troops to a danger zone when you can just dial up Jack Bauer and get shit done in less than a day?

Palmer was eloquent without being preachy. He made the tough decisions look simple. And he could speak an apple right out of a tree and hand you a glass of ice cold juice in double time. You could argue that giving his ex-wife a key role in his administration was crazy, but I say it shows how secure an individual he was. To navigate all the sharks inside his own administration and the Macbeth-like scenarios she was spinning? That there is power used to its best possible outcome.

And you can say that writing in David Palmer was a wasted vote. And you can say I’m a dreamer. But hey . . I’m not the only one.

 

 

 

 

Winning and Misery: A Love Story

LaBron

What’s most interesting about LBJ going to the Lakers is that it simply feels like another vacation for the dude. He went to Miami for four years and then came home to Cleveland. Now he’s going to the other coast for another four years, and is there any doubt he resigns with the Cavaliers to finish out his career? Unless, that is, James plans on playing as long as Tom Brady- who plans on playing until he’s forty five . . . or until someone discovers that he is, in fact, a cyborg. Whichever comes first.

Personally, I’m thankful James didn’t drag “Decision 3” out . . because the World Cup is way more interesting news, even if most sports media here in the states ain’t shutting off the LBJ spigot till it runs dry. So we’ll get more devotionals to the King and more questions as to who might come join his posse. And make no mistake, he ain’t beating the Warriors unless he gets him some deputies . . not even close.

Hopefully all that baller business happens sooner than later, because I want me some open highway for the beautiful game of futbol. Unlike the NBA off-season gossip pages that James books passage on every four years, soccer’s four year itch is actually filled with live action; and if you ain’t been paying attention to this particular World Cup, I am sorry.

I ain’t throwing shade at us state side simpletons for possessing a drive-thru attention span when it comes to sports. After all, we are what we eat. And most sports outlets behave like hired lemmings in that they follow one story after the next over the cliff, regardless of its verity or relevance.

I hope LaBron 2K works if only because I still root for Magic Johnson, even now. And because the Lakers haven’t been likable since forever. And because I believes James paid his debt in full to Cleveland when he brought them a title. Let’s please not inject ‘loyalty’ into this when it comes to a free agent athlete choosing his work place. Owners and front office peeps don’t make bank based on being loyal, and neither should the players.

I can see the way James is playing this thing. He figures his great white whale- the Warriors- stands in the way of his title legacy either way; so by moving into their conference, he doesn’t have to worry about losing to them in the finals again. Plus, his presence puts LA in ‘win now’ mode, which means that Magic will do everything in his power to get his new stud a second, and maybe even third star. If that happens, LBJ doesn’t believe Boston, or any other team in the East, can beat him so long as he gets past Golden State.

This is a Michael Corleone move for James. He’s moving the family out West while he still has the clout whilst looking at laying down a monolithic paradigm for next gen superstars. James has always been a vocal presence and a civic minded individual, so what better spot to lay down his ascension to future NBA owner than in the land where power brokers play?

In the present, all James has to do is resurrect some agreeable facsimile of the Showtime Lakers- a team that was born inside my favorite decade- the ’80’s. Unless of course he gets his sidekicks. Because in that case . . expectations go bling.

Showtime Lakers

The Showtime Lakers were Magic and Kareem, James Worthy and Byron Scott and lemme put it this way: If Cirque du Soleil was a basketball team? They would’ve been the Showtime Lakers. And while I patterned my set shot after Worthy, he wasn’t the reason I slicked back my hair. Pat Riley was the coolest cat in the room and I fell in love with the way he coached up a starting five. Riles was style and substance. With his Armani suits and slicked back hair, he was the living breathing embodiment of a Hollywood ad campaign.

And those Lakers teams led by Riley are the reason I fell in love with the Association in the first place. They were a mythological advancement for a league they had helped save- along with the Boston Celtics- years earlier. Pat Riley put it best when he said it was an all or nothing proposition when you play for a star laden Lakers club. “There’s winning and there’s misery,”. All or nothing. Hang a title banner or get out of town. I’m thinking if Riley were to offer any advice to LeBron in the event he builds an LA ‘superteam’, it would be short and sweet.

You better fucking win it.

The Danger In Economizing Words

Can we stop being so easily offended by everything?

Why is it becoming increasingly difficult to behave like a normal human being when it comes to simple language? Why is everything we say put under such a brutal microscope, whose magnification transforms the ‘perpetrator’ into a Machiavellian figure? Can we stop that, please? Because it’s in the sharing of our thoughts that, yanno . . we learn. For the good and the not so good of this thing called life. We’re not control subjects after all, we’re people. And it’s a rather unscientific fact that we all say stupid shit from time to time.

Expecting perfection from a human being is like believing the tides will take a cigarette break. It’s never gonna happen. And I not only don’t mind that fact, I take a measure of comfort in it. What use is a world where passionate discourse and raw honesty are curtailed by individuals posing as behavioral scientists? Will we reach a day when people parse and examine every word they say for fear it might be deemed a crime against humanity? Thing is, when we start asking for perfection from a human being, we’re setting the wheels in motion for an Orwellian scenario in which human beings behave very much like mannequins.

If we attempt to erase our flaws, all we really do is invite more sinister conclusions. Because in case you haven’t noticed? We have an abundance of individuals in this world who know how to lie, really well. And it’s the people with sway and say- the people with money and power and political connections- who stand to gain the most in that kind of world. And maybe that sounds like some really stupid conspiratorial shit, but I ain’t apologizing. Seriously . . that would be counterproductive to this post.

All I know is I don’t want to live in a world where language is screened and tested and altered until it is unrecognizable from its original shape. Hell, we’re already living in a world where the majority of the people are more apt to forgive Wells Fargo and Facebook for fucking with their financial and personal information than they are a simple individual who behaves like a human being. Is it because ordinary human beings don’t have the ability to create those cozy little thirty second spots in which they dress up their ‘mistakes’ with actors posing as moms and dads? All that stupid shit I was saying earlier . . about the people with say and sway, is not quite so stupid if you stop and think about it.

Listen, I’m not saying that everyone should be allowed to go around speaking like gutter tramps. It’s just that, I just can’t warm up to policing an individual’s thoughts when educating and communicating with that individual is so much more sustainable.

There has to be a happy medium where we can coexist peacefully enough. Imperfectly, yes . . but truthfully. Or would you rather have it where dialogue becomes a thoroughly manicured endeavor in which people simply learn how to lie magnificently?

If we’re not careful about what we’re wishing for, we just might get it.

 

Celebrating Tuesday! Said no one, ever.

Happy Tuesday

I feel sorry for Tuesdays. Tuesday is like the middle child that gets left with the grandparents when the family goes to Disney World. Whereas Monday is the high profile villain we love to hate and Wednesday has achieved a low key Friday status, Tuesday ain’t got much of anything going on.

So in keeping with this unfortunate legacy, I’ve decided to loose a few observations. If you’re expecting some earth shattering, award winning shit, I apologize in advance . . .

  • Oreos comes out with a new flavor every five minutes, and it always makes me envious of those communist countries.
  • Dan LeBatard broached a topic I have often wondered about. LeBron James is getting better at an age when regression happens with the very best players. Is this nature, hard work or a science experiment? And if there is some lab work going on, is there a chance in hell the NBA would expose its Chosen One?
  • I passed a lawn sign that read “Think Snow” and I wondered if that home owner has a death wish.
  • You can get two steaks at Applebee’s for like fifteen bucks, which is the culinary equivalent of those infomercials where you buy one crappy product and they give you another one absolutely free.
  • All this time later, the fine ladies of En Vogue are still honey to my musical senses.
  • I want a job in the Trump administration. I’d work for a week or two, get fired and enjoy my sweet severance package on the other side while I did the book circuit.
  • I want to see Infinity War simply for the spectacle. But is it wrong to admit I would bag it for a good (non-Applebee’s) steak dinner with martinis?
  • That’s not a dig at the Avengers. It’s me confessing that I am incapable of dressing myself in zeitgeist.
  • Other things which do not fascinate me in the same way they seem to fascinate every one else include fireworks, bacon cheeseburgers, playlists, Comedy Central, Ed Sheeran, board games, tank tops, gadgets and reality shows.
  • Until very recently, I had no idea American Idol had returned. And from the ratings, it seems no one else did either.
  • See? I’m not always a cranky outlier. . .
  • So North and South Korea can make nice after almost three quarters of a century worth of conflict, but these assholes can’t make nice at a corn-hole tournament fundraiser? Got it.
  • Is there any doubt Marie Antoinette would’ve run a bakery if she’d been born in this time period?
  •  If you dig the eighties, you might want to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, because it is chock full of references to the decade I will always love most. And no . . I won’t see the movie.
  • It’s always interesting to note that the uproar over those anthem protests spits in the face of the same basic freedoms and liberties that the people hating on those protesters purport to believe in. It has cost talented players their livelihood while never minding the fact that the NFL was paid by our military to put on those flag shows. What? You thought the league invested their own money in those field sized flags and spectacular flyovers? Nah, the league only found patriotism after our military came to them with an offer. And the league only gave back- a portion- of the money after it was reported. The owners are plenty fine with employing criminals who beat up women and kill dogs, but they simply do not dig the optics of the flag protest. Simple as that.

Well, I could go on but the meds are kicking in and the voices in my head are getting sleepy. Apologies to Jurassic Park movies and Chocolate Twinkies for being left in the green room, but I just ran out of time. They will be welcomed back with open arms though!

Happy Wednesday Eve.