Thursday, April 24, 2008

Four-track lovesong

So I'm going to be filming again.

We'll see how that turns out.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Got a DVD from Amazon UK and got an email about how I could save ££s

I'm very much not a fan of SNL these days, for no reason other than the lack of anything funny. However, the "SNL Digital Shorts" have been constantly funny, and a good way to pass a few minutes at work. This latest one is among the best (for me at least).

Apparently there was an earthquake in southeastern Illinois late last night, which could be felt as a slight rumble here in the part of Illinois that doesn't suck. Naturally, comments are a-flyin' on the Facebooks.

I really don't understand how people drink beer from cans.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can you hear it calling?

Ever screwed yourself over real bad? I mean bad.

Like you knew it was coming and had it in mind to make sure not to mess up, but you sort of still mess up off the bat, but it's still salvageable, and then you make a decision you think will make things even better than they would have been but it winds up taking you to a worse place than you already were, except this time it's too late to change anything or to go back to the original plan...

Ever done that? It's like shooting yourself in the foot repeatedly as you're watching a YouTube of your dog getting kicked set to loop, and the only thing you have to drink is Gatorate Fucking A.M.

I'm ready for the real world. The grind of having a job while trying to make it towards that dream/goal floating out there in the ether. I'm fine with that. I just no longer have the humor for this last quarter or two of School Bullshit I have to push through. I've learned my life lessons, I've grown as a person, I am prepared for the real world. But I'm not, actually... I still have to get a science lab, history class, stats class and an arts and lit credit in first. THEN I'll be truly prepared for the real world.

The M.D. in "Bill Murray, M.D." stands for "Mega Dick," btw.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bill Murray, M.D.

Lost in Translation is so, so very good, it might force me to buy a player for a dead format just to own it in high definition.

Seriously. I love the movie that much.

Friday, April 11, 2008

(do you remember the roar?)

April 2nd. Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks. The stands are a sea of Hawks and Wings jerseys screaming at each other. Five minutes left in the third. The puck is in play, but people have started to stream out of the United Center. It has been a sight not too uncommon for the last decade.

Hockey is a big part of my life. I haven't played competitively since midway through high school when I broke the hell out of my leg skiing, but even though I don't play, I can still notice it's effects on me. The way I think, the way I solve problems and choose to attack situations, even down to the way I make my way through a big crowd, can all be directly linked back to my years playing hockey. Socially I have a rather prominent tendency to be a loner, but being part of a team is where I feel at home.

I've been a Blackhawks fan for as long as I can remember, even before I played hockey. Like most things involving sports, it's something I got from my parents, my dad in particular, but that wasn't the only reason I was into it. My memories of childhood, especially my grade school years, are somewhat fuzzy, but I remember that after transferring in the third grade my life was generally boring, and at times horrible thanks to my well-off bully classmates. The only time I ever really felt I was okay was sitting in the Chicago Stadium (and later the United Center), surrounded by people dressed in red and black, cheering for those people skating around on the ice.

Feeling an attachment to a major sports team is something that many people simply do not understand. The comment I often hear upon a team winning whatever league is "you're not on the team, why do you care?" It's hard to explain to people like this why we feel an attachment to a team when we know few or none of the players or coaches personally. It isn't about watching the game to just pass the time, nor is going to games only an excuse to get away or to hang out with friends. It can be all of those things, but for those of us who understand, it is more than just that. Parents want their children to win their baseball games, when they often don't know anything much about the team or who is on it - how is that different than somebody wanting their favorite team to win?

Being a Blackhawks fan has always had a certain pride about it. With most professional sports leagues, there are a bunch of teams, a few of the bigger older ones that have lots of fans and recognition, rivalries... the usual stuff. With hockey, there is still a large attachment to the history of the league, namely with the steady recognition of the Original Six teams - the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though the league is far bigger than six teams, the rivalries still exist from the 1940's, and Original Six matchups are constantly the highest-attended NHL matchups.

However, the thing that makes it a little bit different for a Blackhawks fan is the embarassing decade we have had. Since losing in the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1994 to the Pittsburg Penguins, our team has spiraled down, and in the 2000s have effectively been the laughing stock of the NHL, the only Original Six team that nobody gave a damn about. Back in the 60s, Chicago was hockey town, but now if you tune into the ten 'o clock sports, you'll be lucky to hear of the Hawks at all, and if you do, it'll be after the Cubs, Sox, Bears, Bulls, and even the Fire. It has been hard to be a Blackhawks fan, and for years, the team was lucky to have a single game that was anyhwere near close to sold out.

But there are those of us who understand. In all those years of low attendance, there was a bit of a bond between the people who did show up. We all why we were there, and we could all count on seeing each other for the rest of the season, because it was damn sure that nobody else would show up. A lot of the games were spent getting angry and booing our own team, and yet we persisted. Cubs fans can understand this a little bit, but their team is the Chicago Freaking Cubs, one of the cornerstones of the MLB, widely recognized and always popular. The Blackhawks, nobody cared about them anymore. The team came close to folding on more than a couple occasions, and if they were not an Original Six team they surely would have years ago. But we kept on going, shitty team, horrible ownership, all of it, we kept pushing through, because we knew one day we would break through all of it. Everyone there remembers how things used to be, and how important it was to each and every one of them, and I don't think anybody who stayed with the team through this horrible decade believed it would not come again.

This season marked the most important turning point this franchise has ever seen, coming back from the brink of destruction seemingly out of nowhere. The old GM, William Wurtz, died before the start of the season, and while he was a great man and truly loved what he did, he did not know how to manage a team in the modern world, and his son Rocky taking over, the new coach, hockey legend Dennis Savard taking over mid-last-season, and the hiring of Cubs president John McDonough has made a stunning difference. The biggest change was in the acquisition of the two best rookies in the NHL, Patrick Kane and Johnathan Towes. Both are 19 years old, yet they have displayed skills that have to be seen to be believed. The entire team has come together in a way few hockey teams have. The city isn't back, but the fans are, nearly every game since Christmas has been within 1000 seats of being sold out.

It's not nearly that simple. We had a horrible January this year, and that made us miss the playoffs by just a couple of points. Everybody is looking forward to next year, it will surely be better, but we're not exactly happy, either. Videos of Savvy talking on the team and their progress this year are notably somber, he seems bummed out. It gives you a weird feeling at first, but if you think about it, it's great that we're not happily looking forward to next season. We're still all pissed off that we're not in the playoffs now, because we should be. The last two months have been the best hockey Chicago has played since 1994, in my humble opinion. We're not happy with this. To be feeling that now, when last year we were as horrible as ever, is a huge deal. It is rare to see things start back in the right direction anywhere near this quick.

I think the last game at the Chicago Stadium was in the April of 1993. It is a tradition at Blackhawks games to clap and cheer during the national anthem, and I distinctly remember the national anthem before that game being the loudest thing I have heard in my life. Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought the anthem before the Wings game on the 2nd was almost that loud, and the UC is a far bigger and more wide-open stadium than the Old Stadium was.

At the end of that game, we beat the Wings 6-2. The team comes back out from the locker room and raises their sticks to the huge crowds giving them a standing ovation. I hear the guy in front of us lean over to somebody and say "I can't believe people were leaving!" It was at that point that I noticed the stadium was still nearly full, and there was no longer one single Red Wings jersey in the crowd.

For those of us there, standing and clapping, it was a very big moment. We don't know if anybody else understands, or even notices, but that doesn't matter, does it?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

\Girls in bracelets love like spaceships

Friend: "Man, that dude just totally pulled a ___."
Me: "He pulled a what?"
Friend: "You know, ___. The chick who did ____."
Me: "Who now?"

One of the perks that comes along with not watching television or listening to the radio - aside from the occasional movie or pre-recorded episode of Battlestar or Whitest Kids U' Know and an occasional minute or two of Q101 when I'm in the car at home - is that I miss out completely on so much of the bullshit that permeates our culture.

I don't know who's getting married, getting divorced, having kids with, or adopting kids in Hollywood. I don't know who Angelina Jolie is currently boning, I don't know the sex or the hair color of the fifteenth child she's picking up, and I don't give a damn about any of it.

I can hardly turn on the TV at all. When I'm at home the parents often have your basic primetime TV on, a "news journal" like 20/20 or Nightline later on in the night. Back when I was younger, I enjoyed watching programs like these, I found them refreshingly intelligent compared to most of the primetime drek that seems to never get any better. However, after a few years of being off TV, I can't stand more than maybe five minutes of these shows.

Now, I'm not saying the internet is the savior of all of this. 99% of the internet is bullshit. Well, 80% porn, 19% bullshit. Even "news" sites like CNN are largely stuffed with meaningless crap. Let's see if I can get to that point floating out there in the ether.

The meaning of the term "news journal" has been completely thrown out the window. It is now like "gripping" or "compelling" is to movies, or "non-linear" and "innovative" is to games - pure jargon, buzzwords, bullshit. I turn on 20/20, and I get a story about that one Baldwin nobody gives a shit about, the drug addict one, and how he's pulling through (though he dresses in a horribly sloppy fashion and has hair that automatically designates him a "douchebag" considering his age). That's all well and good, but it starts to bug me when we go along on one of his trips to help out other people. It's great that he's trying to help others, but when I'm watching a kid get an intervention with his family... and a celebrity "talking straight" to him and referring to the kid as "brother" every two sentences... and with a whole camera crew in the room and boom mikes hovering above these people's heads... you know, I'm sorry, maybe I'm just jaded or too critical, but I can't be moved by crap like this. It's tacky, staged, and exists for no reason other than to try to "get to" the audience (or more precisely to get to the money resting in the wallet under their left ass-check). We then get to the part of the show where that John Schlockingkins bitches about something he hates, and interviews somebody in a horribly offensive borderline Stephen Colbert way, and it's at that point I get up and go play Peggle in the study.

I come back later on for Nightline. The last time I really focused on it a few years back it was one of the last respectable news journal TV shows around. Right at fade in it starts to lose me - that jackass who did the Michael Jackson interview is the anchor. When the hell did this happen? We then went into one story of a celebrity's life or raising money for kids or something, and then a behind-the-scenes of some movie being filmed, and finally a puff piece for a band. We didn't even get ONE real news story.

I haven't forgotten about the local news, either, I just don't even bother trying with that anymore. We get half the show about people dying and incidents of violence, because violence is what gets ratings. We then get some meaningless entertainment news, some horribly stinted sports reporting (you will note that the Cubs are always mentioned first, regardless of anything else going on), and finally some "lol we like happy stuff too" bit to end it off.

Actually, I don't have a point at all, really. TV sucks, and I'm happy to report that I have no fucking idea who Timbaland is.

TV: 0, Pete: 1... Peggle: 3

This is why I don't try new things.

I'm coming back to the apartment downtown. Upon reaching Fullerton, my coffee (my second coffee) is gone, so I duck into Dominick's to grab something to drink. I instinctively walk to the pop isle, and see that Gatorade suddenly has it's own hugeass section. In the middle this catches my eye...

Now, I'm a big fan of Gatorade, and the idea of a morning drink without caffeine and guarana and all that stuff you really shouldn't be pumping into yourself as an alternative to actually walking up is intriguing to me. There were two flavors, the other said "artifically flavored" and this one said "naturally flavored," so I grabbed one. I get home and pop it open.

This thing isn't good. It's not bad, either. It's... despicable. I think this is how I would feel if somebody kicked my dog on a relative's grave. It's like the drink enters my mouth and says "DIE YOU ASSHOLE" and proceeds to kick the shit out of my tastebuds. It tastes like liquefied Sweettarts mixed with pure fucking hatred.