Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Queensland Insomnia...

I love Rocky 4. If you don't, well, you're probably fine as a person, but I essentially want nothing to do with you. *Shrug, sorry* Come on, through the end of movie 3 into the 4th, Mr. Balboa loses his two best friends. Mickey, his trainer, confidant and friend. Then Apollo, his former enemy turned great friend and mentor, was killed unmercifully by the Russian in the ring. He also goes against the wishes of his family to fight Drago and nearly ruins the family dynamic. On top of these personal obstacles, he also faces the risk of further severing US/Russian ties and really bringing the Cold War to an apex.

Instead of even considering failure, he trains in the wintry tundra, finishing said training by scaling a snow covered mountain face. He knocks out the Russian, reuniting his family and then brokers peace relations between two hateful countries mid-ring with an uneducated and bloodied speech, cloaked in an American flag. Yeah I know, it's awesome.

It's midnight and I'm sitting in a hotel room in Brisbane, Australia. I tried my hardest not to sleep and keep a normal schedule, as per most recommendations for jet lag. But I nodded off like a heroin addict at 6 and slept like a rock. Now I'm up and writing and watching Stallone hoping I can get tired again soon. If I can't, hopefully I stumbled upon a marathon and parts 5 and 6 will be forthcoming.

I've been thinking a lot today about the unique position we're in and how I'm a fool not to count my lucky stars and really try to enjoy these moments presented to me. It's quick to lose perspective in anything, routine and normalcy can happen if you repeat any day long enough. But, what the fuck, most people in the world don't get to have these types of experiences and memories. For that, I thank the random order for sparing me and continuing to letting me wake up everyday and hooking me up the way it did. And just like Lou Gehrig said, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth. (I just realized in the bathroom that this can be construed as bragging, it's really not designed to, more to express how thankful I am.)

I worked really hard, don't mistake that, but a hundred variables had to fall into place, and somehow they did. Good thing too, because I am a very talented pizza delivery driver, but 6 straight days on the road slinging grease can really eat my soul, especially since the radio broke in my car.

Yes!! Here comes the Russian winter training montage, arguably the best in film history, I can't pass this up. See you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Generally unfocused meandering....

"Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things" - George Carlin

I just decided to drink another cup of coffee rather than make breakfast, again. I heard small meals throughout the day is the way to keep your metabolism up, but it just seems to take so much damn effort. Benjamin Franklin wasn't into food, he thought people wasted too much time on the affair and he only ate out of bare necessity. That's either really cool or proof of his alcoholism. Not sure.

Anyway, things are going well. Gaslight is practicing and getting ready for the Australia and Japan tours. We've also had a couple of Spiro Agnew practices the last few weeks. Both bands have new songs and I'm having a blast playing drums right now ... I missed beating them. The dog, Wallace, is a wild man. Reckless and a pretty big pain in the ass. But, also really cute and probably my best friend now, we talk a lot.

Also watching about 10 hours of basketball and films everyday. My boys, Rutgers, upset Villanova last night with a time expiring 4 point play. The crowd stormed the court and brought hope for a possible NIT invitation, first since the Quincy Douby era ended. The Nets are, you know, the Nets. Been taking the PATH down to a lot of games at the Rock in Newark. Great stadium, and the addition of giving the Nets mascot "Sly the Fox" a midget counterpart named "Mini Sly" has been a nice touch. Yanks are having an interesting off-season, I'm not throwing in the towel to the revamped Red Sox yet, still a year of baseball to be played before I'm declaring them AL East champ.

A few movies I've recently seen I recommend....

- The Fighter - Christian Bale and Amy Adams killed it, I've never wanted a character to win so bad at the end, even Rocky.
- Sugar - A "Van Sant" style movie about a Dominican kid who comes up to the states to try and make it in baseball. A little slow, but shot really well and tells a story that needs to be told.
- Lemmy Documentary - Went into the city to see this at a 20 seat theater. He's kind of a dirt bag (see German WWII paraphernalia and abandoned children), but really inspiring, nonetheless. The way he lives these days is something everyone should be privy to.
- A Serious Man - Coen Brothers movie about a series of odd mystical events for a suburban Jewish professor and his family in the 50's. My dad said he studied his Bar Mitzvah from a record, as well.
- Anchorman - I've seen this possibly over 300-400 times, until something is better, it will always make the list.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I really am a nerd, regardless what my girlfriend says...

I went down to Atlantic City for a friendly celebration last weekend. Gambling is a lot of fun for me. I've always had a mild obsession with numbers, statistics and probabilities. Which would explain why I enjoy betting so much. Even though I'm still intimidated to sit at a Poker table with the day. But I don't nerd out on anything more than sports stats, ask anyone I know. There is just something about the cumulation of statistics through the course of a season, and then those added onto a players career numbers that just gives me a major hard-on. I know, I know...what are you gonna do, you can't fight what you like. My Mother even used to buy me an almanac every year, for, dare I say, enjoyable reading.

The truly nerdiest accomplishment, may have been my childhood video game tendencies. While most kids were slashing dragons in Zelda and/or being interactive with friends. I was compiling statistics in EA Tecmo Bowl, the first legit football game for Nintendo. Now this was prior to the advent of in-game and season statistics for video games. So I, as a true obsessive weirdo kid, would play each play, put down my controller, and log the stats. Then again, and again, and again. At the end of the game, I would add it up to have full game statistics, and at the end of 16 games, I added it together for full season statistics. Quarterback percentage and yards per carry included. I was 10. I won't even begin to explain the system I had for the NY Times Sunday baseball insert.

These tendencies are odd I realize, and as an adult, I've come up with one theory. To me, life has very few, if any, certainties. I remember my Father saying that it's a classic bout of the "thinker". If you can understand both sides to any situation, with a pragmatic mind and compassionate heart, the whole world turns to grey. Actually I just said it way more poetically, but thanks for the idea Pop.

But I agree, I have a hard time taking sides. In a debate I can merely play devil's advocate because there is always a section of my conscious that believes and agrees with my opponent. Sometimes, in the case of racists and murderers and Eagles fans, it's a really small section.

So my theory is this, I think I take solace in the certainty of statistics. Black and white. Winner and loser. Numbers. Certainty. There is no debate, somebody lost, the numbers tell you what happened, and you can't argue it. It's so comforting, and with that and a mild sedative, it can soothe my savage beast for hours on end. It's also aided in writing drum parts, organizing records and an extremely systematic way of eating an omelette, potatoes and toast meal from a diner.

I can't believe a nerd of my caliber opened for Social Distortion. Jokes on you world!!