Friday, August 27, 2004

4 Years Until Crisco-Twister in Beijing

Well, the Olympics are over and I can honestly say that I completely failed to pay attention. They say that billions of people tuned in to see the opening ceremonies, and who can blame them? Their choices of watching something other than the ceremonial Greek contortionist doing his best impersonation of Spider-Man crawling around a floating cube... well, there wasn't much else on. I think it was probably King of Queens, TV's Funniest Bloopers and Survivor: Compton.

I think that it's my lack of patriotism that made the Olympics strike me as completely uninteresting this year. I still remember the heroes of twenty years ago, though: Mary-Lou Retton, Mitch Gaylord, Kurt Thomas, Greg Louganis, Carl Lewis... I remember them so well because they were winners, and that meant free food from McDonald's. You think you do well when McDonald's Monopoly happens every year? 1984 had the United States send a truly amazing Olympic team, and McDonald's promotion comprised of pieces that essentially said, "If the U.S. wins a medal in this event, you get this, this or this," with those three items varying in value depending on whether we won gold, silver or bronze. I don't know if McDonald's knew this going into the promotion, but the United States was going to run roughshod over a lot of the competition because the U.S.S.R. boycotted the Olympics, just as we had boycotted the Moscow Olympics.

In any case, they were heroes, because they ended up on more than just Wheaties boxes.
  • Okay, so Carl Lewis basically ended up on a Wheaties box.
  • Greg Louganis gained fame as a posterboy after he developed HIV, which isn't a good thing at all, but it at least puts a recognizable face on the disease, thereby promoting awareness.
  • Mary-Lou Retton ended up getting children to exercise on Mary-Lou Retton's Funfit! which ran for something like fifteen minutes on Saturday mornings, splitting the half-hour between cartoons with Menudo. ... Yes, I said Menudo.
  • Mitch Gaylord ended up in the movie American Anthem, opposite the extremely hot Janet Jones; she who later betrayed me by marrying Wayne Gretzky.
  • But Kurt Thomas wins the award for Outstanding Post-Olympic Career Move, in that he starred in the movie Gymkata, which got a whopping 2.7 stars out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database. I mean, the movie is bad.
I mean, I thought there might be some highlights this year, but the Women's Beach Volleyball just didn't live up to my expectations. I was expecting Gabrielle Reece and I ended up very disappointed. It's like going to a local talent show and expecting the girls to look like Laetitia Casta. But I digress. Beach Volleyball without Gabrielle Reece is like tennis without Anna Kournikova: Utterly pointless.

And then there was Table Tennis. That's right, it's still an Olympic Event, just like Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo, all three of which garnered about ten seconds of coverage on NBC over the last two weeks. Every year, the International Olympic Committee (or whoever the hell they are) adds sport after retarded X-Games sport to the list of Olympic competition, and they never take any of them off.

I mean, the fucking Equestrian is still in the Olympics. That's not a sport! The horse does all the fucking work! Seriously, give me one of the Budweiser Clydesdales, and I'll just plow right through all the shit that those pansy horses have to jump over. Gold medal for Umgawa in 2008!

Probably the one Olympic sport that I was most looking forward to this year was Girls On Trampolines. That's right, the very activity from The Man Show that drew the ire of women everywhere is now an Olympic sport. Unfortunately, when it went to becoming a competition rather than just entertainment, that meant that it was going to be performed by "athletes" instead of The Man Show's "juggies," which knocks the appeal down ... about to zero. I mean, if only Sweden had made it past the preliminaries.

So, over the next four years, we can look forward to a lot of things:
  • The Winter Olympics in 2006, which will feature at least as many retarded sports as the Summer Olympics offer.
  • Michael Phelps will find out that nobody gives a shit how many medals he won; Mark Spitz is still better.
  • All-Around Gymnastics gold-medal winner Paul Hamm will make his motion-picture debut in Son of Gymkata.
  • And, the United States' Men's Basketball Team will go back to the pros, forget all of this Olympic stuff ever happened, and get back to doing what they do best: Knocking up groupies and making a lot of bling.
AIM: therbmcc71

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ungrateful Atkins Bastards!

I'm watching Three's Company right now, and decided this was as good a time as any to do some site-maintenance and add a couple of links to the sidebar. I'm sure that there are a few other blogs that I've been reading, but I've listed all that I can think of right now. I've been making use of the Next Blog button at the top of the screen, which Blogger/Blogspot has been kind enough to switch to, as it's more attractive than the old Blogspot banner.

Fulfilling Your Daily Actual News Requirement
In West Palm Beach, Florida, Krispy Kreme is doing a promotion that will reward students with a doughnut for every A they receive on their report cards, up to six doughnuts per term. There are already people up in arms about how there are more nutritious things to reward students with doughnuts.
"Krispy Kreme doughnuts are very good, especially when the 'hot' lights are on, but I can't say that there's anything healthy about them," school board member Debra Robinson said Tuesday. "Can't we find something else? I mean a doughnut?"
This lady is just the sort of person who gives out toothpaste for Halloween and gets upset when she takes her kids out trick-or-treating and gets upset when homeowners don't have a non-candy alternative. It's not like Heckler & Koch is giving away pistols to students; it's just donuts. And it's not like Krispy Kreme is giving away a lifetime supply to the valedictorian or forcing the students to eat the doughnuts they earn. We're talking about a simple promotion that involves giving goods away for free as a reward for student-achievement... and the School Board has a problem with it.

I might have my priorities all fucked-up, here, and maybe this is why I'll never get elected to my own local school board, but I think that any reward for student achievement is a good thing. It's like how people can decry the books of Stephen King, but high school students love them, and quite often it's the closest thing to literature that they'll willingly subject themselves to without anyone looking over their shoulders. I mean, twelve doughnuts a year isn't going to kill anyone, and -in the event that it did- it's a goddamn miracle that student didn't die running laps in gym class.

AIM: therbmcc71

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Don't Drink the Water

Dave Matthews, the King of Mumble-Rock, has been accused of quite the crime in the city of Chicago. On August 8th, apparently Matthews' tour bus was going over a bridge, and it was at this time that someone on the bus allegedly decided to dump the septic system. However, it was also at exactly that time that a tour-boat had been going under the bridge, leading to a conclusion that even Jackass never really equaled in scale. According to an Associated Press story, "more than 100 people on an architecture tour were showered with foul-smelling waste."

Were this a Dave Matthews concert, it is entirely possible that those hundred-plus people would have felt honored to bask in a deluge of the band's septic system.

AIM: therbmcc71

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This is What We Call "Google Bait"

So, apparently Britney Spears and fiance Kevin Federline are going to be doing a music video in which they get married. According to a news story from E! Online, which in turn references People magazine, "she'll also be seen in her undies--after cutting off the straps of her wet dress with a kitchen knife because she's driven her car into a pool." But this is all beside the point. After talking to Smashy for a while earlier today, I started thinking about all of the really bad choices that music-stars make when making their videos with loved ones. Let's just make a list, here, shall we?
  • Axl Rose and Stephanie Seymour: "Don't Cry" and "November Rain"
  • David Coverdale and Tawny Kitaen: "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love"
  • J-Lo and Affleck: "Jenny From the Block"
  • J-Lo and Puff Daddy: "All Around the World"
  • Counting Crows' Adam Duritz and Courteney Cox: "A Long December"
  • Paula Abdul and that cartoon-cat: "Opposites Attract"
Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. By doing this video, they are prematurely dooming their relationship... or maybe not that prematurely, given that Britney was married and un-married in fifty-five hours. I guess time's going to tell on this one.

AIM: therbmcc71

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I Am Not Dead

I'm kind of wrecked from going to a family wedding this weekend. It was a very nice wedding, outdoors and very short -though not as short as my brother's- but it was also a dry wedding, which is to say that I was going completely insane and complaining of delirium tremens by the end.

In any case, I'm somewhat tired and lacking in postable material at the moment, so I decided to hop into my Blogger account and add a couple of links to the sidebar. I'll try to think of something a bit later, after I've checked to see what I've missed over the past three days in the real world (read: other people's blogs). Likely in this upcoming post, we'll see exactly what my dream-wedding is, and I'll be opening up a competition for anyone to enter.

AIM: therbmcc71

Monday, August 16, 2004

Last Post of the Morning, I Swear

Google Logo of the Day:
Is that a trident in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Poseidon, is that a trident in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

AIM: therbmcc71

The One That Makes Me Laugh, She Said

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
In the comedy-noir/neo-tragic style that is representative of my life, my girlfriend is moving. I think that I took the news pretty well, mainly because I was half-asleep when she called me to tell me that she's moving by the end of next month. I'm looking through my collection of DVD's to find some guidance in my life, in a sort of, "What Would John Cusack Do?" kind of way, but it's just not happening for me.

Speaking of which, I've always meant to post this on my page, but haven't because I never remember to. And I've got it written down somewhere, and no doubt it's ten times better wherever it is, but I'm going to type it up from memory anyway and hope it makes sense:

There are four kinds of guys in this world, and they're all represented by characters from one Cameron Crowe movie or another. And I'm not generalizing here, because every guy falls into one of these four categories. They have to, unless you're one of those people who believes that 'yes or no' questions can have an infinite number of possible answers, or could be both, as in the case of Shrodinger's Cat. In this case, we break guys down into whether they're shallow or deep, and what their self-image is:

  • We start out with Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He's a shallow guy who knows he's shallow. He doesn't make any attempt at all to seem like he's a deep guy, since all he needs are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and he's fine.
  • Then you've got Cliff, the Matt Dillon character from Singles, who sings for a band named Citizen Dick. He's shallow, but thinks he's deep. When Eddie Vedder says to him, "A compliment for us is a compliment for you," he just sits back and says, "All this negativity just makes me stronger..." And then there's the part where he doesn't say, "Bless you," after Bridget Fonda sneezes, instead telling her not to get him sick because he's got a gig coming up.
  • And then there's Jerry Maguire. He often appears to be totally shallow, but has these bizarre and semi-rare flirtations with depth, eventually ending up as a fairly deep guy.
  • Finally, there's Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything; a deep guy who knows, or at least believes, he's deep. And he's responsible for the lines at the top and bottom of this post.
I know, it's anti-climactic, but I have to take a shower now and have something for breakfast before I go out and take my girlfriend to work. In any case, my female readers should take a look at their boyfriends and decide which of these characters their boyfriends represent, while the guys should just look at themselves and try to figure themselves out. There are no other options, and I think that a disproportionately large number of guys will pick either Jerry Maguire or Lloyd Dobler, while women are probably more likely to be objective and honest.

Which one am I? I'm William Miller from Almost Famous, but I get to break the rules because I'm the one who makes them. The rest of you only get the four choices above. Comment away.

What I really want to do with my life - what I want to do for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it.

AIM: therbmcc71

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Here, Have Some Gauze...

The following is a post that I thought had been lost to the Blog Monster a couple of days ago. I was feeling rather ill at the time, which is why it sucks. I might add that I probably don't have any of the diseases I listed in the post, but we still haven't ruled out the possibility of pneumoconiosis.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I feel like crap and I really don't feel like posting, and I'm probably going to pass out before I properly edit this post, so it's going to read very poorly. My girlfriend says I probably just have the flu, but I think it's probably encephalitis or West Nile or Polio or something like that. Granted, I always think it's something like that, or if it is the flu, then it's the Spanish Flu or Influenza or something. I refuse to believe that it's just the flu. In any case, I'm going to miss the Bears game because of this.

I can't seem to crack the $80 million barrier on the Hollywood Stock Exchange. I keep floating just under it, but I can't seem to get that extra *oomph* to get another million dollars out of my portfolio. If only I was this good at the real stock market. Okay, so they start you out with two million dollars and you invest in movies, movie stars, funds, options... makes sense, right? So, you buy a movie for a certain price, which is governed by how much the movie is going to make in its first four weeks of release, and so you look for a bargain. For example, I bought Fahrenheit 9/11 at a shade over five dollars, and it cashed out at around a hundred, netting me a cool five-million smackers. That was my Blair Witch investment for the year.

Anyway, a date's been set for John Sayles' new movie, Silver City, which is said to be some sort of satire with regard to the President. This can only be a good thing, since it's coming out before the election, though it'll probably play on about ten screens across the country, as it's a John Sayles film. The Alamo doesn't count, since that one should've played on about ten screens. But the cast for Silver City is absolutely huge: Richard Dreyfuss, Chris Cooper, Daryl Hannah, Thora Birch, Maria Bello, Miguel Ferrer, Billy Zane, Kris Kristofferson, Tim Roth... I mean, granted, most of these parts could be nothing more than a Player-style cameo, but it's still a hell of a cast.

You've got to love Hollywood's blatant disregard for the current political regime. More than that, you've got to love the way that the regime's supporters can't take a joke. I wonder if they're going to file with the Federal Election Commission that Silver City amounts to an illegal campaign for the Democrats; the FEC, though, recently cleared Fahrenheit 9/11 on those very charges. But, where are the Republicans in all of this? Why don't they have movies? And don't say it's because they're morally above it, because this is the group that decided to impeach Bill Clinton over a hummer.

Anyway, this post is total crap, but it could be my last one before I expire from cholera, Yellow Fever, Scarlet Fever, Rheumatic Fever, scurvy or that flesh-eating bacteria. Who knows, maybe it's just Cooties.

AIM: therbmcc71

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Did I Remember to Turn the Webcam Off?

Far be it for me to ever question id Software, but Doom 3 is just too damn dark. Yes, it's moody, and yes it'll make you jump. It might even scare the shit out of you, as the promotional-videos for the game apparently had one of my friends a bit unnerved. But it's too fucking dark. Sure, that means that you never know where the monsters are going to be coming from, but it really doesn't help when you're getting the shit bludgeoned out of you and you still don't know where it's coming from. The Duct Tape Mod, courtesy of Glen Murphy, allows the shotgun and machine-gun to be used with the flashlight. Purists will say that it's on par with censoring films, like the removal of nudity from Titanic, but I see it as more along the lines of starting Titanic from the scene where Kate Winslet drops her robe and moving on from there. At least you can see what you're shooting at.

I realize that I haven't really stated an overall opinion on Doom 3, but this is because I've got a long way to go in the game, as I just now picked up the rocket-launcher. To give you some impression as to the overall mood of the game, I was playing a couple of hours ago and wasn't really having a problem with the game itself. I was just running around, checking my corners, sprinting down corridors with my chainsaw... the usual Doom stuff. My mom called me, and the vibration of my cell phone in my pocket scared the daylights out of me to the point where I nearly fell out of the chair. I mean, Christ... I thought one of those shamblers was brushing my leg, since I wouldn't put it past id Software to install some kind of Feel-Around driver in the game.

Speaking of changes in films we all know and may or may not love, I'm not sure whether or not I ever plugged Pink Five Strikes Back, which is this year's sequel to Pink Five, the Star Wars fan-film that won the George Lucas Selects award last year. The description for Pink Five Strikes Back is as follows:
The "totally awesome" saga of Stacey, the Pink Five fighter pilot continues as she treks to Dagobah, where Master Yoda trains her to be a Jedi. Kinda.
That's right, it's about a valley-girl X-Wing pilot. It's geeky as hell, and absolutely fucking hysterical, running concurrently with Empire Strikes Back. Apparently, a couple of weeks ago, Pink Five Strikes Back won the Audience Award at the Star Wars Fan-Film Festival. It's very much worth a watch, certainly on the level of Troops or any of the other classics of the genre.

I brought up Pink Five Strikes Back because I was watching a short film called Glass, and it's alright. I've seen better, and it's a far cry better than Fork, one of the other shorts over at In its entirety, not fantastic, but there is one moment in it that's absolutely drop-dead funny and was definitely worth linking to. I might add that the website in question also has a very good indictment of the worth of 3 Musketeers as a candy bar. The site's entertaining, so maybe one of these days, I'll link it up, but not today, since I'm lazy.

Rick James is dead, bitch. I found this shocking, as I seriously thought that he was going to be the next Keith Richards, at least in terms of his past drug-history being used to mummify himself from the inside and thereby live forever. For all of his hard-living, though, at least Rick James outlived the career of M.C. Hammer and was able to take "Super Freak" back for himself.

I've found that, in my begging for comments, that the comments are sometimes getting off-topic. Frankly, I don't find off-topic commenting cool in the least, and so I have decided to establish a fascist regime in which I will monitor future comments on the site for relevance and coherent thought and will delete those that don't fit this strict criteria. I don't think it's too much to ask.

And, I found a very nice compliment over on Fubar in the Politics forum. The topic was Celebrities Speaking Politics, and so I dug up a post I remembered from last year, in which Ben Affleck talked about that very subject, though he was speaking in regard to the then-impending war in Iraq. Affleck's post, In the Event of War, can be found here, in case you need a point of reference or out of mere curiosity. The compliment, courtesy of Mandarin, is as follows:
Umgawa, you're ten times the writer that Ben Affleck could ever hope to be. That brain-dead ass-clown couldn't even string a noun and a verb together properly when posting on the front page. You, you're eloquent and educated. You couldn't be more dissimilar.
Response from Lizzie when I told her this:
hahahhahahahaaaaaa ... he's gonna feel dumb

AIM: therbmcc71

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

If it's Time for Recompense for What's Done

I feel good. For the first time in ages, I feel good and I don't associate it with being a good trivia player, being someone's boyfriend or being able to write up something so clever that I sit back in my chair and call myself brilliant.

I feel inspired... like Marlon Brando after eating a gallon of shoe-polish and chasing it with a bottle of ginseng.

I feel like I'm capable of greatness again, like I haven't in years, but without the hubris that used to go along with it. It's like diet-potential, and I like it.

I feel empowered, like I don't care who rejects my job application, because it's their loss.

I feel like I finally understand the Rocky III line, "Nobody owes nobody nothin'. You owe yourself."

I feel. -no qualifier necessary-

AIM: therbmcc71

Retiring from the Game

Listen, which word don't you understand? There is no out, there is no through, there is no out!
I've been playing a trivia game at the bar for the past five years. It was a lot of fun for a long time, and now it's just started wearing on me, especially since it got to the point where any winner who isn't me gets a round of applause from the other trivia players. Me, I get whatever's one step down from cat-calls, and it just pisses me off. I'm the most reviled person at the bar, and I'm tired of being that guy. I'm tired of hearing, "Oh, shit, Mickey's here; now we're all going to lose."

So, I'm retiring Jordan-style. I mean that in regard to his first retirement, when he was still at the top of his game. Of course, then he decided he was going to take up baseball, which was certainly not a great decision by any stretch... but I don't think anyone complained but the Chicago sports fans, merchandisers and sportswriters. Within the league, it was probably seen as the end of an era, and there were probably quite a number of players who were relieved to not have to play against Michael Jordan anymore. After all, the Bulls really did suck without him. As for me, the kids can have their fucking sandbox to play in.

So I got home, feeling like complete and utter shit, from five pints of Guinness, a frosty mug of Miller Lite and a thousand years of solitude, proceeded to log into Instant Messenger and started talking to a very nice girl. "Damn, you move quick," I thought, and ultimately ended up grabbing a Vanilla Coke and heading to her place to watch (ironically) Say Anything. As it stands, she remembered that she'd already seen the movie, and so we just ended up talking for ... about four hours. And it was a great conversation, just drenched in pop-culture to the point where ninety-nine percent of humanity would think it was gibberish. We're talking about a girl who, like myself, enjoys verbally assaulting people in the most high-brow manner possible:

"Okay, of course she's not going to know those words; that girl's copy of Webster's Dictionary has Emmanuel Lewis on the cover."

So, yeah, it was like that for something on the order of four hours. Just sat across the living room from each other and talked about Buffy, movies, our respective exes, our respective penchants for using the word fuck and the necessity to curb the usage of the word to make it more emphatic when it is used. And there were muffins. Fat-free apple-cinnamon muffins are surprisingly quite tasty when drenched in Brummel and Brown margarine. The only down-side is that they stick to the muffin-paper thingies.

I feel like me again, and I don't feel like nearly as bad a person as I have over the past couple of days. We didn't drink, we didn't smoke, we didn't turn on the television. We just sat and talked for that long, and the only thing that stopped it was the fact that we were both dead-tired, at which point I hopped in my car and drove home.

Ironically, the one girl I had wanted to hear from earlier in the day called my cell phone while I was out, as I had inadverdently left it next to my computer. This, of course, means that I would have been without a phone if I had gotten lost on my way to my nice little chat tonight. But, if she had called my cell phone earlier, I don't think that I would have gone out, I wouldn't have had that conversation (or those tasty muffins), and I wouldn't have realized what was totally missing in my recent relationship.

In the post-mortem, I think that trivia was probably why I didn't see that; that I was so wrapped up in the game and thinking about the questions that I didn't realize that there was probably no way that I could have talked to her for four hours with neither interruption nor inspiration. There was just too much time sitting across a table or on cell phones, saying nothing in a neither comfortable nor uncomfortable-silence; just silence.

[Life] is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury...
Signifying nothing.

AIM: therbmcc71

EDIT: I realized a few minutes ago (eight hours after posting initially posting this) that I only got halfway through re-enabling comments, and so there they are again (although now it's gotten rid of all of the previous comments and has made every single thread commentable). I don't care; comment away, be free and happy. Me, I'm going to -rather appropriately- listen to some Fleetwood Mac.

Monday, August 02, 2004

We're No Better, Only Older

Thoughts while downloading Firefox, which I'm doing because Blogger's doing the occasional bizarre thing with Netscape:

Tragedy: dramatic genre that presents the heroic or moral struggle of an individual, culminating in his or her ultimate defeat.

I've decided that the word of the day is contrition, like Michael Corleone in Godfather III, but without all of the Catholocism and Mafia stuff. As such, I've decided that I'm going to spend the entirety of Monday in a mode of contemplation with regard to my place in the world and what kind of person I am. Pity I turned the comments off, otherwise you could just tell me.

Tyler isn't here. Tyler went away. Tyler gone.

AIM: therbmcc71

Sunday, August 01, 2004

There Are Places I Remember

I've changed my mind. I'm not going to post about the DNC anytime soon. I think that I'm going to sit down and re-tool this page until it looks ... like something, rather than the New York Post style that's gotten me this far. Unless you count that horrifically ugly "Dreamsicle" episode from when I first started posting on Blogger. In any case, I'm in a rather foul mood, and -rather than let that get out into the world- I'm just going to bottle it and sell it to Krishnas in need of some really good self-loathing. "I'll hand out the fucking flowers to the people at the airport, you guys just sit down and think about your lives for just a couple of hours."

In any case, I'm playing with a scanner right now, since it's more fun to find a good picture of me than it is to break out a camera and try to take one of myself. As it stands, there's only ever been about four good pictures ever taken of me, three of which were taken either before or on my third birthday. After that, it kind of all went downhill. But I digress: In the event that you start seeing pictures of a little kid on this site, that's me from back when I was cute. Just had to say that to dispel any shades of Michael Jackson that might go through your heads.

Furthermore, I think I'm going to dump Haloscan as my commenting engine, since Blogger's has finally gotten to the point where it no longer does bizarre shit, though I don't like the whole "non-Blogger users are labeled as Anonymous," thing, so it's all up in the air right now. At the moment, though, I'm just too lazy to go and dig out the code to reinsert Haloscan capability in my page, which means no voice for my precious few readers. Given the situation that I'm in right now, this is probably a good thing, as I'm very deserving of a good blast of digital graffiti.

AIM: therbmcc71