|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Yeah, you heard me… hiatus. But only for a few days, I promise.
Actually, whether you want to call this “writer’s block” or not, I really feel creatively empty. I don’t know what I want to write about lately, and haven’t done a good job of just putting the blank page in front of myself and typing away either.
Usually, just having MS Word open is enough excuse for me to ramble on to the tune of 2500 words. Lately? It’s not happening.
So, while I am absolutely going to try to steel myself into putting something up here today, I am going to take the next few days to recharge.
Hell, maybe I’ll even get out of town for the weekend and find somewhere to go gamble. Next stop, Detroit.
Until I get back, Otis has been blogging like a man possessed down in the Bahamas. Make sure you keep up, it’s been great stuff so far…
The White Stuff
We got about a foot of snow here in West Michigan overnight, which lent itself to a white-knuckle drive in this morning. Actually, it wasn’t just the snow. I broke my cup holder beyond repair in my car first thing this morning, and then also found my heel slipping around on a floor mat embedded icicle too. Oh, and did I mention that they plowed only the left lane on the highway and left us non-F150 Super Duty drivers to fend for ourselves at 35MPH in the right lane while the dickheads were zooming by at 70MPH in the left?
At least the kids in my hometown didn’t get a day off of school.
We’re pretty hardcore where I’m from. Everything south and east of us is closed (everything west is Milwaukee), but Grand Haven schools stay open. I’m thrilled that the current administration is following the path laid out by the Superintendent when I was a kid. Nothing was worse at age 10 (and 17, for that matter) than waking up to eighteen inches of powder, turning on the TV, and seeing every school in the region mentioned in the closings graphic except yours. Of course, the opposite is true now. I’m terribly satisfied when I don’t see GHPS listed on the scroll, because those goddamn kids should have to suffer like I did.
Of course, maybe suffering like I did is what turns someone from a disgruntled kid into a whiny little bitch at age 30. Maybe we don’t need another generation growing up and blogging about all the girls that wouldn’t sleep with them in high school.
You know, having written so damn much on this blog over the last eighteen months or so, I can’t always remember if I’ve told certain stories on here or not. Regardless, since we’re talking about the snowfall (or, since I’m talking about the snowfall), checking in at number two on my all-time list of weird-ass injuries I’ve suffered is a snow story.
Recess in elementary school is an age-based oligarchy. In their last gasp of greatness before the next five years brings awkward growth spurts, voices changing, and an uneasy relationship with upperclassmen, sixth graders exert their inner Jack Merridew over the rest of us littluns. “I’m using this swing,” or “But I was here first” is never heard from the mouth of a littlun, lest a bigun goes all Roger on Piggy or tortures them like they did to Samneric.
It was especially bad in the winter. After a few weeks of heavy snowfall and near daily plowing by the school district, various snow mountains had been erected adjacent to parking lots and walkways, and these mountains were under constant reconfiguration at the behest of the big boys. Fortification was the name of the game. Higher, bigger, more room and more barriers for the snowball snipers atop. All this required a plan, a leader, the raw materials, and an accessible source of labor.
And since the migrant Mexican blueberry pickers had long since been bused out of town, the third graders would have to do.
In charge of the project was a cabal of the older kids, led by D, the subject of much envy amongst the rest of the school. Even in non-mountainous West Michigan, he’d be pulled from school by his mom in the middle of the day on a Tuesday and show back up on Wednesday with fresh lift tickets attached to his jacket. He dressed better than us, he looked better than us, and he had cooler friends than any of us. We hated him, but desperately wanted his attention, his validation. Who better to rally the troops to get the ultimate snowball fight fortress built?
I jumped at the chance to help. Clad in my snowmobile suit and Kmart issue moon boots, I was tasked with providing a snowball the size of a Fiat for use atop the giant hill near the teacher’s parking lot. Since it was easily the biggest area to plow, it was easily the biggest pile of snow any of us had ever had the chance to retro-fit for our own (the sixth graders’ own) insidious purposes. So I rolled a snowball.
More accurately, across first recess and lunch, I rolled a snowball. It was enormous. Dwarfed me completely. Thankfully, with all the work necessary on the fortress, the big kids had equipped the hill with ramps up the sides in order to get the much needed snow boulders to the top. Well-traveled ramps, mind you. Slick and icy well-traveled ramps.
I hadn’t counted on that part.
So, like Sisyphus before me, I was told to push the boulder up the hill. Like Sisyphus, the boulder slipped – but unlike Sisyphus, the boulder slipped because I slipped first. With moon boots providing no traction on the icy slope, I lost footing, fell flat on my back, and had an enormous snow boulder the size of a Fiat roll back over me and down the hill, breaking my nose in the process.
I went to the doctor’s, they gave me some sweet-looking nose plugs made of cotton and bandaged up my bruised face. Then my dad made me go back to school for the last hour, and then to a friend’s house after school. Oddly, I remember this day too as the first and last time I ever ate yogurt out of the tub. It was disgusting.
The 20% Theory
I remember hitting the mall or a movie a couple times in college with this friend of mine Jenel, who was simply the single most attractive person I’ve ever known personally (Bob would back me up on this for sure). She was so good looking, mind you, that I became conscious that she and I were being looked at strangely. Instead of guys looking at her and drooling over her, they were looking at me and thinking, “What the hell is this guy doing with that girl?”
I only mention this because I read that Heidi Klum is now engaged to the singer Seal.
Did I really just type, “the singer Seal?” As if I need to distinguish “the singer Seal” from “the nuclear physicist Seal” and “the Crown Prince of Sweden Seal?” I’m a moron.
Back to the point. Because Seal is “Seal,” this becomes okay. Acceptable. But what if Seal wasn’t “Seal.” What if Seal was “Rodney the Gaffer from Heidi’s last movie?” There’d be a complete uproar. It’d be brutal. People screaming, models eating, dogs and cats living side by side, basically all the worst parts of the Bible – just an utterly irretrievable shift in the balance of power.
This is a “supermodel” now engaged to a guy that used to be a leper. Something like that at least.
This all goes back to my theory that women need to be attractive to be famous (basically), while all men have to do is be talented. Steven Tyler from Aerosmith? If he’s “Steve the Spot-Welder at the Garage,” he’s not getting the chance to mate with someone attractive enough to sire a hottie like Liv.
I mean, there are exceptions to the rule. What’s-her-name from “The Practice” must be a terrific actress, because she’s a big girl. I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch it. I’m just saying. You know Kathy Bates is talented, and kicks ass in just about everything she does, but she’s not a pretty girl either. But guys can get away with this far more than women can.
Plus, it’s always been said that we grow old better than women do. So we got that going for us too.
I have another theory too. I call this one my “20% Theory.”
Take the entire population and rank them on looks and personality from 1-10 with 10 being most desirable. Assume also that regardless as to how terrific someone’s personality is, it isn’t worth more than three quarters of a point, even in the best of scenarios.
The theory is, guys can date up to 20% up, while women are largely unable to do so.
The 20% theory works really well at the higher levels, because a guy who’s a solid 8 can definitely get a hottie to the tune of a 9.5 if he’s able to work his game well enough. If a guy is a solid 9.5 though, he’s normally too focused on the 9.6-10.0 range to pay any attention to the women in the 8 range beneath him.
At the lower levels, a guy who’s a 5 is probably able to get himself a woman who’s a 6, but there’s no way he’s shopping higher than that. A woman who’s a 5 is probably best off trying to trick a blind guy into falling in love.
See the theory in action? Seal is probably a pretty decent looking dude despite the Merrick-lite facial deformities he’s rocking. Put him at about a 7.5 for looks maybe, but add the money, the fame, and the voice, and he’s easily an 8 or so. So yes, Heidi Klum probably falls in his range when you take the 20% theory into account.
Of course, because this is just a theory and not a postulate, there are always exceptions to the rule. Julia Roberts (at the height of her popularity) and Lyle Lovett, for instance. Senator John Edwards and his wife (he’s a good looking and powerful man, and she’s a solid two points below him) too.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Any Two Will Do
I like to mix things up, keep it loose, you know?
That’s why I got a chicken and a steak quesadilla at Taco Bell today.
Actually, I only went to Taco Bell because the weather here sucks today, and instead of driving past three Mexican restaurants to get to the take out Mexican joint I like, I just stopped at the first one. Taco Bell.
I spent $8.53 on lunch today over there, which is $3 more than I would have spent for something far more tasty and unique at the other joint. I’m lazy.
Speaking of mixing things up and keeping things loose, I sat down last night for a little PartyPoker action, and found the most boring table you could possibly imagine. Limp and fold was the name of the game. Derek joined me for an hour, and he can attest to this too. It was unbelievable. Probably the biggest collection of wusses you’ve ever ran into in your life.
So I was getting bored, and loose BG made an appearance. All this folding to pot sized bets on the flop was beginning to take its toll on me. So I promised myself that the next hand I got, I’d raise pre-flop and push any part of it I caught.
T3o. I bump it to $2, and two follow me to the flop.
563 rainbow. Someone comes in for $.50, the other dude folds, and I raise to $5. He thinks and calls.
T on the turn. This time he leads out for about $10, and I push him all-in with my remaining $20. He calls and flips 56. T3 gives me a higher two pair, and the river brings no help. My hand is good.
Derek flipped out. I had effectively doubled up with the proverbial “Any Two Cards.”
And it was emotionally satisfying like you wouldn’t believe.
I spent the next hour pushing raises in on everything. I figured that if I kept pushing around, when I did get a legit hand, I’d clean up. Well, I didn’t catch a damn thing, but still cashed out for the session up…
…$.42. A lousy forty two cents. But at least I blew some steam off.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
I’ve hinted at this one a couple of times, but have never written the whole thing up in one solid retelling. For the purposes of this story, let’s assume my first name is “Andrew.” Other names have been changed to protect the reader from initials and too many parenthetical reminders.
Upon my graduation from college I joined a financial institution’s training program, and upon graduation from training I interviewed and auditioned for a number of Regional Managers, Assistant Vice Presidents, and Senior Officers to attempt to land myself a plum gig in a well-heeled area.
I’m pretty sure I won my assignment over lunch with the team.
Led by the Regional Manager, with AVPs and Officers in tow, we descended fifteen strong on a fancy Italian restaurant in the heart of Ann Arbor for a break in the interview schedule. While I certainly knew that the interview spotlight was still solidly in place, I knew that this was a time where I could maybe let my hair down a little bit and have some fun with the day. These seemed like good people, and I wanted them to see I was not only well equipped to handle the job, but to handle being part of the team as well.
I didn’t even look at the menu. I was too busy talking with some of the team, offering up my good restaurant stories, and regaling them with my history with an apron and a spatula. The server caught the table before I could decide on a meal, so I just winged it. “Bring me whatever you’d order yourself, so long as there’s no mushrooms in it.”
That caught everyone off guard a little bit, but it loosened the table up. I remember catching shit from a couple of people over the next few months about that being a “calculated move,” and wondering if I had read that in an interview book somewhere. I had to laugh. I was just ill prepared, and I was pretty sure an Italian restaurant could come up with something edible for me. Anyway, sitting across the table from me at lunch was one of the Officers in this group, Carol, and she and I spent the rest of the lunch providing the jokes, the punch lines, and the running commentary that kept everyone loose until we got back into the grind of the interview.
Carol was almost old enough to be my mom. Well, maybe if we’re talking about one of those girls from the After School Specials who gets knocked up in the eighth grade. Regardless, she was a willowy blonde with a terrific body for a 40 year old, and a ballsy streak a mile wide. Were I remotely close to her neighborhood age-wise, and were she not married, I’d have been pursuing her heavily. She was friendly, funny, successful, and not at all shy.
I remember upon her return from a weekend in Toronto with her husband, she told us a story about visiting a strip club for the very first time. It happened to be “amateur night.” Upon gentle prodding from one of the dancers, she disappeared backstage, was outfitted in something slinky by a working girl, and gave her husband a lap dance onstage in front of a few dozen appreciative patrons.
No, not shy at all.
I ended up landing in her branch office, and we became fast friends and an odd couple of bad influences. A drink after work? Try eleven until eleven. A quick lunch? Let’s hit the mall and wander around for a couple hours. Too sunny and warm on a Tuesday morning at 9AM? Got your clubs in the trunk?
She was terrific. We were practically inseparable at office Christmas parties and events like weddings and barbecues, much to the delight of my girlfriend at the time (my eventual fiancée, wife, and ex-wife) and Carol’s husband Andy, who both appreciated how our friendship and ability to lighten the mood kept them entertained at the driest of functions.
One night after a spur-of-the-moment $175 dinner and bar trip that left us both giddy from the wine and gin, I walked her out to the car. She was absolutely plastered. So was I. Carol turned the hug I offered her into a quick kiss. On the lips. And she was looking at me differently, as if it was going to be my move from here.
I told her I’d see her tomorrow and walked away, not really processing the purpose of that look until the drive home. I couldn’t. There’s no way. I had a girlfriend now, and she had a husband. She’d always had a husband. Granted, it was her third, but still. Under other circumstances? Absolutely. She was definitely an attractive woman, and the more you knew her, the sexier she got.
We never talked about that kiss. I think she preferred to maintain the illusion that in her drunken stupor she had somehow forgotten about that kiss, that look.
We had to talk about the other kiss though.
Six months after that first kiss I piled three of my co-workers, all 40-something women including Carol, into my SUV for an hour plus drive to a work-mandated barbecue. I had left my girlfriend behind, but she and I were supposed to catch up after the barbecue to watch movies until late into the night.
It wasn’t until that “late into the night” that I managed to get over to her place to see her.
There were too many beers in the hot sun that day. As the driver, I had to rein it in a bit and be the rational and sober one. Not Carol. 5PM rolls around, and I’m checking my watch. 6PM. 7PM. The sun went down around 9PM, and Carol is sitting poolside with the last of the die hard drinkers left from the barbecue. “We’ve gotta go, I’m supposed to be meeting Jean.”
She looked up at me from her beer with playful eyes. “I don’t want to go just yet. Let’s swim.” And with that, she jumped – fully clothed – into the pool. She was drunk, and I was laughing.
Carol came to the surface, shook the water from her face and slicked her hair back with both hands. She looked up to me on the deck, but her eyes weren’t playful anymore. I recognized that look. I remembered that look. She parted the water with slender arms and a slow scissors kick propelled her over to the deck, where she had come to rest. “I know you want to come swimming with me, right?” I looked to the shallow end of the pool to a couple of co-workers from another region swapping stories, and over to the lounge chairs where a few more were in assorted stages of relaxation – from comfortable to full-fledged passed out. If anything beyond just flirting was going to happen, I was going to get caught.
I did the math in my head in an instant. I’m 23. She’s 40. She’s the attractive one. She’s got the party girl reputation. I’ve got no reputation to spoil.
In an instant I had stripped down to my shorts and dove over her head to a far corner of the pool. She pushed off the side wall in pursuit, only coming up for breath after she had caught two handfuls of my ass underwater. We weren’t just flirting anymore.
“Can I tell you how long I’ve wanted to do this?” That was the last thing one of us said before I kissed her. Or she kissed me. I don’t even really remember who said it, but for that moment it could and should have been either of us taking charge.
Fully clothed, utterly drenched, and completely horny, Carol was shameless. So was I. We were absolutely making out like tenth graders in front of a dozen or so drunk co-workers. Including the two from my office for whom I was the only way home.
I didn’t care. We were groping each other in the pool for at least half an hour, breaking only to remind each other how long we’d been sharing this mutual attraction, but never bringing the reality of girlfriends, husbands, or Monday at work’s uncomfortable tension into the mix.
Never in my life have the forces of shamelessness and self-consciousness done such vicious battle with shamelessness prevailing. I knew I was insulated from criticism here. I was single. I was seduced. I’m just a guy. Would you expect any less?
After kissing and groping madly in front of people we knew for about a half an hour, she and I went out to the car to get toweled off. I sat her on the tailgate and was mussing her hair dry with a damp rag, kissing her gently in the process. I think that’s when she said it the first time.
“Andrew, I think I’ve been falling in love with you for a long time.”
I was completely dumbfounded. Shocked. Startled. However you can explain that feeling of being broadsided by a bus, that was me. I wasn’t sure where this was going when it started an hour ago, but I damn sure didn’t think it’d end up here. As is the innate ability with all men, I managed to deflect that weighty statement into something that certainly sated my drunken would-be concubine.
We got back into the car, and Carol took the front seat. The two 40-something women who I was driving home were wearing knowing smirks on their faces. Carol wasn’t fazed. Frankly, neither was I. I think having worked with Carol for years, they knew this was something of which she was capable, but maybe they never believed they’d see it with their own eyes.
Or hear it with their own ears. Carol grabbed my hand off of the steering wheel and held it steadily in her own over the drive back to where we had all parked. We weren’t two miles away from the party when Carol mused aloud to no one in particular, “I married an Andy, but I’m falling for an Andrew.”
I’m never going to forget that line. That’s going to stay parked in my memory banks forever as one of the most warm, complimentary, confusing, trapping, and frustrating things ever said to me in one breath. The emotion that took over for me in that moment was confusion. I had dove headfirst into that water knowing full well that it could end in a kiss or better. I was confident though that there was little chance the worst-case scenario would arise.
Sorry kid, snake eyes.
It was the right girl, ten years too early. It was the right time, if not for some loyalty I felt to give my girlfriend the chance she and I deserved. It was the right kiss, if for no other reason than I thought it was destined to be captured in a time capsule existing in that night and in that drunken bliss alone.
I don’t know where Carol expected this to go, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t follow her there. If I was going to get through this evening, I had to help her understand that this was a one night stand and wasn’t going to work as a factor of anything more than lust.
We drove mostly in silence, our traveling companions too shockingly chagrined to say much of anything to what they had seen. I was quietly mustering up all the resolve I had to have the conversation with Carol we needed to have to get things straight, just as soon as I could get these other two out of the car.
We got back to the parking lot at work, and said our uncomfortable chuckling goodbyes to our co-workers. As soon as they had pulled away in their cars, I looked over to Carol and started in. “Look, I…”
She stopped me gently with a smile. “Don’t. Let’s not worry about anything right now. This is all I want tonight.” She leaned over and kissed me. That kiss said so many things – “I love you,” “Thank you,” “I needed this,” and “I’ll miss you,” all at the same time. She pulled away, still damp from the pool but positively glowing in the moonlight. “Before I go, there’s something I’ve always wanted to do…”
“This.” And with that, her head disappeared into my lap for the next half hour.
“Thank you,” was the last thing she whispered to me as she climbed out of the truck and headed over to her car. I buckled back up and headed home to take a quick shower before finally catching up to Jean at her place, asleep on the couch at 3AM.
“Where were you?” were her first words to me as she cleared the fog from her eyes at that ungodly hour.
“I’m so sorry. I couldn’t get Carol out of the pool.” At least I wasn’t lying.
To Carol’s credit, we had lunch on Monday and spent all of five minutes talking about what had happened on Friday night. She never minimized anything, but we both acknowledged that we enjoyed each other too much to wreak that kind of havoc on our own lives. She and I handled it superbly.
We definitely remained close, but we never got close to this happening again.
That really was Lucy Noland who had Googled herself and left a comment in my archives. I got home last night and sent an email thanking her for her visit and asking for an autographed headshot to go along with my autographed publicity shot of WYSP’s Tanya that Al got me.
I wasn’t absolutely convinced this whole thing wasn’t just one of you guys having some fun with me until she emailed me back. Apparently, she’s less than satisfied with her publicity photos so I’m not getting a companion piece to Tanya’s, but she did ask me why I started this here blog, and to tell her a little bit about myself.
So I guess I have a little temporary pen pal thing going on with one of New York City’s best looking anchor ladies. I’m not complaining.
From the files of “Cool Things This Blog Has Wrought,” this ranks right up there. But I had another cool thing thrown my way yesterday that I can’t really talk about yet, lest I jinx it from actually happening. Let’s just say that should this all shake out, I should have a pretty decent story or two to tell over the next couple of weeks. And no, I don’t think I can talk about it right now.
I can and will talk with seething jealousy (kidding, kidding) about Otis’ gig that’s coming up this weekend in the Caribbean for PokerStars. The website for his running commentary is up, and he’s already graced us with some poker goodness. The WPT tournament starts tomorrow, and I can’t wait to read the trip reports from the poker blogging community’s best blogger.
I’ve got to admit, while I am impressed by and admire every blogger who does his or her part to put a portion of their lives up for public consumption, it’s Otis in particular for whom I reserve a special jealousy. And I told him as much in Vegas. There are a few bloggers whose writing styles I really admire, but I don’t think anyone writes the way I’d like to be able to write as much as Otis does. Unlike me, it seems as if he’s really figured out what he wants to say.
So throw the Bahamas trip, the PartyPoker Million cruise, and his overall writing excellence together, and you’ve got a pretty good start on my jealousy. I’m really only being partly facetious too. I don’t really envy what others have so much as what others are able to share. And while I’m positive I’ve shared things in a different way than just about everyone linked up on the right side of the page here, I just don’t know that I’ve really found my style yet. Maybe I will at some point, but for now it’s nice to have such a solid and engaging writer to publicly envy.
Monday, January 03, 2005
I found out today that the same actress who played Maggie in “Caddyshack” also played Larry Kroger’s underage bra-stuffing girlfriend in “Animal House.”
I’m astounded, if only because I thought that “Irish” accent she had in “Caddyshack” was too horrible to not be authentic. Is there anything more inexplicable in movie history than Maggie being off-the-boat Irish?
Actually, speaking of inexplicable, I got a visit and a comment today that I have every reason to believe was actually from Former Fox2 Morning Anchor Babe Lucy Noland. Actually, that’s being too flippant, as she’s got to be more than just an “Anchor Babe” to have landed a morning show gig in NYC. Instead of having the pleasure of waking up to her (and Alan Lee, and Rhonda Walker) in the Detroit area like I used to, Pauly now gets that privilege from the Bronx. It’s buried back in the archives, so here it is:
One of the better ways, I've found, to see how the world sees you is Googling yourself. A couple times a year I do, and 'lo and behold what did I find? Your blog. Actually, it's very well written, not to mention entertaining.Weird, but funny? Yeah, that’s just about right.
By the way, I looked up the IP address just to see if it was any one of you losers out there just trying to be funny, and while I’m not absolutely certain, it looks like it might be coming from the Fox5 offices in NYC.
Anyway Lucy, if you happen to come back here to see if I mention you today, please note that the post about bringing back the USA “Up All Night” movie below for the masturbatory pleasures of today’s youth is meant to be funny. I didn’t exactly link to a petition or anything, and really can’t imagine how terrible Rhonda Shear must look after not having the income to keep up with her plastic surgery needs for the past dozen years.
Also, the reason I brought you up in this web space of mine in the first place is that I live in West Michigan now, and miss having attractive people such as yourself on the other side of the teleprompter. For example…
This NBC Anchor is the Diane Sawyer of Grand Rapids newswomen. Of course, if by “Diane Sawyer” you mean “Big Bird crossed with Joan Rivers.”
I continue to refer to this woman as “The News 8 Weather Harpy” for obvious reasons. She’ll grow old gracefully, much like Anne Ramsey.
The weekend NBC Anchor is about the best looking newsgirl in Grand Rapids, but with that uncomfortable smile and enormous forehead, she’ll probably get about as far as Des Moines before her looks really start to wash away.
If you wanted to create your own finger puppet of this guy, you’d start by gluing a cotton ball to your finger and drawing a mustache with a thick black magic marker.
I only bring the NBC Morning Anchor up because he’s Grand Rapids’ very own version of G-Rob. Except G-Rob isn’t made of solid teak.
I firmly believe that this weekend weather Himbo's chin cleft has semi-hypnotic properties. You could sum total the depth of every pit on Edward James Olmos’ face and not come up with a divot this deep.
It’s on good authority that I’ve heard that the ABC affiliate's Anchorlady's ass is colossal. This picture is kind of like a science experiment. If you look at it whole, she’s just blah and average. If you cover either half (vertically), she gets better looking. Aren’t our TV anchor people supposed to be symmetrical?
I’ll bet you $5 right now that either your dentist, your pastor, or both looks like this other ABC Anchor.
Seriously, this reporter grew up in Horseheads, NY. No, that’s just too easy.
The weekend girl from the Kalamazoo CBS station is actually pretty decent looking. She actually looks a bit like K, whom I was seeing for a bit earlier in 04. I wouldn’t trot her out in this motley crew otherwise.
I believe that the Kalamazoo weather guy makes a few bucks on the side sniffing up truffles in the north woods.
You see how starved I am for decent looking anchor people? Anyway, thanks for stopping by Lucy. I am going to bug you now for an autographed headshot.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
I say, "Youth, here's the truth..."
I feel bad for the kids today.
I don't know where things started to go badly, but I think it had to start with the cancellation of the USA "Up All Night" movie. Between Andy Sedaris movies and ESPN's "BodyShaping" marathons in the mornings, everything I ever needed to know about women in tight or torn clothing was on display in front of me. First we lost Rhonda and Gilbert on weekend nights on USA, then "Silk Stalkings" fell, "BodyShaping" lost Kiana and then their time slot, and we're left with what now?
Daisy Fuentes doing pilates on an infomercial? Christie Brinkley making uncomfortable conversation with Chuck Norris while ab sliding? I realize the post Janet Jackson America has been traumatized by the perception of smut, but is anyone thinking of the children? What are our children able to masturbate to on television today?
In my opinion, this is one of the great under-examined sociological factors pressuring America's children today. I have basic cable. Let's say I'm 16 years old, and am home alone tomorrow and get a little bored around 1PM. Here are my choices...
Daytime Soaps - Come on. Men can't watch this crap for more than forty seconds before turning away. I don't care how hot the girls are, they're catering to women, so they aren't exactly slutting it up. Except on Univision.
"Money Talks" on TBS - Heather Locklear is in this movie, but is criminally underused. She's got chicken legs anyway, and married a guy from Bon Jovi not named "Bon Jovi." As far as hot chicks go, she's a poseur.
"Texas Justice" and "Judge Mathis" - While I think the Gucci glasses Judge Mathis trots out are pretty fucking sweet (it's a Detroit thing), there's nothing to see here.
VH1's Most Awesome Celebrity Beefs - This show would have serious potential were I the producer, but I don't think we could talk Cameron Diaz and Britney Spears into nude jello wrestling.
"Viva La Bam" - From the "Jackass" family tree, it's a bunch of guys busting on each other and doing crazy shit. And unless you've got a little thing for Bam's mom April or appreciate the sometime homoerotic overtones that pervade this show, this isn't going to help you out at all either.
"Every Which Way But Loose" on AMC - Damned if I don't love a good monkey movie. That being said, I don't know about you but I don't find Clint Eastwood's bare knuckle boxing accompanied by wacky chimp applause and contrived mugging very arousing at all.
Various decorating shows - I do actually have a little crush on a couple of the "Trading Spaces" designers (Genevive particularly, although I think Hilde is kinda kickin' for an older lady), but the chances you'll get a Frank or Vern Yip instead of Gen keeps me from tuning in. Plus, I just can't get it up for a shade of eggshell in the can the way some of these designers can. Oy.
"MacGyver" on TV Land - I'm sure some people never miss an episode, but unless it's an episode with Teri Hatcher, I don't give a crap. Young Teri Hatcher kicks ass.
"Perfect Proposal" on TLC - Fuck these people. Fuck them up their stupid asses. Just another piece of fascist female propaganda to give women some sort of bullshit reasons to construct their expectations into insurmountable skyscrapers because some dude knew he was going to be on TV and managed to hire the fucking Philharmonic to serenade his fiancee-to-be in front of all her friends or something. Kiss my ass TLC.
"Fishing with Roland Martin" - I only mention this because Tivo tells me they're going after "giant red snapper," but since they didn't mention Tijuana, I'm guessing they really are going fishing. Damn.
"Columbo" and "Matlock" - I guess 1PM is the magic hour, prime time for our elderly. They've already returned from dinner, eaten their discounted pepper steak, and have their 3PM bedtime to look forward to. I wonder if having Alzheimer's makes watching reruns a better experience. To paraphrase NBC's ad campaign from a couple years ago, "If you can't remember that you've seen it before, it's new to you."
"JAG" - OK, Catherine Bell is really pretty hot. That being said, they put her in that military uniform, which really doesn't do her rack any justice at all. In my efforts to prove what a magnificent rack she has, I found this picture, which I think is pretty disturbing. It's not enough to have a picture of her in her bra, you have to superimpose that picture over an overly zoomed and pixellated closeup of those breasts? Dude, either learn PhotoShop or buy a Playboy. Boobs are terrific and all, but women have faces too you know.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on FX and "Star Trek: TNG" on Spike - What's your pleasure? Buffy? Dr. Crusher? Counselor Troi? Willow? Dorks of all generations unite! From Uhura to Seven of Nine, sci fi has given losers plenty to masturbate over for years and years. Do you want to be "that guy" at the convention that can barely speak two words to Marina Sirtis because you've defiled her in dozens of ways in your mind for a decade? Didn't think so.
"Love Connection" on Game Show Network - I love a good Chuck Woolery double entendre or innuendo as much as the next guy, but this show is such a time capsule that unless you really enjoy shoulder pads and heavily curled and hairsprayed coifs on the ladies, you're not getting anywhere here. Not to mention that all the women are on the closed circuit relay from backstage for most of the show, and you have to use your imagination to figure out how hot their body might be. And you certainly didn't stay home from school to use your imagination, did you?
"Sabor a Ti" on Univision - From Tivo: "La historia de la lucha por el amor verdadero. Con Ana Karina Manco y Miguel de Leon." Here's your best bet. I think, loosely translated, this means "ridiculously hot women and guys dressed as guidos having some sort of problems." The women on this network are so freaking hot. I actually want to go sit in the studio audience for "Sabado Gigante," but that doesn't mean I'd get any closer to understanding what the hell is going on with the guy in the lion costume and the other dude in the Mexican wrestling mask. God bless those crazy bastards.
See the problem? At this point you're just hoping Daryn Kagan is manning the anchor desk on CNN for the afternoon. It's pitiful.
There's got to be a way to get the Up All Night movie back. It's all for the children. Who's with me?
What's On My Tivo?
Five hours of Beavis and Butthead episodes
The Third Man
The Odd Couple
Single Episodes Of:
Animal Planet's "Breed All About It" (Cardigan Welsh Corgis)
"Futurama" (the episode about Fry's dog)
Multiple Episodes Of:
"The O.C." (all six from season two so far)
"South Park" (four from the most recent season)
"The West Wing" (won't watch new episodes, strictly old ones)
Detroit Lions Football:
vs. Minnesota, vs. Arizona, at New York Giants, at Atlanta
The Best News I've Heard All Day
It's 730AM, and already my day has been made.
I watched the last half of the Iowa v LSU game, and the entire Michigan v Texas game, and I can't remember watching six more thrilling consecutive quarters of football. Unbelievable finish for Iowa, and Vince Young's game for Texas was surreal.
Happy New Year.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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